Modern Mystery School: Money, Magic, Sex and Power

In 2011, a young father of two tiny children reached out to Dialogue Ireland when he noticed his wife seemed to be totally focused on the School. When she started spending excessive amounts of money to travel to Toronto he got very worried. He wrote the post below that went viral. I believe later his wife left the Modern MysterySchool.

https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/the-modern-mystery-school-formerly-the-rocky-mountain-mystery-school/


This laid the foundation for Dialogue Ireland “creating awareness towards this group” and finally gave people a platform to share their experiences of the Modern Mystery School. Since then, people from all around the world have been coming to Dialogue Ireland to share their stories. Since Dialogue Ireland first reported on Modern Mystery School numbers in Ireland have seriously declined with only a handful of Ritual Masters operating in Ireland.

https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/category/other/the-modern-mystery-school/
https://www.modernmysteryschoolint.com/

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”


We live in an age where our growing disillusionment with the Catholic Church has unwittingly sent us on a Journey of Enlightenment. Without God, we are left in search of a higher power, something greater than ourselves, something we call upon in times of crisis. We’re left with a spiritual emptiness, a meaningless void, a gaping wound that needs healing.  We are living in a world of influence where people deem their worth on how many followers they have, how many likes they get for a post. Our souls have become a commodity, and the promise of happiness comes at a price. With our souls on the open market, there’s no shortage of buyers looking to own them. They Come with the offer of enlightenment and the answers to the questions you’ve been asking all your life. They come with a promise of family and outstretched arms, ready to take you into their warm embrace. They come with lies covered with layers of truth and smiles on their faces to hide their true agenda.
How would you know you were in a cult if everyone around you believes the lie? Cults have one specific goal, and that’s to get you to believe the lie. The lie is designed to keep you enslaved to the cult. It wants you to vacate your God-given free will for mindless, blind obedience. The reason for this type of obedience is usually specific to the leader of the Cult, whether it be for financial gain or sexual exploitation. Cults can be defined by their charismatic leader and their unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs.  A cult and its practices can be extremely damaging to the individual. Cultism comes in many disguises and operates under different beliefs and levels of intensity, including: Religious, therapy/Self-Awareness, political, Commercial, New Age, Satanic/Ritual Abuse.
Not all Cults operate under the auspices of religion. Some morph into businesses and followers who thought they were disciples of a religion are reduced to being employees of commercial enterprises.

Amway, a multi-level marketing company whose distributors (associates) have created a cult-like atmosphere among its workforces is an example.. The distributors of Amway adopted the same techniques used by groups like Scientology, Modern Mystery school, Tony Quinn (Educogyms) to control and recruit its employees. A lot of groups obtain free labour from their members. These groups use damaging techniques like mind Control (undue influence): manipulation (using coercive persuasion) or behaviour modification techniques without the consent or knowledge of the person.  Phil Kerns, a former Amway executive, admits to Cultism in the company.  Phil Kerns who was a member of Jim Jones People’s Temple and Amway compares the two and say the difference is only the name.

The mission of the Modern Mystery School is to create peace on this planet by uplifting the hearts and minds of humanity. It boasts a 3000-year lineage of Mysticism handed down by King Salomon (King Solomon) to its lineage holders. For the past two decades, Mystery Schools have been springing up all over the world. They boast a worldwide network of schools with their biggest schools in Japan and South Africa and their main headquarters in Toronto Canada. Its influence in other countries like Ireland, UK and the USA is small but at one point numbers were growing. Strangely enough, you won’t find a school in Iceland, the birthplace of its leader Gudni Gudnason.
They claim through the power of activation, initiation and the wisdom of the lineage of King Salomon, that you will find your true calling in life. The Modern Mystery School provides the tools, teachings, healings services, and programmes that enable the initiate to transform themselves. The courses mix mysticism with personal development, giving students the tools to manifest energy that allows them to live the life they truly want to live. All this comes at a cost and not just a financial one, but a personal cost to family and relationships.

As I delved into the inner workings of the school, I tried to keep an open mind. I tried looking for the light. I looked for the love and compassion that the school promoted, but all I found was a pyramid style system built on manipulation and corrosive control. Ex-members talk about bullying, gaslighting, victim-blaming. A lot of this I witnessed myself in the form of Facebook posts and blogs from the members at the top of the pyramid, the ones with the most to lose. Some ex- Members claim sexual exploitation, which was reported in a Vice article, that appeared on the 4th of May 2021.
Courses come with strange titles and hefty price tags.  A Life activation programme and the Warriors of light Programme will set you back 2,500 dollars. And a basic exorcism will cost you a whopping 3 grand. Along with the courses you must buy books and ritual paraphernalia to execute the spells that cost 10 times the market value. The same materials can be found on the internet for the fraction of the price. One ex-member spent over 10,000 dollars to attend courses in Toronto. These courses are for the lower levels of the pyramid. Once you reach the higher levels, prices become extortionately large, with some members paying millions to reach the top tier. Other classes, by top tier members like Rita Van Den Berg and Dave Lanyon, can cost anything up to 20,000 dollars. They tell their members not to look up the internet because in reality, with just a quick search of the web, you will find all the same material for free.


