How a Psychedelic Sex Cult Infiltrated a German Ecovillage

This is the story of an idyllic German ecovillage known as the ZEGG[1] and its infiltration by a dangerous cult named Go&Change. It’s also a story about sexual abuse and two dead children.

The following is based on my own experiences, what I’ve heard and things I’ve read. I don’t claim this to be a piece of critical journalism. And I don’t even claim it to be particularly well researched. My reason for sharing this is simply for my story to serve as a warning for others. If this saves just one person from harm by keeping them away from Go&Change, it has done its job.

It all began with an invitation to speak at the ZEGG Summer Camp 2021 in Bad Belzig near Berlin. I was to give a talk and participate in a panel discussion with, among others, a strange fellow named Felix Krolle.[2] Had I been a wise man, I would have looked up with whom I was to panel and what kind of organisation he represented. Sadly, I was too lazy to be a wise man.

I’ve been to the ZEGG a couple of times before and have always found the place gorgeous. When you’ve been staying in gritty grey Berlin for too long, arriving at the ZEGG is like entering a little paradise. And the day I arrived for the Summer Camp, on a sunny day under a cloudless sky, it looked more beautiful than ever. Little did I know that here, just one week later, one of the most insane experiences of my life would take place.

Shortly after arriving I received a text from this Felix guy from something called Go&Change. He wanted to meet and have a chat about the panel discussion. I politely agreed. But when we met, it wasn’t the casual private conversation I had expected. Instead, I was instantly seated in a circle of five or six other people. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but it quickly became apparent that this guy wanted something from me, and that the whole setup was intended to accomplish just that. Things didn’t go as planned though.

Felix hadn’t finished reading my books, he admitted, and thus couldn’t have known that I’m not a stage fetishist and that I consider cults the great totalitarian danger of the future. He presented Go&Change, of which he was some kind of leader, as a close-knit community with a formalized social hierarchy based on people’s cognitive stage of development. I thought it sounded like a bad fucking idea.[3] The meeting kinda went downhill from there. I was happy to leave when it ended.

I later realized that I had been sitting in the middle of a group of cult people, in what they call a “we-space” (a social technology intended to generate a field of collective practices that generate profound conversations, or some shit like that). However, after closer inquiry, I renamed it the gaslighting chamber. In the hands of the wrong people, this thing is an extremely efficient instrument of manipulation.[4]

Initially I merely thought of Felix Krolle as just another dude trying to sell me something. It happens all the time. But Felix refused to be just another dude. He repeatedly tried to get more meetings with me, all of which I politely declined. I simply didn’t have the time since I needed to prepare for my talk. But he didn’t give up. Eventually he texted me that one of the ZEGG summer camp organizers wanted to talk to me in person. I found that a bit weird. Why couldn’t he just contact me himself? I called the person and set up a meeting. Again I just expected a private meeting between the two of us, but once I arrived we were accompanied by three other people, including Felix whom I had repeatedly told I didn’t have time for.

This didn’t feel entirely honest to me, but I shrugged it off and sat down with them. I thought we were to talk about the panel discussion, but instead they started complaining about me not spending time with them and staying too much in my room. I answered that I understood it could be disappointing if they had been looking forward to meeting me, but that I needed to prepare for the talk and rest after a stressful vacation. Among normal people this would have been the end of the discussion, but it didn’t end there. One after the other they continued complaining and tried to guilt-trip me. Felix in particular became very insisting, arguing how I owed it to the community to make myself more available.

In the end it just pissed me off. I never signed up for this, and certainly didn’t owe anyone anything. At the time I merely thought of them as annoying community obsessed hippies not grasping that too much socializing can be draining to some. It was only later I understood that they needed to get closer to me in order to win me over.

The Dinner Table Incident

Until that point I had only been subject to minor subtle manipulations. My only reason to avoid Felix Krolle and Go&Change was that I found their project rather uninteresting and Felix to be boring and slightly creepy in the way he was stalking me.[5] It was only when things escalated at a dinner table conversation that I realized something was severely off with these folks.

Initially I was too focused on my food to notice what was happening around me, as is often the case. But at some point between the soup and the salad, I came out of my food trance as a friend of mine was being quite viciously attacked from all sides of the table after making a few critical comments about the speech of one of the leading camp organizers who was sitting next to us. My friend wasn’t getting flack for the contents of his criticism though, but for his personal virtues—or supposed lack thereof. It was not just that his criticism was invalid, but that he didn’t have a right to criticise in the first place. How dared he criticise this prominent member of the ZEGG after everything he had done for the world, Felix argued. And how could my young friend even suggest he could have anything of value to say to someone with so many years of experience. From there they went on and on about his “shadows” and “ego”. It was when Felix in a tone I wouldn’t have imagined at a hippie camp accused my friend of “sucking [name of the ZEGG guy] dry”[6] and called him an “asshole” that my nervous system had become fully alert. I never finished the salad.

At the time I never fully realised what was going on. But of course, this is the kind of treatment any lowly member of a cult can expect if they challenge the leadership. And here at the dinner table, the senior ZEGG guy was the top dog and thus to be shielded from criticism by collective bullying. It was almost as if the G&C people auto piloted through the whole incident once Felix started going after my friend. They had done this before. And they were good at it.

The atmosphere had become rather tense and I felt sorry for my friend who looked like he had been run over by a car. Understandably, you’ll enter a state of minor shock from suddenly being attacked from every corner of the room and being told you’re trash. Especially if the ones doing so are trained in picking people apart. I attempted to engage Felix in a more philosophical conversation instead to shift focus away from my friend. Unsurprisingly it didn’t result in the fruitful intellectual exchange one could have hoped. Felix simply rejected my argumentation by claiming he was on a higher level of cognitive complexity and that I would only understand why I was wrong once I evolved to his level of development. Felix claimed to be at cross-paradigmatic (yeah right, buddy)[7], and thus stood above any criticism from the rest of us puny unevolved beings. As a more developed human being, he was automatically right. But of course, he had the tools to help us become more evolved if we just listened to him.

