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Mankind project
Posted by: Half_pint ()
Date: October 08, 2007 03:12AM

The campsite in question is Kibblestone, in Stafforshire, just down the road from Stone.
Scout sites such as that are often booked by non Scout groups who pay much higher rates than other Scout groups/Guide groups do and sometimes even higher rates than other youth groups.

After reading about thsi group and what goes on, god only knows what would have happened if we ( ie the Scout leaders/parent helpers) had run a wide game , or another activity in the area that the mkp group was using during the late evening.
one of the anoying things about it was that there was no publicity about this poart of the campsite being off limits, ( ie no signs) and that the people refused to say who they were when i asked them.

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Mankind project
Posted by: S_Byers666 ()
Date: October 08, 2007 05:46AM

Emails of concern can be sent to




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Mankind project
Posted by: what2do ()
Date: October 08, 2007 10:28AM

It souns horrible what you have hone thru. I am so sorry. What did the Women Within say when you told them what happened in your marriage. Did they know your husband was in MKP?

IMO, often MKP actually encourages a man to mistreat his family. I believe MKP very subtley encourages complete disrespect of women.

There are many women here that can at least offer verbal support. I hope you continue to post.

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Mankind project
Posted by: S_Byers666 ()
Date: October 08, 2007 10:28PM

Women Within

Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 08:40:24 GMT
Subject: Women Within - Women


A weekend in the country getting in touch with her inner woman didn't sound scary, but when Genevieve Fox heard the group wail, it was time to run

"You're on the bitches' team," said a woman wearing a pink T-shirt and matching bandana, as she handed me my name badge (I'd given a false name). "We'll take you to your bedroom."

I was shown up to my six-bed dormitory. My usher invited me to remove my jewellery and watch, and to forgo make-up. After finding my "object of comfort" (teddy bears had been suggested before we came), I waited to be summoned. Ten minutes later, 30 wide-eyed women, clutching cuddly toys and Linus blankets, trooped down a flagstone staircase, in silence, and in single file, as instructed.

This isn't reality TV. Nor is it an open prison. It's called self-development, a Woman Within Training weekend in a country house in Dorset. I had driven there at 6pm on a Friday evening and, with indecent haste, devoured a Snickers bar before getting out of the car, not knowing whether starvation would be one of the tools used to prime me for the catharsis that the weekend is designed to unleash.

At the top of the stairs, I left my bear. I couldn't face the infantilism. The women were like Margaret Atwood's handmaidens: obeisant, unnerving. Trooping to the refectory reminded me of fire drills at boarding school. This time we were aged from 20 to 60 and were beginning our descent into the flames of public confessional. Thirty smiling staff members awaited us, flanking the room. Then came the pep talk. "This is not a cult," said the Woman Within leader.

"This is not therapy." It is a personal development programme.

According to the organisation's website: "Woman Within Training will take you on a journey - a descent - into yourself. Through this descent you are given the opportunity to re-establish connection with the part of yourself that intuitively knows - your ageless wisdom. It provides an opportunity for you to reclaim a part of yourself that may have been lost, stolen, forgotten or fragmented."

I had first heard about Woman Within after meeting two men who had been on Warrior Weekends, run by the international Mankind Project, a men's self-help group, which was formed in Wisconsin, the US, in 1987 and has spawned 27 centres worldwide. Woman Within is its sister organisation.

At the centre, we were instructed first in personal-safety guidelines. We were never to leave our group and had to be accompanied by a staff member on trips to the loo. If we were suicidal, we must tell someone. If someone tried to commit suicide, an ambulance would be called. Self-harm and violence against others were off-limits. Wounds had to be covered, to prevent the spread of HIV. These guidelines seemed unnecessary. Only when the night's first ritual was over did I see that they weren't.

At 10.30 we filed into the ornate ballroom. Thirty-five women, all Woman Within "graduates" turned staff members, sat in a circle. We formed a circle within. It was time for the confessional. Each woman was invited to share her demons and tell us how she felt and who she wanted to be, using an identical verbal template, which began: "As a wounded animal, I am a . . . (anything from confident female to loving mother).

" You filled in the blanks. The staff went first, all 35 of them, passing a conch shell from woman to woman, then we followed.

