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Research sponsored by One Taste at University of Pittsburgh?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 24, 2018 09:57PM

The Dark Side of the Orgasmic Meditation Company
OneTaste is pushing its sexuality wellness education toward the mainstream. Some former members say it pushed them into sexual servitude and five-figure debts.
Bloomberg Business Week/June 18, 2018

By Ellen Huet

Quote

OneTaste says the company has changed, especially since Daedone stepped down as CEO last year to work on her next book and teach the occasional class. (She also sold her stake in the company to a trio of OneTaste members.) Van Vleck says OneTaste isn’t a cult, but that it’s common for people to use the term when something “changes their internal perspective.”

The newish CEO is betting that the study OneTaste has funded on the health benefits of OM, which has taken brain-activity readings from 130 pairs of strokers and strokees, will draw fresh crowds. Led by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, the study is expected to yield the first of multiple papers later this year. “The science that’s coming out to back what this is and what the benefits are is going to be huge in terms of scaling,” Van Vleck says.


Corboy note: The university had better take a closer look at this now that the Bloomberg article has been published.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2018 10:01PM by corboy.

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One Taste - Yelp Reviews
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 24, 2018 10:27PM

"The first red flag should have been their enormous meeting space on market street. "How do they pay for this?!" I thought.


[www.yelp.com]

This first review was in the 'Not recommended' category. Click on that section until you find it.

Quote

D C.
Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom

5/3/2016

If I had written this review 6 months ago I would have been one of the people giving it 5 stars. I wonder if many of the 5 star people will come to the same conclusion.

First up, the practice is amazing. It is something that you can benefit from greatly and open up energy and feeling in both your and partners lives or to connect more with the opposite sex,

Now, for onetaste. There are many posts written about how they use techniques similar to a cult. some of the techniques seem similar to scientology such as being lovebombed (be made to feel welcome as you spend cash).

The truth is many people need similar exercises to the practice but getting caught in onetastes clutches has left a number of people on an expesive ride.

There is also a number of people that have got together to share their traumatic experiences with this company. If I could turn back time and not get involved with this company? It is hard to say. I would do the introduction course which is £100 roughly and then not go near them again.

I hear they may be changing their business practices in the future which would be greatly welcomed. You get cuaght in a situation where you want to be a part of the community as you get to share wonderful experiences which explorers. However you find yourself being sold to and made to feel awkard if you don't spend money. If only they practiced what they preached is a common utterance from community members. You find yoursrelf putting up with their poor behvaiours because you don't want to lose contact with the rest of the community.

There courses other than the introduction are vastly overpriced.

I did the mastery courses which was £2,400 for 3.5 days (they advertise it is 5 days) and told it was by the founder when in fact she only did a few afternoons. The highlight of the course was given by a gentleman who runs sacred pleasures. He was amazing and loving guy without the alternate agendas I felt onetaste had. He charges £150 for a whole weekend, not quite sure how onetaste then charged so much for the course. They get many helpers to help out free of charge so they make more money.

I stopped going because I quite frankly didn't trust them with my attention.

I hope they change soon and people can explore without the hassle. I wonder if the £16,000 for 10 days is really wortth it?

Quote

Chelsea D wrote this on Yelp

12/17/2016

Nothing is more disgustingly shameless than exploiting peoples emotions for money.

My boyfriend and I went to TurnOn seeking to connect with empowered, open minded people. We left realizing the whole hour session was a sales pitch for OneTaste's other, much more cult-like expensive retreats and workshops.

Let me break OneTaste sales pitch down:

1. Lure in potential new candidates with catchy title (TurnOn) and low price (just $10!).

2. Appeal to the candidates' senses (nice location, free tea).

3. Encourage candidate to engage on a personal level. (interactive games)

4. Build the candidates self-esteem and empowerment up. ("Your really unique" etc etc)

5. Herd the candidate towards spending money in a way that makes it seem like it was their idea. ("You seem like the type of person that would really get a lot out of this class")

6. Close the deal by making the candidate feel like their both special and like their getting a great deal ("We don't normally let people skip the Om class, but I think you seem pretty in touch with yourself." or "I'm actually authorized to give a discount" etc"

The first red flag should have been their enormous meeting space on market street. "How do they pay for this?!" I thought.

I soon learned.

