The Girl Scouts hierarchy has issued a “Communications Alert” to Council CEOs and Board Chairs to try to put out the firestorm created by the launch of the new “leadership” program inspired by the Ashland Institute and created with the help of the Oxford Leadership Academy.
The new program will take the Girl Scouts on a series of age-specific “journeys” that culminate with the Senior Scouts becoming “ambassadors” to change the world for the global good. However, much of the current emphasis has been on the recruitment of adults who are being trained to become “guides” for the girls on these journeys.
Many believe that the new program is an indoctrination into the New Age movement. Consider the leaders/founders of the above mentioned groups. The Ashland Institute, which specializes in a practice known as Transitional Awareness, is led by Michael Cecil, the former leader of the Emissaries of Divine Light cult, founded by his father.
Cecil left the group in 1996 after his efforts to open it up to the world failed, although he still holds to most of his father’s teachings. The Vancouver Sun interviewed him recently and says Cecil
now devotes his energies to teaching chanting, meditation, dialogue, ‘attunement,’ community building, aligning the world with the planetary system and assisting a large men’s organization called The Mankind Project.
You would not know any of that from his bio on the Institute’s website:
For over 40 years Michael was a leader in an international non-profit organization devoted to service in the world through the integration of spiritual values in daily life.
Impressive isn’t it?
Girl Scouts CEO Kathy Cloninger describes the Ashland Institute as “a very authoritative group” that “does a lot of work with global women’s groups.” Now that’s comforting! Cloninger credits Ashland with “helping our volunteers to better understand their own inner leadership.”
The head of the Oxford Leadership Academy is Brian Bacon who is a practitioner and teacher of the Brahma Kumaris Raja Yoga and a “senior member” of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University. This cult began 70 years ago and is based on mediumship and channelling.
Management leadership, peace of mind and values education is the stock in trade of the Brahma Kumaris practitioner and Bacon is no exception. He got his foot in the door with the Girl Scouts Arizona Cactus-Pine Council when leadership began contemplating their navels in search of “self.”
Bacon told the Arizona Business Gazette that he made the connection with Cactus-Pine
after experiencing too many adults in leadership positions unable to make fundamental changes.
The paper said,
He was looking for young people to counsel … It’s about how to lead others from that place within.
Last September, Bacon facilitated an Invitational Leadership Conference for GSUSA at the Edith Macy Conference Center in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., that discussed the “future of leadership in America and begin creating an approach for addressing leadership development among adult Girl Scouts.”
Please note: Bacon’s specialty appears to be getting corporate and nonprofit executives and academicians together to discuss some high-minded goal. Then, they all become so enamored of being in each other’s presence that they don’t bother to really look into his background.
In reality, this journey toward the New Age has been going on in the Girl Scouts for some time. References to Yoga abound in Girl Scout literature. A brochure for the October annual National Council Session in Indianapolis invites attendees to
Channel your inner being. Be one with your mind, body, and soul. Yoga for everyone!
Many troop leaders, volunteers and staff have grown increasingly uneasy. However, some say that if they voice their concerns they are excluded from any chance of being in the area leadership or a representative to the National Council.
The recent Communications Alert is a series of “talking points” to help put down the current rebellion. It states,
Among the accusations (in columns like mine) are that Girl Scouting has been captured and brainwashed by New Age theorists.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Girl Scouting was not captured. The leadership voluntarily surrendered!
The memo continues,
We have not, across the Movement or at GSUSA, abandoned our roots.
The venture into moral relativism began in 1972, when the Girl Scout Laws went from a standard of clear-cut absolutes to a series of what amounts to suggestions, which begin, “I will do my best to …”
The final blow came in 1993, when the Girl Scouts made the word “God” a option in the pledge, telling the Almighty to take a hike. Now, it appears that many of the membership may do the same.