Gudni Gudnason portrays himself as a man of mystery and thinks of himself as a James Bond type figure. In videos found on YouTube, Gudni claimed to live a life of sacrifice and selfishness. He talks about healing through forgiveness and self-sacrifice, but behind the veil of spirituality is a life of opulent luxury, expensive sports cars and beautiful women. This is a far cry from the members that sacrifice everything to ascend to his level of so-called enlightenment.  Gudni was born in Iceland on the 9th of May 1958. He was a sickly child and spent a lot of time in hospital and by his accounts, he was visited by his twin brother who had died 30 minutes after childbirth and decided to stay with him to pass on the secrets of the spiritual realm. He left his native country in disgrace after some controversy with the Karate and Judo Association, who denounced him after he was filmed hosting a kid’s Martial arts tournament with kids participating without any headgear. After a year-long investigation, he was acquitted of all charges, but his reputation was damaged beyond repair. He soon left Iceland for greener pastors and set up shop in America, rebranding himself as a spiritual guru with 3000 years’ worth of knowledge in the Mystical Arts. He claims to be a man of many talents, from martial arts to acting and even playing sets as a DJ in his spare time. He claims to have invented a stun glove, although a patent was granted to him in 2003.  A quick google search of his name adds some credibility to his claims as an actor. In his Bio, his credentials are posted as producer and actor, known for American Paradise, Beyond the Trophy (2012) and One Heated Winter, as listed in imdb.com. For the past two decades, Gudni has been trying to spread the teachings of the Mystery school while still sporting the same ponytail he had in his teens, but now grey with age as he heads towards retirement.
Gudni has rooted himself in the cultural fabric of society, seemingly living a life some would only dream of.  He has created a diverse range of businesses, from sustainable ecodomes, kelp dietary supplements and organic beauty products. In 2012, he released an album of ambient compositions, following a stint as a trance and techno DJ, and playing at the 2016 Fuji Rock music festival. He established a music events company with Rob Schwartz, a former Billboard Asia correspondent, before producing a feature film, called Stay. He has also partnered with former FOX producer Daniel Smith on Defending Japan, a military documentary series that aired on the History television channel. Most cult leaders tend to stay out of the spotlight wanting to only spread their influence among their followers. Gudni’s influence however spreads out past his followers, so why would a man with so much to lose surround himself with shady and narcissistic characters like Dave? Well, the answer is simple, “When the lure of money, power and sex corrupts the soul and roots itself in the fabric of your being, you surround yourself with like-minded people to facilitate and create a reality that allows you to feed the beast.” You have seen it played out in the media many times in the past decade.


I had a post sent to me that attacked the ex-members that had criticised⁰ the school, mainly the woman named in the Vice article. She teaches love and forgiveness, but in the same breath tried to destroy her friend’s reputation with a scathing attack on her character. She also moaned about the article not mentioning any good the school does, like all their charitable donations. I decided to investigate these claims. I promised myself I would write about any charitable work undertaken by the school. On the Modern Mystery Schools website, I found the only mention of a charitable donation and that was to a charity called SEE-Change/Women’s-Habitat, where the school donated 12,000 Dollars. 
12,000 Dollars is a measly sum, considering the amount of money given to them by their members. But still, I wanted this to be good. I wanted this to be the small ray of light in the darkness.
SEE-Change/Women’s-Habitat is a charity organisation in Etobicoke Ontario, Toronto Canada, that takes in women and children affected by domestic abuse. They provide beds and services to women and their families who have suffered some form of violence at home. These women are some of the most vulnerable in our society, and they’re being welcomed with open arms by these people. The SEE-Change/Women’s-Habitat Website talks very fondly of the school, as quoted:

“The Modern Mystery School connected with us in 2015 when they donated Halloween costumes for the kids at our shelter. Since then, they have been a passionate partner, providing a wide variety of supports, from providing beauty products to sponsoring a holiday party for our teen girl after-school program. This year, The Modern Mystery School celebrated 40 years of teaching and 20 years of being open to the public. As a collective effort of their members and founders, Women’s Habitat was honoured to receive a $12,000 donation to fund our drop-in programs.” You can find letters on the school’s website sent to Dave Lanyon and his wife from the charity thanking them for all the good work they have done.

