Mankind Project technique: Bucketing, Part Two, “Killing Daddy”

Yesterday, I posted a portion of a manual published by the Mankind Project for leaders of the Integration Groups (I-Groups). I excerpted a portion of an exercise called “bucketing” where one may include another man as a stand-in for an issue one has with another man.

While this technique might be of some benefit with skilled facilitators, I see potential for men to process wounds in ways that might not be helpful. Age regression techniques can mislead the person being regressed to incorporate a narrative that may be a reconstruction of events rather than a true account. These techniques, promoted by some therapists, are not universally accepted. 

According to a former New Warrior, this bucketing technique, along with another process known as clearing, can lead to disturbing experiences. The following account was sent to me via email:

This is a MKP process where you “kill” someone in proxy. It is often the father but can be a mother or someone else. I’ve even seen MKP have men “kill” God. Actually I was instructed to “kill God” by MKP leaders but I refused. There is something in MKP called a “God split” this is where a man kills God and gives himself is own god of his making, usually himself. This is a necessary step in the MKP ladder. For a man to become an “inner King” he must “kill” God first. King is one of the four quadrants of the four archtype circle, those being, Warrior, King, Magician, and Lover. These are loosely based on Jung’s archtypes.

Well back to “killing dad.” In these killing processes, one man stands in proxy for the person who is being killed. Cushions and pillows are placed before him. The man who is to kill has a baseball bat, tennis racket, etc. He hits the pillows and cushions over and over right before the man standing in proxy. The man continues hitting and yelling at his “daddy.” The “daddy” gives insults and calls the man with the bat names. These are names that are brought out earlier before the “killing” begins in a “bucketing” process. Eventually “daddy” slowly begins to “die.” He begins to sink slowly to the floor pretending that he is being hit and hurt. He eventually pretends to be dead. This can take many minutes. This usually occurs when the man with the bat is near the point of exhaustion.

This process looks like gestalt psychotherapy to me. I did it several times to my “dad” at MKP meetings. The reason that they stated I needed to do it over and over was because I didn’t kill my whole dad, just one part of him that hurt me. I needed to kill every part that had “bad energy.” This could take many meetings and workshops to accomplish.

After the process is done there is the de-role process, there the man standing in proxy says “I’m not your father, I’m your brother ‘Jim’.” The man then repeats it to him. Then the process complete, at least for now.

This description sounds like two other accounts we have seen before. First, the “rage therapy” documented in Divided Memories. Hear a survivor of Genesis Associates discuss the rage therapy:

Another reference for tennis raquets and pillows, of course, is what Richard Cohen calls “bioenergetics.”

I asked Mankind Project, Executive Director, Carl Griesser for a comment on the proxy process described above and he was not able to comment today. He did say he was thinking about how to respond and would be in touch. I am looking forward to this.  

Mankind Project technique – “Bucketing,” Part One

In the last week or so, I have been reading many emails and comments from men who felt positive and negative about their New Warrors Training Adventure and Integration Group experiences. Via some searching I found a manual for the I-groups from 2005 that describes a variety of techniques for leading I-groups. Some of these sound very much like therapeutic techniques I read about in the 1980s designed to help clients uncovering repressed memories and perhaps some therapists still conduct. One such technique is referred to as “bucketing” in the I-group manual. In my opinion, this technique is of questionable efficacy in the hands of experienced therapists, let alone lay people.

MKP-International PIT 5.2 Facilitator Manual



The purpose of this process is:

  •   To follow an emotional charge to an earlier source

  •  Release the charge

  •   Gain insight to the behaviors around the charge

  •   To discover a shadow, own it, and own its projection onto others

  •   Develop new action (reaction) choices

  •   To continue to peel the onion

    1. Identify an emotional charge or judgment regarding another man who is present in the circle or an emotional charge about a person not present.

    2. Have two men face each other (sitting or standing) with a facilitator at their side.

    3. If it’s about someone from outside the circle have the man with the issue identify who his brother (seated across from him) is role playing.

    4. The facilitator instructs the man who is the object of the emotional charge or judgment to sit in silence, listen attentively, and maintain eye contact

  • (The Facilitator can read from this form until he masters the process over time)

Data: “And so _____, tell this man the Data or facts around this issue.”

Judgment: “Tell this man the Judgments you have around this Data.”

Feeling: “Tell this man the Feeling you have from this Judgment.”

Locate in body: “Close your eyes. Where in your body do you feel that feeling?”

Shape, Size, Color: “If that feeling were an object, what shape would it be? What size is it? What color?”

Voice: “Now give it a voice. What words is it saying? Say it again – louder this time.”

Regression: “Now let this voice take you back. Follow your body back to an earlier time when you felt that way. Go back in time, maybe back to the first time you felt feeling. Let your body take you back, let this voice take you back, back in time.”

Wound: “What’s happening? Who’s there? How old are you? What’s happening?”

REPEAT: “And then what happens…?” Until the trauma is complete.

Shadow: “What are the messages you are getting right now? What decisions are you making? What beliefs and judgments are you taking on? What behaviors / reactions are you learning and adopting from this?”

Return: “Slowly begin to come forward in time again, forward, forward until you find yourself back in this place and time, back in this room with these men. When you’re ready and fully back in this time and place, open your eyes.”

Lesson: “What did you learn about your charge around this issue?”

Projection: “What about you were you projecting onto this man?”

Ownership: Do you choose to own that shadow? Do you see that any issue around which you have a charge or upset is an opportunity to learn about yourself?”

Healing: “Now go back in time to just before this experience. Turn back the clock and bring your adult self into the picture. Would you like to go back through this experience with his help this time? Ask him to help you. O.K… Turn the clock forward and see what happens this time. What’s happening? Repeat “and then what happens” until the man is complete.”

Empowerment: “What messages are you getting now? “What decisions are you making? What new behavior choices do you have available now? That’s great. Now become your adult self.”

Self-Forgiveness: “How do you feel about this 2-year old that had to go through this experience alone?

Can you forgive him for the decisions he made and the behaviors he adopted?” Can you release any judgments you made about him? Have the adult man take his own little boy into his heart. Can you forgive yourself for holding this unconscious belief & behavior? Can you forgive yourself for continually re-creating this drama in your life, hoping that someday it would turn out better?” Can you let go of your negative self-judgments?”

Forgiveness: “Can you now begin to forgive ________ (whatever person involved in triggering this issue for the man, IE, Bad Dad) for playing out his/her immature pattern?”

“Are there any judgments of (him/her) that you need to release?”

Return: “Slowly return to this room. How do you feel? Is there anything else you need to complete this?”

NOTE: If this is an inside issue, or a conflict resolution, continue below. Otherwise, stop here.

More…: “Do you still have an issue with this man? If yes, tell the man what you own around the issue, and what you want for yourself.

Perception Checking: Have the other man repeat back what he heard. Have him say how he feels, what he owns around this issue, and what he wants for himself.

Conflict Resolution: Keep working the above steps with each man until the process comes to a resolution where both men have been heard, and both men get what they want.

Choices: “Based on what you learned in this process, how else could you have reacted to this issue? What choices could you now make in the future?”Close: “Do you need anything else around this? Is this complete for now?”

The wording here is a little vague, but this process describes a facilitator helping a participants frame negative experiences as possibly emanating from past trauma. However, using visualization in order to suggest someone can regress to an earlier age can promote false recollections of trauma.  Furthermore, this description certainly seems like therapy to me in that the process seems designed to enable trauma recovery. In Part 2 regarding “bucketing,” I will post one former Warriors experience of bucketing that did not go as nicely as described in the manual.