America Looks Inward: to Self-Realization, to Reincarnation, to Inner Guides – Program 2

By: Sri Darwin Gross, Tal Brooke; ©1988
What is it like to have spirit guides who guide you and give you information? Are there evil powers in the world, and if so, how can you recognize them?

Encounter With the Mystical


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 2

Ankerberg: Welcome to our program. We’re talking about the mystical experiences that people across our country and across the world are having. Spiritual guides, they talk about. They talk about UFO experiences. There’s something happening across the world. And tonight let me come to you, Darwin, on this, and that is that Eckankar teaches the fact that a person can have this encounter with the mystical, with a spirit guide, with different helpers that are not in the natural plane that will allow him to progress to God-consciousness, which is the point that you’re trying to reach. And you had these experiences, going way back to the time when you were three years of age. And Paul Twitchell, who was the Living Eck Master before you, came to your bedside when you were three and gave you the out-of-body experiences. Tell us, what is an out-of-body experience like? What went on?
Gross: There’s a variety of them. Different levels. The astral projection is momentary. The mental travel is a little bit longer, but in Soul….
Brooke: Do people ever leave their brains behind when they travel? I get asked that.
Gross: They learn how to drop the… you have an astral body along with the physical, and all of these sheaths or bodies protect Soul while we’re here. But it’s utilizing Soul and perfecting one’s self in Soul that is necessary. Even the Scriptures speak of getting beyond one’s self.
Brooke: Let me ask you a question.
Gross: Sure.
Brooke: One out-of-the-body experience that was probably less than enjoyable was that board meeting we were just talking about on August 7, when you must have bi-located at least temporarily.
Ankerberg: Remind them of what you’re talking about for the people that just tuned in this week.
Brooke: Yeah, Darwin basically, it was a scene out of Julius Caesar. He was knifed by the present Living Eck Master – self-proclaimed Mahanta Harold Klemp. Now, my question would be this, and that is, after what happened to you, the ex-Mahanta with the present one, what do we do with this thing that you wrote in Your Right to Know? And this is about surrender. Now, surrender is a very common thing in these Eastern paths, and this is what you said: “It…”
Gross: God.
Brooke: “…will demand more and more of the individual until It has all of him. The person will suffer, cry, complain and resist all changes the Eck is making within him, but it’s useless to struggle. Of course, the deepest secrets are going to be screaming out. Those who are willing to surrender and sacrifice themselves to the Mahanta.” And then later Twitchell said something similar. Now, here’s the question: if after your apparent surrender to the Eck and apparently Harold’s surrender to the Eck we had this unpleasant misunderstanding in the board meeting, how do the poor chelas worldwide not think their omelets are going to get scrambled too? People are going to be asking that. In fact,…
Ankerberg: Who are the chelas for all the people who don’t know who chelas are?
Brooke: Chelas are simply followers, they’re devotees, disciples.
Gross: Or students.
Brooke: Students, yeah.
Gross: Neophyte. At that board meeting, to back up to that to try to attempt to answer you…
Brooke: Right.
Gross: …the only words I had for Harold was I’m the best friend he’ll ever have.
Brooke: I read that in the account.
Gross: Other than that…
Brooke: Apparently he’s not your best friend now.
Gross: Well, I forgave him shortly after that takeover.
Brooke: Why can’t he forgive you? What’s the problem?
Gross: I have no idea.
Brooke: Let me just say something that you wrote about reaping what you sow. This is form Your Right to Know, page 133: “Once any Eckist becomes a member of the second initiation and beyond, he cannot ever resign from Eck. If such persons ever attempt to resign or want to leave Eck for any purpose they shall find it not easy to do so. They will run into terrible problems. Anyone having received the second initiation or greater and are still talking negatively, writing or criticizing other Eckists or the Living Eck Master carelessly and without thinking will pay for the deed.” Now, this is, you would call it karma, so we have a precedent here of both you and Harold not saying great things about each other.
Gross: I don’t recall saying anything very negative about him. “Eck” is a term for “spirit.” Please understand, when we’re talking about Eck we’re talking about spirit – that which flows through you, me, the flowers and the trees. All life flows from one source. I believe as most people, except I have learned from my own experiences, and I ask no one to believe what you hear from me, what you might read, or what you might see. I was taught that as a child. And it’s true that there is a state of consciousness that is called the Mahanta and it’s beyond the god state but that’s something that you can’t really….
