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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 08, 2006 04:16AM

Well, I for one am not scared, this is actually all very funny!
The best way to defeat their veiled empty threats is to ignore them.

The point I was trying to make, was that for people who are still psychologically locked inside a religious sect, if their Guru-Leader starts playing the "eternal damnation" card, then for vulnerable people in the sect, that can really freak them out. There have been cases where people have been pushed so far, they have committed suicide.
I have seen and been aware of various cases where someone leaves a religious type of sect, and then is "excommunicated" and is told they are going to hell, and they really believe it.
For instance, the Dominion Christian Centre which was in the news recently, has an ideology that says if you leave, you go to hell. Some people really believe that type of thing.

I know for outsiders to a group, that sounds ludicrous and idiotic.
But for insiders, or for those who have recently left a sect, that sort of "spiritual terrorism" and religious manipulation is very powerful, because the person might believe it. Its like Voodoo...for those who believe in it, it can work on them, because they "believe" it. For outsiders, its just silly. []

Belief is a powerful thing, and that is what they manipulate.

After all, if "God" is telling you that you are Judas, and will suffer his fate, for a believer who is vulnerable and confused, that could be terrifying. Some people in these sects believe their Leader can even "read their thoughts" because he tells them he can, and is good at Cold Reading, [] or has spies report information to him, and pretends he has supernatural powers. []

The Guru's who make those sorts of threats, know it can work very well on people, and that's why they do it. We have seen a number of those techniqes at work in this thread. Imagine what its like IN PERSON with these people.

I think its despicable, personally, and a flagrant abuse of religion.
So if anyone is freaked out by those types of religious based threats and hexes, always remember that anyone who is doing that, is just abusing religion for their own selfish ends.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: Anon1234 ()
Date: November 08, 2006 10:27AM

Thank you for you post about Royal Way. As an ex-member, your thoughts are of interest to many people. This thread has now has achieved 19,785 views--clearly this cult has the attention of many.

You mentioned:


There are so many other posting that need clearing up, but that might be for another time.

[b:03876693e6]Please do take the time![/b:03876693e6] Any facts you can provide, as well as your opinions, are important to bringing transparency to this organization. I have done much research and even read one of Michael’s letters, and I have based my opinion of this cult on that. Regardless, I want to be as accurate as possible. If you can bring clarity to some of the postings, please do so, as everyone just wants to know the truth.

Also, there is something going on about these letters. There are too many ex-members viewing and posting on this board for someone to have not brought forth the documents. [b:03876693e6]What kind of tactics has Michael and Royal Way employed to keep these documents from the public’s eye?[/b:03876693e6]

As I said, I read one letter and it was extreme and off-topic. The content was completely inconsistent with a church and or spiritual learning. [b:03876693e6]Freedom, what exactly did Michael’s four pages of rant about U.S. income tax have to do with spiritual learning?[/b:03876693e6]

My friend who attended a first and second level retreat informed me that [b:03876693e6]he/she was explicitly instructed to never reveal what goes on at a retreat.[/b:03876693e6] He/She was reluctant to tell me after just two weekends at the Ranch! Michael’s tactics must be truly powerful.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: Paprika ()
Date: November 08, 2006 11:13AM

I beg to differ with you. First of all, the posting for RM was exactly that, a posting for RM. I did not provide his name because I thought rrmoderator would delete it. He is real. Many, many people know who he is. Second, the post did not say he was an evil-doer or that he was the only one. You said that. And your reaction to the mention of Jesus is predictable. You reacted to the name and missed the message. And who said anything about a guru. Again your words.

You say Royal Way doesn’t answer questions or allegations directly. It should be clear to you by now that the people attacking Royal Way on this website do not want information. If they did, they would contact us directly as we have suggested several times. We have pointed out the obvious psychological motivation of the attackers. Simply put, they are getting off on attacking us on the internet. It makes them feel powerful and important, which they could not feel if they sat down in an open discussion with us.

We have made several postings that clearly state our beliefs. We have taken time to openly discuss our feelings about Royal Way and our teacher, and have addressed why, although we are not secret, we are private. Either the attackers did not understand what we said, or chose to ignore it and became even more vicious. So we responded appropriately. And more importantly, the whole approach of this website to Royal Way, its members and especially its teacher is blatantly disrespectful and has been from the very beginning. No one ever asked us for information. They attacked.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: RW Member ()
Date: November 08, 2006 11:23AM


You say you were merely asking questions. That is not true. You were attacking. Read your posts. It is so self-righteous to say we are "lost” and “brainwashed.” You don’t know us. No one is lost or brainwashed. If we were we would not be living such happy, successful lives. Your friend is no friend. He is exactly what Paprika said he is. You have let him poison your mind against Royal Way without even checking the validity of his claims. We offered to talk with you, but you chose not to.

