Can anyone answer how the three founders of MKP met? Was it through another LGAT? I'm just curious how they knew each other? One's dead now (rod herring), he was killed over child molestation charges by a family member, Rick Tosi's wife is involved, she founded the woman within. Does bill Kauth still practise?
Sure, here is a document that tells you exactly how they met, through another LGAT. Which is Justin Sterling's group Men, Sex and Power weekend. Remember, this sounds very nice and was written by an MKP member. So it does have a "positive" spin on the whole thing.
THE HISTORY OF MKP
By Hal Klegman
Hal Klegman has done a masterful job of uncovering and clarifying the early history of the New Warrior Training Adventure. It seems that all of us who were involved back then have different and often contradictory versions of what actually happened. Hal’s amazing ability to listen to each of us with both his head and his heart is a true gift. He then patiently and skillfully weaves the threads into an accurate historical picture. I enjoy reading Hal’s history because it factually reflects my personal experience and also gives me a broader picture of what others were experiencing at the same time. Thank you, Hal.
Rich Tosi, MKP Co-founder
This paper was written as a part of a requirement for a long delayed baccalaureate, I went back to school after receiving a “not yet” to be a co-leader; there are no accidents. Several editing changes have been made since the original as the passage of time has rendered some of the data outdated. Memories are not perfect; there will inevitably be disagreements about events of twenty-five years ago. I am responsible for what I have chosen to include and exclude from this paper. Errors in fact may be rectified should this need another edition.
I owe a debt of gratitude to many men and women for the time and effort they put into helping me: Rich Tosi and Bill Kauth for the incredible access they gave me to their memories and to their hearts and for the time they spent with me.
I thank Dan Conlan, Bill Lauer, and Roy Schenk, three men that went through the first “Wildman Weekend” in January of 1985 for allowing me to videotape a lengthy interview with them and sharing their hearts, tears and laughter.
I thank Patricia Clason, the “Grandmother of Warriors,” who most generously shared with me her records from twenty-one years ago, even when they contradicted her own memory.
I thank Jimmy and Mary Nocon, Tanya Dworkin and Joel Schatz (Prince of Frogs) for editing and re-editing this paper. Joel left entire sentences unchanged and cured me forever of my belief that I know how to write.
I thank Emeritus Professor of History Dr. Joseph Morton of Northeastern Illinois University and Emeritus Professor of History Dr. Albert Erlbacher of DePaul University for believing that I could do it, for guiding me through the process of creating an academically acceptable paper and mostly for not letting me off the hook when I wanted to take an easier softer way.
I thank David Kaar, David Lindgren, Hank Kinzie and Michael Greenwald for giving me time and sharing their memories and allowing me to interview them. They have each in their own way blessed me.
I certainly am ever grateful to G-d for my best friend, my soul’s mate and my wife, Deborah, for loving me for twenty-seven years and especially for her patience and her incredible typing speed during the months it took me to put this together.
My everlasting love and gratitude go to my parents Miriam and Hy, Loving Horse, Klegman, who found a tutor for me in the third and fourth grade when I could not read. They never gave up the belief that I could learn. I regret they did not live long enough to see me finish school.
I thank Mae Carden for teaching me to read.
Robert Moore in his address to the to the 1995 Summer Conference of the New Warrior Network ended with this:
“Could it be that that in the twenty-fifth century, some elder is going to be telling a story like this to a group of children: ‘It came to pass in the later years of the twentieth century that a small band of men of different races, from different walks of life, woke up, looked around, and saw what time it was. They saw how desperate the situation was, and how bad the odds were that they could do the work that needed to be done, but they nevertheless said, “yes” to the challenge. Children, though we cannot remember their names we are eternally grateful to them.’”
To Bill Kauth, to Rich Tosi, to Ron Hering for being Hollow Bones when we didn’t even know what a Hollow Bone was. Your names will be remembered and this paper is for you.
