The Validity of Eckankar Masters

Or How I Found Rebazar Tarzs on a Surf Trip to Baja

     I think Johnson's comments on occultation are right on the mark. By claiming that a master such as Rebazar Tarzs still resides in the Himalayan mountains adds an incredible charm to the whole subject--it also provides the logical possibility that a would-be Eckist (not dissimilar, I should add, to the would-be SRF member and his relation with Babaji) can direclty encounter Rebazar Tarzs right now.

     However, readers on this group must certainly be aware that Rebazar Tarzs, as such, does not exist. He is, as we have stated repeatedly, a cover name for a whole series of gurus--which one, of course, depends upon Twitchell's writing mood at the time (to confirm this, just listen to Paul's early tapes on Rebazar--in one instance he completely forgets who Rebazar Tarzs is until an audience member refreshes his memory; apparently Twitchell was writing so swiftly he started forgetting who he was inventing and naming)

     Now I am not absolutely certain how Twitchell came up with the name "Rebazar Tarzs" (a friend of mine, Brian Walsh, claims that it is derived from a similar sounding name in a Tibetan Yoga book), but I have one very sneaky suspicion.

     As I often do I go down to Baja for surfing trips. A couple of years ago as I was heading down south to surf a relatively secluded spot called "Quatro (sp.) casas" (four houses), I noticed to my amazement a highway sign which said "Rebasar Tars". Now I should add that Twitchell used to live in San Diego and Del Mar (both very close to the Baja border). I would not put it past the Twitch to have simply coined the name from one of his trips (with Gail presumably) to Baja.

     Now if this is too outrageous, just think of the following names: "Jagat Ho" (a cross between "Jagat Singh"--the late Beas master--and a famous cracker "Hi Ho"?????).

     "Gakko"--the master who brought the true teachings from the planet Venus. Hmm, reminds me of "Gekko" (since this was prior to the star on the soap opera, General Hospital, I am assuming that this is a cross between some master and some creature that hangs on ceilings).

     And how about "Fubbi Quantz" (my personal favorite). Seems partially derived from a popular Disney movie, if I am not mistaken ("Son of Flubber". . . which leads to Flubby. . . which leads to Fubbi--I am just making these connections as I go along).

     "Yaubl Sacabi"--- (if my pronounciation of the first name is correct, this is the Twitch's first honest name--- "Ya Bull" (or, "yes this a bull"---but since nobody is going to check these people out historically, I should just keep coming up with off-the-wall names; it adds lure, it adds mystery, it adds money.)

     Now all of the preceding should not be cited seriously, but it does make you begin to wonder.

     Where did Twitchell come up with these names? I have my own answer--from a vivid imagination, which was fueled by his extensive reading, his criss-cross travel, and his proclivity for misspelling and mis-dating historical names. Couple this with the desire to coverup, mislead, and to mystify and you get....... the vairagi masters.

     Even Twitchell's spiritual name "Peddar Zaskq" has the earmarks of a word game; "Dap Ren"--- or "Wah Z" (sound like the grand "Wah Zoo").

     I don't mean to be disrespectful. However, my sense is that it was exactly Twitchell's intention to be consciously disrespectful (to history, to dates, to books, to facts) which has mislead all of us to believe that Eckankar is more than what most outsiders suspect it is.

     Now the counterargument is that we begin to have visions of Rebazar. Well, we been through this before---anybody can have visions of anybody whatsoever (even if the characters are not historically real or genuine residents of the astral plane).

[K. Paul Johnson interjects: Rebasar in Spanish means to exceed, or in reference to driving, to pass. Tars I can't find in the dictionary. But the sign presumably instructs one about passing lanes or something similar. BTW that's "cuatro."]
Questioning the Legitimacy of Twitchellian History - with regard to the coining of new names for previous Eck Masters.

     Mark S. writes that he is upset with my questioning of the "spiritual names" for previous (and current) Eck Masters. He furher mentions that he would not discuss with me his inner experiences with such beings because I have crossed the line in terms of objectivity.

     Now Mark is actually right on the mark here (no pun intended). I have crossed the line of objectivity since I really don't know (absolutely) where Twitchell came up with these incredible (and I use incredible here consciously--that is, not believable) sounding names.

