Introducing The Sterling Institute Men’s Weekend

I think I’ve found the grown-up version of Calvin and Hobbes’ secret club, G.R.O.S.S. (Get Rid of Slimy girlS): it is called The Sterling Institute Men’s Weekend. It seems to share genes with Robert Bly’s Mythopoetic Men’s Movement, but it has certain things that make it all its own animal.

First, it’s Purpose:

To engage in the process of locating the source of your power and discovering and dissolving the barriers between you and manifesting that power so that you experience total freedom as only a man can and with that freedom be the man you always wanted to be.

I found out about “the Institute” from an old friend, “Sam,” who has always embodied for me what “mild-mannered” means. He’s Clark Kent without Superman: gentle, generous, helpful, polite, goofy—maybe a little easy to take advantage of. As of his 27th birthday he has never—with one recent exception—had a girlfriend, though he’s worshipped certain people from afar, even buying one woman plane tickets home for Christmas so she could be with her family. (This while the woman dated someone else.)

Something was off as chatted. I asked him what was new, and he proceeded to tell me—via online chatting—about something that changed his life. He asked if I had ever wished for some higher purpose. Uh-oh, I thought.

It turns out he’s taken to driving two hours each way on Tuesday evenings after work to volunteer at “the Institute.” He sounds like he’s in a cult. He tells me that friendships are merely ways of modeling the person you really want to be with, and what if he smoked pot all day and played video games, would I want to be with someone like that?

Stymied, I visited the website to see what had happened to poor Sam. Why was he talking about cavemen hunting deer? Why did he keep telling me that women are infinitely superior than men—because they “create life and infuse it into anything and everything they do,” so that even when women fix cars they bring their “whole selves” to the project, and why did he insist, bizarrely, that “without women, men would run out of things to do”?

Its Function:

The Weekend clarifies the conflict between modern society’s expectations and our ancient masculine biological and emotional foundation. Participants learn to integrate, rather than reject, their masculine instincts, resulting in success, power, and contentment. The Weekend has a profound and far-reaching effect on men of all ages and backgrounds. For many, it has been a defining moment in their lives.

Who leads it, you ask? One A. Justin Sterling, an “acknowledged relationship expert” whose “expertise and familiarity with the innermost thoughts of women, [sic] has given him the insight and perspective to teach men to be better relationship partners by being more masculine, more honorable, and more disciplined.”

I, for one, would like nothing more than to meet A. Justin Sterling and learn about the innermost thoughts of women. I propose therefore, that you and I dress up as men (surely there are appropriate wigs) and infiltrate one of these weekends.

Men who are not ready for a long-term relationship will find good advice on how to manage their emotional well-being in romantic endeavors, while men who are considering marriage and family will find much needed guidance on self-preparation, choosing the right mate, and staying on the path to a thriving marriage.

Perhaps most hilariously, we are reminded that The Men’s Weekend Is Fun:

The Sterling Men’s Weekend is a chance to let your flag fly, whatever it might be and enjoy the acceptance and camaraderie of men. There are no political correctness police here, and good-natured vulgarity is suitable for the occasion.

Here is the thing: I think I am being courted by this friend under the Sterling-approved Caveman model of Relations Between the Sexes. On the one hand, I cheer for him—he needed something like this, I think, to usher him out of Doormathood. On the other hand, it troubles me that he has taken this so to heart, ascribes his whole life’s direction to it. He believes he knows exactly What Women Want (in a nutshell, someone with Drive and Energy who will provide for them and their children. They don’t have to a Basketball Player or anything. What matters is the Drive. A sense of Purpose). When I told him these ideas were the sort that make women like me run screaming in the opposite direction, he suggested I try the Sterling Women’s Institute.

I declare the birth of an Experiment. I’m going to see if, in future conversations, I can’t deprogram him a bit while leaving the broad strokes—the confidence, the newfound “power” that apparently accompanies his newly-discovered masculinity—intact. Do you think this is possible? And what do you think of A. Sterling himself?



213 Responses to Introducing The Sterling Institute Men’s Weekend

  1. Kenny says:

    What the fuck is wrong with you. Why not do the weekend and see what is all about if you are so worried. You act like a bithch. All wordy.

    • Charles says:

      Kenny, I did the weekend. It’s a scam, actually dis-empowers men, and inculcates misogyny. Don’t understand the big words? Hardly surprising. Grow up.

      • Leah Janzen says:

        Charles, would you be willing to tell me your whole story about the weekend? I had a loved one walk away from me and I believe it’s because of his beliefs he’s learned from the Sterling Institute and his offshoot men’s group. Let me know if you’re willing to share in a private email.

    • Russ says:

      If your a feminized male, you will gain access to your massculinity unless you puss out and go awal!

      • Mr. Fire says:

        Wow, what a dick you are. You bought totally into his bullshit and cult. And you think you are on the of the heap. Well, you got something else to learn buddy boy, you are no better than Sterling and his stooges.

    • June says:

      I just experienced this disturbing, deceitful, and discriminating group as my friends were staff at the retreat center where the Men’s Weekend took place. First off, the retreat center booking staff was tricked by the Sterling Institute representatives, a husband, wife, and child, who represented the group as a wholesome, relationship building community, along with the generic website. However, the Men’s group is a definitely a cult of misogyny, domination, intimidation, deprivation, and vulgarity, with the men swearing, chain-smoking, “reclaiming masculinity” by hating women and justifying violent, sexually and emotionally abusive treatment of women. The head staff had body guards, requested complete privacy, and were very secretive. The attendees were loud at night, grabbed food with their hands from the kitchen staff and stuffed it in their mouths right there in line, were smoking in non-designated areas, and many of the women on staff felt unsafe and uncomfortable the whole weekend, including myself as a visitor. I am personally offended that this group exists and am demanded the retreat center to not allow this cult back on the premises. They over stayed their contracted time and are a disgrace to our culture. Kenny’s comment evidences all.

      • not actually being a member you cannot qualify your comments because you have no foundation to show the truth; also its apparent you did not speak to them about your feelings i know this to be a fact because i was a member and it saved my maturity and reenstilled a sense of self worth and empowered me as well as other men and women {69couplesdeux}

      • sunsworned says:

        sounds like you had preconceived notions beforehand?
        this group is an excellent way to initiate men into the world of men as only men can.
        if you get a chance try sterling group out gain & leave the attitude at home.

      • Leah Janzen says:

        Hi June, thanks for your post of about the Sterling Men’s Weekend. I have someone I love very much who used to be quite involved in these weekends and a branch off group of men from it that he used to meet with regularly. I can see that he has twisted beliefs about women and marriage as a result of his exposure to this group. Why hasn’t a prime time investigative show done a story on this? It needs to be exposed!

  2. Millicent says:

    Hi Kenny,

    Did you do the weekend? What did you think?

    • kay says:

      by the way, millicent, you’ve been quiet throughout all the “Elliot and me” posts. i just want to know- is that quilt unique to me next to my posts? how cool

    • kay says:

      I have another question. how is your friend doing, the one that you started this blog about?

      what i’d really like to see is somebody coming off this weekend going straight into a doctors office,

      i’d love to see the results of extensive lab tests and an mri .

    • Josey says:

      Hi Millicent – NOT KAY,

      Now that it has been a year what is your friends opinion? What is your opinion of him now? I’ve seen a mixed bag at my end. Simply that it depends on the person and where they are as a person when they go. I think that if a person is already lost they will cling to whatever is placed in front of them. If they are already stable then they tend to take what they are taught at face value.

      I would like to heat how you feel about this. How do you feel about Kay slamming everything that comes through here?

      Thanks and have a great day!

      • roger says:

        “I think that if a person is already lost they will cling to whatever is placed in front of them. If they are already stable then they tend to take what they are taught at face value.”

        100% correct IMHO. Justin preys on the weak. The guy with no direction, confidence, or self identity. I took the class and will be posting my full review.

  3. mike says:

    my boss is trying to get me to go,ive been doing research for a while now,i think they’re all fucked in the head,its defenitly a cult.he said he would even pay for me to go,i dont wanna go cause im afraid i’ll walk away on the first hour or end up fighting some jerk there.

  4. Millicent says:

    Hi Mike,

    Sorry to hear that. Yeah, it sounds like a bad idea all round. Why does your boss say it would be a good idea for you to go? What reasons does he give? (Does he think it’d make you perform better at work or something?)

  5. Teri says:

    So what ended up happening with “Sam”? This is for sure a cult. If you look at Rick Ross’s website and read the information there you will see how no one is allowed to question or have an opinion that is not like the group.

    So sad – I think that their leader had a bad relationship in his 20’s and never grew up – or actually he did and now he makes so much money and has so much power over other men that he will never ever let go of that control.

    So sad…

  6. Millicent says:

    Hi Teri,

    An update on Sam: he was warned not to make any drastic decisions in the two weeks after his experience at Sterling. He left the weekend having decided to end his one and only relationship, waited the mandated 2 weeks, and broke up with her. He’s been volunteering at the Institute and attending subsequent workshops ever since, and has recruited his brothers.

    In conversation (with me, anyway–I’m a girl, so that may skew things) he sounds determinedly happy and a little scripted—my impression is that he’s been given a guide for talking to women that’s supposed to communicate power and drive. I have no idea whether that’s actually a component of the Sterling weekend or not? Hopefully someone who’s done it can weigh in.

  7. Jeff says:

    If anyone is considering doing one of these weekends, my advice is simply “don’t do it”. At best, it is a waste of time, money and energy. At worst, it is a dangerous cult. There are many resources where one can learn about Sterling and the “weekend”. If you’re friend is considering this, do everything you can to talk them out of it. My friend completed this event a few months ago eventhough I tried my best to talk him out of it. Now, him and his friends turn on the hard-sale every chance they get. It’s 99.9 percent BS, mind-control, EST GARBAGE. What a waste.

    Why would you pay someone to manipulate you and fill your head with half-baked theories and opinions? Why the secrecy? Why the recruitment? Why the intimidation and manipulation? Why the clandestine meetings? If it walks like a cult, and talks like a cult, guess what? Yep, it’s a CULT.

  8. Robert says:

    I did the weekend in ’92 and stayed in the organization for two full years and I did leave pretty much due to the salesmanship of it. In the Bay Area a man can join Nation of Men & avoid that. By definition it is a cult so Yep, it’s a CULT. Is that a bad word?
    Millicent – Sam will be gung-ho and your attempts to change/fix him will likely not work. Think of this: I doubt he will be sending any woman plane tix soon. No guides for speaking to women were given to me by the way.

    Some History: Justin started this “cult” doing seminars for WOMEN. After a while the women asked “Well where are t02

  9. Millicent says:

    Hi Jeff–

    Yeah, the accounts of the women’s seminars sound like a strong cocktail (heh) of EST mixed with certain brainwashing tactics (limiting bathroom visits and breaks, sleep deprivation and other means of controlling your body’s relation to a physical environment). All of which supports your take. Cults and ducks, cults and ducks.


    It’s interesting to hear from someone who’s actually done the weekend–thanks for writing in. A quick answer to your first question: without getting into whether “cult” is a bad word, the Institute itself denies that it has cult status. From the website: “There are several misconceptions about the work of the Sterling Institute that have led some people to believe it is a cult or other kind of harmful organization.” So it seems like a claim (or definition, as you put it) that the institute is pretty invested in denying.

    I had read that it was started for women. Sorry your comment got cut off–I’d be interested to hear where you were going with that.

    And finally, a question for you: can you say more about why the salesmanship caused you to leave? And what it is about the Nation of Men (which I’ve never heard of, and which I may post about) that addresses similar needs to the SI but in a way you find more acceptable?


  10. Robert says:

    Here’s the rest of the comment:
    Sam will be Busy with Sterling….just saying. The Weekend is many things and it should be noted that we want ‘good’ or ‘better’ relationships with our wife or girlfriend. In fact if you read Rick Ross then you’ll get a very good idea about what happened. HOWEVER….it is not in context and it will not make sense.

    I like to relate things to movies: To sum up the relationship portion a man should see: “When Harry met Sally” and “Groundhog Day.” Hopefully as time passes you will really like the change in Sam.

  11. Robert says:

    To answer your Qs: I was probably about ready to leave anyway but I was given a task to get a certain man in to the Weekend. He was interested intially but I found out he was No Way in Heck interested anymore and had $0 to put forth. We can assist a man who has the ‘desire’ to do it and no money to make it to the weekend but he earns it. If he can afford it and I thought it possible to convince him by example or via the strength of other men then I’m all for trying to make that happen. I was told in so many words to GET IT DONE and when I explained the situation…then it was my shortcomings. That was it…Done. Nation of Men is/was a spinoff. I met a man at work that was in it and I knew other men left for NOM. I never went to their meetings but they don’t push it. Men who join NOM may end up later doing the Weekend and staying with NOM. NOM is in San Jose area.

    Just read some of the Sterling Website and it looks like he’s answering Rick Ross….a very well worded answer to cults. I really can’t vouch for the women’s weekend of course but it sounds crazy. It sounds crazy because I have no context as to what really happens. Maybe you’ll get to speak to a woman who has done it.

    • benny says:

      it sounds like you guys are no different than those intrusive Mormons and Jehovah witness that show up unannounced to doorsteps and push their bullshit beliefs on everyone.. only this crap is asking for major cash amounts to join! Such bull crap and anyone who actually pays for this crap is an absolute low brow idiot. Self help and healing doesn’t ask for large amounts of dough and doesn’t constantly push you to recruit friends and family for money and points. Also wearing tutus and playing basketball cursing each other naked at midnight and doing push ups with a bunch of dudes for healing, sounds abusive, humiliating and ludicrous. If it does not involve LOVE then it is not TRUTH. Wake up and see the lies and bull. Leave while you can and stop bothering your friends and family!

  12. Pingback: Three Men Walk Into a Bar. One says “I’m a member of a minority about which the stereotypes are indeed true. I am male.” The second one says, “I live with a monkey.” The third says, “Join my nation of men.” «

  13. karen says:

    My ex husband attended a weekend. Supposed to improve his relationships with all people, including work/management relationships which is why supposedly his employer was paying for it (no way they’d pick up a $600 tab on the little and convoluted info provided). Of course at the time I was as yet unaware of how compulsively his lying issue was.

    It was supposed to make him a better man, better at relationships. After the weekend they broke off into “teams” which met once a week (and they had to call each other once a week – but no one wanted to leave a name or any info…. an elusive, secret group). They had meetings that started at 9 p.m. at the beach on a rainy night. Or 11 p.m. – 1 a.m. on a Sunday. Not allowed to reveal where they were or have cell phones. Found the sword/dagger hidden under coat in trunk of car. You better your relationships through all this SECRECY? That was part of the beginning of the end.

    Oh, and then there was the day that he left the papers with their team “rules” and ordinances on the counter which I quickly copied. hmm. His group named themselves
    The Gay Poodles. Gay poodles, fighting to be seadogs….
    Now if that wasn’t telling I don’t know what is. Oh yeah, the book he’d allegedly found from college and was getting rid of a few years before but somehow found its way to be hidden deep in his nightstand drawer, by a famous gay author, on a gay teenage boy finding his sexual self with salcious passages about he and his partners.

    Yeah, Sterling really helped my ex become a man. He’d been cheating for years before (with who/what gender) and never stopped (with who/what gender?) Of course it was MY fault the marriage ended when, disgusted with it all and his recommendations to the kid that they throw mom out I finally crossed the line (well tried to) and metup with the (straight) man I was SUPPOSED to have married. Reread your Gay Poodles/Sterling rules dear, when your wife stops respecting you, she’ll find someone else.

    Sterling did NOTHING to help this “man” (male person in adult size body) earn/keep respect. Or get the guts to come out of the closet he was stuck halfway in.

    And I am quite sure I’m half the $600 plus half the six figure equity line he ran up secretly the poorer because of this gutless loser…….. Sterling can’t fix everyone.

    • A says:

      Karen, that’s strange. I’ve met all my dads team. They openly have their team meetings at eachothers houses (taking turns) we all know each other very well. I am also a girl and not a part of the group. Your ex may have just been a shady jerk because all the guys in my dad’s group have been married with kids and never divorced and very loving devoted men to their wives, (they even bought beading stuff and tried a sad attempt at making bracelets for their wives for Valentines Day together) So you just had a bad seed of some group.

  14. Millicent says:

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for writing. I’m so sorry to hear about your experience–it sounds really painful. It’s interesting that you say your ex-husband’s boss paid for the weekend; mike in the comment thread above mentioned getting a similar offer from his boss.

    So many questions. Can you clarify what you mean by the sword/dagger? (Did you *actually* find a sword or dagger under his coat? What was it for?) Why do say it was your fault the marriage ended? And would you be willing to share some of the rules you found? (Were they specific to the Gay Poodles (!)?)


  15. Pingback: Letter from a Sterling Institute Ex-wife « Millicent and Carla Fran

  16. Hank says:

    I’m a veteran of men’s gatherings ala Robert Bly’s “Ironman” and was invited by a longtime family friend to participate in The Sterling Men’s Weekend (for $900.00). My friend cautioned me NOT to look at anything on the web about Sterling…which only lead me to do just that: research the “Weekend”. Frankly, I was totally turned off that Arnie Rabinowitz (or whatever) changed his name to “Justin Sterling” and that he got plastic surgery to improve his appearance. LOL! Arnie has been through one or two nasty divorces, too, and relies heavily on volunteers to do the Institute work while he takes in the dough and reportedly lives a million-dollar lifestyle. Yeah. This is just the kind of group I want to get involved with…NOT!

    So I told my friend what I’d found out about Sterling and he quickly ceased to encourage me to do the Weekend. In fact, he doesn’t say much of anything about it to me anymore although he’s been involved with Sterling and subsequent Sterling-esque splinter groups for several years now. I’ve met a few of his Sterling buddies (or as HE refers to them: “his men”) at bonfires he has in his backyard and I can’t seem to shake the impression they give off as being “losers” of a sort. My friend’s marriage has been shaky for many years (he’s a gay man in a heterosexual marriage but his wife knew that when she wed him…) and the Sterling men I’ve met at his bonfires seem to either be divorced or on the verge of it.

    Another particularly annoying characteristic that my friend has taken on since getting involved with Sterling is answering his cellphone IMMEDIATELY at all times. This means during dinners (where he and Mrs. are our guests), in the middle of concerts (and talking loudly to the dismay of those around him) and while supposedly spending time with me/us. His cell phone trumps everything else. It’s weird.

    Last summer he had planned to go camping/hiking with “his men” to a large mountain in the northeast. It just so happened that a once-in-thirty-years reunion with his old friends (me included) was also happening that same weekend. When the forecast predicted high winds and driving rain on the mountain, he opted to change his plans and attend the reunion. From what he told me “his men” berated him repeatedly for failing to live up to his commitment even though extremely poor weather was forecast and actually happened. I’m sure they had a lousy time up on that mountain and they managed to prove the old adage “Misery loves company.” LOL!

    Lemme see, what else. I know he has a 5AM conference call with his men every Sunday. Five-friggin-A-M on a Sunday. I’ve certainly noticed that he helps out with domestic house chores WAY more than he ever did and, I get the feeling, that he’s learned to do that so that he can go away on his Sterling jaunts and not have to answer to his wife. He’s been unemployed for quite some time and there doesn’t seem to be any job on the horizon YET he seems to invest plenty of time in Sterling stuff. Yep! He’s always there for His Men!

    He’s invited and cajoled a number of other men in our circle of friends to do the Weekend. Most have declined but one did take the bait and I’ve noticed that he’s not around much either because HE now has commitments doing things with HIS men.

    Whatever!!!! Whatever floats your boat, I guess. IMO, steer clear of scam artists like “Justin Sterling”. Unless, of course, you want to help ol’ Arnie Rabinowitz keep up the masquerade AND support his comfortable lifestyle.

    • Runfromsterling says:

      If my ex had spent a tenth of the time on his career as he did on making sterling rich by constantly recruiting, organizing, meeting, travelling and hours on the phone, he would be in a much better place than he is now. Mid 50s divorced and lost. After dedicating 20 years to the “men”. A major reason I left: they came before the family and I did. I agree justin preys on the weak. So happy to be with a normal non sterling man who treats me much much much better than the Ex did. Ironically, he is much better at relationships without any “institute.” And has plenty of real friends. Seemed my ex needed the insta friends that the weekend provided.

      • Men says:

        See that man fucked up, but that’s not on the institute, it’s because he didn’t know how to love you and the family. The family is everything to a man. His children are what makes him be that superman and his wife is what makes him feel love.

        That man you speak of is no sterling man but a loser and he lost his way to become successful.