Brooke: Darwin, how do you know that?
Gross: From my own experiences.
Brooke: Alright, but what if you saw a green elephant dancing on its ear? Would you know that’s true or…?
Gross: I’d say I’d be drunk.
Brooke: If someone slips you LSD in a cocktail….
Gross: That’s happened once in my life.
Brooke: Okay.
Ankerberg: You’re basing many things that you’re talking about as claims , just like there’s all kinds of people that are making claims and the bottom line is experience.
Gross: That’s correct.
Ankerberg: Now, let me ask you this. In your writings you talk about Kal as being an evil power. “Watch out for the traps of Kal.”
Gross: In the Scriptures it’s spoken of as the devil. One and the same.
Ankerberg: Alright, now, do you believe there is an evil power then in the world?
Gross: It’s an entity, yes.
Ankerberg: How evil is that power?
Gross: It has its good side and its negative side.
Ankerberg: Would the power be evil enough so that, being powerful, he could give you good experiences to deceive you?
Gross: If you know of him, you have to circumvent it.
Ankerberg: But the fact is, if he’s more powerful than we are and smarter than we are, if he is a part of God as Eckankar teaches, then how in the world is the student supposed to know that the experience he’s getting is a good one or a bad one?
Gross: As Jesus told His followers: “Come follow me.” “In a state of consciousness” is what He meant. They tried to follow Him physically and….
Ankerberg: How do you know Jesus meant that they should follow Him in the way you’re talking?
Gross: That’s a good question. I cannot prove it to you. The state of consciousness that I’m talking about is in the pure positive God-world where there’s no negativeness; beyond the worlds of duality.
Ankerberg: But isn’t it a good question to ask, if I’m going to invest my life in the pure positive God-worlds, is there such a thing as a pure positive God-world or is there this evil power that is giving me a picture of that to deceive me eternally?
Gross: It’s possible.
Brooke: The question is, “How did evil comes into the universe? How did good come into the universe? How did we get here, according to Eckankar?” You see, the creation account, according to Eckankar, is that perfect souls were arbitrarily thrown out of the cockpit of heaven, or “flushed,” if we might use that analogy, and so they’re down there. I’m quoting directly now: “The Sugmad had spoken and commanded that they go down into the depths of fire, mud and terror. The Sugmad closed Its eyes” – now this isn’t the compassion of Jesus – “the wailing of the souls did not reach It.” “The floor of heaven opened and all souls went tumbling out.” It repeats that. This, to me, is not a philosophy with a great deal of hope. And certainly, according to what happened in that board meeting, there was no a great deal of hope that I culled out of when the two perfect Masters met each other in this fencing match.
Gross: Wait a minute. I’ve never said I was perfect.
Brooke: Right. I actually saw you in Baltimore, Maryland, in the winter of ‘78 or ‘79 when you were at the auditorium, and that was when you were in your heyday. And you said, “Well, the Mahanta is a law unto himself.” Now, my feeling is this; that if everyone is a law unto himself, that’s another definition for anarchy, or doing your own thing radically, and again….
Gross: You’re misinterpreting the term Mahanta. It’s an invisible state of consciousness.
Brooke: Okay. Alright.
Gross: I never held myself out as the Mahanta or claimed it, other people have.
Brooke: Other people have…
Gross: But….
Brooke: Did you ever correct them on that?
Gross: Oh, yes, but I did state that It uses me as It chooses.
Brooke: Okay.
Ankerberg: The question is, what good would it be, then, to have that power if at the key point in the history of the movement you made a mistake that basically has split the movement?
Gross: We are human beings and we make errors like anyone else. I was asked by another one of the hierarchy not to take him up to a certain point, which I haven’t and didn’t. He wasn’t able to. He had to unfold.
Ankerberg: How did that help? But in other words, it doesn’t matter what happened on the physical plane then, in terms of the movement?
Gross: Well, not in the sense of for God….
Ankerberg: You didn’t enjoy going through this.
Gross: No.
Ankerberg: And the question is, I’m trying to figure out how your deity helped you at that point when you were the Master.
Gross: All I can say is out of jealousy, envy and greed.
Ankerberg: “It didn’t happen.”
Gross: That’s right.
Ankerberg: Alright. In terms of these other things, I think we need to bring in the fact of the Christian side of the fence here and what you would say to the fact that Jesus does give evidence concerning that it’s not a make-believe world. And He does it in this world, that apparently you’re not getting information. And I want to talk about that in just a moment, so please stick with us.