Despite the prospect of evolving to higher levels, I thought I’d heard enough and decided to leave. I admit, I might have lost my temper at some point. I might have told Felix I thought he was full of shit. I also told him straight up that the love he constantly talked about rang hollow and was nowhere to be felt in his presence, and that his eyes looked completely dead.[8] That’s not a nice thing to say to someone. But honestly, I still stand by my words.

Whatever they are doing at G&C, it isn’t working. Most of the folks at the camp had this shiny hippie love radiating from their eyes and body language full of life and vigour. It was clear to see that whatever spiritual and therapeutic practices they were into, it was working. And then there were these G&C folks: stale bodies, stone faced, dead eyes, ready to engage you in psychological jiu-jitsu at any moment to establish their developmental superiority.

As I left the dinner table and walked away, I didn’t realise that Felix fucking followed us. It was only after having told my friend how creepy I found Felix that I looked back and discovered him walking behind us close enough to eardrop on our conversation. But at least he now knew what I thought of him.

And then I went to my room and googled Go&Change:

“Esoteric Psycho Cult on Fusion-Kinderspace?”

https://forum.kulturkosmos.de/viewtopic.php?t=29080

 “Razzia at community Go&Change in Luelsfeld”

https://www.br.de/nachrichten/bayern/razzia-bei-gemeinschaft-goandchange-in-luelsfeld,SNyKr8

s

“Psychological Pressure and Sexualized Violence in a Former Monastery?”

https://www.mainpost.de/regional/schweinfurt/psychodruck-und-sexualisierte-gewalt-in-ehemaligem-kloster-art-10449309

The latter is from the German newspaper Main-Post. An English translation can be found here:

https://www.world-today-news.com/psychological-pressure-and-sexualized-violence-in-a-former-monastery/

Here are a few snippets from the article (my bolds):

“In the past few months, several women and men have turned to the editorial team: former members of ‘Go & Change’. There are ‘psychological terrorism’ and ‘brainwashing’ in the community, they report independently. They tell of all-controlling leaders and sexualized violence as ‘therapy’. Visiting relatives is usually not welcome. Almost all dropouts want to remain anonymous. The dropouts in particular are very scared.”

 

“‘Sadomaso sex’ is also part of a ‘therapy’ by K.K., who, according to dropouts, describes himself as a ‘healer’. The personality should be cured from its ‘shadows’. This type of ‘treatment’ takes place in a ‘sex room’ on the upper floor of ‘Maria Schnee’. The women say that some were injured, a woman even very serious physical wounds. ‘Go & Change’ does not answer the editor’s question about the sex therapies described. That is ‘our private matter’, says Krolle. The allegation is not being denied.”

 

“Today Ralf B. regrets his trust in ‘Go & Change’. His wife had not recovered there. On the contrary. ‘She went through hell,’ says Ralf B .; he followed it. He met his wife regularly during their stay. To date, she has not processed the experience within the monastery walls. The 45-year-old is currently undergoing therapeutic treatment.”

 

“Ralf B. tells of sleep deprivation through ‘process nights’ with group sessions and of massive verbal insults against his wife. She had told her husband about a tally list in which alleged misconduct was counted. From her isolation in a special group for ‘narcissistic women’ – as a punitive measure. And financial control of the members.

Drugs are said to have been involved: LSD and ecstasy. ‘Because they reveal more of themselves,’ says Ralf B. The other dropouts confirm this. Ralf B. also observed during a visit that drugs were used deliberately and specifically targeted at individuals.

Ralf B. describes that his wife found the group sessions torture. ‘Then you’re done,’ he says. Sometimes the round lasted all night. Without sleep, everyone would have had to go back to the work in which they were firmly divided: in the kitchen or garden, for washing up, for cooking, for cleaning. Others were able to bring in their manual skills.”

 

“According to Lohmayer, methodological instruments from the field of psychology, such as ‘integral structural constellations with in-depth analysis’, are used in the community, but are used here without recognized psychotherapeutic qualifications. For him, ‘Go & Change’ is a ‘psycho group with a high potential for conflict’. He says: ‘Group dynamic processes, management and power structures, social control, total commitment, separation from the previous social environment’ are always a topic in the consultations that he had with dropouts and relatives. ‘You have to imagine the group dynamic context like this,’ explains Lohmayer: ‘The more I know about a person – especially in sexual and partnership terms – the more power I gain over them, the more controllable they become and the more vulnerable they ultimately become.‘”

 

“In March 2019, a one-year-old falls into an extinguishing pond near the monastery and later dies in a hospital in Munich. As it turns out, the child was visiting ‘Go & Change’ and was supervised by members of the community. According to the public prosecutor’s office in Schweinfurt, ‘it was investigated against three people for negligent homicide’. […] ‘An infant from the ‘Go & Change’ environment had died on a walk four weeks earlier.”

