Gentle Wind Project.Extreme New Age group, formerly represented in New Zealand. Basically a New Age cult/business cult/scam. In August 2006 this group was wound up in Maine (USA) by the Maine Attorney General. See the History page in the Closeup for more information. GWP announced they would be continuing in the other states and in other countries, and have resurfaced as Family Systems Research Group.
A group officially launched in New Zealand in early 2004 by Mary Miller, with the (then) NZ contact person Grace Maiden. The Gentle Wind Project (GWP) has been described as being "a Cult" by former members, who have a web site called Wind of Changes. We have a detailed report of their Insiders' Stories (PDF, 51kB) available for download so researchers can make up their own minds on these claims. (An author statement regarding the report is available on their own web site.) Their descriptions of GWP's practices include many of the standard mind control techniques such as deceptive recruitment, control of information, etc, as well as a slightly more original angle – sexual rituals to provide energy for GWP's "healing instruments" which the group makes and distributes. The members involved in the sexual practices – mostly women – are supposedly warned not to tell outsiders (or even their husbands) about these practices. Naturally, GWP denies the claims.
GWP charges/requests donations of anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars for the various healing instruments, which do absolutely NOTHING for the well-being of the user apart from that easily explained by expectation, dependency and the placebo effect. Being large, brightly coloured and very expensive, the healing instruments should make really great placebos – just don't take them orally. Caveat emptor ("let the buyer beware" – although if you misinterpret that Latin as meaning "the buyer has an empty head" you might not be far off). False claims of credibility (especially relating to the healing instruments), deceptive marketing and sales practices, the questionable end destination of money raised, etc, are signs the Gentle Wind Project is also a business cult and scam.
Our original GWP listing (not very dissimilar to the paragraphs above) resulted in this page (not the site) being included on their own web site in a list of targets (since removed) for legal action. Intimidation is a classic cult trait. We note that their international web site has plenty of information available which makes their beliefs and many of their practices (not to mention the ridiculous price of their healing instruments!) quite clear.
The Gentle Wind Project has used straw man arguments to rebut the claims of former members. The GWP states that "rape, molestation, and domestic violence" did not take place in the "energy work" – their euphemism for the sexual practices that supposedly provide energy for the healing instruments. No such claims have been made by former members. We note the GWP has not denied that the "energy work" actually involves sexual activity. Another straw man argument is on their home page where they state "We are not ... part of a ... science fiction alien takeover of earthlings as found in the movie and television fantasies (as some of our critics would have you believe)..." No critics we know of have made such a claim. (So who's writing the science fiction again?)
Since we had received no information to lead us to believe that Gentle Wind Project would be withdrawing from New Zealand, to provide more information for New Zealanders interested in researching this group we prepared a Gentle Wind Project Closeup.
It seems that Gentle Wind Project also poses a serious danger to trees, since they have been ultimately responsible for many trees being pulped to provide all the paper for their donation-wasting law suit (PDF, 214KB – a whopping 45 American sized pages in this document alone).
Urgent Notice: A worldwide product recall has been announced for all "healing instruments" manufactured by the Gentle Wind Project. These "healing instruments" apparently do not meet the specifications of the original designers and may cause harmful side-effects.
At the end of June 2006 the Maine Attorney General's Office (in the USA) filed a lawsuit against GWP. In August 2006 this group was wound up by the Maine Attorney General. Read more on the History page in the Gentle Wind Project Closeup. President Mary Miller expressed her intent to continue GWP work in the other States and around the world. This she has done under the name Family Systems Research Group.
Written submissions for this listing are still being accepted (although please read the Gentle Wind Project Closeup first). Please see the Contact page. We note that to date no submissions of any sort have been received from the Gentle Wind Project or anyone representing them (legally or otherwise).