Ep.#71 - The Elephant In The Room: 'Cult'ure Clashes & 'the Org’ International | Adi Goren - Part 1 of 2 ― The ‘cult’ure series is set to wrap in a few short weeks at which time main feed podcast production will be on hold indefinitely. But first, we have a final conversation to share with you. Back in August, Candice and good friend / wing woman, Tracy Stamper, sat down with former Org affiliate Adi Goren, who joined the pod from her home in Israel. This lengthy conversation was recorded prior to the unfolding crisis; as such, the intro to the episode, Candice speaks briefly to the unintended-yet-timely nature of this episode’s release. About 15 minutes in, Adi is introduced, and Tracy & Candice listen in as she bravely offers the first half of her story - sharing what it was like growing up in Israel and South Africa; about her early adult life a wife, mother, and an architect; and how it is she came to discover ‘the Org.’ Adi chose to devote herself to the business and the practice, saying in her own words: "My name and the Org became synonymous. And it was my identity." For years, Adi taught classes, produced events, and helped to build a thriving Org community in Israel. After a few glorious years, things got complicated, thanks in part to the ‘producer program’ and communal discord resulting from a lack of integrity, leadership, and guidance at the top. Adi speaks candidly about her own confusion and about what she felt to be a threat to her very livelihood. She describes how, in early 2010, she reached out to the Org’s founder to request mediation and support only to be publicly shamed. Adi opens up about the understandable humiliation she felt and what happened when the Org CEO came to Israel to offer his support. It was the beginning of a pivotal relationship that would ultimately shape Adi’s future with the company. The episode wraps with a disturbing revelation that left both Tracy & Candice slack-jawed.

Adi Goren is a former Org affiliate and experienced movement teacher who is developing what she and her community know as The Architecture of Movement. She manages a dance dojo in Israel, offering classes, workshops, and retreats in Israel and abroad. Adi qualified as an architect from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where she lived for 18 years. She is also a single parent and has been studying the practice of Aikido since 2010.

Ep.#71 - The Elephant In The Room: 'Cult'ure Clashes & 'the Org’ International | Adi Goren - Part 1 of 2

Candice Schutter: [00:00:00]
Welcome to The Deeper Pulse. And one of the final few episodes in the 'cult'ure series.
 We have only a few weeks to go before I'll be pushing pause on the main feed somewhat indefinitely. I'll share more about that in a future episode. But before we dive in today, I just want to once again thank patrons of the pod who've been making this work possible.
Last week over on Patreon, I dropped the second half of a two part conversation with former Org teacher and trainer, Anita Stark. Anita was one of the very first teachers of the Org practice. And she recently joined Tracy and I, sharing about the practice's humble roots and helping us to contextualize how and when things started to go sideways. She also shares her own story as a teacher and movement veteran of [00:01:00] 40 years, chatting with us about the gifts that she's gathered along the way, and why she's choosing to step away from the Org brand for good. It's a really beautiful conversation that reminded me, once again, that it is possible to count our blessings and grieve all in the same breath.
And I want to note that even though the 'cult'ure series will be wrapping soon, I will continue dropping bonus content over on Patreon into the new year.
 If you'd like to learn more about 'cult'ure series bonus content, head over to patreon.com/thedeeperpulse.
Okay, now on to today's conversation.
 Once again, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are based on personal experience and are not intended to malign any individual, group, or organization.
Okay, folks, welcome to the final conversation in the 'cult'ure series lineup. I know, I know, there's still so many [00:02:00] places that we could go, and the choice to wrap this series was not an easy one.
But we all knew it had to end sometime. And it's not really over because this conversation is ongoing, and it will no doubt continue elsewhere for who knows how long.
But personally speaking, I am coming to the end of a 16 month journey of cult recovering out loud. And this process has transformed me in ways that I'm still figuring out how to articulate. So I'll share more about all of that in an upcoming solo episode.
But for now, I just want to take a moment to acknowledge the many friends and colleagues who have stepped forward in support of this audacious undertaking. I will always have a very special place in my heart for those who've been willing to support this work, and especially those who have entrusted me, this platform, and you as listeners with personal insights and courageous vulnerability. Hosting this series has been an honor. One that I do not take lightly.[00:03:00]
If you've been listening for a while, you know that when my guests and I say, The Org, we're referring to the mind body fitness company that we were all once affiliated with.
But what you might not know is that I chose 'the Org' as an alias because of its generality. Because this series isn't about one organization. The Org could really be any group or organization where the subtle yet cumulative force of power dynamics begins to shape an entire culture in ways that contaminate purpose and cause unintentional harm.
When we talk about the Org, it's a cautionary tale. Just one example of everyday cult culture that is, sadly, all too common. Which may explain why the 'cult'ure series hit such a nerve. Why episodes have been downloaded in 69 countries. Cult dynamics are ubiquitous. And almost universally relatable.
And speaking of [00:04:00] the Org, which we are circling back to in this episode, as I've said before, I've received quite a lot of messages over the past year plus since Tracy Stamper and I first broke an unspoken vow of silence and started speaking publicly about our experiences on the pod.
It was scary at first. I mean it. Downright, what in the actual fuck are we even doing, scary. And then we started to hear from so many of you.
I mean, we knew we weren't alone, but damn, we had no idea just how many stories there were out there. Nor could we conceive of just how systemically the dysfunction had spread.
Now once again I will reiterate, there are many wonderful and positively transformative aspects of the Org wellness practice. Without question. I would not be the person that I am had I not explored some of these teachings.
And also, undue influence, power abuse and misuse, subtle forms of coercion, [00:05:00] they have all long been built into the business and training model. Stepping into the Org practice is a mixed bag. For better and for worse. The practice has an inspired and insidious reach. Both and.
It's just that the merits of the practice had been celebrated for decades. But no one dared air the family secrets. Perhaps to one another, but never publicly, until now.
And so it stands to reason that when we created this platform, there was a groundswell of unspent emotion. And our After the Org Recovery group continues to grow.
Which brings us to this week's content. It was mid July when I received a message from Adi Goren.
Adi is sincere and forthright. She speaks with refreshing candor. And in her first message to me, she shared that the podcast was helping her to feel, finally, in her words, [00:06:00] "legitimized and liberated." She wrote, " I think the first stage of healing is truth, and I'd love to speak with you on your podcast if you'll have me."
Adi was a high profile Org teacher and producer, who eventually became one of the Org's first remote staff persons abroad. She spent 18 months devoting time and energy to the home office until she, like so many others, was wrongfully terminated. Let go of in a painful way that left her grappling with self silencing shame.
Adi's story parallels some that you've already heard, but it's also very unique and compelling. And I've decided to make this two part interview the final main feed 'cult'ure series convo, because of how truthful and revealing her story is. It brings to light some of the shady undercurrents that drive the Org's exploitative business practices, revealing the unsavory intentions of its leaders.
And Adi's story gives us a felt sense of [00:07:00] just how far reaching the company's influence has been over the span of four decades, because Adi's Org journey unfolded over 7, 000 miles from here in her home country of Israel.
Yes, Israel.
In light of the title of today's episode, I feel I must speak to the elephant in the room. I want to let you know that this conversation, between Adi, Tracy, and I, it was recorded over two months ago, back in August, before the war in the Middle East broke out.
When the events of October 7th unfolded, I pushed out this story's release date, to give Adi and her community a chance to catch their breath. And in all transparency, to ponder whether or not it was a good idea to release it at all.
Now, I want to be clear, we don't speak about politics in our conversation. But I am sensitive to the fact that the regional reference alone might be triggering for some listeners.[00:08:00] And if you think this might be you, may this serve as a gentle content warning.
After a series of discussions with Adi, Tracy, and a few of my trusted people, I've decided to move forward with this release. Because political context aside, Adi deserves to have her story heard.
I've been wrestling with what to say as a lead into it. How can I possibly, in this short 10 minute intro, speak to this war and its incalculable horrors?
My social media feed is hemorrhaging viewpoints. Every day it's an onslaught of images, memes, and calls to action. One after another, each one contradicting the last. Comment feeds churning out the same circular debates.
And, ultimately, my attempts to sort through it all have made me realize that I am not equipped to speak with any authority on the matter, regarding Hamas, Israel, Palestine, and the region at large.[00:09:00] And I likely never will be, given the ways that I have inherited distance, privilege, and relative comfort, all of which indelibly color the lenses through which I look. So I won't speak to that.