Oh, and if that wasn’t alarming enough, here are some of Go&Change’s google reviews (again, my bolds):

[Translated by Google]

“Danger!!! I understand the longing for loving fellowship, but don’t make the mistake of joining this religious community. Go & Change is definitely a sect-like group. Here contact with the outside world is systematically cut off. One should distance oneself from friends / family who are critical, there are clear hierarchies and alleged energy work / psychotherapy which in the end is brainwashing. Sometimes families are dissolved here, children are separated from their parents and what else do I know, and everything happens to the taste of the “leaders” named Felix and Kai who can take any freedom themselves while the “residents” are subject to strict daily and work rhythms . Unfortunately I lost a friend to this “community”. Fortunately, some other friends made the jump in time. In the meantime I have also heard reports from some other dropouts that clearly point to sects and brainwashing. Of course there are practices there that work and initially suggest that what is being conveyed there is correct or that you learn about yourself, and certainly not everything that happens there is bad. In the long run, however, a dependency and a power imbalance should and will be created which ends in a kind of powerlessness. Many dropouts only become really aware of it after they have left it. I advise extreme caution and wish everyone here the best.”[9]

 

[Translated by Google]

“This community has something of a psychosis for me.

I’m sorry to have to say that, but I also do not want to conceal it.

Strong manipulation through something like, “we all think that you …” and “we want to mirror that …” then it is discussed, “until all have the same perspective,” all night through, but distressing ” with little sleep you also have less internal resistance “. You are encouraged not to eat alone, you must not sit separately in the dining room, because “when you separate, the shadows grow”. The idea is to be constant with other people, because a person is only capable of transforming his dark side in the community. Inner hierarchy mixed with polyamory – “I’ll make you a child right away if you’ve transformed those issues.”

Uiuiuiuiui … take good care of you :)”[10]

 

[Translated by Google]

“At Go & Change, the inner process and shadow work is the core of the community. There is an official 7-level hierarchy in which all residents are classified, in the top group are the two founders Felix and Kai. A common means is “mirroring”, whereby your behavior and behavioral patterns are mirrored to you, but only mirrored by higher-ranking members to lower members, who seem to accept his judgments unreservedly. There is a daily structure with activities and work to which all residents are obliged, except for the higher-ranking groups.

I saw a man who was threatened with disciplinary action (sitting in a room for 1 hour) for being late for an activity. In addition, a person was praised for staying awake for 54 hours, as this is considered to be loving towards the community. His wife has been criticized for not valuing him enough.

Some of what I have heard, e.g. the separation of parents and children, strengthen the image that relationships of dependency are created here and that people are disempowered.

I wish to be able to question all people who live in the community or who are in close contact, whether what this group gives them is worth what it takes away from them, their self-determination and self-esteem.

I advise everyone who is interested in it to be careful and always to trust their own perception the most.”[11]

 

[Translated by Google]

“I think this place is very destructive. Distinctive hierarchies, great egos, undermining of self-determination and individuality, devaluation of feelings and the voice of the heart, psychological manipulation and all under the guise of “love”.”[12]

 

[Translated by Google]

“This place has exceeded my limits.”[13]

Holy shit!

That’s some pretty bad reviews. And I mean, it’s not like they’re getting one star reviews for serving mediocre food and hosting boring workshops. These accusations are pretty damn serious. Go&Change is a place where people get hurt.

And not only that, from the article in the Main-Post you probably couldn’t have missed the part mentioning the two dead children. Children. Dead.

I did get in contact with people who’ve been close to G&C to have this confirmed. It did in fact happen, and G&C has never denied that two children, in two different incidents, got killed at their premises. Accidents, of course.

Of course you can have bad luck. But twice? Within the same year? In a country with one of the lowest child mortality rates in the world? Hmm. I don’t suspect they wanted these children dead. But, it appears to me that G&C is not a safe place for kids to be, and that the reason it isn’t safe is because the adults are caught up in all kinds of sick cult stuff instead of taking care of their children.

Suddenly this whole story went from eerie to rightout frightening.

What to Do?

So here I am, little old me, going on a panel discussion with this psycho cult leader equipped with enough dark jedi mind tricks to control a community of 40 people. And I just managed to piss him off. And call him super creepy while he was listening.

There was no way in hell I was participating in that event. I just felt like leaving the damn place right away, but that I couldn’t do either. At least not without explaining why. I had to write a public statement and at the same time warn people. But before doing that, I naively thought I could somehow get G&C out of ZEGG by confronting the summer camp organizers with what I had found out about G&C and give them an ultimatum: Either stop the cooperation with G&C and politely ask them to leave, or, I would write a public statement and publish an article warning people about ZEGG being involved with a dangerous cult.

Following the dinner table incident, I talked to many of the ZEGG inhabitants about what was going on. I found out that the majority were critical of G&C and that only a small group were in favor of G&C. Unfortunately, that small minority consisted of many of the most prominent members of the community, people with a lot of influence, and they were very devoted to the project. Of the summer camp organizers, all but a few were deeply into G&C. Later it became clear to me that the whole summer camp had been one big promotion of G&C. The organizers hadn’t asked the other members of ZEGG for permission since they knew G&C was rather unpopular in the community. In fact, that Felix Krolle would participate was only announced a few days before the beginning of the summer camp.

Few people thus knew that the summer camp essentially was a G&C event. Little by little, however, it became clearer and clearer what was going on. More and more G&C stuff was smuggled in here and there, and for every day the talks contained more and more praise of G&C and Felix Krolle. One woman went a bit overboard, kind of blew the cover, by praising G&C to the skies and started oversharing about how much she just loved giving away all her money and decision power to G&C (you can see the talk here: https://sommercamp.zegg.de/de/live.html#day-6). The panel discussion featuring Felix Krolle was of course supposed to be the pinnacle of the show. I guess my primary role was to lend him legitimacy by my mere presence and hopefully by being just as excited about G&C had they managed to convince me about their amazingness.

