Someone I care about is very much involved in the Family of Women and insists they are a not for profit organization dedicated to helping women. She denies they are affiliated with the Sterling Institute. They have also suggested I go on a MDI men's weekend. I have no intention of doing so especially after researching what is on this website- thank you so much for this. My question to all is how can I establish a link between MDI/FOW and Sterling. As both claim to operate as not for profit enterprises how does the money get into the hands of the chosen few like perhaps Mr. Sterling? Can anybody assist here? Thank you
She has done the Womens Discovery Weekend with the FOW. I have read most of the testimonials on this site as far as the groups go and I believe the link to be there. The hard evidence is a little thin for me to use in any potential discussion with her.
Also, Can anyone confirm the following? 1) To join MDI you have to attaend the Legacy Discovery Event or the Sterling Mens Weekend? 2) To join the Family you have to attend the Womens DEscovery Weekend. Does attending the Sterling Womens Weekend also allow you to join FOW?
Neither organization has any affiliation wih the Sterling institute. I can only speak for MDI, you need not do any weekend to be a member. Membership is open to any man who pays dues. Unlike Sterling MDI is a very public organization that holds it annual convention in Las Vegas each October it is committed to supporting veterans through an annual Veterans event held in LA each year, it has championed an End Abuse campaign to put an end to domestic violence and has provided considerable support to the Youth Consultation Service in New Jersey (the state's larget foster care agency). It is governed by an elected Board of Directors and President who serve for two year terms. I am a past President. for more information go to www.MDIsuccess.com. we have tried for a very long time to distance ourselves from the Sterling Institute.
According to the official Sterling (SIR) Web site, “The Men’s Division International and Family of Women are independent alumni organizations of Sterling Weekend graduates.” At the official Web site of MDI it is also acknowledged that “MDI was founded in 2000 by several committed volunteers that were associated with another organization (the Sterling Institute of Relationship – SIR).” MDI members have repeatedly acknowledged through personal testimonials the importance of attending the SIR “weekend”.
In my opinion MDI would have no reason to exist without SIR, as these men’s groups have a symbiotic relationship and are virtually inseparable regarding their basic beliefs. The foundation of MDI is the SIR philosophy as downloaded through its weekend and both men’s groups feed each other volunteers and participants. The bio of the current MDI President Charles Gjers discloses his own personal journey, which began at a SIR “men’s initiation weekend event” with 250 men in Oakland, California.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/10/2013 09:10AM by rrmoderator.
We've asked SIR to remove the reference you quote. It simply is not true. Some members of MDI are weekend graduates, some have done Landmark, others are former or current Masons, Elks, Lions or miltary veterans. Many members use MDI to support 12 step recovery programs. To paint one organization with a broad brush simply because some of its members found value in another organizations program is pretty narrow minded. My personal journey began with my bar mitzvah and continued with a year in Israel. I am a former President of MDI that doesn't make MDI a Zionist organization. Its not where you start but where you stand now. The notion that "MDI would have no reason to exist without SIR" is absurd and ignores the reason why the organization was formed -- many men believed in the importance of mens work and found SIR limiting, monolithic and to many it felt cultish. We felt we could create something more relevant that helped men succeed within their community and in their careers and family. We are a relatively young organization and have tried hard to distance ourselvces from SIR. Posts like yopurs don't help. I am a fairly successful corporate attorney, I've been married 24 years, my daughter is preparing to go to an Ivy League school and I have helped create and grow a number of community based organizations. If I owe any of that to my support of a "cult" I guess we need to rethink our concerns. I have previously asked you to identfy any one who has ever had an issue with MDI, not Sterling, MDI. So far, radio silence. The six degrees thing doesn't work. Someone is not a Scientologist just because they like a Tom Cruise movie. The best analogy I can give is trying to tie Mitt Romney to a polygamist group because both have their roots in Mormonism. All the members of MDI ask is to be judged on who we are and how we show up in the world. That's why our meetings are opened to the public and are often held in very public spaces like Central Park and why we hold a very public annual convention, again open to any one. If this reads like you've pushed my buttons it is because you have. The work MDI does is no different than that of the Boys Scouts or the Marines. We prepare men for the trevails of life and give them the tools and support network to take on really big challenges. The one difference between us and the Boy Scouts is we are not homophobic. I am not looking for a back and forth dialouge to prove any one wrong or right. I am just trying to draw attention to the danger of looking at the world through a very narrow tunnel.