Hal ‘Rabbit’ Klegman, Highland Park, IL. March 21, 2004
Hal Klegman, Rabbit, December 22, 2001. This is an introduction to the history of the New Warrior Training Adventure, an initiatory retreat for men first held in Wisconsin in January 1985. This study is an inquiry into how three men of disparate backgrounds developed a workshop that, since its inception, has attracted more than 22,000 men in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and South Africa.
The Social Context – A Fertile Ground for Men’s Work
Events do not take place in a vacuum. In the 1970s and 1980s, psychologists and sociologists of both sexes were furiously debating gender and gender roles. Books such as Dr. Herb Goldberg’s 1976 The Hazards of Being Male; Surviving the Myth of Masculine Privilege and Dr. Ken Druck’s 1985 The Secrets Men Keep were among the first to suggest that, even as the Feminist Revolution was in full flower, men’s emotional and spiritual lives were troubled and deserved attention.
In her 1983 book, Intimate Strangers, Dr. Lillian Rubin addressed the changing roles of men and women. She said, “The search for personal change without efforts to change the institutions within which we live and grow will be met with only limited reward.”1 So the need for societal change in addition to personal growth was certainly a theme in the thoughts of therapists such as Bill Kauth and university professors such as Ron Hering. Scholars such as Herb Goldberg were on the leading edge of the academic response to the Women’s Movement. In addition, Justin Sterling had developed the Men, Sex and Power weekend. What were men looking for? What did society need from men? It was in the confluence of need for men’s personal and social change that the New Warrior Training Adventure was born.
Initiation in America
In the nineteenth century, American initiating men’s groups were so prevalent that it has been estimated that as many as 70,000 fraternal lodges existed; “A total adult male population of nineteen million in 1896 provided five and one half million members for fraternal groups.”2
The New Warrior experience is an updated version of an American tradition, a male secret society. Mark Carnes’s 1989 book, Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America, spoke of these early American initiation societies as being primarily about initiation and very little else. Elaborate ceremonies, costumes and progressively higher levels of initiation took up so much time that there was little time left for socializing.3 The first New Warrior Training Adventure did not envision anything beyond the weekend experience itself, nor was it about elaborate ritual and costume. It was about separation from the mundane, much as these earlier American experiences were a separation from the ordinary aspects of life.
The Founders Meet
The New Warrior Training Adventure was the brain and heart child of three men: Rich Tosi, Bill Kauth and Ron Hering. At the time they founded the New Warrior Training Adventure in 1985, J. Richard Tosi was an engineer with General Motors in Milwaukee. He had been a United States Marine captain and electronic weapons officer in Marine aviation and had seen combat in Vietnam. Bill Kauth had a master’s degree in psychology and was a self-styled feminist therapist. Ron Hering had a Doctorate in Education and was a university professor and seminar leader. Tosi, the Marine and engineer, had very little in common with either Kauth or Hering. Bill Kauth and Rich Tosi generously agreed to be interviewed for this study. Ron Hering is dead by the hand of his father-in-law in a murder-suicide in May 1993 during a custody dispute.
What was in the background of these three men that led them to come together to form the New Warrior Training Adventure? The New Warrior Training is a direct outgrowth of the feminist movement. Feminism in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s asked society to re-evaluate itself and look anew at how it defined the roles of men and women. It was at a feminist forum that Bill Kauth first formed the intention of putting together an experience for men. He said,
The woman I was dating was the president of the Wisconsin Feminist Therapist Association. I identified myself as a feminist therapist because, honestly, during the seventies that was the energy that was happening. That was the personal growth energy. I could recognize that these people were very highly evolved beings and I wanted to be part of that. So I actually called myself a feminist therapist, which basically means I was authentic with my clients and didn’t put up an artificial barrier. So she invited me to this bi-annual meeting of all the feminist therapists in Wisconsin. … As far as I could tell, I was the only feminist therapist there with a penis. (I didn’t check.)
