Skip to comments.Ronnie Earle, Travis Co. (TX) DA, Dances Naked With Other Men While Beating Cooked Chickens
Posted on 10/06/2007 4:13:53 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued
click here to read article
The operators of this organization use sleep deprivation on and withhold food from the participants, among other things. Does that mean we’ll be hearing from various leftists outraged at the torture, or do they only want to protect their favorite terrorists from such “torture”?
Talk about a disgusting sight HUMOR ping..........
Resume enhancing for the sorry Travis county DA ping
Leather chaps with convienient removable panels???
But hey, more power to him!
I think he has just met one of the qualifications for the Presidency of the US.
This doesn’t seem a heck of a lot different than the Bohemian Club, except that the Bohemains are primarly wealthy Republicans.
...this is what the once honorable law profession has been reduced to.
I wish I could be sarcastic.
We have had giants in the founding fathers but have been driven now into open enrolment law school “training” based on left wing indoctrination by professors who are refugees from the legal profession.
Nifongs and Earls now epitomise public service prosecutors. Left wing envirowackos dominate the EPA legal.
It it was not for used car salesmen and MSM reporters the legal profession would be at the bottom rung of respect.
which is why I had to go back about 200+ years...
Didn’t you see Last Boy Scout?
Never saw that.
Ronnie Earle and his ManKind butt buddies are documented fact. And in Austin, home of Hippie Hollow, such behavior is not uncommon.
Sounds like your typical south Texas deer hunt to me. //>sarcasm>//
It’s okay to be a chicken choker, just not a toe tapper.
Houston (Press) PING
I've sent an e-mail bringing this to the attention of our libertarian talk radio host in Austin.
Does Jeff Ward support Ron Paul? I can’t tell. Somedays he sounds like he supports Her Thighness.
I’m inclined to think Ward would come out for Paul if Paul had a chance in Hades of actually winning. You see a lot of libertarians in talk radio - and for a simple reason. It allows them to bash both Democrats and Republicans while never having to actually be accountable for putting someone in public office. Guys like Rush and Hannity have to live down every GOP failure but libertarians never have to because libertarians never get elected.
The ManKind Project® is a progressive men’s organization striving to be increasingly inclusive and affirming of cultural differences, especially with respect to color, class, sexual orientation, faith, age, ability, ethnicity, and nationality.
The ManKind Project’s New Warrior Training Adventure® is an intense, transformative men’s initiation which invites men to forge a deep conscious connection between head and heart. The NWTA offers men a powerful, challenging opportunity to look at all aspects of their lives in a richly supportive environment.
The primary training is conducted internationally under the name of the New Warrior Training Adventure ® (NWTA). The NWTA is an intensive three-day residential workshop in which the participants examine their role as men in modern society.
* So What is Being a Man All About Anyway?
* Program Restores Healthy Masculinity
Here are some examples of the missions of the men of the ManKind Project:
* MKP Men Facilitate Growth in a Maximum Security Prison
* From the Destroying Power of Hate to the
Transformational Power of Love
* A Warrior Tempered With Spirit
Many men are sad, lonely, frightened, angry, and ashamed, and don’t even know it. And with the loss of their feelings, they also lose what is most precious to them: Their ability to value their world and to hold life dear.
Other men know their feelings perhaps too well. They have learned to indulge in their feelings and use them to manipulate others, often the ones they love most. They lack the ability to stand in their own authenticity. Lost in their feelings, they too lose what is most precious to them: Their ability to be trusted and loved.
The cost of the NWTA is set by individual Centers. In the U.S. the cost averages $650.
I can’t imagine that Archbishop DiNardo would be amused.
I only listen to his after-game coverage. Did you notice WOAI picked up Dennis Miller for the 8p slot
The mythopoetic men’s movement is a general style of psychological self-help, largely inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell. Authors associated with it include Robert Bly and Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
Characteristic of the mythopoetic movement was a tendency to retell fairy tales and engage in their exegesis as a tool for personal insight. Using frequent references to archetypes as drawn from Jungian analytical psychology, the movement focused on issues of gender role, gender identity and wellness for modern men and women. Advocates would often engage in storytelling with music, these acts being seen as a modern extension to a form of “new age shamanism” popularized by Michael Harner at approximately the same time.
