There is just cause for anger!

We allowed it all to happen on our watch!

In trying to better understand the Trump phenomenon, I’m reading the book Twilight of the Elites by Christopher Hayes. A must read for those of us who want to know more about what is behind the headlines.

In it, Hayes has a chapter “The Iron Law of Meritocracy”, which lays out some theories from a 19th century scholar, Robert Michels who wrote the book Political Parties. Hayes explains Michels with the following qoutes:

Michel’s grim conclusion was that it was impossible for any party, no matter its belief system, to actually bring about democracy in practice, oligarchy was inevitable. “the most formable argument against the sovereignty of the masses”. Effectiveness, Michel’s argues convincingly, requires these tasks be delegated to some kind of permanent full-time cadre of leadership.

As this system of representation develops its bureaucratic structure, it imbues a small group of people with enough power to delegate tasks and make decisions of consequence for the entire membership. “Without wishing it.” Michels says, there grows up a great gulf which divides the leaders from the masses. The leaders now control the tools with which to manipulate the opinion of the masses and subvert the organization’s democratic process. “Thus the leaders, who were at first no more than the executive organs of the collective, will soon emancipate themselves from the mass and become independent of its control.

Those who are able to climb up the ladder will find ways to pull it up after them, or to selectively lower it down to allow their friends,  allies, and kin to scramble up. In other words “Whoever says meritocracy says oligarchy.”

Over time, a society will grow both more unequal and less mobile as those who ascend its heights create a means of preserving and defending their privilege and find ways to pass it across generations. And this as it turns out, is pretty spot-on description of the trajectory of the American economy since the mid-1970s.

A deep recognition of the slow death of the meritocratic dream underlies the decline of trust in public institutions and the crisis of authority in which we are now mired.  Much of the enduring value of Michel’s analysis of political parties come from his prophetic understanding of the end point toward which certain socialist parties were heading. In our own case, the endpoint is nowhere near as violent or dire, we might ask what kind of social order would result.

It would be a society with extremely high and rising inequality, yet little circulation of elites. A society in which the pillar institutions were populated by and presided over by a group of hypereducated, ambitious overachievers who enjoyed tremendous monetary rewards as well as unparalleled political power and prestige and yet who managed to insulate themselves from sanction, competition and accountability, a group of people who could more or less rest assured that they have achieved their status now that they have scaled to the top of the pyramid they, their peers and their progeny will stay there.

Such a ruling class would have all the competitive ferocity inculcated by the ceaseless jockeying within that produce meritocratic elites, but face no actual sanctions for failing at their duties or succumb to the temptation of corruption. It would reflexively protect its worst members, it would operate with a wide gulf between performance and reward and would be shot through with, rule-breaking, and self-dealing as those on top pursued the outside rewards promised for superstars. In the way the bailouts combined the worst aspect of capitalism and socialism, such a social order would fuse the worst aspects of meritocracy and bureaucracy.

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Passing the Torch

Hi Gang

Leading the Tuesday night group has been quite frankly been one of the most personally rewarding experiences of my life. I am very thankful to have had such a wonderful group of friends who showed on Tuesday nights and shared their wisdom.

After two years of coming up with new and stimulating ideas for discussion each Tuesday, I recently started to run out of ideas and was beginning to feel stale and quite frankly I was becoming tired of hearing myself talk. I longed to be an attendee and not the leader it was clearly time for me to step aside and let those with new energy and enthusiasm bring some new ideas.

This issue has been on my mind for several months and I found myself scanning the room for likely candidates every time I attended a Three Principle’s function. And with a couple of very private consultations with Three Principles elders I began to grow in my confidence in approaching Cole and Sarah about whether they might be willing to step into the role that Barb and I have been performing these past two years. They enthusiastically agreed to take over the reigns as of April 16th.

We had carefully planned the public announcement at last night’s meeting, unfortunately the cosmos had other plans for me last night and made it necessary that I be with my sister Candy to mourn the passing of my mother yesterday at 5:30 pm. (Thank you all for your kind words and prayers by the way.) But I’m told Barb did just fine without me.

