Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Date: September 21, 2006 10:55AM
I have been a member of Jacumba/Royal Way for many years and it is heartbreaking to read such venomous attacks on Royal Way and Michael Gottlieb, the worst being from people who never attended a Royal Way Retreat or even met Michael. They state “facts” that are outright lies and attack and misquote his papers, which they say are secret. How can they be secret when they are sent to the hundreds of people who are members of Royal Way? Why such hatred for something they know nothing about?
Michael is a man who has devoted his life to helping people lead rich, fulfilling lives, a man of endless patience and compassion who wants only for people to grow and be happy. That someone would intentionally mischaracterize as “worship” the love and gratitude many feel for all he has given to help them solve their problems and enrich their lives is mean spirited and pathetic. It sounds like envy to me.
To the people attacking Michael’s wealth, his finances are none of their business, but to set the record straight, Royal Way is a church and all the money from our retreats goes to Royal Way, not to Michael Gottlieb personally. Most of Michael’s work is done without charge and he does not live in a desert compound as someone claimed. He lives in a house in Los Angeles. Our retreats are held at RW Ranch in Lucerne Valley, California, which is owned by Royal Way. The Ranch is a conglomeration of many individual parcels of land, large and small. Other than a parcel of vacant land which I personally donated to Royal Way, and two small one-acre vacant parcels another member donated, all of the parcels comprising the Ranch were purchased from unrelated third parties (nonmembers) who had listed them for sale.
Royal Way is a true spiritual community. The people who choose to stay and grow with Royal Way become stronger, richer, more independent and more effective in every endeavor, worldly and spiritual. They have more to give to others, inside and outside of Royal Way. Each of us is a distinct individual; the suggestion that we all talk and look alike would provoke a big belly-laugh in anyone who knows us.
Michael is a spiritual Teacher who shares his personal experiences with us and lives what he teaches. He knows much that I do not; that is why I stay with him and continue to learn. He is very loving, caring and giving -- all of the time. He never hurts anyone in any way, emotionally, spiritually, financially, physically, psychologically, or otherwise. And he never interferes with anyone’s personal decision to leave, to stay, to grow fast, to grow slow, to not grow at all. Anyone who wants to believe that such a great Teacher does not exist, and who would rather indulge in dark speculation about supposed ulterior motives and devious methods, has a problem.
Regarding people leaving Royal Way, just like any friendships in life that evolve from common interests, be it a job or membership in a book club or health spa, when someone leaves, they no longer share the same interests, so friendships often change and people move on. This is natural. Yet, there are people in Royal Way who have spouses or relatives who are not, and there is absolutely no problem in their relationships. There also are people who have left Royal Way who only have positive things to say about their experience. They too have no problem. On occasion, however, there is someone who leaves Royal Way and does not move on. It is not unlike a divorce. Many people get divorced and drop the matter. They go on living and achieving all kinds of things, even marrying again. But every once in a while there is someone who, after a divorce, makes that divorce the central focus of his life. His life stops right there, and his food and his drink and his breathing turn to poison.
This has happened to one or two people who have left Royal Way. Writing under a variety of anonymous names and posing, alternately, as former members, interested friends and concerned relatives, they have used this forum for postings that deliberately misquote Michael and misrepresent what Royal Way is. They have their own agenda which is to “save” others from Royal Way. In reality, they are not saving anyone, least of all themselves.
There has been much uninformed conjecture and deliberate misrepresentations about Royal Way posted on this forum. To dispel at least some of this false information, I submit the following:
1. No cult awareness expert, organization or database has ever named Royal Way a cult. This includes the late Dr. Louis Jolyon West of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Rick Ross.
2. Royal Way does not “target” gays or the financially affluent.
3. No one “worships” Michael nor would Michael ever tolerate someone attempting to do so.
4. There is nothing hidden or secretive about either Royal Way or Michael. On the first weekend retreat Michael tells the participants his name – Michael Gottlieb. He has also written openly to members about his background. And, he has opened his home to us on many occasions.
5. Michael incorporates teachings from a number of sources Buddha, Moses, Lao-tzu, Gurdjieff, Rabindranath Tagore, Sigmund Freud, Viktor Frankl and Albert Einstein to name just a few. He has never claimed that what he teaches is original. He, however, is completely original.
6. Royal Way is in no way affiliated with any “Fourth Way” organization or movement.
7. Someone who has only attended the first retreat is not eligible to attend a Patrons Party for the simple reason that they would not understand what it is. So the person claiming to have attended a Patrons Party after only one retreat and reporting on what supposedly went on there is deliberately lying.
8. At no Royal Way retreat has any participant ever disrobed, been asked to disrobe or anything of that nature.
9. There is no “instruction” in Royal Way that “students proceed thru seven or so stages of development, starting with childhood . . .”. There is nothing even remotely related; this is complete fabrication.
10. There is no “free labor for the teacher” in Royal Way. We (the members) own a lovely Ranch in Lucerne Valley and we chose to care for the grounds, gardens and orchards ourselves rather than hire others to do it.
My years in Jacumba/Royal Way have given me a deeper understanding of myself, others, and the world around me, have enabled me to excel in my career and make more money now than ever before. I have many friends in and out of Royal way and lead a truly happy, fulfilling life. And I am not the only one who feels this way. There are hundreds of people who have attended Royal Way retreats who read and study Michael’s papers, and send him letters of love and appreciation.
As someone said, Michael has a powerful influence on people and their lives. To them I say, yes he does, a powerful influence for growth, not only for those who are fortunate enough to know him, but all those they come in contact with. Royal Way is a ray of light in a world engulfed in darkness.
One final question. Every day, the two great opiates of our time – television and the internet - enslave millions of Americans, whose beings are so filled with trivia and garbage that they have profoundly lost any sense of their own worth, their own possibilities. Why is it that this gets no attention whatsoever from people who profess to be so concerned about protecting our personal freedoms and integrity? This is a phenomenon truly worth exploring.