Former members are no more reliable a source for truth then any other
subgroup would be. Hostility blinds people to truth as it rips apart
reason and sensibility. It is best to be certain of your sources.
Whether they were once a member of your group or not, doesn't mean as
human beings they are stable and responsible beings. Stating such a
thing only proves what an irrational perspective this can lead to. Every
group has it's 2% of unbalanced members/ex-members. It doesn't matter
which group it is.
Oddly enough even the anticult community has no use for fundamentalist
hysterical ex-ers who make a joke out of what ever hard work might be
done in the case of the few truly dangerous cults in society. True
studies done by professionals hardly have a chance to discover genuine
evidence of the changes in society. And that is not only morally a
shame, but it's criminal. How sad that there are some people who finally
have found a group to belong to that resonates with them.... other
unbalanced chronic complainers. <sigh>
Siva Ri wrote:
> I have just finished reading a book titled <400 Years of Imaginary
> Friends - A Journey Into the World of Adepts, Masters, Ascended
> Masters and Their Messengers> by Kenneth and Talita Paolini, published
"Soul IS; little self modifies accordingly. "
"We cease to cherish opinions, but no one said 'live
without values to do it.' We have to stand for something."
If one decides to leave eckankar, it is often the beginning of a new life of
learning more about who one is...the true self....without the dogma of
It's safe to leave eckankar..it can be a great source of relief, and can be
the key step in one regaining one's own life and developing one's talents to
contribute to Spirit and a community focused on love and understanding.
Cheers, or should I say? Cheer UP!!!
P.S.: Geeze, some of you old geezers are absolutely no fun to hang around
with anymore. I'm gonna split tomorrow and find me a more humourous
Siva Ri wrote:
> The point of my posting this particular post is specifically
> about the trustworthiness of ex-members when seeking information about
> a group.
Apostates and New Religious Movements
Every religion which makes claim to a definitive body of
doctrine and practice which it regards as exclusively its own, is
likely to be faced with the fact that from time to time some
erstwhile members will relinquish their allegiance and cease to
subscribe to the formalities of the faith, in at least some, perhaps
all, of its teachings, practices, organization, and discipline.
Apostasy has been a common phenomenon in the history of the various
denominations of the Judaeo-Christian-Muslim tradition. Each new
schism from an already established organization of faith has been
likely to be seen, by those from whom the schismatics have
separated, as a case of apostasy. There have been dramatic
instances on a large scale, as in the so-called "great schism" of
the eastern (Orthodox) and western (Catholic) churches, and in the
emergence of Protestantism at the Reformation. (It needs to be
added, if only for the record, that the dissentient and departing
parties have generally no less often accused those remaining
in the earlier established body of apostasy from some earlier
putative standard of faith and practice.) Given the number of
religious bodies in Christiandom which originated in schism, it must
be clear that apostasy has been of widespread and common occurrence.
Not every incident of apostasy results in the formulation of a
deviant and separate religious party or sect, however. Apostasy may
be considered no less to occur when a single erstwhile believer
renounces his vows and his former religious allegiance. In the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, at a time of crisis in
Christian belief, there were some celebrated cases of apostasy from
the Roman Catholic Church. They were represented as occurring in
that church because of the rigour of its requirements of belief and
practice; because of its resistance to modernism; and in particular
because it encouraged the most devoted of its votaries to join
monastic orders or congregations.
Some of the lurid stories of monastic life, purportedly related by
apostated monks and nuns -- the celebrated case of Maria Monk was
widely publicised -- turned out to be largely fictional, but were
much used by the anti-Catholic propagandist media of the day. In
the present age of religious pluralism, in which a spirit of
ecumenism prevails among many of the major Christian denominations,
and in which the so-called "switching" of allegiance from one of
these movements to another is not uncommon, the charge of apostasy
is less frequently heard. But since c. 1960, with the appearance in
western society of various new minority movements which have
distinctive religious teachings and which require a strong sense of
specific commitment, a member who departs is likely to be regarded
as apostatizing, and all the more so, of course, if that member then
proceeds to ridicule or excoriate his former beliefs and to vilify
those who were previously his close associates.
