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Looking for Sterling Wives...
Posted by: skeptikk ()
Date: August 19, 2003 03:03AM


[i:8aa8c5ea9f]He is seeing things the way he choses to see them from his perspective.[/i:8aa8c5ea9f]

[i:8aa8c5ea9f]We are all created unique and should follow no one's teaching except what is in us[/i:8aa8c5ea9f]

see any contradiction here?

[i:8aa8c5ea9f]i am not speaking religion[/i:8aa8c5ea9f]

sure you are. that's what all of your posts come down to, don't they? 26 mentions of the word "God" in the three posts below. adherence to exclusivity of revelation. plus, you've already admitted to being a professional cleric.


to quote myself :

[i:8aa8c5ea9f]Personally, I think some of the content from Sterling is useful, some of it less useful, and some of it total bullshit[/i:8aa8c5ea9f]

[i:8aa8c5ea9f]I do agree though, if they start neglecting their life to participate in a group, ANY GROUP, they've got a problem.[/i:8aa8c5ea9f]

so yeah, I guess that I'm an inveterate "Sterling apologist", right?

the other thing, when you try to convince people of your viewpoint, you can't expect them to be swayed by giving them your own views as some sort of empirical evidence. all the self linking in the world isn't going to convince anyone of anything. the reason I came to this site was to get an opposing viewpoint on the topic of Sterling, which I believe that I have.

one thing that I do agree with from some of the links below was the statement :

.[i:8aa8c5ea9f]They sometimes foster pseudoauthenticity and pseudoreality[/i:8aa8c5ea9f]

from the Cushman paper. this definitely applies to Sterling. regardless of the content of any weekend, true authentic trust and communication between people is not going to be developed there. i'm glad that some people can use this springboard ("trust the men") to accept and deal with issues / problems that they haven't in the past, but that doesn't make it a valid concept. being open and gushing is not the same thing as a trusting relationship developed over years of common experience.

this comment :

[i:8aa8c5ea9f]"Skeptikk" doesn't seem that skeptical about Sterling. His real beef seems to be criticism about that group within this forum and site.[/i:8aa8c5ea9f]

is very telling. my post WAS more about the postings here than about Sterling.

the reason that I posted, is because it's pretty apparent that in this case, the "cure" seems as bad as the "disease" (not that I believe that Sterling is a disease, and that is the cure, just a little metaphor). reading through the posts on this thread (and yes, I've read them all) has mainly impressed me with the dogmaticism present.

from revclaire's fundamentalism and suggestion that escape from one dogmatic ideology can only be accomplished through adherence to another :

[i:8aa8c5ea9f]I know my family member was taken by Sterling and it's been years but I pray everyday and I know it works..and my family member will come back whole..only by God..[/i:8aa8c5ea9f]

another thing that I agree with from the Cushman paper :

[i:8aa8c5ea9f]Leaders had an evangelical system of belief that was the one single pathway to salvation.[/i:8aa8c5ea9f]

in reference to "when groups are determined to be dangerous".

sound familiar to anyone?

actually, I agree with most of the conclusions in that paper; and yes, I do happen to have alot of experience with cultic belief systems, not as a participant, but as a researcher, although my specialty is afro-caribbean religious/magical systems. compared to the average Santeria party, Sterling's weekend is kittens and rosebuds!

oh, and by the way, the "Skeptikk" handle is very universal -- i'm skeptical of EVERYONE. and that doesn't make me angry. it's like they say --

Sacred cows make the best hamburgers.

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Looking for Sterling Wives...
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: August 19, 2003 08:16PM

The six links I offered that "Skeptikk" refers to in his last post were actually to a wide array of reference material.

Only one, regarding a working definition for the word "cult," was written by me.

The Ross Institute database contains thousands of articles and documents, and very few were written by me.

My writings are on the Op/Ed weblog

Sterling has a deeply troubled history of bad press and complaints.

Sterling and his "weekend" have been reported about in Details Magazine, the San Jose Mercury News and NBC News in NYC and LA.

See "Press" at []

The "Cushman paper" Skeptikk" refers to offers historical reasons and research regarding mass marathon training like Sterling's weekend, and why they often hurt people and represent a potential risk.

