First off, I want to say that I have found much of value on this site in general, in fact I have quoted one of the RickRoss threads in my own expose of self-styled "guru" Andrew Cohen, on my blog:
I want to start a new message for the following thread:
In order that it not get lost in the shuffle, as I am finding much misinterpretation of otherwise accurate information in this thread, along with some actual misinformation, both about Victor Baranco and the Lafayette Morehouse, and about One Taste and Nicole Daedone . I am very well acquainted with the Lafayette Morehouse, and I do have reliable second-hand information about One Taste, and I would like to share this.
First, the Wikipedia article on the Lafayette Morehouse is totally factual and quite objective:
It was written by someone who had been a teenager at a local (Lafayette / Morinda) high-school. Local teenagers have been trespassing and harassing residents of the Lafayette Morehouse for years, out of both curiosity and bigotism (hatred of anything that is different), which is the reason for the presence of guard shifts there. I have a lot more material for the Lafayette Morehouse Wikipedia article which I will be contributing shortly, as soon as I finish my investigation about some potential copyright issues with my information.
Victor Baranco was a pioneer in sensuality research in the 60s, exploring the possibility of extending the female orgasm. He and his first wife Susie's investigation into this was started, reportedly, by her telling him she was frigid, and by them consulting various therapists who did not give them satisfactory information, which prompted them to begin their own research. They were so successful eventually that she was able to orgasm for over an hour, using a practice called the "do-date", where both partners focus all their attention on the woman's pleasure through manual stimulation of the clitoris. This fundamental practice is what Nicole Daedone and One Taste use in their "Orgasmic meditation".
Later, Baranco himself had a kind of spiritual experience in which he realized the perfection of life, gathered a group around him to found the first Morehouse (group home / commune originally in Oakland) and went on to develop an entire curriculum around group living, communication, sensuality, and man-woman relationships. Much of this curriculum is still taught at the Lafayette Morehouse and at other hosts in New York, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. These concepts have to do with the inherent perfection of life, the importance of pleasure goals in living a full life, the nature of effective communication, the nature of man-woman relationships (which includes many practical aspects on learning how to please your partner and win with the opposite sex), effective governance structures for communal living (the “One No Vote”), and expansion of orgasmic potential for both men and women. Vic had many students who later became well-known using his materials, as he never attempted to limit people from using what they had learned from him. Former students of his include Bob and Leah Schwartz (author of “The One Hour Orgasm”), Regena Thomashauer (founder of “Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts”), Patricia Taylor (author of “Expanded Orgasm”), The Welcomed Consensus (an intentional community in San Francisco), Nicole Daedone , and Steve and Vera Bodansky (authors of many books including “Extended massive orgasm”). Vic was a contemporary of and knew Werner Erhardt and many other figures in the consciousness development movement of the sixties and seventies. (A note about Werner Erhardt by the way - too long to tell in detail here - but the most serious allegations against him were subsequently proven to have been fabricated and funded by L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, who is a genuinely scary figure and who had taken a dislike to Erhardt claiming that he had "stolen" Scientology).
Anyway, this body of teaching is the shared ideological and lifestyle component of the Morehouse lifestyle, which is built not so much on sex and drugs but on civility, acceptance of differences, approval of other people, and love. Victor Baranco has been a profound source of inspiration to the commune that I co-founded with my wife in 2007 (http://trellishouse.org) and we continue to study with and learn from the Lafayette Morehouse.
It is a fact that Vic and his group took a lot of drugs and had a lot of sex. This was the 60's and 70's, remember, and they were running a radical experiment in lifestyle and group living. Vic was controversial for sure - he could be a bit rough sometimes and was nicknamed "the thug buddha" - and he was certainly reclusive. This was partly due to his getting some bad publicity for his sexual research, at a time when it was not allowed to say the word "Vagina" in the public media. However, he has had a profound influence for the better in many many people's lives, he was a person with a profound insight into people's character who was able to call people on their shit very accurately and effectively and in a way that one immediately got the truth of, and I have yet to meet a single person who felt he was taken advantage of or abused (I am sure they must exist, but I just have never met one). Baranco died in 2002 I believe, and he is survived by his second wife Cindy, who lives in the Hawaii Morehouse but who makes frequent visits to Oakland.
