It's because of that fact that I give this board my respect. You can have a balanced discusion here if you are willing to 'control yourself' and not get overly hyper or abusive.
Kudos to everyone for maintaining civility and self control :)
Thanks, FrankD. Appreciate it. I think that this group is pretty balanced overall as well. And thanks for your thoughtful responses. Your posts contribute to that balance.
And I can see the LGAT similarities myself and I am willing to agree that the group has that tendency.
Cool. Then we agree. And, again, I am not saying that mkp is a cult. I was just trying to illustrate my point that mkp has some cult-like tendencies via the helpful link you shared with us--just for the sake of a productive discussion that may help us all to better understand the differences between cults and LGATs, and where mkp fits. And like I posted before, I didn't tend to the LGAT characteristics since rrmod has done such a good job of that. Just thought I'd take up the framework your link offered to see how it fits with mkp. And with all that analysis, I still don't see mkp as a cult. Just offered some food for thought in seeing some cult-like tendencies, which any organized group may show some signs of if adversely managed.
I think you make some good points in your responses, and I agree with many of your points, but perhaps I could tease out a few distinctions. I think that the money that certain groups like the Girl Scouts is "precoccupied" with making is primarily so the group can continue to run its functions (e.g., food & lodging for girl scout camp) is different that the money that some chapters of the mkp is making. I have been in girl scouts and have also helped to run a chapter, and I never made a salary, nor have any volunteers in the chapers I belonged to, nor did we bring in millions of dollars (or paid any leaders more than $70 K). And the money we did make, we used to feed the girls and parent volunteers, not to starve them. And yes, some financial contribution is needed on the part of the girl's family, but the family is aware of what their money is going toward up front, and the chapter pays some of the expenses of the girls (hence the preoccupation with money--to help to financially support the functions so that the entire burden does not rest on the family). I'm not familar with AA, so I cannot offer any rebuttal there. As for the scholarships for the MKP participants, if you look at the financial statement posted a while back for that Colorado mkp chapter, you'll see how much of that money actually goes toward scholarships. Two or three scholarships do not account for the millions some chapters are bringing in every year.
Yes, other classes and seminars cost money, but we know up front that professionals are getting paid for their professional expertise and such seminars do not portray themselves as non-profit organizations. My issue with the mkp is that they purport to be non-profit, when it is clear to anyone with logical reasoning and simple mathematical skills that the mkp is making profits that are not accounted for--regardless of the mkp lodging expenses.
I agree that all organizations are concerned with bringing in new members, as it is hard to keep the organization going without them. I was just pointing out that mkp is no exception. One thing to remember, though, is that most other organizations are more upfront about what they are all about BEFORE initiates pay to become members.
I would say that men are not punished, but groupthink is used, as well as activity-packed weekends that do not allow for much time to question, reflect, doubt, etc. Men are kept too busy and are not provided the proper nourishment, rest, and alone time to make independent and rational decisions.
But unless they have lots of free time and money, most men would only go to the weekend ONCE.
I don't think you could make this claim for all involved. Actually, my hubby said he would have been more interested in continuing on with the group had he had more time to reflect and journal on the activities and his feelings surrounding them. IMO, what goes on in these mkp weekends is coersion, and it is facilitated by wearing down the initiates. Any medical or nutritional website will tell you about the importance of protein and proper rest on cognitive thinking (e.g., logical reasoning).
Now, in the groups I could see the 'groupthink' attitude but I would ask "if you were a member of any other 'club' (Knights of Columbus, Freemasons) wouldn't THEY have their own 'groupthink? If you started to oppose their ideals and traditions you'd be disliked too.
Just because some groups are worse (or other groups do it too), it doesn't make the fact that the mkp does it too okay IMO. This still affects independent logical reasoning and coersion is one of the weapons they use to do it.
MKP is elistist in that the rhetoric both on their websites, doctrine, and during the weekends all suggest that these men are the ones who "get it"--who live in integrity. And those who do not come back to the group just "didn't get it" or refuse the "gifts" of the MKP. But I don't think that MKP goes as far at the quote above suggests.
I agree with this. I don't think it is an indicator of them being any different that other 'special' organizations.
And just because other "special groups" do, does it make it okay that mkp does too? I thought their website also says that is is inclusive to other religions, races, sexual preferences, etc. . . . BUT only if you are one of the chosen ones who "get it?" Perhaps they should add that. We see how some pro-MKP leaders treat ex-MKP'ers on these online discussion boards when they disagree. Certainly not like "brothers." But then again, I also admit that some ex-MKP'ers don't treat the pro-MKP'ers with respect either.
ok, now I have been to 'be your own businessman' seminars and other seminars where they are teaching you new ways of thinking and problem solving. They all tell you that 'You are the ones who get it'. Why is that bad? We do 'get it' because we've seen a part of ourselves that most men never see.