The mythopoetic men’s movement spawned a variety of self-help groups and workshops, led by authors such as Bly and Robert L. Moore. The self-help aspect of this movement was seen as something of a fad at the time. Nevertheless some serious academic work came out of this movement, including the creation of various magazines and non-profit organizations, such as the Mankind Project.
Posted: 02-06-2006 11:24 PM
Post subject: husband in mankind project...cult?
My husband has been in the mankind project for around 1 1/2 years. He says that around 6 mos. ago he had a “spiritual awakening” and has been having “deep spiritual and emotional connections” with certain people since this experience. Granted, we have had our share of problems, but I feel like since his Training weekend, along with all the subsequent Integration groups (every other week) he has been more distant, less communicative about everything in his life, he’s changed his look, now wants a tattoo (which he never talked about before) and last week said that he has been thinking about divorce for the past 6 mos. I am trying to sort out the truth and whether or not he has fallen out of love and changed or is suffering from the impression of the mankind project. I would really appreciate any information anyone might have of something similar, or other useful information. I am so confused! This is not the man I married.
Posted: 09-11-2006 01:34 AM
Post subject: I have been to the WEEKEND
I have attended the mankind project New Warrior Integration weekend.
I would like to say I don’t agree with everything that happened that weekend. I do in fact regret going. It seemed like a postive idea at first, but it was an experience I could do without. The reason I went is because I was pressured by my friend and I gave into that pressure because I had been convinced that it would be something of value to me. The cost of the weekend was $650
The first thing that happens when you go there is you are brought into a dark room with men dressed in army attire yelling at you to stand there, do this, do that, in boot camp fashion. You and your bags are then searched for drugs and weapons. You are then lead into a dark trailer and made to sit on the floor in the dark with all the other men attending the weekend. As far as we could tell we had spent nearly 2 hours in a completely dark trailer.
Then they come and get you from the trailer and bring you to a meeting hall where you are asked to sit on the floor while they spew out their talk about how this weekend is going to challenge you physically, mentally and spiritually.
Then they split the group in half and have everyone stand up and tell why they are there. Some reasons were; to quit smoking, i beat my wife, i have a drug habbit, and another common one “my friend told me it would help me”. After telling your problems to a group of complete strangers you ‘play a game’ which involved everyone running around in the middle of the woods in the dark of night carrying logs up a hill. Then everyone is made to sleep on the floor of the meeting hall.
Day 2: The first half of day 2 consists of doing workshops about what you want in life and your problems and your feelings. Then in the afternoon everyone is put through a process in which they are sometimes humiliated, injured by other men at the camp, taunted, etc. in a process they call “GUTS”
This process is designed to cause someone to mentally break down so that they can be somehow put under extreme mental pressure to change. What actually seems to happen is they break you down and then they tell you that your “warrior brothers” are there for you and you are a king amoung men. Then after everyone has had a turn to be humiliated you are all put in a small room for another hour and told to be silent. Then the staff members come in naked and tell everyone to take off all their clothes and come to the meeting hall where the rest of the staff members are dancing around a fire in a circle banging on drums naked. Then you line up and you are given a necklace and are now a “true warrior brother”.
Day3: You are woken up at 5 AM and are marched outside to do a cerimoney about the sun. You are then given your daily shower. Which I forgot to mention for day 2 is a 15 second completly COLD water. After running around in the forest and sitting in hot rooms for 3 days you start to stink.
Next thing is a sex conversation. Everyone is expected to get naked and sit in a circle where a stick resembling a penis is passed around the circle and when you have the stick you have 2 minutes to talk about all of the sexually-related problems you have had as a man. After this everyone does some sort of visualization in which you are 2 different men who come together as 1.
Next is a native style sweat lodge. Then a feast... which is very well received after only being allowed to drink orange juice and water and only able to eat oranges and granola for the last 3 days.
After the feast you are taken into a room by the leader and told that what happens here is a secret amoung men. And then some things must remain secret in order for them to remain sacred. You should not tell anyone what went on, not even your wife.
Anyways that is a summary of what went on. The way my friend made it sound was NO WHERE near what happened. The only reason I stayed is because my friend told me I must trust him and it will be worth it & because you can only get $600 of your $650 back once you survive the weekend... and then I was told that I cannot get any money back since I stayed the whole weekend and it counts toward “food and lodging” (sleeping on the floor and eating bird food). Needless to say my friend told me things to get me to go to this that has now broke my trust with him and I have not talked to him since shortly after the weekend. I was constantly being called by people from this group asking me to come to their biweekly meetings. I have had to change both my home phone number and cell phone number because of this.
So... I don’t reccommend going to this weekend unless you LIKE having a terrible time.
Someone either told me or I read it that ‘a retired Marine colonel’ was one of the founders of this organization.
If true, I guess the USMC had their ‘weirdo’ filter turned off for an inordinate amount of time!
That makes me throw up a little in my mouth!
Posted: 10-12-2006 09:00 AM
Post subject: MKP cult
since my husband of 18 years has joined these brainwashing losers whom feel they need to give themselves animal names to feel like a man-he is clearly gone way too far. I have given him an ultimatium-I have spoken to psychologists and psychiatrists and they agree-either end MKP or end the marriage! I’ve had enough of this bullcrap-One of the gays in his group calls him f-in non-stop even on sunday mornings, no one cn tell me thats normal behvior for a married man. And yes, I have asked him several times and have even questioned his sexuality. He claims he is defiinitely straight, but I’ve since moved in to my own bedroom. the thought of him continuing with the stupid I groups and hugging gays and other men , is a total turn off for me. I will not be intimate with him for fear he may be lying to me. His little I group dwindled down to 3 guys from about 40 that did the weekend, but it just doesnt stop, they have convinced him to join some other f-in crazy group call truth seekers or some shit. Bottom line is, who will he miss more- his so called Warrior group or his wife. Guess we”ll let my lawyer decide this tuesday. I speak every bit of truth-perhaps if I can just save one marriage-it would all be worth it. Isnt there some legal action or a stand people like us can take to dismantle MKP and show the public what REALLY happens? Anyone that can help, please reply.
Posted: 10-12-2006 02:15 AM Post subject:
On the topic of homosexuality...
I don’t have a problem with homosexuals first of all. One thing I would like add is that on my warrior crap weekend, more then half of the men were gay. Most of the ones that weren’t gay had a problem with beating their wives.
Another thing I have thought about since reading some of these posts is my ex-friend who “recruited” me. I had always remembered him having a girlfriend before this mankind project. Thinking about things now the girlfriend he had who he was engaged to when he went to his first weekend... he broke up with her a short while afterwards. And the way he did so was in a very non-respectful, almost torturing way. It’s hard to explain.
Anyways the point is he has not had a girlfriend ever since and has spent a lot of time around men.
Also, the thing about having to spend money and volunteer your time is true. To “staff” a weekend you have to pay $150
I think that anyone who is involved in this needs to get out. I got out without really ever getting in but during a weekend like that being broken down physically mentally and being in a state of dependence like that and very vulnerable while being influenced by a cult... that’s not good for anyone.
I think what they do is convince you there is something wrong with you and they are the only ones who can truly fix it and they are the only ones who will support you. This is how I think they control people.
I don’t know what their motivation is I just think these people are messed up and they need to be stopped if you have someone in this MKP crap get them out. Smack them around and say WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU. because this group can only do harm.
PostPosted: 10-12-2006 11:02 AM
thewizard, I also do not have a problem with gays. I have a child who is gay. I also understand many men in MKP are gay or bisexual. When I read stories of married men pulling away from their loved ones, and spending so much time with other, sometimes younger men, I have little nagging thoughts there might be more to it.
I was first introduced to a mens group called The ManKind Project while reading through a lawsuit filed against the organization in Harris County civil court. It described a weekend retreat north of Houston where men dress in black, wear face paint, and engage in rituals and exercises called Cock Talk, and Little Boys Deepest Needs.
The ManKind Project is an international nonprofit organization that claims to offer men training: how to be accountable for yourself, how to express yourself, how to learn that being a man in todays world is okay. Men pay hundreds of dollars to attend a weekend initiation retreat, during which they engage in rituals many in the nude and delve into mens most intimate and personal issues.
Many men who attend the weekend swear the program changed their lives for the better. But not all. The Scinto family, who filed the lawsuit, claim their son attended the retreat in 2005, came home, and two weeks later took his own life because he could not handle the psychological stresses placed upon him during the weekend.
The family began investigating and discovered an underworld of critics who feel this self-help program where men must sign confidentiality contracts and liability waivers to attend has the potential to do harm. Critics, including the Scinto family, claim the organization appears to practice psychology without a state license, targets vulnerable members of 12-step recovery groups, and has a poor vetting system with which to determine who is and who is not capable of dealing with the program.
With all its confidentiality agreements, The ManKind Project is shrouded in mystery and secrecy. In this weeks feature, Weekend Warriors, we chronicle the Scinto familys attempts to pull back the veil and show a side of The ManKind Project thats not seen in the organizations promotional films, two of which you can view below.
— Chris Vogel
“The ManKind Project was founded 20 years ago by three men. These men — a drill sergeant, a psychologist, and a philosopher/poet — wanted to create a support system for men to express and find themselves. They started it because they saw the men around them dying early, stressed out, divorcing, and feeling alone,” said Rich. These three men created a weekend retreat for men to explore feelings, a connection to nature. and each person’s own spirituality. “A lot of the teachings come from indigenous people — the Celts, Aborigines, Native Americans, and African tribes.” After Rich spoke, two men played guitars and sang a song inspired by the training, “The Next Man.”
Rick Kelchak was brought up Catholic but became a born-again Christian in college. “I got sucked into it through Youth for Christ,” said Kelchak. Later, Kelchak rejected his faith because he was gay. “It was difficult because I was a crazy, Bible-thumping person who liked other guys. There was a lot of prayer and gnashing of teeth [as a Christian]. I wondered why I am made this way. I know God, or whatever being, is fine with the way that I am. If he wasn’t, my conversion would have stopped these [homosexual] feelings.” Kelchak still believes in God. “I guess you would call me a pseudo-Christian. But I believe the Indian practices hold more truth for me than Christianity. I see the earth, sky, and all creation as sacred.” Kelchak said the MKP incorporates some of this Native American spirituality. On the retreats they beat drums in the forest, have a sweat lodge. Graduates wear a talisman, the red pouch necklace filled with sage, herbs, and a stone from the weekend retreat.
I would like to say that maybe instead of following blindly MKP you should do a little research on the whole thing as I have done and continue to do. Bill Kauth and Rich Tossi both attended Justin Sterlings weekend and then branched off and founded MKP with Ron Hering who was murdered by his girlfriends father for molesting his granddaughter. He was a womanizer and a child molester. Hmmm go figure that he should be a founder of such a weekend that humiliates men and strips them of themselves so that he can turn them into whatever he wants them to be....God forgive me, but thank god he is dead.
NWT is confidential because they are scared that if you knew what was going on their that you would not go “it will change your life” INDEED I say.
I have not been misinformed, trust me. I have researched this and I have spoken directly with the 4 men regarding what they went through.
It’s a wonder any of us survived growing up without playdates. How did we do it?
Tom DeLay removed himself from Majority Whip when he became Majority Leader. Republicans led by Rep. Jeff Flake removed DeLay from Majority Leader when they concluded DeLay was harming the Republican Party.
Ronnie Earle's indictment had very little (if any at all) to do with either event.
DeLay left out of honor the way the Republicans set up there platform as not to give the appearance of wrong doing if one of them were suspected of something.
Ronnie Earl knew about that policy and was the one instrumental in forcing the issue!
“Dr. Ward” will have fun with this if he will pick it up.
I would have to say emphasis on the “+”....
Had to pick my jaw up off the floor after reading your link. What a bunch of sickos. Very fitting that Ronnie Earle would belong. Hope the sob does decide to run for govenor. The publicity he’ll get from this will be rich.
(Ronnie) Earle (Travis County DA) Announces Retirement
Austin American Spokesman ^ | Friday, December 14, 2007 | Laylan Copelin
Hahahaah as the punch line goes, “This is nothing, you should have been here last week to see this drunk sailor
**** a turkey!”.
This sounds like Scientology.
The ManKind Project® is a global not for profit organization [501(c)(3) in the US] that conducts challenging and highly rewarding trainings for men at every stage of life. We help men through any transition, men at all levels of success, men facing almost any challenge. Our flagship training, described by many as the most powerful men’s training available, is the New Warrior Training Adventure. The ManKind Project (MKP) is not affiliated with any religious practice or political party. Your beliefs are welcome. We strive to be increasingly inclusive and affirming of cultural differences, especially with respect to color, class, sexual orientation, faith, age, ability, ethnicity, and nationality.
What is MKP? It’s a new way of being for men....
and the hope for creating a new culture out of that new way of being for humanity.
We are not a religion - we do encourage men to find and trust their own spirituality.
We are not a civil rights or social justice organization - we do love justice and stand for human rights.
The easiest way to find out more is to talk to men and women whose lives have been affected by MKP. If you would like to connect to people in your local area, please see our Communities Page.
The core values of MKP are accountability, authenticity, compassion, generosity, integrity, leadership, multicultural awareness, and respect.
We commit to integrating these values into our lives
The Houston Press article
Naked Men: The ManKind Project and Michael Scinto
The organization was supposed to make him a better man. Instead, his parents say, it made him a dead one.
By Chris Vogel
Published: October 4, 2007
Subject(s): Carl Jung, Robert Bly, New Warrior Training, “new masculinity”, unlicensed therapy, men’s movement, The ManKind Project “The ManKind Project offers trainings which support men in developing lives of integrity, accountability and connection to feeling.”
From The ManKind Project Web site
“They had three naked men bring out two chickens that they hit with a hammer.”
Michael Scinto in a letter to a Madison County sheriff’s deputy.
Michael Scinto was literally scared to death.
On an isolated 11-acre compound down a winding, country dirt road 110 miles north of Houston, Scinto watched as the leader of the men’s group instructed him and nearly 40 other strangers in the room. Put one foot on the carpet. Make sure to keep that foot on the carpet at all times. The leader then began grilling them about who makes them mad.
“They provoked the men into a rage,” wrote Scinto in a letter to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. “They were telling 1 man fuck you, you are worthless.’”
Scinto felt nauseous and told a staff member he needed to leave.
When Scinto had arrived the day before, men dressed in dark clothes, faces painted black, stripped him and his fellow initiates of their keys, wallets, cell phones and watches. Now, wanting to go home, Scinto demanded his keys and his wallet back. Not that keys would help at this point anyway. After all, he didn’t have his truck with him; Scinto had been driven up Interstate 45 from Houston, through the rural town of Madisonville and over to the training compound located on the grassy ranchlands of North Zulch. All the men were carpooled because they were told there was not enough space for everyone to park.
Outside and away from the other men now, the group leader sat next to Scinto.
“He told me that if I left,” wrote Scinto, “I would be causing harm to the other participants. I told him that I did not care. I told him to get my stuff so that I could leave. He said that if I left they would kill...(I was) convinced that if I ran they would catch me. At this point I feared for my life.”
Scinto initially agreed to sign up and pay the $650 for The ManKind Project’s New Warrior Training Adventure several weeks earlier after hearing about it from his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor, Kim Sawyer. Like everyone else who attended, Scinto was not told what the weekend would specifically entail. He signed several confidentiality contracts and liability waivers and filled out a medical questionnaire, but was promised all activities were voluntary and he could leave at any time. Plus, of course, he trusted his sponsor. Sawyer, a business coach who counsels corporate clients on how to run more effective businesses, had been Scinto’s sponsor for about eight months. Sawyer joined The ManKind Project more than a decade earlier and sold the idea to Scinto, telling him it would be the best thing he could do for himself.
“So many of the character defects that eat you [sic] lunch can be replaced by strengths and skills and understandings you’ll discover from this training. It will be the best Return on Investment you ever got,” Sawyer wrote to Scinto in an e-mail before the initiation.
As Scinto became increasingly distraught at the retreat, staff members fetched Sawyer, who later told police that Scinto was crying and explained that he had unearthed a traumatic childhood memory. Sawyer told Scinto that leaving would be difficult and that it would be best if he expressed his thoughts and worries openly with the group.
Scinto had to make a choice: stay and continue with the program, or try to walk away alone along the poorly marked country roads, lost and terrified someone was close behind, hunting him down.
In a letter to the sheriff’s office, he detailed some of the rituals and activities he witnessed:
Blindfolded walking tours in the nude;
People blowing sage smoke in his face while 50 or so naked men danced around candles;
Men sitting naked in a circle discussing their sexual histories while passing a wooden dildo called “The Cock”;
Naked men beating cooked chickens with a hammer.
At the end of the third and final day of the retreat, the leaders and staff members herded the initiates into the main room.
“They threatened us with imprisonment,” wrote Scinto. “They said that if we were married to tell the wives we loved them. They told us not to discuss any of the process that we went through. Then they let us leave.”
Fifteen days later, on July 25, 2005, Scinto’s father and sister found him dead, rotting in his apartment from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head.
His family did not understand. So they began investigating.
What they discovered was that the international men’s organization with thousands of vocal loyalists claiming life-altering training also had an underworld of critics with bone-chilling tales of physical and psychological abuse.
Becky Arnett, his sister, took off from work and was able to access the group’s internal Web site using her brother’s password. She got a copy of the organization’s local membership roster, which includes prominent doctors, lawyers and businessmen, as well as therapists and addiction specialists.
Some of the more surprising names included El Lago Mayor Brad Emel; Houston Ballet Foundation Director of Marketing and Communication Andrew Edmonson; artist Brooke Stroud of the Menil Collection; Marty Kelly of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; and University of Houston Chair of Anthropology Norris Lang.
Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle’s name was also on the list. When contacted by the Press, he declined to comment.
A 2005 tax return filed by the Houston center, also known as Men In Mission, shows the nonprofit group collected more than $242,000 in contributions and more than $300,000 in revenue, primarily derived from men paying to attend the retreat weekends.
The organization maintains its nonprofit tax status by asserting it provides educational services. However, critics say this claim is a sham. If the organization said it was doing therapy, it could jeopardize its special tax status.
Subject(s): Carl Jung, Robert Bly, New Warrior Training, “new masculinity”, unlicensed therapy, men’s movement, The ManKind Project “What it boils down to,” says Rick Ross, head of the Rick A. Ross Institute of New Jersey, which studies cults, groups and movements, “is that they are doing group therapy, although they won’t admit to that, and they are not qualified to do group therapy. They are not licensed and they are not accountable.”
Norris Lang, who chairs the anthropology department at the University of Houston and is a former therapist, agrees. He took part in an initiation retreat in 1997 and then attended several Integration Group meetings before deciding to leave the organization.
“Some of the exercises that they had us engage in,” he says, “were fairly traumatic and normally, as a psychotherapist, I would have only engaged in some of those activities...in the security of a hospital or psychiatric facility. If you get somebody to get in touch with their feelings from, say, 30 years ago, a time when they were abused as children, that can be fairly dangerous territory for an unprofessional. It’s kind of group therapy without any professionals involved.”
Sinclair insists the training is not therapy.
“It’s therapeutic,” he says, “in that it’s healing, and we have a lot of therapists who come, but we don’t do therapy. What we do have is a very powerful process that men get involved in and they start to peel away, like an onion, and break down their armor or shield to get down to their core and who they are. We confront men to wake up and to stop with the BS, to stop telling lies and tell the truth and trust one another.”
Although members claim they don’t do therapy, The ManKind Project has been recognized by the American Psychological Association, which bestowed an award on Christopher Burke for his 2004 dissertation that looks at the impact The ManKind Project has had on men.
Ross says The ManKind Project appears to use coercive mind-control tactics. These include limiting participants’ sleep and diet, cutting them off from the outside world, forcing members to keep secrets, and using intimidation.
Critics such as Ross have additional concerns as well, including the targeting of 12-step communities and what they say is an inadequate vetting system to determine who can and cannot withstand the stresses of the program.
“What they have is one size fits all,” says Ross, “and that’s the problem. So, the net result is you get people with issues and troubles, and the pressures of the program can crack them and cause them to have emotional distress. And that’s why they have waivers you have to sign. They don’t require waivers because everything is fine; they want them because everything has not always been fine and they don’t want the legal liability. The bottom line is, I wouldn’t recommend MKP to anyone under any circumstances.”
Several years ago, “Bob” who does not want his real name used because he says he fears retaliation began hearing whispers about The ManKind Project in the hallways outside his 12-step group meeting room. Men were huddled in the corner, he says, quietly discussing the program. Soon, Bob noticed more and more members of his group began attending the “Warrior” weekends.
“They don’t recruit in the classic sense,” says Bob. “It’s more subtle. They don’t push it, but they reintroduce it to you every time they talk to you and suggest that you might want to try it. Members tell you it helped them clear up things from their past and allowed them to trust other men. And that’s the hook. “
After researching the program on the Internet, Bob decided it wasn’t for him. But that didn’t mean he was free and clear of the group.
Bob was friends with a man attending his 12-step group who he considered extremely fragile. Members of The ManKind Project began “honing in” on him, says Bob, and he warned the man not to attend, fearing he might suffer psychological damage from the stressful program. When members of The ManKind Project learned of Bob’s warning, they became angry.
“They went after me in subtle ways,” says Bob. “People started gossiping about me in a negative way behind my back, and it became very uncomfortable to attend my (12-step) meetings. I had to change meetings, but even that wasn’t very effective because members are in all the meetings. It’s scary because they know all your secrets, and physical and emotional retaliation or blackmail is possible. It’s like a virus here in Houston.”
“Mary,” another person who says she doesn’t want her name used because she is afraid of retaliation, has watched both her husband and her son get sucked into The ManKind Project through their 12-step groups. In both cases, their sponsors pressured them to attend, she says.
“They start out with a lie,” she says, “because they tell you that you have to carpool because there’s not enough parking. Well, it’s way out in the country and they have acres of land, so there’s plenty of parking. I think they say that so it makes it much harder to leave. And then I saw the covenant that they faxed for my husband to sign saying he will never discuss anything that happens with anyone ever. And I felt, why? What’s going on here that needs to be a secret?”
All weekend long while her husband was at the retreat, Mary was worried. At that point, she did not know initiates are stripped of all their possessions, including cell phones, and was expecting a call. Finally late Sunday night, her husband returned.
“He said that there were some good things,” recalls Mary, “but he did not care for the intimidation, especially while you check in. He said they’re screaming at you, their faces are painted black, and if you arrive five minutes early or five minutes late, they humiliate you even more.”
During the weekend, men are subjected to mandatory cold showers in the morning, about four hours of sleep at night and very little food. Mary’s husband did not eat Friday night. On Saturday he was fed small amounts of trail mix and fruit. “They also ate something called ‘chicken broth,’” says Mary, “but it was just clear broth with nothing in it. And he only got a tiny cap’s worth.”
According to the 1998 protocol manual obtained by the Press, leaders are told the exact language they are to use when talking to initiates, right down to when they are supposed to pause in the middle of a sentence. When greeting a new member, the staff is told to “get in his face, hard and clear,” and to “hold it for 15 to 30 seconds.” Some training centers use buckets instead of toilets, which have “more therapeutic value in terms of dealing with shame.” Activities include feelings exercises where the men are encouraged to growl and shove each other’s shoulders. “Cock Talk” is when the men put on their “dancing clothes,” meaning get naked, and pass around an erect phallus made of wood. Whoever holds the penis gets to share his sexual past or issues. The “Chicken Carving” is a ritual involving a cooked chicken. According to the 1998 protocol handbook, the ritual “has gotten distorted into a sophomoric, semi-sadistic, ‘let’s get ‘em’ sort of energy so frequently that some centers have dropped it.”
At one point, says Mary, her husband and the other men were blindfolded and marched into a large room, where they were told to take off their clothes. Drums were beating in the background, and when the men were told to remove their blindfolds, “he saw 50 or 60 naked men dancing on a stage in a circle,” she says. “They call this ‘The Dance,’ and my husband said they started playing rock and roll music and some of the men were just dancing like they were obsessed.”
This moment, however, paled in comparison to how uncomfortable Mary’s husband felt the following day.
“They were all in the sweat lodge on Sunday,” she says, “which he actually enjoyed. It was the first moment he had to relax in days after going through such a high-drama weekend where they pound you to reveal your deep, dark stuff. So, everyone was sitting Indian-style in a big circle in the lodge when the man leading the group said, ‘If you wish, you may reach over and grab your brother’s dick. If your brother doesn’t want your hand there, he can remove it.’ Well, my husband told me he just froze. And from that point on, he just wanted out.”
Sorry mods, but this incident by Ronnie earle was covered up faster than a cat covering up poop on a hot tin roof. This is in reference to Gov. Perry being indicted by a grand jury in Travesty county. I’d love to divorce Austin from the county.
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