Groups Profiled in Richmond
Virginia Satsang Society, Inc.

Paul Twitchel founded Eckankar or the Religion of the Light and Sound of God in 1975 in California. Paul was born in Kentucky around 1908. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he helped Ron L. Hubbard publish articles for Scientologist. However, Paul introduced Eckankar to the modern world in 1965. This religion, although relatively new, is part of an ancient wisdom tradition. Paul Twitchel discovered the teachings of Eck masters who have resided on Earth during various periods. Through bilocation (soul projection) he was able to visit these masters in order to fully understand the nature of God. Finally, Paul gathered all the lessons that he had learned and was ready to give them to the world. He published his account in the book the Tiger’s Fang. By 1965, the new living Eck master was also expounding the basics of Eckankar as well as leading Soul Travel workshops in California. In 1971, Paul Twitchel died, but the religious movement was able to continue under the guidance of the next Eck master Harold Klemp.

Eck masters have a special calling as prophets. Through their unique gifts, Eck masters teach the ancient and sacred name of God, HU, which serves to uplift one spiritually into the Light and Sound of God or ECK. The Light and Sound are dual aspects of God. The HU sing allows members to have direct connection to these aspects. When members sing HU it reminds them of their fullest potential and that greater happiness is possible during this lifetime. Members are encouraged to sing HU at least once a day for twenty minutes. These exercises will provide the member with insight in their spiritual life as well as finding strength to overcome difficulties in their day-to-day affairs. Eckist also use their dreams as a source of spiritual insight and inspiration. Harold Klemp, the living Eck master wrote, “Dreams serve as a communication line between the invisible and the visible worlds. Or, if you prefer, between heaven and earth…A dream is a real life experience an individual has on another plane of God…” Harold Klemp also helps members to understand the true nature of their dreams. He is an outer teacher, or living Eck master. But Harold Klemp also teaches members inner teachings as the Manhatan, where he is the Dream Master. For members of Eckankar, the universe is multidimensional. Dreams provide a way to travel or project oneself to other dimensions. In the dream world, Eckist can seek wisdom and healing from Temples of Golden Wisdom.

Some of the basic teachings of Eckankar include a belief in reincarnation. Therefore, soul transmigration occurs along with the negative debt (karma) from previous lives. It is the goal of all Eckist to be from karma, since this impedes full perfection. The Manhatan can help people balance their Karma through a process of self-discovery and awareness of past problems that were carried over to this life. Therefore, they believe in an imperishable soul and in an afterlife. Often you also knew the souls of your present day friends, family, and business partners in previous lives. The spiritual exercises of Eck help you remember past lives as well as others that you have known. A person is fully responsible for their actions from past lives as well as the actions that you take in your present life. The goal for members of Eck is to finally achieve a state of heighten awareness and to be free from the cycle of rebirth. Yet, this life or life on the physical plane is not viewed negatively. This world brings with it opportunities for spiritual progression for the Soul. Hopefully, one can be able to return to this world as a co-worker with God to help other souls achieve the same measure of spiritual fulfillment.

Phone: (804) 378-7815

profiled by James Brame (July 2005)