Quite emphatically, NO.
There are many definitions of a cult, but most include 1) a single charismatic leader, 2) financial support by committed followers, 3) a unified dogma or mission, and 4) separation from the outside world.
By contrast, the three men who founded what became the ManKind Project gave away our primary intellectual property, the protocols describing how to run the NWTA, to our nonprofit organization many years ago. The two surviving founders, Bill Kauth and Rich Tosi, each receive royalties of less than $20,000 per year. The ManKind Project is a nonprofit organization which provides oversight of our 39 centres, and our leadership and management is extremely decentralized. We have a handful of full-time staff and the highest salary in the organization is under $90,000. Most of MKP’s income derives from training tuition, and about a sixth of our total budget comes from member donations.
The ManKind Project has a set of core values: integrity, respect, generosity, accountability, multicultural awareness, and compassion. We have a common purpose: to create better men. We have no creation story, no mystical entities, no miracle stories, no icons, no gurus. Rather than offering a single perspective on how to live, a single belief system or mission, we will support you in living your own mission as you define it. Will some of your old beliefs be challenged on the NWTA? We certainly hope so. Our intention is to provide an opportunity for you to re-examine patterns which limit your potential, with the goal of expanding awareness and opportunity.
As for separation from the community – the men in MKP are involved in all kinds of communities! We are a far too diverse and vibrant group of men to be closed off from the world. After getting involved in this work, most of us experience an expansion in the level connection we have to all the people we meet and interact with. We have weekly or bi-weekly peer mentoring groups that we can choose to be involved with. Some of us volunteer to work for our centres or staff our trainings – and a few have made this work our livelihood.
Many of us do feel strong loyalty for the ManKind Project because the NWTA and integration groups have brought so much meaning to our lives. Our loyalty is similar to how many of us feel about other service organizations that bring value to the world. If you have visited the Rick Ross Cult Forum, you know he refers to the ManKind Project as a large group awareness training or LGAT. Rick Ross doesn’t call us a cult. The truth is, we do offer awareness training – and we think growing awareness is a good thing!