Mankind Project goes transparent

In 2007, I took some heat over my interest in and criticism of the Mankind Project. My initial interest was sparked by the suicide of Michael Scinto shortly after attending a New Warriors Training Adventure, the signature program of MKP. In addition to my interest in strange approaches to counseling, this program was doubly intriguing because reparative therapists and their supporters (e.g., Joe Nicolosi, Richard Cohen, Arthur Goldberg, Paul Miller) recommend NWTA as a way to reduce same-sex attractions.

Since then, MKP has made it plain that they do not recommend NWTA as a reparative therapy adjunct and they have become quite gay friendly. However, these reparative therapists have not back away from their support. For instance, Richard Cohen, in his book for parents of gay children, recommends that fathers and sons attend the weekend together.

One regular criticism of MKP relates to the secrecy of the activities on the NWTA weekends — and for good reason. Some men would surely not go if they knew of the sometimes odd things they would be asked to do. Some of the odd things are harmless but sometimes they can be upsetting. I list links to some on this blog, such as this one, called Killing Daddy. See this page for more about MKP and click this link for prior posts on the topic.

And so, it was with interest that I read a note from a reader who follows MKP. He noted that MKP is now going transparent. All of this is on my MKP page but here is a couple of sections of the memo.

Transparency and the NWTA: Next Steps

At the February 2009 Annual Meeting in Glen Ivy the Project Council approved a proposal moving MKP toward greater transparency. The full proposal is included at the end of this note, which is intended to let you know the work we’re doing to put the plan into action.

External Communications

This is the main focus of the initiative designed to increase candor regarding FAQ’s for men coming to the training as well as specifically addressing inaccurate criticism of MKP and the NWTA on the web.

· We are developing a set of FAQ’s to guide men in speaking with potential initiates about the training and the organization. You are encouraged to share information about the NWTA to the extent that it is requested, encouraging men to step into the mystery while answering questions honestly.

· The MKP public website is being revised to include the above material and appropriate “spoiler” warnings. It will include direct responses to some of the specific criticisms and misperceptions on the web (Houston Press, Haven Ministry, Rick Ross, Warren Throckmorton, Reid Baer, etc.)

MKP is going to talk more freely about what they do but they are going to respond to what some of us have published as “misperceptions.” Well, I look forward to finding out what those misperceptions are.

In any event, the proposal for transparency was apparently approved and will result in significant changes if this memo can be believed. Here is the context of the proposal for transparency and some of what is supposed to happen.

Transparency Regarding the NWTA


In our Confidentiality Agreement and the processes Secret Male Ritual and Integrating the Training we ask men not to share the processes on the NWTA. As an institution we maintain this secrecy in how we speak and write about our training. In the last few years we have been criticized on blogs, on websites, and in a suit for not providing sufficient details for men to make an informed decision about attending our training. The ManKind Project has been labeled a cult by some for our refusal to disclose what we do on the training. It is likely that at least some of these attacks could have been avoided if we had provided more information about the training. The cost of these attacks has been significant to MKP and to our centers. At the same time, most, if not all, of our processes have been described in various media, and in some cases our protocols have been made available on websites.

In many contexts, MKP as an institution and we as individuals highly value transparency, and around the globe organizations are being increasingly called to provide transparency about their activities. Nevertheless we have continued to hold an expectation that we can and should keep our NWTA processes secret. Many of us are concerned that knowing more about the training will make it less effective for participants. Others who read about our processes before attending the NWTA say it was still extremely impactful. I have spoken in depth with the Leader and Center Councils about how we hold secrecy and transparency, and the overwhelming response has favored transparency.


I believe that on balance, it will serve the ManKind Project to release our expectations of secrecy and step into transparency about our processes. I propose that MKP begin to provide disclosure about our processes to the extent it is requested by potential initiates and the general public. This means:

· Men who have done the NWTA will be released from any obligation to maintain secrecy about our processes, and will be encouraged to share information about the NWTA to the extent it is requested. This applies particularly to men involved in NWTA enrollment.

MKPers can now sing like birds about their experiences. Might as well, many of the processes and procedures are already on the web anyway. But this way, new initiates will know more directly from the people involved what they are getting into. While I still think MKP is a risky proposition given the lack of training of the leaders and the questionable efficacy of the processes, this move is a good one.

Not sure how many MKP or anti-MKP readers I still have but if you are out there, what are your reactions to this move? Do you believe it? Is it enough? Too much?


49 thoughts on “Mankind Project goes transparent”

  1. I was delighted to see Bill’s response. It appears that my husband may potentially have a similar journey for as long as MKP fulfills his exploration and growth needs. For myself, I have isolated my biggest issue, which my husband now understands to a very large degree.

    In my opinion and experience, a relationship is comprised of two halves, in our case, male/female. What one half does clearly effects the other, good or bad. But the main idea is to integate the whole, not just to build, support or emphasise the differences in one half at the expense of the other, if you are in such a committed relationsip. We are.

    My husband is beginning to see that emphasising this dynamic of only seeing individual maleness extends into all platonic and personal relationships, which are inevitably comprised of both male and female parts.

    It appears to me that there needs to be a more balanced understanding and exploration in MKP of this dynamic. Whilst it is great to know your own authenticity, or truth, it is critical to know that this relative truth is not universal, therefore not right in the absolute sense, ones personal authenticity need not dictate that any other is wrong, or flawed whatever the gender may be. If one is confident in this personal authenticity, I mean truly comfortable, one easily accepts differences, in fact may enjoy them without feeling threatened, forced to adopt them, or may even detest certain views without the need to change them, or deem them wrong in the absolute sense.