I used to do relationship seminars and the women would all say, ‘This is great, Bill, but look around; it’s 80 percent women. Where are all the good men?’ I used to hear that all the time, ‘Where are all the good men?’
So here I am with this group of feminist therapists, seeing this splendid evolution, and I got pissed. It was just like, goddamn it, somebody has got to do something for the men. It was as if I was pointing out and suddenly that finger just turned around and went BONG. I remember the moment. I was saying, ‘No. No, not me.’ Then that feeling of resistance just sort of faded and I accepted it. It was my call.4
So in this respect the founding of the New Warrior Training was directly linked to Bill Kauth’s experience as a “feminist therapist.” It was but a few weeks later that Kauth ran into his friend Ron Hering at a festival in Milwaukee and enlisted him in this new endeavor.
Another source point for the NWTA was a continuing seminar called Understanding Yourself and Others (UYO). Patricia Clason (then Patricia Durovy) brought the UYO to Milwaukee from Denver. Bill Kauth attended the first Milwaukee UYO in 9/83. Char Tosi attended December 83 and Rich Tosi January 84. (Bill Kauth staffed UYO twice; Rich staffed five times and did the Professional Excellence Program (PEP),) Rich, Ron and Bill all staffed UYO in December 1984.5 The New Warrior Training bore similarities to UYO because that program was a main inspiration for the content of the Men’s program that Bill Kauth and others created.
Bill Kauth came to me with the draft of the program and asked for my input and comments on what would work and not work - as I was involved with revisions to the UYO (which eventually evolved into the weekend we now called Taking It Lightly), writing the Professional Excellence Program (facilitator training) which Rich and Char Tosi took, and other programs for the Dreikurs Relationship Center.
Rich Tosi and his wife, Char, were separated in 1983, but they agreed to go to a couple’s weekend put on by Bill Kauth after seeing an ad in a Milwaukee newspaper. It was not love at first sight. At the weekend, Tosi initially did not have a high opinion of Kauth. Tosi states,
I didn’t really like Bill at first. He did a couple processes which I felt were very unsafe and, actually, I got kind of wounded in, and we talked about it afterward. But, he did say something during this couples course. He talked about this very powerful course that he had done that was coming to town called Understanding Yourself and Others.6
Tosi became a participant in UYO. This was where Tosi discovered he had skills as a facilitator. Recognizing Tosi as a man with an extraordinary open heart, Kauth attempted to enlist his help in putting together this weekend experience for men. But Tosi told Kauth that he had no interest that he was an engineer that he worked for GM and he had no time. Kauth persisted. Eventually he persuaded Tosi to fly with him to California to take a workshop called Men, Sex and Power, offered by Justin Sterling. “It was only years later and after the fact that we realized how imperative Tosi’s Marine background had been to creating something which was well beyond the usual New Age nice guy stuff which tended to be short lived.”7
Sterling was an early disciple of Werner Erhard and the “est” (Erhard Seminar Training, and Latin for “it is”) experience, and the early “human potential movement.” Men, Sex and Power was a direct outgrowth of the training Sterling received during his years with “est.” This experience proved to be another precursor to the New Warrior training. Tosi recalled it this way:
It’s a critical story to my involvement in this thing. This guy says, “We’re gonna videotape you all. You have to sign this thing, and we’re going to use it anyway we want.” And I said, “No, you’re not. I’m not signing it.” Working for GM, not exactly a liberal company, whatever we’re going to do, I don’t want it on the videotape because who the hell are these California freaky guys? ... So, the story is there are about 20 of us that won’t sign it, and then there are 19, then all of a sudden there’s me. And I’m not signing the fucking thing.