An hour and a half later, I had "witnessed" the personal testimonies of more than 60 women. It left me reeling: incest, rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence, parental rejection, discomfort with femininity or sexuality, marital conflict, self-loathing, terminal illness: all human grief was here. But this was no Jerry Springer show. It was no kite-flying celebration of women either. It was about desperate, often very lonely, women seeking the healing power of a community of women.

"This circle is about witnessing the death of the old you and finding the new you," said the leader, amid the sound of tears. "It is about affirmation and acceptance in a group of women and about discovering the woman within you."

Confessional was followed by lights out. The next morning, at 7.30, we were woken by the sound of drumming, accompanied by a Native American poem sung by staff members processing along the corridors. I caught the last line: "Oh, mother, carry me, down to the sea."

Sacred space was being created. As we arrived for breakfast, the ranks of staff broke into Bette Midler's The Rose, an anthem of self-love. Most of the women wept into their muesli, myself (to my astonishment) included. The group dynamic was working on me. During the rest of that Saturday we joined individual workshops, witnessed by the whole group. Anyone who nodded off, as I did, was prodded awake.

It was the group wail on the Sunday morning that made me determined to flee. Lying on the floor in the theatre, with a staff member crouching behind each one of us, we were invited to give a sound to the pain we were saying goodbye to, thus making way for the new us. Silence gave way to a single murmur. Then the deep exhalations of all the women began, followed by one solitary, mournful yelp. The woman's yelp turned into a primal scream, long and from the pit of her being. Then another woman let out a high-pitched scream. And then, suddenly,
everyone was at it, screaming their heads off.

"These are healing cries," whispered a staff member who had seen me flinch and scrunch my eyes. "I don't care," I thought. "I'm out of here as soon as this group wail is over." I had to ask permission to leave and there was much genuine concern about my wellbeing. I told them that the screaming made me feel profoundly uncomfortable, that the depth of the despair on display was intolerable. They urged me to stay, assuring me that the rebuilding, "the ascent", was about to come. Too late, in my view.

Two days later, I attended the Woman Within graduation ceremony, in a hotel in Bayswater, Central London. Most of the women turned up, looking glamorous in make-up, frocks and heels. They bounded up to each other and hugged each other. "You look great!" said an older woman to one of my dorm mates. "Oh, I feel it," she beamed. They then stood up, one by one, and said thank you for the weekend. "I like
myself for the first time," said one, tearfully. "I'm not afraid," said another. I was the only dissenter, sitting in the audience, declining to take part.

How, I wondered as I held the graduation rose I had been handed, would they feel in a week, a month, a year, after they had rejoined the outside communities over which they had no control? Would their new, confident, trusting selves survive the rigours of the real world? Lee Chalmers, a life coach, says that women sign up for courses such as Woman Within willingly and because they are ready to embrace change. Doing such self-development courses, she says, gives you another perspective. "When you leave you've gained another choice on how to view your life. You can go back to the way you used to see it, or embrace the new way."

She adds that weekend courses share certain similarities with therapy: "But they can't replace the therapeutic process. There's a support that exists in therapy and a process that couldn't exist in a single weekend. But you can look at the same issues. You've got to be willing to look at your life. If you don't want to change, there is no point in going to a course about change."

Others are more sceptical. Maurice Nissum, a consultant psychiatrist and analyst at London's Group Analysis Practice, is particularly worried by the speed of the process. "It sounds incredibly quick, almost like a revivalist church," he says. "The idea is that the person will be purged. But that is naive. Groups like this work on an illusion of an instant cure: if you reveal all and express all your emotions, you will be transformed. But very few people are transformed." He argues that discovering emotional transparency can backfire. "These groups glorify the individual, then they throw you out into an uncertain world. You are supposed to be open about your emotions, but you make yourself very vulnerable. If the next person you share your insecurities with doesn't speak your touchy-feely language, you could be left out in the cold. "

Julia Wilson, who co-ordinates Woman Within in the UK, says that it isn't a short-term project, but a "self-development weekend, leading to belonging to a community that offers ongoing support for women by women".

But what alarmed me most, aside from the distress caused by being exposed to the heartbreaking stories of more than 60 women, was the power of the group to make people blurt, believe and emote without rational constraint. If that's your bag, for £495 you can join a Woman Within weekend. As you might easily be able to guess, I won't be there with you.