If you ask me, war is cult dynamics gone mad. Quite literally. It's a trauma fueled, rage driven cult madness that has long compelled humans the world over to murder one another all in the name of, well, fill in the blank.
Politics aside, war is cult driven dehumanization to the nth degree. And I know this framing will likely upset some people. Especially those whose lives have been devastated by loss, and who are feeling desperate for retribution in the face of unfathomable grief.
My heart fucking breaks for you, and your rage is entirely understandable. I truly mean no disrespect.
But dare I say, [00:10:00] loyalty to this banner or that, it won't bring about an end to the cult madness that is driving violence and division, not long term at least.
I understand fully that disagreements are a part of everyday life. But disputes that lead to violence very often are driven by short sighted interests, power dynamics, intergenerational traumas, and long standing divisions. It's complex.
And as cult recovery has been teaching me, peace and healing, it's very easy to talk about. But the actual work of extrication from the indoctrinating ideals that are dividing us, ideals that are leading us to reenact the same trauma dramas again and again and again, in this case at the expense of whole families and innocent children. Sadly, and what I wouldn't give to be wrong about this, there is no easy quick fix for any of this.[00:11:00] Collective cult recovery is nuanced, and it can be very slow going.
This is not to say that I think killing is justified. I do not. If I actually had any meaningful influence over the matter, I would, of course, call for an immediate ceasefire to end the violence on all sides. But I also understand that, given the psychosocial realities that are at play here, these are outcomes that take time and a nuanced approach.
And so, all that I know how to do is to continue unpacking the dynamics that are lying at the heart of it all.
And so, here we are.
Today's episode isn't about any one country or people. It's about our shared humanity, and how our everyday interpersonal lives readily mimic the politics of power and influence that lead to so many of the challenges we're now facing as humans.
When we fight amongst ourselves, power players win. [00:12:00] The primary distractionist tactic of those in power is urging us to take sides. Dehumanizing one another in favor of our cult factions. Reducing humanity and all that we have in common to things like skin color, social class, or fixed political viewpoints.
Culty leaders, they love it when we point fingers at one another and band together to fight a common enemy. An enemy that they are more than happy to define for us.
Which is why I now believe that when I feel called to sacrifice myself for a cause, I've gotta learn to take a beat. To pause and ask myself. How do I expose power over abuse, stand for justice, and express my righteous outrage without inadvertently replicating the harm that I'm seeking to mitigate?
It's a very delicate tightrope to walk. And I am certainly no expert at it, that's for sure.
So for today, I'm choosing radical [00:13:00] humility and spaciousness. Because I promised Adi a safe space, as much as it is within my capacity to offer it, where she can finally share her story.
I have to continually remind myself that this podcast is called The Deeper Pulse for a reason. And when we go deep enough, we will find the common ground of our humanity.
Listening back to this conversation, I knew right away that we had found it. Because without meaning to, we inadvertently spoke to some timely truths.
Adi, Tracy, and I spoke for over four hours. We've trimmed it down to what we think are the best and most important bits. Our conversation will roll out in two parts. And in this, the first half, please keep in mind that we do spend a bit of time digging into the nitty gritty business of the Org. And I encourage you to stick with us through it all. Even if, as an Org outsider, it feels a bit tedious at times, because we're laying very [00:14:00] important groundwork for where the conversation is headed in part two.
In this first half, you'll hear Adi speak briefly about her childhood, time spent straddling cultures, and how it may have shaped her identity and reach for purpose and communal belonging.
And the episode wraps with what was a jaw dropping moment for both Tracy and I, one that will lead us right into the next half of this conversation, where Adi very poignantly speaks to the very heart of this series.
Here's Part 1 with Adi.
Well, hello.
It's morning here and it's evening where you are, Adi.
Thank you so much for working around the time zone differences to be here with us today.
Adi Goren: Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.
I waited 11 years for this. Really. I was waiting for the [00:15:00] opportunity and for the platform. I couldn't have imagined it. One of my teachers says, "God works differently." And this is God working differently. It's like, it's now what I imagined. I just wanted to share this, and when I heard about the podcast, I thought, this is it. It's happening.
Candice Schutter: It's happening. Well, it's an honor to give you a platform to finally share your story. And I feel like, Adi, you are probably one of the most, and I don't know how this will land in your body, given that, you know, you're in process, of course, with all of this as we all are, but you're one of the most ready people that I've encountered in terms of, um, having the capacity to share about this and having that, like you said, you were ready. Like when you found the podcast, you were like, here it is. This is what needs to happen.
And can you say a little bit more about that?
Adi Goren: I think it was a very big moment for me when I heard about the podcast. [00:16:00] I was sitting in the car with, um, a guest teacher from Brazil and, just had like 20 minutes to get to know her and basically take her to my dojo to offer a class. So we had a very quick kind of synopsis of, hi, how are you? Who are you?
And I know those immediate friendships, uh, from the Org. It was a familiar relationship and also a way of relating, um, having a very strong common ground of being somatic people and having a similar language. And just, I told her the reason why I invited you after not having invited anybody to teach at my dojo from the Org community, uh, for the past, uh, 10 or 11 years, um, was because I wanted to distance myself completely and disengage entirely.
And I asked her to come because she had [00:17:00] left in a very, uh, vocal way and I was so proud of her. And I felt she's speaking for me, and she's voicing what I couldn't voice. I didn't have the personal power to speak at the time. I didn't feel it was right. It wasn't appropriate at the time.
But her speaking out, and she left about five or six or seven years after me, which felt like a long time. And I just thought to myself, she's a bad ass, and I want to host her. I want to support her. And so in the car, I just very quickly said to her that. And I said that I didn't have the opportunity to, to voice my story. And I was very hurt.
And then she said to me, firstly, she empathized. She acknowledged my hurt, which was kind of like, Whoa, this is like so much. Nobody's ever done that for me. Thank [00:18:00] you. Actually, that would have been enough. I was happy just at that. But then she went on to tell me about the podcast.
And my immediate, I mean, it just flew out of my mouth immediately. There was like a yes. I said, I wanna be on that podcast. And I didn't even hear it. I didn't even know what. I just thought. This is, this is it, this is, I've been waiting for this. And then that afternoon, I got a link. I listened to your session, Tracy. Then I connected with you, Candice, on Facebook, and I told you, I wanna I wanna be on the podcast.
So thank you so much.
Candice Schutter: It's, it's always so bittersweet whenever someone lands in my inbox. And I know Tracy feels similarly. We've talked about it quite a lot. And, um, it's been a real sort of silver lighting of this whole bittersweet journey to connect [00:19:00] with, well, with people, first of all, that I've been estranged from for over a decade. Because one of the things that was and is beautiful about the work is the people in it that we end up connecting with. These immediate connections that form that are really beautiful and genuine. People who have really like hearts and like minds. And, so I've missed that.
So I'm connecting with folks that I haven't heard from in a long time. And then meeting remarkable people. And Adi, getting to know you has been just a real highlight of the last month or so since you reached out. So I'm really grateful to this individual that introduced you to this work on a selfish level, personally, as well. Because I have a new friend and, um, the three of us are all connected now. So I just think it's beautiful.
And then the larger community, you know, Adi has stepped into the After The Org, our recovery space, and has really added a really important voice to the conversation. And I wanted to have you on the podcast; one, because [00:20:00] you want to be here and the podcast is in service to the guest first and foremost. And also because I think we need voices from around the world. We need more diverse voices. And sadly in the Org culture, diverse voices tended to be not featured unless they're being tokenized. And even then, they are so few and far between. We just don't get to hear from folks that come from different cultures and have walked different paths. And that was another reason why I just really wanted to have you on.
And all of this before I even sat down and spoke with you. And I remember our first conversation, I was like, oh gosh, this human has so much to add to, all of this.
So I just want you to know Adi, as much as you wanted to be on the podcast, you are very wanted on this platform and needed. So thank you for showing up here.
Adi Goren: You know, there's like a little Adi inside of me that's like [dancing].
Candice Schutter: Dancing. She's dancing y'all. She's dancing. Yay.