We played games in the session which seemed to be a way to rapidly get to know people. I found it extremely rude that we were encouraged to cut off people mid-sentence with "thank you", when were satisfied with an answer they gave to our question, or if we just wanted them to shut up. Was this meant to keep the person being interrogated on their toes? To not allow them to think about their answers? Whatever the intent was behind encouraging interrupting people, did not seem funny or remotely therapeutic.

Its extremely difficult for me to open up and divulge intimate things, but I took a leap of faith and answered every question honestly and with enthusiasm. I felt extremely vulnerable explaining dark, unexplored aspects of personality and sexuality to a bunch of strangers.

You can understand why, when it began to dawn on me that the session was just a sales pitch, I felt very gross and taken advantage of.

Elyna approached me at the end of the session and began to insist that I sign up for the orgasm class. She was not truly engaged in me as a person, just appeared to be enthusiastically pushing for me to sign up right now for it. She said that I'd get a discount if I did it right then and there, and that I could skip the OM class. I'm not one to hastily toss $150 away before I do a little research and sleep on the decision. Thankfully I have never experienced sexual trauma, but I have emotional trauma (due to abusive past relationships), surrounding sex and my orgasm.

To not even personally engage me to make sure this very intimate class would not trigger buried emotions is transparently careless.

Elyna told me to go ask my boyfriend to sign up with me. I found him being cornered by Erik and being subjected to a similar sales pitch, except it was for a $500 men's retreat in LA.

He had the same sales methodology. When he finally turned his attention on me, he continued to push for me to sign up for the orgasm session. When I said, "I don't know. I don't really have that kind of money right now".
He looked at me with utter disbelief and condescending said "You don't have $150?"
Like $150 is just chump change that he wipes his ass with every morning. Yeah. That's a huge amount of money for me.

He seemed to be getting irritated that we weren't caving to the high pressure sales tactics. This continued on for a while until my boyfriend finally said "You know, I really might have gone to the retreat if you hadn't laid into me with these high pressure sales tactics at the end".

Not only is OneTaste a shallow, pale imitation of actual group therapy, it can be extremely damaging.

Do not support this predatory money mill.


Julie from Oakland wrote:

Quote

5/29/2015

OneTaste is a company that teaches genital stroking in a technique called Orgasmic Meditation. They have events called "Turn Ons" which are modeled after the Mark groups of the 60s by the sex commune Morehouse. (They were called Mark groups because the people who attended the events are 'marks' to be conned.) If you go to one of these events to 'learn' you will get the hard sell a few days later from their staff.

No matter how eager these OneTaste people seem to be your friend, no matter how much they seem to have something you want, they are salespeople first and will drop you like a hot potato if you don't buy expensive workshops and coaching sessions from them. Nobody will admit it's like a pyramid scheme, but that's what I saw.

I was involved with this group for over a year, took 2 classes and even some private coaching sessions from them. And this was the #1 complaint from many people. Many leave. Bad for business.

OneTaste has a sex class for about $6000 and their coaching program costs in the $15,000 range. The basic OM class is about $195 at last I heard. You take this one-day class, the "How to OM" class, to learn their technique of female clitoral stroking. It's like learning a new form of sex. This part is actually cool. Orgasms, what's not to like?

The uncool part is that the staff and coaches are focused on liberating you from your money and protecting their status in the organization, and if you criticize them you will be kicked out. This is getting into the culty part.

OneTaste promises women better orgasms, but getting past all the sales, emotional manipulation and starry-eyed fellow culties is a big turn off. It's a good place for older, or shy men, to pick up on women who would not normally consider becoming sexually involved with them. The gender balance can be a little skewed older, white male.

Bottom line: Look elsewhere to expand your sexual education. Don't put your faith in sex gurus or their acolytes. Their main goal is to make money teaching sexual techniques with a veneer of psuedo spirituality. Trust yourself. Remember that the teachers are salespeople first and foremost, not your friends. Also remember that as soon as you quit paying for expensive classes, or quit recruiting new customers for them, you will be of no interest to them.

One telltale sign of a culty pyramid scheme is the range of the reviews: people who've drunk the Kool-Aid are encouraged to put up a supportive review, and it's *always* five stars, isn't it? They are rewarded for building the pyramid underneath them. Stay away!

There are other groups all around the Bay Area doing the same thing, with more care and honesty. Find them.

Mia 3/8/2016

Quote

So I ended up here after a really bad (kind of traumatic) break up and was immediately enchanted. The attention I got made me feel I was deeply cared for. But my experience ended pretty sour.

