What's Behind Gary Douglas's Scientology Knockoff?

Access Consciousness promises to help you reach a higher plane. For a price.

According to the early Access document "How Access Came to Be," "Gary related that, in 1987, he went to a party and saw a man channeling a being called Bashar. He said, 'How come he can do that and I can't? He is no better looking than I, he's no taller, he certainly doesn't speak better — he's from New Jersey."

Around the time Douglas's real estate business imploded, he discovered his own channeling powers. One night, his body was taken over by the spirit of Grigori Rasputin, the Russian mystic who was assassinated in 1916. Douglas would later joke about how it was just his luck that he couldn't be a conduit for any of the typical angelic beings claimed by other channels. Douglas didn't entirely trust Rasputin, and he eventually was inhabited by other spirits, including a "wise ancient Chinese man named Tchia Tsin," a "robust, rowdy" 14th-century friar named Brother George, and a group of alien beings called Novian.

"Never having been human, Novian was very hard on [Douglas's] body," according to "How Access Came to Be." "They would take about one breath and talk for twenty minutes, lower Gary's blood pressure and heartbeat to the point that, on a 92-degree day, he would be freezing...Belligerent, he said, 'You know what? If you can't give this information through Rasputin, I am not doing it anymore. This f—king hurts, and I'm just not going to do it.' The very next day, Rasputin began talking about what is now known as Access."

If you want to find out if you're a humanoid, a good place to start is the Access Consciousness Web site.
If you want to find out if you're a humanoid, a good place to start is the Access Consciousness Web site.
The path to total consciousness requires an open mind and a valid credit card.
The path to total consciousness requires an open mind and a valid credit card.

Douglas retired Rasputin several years ago, but old recordings indicate that Accessories were spellbound by these channeling sessions, a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that Douglas's faux Russian accent makes him sound like a high-school thespian doing ­Tevye.

Rasputin was enough of a hit that Douglas decided to go into business, creating what was originally called Access Energy Transformation. Access was more than a channeling routine — it was a watered-down repackaging of Scientology. At the ground level, both offered fairly typical New Age palaver, but there was incredible chance for advancement, if you were willing to pay.
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In Access, the hook is that there are 32 "bars," or "points on your head, which, when gently touched, effortlessly and easily release anything that doesn't allow you to receive," according to the 2012 Access Foundation manual.

In order to "run bars" on a person, you must take Access classes to become certified. There are 22 Texas "certified bars facilitators" on Access's Web site, but the number could be higher, since not all facilitators need to post a profile on the site. The idea of the bars has stayed consistent through Access's life, and it's how Access drew in its number-two man.

Around 2000, a thirtysomething Santa Barbara-area chiropractor named Dain Heer was on the verge of suicide. Handsome in a J.Crew-catalog sort of way, with a gentle manner, he had a wonderful fiancée and lived in one of the most beautiful cities in the country. On the surface, he appeared to have it all. But his chiropractic practice wasn't doing well, and he could barely pay his share of the rent on the apartment he shared with his fiancée. Heer states in his profile on various Access sites that he was a victim of childhood abuse. He had too much self-doubt and self-loathing to allow himself to be happy and in love. It got bad enough that he set a six-month expiration date for his life if nothing got better.

Lo and behold, he was flipping through a local paper when he saw an ad for a woman who "ran bars," in Access parlance. The woman turned out to be Douglas's stepdaughter, Shannon, who discovered that this sad, chiseled man was actually a prodigy. He had a gift for healing that he wasn't even aware of. He took the Access Foundation and Level One classes, and then Douglas went to see him. He asked Heer to start facilitating Level Three classes, something the chiropractor hadn't anticipated. Douglas recounted one of these early visits in a 2004 class:

"Just talk to my body and do what it tells you," Douglas said he told Heer. "And I knew that he could do that. And so he started doing this stuff, and I started twitching all over the table, and when I got up, I went, 'Holy shit, what did you just do? That was the most phenomenal thing I've ever experienced.' And that session changed my life. And that session changed his life, too."

Before long, Heer moved into Douglas's home and became Access's number-two man.

With his hint of vulnerability, impeccable taste in clothes and awesome hair, Heer was an immediate hit. Based on some accounts by former Accessories, the man has magic fingers. When he runs bars at Access workshops, with only his fingertips on a woman's head, he has been known to induce orgasm.

Heer certainly helped with the eye-candy aspect, but based on the earlier classes reviewed by the Press, this wasn't the only appealing part of Access workshops. These weren't stodgy affairs; there were no pedantic lectures or church-like solemnity. They were fun, lively explorations of what it means to be a humanoid. When Douglas wasn't spouting Access catchphrases like "binary occlusions" and "nucleated spheres," he was dropping the F-bomb, sharing funny anecdotes and encouraging healthy debate. Heer could keep things light with impressions of his family members or a random joke about his penis. To someone who doesn't believe in past lives, metaphysics or magical healing, the classes might seem flaky, but benign enough.

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16 comments
CindyC
CindyC

An interesting article other than many things were taken out of context.  I have enjoyed Access Classes for the past several years and have found the tools that I have learned to be very helpful in my life.  I attend about one class per year, and I use many of the tools; Asking questions rather than coming to conclusions, choosing to have an "Interesting Point of View" about things rather than using judgment, not being in competition with others or excluding others, and have found that the Bars really work to calm my mind and body.  I am more aware, healthier, happier, successful in my marriage, my business, being a Mother and a good friend.  

