My cousin has participated in two of these seminars and several things she's
told me about them have raised red flags with me. The seminars are very rigid,
structured, and last long hours sometimes late into the night. The upcoming
seminar she is planning to attend has the participants vowing to adhere to a
strict vegan diet and to abstain from taking any over the counter medications
whatsoever (i.e. aspirin, etc.). (when I inquired about the use of presciption
drugs, she has told me that drugs prescribed by a physican would be allowed
with a medical excuse). Additionally, the daily hours for this seminar are much
longer thanthose at the other two sessions she's attended. I guess the thing
that alarms me the most is that she got introduced to these seminars by her
therapist and I feel that this might some kind of unethical conflict of
interest on the part of the therapist.
Am I overreacting or has anyone experienced this/heard anything about this
Thanks for your input!
John-Roger Hinkins was a "second initiate" in the cult Eckankar when he
broke off and started his own group, MSIA. Eckankar is the cult concocted
by Paul Twitchell, whose new young wife was tired of supporting them and
insisted that he make some money.
Twitch on John-Roger:
"Now, we had one man, maybe you knew about this up there in Chicago, when
we were talking about it in the crowd there. This fellow takes every
discourse we have, then he gets all the ECK books and he gets himself
initiated up to the second, then he goes out and starts his own group, see?
He had a meeting every night and he would give them what they call
aura-balancing or adjusting.
I thought this thing was awfully funny. I sent some people in to see him
and hear him, and he was having kind of a seance every night and he was
saying, "Well, Brother Paul's here, Brother Paul's going to talk to us
now." Then he was saying that I had lunch with him about twice a month
asking him if we could join organizations, see. And he was selling all of
his work upon the inference in that 1968 seminar over there. There were
two women who came up from Santa Barbara and she says, "Oh, we're ECK
students." And I says, "You are?" She says, "Yeah, we're studying under
Roger Hinkins." See, this fellow who had taken all of this and stolen it
from us and this thing was buildling up because he was using us to build
So I wrote him a letter and said, "Stop now!" And he didn't pay much
attention to that. Then I told the attorney, I says, "Stop him." The
attorney wrote him a letter. He had this organization going down there in
Miami and was based in San Gabriel, California and I had the attorney fly
down there, and just walk in and talk to him." (from "Difficulties of
Becoming the Living ECK Master" which was mostly compiled from tapes made
by Twitch in July 1971, as well as hilarious snippets from from various
cult publications, etc.)
Anyway, it was John-Roger who probably inspired the Twitchster to write his
"irrevocable misdeed" warnings in the members-only secret high holy
discourse series "Letters To A Chela" (chapter 9) which you can read at
There's an excellent expose of MSIA by the late former member Peter
McWilliams, but unfortunately MSIA managed to buy the copyright and
suppress it. You may still be able to find used copies of it. Check out
http://www.bibliofind.com The title is "Life 102, or What to do when your
guru sues you"
I hope your cousin doesn't get mixed up in it. And I think she *should*
find a different therapist...this is *definitely* unethical (or at least
unprofessional) behavior. However...cult members do things like
this...Paul Twitchell, former "clear" in $cientology, wrote this cute
little passage, and cult members today are basically taught to "infiltrate"
and use very subtly deceptive methods of recruitment to get new members.
But...when you're a cult member as I was, well...you just don't realize how
you're being used by a dishonest organization.
Best wishes, and good luck!
(An excerpt...for the rest of Paul Twitchell's Secret Discourse
Series....the one-year intensive indoctrination for eck "missionaries" ...
see http://www.delphi.com/eckankartruth )
From Letters to a Chela by Paul Twitchell---page 34
For Initiates Only---the discourse series that Harold Klemp and long-time
Eckists (including some here on ARE) studied & were brainwashed with--this
discourse series was reprinted in book form by Darwin, and continued being
sold for many years under Harold Klemp.
