The ManKind Project Article

Sheep & Goats The Mankind ProjectGalloping Horse, Soaring Eagle, Temple Badger, and Powerful Jaguar are some of the 30 graduates of the New Warrior Training Adventure. The New Warrior Training is a weekend retreat facilitated by The ManKind Project (MKP). According to its brochure, MKP “offers men the opportunity to look deeper into their lives and make healthy choices about their future.”

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  • Bruce Chant

    February 23, 2005, 6:22 pm

    The MKP looks like a kind of post modern freemasonary for UFC enthusiasts.

  • Chris Hill

    August 1, 2005, 1:19 pm

    I wouldn’t touch the MKP with a barge pole. I have had damaging experiences with them as their processes are unsafe. They seem to worship anger and raging. When I question them on the wounds that I have received in their group, they seem incapable of questioning the MKP dogma.

  • Eric

    September 17, 2005, 9:21 pm

    I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience with MKP. It’s not for everyone. Wouldn’t you agree, though, that many many men enjoy positive results from the New Warrior Adventure? For most, it is at least a powerful journey inward – for some, it’s an interesting experience – and, for others it is life-altering.

  • D. Goodmanson

    September 18, 2005, 5:02 pm

    The ManKind project, in my estimate, is a desire to recover lost man-ness that our culture has attacked over the last 30 years. Our fathers have failed us and most men have become wimps. While I agree with some of ManKind’s assesment, I disagree with their solutions which deal with the issue at a symptom level. The bottom line is we are bancrupt to solve our guilt, fears and insecurities on our own. There is no amount of ‘looking within’ that will solve these problems. This is why people need to realize their bancrupt state and recieve grace from our Father – God. I have seen what happens to men who move from being orphaned (spiritually, emotionally) to sons of God. This is the only answer. We were made in God’s image! That is what we need to recover and stop running to man-centered thinking.

  • C. Kane

    October 25, 2005, 7:45 am

    I have heard the same argument for not going to doctors and hospitals because prayer can heal us. Having been Christian from my youth I have known people who have inflicted great pain and suffering on others in the name of God. They seem to forget that we are all sinners and that God asks for Mercy not Sacrifice.

    I have been involved with a similar organization to the Mankind Project since the 80’s (Kairos Foundation) and feel lucky to have found the MKP since I moved to the area. This past weekend I participate in a ‘Boys to Men’ mentoring program affiliated with MKP. It is hard to believe 9 boys could live with so much pain and guilt. If you want to see miracles, be one of the 40 men that staff a weekend. The boys arrived children and left men with hearts filled with joy and hope. They know that they are not alone. That nothing they do can not be forgiven. As children, they are not to be blamed for people divorcing, dying, beating or molesting them. They know that they are children of God, are perfect in their imperfections and do not need to earn either God’s love or ours. They are loved and will always be loved.

    As a journalist I am surprised you didn’t attend the course yourself, instead of the 2hr informational pre-session. Granted it costs money and would take up a weekend, but wouldn’t it be better to write your experiences, than having your readers dismissing something of great value because of your prejudice. Not having participated in the workshop I can understand your bias. Like a pagan discussing Christianity after attend a worship service. It is like “Talk Radio’ that substitutes an individual‘s opinion for fact. This is what gives ‘Christian Journalism’ such a bad reputation. Faith is not fact nor do we need to ignore fact to have faith. Granted many people have been damaged by Christianity malpractice, but were you not able to find a single professing Christian to interview? I know many that have taken the course.

    Faith in the family, Hope in recovery, Charity in service to others and Love of the human race, this is what Mankind Project is all about. When Christ’s disciples complained that others were using his name to cast out demons, Jesus says ‘whoever is not against us is for us’ Mark 9:38. If your family needs shelter, do you shun the hammer and say God will build me a house, if your children are hungry, do you ignore the plow and say God will provide. One of the sins of the Pharisees was being closed minded. MKP is a tool that God has given us to heal the sick. Thanks be to God.

  • D. Goodmanson

    October 25, 2005, 11:51 am

    C. Kane,

    “I have heard the same argument for not going to doctors and hospitals because prayer can heal us.”
    What same argument? That I don’t believe going to MKP is where people should learn their solutions to man’s ills? Kane, this has nothing to do with my observation and is not the same argument I am making. Do you really believe that because some particular ‘un-named Christian’ decides not to go to a doctor my comments about MKP are not valid and therefore everyone should go to MKP? From my hours of observation, conversation with people in MKP, I have no confidence that their ways will help solve man’s TRUE problems. These are spiritual problems at the core. I am not discussing physical problems.