I had tried many other systems, trainings, and modalities that never worked for me long-term.  I had never found tools that I could use on a daily basis that helped me become more present and aware.  I feel I have more choices and abundance in my life as a result of these classes, and that I contribute more to others because I am kinder, have more allowance, and less judgment. 

I am grateful for Gary Douglas, Dain Heer, and the Access Team for these tools and have found them to be very valuable in my life.  


jhocek
jhocek

If the AccessBARS healing modality didn't work as well as it does with clearing emotional garbage, I would be inclined to agree with some of the points in your article. Craig, if you closet-pedophiles at Houston Press could only get over Gary's "children are sexy comment", by that I mean resist to urge to incessantly take it out of context, this might have been one fine and perhaps un-biased (lofty wish) article. Now stop being barking dogs for your right-wing media conglomerate culture-manipulating masters, and go learn how to be true journalists. As for those that spent too much money on Access Consciousness classes, well, was anyone pointing a gun to your head, forcing you to give up your credit card number?

oneghing
oneghing

Began using AC tools a few years ago. Learned  through the level of "Certified Facilitator." AC is no different than many other 'courses' in awakening awareness, only different in form. It's quite a scam though when you get to spending the money in order to make the money. Of course if you have a problem with that, or a question or a criticism you can just destroy and uncreate it, lol! I'm not broke by it, but I've spent way more than I've made and the continuing education requirements are far greater than any license I've ever held before. It can be upwards of 4000 just to hold your certification each year. That doesn't include travel, lodging and other incidentals. Gary is, in many ways a crock who asks for feedback (sometimes) but can't receive it. He's crassly profane and thinks he's class. He's full of judgments in his own right and no master by a long shot. Gary also believes that he's far more aware than other people. He's not. Dain is incredibly loving and talented. There are many truly lovely, authentic people in this group. But really, I'm done paying thousands for all of this. I already have everything I want and need, am extraordinary happy and at peace. Access tools helped me some along the way, but by no means were the foundation, for me anyway. For some, it's just the ticket, and they're not crazy or scary at all. Super healing talent going on among those active in this group. And a lot of crock too. I wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole if I had it to do again. There's equally and more effective healing for free or pennies compared to what you'll spend here. And you will spend it.

mariahsblog125
mariahsblog125

Wonderful article! I'm so glad to see an exposé like this in mainstream media. People get scammed by the Access Consciousness group and others like them all the time. The teachings are not helpful and in many cases are harmful. Relationships are destroyed, people ignore reality and find themselves in a state of financial ruin, and ignore serious illness. Some wake up from the spell, others do not. (I'd love to se an Abraham-Hicks exposé someday, hint hint.)

Anse
Anse

My bartender should start his own religion. He exudes a welcoming spirit; I can't sit down in front of the guy without confessing my sins. And no matter how lousy I felt when I walked into the bar, I always feel better when I leave, especially after five or six rounds of the communion cup.

Smedley
Smedley

Thank god I'm a Satanist.

Gaspar_Ramsey
Gaspar_Ramsey

Read the first page. Reminded me of when I started my own religion, the Brotherhood of Dasypus, just on a lark. I was preaching all kinds of nonsense, thinking everybody was in on the joke. I quit when I started getting converts. Made me realize just how gullible people are. Actually, it scared the shit out of me that people were so stupid and that I might wind up somehow responsible for them. These days, I'm a Zen Presbyterian, something else I invented, but I don't accept converts and never, ever explain what it's all about.

Swede
Swede

I am at the moment an unemployed single Swedish guy that started using tools from Access Consciousness 3.5 years ago.  4 years ago when I was unemployed, I was constantly worrying if everything would turn out well, I would have loads of hard work getting a new job and if money was getting low I would complain to/with my parents and they would help me.  Today I am enjoying life, not judging myself for not having a job and talking with women is 5-50 easier than before Access.  The self esteem and self value are so much higher, and if the women I talk to do not like me, I do not care (because I couldnt force them to like me anyway). Craig, thank you for writing the article.  It made me be even more grateful for where I am today.  And you know what, since you are probably a humanoid, I guess we will see you in Access Consciousness within 5-10 years from now....  Good luck resisting!Regards

/Swede 

cybervigilante
cybervigilante

Power of positive thinking, Scientology (and Elron was Totally Evil), some mass hypnosis and feelgood social grouping, and Wallah - another Zombie.

 

The method of raising consciousness is very old, free, works, and is free of any trappings - simple meditation (also good for lowering blood pressure).

DenverJD
DenverJD

I am a Christian that has practiced AC for a few years now and I am very grateful for their life changing tools.  I have been climbing out of abuse, emotional and addiction issues since childhood and have found the clearing tools and BARS techniques to be very transforming and mind opening.  The AC philosophies offer very different point of views to approaching life which has helped me break though and out of abusive "operating systems" and into more ease, joy and glory.  Thank you Gary Douglas and Dain Heer.  Keep being you.  How does it get better than this?

scnethics
scnethics

Great article.  A first-rate take down of this pernicious group.  I hope that as scientology continues to burn to the ground there's a flash point - a point in time that generates such public interest that the media can take a long breath and explain how ALL cults work. 

Lostafriend
Lostafriend

Got a friend whose lost in this cult, she sounds like a parrot repeating the same Access mantras all over. Not sure how much she has spent on it, but she has really bought in and lost many of her closest friends. The article sounds like it's all very obvious, but they are quite subte, targeting health and NLP professionals to spread the beliefs. Worrying...

anon.adon
anon.adon

One manipulative, quackery-pushing, profit-driven cult (Scientology) begets another (Access).  Not really surprising.  The most important lesson one learns in Scientology is that there's a sucker born every minute.

 
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