David C. Lane

From Academic Kids

David Christopher Lane (born April 29, 1956 in Burbank, California) is a professor of philosophy and sociology at Mount San Antonio College, USA and lecturer in religious studies at California State University, Long Beach, California. He specializes in the study of new religious movements including cults.

He has been very critical about several groups such as Eckankar, Radhasoami gurus and the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. Due to Lane's investigations of new religious movements, he has been the target of several lawsuits, death threats, and general harassment.


Books and other media

Lane has published a number of books, including the controversial Making of a Spiritual Movement (1978) which was translated into German, The Radhasoami Tradition (1992), The Unknowing Sage (1993), Exposing Cults (1994), DA: The Strange Case of Franklin Jones (1995), The Enchanted Land (1995). He has also contributed original articles to the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, and a number of major encyclopedias.

During the 1980s, Lane wrote over 50 popular articles and book reviews for such magazines as FATE, Laughing Man, and the Movement Newspaper. His review of Francis Crick's life and work was featured in the University of California's science and mathematics magazine.

His biography is featured in the encyclopedia of parapsychology and other learned reference books. He has appeared on numerous radio and television broadcasts dealing with the subject of cults. His life and work was featured in a cover story in the San Diego Reader in 1995.

Lane was instrumental in helping Peter McWilliams write his famous book, LIFE 102, which caused a world-wide uproar in Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness.

Lane's booklet, Why I Don't Eat Faces: A Neuroethical Argument for Vegetarianism, was published in 1993 and is featured worldwide on a number of vegan and vegetarian websites and is widely cited and referenced. Lane has been a lacto vegetarian for over 32 years. Lane was raised Roman Catholic and eventually became deeply associated with the late Charan Singh of Radhasoami Satsang Beas. Lane is generally regarded as a radical agnostic in philosophical circles. His favorite philosophers are Nicholas of Cusa, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Patricia and Paul Churchland.

Unlike many other scholars of religion, he frequently joins discussions among (ex-)members of (new) religious movements on the internet, especially on Yahoo! groups.

Dr. Lane has also produced a number of short films, including Vertical Geometry, Moving Water, Liquid Air, and Digital Baba.

Teaching background and education

Lane has 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 (semester abroad program). He has given invited lectures at the London School of Economics, California State University, Fullerton, and other academic institutions. He has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in the sociology of knowledge from the University of California at San Diego. Additionally, Lane 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.

Lane is listed in Marquis' Who's Who in the World (1997), Who's Who in the United States (1998), and Who's Who in the West (1990). Lane received a Regents Fellowship to attend the University of California, San Diego, for his Ph.D. He has also received an OGSR Travel Grant in 1987 to collect rare books and manuscripts in India. Lane was a recipient of an NEH grant in 1993 at the University of Hawaii.

Dr. Lane's M.A. thesis, Radhasoami Mat, was passed with highest honors at GTU. He has received numerous teaching awards during his twenty-five year teaching career. Professor Lane has also presented talks to the American Academy of Religion, including paper presentations at Stanford University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the University of California, Berkeley. Lane served as a Research Assistant to Professor Mark Juergensmeyer, U.C. Berkeley, in late 1970s and 1980s. His genealogical work was featured in Radhasoami Reality (Princeton University Press, 1991).

Hobbies and personal information

Athletics and bodysurfing

David Lane has also had a successful athletic and bodysurfing career. He won the World Bodysurfing championships in Oceanside, California, in 1999. He has won the International Bodysurfing Contest held in Manhattan Beach, California four times: 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2004. Lane came in fourth at the Point Panic World Bodysurfing Contest held in 1998 in Oahu, Hawaii and came in second twice at the Carlsbad International Bodysurfing Contest held in California in 1997 and 1998. Most recently Lane came in fourth at the World Bodysurfing contest in Oceanside in 2003, fifth at the United States Cold Water Bodysurfing championships, and first at the International Bodysurfing Contest in Manhattan Beach in 2004.

David Lane is listed in the French Encyclopedia on Bodysurfing.


David Lane has one child named Shaun-Michael who was born on August 22, 2000. His father, Warren James Lane, was an attorney before he died unexpectedly on December 6, 1973. His mother, Louise S. Lane, was born on June 7, 1921, and worked as a Talent Coordinator for the television show, General Hospital, for some fourteen years after her husband died.

External links


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