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"They wanted to shut me up", Steele did not deny the allegations
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 03, 2008 08:27AM

Lafayette School Drops Suit Against Ex-Student; Dan Reed, Chronicle Correspondent
San Francisco Chronicle 10-30-1992


More University, the Lafayette sensuality school that is battling county officials over its homeless encampment, has dropped its libel suit against a former student who claimed university officials encouraged students to take drugs and coerced them into prostitution.
In May, the university filed the $120 million libel suit against Allan Steele, a Florida hypnotherapist, claiming a letter that he wrote asking for a tuition refund "contained false and vicious allegations" that damaged the school's reputation.

Steele had sent More officials a copy of a letter addressed to the state Council for Private Postsecondary Education, which oversees the university. Steele never sent the letter, which outlined his allegations, to the state.

Among other things, the letter claimed that More's founding guru, Victor Baranco, and his wife, Cindy, gave Steele and his wife marijuana and prescription narcotics at the Baranco's home in Hawaii.

University officials branded the allegations as "ridiculous."

Baranco is currently awaiting trial in Hawaii on charges of possessing "50 or more" doses of LSD, according to prosecutors in Honolulu.

In a letter sent to More University last month, Steele did not deny the allegations but apologized "for any embarrassment, hurt feelings or adverse press coverage you may have experienced as a result of my statements."

Shortly thereafter, Richard Hyland, More's attorney, asked that the suit be dismissed with prejudice, meaning that it cannot be refiled.

Steele maintains that the lawsuit was designed to silence his public criticism. "It was nothing more than that," he said. "They wanted to shut me up." And he said he may sue the university to recoup his $300,000 in tuition fees and his $10,000 in legal bills.

More University officials are embroiled in a dispute with county officials, who claim the university violated county codes by opening its doors to scores of homeless people early this year. The county, which is investigating the encampment, has threatened to sue to shut it down.

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Judge tentatively rules against Lafayette Morehouse, Sex Academy
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 03, 2008 08:30AM

Homeless Camp in Jeopardy / Judge tentatively rules against Lafayette Morehouse; Erin Hallissy, Chronicle East Bay Bureau
San Francisco Chronicle 08-18-1994


A Lafayette sensuality school that has taken in homeless people for more than two decades must stop letting people live in tents on its property, a Contra Costa County Superior Court judge has tentatively ruled.
Judge Robert McGrath called the tents a "public nuisance" and ruled that county zoning laws prohibit the homeless encampments at Lafayette Morehouse, a 16-acre community founded by reclusive guru Victor Baranco.

Baranco and a Morehouse-affiliated corporation called Humore, who own the property, were sued by Contra Costa County in 1992 for allegedly violating zoning ordinances by allowing people to live in tents on the property, which is designated as single-family residential.

The lawsuit was filed after neighbors complained that Morehouse was creating a nuisance by housing as many as 100 people in its purple buildings and tents.

Lilyan Binder, the president of Humore, said yesterday that the organization will not comment on the case until the ruling is made final.

"Then we will be appealing," Binder said.

County Counsel Vic Westman said the county cannot force Morehouse to take down its tents until a judge signs an order making the ruling final and the appeal has been decided. He said county officials were pleased with McGrath's tentative ruling.

"Our contention was that tents were not allowed for residential living in the area and the judge agreed and ruled in our favor on that point," Westman said.

The defendants maintained in court documents that they have the right to associate with whomever they please and that the county was trying to impose "a legally outdated subjective notion of nuclear family `normalcy' to (the) defendants."

Morehouse has invited homeless people to stay on its property since it acquired the land in Lafayette in 1970, attorneys for Humore and Baranco said in court documents.

"The defendants on their property have created an experimental alternative lifestyle styled after the traditional extended family, . . ." court records say. "An integral part of this lifestyle is to celebrate their own abundance and fulfillment of the American dream by giving of their surplus to the less fortunate citizens of the county."

McGrath ruled, however, that zoning laws preclude setting up tents for uses other than such temporary activities as slumber parties, wedding receptions or "an occasional overnight guest."

Keywords: LAFAYETTE; CONTRA COSTA; SHELTERS; COMMUNES;

___________________________________________

Sex Academy Sues to Keep Its Homeless Camp; Dan Reed, Chronicle
Correspondent
San Francisco Chronicle 12-24-1992


More University, the quirky academy known for its courses in prolonged sex
and for delivering free food from its fleet of purple limousines, sued
Contra Costa County yesterday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The civil rights suit claims that the county's attempts to shut down a
homeless encampment on the academy grounds by enforcing county zoning laws
and by suing the university last month violate constitutional guarantees of
free assembly, free expression, privacy and use of property.