    This is the danger zone for me and MKP. It is very one-sided (male), emphasising manhood, as opposed to first learning about what it means to each man to be a man, but then expanding into recognising that a female experience, or non MKP man’s experience is as valid as his own. Greater male and female understanding may even enhance ones journey. This is why initiation rituals take place at such a young age in tribal cultures. Whilst fundamental, they happen early so there is then room for expansion into greater understanding and consciousness with maturity. But I agree, one has to start with oneself, ones own gender, and better late than never:)

    Human pain and struggle is universal, not exclusive to one gender. To stay focused on this one male/female element of oneself, can be destructive, rather than constructive. To keep emphasising one’s personal experience as being absolutely right as an individual gender can become extreme. To see the differences between men and women is only a small step into seeing what we truly are. Staying on this level, and emphasising this one element of manhood or femalehood is a stepping stone. But wars are fought due to this mentality of resting at this individual egoic level.

    As a female, I feel it my responsibility to try to understand as best I can what my male perceives, desires and needs. MKP may hopefully help my husband to be able to share these things more intimately with me. To focus only on my personal female mission within the context any relationship is counterproductive. So for me, my husband and what is right for him, always comes in to play.

    I feel that MKP could one day evolve to incorporate any gender. At minimum they could better prepare and include the spouses. I know there is a sister counterpart, but I believe that it too is limited for the exact same reasons. I have done many such group experiences, single and mixed gender, so now clearly see the benefit of intimacy amongst people, not just one sex. I recognise there is a time and place for single gender exploration. But MKP doesnt seem to recognise that there is a point when we don’t need to focus on gender, and I hope MKP will one day see that bonding, intimacy and knowing oneself is universally applicable, despite gender differences. So is pain, dealing with it, and growing as an individual. Sharing is critical. Neither men nor women need to loose their personal gender attribute. But there is much more to life than recognising and solidifying male female aspects. I would like to see such an evolution for MKP.

    My husband very gradually came to admit he completely mismanaged communication upon his return and sees that the lack thereof caused my issues, not his discoveries, and beneficial changes. Again, MKP should have and easily could have prepared both of us to potentially expect and negotiate such profound shifting. But that responsibility ultimately fell more largely on my husband, and he accepts that. An open sharing policy, recognising that females do indeed have the capacity to expand their understanding of men, would have avoided a great deal of suffering for both of us. Perhaps MKP will one day incorporate the expansion of this element and understand and include the female experience of watching transformation, and vice versa.

    I have benefitted greatly from seeing men in the groups I have been involved with experiencing carpet work, although it wasn’t called by this name, it was the exact same process, and men have greatly benefitted from seeing mine and other women. I challenge MKP to expand their horizons for those bold enough to look beyond the element of masculinity. Trust me, it won’t ever disappear because you forget to focus on it:)

  2. I did the weekend this past April. I have been through several types of therapy and have worked for years on my issues. I found the weekend more transformational than any other therapeutic experience I have done. Just for the record, they call it an educational weekend, not therapy.

    My wife came with me to the “New Brothers Celebration” not long after the weekend. She spoke publicly about how much the weekend had helped me. She continues to see the experience as valuable in my life and is happy I went. As a follow up to the weekend, I attend a free I-Group almost every week and it continues to provide me a great source of support which my wife is also grateful for.

    I wanted to add that I am a Christian and was not comfortable with a couple of the rituals but felt no pressure to participate in them. I was respected for my stand. No one is forced to participate in any part of the weekend if they do not want to. So, I found the experience intense, challenging, AND safe. When I read many of the comments on this thread I can’t believe that people are talking about the same weekend that I attended. Regarding the money, on the last day they explained that three of the leaders got paid and they explained how much. When you figure in the cost of renting the facility, and other normal expenses, I found the cost reasonable. By no means did I feel that it was a financial scam.

    Absolutely, it’s not for every man, and MKP recognizes that, but it was an amazing experience for me and judging from the reactions of the other men who attended, it was for them too. The only regret I have is that I didn’t do it sooner.

  3. My husband recently did the weekend, and I am more than mixed in myself about this. First of all, he loved it, and will continue, and I guess his experience is perhaps more important to a large extent than my own opinion. After great struggle and numerous discussions and some arguments, I have opted to tell him to “have his journey” However, the more I read, and the more I observe him, the more questions I have.

    He went in with some issues, like everyone I know, But he had some very profound discoveries, and seems to be peaceful in himself. I must emphasise seems… I finally came to this way of describing how he feels to me now, or how I perceive him. It is as if when something confronts him, he goes into his mind, decides to be peaceful, then takes a very unmoving stance with regard to his response, whatever he has chosen to do, in contrast to the easily flowing discussion we used to have.

    I feel blocked from reaching him once he has decided. Nothing gets in once he decides. He claims to be still processing.

    I don’t know who to ask if this is “normal” after such a weekend, but some how to me it is lacking in heart and spontaneity, I.e. truth to some degree. If I had to go into my head every time I spoke, I would be forever censoring and not living. I am not saying this behaviour is constant, but enough that I see a pattern. There is a lot more contemplation when anything he might perceive as negative comes up. He gets a strange smile on his face if I get frustrated or angry, and it is irksome.

    I received the usual comment upon his immediate return about only sharing his experience, which placated me for a few days. But it isn’t enough. He has really changed, and a lot of that is fabulous, truly it is. But this new behaviour is, well, new and I feel somehow it is disengaged with me. Yet on another level, he has lost a heck of a lot of compulsions. But are they now replaced with some other ingrained mental process? Is that being comfortable and freely alive, and will this change?

    I struggle very much with the secrecy and confidentiality as we promised long ago to always be honest and never conceal the truth, no matter how painful. We never had anything to refuse discussion about before. Inserting this new group of people and having such intimacy with them does make me jealous, and I have expressed that. Whilst I want him to be happy, it just doesnt feel right. He says it is me (nothing really new there:), but I honestly cant explain exactly what exactly threatens me, but MKP on some level feels wrong to me.