Things to consider about onetaste:

I'll start with the positive: I learned a lot about my preferences and sexuality through spending time with this group of people. I also got to see a great deal of vulnerability from a lot of other people who showed up here. The world can be really lonely and so many of us simply desire connection. I do also think a lot of people who work here do genuinely want to help people. Most of them really are good people.

That being said these are the negatives:

1. There are two components of onetaste. The business and the community.

Ultimately onetaste is a business and it's important to remember that.

Even their $10 event turn on is just a sales pitch to sell more expensive programs that are offered. Mainly the coaching program (which costs 13,000 to attend not including board, transportation or food - Corboy italics) so if they can convince say 200 people to sign up they can make 2.6 million per program. Or probably about 2 million factoring in the costs to run it. Similar math can be seen for the intensive which costs 36k and only runs 10 days.

The thing that is troubling about this is people often open up at turnons which can tell sales people a lot about how to exactly market their programs and services. Each subsequent program is marketed as the magic cure for the things people are missing within themselves. The community aspect of it is cool but the ideals and the values of the community can be troubling at times.

As a 23 year old I was approached by many men twice or three times my age who repeatedly asked to have sex with me. I think learning to express your desire is great but in a place that's supposed to be about female empowerment it made me feel objectified.

The community also heavily advocates for polyamory although it seems that the main leaders of the group all got monogamously married to other people in the group around the same time?

2. Most people who show up here are lonely, vulnerable or insecure. And they usually fall into one of two categories: Proprietors and whores. The first group are usually lonely older men with a decent amount of money. The latter are usually young women (occasionally attractive young men). Who are encouraged to sleep with the former and of course sign both parties up for the aforementioned programs. Men often leave feeling financially taken advantage of and woman used for their bodies.

Heck I know there are people who did have sex for money to pay for their coaching program. And I know when I think of who I became during the time I was there I feel sad. I became someone who thought it was perfectly fine to use my sexuality to get things from men. I felt empowered but I realized the only person I was really exploiting was myself.

3. There's no regulation. Even if people spend 13k on the coaching program. They spend 6 months having whatever done to them for a weekend once a month and come out thinking that being encouraged to sleep with people they find unattractive or tying eachother up or spending hours listening to indoctrinating lectures somehow qualifies them to "coach" other people.

People who could spend the same amount of money seeing a formally trained therapist who probably has some medical background and actually adheres to a set of policies and procedures.

4. It's mostly pseudo intimacy. I had so many people "up stroke" me when I first showed up. And when it became apparent I couldn't or wouldn't shell out the money for their programs I was almost completely ignored by the staff. And I noticed how they poured attention on the new people that showed up which was part of what hooked me initially.

Even the men there. Seem like sensitive guys who want to have deep meaningful sex but it's all just casual sex disguised as something more than skin deep with people who are worse than people who admit they don't care. Because they only pretend, to get their own needs met.

5. The communities are run by this idea that everyone should just follow their desire without shame. Which is a good thing to learn how to do. But it results in grown adults running around like children and using eachother then refusing to take responsibility or be accountable for their own actions.

6. Almost every one of the 5 star reviews has been written by someone employed by onetaste. (I've met a lot of them do I know). So just be aware.

My take away: if you're feeling adventurous you can learn some interesting things from this group. But be careful what you share and be mindful of how you're approached. Remember that there's no magic pill for loneliness and no instant solutions for disconnection. Know that everyone feels lonely and insecure sometimes and it's ok. It may seem like it, but for women it's probably not the best place to learn to love yourself.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2018 10:47PM by corboy.

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Re: Victor Baranco, Lafayette Morehouse,Nicole Daedone, One Taste - cults?
Posted by: Norman10 ()
Date: June 25, 2018 10:28AM

1. Everything in the previous comment about OneTaste was true ten years ago, when I lived there - and from what my friends still involved with OT tell me, still true today. The difference is that there is no more sex in classes, no more hands-on genital contact in how to OM classes, and no more public OM circles. But there are still real OM circles and demos for the staff.

2. “She (Nicole) said (her father) never behaved inappropriately to her; they had long been estranged.”
She admitted having sex with her father to people at OT ten or eleven years ago. I wonder why she denied it later.