And justchecking1234 seems to think the remark about Anticult and the stroke is a threat, when it is obvious that I was being sarcastic, and making fun of Anticult. It just doesn’t matter what we say. The attackers have convinced themselves that we are a bunch of weak brainwashed fools that need to be “saved.” Why? Because it is more fun than watching TV. Preventing a potential catastrophe can be lots of fun, even if it’s not real.

So, Eric, you have let yourself be pulled down by your friend’s lies. You don’t even consider the fact that there are literally hundreds and hundreds of people who can attest to what I am saying. You honestly believe they are all lying? I suggest you look under the surface and see the truth.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: ajinajan ()
Date: November 08, 2006 11:43AM


And justchecking1234 seems to think the remark about Anticult and the stroke is a threat, when it is obvious that I was being sarcastic, and making fun of Anticult. It just doesn’t matter what we say.

So [b:9196dc8c9a]RW Member[/b:9196dc8c9a] admits above to using sarcasm and "making fun of Anticult", instead of providing any factual information to back up his claims, with any statistical data or actual documents.

Again, the best idea is to [b:9196dc8c9a]ignore these kinds of virtriolic posts[/b:9196dc8c9a] and simply go on doing the good that you are all doing, airing out the dirty laundry of this organization through testimonials from ex-members, seeking out and publicizing actual documents from the organization, and researching and reporting financial data to the proper authorities and the public.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: RW Man ()
Date: November 08, 2006 12:14PM

Dear Anticult,

Do you mind listening for a moment with something analogous to an open mind? Or just pretend for a moment that you have one, and don’t look at me as someone “psychologically locked inside a religious sect.”

That you see me that way anyway is exactly why there has been no point in trying to speak directly to you or your accusations. But just one time, I’ll try.

Anyone with perspective can see that your punditry is utterly ill-informed. By that I mean, you don’t know me or anyone currently in Royal Way. You have no knowledge of Royal Way or its teachings. Those come only from direct experience, and you don’t have that.

So your response to virtually anything that anyone in Royal Way writes can be characterized as, “This is what these people always do...say...claim, etc., etc.” In your words, “...anyone can see what they are trying to do.” Adopting this point of view gives you carte blanche to always be right, which is very convenient. It gives you license to toss out such flowery phrases as “He doesn’t know Jack from squat”—the erudition of which no doubt impresses....well, someone—and feel that you’ve made some sort of astute proclamation.

When you’re always right, you don’t have to listen. You’re admirably self-assured. You don’t have to consider any point of view contrary to your own. When you know, from an empyrean perspective, what thoughts are good for people and what thoughts are bad, you get to toss rationality, and the critical thinking that you profess to value, out the door.

When you’re always right, you get to say that countering lies is a “Thought Stopping (sic) tactic.” No, Anticult, countering lies is countering lies. Can you be open to that?

Now, Michael Gottlieb has been doing retreats for 30 years. It is inevitable that a couple of people will be disgruntled or disenchanted. An extremely rare individual might even seek retribution. But to grasp onto those voices as reflecting the truth of Royal Way is glaringly weak scholarship, if that term applies. It’s another way for you to be conveniently “right.”

Please continue pretending you’re open for a moment, and meet me. I’ve been in Royal Way for 19 years. Thanks to Royal Way, my life is full of joy, song, dance, poetry, beauty. I have a beautiful wife, great friends in and out of Royal Way, and a satisfying career. In my career, I get to travel the world, garner experiences, and write about them. You might have read some of my work, quite unsuspecting that it was produced by someone “psychologically locked inside a religious sect.” My relations with my family have never been better. My mother and my sister both went to a Royal Way retreat because they liked the changes they saw in me. They saw me growing, warming, evidencing more heart than ever. My father passed away 11 years ago. Before he did, we reconnected in a deeper way than the normal, superficial father-son relationship. My father was prouder of me than ever. My life is a blessing to his soul. Michael Gottlieb helped me become a real man, and my father got to see that man: open, honest, proud, compassionate, successful.

That’s just me. I’m surrounded by hundreds of others in Royal Way who are living their own great lives full of joy and meaning. Above all else, we share a love of freedom. Freedom from old burdens, freedom to express, freedom to emerge into the fullness of who we really are.

I know this freedom reality is hard for you to grasp. You’re so certain that you’ve got Royal Way nailed, you know exactly what we’re all about...that we’re just another one of “those types of groups,” and who we really are matters not a whit to you.

