Sunday, July 22, 2012
The popular author and retreat leader went into the Arizona desert on Friday evening with twenty-four adherents and came out Saturday afternoon with only five of them.
"Herm walked us from our camp site before sunrise on Saturday morning," says one adherent who asked not to be quoted by name, "and led us out to a cliff, about three hundred feet above the floor of the desert. He asked us to line up and put on blindfolds, which we did. Then he said, 'Walk.' And we did."
Nineteen retreat attendees walked to their deaths off that cliff. The question this morning is, Why?
"The exercises and strategies of the 'Align Your Inner Anaconda' are rooted in the science of meta-faith-Believe-Meology, a field of study created by Mr. Kaleidoscope," read a statement issued by Kaleidoscope Will-of-Iron, LLC. "The practices of these retreat weekends are the result of decades of travel and first-hand experience by Mr. Kaleidoscope and are intended for entertainment purposes only, make no claim to heal, change or alter participants in any way, and are entered into at the participants' own risk, each of whom sign documents ahead of time stipulating Mr. Kaleidoscope and/or his company cannot be found at fault for the events of a given retreat weekend."
Mr. Kaleidoscope has been incommunicado since Arizona desert tragedy, but a former staffer has come forward, answering questions about the motivational speakers tactics.
"Our society is so deeply narcissistic that the cliff walking exercise was created to get people to stop thinking about themselves," says the former staffer who asked not to be named. "It's a very powerful experience to walk off a cliff blindfolded."
When asked how many times she had walked blindfolded off a cliff, the former staffer replied, "I've never done it."
When asked how many people have performed this feat and survived, the former staffer said, "None. Actually, I'm not sure why this retreat is getting so much attention. Herm Kaleidscope has been walking people off of cliffs for years, and it's never been an issue. Maybe the fact that a few people returned with him this time is the difference."
Now, people around the country who have pre-paid to attend "Align Your Inner Anaconda" retreat weekends are up in the air as to whether their retreats will happen, if there will be refunds in the event of cancellations or if walking off of cliffs will help them perform better at work and/or in their personal relationships.
At this early point in the story, there appears only to be questions and very few answers. One thing is sure, this story is taking much of the heat off of motival speaker Tony Robbins' fire-walking debacle.
Posted by Whetam Gnauckweirst at 10:04 AM