    I read as much as I can about what goes on at MKP and the substance does not disturb me. I can imagine it quite horrible for some, and quite powerful for others. But playing with some one’s mind is precious. With no psychological expertise or experience, I am frightened by what they might do. Not what they have done, but it is hard to rest easy knowing people with perhaps not enough experience are recreating his mind.

    I have agreed to wait and see, but I cannot feel good about this. Can any MKP person explain this? Thanks!

  4. Chris,

    I do not have any personal experience with MKP, and like you, have read many of the comments – I do remember some positive ones and more negative ones. I like to read and hear personal stories more than opinions – everyone experiences life differently and this should be respected. Your story and experience makes sense to me and I am glad you posted it.

  5. The bottom line is, it’s not for everyone. And the “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” approach of all of those on this blog who are making generalizations based on fact OR falsehoods, is simply a personal judgement. I attended my weekend with a great deal of apprehension, having done some research prior. I was in a tough enough spot in my life to be willing to try something different in order to learn how to deal with my long standing, and deep rooted issues, which, I might add, had EVERYTHING to do with my parents (how could it not? They taught me everything I know, and failed to teach me a great many other things. Sound familiar to anyone?) I had also been in therapy for many years, and had done a lot of “work”. What I realized during the weekend is that this “work for many of us NEVER ends. I am a constantly changing, growing, and hopefully evolving being. This never reaches resolution. I can only practice better ways of living, and unlike some of the “smarter” more “enlightened” individuals on this blog, I need help from my fellow man/woman, and am not afraid or ashamed to ask for it. To critisize and speak such untruths about something that you can’t understand only exposes those who are saying these things as close-minded, and self righteous. The few who “suffered” after their weekend and blame MKP, or anything other than themselves, were only denying their suffering before their weekend, and likely would have found something else to blame their suffering on had they not found MKP. “To each his own”. “Live and let live”. No one is forcing anyone to do anything in MKP, so why force your opinions and judgements on those who truly benefit from it?

  6. Warren, I hear you and your take on this. Thank you for your openness to allow me a chance to share mine.


  7. Its a journey of a man seeking a healthy and loving connection to himself in relationship with other men independent of sexual orientation. Gay, bisexual or straight – I don’t see that as important – as long as the man is authentically himself.

  8. @Scott,

    Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Scott. It is enlightening in many ways. But, I’m prompted to ask a question, if you care to share. Is your journey one of being a gay man, and now you’re str8 … or, simply one of maturing into a healthier man: a better husband and father?

  9. Warren, my life started out with an absent father and a sick mother. Mom had depression on and off and at one point had been hospitalized for it. She was miserable and also physically unhealthy – was gone from my life even when she was present – eventually dying of cancer when I was 10. My grieving father turned to (heavier) drinking, raging and bashing his son (me) instead of doing his work or sharing his feelings, frustrations and anger with his peers. The disruption in my home was profound and I had no lasting friends – and the isolation was just about unbearable.

    I vowed I wasn’t going to be like him. I went into the service and when I got out I married and settled down. So instead of what my father represented (a tyrant) I became its opposite (a wimp). I gave over my power in the marriage to my wife and could not stand up to her without fearing my anger would turn to my father’s rage. The marriage didn’t work as we weren’t equals and I left it full of shame and fear.

    I hid in University, went from support group (Adult Children of Alcoholics) to Cognitive Therapy, Catholic Social Services and eventually ended up in a psychoanalytic relationship that lasted 6 years. It was successful in a lot of ways – I did a lot of work and grew a lot – a lot of my big issues were teased apart and I was able to engage in a lively marriage and lovely career – both that I still enjoy. But the psychoanalysis left me with a lot of issues unpacked but without any sense or skill in putting the threads into a working package I could work with. It was too much in my head. I still didn’t trust myself among men and I was concerned because in my new marriage I have two boys without what I call a healthy paradigm to represent manhood.

    So I looked around – tried Buddhism, Catholicism, Paganism – and I was drawn to CG Jung’s collection “The Earth Has a Soul”. I read more about this, studied more on Jung’s idea of Archetypes, Sam Keane’s work, Robert Bly’s,Campbell, and Gillette and Moore’s work on the Archetypal Energies King, Warrior, Magician, Lover.

    Looking for more information on the web, I found that there was this group called Mankind Project and I went to an I group and eventually did the weekend. We worked on a superficial vision and mission statement, did GUTS work, danced and were with each other. By the end of the weekend I was on cloud 9 – like some others have noted. My personal Cloud 9 was because for the first time in my life I felt love by other men and I was happy and smiling thrilled at the experience I had endured.

    It’s easy to throw stones, and healthy skepticism is healthy. But I’ve found this to be a place that a man can belong to that encourages him to figure out what he wants/vision (King), to stay connected to his values and family (Lover), to think things through (Magician) and to work towards building his life for the greater good (New Warrior). For me, it was and remains refreshingly simple and unscholarly. The archetypes become a tool which I use in the here and now to figure out where I am and what I need to engage with (internally) to move through my day.

    After my weekend, in my marriage as well as in my job, I’m personally less aggressive – a bit more assertive – I stand my ground when needed, more thoughtful, and more authentic than I was before. I can stay connected to my feelings even when talking about hot topics and have found a place to learn to trust myself and to trust men.

    I’ve taken on a leadership position in my community and run an Open I group as well as help with our elected council, training men through the weekend and also through trainings independent of that specific experience.

    I would recommend that if you are committed to understanding the theory behind MKP that you read the book by Moore and Gillette, “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover”. ISBN 0-06-250597-1. It’s an easy read and I would also suggest that you do a weekend. It might be a challenge to get you away from your desk and into a circle, but it sounds like it might be a risk you want to take. There are also Open Circles – groups that are open to men who have done the weekend and those who have not.

    I would personally love for you to do our next upcoming weekend in the Laurentian Mountains, just north of Montreal the last weekend in May – the weather is lovely, the men are authentic. It was a real game changer for me. Email me and I’ll send you an application, or if you are ever in Montreal we have an Open Circle I group Tuesday nights.