I see a pattern here with your thinkning, and I never said that other groups don't exhibit some of these same behaviors. It's just that this group is specifically concerned with MKP on this thread. So that is what I have been focusing my analysis on. But I will say again that professional seminars really aren't the same thing, as leading professional in the field are what's expected at such seminars--and we expect to pay such specialists what they are worth and we have no expectations of continuing to go to other seminars led by the same professional and to hang out with primarily others who have also attended the seminars. And the professionals at these seminars certainly don't make their participants gets naked in order to "get it"--nor sign confidentiality agreements about what goes on in those seminars. And the professionals are just that . . . professionals, certified in whatever their field may be by a host of their colleagues who are also certified. The people running these MKP weekends may or may not be certified or licensed in counseling or education.
It may 'suggest' to initiates that they may only 'feel comfortable' with other MKP men but realistically, onlythe one who had no life when they came to MKP will exit their 'current life' and friends.
I think you are probably right, for most chapters. But from what I have read, it does appear as though some chapters are mcuh more demanding of their members and their time than other chapters, which certainly will impede their relationships with others outside of the group. Plus, the secrecy factor certainly hinders the intimacy that most people expect from their spouses, partners, children, parents, brothers, and friends.
Which brings me to another point. One of the issues I see is that the REALLY hurting or messed up men who go to the weekend will walk out with friends where there were none before. SOme people would see that as them becoming obsessed with MKP and say 'they were brainwashed!'
I admit that many do make good friends in mkp, but others (like my hubby) were encouraged to focus primarily on his new mkp friends (because they were "enlightened" and of "integrity", unlike those on the "outside"). And once he decided not to go to staff this weekend, he has heard nothing back from these so-called friends. Now, when my friends dropped out of Girl Scouts, my sorority, college, my major, my teacher's association, or any other group I belonged to, I never stopped talking to them because of that.
But are they? There's one person who posts somewhere else whose 'friend' was always depressed, went to MKP weekend, and now he is very involved in MKP so he must have been brainwashed! COuldn't it be that he just finally got some self esteem and also met a group who would accept him and men who would be his friends? Is that so hard to believe?
Why would we deny him that? His life sucked before then. Surely therapy and anti-depressants were not working. I'm not saying he IS or IS NOT being 'controlled'. I'm just saying 'how can we make that conclusion with the evidence we've been presented with?'
First, I don't think that you can come to the conculsion that his meds were not working, as you don't know what he was taking or whether he was taking them as directed. And as for therapy, if you are not clicking with a therapist, you can tell them that and they are legally required to assist you in finding another if you need one (they don't shun you for your decision). But I do agree that some men are happier in their lives post joining mkp. I'm still not sure that the end justifies the means, expecially for those who are survivors of abuse. There are much more empowering ways of helping people through hard times available to MKP but they choose not to use them.
hus, they justify some of the abusive activities via "the end justifies the means" mentality. And like many mkp'ers have said on these boards, they would probably not have gone to the weekend had they known about these processes/activities beforehand.
I would not have gone. I would have thought they were silly or weird. But afterwards I was glad I went. I didn't like the few times my beliefs or attitude was 'challenged' but in hindsight it was like 'tough love'. Meaning their 'goal' wasn't to beat me up, it was to make me feel and think.
Then this proves that this is a problem (if you would not have gone). That constitutes COERSION, which is abusive at its core. And actually, their goal is not for you to think (please re-read the earlier posts with the MKP manual exerpts). They want you to feel but not have enough time to think about those feelings and what they mean to your life and your decisions about your life.
If their goal was to BE abusive it would continue the whole weekend. It did not.
Actually, with all due respect, as someone who has been in an abusive relationship before and has witnessed many others who have been as well (not to mention talked with my hubby who studied abuse tactics in his graduate training), abuse is never constant. It is more difficult to keep someone in an abusive relationship if it is always abusive. It is the "honeymoon period" after the abuse that makes the one being abused still feel loved, albeit "tough love" sometimes. It can still be A goal of the organization without being the ONLY goal.
Anidawehi, thanks for your very informative analysis. It got me to think about some things. I have an interesting observation. I noticed that in your last post you were trying to find SOMETHING MKP does that you could apply to the 'cult description'? Several were really good and some were comments as if you felt you had to find 'something' to fit the description.
Thanks for your feedback, FrankD. I admitted that some of my comparisons were stretched. I was just brainnstorming. Also, when debating, the most common structure is to organize the counter-point first then add the point you're trying to make. I noticed that most of us on this board do this. it is common nature to do so, and a linguist I know this is what the research proves. And it is actually this structure that leads to a more balanced discussion, not just discussing one side--but to acknowledge all sides.
Speaking of research, perhaps mkp would not be so scrutinized if it could actually prove itself to be more helpful than harmful, just as prescription drugs and clinical therapy have to. They have PROVEN positive outcomes through rigorous studies. All the informations is shared and out on the table for discussion so it makes it more difficult to argue against the benefits of these therapies (and education for that matter).
Thanks again for your thoughtful discussion, Frank. Hope you're off to a good week.