The Brennan Cult of Hawaii Exposed
By Craig Cornell, For General Distribution
Tables & Preface
Table of Contents
Tables & Preface*
Table of Contents*
Permission to Copy and Distribute Granted*
https://members.tripod.com/~BrennanCult Ė Internet URL (Web Page)*
General Contact, Craig Cornell, 310/544-7986*
Hawaii Contact February 3-7, 1998*
Updated Information Found Here*
Introduction to the Brennan Cult*
Who, What & Why This Exposure*
About Whom or What*
Brennan and McNally: The :Leaders & Founders of the Brennan Cult*
The Entities, Brennanís Diverse Cultic Empire*
Brennan Cult Members, Listed*
From Craig Cornell, But Why?*
To Whom: Institutions & People Who Should Know*
The Brennan Cult in California*
The Brennan Cult In Hawaii*
The Dark Side of the Brennan Cult*
General Methods of Brennan Cult Operation*
Children in the Brennan Cult*
Beatings By Brennan & McNally*
Brainwashing & Tracking by Brennan & McNally*
Sexual Repression & Degradation by Brennan & McNally*
Sleep Deprivation, Forced Work & Money in the Brennan Cult*
Vitalism & Animals in the Brennan Cult*
Humiliation & Familial Separation in the Brennan Cult*
Medical Deprivation in the Brennan Cult*
Psychology Practiced Without a License & Malpractice*
Nursing & Medicine Without License*
Brennan Cult Confidentiality Breaches*
Brennan Cult Business Practices*
Tax & Employment Irregularities*
Recruiting & Infiltration Particularly of Churches*
Wanderlust & Emigration*
Why People Stay in the Brennan Cult*
Permission to Copy and Distribute Granted
Permission is granted to copy and distribute this document freely for both the printed version(s) and the version(s) published electronically on the Internet and by E-Mail or other means.
This version is current as of February 2, 1998. Look to Section 2 for the latest updated information, if any.
https://members.tripod.com/~BrennanCult Ė Internet URL (Web Page)
This document is available on the Internet for anyone interested. It can be downloaded, copied. printed, and distributed freely by anyone who chooses to do so. Please use the capital "B" and "C" in Brennan Cult and use the "~" (tilde) symbol as a part of the URL. The example above is correct.
After February 7th, you may reach Craig Cornell at the E-Mail address email@example.com.
General Contact, Craig Cornell, 310/544-7986
The author of this document is Craig Cornell, Phone: 310/544-7986, Fax: 310/544-1975. Mailing Address: 50-B Peninsula Center Drive, Suite 512, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274-3506, California, U.S.A.
Hawaii Contact February 3-7, 1998
From February 3 to February 7, Craig will be in Hawaii for the purposes of exposing the Brennan Cult. He will be staying at the Pacific Marina Hotel, 2628 Waiwai Loop, Honolulu HI 96819. Phone: 808/836-1131, Fax: 808/8330851. However, he will travel to Molokai and the Big Island to personally investigate where people and businesses are now located.
Updated Information Found Here
This version is current as of February 2, 1998.
Introduction to the Brennan Cult
Mea culpa, mea culpa. I, Craig Cornell, am deeply sorry to have been silent so long. I apologize to anyone who unwarned may have unwittingly allowed themselves or a loved one to join or associate with the Brennan Cult in Hawaii. I left this Hawaii based cult nearly 10 years ago, but have done nothing to expose its activities. Hundreds of people have left the inner circle of the Brennan Cult. I am in touch with some of them. However, none Ė even those who struggled with difficulty to recover and are very clear about its destructiveness Ė have ever made a concerted effort to expose the activities of the Brennan Cult.
By this writing, I break my silence. I will travel to Hawaii on Tuesday, February 3rd and offer this document to as many people as possible who may appropriately use it to spread the information it contains. If any governmental authority chooses to investigate further, I will cooperate. Internet publication will make this as widely available as possible given my personal resources.
One of my excuses for remaining silent is that the Brennan Cult has been dwindling and increasingly ineffective because its members and activities ultimately stand out and expose themselves. As Brennan (the cult leader) once stated, "People already suspect that my household is a homosexual den of iniquity." Whatever the weakness of the cult, however, others are still affected by its continued existence. I hope all will take heed of this information and protect themselves and their loved ones.
Another excuse for cowardly silence: I might loose my license to practice law. Recent history has so sickened me of the snake like sneakiness and deception of my siblings at the bar (fellow lawyers) that I can no longer protect my professional image at the cost of my soul. Let the consequences be what they might, I will be silent no longer.