In recent decades, given the emergence of so many new religious
bodies which make strong demands on the loyalty of their members,
instances of apostasy have become matters of considerable attention
for the mass media. The apostate's story, in which he is usually
presented as a victim, is seen as good news-copy for the media,
particularly if he offers to "reveal" aspects, and perhaps secrets,
of the movement to which he formerly belonged. In consequence,
apostates receive perhaps an unwarranted amount of media attention,
particularly when they are able to present their previous allegiance
in terms both of their own vulnerability and the manipulation,
deception, or coercion exercised by the leaders and members of the
movement into which they were recruited. Because these accounts are
often the only information normally available to the general public
about minority religions, and certainly the most widely disseminated
information, the apostate becomes a central figure in the formation
(or misformation) of opinion in the public domain concerning these
Academic scholars interested in religious minorities, and in
particular sociologists, in whose field this subject matter
particularly lies, normally pursue their scholarly enquiries by a
variety of well-recognized methods. They gather their data not only
by archival research and the study of printed matter and documents,
but also by participant observation, interviews, questionnaire
surveys and, directly to the point at issue here, from informants.
Apostates are often very willing informants, but sociologists
generally exercise considerable caution with respect to this
possible source of evidence. As I have written elsewhere, in
discussion of the sociologist's techniques of inquiry:
Informants who are mere contacts and who have no personal
motives for what they tell are to be preferred to those who, for
their own purposes, seek to use the investigator. The disaffected
and the apostate are in particular informants whose evidence has to
be used with circumspection. The apostate is generally in need of
self-justification. He seeks to reconstruct his own past, to excuse
his former affiliations, and to blame those who were formerly his
closest associates. Not uncommonly the apostate learns to rehearse
an 'atrocity story' to explain how, by manipulation, trickery,
coercion, or deceit, he was induced to join or to remain within an
organization that he now forswears and condemns. Apostates,
sensationalized by the press, have sometimes sought to make a profit
from accounts of their experiences in stories sold to newspapers or
produced as books (sometimes written by 'ghost' writers). [Bryan
Wilson, The Social Dimensions of Sectarianism, Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1990, p.19.]
Sociologists and other investigators into minority religions
have thus come to recognize a particular constellation of motives
that prompt apostates in the stance they adopt relative to their
previous religious commitment and their more recent renunciation of
it. The apostate needs to establish his credibility both with
respect to his earlier conversion to a religious body and his
subsequent relinquishment of that commitment. To vindicate himself
in regard to his volte face requires a plausible explanation of both
his (usually sudden) adherence to his erstwhile faith and his no
less sudden abandonment and condemnation of it. Academics have come
to recognize the "atrocity story" as a distinctive genre of the
apostate, and have even come to regard it as a recognizable category
of phenomena [A.D. Shupe, Jr., and D. G. Bromley, "Apostates and
Atrocity Stories", in B. Wilson (ed.), The Social Impact of New
Religious Movements, New York, Rose of Sharon Press, 1981, pp.
179-215.] The apostate typically represents himself having been
introduced to his former allegiance at a time when he was especially
vulnerable -- depressed, isolated, lacking social or financial
support, alienated from his family, or some other such circumstance.
His former associates are now depicted as having prevailed upon
him by false claims, deceptions, promises of love, support, enhanced
prospects, increased well-being, or the like. In fact, the apostate
story proceeds, they were false friends, seeking only to exploit his
goodwill, and extract from him long hours of work without pay, or
whatever money or property he possessed. Thus, the apostate
presents himself as "a brand plucked from the burning," as having
been not responsible for his actions when he was inducted into
his former religion, and as having "come to his senses" when he
left. Essentially, his message is that "given the situation, it
could have happened to anyone." They are entirely responsible and
they act with malice aforethought against unsuspecting, innocent
victims. By such a representation of the case, the apostate
relocates responsibility for his earlier actions, and seeks to
reintegrate with the wider society which he now seeks to influence,
and perhaps to mobilize, against the religious group which he has
New movements, which are relatively unfamiliar in their
teachings and practices, and the beliefs and organization of which
are designed in terms that are new or newly adapted, are most
susceptible to public suspicion; If they have secret or undisclosed
teachings, or appear to be exceptionally diligent in seeking
converts, or have a distinctive appeal to one or another section of
the community (e.g., the young; students; ethnic minorities;
immigrants, etc.) or if the promises of benefit to believers exceed
the every-day expectations of the public at large, then they may
easily become objects of popular opprobrium or even hostility. The
atrocity stories of apostates, particularly when enlarged by the
sensationalist orientation of the press, feed these tendencies, and
enhance the newsworthiness of further atrocity stories. Newspapers
are will known to recapitulate earlier sensationalist accounts when
locating new stories in similar vein about particular movements -- a
practice designated by some sociologists as the use of "negative
summary events." ["This refers to the journalistic description of a
situation or event in such a way as to capture and express its
negative essence as part of an intermittent and slow-moving story.
