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More University, Mark Groups bring in 'marks' like a carnival barker
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 01, 2008 06:21PM

EXCERPT QUOTE for research:

I know it is going to be a distinctive
academic experience when the woman
who answers the door at the suburban
San Diego house tells me to leave my shoes
at the door. I paid $7 to join this "Mark
Group" and am not sure what to expect.
Some guy is practically dry-humping a
woman on the couch, although the pair
attract little attention. Other couples are
engaging in spontaneous massage, but it
remains uncertain who had come with
whom. I keep hearing the phrases: "doing"
someone and "getting done by."

I sit across from a robust woman who
looks like Tip O'Neill. Men outnumber
women by a small margin. A woman who
describes herself as "a healer, an actress
and a travel agent" says that this is not
usually the case in the Mark Groups. We
go around the room for introductions,
which sometimes digress into short autobiographies,
the ages run from about 25
to over 60. There are five masseuses,
many real estate people, some brokers and
copier salesmen, and one guy with a charter
bus business.
When asked why she came, a woman
in a tight pink sweater responds: "To get
turned on." Others say they wanted to
meet people and have fun. "I had nothing
else to do," one man volunteers, "and this
is better than watching LA Law."
On the coffee table lays a book on
how to lose weight during sex. Another
elegant volume looks like it might contain
Ansel Adams's prints of Yosemite, but
inside are Mapplethorpe-like photos of
genitalia, Asian women doing their best
Deep Throat imitations, and naked people probing each other's
orifices in creative ways.

Finally, an ostensible leader of the gathering—a man named
Aubry with limp hair and an overbite—introduces himself and
announces the first game: mimicry. People pair off, and one
member of each pair has to immediately repeat everything the
other says. This, explains Aubry, "will help you focus attention
on the other person and help you grow."
The starting phrase is: "The last time I
felt really free was..." For a minute or so
the room sounds like a Pentecostal church
meeting at full velocity.
Afterwards Aubry asks how people
liked it. A few hands go up. Who didn't
like it? A rather faded middle-aged
woman named Angela raises a hand, "I
thought it sucked," she says in a raspy
Aubry announces the rules for the
next game, "hot seat." The person so
designated must answer all questions, as
long as people raise their hands and say
thank you.
"Are you rich?" someone asks a
man who claims he took pictures of one
girl beside his Rolls Royce. "Not really,"
he says. "Depends what you consider
Someone asks an athletic looking
man in a cutoff football jersey why he
broke up with his girlfriend. "She said I
was conceited, self-centered, and narcissistic,"
he explains, "but I'm really a
naturally loving and giving person."
"How big are your chest and biceps?"
someone else asks. He has no
idea. Then someone asks about the size
of another appendage.
"Twenty-seven inches," he replies.
"Ouch!" says Angela, the faded
middle-aged woman who thought mimicry
sucked and who, during the introductions,
described herself as a
"swinger." Then Mr. Jock explains:
"Twenty-seven inches from the floor."

This wins him a laugh.
Now Angela is on the hot seat, and someone asks
why she thinks the mimicry game sucks. "I don't like oneon-
one," she says. Angela claimed she has had sex with
five men at one time, but she doesn't practice S&M. "I like
to stay in control," she says, without explaining how she
kept control of the eager fivesome.

"Why is this called a 'Mark Group?'" someone then
wants to know. It is a legitimate question. Our host, a
freckled blond named Donna, responds. "Victor Baranco
compares it to carnival barkers. The people they bring in
are 'marks.' Everybody is a mark for something and with
us it happens to be love."

Victor Baranco, it emerges, is the founder of
More University in Lafayette, California, the
institution where the hosts of this "Mark
Group" and several of the participants in the session
received their professional training. This group in San
Diego has not been trying to revive arcane '60s lifestyles,
as it sometimes seemed during the meeting, but
doing school work, part of More University's recruiting
More's courses, the literature explains, include "Basic
Hexing," "Aphrodisia," "Mutual Pleasurable Stimulation
of the Human Nervous System" and "A Weekend
with Vic." The most unique thing about More is that it
grants degrees. As California's official Council for Private
Postsecondary and Vocational Education verifies,
since 1979 the Golden State has approved More to grant
Bachelor's and Master's degrees in the humanities and
communications, and Ph.D. degrees in "Lifestyles" and
According to recent descriptions, More University’s
founder, Victor Baranco, 59, stands six-foot-two and
weighs some 300 pounds. He is currently living in Hawaii
where he has faced drug charges. He is not approachable.
"Dr. Baranco talks to people who have the proper
requisites and three grand," Jackie Van Sinderen, More's
Dean of Instruction, told the Contra Costa Times. She was
referring to a More University course, "Audience with
Victor Baranco," which costs a cool $3,000. When Times
reporter Michael Hytha travelled all the way to "Dr."
Baranco's hideaway in Pupukea, Hawaii, he found himself
confronted by a bare-chested bodyguard named Sam,
who was polishing a white Cadillac in front of Baranco's
purple house and who warned, "Vic doesn't like to
speak with reporters." Yet as with the presidents of
more conventional universities, Baranco has a
curriculum vitae, however much he tries to hide it.

