America Looks Inward: to Self-Realization, to Reincarnation, to Inner Guides – Program 1

By: Sri Darwin Gross, Tal Brooke; ©1988
Sri Darwin Gross explains what it’s like to be the leader of Eckankar, and where he received his power and knowledge to lead the group.

Living Eck Master


Tonight, John Ankerberg will interview a man who claims to be a Living Master, that is, one who supposedly has reached the highest level of spiritual attainment. John’s guest is Sri Darwin Gross, the former leader of the religious group called Eckankar. At one time, three million people supposedly received wisdom through him from spirit beings called The Ascended Masters. He says his body is a unique vehicle which God’s essence uses. The man who is currently the Living Eck Master once said about Sri Darwin Gross:

Excerpt from previous program

Dr. John Ankerberg: Okay, what does it mean to be a living Eck Master?
Harold Klemp: He is the individual who, during contemplation the Eckists… we look to our inner, and many times we will see Sri Darwin Gross on the inner. And this is responsible for a number of healings….
Ankerberg: What does it mean to see him? How do you see him?
Klemp: Just as real as you’re sitting here, John, and myself and Debbie and Mike. We see him and we speak with him….
Ankerberg: Do you remember going out of your body and guiding and speaking to Harold Klemp inside of his inner space?
Sri Darwin Gross: The majority of the time, negative. I do not. I’d have to become like Krishna – a vegetable, have somebody take care of the body and feed it if I were to observe what I’m doing in other bodies constantly. I’m like no one else here in this audience.
Ankerberg: But actually God invades your body and works through you. Do you know that He’s working through you?
Gross: Oh yes.

As a Living Master Darwin claims that he is in contact with and is guided by nine spirit beings, who call themselves the Ascended Masters.
Gross: When I was confronted by the nine silent ones and when Paul Twitchell confronted me with….
Ankerberg: The Ascended Masters?
Gross: The Masters, the Vairagi Masters. I could have said, “No,” but I chose to say “Yes.”
Ankerberg: You’ve got to counsel with them in the spirit world?
Gross: Yes. In Soul.

John’s second guest is Tal Brooke, once part of the inner circle of India’s most powerful miracle-working guru, Sai Baba. One day Tal realized he was being deceived by Sai Baba and the evil spirit beings behind him. In desperation he cried out to Jesus Christ to rescue him, forgive him, and become his only savior and lord. In a tremendous demonstration of power – more overwhelming than anything he had ever experienced under Sai Baba – Jesus Christ immediately freed him. Tonight, are millions of Americans being deceived through mystical encounters with Living Masters? We invite you to join us for this week’s edition of John Ankerberg.

Program 1

John Ankerberg: Welcome! We’re glad that you’ve joined us. As you heard, we have very special guests tonight. First, Sri Darwin Gross, the 972nd Living Eck Master for Eckankar, a group we will be telling you about tonight. And then Mr. Tal Brooke. For two years he was the assistant, the right-hand man of one of the most powerful gurus in India by the name of Sai Baba. Tal, we’re glad that you’re here tonight.
Tonight, Sri Darwin Gross, the leader at one time of Eckankar, a group that across the world probably has three million people that follow what this man had to say. And I’d like to start right with you tonight, Darwin, if I could, and that is, I read in one of the books that you were so kind to send me, You Can’t Turn Back, at three years of age, you say that “I had been aware of traveling at night beyond the physical worlds on up to the mental and etheric planes to the tunnel that leads to the soul plane and many planes beyond it.” You’re talking about your out-of-body experiences. “As I returned, I was usually shoved back into my physical body by another spiritual traveler who was in training for mastership. Upon waking at times in my physical body I was told that it was a nightmare. This all happened when I was between the ages of three and four years. The nightmares stopped when one morning I sat up in bed and to my amazement; there at the foot of my bed was the traveler, who would make the journeys with me. It was Peddar Zaskq, better known to many people as Paul Twitchell.”
You didn’t know that many years later that you would know him personally etc., but you were surprised later on to find out that he was your guide way back there. And Paul Twitchell was the Mahanta and he passed that on to you. But the definition is what kind of grabbed me. This is who the Mahanta is: “He has appeared as Krishna, Buddha, Jehovah. He is the secret force behind world historical events. None can be higher in this world and other worlds than the Mahanta. He supersedes all others in heaven and earth.” Or in another place Paul Twitchell says, “The Mahanta is the all-pervading, the omnipresent, the omniscient transcending space and time, the Eck, superior to all. Alone he stands, changeless, self-luminous, the master, the ruler of the whole world, animate and inanimate, the true teacher for all the universe, including every planet, star and constellation.” Did you believe that about Paul Twitchell when you got to know him?
Gross: Not in the physical. In the radiant form, or the radiant body. You must understand that when that transition took place in 1965 this passed on to Paul Twitchell. There’s a lot of contradictions in the writings that he brought out and that I also bring forth. The contradictions are that which he stated and it is also written in other books in the Wisdom Temples that this state of consciousness which is referred to as the “Mahanta state of consciousness” is not a physical being. It uses a vehicle. And that particular state of consciousness will last for about 200 to 500 years, and possibly 1,000 years. I always looked at myself as not the Mahanta but a vehicle for it, because I cannot spread this body or any of the bodies that are part of me all over the universe.
Ankerberg: But Paul claimed that when he had the mantleship of Eckankar that that all-pervading spirit used his body. And basically while you were in the leadership position there you also had the spirit using your body. Is that correct?
Gross: Not totally. It took me some years, three to four years to work into that area in Soul to utilize the soul body and not the physical.
Ankerberg: Okay. But it’s quite a claim. And with that, I want to go to a clip right now and I want you to listen to the man that you turned the mantleship over to and what he said about you many years ago when I had him on the program. And neither one of us at that time knew he was going to be the next Eck Master. His name is Harold Klemp. Please listen to this.