    “Having been Christian from my youth I have known people who have inflicted great pain and suffering on others in the name of God.”
    I am sorry for your experience. I agree with you. What I have found is that those who inflict pain and suffering are not living out what they preach. But I would not dismiss all of Christianity and promote MKP based on your experience. Your statements of personal experience attempt to do exactly what you saying I should not do.

    “As a journalist I am surprised you didn‚Äôt attend the course yourself, instead of the 2hr informational pre-session. Not having participated in the workshop I can understand your bias.”
    As a journalist I interviewed people who attended the course and provided information from their perspective. I hope if you read the article you’ll see I do not focus on my opinion, but on what these men stated. (Did you read the article?) Here on my blog I comment about my opinions, which is the reason I started my blog.

    As an aside, Kane I’d recommend you examine ‘logical fallacies’ when you set-out to defend or attack a position, I believe your appeal to emotions, non sequitur hospital comment and other comments don’t help make your point. I’m more than happy to keep conversing about these matters though.

  • C. Kane

    November 16, 2005, 3:45 pm

    First I want to thank you for this conversation. I am sorry that you feel that I am attacking your position. The article certainly is not a condemnation of MKP but more of ‘Faint Praise’. I believe that provided with more information you will better understand my position.

    “I‚Äôd recommend you examine ‚Äòlogical fallacies‚Äô when you set-out to defend or attack a position”

    Having taken courses in logic (Computer) I do no see the fallacies you mention and so assume that I was not clear. I do have a problem skipping logical steps. They seem obvious to me but are not to others. I hope that this helps to clarify my words. Like any human organization MKP is imperfect. MKP and the Warrior Workshop are not the answer to everything. That is religion’s role.

    From your reply that I referenced:

    “I disagree with their (MKP) solutions which deal with the issue at a symptom level.” (Goodmanson)

    This is what I replied to when I said.

    “I have heard the same argument for not going to doctors and hospitals because prayer can heal us.” (Kane)

    Wouldn’t you agree that some Christians believe that man’s health problems can be cured by prayer alone? From what I understand of what you say that only God can cure our spiritual problems.

    Now I don’t think you believe that all man’s health problems are caused by his sinfulness but you seem to believe that all of man’s emotional problems are caused by his sinfulness. Here is why I believe they are not. It has to do with my taxonomy of man’s concerns.

    First of all, I believe there are 4 internal concerns of man: physical (i.e. strength, fitness, flexibility, etc.), emotional (i.e. expression, impression, sympathy, empathy, etc.), mental (i.e. awareness, memory, belief, reason etc.), and spiritual (i.e. integrity, acceptance, willingness, courage, etc.). And four external concerns: material (structual, funtional, economic, personal, etc.), social (respect, trust, relationship, mercy, forgiveness, etc.), intellectual (thought, language, information, humor, etc.) and theological (faith, hope, charity, obedience, sacrifice, etc.)

    Our physical, emotional and mental states all impact our spirituality well-being. The parallel I draw is between Physical wounds and Emotional wounds. If we can treat one then why can’t we treat the other?
    Where the medical profession heals physical wounds, the ‘MKP’ program heals emotional wounds (abandonment, addiction and abuse).
    It’s that simple. I have seen the workshops resolve peoples emotional issues.

    “I have no confidence that their ways will help solve man‚Äôs TRUE problems.”

    Of course you have no confidence. I wouldn’t expect you to have any confidence. People had no confidence in airplanes nor vaccines nor a thousand other things before they were proven. Then again many people still have no confidence in things that have been proven. Remember the Pharisees had no confidence in Jesus.

    And what do you mean by TRUE problems? Are you talking about salvation? MKP does not offer salvation. But how about anger, fear and shame? Are these TRUE problems?

    I have seen ‘miracles’ where over a weekend sad angry men transform into happy hopeful people simply by changing long held negative beliefs.
    Its not magic, its science along with a lot of patience and compassion.

    “But I would not dismiss all of Christianity… .” (Goodmanson)

    Interesting that you seem to assume that I am not Christian. Most of the men who participate in MKP are religious, the majority Christian. (are you in California?) I certainly don’t dismiss Christianity since I practice it myself. MKP and ‘Boys to Men’ are part of my mission to help others.

    “But I would not … promote MKP based on your experience.” (Goodmanson)

    Interesting, you wrote the article based on others experience. Your article does not seem neutral. Its not so much what you say but what you don’t say. Did I misinterpret your article?