Adi Goren: For [00:21:00] me, representing the Org in Israel, working for HQ, being one of the first. I was the third or the fourth teacher in Israel. And we started something together when we were a very young community here. We, for about two years, we were doing amazing things together. A lot of co creations, jamming together, supporting each other. It was very homogeneous and friendly and kind and it felt in line or aligned with, principles of what we were teaching. And I started owning that identity, of being an Org teacher. And then producing Org events. And then being the first to produce an Org training.
At a lot of it depended on my faith. It depended on my, uh, hard, hard work. I worked bloody hard. I was completely [00:22:00] devoted and dedicated and I was doing it purely out of passion for the work. And I became known for the work that I'm doing. My name and the Org became synonymous. And it was my identity.
Even my email address was, uh, Org Adi. My website Org Adi. It was really a very dependent relationship. I really did not have a sense of self. I felt a sense of belonging in the Org, but I also felt a sense of importance and relevance because I'm offering the Org. Not because I'm Adi. Because I am representing this work.
And developed according to how I perceived the development to be, and all the way to black belt. And traveled around the world. I've been to London taking a training. I've been to South Africa taking a training. I've been to Portland, so it was like, my [00:23:00] work was taking me around the world, and that's how I told myself.
And I worked for a year and a half for the Org. And I was very wrongly dismissed. And that was such a blow. It wasn't just I lost a job. It is I lost faith, and I lost my sense of identity. And I was, uh, shamed. I couldn't share what was happening. There was.
So now, 11 years later, I can share.
And the opportunity to speak with you. The first time we spoke, Candice, I was still under the impression that the podcast is in service of whoever's going to listen. And when you said to me, it's it's for your service only. It's just for me. It's very healing, very healing.
Candice Schutter: Yeah, thank you for, for walking [00:24:00] us through that. I know that's going to be really helpful. Well, it's helpful to me because it puts language around some of my own experience I can relate to. And also, I think it's going to be really helpful to folks out there to understand why we keep featuring these stories.
The way that these cultures become a part of our identity. And one of the ways we reclaim who we really are is by being able to shed and share the story. And be the person who is telling the story about the thing, about the organization about the separation, all the things. And to be standing on the other side of it. This is who I am. This is what remains after all of that falls away.
And then also, what you're saying about it being in service to the guest. I just want to emphasize for listeners out there. It's not to say that you're not important to me. You are very important to me. And the whole conception of this podcast was surrounding my inability to show up for myself. It was all in service to what other people wanted to hear from me. And I [00:25:00] had never done it any other way. And I spent the first part of the podcast attempting to unravel that. Still performing and trying to break through that facade, claw my way out. And I know that that is a process and that the best way out is through the sharing of stories. And I want my guests to have that experience. Because it's been so transformative for me and for every guest that I've had on from what I hear.
And for you to be able to unflinchingly represent yourself in your whole truth is what this is all about.
Candice Schutter: And so speaking to that, before we get into the story of the Org. I would love if you could tell us a little bit about your childhood, your upbringing and who you were when you stepped into that first Org class. So can you take us back?
Adi Goren: Yeah. So, you know, I, I grew up in Israel in, in kind of, it's a very rural area, inside the city now. But it used to be very rural. And my [00:26:00] parents had a huge plot of orange groves. And, I spent my childhood So, um, picking oranges and sitting on the trees and being very connected to the ground, to earth, to nature, um, to the silence inside the orange grove. It took me many, many years to understand that that was my spirituality. It took me years to understand that.
So when my parents, uh, relocated to South Africa when I was 14 and a half. So it was, like, beautifully orchestrated with my teen years. The sense of not belonging in my body, losing my sense of like, you know, um, comfort in my, myself. And, uh, we relocated to South Africa, and I was under the impression that my English is good enough. And that I'm very friendly and outgoing, and I'll manage beautifully. And I didn't.[00:27:00]
My English wasn't good enough. I didn't understand my teachers. I was kind of laughed at for saying funny things, um, and I did not belong.
Arriving in South Africa, I was first in a Jewish high school, and there I was really an outsider being Israeli. And then I moved to another school, to a public school. And there I was received very warmly. But by then I was already quite traumatized by moving. High school was three years of depression, unhappiness, a sense of longing.
And, uh, when I finished high school, I, uh, went back to Israel. My parents stayed in South Africa. I really wanted to be in the army and to serve my country. I was very Zionistic. My sense of identity was very much Israeli. [00:28:00] Hebrew, Jewish, Israeli, that's how I saw myself.
And, unfortunately, when I got back to Israel, I was alone. My parents were still in South Africa. And, uh, again, the sense of belonging was an illusion. I was thrust into a structure that really disregards its, uh, individuals. I got very sick. I was physically and mentally devastated. And eventually, within like 10 months, I was, uh, out of the Israeli army for health reasons and I was really, I felt a complete failure. And, it was a very dark time in my life.
So I went back to South Africa. I had a very good high school metric. So I got into university in South Africa. I tried to get into university in Israel but I couldn't with the South African metric. [00:29:00] So I flew two hours away. I thought I'll turn a new leaf. I'll start a new life again, cleaning the slate. Away from my parents again.
Uh, went to Cape Town University and studied architecture. And I must say that my, my mental state. I'm quite impressed in hindsight. Quite impressed with the strength of my spirit and my, passion for life. Because mentally and emotionally and physically, I was quite devastated. The five years that preceded my university enrollment were very traumatic on a level of social belonging and on the level of identity. Who am I? Where do I belong? Who are my friends? Um, I had lost sense of myself.
By the time I got to [00:30:00] Cape Town, I was very hopeful. And very courageous to make that leap. But it was really a leap into an abyss because there was nothing to, there was nothing structured inside of me at the time to keep myself afloat.
Having been hospitalized and having been let down by structures of hospitals and doctors and so on. And also the Israeli army and neglect. And I lost faith in conventional medicine. And I didn't really believe that anybody can help me. So all my, um, let's say everything that I struggled with was with a very firm knowledge that there's nowhere outside that I can find healing.
And then when love came into my life, when I met my ex husband. He looked at me with nonjudgmental eyes. He just loved me. And [00:31:00] then that's when my process of healing began.
We started architecture. We got married when we completed our studies. We settled down. We had, uh, the template of what is a successful life. And I followed it step by step. I finished my, my degree. I did all my vocational requirements to qualify as an architect. I worked in the practice. And there was something missing. I just I just felt it's not it. Like everything on the outside, superficially, I was living the perfect life. And I was in a very loving relationship. But it was something in my spirit was longing.
Adi Goren: And, fast forward a few years later. I had had my daughter. Her birth was surrounded with a lot of [00:32:00] personal, uh, like in our life, in our personal life, there was a lot of struggles. It was not an easy time. It was very difficult, and I felt very alone again.
 I was working as an architect. I was a mother. I was struggling with everything I was struggling with. And one day, we had just moved into our new house that we had renovated. And our neighbors, uh, that we knew quite well from the architecture community, uh, the wife looked fantastic. You know, she looked like she was glowing. And she was like, all beautiful. And I asked her what, what she's doing? What is she's doing? What, what's happened to her? And she told me she'd taken the Org intensive training.
So she asked me if I'd like to come to class with her. And, uh, I remember she gave me like a whole list. You need to bring a towel. You need to bring a bottle of water. You have to wear. Is it just, I felt like I need to take out my notebook and this is like.
[00:33:00] And, um, I, I joined her for the first class that was in December 2004. It was summer in South Africa. And I started taking classes regularly, to the point where I used to think, how can I work my life around.
Candice Schutter: Mm hmm.
Adi Goren: And get to class? I was addicted to the classes.
And my ex husband also was dancing. So we both, we would like. I would come home, take over our child and then he would go to class. I mean, we were very into the dancing. The Org class was incredible. I really loved the community. I felt happy dancing, but I didn't like my reflection in the mirror. I basically, I watched the first row how they dance. I loved the way that the teacher used to stand and just look at us in admiration and throw beautiful, [00:34:00] encouraging words. And I hadn't had that experience. I don't think ever. That somebody just stood and witnessed me and was, like, impressed and glorified my movement. It was like, wow.
And it was honest. It was, it was authentic.
Candice Schutter: hmm. Yeah.
I think we had one of the first, the same first teachers.
Adi Goren: Yes, we do.