More's founder was bora Wilbert V. Baranco in
Oakland in 1934, the son of a black jazz pianist and a
Jewish woman named Florida Mae. Baranco has claimed
he was a gifted child but drummed out of Hebrew school
because of "the black thing." He has also claimed he
played in the 1954 Rose Bowl, but unfortunately Cal's
squad didn't go to the Bowl that year.

Author David Felton profiled Baranco in his 1972
book, Mindfitckers, and the portrait was far from flattering.
As Felton explained: "Charles Manson, Victor Baranco
and Mel Lyman, the superheroes of the following stories,
are mindfuckers simply because they have made it their
business to fuck men's minds and to control them. They’ve
succeeded by assuming godlike authority and using such
mindfucking techniques as physical and verbal bullying
and group humiliation."

Baranco is the least well known
of this threesome, but for all their other achievements,
Manson and Lyman never established a school approved
by the State of California to grant Ph.D.s in sex.
Baranco earned his administrative credentials by
joining the Sexual Freedom League in Berkeley in the' 60s
Followers call Baranco Thought "responsible hedonism,"
but let Baranco explain: "It's like a boat. The woman is the
steerer and the man is the motor. And once you can relax,
men, and settle down into slavery in the motor room—
what a gas! They take care of you sexually, feed you and
clothe you. They take care of all your creature comforts
and all you gotta do is shovel coal."
Felton portrays Baranco as a wheeler-dealer type,
who along with Haight-Ashbury colleagues Robert Kerr
and Paul Robbins set up the Institute for Human Abilities
(IHA), a real estate corporation, in late 1969. Baranco
and his pals bought derelict houses at low prices, got
hippies to fix them up, then resold or rented the places at
a handsome profit. But there was more to it than commerce.
The partners also published Aquarius Magazine,
which advertised courses such as "Basic Sensuality" and
"A Weekend with Vic Baranco," both $45. Another
subject of instruction was masturbation. According to
Felton, Baranco and his followers had some doubts about
intercourse. In the words of a man named Wayne, it is a
"haphazard affair." Instead the institute recommended
mutual masturbation as "a 'surefire way to a perfect
orgasm every time.' He called it 'doing' the other person,
and told us how to do a perfect 'do.' "
The managing editor of Aquarius was a guy named
Dewey, who ran the operation from a basement closet.
Every month, Baranco would send in a taped "parable" for
Dewey to transcribe and edit. Dewey said this was his
"toughest task."
One parable concerned a woman who for a 1ong time
drove by a hitchhiker she saw every day, then finally
decided to pick him up. He promptly killed her. (‘There
was no moral to the story," said Dewey, "but the heaviness
was obvious.") Another parable was about "a bunch of
wretched characters who lived in a concentration camp
surrounded by squalor and barbed wire. There was no
toilets, and their food was thrown on the ground with their
shit. Every day an executioner would drag one of them to
the chopping block and bloodily decapitate his in full
view of the others." After several paragraphs of lurid
description, it turned out the victims were actual chickens.

By one account, Baranco was influenced by the
Millionaire, a television program from the '50s in which a
man of means gives away $ 1 million to a stranger in each
episode. Another influence came from the Lloyd Douglas
novel, Magnificent Obsession, in which a character gives
away the family fortune to the needy. Baranco established
Turn On To America (TOTA), as Felton describes it. ‘to
collect government and foundation funds for alcoholics,
nonplaceable foster children and paroles.”

Baranco acquired the 16-acre Lafayette spread
currently houses More University in 1968. The
grounds feature a main residence and houses, a
studio, a house trailer, some shanties, tennis courts and
assorted junk cars. The buildings are all painted a bright
purple because that was the favorite color of Baranco’s
first wife Suzanne, whom he married in 1959. They bore
two children then divorced in 1976. Suzanne, however
continued to live on the Lafayette property, which
neighbors call the "Purple Palace" and journalist have
dubbed "Fuck U," a tag that fits in ways other than

The campus features a lookout tower and guardhouses
at each entrance. Armed guards prowl the property
and signs warn: "No trespassing, unless you want your
feelings hurt" and "Only cowards commit suicide slowly.”
Members of More's paying student body arrive in purple
Cadillac limousines and get around on campus in golf
carts, which travel on paths paved with carpet remains.
A 1978 More course catalog explains that the school
was established in 1967 to "expand the physical, spiritual
and intellectual capacities, with tolerance for all apparent
alien encounters." But the prophet of responsible hedo-
nism found that, even in swinging California, tolerance has
limits. In 1978, according to the Contra Cost Times, the
county sued and got a court order prohibits more than
five unrelated people from living on the property. Baranco
simply moved classes elsewhere, then moved
them back when a court of appeals overturned the ban.