    The cost of the weekend is 700.00 Canadian Dollars. To staff I pay 150.00. The Open I groups are free


    Scott Addis

    I group leader

    Community Coordinator

    MKP Canada East

  10. If the last two commenters illustrate the way MKP men discuss issues and carry on dialogue, then I can see why many people are still skeptical of it.

    They claim to be helping men with their anger and they show up here all angry and rambling. Not role models I could recommend.

  11. I agree completely with the above post. This forum is an echo chamber of uninformed, closed-minded, spew mongers. For crying out loud, it’s a volunteer organization. There are no power-hungry, money mongers. It’s just guys trying to find a way to make the world a better place. Go do the weekend. If there are parts that you don’t like, go to the local board of directors (round table) and share your concerns. But if you do go, you will be challenged. If your behaviors are destructive to your family, career, community, etc, and you tell them you want to change, they’ll work to help you change. Pretty simple. If you don’t want to change, don’t go. Just keep spewing your blame and uninformed (un-experienced) assumptions. Meanwhile, there are men shooting kids at school, beating their wifes, and corrupting organizations for their greed. So tell us… if MKP is so bad, then what’s your solution?

  12. This forum is useless. It is like talking about living in a city with people who have only visited one part of that huge city then returned, some thought it amazing and beneficial while others hated it, thought it terrible-evil-dangerous and are sure that nobody should ever go to live or even visit the place. Worse, some who know nothing of fact, never been there, only heard this or that (gossip) about it…challenge and degrade (call them liars) those who have seen the positive aspects of the city and the results in the lives of those who go and return then apply what they have learned where they live to make their home, village, town, city, or community a better place.

    So, consider, that YOUR perspective is only seen through YOUR experiences and YOUR personal bigotry…and that BIGOTRY leads you to do all the things that make the world a worse place rather than a better place.

    Having faced death on many occasions and having accepted that I was not going to make it on several, I learned an important concept: IN THE END, NOTHING MATTERS IN THIS LIFE EXCEPT HOW YOU TOUCH THE LIVES OF THOSE AROUND YOU.

    So, please consider that you are making assumptions and holding ideas that are only true for you. Our opinions are not the end all and our opinion is sooooooo BIASED that it really is useless to pour it out on others, especially if it is centered in low grade emotions of hatred, fear, anger, etc. Because as the old saying goes: THEY PROBABLY WON’T REMEMBER WHAT YOU SAID, AND THEY PROBABLY WON’T REMEMBER WHAT YOU DID…BUT, THEY WILL NEVER FORGET THE WAY YOU MADE THEM FEEL. So, next time you want to say or do something… consider how you touched the lives of those around you as death brings it all down to that and NONE ESCAPE DEATH.

  13. @Proud Wife, hmmmm, hmmmmm, well… your comment seems fake. IMHO, It appears to be written by someone who is out recruiting for the organization. At first I was going to copy and paste the exact sections that set off red flags, but I decided against that, as I would not want to show you what to change to come across as a more authentic, “Proud Wife.”

  14. Hmmm. Well, my husband attended MKP weekend about 5 years ago. Yes, the carpet work may have been destructive, only because the “need” that was identified at the time was to “challenge” his father’s memory rather than to “forgive” his father for his violent deeds. He had this insight about 3 years later. However, he wasn’t really in a forgiving mood at that time in his life, and I’m not sure they could have made that unfold in any authentic way at that time in his recovery. His immediate reaction, after ending the weekend on Cloud 9, was to come completely unglued, but prior to that weekend, he was all screwed up anyway. If he had attended a church retreat, which he had tried, it would not have touched the raw part inside that needed to be confronted. MKP New Warrior Weekend peeled him open like a can of sardines, no putting that lid back on. Was I thrilled? Well, all I could come up with to say at the Graduation was “I’m looking forward to more progress, because that first stuff was great – (even if the 10 days between the weekend and graduation were not supported well. To their credit, they embraced my feedback and implemented a follow up program, sharing contact #’s of alumni wives, for wives of the graduates.) Part of me was definitely overwhelmed by his coming home so shaken up. But in the long run, the MKP weekend, and then the followup Igroup training, which was very well facilitated, led to him attending his I-group every week for 3 years without missing. This guy never went out of the house after work, let alone went to sit in circle with men. The payback is that my husband is no longer automatically suspicious of, or resistant to men he meets, unlike before MKP. This improvement alone really helps in all aspects of life. Perhaps it reflects self love as much as it does acceptance (love) of his fellow man. He found out how much he had in common – the vulnerabilities, shame, fear, doubt, anger, jealousy, resentment…etc…. with all other men. This realization, fostered by these weeks and weeks of I-group attendance, healed something inside him that was probably broken in his own father and now, has been converted into something positive rather than negative to be passed down. In addition, he has confronted his alcohol dependency, he has altered evasive behaviors that have hampered communication in our marriage, he has become more capable of expressing his own needs, become more committed to meeting my needs, addressed rage behavior, realized his tendancy and reasons for reacting with emotional withdrawal and learned new alternatives, branched into other self-help reading and group training, attended Couples Weekend with me (another MKP program) and the list goes on and on. Basically, attending MKP allowed him to start the work of a lifetime, repairing a lifetime. If we had continued on the road we were on prior to MKP, we’d probably have really screwed up our kids and/or gotten divorced, which would have been a tragedy. Instead we are on 20+ years with an intact family, he is able to correct his own path when he gets thrown off, or hear feedback from me or our kids without becoming aggressive or dangerous to us or to himself. Oh! I forgot to mention, he has weaned off of all antidepressant meds as well, which he relied on for years despite their failure to be effective. I’m grateful and a fan of the sincere individuals who are the heart and soul of MKP. As for transparency – he would not have attended if he knew what he would be asked to do – but he was totally won over by the process. If others wish to know and ask questions, telling them is not a big deal. Men who have not attended a weekend cannot usually join an I-Group, for the safety of the men in the group. And it’s not a replacement for therapy. My own brother is not a candidate for this work due to his mental health, and I can see how it could be dangerous to men in certain states of depression. And my final comment is that the man who attends and chooses how seriously to pursue his self-repair work, is the one who ultimately determines the success or failure of his MKP experience. I am sure there are men who never let their guard down to deal with their inner trauma, and who twist the MKP identity into something warped. All I can say is that’s not my husband’s experience and as his wife I’m proud of how he used MKP as a springboard to greatness as a man and husband and brother and DAD.