The quoted statements from the MDI and SIR Web sites is accurate. You seem to be proposing a kind of revisionist history regarding the founding of MDI. Perhaps you do need to "rethink" your concerns.
I have expressed my opinion, which is my right in country that fundamentally guarantees free speech in its constitution. You are a lawyer so you must be familiar with First Amendment.
I did not say Sterling and its associated men's groups are a "cult." This is a "straw man" argument.
Frankly your analogies of Boy Scouts, the Marines, Zionists and Mormons falls flat.
In my opinion the SIR philosophy is indeed a "very narrow" and misogynistic point of view that has hurt many families. I also see SIR and training programs associated with its philosophy as a potentially unsafe LGATs (large group awareness training) and feel that it is reasonable to question any group founded under its influence.
Your disagreement with my opinion is noted.
But noting will be removed.
Congratulations on your professional and family success.
Duxdeluxe, As a lawyer I assume you are intersted in the facts. The fact is one of your divisions (Sons of Maine) on their own website not only recommend the Sterling Mens Weekend but make it mandatory for membership. Also the Family of Woemn, your sister organization and partner in your annual convention, offers the Women's Discovery Weekend and the Sterling Womens Weekend. Attending either one allows for full membership. Sorry but I am not seeing the effort to create distance from the SIR. I have met several MDI members many of whom have attended the Sterling Weekend. I once listend to one person who fondly reminisced about his and his friends experiences attending this event. This was part of his attempt to recruit me and some other men. As my username suggests I was not buying it and did my due diligence. Needless to say I did not drink the Koolaid and never joined. I find it very difficult to take serious anyone who would painnt their face, strip naked and grunt like a caveman with 200 other men and claim this would have some sort of value. I appreciate this is just a snapshot of the Sterling Weekend and not included in the agenda of the Legacy Discovery Weekend. I personally would not waste one second of my time or one cent of my money on anything associated with Sterling, his archaic drivel and disgusting view of relatonships. The moderator of this forum does not stand alone. Besides mine I have seen other posts of concern regrading MDI and the Sons of Maine on this forum. If you and your groups mission is truly altruistic then reality and deceit do it no service. Live life large my friend.
As per my previous post here are some extractions from the Sons of Maine and Family of Women websites:
Men's Groups in Maine
Welcome to the Sons of Maine Website. Join us in a quest to become the man you always wanted to be. Discover what stops you from moving forward in your life or learn more about masculine spirituality and direction. If nothing else, come hang around a fire with a bunch of men for a few hours and have a blast! Sons of Maine is a men’s group in Maine with members located in areas throughout Maine. We are a part of a larger international organization called Men's Division International (MDI) with members throughout the U.S. and Canada.
MDI was formed in 2000 "to inspire every man to be the man he has always wanted to be so that his love of humanity will drive him to leave a legacy that assures the success of future generations."
We are committed to creating a place where Men can "discover, learn and teach other Men how to be the Man they have always wanted to be." We are constantly teaching each other how to be better fathers, husbands, sons & men in general. Men who are a part of Sons of Maine have a unique opportunity to discover and dissolve their barriers on an ongoing basis and experience continued levels of excellence in their lives.
To become a member of Sons of Maine, a man must complete the Sterling Men's Weekend as well as an 8 week process called the "point team". -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Family of Women, Inc. has recently created the highly successful Women's Discovery Weekend, based on all we have learned about teaching women how to have successful relationships. Both the Women's Discovery Weekend and the Sterling Women's Weekend are entry points into our Orientation Program Intensive which leads to membership in the Family of Women, Inc.
Attend one of the Weekends and see the possibilities. Then, join the Family of Women, Inc. and change your life!
Also to expand on the moderator's previous comments an extract from the SIR website:
What are the Men’s Division International and Family of Women?
The Men’s Division International and Family of Women are independent alumni organizations of Sterling Weekend graduates. The Sterling Institute receives no funds from Men's Division International / Family of Women events or dues. There is a close working relationship between the organizations as with any teaching institution and their alumni association
In closing I will just reiterate that the facts speak very loudly here.