I hope you all are excited as I am at having some new blood in a leadership position and I hope you all will give them the same love and goodwill that you have shown Barb and I for these past two years.

And rest assured that Barb and I aren’t going anywhere . . . we fully intend to remain as regular attendees (as long as you understand my need to leave the room when you all spontaneously break out in some stupid song).

Thank you all for the joy you’ve brought Barb and I.

And of course as always here is this week’s wisdom:

“Relax into simply being life. We learn to recognize (to see, to sense) when we’re beginning to grasp or fixate, and in that recognition, quite naturally there is an ability to relax and let go. When we stop trying to figure it all out, we discover that it doesn’t need to be figured out, and in fact, can’t be figured out! When we stop desperately trying to get a grip, we find nothing is lacking and there is nothing to grasp.”

From Nothing to Grasp by Joan Tollifson

Namaste and See you all Tuesday night

 Barb and Gary

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Three Principles Workshop


Innate Well-Being

We know it’s cold outside, but the good feelings shared between human beings is a nice

way to warm up your winter! Join Christine Heath, Ed Lemon and the staff of Minnesota

Counseling and Education Center (MCEC) for a gentle exploration of the spiritual

Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought, and the happiness and peace of mind that arise from an ever-deepening understanding of them.

“In the silence of our minds lies creative incubation bringing the wisdom and joy we all seek.”

Sydney Banks, The Missing Link



St. Paul Police West District, 389 N. Hamline Ave, St. Paul, MN 55104


Friday, January 25, 2013:

5:00-8:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 26, 2013: 10:OOa.m.-12:OOp.m. (Lunch on own) 1:30-4:00 p.m.

FEE: $60 per person OR $100 for two people

** We know it’s short notice, but we couldn’t pass up another opportunity to all get

together. Please REGISTER ASAF with Stacey Flogel by calling 651-357-6778 or


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Happy Birthday Lisa

We Love Ya!

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3 Principles Workshop

Minnesota Counseling & Education Center presents…

The Simplicity of Happiness


December 7th and December 8th, 2012
The Carondelet Center

St. Paul, MN


Over thirty five years ago, Sydney Banks had a spiritual experience that brought profound change not only to his life, but to many others around the world.  Through a beautiful insight, he saw the grace and simplicity of how human beings experience their existence.  What emerged was a deep knowledge that all psychological reality is created within us through Three Principles: Mind, Consciousness and Thought.  Since that time, thousands of people around the world have been touched and inspired by the transformative power that comes naturally with ongoing, ever-deepening appreciation, recognition and understanding of these Three Principles.  Just like many others around the world that have been touched by this profound understanding, staff members at Minnesota Counseling and Education Center are deeply inspired and passionate about sharing their discoveries with you all over this two-day workshop.


The Three Principles are the guiding philosophy behind this workshop.  Discovering the Three Principles for themselves will help people become empowered to change their world by changing themselves.  We will guide participants to:

  • Awaken to their innate ability to live in happiness, contentment, and security;
  • Facilitate positive change in the systems they live and work in by understanding how these Principles work in everyone;
  • Listen to their inner wisdom to guide them in their interactions with others; and
  • Recognize how thought gets in the way of feeling a deeper love and connection with others.
  • Support  their treatment and therapy to reduce symptoms, feel better faster and  understand how to prevent relapse and  maintain positive changes.


Christine Heath, LMFT, Executive Director of Minnesota Counseling and Education Center and Hawaii Counseling and Education Center, has been teaching the Principles for over 30 years.  She is a renowned international trainer and speaker and has guided the work of both of her clinics using the Principles.  She is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor and has significant experience in the mental, chemical and relational health fields.

Sgt. Ed Lemon has been a law enforcement officer for 28+ years in three different police departments.  He has worked in a wide variety of positions, including the Director of the St. Paul Police Employee Assistance Program.  He has been involved in Principle-based psychology since 1993 and has helped design and implement programs for youth, parents, corrections workers, teachers and law enforcement officers.