An apparently isolated happening is thereby used as an occasion
for keeping the broader, controversial phenomenon in the public
mind." - - James A. Beckford, Cult Controversies: The Societal
Response to New Religious Movements, London, Tavistock, 1985, p.
235.] By this means, the dramatic import of each apostate's story is
reinforced in its significance, to the detriment of objective and
ethically neutral enquiry into religious phenomena of the kind
undertaken by academic sociologists. Contemporary religious bodies,
operating in a context of rapid social change and changing
perceptions of religious and spiritual belief, are likely to be
particularly susceptible to the disparagement and misrepresentation
which occurs through the circulation and repetition of the accounts
Neither the objective sociological researcher nor the court of
law can readily regard the apostate as a creditable or reliable
source of evidence. He must always be seen as one whose personal
history predisposes him to bias with respect to both his previous
religious commitment and affiliations, the suspicion must arise that
he acts from a personal motivation to vindicate himself and to
regain his self-esteem, by showing himself to have been first a
victim but subsequently to have become a redeemed crusader. As
various instances have indicated, he is likely to be suggestible and
ready to enlarge or embellish his grievances to satisfy that species
of journalist whose interest is more in sensational copy than in a
objective statement of the truth.
Bryan Ronald Wilson
December 3, 1994
/ | \
-/ | \
Rich~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Sailing the CyberSea~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
How do you leave something that you were never part of?.
You may as well say, "It's safe to leave Chicago", you will then find your
You are who and where you are, and to 'believe' that changing your percieved
association with some external 'entity' is a step towards relief, is one of
the ultimate illusions.
Regaining one's own life?. That means you must have believed you at one time
Until that process is understood, then the game of hide and seek will
Contribute to spirit? How can you actually 'not' contribute.?You are
integral with spirit.
Like saying "contribute to the air by breathing out"!!!
Community focused on love and understanding.?
The community interacts with the ultimate purpose of perpetuating the
process of elimination, to methoducally extinguish your belief in who you
think you are, ie believing you are part of a group...
"Colleen Russell" <coll...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
> Oh yes, Cher. We have left Eckankar. You
however.....snarf snarf snarf
> snarf, all day long. This path has done wonders
for ya. Cheer up, woman.
> "Tis ain't got nothin' to do with Eckankar,
sweetie pie. "tis 'bout you.
Some of us will genuinely miss you Sam. Maybe if
you return you can put more attention on the folks
into love and support of everyone here...energy
spent elsewhere is really wasted.
> Former members are no more reliable a source for truth then any other
> subgroup would be. Hostility blinds people to truth as it rips apart
> reason and sensibility. It is best to be certain of your sources.
In cases when ex-members do nothing but simply post verbatim the actual
words of the group's founder(s), and allow those words to speak for
themselves, there is little to be said really. If the words of a group's
founder(s) makes the group look bad, well .... can we really blame the
"hostility" of the ex-members?
> Whether they were once a member of your group or not, doesn't mean as
> human beings they are stable and responsible beings. Stating such a
> thing only proves what an irrational perspective this can lead to. Every
> group has it's 2% of unbalanced members/ex-members. It doesn't matter
> which group it is.
And every group has it's 2% (or whatever %) of unbalanced founders and
I take a look at the obnoxious and insulting names you've decided to use
on this group, and wonder what makes you think you're adding anything
here but more kindling for the flame wars. <sigh> Well.... maybe that's
all there is in your world. :-|
> cher wrote:
> > Former members are no more reliable a source for truth then any other
> > subgroup would be. Hostility blinds people to truth as it rips apart
> > reason and sensibility. It is best to be certain of your sources.
> In cases when ex-members do nothing but simply post verbatim the actual
> words of the group's founder(s), and allow those words to speak for
> themselves, there is little to be said really. If the words of a group's
> founder(s) makes the group look bad, well .... can we really blame the
> "hostility" of the ex-members?
If only ex-members did such things. Very few founders would look
anything but interesting. Unfortunately ex-ers can't seem to leave the
editorals outside of their posts. That in fact seems to be the whole
purpose of them posting.... to insult, degrade, riducule, and critcize.
Perhaps someone could explain to me one day why it is that these so
called ex-members have more freedom of speech then the people they so
crudely attack? Oh.... of course... victimology. I forgot. <tsk>
> > Whether they were once a member of your group or not, doesn't mean as
> > human beings they are stable and responsible beings. Stating such a
> > thing only proves what an irrational perspective this can lead to. Every
> > group has it's 2% of unbalanced members/ex-members. It doesn't matter
> > which group it is.
