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Paul Twitchell

Paul Twitchell




Paul Twitchell was born on October 22, 1908, in Paducah, Kentucky, USA. His early life is not well-documented, but he grew up in a family with several siblings. From a young age, Twitchell showed a keen interest in religion and spirituality, immersing himself in various religious texts and philosophies. This curiosity set the stage for his lifelong spiritual quest.

During World War II, Twitchell served in the United States Navy. After his military service, he attended George Washington University, where his spiritual explorations deepened. Twitchell studied under various spiritual teachers and delved into numerous religious traditions. He was particularly influenced by Julian Johnson and Kirpal Singh of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas, a spiritual organization in India. These influences were crucial in shaping his spiritual beliefs and practices.

In 1965, Twitchell founded Eckankar, a new religious movement centered on the teachings of soul travel and the concept of the "ECK," which he described as the life force or divine spirit. He claimed to have received these teachings through his spiritual experiences and interactions with higher spiritual beings. Twitchell's extensive writings, including "The Tiger’s Fang," "Eckankar: The Key to Secret Worlds," and "The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad," became the foundational texts for Eckankar. These works emphasized personal spiritual experiences, direct contact with divine consciousness, and the practice of soul travel as a path to spiritual enlightenment.

Twitchell passed away on September 17, 1971. His death marked the end of his direct leadership of Eckankar, but his teachings and writings continued to influence and inspire followers. After his death, Darwin Gross and later Harold Klemp succeeded him as the spiritual leaders of Eckankar. Twitchell's legacy endures through the ongoing practices and teachings of the Eckankar community, which has grown and spread worldwide.

Despite his influence, Twitchell's life and teachings have been subject to various controversies and criticisms. Some critics have accused him of plagiarism, pointing out similarities between his writings and earlier spiritual texts. Nevertheless, his followers view him as a pioneering spiritual teacher who introduced profound insights and practices.

Paul Twitchell remains a significant figure in the realm of new religious movements. His establishment of Eckankar and his extensive writings on spiritual topics have left a lasting impact on his followers and the broader spiritual community. Twitchell's emphasis on personal spiritual experiences and direct contact with the divine continues to resonate with those seeking a deeper understanding of their spiritual path.


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Place of Birth: Paducah, Kentucky, USA



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Date of Birth: October 22, 1908

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