Before publishing my statement I had two meetings with some of the leading ZEGG summer camp organizers. At the first meeting I sensed a little window of hope. It was as if I could see glimmers of doubt in their eyes as I presented my findings and warned them about what they had gotten themselves into. They agreed to think about it and meet me the day after. But the openness I had felt on the first meeting was nowhere to be found the following day. Rather undramatically we quickly realised that we were miles apart and no change of course from either party were to be agreed upon. As such, I was written out of the program and I published my statement the following morning.[14]

Out of consideration to the remaining ZEGG inhabitants I gave the community two months to officially distance themselves from G&C before I would write an article about my experiences. It’s been two months now, and even though they recently agreed to not cooperate with G&C on next year’s summer camp, there hasn’t been any public announcement regarding G&C. ZEGG is still an official partner of G&C, as you can see on G&C’s website here: https://goandchange.de/kooperation/

A friend of mine told me she met Felix Krolle at the ZEGG a couple of weeks ago. As such, I must conclude that ZEGG remains infiltrated by G&C and thus isn’t a completely safe place for people to visit. So, as promised, an article about the whole mess by yours truly. I had hoped it would have been different, but alas, here we are.

The thing that pisses me off the most about the whole thing is not so much the unpleasant encounters at the summer camp. It’s more the dishonesty I have a problem with. First of all I was never informed about the participation of G&C, the controversial nature of the organisation or that the intention with the summer camp was to promote this organization. But worse is that the talk I was supposed to have given, a talk about cognitive complexity stages, the very thing that G&C misuses in a severely perverted way to legitimise the social hierarchies in their community, was part of an overall plan to promote and legitimise G&C—without me knowing anything about it. Fortunately, my gut feeling told me that talking about the Model of Hierarchical Complexity was a bad idea. Instead I talked about the vision of the listening society. I wasn’t getting paid anyway, and I’m pretty sure people enjoyed that topic more. The talk went well by the way, and I sold all the books I had brought with me. Yay.

Apart from Felix, two of the camp organisers and me, a fifth person was to participate in the panel discussion, an integral guy named Rolf Lütterbeck. Not knowing who he was, naively assuming he was just as ignorant as I had been, I sent him an email warning him about who he were to be on a panel discussion with. The only proper thing to do, I thought, would be to give the guy a chance to make up his mind about what he was getting himself into before I published my statement. Once again, however, I didn’t do my fucking homework to properly research people. Shortly after, someone told me he was Felix’s old mentor, now a big supporter of G&C.

So, the so-called panel discussion was nothing but Felix Krolle’s fan club. And then me. Would have been nice to have known beforehand.

Kicked Out of the ZEGG

Oh, and before I forget. I still haven’t talked about what I in the introduction referred to as one of the most insane experiences of my life. The way I left the ZEGG wasn’t entirely peaceful. In fact, my fiancée and I were kicked out, and it almost got physical.

The camp organizers, with whom I had had the above mentioned meetings, did ask me to leave the day after. I said I would. But I woke up quite late the following day with a headache, so I changed my mind and postponed our departure to the morning after. I didn’t interpret their request as an ultimatum, and since I felt rather welcome at the ZEGG, not least due to all the people asking me to stay, I didn’t think much of it. After all, the camp organizers were only in charge of the camp, not the whole village. In addition, I didn’t feel like participating in any of the events anyway and just wanted to chill in my room and the village pub.

Despite wanting to rest, I did end up spending a significant proportion of the day talking to people. Many of the ZEGG folks were appalled about the summer camp having been hijacked and were happy about me taking a stand against G&C. Many of them didn’t know what was going on and were keen on hearing what I had found out. I did see it as my duty to inform people, but I can also see that it can be interpreted as a provocation. On the other hand, were I to deny people the information that I myself found so important? I didn’t seek people actively, they came to me.

Before going to bed my fiancée and I wanted to go to the pub for a goodnight beer. On the way we were stopped, again, by people wanting to talk and praising what we were doing. We chatted for a while, and just before saying goodbye, two of the camp organisers stormed towards us. Things quickly turned rather unpleasant and we were asked, quite assertively, to leave the village immediately. Initially I refused, but after an extremely aggressive verbal exchange I decided that it wasn’t worth staying. Going on an hour-long train ride with a migraine was preferable to staying in this madhouse.

I’ve never experienced anything like it, the gaze in this one woman’s eyes was just murderous, as if her eyes turned completely black. She yelled at one of the other ZEGG women with whom we had been talking to not stand there with her “dog’s eyes”, whatever that meant, and told her she had no say in the matter since she wasn’t even a full member of the ZEGG. As we decided to leave and go pack our bags, she stepped in front of me and blocked the path yelling at us that we should hand over the keys and that she would get our stuff for us and put it outfront. When we refused and told her that we didn’t want her to go through our private belongings, including sensitive objects such as computers and notebooks, she wanted to fucking grab me and force me into submission.

The insanity of the situation was not so much the quarrel itself, but the way in which this middle aged woman, enraged by hate, as if possessed by some malicious spirit, was ready to engage a younger, stronger male in hand-to-hand combat. It may sound rather trivial when I write about it. But it was the way in which this nice hippie lady’s face suddenly just deformed into pure rage and hate, with eyes ready to kill you with a gaze, which made the experience just so darn insane. It was like one of those films about cults where the nice smiling hippies suddenly turn into brainwashed murdermachines when the outsider finally reveals what’s actually going on.

It was only when I raised my voice, the only time I did so, and asked her if she was going to use force against me, that she snapped out of it and finally pulled back. We walked back to our room, but the woman followed us, trying to get as physically close to my fiancée as possible. It was only because the two women we had been talking to, bless their souls, took her under their arms and shielded her from the mad woman with their bodies that she made it to our room. We repeatedly asked the woman to leave, reassuring her that we were going home, but she refused and even wanted to get into our room, yelling that she was not going to wait outside “like a dog”. I guess she was all about dogs that day.

The two women helped us inside without the mad woman entering. After spending a few minutes recovering from what had just happened, we packed our bags and left the village. As announced, the woman did not wait outside.

