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.
Yeah, Girl Scouts was all I could think of at the time of writing. I am only trying to point out that we need to properly define what 'preoccupied' means. As far as I know there is no 'Vice President in charge of getting men to give money'. so, I would argue that they NEED to raise money but it is not the focus or purpose of the organization - that's all.
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.
Yeah, that's one of the more difficult arguments to resolve, at least for me. Here is what I think: On the one hand MKP wants to help men with their weekend warrior thing. On the other hand their weekend warrior thing has in it some aspects that AMERICANS find uncomfortable. Mostly the nudity.
If I were to say to you "You'll sit in the nude and have emotional discussions with other men" you would probably feel it is too weird for your taste AS AN AMERICAN. If I were to go to Europe - or to a nudist camp and say the same thing you'd be likely to think it is a good idea.
And since I am (slightly) prudish I WOULD NOT have gone because, well I'm prudish. :oops:
But that only addresses MY view on the weekend stuff others consider to be weird. I can understand why MKP feels they have to keep it 'low key' so that they can GET us amreican men who have issues with emotions and our bodies to actually GO and take that leap of faith, that risk.
So, as far as the weekend 'secrecy' I can understand it UP TO A POINT. I think they SHOULD tell people there are group discusssions and workshops and that you will be challenged to reexamine your identity through a series of identity building exercises.
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.
OUr discussion is about MKP as an LGAT, and is it a cult? So, my examples of other groups 'doing it' is meant to point out that these 'groupthink' attitudes are a common theme among groups of many types and isn't enough to call them a 'cult'. Like I said before, I'll take the LGAT description as a 60% - 80% 'description' of MKP but I think some of the talking points used to describe LGATs are not as strong as others when it comes to MKP.
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.
Yes, the 'respect' level goes down after the 'break up'. Neither side is very tolerant of the other but couldn't that be because the 'ex-mkp' person is usually unhappy with MKP, and the 'pro-mkp' person is not, so they feel like they are opponants? Just a thought.
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.
Ok, my example was an attempt to use an 'abstract' comparison - there are many organizations who have guest speakers or facilitators that are 'KNOWLEDGABLE' and are paid to speak. And that is the point I am making, that it isn't 'unusual'. ok? :)
And your comment about ' 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.' , I say 'in general, no'. But there will always be groups of people who think alike and go to the same kinds of 'seminars' and hang out together. I call one such group 'progresssives'or 'leftists'. ;)
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.
Nobady _makes_ you get 'naked'. The whole 'nakedness is a big deal in all these discussions. I do agree with you that it is not 'the norm'. It surely is the focus of the opposition to MKP.
The certified / licensed counselors argument is something I think they should do more with AT THE WEEKEND and other times. I think there are going to be some people who are in an emotioanlly fragile time in their lives and the NWTA could be more than they can handle. When I went I was under the impression that they do have some kind of staff person there with some real training. I recall talking to a staff person at the dinner who was telling us the kind of costs they incur with insurance, licensing and other fees which included some special staff.
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.
Right, but you knew them because of a realationship through your child. If the only think you had in common was MKP then once you left you'd have nothing in common, right? I HAVE seen posts by others who had a friend they knew in MKP who they had gotten to be 'real' friends with and when they left mkp they still hung out. I think it really depends on the relationships you created while there, and how you left - angry or coordially. We don't know what happend in most cases.
....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.
Oh come on, you're normally excellent debating skills got lost in the first part of your response.
Discounting whether or not I can 'tell' if his meds were not working in order to invalidate the rest of my statement? :) That's not a rebuttal to the real question of 'how can we say that someone whose life sucked before MKP is being harmed?". It takes the focus away from the actual question.
Later you do agree that some men are happier and raise the question 'does the end justify the means'. I would submit to you that, for the hypothetical man we are describing it does. He would say that if you asked him. Does that make him crazy or does it make us crazy for judging him? As for me, I'm not sure.
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.
But who has the problem? Me because I find these things (nudity, talking about my feelings with other men, sitting in a sweat lodge) embarrasing? NObody 'coerced' me to go. I went because I was wanting to do something that was 'very different' and the people I spoke to who had gone (whom I respected) said it was, um, way different.
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.
So, are you saying that the 'abusive' weekend ends with the 'honeymoon' and that is ENOUGH to keep someone 'hooked'? I felt the 'honeymoon' feelings after the weekend in the form of an emotional high. I went to the I-Group training for aout 3 weeks and then stopped because it was boring. I guess they didn't abuse me enough. ;)
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).
I agree with this 100% and I think they could do this with an independent organization and still keep their 'process' private to the general public. I thought I saw a paper on thisn where they had interviewd a lot of MKP 'weekenders' and got their before and after impressions. SOme university study by a grad student.
As always, a pleasure to debate with you!