Also in 1978, Contra Costa County health officials
reported that a three-year-old girl contracted gonorrhea
while on the Lafayette property. No charges were brought,
but the parents, who lived on campus, agreed to a $3,500
settlement with the county. That same year, Contra Costa
sheriff's investigators said they had evidence that four
men sexually molested two girls and a boy and that there
had been illegal drug use at More. For reasons that remain
unclear, the sheriffs called off the investigation, and there
were no arrests or charges.
That same year, during the apotheosis of alternative
lifestyles under Governor Jerry Brown, Baranco applied
to the California Department of Education for approval,
which the state granted in 1979 despite the troubling
sexual incidents. More University could now award academic

According to Darlene Laval, who headed the state
council that reviewed More in 1986, all one needed to do
for approval at that time was show that they had a certain
amount of money and a library, or access to one, "and that
was about it." There was no review of the school's faculty,
facilities, or curricula. State approval doubtless raised
Baranco's self-esteem, even as it enhanced More's recruiting
prospects. (Werner Erhard of EST fame even
attended a Baranco class.) But approval did not eliminate
the school's public-relations problems.
Dr. Marc Hirsch had been serving as the head of
More's Department of Medical Science. In 1980,
California's Board of Medical Quality Assurance revoked
Hirsch's license on the grounds that he had been prescribing
excessive amounts of narcotics and mood-altering
drugs. The same year Hirsch married Victor Baranco's exwife,

During 1981-82, More filed three lawsuits against
the Contra Costa Times, which found the university a
lively topic. Although all three suits were dismissed, the
school's fondness for legal action was not diminished.
Court records show that Baranco has been involved in nine
lawsuits over property rights, including a long struggle
with his own parents. The university recently filed a libel
suit against the San Francisco Chronicle, which dubbed
the school an "Academy of Carnal Knowledge." Still
another suit involved Contra Costa County. During this
tiff, More lawyer and longtime resident Richard Hyland
said, "We'll consider suing everyone."
After the suits against the Times were dismissed, More
continued its affairs with little publicity. Indeed, few
people in the Bay Area know such a place exists, even
though it operates a sort of extension campus in the purple
More house in San Francisco (although the city at one time
shut down Baranco's houses and "sanctuary" programs fqr
code violations). Throughout the mid-
1980s, Baranco was building up a faculty for his state approved

More's chief executive officer is Alexander Van
Sinderen, 48, who majored in history at Stanford
University, served in the Peace Corps from
1967-69 and did graduate work at Syracuse. Van Sinderen
also holds a doctorate in lifestyles from More U. His
dissertation was titled, "A Married Couple and a Single
Woman as a Social and Sexual Unit." He and his wife live
with a woman named Marilyn.
Jackie Van Sinderen, 48, Alex's wife and More's
dean of instruction, is also a veteran of Stanford, the Peace
Corps and Syracuse. A press account identifies Jackie as
a former member of More University's boxing team,
which was discontinued several years ago.
Suzanne Baranco Hirsch,55, received her doctorate
in sensuality from More University in 1980. Thus qualified,
she has since chosen to pursue a career as dean of
More's Sensuality department.
Former sociology major Cynthia Baranco, 40, married
Victor Baranco in 1979 and now teaches at More and
participates in Bay Area Mark Groups. More boasts a total
of 34 faculty members, 15 of whom have doctorates—one
from UCLA and 14 from More. The state lists More's
chief administrator as Lilyan Binder, 43, a graduate of
Hunter College and a former mental health counselor.
The courses offered at More include:
•Basic Hexing: This course describes hexing as a concep
tual game that every human being plays, and of which a
very few people are aware. It provides the student with
the history, technique, structure and applications of
hexing. The extent to which one can control his hexing
is the extent to which one has power in his universe. (2
days; $250)
•Basic Oestrology: describes the frame of reference that
explains human experience. ($300)
•Aphrodisid: Inhibited sexual desire is the most widely
reported sexual difficulty in the nation today.
"Aphrodisia" is a weekend of illuminating information
and functional practices that provide the student with
overt control over what is considered the most elusive
aspect of sensual pleasuring. (Basic Sensuality and
Basic Communication prerequisites; $360)
•Weekend with Vic: A totally unstructured weekend in
which the instructor will answer any and all questions
asked. The content of this course is totally dependent on
the student's ability to have [sic]. (Prerequisite: 2 courses;
•Mutual Pleasurable Stimulation of the Human Nervous
System: A six-week course that meets for one
three-hour session per week. Limited
to married couples or consenting adults who agree to be
laboratory partners for the duration of the course. Extensive
examination of certain conditioned societal limitations
on sensory awareness, including sex practices,
partner exchange, emotional involvement related to
sexing, oral-genital relationships. (Prerequisites: Basic
and Advanced Sensuality; $375)
• Expansion of Sexual Potential: This program is designed
to introduce the student to the nature of his/her own
sexual potential. In a clinical setting, under the hands-on
guidance of agreed-upon, selected members of the Department
of Sensuality, individuals or couples are led in
the exploration of the parameters of their sexual response.
Social and sexual resistance to the expansion of
this potential and its attendant terrors are identified, and
appropriate methods of overcoming these barriers are
demonstrated. Subjects are instructed in techniques of
training partners in both causative and effective roles,
and detailed methods for survival sex practices are
presented. (5 prerequisites; $10,080)

11 of More's courses were designed by Victor Baranco,
who has described the "mutual stimu-:ion" program as
"making friends with another crotch." The Expansion of
Sexual Potential includes a two-week stay at Lafayette
and costs $16,800. According to state officials, More's
entire doctoral program will set a student back $43,200.
Just how much revenue the school brings in is not
clear, however. The Contra Costa Times has reported that
the various entities housed at More control $1.7 million in
East Bay real estate and generate revenues of about $1
million. These "entities" are an interlocking directorate of
non-profits including "Turn On To America" and "The
Private Sector," which both deal with the homeless. To the
Institute of Human Abilities Baranco has added Humore
Inc., the real estate company in charge of the East Bay
properties. Both Humore and the institute are run from a
property on Purson Lane in Lafayette, one of several
residences owned by Baranco. The Times has also reported
that in 1990 More reported total income of $958,140,
though it is not clear what came from where.

