Naked Men: The ManKind Project and Michael Scinto

The organization was supposed to make him a better man. Instead, his parents say, it made him a dead one.

"I became outraged when I found out what MKP really did to me at the NWTA [New Warrior Training Adventure] and the I-groups," writes Warrior X. "I got even more pissed off when they used their standard lines 'you could have always said no' or 'you could have left at any time' to cover their asses. A man without adequate sleep and food doesn't have the strength to resist MKP, and that's exactly what they want. I was outraged that MKP performed Jungian and gestalt psychological processes on me without telling me ahead of time by unlicensed individuals. And most of all, I was outraged for the hurt that MKP caused me. They did psychological processes on me that unlocked a Pandora's Box of pain and hurt within me that I couldn't deal with. I started the Yahoo group so that my story could be told and so that I could help and support others who were hurt by MKP like myself."

People have posted thousands of messages over the years on the two sites, comfortable in their anonymity.

Writes Dannyjoerocks on the Yahoo site: "On another carpet another man was all wrapped up in ducted[sic] tape on the floor screaming as another man was yelling you can't get out of that, On another carpet a young man was screaming I fucking hate you I fucking hate you look what you did to me. It was like people didn't know what was going on they were in some trance...I felt like I was regressing. I was being taken back to a place where I no longer want to be. A life of chaos where I had no control. The cold shower reminded me of when I didn't pay my bills. Sitting on the cold floor in the shack (after arriving and checking in) reminded me of the holding cell where I waited before going to jail. All the yelling reminded me of my father...I just kept thinking this was very inhumane very very strange stuff. Something is not right."

Writes a person calling himself Henntsp: "Much bullying and abuse goes on simultaneously which I argue can easily cancel out any healing. Amateurs helping amateurs in such an important and vulnerable area as emotional pain is wide open to abuse...as an organization and as individual members they sometimes function with extremely questionable ethics."

Several days after Ralph Scinto buried his son, he began flipping through The ManKind Project's Houston membership roster, filled with names, phone numbers and addresses. Suddenly, he saw an address he recognized. It was a Roman Catholic church. As a Catholic himself, Ralph was stunned. Michael's entire family then began searching all 2,904 entries on the 2005 list to find out who it was that belonged to this secretive group.

They discovered that dozens upon dozens of priests, ministers, therapists, heads of companies, doctors, lawyers and people involved with addiction rehabilitation all had at one point attended The New Warrior Training Adventure.

"We said, 'Oh my God,'" recalls Kathy Scinto. "We couldn't believe it. All these people who belonged were in powerful positions. And they all deal with vulnerable people who could be convinced to go to this thing. It was really scary."

Kathy Scinto then went to speak with a priest who was initiated the same weekend as her son.

"I asked him, 'If I told everyone that you were dancing around naked, what do you think people would say?'" she recalls. "I asked him, 'How can a Catholic priest who is supposed to serve God go into the woods and do these pagan rituals?' He said he was invited to attend and that he doesn't have anything to do with it ­anymore."

The Press contacted several priests who were on the roster, all of whom declined to comment, referring questions to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Bishop Joe Vasquez then issued a statement condemning the organization. In an e-mail, he wrote that the archdiocese became aware in late 2005 that priests were members of The ManKind Project. The then-archbishop, Joseph A. Fiorenza, "was concerned that elements of The ManKind Project and its New Warrior Training weekends seemed to reflect a New Age philosophy and were not in harmony with traditional Roman Catholic belief and practices," Vasquez wrote. "Archbishop Fiorenza issued a letter in January 2006 asking priests to refrain from being actively involved in the group or promoting" it. Vasquez says the current archbishop, Daniel N. DiNardo, maintains the same stance as his ­predecessor.

Mel Taylor, president and CEO of The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston, a publicly funded organization providing resources to people adversely affected by drugs and alcohol, is listed as a member. He did not return phone calls requesting comment; however, attorney Wade Quinn, also a member, speaking on Taylor's behalf, said the Council has no connection with the activities of The ManKind Project.

However, some therapists and ad­diction specialists actively recommend the organization to patients and ­clients.

George Joseph is a licensed chemical dependency counselor and founder of The Right Step drug rehab center, with locations in Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana. He says he has recommended The ManKind Project to many people.

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5 comments
t.ariel.terry
t.ariel.terry

There are many other programs like this, including in the realm of evangelical christianity: 

twentyfourseven worldwide

24-7 leadership academy

teen mania honour academy

They fulfill most all the conditions for cult-status, and while they promise to be a launching pad to a great life, there are many silent sufferers(myself included) who spiral off in to greater depression and woundedness...secrecy as to the process, complete misrepresentation, or lack of representation of what is involved in the process, a fanatical devotion to leadership, mind and body control..usage of trauma to invoke change etc...very dangerous so please be warned

Colospgs_xplant
Colospgs_xplant

A shot in the dark here, since this post is older...I, too, am familiar with 24/7 and its many dysfunctions. If you need to speak to someone about it, I can help.

t.ariel.terry
t.ariel.terry

@Colospgs_xplant E-mail is nerds 'five two' @ hotmail.com ....substitute the words for   numbers in there and you have my address. 

Colospgs_xplant
Colospgs_xplant

Ariel, I shot you an email; hope I got the address correct.

 
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