So, finally they let me in the room after so many hours. I’ve been standing out in the hallway all this time. And Justin starts taking me to task, “Why won’t you sign it?” And I said, “Well, because I don’t know what you’re going to do with it and I don’t trust you.” And then the critical question: “Have you ever trusted any man?” And that was another major turning point. I began sobbing right there in front of 150 other guys. “No, I’ve never trusted anybody. Men or otherwise.” It was one of those, defining moments for me to be able to realize that I didn’t. So, then the weekend, the Justin Sterling weekend experience – although in my opinion very poorly organized and very unsafe, compared to the standards I have now – really capped something about being with men in a men’s container, which contrasted dramatically with being with women. It was just a different experience.8
Another source of the New Warrior Training was Kauth’s experience with Gestalt psychology. Speaking of his own background and his early relationship with his wife, Kauth says
… Ron and I were part of Milwaukee Gestalt Training Group (1971), which was a creative group of people at a growth center in Milwaukee called the “Cambridge House,” and we were doing cutting-edge personal growth training. Gestalt was very, very new thirty years ago. We were bringing in some of the best Gestalt trainers from around the US … A full Gestalt means bringing the parts of the whole together. The actual process was a lot like what we call emotional cathartic work that’s done in certain psychotherapeutic models which we [New Warriors] call “GUTS.”9
“GUTS,” in the terminology of the New Warrior Training Adventure, was central to the entire weekend experience. It refers to a cathartic emotional release through the use of facilitated psychodrama – similar in many respects to Gestalt psychotherapy. This was directly related to the processes previously introduced to Bill and Rich by Patricia Clason in UYO.
Bill Lauer and Dan Conlon were two men who participated in the first New Warrior Training Adventure. Bill Lauer had participated in UYO and stated the process used on the early New Warrior Training Adventures came directly from the UYO experience.10
Rich Tosi concurred that the New Warrior Training Adventure bore similarities in format to UYO. Tosi’s experience at the UYO, where he was selected to participate as staff, was “… a whole different freakin’ world for me. It’s just a world that I had no understanding of.” The work Tosi did at UYO is what brought Kauth to realize he wanted Tosi involved when he did “something” for men. . Kauth reflected on what was going through his mind at the time that generated ideas later to be incorporated into the New Warrior Training Adventure.
I was always into the cutting-edge stuff that was coming into Milwaukee and my friend, David Durovy, had brought this process in called [UYO]. It is based on the Driekur’s psychology model (he has done a lot of writing around education and kids). It was basically what we would call “GUTS,” all day for the whole weekend. … It was using a poem, which was loaded with emotion words, and then the challenge was to say the words at 100 percent. It was a pretty simple premise. But what it would do was catalyze whatever was stuck in people – whatever was emotionally stuck.
Kauth remembered that he brought his friend, Ron Hering, to the first UYO weekend and remembered that Ron “trusted me enough to come.” Kauth also remembered, “That was the same time that I really got to know Rich and Char.” I’d said, “This is powerful stuff. You are going to like it.” So Char accepted my invitation first, and then dragged Rich to the next one.”11
Summing up, the founders of the New Warrior Training came together at a UYO workshop, Understanding Yourself and Others, drawn by Bill Kauth and their own desire for emotional growth.
The New Warrior Training as Initiation
A premise of the New Warrior Training Adventure was an introductory, experiential, weekend-long men’s gathering and initiation focusing on deep self-examination. This initiatory training was modeled – unconsciously, at first, and later intentionally – largely on Joseph Campbell’s cross-cultural research, and uses his stages of initiation: separation, descent, ordeal and welcoming back into the community of initiated men. Integral to the New Warrior Training Adventure was that part of initiation referred to by Campbell as the Hero’s Journey12 and referred to by the New Warrior Training Adventure as both the Hero’s Journey and “GUTS.” The Hero’s Journey, as used in this context, was an internal quest to fight one’s own internal dragons. The premise was that a man could not fight the demons of the world until he had fought and conquered his own. At the New Warrior Training Adventure, those demons were represented as "shadow.” In Jungian psychology, “shadow” is that part of a person that is hidden, repressed and denied.13 The myths of Gilgamesh, Odysseus and Perceval are often seen as symbolic of the journey of everyman. The New Warrior Training Adventure took place in a safe container in ritual space. Container is meant as a metaphor for the alchemist’s crucible, a vessel capable of containing the energetic processes of transformation. These processes had to be emotionally safe, psychologically evocative of ritual space. Ritual space is an area, removed from the mundane or ordinary reality, which has been given symbolic or sacred intent by the container. In men’s healing work, it is an area, often in a natural setting outdoors, where men can meet free from the influences of civilization within a container that feels safe and blessed, often through ritual.