Baranco's charitable impulses, some reporters discovered,
did not extend to his parents. According to
probate records, when Wilbert Baranco Sr. died in 1983,
he disinherited his son. And when Victor's mother, Florida
Mae, died in 1987, she left everything to Victor's two
adult children. "As for our son," Florida Mae wrote, "he
put us out of his life about 10 years ago. He didn't come
to see his father before he died nor did he attend the
funeral...he made it clear that he doesn't care about me."
Baranco may have put his parents out of his life, but
he could not permanently avoid the scrutiny of the state,
which had allowed him to function in loco parentis for
years on his Lafayette campus. By the
mid-1980s, California had tightened its rules for private
post-secondary education. A team of educational inspectors
were preparing for their first trip to the purple palace,
completely unaware of what they would find.
"It was an eye-opener," says Darlene Laval, who
chaired the state's regulatory council for five years
and now works for the Department of Education as a
consultant. In 1986 she and two colleagues spent two
memorable days at More.
"Here were all these old limos and people sitting
around in their underwear peeling potatoes," says Laval,
who describes the place as "really filthy," to the point
that "I would hesitate to drink their coffee." A guy named
Jim, Laval says, "came out of a building buckling his
pants, followed by a woman, who was followed by a

One of the teachers also turned out to be a student.
"She said she had gotten her degree in sensuality and was
now working on her other degree, for which she would
have to spend a week with Vic," says Laval. "I said we
need to talk to Vic, only to learn that he was 'too busy.' "
To maintain approved status, schools must send in
a lengthy self-study. More's version said in one place:
"Equipment to take to class: a towel, a mirror, and all
body parts." This caused review team member Roz Elms,
who earned her Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley, to crack, "Doesn't
that discriminate against the handicapped?" When she
learned of the "Weekend with Vic" course, Elms asked,
"Is there a weekend with Vickie?"

The inspection team wanted to see the classrooms
and attend sessions. They were told they couldn't. In
fact, says Laval, "They said none were being held. They
said the classes were in Oakland." Aware of past com
plaints against the school, the team wanted to see the
nursery. They were told that it was closed that day
because a child had fallen and was "on the verge of
dying." But a staffer did let them see one building that
contained a state-of-the-art video studio with a gyneco
logical table as its centerpiece. '■>:

"My mouth dropped," says Laval. She and Elhis,
imaginations running wild, asked about the purpose of
the table. They were told that this was where Vic "did his
sessions" in front of the student body. As Laval recalls,
"They had a library of tapes of things like 'Vic's birthday
party.' There were hundreds of tapes, in order and
labeled. This was the only library we found at the place."
Neither was there any required reading.
The team asked to see financial records. Such
information was not available, they were told. "There
was not one verification for any of the faculty," says
Laval, "not one qualification for anything, let alone their
speciality." The team then asked to read some theses and
were handed a cardboard box containing eleven.
"Most were handwritten and none was bound,"
says Laval. "One woman wrote that Vic had kept a
stimulation of a student going for seven hours and why
couldn't her boyfriend do this? This was her thesis."
Roz Elms read a dissertation about sexual encounters
titled "Recollections of a Married Couple and a
Single Woman" and pronounced it "not original research."
The paper was for a Ph.D, in Sensuality. Another
paper was about pregnancy and contained nude
photos.By now the state review team was finding it
"hard to be professional," as Laval puts it, and feeling dirty to
boot. "They stuck us in this one-room shack, and there
was no way for us to talk without them hearing us. They
made phone calls with a hand cupped over the receiver,
like some B-movie." But the visitors had seen all they
needed to see*

More failed 108 out of 111 points of evaluation and
the team recommended that approved status be denied. The
council agreed, but More's lawyer showed up at the hearing
and threatened Elms with a lawsuit for "lying" about the
school and performing a "hatchet job." The school's advocate
also charged that Laval "didn't know what she was
talking about." More University appealed and won.
California was then in the process of changing its
regulatory system, and the procedures used to review
More were never officially adopted. While new regulations
were being drafted, California grandfathered in
More and a number of other schools with questionable
qualifications. More duly expanded its operations to New
York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta and other cities.

The Lafayette campus maintained an uneasy truce
with neighbors until the university started to house
the homeless in the early 1990s. One family
whose property borders More reported constant noise
and garbage, including hypodermic needles, being
dumped over the fence. Yet when neighbors complained,
More said that it was a witch-hunt caused by the long
standing activism of Baranco and others at the university
on behalf of the homeless.
"They are hiding behind the politically correct stuff,"
says a woman who asked not to identified. "Nobody wants
to be. against the homeless." Morehouse attorney Richard
Hyland had learned another PC trick. He pointed out that
Baranco was of "black-and Jewish heritage," and therefore
the complaints were "based in racism." But, as it turned
out, the homeless issue provided journalists with an
opportunity to penetrate the purple curtain that had veiled
More's inner doings for so long.

