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The Gentle Wind Project -- a 'charity' whose New Age marketing scheme was put out of business by the Maine (USA) Attorney General -- is now operating under the name Family Systems Research Group (FSRG).
Typical of cultic groups when exposed, in GWP’s case by the Maine Attorney General,* the leaders will change stripes – in name or location – and pitch, to maintain control over followers, attract new recruits, and keep the money flowing.
Now we have a “new” organization called Family Systems Research Group, described in its publicity as “pick[ing] up where GWP technology leaves off….”; seemingly consisting of the same cast of characters who signed the AG’s Consent Decree. Little has changed – beyond the defensive disclaimers and sales now based on price (mostly *) instead of “donations” in the marketing of their wares. Surprisingly, they are still calling themselves “researchers.”
* (On the last page of the FSRG description, above, we learn that “a portion of each fee goes directly to the work of The Gentle Wind Project….”)
They still have “healing instruments” (now called “I Ching alignment instruments,” selling for $365 to $6,260); “telepathic healings” (now “distant alignments”); and offer “phone consultations [that] … may have a transformational effect....” The “consultations” seem to hark back to the “soul readings” GWP promoted and used on former members in the early 80s (which they claimed to channel exclusively from “the spirit world.”)
And, amazingly, hair samples and astrology * (now “behavioral astronomy” and “hexagram profiles”) are back – which is where GWP’s “Tubby” Miller and “Moe” Miller (then Claudia Panuthos AKA Mary Elizabeth Carreiro) and Tubby’s five female housemates, at that time, first began. Oddly, another GWP dinosaur has been resuscitated – transactional analysis.
The authors of FSRG’s description are identified by the term, “WE.” Thus, former followers of GWP assume that “Tubby” and “Moe” may be continuing to affect that they’re speaking for “the spirits.”
The Maine Attorney General's Consent Decree prohibits GWP's existence in Maine and the GWP leaders from ever operating another Maine nonprofit. However, GWP (as Gentle Wind Retreat) is listed as a nonprofit just across the river in the state of New Hampshire. If you have questions about this, you might contact New Hampshire’s Attorney General Kelly Ayotte at firstname.lastname@example.org 33 Capitol St., Concord, NH 03301 or (603) 271-1202.
- Source: Gentle Wind Project "Connections", Wind of Changes website. Last accessed, Jan. 26, 2008
In August, 2006, the state of Maine entered into the consent degree for deceptive claims and practices:
Attorney General Steven Rowe announced today that the State has entered into a consent decree with The Gentle Wind Project, a Kittery-based charitable organization, and six named defendants (collectively, “GWP”) who served as officers or directors for many years. The consent decree resolves violations of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act relating to GWP’s claims about its so-called “healing instruments,” and violations of law relating to the mismanagement of the charity and its funds by those who held positions of fiduciary responsibility.
The “healing instruments” were manufactured and distributed by GWP from designs that allegedly came from the “Spirit World” via telepathic impressions received by the charity’s founder, John Miller. GWP claimed that the instruments repair a person’s “etheric,” or invisible energetic structure, which then improves one’s emotional, mental, and even physical functioning. The instruments were sold to consumers via GWP’s website and through “seminars” for requested “donations” of often hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the design. The research that GWP claimed to have done on the instruments does not support their alleged benefits. The Unfair Trade Practices Act, as interpreted by the Federal Trade Commission and the federal courts, requires that any express or implied health claims be substantiated by objective and reliable scientific evidence. In the absence of such evidence, the claims are deceptive.
- Source: Maine enters into consent degree with The Gentle Wind Project, Maine Attorney General, USA, Aug. 14, 2006 Press Release
For details and additional background information, visit the Wind of Changes websites, which is ""being provided to offer accounts to the public of former members’ personal experiences with the Gentle Wind Project leaders. ""
See also Religion News Blog's archive of news items regarding The Gentle Wind Project
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