They should think about where their money is coming from instead of giving these people a means of access to vulnerable women and children. I emailed them, but so far, they have declined to comment.

The biggest thing I took away from this was the sense of loss that was felt among the ex-members, and not just the financial cost, but the loss of family and friendship that all the current and ex-members have experienced.  It was this need to belong that drew a lot of these people to the school.  A few ex-members that talked about the school talked about the good that they got from it, but that was overshadowed by the confusion felt from the techniques they deployed to get you to spend money on the courses. One member told me it wasn’t so much all the money they spent, they had money to spare, but others weren’t so lucky and got massively in debt.

They talked about the good that came from the school.
“The community of people that want to grow together is the best part. For people to lose that would be devastating and I think that’s why all the higher-ups are clinging to each other.”
They also talked about what it cost them.
“My family all thought I was in a cult, so the biggest loss is the credibility and disgrace I feel for being involved.”

Others felt regret for losing the years they could have spent saving for their future. One person, I reached out to, lost his wife and life savings to the school. I don’t blame him for not wanting to talk to me.  Others talked of double standards and favouritism in the classes. How Rita Van Den Berg would bully and belittle students in front of others. Turn friends against each other because she was either Jealous or just paranoid of the friendships. If you had the money, you would be picked and given Dave or Rita’s, personal guidance and then used until you either left or the money ran out. Some were verbally abused as a regular occurrence and Rita encouraged other students to do the same to the students she didn’t like. If you are attractive enough you got picked by Dave to join him and his counsel of Twelve women and Dave certainly has a type. The majority of students never get to meet Gudni, they remain in the lower levels of the pyramid bearing the weight of their narcissistic leaders, Gudni Gudnason, Dave Lanyon, Hideti Nakgome.

If you have deep pockets or an attractive smile you might make it to the level of a subservient slave whose only role is to serve its leaders egotistical demands. Students are made to sign non-disclosure agreements in which they state they will “always speak in good and positive terms” about the school, its teachers and its leaders. The school says.
 “NDAs are now standard in contracts of this nature and are not intended and have never been intended to cover up any impropriety.”

Some ex-members still seemed under the spell of the school’s lies. They feared black magic attacks and the leaders invading their dreams as they slept. The control still felt by these people long after they left is a testament to the level of brainwashing and manipulation done by the school. Everyone I talked to had a different experience with the school, but all came away feeling the same, broken and embarrassed. Some have left but are still governed by the School’s mindset. Some are what Scientology calls squirrels.  They sell the MMS’S technology for their own benefit and have not addressed cultism and are now doing to others what was done to them.
Crissy had given years of loyal service to the school. She had developed a close bond with her guide Rita Van Den Berg who would encourage her to be more involved in the school’s teachings.  She was a devoted member and did everything to please her leaders and guides. None of this was good enough and she was stripped of her Ritual Master title by Lanyon over issues involving money, and probably had none left. By this stage, she had spent hundreds of thousands just to get to that level. Crissy was in a loving relationship with another man who had previously left the school. She was starting to rebuild her life with her partner and little kids when sadly she got cancer. Rita Van Den Berg managed to get her claws back into Crissy and convinced her that the cancer was the result of her leaving the school. She began Isolating Crissy from her partner and kids, and she eventually withdrew from her family. Rita had Crissy all to herself and began convincing her she could heal her cancer if she paid money to the school. She spent everything she had in the hope that Rita and the school would heal her.  Other members had convinced Crissy to get a loan against her house to pay for the healings. The cancer spread throughout her body, as Rita continued to suck her dry. In the end, she succumbed to her illness, leaving behind two young boys. Some stories, when you hear them, stay with you and remind you of the cruelty that happens in the world. Rita will deny these charges when this is published, but she can’t deny all the personal correspondences between her and Crissy, including all the bank statements showing the money paid to Rita in Crissy’s final months. We have the evidence and it likely this will have to be passed onto the SAP.

One woman who reached out to me still felt the same desperation she felt when she was with them. She had lost everything to the school and struggled to come to terms with the abuse she suffered. She was starved to the point of death, sexually harassed by Dave and Gudni, who tried to control her every move. They controlled what she would eat and drink, even down to her feminine hygiene to the point she had to ask Dave Lanyon for permission if she could wear sanitary products.  She was quite troubled by that aspect. This was all part of the initiation for third step Ritual Master. The initiation process for third step Ritual Master is a four-day ordeal without food or water, where the final step involves being buried alive. “ It’s hard to put into words what it was like having someone describe to you in detail the process of being buried alive.” This was after she lost her partner to the school and paid 150,000 dollars for the experience.
Dave Lanyon insists that he charges such extortionate fees to teach students not to fear money, a moral lesson that conveniently lines his own pockets.