  17. Millicent says:

    Hi Hank,

    Thanks for writing. I’ve reposted your comment here:

    As someone who has some experience with these men’s movements, what do you think differentiates the Bly groups from the Sterling groups?


  18. Pingback: Letter From a Sterling Institute Ex-Friend « Millicent and Carla Fran

  19. Mary M says:

    my husband was forced by hisattorney to take the weekendlet me tell you…we were getting a divorce and we reconsiled onour own he went to his attorney P. VOLCHOK to get a divorce and the lawyer told him NO!! and that he needed to take the weekend first andfor him to decide although we are still together his “men meeting” are becomming waaay more important then his family! his team is called “bloody tampons” and had to wright a biography on another person in his group….he wrote when this guy met his wife, andthat this man likes to do her with her legs behind his back and he likes giving oral….i mean seriously what kind of stuff is that!! its not something you talk about! this has really screwed up my husbands head….and hes sooo easily manipulated its scarey ive seeked help frm a lady by the name of C.A and hopefully she can undo what has been done to him before its to late!!!

  20. Hank says:

    The men’s groups I participated in were all about just being ourselves with no judgements of each other. Lots of fun. No secret mantras or anything. And we cleaned up after ourselves, too. Let our gathering spots as pristine as we found ’em.

  21. Chris says:

    I am a Sterling graduate from 1997. The weekend merely gives men tools to be better husbands, fathers, boyfriends and human beings. The weekend does not fix character flaws, bad habits, or people with serious problems. If men become obsessive and jerks, that is because that is who they are.

    I have been meeting with my men’s team every Tuesday for nine years. My team is about honor, accountability, and commitment to each others success.

    I do not agree with everything taught at the weekend, but there is a lot of valuable information and learning that has hands down made me a better man.

    Blog’s/Forum’s like these tend to bring out the whiners, I guarantee there are 1000 positive actions to every one person complaining about something.

    The Rick Ross site really has no context. Life is about moderation, his site focuses on the obsessive minority.

    All the best,
    Chris, ATX

    • Chris says:

      Ever notice how the positive comments never go into specifics of what happens at The Weekend? It’s always written in political jargon…

      This guy must be one of the losers that found his alpha-self at the cute.

      • sunsworn says:

        and you still haven’t become a man…how cute?lol

      • TBone says:

        That’s because confidentiality drives busybodies’ nuts! America would still be ruled by the British if we didn’t have confidentiality. Confidentiality is required in so many organizations, yet it drives people nuts when they don’t know “everything” about what their husband is doing in these woods. If you are in a panic about not knowing everything he is doing, take a look at THAT! Why would you need to control him? A man with fortitude and balls does not tell his wife all the details of his life. Nor should a wife have nothing sacred. The main thread I see here, is wives up in arms about secrets. Apparently, some people have too much time on their hands, and spend all their time obsessing about another’s actions and playing victim.

    • roger says:

      Its funny Chris because my team was about the same things, honor, integrity, accountability, and honoring other men. + Women Just remember it is a cult that brainwashes. I will be writing a full review at bottom of page, so keep an eye out.

  22. Kristin says:

    My husband took ‘The Men’s Weekend’ last year. The only changes i’ve noticed are that he has these secret meetings once a week. Always leaves the room when one of the other ‘Knuckle Draggers’ (group name) calls. Goes on secret weekend outtings at least once every two months. Can someone tell me, how is that healthy to a relationship and family? Might i add we have two young children and one on the way. I will admit that with all this secrecy and neglect, i have cheated on him. Why after he found out did he still stay? Whenever i mention that i don’t like this secrecy, he says he can’t tell me anything. We’ll see what our relationship counsellor has to say about all this, hopefully he sees things the way i do!! Secrecy is NOT healthy for a happy and healthy relationship.

    • Jack Lucas says:

      I googled the Sterling Men’s Weekend and came across many sites that do not have positive things to say but when I read your post that you cheated on your husband and he STILL stays around, that speaks to me about his character, especially when the 3rd baby is most likely not his.
      I think you might have changed my mind – thnx!

      • kay says:

        Tell me, how did that change your mind?

        STERLING says divorce is child abuse, the man stayed because he’s been brainwashed.

        STERLING says you have to stay together.

        I agree, the guy is a putz, but you can’t blame her either

        get ready for the emotional disconnect between you and your mate which you bond with previous

        strangers because THEY’RE YOUR MEN

        whatever floats your boat

    • George says:

      You are a SLUT

    • Runfromsterling says:

      Sterling men are like “the other woman” they suck the time and intimacy out of the man so there is little left for the wife. Major reason we divorced.

    • TBone says:

      Was it honorable that men went off for days at a time throughout history and their wives were spared the details? This is a new-aged philosophy that a person in a relationship should know every detail that their spouse is doing. Divorce rates are at their highest with EXACTLY THAT being the prevailing philosophy. Congrats. Needing to know everything can really be a problem.

  23. Teri says:

    Chris – thanks for sharing – I’ve been seeing my guy for about 4 months now and he has been involved for a little over 3 years. It’s nice to know that what I felt about how he and his group are (though I have not met them) is the same as what you have said.

    He is a good man and I love him as a person and really enjoy my time with him So I agree that it’s what is at the core of a man – and then what he takes from the group. This goes for ANY group – religion or cult.

    In the beginning it was a bit scary after reading so many horror stories here from other women and past members. But I decided to wait and see what happens. I have finally got my sh_t together so I need to trust in him and believe that he has his business in order too.

    Anyway – thanks again for sharing. It’s nice to read something nice for a change.


    • Nicole says:

      I have just started seeing a guy involved in Sterling. So far her truly seems great. I agree with much of the philosophy he has shared thus far. I like the idea of the guys having guy time. That gives me my time! I often have felt smothered in relationships. To me it seems like a good thing. Teri I am glad to read something positive as well. Thank you for sharing!

  24. Lisa says:

    I also am married to a man who recently did the “men’s weekend” in December. I am seeing the same behavior from my husband as Kristen. He is so steadfast in his commitment to them that there are times when that is more important to him than his commitment to me and our family. He does at times almost sound as if I am very concerned about the outcome.

    I just don’t know what to do. I suggested we go to our family counselor as well, but was met with, “not gonna change my mind about my men’s group”, and “you have to trust me that this (men’s group) will be good for us in the long run.” Huh? Seriously? I too believe that all the secret meetings and all the phone calls cannot be good for a relationship.

    Any women who have been here have any good advice?

    • TBone says:

      The secrets are a problem for you. That never has been his problem. It is and will always be your stuff. Do you demand of the executives at work that they fill you in on confidential meeting notes just because you work there? Honor confidentiality, it is a masculine thing to do. Men who can’t keep secrets, cost lives. Fact. Read some history on espionage.

  25. Tom says:

    For everone talking about the weekend who hasn’t done it, stop criticizing something you’ve never tried. I did the weekend and it was the greatest experience of my life, and it is in no way a cult.

    I got rid of anger that I had been carrying around for years, I have a better relationship with my father, and now that I am on a mensteam, I have men in my life that would take a bullet for me. And I wouldn’t even have known these men if it were’nt for the Sterling Mens Weekend

    • Ed says:

      You dont need to try it to see what happens to others who do it. My girlfriend — now my wife — was on a “team” in the early 90s. The weekly meetings were not an issue. Unitl they changed the days occasionally on short notice and WE had to cancel OUR plans. Or the time we went on vacation, and the rest of the organization gave her crap because there wouldn;t be a phone. And it would be her “racket:” if she “allowed” the lack of a phone to prevent her from calling in at the usual time. she spent half a day finding a pay phone. what did it for her was the relentless pressure to recruit. Then it became obvious. whether or not its a cult may not be important. But its definitely a pyramid scheme. And Artie “I can’t stay married bu I know everything about women” Kasajain is at the top.

  26. Tom says:

    To lisa,

    As a man who has done the weekend, and is on a mens team, I can assure you that both aspects are all about preserving marriages. If you have children together, divorce is not an option, this is a standard that we all learn and uphold. I promise you, your husbands mens team is all about being a better husband and family man

  27. Lisa says:


    When lack honesty and and secrets are forefront there cannot be trust. Our marriage was built on open/honest communication that is no longer first with my husband. Now the “men” get that from him. This is a recipe for disaster in my opinion. I no longer know where I stand in his life. This is unacceptable for ME in a relationship. This is a second marriage for both of us, and have children from previous marriages.

    This mens team is NOT, in my opinion, making him a better husband. If he believes Sterling’s philosophies, then I do not know him any longer, and our marriage will not make it through this.

  28. Patty says:

    I, too, saw changes that made my relationship more difficult after he became involved with Sterling. The secrecy, time commitment (with all the meetings, group calls, texts), and the belief that the woman is 100% responsible for the relationship created problems that didn’t exist before. You might want to go to Rick Ross site, go to the message board then search on Sterling. You will see similar theme to what you are experiencing now. I am very sorry to hear about your situation.

  29. Lisa says:


    Sorry to hear you also have experienced the same changes. I have been to the Rick Ross site, and become more and more concerned the more I read. How have you and your husband resolved things, or have you? It was my intention to connect with other women whose husbands are involved with Sterling. Do you know if there are any groups for support for the wives of? Thank you for replying to my post.

  30. Patty says:

    Hi Lisa
    Unfortunately, I don’t know of a place where for Sterling significant others can discuss these issues. The majority of what I found was on the Rick Ross message board. Perhaps you could start a discussion group there or reply to one of the existing posts where someone is in a similar situation and that might help to start things. Unfortunately, my relationship didn’t survive. I can’t say Sterling was 100% the cause but it was definitely a huge factor. I do question myself wondering if handled thing correctly and wonder if I should have pushed him harder to leave this group. But then again I doubt it would have matter since he seemed very entrenched in his team and their way of thinking.
    I feel for your situation. It is very difficult.

  31. Steve Dahl says:

    I attended my weekend July ’04

    I knew nothing of “Stirling” or any other “Mens Movements” before then.

    I was asked by a man that I worked with to “go camping”. HA! I went “camping” and walked right into a men’s event with 200+ men. That was a great experience, no drinking, no negativity, no drugs – Just Men at their BEST having fun. It was something that I had never experienced before. It was shortly after that experience that I attended the Stirling Mens Weekend.

    It has been mentioned that “graduates” of the weekend have “gone off the rails” or have joined teams with funny names and strange behaviours. I would imagine that all those stories are true. Some “groups” or “teams” that spin off of the weekend can be a little odd, and interpret some of the weekend in unusual ways. Like all things in life the key is in the interpretation, and that is usually where the flaws lie, not nessicarily in the curriculium. The “weekend” isn’t about fixing men, it isn’t going to make someone into something they are not. It may however bring some “undesireable” traits to the surface.

    To the woman that cheated on her husband…. blame your poor behaviour on whatever you like, but it is not the fault of the “weekend”. I personally believe that divorce is the WORST possible form of shild abuse and I applaud your husband for not letting you hurt your children by destroying your relationship. For you parents – when are you going to relalize that once you have children, life isn”t about “you” anymore.

    Cult? I dunno – perhaps, perhaps not. I would lean toward not but I suppose that I am biased 🙂

    This has the potential to be an interesting discussion provided everyone can keep an open mind.

    (Forgive my spelling and gramatical errors)


  32. Rich says:

    Life Changing –

    I went to the weekend in 2009 after attending a team meeting as a guest. What I saw as a guest were men in action in their lives. What I received from these men – only one of which I knew – was “ruthless compassion” that showed me a new level of committment, honesty and integrity in human relationships. I knew there were changes I wanted/needed to make in my life and I respected and trusted the man that invited me to the meeting… so I took the leap into the unknown and agree to attend the next Sterling Men’s Weekend.

    In preparing to go the weekend, I identified three changes I wanted to make in my life. One of them was “Family: To better understand the differences between men & women so that I can improve my relationships with my wife and daughters” (those relationships had sunk pretty low prior to the weekend despite 2 years of marraige counselling and more than $10,000 in fees).

    Well… my 47th birthday was last week and my wife surprised me with a motorcycle, saying “you have been working hard, treating me well… you deserve it” (Believing I would never get her support for this passion of mine, I had given up trying to get her to agree to my buying a motorcycle years before). By the way, my wife is not a submissive, weak woman who I am manipulating – she holds advanced degrees from Ivy League schools, is on several boards, and earns well over $100k. I, for my part, own a software business and I am now starting another new venture with strong support from my circle of men. The work I am doing is serving the needs of our family effectively and it great to have my wife’s support in doing it.

    I am still a jerk will tons of work to do yet. But I am feeling strong, confident, and well supported by the men in my circle.

  33. John Longino says:

    I attended the June 2010 SWM in NY. I promised not to tell what had happened in the meeting, what anyone said, what Sterling said, and I will keep that promise. I did not promise to fail to give my impressions of the weekend and so I believe that I can – and so I will – speak of the weekend without giving any specifics: just my impressions. First, the weekend is a waste of money: in my opinion (because of the limitations of my commitment to confidentiality, all I can give is my opinion here) stay away. Buy one of the many good relationship books, curl up on a Saturday afternoon, and save the $1100 I spent ($500 to Sterling, $300 to airfare, $100 to rail, bus and rail to the site, $150 for the hotel, plus food). Second, what the program does is mix and match a very few really good ideas with a lot of really bad ideas about (a) how to use women to get satisfaction and (b) how to avoid people to avoid relationships (the very thing that they advertise in their name: “Sterling Instutute of RELATIONSHIP”.

    My conclusion is this. If you are a young man who (a) can’t get a date and (b) have no clue how to fix that and (c) are interested in getting laid by rather than relating to a woman, you will get about half your fee’s worth of advice. The real cost, however, is that the program – while it will raise you from a zero to a 2 – will prevent you (as long as you follow it) from ever getting past being a 6. Is it good to be raised from a 0 to a 4? Sure, if you have limited life goals. But why not avoid all of this, learn how to relate to people – not just women – and you will find that your life will be much more rich in texture AND as a result you will get laid a lot more than Sterling will teach you. If you are other than this above-described young man – simply stay away. The few relationship tidbits I picked up while there were not worth the minor emotional and major physical punishment I endured.

    Do I hate the program? No, I pitty Sterling for being a Danny-DeVito-as-Penguin character and I pity those who rave about his teaching and methods. I wish for them a transformation in life to love and peace and joy from rules and using other people. I just wish I had declined to go.

    • Marianne says:

      Hello John, My husband went to the same retreat weekend as you June 11-14,2010 in NY. He came back a very “strange” person. He played serious head games with me and became even more abusive. We are now getting divorced. He attends these meetings weekly and I too feel sorry for these men that have been manipulated into the Sterling way. I can’t see anything positive in anything they say or do. I wish he had never been introduced to such an evil cult. But I truly believe only those with insecurities are easily led and preyed upon. He has now lost the respect of many friends and his children that he is in total denial.

      I will continue to spread the word about this evil following and hopefully save someone the heartache and devastation that this has caused me.

  34. Margaret says:

    OK I did the womens weekend in the 80s I think. In many ways it was a cathartic experience and I did get a lot out of it. My husband did the mens weekend at some point and I also think that was valuable to him at the time. I don’t think either of us doing the weekends hurt our marriage and may have helped it. Certainly you could use what you get from the weekend to justify bad behavior. So the weekends themselves I don’t see as harmful.

    That said the follow on involvement in the womens and mens organizations is cultish. I would think they would qualify as a cult. I was involved for a few years and left many years ago. I think being involved in the womens organization took time away from my marriage and my young child at the time. I think the ultimate goal of those organizations is to get more people to do the weekend and so in the end make money for Justin Sterling. I think they both have some very unhealthy practices and although i don’t think it is as harmful as a cult as many i do see it as a cult.

    If someone I knew now wanted to do the weekend I would tell them that they may get something out of it, but no matter what do NOT join the follow on organization.

  35. Ann Jones says:

    I did the weekend and was one of the highest raking volunteers for Justin Sterling for several years. Ladies if you want to know what this is really all about keep reading. I won’t even bother to address the men’s comments because they have been brainwashed into never listening to a woman. If you are dating a “sterling man” RUN, get out while you can.

    This is absolutely a cult. Justin Sterling uses sleep deprivation to brainwash participants. You will be kept up for 24 hours straight. Do the research on sleep derivation and see what a powerful tool it is.

    Using sleep deprivation Justin will convince you to give up your free will. Any decision you make is not valid unless you “bring it to your women”. You are not allowed to make any decisions on your own. You are not allowed to have boundaries of any kind; you must follow Justin’s teachings after you do the weekend in order to successful relationships.

    You will believe after you have not slept for 24 hours that you are 100% responsible for the success of all your relationships even though you can never control anyone. This includes all the men in your life, relatives and coworkers.

    According to Justin married women must put that first and your needs last, no speaking up for what you need or want from your marriage. You must NEVER make him wrong, or tell him what to do, that will hurt his ego. You have to stroke his ego so he always feels successful. This is very important. If you are married and have children you have no right to divorce, even if the man is emotionally abusive. If he is abusive it is your fault, you are not managing the relationship well and that is the cause. Don’t worry, when you are at your wits end, stressed out and unhappy you will have an entire “community” of women to go to. You can vent to them, and then they will “process” you. Then you will be back to the brainwashed state and you can go home and feel a little better about things. Here is a major contradiction about all of this. How can you be 100% responsible when you can not make a decision on your own? By default the group becomes responsible.

    What is really interesting is that the majority of the men involved in sterling volunteer work are not successful. I have seen many times as they become more and more involved in volunteer rolls they have less time for their jobs and families. The hours that the volunteers put in are extraordinary. I have watched countless men’s lives spiral down and loose their jobs and spouses or girlfriends all because of the time the spent working for Justin for free. That’s right for free; all the while he charges $800 per person to attend. A weekend may have 100 to 200 people. You do the math. .

    Should you complete the weekend and then take on a volunteer roll, good luck. If you try to quit, walk away you are in for a big surprise. That is NEVER allowed. You will be “processed” or forcibly convinced using guilt and other emotionally abusive tactics to staying in your volunteer job. One volunteer several years ago committed suicide. Even a new job, marriage, birth or death in the family is not a reason to be released from your volunteer position. If you are able to get out. They will try to get you back in the “community” You will receive countless emails, invitations to “events” and phone calls/voice mails from the women telling you they love you and they want you back in the “circle of women”. Prepare to be stalked!

    As you might imagine, Justin is a very wealthy man. Wouldn’t we all be if we could have hundreds of people working for us for free that right it takes a few hundred volunteers at various jobs to make the “weekends” happen? The Masonic hall in Newburg NY where the east coast weekends happen is in disrepair. Toilets are in terrible shape, there are not enough. The basement is used to house the volunteers who work at the weekend. The basement is full of mold and smells terrible. They work sometimes 18 – 20 straight with very few breaks and almost no sleep. I have heard stories of the conditions in the kitchen, unhealthy and a huge fire risk. I’ll stop here, I think you get the point.

    Please ladies if you have been approached about doing the weekend RUN!

    • Kay says:

      Ann, I’m very interested in what you write, would love to talk more about all this I find it fascinating, mostly because my guy was in it, I don’t know how we survived.

  36. terry says:

    i did the women’s weekend 14 years ago and got a lot out of it. what justin teaches isn’t rocket science, and it’s like anything else, take what you want and leave the rest. you can base your decisions on what other people tell you to do, or you can check it out for yourself. it is not a “cult”- there are no rituals, no one is forced to stay, etc. i get pissed because i find more and more people don’t want to think for themselves, they base life decisions on what others say or tell them to do. if that’s you, i have a bridge, really cheap. personal responsibility has fallen by the wayside- people are far too wiling to blame things on others rather than taking responsibility for their actions. if someone came out of the weekend abusive, they were abusive going in. i know plenty of men who have come out better- the weekend doesn’t change people’s values or morals.

    here is what i got from the weekend (because i focused on work i needed to do on myself to be better, we can all be better…) — a much improved relationship with my mother. girlfriends i can trust 1000% percent, who are there for me no matter what and always tell me the truth, even when it’s hard. a true understanding, acceptance and respect of men. knowledge of who i am so i don’t hurt others in a relationship and can be trustworthy, honest, and leave people and things better than when i found them.

    if any of what i said angers you, look at why. don’t come at me all firey and bitching. you control your reactions, i don’t.

    do the weekend, it won’t hurt you, it may just help. take what you want and leave the rest. and while you’re at it, take responsibility.

    • kay says:

      are the men encouraged to use porn?
      i’m figuring they must be,
      how better to dehumanize the sexual experience and women in order to “have a better relationship”
      women = sex, need to protect
      men= comrades, confidantes, emotional intimacy

      • Runfromsterling says:

        My ex had a serious porn addiction which escalated w the internet and evolved to using prostitutes DURING his sterling involvement (and cheating while I was pregnant w a prostitute)

      • TBone says:

        I almost fell out of my chair laughing at the question about porn. Then I felt bad that i actually wasted time reading this thread. I’m literally reading “The irrational Fear Chronicles” Yawn!