I have learned recently that the cult is working to move from the Big Island (primarily Hawi, North Kohala and Kona) to Molokai and possibly Oahu. If the move is successful, Brennan will have a whole new set of community groups and churches to work as recruiting sources.
My mission: exposure Ė not destruction. In a free society, we must tolerate differences, even obnoxious ones. However, those who operate in secret are subject to the exposure of their activities to public scrutiny and opinion. Freedom and privacy to operate in many spheres without government interference, does not mean unaccountability. With the veil of secrecy lifted, I hope the Brennan Cult will be less effective than it has been.
Who, What & Why This Exposure
About Whom or What
Brennan and McNally: The :Leaders & Founders of the Brennan Cult
This document deals with the Brennan Cult started by James DeLore Brennan, aka James D. Brennan aka J.D. Brennan in California in the mid-1960ís. Brennan was a licensed Marriage, Family, Child Counselor in California, working primarily in prisons, private practice, and for the cities and school districts of the Palos Verdes Peninsula in southern Los Angeles County. The Cult moved with Brennan to Hawaii in late 1969 and 1970 and has resided there since.
Always second in command and sharing in the dynamics and design of the cult: Patrick Michael McNally, aka Patrick M. McNally, aka Pat McNally. McNally as well as sharing in the general role as second guru, meeting leader, counselor, managed the day-to-day affairs of the businesses associated with the Brennan Cult.
The Entities, Brennanís Diverse Cultic Empire
The Brennan Cult would never be known to the outside world as such because it is highly secretive and diffused through several businesses, community activities, trade names, and identities. New names and facades may have developed since I left the Brennan Cult in 1988. Brennan was the sole owner of the corporations, all in Hawaii. I presume he still holds all the controls. All of the other names were owned or controlled by Brennan directly or by the corporations. Brennan sought to form a non-profit religious institution to use for his activities, but such may or may not have been done.
Interaction Dynamics Systems, Inc. (Educational Systems & Encounter Groups),
Lifescience Resources, Inc. (Medical Equipment Repair & Services)
Smart Machines Inc. (Computers and Programming)
Space Options, Inc. (Real Estate, Contracting & Building Supplies and Systems)
Lifestyle Secretary, (Collected Cult Member Money)
Lifestyle Festival (Games and Programs for Youth)
Youth Interaction Program (Games, Encounter Groups for Young People)
Transculture School (A School Once Used for Children Living with Cult Members)
Transculture Community Resourcemedia (Activities for Young People)
Bioyams (Blow It Out Your Ass Muffins used for baked goods and health foods)
Alpha, Beta, Delta and Gamma Clubs
Brennan Cult Members, Listed
At the time I left Hawaii in 1988, the primary or core members of the Brennan Cult were:
Alicia Acconcio, aka Lisa
Marcia Berkowitz, Household Leader and Liaison to Social Workers
Rose Maxine Braverman, aka Micki, aka Rose, aka Rosie. Bookeeper, Manager, Employee Interaction Dynamics Systems
Alden Brent Cornell, aka Alden. Realtor for Space Options, Computer & Electronic Technician for Lifescience Resources. Lives with Brennan & McNally (Brother of the Author)
Christopher Milton Crawford, aka Chris. Electrical & General Contractor for Space Options
Benjamin Soule Gantz, aka Ben. Accountant
Noel Honigsfeld, Accountant & Sales Smart Machines,
Gary Lamb, Primary Housekeeper for Brennan & McNally
Susan Matoi, Employee of Interaction Dynamics Systems
Richard R. Merlander, aka Rick.
Jackie Michler, Dental Assistant & Liaison for Dental Care
Susan Salisbury, aka Sue. RN, Employee Lifescience Resources and Smart Machines
Bruce Stephan, Employee Space Options, Mechanic, Junk Yard Manager
Bernhard Ludwig Strehler, aka Bernie, Landscape Designer
Eric Gordon Tessmer, Sales and Service Manager for Lifescience Resources.
Ingrid Jean Tessmer, aka I Jean Tessmer, aka Jeanie. Contractor, Draftsperson, Employee of Space Options.
It is with some reluctance that this list is provided, since these people are in many ways victims. Even so, they clearly have made adult decisions and their identities are important to those who want to understand the Brennan Cultís recruiting, membership, and other practices. These people generally work in pairs for recruiting and community involvement and activities.
From Craig Cornell, But Why?
I am Craig Cornell. I joined the Brennan Cult through James D. Brennanís recruiting efforts as an after school counselor in Palos Verdes, California in 1969. As a rebellious teenager who was raised without a father (he died in an accident in 1959), I gravitated toward Brennanís charismatic presence and promise that we were developing a new way to live with others based on intense encounter group sessions full of rage, shame, sobbing, and ultimately release through affection toward Brennan and McNally.
