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"Eckmaster" Harold Klemp
Eckankar is a cult founded by Paul Twitchell in 1968. Before founding Eckankar, he used to live in Ashrams with Kirpal Singh, from which he was expelled after engaging in a fistfight with another member. Later, he studied a certain Kirpal Singh, Master of "Sant Mat", the teachings of Radhasoami and Ruhani Satsang. Despite being influenced by eastern spirituality, Twitchell never visited India before founding Eckankar. Some time after founding Eckankar, Twitchell's relations to Kirpal Singh deteriorated and he claimed he never accepted him as master. Apparently Twitchell had sent Singh his manuscript "The Tiger's Fang" to receive Singh's approval, which he did not obtain. Twitchell also studied Scientology and became a so-called clear. For some time he had the support of L. Ron Hubbard, and there are claims of Twitchell having copied several Scientology techniques.[1]

Twitchell's founding scriptures of Eckankar were plagiarized from other esoteric sources, just changing names in the process. This is a taboo amongst cult members and never talked about, as is reported by former members. Sources include Hubbard, Blavatsky and eastern mystics.[2] The current "Living ECK Master" (LEM), "Mahanta", "Outer Master", "Inner Master", and "Dream Master" is one Harold Klemp.


Eckankar is organized hierarchically, with the Eckmaster at the top, who has the sole authority to appoint and dismiss board members. Disciples are told that Eckankar was the sole path to god and that leaving Eckankar was detrimental to their Karma [3]. There are reports of members spending substantial amounts of money on teachings, cult materials, and travel expenses. Eckists are encouraged to spend their own money on vahana/missionary advertising efforts and materials which may add up to substantial amounts when including transport and other incidentals. The annual "donation" of the EK Membership Fee is required. Eckists are also encouraged to name Eckankar as a beneficiary in their Will. Service, with time and money, and Silence, i.e. to abstain from questions and criticism, are the mainstays of Klemp's Eckankar.

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