Candice Schutter: It just so happened that she moved from where I was in the States to South Africa. In those years in between, you know, where my story begins and yours does. And this is a veteran Org teacher who was teaching way back in the day, who was a black belt at the time who as far as a mentor goes, I feel lucky that she was one of my first. She was a person who really encouraged me to consider becoming a teacher myself when I thought I could never possibly do it. And I just have so much respect for her.
So I just want to shout out in case she listens, to send love her way, um, to say there's a lot of really [00:35:00] glorious people in this organization that are doing great things and inspiring people in wonderful ways. She, she got us both involved, not knowing it would lead to what it led to.
Adi Goren: Yes.
Candice Schutter: So, just to celebrate her. So go ahead continue.
Adi Goren: She also created the community around the Org and around the work that I wanted. That was my template. When I moved to Israel later on, when I separated from my husband and moved to Israel, that was what I had in mind. I had a blueprint in my mind of what it feels like, what it looks like, how it operates. And It was due to my first teacher who was such a phenomenal community creator.
So I went back to Israel in 2005. And I came back to South Africa in 2006, in February, to visit my ex-husband, the family with our daughter. And in that week that I was there, I took the Org training, the first level, [00:36:00] with no intention of teaching.
In my mind, I was an architect, and dancing is a nice little hobby. And I was very close minded about this. It was very clear to me that this is not a vocation. This is something that you do in the afternoons.
So, I took the training so that I have it. So that I can have the tapes. In those days there was no YouTube. I don't even think there were DVDs at the time. So the only way to get the tapes was to take the training. And basically, the, there was a lot of mystification around the training. I didn't even know what was in it. Only thing I understood is I need to do the seven days, then I can get the tapes, and I can dance at home in Israel. So that was the intention.
And, um, when I got back to Israel, um, I must say for like about a year and a half, I was physically unwell to work. I was not well.
And doing the practice in front of the TV at home was very healing to me. [00:37:00] And, in my mind, I was never going to teach. But my mother was, uh, was pushing me for it. She had a friend whose daughter, her best friend's daughter, was running the studio in like a very posh, in Holmes Place. I don't know if you've got Holmes Place in, uh, in the United States. I really didn't want to teach and didn't think I could teach, but my mother set it up in such a way that it was irresistible.
You know, that her best friend and her daughter's best friend. We're on the lawn with my mother and me, and I was giving them class on the lawn, and they said, yeah, it's great. Come teach at the club. You're doing great. It's like, Okay, let me try. All right. So that's how it started.
And I remember my first class. In my mind, I'm an architect, and I'm coming, I'm coming in front of 40 people were in my first class. It was a huge event. And [00:38:00] for the first track, I had my arms in the air and then 80 arms are like in the air with me. And I just had such a like, I went out of my body for like a few minutes. And then I landed back in my body and had such a rocking fun class for the rest of the class.
So it was a real success. And that class went on for a few years and it just kind of developed from there.
Candice Schutter: Mm hmm. Were you the first teacher in your area, or you said there were three of you? Can you explain like how the community got off the ground initially?
Adi Goren: So I was number four. The first two were in a quarrel. So, uh, she had told me that she felt that the first teacher wasn't offering a proper Org class and that she felt obligated to offer it as an alternative.
And she was my teacher, and then the third teacher was like further up north. [00:39:00] Like, really far out. So far out that, uh, completely disconnected from any local politics.
Candice Schutter: Possibly intentionally, now that we know more.
Tracy Stamper: There's that possibility. Yes.
Adi Goren: And I was number four. I was kind of like all starry eyed and in love with the practice and like, let's all be friends and do stuff together. And the first teacher left quite early on. She had felt that, Marissa was very greedy. And, I was kind of like, really? I didn't believe her stories.
Candice Schutter: Because at this point, we should make it clear to listeners, you haven't met Marissa or Raul.
Tracy Stamper: Yeah.
Adi Goren: No, I had just started teaching, being a very newbie to the practice. I've only known the creators as TV personalities on my screen from my VCR. And to me they were a god and goddess of movement and of teaching I loved and [00:40:00] appreciated. And, uh, learned so much.
And then very soon after that, five and six showed up and then seven and eight. And that's when we started creating events where we would get together and have a lunch, dance together, talk about the practice. I raised the idea that we should have like a portal where anybody who wants to know about the Org classes. We should have an internet portal to introduce the work and us as a group. And everybody said, yeah. And so I built a portal and promoted our work on the portal and invested a lot of time and energy and love into the portal.
And I had invited the teacher from way, way up north and from halfway up north to come and offer workshops to my students. I had a very big student body early on [00:41:00] just from being lucky. I just struck it lucky. And I, I wanted to develop, and I wanted to get better. And they were, more experienced and I wanted them to come teach me and my students. I was very eager.
Candice Schutter: Yeah.
Candice Schutter: So at what point did your role evolve into becoming a producer. And for folks out there listening who aren't familiar with the Org, producer in the sense of someone who helps to organize, fill and make possible trainings. So these belt level trainings that happen in the Org, local people are often a part of, well, essentially they make it possible for trainers to come into a new area and offer training.
So you played a pretty significant role when it came to that in Israel. How did that evolve and [00:42:00] take us through how that worked. And then when it, started to get complicated.
Adi Goren: So, I...
It was 2007. And there was the Org forum at the time. Before Facebook, there was a forum. And I was a very avid forum person. I read a lot. I was interested a lot. I asked questions a lot. I made fast friends with an Org friend.
And she had produced a first training in her community. And I mentioned to her that I'd really love for there to be a training in Israel. And I was waiting for somebody to pick up the glove. You know, I'd never, ever thought I'd do it. Ridiculous. I'm like a newbie. What do I know? Somebody should get a training organized.
Candice Schutter: Mm hmm.
Adi Goren: She said to me, you can do this. It's a piece of cake. She literally said, it's a piece of cake. I hold her to it until today.[00:43:00]
Tracy Stamper: It's not a piece of cake.
Adi Goren: It was not a piece of cake. But she did a lot of the, uh, leg work to begin with. She told me, listen, I can tell you who you can invite. And this is who I recommend. So a connection was made and I'd invited her. And we had chosen July 2007 to be the training date.
And that trainer was very diligent and worked, I would say, equally hard with me, supporting me to be her producer, promoting the work. And it was unheard of that somebody would pay 1,600 US dollars. In Israeli money that was like a small fortune at the time. Um, seven day training for, um, program that nobody's heard of. And [00:44:00] just sounded like very kooky. It was like, what are you thinking? And that's never going to happen. But I believe it's going to happen. I really, I had so much faith.
And she had a minimum amount of people she needed to pull the training off. And a month before I had two signed up. And she's, it's not viable. I can't come. But let me see what I can do. Maybe somebody else would like to pick it up. And she made the connection with a trainer in the United States who said, yeah, I'm coming to Israel anyhow in February, I can take February.
She was very supportive, incredibly supportive. Also on an emotional level, she was supportive. That was unusual for me. And, uh, I also adore her til today.
And, uh, a month before the training, we still had only two. But she said, listen, I'm coming. I'm coming [00:45:00] anyway. I don't care. I'll do it for two. I'm happy to do it for two. And a week before, we had 13 trainees ten were my students. Anyway, quite a bit of the bunch were my students.
Tracy Stamper: Wow.
Adi Goren: So it was really like a miracle. It was a miracle.
And then, so this was February. The following February there was a war. So, I remember Marissa wrote an email to my trainer and to me saying, something, peace be underfoot. The lioness is roaring. Don't go to Israel. Something. I don't know a bit ridiculous.
Tracy Stamper: Wait, I'm sorry. What?
Adi Goren: Yeah, yeah, yeah. There was something about self reference as the lioness is saying no, don't go to the war zone to offer the training. Saying to the American. It's not a good idea to offer training when there's scud missiles falling from the sky.
So we had postponed the February training to May [00:46:00] in hope that by May things will get better. And she had set up her yearly visit to May, so it was fine. So we had the second training in May 2009. Again, many of my students became teachers, and we were a very united group. It was like really fun times. Joyous times for me.
Things started getting icky when, um, uh, I'm so uncomfortable talking about this still. Um, there was a third level teacher who came from the United States to live in Israel. So she was the highest ranked teacher in Israel. And, um, she used to come every year, uh, even before I produced the first event of training. She used to come on holiday to visit her family and to visit the country. And she would offer a class. [00:47:00] And we would come and take a class. And it was really, she's a fantastic mover. It was really lovely. I enjoyed her classes very much. She was very generous in mentoring. We had a good relationship at that stage.