Rape and Dead Children

After the summer camp I was contacted by several people who had read my statement or otherwise heard about what had happened. I spent the following weeks listening to their testimonies, which all-in-all confirmed my impression that G&C is a very dangerous cult.

Of the many people I spoke to, there were two in particular who left a lasting impression on me. The first is a therapist who’s currently treating several G&C victims. Unfortunately, she can’t go public with these testimonies due to client confidentiality. What I was told, however, did fit the overall pattern of brainwashing, sexual abuse and violence that I had heard and read elsewhere. The second person is Sebastian Stark, who was also mentioned in the Main-Post article:

“Sebastian Stark, former companion of Felix Krolle […] has been active in the so-called ‘integral movement’ for years, a scene that also includes ‘Go & Change’. He also knows K.K. and Krolle for a long time, had been to Lülsfeld several times. In an interview with the editors, he confirmed the descriptions of the dropouts: sex as ‘treatment’, substance abuse and a psychological and financial dependency of the community members. He speaks of ‘permanent totalitarian psychotherapy-like work’ in the monastery. Stark’s assessment: ’People are destroyed, brought into line and traumatized.’”[15]

Ten years ago Sebastian Stark started this network of young integral people known as IMOVE. It was here he met Felix. Initially, he told me, Felix was just this nerdy kid looking for friends. For years the two were close friends, building up this transformative movement within the integral scene in Germany. This changed, however, when Felix met a guy named Kai Krischik and the two broke off from the main branch of the movement and started Go&Change. Here, Felix and Kai began doing all the things Sebastian had been opposed to, such as psychedelics, group sex and shadow work without consent. Gradually, the whole thing developed more and more cult-like features such as a strict social hierarchy, a guru with a special status (that job became Kai’s) and various mind control measures.

The story Sebastian told me about Kai, which he in turn had heard from other G&C members, was out of this world. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but the short story is that Kai grew up in a children’s home. Later he was injected with something when he was in the army, which resulted in him being bedridden for five years where he got really really fat. For those five years he studied all kinds of manipulation techniques, body language reading, neuro-linguistic programming, pick-up artistry and shamanism. Eventually he cultivated this guru personality and started G&C with Felix. I don’t know about you, but this guy sounds like the perfect comic book villain. Oh, and apparently he likes to ram giant dildos up people’s cavities. He claims to be some kind of healer, if the colorful stories I hear are true. Apparently he heals people with those dildos. One woman allegedly got severe injuries to her genitals. Go&Change hasn’t denied the story, but merely asserted that it’s a private matter.

I was also told they put great care into separating couples when they arrive at G&C. Initially, new females will be love-bombed and led to believe they have some kind of special “princess” status by all the positive attention they get, especially from the highest ranking male in the group, the guru. A few weeks after arriving, they are usually told they have severe shadow issues and are in need of sexual healing from, you guessed it, Kai the guru. This is standard cult stuff. But the originality of G&C is that the male is pressured into having sex with the other men in the community. The intention is of course to weaken the couple’s relationship so that they become easier to control, and few heterosexual relationships obviously benefit from the woman being fucked by the guru, thinking she’s the new princess, while the man gets fucked in the ass by a bunch of guys whether he’s into it or not.

It’s all typical cult stuff. They all have different explanations to why: facing your shadow, transcending your ego, challenging your heteronormative conditioning etc. But at the end of the day, it always comes down to the guru fucking your wife. And at G&C, as a guy you’ll end up being fucked as well—figuratively as well as literally.

Apart from sex, G&C also uses methods such a sleep deprivation and drugs to manipulate and control their members. Depriving people from sleep, pressuring them to use various substances such as LSD or MDMA, and then having sex with them in ways they otherwise wouldn’t, that really opens you up to be manipulated on a whole other level—and have your soul crushed if one desires. I mean, from what I hear, the stuff they’re doing at G&C sounds like some serious CIA shit.

If chem sex is your thing, no judgment from my side, but if you’re at a place to seek spiritual development, and you’re peer pressured into talking psychedelics, and the guru and everyone else fucks you while you’re tripping balls, it’s pretty difficult to talk about consent. And sex without consent, well, in plain English, that’s rape.

The worst thing, however, was when we started talking about the children. I asked if it was right that two children had died. Sebastian confirmed. I then went on to ask how many children were living there. He said around ten the last time he was there. He added that the children were to be separated from the adults, something I’ve heard from others, too, and that they lived in a separate room and weren’t allowed to roam freely around and mingle with the adults. The reason for this was to enable the children to grow up “egoless” and to prevent the egos of the children to manipulate the parents, or some crazy shit like that. In reality, of course, the reason is that it’s much easier to control someone if the emotional bonds with their children have become as weak as possible.

If children being separated from their parents wasn’t bad enough, the story I heard about one of the couples who lost a child is absolutely insane. In order to prevent the parents from having a moment of clarity at the funeral and realise what they had gotten themselves into, they were pressured to take LSD and participate in a group sex orgy, while at the same time being deprived of sleep, on the night before their child’s funeral. That’s some fucked up shit.[16]

And that’s how you break people.

The ZEGG Needs to Be Vaccinated against Cults

So, here’s what’s gonna happen: Either all cooperation between ZEGG and G&C comes to an end and all G&C members are banned from entering the ZEGG, or ZEGG becomes a G&C stronghold.

Although it’s currently just a small minority of the ZEGG who’s into G&C, that this minority is composed of prominent members of the community, all lit by a zealous fire to promote G&C, will make it very hard for the remaining members to resist them in the long run. As is often the case with cults, they believe they’ve found the ultimate truth and that they’re going to save the world. As such, they can’t really be bothered by a few broken eggs in the process. They also tend to have this righteous us-against-them thing going on. If you resist them, it just confirms their chosenness and that they are fighting for a just cause. They get high from the struggle. Normal people just get tired of that shit. In the end, more and more people will be exhausted by the constant conflict and move out of the ZEGG, leaving the place in the hands of G&C.