     And when I do use my objective, research oriented method I have come across a severe problem. Most of these characters cannot be verified historically. Indeed, when I went to India to find out if some of these gurus (like Rebazar and Sudar) really did exist, as claimed by Twitchell and others in Eckankar, I found out to my dismay that there was no evidence whatsoever for them. Thus, what is a researcher to do????

     Well, he/she can simply accept Twitchell's testimony, but there's a catch if he or she does that. Almost everything else Twitchell has stated has turned out to be either false (like his birthdate) or a cover-up (e.g., his association with Kirpal Singh, L. Ron Hubbard, etc.).

     Thus, when it comes to the alleged facticity of the Vairagi masters, the researcher has to step outside the bounds of objectivity. Indeed, every Eckist I know has to. Why? How else can you believe Twitchellian history when most of it falls beyond the realm of empirical confirmation.

     Yet, the Eckist sometimes wants it both ways. They want the researcher to be objective, value-free, etc. (most of which, of course, is impossible anyways) when it comes to evaluating the truth claims of their respective religion. However, when the researcher asks them to be objective about the origins of their group, their leader, their genealogical connections, it is occasionally argued that "empiricism" is limited and that Eck deals with things far beyond the rational mind.

     A simple question arises in my mind. If Rebazar and Sudar and Fubbi and Gakko really did exist, why is it that only Paul Twitchell talks about them???? (I am not talking about inner visions and the like here). It is Twitchell who has access to them. It is Twitchell who knows their names. It is also Twitchell who has systematically lied about almost every important detail in his life. To protect his family??? I think not; it was very family that said he was a liar. Even Twitchell' first wife informed me that Twitchell had a tendency to tell yarns (a polite terms for "lying").

     So if the Twitch has this fairly bad habit of lying and he is the first guy to talk about a five hundred year old Tibetan monk and nobody either in Tibet or India has heard of the guy, what is the researcher to do????

     Well, my hunch is that Twitch just made the names up. Now this may seem non-objective, but I ask the internet readers to do the necessary empirical research (go to India, go to Tibet), and find the evidence for Rebazar Tarzs or Twitchell's version of Sudar Singh.

     I don't mind being wrong. Indeed, it would be quite fun to meet Rebazar. It would be great to add Sudar to my shabd yoga genealogical tree.

     But all I hear is that some of these beings can only be contacted on the inner planes. They don't appear to skeptics (just like psychics cannot work correctly when a magician is watching them).

     Mark, I genuinely don't mind being wrong. I think it is a worthy task for you to gather solid evidence for Rebazar Tarzs and crew. (I hasten to repeat that I am not asking for testimonies of others inner experiences--I have already commented on the unreliablity of that already in two pieces: The Politics of Mysticism and the Kirpal Statistic).

     If I am wrong, I will personally go to Tibet and apologize to Rebazar, providing of course that the Chinese government doesn't mind a foreigner talking to one of their elders.

     Concerning "Wah Z", I personally didn't mean anything offensive by it. Maybe I am just too jaded. Because even when Eckankar claimed that I was a reincarnation of Kal I didn't get offended. I sort thought of it as a backsided compliment. I mean I know they must have been very taken aback when they tried to sue me and my sister who is an attorney wrote them back a very stern response.

     Why were they taken aback? My sister's initials are: KAL (Kim A. Lane). Hmmm......

     On a more serious note, I think this whole business of names and the like should be more thoroughly investigated.

     I would like to see somebody do the kind of research that Johnson has done on the Theosophical masters. It is very instructive. Check out his latest book which is coming out from SUNY. It is indicative of what needs to be done more thoroughly in Eckankar.

Keep ripping, Mark.



Making fun of the names of Eckankar Masters: Volume Two

     Mark informs me that he is upset with me making fun of the various names of Eck Masters, such as Fubbi Quantz, Yaubl Sacabi, Rebazar Tarz, Jagat Ho, Gakko, Wah Z, Peddar Zaskq, and the like.