"So ECK of ITSELF must find those who are willing to plant themselves in
church groups, of every nature, and act as the ones to spread the message
of ECK. These are commonly called cells in political jargon, but we know
them as cadres. This is to get a foothold in any group, any institution
and to be able to quietly but effectively give out the message of ECK, and
act as reformers within these groups so that their members will come over
to the works of ECK. This is one of the efficient ways of educating others
to become sympathetic with the ECK and ITS works.
Since Christianity is only an aspect of the ECK there is no need of viewing
it or any other religion with awe. All religions and philosophies spring
out of the fountainhead of ECK. Therefore we must look upon each with a
sympathetic view that every group is respectively struggling to find the
Since every ECKist knows that the Godhead is that which is available only
through the path of ECK then he must be warm, sympathetic and helpful to
those in religions, occultism and philosophies for they are all the
subordinates of ECKANKAR.
There is no need to fight them, no need to have arguments with them or try
to give them truth when none are ready for it.
But we can find ways of entering into the middle stream of life
everywhere, in social clubs, on civic boards, in groups of people who are
seemingly without anything in their lives. You can get invitations to talk
to public groups on ECK, have your own festivals, such as an ECK festival,
or go on radio and television programs wherever available.
You can visit old folks homes and help cheer them up; visit hospitals and
help with people who are not able to help themselves. Become readers who
will talk to people who are handicapped, or read to them from the works,
the books of ECK.
You can also infiltrate young people groups and tell them about ECK. You
can make talks to high school groups and to university and college classes.
There are a hundred ways in which you can make yourself available to do
work for passing out the message of ECK. Everyone of them is a part of
your training for ECK leadership."
Well, I'd imagine you can report them to the state licensing agency, but
the sad thing is, therapists who do this sort of thing *do* mean well.
It's just very unprofessional.
Since we live in a Christian society, I think it's safe to say that a
large percentage of mental health professionals are church-going people,
but unless they advertise themselves as Christian counselors who are going
to counsel using the Bible, well...in spite of their personal beliefs I
daresay they know darn well that it's unprofessional to tell their patients
that they need to join a church, get saved, or "whatever".
I popped into Bibliofind, and was very sorry to see that Life 102 by Peter
McWilliams wasn't available, although his pro-MSIA books written while he
was a cult member are available there.
I read Life 102 after I'd left eckankar, and it sort of gave me
"flashbacks" of horror, seeing it so plainly & clearly how John-Roger
(a/k/a The Divine Rumpranger) manipulated and deceived people, and
recognizing how that's what was done to con me into eckankar.
Well, one thing I *am* glad about, is that even though Paul Twitchell
learned a lot about declaring himself "God" and manipulating people into
joining his cult from L. Ron Hubbard, eckankar & MSIA aren't quite that
bad. Yet. You never know what might happen in the future, though.
Anyway, it's just too darn bad how cults use their members' money to
suppress freedom of speech by stifling information that would help people
avoid being suckered in. MSIA did that with Life 102, and eckankar's been
doing it for years with David Lane's "The Making of a Spiritual Movement",
most recently in the early 90's when Harold Klemp and his organization
threatened Lane's publisher with lawsuits if they proceeded with the
publication of the library edition of this book, which was already listed
in their catalogue. Garland just didn't have the big bucks to go through
the legal harrassment they'd have gotten because eckankar's got millions in
the bank to play around with.
It's sort of funny, because if the cult hadn't responded as it did years
ago when Lane was a college student doing a term paper for a religion class
and sent eckankar a copy...and they replied by threatening to sue,
well...it wouldn't have inspired Lane to continue looking deeper into it,
and eventually writing a whole book which for 20-some years has helped many
to get out of the cult.
eckankar to this day continues to rationalize and try to whitewash the
extensive plagiarism of its founder, and although it's pulled several
twitchbooks out of print, well...they are STILL publishing and profiting
from plagiarized material. It's a wonder THEY haven't been sued!!
There are still cybercopies of Life 102 floating around. I wonder,
if people "shared" these copies, would MSIA start pulling out the big
legal guns & sending armed police with warrants to people's homes?
Well...have a nice weekend, everyone!
"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make..."