Ankerberg: Alright, we’re back, and we’re talking about the many people that are having mystical experiences across our country. How does anybody that has that mystical experience, how do they know that they’ve had a real experience, or it wasn’t just a bad lunch or it wasn’t a dream or something else? And furthermore, if there is an evil power in the world, do you believe there’s an evil power in the world? Or is all good? If there is an evil power, is that evil power smarter than you? If that evil power is smarter than you and more powerful than you, then do you think it would be so evil that he would give you an experience that would seem good to damn your soul forever? Now, Darwin, that’s a fantastically terrible thought. The Bible actually says there is an evil power, called Satan, and he is not God. God is not all and all is not God. God is the Creator, according to the Bible, that made the world and everything in it, including man.
Gross: That’s correct.
Ankerberg: And the devil is a fallen angel but he’s a smart entity. Many times we think, “Well, how smart?” Just a probable guess, and it is nothing more than a guess, but to get that into people’s minds is that Einstein was supposed to have an IQ of about 207, I believe it was. Well, probably the devil might have something around 500,000. He doesn’t need a think tank, he’s a think tank all by himself; and then he has other angels that are very smart as well. These are the kinds of individuals that we’re up against. The Bible says we wrestle with principalities and powers, spiritual entities that we’re up against. [Rom. 8:38] Now, the Bible talks about this entity as being a liar, a deceiver, a slanderer, a murderer. The one who tells us that is Jesus Christ, who said He was “the way, the truth and the life.” No man would come to the Father but by Him. [John 14:6]
Now, in terms of claims, it seems to me that Christianity is the only religion right across the board that before somebody gets into it says, here’s the evidence in advance. This Person came into real history. He came down into real history. Real people saw Him. Real people ate with Him, heard Him speak. They heard His claims. And then it wasn’t just the fact of the claim; before anybody believed there Jesus said He would give them the evidence, namely His own death and resurrection. Not a spiritual dream; not a spiritual out-of-body experience, but He Himself, in the body that He lived with, would be crucified, put into the ground, and that body would come forth and be resurrected. Body and spirit, together. And that’s what He did.
Nobody else of all the religious leaders in history has given that kind of proof before somebody jumps in. And Jesus says, “You want to believe that I am the way, that I am the One that will be the Judge at the end of the world, that I am the One that is going to determine the eternal destiny of every man, woman and child? Here’s the proof.” Not only that, but He also offers a way of escape in terms of the salvation that He Himself paid for on the cross with His own blood.
Now, the question is: What does Eckankar, or what does any other Eastern group – and I’ll come to you, Tal, after – what does any religious leader that you have seen, what do they offer as proof to people out there before they get into it, if you do have an evil power out there that’s smarter than we are and can deceive us?
Gross: Then you’ve been deceived. I’m not saying that facetiously. You’d have to understand where Jesus resides today. He was a terrific teacher. He didn’t write one word of the Bible. People hundreds of years after He’d, I’d say, “left” that particular area where He was preaching and after the stone was rolled away, He still remained here on earth for about a thousand years.
Ankerberg: According to who?
Gross: According to a researcher out of Spain. The book he wrote was called Jesus Died in Kashmir. I didn’t believe it. I had to go to Kashmir, Srinigar, to see the grave, to talk to some of his descendents. And in essence I believe it was Moses’ burial there and Mary’s as well, His mother.