The MCEC therapists and educators will also participate in the workshop, inviting you all to relax and enjoy this restorative weekend.  It is our mission to help participants become awakened to a deeper understanding of themselves and gain a deeper connection to the wisdom and health that resides inside them.



The Carondelet Center, 1890 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105


Friday, December 7, 2012:         5:00-8:00 p.m

Saturday, December 8, 2012:     10:00a.m.-12:00 p.m.  (Lunch out)  1:30-4:00 p.m.


$75 per person      OR     $125 for two people


1854 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105




Phone #:__________________________________________________________________

Email: ____________________________________________________________________

Amount Enclosed: $____________   Check #:_____________________

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Free Three Principles Workshop

Living Joyfully, in a Chaotic World

All are cordially invited to a gentle exploration of the natural innate resiliency in all humans that enables us to lead calm, balanced and contented lives regardless of the events and chaos that comes with being a busy American. It is easy to become overwhelmed with all the roles we are required to play these days, but stress and despair need not be your experience. Here is an opportunity to engage in self inquiry as to how you create your reality via the amazing capacity of mind, consciousness and thought. Gaining insight as to these three principles interact enables us to rise above our circumstances and thrive instead of just survive.

A rare chance to participate in a workshop with Gary Fugere and Lisa Portinga, professional group leaders with the non-profit 3 Principles Network are being sponsored by MN Hindu Milan Mandir.


Saturday October 6, 2012
1pm to 4pm

Cultural Center
501 Walnut
Farmington, MN 55024 

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New Group in Nordeast

Wednesday Night HR Group in Nordeast

The Three Principles/HR community is expanding yet again, this time into Nordeast. Michael Clark has started a new Health Realization support group which will meet on Wednesday’s at 6:30pm at the East Side Neighborhood Services, Room 104 1700 2nd St. NE, Minneapolis 55413 Michael can be reached at 612.788-4523 or 612.801-3898 and by email at

For those of you from Minneapolis who have been driving to other parts of the metro area to attend weekly meetings this should come as great news.

Barb and I plan on attending Wednesday August 29th as a show of good will and support. Here is a way for all Three Principles/HR pilgrims to give back some of the blessings that we have all recieved from these teachings. By supporting new groups such as these we can become agents of change in global consciousness.

Barb and I urge all of the Tuesday nighter’s (and everyone else for that matter) to make a special effort to get to Nordeast soon and help make Michael’s group a huge success story.

I have updated the list of support groups please feel free to print out a copy and distribute freely. (MS Word Version)

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Evidenced Based Results

The Summative Evaluation Report

Mental Wealth ATOD Program

Ramsey County Juvenile Corrections

Mental Wealth ATOD Program – Eval. Report (PDF File)

Prepared By:

Nimi Singh, MD, MPH

Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health

University of Minnesota

May 2003

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It’s Not About You

Get out of the way and let the universe go about its business

Remember Carly Simon’s “You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you”? Well, the way the self sees things, it was about you . . . we are an “it’s all about me” global culture. This pattern of behavior arises when the mind draws on impressions from the past to offer an unneeded reference point in order to interpret our experiences in the present.

We come into this world with a clean slate of innocence. Our memories are nonexistent and empty. We begin to form beliefs about the world around us almost immediately. The self becomes our own when, at around the age of four, we begin to develop an ego and a conscience. When the parental shouts, admonitions and shame based labels, which used to be outside us, suddenly begin to be acknowledged as our internal critical voice. We take ownership of those noises and the process of personalization has begun.“Quit Looking For Imaginary Issues”

As we evolve, every sensory experience we have gets stored as an impression on the psyche. Then some stuff that we didn’t experience, but think we did (snubs, injustices and other products of our imagination) gets stored as impressions as well. These impressions are stored in the filing cabinets of the brain as memory and used to form a self image of who we are.

