Windmore Earle never believed in the white lodge
Windom Earle: Once upon a time, there was a place of great goodness called the White Lodge. Gentle fawns gathered there amongst laughing, happy spirits. The sounds of innocence and joy filled the air. When it rained, it rained sweet nectar that infused one's heart to live life with true beauty. Generally speaking, a ghastly place, reeking of virtue in a showered smell, engorged with the whispering prayers of kneeling mothers, mewling newborns, and fools, both young and old compelled to do good without reason. But I'm happy to point out that our story does not end in this sutured place of joy and success. For there is another place, its opposite. A place of almost unimaginable power, chock full of dark forces and vicious secrets. No prayers dare enter this frightful maw, for spirits there care not for good deeds or priestly implications. They are likely to rip the flesh from your bones then greet you with a happy "good day". And of the highest, these spirits in this hidden land of unmuffled screams and broken hearts offer up a power so vast that its bearer might reorder the Earth, to his liking. Now this place is called the Black Lodge... and I intend to find it.
Why does he speak in the past tense? The white Lodge is basically extinct in his view. And we know it exists.
In S2 finale, Earle wanted to take Cooper's soul. Bob told him that's not possible because only he possessed the power to do so. I don't know much about Earle but why is he so evil? What really happened to him? Will TP Return shed some light on secrecy of the military? Earle was in the Air Force.
Well Earle's chess game chase after Cooper culminates in Coopers arrival in the waiting room at the end of Season 2. Cooper's own demons were exposed via the Earle connections, what with Dale having had an affair with Earle's wife Caroline. (Everyone is dirty, no one is innocent in this series). There do seem to be major connections with season 2 plotlines via Major Briggs as well. The plot lines that were connected to Twin Peaks local color or comedy themes probably won't have so much presence in the Return, as it is all too dark now. Everyone is Twin Peaks seems to have settled down into lives that were less than what they hoped for in their younger dreamy days. They got kinda old.
But I do think several of the plot lines in the last half of season 2 are helpful to understanding what is going on now. Briggs thought he went to the White Lodge when he disappeared after fishing with Cooper. Isn't that the only time a character claimed to have visited it? I don't know if Earle believe in it, but it clearly wasn't what he was looking for. He seemed to believe that accessing the Black Lodge will enable him the ultimate vengeance on Cooper, maybe for the affair but I think it went beyond that. Earle knew so much about this lodge stuff, but he seemed to misunderstand its powers. Only "Bob" could take souls.