  15. As a mental health clinician I have serious concerns about the MKP. I have had friends become involved and thus began to research this organization. There are numerous problems with the way MKP conducts itself as an organization, and I strongly encourage people to stay away from any involvement with them. Their interpretation and implementation of Jungian and other Gestalt therapies are quite misguided. While not the most overtly harmful of groups/cults, they are nonetheless an organization that uses (somewhat) subtle mind control techniques to indoctrinate it’s membership. They also claim to not conduct therapy to avoid liability, but nonetheless try to align their tactics with references to Jung and Gestalt therapy in an effort to legitimize their “work”. This is confusing to the lay person, and potentially harmful to anyone, especially to people who are emotionally vulnerable, as most of us are on some level. I liken this group to a type of pyramid scheme cloaked in a type of “self-help” new-agey type movement. They have promised transparency when faced with criticism and legal action, but have yet to follow through with making changes.

    What is also particularly disturbing to me is that there are numerous licensed clinicians who are members of this cult, and who see no harm in recommending the MKP to their clients. Even with the best of intentions, this is highly suspect and unethical–and probably illegal in most states. Yes, there are people out there who claim that it changed their lives and made them better people. But you don’t need to join a mind control organization to improve your life and make yourself a better person.

  16. Not posting my name so my husband doesn’t get called out.

    WRT the original point of the article: my husband went on the weekend about a month ago. I’m very unhappy with the commitment he made to them / they extracted from him about keeping everything secret without discussing how I felt about having secrets in our marriage.

    It’s actually quite fuzzy, they said, “You can share your personal experience,” (which most people take to mean the GUTS work) “…but no details.” Unclear on what exactly that means, he’s shared only maybe 1 hour of his 2-1/2 day weekend.

    I’ve been EXTREMELY upset since then and have spoken to several of the men involved locally. Quite a few are surprised that all the details aren’t posted on their web site, so word of this must have gotten around. Of course if you look you’ll find a worthless 1-page FAQ and that’s it. So it has never been implemented, and men are both told to keep it a secret “especially [from] women, they wouldn’t understand mens rituals”, and required to sign what is essentially a non-disclosure agreement before they can attend the weekend.

    Not a Christian, but sure as hell not happy either…

  17. I joined this cult a few years ago. Thankfully, I got out of it, but not before much damage was done. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ and biblical principles you should stay far away from this New Age group. If you want to practice rituals that are forbidden in scripture, the Mankind Project is the place for you. If you want to invoke and summon the energies of earth & sky spirits, you’ll have plenty of opportunity in the Mankind Project. If you want the judgment of Almighty God to fall upon you and your descendants, by all means, join this New Age cult.

    I want to strongly discourage, in a most serious manner, everyone reading this from participating or joining in the Mankind Project.

    At the graduation ceremony, I ignorantly told people, “Don’t walk, but run to MKP.” Now I’m begging you, “Stay away from this group.”

    If you’re currently a “Christian” member of MKP, I pray that you’ll reconsider your affiliation with them. MKP rituals, ceremonies, and spell-casting does NOT harmonize with Christianity in anyway. Please be advised.



  18. There’s no need for that sir.

    Keep in mind that I do not believe in a Higher Power or Higher States of Consciousness. I don’t believe in any Hierarchical system outside of the organization of people and the greater society. I view all religions and forms of spirituality as a falsehood and I don’t feel that I need a group of SEARCHERS to help me find my way towards an enlightened life. I ride alone, on my own path and control my own destiny.

    There’s nothing for me to learn from MKP, no anger I need to get in touch with, no wounds I am not already working on to heal myself and no reason for me to compartmentalize my battles into rituals. For me, every day is a ritual, a celebration and a test. I live for the moment and express my feelings and desires when I have them. Mankind Project doesn’t serve me because I am an individual. If I error and my own actions fail me and those I love, I learn from them and try my hardest not to repeat them.

    MKP unfortunately would be redundant for me and if anything a clear example of going about the wrong way to find the right answers.

    My own goals may share a great deal of commonality with the core of MKP’s mission but I do not agree with the path they are taking.

    Therefore, I shall not follow that path and will carve my own. No matter how hard it may be, at least I know it’s mine.

  19. The secrecy of the weekend has been exposed for years. The only impact that it has is the open opportunity for people that know nothing about it to jump to conclusions and generate assumptions.

    I am by far upper middle class anything. I’ll pay for your weekend. Let me know what center and training. I’ll have the deposit there the day you sign up. I will even fly out there and staff the weekend.

    It’s the upper class members that support the finances and help others attend. I went 10 years ago and was sponsored in by other members I didn’t know. I will return the favor.

    The only stipulation is that you go with an open mind. Bring all the judgments you want.

  20. Bradjmx4,

    Hey this sort of thing may float your boat and be beneficial to you and others like you but considering that MKP’s secrecy policy is now defunct, there’s a lot of info about the retreat, it’s methods and it’s effectiveness. There are a great deal of men who found this retreat to be ineffective and if anything, fraught with Pseudo-Psychology and New Age Spiritualism.

    You know, at first I thought this retreat was a good thing and very much what Men in this hyper-feminized society need. But, after doing extensive research and talking to a few MKPers about it and knowing their current lifestyles, I now see what it is all about.

