Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Date: September 07, 2006 02:23PM
I, also, was involved in the group formerly known as "Jacumba" (now Royal Way) in the mid-80's. The poster "omnipolchc" was involved in the group for longer than I was but I experienced many of the same recruitment techniques, group means, psychological elations and, finally, suspicions as s/he did. Moreover, anyone interested - for whatever reason - in this group should read the postings of "corboy."
For purposes of admission, and to suggest an appropriate degree of wariness, I still recall my first (and only) retreat weekend as a truly extraordinary and wonderful experience. But, one should also know that more “advanced” weekends would sometimes include sessions, moderated (managed?) by Michael, where attendees were naked…purportedly to further strip away undesired ego and prevent one from hiding his / her true self so as to be more open to whatever “enlightenment” might come their way. (Michael is indeed a gifted charismatic, which does not necessarily speak well of him or of his objectives.)
At the time, my best friend was a standing member of Jacumba and I was starting to assimilate deeper into the group by way of increased member contact, member get-togethers or parties, and group sessions. I ultimately left Jacumba after attending a Patron's Party (Michael Gottlieb's birthday) and witnessing the unflagging homage paid to him by so many of the members of the group, one after another. So much so that it was difficult for me to mentally process at the time; I just remember being shocked at the power this man maintained over the members and how they so willingly seemed to surrender their own identity and shower him with what I can only describe as worship. FYI, the relationship with my best friend terminated rather progressively following my self-initiated departure from the group – I suspect that this fact isn’t at all surprising or lost to those of you who are knowledgeable in the intricacies and behavior of cults and cult-like groups.
RW may have been altruistic in the beginning but, after reading some of the more recent posts, this is not a group to be casual about. Again, anyone interested in this group for any reason should read (or re-read) the postings of "corboy" and should also check-out www.culteducation.com.