> And every group has it's 2% (or whatever %) of unbalanced founders and
Seems like your statement here would be a statistical impossiblity.
Perhaps exaggeration is what you were aiming for in this last sentence?
> Perhaps someone could explain to me one day why it is that these so
> called ex-members have more freedom of speech then the people they so
> crudely attack?
How do you have less freedom of speech than anyone else? You can say
whatever you like. If not, it is _you_ who have taken a vow of
"confidentiality." Others are not under such vows.
You must have missed many posts in which Tom Leafeater, Sword Dancer,
Colleen - even one of your own, Catalyst - and others were insulted,
emotionally abused, and ridiculed by your fellow Eckists here almost every
time they posted here. I've never done anything here BUT put my attention on
love and support of everybody's views. And they all know this. I used highly
creative methods to point out the obvious in circular fashion, but the abuse
has continued. Sorry Anne, I don't have time for this anymore.
I won't miss this newsgroup or any poster here at all, for I have a real
life away from Usenet. I certainly don't need Eckankar and it's fictions. I
can make up my own, thank you very much.
Voila! "group consciousness" (and important and recognisable step on the
"Colleen Russell" <coll...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
If I judge myself along side of the majority (multi headed monster) then ,
by comparison , I would appear to be "out of balance" with their
The Fool On The Hill
"Realbizarre Fartz" <r...@sugmad.org> wrote in message
brian Fletcher wrote:
Good thing the cells in your body don't have your distain
for getting together in community as you apparently
do......you'd be screwed.
How free is your speech, by the way? Did you realize that this freedom
only protects a very small portion of a persons rights and privileges
under the constitution of the United States of America, and under
limited cricumstances. It is not the law of the internet. It is a
limited form of constitutional privilege afforded citizens of the U.S.
Odd, isn't it? This is why under U.S. law there is redress for such
actions of destruction as the abuse of freedom of speech for the sole
purpose of injury to another for self satisfaction alone. The old west
of America cost an entire nation of citizens their land, life and way of
life. Manifest Destiny was the cause, not freedom. There is a
The people I know who "appear screwed" don't know the difference.
Remember Paul's statements about beeing in it, but not of it"
Glad you used the word 'apparently'
I set up the most succesful chain of health clubs in Aus.
Unlike most of the more succesful members, I was never a victim of my
success, which allowed more energy to "get on with it'
Very practicle advice from Mr Twitchel...as I'm sitting here on my balcony,
overlooking the Indian Ocean, free as a bird.
I got to the stage where 'counting my blessings' became too time
consuming...and in fact bring tears of joy, when I take stock..
The 'mind' part of me says, "what did I do to deserve such blessings"..
"I' respond..."communicating with someone like Lurk brings even greater
"Lurk" <arel...@charter.net> wrote in message
There's nothing "private and personal" about published, mass-marketed
"discourses" sold commercially, as is the case of the Eck discourses and
other writings of Klemp or Twitchell. We're not talking about their
private correspondence here!
> If that's too much to ask of nosy
> gossips then so be it. But there is nothing there to hide.... it's only
> the value of being for me privately.
But they're NOT for you privately, that's the point. These discourses
have been mass-marketed for decades to anyone to signs up and makes the
appropriate donation. They are NOT written especially for you by Klemp
or Twitchell. If you've received any personal correspondence from either
of these gentleman _that_ is your private business alone.
> This to me, is no more unreasonable
> then how I would feel if someone were to post my private love letters to
> and from myself and my husband on this group.
Again, the analogy is totally wrong.
> Or my private diary.
Another totally inappropriate analogy. The discourses are NOT private
personal communications. They consist of mass-printed instructions from
the group leader to hundreds if not thousands of members.
> How free is your speech, by the way? Did you realize that this freedom
> only protects a very small portion of a persons rights and privileges
> under the constitution of the United States of America, and under
> limited cricumstances. It is not the law of the internet. It is a
> limited form of constitutional privilege afforded citizens of the U.S.
> Odd, isn't it?
What's "odd" (or not) is your absurd lack of understanding of the U.S.
Constitution. And your inability to distinguish a "right" from a
"privilege." It seems to be a problem with today's educational system
that more and more people don't have a clue as to what the Constitution
is all about. Maybe that's why we're losing what few rights we have
left. But that's another story.