    Mind you, I never once called MKP a Cult. Those are your words, not mine.

    It’s not a Cult. Far from it! It’s the kind of Postmodern group therapy that runs rampant in the New Age Spiritualist Community.

    To be specific, I personally know 5 men who attended MKP and all of them are still living basically the same life they lived before attending and participating in MKP. The only difference I have seen is that they now have a few buzz terms to justify their lifestyles. Wow, big whoop!

    Next time one hires a prostitute, cheats on his wife, cheats on his boyfriend or lies to his family, friends and lovers about his lifestyle I’ll be sure to know that MKP has helped him lead a life of integrity and honesty because now he has an honest acceptance that those dishonest actions are a part of his nature.

    Sorry, that just doesn’t fly with me!

    You can bang on drums, meditate all you want and participate in as many rituals as you like, but if you don’t take accountability and change certain ways you are living which are destructive to he relationships of those closest to you, you really aren’t making any progress towards being a better man.

    FYI – I grew up surrounded by all of these New Age ideas and know first hand the major gap in what these practitioners think and how they act.

    I also don’t think that MKP is some seriously dangerous thing. I’ve been through Basic Training and MKP doesn’t even come close to that. It’s just a series of symbolic and ritualistic events crammed into a weekend retreat.

    Yeah, and it costs on average $650.00 to attend! Already, with that kind of price tag it excludes the majority of the male population. So convince me that MKP isn’t a luxury for the upper middle class who have time and money to spend on this kind of “self help” and I will begin to take it seriously.

  21. DD78: There is absolutely no truth whatsoever to what you are saying about MKP. “The fact is” you have no idea what MKP is.

    After every weekend there is a homecoming ceremony. In your area, after the next weekend, instead of bashing something you know nothing about, go to the homecoming and tell the 30 men there that it was a useless cult. Than listen to how it saved or changed their lives. Than you will have the opportunity to hear their families thank them for having the courage to go.

    Gay and straight. Than maybe you could mention your partner and his struggles after the weekend.

    Your right…you have zero evidence to prove any of that. It doesn’t exist.

  22. Warren,

    Sorry, I will rephrase. His ex boyfriend is a longtime MKPer and the course, network, etc has done nothing to change him positively either. In ways he’s worse than my boyfriend because of his predilection for male prostitutes and generally negative and vampireal personality. MKP did not make him a better man.


    You cannot assume that I don’t support my partner from anything I stated in the prior message. Further, I am confident enough in my support of him to not even bother justifying myself to you in regards to it.

    The fact is, MKP is a fraud! Just like Scientology is a quasi-psychology, so is MKP. You cannot reprogram yourself in one weekend. Sure, you can learn how to make even better justifications for your actions by claiming that you now know the right way, but any actual positive change has to happen from you and you alone. For one, you have to see that being a man with integrity has just as much to do with your ability to be honest about your nature as it does, making steps to improve upon your nature.

    Another great misconception about MKP I’d like to clear up is that it’s Ani-Gay.

    It couldn’t be further from. If anything it’s a network of upper middle class Homosexual men. If any Hetero man is under the assumption that MKP will be like a real bootcamp, he’s wrong. It’s more like Body Electric and all those other Homo Wellness groups.

    Even though I have ZERO evidence to prove this I’d guess MKP is also a screw fest. Considering that I have met several men over the years involved with this who all seem to be of a similar ilk, Gay Sex Charged New Age Yuppie/Hippies with money and time to waste on these silly half baked self help programs.

  23. DD78: I think it is sad that instead of honoring and supporting your partner in his struggles you choose to lash out at an organization designed to help. Blaming MKP seems like an easy target. What do you do to help him aside from harshly judge his struggle? We attract people on our same level.

  24. MKP is utter horsecrap, quasi-new age, homocentric BS!

    That said, here’s why I say that! I am a 31 year old man and have been involved with another man who went through MKP and the dude is still conflicted about his sexuality, still a sex addict attracted to younger males, still lies to his family about his sexuality, still is afraid of any sort of commitment and still has major intimacy issues which prevent him from pursuing and maintaining honest and open relationships. Better yet, it was a former boyfriend of his who dragged him into it. ********************************(deleted for violation of commenting rules)

    In my opinion,



    All this stupid MKP program is, is another excuse for privileged upper middle class “weekend warriors” to waste money on.

    1. dd78 – Please read the guidelines for commenting if you wish to comment. I tend to agree with some of your criticisms, although I think some men do profit in ways I have a hard time grasping.

  25. It is very unfortunate the assumptions people use in regards to an organization designed to help men.

    There are very few men in the organization that get paid. They make around $7.00/hour for their time on the weekend. The staff actually pays to staff so the cost of the weekend is lower for the men taking the weekend.

    The Mankind Project is for men. Women Within is for Women. There are hundreds of Coed support groups out there.

    Jack, Very few centers break even on a training. Most of the financing comes from donations outside the weekend. Your published numbers are not even close to reality.

    It is unfortunate that we don’t live in a perfect world. Finding out where in our lives we were hurt will prevent us from doing the same. After 10 years involved with MKP I have never heard women reffered to as “bitches” or men masturbating.

    Most men don’t feel the need to jump in here and rescue MKP. For some reason people feel the need to share their bad experience.

    There are over 40,000 men in MKP. There is a reason for that. Men see the changes made in other men and are attracted to the opportunities.

    It is a weekend. What you choose to do with your life after the weekend is up to you. Myself along with the 2,000 men in my community choose to stay involved and try to help.

    What do you do to make the world safer?

  26. I warn any man who has not had a traditional psych assessment. The Mankind Project is not an acceptable method for personal growth or transformation.

    My former partner who was very abusive and now admits he mistreated me.

    He discovered the Mankind Project and has decided this is all he needs.

