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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: SANSAT ()
Date: October 04, 2006 04:10PM

At the risk of appearing to use this message-board as a personal communication tool, I am nonetheless compelled to respond to the post by Sharon Nader dated 17Sept2006. My reason for this post is simply to reply to a few items that Ms. Nader’s post contained, apparently in rebuttal to my post dated 06Sept2006. I will review those items, and only those items, specifically.

To begin with, Ms. Nader, please accept my apologies if I have misinterpreted the specific statements in your post. There is no need to be defensive for I am not attacking Jacumba, Royal Way or Michael Gottlieb. As I stated in my post, I am a former member of Jacumba and, generally, I had a very good experience during my association with it (however brief that may have been) and met some truly wonderful individuals. I am only articulating what I have observed.

In the interest of disclosure, I do not have specific training in any of the many psychological or sociological sciences that other posters appear to have and nor am I an attorney – I am an independent consultant for biotechnology companies and manufacturers / developers of medical devices.

As to Ms. Nader’s specific points and to the extent that they were in response to my post dated 06Sept2006:

“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.”[/color:1f8940baac]

You seem to have misinterpreted my statements. I harbor no ill-will or hostility towards anyone associated with or otherwise connected to Jacumba or Royal Way, and certainly not to Michael Gottlieb. Let me be clear: I have not “intentionally mischaracterized” anything – as you are entitled to your own opinion based on what you see, hear and read, so am I. Your reference to “pathetic” is subjective and, again, you are entitled to your own opinion.

I have never in the past felt envy for the benefits enjoyed by Jacumba / Royal Way members, and I do not today. If you would re-read my post you’ll note that I describe my first (and only) “weekend retreat as a truly extraordinary and wonderful experience.” Further, I do not begrudge anyone’s feeling of love and gratitude for benefits they receive from anyone or anything, so long as no one is hurt in the process.

“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.”[/color:1f8940baac]

When I met my friend I was unaware of their involvement in Jacumba and, as far as I know, their involvement in it had absolutely nothing to do with either the commencement or maintenance of our friendship. At least as far our particular situation was concerned your assertion that we no longer shared the same interests – due to my departure from Jacumba – is irrational.

“3. No one “worships” Michael nor would Michael ever tolerate someone attempting to do so.”[/color:1f8940baac]

To this day, I do not know how else to describe the totality of what was taking place at the Patron’s Party. However, and in spite of that, this is a subjective description on my part and, once again, I am not a trained psychologist or sociologist.

“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.”[/color:1f8940baac]

In spite of what you claim, I did in fact attend a Patrons Party. And, yes, I had only attended the first weekend retreat. As I am not "deliberately [or otherwise] lying," please do not misquote me – I did not “report” anything specific, per se, in my post that “went on there” (at the Patron’s Party); I only expressed my personal opinion as to what I encountered.

As far as I was made aware the Patron’s Party is a birthday celebration party, of sorts, for Michael Gottlieb. I do not know you, Ms. Nader, or at least do not recall your name, so I cannot say if you were there or not (there were a good many people in attendance that I had never seen before, anyway). While I have no knowledge of your stated requirement regarding one’s eligibility in order to attend a Patron’s Party what I can say is that I did attend one. Perhaps there are rules in effect now that were not in effect when I was a member.

“8. At no Royal Way retreat has any participant ever disrobed, been asked to disrobe or anything of that nature.”[/color:1f8940baac]

My post does require some clarification on this point and I apologize if it was misleading: I have never personally witnessed any person, or persons, naked or in any way disrobing as a part of an Jacumba / Royal Way weekend retreat. However, I was told by an individual who had attended a weekend retreat, one that was subsequent to the first one, that they participated in a session during that particular weekend retreat where the participants were naked. While I did offer my opinion as to why those individuals might have been naked, I have no reason to make-up things regarding Jacumba / Royal way. This (the lack of attire) was just a point that was relayed to me by another member and I have no way of knowing the validity of their statement.

Again, my intention in this post was to address a few statements made by Ms. Nader and to offer a bit of clarification.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: Anon1234 ()
Date: October 09, 2006 01:54AM

All these long-winded explanations and clarifications are completely impotent. The passionate defenses put forth by devout RW followers are exceptionally weak considering the fact that if they truly wanted to refute anything presented on this site, they could simply post the writings.

I fully expected RW followers to refuse to post the writings, for they are truly the "smoking gun" and doing so would impeach this extremely dangerous organization.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: hal ()
Date: October 10, 2006 05:25PM

almost 4 months ago a girlfriend and her husband tried to recruit me for "The Royal Way". They shared with me the dvd of Michael's Patron Saint/Birthday and they showed me their custom leather bound book of all the "letters" Michael sends to his students. They also spoke of the retreats among other things. They both are VERY into this organization. Why they wanted to recruit me was very odd to me. They are a rich powerful couple and have even said that its a group for the "rich & powerful". I make about $20k a year and I'm not in their income bracket by any means.

I'm not going to a bad mouther but the power that RW and Michael have over my friends is VERY scary. As I watched the dvd - I cried because I felt that my dear friends being sucked into a brainwashing vortex.