3. Except for coaching, the business model for OneTaste, and much of the course material, came from Welcomed Consensus. Daedone learned Deliberate Orgasm stroking when living at Welcomed Consensus. She talked about this in classes. Welcomed Consensus staff copied and taught the courses they learned at Lafayette Morehouse.

She studied later at Morehouse where DO Deliberate Orgasm stroking was first commercialized. She also studied with Ray Vetterlein, who had studied sex and stroking techniques at Morehouse for 40 years.

After Vic Baranco died, Nicole tried to take over Morehouse, saying that Baranco had promised her that she could run it when he died. But the community, many of whom had lived there for over thirty years and who had raised families there, set her straight, and on her way.

Nicole simplified Deliberate Orgasm, limited the time to 15 minutes, added meditation, and renamed it Orgasmic Meditation - OM. She started Insight Institute to teach classes, and then OneTaste.

She ran her own OneTaste community in San Francisco teaching Orgasmic Meditation, as well as sensuality and lifestyle improvement classes around 2004. They lived in a warehouse from 2006-2008. Residents then moved up the street to a residential hotel, 1080 Folsom, for several more years. Around 50 people lived in those places. People from out of town who attended classes got to share beds with residents. Lots of sexual exploration happened at those places. Lots of mind fucking. Lots of cult like language and manipulation. It was like a wild college dorm.

The coaching started in 2008 in an effort to make big money faster. Bryan Franklin was hired to run Onetaste and to teach coaching to the residents of OneTaste. The first coaching program cost over $20,000, and was about combining OM training with life coaching. Franklin left at the end of CP1. Onetaste hired other coaching professionals to help teach coaching, and later staff did the teaching, with guest speakers.

There used to be lots of sex in the expensive classes until a couple of years ago when company lawyers became concerned about pimping and pandering laws, and about OT being treated like a happy ending massage parlor.

Staff were taught that * every * interaction between students and staff was considered to be a sales opportunity. No one was ever forced to sign up for classes they could not afford. Quite a few people were manipulated, guilt tripped, or sexually enticed into taking expensive classes. But the sales coaches at Onetaste had no problem signing up people who could not afford classes. Some OT staff recommended to some people that they max out their credit cards and declare bankruptcy.

Some women, including friends of mine, were convinced to have sex with old rabbis who taught Kaballah classes at Onetaste. I assume they were exploring kosher orgasms. Years later, in front of everyone in a class, Daedone apologized for feeding women to her rich boyfriend who had supported the company for several years. Some of those women are my friends, who later regretted doing so. I told one of them that she should have at least been paid for her efforts, since she was being pimped out.

But no one was ever forced to do anything. Many people believed in the guru and would do anything for her. Many were lonely and looking for community. Many just wanted a better sex life.

In my opinion, everyone got hustled, except for Nicole Daedone, who sold the company for over $10 million dollars before the Bloomberg article came out. She cashed out just in time.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2018 10:31AM by Norman10.

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Re: Victor Baranco, Lafayette Morehouse,Nicole Daedone, One Taste - cults?
Posted by: bakkagirl ()
Date: June 25, 2018 11:20PM

Corboy,

This ONE is really amazing!!!

I am thinking, more than anything, of the rat experiments involving cocaine...like, how many times would a rat push a lever for a hit of coke...as, opposed to, say, a pellet of food. OMG, it was thousands of times...and, until they croke'd from exhaustion.

"One Taste" really describes a high-tech refinement of sex addiction, and, apparently sexual 'coaching'.

Holy Shit...I should have got onto that YEARS AGO...

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Material on this discussion thread especially worth reading
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 26, 2018 07:44AM

Feature article on Victor Baranco published in Rolling Stone

Sgt. Bilko Meets The New Culture

Victor Baranco's More Houses offered an ideal life in pursuit of pleasure, but were actually a cover for a real estate scam and cult

Robin Green December 9th, 1971

[www.rollingstone.com]

Can be read as a chapter in a book entitled

"The Mindfuckers: The Rise of Acid Fascism in America"

[books.google.com]


1994 article on Nicole Daedone's mentor, Victor Baranco

"The University of Sex"

[www.discoverthenetworks.org]

If the pdf file copy disappears from the web, shakti, a discussion board member
reproduced it here.

[forum.culteducation.com]

'The Anticult' a participant in many CEI message board discussions wrote some
interesting material about One Taste.

[forum.culteducation.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2018 08:02AM by corboy.

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