Re: Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael Gottlieb
Date: October 30, 2013 04:31AM
To the people who read this forum, to my old friends in RW and fellow seekers,
I decided to write in this forum as I was denied a meeting with Maggi. I called and emailed her three times on both communication systems and got no response. I simply wanted to clean up any unfinished business with her and RW. Like I said, I will meet you anywhere, anytime, and/or anyway that works for you.
I was a disciple of Michaels for 12 years. During that period I was involved with every facet of RW. I was as involved 100%….and I was happy to have found a teacher and a community of seekers.
The list of my involvement is as follows;
* Weekly group
* Weekly meditation
* Monthly worship (called the doo dah)
* Monthly retreat with Michael
* Twelve years in the Collective… leader for 4 ys
* Ranch service leader for 6 yrs
* Head of Construction for the annual formal party for 8 yrs
* Co-leed the Patrons party with Maggi one year
* One of Michaels 3 drivers
* Traveled in France and Italy with Michael and Maggi looking for a retreat location for 10 days
* Took care of Michael cars – 2 Bentleys, 3 Mercedes, a Jeep and a Lexus
* Co-lead the Ranch for 18 months
Michael’s main teaching was meditation, to become a witness, to be of the world but not in the world. He used many techniques, active meditations, group and private therapy, singing, dancing, painting, service at the ranch etc., etc. All of witch I embraced fully and benefitted from immensely! I truly felt in my heart that I found my Teacher, and I did, I was devoted to him, the teachings and the ranch for years. The last eighteen months that I was a disciple, I left my job in Los Angeles and co-lead the RW Ranch in Lucerne Valley with my wife of that time. Shortly after we moved to the ranch we bought a house in the tract below the ranch…clearly I was a lifer at that point.
Michael was a great teacher for me and I loved him deeply. He taught me the esoteric side of being with a teacher that can only be learned through the experience of devotion. Surrender is a beautiful teaching and grows the heart in ways that are unexplainable. To be clear, I experienced eleven years and ten months of bliss and two months hell with my teacher…I wouldn’t change one thing, it was perfect.
During the first year of co-leading the ranch I could do no wrong. I remodeled all the bungalow bathrooms, the men’s house, the White House (Michael’s residence), the changing room on and on….and I loved every minute of it. It was service witch was one of the three pillars of RW. Silence, service and ecstasy, at the ranch it was easy to embrace them all. There is no question it is one of the highlights of my life.
At my one-year review, Michael said “I finally had the right guy at the ranch and you exceeded my expectations”. Unfortunately that was not the case for my wife and co-leader. She was getting beat down by Michael and Maggi almost daily to the point of wanting to leave the position and RW completely. We had talks every few day for a while…her good friends were very aware and felt for her as I did. I was quite the juxtaposition, I was loving life and she was hating it. I was very hard on our relationship. She was down for a week and up for a day…repeat, repeat, on and on.
The reasons for her abuse were mostly nonsense and really just a classic way of mind control, it was said to see, I still think about the mental abuse she went through…terrible!
Flash-forward and the tables turned and it was my turn. It started when I was asked by Michael to be his representative for the new building/housing project at the ranch. I was over seeing all aspects of the project as the title holds. A lot of political BS was going on as does in a community of this nature revolving around donations, power trips etc. I reported to Michael weekly on progress etc.
One of the RW lawyers hired a construction supervisor that was sold as well connected to the city but ended up being a shyster and was fired. When I was reviewing his job files, I discovered he was being paid for supervising, doing physical work and sub contracting…simply put, he was triple dipping (over $40,000) right under the nose of the RW construction lawyer who was asleep at the wheel. When I confronted her she was baffled and reacted strongly to me. Within an hour I got a call from Maggi telling me to back off of her and don’t say anything to Michael as he didn’t need the stress. Maggi told me this lawyer does a lot for RW and you cant confront her like that and don’t tell people in RW what is going on bla bla….i let it go but was fired from the position by Michael shortly after that and the POLITICS begin.
A month later I was demoted from the co-leader of the ranch to the caretaker of the ranch. Michael said I was still just as responsible for the ranch but with no authority. If you know anything about a community and/or RW that was like swimming up river…impossible, but I hung in there, I embraced the teaching and tried to work with it. To no surprise, my wife all of a sudden could do no wrong. From that time on the heavy control games where on and I was arguing with Maggi on a regular basis. We went from great friends to enemies. THE CRAZY STORIES I CAN TELL WOULD TAKE 1,000 PAGES. Four months later I resigned from any roll at the ranch. I wrote Michael a letter of resignation and he and I meet for a few hours to finalize my leaving the caretaker roll. When I told Michael about the games Maggi plays he said “I don’t blame you for not wanting to work like that and is there anything I can do short of getting rid of Maggi to get you to stay”, my answer was no. I did let him know I would still live there and do service as non-leader.
VERY DIFFERENT THEN YEARS BACK IN THIS FORM WHEN MAGGI AS PAPRIKA CALLED ME JUDAS AND SAID I WAS FIRERED. THE ABSERD THING IS, I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW OF THIS FOURM DURRING THAT TIME AND THE RW FOLKS WERE ADDRESSING RM…SORRY, NO RM TILL NOW.
One summer evening near MY GRADUATION FROM RW, Michael called my X and me to his home at the ranch. He told us the woman who introduced me to Michael was leaving RW for good (She was involved for over 20yrs). He wrote her a letter and had us go into separate rooms to read it and met with us individually to discuss it. Like we were little kids…really strange to me at the time, now I see the control factor.