     However, I did at one time take these names seriously; indeed so seriously that I did research here in America, Europe, and India to find out if these characters actually did exist (now I mean "exist" in a earthly, historical--non astral/dream--sense).

     To my chagrin I found out that there was no historical evidence for their existence, except in a few cases as composite cover-names for earlier teachers in history. Due to this I began to seriously doubt Twitchell's "Vairagi" masters.

     By understanding how Twitchell profusely plagiarized and made up history, I got a much better insight into the ontological status of these Eck Masters. This naturally led me to doubt Gakko and his Venus genealogy (he came from the city of Retz on the planet Venus, according to Twitchell).

     Thus, I think it is perfectly appropriate to wonder aloud where Twitchell came up with these names. When I began to use a sense of humor--that is, I began to play word games--I realized that Twitchell just made the names up whenever it became convenient (whether to hide his past or make up a richer sounding mythology).

     Now this offends Eckists like Mark, since it no doubt calls into question the veracity of the Eckankar enterprise. I understand how my elasticity and my questioning and my humor could be offensive to devout believers.

     But I find Twitchell's myth-making, from a purely factual and historical perspective, much more offensive. He has systematically misled his readers at almost every turn about the truthfulness of his accounts, the accuracy of his biography, and the genuineness of his presentation.

     Yet, I hear repeatedly that Eckankar has gone "beyond" that. We are dealing with Sri Harold Klemp (keep in mind that the "Sri" is simply an Indian honorific like "Mr." or "Sir"--but it sounds much more romantic when we use the Indian term that almost nobody understands).

     Well, Klemp has bought into the Eckankar enterprise and yet knows much more than his following does about the nefarious activities of his predecessors, Paul and Darwin.

     However, misguided Eckists need not fear, for Klemp has directed Eckankar into a new direction, one which has paranoia as a cornerstone. I don't think it is coincidental that the number of Eckists who have had "bad" astral experiences has increased steadily since Harold Klemp published his article, "Methods of the Black Magician," in the Winter 1983 issue of The Mystic World. In 1987 alone I have talked with more than ten Eckists who have reported terrifying experiences of "losing" one's mind and mental balance; some even claim to be haunted by internal beings and powers taking away the inner recesses of their personality. A close look at the following passages from Klemp's article shows clearly where these Eckists are getting their fears:

     "The black magician depends upon simple, inexperienced people to provoke worship of the personality, for in ignorance is his power. Signs of one in whom the Kal power is stronger than the ECK are several, including: 1) Show him money and he wonders how to get it from you, 2) make peace in your household and he will try to break it up and 3) if you say, "This is Truth," he tries to prove it is not so.

     "The potential for a fall from grace is a real danger when the lust for power thrusts itself into the foreground. No matter what high station anyone gets in his journey to God, he can end up a fallen star unless he has truly seen the SUGMAD. . .

     "A black magician has a degree of knowledge as to how invisible energies split from the Audible Life Current, but he bends them toward darkness and destruction.

     "With power to invade dreams, he can bring terror through nightmares. The dreamer quakes, wondering what has suddenly unbalanced the delicate scale in his affairs. Monsters appear, forces, tear at the Astral body and strange, awful phenomena confront him.

     "Fear grows and, with it, the disarming influence of the magician steals over the victim. In the initial phase he scatters the initiate's serenity so as to control the mind. Craving raw power, the magician cares not a wit for Soul's freedom. . .

     "To survive a psychic attack takes several approaches: 1) A conscious closing of the emotional door against the intruder. Any photos, as well memorabilia, of a disruptive personality must be put out of the house. 2) A constant chanting of HU or the initiate's personal word. 3) An actual fight on the inner planes whereby the trespasser is driven off by marital arts or some weapon at hand. 4) Getting plenty of rest each night. . .

     "People under psychic attack must make a decision whether to follow the Lord of Light and sound, or the lord of darkness. Hesitation creates a split current of energy within one. I've had reports of people who suffered heart attacks because they let their emotions pull in two different directions at the same time. Forego the Worship of Moloch. The price is too dear.

     "I can help you combat the dark force by use of the might Sword of the SUGMAD--but only if you listen."

