Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: sdcfish ()
Date: September 06, 2006 03:10AM

Hi there.....

I was also wondering if anyone has more information on "Michael" and what the Royal Way is all about. I also know people who have become very involved and seem very detached from their lives.

Any information would be very helpful.

Thanks and regards....

A very concerned friend.


Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: Anon1234 ()
Date: September 06, 2006 11:42PM

Simply ask your friend if you can read "Michael's" writings. They are usually about 10 page essays. He hands these out to his followers and they study them. Anyone involved in RW for sure has them. I have read them and now I have my answers. "Very concerned" is an understatement once you read them.

There is plenty of other info out there if you put in a little time. A cult like this is not going to make it easy for you. The writings are the "smoking gun"--read those and you won't need any more info.

Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: sdcfish ()
Date: September 07, 2006 07:00AM

Thanks for your reply. I have done hours of research and have found NOTHING related to Royal Way or "Michael".

This raises a big question mark how legitimate this guy is and what are his true credentials.

I am not critical of support groups, or any group that help people manage their lives.....but this group seems to be a controlling group that tries to get it's followers to dedicate their lives to the group. This is where they cross the line. I have heard of people doing a whole "year of silence" at the farm, not speaking a word to anyone for a whole year.

Is this not a psychological head trip or what? How damaging is this to someone's mind, not to mention their personal lives that are left in the dust!

Also, I have heard that once someone leaves the group, they become an outcast and are spoken very negatively about.....lies are told, and people are exiled.

Is anyone making sure this group is under control? For sure we don't need another Waco!

Please anyone give me some information about them.....I feel I am losing close friends that once locked into this group, the longer they are involved, the harder it will be to get them back.

Best regards


Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: SANSAT ()
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

Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: sdcfish ()
Date: September 08, 2006 06:37AM

Thanks so much for your excellent post. I really hope that people thinking about getting in, or out of Royal Way read this and get the help they need before getting too deep.

Much appreciated,


Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: Trumpet ()
Date: September 12, 2006 07:57AM

I think that this thread is fascinating. Anon1234, please explain why you referred to Michael's letters as "the Smoking Gun," so that I can understand you. Thank you.

Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: Anon1234 ()
Date: September 13, 2006 11:46PM

This "Michael" uses his "writings" or "letters" to manipulate his followers. I found a 10 page "writing" lying on the coffee table at the home of a currently involved friend two months ago. My friend forgot to hide it, as he/she returned home from the west LA "class" late the previous night. Since it was lying on the coffee table next to Time, I considered it fair game and started reading. My friend would have went ballistic if he/she would have seen me, as he/she is very secretive about the cult's content.

Anyway, reading this made me sick. There was NO self-improvement content. Almost all about manipulation (I recognized that, but I am sure my friend doesn't) and rant. Four pages were devoted to ranting about how terrible income tax is. "America was founded on the principle of retreat", and other comments about weak and egotistical Americans were the theme of this "writing". I considered it very anti-American. Remember, this “Michael” lives in an isolated compound in the desert…check it out on Google Earth.

There was a bunch of other stupid sections with rants.
“People are like batteries, some are weak, some are strong, some last a short time”.
“Fame is garbage. Even the finest food you eat goes into your mouth and out your rectum as garbage”.
“Be like water, it seeks the lowest levels possible”.

Other sections held quotes like "Giving to Charity is evil". What a joke! Royal Way, A Calif. Non- Profit Corp is RW’s formal name under certain public records! What is so terrible about giving to charity anyway? I guess it competes money away from “Michael”.

Anyone who really wants to know about this group should go to the San Bernardino County Recorder's Office and look up what property the Royal Way owns. I did and I'll tell you what you will find: You will find 45 properties owned by the RW. These are all out in the desert by the main compound. They total acres upon acres of land. Many are from individuals under a Gift Deed transfer. Some deeded to RW by individual Trust funds. RW doesn’t allow the recording of many transaction details, but they can’t hide everything. Many of these transactions are for one acre of land.

So I ask all you RW people: Why is a non-profit group collecting 45 pieces of land in the desert and add more each year? Who are these people mysteriously deeding an acre (and more) of land to Royal Way, A Calif. Non Profit? Do these real estate transactions have anything to do with “Michaels” written hatred of income taxes and American values and/or lifestyle? How is all of this relevant to your own self improvement?


I challenge any RW member and even “Michael” to publicly post Michael’s “writings” for all to view.

The writings are the smoking gun because it uncovers that the Royal Way is nothing more than a money-sucking cult and provides no legitimate self-help / self-awareness / self-improvement.

Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: Trumpet ()
Date: September 16, 2006 06:51PM

Anon1234, let me first say that I am not here to defend RW or MG. As a person who has studied the letter you are quoting, I need to tell you that you have misquoted it. I know the letter you are talking about well, and there is nothing anti-American in it.

Although it's true that RW pawns itself off as a spiritual growth community, it is very possible that it's real motives are all monetary.

If I were you, I would tell your friend that you read the letter, and talk to them about it. If they get mad (and go ballistic,) so what ... your friend shouldn't have left it on the table for anyone to pick up. You don't really know how they will respond ... maybe not the way you think they will.

I must admit that although I left RW, I feel sorry for your friend and the lack of respect you seem to have for them. If I have misread you, I appologize; but your message doesn't convey concern for their well-being ... at least entitle them to respond ... I assume you have a relationship.

Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: September 16, 2006 06:54PM

There are many ways to respond to people involved in cult-like groups that have drawn concern.

See []

Confrontation is not the only choice and may not be productive.

Royal Way/Jacumba/Ranch/Michael - Need Info
Posted by: Anon1234 ()
Date: September 19, 2006 04:54AM

I will firmly say that I am not misquoting (i.e. fact based) the letter. Perhaps Trumpet really meant misinterpreting (i.e. opinion based)?. I have presented many facts and I believe most people can spot my factual statements from my opinion statements.

Trumpet is certainly entitled to his/her opinion that I am misinterpreting the letter. It is only my opinion that the letter contains certain sections that are very anti-American. Besides, this was only a tangential point to my post. I believe many others would share my belief if they had the opportunity to read the actual document.

I do not have any lack of respect for my friend. My post was only to disclose to interested readers the facts and opinions I have about RW, and my conclusion that it is nothing more than a money-hungry cult. I truly believe that RW offer its followers no beneficial self-help or self-improvement.

I am not going to go into detail about the help I tried to offer my friend. It has limited value to others because it is a very individualistic situation. I will say that my sincere efforts failed and the outcome is not to speak of the RW with this person anymore and pretend it doesn’t exist in his/her life. He/She is very defensive after my efforts and mentioning it would ignite a fire because he/she knows my low opinion of the cult and this conflicts with his/her devotion to it. Freeing someone from the claws of a psychotherapy cult is exceptionally onerous, especially for a non-professional.

To anyone else that is a current/former Royal Way member, I ask that you please explain to us what the concept of “chakra” (sp?) is and how it is interwoven into the cult’s plan. The letter I read made many references to achieving higher levels of “chakra” and I was not able to grasp the overall fit. My opinion was that someone that achieved a higher level of “chakra” was a better human that the general population. This seemingly contradicts the RW’s goal of “surrendering your ego”.

Information on the Royal Way is not easy to find, but it does exist. I posted here so that the many others that have noticed negative changes in their friend and family members can understand what the organization is about and what they are up against. Royal Way is not something to be taken lightly. “Michael” has decades of experience fleecing vulnerable people out of their money through psychotherapy techniques. It has marred and destroyed dozens (hundreds?) of relationships between family and friends. Please be advised.

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