  37. Gary says:

    I have not done the weekend, but I am considering doing it. I have no doubt that it is NOT a cult. I have little doubt that I will not like Justin Sterling, as I met him once before and thought he was an a**hole then and I doubt he’s changed. So, why would I do his Men’s Weekend? One reason and one reason only; to get value from it. I know of many men who have done the weekend and, IMO, they all got value from it. They all think Justin is a jerk. So what? His being a jerk is likely what made it so Justin can relate to the short comings of others; because his short comings are so loud and clear! Regardless, I will do the course, and take away some value. What is not of value, I will not take on for myself and my life.

    If you are afraid of being brainwashed; shame on YOU! If you think that someone can “brainwash” you while you have the freedom to stand up and walk out of the course, you live a life of no power or personal responsibility. In essence, you live life at effect of the world. In other words, you’re a victim. Victims love other victims because they get to agree with one another that they have been wronged and they are not responsible for what has happened in their lives.

    People who have been left by a spouse after he/she did a course in personal growth were almost invariably already in a failed relationship BEFORE the spouse did whatever course is in question. Filing for divorce is what one does when he/she will no longer put up with the symptoms of a terrible relationship. It could be analogous the quote from the movie Network, “”I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” People who blame their failed marriage on Justin Sterling or his courses need to take a look in the mirror to see who actually had a hand in the failed marriage.

    People who are writing about the Sterling Weekend and calling it a cult remind me of the right-wing nut cases (is that redundant?) who want to base U.S. foreign policy upon their personal fears. The bottom line is, people have their fears and their fears are the basis for misguided their opinions.

    • Elliott says:

      That’s cool you met Justin before, calling him an “a*shole”. I’m sure he can take it. If you think about most comedians, thier kind of like a*sholes. I liked him. Funny as shit. Certainly a refreshing character than some of these humorless and imp-like New Age Gurus.

  38. Ted says:

    Millicent writes:

    “He believes he knows exactly What Women Want (in a nutshell, someone with Drive and Energy who will provide for them and their children. They don’t have to a Basketball Player or anything. What matters is the Drive. A sense of Purpose). When I told him these ideas were the sort that make women like me run screaming in the opposite direction he suggested I try the Sterling Women’s Institute.”


    I’m a guy and as I read that I’m perplexed at why any women would run from these aspects in a man…. would you prefer a man with no drive and no energy that is uncertain of what his life is about and what he want’s to do with it? If so then you’ve got a nice selection of dating material waiting for you out there.

    I only know a few woman that did the weekend, and experiences seems to vary as wildly as personalities do.

    I did the weekend and it was a big turning point for me. I came to realize that I had never trusted men because of early abandonment by my father. This overall lack of trust, engendered in my early adulthood was harmful to me. I now trust men (certain men that is)

    Take what you like, leave the rest. There was quite a lot of valuable things I found in my year with Sterling and it clearly changed my course in very positive ways. I’m grateful for the experience and can also see how it’s not for everyone.


    • Millicent says:

      Hi Ted,

      To explain: It’s not that I don’t like women and men who have genuine drive and a sense of purpose. I like people with those qualities a lot. I am, however, deeply skeptical of people who fetishize and/or manufacture those qualities–particularly as a means to getting a date or relationship. If your drive comes not from your passion for the thing itself but from an impulse to perform an elaborate mating dance, well, that’s no kind of passion at all, and it’s pernicious and dehumanizing to everyone involved.

      Secondly, I don’t want someone to provide for me and my (hypothetical) children. I want a partner and friend with whom I can build a life in which we provide for and support each other (and any children who come along, if we want them). I don’t think of myself (or him) as something to be provided for, having some “Drive” of my own that isn’t of the domestic and homemaking variety. The notion that Drive, Purpose, and the Responsibility to Provide fall under the masculine purview is absurd.

      My next objection pertains to the framing of that conversation. The fact that anyone would claim to know “what women want” or “what men want” is a red flag to people who believe that men and women are individuals with extreme variation across and within each sex, not monolithic entities whose desires are defined by their gonads.

      Lastly, anyone who claims, as Sterling does, to “be an expert on the innermost desires of women,” is (to any woman who reads his theories and knows her own innermost desires) clearly delusional. As delusional as any woman who claims to know the innermost desires of men. Therefore, women like me are likely, when in conversation with a man who takes such a person seriously, to come away thinking that a follower of Sterling’s is at best a poor judge of character, at worst a victim who has been manipulated into thinking, paradoxically, that by *following* someone he has become a leader of men. Any way you slice it, those are pretty unattractive characteristics. (To this demographic, anyway.)

      That said, I’m glad you found it helpful. As you say, it’s not for everyone!

      • Ted says:

        that dance you speak of sounds like college age men wanting to get laid, not men looking for a real relationship. The irony is that it’s necessary for men to learn from ‘short-term recreational’ relationships before moving to long-term committed ones.

        Drive, purpose and responsibility indeed fall under the masculine purview. Both genders have masculine and feminine traits. I would recommend reading the forward to David Deida’s book for that.

        The Way of the Superior Man—Deida Inspired Men’s Group

        Los Angeles, CA
        285 Authentic Present Purposeful Men

        In today’s culture men have very few practices to feel into their deepest purpose for being alive.As a result most men have grown into adulthood learning only to function fro…

        Check out this Meetup Group →

        With all due respect, I find your accusations of Sterling uninformed. You seem to be taking it all a bit too literally, like people take the bible. Sure he makes provocative claims. Are they absolutely true? Of course not. Nothing is. The masculine (in both genders) is about ‘attending to, fixing, doing etc’ while the feminine is about ‘relating, loving, connecting, again, in BOTH genders. Sterling makes short, concise (and sometime provocative) statements because they are simple, easy to remember, practical and true in their proper context.

        Happy Holidays! 😉

  39. Hank says:

    Well this thread is interesting, to say the least. Lots of good pearls of wisdom from EVERYone, IMO. I posted upthread almost a year ago and haven’t been back since: stumbled across this bookmark in my files. The list is a good read since my last visit and I really appreciate the input of those who’ve actually gone through the Sterling weekend and subsequent SIGs thereafter. It is what it is. Werner Erhard is alive and well.

    Coincidentally, I was out to dinner with another Sterling man the other night and, out of nowhere, he said to me “Women are crazy, ya know? They’re just crazy! They make no sense! Not like men, anyhow!” I just rolled my eyes. In disbelief. And grinned. Alrighty then.

  40. Carpenter says:

    I met this man when I attended the Sterling Men’s Weekend. It turned out he lived near me so after the weekend we formed a team of men to support each other in achieving great victories in our lives. In the months since, our circle has grown and the men in it are discoving their barriers and winning in their lives. I hope to share their stories as they are willing. Here is one man’s success from the weekend and the support of his men.

    “My wife left me in early November, 2009. She wasn’t sure exactly why, but knew that, in her words, she needed to go. In my mid-40’s, with four children still at home, this was devastating. I was angry, confused, and desperate. I felt blind-sided, and yet my wife saw her moving out as the culmination of years of unfulfilled personal work between us. She took a 7-month lease in a local apartment.

    Several weeks later, my wife and I had a miserable session with a marriage therapist we’d known for years. It was the night before Thanksgiving. I came home in a foul mood, and disinvited my wife from the holiday meal that we had planned to share with my family. Then I called a friend to vent — a man whom it turned out was a graduate of the Sterling Men’s Weekend. Hearing my distress, he came over to my home immediately. He said, “Great news – the Men’s Weekend that was scheduled for November has been postponed until December – and you’re going.” He went on to say that I was going to develop into the sort of man with whom my wife would want to have an affair.

    I did the Weekend, and man did I get rocked. I got inspected at the event by Justin and a handful of men he invited to give feedback. It was unbelievably painful but helpful. It was the most excruciating “calling out” I’d ever experienced at the hands of a group of men.

    Though I nearly gave in to the monkeys, I followed through on the Point program which followed the weekend. That team proved to be the most pivotal experience in my winter of discontent. I continued to get inspected in rigorous ways, and often came away feeling bruised — but redirected. The support of the men was real, though, and it became clear that the hard knocks were from a place of care and respect.

    Also important during and after the Point program was the support within Plasma. I was given names and phone numbers of other men who had gone through what I was experiencing, and men counseled me at regional gatherings. I got a shit-load of advice, nearly all of it spot-on. When I felt like my family life was slipping away, these men dug in.

    The most important inward change in me is self-sufficiency — doing what it takes to take care of myself, while simultaneously caring a lot less about what other people think. My wife needed a stronger man, a man who could absorb her tendency to flee. She needed a man secure enough to hold the center while she goes through some of what she is now uncovering about her childhood. She needed a man who could handle rejection with a degree of confidence. And she needed a man who would work his shit out elsewhere.

    Though I have had awesome individual therapy during this separation, and though my friends have been dedicated, the number one support for me has been the Men’s Team. It has given me laughter, ruthless truth-telling, and compassion. It has shown me who I am and who I want to be. It has also shown me that I need this as a way of life. I thought it was just a weekend; I was wrong. It’s an ongoing commitment, like exercise, that needs regular attention to produce regular results.

    It’s not a stretch to say that I owe part of my marriage and family to that Team. So thanks Rosen, Connacher, Carpenter, Chaleff, Hirsch, Lauro, Mistry, Ruderman, Sayers, Tokarski, Tokarski, and Wright.”

    This man’s wife moved back home June 5, 2010 and he reports their relationship continues to strengthen with each new challenge faced.

  41. Elliott says:

    I just did the weekend a couple of days ago and I agreed to not discuss the weekend. But, as far as Cults go, I don’t see this as a Cult. And even if if it is a “Cult” at least it’s a Cult that I chose as an adult and not the one that I was forced to attend in my Childhood; Jehovahs Witnesses. Sometimes the reacurring resentment toward my mother in raising me that way gets a little old. So, why not put myself in her shoes an join something of my own. Of course, The “weekend” is no apocolyptic religious cult that uses faulty math that failed to predict the end of the world. The only similarity of these two groups that I can see is that the founder of what came to be JW’s was a 33 degree mason buried in a pyramid across from a Masonic temple and The Sterling Weekend was taken place in an old Masonic building. I wondered if it was all one big conspiracy, New World Order, Illumnati stuff… The imagination works wonders especically after smoking some pot and fearing some ‘truth serum’ might be dropped in some “kool aid”. That never happened. As you can see, I will uphold my commitment to say nothing of the weekend.
    But what I will say is that, If you are raised in a Cult, then why not join something that people may find offensive, like when you tell someone your arm hurts, so they step on your toe, and as your hopping around in pain, They ask does your arm hurt anymore?
    All in all, I enjoyed myself at the weekend and it sure beats Not getting laid and having to stand around in some three piece suit worried if I will see some kid from school at thier door, as they get to cuss, do karate and celebrate birthdays. Not to mention go to thier jr High prom.

    • kay says:

      lets see where you are a year from now. point team, phone calls, commitment, recruitement, blah blah blah making money for the man, thats the real name of the game. support becomes dependency, strength becomes weakness. my guy was in that group, and all he did was lie about it.

      • Elliott says:

        Well, Kay. I’ve observed a friend of mine who got me into it for months before I committed to the weekend. He’s busy with this thing on all the things you mentioned and I don’t see a problem with it. True, I can’t speak for how I feel about it in a year from now, that’s just silly, and I’m sure I won’t agree with everything being said. I don’t think everyone does. I mean that’s why Rival Cults exist in the first place, right?

  42. kay says:

    Do you think it’s silly?

    What made you go to the weekend in the first place?

    hope you enjoy recruitement.

    after a couple of weeks of “all about you” and your faults, needs, wishes, hopes and dreams,

    it’ll be about lining justins pockets. bringing new vulnerable people into the weekend ,

    not telling them anything about it. essentially lying to coerce.

    oh yes!

    coercive persuasion?

    just like suggestive selling eg. “would you like to supersize that?”

    only it’s done while you’re starving, in a stupor, too cold, too hot to know your own mind,

    and the subject matter ain’t fries.

    Yeah, just a silly observer. ok

    • Elliott says:

      Commenting on my opinion of how I will feel about in a year from now at this time would be silly.

      or ludacris, nonsensicle, absurd rather.

      The weekend itself was not silly to me, more or less riveting, exiting, adrenaline, and even awesome…but that’s just my humble opinion. Not everyone needs to share my sentiments.

      • Elliott says:

        Well, Kay
        I’ve had more hard times stripping wax floors on a third shift job. I guess that’s why I was all talkative and didn’t sleep until 12 hours after the weekend was over. It’s not that bad, really.

  43. kay says:

    what made you do the weekend?

  44. kay says:

    Can anyone connected with this group tell me if porn is encouraged to “help improve your sex life with your woman? just curious, i suspect.

    • Ted says:

      In my weekend (and I would suspect many other’s) pornography was not discussed, much less encouraged to help improve a man with his sex life.
      Now there was some very blunt, raunchy and spicy stories, discussions and humor that were indeed part of the weekend and thank god for that. This was a healing and bonding experience for myself and many other men that have deep and damaging shame around our sexuality and our darker and suppressed ‘shadow’ sides.

    • Elliott says:

      Yes, pornography was discussed.

    • Dan says:

      Pornography was discussed at my weekend. I recall it being named by some men as an example of an “addiction”, and by others as harmless. There was never any judgement given by Sterling on the subject, except for when it was being described as “addictive” by one man and it was dealt with as a negative aspect of his life. It was then confronted by Sterling by means of his unique approach at removing it. Sterling is very good at focusing on and helping eliminate “addictions” such as these when they are having negative affects on men’s lives.

  45. Ted says:

    The content to the men’s weekend is always changing, evolving, and all men who attend will obviously experience it within their own interpretations, filters and life conditioning. If you have not figured out that the internet is one of the worst places to research events of this nature then wake up. I would also suggest people on this thread look up the word ‘cult’. You will notice there is nothing inherently wrong with one. Today’s interpretation of that word has become biased toward negativity. Again, mine just being another random post on the intraweb, my words will not even come close to the experience men can and have had during this weekend. I personally found Sterling a powerful teacher and he’s simply teaching ancient, tribal, rite of passage lessons that will invariably heal many men.

  46. kay says:

    don’t make any drastic decisions for 2 weeks after sterling, i don’t think you should drive or operate machinery either. c’mon, think for yourself!!!

    my guy put an air conditioner in backwards 1 week after his “weekend”, but still thought he was “the man”

    talk about a screwed up head.

  47. John L says:

    I am surprised at the continuation of this blog. Sterling is a condescending, self-aggrandising, pompous, bigoted jerk who has nothing – zero – to add to a person who has lived experientially in the world. To a group of immature people who have lived in front of tvs and who have worked as they are told to work and who have not experienced the depth and fabric of male-female interaction, then – perhaps – there is a scintilla of value in his absurdities. In retrospect, I would have preferred to spend my weekend cleaning out a barn – shoveling that sort instead of listening to his sort: my one-on-one interaction with Sterling: Him: “You are an asshole”. Me: “You are an asshole”. Him: “You are an asshole.” Me: “Ok, you are an asshole; now your turn again. Isn’t that helpful?” and he walked off with a string of venal pejoratives. He is a little man (physically and intellectually) who has somehow arrived at a place where immature males hang on his every word. Amazing.

    • Chris says:

      Justin Sterling is a little man who wishes so badly to be an Alpha. He takes similar men, and gives them a false sense of self by convincing them that they’re essentially cavemen, and to embrace that part of themselves.

      Use your fellow men for what you need, and women only for what you WANT.

      That’s what they teach, in a nutshell.

      And in turn, they train their women to be submissive house wives who respect the caveman ideology.

      I’ve known several “men” from these groups, and they’re all pussies, but they think they’re Alphas.

      Let me tell you what being a REAL man is: First, you acknowledge the need to evolve. Second, you provide for your lady and family. Third, you respect your woman and want her to be a real individual with her own thoughts…something the Sterling “men” never learn.

      It’s actually really funny to see these men. My brother-in-law thinks he’s a big shot. But he’s actually a twiggy nerd who knows nothing about what being an Alpha really is. But his “men” make him feel like a boss…so all the power to his delusional self, I guess.

      • Dan says:

        Clearly you didn’t do the weekend, and clearly you have such low self esteem that you could really use it.

  48. Did you even do the weekend or you just one of those people who stand on the outside of movements/organizations, lack of a better term, never really committed to anything but finding the faults. Sounds like contempt prior to investigation, vs. 1st hand experience.

    It’s safer to stand on the outside and complain, but it’s far from standing for something worth value and living a purpose living life. There are no fences, you either are or are not… (And this is not to be misconstrued as “Us vs. Them” mentality…)

  49. Elliott says:

    I recently lost interest in being part of this Sterling thing. One thing that concerns me is Sterlings use of the Freemason lodge in Newburg, NY. Sterling denied any involvement with the masons, but that answer doesn’t satisfy my concerns.
    Freemasons have a long history of spawing Cults for thier needs, ex)Jehovahs Witness, Scientology, Mormons. Though, this information is supposed to be secret, the facts cannot be avoided, as Russel founder of what would become JW’s buried in a Pyramid with Watchtower and Mason symbols.

    I saw some of the same symbols at “the weekend”

    If Sterling had no affiliate with Mason Cult Conspiracies, then he would never have been able to afford that place with as few “weekends” there are and he would have transformed the place to have no mason symbols present.
    But, part of the weekend experience involves staring at these symbols fusing in someones mind Sterling to Mason.
    What does this mean? It means alot of things. Mind Control of the masses to meet a certain end of the masons is one thing.

    • Kay says:

      I’m so happy for you!!!
      Although I confess I am ignorant to the whole free mason thing, I’ll have to look that up.

      By the way, Sterling IS loaded thanks to all those volunteers he’s got.

      Any thoughts you’d like to share, by all means.

      I’m an apt pupil with this stuff, actually find it fascinating.

      • Elliott says:

        Freemasonry is probably the most powerful organization in the world. But, they are just another organization for “power laundering” of the worlds elite called “The illuminati” To them a three story building in upstate New York is nothing, when they could probably buy the whole state outright.

        If Sterlings message did not fit into thier ideas, he wouldn’t be allowed to use thier building. Like I said, thier symbols are fully intact there, but wierdly Sterling knows nothing about them.

        There is plenty of leaked CIA evidence on what thier plans are. See the Book ‘Behold a Pale White Horse.
        Some would like you to believe that The Jews are the ones in total power, but this book explains that is not true, though many Jews are in illuminati.

        I went into this Sterling thing with a morbid curiosity about Sterling/Mason connections because I had been studying this topic ever since I realized that the Masons had funded large Cults in the past.

        Some similarites between Sterling and FreeMasonry have to do with:

        1. Population Control
        2. Keeping men in power through secrecy
        3. Not questioning authority (men)
        4. Keeping men as earners and spenders

        It’s all there.

  50. Ted says:

    Oh, boy.

    Well this has been (at times) an interesting discussion.
    Now it’s time for me to beg out.
    Thank you all for the fascinating input and feedback.

    Before I unsubscribe I want to say…

    So many societies have lost their way. Sterling and many others are simply teachers of very old ‘schools’. Other (very different) men that come to mind are Robert Bly, Joseph Campbell, David Deida etc. (oh, and try looking them up on wikipedia before scouring the bowels of the web for ‘dirt’) and despite their chosen methods and personalty traits I firmly believe their efforts are beyond valuable in todays divided and war-torn world. These are men that are teaching us how to love more deeply and have more integrity in our lives wether they live by their own words or not. So in a nut shell, don’t shoot (or even bow down to) the messenger because it’s the message that counts.

    I’m moving to Europe in a couple of weeks and am happily ‘unplugging’ from American culture indefinitely.
    Happy New Decade All!
    May you all experience much love, joy and good hard laughter!

    • Elliott says:

      Ted: “These are men teaching us to love more deeply”

      hello? Sterling hated the word love, he cringed when men brought it up. No love, no emotions. That’s what he taught. Yes, old schools. But, those are the schools of oppression, secrecy and power.

      Like I said, Sterling and others serve a bigger power establishment. That is certain to me.

      The messenger (of love?) doesn’t have much of a message other than 1984’s No Think.

      No Thanks.

  51. kay says:

    Goodbye Ted

    Hopefully you find yourself a stronger and better man because of Sterling,
    but the whole structure of the organization is meant to strengthen bonds so all you guys are dependent on each other ,

    to confide in each other and become emotionally attached to each other and the cause.

    then you have to find more strangers that you HAVE to bond with. then the guys may end up being too geographically distant,
    so you have to regroup and then BOND with more strangers, but it’s all good, it’s ok because you’re all sterling men.

