Archive for April, 2012

Anthropology Grad Student Looking For Help With Research Project

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

We recently received a request from an Anthropology graduate student looking for people involved with personal development programs. I am sharing this person’s request here:

Hi Beyond Growth Readers! My name is Araba, and I’m an anthropology graduate student at UC Berkeley who is conducting research on personal development programs, identity, and narratives of self-help in the U.S. I’m currently looking for personal development program participants who are interested in taking 30 to 60 minutes out of their day to reflect on their experiences with me.

Whether your participation in a personal development program has led to subtle changes or radical transformations in how you think about and frame your life experiences, I am interested in hearing your story. If you live the in the Bay Area, I would be happy to meet up for coffee or lunch to talk. For non-Bay Area residents, I will be conducting interviews over Skype. Please email me at araba [at] berkeley [dot] edu if you would like to participate or have any questions about what will be covered during the interview. Thanks!


Please contact Araba to help with the research project if you are interested.

Kinky Intimacy Games: More on the Authentic Man Program

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

In a recent blog post, I shared my observations about “Circling”–a group process similar to Encounter Group Therapy that plays a significant part in the group called Authentic World (also Authentic SF/Authentic Man Program/Authentic Women’s Experience and now Integral Center in Boulder). There was a long discussion about it on Facebook.

Many people disputed my conclusions, especially that “Ken Wilber and Integral have historically been associated with many toxic groups, authoritarian leaders, and religious cults, so this new community center [Integral Center in Boulder] seems to be making decisions consistent with past problematic associations.” Others disputed my conclusion that the purpose of Circling was to induce abreaction, claiming that the technique has evolved and no longer emphasizes abreaction (but it still occurs sometimes), and that circling in general is not aggressive.

There is a video currently on the Authentic Man Program YouTube channel that supports my conclusions, especially that of an authoritarian, dominant or aggressive communication style present in the methods of Authentic World.

In the following video posted to YouTube, Travis Decker aka Decker Cunov–president and founder of Authentic SF (also Authentic Man Program, Authentic World, Authentic Woman Experience)–has an intense conversation with a young woman called “Sandra.” This video is a sample from a $147 downloadable program teaching men how to create emotional and sexual intimacy with women called “Getting Her World.”

(Trigger Warning: themes of psychological and sexual control)