The letter was really sad to read. He put the biggest guilt trip on her that I had ever heard. She had cancelled a donation check for 50k and opted out of a commitment to give another 100k for the new building project. She was coming back from a year off of RW AS SHE WAS SUFFERING FROM THE DEATH OF HER HUSBAND Of 35YRS FROM MAD COW DEAEASE. This lady had donated over a million dollars to RW and they were pushing her when she was down to give more cash and stocks…crazy stuff. She got upset from the pressure and decided to leave over it. Michaels’ letter said things like “God will not for give you until you make it right with the teacher” and ‘I did so much for you and your husband’, I did this and that…I was hard to read. The letter was so off and so out of integrity from his teachings that it was the final straw for me, I never looked at him the same. His ego was running the show and the teacher was gone. He grilled us separately with how we were going to handle her moving forward. He was easy on me and me hard on my x, she came home a mess, crying hysterically and they were barely friends…. More games!
A month later I was gone. I waited a moth so I could finish the remodel on our home and a project I was doing at the ranch. There was a moment when my x was going to leave as well but Michael got her ear…he had a lot of power over most.
During the process of leaving I was harassed by more than twenty of my RW friends. They said I had no courage, I was a pussy, your burning a bridge, I was betraying Michael and on and on. Michael had my x call me to ask when I stopped loving him, I told her to tell him I never stopped loving the teacher, it’s the man I have issues with…I know she didn’t relay my response.
The next year was a year of major growth. Thankfully I had a few good friends outside of RW to lean on. I also went through cult therapy with 6 x members.
Now I want to explain the major flaw in Michael and RW as a hole. There was always a strange secrecy under current. Maggi was the enforcer of it. We were always told not to share Michaels letters, that they were personnel and only for the community. The same was said for the meditation practices and basically everything. The letters were usually transcribed from Michael’s talks a few months after we heard them via recorded tapes on retreat.
They were great letters, when I left there were well over a hundred of them.
So here you go. One of my last times in Michaels house, he asked me to fix a closet door in his study. In the closet there were dozens and dozens of cassettes that had the name OSHO on the covers. At first I thought nothing of it but it was logged in my brain. The day I was leaving my home at the ranch for good, I looked up OSHO and ended up down loading one of his talks. WOW, it was like listening to Michael verbatim!
Michael only mentioned OSHO once by his former name Rajneesh. Over the course of the next year I started studying OSHO daily. At first I was simple happy to have access to OSHO’s great discourses. As time went on it was obvious Michael used OSHO’s talks, mediations, therapy techniques, and the concept of class. Michael modeled RW after OSHO’s commune. Michael always prerecorded his talks, he said it was to save his energy, well OSHO did over 3,000 talk off the cuff…one or two a day for over 30 yrs in Hindi and English. I have listened to well over 100 of OSHO’s discourses and I have heard every talk Michael prerecorded almost word for word. To think Michael took praise for OSHO’s genius on every retreat was a sad discovery. We all thought Michael’s talks were amazing, they were, they just were not his, they were OSHO’s. I took it a step further and started corresponding with the Osho Ashram in India and found a talk from the 1970’s where Osho spoke directly to Michael…crazy. Michael use to teach “be straight”, It was one of his main teaching. “if you cant be straight you are lying”, how can a teacher of truth do that and claim enlightenment?! For a while I was mad, I felt betrayed, now Im happy and grateful Michael introduced me to the teachings and methods of OSHO.
So the community of RW is continuing to support the lie. It is so clear why their was/is always a weird secrecy trip in RW. When you build a community on that big of a lie, it is going to seep out everywhere it can, whenever it can. Hence cameras all over their new property in L.A. that looks like a weed dispensary instead of a welcoming, open spiritual center. Maggi use say “Michael is so clean”, not so much. One time Michael said he was turning sickies into seekers…who was the sick one. Michael modeled himself after OSHO totally. From his cars, to his watches, to his custom clothes, to calling the center the RANCH, to the people he quoted (he was quoting OSHO quoting people).
Michael had the gal to say I was like Judas on this forum, that I betrayed him and do I know the story of Judas etc. Michael was a sannyasin of OSHO and didn’t pay respect to his teacher. In fact, he betrayed us all pretending and taking credit for creating the methods of RW. Michael often spoke of the need to develop a strong healthy ego. A healthy ego would be open about being with OSHO and using his methods to help evolve a community. Michael sharply put anyone in check if they asked about his travels in India. Even on Michael’s web site he mentions a teacher or two, but no OSHO. Everything he did and all that his community does currently is the energy and methodology of OSHO, they should know and honor that….to be real and straight, that is if you want to live authentically.
Michael did have a great quality of being present and facilitating the teachings of OSHO. He did create a community of 300 plus people in spite of doing it hiding the fact that the blueprint was barrowed. Imagine if Michael was straight and he didn’t hide the beauty of his teacher, THAT IS A MAJOR FLAW. The secrecy factor scared a lot of people away…good people. Most of them were shunned, me included. I haven’t talked to my sister or her family for over 6 years, they are all in RW, I introduced them to Michael, and now to OSHO…. and I betrayed Michael, HUH!
One more thing, OSHO was the most open and wise teacher of our age. All of his teachings and discourses are open to all and it has always been that way, if OSHO was CLOSED LIKE MICHAEL WAS THERE WOULDN’T EVEN BE A ROYAL WAY…think about that current RW members and ostracizers! You either face the truth or you don’t, your head is in the sand or its not! Free yourself and Michael of this unnecessary lie. YOU HAVE ALL BEEN DOING OSHO FOR YEARS AND YEARS…EVERY MEDITATION YOU DO CAME FROM OSHO. If you’re a community of true seekers you’ll want to see, if your not, your not!
Your true friend and seeker!