Excerpt from previous program

Ankerberg: This is the fellow that is…
Klemp: His name is Darwin Gross, that’s right.
Ankerberg: Okay, what does he do now?
Klemp: He is the leader of Eckankar. He is the Living Eck Master at the present time.
Ankerberg: Okay, what does it mean to be a Living Eck Master?
Klemp: He is the individual who, during contemplation the Eckists, we have spiritual exercises we call contemplation, not meditation, very light, for 20 minutes a day; we look to our inner, and many times we will see Sri Darwin Gross on the inner. And this is responsible for a number of healings. And we look into our future sometimes to see how things are going with work or if there is a family situation we are not able to resolve. During the meetings with the inner master sometimes we are given a clue.
Ankerberg: So you actually see Darwin Gross.
Klemp: Yeah. Definitely.
Ankerberg: What does it mean to see him? How do you see him?
Klemp: Just as real as you’re sitting here, John, and myself and Debbie and Mike. We see him and we speak with him. For instance, if I sit down and do my spiritual exercises I’ll say, “Sri Darwin, you have my permission to come into the dream state. Is there something for me to know?” And I give permission, and without that permission he will never enter.

Ankerberg: Darwin, that sounds strange to many of the people that are watching tonight. And first of all, Harold said that you came and talked with him, even though you were in another state completely away from where he was at. Do you remember going out of your body and guiding and speaking to Harold Klemp inside of his inner space?
Gross: The majority of the time, negative. I do not. I’d have to become like Krishna – a vegetable, have somebody take care of the body and feed it – if I were to observe what I’m doing in other bodies constantly. I’m like anyone else here in this audience. I must take care of the body and take care of my physical responsibilities. It’s like a lot of great men and women down through history that, whether in prayer or in meditation, all of a sudden someone has appeared to them, whether it was Jesus, Buddha or some other teacher. You can think of it as phenomenon, maybe, but there’s different levels of it, depending on the individual’s spiritual unfoldment.
Ankerberg: Is being a vehicle for the Mahanta consciousness similar to channeling?
Gross: Negative. It’s being a vehicle for God. Now, I’m not God. I’m a human being like anyone else.
Ankerberg: But actually God invades your body and works through you. Do you know that He’s working through you?
Gross: Oh, yes.
Ankerberg: Okay.
Gross: But at this level it’s not God itself, it’s the essence of God, what we call the “Holy Spirit” or “Divine Spirit.” Because it filters down through each level of heaven.
Ankerberg: Yeah. Christians have a different definition of the Holy Spirit than Eckankar.
Gross: Yeah. Right.
Ankerberg: Let me come to you, Tal. You had these experiences yourself, that you had the spirit guides that came to you. You had out-of-body experiences. Just give us one of those experiences, bring us up to date and kind of compare that with what you’re hearing here.
Tal Brooke: Let me say something first of all, and that is that India is full of experiences like Darwin just described. There are probably 50 million people in India that claim to have out-of-the-body experiences. There are any number of gurus like Kirpal Singh, Charan Singh, Sai Baba and others who claim to have the same divinity, the same experiences, and there’s a tremendous following in India of every one of them. This claim is not unique at all.
Ankerberg: Are you saying that in India you met other God-men?
Brooke: Yeah. They claimed to be God-men, see?
Ankerberg: Was Sai Baba claiming to be a God-man?
Brooke: He claimed to be the unique avatar of this age. And here’s the question, dear friends: How do you decide which one is the real one? Do you flip dice? Do you stand on your head? Do you meditate backwards? Do you wait for the radiant appearance to appear? How do you judge the radiant appearance?
Ankerberg: Alright, let’s hold that question. You have the God-man Sai Baba and you have Darwin saying that God is solely using them as a vehicle, and Jesus Christ said He was the Incarnation of God, God’s Son Himself. So, let’s talk about that when we come back. Stick with us.

Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back, and we’re talking about these mystical experiences that you’re hearing people across the country have. And here we have Sri Darwin Gross, a man who was the Living Eck Master and claims that God actually was using his body and speaking to other people, like Harold Klemp that you saw just a little bit ago. And you were also saying that you worked with a man and were the actual assistant.
Brooke: Right.
Ankerberg: And people like the Beatles, the president of India, all kinds of people, a hundred thousand people at a time came into this man’s presence where he did miracles for them.
Brooke: Right.
Ankerberg: He claimed to be the god-man. You were right there experiencing these miracles.
Brooke: Right.
Ankerberg: Tell us one of those experiences and how did you sort this question out when you found out there were all kinds of other people saying they were the unique one.
Brooke: Yeah. It’s a marketplace. Let me just say this briefly. I had occult experiences as a child just like Darwin did. When I was ten I got a Ouija Board. That’s when my out-of-the-body experiences began. In my teens I got into psychic stuff. There were a number of things that happened, but I did have out-of-the-body experiences. I’ve got a different explanation for that now that we’re going to get into. What it ultimately did, friends, is it drove me to India to be under someone who’s got a following of 20 million people, who is a full-fledged miracle-worker. And the whole point is, how do you judge? And I’m sure we’re going to get to this, but the fellow I was under, Sai Baba, used to materialize things. We had the brother of the Prime Minister of Canada there, Trudeau, and we had the high commissioner of Canada, and Baba was materializing things and giving them to them and saying “This is specifically for you,” and it’s got his name on it, not knowing that the man was coming there. Do you understand what I’m saying? He’d get a guest; he didn’t know the person was coming in the first place, materialize something on the spot with the fellow’s name.
Ankerberg: Is that what attracted you to him in the first place?
Brooke: That was one of the things, because the claim is if you can perform miracles, then your mind is one with the over-mind of the universe. It’s the whole idea of man actually being God. It’s the divinization of the self.
Ankerberg: But after two years and seeing it go on, the miracles were actually happening, you still changed you mind.
Brooke: Right.
Ankerberg: What changed your mind?
Brooke: I had a demonic encounter.
Ankerberg: What do you mean “a demonic encounter”? What’s a demonic encounter?
Brooke: Well, I was really confronted face to face with a reality: there is a Satan, and he’s out to deceive the world. And there is, in this marketplace of god-men, there is no other God-Man than Jesus Christ.
Ankerberg: Quickly tell us what kind of experience did you have that said “Satan/demons,” where you had all these experiences before?
Brooke: Actually, I had some out-of-the-body ones that were very demonic. I saw really an immoral side to this power-working guru that was unbelievable. Then I read Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2, talking about the man of sin sitting in the very sanctuary of God, proclaiming to be God, with all signs and wonders. So then I got into the thought, “How do you explain these people?” They are antichrists. It’s a very heavy thing to claim to be God.
Ankerberg: Darwin, where I was going with this before, before we got that up, we’ve got a lot of questions on the board now. Let me just pick out one here and that is that you picked out the fellow that was talking about you here, and you passed on the mantle to him. A few years after you had possession he became and he is now the Living Eck Master. The problem was, with these claims of God working through you, being omniscient, omnipresent, etc., down the line here, and having all of God centered in you, according to the claim, how in the world did you pick out Harold Klemp who shortly after that cut you off from the entire organization? Why was it that the “God” that was working through you didn’t tip you off that you’d picked out apparently the wrong man? Maybe you did.
Gross: He did, or “It;” it isn’t God, it’s the essence of God. I chose Harold Klemp because of my physical condition, and he had the same, I’ll say, ability to work into that position as Paul or I had. The choice is the individual’s. I did not look to the future, nor did I… I overlooked a real anger band in the man and those….
Ankerberg: Why is it that you didn’t use your spiritual powers to protect the movement?
