My Special Needs child was used as bait to keep me hooked in an abusive Martial Arts Cult
by T Banks
(Montreal, Qc, CA)
My son and I were seduced into continuing with this expensive organization with the promise of a black belt in the end. Their educative approach makes the karate seem fun for the kids and they get hooked easily. The parents don't want to let their kids down and feel guilty to abandon the quest for a black belt. Their staff is extremely friendly the first two months, showering attention on client and child, but when you ask questions they would avoid you and give vague answers.
They have a reward system with ribbons. They don't tell you that the ribbons are not awarded according to personal achievement but according to their financial agenda which includes each "graduation", being more and more expensive (up to $600 just for the exam).
The manager will also decide who gets ribbons according to his mood often to create rivalry, sadness and envy/competition amongst the children. The manager would also engage in unethical activities like… spying on female clients (me), with cameras (audio and video) at the centre and outside of the centre… stalking /flirting with clients (me) for two years… Stealing personal "memento" items from clients (me) as well.
When I complained to this person he told a made-up story to the police (he reversed the story) that got ME arrested and thrown in jail and interrogated, when I was innocent. HE was doing the stalking and I was/am the victim. Now I have to pay a lawyer to get me out of this mess.
They don't tell you at the Cult "club" that the black belt is not a real one but a "monopoly" belt and it's worth nothing as the Cult is not recognized by Karate Federation. When confronted about his unethical behavior this manager would Gaslight me, make out I was crazy and imagining it all. He would be hostile and aggressive.
My son being autistic was easily manipulated and I felt guilty to quit and deny him his "black belt" which I now realize was a scam. Even though they make you feel like you are part of their "family", they would treat my son as if he were retarded when in fact he is gifted but has motricity issues.
The owner has published books on psychology that he leaves on display for clients to support his ideology and appear legitimate.
Just to repeat... I was subject to harassment and stalking while my son and I were clients there by this manager with the full knowledge of the owner and staff. When I wanted to leave, the owner, who told me this manager had a simple "crush" on me, nothing to worry about, in collaboration with the manager, then coerced me into staying by offering a $$ deal. I could join the "club" as a client to help my son who was "struggling". When I refused myself they started to "go hard" on me and abuse me, including the owner.
I didn't know what the objective was other than $$$? Sexual/sadistic submission?
At the same time I was getting stalked on Facebook by the same person. He would send me suicide suggestions (for me to kill myself) and macabre/violent images mixed with sexual content. After I left, I put one post complaining about my treatment on FB. It was tongue in cheek… but the owner retaliated and sent me a Bailiff threatening to do more legal action if I did not remain silent.
They also have club feel-good "mantras", repetitive statements/slogans that everyone has to repeat. Clients are denied water breaks if they have displeased the manager. Clients, if they have been there long enough, are indoctrinated into the group as instructors and become part of the "family".
I finally managed to leave but am still getting stalked/harassed by the same person. Two years and a half now it's been going on. I cant go to the police as they are not my ally after HE manipulated them into believing his story. He can do whatever he wants... taunt me /stalk me… I am powerless.
It's been a nightmare for me and my family. My son has adaptive problems now. We tried other karate schools but this same manager would call them and tell these clubs to refuse us, isolating us.
In relation to this, this same manager would have the habit of shaking everyones hand around me except mine, to exclude me and make me feel crap. He punishes by proxy… using subordinates to hand out "punishments". All the staff are/were complicit, are aware of the abuse, but don't leave and uphold the dogma.