    “As a journalist I interviewed people who attended the course and provided information from their perspective.”

    From what I understand there are primary sources, secondary sources, terciary sources, etc.” In covering the Iraq war for example, some journalist interview politicians, veterans, service personnel & parents in the US, others go to Iraq.

    Still you didn’t seem to find any one who was a practicing Christian who had taken the course. I would think that this would give the article more balance. I know many Christian ‘Warriors’ and still suprised you didn’t find one. I do not know your situation: full time journalist, part-time, student, schooling, financial means, etc. My belief is that if you had attended the workshop with an open mind you would recommend it.

  • christos

    October 7, 2006, 10:00 pm

    Having attended an MKP weekend I can say I found it psychologically damaging. The process of de-humanization and privation made me feel horrible. Watching others comply with commands solely to conform was disturbing. I believe there are more constructive and mature ways to get in touch with one’s masculine aspects. I believe that psychodrama should only be administered by qualified professionals.

  • awakened

    March 16, 2009, 11:44 pm

    My experience with MKP lends itself to possibly damaging at worst to an interesting experience at best. MKP’s NWTA and subsequent training is amateur in its Jungian therapy approach. The leaders of the weekend tend to be relatively intelligent, however usually have no professional training in counseling. There are of course exceptions to this rule. The men who join the group are typically looking for something. Most have ‘failed’ in there life’s pursuits by their own admission. Some have success but still seek something that is missing from their spiritual walk. As a result they make it up. As does MKP, “make it up” as they go. Most religions could be accused of making it up as they go, however MKP steeps itself in a soup of various pagan, druid, and native american belief systems. Interestingly, none of the beliefs represented by the group are Christian in any shape or form. The idea of compassion enters the groups ideals, however there is no mention of the term ‘sin’. The ideas of personal ‘integrity’ and accountability’ are of great importance to the group, however the nature of the emotional work done in the group allows for abandoning of any real personal responsibility. Of these idea integrity can mean just about anything, because the group asks all members of the group to “Take care of yourself first”. Thus a group member is out of integrity first with himself if he does not “take care of himself” even if he has responsibilities to others. The Jungian self indulgence is rampant. Men in their 50’s are still exploring the sins of their mother and father against them. I wish that I could say this New Age group was harmless. As for me, I am taking care of myself in the comfort Christ.

  • mark hamilton

    November 8, 2009, 9:43 pm

    I am a christian who has attended the mankind projects new warrior training. I found the mankind project on the internet and being disilusioned with my churches ability to help me feel capable as a man(lack of mature mentors). in an act of desperation, I sought out secular answers. I would definately not recommend this weekend especially for christians. There is a hidden “occult” force at work behind this weekend. I believe at the core of this is a new age agenda to break down boundaries personal and cultural. A one world religion/ a “new man”. One that can be controlled and programed for war. The weekend includes brainwashing techniques, . what they called “magic”, guided visualizations(occult technologies including identifying your “animal familiar spirit” or “totem spirit”)and food sleep deprivation . I must say i enjoyed many parts of the weekend that did seem to give me freedom to do things that I had only fantacized about, but at what cost? I believe this is what the bible calls “the secret power of lawlessness” influenced by the ” babalonian mystery religions.” I have struggled with intense shame and fears since attending. The shame of knowing I had let others get me to do things I had no control over including taking my clothes off. They were using hypnosis technics and I watched people being implanted with a “control word”. I have seen men from the mankind project out in my community and they are charismatic men who always have a pawn or zombie like person with them who they have gained control over. The whole process is designed to compromise your boundaries and gain control over you or to infect you with their philosophy. There is a “spiritual” element to this weekend that invites a mysterious “wild man” in a guided vizualization “slimey red man from the pit” to come in and become a part of your personality. One of the robert bly myths cleverly undermined christian doctrine and replaces it with self effort and inviting the wild man inside. see “the wildman and the golden ball”. There are gnostic and occult influences at work here. There are many parallels with the jedi religion of star wars at work here. They even used some “star wars” terms. This is “jedi” training for a newage/occult war. Most people who attend this will not understand what I am talking about they will be deceived by it. The bible clearly speaks of myths and doctrines of demons with lying miracles in the last days, this is one aspect of this in my mind. Praise the Lord for his healing and forgiveness. I am back on the road to recovery from the damage done. I have no one to blame but myself for giving over my will to others in exchange for a fake contrived acceptance. These men are trained to “keep their shadows behind them” is training in deception and split. The Bible teaches…”If we live in the light AS HE is in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of JESUS cleanses us from all sin”

    This is very clearly a “spirit of anti-christ.”