    Maybe we should go back to arranging marriages.
    like you guys do with friendship or whatever you call each other.


    so whats the womans place in all this?
    Sexual satisfaction and rearing up those kids? Good times!
    hows that for strengthening the male female relationship!

    • Elliott says:

      Maybe some men can bond with these strangers, but I have not been able to. But I was called names like: “Feminine, talkative and even The C word”

      When I try to figure out what is meant by things, I was asked why I always had to “Mind Fuck” everything.

      Maybe if I was dumber, I could have fit in.

      Groups like Sterling will appeal to different people. For me, I was bored and isolated and it seemed after a while of pressure from a man, I said, literally “Fuck it”

      I’m sorry but “Fuck it” is like throwing caution to the wind, putting yourself in the trust of men who have gladly let themselves be brainwashed.
      Because, I gave this thing a try because I didn’t want to think about doing something on my own at the time, Some men do this thing because they DO NOT WANT TO THINK.

      • RG says:

        Are you sure you did the Weekend? Your formulations are so off-base that I really wonder how you manage in the world. Are you just looking for attention or do you really buy the bullshit you are typing?

        As I don’t make a practice of giving men advice, this might not land the way I’m intending it to….

        Men around you are calling you out because they care about you on some level and risked any relationship they had with you to let you know about the Men’s Weekend. Deep down, do you believe that you have anything to work on in your life? The way you come across, you seem to be above so much but master of so little. Take the advice of stopping mind fucking everything and get real with yourself and take the risks that would raise you and others around you up, rather than destroying and breaking the confidentiality that you promised not to break. Just stop it. You look and sound like a complete ass. Do you remember what Justin discussed about letting other people know about the Weekend? It makes a lot of sense and it may help you develop into a better life than doing this crap. Email me if you don’t remember. Do you remember??? If not, you missed a pretty easy piece of the Weekend and anything you post here should be discounted and chalked up to “you are a fool who believes he knows it alll” and you are over your head.

      • kay says:

        you should know better.
        BULLSHIT is the term used for expressions of love in your world.

        attack someone who has not found their way (ELLIOTT) but hasn’t chosen your path, and at the

        same time defend the almighty artie, who probably leaves these weekends and gets in one of his 2


        all these years AND YOU STILL NEED TO BE A PART OF THIS????

        i’m not going to email you RG, but this is my response for now.

        i wish elliott would respond, but notice- not a word from him since he wrote about breaking confidentiality.

        this group is dangerous, the weekend is just a continuous ass-kicking of your psyche,

        and if you’re proud of recruiting all these people, ask yourself, why can’t artie do it?

        big man that he is

  52. Kay says:

    Thanks Elliott.

    I ordered that book, and I know what my heart is telling me is true. My head is going right along, but of course it needs facts to substantiate

    • Elliott says:

      It’s a good book Kay, But, it doesn’t say anything about a little runt named Sterling, but it is very helpful nonetheless.

  53. kay says:

    Oh I know, but the whole subject of mind control and the processes involved is fascinating.

    by the way, i think it’s an honor to be called the c word from those goons.

    i was called the same thing while he was in that fXXXing group,
    that set a precedent in an 8 year relationship, that’s for sure.
    i know there’s a porn connection, i know it’s about the dehumanization of women and the “emotional gaity” of the men , i just KNOW.

    I can’t believe this whole thing to be honest with you.

    I’ve read the CODE.
    not one word about respect for women, not one word out of SO MANY RULES.

  54. kay says:

    elliot, please respond so i know youre ok

    • Elliott says:

      Sorry, Kay been away from computers for a bit. Porn is in my opinion, an addicting thing like drugs.

      Sterling, doesn’t have a problem with porn. I don’t have a problem with porn when I’m in addictive mode. But, I feel in my gut, that it’s something to stay away from. That’s me.

  55. kay says:

    thoughts and feelings are our, we own them.

    . that’s what makes everyone unique.

    if we choose to give up the responsibility and power for thinking for ourselves then our world

    becomes a no guts no glory society

    Im just glad youre ok.

    • Elliott says:

      I know you are interested in Sterlings view on porn. I don’t believe that it was his agenda to talk about porn. Of course, anyone who listens to him knows he is for porn, by the way he talks so vulgarly.
      Is porn okay or is it destructive?

      Who would want thier daughter to be in porn? ….

      It’s pretty obvious the life is destructive.

  56. kay says:

    yes i agree, again it was something that i sensed in his whole attitude,

    it was different long before i found it on the computer, dates which coincided with his involvement. it made him distant, apathetic, and just a total smug smartass . sterling provides some kind of a drug to these guys to make them feel all kinds of bravada which of course, is normal for a teenager, not a grown man

    problem is, you have to keep the feeling going by doing all thar crap for the cause, God forbid you might feel your natural age.

    Yes, porn is destructive, but it’s not his only game

    • Elliott says:

      I think of a grown man as intellegent. Not some foul mouthed, guy spitting out canned one liners….cause it’s not “manly” to talk too much. Stupid.

      • Elliott says:

        I was thinking (something they seemed to hate) that maybe Sterling doesn’t bring up porn, per se because even though it would the thing he would promote but…..

        Even though men (males) are the primary consumers of porn, porn is a symbol of being a loser. You know what I mean? There is nothing to strive for if thats all you do is watch porn. No man in his right mind, Sterling man or not would brag about sitting at home all weekend watching porn alone. Kind of pathetic, right?
        Now, picking up 2 or 3 different women, sleeping with them, lying to them, and dumping them all later systematically because you are in “short term relationship” mode would be something to make Sterling proud.
        Just as pathetic to brag about, if you ask me.

  57. kay says:

    Just think about it.

    during the weekend, you are sleep and food deprived.

    your body reacts the best way it can, by flooding you with all kinds of neurotransmitters, hormones

    (yes, Steroids, Epinephrine, etc.) , while youre being fed a constant barrage of information

    skewed toward making you a

    better man…….but the subject content is sex, sex, sex.

    mens personal inadaquacies are shared, mostly by

    hardcore longtime members masquerading as “new guys” it’s all theatre

    how else does a man whos been sleep deprived for 2 1/2 days come out feeling like he can

    take on the world and solve all it’s problems?

    and how do you sustain this awesome feeling?

    oh no, not by eating right, exercising, and getting rest, oh no, this feeling can only be sustained by

    staying with the men, and probably looking at porn which is a guaranteed long term killer of real intimacy.

    no wonder men get hooked, i think the hook for women is a much more emotional one,

    but what guy wants to feel his age?? and so goes the perversity

    oh yeah, long term effects of those hormonal barrages can’t be good for the body at all.

    • Elliott says:

      I’m having a lot of fun chatting with you Kay.
      So, do you think they put some hormones in the coffee or water? That would be an interesting turn of events? I just don’t know how someone would prove it though.
      Sex, Sex, Sex….
      Seems like the topic would keep people up. I know looking back, I was surprized I didn’t fall asleep. I was thinking that the lighting must have done it.

      My next question is though..
      What does he possibly say to the women that would attract them? Does he blame them for all the problems in a relationship? He wants men to worship thier fathers and grandfathers, but didn’t say a thing about thier mothers. Are we to believe that fathers are Better than mothers. I can’t say that’s the case in my family. Saturday night, us men did the “f*ck you bitch” exercise where we told off all the females in our lives. At that time, I didn’t have any real negative feelings toward any women, so it was a stretch for me. But, funny there was no “F*ck off Asshole” exercise to tell of any men in our lives. What gives? Seems a little unbalanced to me. Smells like sexist propaganda if I ever saw it.

  58. kay says:

    yeah, and whats the point of becoming enraged at something that may have happened whenever?

    if it’s still bothering you, see a therapist, and if that doesnt work, find some kind of group that meets

    at the local hospital for an hour a week so you can have a life.

    what about the lights? do you remember what type they were?

    I was listening to a radio talk show awhile ago, and the subject matter was prison inmates

    it seems that the mothers day cards fly off the shelves, but the fathers day cards sit there,

    practically untouched.

    the father son relationship is the one that should be explored, it seems as if mom is always “there”, even

    when the chips are down, i dont know what it means, but its kind of a sad testament to male relationships.

    anyway, Elliot,t, it’s a blast talking to you too, and I think your honesty is very refreshing.

    I also think maybe your years as a JW sharpened your senses to recognize what was going on.

    Theres so much sadness in the world, and so many casualties of life out there,

    i can only hope that they can find something in their lives that can help them

    other than being on the team and giving up their identity.

    it’s like this- alcoholics tend to develop the same character traits and flaws,

    and it sounds like these guys also develop identical traits. scary.

    theyre not really dazzling the lady folk either if this blog is any measure of the

    female response to being a sterling guy.

    so it seems they have to hook up with or change their women into sterlingites

    at some point to maintain their relationship.

    • Elliott says:

      There were I think, about 8 large lights around the room. We barely saw the light of day, as the windows were boarded up. The lights barely changed, aside from exercises that were dancing or yelling. I’m not sure what it all means, but I know I did think about it.

  59. Elliott says:

    So, the Sterling Mens group may allow use of porn, things they do judge on are:

    eating “non Manly foods”
    asking questions
    having conversations
    saying the word “guy”
    saying sorry
    saying thank you
    speaking out against the C word
    being too wordy
    actually showing real love expressions that should be reffered to as “bullshit”
    any number of things that may pop into thier head that they don’t like at the time

    It is not a warm accepting group, which allows for personal expression but an uptight, ornery bunch of losers with the chief loser, Sterling behind it all

  60. kay says:

    so what are manly foods? im getting red meat

    this stuff sounds so familiar…. you done a point team, i’m guessing it was started between thankgiving and Xmas
    i have some specific questions now, because it all hits too close to home, even now.
    i dont know if you would be willing to private message me on the rick ross site

  61. kay says:

    OK if anyone is alive out there, her’s something interesting i found :

    –Pornography actually causes a chemical bath in the brain,

    when this happens the endorphins released are 5 to 7 times more addictive than cocaine.

    The addiction begins and at that point the addict can receive a chemical bath just by thinking about

    previously viewed pornography, or by rehashing fantasies that were concocted while viewing


    I have known individuals who would receive an endorphin release just by hearing the sound the computer

    makes as it logs onto the internet.

    Prolonged use of pornography will actually alter the chemistry of the brain.

    People in this condition need constant stimulation and endorphin release just to feel some what normal.

    If the stimulus stops usually a deep depression or anxiety takes them over.

    Like any other addiction the mild images you begin with will soon lose their effect in the release of

    endorphins, and to obtain the same level of excitement more and more vulgar scenes will be sought out

    until you are far from the person you were when you started.

    this article goes on to detail ted bundy, our infamous poster boy of serial killers,

    who was addicted to porn and utilized it heavily prior to murdering his victims.

    anyone out there who thinks porn is just wholesome man fun is seriously mistaken

  62. kay says:

    Elliot, if you’re interested, set up an acct and let me know your username.
    i’m a little zoned out from a head cold and your last post

  63. Elliott says:

    The one thing that porn does is it makes women seem like they have no mind. That is where the conditioning starts that women are all the same or they have nothing to say. But, facebook is like the opposite all mind and no body. Whether Sterling pushed porn outright or just treated all women like they are less than men…He did on one occasion say “They’re all the same” the message is the same. I’ll get back to you about username stuff.

  64. kay says:

    fair enough, for confidentiality reasons, i dont want to name names, etc. on this post, but any generalized info is much appreciated……..

    so what do you think real cavemen would be doing today?

    certainly not using their snowblowers, going into their nice heated homes and watching tv.

    while the little women puts forth a MANLY FEAST full of MANLY FOODS

    anyone who believes the sterling slant on historical events should take an anthropology class or at least pick up a book.

    men and women are all in this together, and if you and your mate have a problem the first person you should discuss it with is THEM, not a bunch of people whom you REALLY don’t know, and who don’t know your mate.

    i am researching sleep deprivaion and its physiological effects of the brain/ body, so far it’s not looking good for this sterling weekend

    bright lights to keep you awake, just awake enough for your brain waves to hook into whats being said on a level we’re probably not even aware of

    your liver pumping out tons of sugar to keep your body going, the steroids your endocrine glands are pumping out, testosterone, etc

    THE HUMAN BODY IS NOT MEANT TO OPERATE THIS WAY, it places phenomenal stress on your body and your brain, henceforth your mind.

    Steroid levels skyrocket AFTER prolonged sleep depreivaion, which is why on monday morning

    after the weekend from hell you guys feel like rambo with a massive hard on

    it’s manipulation of the highest degree, sterling wants you to abandon science and rational thought, but he embraces it to get you hooked

    • Elliott says:

      That’s the other thing. Sterling says to wear your mask everywhere you go and take it off for the “men”. But, aside from understanding and experiencing how porn is addictive, I had really nothing in common with these guys. So, if I take my mask off and be honest, it’s like I’m told I’m feminine (because I think) to bascially Put the mask back on. What’s going on now, at least here and on facebook, in order to be accepted without my mask, I have to talk to women. It seems like they are the only ones with a brain nowerdays. up is down down is up…..

  65. kay says:

    i do believe that not all men are jerks, but i will say this:

    women are working and supporting themselves now more than ever

    women have alot more power than they used to

    theyre providing sole support for their families alot more

    theyre alot more stressed out than they used to be

    some women are getting smarter and stronger in order to adapt,

    some are abusing drugs or alcohol more to relieve stress

    theres been an increase in female usage of pornography thanks to the internet and all that stress of life

    some people would say women are becoming the new men

    this is alot for a nice, good guy to deal with


    the relationship between a man and a woman has the opportunity to be more balanced and equal today

    than it’s ever been. depends on the people involved

    c’mon you don’t need to find the perfect person, just the one who’s right for you

    someone you can confide in, trust, have fun with, argue with, and just be yourself

    that’s what i had, i hope someday to get to that point again in my relationship,

    i have faith in my guy and my


    and as far as i’m concerned, sterling knocked on the wrong door we he came into our life

    if i can convince 1 person to NOT do this groupmindf**k,

    no matter how down, lonely or vulnerable you may be,

    i will not be happy

    my goal is 100 people twice a year, oh yeah, and all you members,

    pull that out of your arsehole

    because those of us that see this group for what it really is have a responsibility to those who are at

    a disadvantage and that is to present facts everywhere we can about this group and all the others like it

    • Elliott says:

      Yeah Kay!

      I totally agree. Look how far I’ve come in saying that. Seems like just yesterday, I thought Sterling was the coolest guy around. That must have been that group bonding, false male ego and other head factors about initiation that you pointed out..lights, sleep deprivation.
      It seems that people can be duped too easy. There’s certainly a calculated, brainwashing going on there. And, even though Sterling says to not repeat the contents of the weekend, I say….This is not a Communist State, this is not a Fascist state.. At least here in the US at this time We have Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press. So, this destructive Con Artist Must be exposed!!

  66. kay says:

    HERES some more MAN FOOD FOR THOUGHT found this in a russian book: tell me if this is all inclusive in the “WEEKEND”

    brainwashing & mind control techniques

    1) HYPNOSIS – Inducing a high state of suggestibility, often thinly disguised as relaxation or meditation.

    a. Repetitive Music (most likely with a beat close to the human heart 45 to 72 beats per minute). Most likely used during “study sessions” as the teacher will say the music helps you relax and concentrate better!

    . Room “Feel” – The way a room feels is essential to hypnotizing unknowing subjects.

    It needs special lighting, florescent lights are best because they aren’t too dim, but aren’t too harsh.

    Also, Room Temp helps a bit, usually a little cooler than normal room temperature.

    You need to have the unknowing subjects very relaxed, perhaps even close to falling asleep.

    2) PEER GROUP PRESSURE – Suppressing doubt and resistance to new ideas by exploiting the need to belong.

    ) REJECTION OF OLD VALUES – Accelerating acceptance of new lifestyle by constantly denouncing former beliefs and values.

    5) CONFUSING DOCTRINE – Encouraging blind acceptance and rejection of logic through complex lectures on an incomprehensible doctrine.

    6) METACOMMUNICATION – Implanting subliminal messages by stressing certain key words or phrases in long, confusing lectures.

    7) REMOVAL OF PRIVACY – Achieving loss of ability to evaluate logically by preventing private contemplation.

    8) DISINHIBITION – Encouraging child-like obedience by orchestrating child-like behaviour

    9) UNCOMPROMISING RULES – Inducing regression and disorientation by soliciting agreement to seemingly simple rules which regulate mealtimes, bathroom breaks and use of medications.

    10) VERBAL ABUSE – Desensitizing through bombardment with foul and abusive language. (Physical abuse, such as torture, is the more extreme form of this.)

    11) SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND FATIGUE – Creating disorientation and vulnerability by prolonging mental an physical activity and withholding adequate rest and sleep.

    13) CHANTING OR SINGING – Eliminating non-cult ideas through group repetition of mind-narrowing chants or phrases.

    14) CONFESSION – Encouraging the destruction of individual ego through confession of personal weaknesses and innermost feelings of doubt.

    16) FINGER POINTING – Creating a false sense of righteousness by pointing to the shortcomings of the outside world.

    20) GAMES – Inducing dependence on the group by introducing games with obscure rules.

    21) NO QUESTIONS – Accomplishing automatic acceptance of beliefs by discouraging questions.

    22) GUILT – Reinforcing the need for ‘salvation’ by exaggerating the sins of the former lifestyles

    what do any of you tjhink of this?

    • Elliott says:

      BINGO!! Good work, Kay! This is exactly what it is!

      • kay says:

        why is it anyone i establish a truthful dialog with on this subject disappears?

        elliot, let me know you’re ok, if you would like to private message me on the rick ross site my username is tiggerwil

      • roger says:


        You are 100% correct this is brainwashing and is a cult; however I also think there are many positive things that come from it as well. I will be posting my full review after I read all of the comments and I would love to hear what you have to say.

  67. kay says:

    ok elliot-
    let me know you’re ok.
    you’re the only source of truth i have regarding this whole mess,
    you dont have to give out any more info or thoughts if you dont want to,
    just say hi

  68. bd says:

    I used to work with quite a few of the Men’s weekend faithful. One of them was into it very hardcore. Volunteering pretty much all of his free time to Justin Sterling. He had been doing this for over 10 years and was responsible for recruiting about 10 or so of my co-workers to do the weekend. Me being responsible, and happily married with kids, I never took the “bait”. It was never for me because i never had the problems in life that my co-workers had.

    I will say that it changed a couple of the guys’ lives from bad to good. Going from drug users with horrible relationship problems to clean responsible people, and pretty good “co-worker friends”. But, I could sense the “women hater” in them, and they would often preach exactly what ive read on the internet about the Mens Weekend. After working with a few of these guys for almost 9 years, I could never get it out of them about what the weekend was about. I was always told to just go and see for yourself. Alot of people i worked with speculated that the weekend included a boot camp mentality and nudity. After reading the Rick Ross site, I guess it was true.

    So, one of the mens weekend graduates, and a pretty good friend of mine, invited me and a few other gulable co-workers to a saturday barbeque at the park that included some flag football. We thought sure, sounds like fun. We show up and theres about 50 people, all age ranges, and very friendly. I only knew about 5 of them(my co-workers). There was a bbq and some random conversations and then some fun flag football. What happened after was truly bizarre. Everyone was asked to form a circle. Each of the “recruits”(me and the 4 other invitees) were asked to stand in the middle of the circle of about 45 people. My “good friend” that invited me spoke up and told us these were his friends from the “weekend”, and they were here to help us with any advice, problems, or anything about life in general we wanted to talk about. We were also asked to talk about our relationships. At this point, me and the other guys standing in the circle were like W.T.F. We kinda gave bs short statements just to get out of there. We were then asked to form groups of 5 and perform a “ceremony” of jumping and screaming in a “fun” way, i guess. This was really bizarre and I was pissed my “good friend” had invited me to a recruitment bbq knowing I wasnt interested in the men’s weekend movement. At the end, each of the 4 invitees were asked to commit to a weekend. All of us declined. The following Monday, my “good friend” told me having a recruitment party was part of his initiation to this mens movement. I just wished he had given me forewarning about what it entailed.

    This pretty much confirmed for me that this thing is cult-like. I felt like these guys were brainwashed. Yes it changed some of their lives for the better. The other 7 or so co-workers that attended the mens weekend never really changed and still have the same personal problems. They’ve told me it was a waste of time and money. I guess if you really need a change in your life and have no other answers then maybe its good for you.