These stored impressions are useful as coping vehicles in helping us to make sense of our world. These impressions are labeled and judged by the ego, while being internalized. Punishment from a parent easily gets labeled and impresses as “I am bad”. Every small nuance of life becomes emotional drama, and we are constantly accepting ownership about what is good or bad, ok or not ok, correct or incorrect. “It’s all about me”. Our finely tuned antennas scan our environment – constantly looking for ways to personalize everything.  If it is raining outside, our self talk sounds like: “why did it have to rain on my parade”? If we spot a weed in the yard, “of all the yards, why do those weeds settle here”? Drug companies know this vulnerability well and use it to their advantage. All they have to do is run a new advertisement for a new drug for some obscure illness and doctors’ phones are flooded with people wanting appointments, certain they have contracted the new illness.

Whenever you personalize, you put distance between you and other humans and all of nature. You’re becoming separated from your natural state of being in harmony with everything and everybody. Harmony becomes an enemy; you strengthen your own separateness, and play right into the ego’s need for “me-ness”. The ego becomes addicted to personalization. Your focus becomes fixated on what is happening in your own particular life to the exclusion of seeing the larger picture. We fail to see life events and circumstances through the wisdom of the larger picture; the needy and greedy nature of the mind ensures disharmony surrounds the personalized “I”.

Many of us genuinely believe the delusion that other people cause our feelings. The idea that someone else made you feel anything is dysfunctional thinking. For example, let’s say you are walking along a familiar street . . . You see someone you know on the other side of the street . . . You smile and wave. The person makes no response . . . just doesn’t seem to notice you and walks right past without any sign of recognizing your existence.

If we’re feeling in a low mood that day, our self-talk word machine may tell us that the person deliberately ignored us and begin worrying that we’ve lost yet another friend. Our mind is likely to spin off, ruminating about what we did to upset the friend. Even if we had not been feeling very discontented at the start, this sort of self-talk can make us feel worse the longer it goes on. If the self-talk says we’ve been ignored, this may evoke anger. If it says we must have upset the person in some way, we may feel guilty. If it says we’ve probably lost a friend, we may feel lonely and sad.

The reality of the situation is likely to be that it has nothing to do with you, your friend was mentally fixated on some personal problem and their mind had shut down all sensory acuity in an attempt to focus on the problem du jour. So everything has the potential to cause emotional hurt. The mind, without editing, draws its own conclusion about every experience. This way of personalizing happenings in daily life leads to pain and suffering.

The mind can be retrained to stop personalizing external circumstances and experiences. We want the world to be all about us when we have not consciously realized the truth of who we are. This mental pattern never finds its conclusion. It is a way of thinking that must be seen for what it is and, in the awareness, it will drop automatically. Thus, it can be transcended, not resolved.

When we let go of personalizing our world, we’ll find a calmer non-judgmental mind with less stress. Rather than experiences happening to you that form judgmental impressions, you begin to allow them to simply happen. Your connection with experiences can be impersonal and not raise a response from you consciousness. You come to realize that “what is” is going to go about its business, without any editorializing from you.  You will soon begin to notice order and a natural harmony to all things. All that is required is a shift in perspective through removing personal prejudice. Do not buy the idea that your experiences are all about you.

Personalizing is a prison . . . its solitary confinement.

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Twin Cities Recovery Resource Launched

InRecovery.Co Launches Website

Doug Rudolph has launched a new twin cities-based website,, which is for people in recovery from alcoholism, addiction, or any other personal hardship.  The site’s purpose is for people to be able to read about others’ experiences and share their own; there’s also a calendar of events for the upcoming month and a comprehensive directory of all area metro meetings. They are in the process of adding a comprehensive list of non-12-step meetings for people to take full advantage of.

So we invite all of our recovery friends to visit the site, sign up for their monthly newsletter and support this very much needed resource. It is my experience that the early support for these types of efforts is critically essential to insure its long term, so please help Doug spread the word.

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