8/12/2009 10:16pm, #971
A little while back we were discussing how so-called "experts" don't dig deep enough when investigating controversial groups. In a book called Misunderstanding Cults, there is a chapter called "Pitfalls in the Sociological Study of Cults" written by Janja Lalich, a former member of the Democratic Workers Party, a defunct political cult. There is one paragraph that all of you may find very interesting, which I'm posting. The group is not named, probably for legal reasons.
Another instance of whitewashing occurred recently when a sociologist of religion was flown out to the West Coast as an expert to do a report on a local controversial group for a lawyer and public relations firm hired by the group (or rather, a member of the group). After two or three days in the area, the scholar asserted in writing that the group was not a cult and there was no evidence of brainwashing. His report was sent to both local and national media, as well as to some families of group members who were being affected by the brewing controversy. The report helped to stave off (and water down) media exposes, and put another wedge between some of the families and their relatives in the group. The scholar's findings, however, were at odds with other evidence from cross-corroborated, first-hand reports from almost a dozen former members and families of members, documentation from a lawsuit filed several years earlier, and extensive research done by a local investigative reporter, which included access to internal group materials and videotapes that gave direct evidence to support some of the allegations. Nevertheless, the scholar's report, based on a couple of days of visits orchestrated by the group, and supported by a well-paid public relations campaign, as well as legal threats, made it more difficult to shed light on this group's controversial backstage behavior.
8/12/2009 10:16pm, #972
Sunny Graf is a legitimate martial artist, and was part of the NWMAF group to which I belonged and participated in their annual seminar.
8/12/2009 10:26pm, #973
8/14/2009 2:24pm, #974
Just a few observations on both the "Meet and Greet" video and the hall of fame business.
I remember MBF as a kid in his early twenties. He was full of life, energy, and enthusiasm. Now as I watch him introduce madame, he has what I would call a "flat affect". He goes through the words, but he has no passion in his presentation. His face is unemotional, more like a mask. Has TYK totally destroyed the personas of those who follow her? From what I see, I would definitely say yes.
As I look at the images of her home, I find it stifling. There seems to be no fresh air, just overstuffed and overly ornate chairs,... and what's with that lamp with a boy riding a dolphin perhaps? Keerist, her taste, or her interior decorator's taste, leaves a lot to be desired.
I don't know what's with that hall of fame business, but I think TYK has somehow interjected herself into contention, and if these are tradional martial artists as I believe them to be, they will see through her BS soon enough, and no biggie award for her....but of course, that's "because she's a woman, they're jealous of her".
8/16/2009 8:01am, #975
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
- jung suwon
Bemused, when you go to the site you must click on the 2009 photos, then scroll to the full picture of TYK. True it was the participants who were in the spotlight then, not her, which is how it should have been.
Wonder why she didn't compete in the competitions herself, she was young enough. Has she competed with anyone? I only remember hearing of the story when she "sparred" with SHS and "tapped" him resulting in a huge "energy" knot on his head which she then "healed". I'm sure you recall that story as well, it was used as the reason TYK never sparred with anyone again because she might accidentally hurt them real bad. I didn't ever see any film of her sparring, all pictures and film were of her "energy" demonstrations or the staged take downs used in the "Way of the Warrior" series.
Shadow and Failed Student, you were both there back in the day...did you see TYK spar? Just curious.
8/16/2009 8:31am, #976
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
- jung suwon
Wow Bemused! Did that paragraph describe who and what I think it did? The group's "controversial backstage behavior"? Indeed. Now there is an understatement. She managed to wiggle out of that one. Mega damage control going on after the "Inside Edition" episode aired.
It must be very difficult to prove a cult is a cult, especially when it's leaders are so clever and such good liars. The instructors will say and do anything to protect TYK and can be so charming and "normal" when they need to be. An expert would not see what is really going on.
Yes MBF has given the introduction speech many a time. Grand entrances are a favorite of madame. Usually at her home, guests are made to sit and watch a half hour montage of her recieving awards and various speaking engagements. This to puff her up and let people know how "famous" she is before she comes out of her room. It's a little weird and a little creepy now that I think about it. Maybe now that Failed Student has posted her observations they will get a different master of ceremonies to introduce her at her gala events.
8/16/2009 1:55pm, #977
8/16/2009 2:21pm, #978It must be very difficult to prove a cult is a cult, especially when it's leaders are so clever and such good liars. The instructors will say and do anything to protect TYK and can be so charming and "normal" when they need to be. An expert would not see what is really going on.
These sociologists also discredit former member accounts, thinking they are motivated by simple vengeance. This is really stupid. Most former members are more fearful than anything else and won't speak out without support from other people. Even if former members are vengeful, vengeance usually has good reasons behind it. So these sociologists only take data from current members in good standing, who have strong motivation to lie to protect the group. As scientists, they should care about the truth, but they don't.
8/16/2009 3:24pm, #979
To answer your question White Bear, no I never saw madame spar. The most she ever did were a few perfunctory hand techniques when they were short a person on the lines.
As far as the sparring, any photo of her doing so was staged. Yes, she could do some high kicks - she did stretch out in class - so she was limber. I do remember a rather odd photo of her supposedly fighting off an attaker - played by her brother - in which he was behind her and she did a back kick to his groin. Really staged...he ddn't even react to what was supposed to be an "owie"
Bemused, poker face aside, there was no energy emanating from MBF in that introduction. What I observed was a person in some stage of depression.
8/16/2009 3:33pm, #980
I have been asked to lead a forum on cults for an adult education group.. I guess everything happens for a reason, and I look forward to talking to others, none of whom are martial artists, about the warning signs of cults, and will be recounting my own experience, with a question and answer period to follow.