Re: The Meridian Institute "Breakthrough Intervention"
Date: May 16, 2013 11:33PM
1. A charismatic leader, who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose power.
2. A process [is in use] call[ed] coercive persuasion or thought reform.
3. Economic, sexual, and other exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie.
I met Gary Koyen during the early '80s. He is a "(1) Charismatic leader, who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose power." I saw this happen, at the time of the dissolution of his earlier Koyen & Associates, which then became Wings. The more disillusioned of his "followers" or "disciples of training" as they referred to themselves, were the ones who took over.
They, as he did before them, used "(2) A process called coercive persuasion/thought reform..." to get their point across and get people to "Walk Along The Proper Path."
Both groups used "(3) ...other exploitation of group members by the leader and ruling coterie," e.g., the humiliation mentioned by others who have been in his later "Dynamic Leadership Training Session(s)."
The breakaway folks from GK&A founded Aspires first, before Wings. It was their interim organization, in which Gary had unofficial say but no visibility. It definitely went down like an internal, hostile church takeover. There WERE allegations of sexual misconduct. Of course, no one was ever able to prove anything; so no charges were ever filed. The police showed up more than a few times, back then.
Things typically missing from THIS CULT are images of 'The Father, Our Founder.' Instead, the veneration is toward the organization as a whole, with the Symbol (Icon, really) of the "Wings Logo" forefront on all correspondence, covering the inner and outer walls of the Compound. Reinforcement, in the form of special messages, are scrawled along the walls in bold, flowing script. Initially they had them on paper, taped to the walls, then laminated, eventually painted -- between one Aspires training seminar and the next.
It is a compound, now; surrounded by walls with lights and hidden watch towers on the 3rd floor/roof area. I thought for years this "fortification" the facility had undergone was due to the proximity to the Lane County Jail. Not the case, as no businesses have been harmed within a full block, except by people furious with the owners of those businesses. (In other words, not your typical criminal element...disgruntled employees.) No One bothers the Wings compound...they know better than to do so.
Though Gary Koyen is officially persona non grata among the Wings Leadership, he is typically granted audience in people's homes, like the guru he styles himself to be. If you've never seen a REAL CULT in action, you would think it was just a harmless gathering. Unlike others, I remember what it was like when the Baghwan Shree Rajneesh was here in Oregon. The feeling around the people who venerate Gary Koyen is so much like BS Rajneesh it's nearly palpable. (Meaning that you can almost TASTE IT on the air.)
I understand the hesitancy to call the man and the groups he leaves trailing behind him as cults or cult-like. However, do you know of ANY Leadership Training Seminar which requires annual or semi-annual Dues to be paid? Along with requisite "refresher seminars?" That's a organization you find with a Church, not a Management Training Regimen.
The holographic training seminar, taught out at Lane Community College for many years, made it all the way to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. They have their mandatory "tapes," now CD's...which you're told can't be copied (the subliminals can't be copied...you have to BUY the tape/CD to get the Real Thing, they insist). Under cover of Teacher Training, they require dues as well. Monthly, semi-monthly, semi-annual and annual dues, depending upon how devout, I mean...highly-trained you are. For years they stormed through businesses, leaving a swath of destruction behind them. Anyone who didn't adapt and conform to their teachings was outcast, just as described by the two people RE: The Meridian Institute.
Which is exactly what Koyen & Associated did, back in the early to mid-80s, here in Eugene. They (mostly himself or his apostle woman...not his wife) traveled as far north as Seattle and as far south as San Francisco. They went to LA once but their was a territorial skirmish which forced them back north. I think they went as far west as Denver for a while; just before the organization imploded from within/was taken over.
As to the LDS Church? I've personally known people who've lost businesses in the SLC metro area. They crossed mid to upper level church membership over one thing or the other -- never relating to business practices, always due to personality or the fact they, themselves are Not Mormon. Several have had homes foreclosed, though they were never late on payments. Cars repossessed. Things like that. It's a subtle form of discrimination. More like what blacks experience in the Southern US (and elsewhere in America). Unlike a true Cult, the LDS members will leave people alone, if they express dislike at the constant home visitations (Spiritual In Home Meetings...I forget the exact phrase for it.) So long as you pay your dues, they generally leave you alone, once your children have left your home. (Once again, from personal experience.)