Everyone has the right and the free will to seek spirtual journey's in one's life. But seeing a "Teacher" passing out strawberries as a form of holy communion to those who attended his birthday celebration brought chills up my arms in a negative way.

If I ever find a way to make a copy of one of those letters, I will gladly post it without fear or regret.

I know that I may get bad responses by Royal Way Members about speaking my mind but as I recalled by one of Michaels letters' "If you do anything in life do it TOTAL". Well I'm typing my concerns in the "TOTAL" moment. Good Day

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: Anon1234 ()
Date: October 11, 2006 12:05AM

Thank you Hal for your candid feelings about what you observed. It is great that more people who have actually read the letters of Michael and the RW Cult, are providing their opinion here. More and more people are coming forward now to share with the world how dangerous this cult is. Amazingly, this forum is the only real source of info on this Cult.

I can fully understand what you felt when you watched that DVD. When I sat there reading the letter at my friend's home, I had this awful pain in my stomach. I remember thinking, "My gosh, I knew this was a money-hungry organization, but I never knew it was THIS bad".

You are right on about the rich people. When my friend very first told me about the RW retreat, he/she said that there were Mercedes, BMWs, Porsches, and other high end cars parked there. (People who drive Hondas like me aren't invited, thankfully!)

RW has targeted these rich people. The rich have just as many personal problems as anyone (maybe more), but rich people, in a desperate attempt to improve their life, will throw money at their problems hoping that someone else will fix them. This is where Michael's business model comes in and where his psychotheraphy manipulation techinques start. Michael is certainly skillfull--and that is very scary.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: SS2006 ()
Date: October 11, 2006 09:08AM

For several years now, I have visited this site and have read the discussions and observations various people have made about Royal Way and “Michael”. I never wrote and contributed, because …actually I don’t know why. But when I re-read omnipolchc and saw Anon1234’s more recent posts - and then saw some of the Royal Way members’ very contrary responses - I had to write.

Never ever before I thought I would find someone else (who I haven’t met in my life) feeling and talking with the SAME passion, anxiety and frustration about RW and “Michael” as I have in the last few years of my life as Anon1234.

I haven’t gone to RW, but for years now have resisted some systematic painful methods of persuasion a few very close friends have used to recruit me. I have seen and experienced first hand how RW and “Michael” changes people – how it affects them and the way they live. And I have come to see Royal Way for what it truly is: a CULT.

Since then, I have tried to read and study what cults are and how they work and these are some observations:

• What I’ve learned about cults is that they come in many shapes and sizes.

• But they all have in common what Margaret Sanger describes as “the use of a coordinated program of persuasion (which called thought reform, or, more commonly, brainwashing)"

• Also, the central role of a highly charismatic leader with “special knowledge,” that everyone in the group measures themselves by, and feels compelled by.

The people I know all go to retreats regularly, go to patrons party, the West LA meetings, go to one month “silent retreats” over and over and… and if there’s anyone who thinks Royal Way doesn’t fit the definition they are either STUPID or LIARS…

Just because the group isn’t listed (yet) on Rick Ross’s own website, and just because no one else has it on a list yet, DOESN’T mean it isn’t a cult. In fact, if you look at the lists available out there on the web from the (now defunct) Cult Awareness Network, there was a listing for “Jacumba” – the previous name of Royal Way, until “Michael” was inspired to suddenly change it. Too bad those files aren’t available any more to look at… but at least the list of organizations is still out there.

Just as few years ago someone first listed some details about Royal Way here, and it took years for a few more people to add some background, I have no doubt there will be a day when MUCH more gets publicized, investigated and reported about this group.

Anyone who has sat in front of any Royal Way member – or any other cult member for that matter – and heard a line like “Royal Way is a ray of light in a world engulfed in darkness” amongst all the other bitter words they spout, knows what a lie this “positive change” that Royal Way members constantly talk about is.

From what I see, their organization celebrates self-centered, egoistic, material achievement as spiritual development, and says charity, and consideration for the needs of others (including close friends and family) is a personal weakness.

And yet for all the talk about improving one’s self (Sharon says “They have more to give to others, inside and outside of Royal Way”), the organization quickly eats up the personal time (and money) of its members – stripping away from them the time they used to share with family and friends – even their children – and leaving them poorer for it.

It is no surprise to find money-obsessed lawyers and professionals with big holes in their hearts (and not much experience with true soul searching and spirituality) feel that Michael’s self-centered “philosophy” is so fulfilling.

Trust me, I have nothing against money – in fact, I make quite enough – but I don’t think it’s a weakness to give some of it away to people who are less fortunate… quite the opposite. (Not sure Royal Way members think much of the great, selfless figures in human history – Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, by the way.)

Yes, Hal and Anon1234: it says EVERYTHING that these guys don’t want to put Michael’s plain words up here for all to see…

Instead we get Sharon’s legalistic responses to your very plain observations on the group… insisting that “There is no “free labor for the teacher” … we chose to care for the grounds, gardens and orchards ourselves rather than hire others to do it.”