As such, if G&C is allowed to continue their activities, scheming and planning and manipulating people at every opportunity they get, eventually, they will prevail. So to all you cultists out there, congratulations, victory is nigh.

The thing is, these kinds of people eat happy hippies for breakfast. They use the hippies’ values of openness and trust against them: “please trust me”, “it’s for your own good”, “why don’t you listen to me”, “don’t be so dismissive”, “open your mind” and so on. By wanting to be nice, good-hearted and open to new things, the hippies have little defence against a group of skilled manipulators. If one group plays dirty and brutal, while the other insists on playing nice, or even denies to play at all, the odds are disproportionately stacked in favor of the former. They’ll never know what hit them.

Coming from the integral scene, G&C also knows how to play these folks. First of all, integralists tend to over-intellectualize everything so that obvious plain truths are lost in the noise of words, all the best words. I’ve also noticed that there seems to be a bit of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” in many smart people’s responses to G&C: no one wants to be the one who’s not developed enough, too unenlightened or just too stupid to grasp the higher meaning of these super duper developed G&C folks. But most importantly, integral virtues such as multiperspectivalism, both-and interpretations and the ideal of not being a postmodern justice warrior who declares things to be evil, are all easily used to neuter and disarm the integralist.

And speaking of nice multiperspectivalist integralists, I also talked to a guy named Alexander Capistran, a very sympathetic fellow who had participated in a number of G&C events in the past, but eventually concluded that the whole thing was rather pathological. You can read his testimonial here: https://alexandercapistran.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/go-change-ein-auf-und-abgesang/

Being a good integralist, he starts his essay on G&C with all the good things about them he can come up with. But obviously, all cults offer something of value; things that incite positive emotions and make people come back for more. For christsake, even the Nazis had a lot of things going for them in terms of arousing positive emotions and offering exciting experiences. But seriously, when the negatives are so severe as in the case of G&C, or the Nazis for that matter, it appears rather out of place to insist that we shouldn’t omit all the positive things. I mean, it’s like having been to a party where everyone got violently raped, but you still want to emphasize that the food was delicious and the DJ played some sassy tunes. Or to stress that at least Hitler gave us the Autobahn when talking about the Holocaust.

So, since I’m not a good integralist and don’t care much about multiperspectivalism in regards to G&C, I’ve decided to just skip all the fun stuff that made Alexander stay around to begin with, and instead present a few snippets from the text with the things that made him leave:

[Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)]

“Inability to criticize: Either the person is challenged and intimidated in front of the whole group or (as happened twice in my case), the person is summoned to a back room where the management of the monastery confronts the person and sets ultimatums: Either you trust and stop criticizing or you have to leave within X hours.”[17]

 

[Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)]

“Manipulation of Freedom of the Press and the Public: If one follows internal discussion dynamics or now correspondences with the public at Go&Change, one is left with the impression that only the person who is most highly developed should speak. Those arguing from a (perceived) lower perspective should remain silent.”[18]

 

[Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)]

“Gaslighting: Imbalance of projections and introjections This phenomenon, when projections of others become one’s own reality, is called ‘gaslighting.’ This is, in my opinion, a basic operating principle of manipulation in Go&Change.”[19]

 

[Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)]

“Undermining of Human Freedom: The basic message often coined at Go&Change: ‘Go into your power, go into your self-responsibility’ is great. What happens too often, however, is that the leadership has unquestioned interpretive authority and, above all, which is the main problem, often acts as a guide to action: why don’t you do this and that, you should do this and that in order to develop yourself. The perfidious thing is: often these are even good observations and tips, only they subvert what they should actually stand for: Self-responsibility and free will in the spirit of love. What would Kai probably do or say now? What would happen if he walked in the door now? I heard this very often and it lay like a wafting shadow over the overall atmosphere. You can still see this in the reaction of some of the former, ‘cast-offs’: loyalty is maintained even after events and discord that are sometimes degrading for those affected. The former dependence on the group or the external leadership by an authority is still effective, only mute. Stockholm syndrome in subtle.”[20]

 

[Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)]

“Unassailability through intangibility: Lastly, I would like to mention subtle factors that are difficult to grasp but have great relevance. This is about atmospheric violence and harshness. Many processes were conducted with aggression that was legitimized as resolutely pointing out boundaries and soberly mirroring them. This is not an apologia of pseudo-friendliness or “professional detachment,” but simply an observation that harshness and aggression, anger, form an integral part of the force of the project’s psychological work.”[21]

 

[Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)]

“Attempting to integrate the shadows at these levels, in my observation, resulted more in a manipulative activation of these levels, with the effect of keeping people down and driving an unending drive for development.”[22]

 

[Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)]

“On the whole, however, people don’t shine; they seem jaded, flighty and servile.”[23]

Alexander ends his essay by concluding that it would be for the better if G&C was dissolved, at least in its present form. I can’t say I disagree.

The way I see it, the so-called we-space, which G&C on several occasions hosted during the summer camp, functions as a kind of Trojan horse. Initially, the purpose is not to immediately start manipulating and gaslighting everyone around, but rather to normalize the use of we-spaces and of G&C leading them. Gradually, as people gain trust in the methods and the people conducting them, the we-spaces will begin to contain more and more of the usual bullying and gaslighting cults tend to use them for. And the more intimate details people already have shared in these spaces, the more stuff the facilitators have to use against them. Things will quickly turn quite icky from there.