The work of initiation and other men’s healing is physically, emotionally and spiritually energetic, which requires a substantial container. Initiation of men, as used here, means a process used to transmit and model a healthy understanding of what it means to be a man. It includes rituals, activities and ceremonies designed to create a meaningful sense of inclusion and identity as a man. This is distinct from the term “rites of passage,” which connotes a focus on the societal and cultural functions of rituals and ceremonies, as written about by Van Gennep in his 1909 seminal work Rites of Passage. Initiation, as used to describe the New Warrior Training Adventure, focuses on the personal and psychological impact of the process on the individual.14
When Kauth, Tosi and Hering first explored creating a workshop, there was no consideration that it would have been an initiatory process. Whatever else any of them thought it might be or might become, none thought in terms of “initiation.” As Tosi said regarding the development of the New Warrior Training Adventure in 1984, “We never heard the word ‘initiation.”15 When asked about initiation and if he was aware the New Warrior Training Adventure was an initiatory process, Kauth offered, “That’s really a key question … because I don’t remember any of us thinking in those terms. All we knew was that, intuitively, this was something important to do.”16
The founders did not understand they were reinventing initiation for their time. Joseph Henderson wrote in 1967, “Initiation, more than any other body of knowledge, has suffered throughout history from the fate of continually being forgotten and having to be rediscovered.”17
That those involved in the New Warrior Training Adventure later came to understand the concept of initiation, and how they came to understand it, is beyond the scope of this paper. However, an understanding of the nature of initiation and the New Warrior Training Adventure as an initiatory experience is critical to placing the New Warrior Training Adventure in an historical context. As the New Warrior Training Adventure was an initiatory experience, it should be recognized that the men who offered the experience were initiators, in this case, initiators of men.
Joseph Campbell reflected on initiation and offered several examples from primitive societies. He speaks of the initiator as the “Wise Old Man of myths and fairy tales whose words assist the Hero [initiate]…”18
Further, Campbell asserts that,
…the actual effect of these [rites] was to conduct people across those difficult thresholds of transformation that demand a change in the patterns not only of conscious but also unconscious life. 19
In discussing the role of initiation and how central it is to the human experience, Robert Moore offered that the word “initiation,” as used by Jungians, could be translated as “transformation.” Moore wrote,
Initiation is the process of dying and being reborn. This archetype is so powerful in human life that it turns up in all parts of human experience, and once you have the eyes to see it, a lot of things that you have wondered about will begin to fall into place.20
Robert Bly has said about initiation in modern culture, “This is what is missing in our culture. …It doesn’t happen by itself, and it doesn’t happen just because a boy eats Wheaties. And only men can do this work.”21
Michael Greenwald, one of the founders of the New Warrior Network, the precursor of the ManKind Project International, has written that initiation served, in essence, to restore mature manhood to the world:
The mature Masculine must be reclaimed by the modern world. Its virtual absence from technologically advanced societies has, in the author’s view, resulted in one of the more serious moral crises ever to face Western civilization. Earth’s population has in its grasp the means to create a virtual Utopia. Yet we lack the collective will even to ensure against the annihilation of entire cultures through starvation and disease. In our world, genocide is barely noticed. Rape is used as an instrument of both pathological male self-_expression and ethnic war. We are willing to enhance performance chemically (with antidepressants or steroids, for example) at the expense of accepting our human limitations. We tolerate planetary pollution and disgracefully high infant mortality rates. Violence is becoming the preferred solution to interpersonal disputes. In all this, we see evidence that mature Masculinity, in its fullness, has all but been forgotten, and that “Boy Psychology” (Moore & Gillette, 1990) is prevalent.22
