David Christopher Lane (born April 29, 1956, Burbank, California) is a professor of philosophy and sociology at Mt. San Antonio College, in Walnut, California. He is most notable for identifying Eckankar as a cult and its founder as a plagiarist in his book The Making of a Spiritual Movement: The Untold Story of Paul Twitchell and Eckankar. He is also notable for spotting the most radical and controversial Sage of India, Baba Faqir Chand, a great exponent of Surat Shabd Yoga. He edited and published a book with the title 'The Unknowing Sage:Life and Work of Baba Faqir Chand'. The preface of this book explains the scientific aspects of inner experiences of Surat Shabd Yogis. The book also contains Faqir's interview taken by Mark Juergensmeyer which contains almost all important aspects of Faqir's philosophy.
Lane has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in the sociology of knowledge from the University of California at San Diego. Additionally, he has another M.A. in the history and phenomenology of religion from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, and a B.A. from California State University, Northridge. Lane received his A.A. from Los Angeles Valley Community College. Attended Notre Dame High School
He previously taught at the University of California, San Diego, The California School of Professional Psychology, the University of Humanistic Studies, Palomar College, Mira Costa College, and the University of London and other academic institutions. He has given invited lectures at the London School of Economics, California State University, Fullerton.
In an interview in the San Diego Reader published on June 22, 1995, Lane complained about receiving death threats from defenders of several new religious movements. He has also been involved in a number of law suits due to his critical stance on several new religious movements.
Lane's booklet, Why I Don't Eat Faces: A Neuroethical Argument for Vegetarianism, was published in 1993.
Lane has also produced a number of short films, including Vertical Geometry, Moving Water, Liquid Air, and Digital Baba.
Lane frequently joins discussions and debates between current and former members of new religious movements, especially on Yahoo! group he set up for use with his classes. He puts some of his discussions on The Neural Surfer, the Mt. SAC philosophy department web site which also contains Lane's online diary and essays of a satirical nature on religious topics.
- Lane, David Christopher (1993) , The making of a spiritual movement : the untold story of Paul Twitchell and Eckankar, Religious information systems series, vol. 11.; Garland reference library of social science, v. 891., Garland Pub, ISBN 9780815312765, http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/26723709
- Lane, David Christopher (1992), The Radhasoami tradition : a critical history of guru successorship, Sects and cults in America., Bibliographical guides ;, v. 14; Garland reference library of social science, v. 623., New York, ISBN 9780824052478, http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/26013140
- Chand, Faqir; Lane, David Christopher (1993), The unknowing sage : the life and work of Baba Faqir Chand, Mt. San Antonio College Press, ISBN 9781565430228, http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/33342282
- Lane, David Christopher (1994), The Making of a Spiritual Movement: The Untold Story of Paul Twitchell & Eckankar (revised ed.), Del Mar Press, ISBN 9780961112462, http://books.google.com/books?id=G6NlAQAACAAJ&cd=1
- Lane, David Christopher (1994), Exposing cults : when the skeptical mind confronts the mystical, Garland reference library of social science, v. 890.; Religious information systems series, vol. 10., Garland Pub, ISBN 9780815312758, http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/30026733
- Lane, David Christopher (1995), The enchanted land : a journey with the saints of India, MSCA Philosophy Group, ISBN 9781565430532, http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/33210167
- Lowe, Scott; Lane, David Christopher (1996), DA : the strange case of Franklin Jones, MSAC Philosophy Group, ISBN 9781565430549, http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/34503293
- http://elearn.mtsac.edu/dlane/The%20Unknowing%20SageMINI.pdf. Retrieved on 2009-09-19.
- Eckankar: A Former Member Revisits the Movement, Dodie Bellamy, San Diego Reader, June 22, 1995, 2007-07-03 archive link
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- Neural Surfer Online diary of Lane
- Neural Surfer 2008 version
- Document from CESNUR describing Lane's battle against MSIA
- Legal document from CESNUR MSIA versus David C. Lane