The origins of the lawsuit with the San Francisco Chronicle are as follows. Every Morehouse runs a program called a "sanctuary program", which takes in homeless people off the street, or anybody in need including burnt-out professionals, and lodges and feeds them for a time until they can get back on their feet. There was apparently, a very large sanctuary program in Oakland and the neighbors complained and the city acted on the complaints. Why Baranco and his group chose to disobey and/or challenge the city ruling is not clear (perhaps an excessive zeal in civil disobedience which was also typical of the times). Then the San Francisco Chronicle investigated this and wrote what Baranco considered a defaming article, and he initiated a lawsuit against them, which he lost. I cannot speak to the accuracy of this claim, however, Baranco does have my sympathy in the first place for wanting to take care of homeless people.
Nicole Daedone was a direct student of Victor Baranco, and indeed, as someone has pointed out in this thread, most of what she does is directly copied, including “Orgasmic mediation” (which is a “do-date”), her “in groups” (which is a “Mark Group” similar to what they do in the Lafayette Morehouse and what we do at the Trellis Community of Philadelphia), and the live-in communal experience (learning to get along with other people and relating with civility). That she is into self-promotion there can be no doubt, and I think its true that the asking price for residency at One Taste San Franciso is $2000 a week, however, hardly anybody pays that price. She and her senior students teach their own variation of Baranco’s courses in sensuality, communication and man-woman relationships. These courses have been transformational for many people, which following some of the links in the above thread and reading comments about people’s experience of One Taste will confirm. I don’t know her personally but I have heard lots of good things about her from people who have taken her courses. That is most of what I know about her – let the reader come to his or her own conclusions.
The residency experience at One Taste involves twice-daily “Orgasmic meditation” (do-dates) and yoga. One can believe what one wants about the value of sexual encounters outside of committed or intimate relationships, however, there is nothing inherently immoral or inappropriate in this practice, it all depends in the spirit in which it is done, ie whether it is respectful, honest, etc. I believe that Nicole feels sincerely that sexual exploration of this nature is her personal spiritual practice and is of tremendous value, and she is not alone in this belief either, many many tantra teachers and sexual educators share this belief. The "orgasmic meditation" is so-named as it is designed as a meditation on sensual pleasure, something to get out of one's head and into a physically embodied experience of life. Whether one believes this to be of value for oneself or not is not the issue (I personally am a bit sceptical, I would not say this is my path), but there is nothing inherently evil about it either. Like I say, it all depends on the spirit in which it is done, for which I for one am reserving judgment.
I will try and keep up with this thread and post clarifications if there is anything more that I can contribute.
As predicted, as the google alerts get out there, they come to try to do some PR.
Why is Marc Beneteau starting a "new thread" when there already is a thread going?
What is the purpose in that?
To derail that train of analysis?
Marc Beneteau has also stated he is going to come back and make more posts in this thread. Its just an attempt to bury the other thread with the criticisms in it.
The next step is for them to send 10 followers to make comments in this thread, to try to DEFLECT and bury thread in Google.
I would suggest that this thread be closed, and the info copied to the other thread.
And any responses to this thread be made in the other thread, and just link to the reply.
Here is a link to the real thread about OneTaste and Nicole Daedone.
But to close, that Wiki article is more than dubious. It reads like an advertisement, anyone can see that.
It doesn't reference the book MINDFUCKERS, which has Victor Baranco in the title. There is no criticism section, no links to problems. Wikipedia does not work for these groups like this, as devotees take them over. That is old news.
Also, no one is saying what consenting adults do with their own bodies is immoral, that is more deflection and mind games.