In 1969, in search of an appropriate place to establish the new "community" Brennan envisioned, approximately 40 of us from California to Oahu on Hawaii.
I became one of the inner circle of sub-leaders and eventually was sent to law school and served Brennan as attorney and realtor. (We moved from California to Hawaii in 1969, I graduated from Law School in Hawaii in 1979, I left the Brennan Cult in 1988 to return to Kentucky and then California).
Recovering from the intense mind and behavior control exerted by Brennan and his cult has not been easy. I was programmed to believe that I was a Judas for leaving. I have lived in fear of failure and retribution. A tossing sea of conflicting emotions, thoughts, and images have controlled me. It has become clear to me through recent turns of events in my life, some negative, that I will not be free from the clutches of Brennan and his mind control until I publicly disclose what I know.
There was a time after leaving when I begged the cult for my share of the wealth that the members created for Brennan. There was a time when I fantasized about making a career of a revenge crusade against Brennan and his cult. I have always been especially pained that my brother still a Brennan Cult member, because I invited him to join and fought to keep him in while still a minor. I wish I knew how to free him. Perhaps as a result of this exposure, some way to bring him home will manifest.
To Whom: Institutions & People Who Should Know
This document is intended for government officials in Hawaii and Internationally who may have reason to deal with the Brennan Cult. These include but are not limited to the Hawaii Department of Social Services, the IRS, the Hawaii Taxation Department, the Hawaii Employment Relations Departments, the Hawaii Attorney Generalís Office, The Police Chiefs and Mayors of Honolulu, the Big Island, and Maui.
Publication of this document on the Internet and E-Mail notification of its existence to others who may find its information useful will help see that Brennan will not catch immigration officials unaware. This document will also be distributed to appropriate school and church groups on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island. Media and other information outlets will also be contacted.
I pray that all who deal with the Brennan Cult, its members, and its businesses will be wary. Some may perceive that avoiding connection to or business with the cult is appropriate. I hope so. Some may decide to restrict contact by family members who are involved with the cult. I hope so. Some may institute efforts to contact family members who are in the cult. I hope so. Some may use official office to investigate and where appropriate hold the Brennan Cult legally accountable. I hope so. Some may protect their nations, communities, or friends from encroachment or immigration by the Cult. I hope so.
Readers, you will do as you will. I am not accountable for your actions once you are informed, I cannot form your opinions, I can only inform you of my truth. I have done what I need to do in writing and making this available for your reading. The pen may indeed be mightier than any other instrument but only when readers take heed and where appropriate action.
The Brennan Cult in California
Brennan started the core Cult group by recruiting in California through a private counseling office near the UCLA campus. Members in that group came largely from UCLA and other local community, private, and state colleges. I believe that Brennan met McNally Ė his sidekick, housemate, and princeling Ė in Pomona or Claremont while Brennan worked as an encounter group leader in the California Prison System.
Brennan then became an outside consultant to set up what he eventually called Youth Interaction Programs (YIP) for the Cities and School Districts comprising the Palos Verdes Peninsula, an affluent suburb of Los Angeles. From that group he recruited high school and even junior high school members.
Brennanís restless wanderlust cast us on constant global searches for a better place to house his Cultic activities. He decided that, at least in the United States, Hawaii provided the best possible combination of social liberalism (pro-gay rights, tolerant of diverse groups, pro-childrenís liberation), environmental cleanliness, warm weather, sunset-over-water views, and protections of political and social freedoms.
The Brennan Cult In Hawaii
In 1969, more than 40 of us moved to the leeward coast of Oahu. From there, we moved many times: to Kauai, back to Oahuís North Shore and Central areas, then to Kona and Hawi on the Big Island. The bulk of the membership lived in very overcrowded same sexed housing, while Brennan, McNally (his princeling), my brother, and a house boy (always a cult member, often not allowed to actually sleep on the grounds), lived in luxury in veritable mansions, custom landscaped and remodeled to Brennanís exacting specifications with cult member labor and money.
The Dark Side of the Brennan Cult
The Brennan Cult depends on secrecy to maintain its power and operate free from governmental and public scrutiny and accountability. Under Brennan and McNally, a sort of leadership council consisting of household directors and those with special skills and knowledge passed down directives to members. In addition, each sub-leader usually had an area of responsibility. I was such a leader and acted as lawyer and realtor. However, only Brennan and McNally knew the full picture of how the cult operated and was managed. A rule of strict secrecy and a policy of know on an as needed basis was zealously enforced Ė even long time members knew only part of the picture.