Hering, Tosi, and Kauth may be viewed as re-discoverers – albeit unwitting – of initiation. The New Warrior Training Adventure filled a societal need and an historical mission. The need is obvious: If men – 22,000 of them – had not needed what was offered, they would not have come, and the society would not have supported the survival of the organization. In the introduction to The Secrets Men Keep, Dr. Ken Druck wrote, “Men today are the guardians of some of the world’s best kept secrets. We lead secret emotional lives, often hiding our deepest fears and insecurities, as well as our most cherished dreams, even from those we love and trust.”23 One of those secrets is about the significance and the deep cultural and emotional meaning of initiation. The historical mission goes back to Henderson’s contention about initiation, cited above, “of having to be re-discovered.” Many discoverers are not immediately aware of what they have found. This is not unusual. Columbus did not know he had discovered America. Likewise, Tosi, Kauth, and Hering did not know they had re-discovered initiation. Their aim was to offer men a tool to do “something.”
Bill Kauth spoke of a conversation with Ron Hering about his, Kauth’s, earliest intention.
Ron, I’m going to do something for men. I’m going to do something. I don’t know what it is, you know…maybe a seminar or something, but I’m going to do something.24
Ron Hering replied that he had five sons, and whatever Bill planned on doing for men, he, Ron, wanted in on it.
We called the very first training the “Wildman Weekend” based on Robert Bly’s early talks on the fairy tale “Iron John.” It went well and I sent Robert a letter telling of our success. He wrote back a simple post card congratulating us briefly then pointedly asked us to not use the word ‘wildman’, because he knew the media would pick up on it and destroy the true deeper meaning of it as ‘natural or green man.’ We honored Robert’s request and changed the name to the New Warrior Training Adventure. In the early years we had not heard of Robert Moore … because his stuff didn’t come out until later. So we honestly did not know anything about archetypes at that time.25
From the very beginning, the New Warrior Training Adventure functioned as an initiatory process for men primarily in mid-life. In his address to the New Warrior Summer Conference in 1995, Robert Moore also referred specifically to the elder initiators of the New Warrior Network: “Look at your organization. You have some men who are functioning effectively as elders. They are full of generative power, that King energy that takes them so long to develop.” This fits into an historic norm of mid-life transformation. However, this transformation is usually documented by psychologists and anthropologists, rather than by historians. Michael Meade writes, “It is no accident that the average age for these gatherings (men’s weekends) is about forty – no accident, because the ‘midlife crisis’ represents another period of initiation.”26
The serendipity that played such a significant role in the rediscovery of initiation through the creation of the New Warrior Training is exemplified by this story of how dancing was incorporated into the process. Again, from Bill Kauth:
After experiencing Justin Sterling’s Men, Sex and Power weekend … we wanted to do that dance thing because it was so beautiful, and we tried it. We cut the men loose, and what happened was a wild and crazy man from Madison put on a record of some woman singing some sort of lilting music and, the next thing you know, we had these (male) ballerinas pirouetting around, and I said, “No! Cut! Stop!” … This was our very first weekend, The Wildman Weekend. So what we wanted to do was kind of get that primal dance energy going, and we made the mistake of letting them set it up and this guy puts on a record of a woman singing. … So I finally just went over and stopped it, hauled out some drums and just started drumming, and I just remember Peterson, a great guy who took all his clothes off, pissed in one of the plants and we were home. The other guys followed suit, and we had the dance much as we do it today..”27
The Influence of the Original Americans
There were also a number of things incorporated into the New Warrior Training Adventure that come directly from Native American cultural norms – the use of “animal totems” for names, the use of a “talking stick” to indicate who had the floor to speak, saying “Ho!” to indicate that a man had finished speaking, and inclusion of a Native American purification ritual, the “sweat lodge.” There were Native American-styled fraternal organizations in the nineteenth century, such as the “Order of the Red Men,” and there were organizations for children, such as the “Camp Fire Girls,” that used Native American traditions and clothing, or made up their own traditions and labeled them as “Indian.” The Camp Fire Girls, in particular, with its emphasis on women as unpaid domestics in service to their husband, was shameless about this in the early part of the twentieth century.