"When those ordinances were approved," Walter Maksym, More's attorney, said
of the county zoning laws, "I don't think they contemplated the breakdown in
society, the need (for food and shelter) and that someone would be this
generous."

The sex school, which offers doctorates in disciplines called lifestyles and
sensuality, was founded in 1968 by Victor Baranco, the reclusive guru who is
currently awaiting trial in Hawaii on charges of possessing LSD.

The latest battle between the school and the county flared early last year
after the school launched "Go for Broke," a plan to step up the school's
22-year-old food giveaway program and to open its 23-acre campus to the
homeless. Neighbors of the purple-painted compound, situated between
Lafayette and Walnut Creek, objected to the Navy-surplus tents that sprang
up on the property and accused the homeless of aggressively panhandling and
posing a fire hazard, a fear that was realized when a grass fire broke out
on the property September 26.

The county finally responded with a lawsuit last month, contending that the
sensuality school's homeless encampment and food giveaway programs violate
county zoning laws, which allow only for single-family homes.

School officials declined to say how many homeless live at the site. But
they say the charity program, which relies on corporate and private
donations, distributed about 3.3 million pounds of food last year.

As More officials talked to reporters yesterday, volunteers, some of them
students, gathered amid a clutter of vegetables, canned goods and boxed
food, which is delivered weekdays from the school's trucks and purple
limousines.

County attorneys could not be reached for comment.

Keywords: CONTRA COSTA COUNTY; SHELTERS; ZONING;



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2008 08:50AM by The Anticult.

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Lafayette Morehouse ordered to pay the SF Chronicle more than $64,000
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 03, 2008 10:03AM

[graham.main.nc.us]
FROM BARBARA WARTELLE WALL: LEGAL WATCH CALIFORNIA ANTI-SLAPP STATUTE HELPS
S.F. CHRONICLE FIGHT LIBEL SUIT

A California Appeals Court has ruled that members of the media are protected
by a California statute designed to deter and punish litigants who bring
defamation actions to chill speech. Under the law, which enabled the San
Francisco Chronicle to win early dismissal of a libel suit, the plaintiff
could be forced to pay the newspaper's attorney's fees. (Lafayette
Morehouse, Inc. v. The Chronicle Publishing Co., August 9, 1995).

The case arose after the Chronicle published several articles describing a
controversy involving a local university that describes itself as a
"sensuality school" and offers a Ph.D. in the field. The reports, labeling
the school an "academy of carnal knowledge," focused on public hearings and
lawsuits over the school's alleged violation of zoning laws by allowing a
tent city for the homeless on its property.

When the university instituted a libel action, the Chronicle moved to strike
down the suit under a 1992 law aimed at curbing so-called "SLAPP" suits --
legal actions aimed at quelling speech on controversial issues. Under the
anti-SLAPP law, a libel defendant can bring a special dismissal motion early
in proceedings if the allegedly libelous statement deals with an issue of
public importance. If the plaintiff is unable at that point to demonstrate
at least a reasonable probability of success at trial, the court can throw
out the case.

The judge in the Chronicle suit did just that, ruling that the university
had failed to show, among other things, that it had a realistic chance of
making its case on the issue of falsity.

On appeal, the university argued that the law was intended only to cover
defendants like private citizens and grassroots political advocacy groups
that are especially vulnerable to the chilling effect of costly litigation.
Wealthy media companies, they argued, can protect themselves without help
from the legislature.

The appellate court rejected the school's argument, noting that the
statute's plain language made it applicable to any suit arising from a
defendant's act "in furtherance of [its] right of . . . free speech under
the United States or California Constitution in connection with a public
issue."

The reviewing court also agreed that the university failed to demonstrate a
reasonable probability of success. For instance, the court found that the
university probably could not prove falsity with respect to the Chronicle's
statement that the school offered "a unique course in carnal knowledge." A
catalogue showed that the university offered a class entitled "Mutual
Pleasurable Stimulation of the Human Nervous System" with recommended course
materials including "small hand towels, and lubricant, plus latex gloves."