    • kay says:

      that really sounds like the gayest thing i ever heard.

      sons of maine is connected to sterling and their code of honor is extremely similiar. here it is:

      This is the code we live by. Every situation or decision in our lives can be run against the filter of the honor code and the answer will be clear … if you only listen.

      Commitment Before Ego
      Honor the Truth
      Respect Confidentiality
      Keep Your Word
      Be a 3-Dimensional Man
      Be Prepared
      Defend Humanity
      Always Be Faithful to the Men
      Defend the Code
      Never Engage in Battle with Weaker Opponents
      Fight only Honorable Battles
      Earn and Honor Rank
      Embrace all Men
      Be Humble
      Be an Example to Children

      see any guidelines in there on treatment or respect of women?

      there’s also this:


      GIVE HER 45 MINUTES OF YOUR TIME!! Completely focus on her, don’t speak unless you must. Just nod your head, agree and say uh huh a lot. You must be able to recite every word at a minutes notice.

      Spend sunday afternoon with her, instead of watching football. Guaranteed BJ.

      You be the judge , to me it is the most manipulative pathetic thing i’ve rever read, especially about the guaranteed bj.

      • RG says:

        Whoever put together that ridiculous list of tips from Justin is making it up or never got it. The Men’s and Women’s Weekend are about how to improve the family unit and all people in the family. It’s about knowing what matters most in a relationship and how to live a life of higher integrity and character. It’s about overcoming barriers that we all have that drag us and others around us down!

        It’s about meeting your partners needs, the needs of children and your own personal needs. It’s about building a life and a legacy that leaves the world a better place than we found it.

        The Weekends provide a training ground for men and women to better themselves and all of their relationships through hard work and commitment to others.

        If a graduate would like to discuss the points they may have missed or need a reminder of what matters most, please email me. My wife and I are both graduates, have been married for 16 years, have 2 great children and are successful. The Weekends have brought us closer and we are united as parents, as partners and as members of our communities.

        Anyone who reads this post that is interested in understanding if a Mens or Womens Weekend would benefit them, please email me. I have been on men’s teams since 1995, have enrolled over 25 men and women into Weekends and have really good and solid relationships with people that have either graduated from the Weekend or have not.

        To those people that mock, misrepresent, bash and generally crush the good that this Weekend and all the volunteers that make it happen has done and will continue to do, consider this: THIS WEEKEND IS FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL THE CHILDREN OF PARTNERSHIPS NOW AND IN THE FUTURE. The Weekends protect men and women from quitting on the family. The Weekend gives men and women tools to not risk a child’s well-being unecessarily by getting or staying in an incompatable relationship. The Weekend causes men and women to dig deep and work hard. It’s not for everyone, but it helps all of us.

        Either sign up, tell others about it or get out of the way of someone who is….and clear a path for them. They need it.

      • Dawn says:

        Sorry to be so late to the party. Kay, I’m wondering if you could refrain from using the term “gay” when referring to something that you don’t like? You (understandably) don’t like the misogyny in the Sterling group, and I would like to point out that there’s no place for anti-gay language here either.

      • kay says:

        Not really a party Dawn, sorry you don’t like the terminology. Just making a point that the perception of “manly” was skewed by perception. I know you can see past the slight. In no way was I trying to portray gay as being a bad thing. To err is human, to be self righteous and offended is also human, but to what extent is the question

  69. Clem says:

    You just about have it on the process, but you have to allow your friend to get worse before you start the deprogramming efforts. Whether it is men from their weekend or women from theirs, both groups often come away thinking they know something, that relationship pieces fit just so… Of course that part is nonsense with just enough truth in it to make it believable. But and it is a big but – just like feminists at their beginning or civil rights activists at their beginning, these folks need to overdo it for awhile, else they slip back into whatever it was that drove them to be (in your friends case milk-toast).

    As time progresses your friend will incorporate some of the lessons, learn for himself which are of value and which are either over stressed by him or just plain wrong. Like any real change it takes time. And if you are going to deprogram him at all, then you will need to understand the context of what he learned – because while his statements are from the weekend, you are hearing them out of context. So go to the women’s weekend if you really want to know, then work the stuff yourself for awhile and then look at your friend again. Give up any notion of going to the Men’s weekend in male drag – you will not succeed and will only divert time and attention away from the work the good men who did go are doing there.

    (yes I am a graduate of the weekend and a former active member, both the weekend and the work contributed to the man I am.)

  70. kay says:

    clem, i’m a little confused.

    it sounds to me, and correct me if i’m wrong, that this is something that a person gets into to the point of being programmed,

    but you also said it made you a better man.

    mind my asking what was going on before you got into it?

    and of course, i have to ask also, are you in a relationship and are you happy with it?

  71. kay says:

    mens weekends coming up on east/west coast, hmm,,,,

    you guys must be pushing the recruitement chant hard for your hero

    maybe you should all be expending that energy you’re wasting on this creepy group on your families and

    other meaningful relationships you may have been putting on the back burner for sterling.

    men, set yourselves free!

    have fun


  72. Millicent says:

    Hi all,

    I lost track of this comment thread for awhile, but I want to thank you all for your contributions. It’s been an incredibly enlightening conversation. For those wondering about my friend, I decided against trying to deprogram him. He’s always been a good friend and on reflection, I decided it would be arrogant for me to assume that I could or should lead him away from a path he thinks is right. That said, I would be lying if I said I sought his company the way I used to. Our friendship has suffered. I’m wary of him in the way one is wary of all those friends trying to evangelize us to causes we don’t believe in. One feels, when talking to him, that he’s parroting talking points. The real person is hidden somewhere beneath the layers of script. He tried, for example, to recruit me to the Women’s Weekend. I refused and told him (some honesty seemed warranted on that occasion, since the attempt to recruit me was, in my view, an abuse of our friendship) I was disappointed that he would suggest it, and that I didn’t want to hear any more about it. He replied that it had done his girlfriend (who he met through the Institute) a world of good. They are no longer together. I have no idea why.

    That’s the update! I still like the friend living somewhere underneath all those layers enormously; and I’ll always be grateful for his friendship. Fifteen years don’t go away just like that. If he emerges from the cloud and gives himself permission to be a real person again, and me permission to see the real guy, not the performance, I’ll be waiting for him.

    • kay says:

      So sorry to hear about the change in your friend.

      he’s making lots of new friends though, and trying to make even more quickly in order to turn them on to the weekend and keep the vulcan mind melt machine going.

      he’ll come around.

  73. A says:

    My dad does the Sterling Weekends, he is a wonderful man. He has been married to my mother for over 20 years and has always been faithful, loving, and completely devoted to her. He also treats her as an equal partner in the relationship. He does believe men should be masculine (but in no way does he act or treat women like we are inferior and he would never expect my mom to conform to a gender role) and that we all have certain natural instincts that we’ve had throughout history (which is in fact backed by science, but in no way does that mean we must conform to them, but we need to understand them and they don’t make us unequal, just different) I am a female and my father has never raised me to believe I was inferior (I was taught I was capable of anything and everything), I should never be treated any less than perfect by a man, and I must be strong, independant (never dependant on a man!), and intelligent. Some of the things I have read about what people say is very disturbing and I read these “horror” stories about men in the sterling group and how horrible they are, but my father is a wonderful man who has been faithful husband and equal partner to my mom for 20+ years, he has been a great father and so much more involved, supportive, kind, and much more loving than most fathers are to their children these days. My father has been apart of the group for probably a good 15 or more years, he is confidential about it because he believes in being honorable to his word, he has been a wonderful mentor to my brother and me and truly raised us the best possible way a parent could. There is a huge misconception about this group and a huge generalization about anyone who is in. Yes, there are probably people who take the sterling weekend to the extreme and cling to it (but how many people are you hearing from, 20-30? Out of how many people who actually go?) Of course there are “nuts” in every group, but come on, we are smarter then that to assume it’s a cult and take the words of some people who clung to closely and worshipped the material and took it to a whole different level, and people who already had a formed opinion about the group from these types of sites. So please people, there are always the “strange” ones in everygroup, but that doesn’t mean you can generalize to the entire group and all members.

  74. Mary says:

    I’ve been dating a wonderful guy who took the weekend over 15 years ago and has weekly team meetings and every few months other sessions. He is a wonderful partner to me, A great father to his children and their friends, has many friends both in and out of the mens group. In some of these postings it sounds like an odd cult and a terrible influence for some. The man I have come to know and love gets alot from his team of men and I have seen them go out and help others through community service and just being available to each other. There are going to be bad seeds in any group. I will add that Mr Sterling himself is probably arrogant and obnoxious as many who gain success and wealth tend to be, I would hope he also has his compassionate kind moments, too.

  75. margo says:

    I have read all of the posts to this thread. I would like to say a few of my personal experiences with ”the weekend” and what changes have resulted from it. At first, when recruited by a man to go, I had a ton of questions about it. None of them were answered, and I was referred to a lady. She and I met, and got down to brass tacks about all my ”issues”. I enjoyed what seemed to be nonjudging takes on my common human problems. As I proceeded the realities of what I had signed up for became apparent . Who can fault anyone for trying to be better? Looking at successful people as a reference is usually positive, and that’s the point this lady made. What I didn’t know is this women is so alone, so attention starved, and so unhappy in her marriage she now needs women or insane amounts of alcohol! She would have no one if she didn’t! Her husband, also a member, is in the same boat. (we all have our crap). So, since I had agreed to give it a shot, my ‘man’ started reconnecting to ‘his men’. We had been having problems, and I was about to walk. What I couldn’t understand was his inability to accept responsibility for the major wrongs he had done. There was also a huge amount of lying. So I wondered how well this group would help, when he was not being as they say ”honorable”. However, we could still sit down and talk for hours. We could still argue, but out of love and care to the future of an ”us” (i bet you guys know what I mean by that). We cared, respected eachother, and tried! However, as soon as he ”connected”, he changed. He became someone that treated me like an enemy and an annoyance. I felt like he had turned his back on me. He wouldn’t discuss anything to do with us anymore , would tell me to ”call a woman”, would talk to me like I was inferior, and took no responsibility for even the smallest things that went wrong. He shut me OUT! I would ask why he was doing this or that, and got answers like ”i don’t have relationship skills, its your responsibility”. So I would say things like, ”ok then I’m taking it, and here’s the deal 2 people are in a relationship so get on board or I can go.” He said, ”you look pretty get me a beer”. I explained not having to rant for hours isn’t the same as being totally disengaged and leaving me alone in a relationship…bc then i’m not in a relationship, I’m alone! I have a book of examples of how a caring, fun, ‘he’s the one’ kinda guy, turned into a flakey, distant, slavedriver. I really could floor you guys with my experience, but ”im a woman, and I live for problems” HA I will go ahead and say I fix them not live for them! So, I want desperately to have my man back with the light in his eyes for me not men! Also, I ask a pretty common questio, but how is this helping relationships, teaching men to disengage and go limp? The REAL men with lifelong commited relationships I have seen didn,t sit around and disrespect women or ignore them. They showed up, and didn’t need to be in a group of panties or pansies to do it! also, the relationship was never anyone’s biz!…even the kids! That was private! NOW JUSTIN STERLING THAT’S REAL OLDSCHOOL! Then again alot of Granny’s didn’t work bc we weren’t a two income society yet! Different times my friends! Take what works of the old and learn with the ! …………So tell me do I have a hope in him snapping out of it? Any helpful thoughts? Ps it’s not a cult, but we can all be weak minded about love and ego! It helps some, but more men than 20-30 leave with a reason to checkout of their relationships . Some women need a life, and it gives them false purpose. Hardwired dna….i’d buy that, except we are mostly hardwired to adapt and change ie. Think apply execute ….it’s how we got from hunting/gathering to paycheck@paycheck (remember we have opposible thumbs ……and it’s a fact social skills adapt first…go read up in new books (modern science is amazing, it explains a lot) most importantly though…wait for it…….we don’t live in the bc times! they didn’t face the world we do! Reality check! Meek spineless men and women can benefit by someone giving them sadly misinformed but usable balls…everyone else finds it as good as any of the other subscription paths. Only other plus is some new friends, that may or may not cause or pressure you to neglect your spouse. Thanks for reading! Would love comments! say a few of my personal experiences with ”the weekend” and what changes have resulted from it. At first, when recruited by a man to go, I had a ton of questions about it. None of them were answered, and I was referred to a lady. She and I met, and got down to brass tacks about all my ”issues”. I enjoyed what seemed to be nonjudging takes on my common human problems. As I proceeded the realities of what I had signed up for became apparent . Who can fault anyone for trying to be better? Looking at successful people as a reference is usually positive, and that’s the point this lady made. What I didn’t know is this women is so alone, so attention starved, and so unhappy in her marriage she now needs women or insane amounts of alcohol! She would have no one if she didn’t! Her husband, also a member, is in the same boat. (we all have our crap). So, since I had agreed to give it a shot, my ‘man’ started reconnecting to ‘his men’. We had been having problems, and I was about to walk. What I couldn’t understand was his inability to accept responsibility for the major wrongs he had done. There was also a huge amount of lying. So I wondered how well this group would help, when he was not being as they say ”honorable”. However, we could still sit down and talk for hours. We could still argue, but out of love and care to the future of an ”us” (i bet you guys know what I mean by that). We cared, respected eachother, and tried! However, as soon as he ”connected”, he changed. He became someone that treated me like an enemy and an annoyance. I felt like he had turned his back on me. He wouldn’t discuss anything to do with us anymore , would tell me to ”call a woman”, would talk to me like I was inferior, and took no responsibility for even the smallest things that went wrong. He shut me OUT! I would ask why he was doing this or that, and got answers like ”i don’t have relationship skills, its your responsibility”. So I would say things like, ”ok then I’m taking it, and here’s the deal 2 people are in a relationship so get on board or I can go.” He said, ”you look pretty get me a beer”. I explained not having to rant for hours isn’t the same as being totally disengaged and leaving me alone in a relationship…bc then i’m not in a relationship, I’m alone! I have a book of examples of how a caring, fun, ‘he’s the one’ kinda guy, turned into a flakey, distant, slavedriver. I really could floor you guys with my experience, but ”im a woman, and I live for problems” HA I will go ahead and say I fix them not live for them! So, I want desperately to have my man back with the light in his eyes for me not men! Also, I ask a pretty common questio, but how is this helping relationships, teaching men to disengage and go limp? The REAL men with lifelong commited relationships I have seen didn,t sit around and disrespect women or ignore them. They showed up, and didn’t need to be in a group of panties or pansies to do it! also, the relationship was never anyone’s biz!…even the kids! That was private! NOW JUSTIN STERLING THAT’S REAL OLDSCHOOL! Then again alot of Granny’s didn’t work bc we weren’t a two income society yet! Different times my friends! Take what works of the old and learn with the ! …………So tell me do I have a hope in him snapping out of it? Any helpful thoughts? Ps it’s not a cult, but we can all be weak minded about love and ego! It helps some, but more men than 20-30 leave with a reason to checkout of their relationships . Some women need a life, and it gives them false purpose. Hardwired dna….i’d buy that, except we are mostly hardwired to adapt and change ie. Think apply execute ….it’s how we got from hunting/gathering to paycheck@paycheck (remember we have opposible thumbs ……and it’s a fact social skills adapt first…go read up in new books (modern science is amazing, it explains a lot) most importantly though…wait for it…….we don’t live in the bc times! they didn’t face the world we do! Reality check! Meek spineless men and women can benefit by someone giving them sadly misinformed but usable balls…everyone else finds it as good as any of the other subscription paths. Only other plus is s

    • kay says:

      unfortunately, you have my sympathy.

      my guy went to the june 09 weekend in God awful newburgh after 2 years of being

      pushed by his brother to do it
      in those 2 years my guy complained “thats all he wants to talk about. it’s creepy”

      but in those 2 years we went through some difficult times, and wham, opportunity knocked for big bro, and my guy went.

      i couldn’t believe what was happening to us.

      he left the group in dec 09 after constant nagging by me.

      in those 6 months, my mother almost died, we moved into a new house, and where was he?

      with his new “family”

      was he there for me at all? just for sex. outside of that,

      he was too busy going into the woods confiding personal stuff and setting goals like

      “i’ve gotta get my emissions done”. imagine the enormity of that task. he also spent his leisure time

      looking at the most horrific porn i’ve ever seen, and talking on the phone all the time and of course lying to me about everything he was doing.

      he has never been on time for anything with me, but did all their shit straight up, no questions asked just like a clock

      who did all the work for moving?
      yours truly

      who raised our young child?
      yours truly him and his buddies moved the furniture but that was it.

      who was there for me when my mother suffered brain damage from emergency surgery?

      no body.

      i can now say that i have no respect for him, to this day he doesn’t listen to me, we have no intimacy, he continues to lie to me, and most of his socialization takes place without me.

      he was working a phenomonal amount of hours 2 years ago, and had very little time for us which was a major problem.

      at a visit over his bros, sis in law asked him “when are you going to take a weekend off?

      not for his family, of course, but for that fucking mind altering weekend.

      she’s of course a sterling woman.

      i am now full of hatred for this new improved man and his brother and sister in law for interfering in our lives.

      my guy still seems to stick to the principles of what he learned, it’s evident in everything he does.

      theres a post here about a woman who cheated on her husband. she was called a slut by someone on this blog.

      if i could meet a decent man who genuinely is interested in what i think, do, hope and dream, i’d gladly become a slut myself.

      better a happy slut than a pathetic sap who has to tolerate a minimally functional life.

      oh yes, his drive to make money is all emcompassing too now. as if that’s the be all end all.

      i’m ready to put a golden calf in the living room.

  76. ep says:

    I found this all fascinating. I went to the Sterling Men’s Weekend in the 90’s. It was enlightening and full of good and bad things. Most men today tend to be a bit too ‘in their head’ and over-intellectualize things. Sometimes its a good thing to get down to some simple ways of approaching the world and other men. And I got a lot out of it.

    Unfortunately there’s a ton of content provided in a short period of time, and a huge range of people in these weekends – from college professors to successful CEOs to construction workers to garbage men to complete losers. The material is presented in a way that dumbs down the message so that everyone in the room can understand it – and if they can’t understand it, at least there’s some ‘formula’ to follow.

    I disagreed with about half the contents of the weekend. But the other half were enlightening and valuable. I found the teams that formed after the weekend to be super cultish. I never signed up or agreed to go to them. Some of my friends did, and none of them became long-term cult members or did anything crazy. But we’re a pretty smart and successful bunch, and don’t suffer fools well.

    A few other men that did the weekend with me and others who did the weekend at other times decided a few years later to form a ‘men’s group’ and get together once a week. This was super valuable, mainly because outside the context of Sterling, and without any pressure to recruit men to go to the weekend, we just spent time together and had fun and helped each other out with advice, or an ear. It also helped because these were my friends – people I’d known for years and years, and we were friends by choice, not because of the experience of some ‘weekend’ that we did together.

    I liked the Men’s weekend, and got value out of it. I don’t know how “life changing In general I suggest not signing up for anything that feels like a cult – and the ongoing workshops or additional ‘courses’ that things like Landmark Forum offer seem like a waste of energy. A bunch of my friends who did Landmark tried to get me to go, and I never did.

    Here’s the thing – for every story above of relationships destroyed by the Men’s weekend – I would bet that most of those relationships were already on a bad, bad path. I’ve seen major positive transformations from both Sterling weekends and Landmark forums. And I’ve seen people who’s lives were a mess before and after both. And for people searching for something outside themselves to give their lives meaning, they’re going to find it somewhere – either a Cult, an organization, a church, or the local Rotary Club.

  77. Rene PEDRAZA says:

    Escaped last night from night One of the Sterling “weekend” after being taken into a motel not fit for a crack whore, filthy, brown water in toilets and showers and the intakers wearing NRA jackets and another who looked like he was on Crystal Meth. Ran to train depot. Luckily my “sponsor” fronted the cast out of his desperation to force me to attend. Had not looked it up on NET. So THRILLED I ESCAPED….

    • stantonl says:

      Where was this “weekend” from which you escaped? People walk out of weekends every time, at various points. No need to run away to a train depot. I booked my own accommodations when I went – a shared room near the facility. Nothing fancy, but no “intakers” were there to guard us.

      My marriage was about to break up when I attended. Fourteen years later, my wife still credits Sterling for saving our marriage. She has sent more men to the training than I have – via girlfriends of hers who are having trouble with their men. And my wife is not and never has been involved with Sterling herself. We recently moved to a different state, and she has been nagging me a little – wanting to know when I am going to get off my ass and connect with the local Sterling men. The secrecy does not bother her a bit. She knows the value of confidentiality, as she is a very successful psychotherapist.