Speaking of who we really are, lately you seem to be associating us with evangelical Christianity. You suggested that we should abide by some guidelines proffered by a group of evangelical Christians, and interpreted a recent posting as some sort of “eternal damnation of the soul.” We are not Christian, nor are we a “religious sect” (we are a spiritual community), and your suggestion of a “veiled threat” is insulting. I’m guessing that Paprika offered the Judas analogy to provide a familiar context in which a certain individual might look at his actions. Christians are welcome to their beliefs, but the concept of “eternal damnation” is certainly not one of ours. No one compared anyone to Jesus. Just an analogy, Anticult. Can you be open to that possibility?

Finally, there’s your nonstop paradiddle calling for Royal Way to post financial records, as if we owe any explanation of ourselves whatsoever to you. Have we ever solicited you for a donation? (Sidebar to ajinajan: We’re certainly not General Electric, we’re not on the New York Stock Exchange, and we’ve never asked for your investment dollars!) Why do you care where MY money is going?

Which brings us back to the obvious fact that you think you know better, that you believe that you can think for me better than I can think for myself. How insulting. May no one ever be so weak-minded as to fall into your snare.

I have a wonderful life, Anticult, and I can live it quite nicely without your input.

Yeah, I know: That’s what “these people” always say.

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: stop rw ()
Date: November 08, 2006 12:19PM

To all RW followers who are posting on this thread,

It would be refreshing if just one of you had the courage to practice what you and your god, Michael preaches.

Why dont you post just one of his letters? Instead of sarcastic remarks, ridiculing, assuming, and attacking, show some character and "compassion". (Does that quote sound familiar?)

Stick to the issues. Dont defend by attacking. Defend by answering the real questions. Stop avoiding the real issues.

Also, to the former rw member, congratulations and kudos to you for pulling yourself out of the rw black hole. You made the best move of your life by having the courage to get out. Best of luck and much success to you.


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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: antibigotry ()
Date: November 08, 2006 02:46PM

I am a forty seven year old professional and have been a student of Michael Gottlieb for ten years. I attended a Royal Way function tonight. I looked around the room and loved what I saw. I saw friends, good people, and educated people, successful people who are happy and are good parents. I saw courageous people who don’t blame others and look at how they can grow into better human beings. I saw poets, artists, doctors, architects, dancers, lawyers, housewives, chefs and psychiatrists; people of all backgrounds and types. Young adults, old and the middle aged. I saw people who love life and have gratitude for who they are and what life has to offer. I saw intelligent people who could never be controlled by anyone and who are too busy living a full life to want to control anyone.

I looked around the room and felt proud. Proud and privileged to be part of this community. A community that has above all one thing in common: the love and kindness of a true teacher, Michael Gottlieb. I feel great resentment toward the bigoted attacks that are posted on this site. Since when, in America, the personal pursuit of spirituality is subject to pseudo public scrutiny? For a handful of people to create the impression that I and others in my community are members of a cult is pure and simple bigotry. My God, what petty gossiping, what lies, what vicious hearsay and out of context retelling of lies. To take such gleeful joy at the number of hits on this site is outright neurotic and vicious. But I am not surprised. The internet is filled with trash like this and about every conceivable subject, and the presence of a biased moderator does not lend legitimacy and credence to any of the posts on this site. To the moderator I should add that I especially resent your seemingly unbiased presence. It feels like the biggest lie of all. You have never stopped nor commented on a single attack by anyone targeting Royal Way no matter how personal and outrageous. Who are you? And who appointed you to moderate? Are you elected or ordained?

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: stop rw ()
Date: November 08, 2006 05:27PM

Attention all rw followers,

You are all being exposed to the fraud that you are. It is becoming increasingly difficult for you to wake up and realize that your cult is just that, a cult. However, your illusions will be shattered soon and you will all return to the real world.

It is similar to a person who has served time in prison for a long time and is about to be released. (sort of like what your god will have to endure soon, with the exception that he will probably die of old age in prison)

That is why its so hard for you followers to seek the truth. That is why you can not tolerate criticisim of your cult. Either in person or via the "evil" internet. The last follower even attacked the moderator of this site. You are all so good at attacking. My ex associate was just as mad and violent so full of rage and hate. Is that what you are all so proud of?Is that a normal commonality amongst rw followers? Wow, not much to be proud of.

But no need to fear. Your cult will not exist much longer. Better buckle up for a ROYAL awakening. Good luck to you all. You'll be needing it !!!!

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Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: November 08, 2006 06:29PM

Its truly amazing the level of deliberate obfuscation that is going on in this thread by the Royal Way members. Classic stuff.

one member says..

Since when, in America, the personal pursuit of spirituality is subject to pseudo public scrutiny?
Again, that is a deliberate obfuscation of the issues. No one here is talking about your "personal" spirituality. I hope folks can see that totally conscious attempt to twist thought.