> This is why under U.S. law there is redress for such
> actions of destruction as the abuse of freedom of speech for the sole
> purpose of injury to another for self satisfaction alone.
That is a totally different issue involving libel or slander, which have
to do with publishing damaging untruths about a specific individual. For
instance, accusing Klemp of a crime which he did not commit would be
libel. Even if libel were to take place, _you_ would not have cause for
action if your name is not mentioned, only the allegedly defamed party
(Klemp) would be able, potentially, to take action. Publishing excerpts
from books or discourses and offering opinions thereon is fully
Show me your facts regarding the "living eck masters", "Rebezar
Tarzs," the "Ancient Order of the Vairagis," and all the other claims
made by the "Godman on earth" -- your "chosen one."
Excuse me????? You have seen the disclaimer in these discourses? Who are
you to tell the path I belong to what is and isn't private? What can and
cannot be shared? They are private communications with members of the
path of Eckankar. Commercial sales would mean you could walk into a book
store and give them the ISBN and have them order you a copy. tsk.....
> > If that's too much to ask of nosy
> > gossips then so be it. But there is nothing there to hide.... it's only
> > the value of being for me privately.
> But they're NOT for you privately, that's the point. These discourses
> have been mass-marketed for decades to anyone to signs up and makes the
> appropriate donation. They are NOT written especially for you by Klemp
> or Twitchell. If you've received any personal correspondence from either
> of these gentleman _that_ is your private business alone.
These discourses were written for the members of the path.... as you
clearly admit to in the above paragraph. If membership is the only means
of obtaining these discourses, then it appears by your own words, that
you know the difference between public commercial publication and
private members material. If you know you're wrong then why try to
confuse the issue with such nonsense?
> > This to me, is no more unreasonable
> > then how I would feel if someone were to post my private love letters to
> > and from myself and my husband on this group.
> Again, the analogy is totally wrong.
> > Or my private diary.
> Another totally inappropriate analogy. The discourses are NOT private
> personal communications. They consist of mass-printed instructions from
> the group leader to hundreds if not thousands of members.
And this is not private communications to these members in your eyes?
You keep stating it over and over...why can't you see what you've
written? These discourses are private and for personal study only. The
disclaimer is printed in every individual discourse. The number of
members is not the issue, the purpose of the material and how it's
> > How free is your speech, by the way? Did you realize that this freedom
> > only protects a very small portion of a persons rights and privileges
> > under the constitution of the United States of America, and under
> > limited cricumstances. It is not the law of the internet. It is a
> > limited form of constitutional privilege afforded citizens of the U.S.
> > Odd, isn't it?
> What's "odd" (or not) is your absurd lack of understanding of the U.S.
> Constitution. And your inability to distinguish a "right" from a
> "privilege." It seems to be a problem with today's educational system
> that more and more people don't have a clue as to what the Constitution
> is all about. Maybe that's why we're losing what few rights we have
> left. But that's another story.
You can take a look at the constitution if you chose. There are copies
of it on line... because it is a document that was meant for public use.
:-) Read it, you might be surprised at where your selfishness ends and
the law of the land begins. Spoiled brat doesn't appear in it.... but
you might be surprised to discover that Jefferson plagiarized the
> > This is why under U.S. law there is redress for such
> > actions of destruction as the abuse of freedom of speech for the sole
> > purpose of injury to another for self satisfaction alone.
> That is a totally different issue involving libel or slander, which have
> to do with publishing damaging untruths about a specific individual. For
> instance, accusing Klemp of a crime which he did not commit would be
> libel. Even if libel were to take place, _you_ would not have cause for
> action if your name is not mentioned, only the allegedly defamed party
> (Klemp) would be able, potentially, to take action. Publishing excerpts
> from books or discourses and offering opinions thereon is fully
> protected however.
Had experience with this before? If this attack on my religion and my
beliefs is taken to the extremes as are seen on this newsgroup, then I
want to know why the Synagogue down the street gets front page news and
police protection when someone paints a swastika on their building, and
here we sit on line being attacked by red necked bigots for our
religious beliefs and nothing is done. Now that's the area of law I am
investigating. See.... the funny thing about these arguments? I have a
constitutional right to my religion. There is no constitutional right to
"Colleen" <coll...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
"Morgan" <mr...@attbi.co.m> wrote in message
> It seems we all catch hell from someone for no matter what we say. In
> fact, all the human emotions and critique come into play here at
> A.R.E. Only some people are more emotional and critical thinkers than
> others. We're all trying to prove something to each other. There
> should be some common ground to be shared though.