Under the SLAPP statute's attorney's fee recovery provision, the trial court
had ordered the university to pay the Chronicle more than $64,000. That
portion of the order is being appealed separately.

According to news reports, at least six anti-SLAPP cases involving media
defendants currently are being litigated in California.

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Is OneTaste Urban Retreat a 'front-group' for Lafayette Morehouse?
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 03, 2008 11:14AM

The question has to be asked.

Is One Taste Urban Retreat Center in San Francisco a type of 'front-group' for Lafayette Morehouse?

Is it being used as new branding, as the More University and Lafayette Morehouse brands are so damaged due to their past activities? Are they just trying to rebrand themselves as more urban and cool with the OneTaste brand, and move away from the dated Purple Hippie roots of More University, and all of their problems?

Vic Baranco died in 2002, then Cindy Baranco took over.
OneTaste was "founded by Nicole Daedone in 2001".
Was this another expansionist scheme by Vic Baranco?

The similarities between the groups are very high, right down to the alleged 'charitable' activities, which got Lafayette Morehouse / More University into such trouble in the mid-1990's. From the previous news articles, which show how money was being moved around. Massive amounts of money in 'donations' were flowing in.
(notice there is nothing about 'charity' anymore at the Morehouse site).

OneTaste has a non-profit called "Fill Up America".
Most of these groups have a wing like this, like Werner Erhard had the Hunger Project. Its good PR, its good recruiting, it makes them feel good. They get great tax-benefits, as Vic Baranco knew, which he exploited as detailed above.

OneTaste seems to be literally a clone of Morehouse, just tweaked for different markets and demographics, without the Purple People and drug baggage.

Why has OneTaste buried its links and origins to Lafayette Morehouse?

The larger groups learn from the franchising companies, they franchise similar products with different brand names in different areas, and create various front-groups for different reasons.

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Re: Is OneTaste Urban Retreat a 'front-group' for Lafayette Morehouse?
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 03, 2008 12:09PM

another exact similarity.

One Taste has a non-profit called "Fill Up America".
Morehouse has a non-profit called "Turn On To America".

The names both sound like names created by Vic Baranco. They both are double entendre's as well, typical to Vic Baranco.

The extreme misdeeds of "Turn On To America" are detailed in these articles, and its still listed as collecting grant money as of 2005.

They both operate out of the same facilities as the for-profit company, of course. Good tax-breaks for that.
There is the typical structure of shell non-profits shifting money around, collecting grants, tax-breaks, etc.
[forum.culteducation.com]
QUOTE:
_______________________
TURN ON TO AMERICA
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.

PAYMENTS TO CORPORATION

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

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Re: Victor Baranco, Lafayette Morehouse,Nicole Daedone, One Taste - cults?
Posted by: mbeneteau ()
Date: November 03, 2008 09:08PM

Guys,

First off I want to thank the administrators for merging the two threads. That is a nice piece of forum wizardry.

Reading some of the new posts here, it seems clear to me that the thought of having a courteous and respectful conversation on this issue, driven by objective information, was a bit delusional on my part. Since I have no desire to engage in forum wars, I am going to make a couple of responses and then leave this forum as gracefully as I may.

Quote

Why is Marc Beneteau starting a "new thread" when there already is a thread going?
What is the purpose in that?
To derail that train of analysis?
Marc Beneteau has also stated he is going to come back and make more posts in this thread. Its just an attempt to bury the other thread with the criticisms in it.
The next step is for them to send 10 followers to make comments in this thread, to try to DEFLECT and bury thread in Google.

The objection is valid - thank you Anticult - I did it because the previous thread was so obviously biased and lacking in objectivity. Perhaps I was wrong in this, if so I apologize.
In terms of "10 followers" - Nope. I am done, sorry. It's really of no benefit to me to promote my intentional community (Trellis House) in a national forum such as this. We are a local group and our community is local. My goal is to interject some reality into this conversation.
I would in addition, like us to reflect on the logic by which a person who has participated in the courses and met the leaders and expresses his opinion, is obviously doing it out of PR , while someone who has gathered all their information from the internet, is a brave and objective researcher. Mm...

Quote

Marc Beneteau runs his own group, Trellis House. [trellishouse.org]
Marc Beneteau is a supporter of LANDMARK EDUCATION.
Marc Beneteau runs his own Mark Groups.

