How bad is this “mildly dangerous” cult? And what’s their connection to near-death experience scienc

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. K9!

    K9! New

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    That is NOT the video from her IANDS 2014 talk. You are just seeing a promo piece done for a local TV station.
     
  2. K9!

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    I only watched the video because I paid for the whole package deal. It was the last talk on the last day of the conference, which is often when conferences will schedule things that are "problematic". Had I been at the conference in person, it's not a talk I would have attended. I didn't know about Harold Kemp or Eck when I started watching. My first reaction was "WTF? Is this a cult?"

    IANDS does have a certain number of silly talks each year. There is usually an appearance by the "orb lady" who tells you camera malfunctions are ghosts and there tends to be various people making highly dubious claims (one year a lady gave a talk on how she communicates with the sun and she claimed scientific proof of this). Most of it seems harmless. Unfortunately, talks are not peer-reviewed as in a scientific conference. They pick talks that will attract an audience.

    The AAB talk didn't seem harmless. It looked inappropriate. It looked like recruiting.
     
  3. PTEHA

    PTEHA Guest

    Hi Laird, please note the video title on the Official Eckankar Youtube account it reads: "Eckankar - Inner Guidance Brings Rescue by Dolphins" - Do you think that is true and/or a fair interpretation of what really happened?
    No matter what AAB personal beliefs or interpretations are about it or WHO she gives credit to for "saving her life" ... is she really telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

    My view is that being saved from dolphins (see links above) has absolutely nothing to do with Eckankar, inner guidance and especially nothing to do with the "mahanta" aka Harold Klemp. AAB being better able to remain calm? Yes. But so what? Nothing special there. And if no dolphins she gets chomped by the shark as opposed to fighting it off with a punch to the nose like Professional Australian surfer Mick Fanning did recently Did he give credit to the Mahanta Harold Klemp for saving his life too? No, he didn't. This overriding issue here is always not simply what happens to us, but what we make of it. The latter is rarely the truth, the former usually is true.

    The accepted modus operandi for most members in Eckankar is that no matter
    "what happens" it is always the Mahanta's doing for the best, and all credit goes to Klemp and Eckankar. Get a new job, the Mahanta did it or helped the initiate see the wisdom of getting this new job. Get sacked unfairly from a job brings the same answer response. Buy a cheap house, it's the Mahanta. Lose $200K on a bad house investment, same deal, it's a wonderful lesson and a new opportunity from the Mahanta (if you didn't listen to the Mahanta it could have been worse). Klemp suffers from the same kinds of myth making in his own life. The Eck/spirit speaks to him by having serious accidents that almost kill himself and others, and then presents this at seminars as "inner guidance" that he needs to not work so hard or change the direction of the teachings and how to promote it. Like the highest consciousness on earth teaching others about spirit/god talking to us, can't work out the simplest things himself unless he has a serious accident or some other never ending health issue?

    I saw that 2014 IANDS-KMVT video of AAB you ref above. You are correct that she did not mention Eckankar in that. What you're missing though is that she did have the book there, and was talking about the book, and in that book AAB gives total credit to the Eckankar teachings and the Mahanta HK repeatedly. She says in that video and all the others that you can find out more about her "spiritual experiences" in the book and gives the url to go find it. Go here she says: http://innerguidancebook.org/

    That is an Eckankar religion domain site, being promoted on an IANDS related video. As Doug says above, and what others have mentioned here before, is the "eckankar doctrine" talk in question is from the 2015 conference... and that at a time where talk is about her joining the IANDS board due to her great "business and promotional skills"?

    I view it like this. Her 2014 video interview you ref is all about promoting Eckankar under "false pretenses" and being intentionally manipulative by not disclosing that the book she wrote
    (and mind you EDITED by Eckankar staff and approved by Klemp and owned by Eckankar Inc. not AAB herself) is nothing more or less than a promotional book by Eckankar for the sole purpose of paid membership recruitment!

    That Eckankar is actively targeting IANDS for over 2 years now as a promotional opportunity should say something about what is happening here and why, and exactly what AAB's and Eckankar's real purpose is.