On May 27, 1992, Donna Hemmila and Carolyn
Leider, two reporters for the Contra Costa Times, showed
up at More claiming they needed a place to stay. A man
named "Joe without hair" let them in. They registered at
Waipuna Lounge, a 24-hour diner for guests, and here
their discoveries began.
At More, the reporters learned, only first names are
used. "Do you want clean underwear?" someone asked.
Leider, who has examined the records of More's nonprofits
in Sacramento, explains that More receives gen
erous donations from corporations, including Jockey.
The reporters also discovered that the campus had been
upgraded since the 1986'site-review visit. It now boasted
a closed circuit television system. On that evening's
"news," the top story was a series of party scenes of a
potbellied man dumping ice cubes down a woman's
bikini, followed by safe sex tips and gossip. In another
feature, a woman sang an off-key version of Peggy Lee's
"Fever." .
Those described as the campus' "elite" lived on the
hill, and the reporters were warned not to get too close.
But they did learn that the elite enjoy the service of
female servants dressed in skimpy costumes, which they
wear sans drawers in spite of Jockey's largesse. In
addition to fashion, the faculty was also sensitive to nonhomeless
visitors. "They let them in but videotape their
every move," Leider says. The communards are also
sensitive to communication.

"You don't have any rights here," a More staffer
named Tom barked when a homeless guy asked to use the
phone. "So don't even think that you do."
The reporters were the only female visitors in a
room full of guys they didn't know, many smoking and
drinking beer. The pair spent most of the night playing
cards and bailed out early the next morning.
John Koopman of the Contra Costa Times followed
up on his colleagues' discoveries by attending a
Basic Sensuality course with three other students: a
dentist, an engineer and a veterinarian. The teacher was
Joe Hills, who had the class talk about male and female
genitalia and masturbation. He also asked them to strip
and use mirrors to take a "visual inventory of [their]
bodies." Homework questions asked whether they would
have sex with men, midgets, paraplegics and animate.
The course included a "do date," which, Koopman
wrote, "usually consists of one person masturbating the

When Dan Reed of the San Francisco Chronicle
went to the More campus, they ushered him into a room
with a conference table across from the Van Sinderen
menage a trois. More staffers videotaped the entire
interview, during which one of the scantily clad maids
brought in water.
Reed discovered that More uses its own currency,
called "scrip," which was once old Pall Mall cigarette
packs embossed with the university seal, but which now .
resembles Monopoly money and is called "Karma Molecules."

Allan Steele, a hypnotherapist from Coral Gables,
Florida, who treats sexual disorders, said he and his wife
Rochelle paid $47,500 to the university for doctorate
courses. "While I was living on campus there was encouragement
to use illegal drugs, including the availability
to purchase illegal drugs," Steele wrote in an April 5,
1992, letter to the California Council for Private
Postseeondary Education. "They also engage in prostitution,"
Steele added, "that is, sex for money, with quotas
[of conquests], which if not met results in threats of
physical violence and exclusion."

Dan Reed reported that in late May 1992 the State
Council demanded a response to the accusation but received
none from More, which filed a $120 million libel
suit against Steele. The hypnotist won't talk but stands by
his allegations. More has also sued the Chronicle for libel,
but the paper stands by its stories and has published no
retraction. More's well-known litigiousness may have
scared off A Current Affair, which was interested in doing
a story on the university but wary of getting involved in a
prolonged legal wrangle.

The agency currently charged with protecting Californians
from educational fraud is the Council for Private
Postseeondary and Vocational Education (CPPVE),
established in 1991. As its "fact sheet" says, the council
certifies "that an institution meets minimum statutory
standards for integrity, financial stability and
educational quality, including the offering of bona fide
instruction by qualified faculty and the appropriate assessment
of students' achievement prior to, during and at
the end of its program." Further there are "tuition refund
formulas" should "the institution breach its contract with
the students."
The state considers the task of protecting consumers
from educational fraud so important that it pays the
council's director, Kenneth A. Miller, a handsome
$82,000 a year plus benefits. Other professional staffers
earn in the $60,000 range. As those who try to contact
them will verify, these people spend a lot of time away
from their desks or flying around the country to conferences.
But although it has taken stands on issues involving
race, and gender and multiculturalism in other institutions,
the CPPVE has, to date, done nothing about
"California is much more tolerant than the rest of the
United States," explains the council's Ken Miller. "If
something is legitimately new and innovative, they let it
go ahead." Miller is vaguely aware of the sexual nature of
the courses but allows that there has been "lots of research
with Masters and Johnson." He has not visited the campus.
Nor has the council's official in charge of More, Dr.
Betty Sundberg, who, like Miller, was unaware of the
1986 report of state investigators Elms and Laval. Sundberg
says that More University recently applied for renewal of
its approved status, which must be recertified every five
years. Another inspection team will soon be scheduled.
Miller concedes that the process will be "interesting."
Roz Elms is currently an administrator at the University
of Northern Colorado. When she was told that,
eight years after her site-review visit, this '60s timecapsule
continues to grant degrees with the state of
California's approval, she reacts with stunned disbelief
and anger.
"I'm appalled," Elms says. "I can't believe they
didn't close that place," which she ranks with academic
bottom-feeders such as acupuncture schools and "a guy
who was granting doctorates out of a two-bedroom apartment."
California educrats have made life difficult for a
number of private schools, particularly religious schools,
even those whose academic achievement is unquestioned
and whose faculty -boast impeccable credentials. And yet
the state has allowed More to thrive since 1979—fifteen
years—for the most part undisturbed. Bureaucratic indifference
and ineptitude alone cannot explain More's incredible
California's approval of More stands as a symbol of
how American society has been baptized in the ethos of
the '60s, An institution like More University could only
thrive in the kind of society the '60s helped to create, a
society in which, as the late Malcolm Muggeridge put it,
"sex is the only mysticism."

