#28 Eckankar and Harold Klemp

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Meet Harold Klemp.

A few weeks ago I woke up a bit late for church without having a service picked out.  Knowing that I had to attend before the week was up to keep up with my commitment, I wiped the sleep out of my eyes, hopped on the internet and Googled “religion, Richmond VA.”

After frantically going from page to page, I came across a brand spankin’ new religion I knew very little about but had intended to review a few months earlier and forgotten to put on my list of 52: The Religion of Eckankar. 

Dentist By Day, Guru By Night

Dentist By Day, Guru By Night

World, Meet Harold Klemp. 

I parked my car just outside of SUITE B, a small space nestled between two large meeting rooms located in a discreet office park in the Southside of Richmond.  I realized I was about 15 minutes late but I was eager to attend so I got out of my car, approached the glass door and let myself in.

With warm smiles, I was welcomed by about 15 individuals who at first glance appeared to have absolutely nothing in common.  I was so taken aback by the randomness of this group that I jotted down some specifics in my notebook as to not forget. 

Two seats to the right of me was a young woman from Brooklyn NY.  She was wearing a baby blue athletic shorts suit that hit right below her knee.  She wore extra large gold hoop earrings and a watch adorned with what appeared to be gun bullets.

Sitting directly to the left of me was an older woman with waist-length gray pigtails high on her head much like Punky Brewster.  She wore a cotton navy blue dress with tiny ships displayed all across the front.   A couple of elderly folks were directly across from me and an African American man sporting a sweater vest and pocket protector sat to my right. 

The middle aged hippie woman who led the group asked that I share my name with the group as I got myself acquainted.  I smiled, waved my hand up to gesture hello to everyone and revealed to them that my name was Jessica.  Many of the folks simultaneously took a deep breath in through their nose, closed their eyes and meditated on this thought.  A couple silently mouthed “Jeeeessssssssssiiiiiiiiciccccccaaaaaaaa” as I smiled bashfully and thought to myself, “yep, that’s my name *ahem* don’t wear it out.” 

I quickly directed my eyes toward the gaudy gold 8 X 10 photograph displayed on the table behind the woman leading the group.  It was a picture of Harold Klemp.  I knew from my brief research online that Harold Klemp was their groups guru of sorts.  What I didn’t know is how much he resembled my childhood dentist.

The group leader thanked me for my love light and continued on with her story which I had obviously interrupted.  She said, “So, I went into my backyard and watered my plants while I watched the dying tree in my neighbors yard crying over her earth energy.  I gave love and light to the flowers in my garden and the Golden Spirit of All recognized my light and the tree gravitated toward my body’s glow.  Yes it’s true!  When I woke up the next morning, the tree had leaned its branches over my fence and asked me if I could share some water.  “Of course” I said.  I will share my love light with you dear tree, because this is the golden light of the One.”

Uh…. I must have missed the plot or something” I thought to myself.

Luckily, she then began another story.  Since I didn’t miss the beginning of this one, I was sure to understand it more clearly. 

She went on.

“So, I met this man.”  She paused for what seemed to be a lifetime.

I looked around the room and the majority of the people had their eyes closed. 

“Should I close my eyes?  What if they do something weird? Eh, what the heck. I’ll close ‘em what could they do?” And so I did.

With my eyes now closed I was completely ignorant as to what was going on around me.  She repeated herself.  “So I met this man.”  The loud sound of the groups’ hot breath echoed throughout the room.

“And this man sold lawnmowers. LONG PAUSE

Oh….. the light in this man and his knowledge was overflowing abundantly from his inner light of love. PAINFULLY LONG PAUSE

I met this man and went into his lawn mower shop and I said.  ‘I know you are a man with a lawnmower.  I know you serve people with your mowers.  I see your light.’ And this man recited to me a poem by Rumi, so beautiful.  I saw his light and he saw mine.  His name was Joe.  So my inner spirit light told Joe, ‘come to this Ecknakar conference with me, Joe’.  And he said he would if his light was able to meet mine in the spirit of love on the day of the conference.  And so….. we left it up to the great spirit of love to lead us and our lights to the connecting bond of our energy source.  The conference is this weekend.  LONG PAUSE, LOTS OF DEEP BREATHS…..

