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GTD 'cult'

so a friend of mine sent me this message. I am a big fan of GTD and find it very useful. I'm just puttin' this out there.

I was excited to sit down to read "Getting Things Done" today. It's a great gift. I was so excited that I even read the acknowledgments, to be complete about the whole thing. At the end of the acknowledgments I noticed that David Allen thanks someone named "J-R" for being his "spiritual coach."

Uh-oh. "J-R" seemed like it might stand for John-Roger -- the controversial cult leader and spiritual guru. And it does.


David Allen, his wife, and many of his employees are ministers in the MSIA (Movement of Spritual Inner Awareness), John-Roger's church:

http://www.ndh.org/template.php3?ID=65 http://www.davidco.com/coaches_corner/Ana_Maria_Gonz%E1lez/article14.html (employee quoting John-Roger)

Anti-cult websites accuse GTD of being part of a program to recruit people into MSIA. Their view seems paranoid to me, but you can read it for yourself:

http://forum.rickross.com/viewtopic.php?t=2193 http://forum.rickross.com/viewtopic.php?p=15025&sid=e3195755a2185f9b4710580921d3f527

Now, I'm not saying that Getting Things Done isn't a good book about priorities and organization. David Allen may have very good advice about that stuff. But I am saying don't go to a David Allen seminar, get mixed up with the David Allen Company, or get too involved with the hard-core GTD crowd -- at least not without taking some anti-brainwashing measures. Seriously. This John-Roger character and his followers are not a joke.

I learned about John-Roger a long time ago, as it happens, because in high school I read a self-help book called "Life 101" that he "co-wrote" with Peter McWilliams, the poet and anti-drug-war activist. In 1994, not long after I read "Life 101," McWilliams wrote an expose called "Life 102: What to Do When Your Guru Sues You." McWilliams left MSIA in 1994 after 15 years of being brainwashed. It turned out that John-Roger manipulated him into giving him co-authorship in return for keeping McWilliams alive. You see, John-Roger had the power to keep McWilliams alive because -- and this will surprise you -- John-Roger claims to be the incarnation of God on earth.

John-Roger has also made headlines in connection with Arianna Huffington -- who admits to being a close friend and who has been accused (though she's never admitted it) of being an MSIA minister as well.


FreeWilly's picture

But the generaly GTD system?...

Linda;6053 wrote:

But the generaly GTD system? Just commen sense. I don't see how keeping list of projects and next actions on a bunch of index cards puts me in any more danger of falling prey to some bizzare cult. The basic GTD system itself doesn't lead one towards one philosophy or another, doesn't encourage blind faith in a leader, doesn't do anythign cultish.

I completely agree that what is needed is critical thinking, vigorously applied. But that is not being done, as far as I can see. GTD is simply based on David Allen's anecdotes, and no scientific testing by 3rd parties. Zero. Nadda.

Also, I have never said that having an Inbox or a Task list means you are in a wacko cult! None of the basic ideas that David Allen is promoting are even his. They are taken from other people and places. (but of course David Allen provides no references or footnotes).
Having some basic tools of personal organization is one thing, but when someone creates this massive SYSTEM, which claims to be able to give you "stress-free productivity", and does not provide any proof, that is something else. Then when you pile LGAT seminars on top, and expensive "coaching" and hidden religious cults lead by a psychopath named J-R...

But I disagree that GTD does not "lead" a person toward a philosophy. That is not correct, in my view. For instance, Ready For Anything, David Allen's second book, does exactly that. So does GTD, in my view. The whole thing is full of presuppositions, that come out of his religion. As a matter of fact, that is a great way to put it. There is an embedded "leading philosophy" inside GTD, (the larger system of it), that draws people in, and makes them "want more", and thus leads to the coaching, GTD Connect, and all the rest of it. It does draw many people in.
(not all, of course, many people think its crap, or unworkable, or too complex. Those folks are not his target market)

As I have mentioned, the recruiting goes on behind the scenes, with the coaching, and all the other services. Also, the DavidCo "coaches" are always "suggesting" books by John-Roger, or other MSIA programs. That is where the real recruiting work starts from.
Also, any of these "groups", like MSIA and Scientology look for easy pickings, people who are vulnerable, those who are "looking for something". People who need a "group hug" like those photos show.

Of course, critical thinking is the answer.

But there are some very sophisticated people out there who are trying to mess with people's minds on a very deep level. And David Allen, and the MSIA global organization is one of them.
And they self-righteously believe they are literally doing the work of God. Literally.

PS: Arianna Huffington is also an MSIA Minister, like David Allen, and a follower of John-Roger.

David Allen refers to her as a "an old friend" in his blog, but of course he does not mention WHY they are old friends, that is, they are both MSIA Ministers.
Yet again, he does NOT mention the MSIA connection, just like with his coaches. That is totally unethical, to say the least. Its totally conscious deceit.

http://www.davidco.com/blogs/david/archives/2005/05/ (David Allen cancelled his blog, so this link will die)




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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