How to Fake a Magical Weekend in a Cult
When I was still in the group, I believed that everything magical was happening on “the invisible realm” and that this was how God spoke to us. I would always be making connections everywhere. I paid attention to my dreams. I supposedly used “the system” to analyze my life and relationships, speaking a language that only the group could understand. For many years, I believed also that I had a psychic nature and this was part of my destiny to help people using these abilities. Well, now that I am out of the cult, I am realizing that Michael Guen used tricks and mind plays to have the women and men believe in magic. By association, we were set up to believe that he had such powers and he could pull it out of thin air.
I am here to dispute this case. Let me tell you a story about a women’s intensive that happened many years ago in Mendocino. First let me define what a women’s intensive or workshop is. Women’s intensives are really just a long weekend in which Michael gets $325 from each of the participants. The women would spend several days with Michael non-stop and we would spend a night in a hotel, sleeping in separate rooms. All he had to do was to show up and pretend to teach us something new. He’ll have lengthy conversations about the women’s work and then fool everyone into believing that we’re “pulling down the magic.”
Basically, we paid for his room and board. It’s like a mini-vacation for him. He slept in a comfortable room and ate really good food all weekend long. Michael Guen was constantly emphasizing that it takes so much time and effort and energy to be with us and that he needed to be there to direct the whole thing. He gets pampered for a weekend, makes up whatever teaching he wants, and then gets paid a huge sum of money for the whole thing. We not only had to pay for the expensive tuition, but we also had to contribute towards everything else – gasoline, food, the hotel, etc.
In this particular case, four of us trekked up to Mendocino for a weekend in 2008. During the trip, one of the women was somewhat ill. Even though she was not feeling well, she felt compelled to join us because she did not want to miss out on such a magical experience. First stop, he has us do some martial arts to get us prepped for our trance state. The movements that we learn are already a way to hypnotize us to be more receptive for the weekend. Next, we begin to find meaning in everything. For example we stopped by some fisherman on a wharf who searched for sea urchins. They pulled out purple ones and pink ones – males and females. So of course we made the connection to the masculine and feminine!
The rest of the evening was all a set up for the supposed “power” that we would be generating. At the next stop, Michael Guen made us stare into the sunset in order to “open the awareness between worlds.” He was constantly referring to Carlos Casteneda’s books and made us believe that we were really doing something profound. Meditating on the sunset again put us into a trance state in which were highly open to receiving his suggestions. Then we drove to the actual town of Mendocino and parked the car in the lot. He then gave us a stern talk about how the four of us had not fully come together yet to “pull down the power.” We were supposedly all disjointed and someone was “diffusing the energy.” Immediately, I felt guilty, believing that I was the one who was the weakest link.
One of the women began a campaign to “find the magic” and she used her white gloved hands to lead the way. She was mimicking one of the postures from the martial arts practice. Michael trailed behind us because he did not want to be associated with us as we walked through the town. We tried sitting in a restaurant that she had led us to. All of us were staring at each other, trying to read into Michael Guen to see if that was where we were supposed to be. Suddenly, we all left the restaurant because “the feeling wasn’t right.” Of course the magic wasn’t there! What were we thinking? We can tell from his expression that we were off.
Finally, the woman led us to a garden and we began wandering around it. We stood in silence for several minutes and then Michael put us into a trance state. I remember feeling as though the garden represented the same garden that I had my first kiss. I stared at an abandoned building that had four decal stickers of white birds and made some connection to a white bird I had seen on the dock earlier. The point was that the whole thing was staged and we were led to believe that we had all accomplished something. We were being tricked into having a supposedly “profound experience,” further believing that Michael had some special powers.
Now I completely know that Michael Guen does not have magical abilities. The only way in which he can supposedly felt into me or knew what I was feeling was because he would talk to other people in the group and get information on me. He is not a mystical person. He is actually a very manipulative and unethical person. I don’t believe any of it anymore. Being able to see his deceptive ways is very illuminating and it makes me realize that there are so many other gurus, teachers and cult leaders who are also deceiving their devoted students with magic tricks, hypnosis and suggestion.
– Ruth –
If you want an inside view how it all works than check out these Videos:
Derren Brown ~ Fear And Faith – Pt-1 Full
Derren Brown ~ Fear and Faith Pt-2 Full ~ God Illusion
Photo Credit: Manuel Acebedo via Flickr