In his book, Playing Indian, Philip Deloria writes,
The Indian role models demonstrated the difference between natural domestic labors and unnatural work outside the home. Camp Fire Girls … claimed a transcendent existence as _expression of the universal female activities of child raising and homemaking. … Camp Fire constructions existed outside narratives of national history and social evolution, floating instead in a primal historical void.28
In searching for ways to break down the barriers between the mundane world and the New Warrior Training Adventure experience, the founders did what others before them had done: without conscious thought as to the consequences of their actions on Native Peoples, they appropriated Indian-style rituals, as had other groups forming for similar purposes around this same time, the early and mid 1980s. Again, Deloria notes,
The New Age men’s movement, for example, created a complex brew of interpersonal psychology, group therapy, and sensitivity training in Indian-tinged settings. Gathered out-of-doors, men’s movement enthusiasts made and wore masks, chose self-reflecting totem animals (usually big, masculine animals), passed an Indian ‘talking stick’ around as they shared repressed experiences, and meditated alone in the wild in a sort of well tempered vision quest experience. … Women’s groups had similar bonding rituals, often centered on an essentialist vision of women’s intrinsic connection to the earth. And of course New Age followers of both sexes bonded over someone else’s cultural knowledge in situations ranging from conferences at swank hotels to sweat lodge ceremonies in backyards.29
Bill Kauth has stated that he “instinctively” knew that a sweat lodge was a good idea. He recalled a man in Milwaukee, Charles Chips, who held sweat lodges that essentially were open to all people. In the fall of 1984, Kauth went to one and realized that the men’s weekend he was planning needed this type of blessing ceremony. He brought the idea back to Tosi and Hering, who agreed it was needed. Hering, it seems, judged that he was capable of doing anything by the “seat of his pants” and offered to pour the first sweat lodge – conduct the ritual of pouring water on hot rocks and leading each of the “rounds” of prayer. Kauth recalls:
We didn’t know what we were doing, and I didn’t feel like I could do it, and Ron was willing to sit there and pretend to do it. So I’d sit next to him and I’d say, ‘Ron, Ron, third round … this is the blessing round.’ He’d say, ‘OK men, now we are going to do the third round. It’s the blessing round.’ That went on like that for a couple of years, which attests to Ron’s genius and his kind of scatter-brainedness.30
While Kauth may have considered Hering scatterbrained, and Tosi might have thought Kauth dangerous, they nevertheless collaborated to stage the first of the “somethings” for men in January 1985. Seventeen men went through that weekend. It was not called the New Warrior Training Adventure; it was called The Wildman Weekend. Bill Kauth remembered one key reaction to the name.
I called it The Wildman Weekend. I knew Robert [Bly] enough to write him a letter saying, ‘Robert, we just did a men’s weekend and it was great. We called it The Wildman Weekend. My take was he was going to be really pleased … father figure … “Dad, look at this. We did this weekend.”
He wrote me back this postcard. I still have it somewhere. It said, “Dear Bill, congratulations, good work. I’m glad you’re doing that … and please, do not use the word ‘Wildman,’ because the media will pick it up and destroy it” … which was a premonition of 1992-93, when Marvin Allen used it in Texas and the media picked it up and destroyed it.