  • mark hamilton

    November 8, 2009, 10:22 pm

    jedi religion, light and darkside of “the force”/dualism, mysticism, fairy tales sweatlodges, phallic idols,the green man, going deeper follow up groups and initiations. Jungian Psychology. This is a conglomeration of new age and occult psychology in a “native american spirituality” package.

  • Matthew

    November 11, 2009, 4:19 pm

    I have 3 points to make here. First I have always found it odd how so many Christians are so completely ignorant as to the Pagan and Gnostic influences in Christianity and believe that there is some “pure” Christian belief system. The thousand or so varieties of Protestant churches is evidence enough for that and many churches themselves practice pagan rituals such as communion (used in the Elusian Mystery rituals), have Christmas (on Saturnalia), have pagan symbols for Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (from ancient Babylonian religion), and the list goes on and on. We we’re required to study this to be confirmed in my Church. So any belief that the Mankind Project is more “pagan” than Christianity in it’s various forms is false and I have found MKP to be accepting of a multitude of religious beliefs.

    However I do share some hesitation with supporting MKP. Largely because I believe that many of the psychological practices are not safe. Ameteurish and sometimes dangerous. And there are other aspects mentioned above with blind followers. However this sort of blind following I have seen in many church goers who only know what their pastor preaches or dollow the heard of the congregation.

    One of the great values of Christ is it provides a personal spiritual guide not the guide of a pastor or group leader etc.

    Although I do not believe MKP is all good, it does offer a great deal of insight into Christ’s word’s in this case look not at the speck of your neighbors eye but pull the log from your own.

  • mark hamilton

    November 14, 2009, 6:27 pm

    Several books of the bible warn about Gnosticism which was creeping into the early church. Influenced by the pagan mystery religions. It also warns of doctrines of demons in the last days and people turning aside to myths.
    There is a pure christianity it comes from repenting of sins and Trusting the blood sacrifice of JESUS..reading God’s word and doing what it says..and living in unbroken relationship with God and others who have a pure heart. We are in the last days before jesus comes back and the “anti-christ” is revealed.

  • peacebringer

    November 16, 2009, 9:13 am

    WIsh I had a chance to read the original article as link is now dead.
    Matthew, Christians have a personal spirit guide, the Holy Spirit. The personal and Holy God.

    And yes, some people try and tie Christianity to pagan roots, but such views are based on faulty premises and logical fallicies.

  • Mark Hamilton

    November 16, 2009, 5:17 pm

    well he is partially correct, christianity has been perverted and compromised and mixed with paganism in many circles. only reading the bible and knowing God personally can help open their eyes….There is a powerful delusion to believe a lie coming….it has already begun…..we are being brainwashed through hollywood and the media all the time. The hegilian dialectic is being used in news programs and blogs…to scamble our minds and to compromise our values to get us to be of “one mind”…Don’t be a part of the “Die-A-Log”. God’s truth is absolute. “heaven and earth will pass away but my word will never pass away”

  • Mark Hamilton

    November 16, 2009, 5:20 pm

    for more information on hollywoods gnostic occult indoctrination program…google search…”hollywood’s war on God” see how popular movies like X-ment, star wars, transformers, the trumen show, the matrix, pleasantville and the wizard of oz, are shaping our thoughts through myth and symbols and gnostic and occult teachings.

  • Amy Benninger

    February 21, 2010, 8:15 pm

    Any organization with “truths” as unassailable as those MKP teaches is suspect. MKP has helped ruin my marriage since my husband got involved with it. The artificial experience and dogma of the group has come to replace the much messier realities of life to the point of avoidance of real-life in favor of contrived group experiences. While MKPers are busy “tiptoeing through the tulips” with a self-absorption peculiar to this group, the rest of us real-lifers will continue to slog through the messiness, ambiguity, pain and risk that life presents on its own terms, and without contrived “solutions”
    that seem to replace a relationship with
    God and the humility required to have one.
    Oh, by the way, the “graduation” was pathetic, full of contrived self-importance. I am made to feel selfish for resisting his obsession with participation in this group. I began with a completely open mind, and now, 3 years later, I am disgusted.

  • kathy

    December 1, 2011, 6:49 am

    I have been on the fringes of this tryied the Woman within and it just did not feel right to me.

    I have gone to a couple of practioners that were heavily involved and yes I get sucked into wanting something but then when I am away from this it just does not feel right. I think there are a lot of mind control games going on and I believe they feed off of people who are confused and weak.
    This just all feels wrong to me.