See []

There is much more offered by Cushman than what "Skeptikk" cites. Such as the following:

They lack adequate participant-selection criteria.

They lack reliable norms, supervision, and adequate training for leaders.

They lack clearly defined responsibility.

They sometimes foster pseudoauthenticity and pseudoreality.

They sometimes foster inappropriate patterns of relationships.

They sometimes ignore the necessity and utility of ego defenses.

They sometimes teach the covert value of total exposure instead of valuing personal differences.

They sometimes foster impulsive personality styles and behavioral strategies.

They sometimes devalue critical thinking in favor of "experiencing" without self-analysis or reflection.

They sometimes ignore stated goals, misrepresent their actual techniques, and obfuscate their real agenda.

They sometimes focus too much on structural self-awareness techniques and misplace the goal of democratic education; as a result participants may learn more about themselves and less about group process.

They pay inadequate attention to decisions regarding time limitations. This may lead to increased pressure on some participants to unconsciously "fabricate" a cure.

They fail to adequately consider the "psychonoxious" or deleterious effects of group participation (or] adverse countertransference reactions. (1969, p. 13)

Another area of concern regarding mass marathon training is coercive persuasion.

See []

Many complaints about Sterling cite this as a serious concern.

Coercive persuasion or "thought reform" is substantially different from education, advertising, religious indoctrination, propaganda etc.

See []

Though Sterling is not a "cult," it does seem to be a destructive group, with its core format essentially copied from EST/Landmark Education, which is another controversial large group awarness training seminar with a deeply troubled history.

See []

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Looking for Sterling Wives...
Posted by: revclaire ()
Date: August 19, 2003 09:12PM

skeptic you are a brillant man and your intelligence is known but my solution to freedom from anger and having to be right is for anyone. You don't have to read or write or have any intelligence at all. All you need is a willing heart and an open mind. I make no reference to "religion" or church or doctrine. I teach people to have an open relationship with the God of their heart. Everyone is born with God in their heart. Not even the most intelligent person in this world can outweigh the wisdom of God. Regardless if I am a minister or not what I teach is a freedom and it only takes a person alone in a room with a willingness to change through spirit not through man.
The saddest thing is for a man like you who has been so gifted by God in so many ways to spend so much of your life debating philosophies and picking apart belief systems when you could be in your purpose and destiny and instead of having to be right just be free of all this anger and debate. I know I could never convince you or anyone else about God but I only write in case someday God and you connect and only then would you ever understand what I planted in these forums. It's personal and until someone experiences it there is no explanation. It is a gift and anyone can have it. I hope you and others will seek it and he will be there. it's FREE unlike destructive cults and God loves and accepts everybody right where they are and he is loving and he knows how to discipline us himself without Sterling throwing men up against walls and hosing them down if they are late a minute etc.etc.etc. that is abusive and not of God. The primitive man is no more than a Sterling concept claiming man like a beast or stray animal who just struts around with primitive desires to eat, have sex, etc. Man was created with an opportunity to rise above an animal and have a conscious contact with God and intelligence or not (and no one is more intelligent than A. Justin Sterling.making lots of money as we speak laughing at these sites and laughing all the way to the bank).without God we remain flesh and nothing much better than an animal striking out in self defense. NO peace, and no true meaning. I respect you skeptik and I can see and feel your unbelievable potential and I am praying for you because you are very special I can tell that for sure and I am so very grateful you were saved from the mass destruction of Sterling. I do wish you the very best today and always.

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Looking for Sterling Wives...
Posted by: wolfy ()
Date: September 07, 2003 05:15PM

And the proof that God exists is....