So, based on Robert’s invitation to me, I changed the name to New Warrior Training Adventure. I knew we needed a sense of ferocity, of hard masculine, there was something about the soft masculine that just wasn’t cutting it for men anymore.31
The second time it was held, in April 1985, it was called the New Warrior Training Adventure. In 1987, a group of men in Chicago sponsored a New Warrior Training Adventure, and the seeds of the New Warrior Network were planted.
In February 1998, the New Warrior Network changed its name to The ManKind Project. What began with seventeen men in Wisconsin is now an international organization with “centers” in twenty-two American cities, three Canadian cities, London, Australia, South Africa and Germany. The first NWTA in New Zealand and France were held in 2002, Ireland is having its’ first NWTA in April of 2004. More than 27,000 men had completed the New Warrior Training Adventure as of January 2004.32
1 Rubin, Lillian. Intimate Strangers: Men and Women Together. New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1983, 206.
2 Carnes, Mark C. Secret Ritual and Manhood in Victorian America. Connecticut: Yale University, 1989, 9.
3 Ibid. Chapters 1 and 2.
4 Bill Kauth, interview by author, tape recording, Quebec City, Canada, 28 July 2001.
5 Personal correspondence and telephone conversations between Patricia Clason and author.
6 Richard Tosi, interview by author, Chicago, IL, 5 January 2001.
7 Bill Kauth, interview by author, tape recording, Quebec City, Canada, 28 July 2001.
9 Bill Kauth, interview by author, tape recording, Quebec City, Canada, 28 July 2001.
10 Roy Schenk, Dan Conlan, Bill Lauer, interview by author, videotape, Milwaukee, WI, 17 July 2001
11 Bill Kauth, interview by author, tape recording, Quebec City, Canada, 28 July 2001.
12 Campbell, Joseph. The Hero With a Thousand Faces. New York: Princeton University Press, 1949, 36.
13 Johnson, Robert A. Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1993, 4.
14 Barton, Edward Read. Mythopoetic Perspectives of Men’s Healing Work: An Anthology for Therapists and Others. Connecticut: Bergin & Garvey, 2000. 255-270.
15 Richard Tosi, interview by author, Chicago, IL, 5 January 2001.
16 Bill Kauth, interview by author, tape recording, Quebec City, Canada, 28 July 2001.
17 Henderson, Joseph L. Thresholds of Initiation. Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1967, 1.
18 Campbell, Joseph. The Hero With a Thousand Faces. New York: Princeton University Press, 1949, 9.
19 Campbell, Joseph. The Hero With a Thousand Faces. New York: Princeton University Press, 1949, 10.
20 Moore, Robert. The Archetype of Initiation: Sacred Space, Ritual Process, and Personal Transformation. California: Xlibris, 2001, 78.
21 Bly, Robert. Iron John: A Book About Men. Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., 1990, 39.
22 Greenwald, Michael, “Shame, Initiation, and the Culture of Initiated Masculinity” in Schenk, Roy U. and Everingham, John, eds. Men Healing Shame: An Anthology. New York: Springer Publishing Company, Inc., 1995, 266.
23 Druck, Dr. Ken and James C. Simmons. The Secrets Men Keep. New York:
Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1985, 13.
24 Bill Kauth, interview by author, tape recording, Quebec City, Canada, 28 July 2001.
25 Personal correspondence between Bill Kauth and author.
26 Meade, Michael. Men and the Water of Life: Initiation and the Tempering of Men. California: Harper San Francisco, 1993, 13.
27 Bill Kauth, interview by author, tape recording, Quebec City, Canada, 28 July 2001.
28 Deloria, Philip J. Playing Indian. Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1998, 112.
29 Ibid. 173-174.
30 Bill Kauth, interview by author, tape recording, Quebec City, Canada, 28 July 2001.
32 Drury Heffernan, interview by author, written correspondence, 11 January 2004.