The thing is, people, especially in places like the ZEGG, need to learn about cults, gaslighting and other manipulation techniques. Conscious communities, or whatever we’re gonna call them, communities where people seek higher spiritual development and closer togetherness than what mainstream society can offer, are exceptionally vulnerable to spiritual hijacking, limbic hacking and unconscious manipulations, all huddling around the cozy fire of the gaslight.

Spiritual people need to get vaccinated against these kinds of things. And as long as they don’t take the jab, we’ll see stories like these again and again.

I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to go back to Bad Belzig any time soon, and honestly I’m starting to get pretty fed up with the place, but if someone would go out there and offer a workshop or two about these matters I think it would benefit a lot of people.

Until then, my advice to you is to stay as far away as possible.

 

 

[1] In German, “Zentrum für experimentelle Gesellschaftsgestaltung”, in English “Center for Experimental and Cultural Design”.

[2] Hello Felix, I know you’re reading this 🙂

[3] Proper practical usage of adult development theory must emphasise natural hierarchies — not introduce another arbitrary dominator hierarchy into the social matrix. It’s adult development psychology 101.

[4] After having witnessed one of the G&C led we-spaces at the summer camp, I called my dear friend and colleague Daniel Görtz who’s a doctor in sociology with a keen interest in cults. I told him about my concerns and started talking about the so-called “we-space”, but before I got a chance to describe what I had experienced, he interrupted me and insisted on guessing how it worked. Without knowing anything about what I had seen, he could in detail describe what had happened and told me that most cults have such methods. It’s standard procedure in the cult business, so to speak.

[5] Not only was he very insistent on getting more meetings with me, every time he saw me at dinner he tried to sit as close to me as possible. Creepy.

[6] In German, “Aussaugen”.

[7] Felix is probably not aware that Michael Commons, the creator of the Model of Hierarchical Complexity, recently added an even higher stage than cross-paradigmatic: Meta cross-paradigmatic. My sneaking suspicion tells me that had Felix known, he would probably have claimed to be that.

[8] I recently watched the panel discussion. It’s interesting to see how they addressed my observation that they didn’t seem to show love and that they all have dead eyes. Apparently, highly evolved people do not show love the way us normal people do. In fact, we probably can’t feel how warm and loving they are because we’re just too unevolved to notice it. I’m so glad we cleared that up. You can watch the panel discussion here: https://sommercamp.zegg.de/de/live.html#day-9

[9] Achtung!!! Ich verstehe die Sehnsucht nach liebevoller Gemeinschaft, doch macht nicht den Fehler sich dieser Glaubensgemeinschaft anzuschließen. Bei Go & Change handelt es sich definitiv um eine Sektenartige Gruppierung. Hier wird systematisch der Kontakt zur Außenwelt gekappt. Man soll sich von Freunden/Familie die kritisch sind distanzieren, es gibt deutliche Hierarchien und angebliche Energiearbeit/Psychotherapie welche im Endeffekt Brainwashing ist. teilweise werden hier Familien aufgelöst, Kinder von ihren Eltern getrennt und was weiß ich noch alles, und das Alles geschieht nach dem Gusto der “Anführer” namens Felix und Kai welche sich selber jegliche Freiheit nehmen können während die “Bewohner” strengen Tages und Arbeitsrhytmen unterliegen. Ich habe leider einen Freund an diese “Gemeinschaft” verloren. Einige weitere Freunde haben zum Glück rechtzeitig den Absprung geschafft. Ich habe mittlerweile auch von einigen anderen Aussteigern Berichte gehört die eindeutig auf Sekte und Brainwashing hinweisen. Natürlich gibt es dort Praktiken die funktionieren und einem zunächst suggerieren das es richtig ist was dort vermittelt wird oder man über sich selbst lernt, auch ist mit sicherheit nicht alles schlecht was dort passiert. Auf Dauer soll und wird aber eine Abhängigkeit und ein Machtgefälle erzeugt welches in einer Art Ohnmacht endet. So richtig bewusst wird es vielen Aussteigern erst nachdem sie davon weg sind. Ich rate zu äußerster Vorsicht und wünsche allen Menschen hier das Beste. —fex cnrd

[10] Diese Gemeinschaft hat für mich etwas von einer Psychosekte.

Tut mir Leid das sagen zu müssen, aber ich mags auch nicht verschweigen.

Starke Manipulation durch sowas wie : “wir denken alle, dass du…” und “wir möchten dir spiegeln, dass…” dann wird diskutiert, “bis alle dieselbe Perspektive haben”, zur Not die ganze Nacht durch, aber “durch wenig Schlaf hat man auch weniger innere Widerstände”. Du wirst angehalten nicht alleine zu essen, darfst dich auch nicht im Speiseraum gesondert setzen, denn “wenn man sich absondert, wachsen die Schatten”. Idee ist, konstant mit anderen Menschen zu sein, weil ein Mensch nur in der Gemeinschaft fähig sei, seine Schattenseiten zu transformieren. Innere Hirarchie gemischt mit Polyamorie – ” ich mach dir sofort ein Kind, wenn du diese Themen transformiert hast.”

Uiuiuiuiui… passt gut auf euch auf : ) —silvia mittelstaedt

[11] Bei Go&Change ist die innere Prozess- und Schattenarbeit Kern der Gemeinschaft. Es gibt eine offizielle 7 stufige Hierarchie in die alle Bewohner eingestuft werden, in der obersten Gruppe sind die Beiden Gründer Felix und Kai. Ein gängiges Mittel ist das “Spiegeln”, wobei dir dein Verhalten und Verhaltensmuster gespiegelt werden, jedoch wird ausschließlich von Ranghöheren an niedrigere Mitglieder gespiegelt, welche dessen Urteile scheinbar uneingeschränkt annehmen. Es gibt eine  Tagesstruktur mit Aktivitäten und Arbeiten zu denen alle Bewohner verpflichtet sind, außer die Ranghöheren Gruppen.