    My concern is that he will enter into a new relationship eventually but his violent side won’t have been dealt with properly. And then another woman will be hurt badly. I know this because when I have had the chance over the telephone to remind this man that he has not sought respectable and professional care for his violent tendencies, he became violent and used the fact that he is a man so I could not understand this “project” like he does! Um, mankind means humans as a group!!!!

    If such an intense “project” does not take responsibility for the mental health of its participants but only takes their money this is a cult — and a dangerous one.

  27. What a creepy sham this Mankind Project is. In my opinion, there is a reason why they screw with the initiates minds after they already have their money. The reason? Because they also charge members for the right to staff their initiations.

    Why else would old men and young men drive hundreds of miles to the middle of nowhere just to watch some young guys prance around naked? My therapist is soooooooo fired. It was the creepiest thing ever. The mind control didn’t bother me as much because even though the leaders were swifter than the poor schmucks getting initiated with me, they were not the brightest guys themselves. Just cheesy perverts. Being put on display for a a crowded, noisy, smoky room of cheesy perverts is what creeped me out

  28. That’s very typical of MKP members to blame the women for all men’s problems. I lived with a hard core abusive mkper who is now way up the ladder. The wonderful “growth” organization turned a blind eye to this abusive phychopath and continues to promote him. And being gay is not an issue as far as I’m concerned, but when a married, supposedly heterosexual husband gets to do nude body work (masterbating each other) within his wonderful i-group, but is sworn to withold this secret from his spouse, there is a BIG problem. I know first hand that sexual addiction is RAMPANT within MKP and the group in general are encouraged to be women-haters and learn how to cover it up with mkp-speak.

    And for the man that says it is run by professionals – you are obviously new in the program and have NO IDEA what you are talking about. I was in the leadership of the sister organization and there is NO professional training. In fact, the men are even worse in the fact that ANY man that is on staff can process an initiate on the carpet. The fact that there are licenced therapists on these weekends makes it irrelivant because if state boards knew that these people were practicing in this setting would get them in BIG TROUBLE – without all the disclaimers initiates have to sign.

  29. Actually, many of the “volunteers”, pay to go to the weekend as well. So, if the “volunteers” are actually paying to “volunteer”, I would say MKP is making a lot of money. After my husband went, we looked into the finances, and yes MKP makes a lot of money that a few at the top get to keep. Like it or not, that is the truth.

    I have read the weekend manual as I have a copy of it (the weekend is very scripted from moment to moment) as well as the suggested I-Group activities and many of the other MKP documents. What disinformation is on the net about this group? The disinformation that MKP itself puts out ie how great thou art, MKP lies and keeps secrets. Those of us who have been harmed, get NOTHING back from MKP in regards to the damage they have caused us. Blaming us for being harmed.

    Hay, for example, if I come over to you and stab you, is it your fault? Of course it is, you are the idiot that did not get out of the way. That is how MKP thinks. Unless they are on the receiving end of that “knife”, then they blame mommy. Got a problem? Blame mommy or daddy or someone else, but NEVER take responsibility or be accountable for their own choices and actions.

    Aggression is rampant in MKP. They don’t seem to understand the difference between “assertiveness” and “aggressiveness”. Thinking that the way to “be a man” is to be cruel to the women in their lives, to the point that many women will leave their husbands who are involved in MKP, or live with abuse. MKP men will then blame the women instead of looking at their own actions and words.

    The sister organization “woman within”, think about this for a minute, consider themselves “bitches”, and this is what the MKP men call them. Tell me how that is respectful towards women? It is NOT! It is derogatory, no matter what kind of spin you try to put on it, psychologically it creates a negative image towards women.

    Grow TF up and stop blaming your mommy/daddy/wife/friend for the choices you now make. Allow people to make informed decisions, meaning give ALL information to people looking at MKP and stop hiding pertinent information from men and their families.

    MKP is an LGAT. Look that up. MKP got their start in other “cult” organizations. The founders met at UYO, look that up. As well as Erhard Seminar Training (EST), they have had their own intense issues. Look that up as well.

  30. David and Steve:

    All that is required is simple math. I happen to know from what I saw in a budget paper that very few people are paid and most are volunteer staff, but the few that are are paid are paid in the area of $5,000-$6,000 (and this is several years ago) for a weekend, so I’m sure that it is more now. > These people making their living traveling from one site to another. So, this bullshit of guys helping guys, like a community service thing, which was the original founding principle was abandoned years ago, is BS. Each guy is required to pay $600 x 50 people (probably alot more by now) = $30,000. No way could the expenses for the few facilities that were rented cost $5,000 for a weekend, maybe $1,000. So, most of the money went to a very few people. Everyone that I knew of paid the fee. Although there were some who couldn’t afford it and asked for scholarship help, were turned down and didn’t make it. These few high paid people have highjacked the organization and have made a big business out of this and abandoned the original principles of guys helping guys as volunteers. I know quite a few others who will not go back there for this reason.

  31. Re: the money, I hear it too and do not know much about it. I did see some 990 form stuff and will post that when I refind it. I would like to see whatever anyone has on that topic.

    Re: Church weekends. This may happen but it is unlikely that anything on the weekend triggered the breaks. If your point is that we do not know if the NWTA caused those breaks, the answer is no, of course we don’t, in a scientific kind of way. Intuitively however, I will take my chances on church.

    In many ways, the situation with harm and MKP is like harm and reparative therapy. Depends. Some people feel helped and some people feel harmed.

    I have met more who have been harmed than helped but I am fully aware that my sampling is probably not representative.

  32. @ Jack,

    if you are awre of the financing of MKP, could you publish what you know to reinforce your arguments?

    Warren…this is an important assertion, and if true, bears revealing.

  33. @ Peter,

    If your are aware of the financing of MKP, could you publish what you know and reinforce your allegations?

  34. Isn’t there a signed consent form that injury and death can occur during the weekend?

    Regarding being charitable….that has long been a defect in my character, which has largely led to my own harm.