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Re: Victor Baranco,Lafayette Morehouse, articles: LSD, prostitution,drugs
Posted by: SageGreen ()
Date: November 02, 2008 05:59AM

The Anticult
NOTE: Notice how someone denied that Victor Baranco was prosecuted for drugs? Well, they were misleading people. Notice the ugly deception attempted again and again?
The document below states that Victor Baranco and "his wife Cynthia were the subject of an LSD drug prosecution in Hawaii."
There were also prostitution and other drug allegations alluded to below.

I assume this remark about the denial is related to my post:

as far as I know that last portion is not correct. Vic Baranco died in 2002, I knew him from 1992 until his death, during that period he was never in prison, and I have never heard that he was in prison during the period 1969 through 2002.

Is there another mention of this in this thread? I was only trying to make the point that he had (to my knowledge) not been in prison, as a quoted web page stated that he was "serving time."

The Alan Steele allegations are quite spectacular. What was the outcome of the Alan Steele court case?

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Victor Baranco, Lafayette Morehouse,Nicole Daedone, OneTaste,Trellis
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 02, 2008 06:56AM

ok, it looks like the original thread about OneTaste has been merged with the other thread. So its all in one thread now...
Victor Baranco, OneTaste, Lafayette Morehouse, More University, Trellis Community House...

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Victor Baranco, Institute of Human Abilities, Nicole Daedone, OneTaste
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 02, 2008 08:03AM

another interesting thing about the website.

There are no links anywhere on that site to Victor Baranco, More University, Lafayette Morehouse, Institute of Human Abilities, or any of these other groups its based on. Not a single word comes up on their site.
The info about Baranco came from other sites, it probably slipped out in earlier interviews that Daedone did.

It makes one wonder why they want to cover up that connection now?
Why did earlier websites for OneTaste have the information about the Institute of Human Abilities, and Victor Baranco connection, and the new website has deleted all that info?
Always hiding stuff and trickery...

Interestingly, the words...Sex Cult... come up on a search of the website, as some type of buried Tag word for search engines? It appears the Sex-Cult phrase is being used as a type of hidden underground marketing term and Tag.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/02/2008 08:07AM by The Anticult.

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Victor Baranco, Lafayette Morehouse Wikipedia entry rigged
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 02, 2008 08:42AM

The main "reference" for the wikipedia entry on Lafayette Morehouse is an article by
Laurie Rivlin Heller, called.

Basic Sense: The More Philosophy of Victor Baranco and the Institute of Human Abilities.

This article is linked back to the homepage of Lafayette Morehouse, and there is no article!
So the wikipedia article is rigged, by someone at LM, and that's probably why at least 2 Lafayette Morehouse people have gotten upset at the criticism of the wikipedia entry. Its rigged, and they slipped it in.
Hopefully someone will point this out to the wikipedia folks, and they will delete it.

Baranco's other group comes up on a Scientology list.

"This is the Enemy Names list (Flag ED 2830RB, 25 July 1992, Suppressive Persons and Groups) as issued by the Church of Scientology in 1992. [...]
This is a historical document. The Church of Scientology regularly updates this list and individuals and groups can therefor have been removed and added before and after 1992."


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Re: Victor Baranco,Lafayette Morehouse, articles: LSD,prostitution,drugs
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 03, 2008 07:18AM

Well, fair enough, but that is a bit of a wordgame, it seems to me.
I had never heard of Victor Baranco until this thread, never heard of the guy. But in minutes one can find out quite a bit about the guy.

Now some web page might say he was "serving time", and it might have been at the time the article was written he was being prosecuted for the LSD, or there may have been other cases?
Maybe Victor Baranco did go to jail for something?

Don't you think a more honest response would have been..."he was prosecuted for LSD in Hawaii in such and such year, and this was the result?" That seems more honest to me.

Its hard to believe you could have known Baranco from 1992 for 10 years, and not known about the Hawaii stuff, which appears to have been in 1994?
In 1994-95 Baranco was involved in all those lawsuits with the newspapers in the USA (which he lost) which were about those same subjects. So anyone who knew Baranco would have known about those articles.
..."Beginning in June 1992, the San Francisco Chronicle published a series of articles"...
Maybe someone can find those older articles from the SF Chronicle, as their online archive only goes to 1995.

That is why I say the wikipedia article which includes info about Victor Baranco is a biased bad joke. None of this stuff is in there. Of course Lafayette Morehouse is not going to talk about it, that's their Guru. Its always the same pattern, where these groups try to cover up the sins of the father.

As far as Alan Steele (or Allan), anyone who knows what happened, please let us know.

I assume this remark about the denial is related to my post:

as far as I know that last portion is not correct. Vic Baranco died in 2002, I knew him from 1992 until his death, during that period he was never in prison, and I have never heard that he was in prison during the period 1969 through 2002.