Ich erlebte einen Mann dem wegen zuspätkommen zu einer Aktivität mit einer Disziplinarmaßnahme (1Std. in einem Raum sitzen) gedroht wurde. Außerdem wurde ein Mensch dafür gelobt, dass er 54 Std. wach war, da dies als liebevoll der Gemeinschaft gegenüber gewertet wird. Seine Frau wurde kritisiert ihn nicht genug dafür Wertzuschätzen.

Auch einiges was ich gehört habe, z.B. die Trennung von Eltern und Kindern, stärken das Bild das hier Abhängigkeitsverhältnisse geschaffen werden und Menschen entmächtigt.

Allen Menschen die in der Gemeinschaft wohnen oder sich in Annäherung befinden wünsche ich hinterfragen zu können, ob dass was diese Gruppierung ihnen gibt es Wert es was sie ihnen nimmt, Ihre Selbstbestimmung und Selbstachtung.

Allen die sich dafür Interessieren rate ich zu Vorsicht und immer der eigenen Wahrnehmung am meisten zu trauen. —Markus XX

[12] Ich halte diesen Ort für sehr destruktiv. Ausgeprägte Hierarchien, große Egos, Untergrabung von Selbstbestimmtheit und Individualität, Abwertung von Gefühlen und der Stimme des Herzens, psychologische Manipulation und das alles unter dem Deckmantel der “Liebe”. —Sarah D

[13] Dieser Ort hat meine Grenzen überschritten. —Noar Blume

[14] You can read my statement here: https://metamoderna.org/the-reasons-why-i-emil-ejner-friis-am-withdrawing-from-the-panel-discussion-at-the-zegg-summer-camp-july-30-2021/

[15] https://www.world-today-news.com/psychological-pressure-and-sexualized-violence-in-a-former-monastery/

[16] You are free to accuse me of not being on a high enough level of cognitive development to understand the higher meaning of all this stuff. That’s on the house. My recommendation still stands: Stay the fuck away.

[17] “Kritikunfähigkeit: Entweder die Person wird vor der ganzen Gruppe gechallengt und eingeschüchtert oder (wie in meinem Fall zwei Mal vorgekommen), die Person wird in ein Hinterzimmer bestellt, wo die Leitung des Klosters denjenigen zur Rede stellt und Ultimaten setzt: Entweder du vertraust und hörst auf zu kritisieren, oder du musst binnen X Stunden gehen.”

[18] “Manipulation der Pressefreiheit und Öffentlichkeit: Verfolgt man interne Gesprächsdynamiken oder jetzt Korrespondenzen mit der Öffentlichkeit bei Go&Change, drängt sich der Eindruck auf, nur die Person soll sprechen, die am höchsten entwickelt ist. Wer aus einer (vermeintlich) niederen Perspektive argumentiert, sollte schweigen.”

[19] “Gaslighting: Imbalance von Projektionen und Introjektionen: Dieses Phänomen, wenn Projektionen anderer zur eigenen Wirklichkeit werden, nennt sich „Gaslighting“. Das ist meines Erachtens ein Grundwirkungsprinzip der Manipulation bei Go&Change.”

[20] “Unterminierung der menschlichen Freiheit: Die bei Go&Change oft kolportierte Grundbotschaft: „Geh in deine Kraft, geh in deine Selbstverantwortung“ ist großartig. Was aber zuhauf passiert, ist, dass die Leitung über die unhinterfragte Deutungshoheit verfügt und vor allem, was das Hauptproblem ist, oft handlungsleitend wirkt: Mach doch mal dies und jenes, du solltest das und das machen, um dich zu entwickeln. Das Perfide ist: oft sind dies sogar gute Beobachtungen und Tips, nur subvertierten sie das, wofür sie eigentlich stehen sollten: Selbstverantwortung und freier Wille im Geiste der Liebe. Was würde Kai jetzt wohl machen oder sagen? Was wäre, wenn er jetzt zur Tür hineinkommen würde? Das habe ich sehr oft gehört und es lag wie ein wabernder Schatten über der Gesamtatmosphäre. Das merkt man auch noch an der Reaktion einiger Ehemaliger, „Verstoßener“: Die Loyalität erhält sich auch nach für die Betroffenen teilweise entwürdigenden Vorgängen und Zerwürfnissen. Die ehemalige Abhängigkeit von der Gruppe bzw. der Fremdführung durch eine Autorität ist immer noch wirksam, nur stumm. Stockholm-Syndrom im subtilen Bereich.”

[21] “Unangreifbarkeit durch Ungreifbarkeit: Zuletzt möchte ich noch subtile Faktoren benennen, die schwer greifbar sind, aber eine große Relevanz haben. Hier geht es um atmosphärische Gewalt und Härte. Viele Prozesse wurden mit Aggression geführt, die als entschiedenes Grenzen-Aufzeigen und nüchternes Spiegeln legitimiert wurde. Das ist keine Apologie von Pseudo-Freundlichkeit oder „professioneller Distanz“, sondern einfach die Beobachtung, dass Härte und Aggression, Wut, einen integralen Teil der Wucht der psychologischen Arbeit des Projekts bilden.”

[22] “Der Versuch, die Schatten auf diesen Ebenen zu integrieren, resultierte meiner Beobachtung nach eher in einer manipulativen Aktivierung dieser Ebenen, mit dem Effekt, die Leute kleinzuhalten und einen unendlichen Entwicklungsdrang anzutreiben.”

[23] “Im Großen und Ganzen aber strahlen die Menschen nicht, sondern wirken abgespannt, flatterhaft und servil.”

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