I didn't see between the lines anything at that time. And I also didn't understand why she was very keen to be at the first level training that I produced in February 2008. It was very important for her to physically be there. And it really puzzled me. Why does she want to be there? What does it have anything to do with her?
I grew the Org work from grassroots level. I had never met any higher up organization people, except for the trainer that came from the United States and the trainer that I had trained with in South Africa. And by 2009, I had already met [00:48:00] the other trainer that I was initially inviting to come to Israel in July. I went to take the second level training. She was the first and only trainer to offer the second level.
Candice Schutter: So let's just take a moment.
So you have a relationship with a trainer that's ongoing. You've had more than one experience producing a training on her behalf, working alongside her.
And then there's the second level of training that only so far one first generation trainer that you just mentioned has been given the go ahead to do. So you end up developing a relationship with this first generation trainer who is able to do this second level. Sorry for all of you out there who aren't familiar with all this. I know it's like a little bit of a, dizzying going through all this.
So you've got these trainers and this particular trainer that you just referenced, you develop a relationship with her as well. And we don't need to go into the ins and outs of all the relationships you had with trainers. But the thing that I think is important that I'm [00:49:00] curious about. Because over on Patreon, we've had conversations about sort of the financial realities of being a trainer.
Because it's real easy for us to project ideas onto people about like, oh, this person must just be competitive. Or this person is, just looking out for number one, that's a part of their makeup.
But I really want listeners to understand that the way that the structure of the hierarchy is formed and the fact that there isn't a demand. That the trainers, because of the way that they're paid, and not paid for certain things, it creates a culture where these power dynamics just inherently exist. No matter if the people are really wonderful, lovely, generous souls. They're competing for resources that don't exist. Or there's a very, very finite amount.
And I'd love for you to tell the story around your relationship with this other first generation trainer we're talking about. And specifically how, [00:50:00] um, the voucher story. I'm just going to say that. Because it's a great example of the pressure that the trainers are under. I really want to have a lot of compassion around the pressure that they're under because of the way the business is structured. Which we're really going to get into why it is the way it is and some troubling revelations a little bit later in this conversation.
But let's just paint a picture, with just this one example.
Adi Goren: So when, uh, when I went to take my second level training in South Africa, I had already referred many of my students to take the first level intensive.
At the time, the Org had a referral program. So that, if you're a teacher who referred students to an intensive training, for each student that, uh, you referred, you would get a hundred dollars off your training.
So I said, yay! I referred like 10 trainees. $1000 off [00:51:00] my training fee. Which is like, a lot. So I very gleefully approached the trainer, to take the second level training. And she said, uh, no, you cannot redeem those vouchers with me.
And for me, you must understand it. For me at the time, the Org is the Org is the Org. There's no that Org, that Org, and that Org. There's no the business Org, the program the Org, the training faculty the Org. It's just one Org. I'm just, I'm just a dude in the system. It's the Org.
Tracy Stamper: And if you're told you can get x number of dollars off your training.
Candice Schutter: Right.
Tracy Stamper: Yes.
Adi Goren: Why not?
Candice Schutter: Yeah.
Tracy Stamper: That would seem very logical.
Candice Schutter: Which is to be clear to everyone out there, which is something that was decided at Org HQ as a promotion to try to get teachers to become recruiters. They're basically providing an incentive because they're trying to figure out how to get people into the [00:52:00] trainings. And they have, I feel like a, pretty confident in saying that they didn't run this by the trainers who are out there in the field.
This is a thing that they decided to do to try to get people recruited. And then the trainers are left in situations, like this trainer is approached by this woman who says, hey, I get a thousand dollars off, right?
Adi Goren: Yes, exactly.
Candice Schutter: Yeah. So it puts her in this position where she's expected to honor this commitment that she didn't herself make.
Adi Goren: Right.
And, and, and the thing is, this is all, she's emailing a potential trainee. And she's got a relationship with me on the one hand as being her potential producer. And now I'm her potential trainee. So it's also a bit of a complex relationship. And we've got a relationship cause we've been liaising over the internet for a long time on emails and whatever.
So she writes me a long email explaining why she cannot honor the [00:53:00] full thousand. She was actually really candid with me. She explained to me that she traveled nine times to the United States. She has to recover all the costs, all the investment she's made in making this training possible.
Candice Schutter: She had to attend with Raul this second level training nine times. Do I have that right?
Adi Goren: Whatever it is the fee that she had to pay. She had to travel regardless. So it was a hefty amount of investment that she has made.
So that was for me, the first red flag, cuz it created a rupture in the picture that I had.
I also remember, since I had so many referrals. So I referred over 30 people. So, so I, I remember having a phone call to HQ at the time. And whoever was manning the phone at the time, I remember said to me kind of like, hang on a second, let me just [00:54:00] find out with Marissa what to do about it. So it's like, uh, it's like I'm outside of the norm.
Candice Schutter: Yeah, for sure. You're like lead recruiter. What do we do in a situation where we didn't expect someone to actually.
Tracy Stamper: We don't know how to handle this. Hold on.
Adi Goren: It's too much money.
But later on, I was laughing earlier on when you were explaining about how the trainers were not brought into the picture when all these offers were made.
So I remember in 2009, they began a producer program. Now that was a really, like this is such an amazing incentive program to produce. I was already a producer. So for me, it was like getting a lot of freebies for doing what I'm already doing. And I think that was possibly when the first time where I realized I can really make money from this, and I can really make a living from this. This was like, okay, this is financially [00:55:00] making sense.
So one of the things was number 11 trainee, all the fees goes to the producer. So when I told my American trainer that, you know, I'm only supposed to pay you for 12. She just kind of like shrugged it off and she said, you know, I've been with this organization long enough to know that, like, crazy shit goes on. It's like, whatever.
But she was very cool about it. She wasn't up in arms about it. She wasn't annoyed by it. She wasn't angry by it. She was kind of like, so, um, I give up, you know. I, I like love this work. I love.
Candice Schutter: Resigned.
Adi Goren: She resigned. This is the dues I have to pay in, in order to do the work that I love. She didn't know about it. She wasn't told about it. I had to tell her about it.
Um, yeah.
Candice Schutter: Yeah, great example. And there's countless examples. Tracy, I'm sure [00:56:00] you're just having all sorts of feels around that.
Tracy Stamper: Well, it's fascinating since the producer team has not really come up in the podcast yet. And that was a crash and burn situation in my local community. It just.
Candice Schutter: Mm.
Tracy Stamper: The chaos and lack of information and changing on a dime without informing the producer team. I was on the producer team as well. And the whiplash from lack of direction at HQ. And the position that that put the producers in. And also the position that that put the trainers in at that time was, ah. That's all I have to say.
Candice Schutter: Hmm. It actually really reminds me of what it was like working in the inner workings of the company. And how, the staffers, we were always sort of scrambling to make sense of and to make [00:57:00] work these things that would be decided in like an executive team meeting. And somebody would just sort of pass through the offices and announce that this was a thing that was happening, and then walk out the door to go to lunch. And we have to figure out how to make it all work and deal with all of the conflicts that emerge, the conflicts of interest and the fallout.
And so this dynamic that happens in the workplace, is also happening in communities. Thank you for speaking to that, Tracy. I think it's really important to say, that chaos ripples out.
Which is a pretty common thing in the culture at large when it comes to power dynamics of, like, the folks who are doing the on the ground work are left to do the emotional labor. The mental and emotional labor of trying to figure out how to make it all work. Because the call came from the top and we've gotta.
And then the trainer just feeling resigned. Like, okay, they do this shit all the time. It's just another example. I'm just going to laugh it off. And I'm going to carry on. Because I love the work that I'm doing.
[00:58:00] And those tiny little, those tiny little sacrifices add up to big losses over time for people, um, not just financially, but emotionally and spiritually.
Which is part of what we're speaking to. So.
Tracy Stamper: And relationally.
Candice Schutter: Oh, relationally. Which is where I want to go next actually. Thank you. Perfect segue.
Because before we get to your time at HQ, I want to talk about what emerged in your community as a new face entered into the picture and the dynamics changed in terms of this inclusive community vision that you had.