Ankerberg: In the spiritual plane you’re talking about now?
Gross: No, physical.
Ankerberg: Physical. What do you do with all the eyewitnesses that according to William F. Albright of Johns Hopkins University before he died said, “Every book of the New Testament was written by a baptized Jew between the time of 45 to 75 AD”? If Jesus died at 30 AD and then you have the witnesses to the resurrection and the fact of their talking to Him, what do you do with the primary people that were on the scene back there that Jesus talked with that went out and changed the world? That’s evidence as well.
Gross: I have no idea. I wasn’t there.
Ankerberg: That’s right, you weren’t there; but the fact is those people were, and they were the primary eyewitnesses that were attached to Jesus. Those were the disciples; those were the friends and enemies that saw Him.
Gross: If a person hangs their total faith and trust on those written words for their afterlife, I would not try to change their mind, I say this in all honesty; because I’m not here to take a person or pull them off their specific path.
Ankerberg: But what I’m asking is, what do you offer as better evidence or proof of supporting the man’s claim than Jesus saying, “Yes, I am the way the truth and the life, and I am the resurrection, if you believe in me, though you die, yet you’ll live. Here’s the proof. I’m going to die; I’m going to come forth from the grave.” [John 14:6; John 11:25; Mark 8:31] We’re all going to die. The question is, who are we going to believe concerning that situation and trust to rescue us?
Gross: You’ll have to ask within yourself, ask Jesus through prayer or meditation.
Ankerberg: But the question is, yeah, is that within you, if it is susceptible to a spiritual power that is smarter than we are, then can you trust that?
Gross: I’m not sure that we’ve determined that Satan, the devil or Kal Niranjan is smarter than you or me or some other people on earth today. Jesus made a statement also, if I may quote Him, too, and I’m not against Jesus nor His followers: “You shall do greater things than I.” [John 14:12]
Ankerberg: And the question is, what did He mean at that point, and we need to pick that up. But, Tal, in terms of your own experiences, you finally came into a relationship with Jesus Christ after you went to India.
Brooke: Well, I found all the claims of the other things to be not true. They were based on lies. And, frankly, let me just say, Darwin, the concept of Christ in Dialogues of the Master talks about “Kal Niranjan is the Lord God of the Bible, the Jehovah of the Jews and the Christians whose distinct existence is within the sphere of delusion and relativity.” So that takes care of the one whose grave you thought was in Kashmir. If 500 people saw Him raised physically, if you say He lived a thousand years, then why would He trot off to Kashmir to dig Himself a grave? What I saw in India humiliated every sort of Eastern model of truth that we’ve heard about. It’s based on historical truth. Let me tell you the final test. In a South Indian hotel room there came a point after years of my looking in this stuff, I said, “Lord, I’m not divine; I’m not a master; I’m just a sinner. And you are the Christ and there is only one Christ, ever, in history, and I ask you to be my Lord and Savior.” Let me tell you something, I changed more at that moment than anything under LSD and anything under any guru. So let that be my final statement on that to you.
Ankerberg: Alright, we’re going to talk about some more of these experiences next week, and I want to take a different approach and go into, what does a chela, what does a student that gets into Eckankar or goes into one of the Eastern groups, what do they have to do to reach this so-called God-consciousness? Alright, we’re going to talk about that next week. Please join us.

Read Part 3

Leave a Comment