The Mystic World (Winter 1983), pages 1-2

     The danger of Klemp's warning against "black magicians" (some former Eckists feel it is a thinly disguised criticism of Darwin Gross) is that it allows for impressionable Eckists to start having the very experiences he warns against.

     Indeed, several of the Eckists I interviewed did not have troubles in their meditation until Klemp's warnings of the "black magician [who] creeps into his prey's life step by step. Every emotional trick is used to bind the two ever more closely together." Such mind games can only run havoc on immature and impregnable personalities. In this way, Harold Klemp has done a great harm to his following. Eckankar has been the source of tremendous mental imbalance for a growing number of devotees because its doctrines are not systematic, psychologically sound, and spiritually authentic. Rather, they are the outcome of Twitchell's schizophrenic plagiarism (he copied widely varying and contradictory teachings), which are replete with unsound (and unproven) meditation techniques, sophomoric advice about "internal beings," and dangerous spiritual counseling.

     So am I presently a fan of Harold Klemp's revisionism? No, I think he is actually worse than Twitchell in some ways, since he knows how much havoc has been wrought by Paul and Darwin (and now him) on certain (not all) Eckists.

     To be sure, we are all responsible to some degree to what happens to us in our religious affiliations and spiritual journeys. But, a pinto is still a pinto and the gas tank can blow up because the car was not well engineered. Not for everybody, but for enough.

     I don't have a problem with people in Eckankar--they are genuinely nice and sincere for the most part. I have a problem with a religious enterprise which does not put a warning label on its many by-products: be sure to take everything with a grain of salt, because most of what we write about is: 1) plagiarized; 2) made-up; 3) convoluted, since our founder mixed anything he read into a cosmic soup; and 4) inaccurate at times, since our founder did not cite nor carefully document his sources.

     And by, the way, our founder also systematically lied about his life and his work.

     But even though he lied about almost everything else in his life, the Eckankar masters are real........


P.S. This same criticism, I should add, holds to any religious enterprise which does not open itself up to wholesale investigation: Catholicism, certain sects of Sant Mat, etc.

Eckankar is not unique; indeed, it is much better than many of its Indian counterparts. For instance, at least Eck leaders don't kill people and beat them up and sexually molest them; Thakar Singh, the infamous head of one Shabd yoga group, is much much worse indeed.

But we need to be much more critical. We are, to be sure, more critical in buying groceries than we are in buying a religion.


The Historicity of Rebazar Tarzs and the question of Lane's biases:

In response to William, Mark, Holly, and others

     The Eckankar newsgroup has been quite lively recently and it is a pleasure each day or so to read through the various posts. Very interesting and very interactive.

     In this post, I would like to clarify my position on a few matters and then let's see the various responses that develop.

1. Concerning the historicity of the Eck Masters (in this article I will simply limit it to Rebazar Tarzs and Sudar Singh for focus), much of the confusion over this issue must be laid at Paul Twitchell's doorstep. Why? Because as is now well known, Paul Twitchell wrote his original manuscript, THE TIGER'S FANG, describing his experiences with Kirpal Singh and Sawan Singh, not Sudar Singh and Rebazar Tarzs. Indeed, in a personal letter to Kirpal Singh in the early 1960s Paul Twitchell asks Kirpal Singh for his permission to dedicate the book to the Delhi Master. Now in this book, he mentions Kirpal Singh's and Sawan Singh's names profusely. (In Twitchell's extensive correspondence with Kirpal Singh--from 1955 to 1966--he repeatedly mentions Kirpal Singh's help in getting him inner experiences; he never--not once--mentions Rebazar Tarzs or Sudar Singh.) It was only later after the growth of Eckankar that Twitchell began to delete the names of Kirpal Singh, Sawan Singh, and others from his original writings. (I have appended the chapter, The Cover-up, to illustrate this fact).

     Now essentially the narrative of the TIGER'S FANG remains the same. Only the names have been changed. So a fundamental question arises: is Twitchell talking about Kirpal Singh and Sawan Singh, but trying to cover-up their real identities? Or, are we to believe that Rebazar Tarzs and Sudar Singh are real entities, even though Twitchell has never even mentioned these characters before 1964?