The real topic of the discussion are the cultic TECHNIQUES being used on people to lure them into these groups, and keep them there. Every single one of these groups try to hide their methods.
Marc Beneteau runs his own group, Trellis House. [trellishouse.org]
Marc Beneteau is a supporter of LANDMARK EDUCATION.
Marc Beneteau runs his own Mark Groups.
Trellis House is another clone of Lafayette Morehouse, and probably in tight with OneTaste and Daedone. (Is Marc Beneteau going to open a OneTaste franchise in Philly?)
That's actually a pretty good strategy, get someone who seems objective, but who isn't, to do your PR for you.
Nicole, you should probably defend yourself.
Again, this thread is a distraction, and will only act to try to derail the other thread, so I won't post in it anymore, only link back to the other thread.
One last post here...
Marc Beneteau says that almost no one pays the $2,000 a week at OneTaste?
HOW DOES HE KNOW THAT?
Has he seen their private accounting and payment books?
Is that a sucker-price for guys who are losers? Do young women get in for free and guys pay triple?
Or is he just making it up?
Or writing what OneTaste asked him to write?
Its either a false statement, or is propaganda. How could he know the accounting of a group he doesn't run?
Marc, you may get away with that stuff in your own House, but the real world doesn't operate like that.
All further responses about these groups should be made in the main thread, so people can make up their own minds while getting the full information, not just the propaganda side of it from people who do it for a living, and who have invested their entire life in it.
These threads go into Google, and people find them by doing a search, and that's why they try to confuse them. People like Marc who are into this stuff so deeply perhaps don't know any other way to operate or think.
One Taste thread
(Nicole Daedone, Victor Baranco, Lafayete Morehouse, More University, Trellis House, Marc Beneteau)
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/31/2008 07:32PM by The Anticult.
My 23 year old niece just informed me that she has grown estranged from her best friend, who is involved with a group in SF called One Taste, led by a woman named Nicole Deodone. I looked into it online and it appears to be a sexuality group centered on freeing up, normalizing and sustaining the orgasm. They have a center in SF called the One Taste Urban Retreat Center [...] San Francisco, CA [...]
Anybody know or hear anything about them, cultish or otherwise?
[Moderator note: Please don't post contact information on this message board]
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2008 12:30PM by rrmoderator.
Glad to see somebody else notice this group! I've been monitoring them for awhile and haven't seen nearly enough alarms from people. Of course, they are located in the perfect place and likely to escape scrutiny in SF.
One thing I do know about Daedone: she was in a Theosophist cult prior to starting One Taste. Theosophy comes from Madame Blavatsky, who is popular in fascist circles for her support of "root races" and Aryanism.
This group appears well-funded and it's possible they are connected to the Human Awareness Institute, which has been covered fairly well in this forum.
The thing to do is get a copy of One Taste's event fliers (and study their website) and look at the kinds of events they
And Google the names of the various teachers who give the classes and also the names of the groups and teachers advertised in the workshops.
That can give a 'taste' of what a group's priorities are.
that appears to be the new website for One Taste, run by Nicole Daedone.
Notice the Swinger style sexy "group" photo on the website, looks like a beer commercial.
This links to some articles
Their PR has a Landmark LGAT feel to it.
"OneTaste is an experiential inquiry into the nature of unconditional freedom. Our centers in San Francisco and New York host lectures, courses, intensives, and residential immersion experiences. Students of our work learn to utilize the real and immediate aspects of everyday life as grounds for awakening:
Rather than restricting particular behaviors or conditions, we make these exact things our practice, opening and engaging with things exactly as they are. The result is the deepest and broadest transformation, one that is rooted in life as it is truly lived.
I don't know, call me old fashioned, but this sounds like a Swingers club for urban yuppies.
CO-ED NAKED YOGA.
Well these folks know how to sell the people what they want.