A quote from an ex-member expresses the problem at the heart of the MMS.  

“The leaders save its worst abuses for its advanced students. If you’re in the lower levels, of course, they’ll be sweet to you. It’s classic grooming. It can take years before you notice something is wrong. By then, you’ve been taught not to question anything.”

Other articles that address the practices of Modern Mystery School:
https://www.vice.com/en/article/k78ay3/inside-the-bizarre-cult-whose-members-allege-sexual-and-financial-exploitation
This article will in no doubt affect a lot of people. Not only the people directly involved with this group. But people who find themselves in similar situations or have family members being controlled by  organisations that use undue influence. How would you recognise a cult if you were in one, or if a family member was involved in one?

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-to-identify-a-cult-six-expert-tips/
Who do you reach out to if you realise you are in a cult?
https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/services-we-offer/

Dialogue Ireland has been bringing awareness and helping people affected by these groups since its establishment in 1992. It’s the only source for information containing Modern Mystery School since they first brought them to the attention of the public.

HSE-Safeguarding Vulnerable adults.
https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/socialcare/safeguardingvulnerableadults/safeguardingvuladts.html

Info Cult
http://www.infocult.org
We are happy to put up other sites that assist those affected by the Modern Mystery School so do send them to Dialogue Ireland.

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10 Responses

  1. Very good blog?…: people are talking about this on our blog.⚡ ❄

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You claim the two predators have been revealed and caught? Which two have been and have you the evidence to stand that up? Certainly the article did not report that? Have you more evidence?

    Like

  3. Probably be over thousands of people left for the reasons mentioned in these posts. You can’t change the spots on the two leopards. Their egos and superiority complex have given gudni and david false sense of power. A thief will always steal, a thief will always test their boundaries if not caught. These two sexual predators have been revealed and caught.
    As for a petition you will get few who would sign their names. Many have already been attacked by the minions of the school. Many more have also been accused of attacking the school when they hadn’t by the minions. Charles Manson family stood vigil outside the court yard while Charlie was on trial. The same thing is being seen here with the MMS minions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. No it is different people basically saying the same kind of stuff and not adding value. What is needed is people’s stories as a sign to assist those leaving. Replying to a post by using your experience and by dissecting a post to get at the core issues.1. Are a lot of people who come to DI still under the undue influence of cultism. All they have done is leave the MMS but their mindset is still inside the group and they wish to operate a squirrel programme. Which is doing the same thing as the MMS but thinking they are better off.

    Like

  5. Seems like a lot of people keep coming out of the wood works anonymously. Wish there was a count of all the students who actually left and have similar feelings. Like is it the same 10 writing in over and over? Or are we talking hundreds. We need an online petition or something!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. the term “Mystery school” Is a BIG red flag. I have never met someone running or participating in these “mystery schools” to be anything other than a dabbling fantasists. It’s always trash. the time of secret societies and ‘mystery schools’ is over for now.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. wow amazingly said and all very accurate. As a ex-member I witness sexual harassment by david towards the prettier females. The money that was donated to the woman’s shelter came from gudnie’s celebration. The students had to pay to attend the celebration, I figured MMS made over $100,000 for the event. $12,000 to the woman’s shelter is a spit in the can.
    David says I will lie to you and if you question david you are immediately attacked by MMS. Never question david, gudni or MMS or you will feel the wrath come down upon you. David and gudni are guilty of “rape by deception” The same charge “John of God” was charged with.
    Thank you for writing this amazing and truthful summary of MMS,

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks for your comments. I believe many current and former members will find a safe place here to raise points anonymously. Do tell your friends that we are currently the only place in the world where this can happen. Reading the near ten years of commentary is a therapy in itself.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Thank you for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. First I want to pay tribute to those victims of cultism who have made their stories public, it could not have been easy. I wish you all strength as you detox from this evil.

    That story about Crissy is horrendous and gives me shivers as to how far people will go for $$$. My heart goes out to her family.

    This Mystery School (name does say everything) is not only an evil cult but a fraudulent organization as well. I have often wondered why my partner had to source close to $2000 in Cash to make payment (IN Canada) for some ritual master fees. There is no discernible reason for this.

    I guess the forces of light transcend this life but somehow can’t accept any currency but USD, in cash, on a foreign soil. Afterall the forces of light is not stupid, they know hard currency when they see one and they know not to give receipts.

    I suspect both the Canadian and US authorities may want know more about these “transactions”

    Liked by 3 people

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