Yes, that is correct, and if you read the trailer of the Andrew Cohen article referenced above, you will find a detailed description of the mind-control methods that I use in running my own cult, all of which I learned while sitting at the feet of my guru, Victor Baranco, and which I practice in the dangerous evenings of social conversation games we run, the Mark Groups. Enjoy. And in terms of Landmark Education.. yes I do support it, it has been profoundly transformational for me and about a million other people.

Seriously guys... I am sympathetic to much of the information that has been previously posted, including people who fear their friends and loved ones are being manipulated and extorted from. I wrote my article to interject some "reality" and some objectivity into this debate, not to say that I know the "truth" or that the other reviewers are obviously wrong. We all have a right to our opinion on these topics, my only request is that there be a bit more respect and consideration in the expression of these. Also, there are so many obviously exploitative and immoral cult leaders out there, I find it important to distinguish between these people and those who are simply living out alternative lifestyles with as much honesty and integrity as they can. I do not consider the presence of a drug-conviction for example (the drug laws in this country being what they are) as putting Baranco into the same category as an L. Ron Hubbard or a Muktananda.

I really do not have first-hand information about Nicole Daedone, so I'll let that go and let the reader judge for himsef/herself based on the other information presented here. I do however have a great deal of information about Victor Baranco. There is much reference on this thread to the "Mindfuckers" book. The journalistic integrity of this book has been seriously challenged (read one of the Amazon reviews for example) and I do not think that you can put Baranco into the same category as Mel Lyman (who was a drugged-out cultural misfit, albeit according to some a creative genius), or Charles Manson (who was a murderer). There is also much reference to the lack of objectivity of the Wikipedia article on Lafayette Morehouse. There seems to be a pre-bias here that anyone as obviously evil and exploitative as Baranco could have a neutral article written about him. As I have already said, the article was written by someone who is a local teenager, not by anyone who had any association with the Lafayette Morehouse, and also, people should read the discussion on the Wikipedia article (which is available in the "discussion" tab) and see for themselves how difficult it is to insert non-objective (they call it "non-authoritative") information into a Wikipedia article.

Anyway... over and out. I do apologize if I have ruffled any feathers or misspoken on this forum.

Marc Beneteau
[trellishouse.org]

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Re: Victor Baranco, Lafayette Morehouse,Nicole Daedone, One Taste - cults?
Posted by: mbeneteau ()
Date: November 03, 2008 09:59PM

Just one last thing I would like to add. I am not claiming that Baranco was a saint. He was obviously involved in a lot of lawsuits and confrontational situation, which resulted in him being "creamed" by the court system on multiple occasions (there is no reference anywhere to a lawsuit that he won) and it seems that a safe assumption based on that , is that he enjoyed a "good fight" a bit too much, and this was probably the reason why he became so reclusive in his later years, and why the Lafayette Morehouse is so skittish about the press even to this day. However, this does not make him a cult leader, and speaking for myself, his ideas and the Lafayette Morehouse courses have been profoundly transformational for me, and for dozens of people that I know personally and that I am close friends with, and I hold these ideas and these concepts directly responsible for the wonderful life that I now have. I can also state authoritatively that there is no current business association between Nicole Daedone's group and the Lafayette Morehouse, and that the notion advanced by someone on this thread that One Taste is a hidden franchise of Lafayette Morehouse is false. Nicole took Morehouse ideas and created her own completely separate organization.

best wishes,
marc

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Victor Baranco, Lafayette Morehouse, Marc Beneteau, Landmark Forum
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 06, 2008 07:42AM

Marc Beneteau, in your own blog you have mentioned some problems you have had with others who were challenging you on your desire to be a "Guru".
Blunt talk, based on reality and facts is not something Gurus tend to enjoy, so they run.

You also speak softly, but seem to be quite skilled at word-warping. For example, you claim to talk about OBJECTIVE INFORMATION.
Well guess what? Those news articles are all FACTUAL. They were tested in courts, and they held up. They are objective information.
Perhaps its that level of real objective information that Lafayette Morehouse fears, as they have denied that information is accurate.
ITS TRUE.
Those articles tell the sordid and ugly history of Lafayette Morehouse.

Also, what you say does not add up.
Even on the most basic level, you said you wanted to add balance to a thread you called biased. But you didn't even post in that thread. So even something on that level does not make sense.

Your comments about the wikipedia article don't make sense, as all of the facts from those news articles should be in the wikipedia article, which they are not. There seems to be a claim that some grocery store kid wrote that article? Not buying it.