Is there another mention of this in this thread? I was only trying to make the point that he had (to my knowledge) not been in prison, as a quoted web page stated that he was "serving time."

The Alan Steele allegations are quite spectacular. What was the outcome of the Alan Steele court case?

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Re: Victor Baranco,Lafayette Morehouse, 1992 San Francisco Chronicle
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 03, 2008 08:01AM

hey, a little bird just sent out those articles from 1992 on More University...excerpts will be posted soon.

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More University upset Lafayette neighbors 1992 San Francisco Chronicle
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 03, 2008 08:08AM

Sensuality School Must Seek Permits For Charities, Shelter / More University upsets Lafayette neighbors; Dan Reed, Chronicle Correspondent
San Francisco Chronicle 06-10-1992

Sensuality School Must Seek Permits For Charities, Shelter / More University upsets Lafayette neighbors
Byline: Dan Reed, Chronicle Correspondent
Section: NEWS

Charity corporations affiliated with More University, the Lafayette sensuality school that has dozens of homeless "guests" encamped in its tents and purple buildings, have been directing thousands of dollars into the school's free food and housing operations, according to state records.
Responding to the financial disclosures and to neighbors angered over the expanding homeless encampment, the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors decided on a 4-to-1 vote yesterday that the university needs permits for the charity operations and the shelter to abide by county land-use ordinances.

More University is located on 16 acres of rolling hills zoned for single-family homes. The campus, established in 1968 by Victor Baranco, the school's reclusive guru, has battled its upscale neighbors and local officials throughout its history.

In addition to the recent complaints by neighbors, the state is investigating claims by former student Allan Steele that he and his wife were coerced into prostitution and sold drugs at the Lafayette campus.

Last month, More officials sued Steele for libel.


In a letter dated May 26, the state Council of Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education, which oversees the school, demanded an immediate response to Steele's "very serious allegations."

The university has yet to respond.

Until yesterday, university officials had argued successfully that the encampment needed no land-use permits, because the county cannot regulate the number of "guests" or unrelated people living in a private home.

State records indicate that the commune's largesse -- which currently supports between "20 and 300 homeless people," according to university officials -- depends on cash and goods that flow from affiliated corporations.


The main nonprofit group is Turn On To America, which raised $957,814 in donations during the 1991 fiscal year, according to reports filed with the state attorney general's office. The group operates at the Lafayette campus, among other places.

Turn On To America paid Lafayette Morehouse, the corporation that runs More University, $50,885 cash and $19,051 in goods in fiscal year 1991 for "counseling, housing and foster care of families and indigents . . . at three locations."

The locations were not specified, but More-related corporations also run houses in Oakland, San Francisco and West Pittsburg.

Turn On To America also donated $17,942 in goods and cash to The Private Sector, a More-related nonprofit corporation run out of Lafayette. The Private Sector has also raised and donated thousands of dollars to the for-profit university over the past years.


Turn On To America also reported donating $719,086 in goods and $40,722 in cash as "gifts to indigents, families and individuals." The report offered no specifics.

Turn On To America and Private Sector officials, some of whom live and teach at the Lafayette commune, have not returned several calls for interviews during the past two weeks.

The university itself reported earning only $2,031 in registration and tuition fees during the fiscal year ending last August 31.


Some former students, who speak highly of the charity's work, say the university uses a portion of Turn On To America donations to feed and clothe commune residents, most of whom participate in the charity.

But "Vic (Baranco) has had a standing rule that no more than 10 percent of the donations should go to the residents or students," said one former student.

More University, which has been certified since 1979 to grant undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, offers classes ranging from "Basic Hexing" to an "Audience with Victor Baranco ($3,000)" to "Mutual Pleasurable Stimulation of the Human Nervous System," in which one goal is to "make friends with another crotch."

Tuition for courses ranges between $175 to $16,800.

Although state officials tried to decertify the school in 1987, the university appealed and the matter was dropped.

State records list 34 faculty members for the university, 15 of whom have doctorates -- one from the University of California at Los Angeles and 14 from More, which is certified to grant doctorates in lifestyles and sensuality.


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Academy of Carnal Knowledge, More University class gave 'sex currency'
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 03, 2008 08:18AM

Academy of Carnal Knowledge / Lafayette's More University class gave students 'sex currency'; Dan Reed, Chronicle Correspondent
San Francisco Chronicle 06-17-1992

More University, the Lafayette sensuality school that is battling neighbors over its homeless encampment, offered a unique course in carnal knowledge in which "More currency" was exchanged for sexual favors with others, according to former students.
For years, the counterculture university has fought civic officials and neighbors to defend its unorthodox image.

Attention focused on the school this spring when tents for the homeless sprang up, and neighbors began to complain that the university's "guests," as More officials called them, posed a fire hazard and were panhandling in a nearby shopping center.

Last week, county officials said that charities associated with the Lafayette campus violate zoning laws and ordered the school to apply for a permit by Monday or face a lawsuit.

The university is expected to fight the decision.


Coincidentally, the university became embroiled in a legal dispute with a former student who wanted his tuition refunded. Out of that poured previously undisclosed allegations about the school.

Allan Steele, a Florida hypnotherapist, complained in April to the state agency that oversees private universities that the university leaders coerced students into prostitution and provided LSD and other illegal drugs.