      Yes – taken out of context, things can be made to look sinister. And some men take things to extremes, or too literally, and let their lives (and relationships) get badly out of balance. But properly used, as a tool for upping the ante in ones life, it can be the best thing that ever happened to a man, and to his family and community as well.

      • Charles says:

        Your experience is unique compared to every other account of the weekend I’ve heard, including my own. Control of schedule, venue and accommodation have ever been constants in the Sterling weekend, to my understanding.
        As far as the weekend is concerned, I agree it’s not as sinister as often made out. I DO think the institute is more interested in lining its coffers than positively transforming lives, but that’s not to suggest that some people won’t benefit. I think for most people the benefits are negligible, and for some who are in a fragile psychological state, the weekend’s intense and confrontational structure could be harmful.
        Speaking for myself, there was little change even after 6 months of the weekly meetings and one additional weekend I spent as a volunteer. The men in my group whom I most admired felt the same way. The men who were higher up the totem pole were almost always abusive jerks with giant egos and little useful information. Recruiting for Sterling was the worst unpaid job I ever had:)

    • Kay says:

      and escape you did. you showed strength of character and demonstrated independent thinking. great qualities in a man or woman even.

  78. stantonl says:

    Charles – I agree that the recruitment pressure is a dark side. That’s the primary reason for he existence of so many Sterling offshoots, including the one that I joined in Marin, CA called “Circle of Men”. It was the same deal, including the offering of the weekend, and doing the weekend was a pre-req for membership. The “team-away” and community service requirements were the same, but no one was ever pressured to bring men in.

    The Sterling Weekend is NOT for everyone, even though insiders would never agree. Sterling also has his rules of relationship that are best applied as guidelines, IMHO, and may well be destructive if taken literally and applied rigidly. Knowing when to break rules can be more important than obeying them.

    Bottom line – If a man makes use of Sterling, it will have value depending on his need and degree of utilization of the help offered. If a man allows himself to BE USED BY Sterling, he will be nothing more than a tool. Same is true of religion, government, and business.

  79. Alli says:

    Someone should question Justin Sterling about the quality of his marriage and the frequency his wife consents to have sex with him. The only time unconditional acceptance for another human being makes sense is with a child. Otherwise there are expectations and accomodations that need to be made on and off the mattress to make relationships work. As a woman I do not want to hear from a man I am trying to develop an intimate relationship with that he does not care how I feel or what I think. Or that he will never give his power up to a woman and he is self sufficient and does not need the relationship. I don’t care what physical or economic benefits might be on the table, I don’t wish to be objectified and discounted.

  80. Billie says:

    My ex-girlfriend just finished the Woman’s weekend. She accepted like all the others without knowing what she was signing up for. She is a lesbian (as am I,) so the weekend did not do much for her. I started to get worried when she told me that they were taking everyones cell phones…she hid hers in her boot and texted me the whole time she was there. I don’t need to go over all the craziness that happened…most of which has already been talked about. The thing that really got me was a friend of my ex’s that also went. She is in an abusive relationship with a man. They just got married and she is raising his child from a previous marriage. After attending this weekend, I am very fearful that she will submit to the ill treatment because it is her duty to her man and she is soley responsible for the success of the relationship. I am wondering if anyone out there knows of any groups protesting the Sterling weekends besides Rick Ross? I would like to pitch in if I can.

    I am not one to judge, and I don’t push my opinions on other people. I know that these weekends have helped certain people…but the way they go about it…I would like to think in this day and age these ways and opinions would be long gone. The resurgence of this makes me very concerned. Women (and men) should have the right to leave abusive relationships, even if they have children. I think it is much more destructive to a child to have his or her parents fighting and hurting eachother. How is it right when this childs role models are teaching them that it is okay to berrate and undermine women, or that men only have one role to play and they are programmed to cheat.

    Please let me know if there is any way we can the word out that any type of group like this could be harmful. I just want people to be aware before they get pushed into something without knowing what it is.

    • Leah Janzen says:

      Billie, I’m with you. This group should be exposed. I have witnessed (indirectly) how the Sterling Institute brainwashes vulnerable people with lies.

  81. Slinger says:

    I just attended the Sterling Womens Weekend in NY……I am a lesbian,and honestly,I believe my sexuality was the main thing that helped me see through the bullshit to the truth of what was happening.
    To be honest, there were a few good pieces of advice/moments of catharsis through large group therapy-esque exercises that I do believe helper alot of women.
    And it’s a big But.
    Holy misogynistic cult bullshit.
    I was surrounded by 92 women desperate for someone to save them. To save their relationships,to tell them they were good and worthy of Love. And they devoured every word this man said.
    Things like: Divorce is child abuse. Even if your husband is cheating on you or beating you, suck it up,fake it-if you leave him,you are a child abuser.
    Or how about: Marriage to men is prison. If a man agrees to marry you, he is giving up his right to sleep with whoever he wants for the rest of his life (which is the most important thing to men sexually-variety), and so it is your obligation, whether or not you are in the mood, to give him sex when he wants it.
    Another of his ‘$50 tips’: Real men don’t have emotions. Women are the cause of all relationship problems because women let emotions run their behaviors. So if women would just sacrifice their needs and do everything on his terms-no matter what they are-there would be no problems.
    Add to this garbage the sleep deprivation, lack of food (they supply nothing, only let you drink water, and you pay for registration-$750, all your travel expenses,your hotel,ec etc), the bad cop/good cop game he plays with his volunteers…..and you’ve got a whole lot of cult mentality owning the room.
    What scares me most is the women who convinced me to go appeared to be strong, independent women who I thought would never fall for these kind of 1950’s ideals…..yet they told me repeatedly how this weekend would fix my life…..which isn’t that bad to start with.
    The best part of my weekend? Meeting some great women and spending time in beautiful New York. Something I could have done for way cheaper, on my own, and without three days of some ‘man’ trying to brainwash me.
    Oh…..did I mention that every moment is video and audio taped?
    Now apparently it is my ‘duty’ to recruit other women….all I’ve done since I returned is advised women to stay far away.

  82. Sharon says:

    My husband and I were madly in love and engaged in 2006 when a couple of his church male friends approached him with the prospect of joining their Christian men’s group. His best male friend at the time told him that the group stood for honor, tradition, and heterosexual male-bonding values (something like the Promisekeepers). His friend marketed the group so well that my then fiance was actually honored and flattered to be invited to join. He accepted the invitation and was told he had to go to this weekend retreat first. At 5:00 AM the five guys from their group (called the Last 6) showed up on our doorstep to surprise my fiance and to take him to the airport to fly to NY to attend the weekend. My fiance knew nothing about what awaited him except that he should rest up beforehand because there would be little sleep later. He was also told that he couldn’t divulge details about the weekend experience but that he would be able to call me on breaks once or twice a day. He got there and called me as soon as he could and whispered that the place was really weird, but said that for some stupid reason he wasn’t supposed to tell any details. (He assured me he would later, and stated that he had concerns about a group that would have these secrecy rules.) When I asked him if he was having a good time, he told me “not really”. The second time he called me he actually sounded irritated with the presenter (by this time he had seen Sterling), said that there were assholes there, but again felt he couldn’t tell me details. I could tell he was angry and miserable and I was shocked because I knew how much he had looked forward to going to this thing. My fiance, and now husband, tell each other everything and I definitely got the vibe he was somehow in big trouble. The whole thing sounded totally bizarre so I got online, did a little research, read that my poor fiance would later be led around in a video-taped nude ritual at the climax of the weekend, figured out Newburgh, NY was the place, and called the local police dept. A policewoman answered the phone and said, “Oh yeah, I know what you’re talking about… the secret women-hater’s cult up the road”. I told her my fiance was in there and was CLUELESS as to what was coming. Somehow I figured out how to call the Sterling people and they were adamant that they wouldn’t let me talk to my fiance. I finally had to tell them that we had a life-threatening emergency at home and that I actually HAD to talk to my fiance, and if they didn’t let me talk to him, I’d sue them for potential complications which would be the result from them not letting me talk to him. Once I got him on the phone, I told him what was in store for him. I told him what I’d read on the Rick Ross site, among other things, and he concurred that everything that I had read had so far been true. He got out of there on Saturday, missed the nude ritual, but lost $800. He came home and his “friend” who had been asked to be the Best Man at our wedding was asked to not attend. He broke off contact with the Last 6 guys (they had all purchased plane tickets to fly to NY to surprise him in JFK airport when he returned from the weekend – oh well). I’m happy to report we’ve been extremely happily married for 5 1/2 years now. We had all but forgotten about that bizarre weekend (and yes, he told me how the whole thing went down blow-by-blow), until a few days ago when my husband received an email from his long lost “friend”. He wrote him back and told him that he hoped he was doing well, but to sum it up, politely told him that friends don’t send their friends to visit the devil, which was why their friendship was destroyed. This got me to remembering what happened in 2006 and why I stumbled onto this website. Sorry to ramble, but wanted to share this experience with anyone if I can somehow help bring this joker Sterling into the light instead of the shroud of secrecy where he likes to live. I can’t IMAGINE how many vulnerable people have fallen for this guy’s load of crap and how much damage he’s done to people psyche and relationships!

    • Leah Janzen says:

      Sharon, I would like to talk with you more about this. I am a Christian woman who knows and loves a man who used to be involved in the Sterling weekends and an offshoot men’s group. I agree this needs to be brought into the light and exposed.

      • Eric says:

        As someone who did the Men’s Weekend in April of 2012 in Newburgh, I find your post interesting……and misleading.

        Your husband/boyfriend/fiancee/whatever had ample opportunity to talk with you on the phone. He had ample opportunity to walk away…….NO ONE is stopping anyone from leaving.

        During the Men’s Weekend, the men soon learn the deal with going to the bathroom…..Head to the door that exits the main room and ask if you can go to the bathroom and you are told by a volunteer, “No. You have to wait until a break.”

        Head to the same door and state to the same person that you are going to the bathroom and the volunteer steps aside or just walk by that person and go to the bathroom……NO ONE stops you.

        It’s a small lesson in being personally responsible.

        The old building in Newburgh, NY is a bit of a dump (Newburgh is a dump)…..and it is easy to walk out of………in fact, the attendees walk out of it several times each day……to get coffee and water and a snack or to grab a smoke during each break……..Breaks were frequent…..about every 2-3 hours…….less frequent as the night went later…..

        There is no nude ritual………unless the men decide to have a nude ritual at the end…….my group did not choose to do so……some men might have chosen to take off their shirts during our end of the weekend celebration.

        The 1st day of the weekend I thought a ton of…..shoot almost all I was hearing was misogynistic crap…….I was ready to walk and leave.

        Then I thought about my friend who asked me to attend…….and how he and his wife work together and how they are just such great people…….and, I thought, “No way, no how would X and Y both want me here if this was bad……”

        The 2nd day what seemed to be misogynistic was brought into context…….

        Men and women are different. We are. That is both a good thing and a source of conflict.

        What Sterling says is not that different from the guy that wrote “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.”

        Before I had kids, I thought that all the differences between boys and girls were environmental.

        After I had kids, I realized that boys and girls are different in many ways from the get-go.

        We should celebrate that.

        The Men’s Weekend is not a solution to anyone’s problems. Nor is joining a men’s group.

        Both should be productive and eye-opening.

        Here’s the deal with a good men’s group…….is the group challenging you to be a better man?

        That means are you better at work, with your friends, with your spouse, with you significant other, with you kids…….are you dealing with your problems and facing up to them? Are you having fun in life? Are you supporting your friends and family and helping them. What do you need to do so?

        If it isn’t doing such things……why are you part of it?

  83. Wanda says:

    This is how you’ll start talking if you take part in this BS from Sterling, “Thank YOU for taking me under your heart and leadership that just keeps bringing my context, leadership and personal success to the next level every day!” This psycho happy babble that makes no sense.

    Women (and men too) emerge from the weekend with silly phrases like this and a bunch of 1950’s notions that no longer work in our society (nor should they). Yea, viva la difference but when the fat ugly unable-to-maintain-long-term-relationships-with-women Justin Sterling tells you the way to succeed is to stay in abusive relationships and go to work wearing pumps and pink dresses (and offer coffee to the men!) and take on full responsibility of the success of your relationship with men, the difference between “counseling” and full-on lunacy should become clear. Oh, and at the ridiculous price of $750 plus expenses. Sign up for anything beyond the weekend and you can say good-bye to your free time and your own opinions. You’ll become a parrot who spouts Sterlingisms, and you’ll be the person that others flee from as you continually try to sign them up. Ugh.

    Instead, go for a long hike, volunteer to mentor at school, read a book or go to church. All are much better options than signing up for the Sterling Institute for Relationship nightmare.

    • kay says:

      were you a member or did you know someone who is? no judgments, just interested. I forgot I subscribe to this thread, it’s been so long for me.

  84. Wanda says:

    I had the misfortune of dating a guy who was a full-on convert. He was a seemingly nice guy until I got to know him and uncovered some really bizarre behavior and attitudes. Things ended pretty quickly. Then a female cousin of mine got indoctrinated but it looks like she’s begun to see the light and realize this group is not the answer. The leader Justin Sterling (fake name by the way; he changed it to disassociate himself from a criminal past.) took an innocent concept and bent the idea of male and female relationships into something perverse. Too bad.

  85. kay says:

    Sterling men’s group radio piece by sports analysis dad on sound cloud is on the internet, a 26 minute soundbite that relates to induction techniques, etc. not much i didn’t know but worth a listen…………. prolonged music in beginning, but don’t give up, dialogue is re-initiated. for anyone who’s questioning whether they should go to this weekend, find out as much as you can and trust your gut

  86. jess says:

    I am a therapist and i can tell you from what i have read about this group people are paying way too much for simple concepts that they can get from books and support groups (which are free by the way) … Def. shouldnt need to pay all that money and give all that time to get the help you need!!!!!!! and i am actually very appaulled by some of things i am hearing within this group.

    • Husband/father/son says:

      A bargain at 10x the price!

      My wife and I were more than 2 yrs into work with a licensed couples therapist with little progress and no end in sight when I decided to do the weekend. We never went again after the weekend and this morning almost three years later my wife told me that she hopes our daughters will be able to find a man like me to marry.
      What worked for me from the weekend that I did not get from our therapist is, in a word, to man up (my term not Justin’s). Whereas our therapist suggested lots of techniques and ideas that amounted to “try harder” she never addressed the cost of ego in our relationship nor the folly of 50/50 relationship. For us therapy was $10,000 we should have put toward the kids college fund instead. Live and learn.
      I came away from the men’s weekend with a new context of what it means to be a husband, father, and son. One that has served my wife, my children, and my parents… And of course me and my legacy as a human. I welcome anyone who might benefit from discussing my experience to reach me at If my experience makes you angry or you feel the urge to attack me, please take three deep breathes and put your energy into something constructive. With kindness toward all – more.humble

    • Rich says:

      Jess –

      Looking back on it, what I think I got from our couples therapist was too “heady”, too many ideas, suggestions, tips. For two Ivy League educated professionals this intellectual approach made perfect sense. One problem I see now in retrospect was that we used these very ideas and concepts to try to look good or gain advantage relative to each other there in the sessions with our therapist. We had some of our ugliest fights driving to/from the therapist.

      What I got from the weekend and from working with a team of men afterward was a shift in my context. Rather than an idea or a concept that sits lightly in my head along with all the other self-improvement “I should” clutter, I feel my context in my bones… in my heart.

      I didn’t enjoy my men’s weekend. I went because I trusted a man who appeared to be serving his wife, his children, his career and other commitments more powerfully than I. It was very uncomfortable being with 150 men I didn’t know…. and who were hugely diverse… some ex cons, some headed to bankruptcy or divorce, or others who intimidated me with their apparent success. I felt middle-school embarrassment when Justin dismissed a question I asked as a hypothetical heady waste of time. It turns out he was right – I went through much of the weekend thinking the value would be in understanding or integrating a few key concepts. Instead the lasting value of the weekend for me has been a deep context of personal responsibility – for my conduct, my commitments, my success, my legacy. The sacrifice has been giving up indulging my ego. The payoff has been improved relationships everywhere in my family and my life and living with a sense of integrity and honor.

      I have often thought, “why didn’t our therapist give us some of the tough love that’s in the weekend, held us accountable for our behavior, or spoken bluntly about the differences between the male and female archetypes?”. There is a very good chance we would have said, “goodbye”, because who is going to pay money to be made to feel uncomfortable….. unless you go to the weekend.

      An interesting thing happened in September of this year, my wife up and said… “I think I am going to do the Women’s weekend”. I was dumbfounded. In the tree years since my Mens weekend, I had not suggested it nor pushed the idea as I believed to do so would weaken my context of personal responsibility and start me looking over the fence and assessing whether she was “doing her part” – a straight line back to where we were during therapy. I made sure she knew that the tuition and airfare was no problem and then got out of the way. While I don’t know what happens in the Women’s weekend, she came back from her weekend on-fire: a new context for her relationship with her parents; a greater appreciation and acceptance of our children; and it seems a quiet appreciation of the work I have been doing since my own weekend. She came home excited to share her experience with other women and even said “this is the sort of stuff our Character Development chair should have been bringing to us in the sorority at Cornell”

      Jess – I would sincerely appreciate the opportunity to speak with you as a therapist. I’d like to learn more about where traditional therapies overlap with the experiences I have had so that I can share that with those men & women in my life for whom the weekend is out of the question. Will you please drop me a line

  87. John says:

    I did the weekend about 20 years ago.
    I found it exhilarating. It was the most interesting 48 hours of my life.
    I didn’t join any of the men’s groups after; two days was it.
    There was no porn. On the Saturday night one goes back to your motel to sleep.
    Try it. Does anyone believe that in two days one man can harm or brainwash 100 plus men?
    No way. There were two of us physicians on the course. We both felt the same way. It is good.
    I have been married to another physician for 42 years, in part because of what I learnt on this weekend

  88. Rich says:

    (second effort to submit – so this is the short version… believe it or note>grin<)
    – 2+ yrs of couples therapy, $10k we should have put in the college fund.
    – Did the weekend ($500) almost 3 yrs ago and never went back to therapist.
    – This past Sunday my wife told me she hopes our daughters will be able to find a man like me to marry.
    – The difference, for me, btwn therapy and the weekend, is the insight that I was not being the man I wanted to be. Our therapist purpetuated the idea the idea of a 50/50 relationship that made it comfortable for me to find fault with my wife and hide behind rightous ego. I came away from the weekend with a new context that made it simple for me to "man up" (my words not Justin's) and get in action building a legacy that would honor and serve my children, my parents, and my wife.
    – Since my weekend I have been on fire: I brought my parents to live with us, designed and contracted an addition to my house for them, supported my dad through hospice at home (he died last month), launched an internet start up, got a nice windfall from the sale of another business, led a group of volunteers in starting up a children's camp, spent more time with my wife doing the things she likes. I have coached my daughters sports, taught both to slolam waterski and had fun with both learning how to change a tire in 7 minutes!
    – I see myself more clearly, including the cost of my ego, judgement, and rightousness in my life. I face my fears more directly and acknowledge my weaknesses and addictions.
    – I am still just a jerk, but I will leave this life having made a difference for others, having had fun, and no regrets.
    – Anyone who wants to talk to me about my experience or their own pain (and we all have it) is welcome to contact me at
    – If you feel the urge to crap on me, please take a few deep breathes and do something constructive. Cheers! – Rich

  89. ??? says:

    From the “opening monologue from the weekend”

    “Men: How much have you altered yourself for her approval? Many men are faced with living out their lives with an essential element of their passage into manhood either ignored or forsaken…Unfortunately, the masculine birthright that had been passed from father to son, generation by generation, in one contiguous line tracing back to the beginning of mankind has been rejected, abandoned, ridiculed, and allbut forgotten in our lifetime. Without the benefit of a brotherhood of men to draw upon when he is in doubt or has lost his footing, a man can fall prey to developing himself based upon the whims and desiresof the women in his life who will shapre him into some model of a man whose foundation is feminine…he is becoming some woman’s good little boy.”

    IMHO, a healthy man does not need this – he can decide for himself not to be “whipped,” if that is the kind of woman in his life. However, openness and honesty with a life partner is not being “whipped.” And not all women are blithering bitches looking to enslave men, Justin Sterling’s model of the gentler sex.

    And, as noted by a previous poster, Volchok not only refers divorce clients, but makes a good deal of money in business dealings with Justin Sterling. Conflict of interest? Bar ethics violation? You betcha! I ENCOURAGE anybody who has personal experience with Volchok in this fashion to contact the California Bar Association…

    My heart bleeds for the wonderful men who got sucked into this BS. It is very sad that it took advantage of their goodness and turned them into “(cave)men.”

    • Rich says:

      What’s up with all the fear and anger around discussing the differences between the genders and how we can best honor and serve each other in harmony and for the greater good?