Tell us where it went next.
Adi Goren: So, I think that, uh, it links to the producer program. I was producing the intensives. It was not easy to pull that rabbit out of the hat. And I done it twice with 13 trainees, you know, 2008, 2009. And, uh, yeah, it [00:59:00] was a, it was like a big wow. And, um.
But he didn't warrant another producer or more events. There was no need for it. And we were doing very well around this one training. So it made sense to do like, it made sense to have one big event a year.
And then, I'm trying to think what was the first skirmish. I don't know which one came first, but on the mailing list, because they did CC all, I could see all the emails of the people on the producer program. There were a lot of people. And then I saw the number nine teacher who came from the United States. She was on the producer for Israel. And it just puzzled me. What's she doing there? Why, why is she there?
So now I'm trying to remember, I think the first thing [01:00:00] that we had a fight over is that my website name was Org Now Israel or something like that, dot com. And she used the same name dot co dot il, something like that. And it was like. It's like, look, you have to understand the context of Israeli mindset.
We're living in a very, very tiny piece of land, and there are territorial fights and issues with boundaries. And the definition of where the boundary of this state lies is one of the biggest skirmishes of politics in the Middle East. So this country suffers from issues of boundaries and issues of territories.
And there I go experiencing this personally in the most like vulnerable place of my identity. Because I'm now completely representing. This is not about me. This is about the Org. And all of a sudden [01:01:00] now it is about me, because I'm now making a living from this. This has become something that as a single mom building her life in Israel after my health crisis and my like, my life had fallen apart. I'm like establishing a footing and I'm being threatened. I felt she was stepping on my toes. And it's like, why are you doing this? I couldn't understand it. And, uh, my initial response was rage. I was just so angry. And, uh, I think I emailed her, and asked her both. It's like, why are you using my web address and email address framing? And why are you on the producer?
And I, you know, I'm, I'm, uh, I'm very, uh, forward and I say what I think. And I don't think that I was, uh, very [01:02:00] politically uh, correct in that email. And she took it very badly. And that was an explosion between the two of us from that moment. There was no communication anymore.
It's just to remind you for a while she was like a mentor. And I do remember her, before I went to South Africa for my second year, I was, uh, having a crisis. Uh, I just finished producing the first intensive. I felt full. I learned so much. I didn't want to go to South Africa and do the training again. It's exhausting. It's demanding. And it was in the space of two weeks. And I had not known that beforehand. I'd just finished producing and retaking the intensive and had scheduled to travel to South Africa and then take another training.
And I remember telling her, I remember me sitting on the steps to my, my basement apartment at the time. All I, all I could afford. [01:03:00] Sitting on the stairs and complaining to her on the phone saying, you know, I'm just so overwhelmed. I don't know. I don't want to take this training. I don't know what to do. And she was very harsh with the energy allies. She was weaponizing the languaging, not holding space for me at all. Kind of like not taking this whole emotional outburst very well.
And I just felt, uh, very vulnerable after this discussion. So, so, I like, things started to fall apart between us already there. But a year later, it was like the big explosion.
But I think what's important is to put the context of the fact that things weren't managed at the top. That anybody could just go on the producer. You don't have to have been a producer to be on the producer program. She hadn't produced anything at the time. Why is she on the producer program?[01:04:00]
So the only way you can get in the producer program is if Marissa says that you can. It's like, what qualifies you? And later on, I realized that she received a lot of support from Marissa that I had not known about. And she came to Israel very entitled. And the eight of us felt this entitlement very odd.
I mean later on she did become a trainer, so my assumption is that there was an intention from, uh, Marissa to capitalize on her. So she was human capital for them. And there's a, there's a very successful little growing community. There's our ambassador. And who cares what happens on the ground. It will work out financially fine for HQ.
So it was really, uh, we were played like a chessboard. And it was unfair for all of us. Because there was really no reason for [01:05:00] the fighting on a personal level. We got on well enough, you know. It was the structure that set us up to this animosity. And, um, and also the lack of regulations or rules of how to operate.
Was like really like the wild wild west. Really not cool.
Tracy Stamper: I love the wild west. That's, and that's exactly what felt like.
And without the piece of, Adi, you were saying about just how there is lack of clarity. Nothing is explained. All of a sudden there's this new shift in dynamics. But it's not explained. And folks are sent out from HQ with directives to go do this in this community. Go start up this community.
But when that isn't made clear or discussed with the people in the community, what else is going to happen?
Candice Schutter: True.
Tracy Stamper: [01:06:00] Over and over and over again.
Adi Goren: I truly regret the amount of hurt that we have caused each other. I mean I was so hurt. And my my deep assumption is that she was also deeply hurt. And it was, I mean, not to say that there wasn't a lot of very healthy lessons that I'm really embraced and that I learned through this interaction about my own personal development, about me setting boundaries, about me having a sense of clarity.
I've learned a ton of things. I mean, it was very important lessons. But heck, you can learn these lessons in a good way. It doesn't have to be through so much pain and devastation.
Adi Goren: In fact, that's what led me to Aikido.[01:07:00] I was so distressed. And I heard, um, an event in a festival, um, down south, an Org event. I mean, like a workshop or a class. And there was an Aikido master, a sensei, at the, um, festival, giving a workshop. And since I was there, I, I took the workshop. And I thought to myself, that's my teacher. He's my teacher. Whatever. I didn't know he was an Aikido teacher. I said, Whatever he's teaching, that's what I need.
And then I found out that he's teaching Aikido, and I got super scared that he's gonna roll me and throw me.
But he gave me a framework, the Aikido framework, of how do we interact in a conflict, a real conflict. It's a physical battle. And how do you not see it as an [01:08:00] attack but an opportunity to see the other's perspective and diffuse the violence in it, and end up in a situation where the conflict is resolved to the point where there's nobody who is hurt.
And in fact, we're both more flexible and stronger from the interaction. So, I mean, that is like a mindset I didn't know existed. I thought conflict is one person wins and one person lose, up until I met Aikido. So, so that really my seeking for how to resolve conflict came from the skirmishes that we had.
Candice Schutter: Which actually segues into.
So it sounds like maybe running on parallel tracks while you're studying Aikido and embodying it, which is I'm sure a many years long process. You're also.[01:09:00] It's sort of that, that old adage, like careful what you ask for.
So let's talk about how you got connected to headquarters in a direct way. And it, it is due to this conflict with this other teacher.
Adi Goren: Yes. It was, yes. It was like the direct path.
And in 2010, I was planning to offer, again the cycle was a year from May. I was gonna offer another training in, uh, May. Except that my fellow producer now also wanted to offer training. And she scheduled it. I think it was within two months or two weeks, but it was very closely related.
And, there were waves in the community. People were saying to me, why are you guys, uh, scheduling these events so close up? Why are they not spaced out properly so that we can all, everybody can enjoy the mastery that's coming, especially to Israel, these masterclasses, [01:10:00] um, these workshops, auditing. All the goods that come with international trainers coming to a small community. Please space it out.
You know, people were up like really worrying about it. Why is it scheduled like this?
And I said, listen, I'm doing this for the third year running. My event is set for May. And she wasn't going to budge either. So it was in my mind, it was like a, like a Hollywood movie with the two teenagers riding, uh, it's either like a truck or tractor or like two cars.
And it's like, who's going to play chicken?
Candice Schutter: were playing chicken, yeah.
Adi Goren: And I'm thinking, I can't believe I'm in this fight, but I'm not budging. I'm not budging. It's like, I was here first. It makes sense that I should stick around and that she should shift.
And what was interesting is that the trainers that we were [01:11:00] hosting wouldn't budge either. So that was a red flag in hindsight. There was no such thing as a camaraderie or a group of trainers. They were all, uh, lone rangers, tending to their own forests. And there was no community of trainers.
So, they did not have a relationship. And also, um, you know, they wouldn't for whatever reason they wouldn't budge. So we wouldn't budge. They wouldn't budge.
And I did feel a sense of responsibility for my community, because my community was up in arms and really angry.
So I reached out to, I thought, who was the, in Hebrew you say HaMevugar Ha’achRaee, the adult in charge. I reached out to Marissa via email. And I said to her, this is the situation. Please help us out. But, naturally, it wasn't a, hi, [01:12:00] this is Adi from Israel asking. It was. It was I was in distress. It was a very personal letter of.