Gross: I never did protect the movement. The Board did physically. Spiritually I never looked back. I don’t look back to see who’s following me, and I made a big error in not watching the backside physically; in other words, trusting mankind and those who profess to be very religious in a sense.
Ankerberg: Did you make a mistake?
Gross: Big mistake!
Brooke: Can I ask, how do you explain… where is he at today, do you think? You know, frankly, I have always…
Gross: Well…
Brooke: Let me just tell you, I read some of those board meetings. It looks to me like you were victimized. You got a raw deal in that August 7, 1983 meeting. I mean, it seems to me by your own system you gave him a lot and you were stabbed in the back. And in fact, in your own words, you were crucified. That’s the word you used.
Ankerberg: What basically happened at that meeting, quickly for our audience?
Brooke: We need to know what happened. I know, but you need to tell it.
Gross: Well, there was an illegal takeover; quick and dirty meeting. It lasted about five minutes. There were secret meetings that were held previously, and myself as the president, the chairman, or the secretary were not invited. We asked certain questions. We were told, “This is it.” The minutes had been passed out of their secret meeting. Some of the previous minutes were supposed to have been changed. And there’s some dirt under the rug. And I’m not here to….
Ankerberg: Yeah, and basically they cut off your mail from you, too.
Gross: Oh yes, definitely.
Brooke: And if I could even say this, Harold, your old protégé, actually accused you of being a black magician later, as you well know, in The Mystic World magazine. And he actually told people to take pictures of you down. I know you were irritated because people who you’d initiated by the thousands were cut off through this organization. It looks to me like he grabbed the organization. You’re out, he’s saying in articles that you’re a black magician – by innuendo; he doesn’t say it directly.
Gross: That’s right.
Brooke: And then pretty soon, as the summer of ‘83 went on, we see you kicked out of your house. That happens and…
Ankerberg: But the question then becomes, guys, the fact is you’ve got two people for all the folks in Eckankar looking at two leaders. This is very unusual in any kind of spiritist group, isn’t it? The fact is, you’ve got the two living guys that both were supposed to be the incarnation of the essence of God speaking through you. And you’re still living….
Gross: Not necessarily. The incarnation of God: I am no more a god-man than you or any other man or woman in this audience. It’s just a small part of it. I’ve learned a few spiritual techniques and tools, but I do not dare misuse them.
Ankerberg: But what do the people that were following you and now you turn the reins over to him and he turned you out, what does that do to their confidence in the fact that you can give them truth? That you won’t make a mistake? How do they know if you made a mistake and an error there? And apparently Harold has made some big mistakes and accusations. What happened to love? What happened to the fact that you’re the leaders and they’re following you? Now where do they go?
Gross: There are still a number of people following me that have checked it out for themselves, either by going to the temple within – as pointed out in the Scriptures worldwide, not only the Christian, but all scriptures tend to lead the person to the temple within. It’s up to the individual to challenge and to definitely check things out physically.
Ankerberg: Okay, next week we’re going to find out what happened in that temple within, but coming back to your story, tell me again, why is it that you left?
Brooke: Okay, we have a marketplace in the world of people who claim to be the illumined master. There are scores of them in India. Darwin used to claim that. He may still claim it in a special way. There is a way of knowing the truth. Biblically, I found out that we have tools to find the truth. We mentioned Christ earlier, let me just say briefly, there are 333 prophecies that predicted Christ’s coming before He came, and the mathematical probability of those coming true are one to the number of electrons in the universe. So there is huge, historical and supernatural evidence that makes Christ unique. I’ve already said there’s a marketplace of these masters; it’s up to people to discern with everything they have what the truth is.
Ankerberg: Alright, next week we’re going to continue this conversation and talk about what happens in these out-of-body experiences. I hope that you’ll join us.

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