      As a father of daughters I want my girls to be warrior feminists in the no-bullshit spirit of Camille Paglia.

      And I want my nephews to grow into adult men who look for female (or male) partners they can serve rather than mothers who indulge them in a lifetime of childish behavior.

      I believe that without an undefended, PC-free discussion about our part in creating the phenomena of over-medicated “problem” boys or young ladies who face the choice of competing in a zero-sum battle with boys or building a fragile self-esteem on fashion, status, and drama we are abdicating our place in the chain of 1,000 generations.

      Those of you who have posted on this site that “anyone who needs a group is a loser” or that “a man should be able to figure this out on his own” is disregarding both 50,000 years of biology and the current understanding of the masculine – feminine gender continuum: it is real (see Scientific American- multiple articles on this topic)

      Why is it so threatening to explore the meaning of honor? or commitment? or Male? or Female? or Ego? or Purpose? or how each of us can live the life that, as the purpose of Sterling Institute says, ” is the Man/Woman we always wanted to be?” -whatever each of us decides for ourselves that to be?

      A team committed to our success – in this case formed around gender distinctions – is an all too precious resource to any individual today. There is a reason that one of the fastest growing career sectors in todays economy is …. personal and professional coaching!!! We are out there competing as individuals without the support of a team of our men or woman who we can trust.

      Attacking each other, or gossiping about people and events, or name calling hysterics seems to me a distraction. We all are, as we were born, perfect. The question is: is there a change in our lives that we want for ourselves/those we serve and who will support us and hold us accountable to become that man/woman?

      Sterling Men’s Weekend December 2009

  90. Ken says:

    So I’ve been reading all these comments about the Sterling Men’s Weekend and Sterling Women’s weekend and I can’t help but get the feeling that many of you would just prefer to hide behind the anonymity of your keyboards and yammer on about something you really don’t understand. You’re likely the same folks who complain about everything and do nothing to change things. Do you even vote? Are your relationships falling apart because your mate’s actions, or inactions? It’s got nothing to do with the way you are, right? Is work a chore? Wanna bitch about anything else? Life’s tough, buy a helmet. The Sterling Men’s and Women’s Weekends are for good folks who want to make a positive impact on the world. And it’s hard work, believe me. So, if I haven’t scared you off yet, read on…

    I did my Men’s Weekend in 2003. It’s now 2012. I still have a long way to go, but at least I’ve done some amazing things along the way. I’ve grown up, for starters. That was a tough one. You see, in today’s world we no longer have a “rite of passage” that takes a boy and welcomes him into manhood. Look around you. How many “men” do you know that have walked away from marriages or that enter into marriages for no good reason and without the slightest bit of forethought or planning? Divorce statistics state that something like 50% of marriages (in the USA) end up in the divorce courts. Is that OK? Really? If men had learned how to be a man in a relationship and not some feminized excuse for a semi-functional eunuch those numbers would be down. But how did he get here in the first place? Was his father around to teach him what a long term committed relationship was all about? Is it OK that half the kids in America wake up with only one parent every day? Isn’t it time to break the cycle? Is it OK that divorce lawyers grab all the money that we could be using to give our children a better life? Not according to the Men’s Weekend that I was at.

    I learned how to man up and take ownership of my life and to quit whining about things I thought I couldn’t affect. Now I affect my community in many positive ways. I learned how to trust men, and women. My wife was impressed enough that she decided to attend the Sterling Women’s Weekend 3 years ago. She tells me that it was an experience she never wants to forget and that she wouldn’t trade it for anything. We’re a team now, finally, after 30 some-odd years. You see, love isn’t about gazing into each other’s eyes, it’s about looking in the same direction together. We both get that. Thanks Justin.

    Work? I love what I do. I get better at it and constantly rise to challenges, commit to complete projects entirely, and have a much larger clientele than I would have had were it not for my weekend. Sure I still fall now and then, scrape my knees and get right back up and into the fray. I’m not a quitter any more. That’s success, and it doesn’t come easy. Thanks Justin.

    I could go on, but I believe if you’ve hung in here this long you’re starting to get the drift.

    Do the Men’s Weekend. Do the Women’s Weekend. Simple. Stop gossiping and kvetching like a bunch of yentas. EXPERIENCE YOUR WEEKEND. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever done and unlike anything you’re ever likely to do. Join a Men’s team or a Women’s team. You’ll find a lot of strangers in this community who will have your back, if you only take the help. Get over your SELF. Thanks again Justin!

    • Long Way Home says:

      Hi Ken,
      It was a little (alot) wordy but I agree on most of the general things you were on about.

      If you don’t get it, something is missing, confused, angry or whatever? Experience the weekend…… it is a step in the right direction. Be as prepared as you can, if things get tough take a mental note because there is something of great value there for you. That is what I know from my experience. It has been 5 yrs since I committed to change me…..I had three changes that I started with and I have been successful at getting all my changes….still working on me and always will be committed to Being The Man I Always Wanted To Be….

      Thank You!

      • Charles says:

        Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I’m happy for the both of ye’s!

    • kay says:

      I respect your opinion, but have to wonder how you feel about the recruitement side of things.
      Do you attend the recruitment meetings in which unsuspecting guests are challenged on their manliness, and encouraged to answer questions of a rather personal nature?
      I guess you don’t mind volunteering while Justin gets to keep the proceeds from the weekend through mostly limited appearances, while you guys maintain the rest of the masquerade…..working your butts off for your leader.
      how many men have you recruited in your time with the group? Does Justin at least wave goodbye at the end or say “thanks” before driving off in one of his luxury cars after telling all of you what a bunch of f***ing jerks you are? Ever get the feeling he really means it?

  91. oldtimer says:

    I’m long term married and both of us did the weekend prior to marriage. Dating and marriage were entirely two different things. I can sing the praises of many individuals involved with the group over the years, but the theory behind the weekend, beyond men needing men/women needing women, is BS.

    Truth is, if you’re a good man to begin with, you’ll use the information in the weekend/teams that works and ignore what doesn’t. If you are immature, you’ll use it to avoid intimacy with your partner, and a lot of the men, do…while slapping themselves and each other on the back. Meawhile those important relationships suffer. I saw many damaged marriages and families. I saw women ignored by their men, and children left behind repeatedly while mothers talked about relationships, instead of being home actually being mothers, it just goes on and on.

    I wouldn’t wish away my good experiences, but the destruction from the bad theory is legion. Go ahead and find people of the same gender to congregate with and call it day. Grow up, and own your life and responsibilties. But you don’t need Justin to be your guru. The magic of the weekend is fnding a group of people who care. It isn’t the weekend itself, it isnt’ the theory, it isn’t the man who dug the well.

    I absolutely believe that the experience is completely different while being single and it’s a theoretical idea, and being married with children. Theory versus practice, two entirely different things. Being married and being self absorbed doesn’t work. When your team is the priority, you’ve already made your first mistake. They’ll say it’s about commitment. I say that it’s about making it about you when you give lip service to being committed. It’s like the difference between practicing commitment and being committed.

    There is just so much sad irony in it all.

  92. Bay Area Wife says:

    I personally (and unfortunately) know eight men who have been involved with Sterling over the past several years, and have been casually acquainted with several others. The men who were ALREADY involved with the group when I met them were wishy-washy, arrogant, dysfunctional “martyrs” (always finding creative, subtle ways to cast blame on others for their every shortcoming) when I met them, and still are. The men I knew BEFORE they got involved with Sterling were sweet guys who just had a bit of a ways to go to find their strength and personal purpose. Those same guys are NOW, after becoming involved with Sterling, ridiculously vulgar and arrogant pigs. The two guys I know who tried one or two meetings and/or left the weekend early are the ones who haven’t changed all that much, one way or another. Nice guys with some hangups, but not totally “out there”.

    Sterling DOES prey on men who are emotionally weak, craving acceptance, those who haven’t found much success in life. And it shows in the overall makeup of the men involved… the overwhelming majority have a history of divorce, drug abuse, and criminal records. While I understand why a *brotherhood*-type group would appeal to those who haven’t grown up with a whole lot of positive attention from their own fathers and have lived their teen and young lives as “outcasts”, I wish they sought counseling from legitimate, licensed professionals, or got involved in church or with respectable volunteer groups. We’ve all probably seen some painfully shy child who blossomed when a teacher or other adult took notice and encouraged them. I think it’s the same sort of thing here for those who argue that Sterling had any sort of positive effect for them. (Would the outcome be different, perhaps BETTER, if instead, you focused that energy and commitment into involvement with an open, caring, pro-family organization?) Someone included you, someone listened, someone WANTS YOU TO BE PART OF THEIR TEAM. Woohoo. Self-confidence, and then… drink the proverbial kool-aid. Of course, that how brainwashing works… you DON’T believe you’re being brainwashed. You believe you’ve seen the light for the first time. You’ve denied yourself the truth for so long and now THIS IS IT.

    The experiences detailed here and other places online giving accounts of men turning into chauvinist, secretive, abusive, self-righteous pricks are dead-on. There is a strong message pushed by Sterling that “men are pigs and should not try to be anything else… if you aren’t a pig it’s because you aren’t being honest with yourself.” Along with this message is the supposed acknowlegement that men need to fight the feeling of being emotionally attached in a sexual relationship. What’s absurd is that these men go on and on about how EVERYTHING is about commitment. COMMITMENT IS EVERYTHING. Unless of course you are talking about a relationship. Commitment to Sterling men is everything, in fact, and cheating in relationships is expected (though you can’t tell your wife the truth because she is too emotional and will never ever understand men or their need to be true to their nature).

    My husband was recovering from being in a dark place when he started getting invited/pressured by his boss and coworkers to attend meetings/weekend. My husband just wanted to “belong”… he wanted friends… to feel equal and connected with others. At Sterling mens group bonfire gatherings he started to get what he had never experienced growing up. He never had the dad who was involved (until it was too late), the football team (or debate team) experience, or ANY experience whatsoever that gave him the opportunity to connect with his male peers in a mutually beneficial way. Suddenly he had a huge group of men who wanted him to join in on their team. Tragically, though, Sterling is more than just a group of guys having a bonfire and playing football. It is most definitely a cult without the overtly religious aspect.

    It is impossible to adequately describe the damage done to our relationship, and to my husband and myself as individuals, because of Sterling and its participants. Unsurprisingly, within a couple months of befriending Sterling men and attending meetings, my husband began cheating on me. He became secretive and started to constantly accuse me of trying to “control” him (what on earth?!) anytime I asked a random question or showed obvious disappointment when he suddenly became very flaky. It’s chilling to note the simliarities and hear the same phrases over and over from my husband and other Sterling participants, and those who share what their experiences have been with this group…. “I’m an asshole” is a commonly used phrase by Sterling-ites. The clincher is, this isn’t meant to be apologetic, it’s meant to be a justification for whatever shitty thing a man chooses to do. There isn’t an effort toward improving one’s self here. Please don’t be mistaken. Sterling is a bunch of mostly uneducated men with a ton of baggage who are grooming each other to behave with sociopathic tendancies. It’s disgusting and manipulative, and yet the men who are involved seem to be blind to it… they just learn to manipulate others, including their wives and girlfriends. (Give her a compliment, however insincere it may be, before asking for sex or money, etc. Like I said, disgusting.) The recovery from my husband’s very limited exposure to this group has been painful. The philosophy of the group is perverse, at best, and effective at completely messing with one’s mind.

    For those whose recommendation is, “Go get involved and see for yourself, just take the good and throw out the bad,” you should really consider the danger in your advice. I would never tell someone to try a highly addictive drug “just to see for yourself before judging someone else”. Likewise, I cannot advise someone to dive into something that has a record of damaging individuals and families. The founder of this group thinks himself some relationship guru, yet he has no legit education or certification of any kind, has never had a successful relationship, and benefits off suckering young men and those already weakened and confused by their past failed relationships to build wealth and celebrity for himself. The guy is nuts, plain and simple. He is NOT an “acknowleged” expert, nor is he qualified to provide counsel to hurting men. He has been wading in shady business for years now and I would be astonished if he doesn’t get his delusional behind sued off soon for running this profitable scam.

    Look, I’m not saying that (some) of the men, and women for that matter, aren’t well-meaning, hoping for some real good to come out of this. Perhaps that makes it more disturbing… the fact that church-going Christians and “nice” men get involved with this group and then turn into flaky, self-indulging, dishonest, vulgar guys who are dismissive, manipulative and degrading toward women. I’m no feminist… I tend to lean toward a traditional idea of husband and wife roles, and yet I see this for what it is: Not just some yesteryear good ol’ boys club, but rather, a lame substitution for legitimate groups whose teachings and encouragement is to help men to foster healthy relationships and truly commit to working on becoming better husbands and fathers.

    After my first-hand experience with my husband’s involvement and those we know, I am insulted that anyone would defend Sterling or its founder. I hope that those already involved have the courage to seek their true identity and wholeness and sound advice for healthy relationships at any number of churches, support groups, certified counselors, or volunteer organizations available.

    • Jerod says:

      Any person undergoing a life altering process will experience times when they make mistakes practicing the new way of living. They will not be perfect in the beginning…. They will not be perfect in the middle…. And they will not be perfect in the end. This is true through of any process any 200dollar an hour counsellor can offer. It requires dilligence and perseverance to engage in the process of transformation. The Sterling Institute is the exact opposite of a cult as every man has a choice to join and can leave at any time and they will not be robbed of all their money. For every one of you women that complain about the man in your life dedicated to changing his life using the Sterling principles, there are 4 that have their husbands, brothers, fathers, uncles and grandfathers in their lives living powerfully and being an example. To see a couple that are both educated and engaged in the process of understanding how men and women can relate on a simple basic root level like what the Sterling offers is amazing. I know some powerful Sterling couples and watching them progress through life inspiring others through their success and love is unbelievable.
      It’s a shame you live your life in 100% judgement of others. The fact your man had decided to take a chance at developing into the man he always wanted to be is fantastic. I truly hope he has still has that drive because I know what it’s like living my life in someone else’s vision. It’s hopeless, empty and pointless.
      Sterling never preaches that men are pigs. In fact, he preaches men are warriors. Warriors that walk toward the arrows of life absorbing them so their women, children and communities don’t have to. Men are warriors that protect their tribes. In my experience, it isn’t a result of the team that causes a man to cheat. Ultimately he makes that choice. And the crazy part is that there are 2 people in your relationship. You and him. So, 2 people responsible for that decision. 2 people responsible for the relationship. You have a role to play and so does he. It appears as though that hasn’t happened. It’s too bad. So much good stuff being missed out on. A man on purpose and clear with his terms and standards would not cheat on his wife. A team on purpose and clear with their terms supports a man to understand that.
      God bless you

      • Karl says:

        2 people responsible in a relationship? How should that 2nd person respond when they are not included? The 2nd person in the relationship is being discussed by a group of men that don’t even know her, and advice is given? Volunteering, phone calls, demands on your time to talk to your “group” INSTEAD of the 2nd person in the relationship? It’s a shutout game, 200 bucks for a therapist is a bargain in the long run compared to your version of relationship theory. At least the 2nd person in the relationship has a voice.

      • Dawn says:

        I thought women were 100% responsible for the relationship, but now you’re saying that it takes 2 people? How consistent. I hardly think it’s her fault that her husband lied and cheated. I’d say that your sterling brainwashing has skewed your views.

    • Fred says:

      I think you need to study male/female archetypes. Sterling is simply propagating gender archetypes. These may seem offensive to some, but to others, understanding them through personal reflection provides the Rosetta Stone to self discovery.

      I like the poster who compared it to anything instructive laden with metaphor. You can’t take it all literally.

      I would suggest that anyone considering it go into it with open eyes. The guy who introduced me to it was a successful venture guy. At the time (about 2002 or 3) I had a relatively new law firm in 2 cities. Today, I have a relatively mature law firm in the same two cities. I didn’t stick with the follow up because most of the men still seemed lost and in need of something more akin to an AA group. I think you need to go into the weekend with a strong sense of yourself, not for therapy. This is not the place for those in need of therapy who are not currently seeking it. It’s also not a place for fathers who are guilty about their lack of presence with their kids or wives and looking for a solution. If you go in looking to understand how the male female archetypes influence your ability to form lasting and meaningful male female relationships, you’ll probably get your money’s worth.

      To all the women who blame the weekend on their wrecked marriages, I hear you. You are not alone as this board and Rick Ross’s clearly indicates. What you are going through is probably akin to one of the many Kubler-Ross stages of grief–grief over the loss of the relationship you thought you had with your husband/boyfriend. I didn’t buy into the follow up-they called it Dojo or something like that–but I made some friends who are good dads and husbands to this day. Still, I think you need to look at yourselves and control the damage being done to the relationship you have or take steps to end it. I don’t buy Sterling’s

      In sum, it’s not for everyone, but it helped me progress in terms of my own self discovery and reaffirmed character qualities of being accountable to anyone to whom I make a commitment or promise and cleaning up messes I make immediately rather than waiting for them to explode. To this day, I still don’t always succeed. Why? because I’m human. In terms of the horror stories, I can say that the weekend made me more attuned to misogyny and preventing it or speaking out against it, in addition to making sure my daughters developed the tools to deal with it. It made me aware of my own unconscious biases which I try to be aware of every day. It made me want to discuss the Implicit Association Test openly with my family to become aware of biases we all carry in our relationships with other people. I did it while I was single and before I got married. I’ve been married for 8 years. I don’t suspect I’d have any interest in the follow on groups but I can see how some guys use it as more of a support group.

  93. William Walcott says:

    I don’t know if this blog is still active, but THANKS to everyone who has commented on this thread! I was recently approached by an old friend to attend a men’s group that he attended weekly. I agreed to go, and it turned out to be “recruiting night” for The Weekend. When I asked questions about the Weekend, the team members barked, “That’s confidential!” They also instructed me to NEVER, EVER look up Sterling on the internet – that the info was “all lies”. I told them that I didn’t even have the money for the Weekend, and they said that it wasn’t a valid excuse – that my “tuition” would be “taken care of later.” A few days later, I received a call from a team member exlaining that I had to do work for him at his home, as a way to “pay off” my Weekend. All of this was starting to seem deceptive to me. I went to another team meeting a week later where I heard some very disturbing ideas and beliefs. It was like a “He-man Woman Haters Club” on crack! This motivated me to do some online research. I went to the Rick Ross site first, then here. A great deal of what I have read is, word for word, what I heard at those two meetings. I spoke to my friend and said that I was no longer interested in attending the Weekend. His entire demeanor changed. He was upset, and later angry with me. He started suggesting that there had to be some other reason that was keeping me from going. He said, “there is something wrong inside of you, and the Weekend will fix it!” That conversation was a week and a half ago. Since then, he calls and emails EVERYDAY. He also has four of his team members calling. These guys are focused on one thing only – RECRUITING! I don’t even want to answer my phone anymore. I could go on and on about wha these guys say and believe, but I don’t even know if this blog is still active. I’ll just THANK YOU all again for saving me from what would have been a costly, dreadful mistake!

    • Lili Loofbourow says:

      Hi William,

      I run the blog with a colleague, and I’d very much like to hear more about your experience.


      • roger says:


        Please read the comment I post. I would love to hear what you have to say.

  94. William Walcott says:

    Thank you, Millicent! Interestingly enough, I just received another call from that “friend” who first took me to a team meting. He is still trying to convince me to go on the Weekend. With each call, he sounds more frustrated and angry. I think that I know why. At the second team meeting that I attended, there was another newcomer/guest (like myself). For whatever reason, this guy bailed out and left. It was only about 2 hours into the meeting when he took off. Later on, the leader wanted to know who his “sponsor” was. That man stepped forward, and was verbally ripped apart by every other man in the group They held this man solely responsible for the loss of a potential recruit. They said that it was his shortcomings as a man that were the root cause of his sponsee fleeing. My friend is probably on the same rotisserie for me backing out. Scary stuff!

    • Ken says:

      I suppose you’ll never really know or understand. Just do the weekend and ask your potential sponsor if he’ll be willing to refund your $$$ if you haven’t seen an improvement in your life after 90 days. That’s asking him to put his balls on the line for you. Try it. Or stop your whining.

      • William Walcott says:

        No whining here. Just sharing what I’ve experienced so far. If this weekend is such a wonderful thing, why are these tactics used?

      • kay says:

        Bingo William! Look up cult online, read about the initiation tactics used, and there’s your answer.