    Don’t some people have psychotic breaks and manic episodes during church retreats?

  35. Steve you just pointed the finger and blamed Michael Scinto’s mom after you said MKP is for men who want to step up and stop screeching and pointing fingers. Is this just a first time being a hypocrite or maybe you don’t even realize you are. MKP makes lots of money. Unfortunately, you are not privy to their finances. Many young men’ lives have been saved because people like Mr. Throckmorton, Houston Press, are exposing this evil organization. MKP has been hurt because of this exposure of the truth of their organization I only hope they truly come through with more informed consent so men can realize what they are getting into. If they did give the correct informed consent I am sure they would be out of business in a New York minute.

  36. Steve – Shaka cuz.

    I did find this ironic:

    Jack, ignorant hater.

    Followed by

    MKP is not for men like Jack who want to live blaming, pointing fingers, being angry, spewing— MKP is for any man who wants to step up and stop screeching and pointing fingers and start living authentically


    Does the pointing fingers and screeching stop now or later?

  37. Before the weekend I had a dagnosis of “anxiety disorder”. I had a positive experience on the weekend and it helped me open to underlying emotions. After a year of untrained and poorly trained facilitation I had a breakdown was diagnosed with PTSD and then bi-polar disorder. Although there are many positive aspects of MKP I will no recommend it until they address the issue adequately in the igroups. My recommendation for MKP is to cut out “GUTS” gestalt therapy in the igroups entirely or provide liscenced therapists in every igroup. Otherwise the dangers are still there. It is wrong to say that Gestalt therapies are proven “not” to work as they are the basis of much contemporary cognitive techniques. But the evidence is that the effect is not long lasting and that there ate many dangers in it. MKP needs to seriously address these issues. I also want to add that the weekend guts work was good for me – but I needed much more counciling afterwards – which MKP neither provided nor refered me too.

  38. I think MKP needs to sue Warren Throckmorton for leaving all of this nasty disinformation and extremely hateful, anti-MKP stuff on the net-

    – – -regardless of his stated “change of heart”

    I send gay men to MKP and they Google this and I have to spend hours explaining this BS which is all over the net – Gayness is not an issue in MKP, it’s irrelevant–authenticity and taking responsibility for your own BS – whatever your label, is relevant

    I am one of many, many gay men in MKP and I love it–I also take responsibility – I get out of MKP what I put into it, period.

    –Jack, ignorant hater

    -nobody gets rich

    I know exactly how little money the paid leaders make in MKP, a few hundred dollars and in Hawaii they often work-exchange with men here. And its HARD work. Getting rich in MKP is BULLSHIT MKP is not for men like Jack who want to live blaming, pointing fingers, being angry, spewing— MKP is for any man who wants to step up and stop screeching and pointing fingers and start living authentically

    Micheal Scinto

    – Why is MKP blamed? answer: his Mom – doesn’t anyone wonder like I do, maybe he committed suicide from spending years with shrill carping.

    I am in Hawaii ManKind Project -btw Far away from the Mainland

    Much Aloha

  39. David,

    Yes, there are many staff, but most are volunteers and not paid. The few highly paid people go from one city to another like a network for big bucks. It is a scam at best. I find it ironic that NARTH is giving their blessing to SSA people to attend MKP which is going to affirm them as gay, which all the subculture that surrounds this.

  40. In regards to MKP being gay friendly…

    That is an understatement…

    The fact that Nicolosi and others refer to such a gay friendly institution should cause us to reconsider some of our criticisms.

    If men with unwanted SSA are referred and encouraged to participate and there is a strong gay affirming subculture in MKP; how can those who encourage such participation be viewed offering skewed science and manipulating their clients.

    Exposure to gay men who do not experience distress associated with their SSA would be a tremendous risk to the “cult culture” of NARTH and it’s affiliates.

    I find it as a bold move, in some regards, that apparently does not “backfire” on Nicolosi and others…it demystifies both masculinity and apparently de-eroticizes


    of the compulsive quality of SSA…

    A paradoxical intervention worthy of a liberal thinking mind.

  41. I would recommend it, nor for unwanted SSA in particular, but as an opportunity for personal growth and to have basic, enduring assumptions about human relationships (transference) challenged.

  42. I attended the weekend and did a 6 week follow-up with an I group.

    There were professionals running the weekend.

    The emotional intensity of the event seemed to be well understood and leaders sought to provide compassionate care, while challenging people to grow.

    All growth activities are fraught with risk.

    All participants sign a waiver that they understand serious injury is possible…

    I doubt there is much money in the weekend…given the number of staff.

    As with any activity, including religious conversion, the initial event is less important than the follow-up activities we choose to participate in.

    It is a lay activity, based upon Jungian Psychology.

  43. I went through the weekend and had a bad reaction. The processes they put us through triggered a manic episode in which I became suicidal. This reaction happened because I am bipolar. I talked to a member of mkp after on the advice of a therapist, I no longer go to, and I was told they know that this happens to some people they had knowledge of other people having similar reactions. Transparency sounds nice but if they do not disclose this danger it will be nothing more than B.S. Furthermore they have never answered one question for me which I would like to know: If they had prior knowledge of these reactions, I disclosed to them I was an unmedicated bi-polar, why did they not warn me of the possible outcome. I hope “Transparency” is the end of MKP but I have a feeling they will hold back the real truth like they did with me, Gestalt therapy has been discredited and shown not to work. Shame on you MKP!

  44. ManKind Project & or New Warriors is nothing more than a big money maker for a very few people at the top, who get big bucks for a few hours a weekend. It may have started out as being guys helping guys, but it wasn’t long before greed took over.>Aside from all the secrecy and bull shit stuff that goes on, it is just a cover up. guys are such dopes to go for this nonsense. Any benefit short term, long term that one may get is just another pr gimic. The notion that this is going to help people with serious psychological problems is a bunch of nonsense.

Comments are closed.