    Keeping in mind that Eckankar would have tens of $mln in assets/cash, pulls in ~$5mln year in membership fees, and could put a doco series on HBO about "members" reported ndes/oobes with their loose change - so why would they need to use the back door of an IANDS org?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2016
  4. PTEHA

    PTEHA Guest

    Yes but, the interviewer does say it was recorded at the 2014 iands conference, at the very beginning.
    KMVT runs a series called "Present!" which is all about NDEs etc. and those videos are their most popular ones by far see https://www.youtube.com/user/KMVT/videos?shelf_id=6&sort=p&view=0
    I don't know who the chap is on KMVT doing the interviews/talks vids but many are from IANDS so there's a chance he is a member himself. (he also speaks and uses terms like an eckist)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2016
  5. K9!

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    True, but it wasn't a conference presentation and IANDS had no chance to vet what she might say. There was just a film crew going around talking to people at the conference. The people interviewed didn't necessarily represent IANDS, or even have memberships as far as I could tell. There was a lot of media at that conference. The strong media presence made a number of the NDErs I talked to at the conference really uncomfortable.

    It also wasn't the AAB talk from the 2015 conference, which is what led to the podcast.

    There were a lot of people at the 2014 conference who seemed really "off". The one person I really enjoyed meeting at the conference looked at me during one of the talks and said something to the effect of "I think we are the only ones here who haven't drank the Kool-aid". Looking back, it may have been the Eck people making us feel like outsiders at the conference. It's pretty bad when two NDErs feel like outsiders at an IANDS conference.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  6. K9!

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    Someone from IANDS asked me a similar question. But unlike you, they couldn't see the usefulness in a cult having control over a cover organization with an air of scientific credibility in terms of bringing credibility - and new members - to a cult. I would NEVER have watched AAB give her sermon if it hadn't been part of a package of videos that featured Bruce Greyson as a keynote speaker. And other people I know who saw the talk in person thought it was inappropriate, but they didn't want to say anything because there were all these people in the audience (cult members?) who were very caught up in what was going on.

    I mentioned before about a local IANDS group starting up in my area who had a lawyer in it who insisted that the Eck people were lovely. I didn't go to the meeting, but someone who did sent me an email telling me that I was right not to go. He went because he was an NDEr interested in meeting other NDErs and the IANDS website looked credible. But he told me the people at the local IANDS chapter were not people he would ever want to hang around with. Again, the Eck people appear to be using IANDS as a way to get people through the door before they realize what's going on.
     
  7. K9!

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    Ian Gordon and Trancestate like this.
  8. Trancestate

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    Ian Gordon and K9! like this.
  9. manjit

    manjit New

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    Hi K9! !! :)

    I quite agree! To be fair (to me of course haha), I did write back to David on 22nd March (day before your post!):

    "Hi Dave,

    Just one comment I forgot to make.

    You wrote " I don't think of Eckankar as dangerous, unless one takes it too seriously.".

    I think one could fairly reasonably assume, though, that by the very nature of what Eck is teachin.g that if you follow it all & believe in it, you would have to take it fairly "seriously"?"


    I got no response to that one. Cheers! :)
     
  10. K9!

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    That's funny. :)

    I wonder how many "non-practicing Eckists" are out there?
     
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  11. collide-o-scope

    collide-o-scope New

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    Probably a lot of non-practicing Eckists, and plenty of non-Eckist practitioners - as the basic technique is not exclusive to Eckankar.
     
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  12. K9!

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    I see that even though Anne Archer Butcher isn't being listed as a speaker on the main conference website for the 2016 conference, she is on the list for the Saturday "Lunch with speakers" on the registration form. So IANDS is still promoting Eck by allowing Butcher a voice at the conference, despite concerns being raised.

    https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/tab2.aspx?EventID=1823798
     
  13. Obiwan

    Obiwan Member

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    They can all go to 'eck as far as I'm concerned :) (bit of northern English humour for you).
     

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