Deida Men's Intensives
Date: November 11, 2006 12:11AM
Yes, I am familiar with David Deida. I have a friend involved in his organization. I've attended a couple of his public talks, attended an introductory workshop by his followers, seen one of his videos and listened to some of his tapes. I tried to read one of his books and found it poorly written. I couldn't even get through it. But in person he is very dynamic and motivating. I really enjoyed watching him take questions from the audience and work with people. It was quite a show!
He does a lot of week-long and week-end workshops: some are for couples, some are just for men and some are just for women. I've never attended any of those, because they're quite expensive, but I know people who have.
Deida is sort of a New Age teacher who talks a lot about spirituality, sex and relationships. His teachings are kind of like the "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" stuff with a Buddhist flair. He talks a lot about "the masculine" and "the feminine", which might lead you to believe he's sexist (which he is, a little bit), but in person he's quick to point out that either of those terms can apply to both men and women.
A lot of people read his books and they think they know what his teachings are about, but in person he gets a big kick out of breaking down their assumptions.
Because he's one of the few new age teachers who actually talks about sex and relationships and understands their importance, his followers tend to be very, um...sex-obsessed is the only term I can think of.
I've seen him tell people the complete opposite of what they believe: for example, a young woman got up in front of the audience and said that she believed it was her calling to "heal people through sex" and have a lot of sex partners. He basically told her that she was being very presumptuous and how could she know what type of healing people need? He then told her to try to be celibate for a while.
By contrast, I've also seen him give very intuitive advice to people who were genuinely upset about their current relationships (or lack of relationships). If someone is really hurting, he can be surprisingly gentle and comforting. He seems to save his sharp tongue for the really cocky people.
If you're wondering where I stand in all this, I think David Deida himself is really onto something, but I don't think he has properly been able to translate his essence into his books. I also don't think his teachings are clear enough to his followers, because I find most (although not all) of his followers to be very creepy.
To give an example, I went to an introductory workshop at a friend's home a few years ago. He showed a video of one of Deida's workshops, which I really enjoyed. However, after that, things got weird. Some people who had been to some of Deida's week-long "intensives" got up to do some impromptu "work" with the audience members. Three women dragged a friend of mine (a very distinguished older gentleman who's one of the kindest, most compassionate, learned people I know) into the middle of the room and proceeded to try to seduce him. When he didn't respond to them in the manner they were expecting (perhaps sex on the floor of the room?) these women got very angry, started screaming, and told him he was not in touch with his sexuality. They verbally raped him, for lack of a better term. It scared the crap out of me! My friend just stood there staring them down calmly with a benign smile on his face, totally unfazed. I, on the other hand, was so upset that I left soon afterward.
I later found out that several of the other attendees were equally disgusted by the "show". If Deida himself were there, he probably would have put a stop to that.