Yes: how convincing… but let me get this straight, Sharon:

You clean Michael’s toilet for free, right?

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: hal ()
Date: October 13, 2006 11:04AM

SS2006 & Anon1234,

I just wanted to say to you both THANK you for both of your responses. Its sad that those who do make an honest living and had an amazing success of earning their "riches" STILL feel that they are empty, hollow and are obvious trying to fill a void in their life. I also forgot to point out that not only did I see my married friends, BUT I also saw a few other of my friends in this DVD. I WOULD NEVER let those who I did see on that DVD know of my new discovery of their involvement with Michael & The Royal Way.

If I were to confront those I know and saw on that DVD, I think they would commit suicide! The 3 other friends I saw on this DVD have been EXTREMELY traumitized (excuse my spelling!) by past personal relationships which include marriage, live-in spouse drama and a divorce. ALL three of my friends are the most amazing people, well educated and financially successful BUT their down fall is that they are weak minded (obviously). The can't seem to find their "ideal perfect mate" in the real world because this cult has programed in their head that they need to seek a "PERFECT" mate within Royal Way Royalty.

I pray very hard for my friends that are seeking approval, acceptance and love/companionship that as soon as they see through Royal Way's evilness that my arms are open to give them comfort and warmth. Until then I will never let the 3 know that I saw them on the dvd and just continue to love them.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: zombee83 ()
Date: October 14, 2006 02:30AM

Hal, SS2006 and Anon1234,

I came back to this site out of curiousity and I am surprised at the amount of venom and spite in your postings! What is clear to me is that you are acting out like fearful COWARDS. Yes, COWARDS who don't have the guts to find out for yourself. You lash out anonymously, hide behind your usernames because you think it gives you carte blanche to slander and spread your hatred under the guise of the faux legitimacy on the internet. Why are you behaving like this? Sneaky backstabbing? At least I have the guts to decide to go on an intro day, knowing that I can leave at anytime if I don't like it. But I won't go with a chip on my shoulder, either. My friend in RW is kind, well adjusted, big hearted and wise, and would never talk about people the way that you do. Their kids are also some of the most well adjusted kids I have ever met. They told me they are GLAD their parents are in RW. Some of their family members are glad too, even though they never went. My humble earnings do not disqualify me. I would trust my friend over the rantings of ignorant fools who have never met Mr. Gottlieb. Even the ex-RW people who have posted here have nicer things to say than your 3rd party speculations.

Hal- they would commit SUICIDE?? What a disgusting, EVIL thing to say! That is MALICIOUS and WRONG. RW is not a kool aid guzzling tribe of mindless freaks. This forum is full of organizations that would come much closer to filling that bill. But then you don't have the resolve to really find out for yourself, do you? Your opinion is worth NOTHING unless you have FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE.

Anon1234- "extremely dangerous organization"? Everything you have posted does nothing to support such a maligning statement! The poison you are spreading can only be ultimately self destructive. Ever heard of karma??

Cowardly. What you are doing just SUCKS.

I am TOTALLY turned off by your vindictiveness and I am more interesed than ever in going on an intro day. Your commiseration reveals yellow streaks. I am not afraid. If I like it I am going to tell people I know to go.

Also, the "rrmoderator" does not appear to be neutral on this thread. A moderator breaking the confidentiality of posters would be grounds for dismissal if it were my website. That break suggests a bias.

- Stacey Levy

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: October 14, 2006 09:08PM


Your post borders along the lines of "flaming."

Read the rules.

Flaming here is against the rules.

Your comments about anonymous posts are interesting.

You call some that post here anonymously "cowards," while expressing concerns about protecting the identity of others.


The only thing I have done here is to allow this discussion to continue, despite repeated requests from Royal Way folks to delete everything.

I consider such requests an attempt to stiffle free expression and promote censorship on the Internet.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: Disappointed ()
Date: October 15, 2006 06:36AM

After a couple of friends spoke to me about Royal Way, I began looking for more information on this group. That’s how I came across your website. At first I thought I might learn something useful about Royal Way but reading some of the writings of recent posters has me doubting. They are filled with such vitriol and fury, one would think that nothing happening in the world today is more deserving of attack then the mere existence of this group. Why do these posters find it so upsetting, so unsettling, knowing there are people who have found a spiritual teacher they love, respect and revere? Maybe some people just can’t stand seeing others growing and happy.

I’ve decided that I’m better off going back to my friends and asking them to tell me more about Royal Way. I would rather talk to a real person who really knows, not someone I’ve never met with their own negative agenda. Looking at my friends – people I respect because of who they are and what they do – I think I’ll get more truthful information from them than I will from this website.

Finally, I agree with Stacy that the moderator does not appear to be neutral here. Stacy is accused of borderline “flaming” while those posting some very ugly (and unsubstantiated) things about Royal Way and its teacher are free to be as noxious as they want.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: October 15, 2006 07:36AM


You sound like an Internet "troll."

See []

There seems to be a dose of that going on here.

Frankly it makes the RW group seem excessively defensive and somewhat specious.

And your comments seem rather contrived.

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