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Looking for Sterling Wives...
Posted by: revclaire ()
Date: September 07, 2003 08:56PM

If you go to the website [] you will find a man named Steve Hassen. If you read his book about how he was released from total mind control in the Moonies you will read the proof of God. He explains how his mother prayed until he was broken of the brainwashing and how the light of God came in and broke open his mind. He also explains that although mind control is a powerful destructive tool there is 2% of you they never get and that is the part of God inside each one of us. For those who seek the God in their heart and say a simple prayer of "God help me" or "God have mercy on me" have the proof. Also if you put your prayers on paper daily, all your worries and concerns and then refer back, you will see the proof on paper of how God will handle all of your problems and concerns if you surrender them to him. The paper is the best proof. I am also proof I have a life story of constant proof of God. I will be writing a book soon. Their is a God inside everyone in their heart and he's waiting for you to reach up for his hand and it's a choice. I hope and pray you will try it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Thanks for asking but Steve Hassen's book and his true life story is about how God delivered him and he has done a mighty work for years for God because of it..may god bless you today..Once my loved one is home I will have more to report. God made me a promise and he has never failed to deliver but he delivers it in his time. God knew I was capable of waiting for I have been in faith for so many years that I know God's time is not mine. Also with my loved one the cult created alot of wreckage and all must be cleaned up and it is happening but until complete...I wait..the new beginning will be without the wreckage but every case is different and many will have their loved ones home much sooner and will assist them in cleaning up the wreckage. In my case it was in my best interest to allow it all to be a clean slate for I have been through many hardships and it would have been too difficult for me to watch the process. Not with anyone else but this person is way too close and I didn't need to watch the suffering. I will post the new loved one and the return until then I hope you will read Steve Hassen's book for he has the proof in the miracle of his story and who he is..

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Looking for Sterling Wives...
Posted by: elena ()
Date: September 08, 2003 01:41AM

Wolfy queries:

>>And the proof that God exists is....>>

Define "God." (*Your* terms, not the dictionary's)

Then define "Exists." (*Your* terms, not the dictionary's)

Then define "Proof." (*Your* terms, not the dictionary's)


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Looking for Sterling Wives...
Posted by: revclaire ()
Date: September 08, 2003 09:17PM

to those who believe no proof is necessary to those who don't believe no proof is possible..if you tried it on paper with your requests and concerns you could see for yourself. God is not something in a dictionary and he's not of the world. It's a supernatural force from the heaven's but if your life is going well without a God you need not seek him. For those of us who have had hardships beyond our control that we had no human power we have sought God out of our desperation. We reached out to Him and he was there. Please don't be offended. God loves everybody whether they believe in Him or not. I don't judge anyone who doesn't need Him but even though I always believed in Him my life was so difficult I had to turn to God of I could have never survived my life and also my will never brought me happiness or peace. I already lived by my will and before I became disabled I worked really hard and earned alot of money and lived a life like everyone else and I came up empty. When I became disabled and had no one to support me I had to turn to God and he proved to pay my bills for the last 14 years. How? By unexpected means. All I had to do is believe and live in accordance to his rules. To submit my body, mind and spirit to Him and Love my neighbor as thyself. As long as I have done that my needs have been met and I have had many miracles in my life and have led many others to Him and seen supernatural powers of love, marriages, careers, etc. that these people never thought was humanly possible. It's a choice. God will love you anyway. God is working in your life to some degree anyway. Someday you may seek him and maybe not. I just am sharing my true experience and if you knew my life story you would know it was God and only God who got me through. Hard to put in words but I will write my life story and hopefully the experience will speak for themselves. I want no glory for it. I give all my glory to God. The essence of God is LOVE and when he touches me it is more powerful than human love but it gives me the ability to love, forgive and have compassion and never judge. Through God I have changed. No one is perfect and I believe my life was so hard if I didn't have God I would be bitter but instead I feel I am better. More loving, compassionate and forgiving..I am not trying to convert you or anyone else. God is God because he is infinite and not confined to a dictionary or a box or a church..It's the great mystery that some of us seek and find peace amidst the storm and a supernatural strength to ovecome life even in these wicked times. May you have peace today and know God loves you and so do I and please dont' feel offended or pressured. God isn't about pressure. He's just there..waiting to love you or anyone else...He's the ultimate Father...if you dont need him i understand. If I could have controlled my life and it worked I wouldn't have needed him either but we all have different lives to live. Mine has been a very hard life..I need him to feel my purpose and destiny and to live for a reason not just exist and to have the ability to appreciate my life no matter what I have been through knowing I am here to serve and to LOVE> Love is God and God is Love so whatever is LOVE is God. That's only my opinion but my proof is my story. May you be blessed today.