Your criticisms of the Mindfuckers book does not hold up. Mindfuckers seems to contain the same facts as these news articles, which again, are facts. If Victor Baranco didn't like that book, why didn't he sue him too? The book is also true.

There is also the article about Morehouse University from called Sex University.
[forum.culteducation.com]

Also, other things you say do not add up, even in the same paragraph. You speak softly, yet contradict yourself.

Example: Marc Beneteau says...
"I really do not have first-hand information about Nicole Daedone"
"I can also state authoritatively that there is no current business association between Nicole Daedone's group and the Lafayette Morehouse".

How the heck could you know? How could you possibly know that? You cannot know that.
But looking at the facts, and knowing how these groups work, and how they set-up front groups, move money around, change the names of the groups, its possible if not probable.

You also state that Trellis House is a 'commune', when you say..."why I live in a commune".
Its not a commune. Last time I checked, a commune is owned by its members.
A for-profit group is not a commune. You are running a corporation, and you are reaching out the the public,a nd running what appear to be LGAT seminars.

Those MARK GROUPS, as defined by Victor Baranco, exist to bring in "Marks". A "mark" is a sucker target for a swindle. I know its hard for you to grasp, but Victor Baranco was a swindler, that is clear.

You folks are claiming to have knowledge of sex-therapy and things along those lines...but where is the training? Its a very dangerous road to go down, when you don't know what you are doing, people are going to get hurt.

Look at all the complaints already about OneTaste by Daedone. For such a small group to have so many complaints already is serious.

Lastly, Landmark Education is one of the most destructive LGAT's ever, there are countless complaints here and everywhere. You close your eyes to the problems even of Werner Erhards Landmark Forum. The facts are there for anyone to see.

(Landmark Education, Landmark, Werner Erhard, The Forum, large group awareness training, LGAT)
[www.culteducation.com]

Marc Beneteau, you opened your Trellis House, based on Lafayette Morehouse and Landmark, and other groups only a few years ago. You have begun to walk down a very dangerous road to being a Guru, and you are already quite skilled at attempts at mind-warping using the skills you have learned. Your unqualified support of the supreme con-artist Werner Erhard's Landmark Forum should be a serious warning to the public. You appear to be trying to merge various groups and methods into your own. The methods of...

Victor Baranco + Werner Erhard = disaster.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2008 07:59AM by The Anticult.

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Re: Victor Baranco, Lafayette Morehouse, Nicole Daedone, BDSM
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 06, 2008 08:24AM

one other thing...Marc Beneteau and Nicole Daedone, and Layfayette Morehouse...are all very skilled at smooth sounding Double-Speak.
They speak publically in one way, and for some of them, its proven their private language inside the group is very different.
They even use a phrase like Urban Monk, while at the same time using the words Sex Cult.
Its a Mindfuck, is what they are really doing, screwing with people's minds, that is very clear.

For example, Victor Baranco called More University a Sensuality School in the media, and that is the exact same phrase used by OneTaste. Sensuality School.

But in reality, a peek beneath the sheets, and the sexual language turns very crude and pornographic, even demeaning and violent. One has to wonder how far they go in that area...to what extent to they embrace BDSM?

So there is a very slick sounding public speaking methods, while beneath the sheets its a different ballgame.
Marc Beneteau's language patterns also appear very contrived and sanitized.

There are some places on the internet, where either by accident or design more of what really goes on comes out, and it sounds more like a sex show in Amsterdam. The problem here is the manipulation and deceit and Double-Speak.
Bait-and-switch.

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OneTaste, Nicole Daedone, BDSM, Cleo Dubois
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 06, 2008 08:48AM

OneTaste in San Francisco does sell events with BDSM.
There is a person (dominatrix) named Cleo Dubois who works with OneTaste, who sells BDSM and
[personallifemedia.com]
"who is a master at pushing people to their limits and in that, helping them to release repressed feeling or emotions".

Search google images for "Cleo Dubois".

Notice how the underside of power/control/dominance/submission/master is undersold. They put it out there a bit for advertising, but they undersell it in general to the public.
It can be a very dangerous and toxic brew to mix money profit-making, with cultic recruiting methods, LGAT's, live-in sex communes for profit, deceptive advertising, videotaping, unlicensed sex therapy, BDSM, and all the rest of it.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/06/2008 08:57AM by The Anticult.

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