Tracy Stamper: An SOS.
Adi Goren: An SOS.
I was distressed. I was troubled. I was really in a deep conflict. I couldn't see what's going on. I didn't get the clear picture. And, you know, I reached out for support. I wanted her support. I wanted her guidance. And I wanted also her listening ear. And what I thought was like a good, healthy, motherly advice of how to negotiate this conflict.
And I received the email back to me with a reply all, to all the 55 new generation trainers that were already up. And to all the first generation trainers. It was probably only two sentences long, so she [01:13:00] replied to me, but not to me. She, she wrote it to everybody else, talking about me like I'm a bad phenomena happening in the Middle East.
And she said something along the line of, I don't want this to be happening. This is something that shouldn't be happening. Something like that.
So, I was horrified. I was horrified.
Candice Schutter: Mm hmm.
Adi Goren: And from listening to the podcast, I realize now, which is very healing for me, is that she wasn't even, uh, seeing me as a person. She was pointing finger at all of you. She was saying to the trainers, this is your fault.
Candice Schutter: Yeah.
Adi Goren: This is your doing. I don't want to see this.
But I didn't see if it's scolding them. I saw it as shaming me. I was so humiliated.
I remember sitting at my desk, reading this email. [01:14:00] And, I just, I just, it's like, I had the vision of a pedestal. And Marissa's face just came crashing down. It was for me, no longer a mentor. She was no longer a teacher.
That moment broke her authority in me.
Candice Schutter: Yeah.
Adi Goren: And, um, yeah.
So in the wake of that, the humiliation started getting emails. I'm laughing at it now. Um, love and light. Love and light. Love and light. This is how the trainers responded.
So we talk about toxic positivity. I mean, gosh, that was like, uh. It roared like a gun fight in my ears. The love and light. It was.
Candice Schutter: Mmhmm.
Adi Goren: such a denial of what's happening here.
That was probably the first [01:15:00] initiation for me into the architecture of movement, 'cause one of my first principles of the program that I'm teaching is to presence what is in the room. And to witness what is in your body. And so for me as a teacher when I notice something is uncomfortable, I call it out and I say this is what this is what's happening.
And as uncomfortable as it is, I just I name it, and I let it have space. And then there's just something relaxes and shifts. I call it the elephant in the room principle.
Candice Schutter: Mm hmm.
Tracy Stamper: I love that.
And Adi, as you were sharing about the bombardment of love and light, love and light. Where my mind when, as an American, which I would have kept to myself until you said that it started to sound like gunfire in your head. Was love and light. Thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and [01:16:00] prayers.
Candice Schutter: Same thing.
Adi Goren: Yeah.
Candice Schutter: Yeah.
I'm curious since you bring in the piece about being an American, Tracy. Adi, I really would love to hear from you.
Is this an American thing in your experience? Um, that it's more pronounced to do this sort of bypassing of emotion and, um.
Adi Goren: No.
Candice Schutter: Thoughts and prayers. Love and light.
Adi Goren: We do it too, but we do it differently. It manifests differently in Israel. Um, wouldn't be bypassing an emotion. It would be maybe be bypassing pain. And then going straight to rage. So it would go, in Israel it would go straight to violent, violent responses. It would be like diminishing you, your whatever it is you said in a very violent way.
So it's, it's, it's the same patterns of not presencing what is. and bypassing it. Every culture has its unique [01:17:00] way of what is politically correct in your culture. And what is acceptable in our culture. So, unfortunately, being angry.
And I can say that also as a South African. In South Africa, being angry is such a faux paux. I mean, you just don't show anger. It's very British orientated. It's like you, you do not show, that emotion is very uncool.
So, yeah. So in Israel, it's okay to, to be angry.
Candice Schutter: Yeah.
Well, it's interesting using the word violence. I just kept thinking, it's a different kind of violence. Like, there's the violence of unchecked anger, rage, just the dysregulation that results there.
And then there's a violence of dissociation. There's a violence of pretending, glossing over, diminishing in a different way. Um, I think they're both violent in different ways. And, you know, [01:18:00] microaggression, that term's become more common. I feel like microaggression is a, is another way it's sort of eeks. It's like these, these aggressive things, they find their way through. If we don't do the work internally, we find a new way to be racist. We find a new way to be an asshole, basically. And it looks like we're changing things, but we're really not at its core. So.
And I, and it pains me. I've heard this story 2 or 3 times now, thankfully. So I'm not reeling. But this experience that you had with Marissa sharing your words, this intimate moment where you reached out for support, that that it was put on display, that you weren't addressed directly, and that you were publicly shamed and used as an example to shame the whole group, um, is disgusting and inexcusable. I think.
Adi Goren: And I must say that as a teacher, I could no longer, I could no longer watch her videos. I could not, I could not receive from her from that moment. [01:19:00]
Um, it's just, it's almost like, um, I think you've mentioned it, Candice. It's like that moment that there is no naivety after I've seen this. I cannot go back to being naive.
Candice Schutter: Can't unsee it. Yeah.
And yet, isn't it fascinating though, that you had developed such a connection to the work and your identity.
This is, I'm really glad that you mentioned this because I think there's, there's a lot of folks out there who are like, well, I haven't respected Marissa in years. I haven't, you know. I mean I hate to say it but it's it's a common thing of like, well I know, I know what I'm looking at there. And that's no secret to me. And I know that Seth can be blah blah blah. And.
But the work. But the work. Like the faith that we put in the work. And then this sort of piece where we don't understand that it's sort of a placard that has been hung over their abuses. And that we're feeding this placard money and resources and recruiting people and all these [01:20:00] things. And it's like, we're going to talk about the real disillusionment that you went through getting really close. And also the psychospiritual manipulation, whether meant or not that occurs.
So picking right up on the story on the heels of this email and the devastation that you felt. And, and what it had done, knocking Marissa off the pedestal.
And then enter in another player in the Org, and a new relationship to supposedly restore your faith in the work again.
So tell us where things went next.
Adi Goren: So, the trainer that, I was producing. I think she actually, uh, did respond in a supportive way to me through the whole group. She was a supportive. And she [01:21:00] also reached out by phone, and she said that, uh, per chance, uh, Seth is visiting her. He was actually, she said, is right here on the sofa.
Would you like to speak to him? Um, and I said, yeah.
Candice Schutter: And to remind everyone out there, Seth is Marissa's husband. And at this point, the CEO of the Org.
Adi Goren: And I think, uh, like, I think like a couple of days before that I was taking a dance improvisation, uh, workshop with, uh, one of my local mentors. And she had said, um, lean against the wall and kind of get an embodied sensation of what it feels like to be supported. And I remember that felt so good to be supported, and kind of like relax against the wall.
And he got on the phone and he said, can I come to Israel and support you? And that memory of leaning against the wall was what made me say [01:22:00] yes. You can come and support me.
And I said, being a, kind of a, the wannabe peacemaker, I said, well, I want it to be fair.
If you're going to stay with me and support me. You should also stay with her and support her. So it was my idea to set it up like an equilibrium. He was coming to support me. But my idea of how community works and how support works, it needs to be systemic. I mean, you can't just support me.
I remember when we were talking on the phone and I told him what had happened. He said, Oh, you should never have reached out to her. You should have reached out to me. She can't handle this kind of stuff. She totally freaks out with things like that. And it sounded like a husband talking about his wife.
It's like, you know, she doesn't deal well with her kids going like all emotional. That's not her [01:23:00] listening ear. So, you know, it's important to say, cause that also created confidence in me. When he said, would you like me to come and support you? It's like, yes, because he had basically explained to me how the hierarchy works and what the roles are. And that's not what she does best. In fact, she does it poorly, he said. He admitted that this was poorly, and he comes to repair.
So, very seen by him from, from word go.
Um, so he came to visit Israel for two weeks. And he spent a week with her and her family and a week with me. We hosted him at our houses. And it actually was quite intimate in the sense that, um, I had a complete stranger come and stay in my family's house. Um, I'm a single parent [01:24:00] and he was staying next, next door is my parent's house. And, uh, my dad was away on business, and he was staying in the spare bedroom in my family's house.
And, uh, I mean, I don't know if I'm sidetracking, but I want to say that I am a very intense person, and I used to be so much more intense in those days. Is that all I cared about talking is to resolve the problem. I wanted to like, let's have this meeting. Let's talk.