     Thus, I seriously question the historicity of Rebazar Tarzs and Sudar Singh not on the basis of my own hunches or intuitions but on the basis of a very extensive reading of Paul Twitchell's own writings. He was the one who did the cover-up; not me; he was the one that had every single mention of Kirpal Singh deleted from LETTERS TO GAIL, from THE FLUTE OF GOD, from the original INTRODUCTION TO ECKANKAR, and THE TIGER'S FANG.

     Twitchell is the one who keeps his manuscript word by word, but changes only the names. He is the one who writes to Kirpal Singh for ten years calling him "My Beloved Master." He is the one who wants to dedicate THE TIGER'S FANG to Kirpal Singh, because as Twitchell himself says in his own writing (read the original "God Eaters") that Kirpal Singh, and not Rebazar Tarzs, was responsible for his elaborate inner journey.

     These names, like Sudar Singh and Rebazar Tarzs, are simply cover-names. Not according to me, but according to Twitchell since he was the one who changed names. Even Dr. Bluth was informed by Paul Twitchell on several occasions that Sudar Singh was a cover name for Kirpal Singh. This part of the historical record and any researcher--biased or not--can look exclusively through Twitchell's writings and see what is happening.

     This now leads me to question the authenticity of Rebazar Tarzs and Sudar Singh--not as composite cover names for previous gurus (Twitchell did indeed following Swami Premananda, Kirpal Singh, and L.Ron Hubbard), but on the basis of Twitchell's own biographies of these gurus.

     Read Twitchell's descriptions of both Rebazar Tarzs and Sudar Singh closely. Not only does he contradict himself at various turns (changing not only the spelling, but the dates and locations and functions), but he also gives them the same by-line at times as previously known gurus--like Shiv Dayal Singh, like Jaimal Singh, like Sawan Singh, like Kirpal Singh.

     Hence, on the basis of Twitchell's writings alone, we realize that we have composite characters (just read the plagiarized story of Sudar Singh--it is an almost exact replica of Jaimal Singh's story of how he met Shiv Dayal Singh, the founder of Radhasoami).

     But Twitchell has misled a huge audience into now believing that Rebazar and Sudar are separate characters. When I went to India I did investigate the whereabouts of these people; I found nothing. But I am not saying that these people are imaginary because of my research in India; I am saying they are made-up on the basis of Twitchell's own writings. Read all of Twitchell's writings and it becomes clear that things are compressed.

     For instance, I will be more than happy to fully acknowledge the existence of Rebazar and Sudar if somone can give me conclusive historical proof that these characters exist and are the very same ones talked about by Twitchell. Indeed, it would sincerely be a happy occasion for me, because I could then add them to my extensive shabd yoga guru tree.

     But to claim that the only way I can verify such people is to have access to them in the astral plane or to believe in them uncritically betrays the whole notion of rationality and the genuine spiritual enterprise as well. To be sure, people also believe that Jim Morrison is still alive and doing gun runs in South Africa. We need to demand more of our spiritual mythologies; we surely demand more from our medical doctors. Why not ask for more proof of such spiritual doctors?

2). Concerning my own biases and the like, I think we are confusing the message with the medium. What we should want to know is if the question of plagiarism, coverup, and deception can be ascetained outside of any one scholar. That is, can you--as your own best guide--see the plagiarism that I have pointed out, or the cover-up, or the duplicity behind Twitchell's much maligned biography. If you can empirically verify it for yourself (get the original Orion magazine articles, go to the library and get the early editions of Twitchell's books, etc.), then you can see that no matter what biases I or anybody else may have the claims that I have made hold up. To be sure, we can argue about the ultimate interpretations of such discoveries, but can you see the plagiarism, the cover-up, the duplicity?

Here's an excerpted sample of coverup:

Chapter 5, THE COVER-UP

     Can you now see why I think "Sudar Singh" and "Rebazar Tarzs" are cover-names???

     Notice how the text remains the same, but the names change. If Kirpal Singh and crew were responsible for the original text, why then attribute it to two new guys who were never mentioned before 64?????

Think deeply, think critically.