  95. William Walcott says:

    I just knew if I spoke out, there would be at least one troll here that would slam me. That’s alright – it just reveals more about who they are. I would never go on the Weekend, even with the guarantee of a refund. It’s funny how they couldn’t tell me anything that happens on the weekend, but they were so darn sure it would make me a “man of power”. When I asked, “is it true that there’s a big ceremony or ritual where all the men have to get naked together?”, the answer was, “that’s confidential – we cannot confirm or deny!” Sorry fellas, but getting naked with at least 150 other men in a room sounds like a personal problem to me!

    • kay says:

      William, my guy went to Newburgh in 2009. His older brother tried for a couple of years to get him to go. Seeing as he loves his brother and thinks of him in high regard, coupled with problems we were having, he finally went.
      The whole matter was not discussed with me at all, and as a matter of fact he was separated from me at family gatherings. I’ve said it before in this blog, but I’ll say it again: his brothers wife is a sterling woman. My guy had an incredible workload and very little time for myself and our son. She actually said to him in front of me: “when are you going to get a weekend off?” Not for us, but to go to that hazing.
      When he came home that Monday, we went to lunch and he went to work afterwards. No rest yet. He kept talking about how pissed he was at his brother for ruining his weekend, and talked about the craziness that went on. I was terrified about him going, but I felt that maybe he needed to see for himself, and I really didn’t want to be too interfering as like I said, we were having problems at the time.
      He started to talk about the bizarre ritual at the end which he said was ridiculous and really bizarre. I’ll always regret this, but I interrupted him with a question. Evidently, he thought about what he was going to say and stopped himself from going into the “end ritual”.
      Long story short, he was exhausted, but still ranting about his waste of time experience and kept saying Sterling was an a**hole, etc. and how pose he was at his brother.
      He went to sleep that night, and when he woke up he was a totally different person, talking about how “smart” Sterling was, glorifying everything about the weekend as being “wonderful” etc. Well, again I was terrified.
      The change was extreme, and needless to say, I tried to get through to him with no success. He wouldn’t talk about anything with me, and now when we argued, I was called names that he had never used. There was definitely a different tone to him. He was very cocky and nothing I said mattered to him. He always had this smirk on his face and a very confident attitude, like he had the world by the balls.
      I saw an email from his brother soon after. He wanted my guy to join a point team. My guy replied that he couldn’t, he was too busy. Well, evidently his brother didn’t like that from his return email. He wasn’t prepared to take no for an answer.
      Then he called him, and away he went, just like that. I could not believe what was happening. He took lots of time off from work to join his men, so he was either at work or with them. I know plenty of people out there may preach about me looking at his email, but ask yourself this: a person that you love and know very well does a 180 degree turn in personality and outlook literally overnight, and doesn’t let you in on any of it? What would you do?
      He hid and lied constantly about who he was talking to. Once he said one day he was talking to a coworker and needed privacy. Lo and behold, that same “coworker” called the house while he was locked up “talking” to him. I had to find out as much as I could because he was important to me and our life together was going to need to end if the deceit continued.
      Now we’re good, but we don’t talk about it at all. My hope is that someday we will, but for the present, there is a void, however subtle it may be, in our lives. He left the group after being in it for 7 months. I do not have any contact with his brother or his wife. I’m too angry still. You’re right for not getting involved in this. It was a living nightmare, and I’ll never forget it as long as I live.

  96. William Walcott says:

    Thanks for writing, Kay! I have to say that the events of the Weekend weren’t the only things that drove me away from theses characters. In the article, “One Man’s Experience” on the Rick Ross site, it mentions Sterling’s three exceptions to getting out of a “Short Term Recreational” relationship. At one of the team meetings that I attended, the men talked quite graphically about these three exceptions – especially the anal sex. These are the same guys who told me that “everything about us on the internet is a lie!” HMMM… really? Where did this fascination wth deviant sex come from? Perhaps you learn about this during the Weekend, too…

  97. roger says:

    WOW WOW WOW Thanks to all for sharing, as I have read every comment on this blog. Ok, I have been to the weekend and other “classes” similar to it. I have been reading a lot of false information and thought I would clear some things up for the clueless. For the smart ones that get it, I have some questions for you.

    1. The mens weekend is a CULT, look up the definition PLEASE!!! Is that bad? Do you go to church on sunday or pay for an e-meter read? Surprise you’re in a cult. lol

    2. The mens weekend executes BRAINWASHING tactics exquisitely. Everyone one of them used in the seminar I went to. Oh you dont like that? The military does it every day in basic training, but i was ready for them. I didn’t mind being yelled at so much, but the sleep deprivation was horrible. UGH!!!

    If you do the research you shouldn’t have any doubt about the two statements above.

    What do I think about the mens weekend? I think Justin Sterling is a brilliant man who is using old tested psychology to make himself lots of money. I think he does what most cults leaders do, which is mix fact and fiction. Its just like the bible and scientology. It is all very similar to every organization/cult out there. This is old stuff people, nothing new here. That being said I am going to tell you the truth and the bulls***t. The TRUTH is that the mens weekend is all about men supporting other men, and learning how to have successful relationships with women. Men need support from other men, and you receive that in the weekend. Good or bad advice, you’re gonna get it from other men. Why would there be so many guys supporting it with successful relationships/friendships? Guys that are educated and have success in every aspect of their life. Its because much can be taken away and used as a tool later in life. It is a support system for men that also does charity work. There are many positive things going on here.

    Here is the BS- Justin using brainwashing and social influence to manipulate you. People believe everything he says to be true. The women is responsible for 100% of the relationship? This is absolutely false, and is not a hard one to figure out folks. The problem is guys believe this crap. The go home and take zero responsibility for their relationship. Here is what Justin does- He creates this awesome seminar that gets everyone all jazzed on life using basic psychology. He then gets you to enroll in mens circles that perform charity work, which is also how he recruits. Oh hey, we can do this nice thing, and tell everyone about the weekend while we are at it. BRILLIANT!!! BRAVO JUSTIN, or whatever your real name is. Oh yeah its Arthur Kasarjian who used to work for EST, which is the genius of Werner Erhard. Its all for the $$$$$$$

    My question is do these seminars do more harm than good? I really enjoyed mine, and made some great friends. I feel the same about the military and they attempted to brainwash me. What do you think?

    • Mr. Fire says:

      One man’s medicine is another’s poison. Oh and by the way, how many men have you tried to recruit because the failings of the team you are on? And how many teams have you been on over the years? If they are so wonderful, why are they not recognized nationally like the “Masons” or some other organizations? It is a CULT. Stop trying to defend. This is a battle and war you will never win.

  98. David G. says:

    I did the Weekend in March 2005 followed by another 4 years of being on team where the Men get together weekly. The Men’s Weekend profoundly changed my life for the better. Like any philosophy, you take from it what works and leave behind what doesn’t. I’ve seen hundreds of Men benefit from The Weekend and as a result, the women and children in those Men’s lives were also improved. Its a lot of work and commitment, but I’ve seen too many successes to write it off as a mindless cult.

  99. KB says:

    Let’s face it Arthur Justin Sterling is like the “Wizard of Oz” behind the curtain. He shows people they have the answers. He creates the space and the opportunity for men and woman to find and declare their own changes. They can only be honorable. Not illegal immoral or unjust. The organization events are non alcohol non drug use permitted. The men I know there are trust worthy forthright with their advice and balanced. Sometimes it can be looked at as a loony fraternity of misfits. But where else can some less well rounded men go, be accepted, find mentoring and have fun being with other men? Truthfully many places. Some santioned by feminists and mom approved others not at all. This place is a not at all place where men do what they do unabashed and unapologetically. Is it perfect ? Does the culture get corrupt? Do men fall by the wayside? Is it for everyone? I hear the fear and the blame. Im sorry its not therapy.. if men need that I tell them. Get sober.Play with your children! Grow up! Stop letting your hurt feeling get in the way of giving your best. Dont neglect your woman. Follow through. Be honorable.
    There are many ways for men and woman to destroy their marriages and their lives.Church work alcohol NFL gambling NASCAR surfing pornography other addictions etc. A lot of the old Justin stuff has been
    thrown out by men on teams and new more balanced mature masculine
    tenants subscribed to. By the way radical feminist also have cults and weekend events As do other quasi religions and pyramid marketing scheme enterprises. Its not a cult if you don’t let it be one…
    I’m for humankind I’m out to be the difference in the world.
    Thanks for allowing me to express myself.
    Now … release the trolls!
    I’m glad I went. I am succesfull, grounded and normal.
    I thank Justin and the men who polished me with trials supported me to do my best and continue to demand excellence from me.
    If they are going to do it any way and blame it on something this is just another something.

    • Mr. Fire says:

      Yeah, put Justin on a pedestal. Think of all the great things you, your team, your division has done for everyone. Come back when you are settled in with a long term relationship and tell me that everything is perfect with roses growing without fertilizer. Tell me how many of the men you are with are married for more than 10 years, 20 years, 30 years and more in your men’s team. Tell me how many of the people get broken down on the weekends from sleep deprivation, put into a basement, and run around naked before the graduation. Tell me how many secrets you were sworn to keep otherwise you would be considered a traitor? You are in denial son.

  100. Mr. Fire says:

    The cult that keeps on going. Yeah I did the men’s weekend over a decade ago. First question to all the peeps who love Sterling’s dogma, how many men’s teams have you been on? How large is your team and your division? How many times have you been through team and division changes? Do you really think that your cult is equivalent to an organization like the “Masons”? How many marriages have you seen torn apart because of Sterling’s dogma? How many people on your teams have problems raging from sex deviants through molesters, drug users and alcoholics? So easy to live in denial. Stay away from Sterling and his cult.

    Do you think my wife liked the secret meetings? Once a week, once a month get together with the boys. Give me a break. It almost cost me my marriage. You want to have a higher purpose, go look into doing volunteer work at a shelter. You will thank me.

    • Dan says:

      At the weekend I went to, I’ll bet of the 150 men there were maybe a half-dozen who were afterwards as viciously against what happened as you are. But I want to be clear, people like this, coming away from the weekend with such anger and disgust, were the extreme minority, probably 1%. I just need to say this in the interest of fairness. You were severely negatively affected by an experience that most men enjoy, many are profoundly changed by, and some just shrug off and go on with their lives. As someone who is generally in the first category I would like to know: what is it about you that makes you so upset and defensive about these things? What does this say about you?

  101. Mel says:

    Question. My wife has decided to go to one of these woman’s weekends. I had never heard of Sterling before, but I obviously get nervous when I hear the word ‘cult’ thrown around. We’ve been married 25 years, should I be worried? An stories, good or bad, from husbands whose wives took it upon themselves to do this weekend?

  102. sunsworn says:

    sterling like many things in life must be taken with a grain of salt including what is said at the weekend & what justin ideas are…it is not a cult unless you make it one for yourself…use your head & take what is good from it & what works for you…if you can’t do that then stay away, you can’t handle it!

  103. Dodged a bullet says:

    I have just been the recipient of a short term recreational relationship with a Sterling Man for the last 7 months. I am curious to know what are the suggestions and guidance that they are given to be in this type of relationship with regards to emotional involvement or controlling type behaviour, delayed correspondence, changing of plans, after being together for a weekend he would completely avoid for well over a week. Is he getting guidance from other men in his group or from the Woman in the organization? We decided to end the physical part 3 months in as I realized (and he was honest) about not being able to commit fully. He said to me this will be great cause I can talk to you more. A man at 48 should be able to make his own decisions about the woman he wants to be with. I ended it completely as I was not interested in being someone’s secret and I am wanting a more available (all around) person in my life. He was a great guy, lots of fun and lots in common. Just found it too convoluted and manipulative. It took a few months to see the forest thru the trees and I think they are taught or shown how to be as normal as possible but that shit is gonna leak out sooner or later and the mask that is worn slowly slips off.

  104. Christopher says:

    I was searching for things men are committed to to make life better on planet Earth and came across this blog. I see that it is going on a while now and it may not be important to comment this late in the running as no-one may be following… however it has been a juicy run so…

    I am the co-director of an organization that works to empower men, young men and boys to live in accordance to natural law, be good to all people, learn and know one’s individual purpose, stay connected to nature, live by a code of honor, maintain integrity, support family and healthy relationships and many more wonderful things that make the world a better place. I am also a father of a wonderful young man.

    I have had the pleasure to work with hundreds of people over the years and I contribute a good deal of my success to the training I received from A. Justin Sterling. Sterling was a pioneer in the field of men and women’s work thirty years ago and has trained many leaders in his time. Quite a few of the successful men’s organizations in the United States today have their roots in Sterling work. A. Justin Sterling should be applauded for his efforts in making America a better place.

    To address the accusations of the Sterling Institute of Relationship being a cult I must say this: under the definition of cult I see that many organizations and nearly all membership based religions fit the bill. I do know that since I did the training in 1997 not one person has ever contacted me to spend more money with the Sterling Inst. or attend another event. So I have never felt any cult-like presence in my life. As far as I know, nearly all the people who put on the weekend seminars are volunteers and the volunteers keep changing. A friend of mine attended a weekend this past year and I went up to Oakland with him. This was the first time I had visited anything the Institute put on since around 2000. I did not recognize one person from a decade ago. So if it is a cult, it’s not one that keeps the same people around.

    One blogger was not sure if people learn scripting in the “weekend”, I can say that Sterling did not teach any such thing in my weekend or in the weekend my friend attended in 2013.
    The tools I received at the weekend I attended are all about integrity, keeping one’s word and other such important things that don’t seem to be taught at home or at school anymore. Sterling is attempting, in my opinion, to try to instill old family values back into our culture, the ones that kept us strong for hundreds of years. Look around, whatever it is we are valuing in our society today is not very healthy; women are not safe on many U.S. streets after dark and the divorce rate is over 50% in the first ten years of marriage for the first time in history.

    Men living by a code of honor and contributing to restoring a sense of integrity to the fabric of our society is crucial to our continuance. The Sterling Men’s Weekend is based on sound philosophy that can be summed up in four main teachings, tasks for men to master so they can be better men, a code of honor to live by and pitfalls to watch out for. I can’t disagree with any of these foundational teachings and if every man lived by them I firmly believe we would have a safe society for women and children, as well as a low divorce rate.

    As for the men who have done the weekend and show up in less than desirable ways: chances are these men had issues before going to the “weekend” and the “weekend” can not be faulted for failing to fix broken men. For the men who have done the “weekend” and do not see it as valuable or have misinterpreted the teachings I say: have these men actually tried to master the four foundational pillars, the tasks, the code of honor and have they learned and avoided the pitfalls? If a man takes Sterling work on as a life long study, knowing that no-one really changes overnight, I can’t imagine that his life would remain unchanged. This work is potent and life changing in my experience.

    For those that have misinterpreted the teachings I say: when Sterling talks about men being jerks he is pointing out that most men, left to their own ways, will think of themselves first and do what makes them feel comfortable. That is why men do things that seem stupid or jerk-like to most women. That said, if a man takes this teaching and thinks that it is ok to be consciously rude, forgetful, inattentive, or uncaring then he is no longer innocently being a jerk and is now being an asshole. Sterling is not giving men a license to be assholes when he tells them not to deny the fact that they show up like jerks a lot of the time. He is hoping, in pointing out that men’s behavior is often jerk-like to women, that a man can see his behavior for what it is and better himself. Unfortunately men hear what they want to hear and act according to what makes them comfortable. So if a man has a tendency to be an asshole, well this is what he hears. This is not what I heard, nor how I show up in my community.

    I have had hundreds of people comment over the past decade working in my community that my behavior is exemplary and that I show up in an upstanding way. The principles of the Sterling Men’s Weekend, when taken on as a life-long study and practiced daily are principles that make life and relationship better. I cannot imagine anyone disagreeing with any of them, if they knew them as they were intended by Mr. Sterling. The tools one can get at Sterlings weekend, if one pays attention and practices them, are invaluable to living a good life, gaining clarity to ones individual life purpose and devoting oneself to serving one’s community.

    Maybe I was paying attention. I got a lot out of my weekend. I am grateful for the work Sterling has continued to bring despite all the negative press. It takes a strong man to bring things into a culture that has lost touch with reality, things that shake the foundation of the status quo.
    Sterling advocates uncensored speech. He feels politically correct speech is unnatural and does not allow for true, honest self-expression. That said, Sterling is not giving men a license to be mean or nasty to anyone. Remember he gives men a code of honor that goes with being free to express oneself. No matter how hard Sterling tries to teach in a way that every man will get what he is talking about, there will always be men who don’t get it. A good example of this is I have studied the Christian Bible for hundreds of hours and not found one word from Christ condoning or advocating making war on ones neighbor. As a matter of fact, his teachings are all to the contrary. However, many Christians to this day support war and Christians of the past supported burning women for being herbalists and supported unprovoked wars against Muslims and so on and so forth.

    Just for the record, Sterling never gives men the green light to treat women badly. As a matter of fact, he is quite clear that women are in general more intelligent than most men and must be treated with respect. He also teaches that without the woman steering the relationship, left to the man, the relationship is most likely doomed. Sterling makes it known that women are as powerful and amazing as the Sun, Moon and Stars.

    In my experience the Sterling Men’s Weekend is a training with tools for regaining one’s power on the path of life and learning how to use this power appropriately. If people who have done the “weekend” and are misusing their power, they did not learn this from Sterling. Sterling has a raw, unfiltered connection to masculine energy and a clear understanding of masculine/feminine dynamics. If your path is relationship, his weekend trainings are for you. Like any school, take what works for you and leave the rest.

    There is just no reason to speculate, talk about things you do not know about or otherwise waste precious time debating something for no real reason. If you are on the path of relationship and bettering yourself as a human the Sterling Weekend will most likely be useful to you. If not, talking about this person who did the “weekend” or that person and their behavior is of no real use to anyone. Even if only one person gets the gold of this weekend each time Sterling puts one on, like I did, and strives to live a life based on honor, respect and integrity, I feel it is worth all the effort.

    For those who have done the “weekend” and don’t feel they got anything out of it I ask, have you taken on the four pillars, mastered all the tasks, lived up to the code of honor and avoided all the pitfalls? This has been years of work for me to better myself in this way and become the man I always wanted to be. I just can’t imagine someone practicing these practices and not getting results in their life. My belief about those who talk poorly about the “weekend” is that these men were never disciplined enough to take on the teachings or try to master them and therefore must put the “weekend” down so they don’t have to be reminded of the work they are not doing. Because to better oneself is a lot of work.

    In conclusion I say, do the “weekend”, get the tools, use them, study them, master them, better yourself, better your life, better your world or just let it go and stop talking about it…

  105. Sterling(my real name, just a coincidence) says:

    I was recently “recruited” to one of these secret pre meeting recruitments to ultimately make a commitment to “the weekend” & enjoyed the meeting to some extent; & I ultimately committed to “the weekend”; however have not yet paid anything to actually go – reading all these posts & replies just confuse me more – there seems to be a mixed review. It seems that the “weaker” men have fallen prey to overdoing the actual commitment of the mens group…& it also seems some of these men that have committed to it have gotten great things from it. I read the word moderation. I think that would be key, but feel that there will, or would be great pressure to commit to activities (phone calls, meetings, weekends, etc) that may ostracize one from being a part of it all if these “commitments” weren’t followed through with, which I fully understand how these could hinder the natural progression and healthy growth of ones relationships (marriage, family, children). I am the father of two young children, & have been married for four years – I was recruited for whatever reasons. Which bring me to the questions
    1) why do these men recruit other men? What’s in it for them? (Or women)
    2) I saw a pyramid scheme mentioned, is there any known monetary incentives of these recruitments?
    Unsure, so I probably won’t attend, because if I’m unsure then there’s deep seated reason, usually my intuition trying to tell me something.
    Talk to me, I’m interested in the responses. Not the generic bullsh*t ones either. And I get it can be called a cult, but let’s face it, so aren’t most organized religions. (My opinion)

    • Rich says:

      Re: your questions about weekend

      1. Pyramid scheme – The only one making any money from the weekend is Sterling and a man who assists him. Enrolling man does not enriched you in anyway other than the satisfaction of giving the man a chance to do the weekend. I have been enrolled five.

      2. Enrolling men to do the weekend serves me by: creating for men in my life the possibility of getting big changes they want for themselves in the path to “becoming the man the want to be”; challenges me to be in more meaningful, truthful relationships with men around me; making a difference in my community by enlarging my men’s circle (this work is all about owning you life’s results and living honorably and with purpose as a man for the men, women and children in your life)

  106. Men says:

    To some it may seem like a cult, but honestly can anyone tell me that there isn’t an initiation to become a part of a frat or a part of a gang, or whatever it is. This is a group of men that have your back, and don’t fuck with your bullshit, you can’t bullshit a bullshitter and you for sure can’t tell me that the mens weekend didn’t help you, because life is a learning experience you’ll never be a 100% successful til your on your death bed looking back at all the lives you’ve changed to be the best that they can be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: