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
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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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