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Beware of The ManKind Project

The ManKind Project calls itself a " progressive men's organization striving to be increasingly inclusive and affirming of cultural differences." But several people who have attended their program have a different story. The cult-like group has "trainings" around the world including Springfield, MA.

Wayne Besen is reporting that several anti-gay/ex-gay organizations are heavily promoting the ManKind Project for its emphasis on finding your masculinity.

He writes:
This cult-like national program is a $650 weekend boot camp where participants – mostly straight - are greeted by large, intimidating men dressed in dark clothing and faces painted black. During their stay, the men are forced to take cold showers, survive on about four hours sleep, and subsist on very little food. In follow-up meetings, the activities include shaving another man’s face, kidnapping a member of another camp group and changing clothes with other men. The idea is to help them get in-touch with their feelings and uncover and heal deep wounds that are barriers to successful lives.

The alternative publication, The Houston Press, uncovered a letter Michael Scinto wrote to the Madison County Texas sheriff’s office, just prior to committing suicide allegedly as a result of the boot camp. The Scinto family has filed a lawsuit against The ManKind Project, while the deceased man’s letter to the sheriff claims the New Warrior program practiced bizarre rituals that include:

1. Blindfolded walking tours in the nude

2. People blowing sage smoke in his face while 50 or so naked men danced around candles

3. Men sitting in a circle discussing their sexual histories while passing a wooden dildo called “The Cock”

4. Naked men beating cooked chickens with a hammer

In the Houston Press article, the wife of one of the men who attended discussed why her husband eventually rejected the group.

“So, everyone was sitting Indian-style in a big circle in the lodge when the man leading the group said, ‘if you wish, you may reach over and grab your brother’s dick. If your brother doesn’t want your hand there, he can remove it.’ Well, my husband told me he just froze. And, from that point on, he just wanted out.” The ManKind Project called the allegations false and “vindictive.”

4 comments:

AdamX said...

Naked men beating cooked chickens with a hammer?

It sounded good until this bullet came up.

Ryan Charisma said...

Now that's gay.

Mac Rory Bowman said...

Dude. This is so off-base and you seem to have missed a few stitches. This is an old story, already resolved, as per http://gayspirituality.typepad.com/blog/2006/12/update_on_the_m.html

Riverdale Man said...

Just so you know this issue of the safety of all men in a NWTA is not "already resolved". The Mankind Project is still listed on several exgay websites. The Mankind Project although it says one thing actually does another. The Mankind Project's connection to the reparative or conversion therapy world are still very strong. There are many reparative or conversion therapists that advertise their connections and their leadership in the NWTA. The Mankind Project has done nothing to ensure that the connection between the exgay movement and the NWTA "events" is not an "issue".