Re: Tenderness Group in Western & Central Massachusetts
Date: May 03, 2019 09:59PM
I know Daron well, have been in his home and had him in mine, he has spent time with my kids.
There is so much wrong with the storytelling here that I barely know where to
But how about this:
You are at serious risk of libel charges with these unfounded accusations and characterizations. There is zero evidence at 300 Holman of cult activity, so the entire framing of your question is at the very least inflammatory and certainly it is poor reporting. If he were a guy who had any interest or ability to navigate the legal system, I’m sure your posts warrant a cease and desist.
But you asked, so I’ll share some other thoughts about the conversation so far.
I can’t agree (because there is no connection) with your characterization of the relationship between this man’s property and his former involvement with EnlightenedNext — which was a community of adults who consented to participation and disbanded when the main organizer was found to be engaging in inappropriate behaviors. (Much like most of my Catholic friends who have voluntarily left the church due to the nonsense of the higher ups there.) Daron had no leadership role during his short stay there, and terminated his contact completely before the exposure of inappropriate activity by others.
Regardless of that, even if your characterization of them or their leader as a cult was accurate, it’s curious to me that you aren’t wondering if Daron was a VICTIM of the practices there. Your assumption of guilt by association is further slander. (BTW, I understand the activities of members in Lenox involved eating vegetarian, meditating, and making a newsletter! After the breakdown of Lenox, I went to one meet and greet with this group in Boston. I found them as a whole to be highly intellectual, nerdy even, socially awkward, single, millennials looking for a place to feel purpose and belonging. They were also kind of smug about it. Not particularly culty).
Next up, your characterization of Cuddle Parties as pay for sex is so far off the mark, you are again just making yourself less credible while defaming some nice people. The entire mission of that organization is teaching consent and non-sexual healthy touch. (You can go to a party and sit out to watch and confirm this safely for yourself if you want to write accurately). I understand that we are messed up about touch and sex and consent in this culture, but if Daron’s ex-housemate invited that kind of event at the house, it was to heal, not to perpetuate victimization.
Next, it’s Fascinating that you think he’s "recruiting" middle-aged single women. You haven’t established what he is recruiting them for, but it might occur to you that as a middle aged guy, these people are his friends, maybe girlfriends, and I’m not finding anything suspicious there. Except you also think he’s recruiting LGBT folk, again not sure for what, so what would that connection be? Gay people and middle aged women is not really a demographic. (well maybe for the Democratic Party, but I’m off topic).
I’m 100% certain you haven’t been able to find “members” of this group to speak to because there is no defined group. It’s not a family, or an organization, or a movement. It’s just a guy and some people he’s invited over to his ridiculously oversized property and eclectic house. He's not particularly magnetic, and ascribing him the charm to woo followers is a bit of a stretch, frankly.
Once, he invited 300 people for a music festival (he was not the producer) and the neighbors were quite unhappy about that. And my knowing about that is ... they left no trace other than the lingering anger and suspicion by neighbors who liked it better when the weird elusive art collector and his young wife lived there more quietly. Personally, I found the excitement around the unifier event there confusing for a town that has a Walmart and used to have an amusement park, but whatever. NIMBY is a real thing. And the music WAS way too loud that one night so I’m glad unifier found another home. Does that make the neighbors "busy bodies?" Well, not really, just fearful of meeting someone so out of the norm of suburban America. They guy that lived there before seems like he was much more nefarious, and I don't recall neighbors having a beef with him digging a pond, landing his airplane on farmfields, or forbidding his wife from driving his car, all stories the locals have shared at numerous open houses Daron ran.
Next, let me examine this statement from what seems like the only person on this thread besides me who has actually met Daron in person: “its nearly impossible to get a direct answer from him. Lots of talk of charity and giving and community and arts but what their end goal is is still unclear.”
Well, I hope I’ve already established there is no “their” there, and seriously what if Dr. Massey’s "end goal" actually is just charity and giving and community and arts? Please just consider that for a moment.
Some people for reals do just get up every day to try to do nice things for the environment, for their neighbors, for families and for oppressed people. (As a person who grew up in and left Aparteid South Africa, this man might know something about the damage of hatred and might be doing his little part to be better in the world.)
And finally, the last thing I want to explore is the concept that a guy who is this affable but ineffective could actually pull off being a cult leader.
Let me be clear... I know him well and DO NOT choose to spend a lot of my time with him. Why? Well, you said it - it IS nearly impossible to get a straight answer from him. Not because he is tight lipped about his evil plot to ruin the neighborhood and expose your children to "the gays", but because he’s clueless.
He is lovely, more generous than most people and absolutely NOT winning at the pragmatic things like making clear plans, filling out forms, or adjusting his language to the audience. He’s a lovely person, an outstanding listener and really does want to create a loving place of tenderness and belonging — not just for others but also for himself.
Again, as someone who knows him well (not one of his followers or members, whatever that would be) I find him to be a curious, sweet, generous and fairly harmless person who is also disorganized, vague, and utterly ineffective at wielding power. Like all of us, he’s got some flaws and personal baggage to work through, but if you assigned him the job of charismatic leader, able to sway masses of people to do his vague bidding, I’m certain he would fail.
So I’ll end with advice to the concerned neighbors who are some how threatened by the imagined evils of Daron Massey:
If you want more info on this guy, and his friends, you don’t need an anonymous forum with people PMing you to get it. He may be vague, but there are no secrets or mysteries here. How could you find that out?
Simple: Go get yourself invited to a cup of tea (but don’t mind the clutter in the kitchen). Ask for a ride in the four wheeler (if it’s working that day) to see the otters swimming in the pond or the trail that was left when he did a sustainable selective tree harvest (6 months late because he couldn't get the paperwork organized), or the trail he straight up donated for townspeople to use with no personal benefit to himself.
Ask him to tell you about all the cool art that used to hang there when the Lanes owned the property and how he let some museum guy build the world’s largest paper airplane there because he could.
Ask him what he’d do with his 100+ acres if zoning and angry neighbors were no obstacle. You’ll hear about things like an organic coop store, or a place for camping and literally singing Kumbaya.
Or a house of beloved friends that feel like family supporting each other to bring more good into the world because some people need to make family by invitation instead of biology.
Or a hospital without walls where healing can take place in nature instead of a cramped office run by an insurance company.
And notice that he actually is generous. Make a request to bring your church group, or art friends, or nature lovers to hang out for the day as if this private estate were your own park to use mindfully as you wish (except no hunting or noisy snowmobiles, please). He will say yes.
But don’t expect him to be organized or powerful about it. He’s not that guy.