Modern Mystery School on the Dialogue Ireland blog: A brief history.

The Modern Mystery School (MMS) has, by far, the most read content on the Dialogue Ireland website. With only 20 articles (and 668 comments) about the MMS these have brought many affected by this organisation to this website.

In 2011 Dialogue Ireland was approached by a number of people enquiring about MMS (nee Rocky Mountain Mystery School).

One communication came from a concerned spouse. After their partner had been attracted to the “Healings” offered by the “School” they observed that MMS was “working towards an ‘End of the World’ scenario”.

They noted that information about the group was difficult to find, especially on the Web.

Hideto Nakagome, Gudni Gudnason & Dave Lanyon

Dialogue Ireland posted this letter which went viral.

I am just wondering if anyone else has come across any difficulties or has any concerns regarding the operation of an organisation operating as the Modern Mystery School (formerly the Rocky Mountain Mystery School).

My partner became involved about four/five years ago now and at the time I assumed it was just another attempt at getting involved in the psychic/mystic/angles/new age type of thing. He has always been interested in these types of things and without a formal religious upbringing I always thought this was a way of touching on the area of spirituality without getting involved with a spiritual way..

Anyway one day having spent an afternoon at another psychic fair locally my partner had come across the Rocky Mountain Mystery School and had undergone a short healing of some type from them. This all seemed simple enough as similar things happened on a fairly regular basis. This group had taken his details though and started to call him looking for his reaction to what had happened. They were offering other healings and therapies and telling my partner that he has special gifts of a psychic nature that they could nurture in him. He became more and more interested and started seeing them either on an individual or group basis more and more. This did not really give me too much cause for concern but then after some time my partner started talking about doing classes with them. However the costs of these classes seemed to me to be exorbitant.

Read the full letter: “The Modern Mystery School (formerly the Rocky Mountain Mystery School)“, Dialogue Ireland, 17th November 2011
The Rocky Mountain Mystery School – Northwest Headquarters“. Later this “School” became “The Modern Mystery School”.

In 2021 Dialogue Ireland published an article by Ian O Grady who has investigated MMS and worked with many Survivors. The article contains the results of research into this group along with catching up with many affected by this group.

Modern Mystery School: Money, Magic, Sex and Power“, Dialogue Ireland, 23rd May 2021

Dialogue Ireland noted in it’s original 2011 post featuring the letter from a concerned spouse that MMS CEO for Europe, Martina Ruddock, resided in Dublin, and the European headquarters were also located in Dublin.

Martina Ruddock “Practitioner” page on the MMS European website

Dialogue Ireland noted that “Ireland seems to have more [MMS] practitioners than other countries”.

At this time (as of March 2023) the European headquarters are in London and there are no listed “practitioners” in the Republic of Ireland.

The Columbia, 95 Lancaster Gate, London, where Modern Mystery School claims to have it’s European headquarters

There is only one listed “practitioner” in Derry, NI, Dr Ann Donnelly who is a “Certified Professional Guide“. An official website does claim there is a “Centre” in Ireland which is in Derry/Londonderry.

Dr Ann Donnelly of Derry, “Certified Professional Guide” for Modern Mystery School.

Likely the presence of Dialogue Ireland in Dublin made the business model unworkable as people checked the MMS out before investing large sums of money

Dialogue Ireland noted that the question of whether MMS was a Cult was posed by themselves in an FAQ. Obviously MMS cleared themselves of this charge on their own website.

The Modern Mystery School was described by one ex-member as taking “vulnerable people and pretend their lives will get better”.

Continue reading “The Modern Mystery School: Yes it is a CULT they initiate you“, Dialogue Ireland, 11th January 2012

The post by an affected ex-member mentions rituals, expensive courses and promises of improved potential. Yet the impression this commenter gives us is that MMS is a Cult.

In 2019, Dialogue Ireland revealed that in 2016 MMS issued legal threats towards Dialogue Ireland.

dialogueireland, on 25 January 2019 at 7:20 pm said:

Just over two years ago we received a legal threat to take everything down or they were going to take a court case against us. Now you must remember we have never had anyone involved with this group. Just read how many have said they are sorry they did not come here before they got involved. Reading your comments one sees a very clear attempt to give what is a very controlling organisation a clean bill of health. I have had reports of massive transfers of cash, marriage break up, inappropriate teacher-student relationships etc. What is your goal to assist the victims by playing word games about cults or because you are genuinely concerned?

Comment by Dialogue Ireland regarding legal-threats by MMS, 25th January 2019

Dialogue Ireland revealed that demands to remove all content about MMS from the Dialogue Ireland website were made. We received a legal threat and were not sure where this would be issued from.

All articles and hundreds of comments from disaffected ex-members were demanded to be purged from the Dialogue Ireland website.

We countered that under Irish defamation law any challenge had to be made prior to a year elapsing. Also that the offending section must demonstrated to be inaccurate. We gave them an ultimatum if they did not withdraw we would publish their threats on our website.

It can be stated now that the MMS withdrew and Dialogue Ireland did not capitulate.

Dialogue Ireland supported those speaking-out against abuses in this group and protected the identities of those voices.

Mark Wilding
Mark Wilding, Journalist (VICE)

In October 2019 Vice journalist Mark Wilding contacted Dialogue Ireland about MMS having seen the unique set of articles on our site, and not found anywhere else, and the community of ex-members and their posts.

In February 2021 Wilding contacted Dialogue Ireland again and stated he was being delayed in the publication because they were having “legal issues” with the story on MMS.

In May 2021 Vice World News published an article on the Modern Mystery School by Mark Wilding:

The article drew upon much of the material published on Dialogue Ireland by ex-members of MMS. Researchers working in tandem with Dialogue Ireland were consulted for the article. Something mysterious happened.