And he's like, I want to have fun. I want to enjoy Tel Aviv. It's my first time here.
And I really couldn't get what is this guy? And what's he about? And what is he doing? It's like we did not gel. There were a couple of community events where he was taking photographs. And we didn't gel. That was the first week when he was, um, [01:25:00] visiting her. There was no, there was no connection between us.
And, uh, and then I have a very dear American friend who lived in Israel at the time. Um, she's also an Org teacher, or was an Org teacher. And she told, she told me, listen, I know. I don't know him, but I know the type. She said to me, show him a good time in Tel Aviv. Take him to a nice restaurant. Take him for like a walk around Jaffa. Show him around. You know, that's what he wants. He wants to do some shopping. Take him some shopping. It's like, like loosen up, loosen up. Just relax. Stop, stop being so work focused. It's just like, have a good time.
So that's what we did. And that's when things shifted completely. And we, we, we became fast friends. And he actually came on a weekend retreat workshop that I was having that weekend. He came with me up north. [01:26:00] We were, we were having a very good time talking. He came to all my classes. He took photographs. It was like a really fun week.
And at some point I said, you know, and when, when are we going to talk about the thing?
It was the morning.
Tracy Stamper: The whole thing.
Adi Goren: Great. We're having fun. We're connecting. Wonderful. Okay. Let's talk about.
And, uh, it was the morning that he was supposed to fly back to Portland. And we still hadn't dealt with the thing. There was no talking. There was no arranging of a meeting. Let's the three of us sit together. Let you mediate. Support us. Right. So I really felt like I was dragging, uh, an unwilling school boy into class by the ear.
Tracy Stamper: Love the metaphors.
Adi Goren: which It really felt like that.
And I said, you know, we have to have.
So we had a lunch together, the three of us. And it [01:27:00] was, um, it had an effect. Just his presence there and us wanting to appease him. And us having a relationship with him kind of got us to. There was nothing was discussed. Nothing was sorted out, but the atmosphere was created, the atmosphere was created as you guys can talk.
And then when he had left, then um, two other teachers in the community that really supported, bridging our gaps and we'd arranged a set up that it should never happen again the trainings are overlapping in time. And that, you know, we've, we sorted it out, and peace was restored.
I must say 2010, peace was restored.
And it's important to say because we had, we had reached a level of no animosity. We weren't friends. But we were cooperating. And I even [01:28:00] invited her to teach at my venue to my students. It was a bit. It was not a bit, it was very awkward because we were not friends. There was bad vibes still lingering. But attempts were made to, like, move through it. Not very skilled attempts, but there were attempts.
Adi Goren: So, um, what I forgot to mention before is that, when Seth and I spent the day getting to know each other, and we're hanging out in Jaffa. We're walking in this really beautiful side of Tel Aviv. It's a nice evening.
And Raul had already resigned from the practice. It was March 2010. And I was coming to do the black belt in, I think, August [01:29:00] 2010. I was planned to come to Portland to take the last training with Raul because it was his last training.
And Seth has shared with me that he and Marissa wanted Raul out. Um, they, well, the way that, I mean, I don't remember exactly, but the gist of how I experienced it, what I got from him, is that he was in their way of making the Org a huge success. He was the stumbling block. If only he wasn't there, they could really just like run wild and run towards wherever it is that they were running to succeed with, with the Org.
And he said that when that day, when Raul came into the office and said to Marissa and, uh, Seth, that, uh, he wants out. That [01:30:00] Seth told me he saw it as an opportunity. That he didn't want for Raul to have an opportunity to step back from that statement.
So that's why he said, let's, let's put this on tape now. And that that.
Candice Schutter: Oh. That recording of him announcing.
Adi Goren: That recording. It was at that moment.
So he asked Raul if he would be willing that they record this right now and that they make the announcement now.
And I remember as a, as a Org teacher thinking very highly of Raul. I had taken the third level training with him in Portland a year prior. And, uh, enjoyed it thoroughly. It was incredible training.
And basically I just really appreciated his teachings all along. Um, it was, I thought he was [01:31:00] gravely ill. That, that video that, uh, was sent out to teachers, he was like, all curled in. His shoulders were curled in. He looked really unhealthy. He looked gravely ill. And Marissa was rubbing his back and being very composed, looked fantastic as she always does. And it looked and they were giving their, um. I mean, he's leaving and, and he just looked incredibly unequal. It was, uh. She was also almost sitting above him. I don't know. I remember. He was like.
It was a very uncomfortable experience as a teacher to witness. And, um, yeah, and all I knew is that I wanted the opportunity to still take another training with him.
I wasn't feeling ready for the next level. But it was the last [01:32:00] opportunity. So I said, I'm going to go.
But I think that it is odd in hindsight, why he would share with a complete stranger such intimate goings of his relationship with Raul and Marissa, um, it was incredibly oversharing. Um,
Candice Schutter: And there were other pieces that we've chosen to leave out to that, that we're oversharing that we've chosen to be discerning and not include. So it goes much deeper than that. Yeah.
Adi Goren: Yes.
Tracy Stamper: That is so, in a weird way helpful to hear that narrative behind that video. Because having seen that, Candice, I know that you were gone by that time, so you have not seen that video. But having seen that video in real time, it was so discombobulating because it was so discombobulated. And to [01:33:00] understand that that was a spur of the moment. That was not set up, that wasn't planned beforehand. It wasn't anticipated. It wasn't rolled out.
That definitely fits with what I saw. And Adi, you're right. That was very difficult to watch that.
Adi Goren: Yeah.
Candice Schutter: Yeah, and it's what you're describing in terms of his body language and just the dynamic.
And I want to underscore before I say this, that I'm not in any way letting him off the hook for the things he's accountable for and the ways that he abused his power and expressed in ways that were uncomfortable and harmful to many of you out there. So I want to acknowledge that. And that it stands alone.
And also, I've heard about this video before. I mean, this sheds a whole new light on it. But I've heard people speak to how awkward it was to watch it. And what was really going on there. And I feel like you're watching a man in a trauma response of some sort.
And you providing this context, Adi, which Seth provided to you makes it all [01:34:00] make a lot more sense.
Like, he is the co founder and always will be the co founder of this practice regardless of how things have been edited over the years. And to decide to step away from what was his identity for decades. And to make that announcement to his partner, his business partner, former wife and her husband and all of them being colleagues. And to then be told in that moment, we need to capture this right away.
It's similar to what was done to you, Adi. Like you're coming in for a moment of connection and support around a really big thing. And we're going to make a display of it. We're going to shine a camera on you and a spotlight and have you do this publicly, because it serves us in this way.
It's so disturbing.
And I just, my heart goes out to him in that moment and what that must've been like. And then to have that be sent to all the people [01:35:00] that have respected you for so many years, just, uh, it's gut wrenching.
Adi Goren: Two years later when I was working for HQ, I got an email from Raul to org at org lalala .com asking, uh, the lowest level, uh, receptionist to receive a copy of the last movement routine that he had produced with the Org. He was curious to see how it turned out.
Candice Schutter: Mm.
Adi Goren: For me, it was so uncomfortable to speak to my mentor as this is now I'm working for the organization that he had created and built. And obviously the relationship is so broken that he's not able to speak at the high level to ask for this. Or the courtesy of high level to send it to him without him asking it.
And for him to be like a beggar at the doorstep [01:36:00] asking for it. And that I was the one opening the door. It's like, how do I respond to this email? It's like, thank you for everything you have taught me. I really am so appreciative.
You know, what do I say?
Candice Schutter: Right.
Adi Goren: It was, it was a horribly awkward moment. Um, and also shed again a light of how broken things were.
Candice Schutter: Yeah.
 Be sure to join us next week, for Part 2 with Adi. Here's a quick preview.
Adi Goren: When he said that, it horrified me. It horrified me that he's so detached. And my presentation was how it is a grassroots program that is connected to what the teachers are needing. And it was just a fracture between what my vision. And my experience, not my vision. I don't have visions for things. I just have my [01:37:00] experience and what I want there to be. And what he's suggesting, it was such a clash.
Candice Schutter: Thanks for tuning in and we'll see you back here next week.
Bye for now.

© The Deeper Pulse, Candice Schutter