Officials of the university, which is certified by the state to grant doctoral degrees in graduate programs called "Sensuality" and "Lifestyles," called the accusations ridiculous and filed a libel suit against Steele last month seeking $140 million in damages.

Others associated with the school, however, have confirmed Steele's allegations about a "Technicians Program," a class in which those affiliated with the university may use "More currency" to hire students for sex.


Although Steele objected to the Technicians Program as being coercive, others who have participated in it offered praise.

"It was fun," said Pamela Breidenfield, a former student at the Lafayette campus. "Vic said it was an excuse to make out with people," she said, referring to Victor Baranco, the school's guiding spirit.

"Part of the course was, you could make dates, or sell `tricks' -- you could call it anything you wanted," she said in a telephone interview. "You could do it with people taking the course or people not taking the course."

Jacqueline Van Sinderen, More's dean of instruction, said the sexual activity is part of a "course structure." She said the notion of sex for scrip simplifies the course "really beyond comprehension."

Beyond that, Van Sinderen declined to elaborate, citing the pending libel lawsuit.


Former students of More said the scrip was once old Pall Mall cigaret packs embossed with the university seal. It now resembles Monopoly money and is called "Karma Molecules." Initially, the scrip could be purchased with cash or earned by helping with the university's affiliated charity programs.

Van Sinderen said the scrip currently in use may only be obtained by performing good deeds.

The purple-painted Morehouses -- located in San Francisco, Oakland, Atlanta and several other cities -- have for years sported signs forbidding drugs. Former students say that the rule was selectively enforced.

Baranco, who founded the far-flung network of More houses in the 1960s, has been charged in Hawaii with possessing LSD.

Baranco, who owns much of the school's property and several of its purple Cadillacs, was arrested with his wife, Cynthia, at their home on Oahu in January 1989 on suspicion of possessing "50 or more" doses of LSD, according to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney in Honolulu.

The couple have denied the charges and are awaiting trial.


In the meantime, questions have surfaced about two nonprofit corporations affiliated with the school, particularly Turn On To America, which raised $957,814 in corporate and private donations during the last fiscal year, according to state disclosure reports.

The charity runs a giveaway program for the impoverished. Most of its operations are centered at the 16-acre Lafayette campus, where county records show that 63 people are registered to vote.

Some former students allege that a portion of Turn On To America donations feed and clothe commune residents, most of whom participate in the charity.

A former student who asked that her name be withheld said that said Baranco "has had a standing rule that no more than 10 percent of the donations should go to the residents or students."

Van Sinderen, affiliated with the school for 22 years, said: "I think that that is accurate."

Internal Revenue Service agents said that charities may contribute only "insignificant" support to their sponsors.

Keywords: LAFAYETTE;

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Sensuality School Defies County (More University)
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 03, 2008 08:21AM

Sensuality School Defies County / Counterculture campus refuses to remove homeless encampment; April Lynch, Chronicle East Bay Bureau
San Francisco Chronicle 06-23-1992

Longtime residents of an embattled Lafayette sensuality school refused to comply with a Contra Costa County order to remove a homeless encampment from the campus yesterday, saying that they would rather sell the property than give in to outside pressure.
"We're not going to do anything to go along with the county," said Jacqueline Van Sinderen, dean of instruction at More University. "We're looking at every option . . . and if selling is the best one, then that's what we'll do."

The 16-acre More counterculture campus and commune, founded in the late 1960s by reclusive guru Victor Baranco, has come under criticism from neighbors and local authorities for housing up to 100 homeless people in tents and buildings.

After nearby Lafayette residents complained in the spring that the campus and its residents were creating a public nuisance, county authorities ordered an investigation into possible violations of health and land use regulations at the school. Last week, county attorneys gave university officials until yesterday to close the homeless encampment or face a possible lawsuit.

Van Sinderen and other More administrators countered that Contra Costa County's homeless problem should make local authorities more receptive to More's efforts to house its "guests." They said they may file a lawsuit against the county, some county supervisors and some neighbors.

"We'll consider suing everyone," said longtime More resident Richard Hyland. He added that university officials would consider selling the campus to a developer who would guarantee to build high-density, low-income housing on the site.

The Morehouse communes -- of which the Lafayette site is the largest -- have a long history of controversy and disputes with local authorities. Boarding houses and "sanctuary" programs set up by Baranco in San Francisco and Berkeley in the 1970s were shut down for code violations.

A portion of More University's operating costs come from its affiliation with the charity Turn On To America, which paid More about $70,000 in cash and goods during the 1991 fiscal year. Tuition for university classes ranges between $175 to $16,800.

Baranco and his wife, Cynthia, are awaiting trial on drug charges in Hawaii. A former More student has complained to state education authorities that school leaders coerced students into prostitution and drug use.

Contra Costa County attorneys said the final decision on whether to file a lawsuit to remove tents and homeless people from the site now rests with the county Board of Supervisors. The county has ordered the university to apply for permits to run its charity programs, a process that could take months.

But More officials said that while they have removed people from tents set up around the campus, the tents will stay as a sign of protest. The displaced residents have been moved to different buildings.

"It's OK if they move us around," said one formerly homeless More resident. "Things have really turned around for me since I came here."


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