The article did not mention Dialogue Ireland in any way. Despite the website being considered a safe-haven for ex-members to comment, share information and learn about Cultism, Vice, or the writer, had decided to not refer to Dialogue Ireland.

After our engagement with Vice our own associate Ian O Grady wrote an article following up many of the people involved. We felt somewhat betrayed in not linking people to our site as we wanted to assist people affected.

Wilding is said to have contacted Dialogue Ireland to explain that the omission was an oversight!

The effect of this was to deny anyone reading the Vice article, who had not yet found Dialogue Ireland, from accessing the wealth of information collected about this group.

Instead the article referred to two other online resources; the UK-based “Cult Information Centre” and its general-secretary Ian Haworth, and the US-based “Families Against Cult Teachings”.

“Families Against Cult Teachings”

It is noted to this date that neither the “Cult Information Centre” nor the “Families Against Cult Teachings” websites have published any content, findable via Google, on the subject of the “Modern Mystery School” or “MMS”.

Whilst not much is known about the “Families Against Cult Teachings” they do promote the UK-based “Cult Information Centre” on their website and neglect to refer to any other UK bodies who support survivors of Cults in the UK.

“Cult Information Centre”

The Cult Information Centre is known to occasionally answer their telephone and often refers callers on to Graham Baldwin of Catalyst Counselling.

It is unclear what qualifications Graham Baldwin has but his website claims Catalyst Counselling offers “Counselling and therapy for individuals, families and friends”. There is no reference to any professional-body representing Counsellors on the Catalyst Counselling website so it is unclear what “Code-of-Ethics” are subscribed to or what modality of Therapy is offered.

In 2012 a comment by David Brear published in 2008 was copied and left as a comment on Dialogue Ireland regarding Baldwin and Haworth:

29 February 2012 at 1:42 pm

According to evidence presented in court on behalf of the UK government, ‘Amway UK Ltd.’ has always been a technically insolvent corporate structure since its creation 35 years ago. In fact, it’s lost around $50 millions in the last 8 years. Yet, for at least 15 years, this absurd, bankrupt, private company (propped up by cash, declared in court to have come from S. Korea) has been secretly financing the activities of two self- styled ‘cult specialists in the UK’, Graham Baldwin and Ian Howarth. In return, Mr. Baldwin was listed by ‘Amway’s’ US attorneys in a lawsuit filed against Sydney Schwartz (a long-time critic of ‘Amway’) as an internationally recognized expert who would testify that ‘Amway’ is not cultic. Mr. Howarth (director of the UK Cult Information Centre), temporarily managed to infiltrate a think-tank of European cult researchers, FECRIS, posing as an independent cult adviser. An unknown number of UK victims of the ‘Amway’ myth have approached Messrs. Baldwin and Howarth during the previous 15 years falsely believing them to be independent experts. None of these individuals have been directed to law enforcement agents, journalists or legislators. On the contrary, Messrs. Baldwin and Howarth have directed these individuals back to their own paymaster, in order to secure their silence. Had these victims approached the UK government with complaint, then an enquiry would have been launched many years ago and hundreds of millions of dollars from the book, tape and ticket fraud would not have been stolen. Consequently, I state quite openly that Messrs. Baldwin and Howarth are dangerous charlatans, guilty of willfully taking part in a conspiracy to commit fraud and to pervert the course of justice in the UK. The silence of Messrs. Baldwin and Howarth in response to my detailed charges has been deafening. Ian Howarth still runs the so-called ‘Cult Information Centre’ Website in the UK. Tellingly, no information about ‘Amway’ has ever appeared on this Site.

David Brear
November 30, 2008 7:09 AM

The 2012 copy of Brear’s 2008 comment, posted on 29th February 2012
The original 2008 comment by Brear on the “Amway Cult Intervention” blog
Gudnason was once a member of Amway
“Amway, Get the whole story”

Dialogue Ireland responded to this comment:

dialogueireland, on 29 February 2012 at 5:03 pm said:

I believe this information to be correct. I was present at a meeting of Fecris in Marseilles in 2004 when this issue was raised. As you say Howarth was involved with Fecris and was a member for a number of years. Mr Brear was present at the meeting in 2004. He made people aware of the inconsistency of on the one hand being involved in assisting those affected by cults and at the same time acting as consultant for Amway by those adversely affected by them. Though Howarth was not formerly expelled from Fecris, we ran out of time at our GA so we could not reach a decision on the issue. In practice he has never appeared again since then.

Dialogue Ireland’s response on 29th February 2012

In April 2022 Vice TV broadcast and released online it’s “True Believers” series.

True Believers (Trailer)“, Vice TV YouTube channel, 18th March 2022

Described as “an immersive look inside the mind-bending stories of devotion and manipulation that allow these communities to thrive” the 6-part series featured an episode on the Modern Mystery School titled “The Demon Slayer Academy”.

Vice TV “True Believers – The Demon Slayer Academy”.
Double-click the video for full-screen

Watch the Vice TV documentary here.

An “End-Card” on the Vice TV “True Believers” episode “The Demon Slayer Academy”.
Another “End-Card” with the right-to-reply by Gudni Gudnason, leader of the Modern Mystery School.

Currently, if anyone concerned about themselves, or someone they care for in MMS, googles this group they are confronted with a plethora of MMS associated websites that pushes criticism about their group “under-the-carpet”, deterring many from accessing the information on the Dialogue Ireland website.

Mark Wilding, the author of the Vice World News article is credited as a Producer of the “True Believers – The Demon Slayer Academy” MMS episode.

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