……Will I see Joe?  LONG PAUSE 

Will he come when he is not sharing his lawnmower love with the world at large?  He may not come.  But his love, oh his light will be with us with the peace of his energetic forces of love.  Joe………  Lawnmower shop.” 

Another moment of silence followed.

“What is this lady talking about?” I wondered!?!

 I courageously opened one eye to see if anyone else was as baffled as I was.  Instead of puzzling faces, I saw quite the opposite.  Each person was smiling from ear to ear while staring off into a corner of the room as if they were watching something amazing.  I turned around to look at the object of everyone’s affection, but nothing was there.

The woman then went on to share with us another story that kept me on the edge of my seat, but I’ll spare you.  Take my word for it; it was as good as the first two.

The event concluded with each individual sharing how they embraced their golden light with others in the week.  Then, like small children on Christmas morning, they burst with excitement as the spoke about the spiritual soul travel they would embark on this weekend.  When it was time to leave, I took my hand and gently removed the head of the old woman with pigtails from off my shoulder where it had laid since the awesome lawnmower story.

I then took one last look at Harold Klemp, and told God that I would never again be ashamed of sharing my faith with the rest of the world.  Instead, I might just run to do so.

Here are some things I found fascinating about their religion:

Eckankar means “Co-worker with God”

Eckankar is mainly about your daily, personal connection with Divine Spirit.

They believe our Soul's whole purpose for being in this world is to find divine love.

They believe the Soul is eternal and it lives because God loves It.  Our soul is constantly on a journey of Self and God Realization.

Karma and reincarnation are primary beliefs.

The ECK (the Holy Spirit) purifies one of karma (sin), making it possible for him to accept the full love of God in this lifetime. Then he gains wisdom, charity, and freedom.

Personal experience with the Light and Sound of God is the cornerstone of Eckankar.

Who is Harold Klemp and How Does He fit in?

Key to the ECK teachings is the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master, aka Harold Klemp

Harold is the highest state of God Consciousness known to man and was chosen by God

He has the special ability to act as both Inner and Outer Master for ECK students.

He is the prophet of Eckankar, given respect but not worship.

He teaches the sacred name of God, HU, which lifts one spiritually into the Light and Sound of God, the ECK. 

Harold Klemp is responsible for helping people connect with the Holy Spirit through Spiritual Exercises where you can explore the spiritual worlds which exists on different planes.  These techniques are called Soul Travel and Dreams.  This is an expansion of consciousness.

To learn more about Eckankar and Harold Klemp, allow your Golden love light to gravitate your soul to their website located between two online planes found here:  http://www.eckankar.org

One final thought:  While I poke a bit of fun at this faith, I do want to make mention that the ultimate goal of the Eck teachings is to love God, to allow the Holy Spirit to purify you into a new being, and to show love toward other’s as we’d love ourselves. 

I am quite amazed at how similar the primary teachings of the Eck faith are to Christianity.  Love God, commune with Him and become a new being, and then let that love overflow into your love for others. 

With this being said, make no mistake, I believe the Love expressed on Calvary is without a doubt the ultimate expression of God’s love, and every person (including Harold) should strengthen their relationship with our Creator by entering into this Truth and accepting His Son.  However, I just can’t help but recognize that Love (and light) exists within many religions, even the seemingly odd ones. 

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1 Comments

  • JamesBrett

    JamesBrett August 12, 2010

    jess, thanks so much for posting this.  i’m sure there’s something somewhere that says i shouldn’t laugh at other religions and the like—but i thought this post was hilarious.  i read most of it out loud to my wife and our teammates here in geita, and everyone in the room enjoyed it.  basically, your post was our after dinner entertainment.  i know—it’s true—we don’t have just tons to do after dinner in tanzania, but still…  thanks.  we laughed a lot.

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