[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Dan Caldwell, Babaji, and Paranormal claims--a reply by David Lane

Jun 06, 1997 02:37 PM
by Daniel H Caldwell

I am posting the following exchanges between David Lane and me
to Theos-talk.  I thought some of you might find the subject matter of some

Daniel Caldwell

>From: "David Lane" <>
>Subject: Dan Caldwell, Babaji, and Paranormal claims--a reply by Lane
>Date: 4 Jun 1997 08:10:11 GMT


Yes, I have raised questions about your "world view" and written about
it on alt.religion.eckankar.  And I once again repeat what I sent you in
my last e-mail in the hopes that you will answer these questions.  And
please answer them on alt.religion.eckankar.

> I guess now in light of your new "world-view" you must conclude that
> Yogananda was deluded and/or a fraud.  Remember Babaji is probably more
> elusive and hard to pin down than Blavatsky's Masters.  And Blavatsky
> and her Teachers only materialized small objects while (I believe)
> Babaji materialized a whole palace or city (can't remember which)!!!
> Compare HPB's claims about her Masters with Yogananda's claims about
> Babaji.  From what I have read, Yogananda's claims are "far-fetched" in
> comparison to what Blavatsky wrote about her Masters.  But in light of
> your new (?) materialistic view, obviously both Blavatsky and Yogananda
> were highly deluded if not outright frauds.


An extraordinary claim has been made by Yogananda about the alleged
existence of an Avatar he calls "Babaji" (a very common honorific
in India, that is sometimes translated as "father dear"; even
Gurinder Singh of R.S. Beas utilizes this form of address).

Okay, the skeptically minded will naturally ask for evidence that
such a being exists (as described by Yogananda).

I see nothing wrong in this approach at all. Indeed, I think it is
up to those who claim that Babaji exists (and that he is thousands
years old) to prove their case. As is often stated in Critical
Thinking Textbooks, the burden of proof is on the one making the

And, if this "Babaji" really does empirically exist (as Yogananda
other have described him), then I would imagine that most of our
known laws of physics and biology would be overturned.

That would be groovy, Baby (as our hero, "Austie" Powers might say).

But I haven't seen that evidence; I have heard merely lots of

Being skeptical doesn't mean one is closed off to new ideas; it just
means that there should be some grounded evidence to prove the case.

As it stands, we have very very little to go on.


> I have finished reading your one essay about gurus with no turbans and
> what followers say about their gurus, but more important is what claims
> gurus make on their own behalf.  For example, what claims did Sawan
> Singh or Charan Singh make about their own guruship?  What abilities or
> powers or knowledge did they claim?


Charan Singh point blank stated that he did not even consider
himself a good satsangi, much less a Master. Indeed, he called his
appointment to the "Gaddi" (assumption of the Mastership as decreed
by his predecessor, Jagat Singh) as his "execution" and the "saddest
day of his life."

But, better yet, read Charan Singh's excerpted diaries in TREASURE
BEYOND MEASURE, wherein he states (I am now paraphrasing):

"I feel like a stone idol in a temple. Some bathe it in hot water,
some in cold, some garland it with fancy flowers. But it remains a
stone all the same."

To the degree that any guru (including Charan Singh) makes claims, I
think it is our duty to "test" or to "doubt" those claims.

The more skepticism, I feel, the better.


Because "truth" (whatever that may be) should be able to survive any
all questions posed of it.

These gurus--by their very position (including Charan Singh)--imply
extraordinary status or power or divinity.

They, therefore, deserve (and, I think, should demand) our closest
and most detailed scrutiny.


In the next month or so, I plan to challenge on alt.religion.eckankar some
of your statements concerning the paranormal, OOBEs and physical psi.  I
applaud your skepticism but extreme doubt can be as "blinding" as extreme
gullibility.  I do not respect the CSICOP skeptics; they appear to me to be
True DISbelievers, i.e. people with their own belief systems which they
seldom if ever
question.  You have mentioned a number of times Blackmore, Churchland,
Crick, etc.
However brilliant these people are, have they challenged their own
And what do they know (intellectually or personally) about the paranormal?
probably knows the most of the lot about the paranormal but I find her books
onesided in presenting the evidence on OOBEs, NDEs, etc.  Blackmore has had
but nothing that would confirm the objectivity of such experiences.  I have
also had
many similar OOBEs to those of Blackmore.  But I have also had OOBEs in which
I have gained knowledge of distant events.  You and these other skeptics can
ignore or deny
these personal experiences of mine.  But I cannot so easily ignore what I know
to be true.   So I do sympathise with Eckists who have had similar OOBEs.
I would question visions of Rebazar or Koot Hoomi.  I have had a few
"visions" of Masters
and do not put a great deal of stock in such things because it is hard if
not imposssible to
verify these visions but some of my OOBEs are in a very  different category
(at least in my


Well, I think the burden of proof again is on the one making the

Okay, if these OBE's or astral excursions are "empirically" real or
verifiable, let's do the 5 or 6 digit number test.

I will place a five digit number in my office or some agreed upon
location and let's see how well "astral" travelers or OBErs  do.

Naturally, we will want to set up a few safeguards, but I would be
most happy to be proven dead wrong in this regard.

Yea, Baby, I think it would be completely shagadelic.......

Now if this test is not suitable, then by all means tell us why not.

Come up with another one, if you so desire.
email for PGP Public Key

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application