Nicole Daedone: Founder, OneTaste™ Urban Retreat and Insight Institute
Taste of Sex - Reality Audio
Under Nicole’s guidance, One Taste quickly made its mark in San Francisco as the first studio to offer co-ed naked yoga...
Daedone left her career as owner of a successful art gallery in San Francisco and began a spiritual path that started with the study of theosophy. After three years, Nicole realized she no longer wanted to practice a discipline that omitted sensuality. She segued into the sensual realm in 1998 when she joined a community that practiced and studied the teachings of Dr. Victor Baranco, founder of More University. More University focused on the practice of expanded orgasm.
As an undergraduate at San Francisco State, she had studied under Dr. Dean Barnlund, an early collaborator of philosopher Alan Watts. During that time, she became intrigued with the nature of consciousness and motivations of the ego that shape it. In the decade after leaving theosophy, she began integrating what she learned in sensuality with that garnered from Buddhism, semantics, Kabbalah and traditional Judaism.
Daedone’s strength lies in her willingness to explore all aspects of the human experience, from the profane to the sacred, and view everything as divine. She encourages students to explore all parts of themselves, to reveal what they hold inside to the outer world. Whether they label sensation as good or bad; as desire, obsession, jealousy, anger or embarrassment, to exclude nothing felt by the body, to embrace every experience and feel gratified by it all. The OneTaste™ Urban Retreat Center is run by a community of nearly 50 practitioners who are researching and documenting their experiences in sensuality.
yikes, her Guru Victor Baranco sounds like he was a real piece of work. (search google for his name)
Nicole Daedone joined the former More University, sounds like a sex commune?
"Lafayette Morehouse, formerly known as More University, is an experimental community originated in 1968 by Dr. Victor Baranco and his wife and lifelong friend, Dr. Suzanne Baranco. They designed a lifestyle where people could have fun, not do anything they didn't want to do, serve the world unselfishly and make a profit.
Dr. Cindy Baranco was Vic's second wife and his inseparable partner for the last 27 years of his life. Since Vic's death in 2002, Cindy has assumed the leadership of the community.
Lafayette Morehouse is predicated on the belief that people are right the way they are. The goal of the group is to live pleasurably. The group operates with a one no-vote system so that every member of the group has an equal say on all proposals. Living in a group and the rewards and challenges it creates has been the focus of our interest and research over the past 40 years.
Our community has developed a series of groups and courses that describe and demonstrate our findings in the areas of communication, sensuality, man/woman relationships, jealousy, money, possessions and other issues of group living. We support ourselves by presenting this information to the interested public. We receive no funding from public or private institutions."
on a very serious note, Victor Baranco is in the title of this book called MINDFUCKERS from 1972.
The "One Taste" group ain't about naked co-ed yoga folks...
Mindfuckers: A Source Book on the Rise of Acid Fascism in America, Including Material on Charles Manson, Mel Lyman, Victor Baranco, and Their Followers
The publisher may have tried to conceal it with that faux-gothic font, but this book is indeed called Mindfuckers. Appropriate title it is, too, given that it's about Charles Manson, the too-little-known Mel Lyman, and others who engaged in mind control and crime in the sixties.
Mindfuckers, a source book on the rise acid fascism in America including material on Charles Manson, Mel Lyman, Victor Baranco and their followers by David Felton, Robin Green and David Dalton.
These three characters "assumed god-like authority and used such mindfucking techniques as physical and verbal bullying, group humiliation and chemical alteration of brain cells. Which takes us to the book's subtitle." The subtitle, Felton explains, is "a kind of historical label, it refers to the host of rigid teacher-oriented communities-- both Jesus and non-Jesus --that have sprouted up across the land with the drug revolution." The chapters on Mel Lyman and Baranco is surely still indispensible...
Cult groups, Brainwashing, Mind control, brainwashing, Journalism, Hippies, sixties, Trial,
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/23/2008 12:49AM by The Anticult.