[Note: This is the women's version of the equally bizarre and dangerous cult of the Mankind Project]

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Mankind project
Posted by: exMKP ()
Date: October 09, 2007 01:10AM

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Mankind project
Posted by: jodistrict ()
Date: October 09, 2007 03:30AM

I went to the MKP training and attended I groups and would like to make some comments.

Why did I join?

To make friends. I had no previous contacts. Nobody asked me.

What was the process?

Yes, there was nudity, a process where we were blindfolded and we walked on a path until ushered into a building where there were naked people beating drums and dancing. The process was in a mountain facility owned by a church and there was snow on the ground. I was cold most of the time. There was a nude sweatlodge. There was a cold shower – but for only one morning and it was 15 seconds. No big deal. I got enough sleep. The food was a dry cereal nut mix until the last day.

Why did you leave?

I was in an I-group. One of the members invited me to lunch. He was starting up an insurance business and tried to convince me to help him sell insurance to my coworkers. I felt this was a violation of trust and left.

What effect did this have on your life?

None. I wasn’t harmed or helped by the process. I have since learned that these psychobabble processes are based on faulty theory and don’t work. Change takes time and working through your problems in the real world with the help of real family and friends. I believe that many people go to these organizations out of desperation because psychotherapy doesn’t work either.

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Mankind project
Posted by: bubba ()
Date: October 09, 2007 05:15AM

I did the NWTA in 1995 in Houston. It was a great experience for me. No one pressured me to do it. My therapist had done it and recommended it to me. I could see all of the "brainwashing" aspects, but I was looking for exactly that. After the weekend I wasn't afraid of men anymore. I was more comfortable expressing my emotions and just living my life. My girlfriend and friends all thought it was a positive change for me.

It had scary parts in it, but I always felt safe. I later staffed a weekend and could see that they work hard to keep the men safe.

I'm sad Michael Scinto killed himself, and I'm sad if NW contributed to that. I haven't been involved with New Warriors for 10 years or so. Maybe something has changed. I hope not. It was a really great initiation.

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Mankind project
Posted by: The_Houdini ()
Date: October 10, 2007 10:19PM

I was asked to attend a nwta 10 years ago, I was 20 years old then. I wrote them off the second I entered the parking lot and was confronted by a little dude with an attitude problem. Yea, like I'm intimidated by a 5' 4" 110lb guy. I lasted about an hour after that before they pushed me to my limit during the drum thing they do in a dark room. I made quite a scene, became combative and belligerent. I was determined to knock someone’s head off if they tried to stop me from leaving. They didn't. I talked to one of the guys and we agreed it wasn't for me. The person who introduced this group to me is still a great friend.

My impression was that this group is comprised of middle aged men who have not balls or social skills and get pushed around a lot. If they think this group gives them confidence, then more power to 'em. It seemed more of a liberal club than anything. Sure, I'll be the first to say it's weird but it's not dangerous and it's not a f'n cult.

Now, why all the complaining about this group? Because some crackhead off'd himself? Yea, must be because he went on their wacky adventure weeks earlier, couldn't have been because he was a f'n CRACKHEAD. This board seems to be made up of bored housewives who would be bitching about anything their husbands does... whether it be a men’s group or freakin' softball game. If I had to live with of the nagging I've read hear, I'd be a pounding down booze every night. I'm sure you have hobbies that your husband doesn't want to participate in or you don't want him involved, so let the guy have his.

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Mankind project
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: October 12, 2007 10:55PM


Didn't you read the rules you agreed to before posting here?

No name calling and flaming.

Either post within the rules you agreed to or move on.

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Re: Mankind project
Posted by: bigboyx5 ()
Date: October 20, 2007 11:18PM


Did anyone notice in the pro-MKP comments (Dr. Kenneth Adler and 1 or 2 others), they mention the weekend IS staffed by trained psychologists and doctors. I'd like their governing bodies to see the involvement and comment on it. Especially since this is a "training" weekend and not therapy.

So MKP supporters which is it? therapy staffed by trained professionals or an adventure training weekend that these professionals cannot endorse?

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