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Looking for Sterling Wives...
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 08, 2003 10:32PM

a person on another listserve recently complained that Rick would NOT post material she'd sent on a group she was worried about.

'Rick wants all info already documented and published and he wants me to get him the web links for all published facts (that which comes aside from me). ' That was her complaint!

Nothing gets posted on concerning a group unless that material meets stringent standards for reliability and accuracy--its already been published in the media, in academic literature or court documents.

To re-iterate:

This is already a balanced website. The official websites of all controversial groups are included along with the warnings and media coverage.

It is good manners to read a site's material in depth before arguing vociferously on its forum. Demanding that people justify their positions (especially when most of them have been hurt by the group being discussed) without your taking the trouble to read the archived material yourself is being needlessly disruptive.

Remember, we do not barge onto other people's websites or fora/forums and raise a rumpus, and we do not picket outside hotels where problematic groups have thier events.

Its the members of these groups who come here and yell.

If you 'want evidence', that a cult has hurt people, you can read a ton of it yourself on the forums and in the database.

Demanding that we rebut your questions point by point is simply laziness.

Read the material on the archives. If you do not read that material, that demonstrates that you're afraid to have your indoctrination tampered with.

Time spent nagging people who have all had bad experiences with a problematic LGAT is time stolen from your wife and family. Do they know how much time you're spending here?

Law School Proverb on how to Argue Cases

'If the evidence is in your favor, argue the facts.

If the evidence is against you, argue from the law.

If both the law and evidence are against you, yell, scream, pound the table and attack the integrity of your opponents.'

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Looking for Sterling Wives...
Posted by: frustrated wife ()
Date: October 30, 2003 07:09AM

I, sad to say, believe I am what you call a "Sterling Wife". My husband joined almost 1 1/2 yrs ago and things have not been the same since. At the time, we were just engaged and I was joyous and hopeful for our upcoming life together ... now, I cannot stand him ~ I HATE the Sterling Men's Group!! I was overwhelmed to see all of the other women out there who feel like I do -- my husband tries to make me think I am being unreasonable and I am a bitch, etc. I have always known it is not true, but there lies some comfort in hearing stories from other people. I am at the point where these men's meetings are about to destroy our short-lived marriage. My husband ALWAYS puts The Men first, of course, CANNOT miss a meeting or phone call, etc. He calls when we are away on family vacations, actually getting up from the dinner table for an hour call, tells me he is "taking the night off" from a meeting to spend the night with me (the quality time I so desperately need w/him) ONLY to tell me that at 8pm he had to call and "check in" w/The Men! It is absurd! I cannot live my life any longer being 2nd to these men. He tells me he will NEVER leave them ... and without actually saying it, basically has told me that he would let me leave before he gave up his nights with them. I thought 1 night a month is a more reasonable time frame for men to get together to "support" one another ... not 1 night PER week, of course, with all the additional phone calls, etc. This Group is very intrusive in one's life! I have said from the beginning that Sterling is a CULT -- now I see that I was right from the start. Oh, and of course, he has tried to enroll me in the Women's Weekend ... NO THANKS! I am not interested in a bunch of weirdo women ... if I need support, that is what I have family, friends, and a therapist for!

Anyone with any ideas on how to save my marriage and get him outta there ... please let me know!!

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

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Looking for Sterling Wives...
Posted by: revclaire ()
Date: October 30, 2003 07:16PM

Don't let your marriage go because then you allow Sterling to win. Pray for your husband. Read Steve Hassen's book. Go to [www.freedomofmind] and order his book. He shares his personal experience and how God eventually opened his mind. Read this book and pray as Steve's mother did until God got in. I will pray for you and your husband and in agreement we will win him back just be patient and understand he was brainwashed..without consent. he thinks he is doing the right thing. it's not personal although devastating. My heart aches for what you are going through it's disgusting but don't let Sterling win yet another one. Pray for God to open your husband's mind to the truth. Don't spin. Read Steve Hassen's book and get the true understanding from someone who was in a cult and what exactly is going on. Use this site for support but try to stay calm and educate yourself and know that God is more powerful than Sterling and Sterling will fall..pray for the light to come to your husband through God's power. It will happen ..dont' give up..don't let him win..

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