Here are the facts.
Michael Gottlieb chose in 1980 to set up a [b:bba7e576c6]TAX-EXEMPT CORPORATION.[/b:bba7e576c6] called The Royal Way. That is a hard fact. When you do this, you are subject to PUBLIC scrutiny, and even investigation by the IRS, as well as filing regular reports, and everything else. That is a fact. If he didn't want to be scrutinized, then he should have set up a PRIVATE real estate financial holding company, then its between him and the IRS. (Royal Way does appear to operate more like a real estate investment firm, not a church!) But obviously, Michael & Co want the financial benefits of not paying taxes, capital gains tax exemptions, without the scrutiny. That's not how the world or the law works. Its also pretty clear that since Michael is allegedly railing against taxes recently in a letter, perhaps they are already under review by the friendly neighborhood tax-man? Well see....

I will briefly address some of the other comments, but its basically just more DEFLECTION by the Royal Way folks.

I have said all along, if Royal Way simply produces some FACTS, like [b:bba7e576c6]financial statements audited by independent chartered accountants,[/b:bba7e576c6] and they check out, then fine. Lets see the FACTS.
But we have officers of a tax-exempt corporation, refusing to provide ANY facts whatsoever. Just vague flowery talk about how swell Michael is.
Show us the facts, and we'll get off your backs.
But you can't just make vague claims like "property" being "donated" and not show any PROOF. That dog ain't gonna hunt in this county.

Notice he also tries to warp it into a "religious bigot" issue, which is beyond absurd, and is more dishonesty.
Its really amazing the types of Thought Twisting going on by the RW folks. I do feel sorry who end up with these folks and are subject to a barrage of those types of tactics for months or years on end. It could really mess with your mind.

There are clearly some pretty smooth operators in the Royal Way group.
Those folks have an entire series of techniques for dealing with Objections. We have seen quite a few so far.

This is the classic part. Like any skilled salesmen, they give you the "come down to my office and have a coffee with me" pitch. Its the same thing Landmark does, when they get you in a room, so they can influence you on their terms. They want to get you on their turf, one on one, or one of you, and 5 of them.
Royal Way says "hey...come on down, and see me, and lets talk about it".
Then, when they get you alone, they start to play the same type of Mind Games they are trying to play in this forum.
They will move into stuff like..."why are you so untrusting? You need to learn to Trust", and blah blah, they try to turn the entire thing around on the person. Like they did earlier in the thread, trying to probe people for vulnerabilities. Scientology does the exact same thing, right after you fill out their phony "stress test". Its psychological manipulation 101.

This is how an ethical non-profit church/group should work.

You call their office, and you ask the secretary to send you their audited financial statements, fee structures, courses, etc. They say, "sure!". Then they put it in an envelope, and you get it next week, so you can look it over. Or they point you to their website. That is how a normal, decent, ethical non-profit operates.
Its all here in black and white in this checklist, and Royal Way [b:bba7e576c6]fails on every count.[/b:bba7e576c6]

Did you notice how he also tries to twist what I said about that Checklist for a non-profit church? Also notice how they are trying to distance themselves from that checklist, as they are saying they are a "spiritual" community?
Folks, that is utter nonsense, and is frankly a deliberate deception. They are a tax-exempt non-profit corporation and a church, exactly like they have said. Royal Way is a CHURCH, and its non-profit corporation, end of story.
They are subject to the EXACT same scrutiny as mentioned in the checklist above. Seriously, check out the list, they fail every single criteria. I am very impressed by that checklist, it can save people getting ripped off by slick operators, hiding behind non-profit status.

So they go round and round.
Personal attacks, obfuscation, distraction, distortion, threats, religious curses, shaming, vague flowery words, happy talk...they got the Good Cop, Bad Cop, Good Cop thing down to a science.

But they could end this right now.
the Royal Way nightmare could end right now.
To start, [b:bba7e576c6]answer these questions [u:bba7e576c6]in writing[/u:bba7e576c6].[/b:bba7e576c6]

Ask them the following suggested questions, and expect a timely, courteous and informative response. ECFA firmly believes that good charities willingly answer tough questions:

Is there an independent board that accepts responsibility for the activities of the organization and oversees its operations?

Are the financial records audited annually by certified public accountants?

Are copies of the audited financial statements provided to anyone who requests them?

Is information provided to donors about any program that the donors have supported?

How does the organization avoid conflicts of interest?

What are its guidelines and standards for fund-raising?

Is there a review procedure to assure compliance with fund-raising standards and guidelines? [/color:bba7e576c6]

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