General Methods of Brennan Cult Operation
To be an inner member of the Brennan Cult, one lived a life of control, fear, and intense emotional catharsis in small encounter groups and same sexed households. The mantra of the cult: CLARITY. We were living lives of emotional "honesty" and intensity free from the constraints of role bound relationships. We eschewed titles, like wife, mother, brother, lover, etc. We were all "friends". This meant Ė among other things not apparent on the surface Ė that we were virtually celibate and had to recruit to expand membership and spread Brennanís vision of his "clear" new world.
The main regular activity: intense encounter groups held as often as possible in sound proof rooms. After sessions, we left exhausted, our condensed sweat dripping on the walls. These "honesty" pressure cookers lasted for hours and consisted of people being exposed or exposing themselves for infractions against cult policy and loyalty. Resistance elicited in your face shouting of hatred from members toward other members egged on by Brennan or McNally. After the expected breakdown into self-hatred, intense rage against those who made one unclear Ė usually non-present parents or family members Ė the sessions would end with tearful, tender displays of gratitude and affection toward Brennan or McNally and a reaffirmation of Cultic commitment.
In the households, activity charts monitored compliance with eating, exercise, and other "health" rules. Daily reports were made to sponsors about all levels of personal, social, and other activities. A computer system tracked all travel. Members lived austerely, handing over all money and being given $8 a week allowance, which was sufficient in that all food, recreation, etc. was monitored and often paid for out of special recruitment and activity funds. Households were given a budget for operation, rent, etc. that was again austere, but sufficient.
Most members worked for outside businesses and turned over their paychecks. Some members worked for Brennan owned businesses and were paid the minimum possible so that the profits from their labors went to Brennanís bank accounts. Brennan also kept a personal safe filled with gold, silver, cash, certificates and other valuables.
All members worked slavish and long hours, sometimes going days with little or no sleep. Whenever Brennan acquired a new property for his residence or his personal offices, huge expenditures of money and labor led to transformations into virtual palaces with lavishly landscaped grounds. The rest of the membership lived in very overcrowded houses, some no more than cane shacks with rodents and termites in abundant profusion.
One way to spot a Brennan Cult member is by the long sleeves and wide brimmed hat worn because Brennan was very concerned about sun exposure. A Brennan Cult household was noted for old cars badly repainted, overcrowding of people of the same sex, and regular outbursts of late night shouting, especially if the house were used for meetings. Brennan himself and his personal household always drove older model, large "safe" immaculately restored Lincolns.
Clarity required that cult members eschew most movies, most TV ( in fact for most of my time in the cult we did not own a TV), most modern music, and anything from the popular culture that smacked of sensuality or freedom.
Perhaps one of the most glaring indications of the disparity of lifestyle between Brennan & McNally and the cult members occurred yearly at the birthdays of the pair (Brennan in May, McNally in July). The clubs would spend months of their "free" time planning elaborate parties with special gourmet feasting, elaborately staged theme presentations, and expensive presents. On a memberís birthday, any gift more than a token was the subject of degradation for unclarity and inappropriate display of affection. It may seem small, but I remember my hurt at being berated in an encounter session because I had the temerity to eat a better steak on my birthday than my household members. We all ate steak, in fact the choice of the food and its preparation was all a gift unbeknownst to me. I was truly touched by the experience because we usually ate so austerely and the cost probably came from the meager allowances of my friends. In Brennanís eyes, my steak was better and my eating it was a sign of pride and ungenerosity. I heard about it for years, except that it became exaggerated to a tale that I cooked steak and served my household hamburger. Only Brennan and McNally were the appropriate recipients of generosity or largesse.
Children in the Brennan Cult
Brennan had a special affection and interest in young people. He believed that only young adults and children exhibited sufficient flexibility to take his indoctrination. In fact, he worked very hard to insure that he had a young boy in his residence as a sort of special sweet heart. Other less sweet boys and all girls (a merciful benefit of what some might label Brennanís misogyny) would from time to time live in the households of members. Brennan even formed a school at a time when there were several youngsters living in his and other cult households.
On one instance, I witnessed Brennan playing nude with a 10 or 11 year old boy in a bathtub. Brennan yelled in kidís faces, his rage reaching a level where he foamed and sprayed spit and hot breath. Sometimes Brennan shook kids, insulted them, egged them into a boiling rage against their parents and other caretakers. Once a child was involved in inner circle activities or institutions, he or she was carefully and thoroughly indoctrinated in hatred and separation from parents and any authority or relationship outside the cult.
Once during a celebration, I read to a group of young people from the Bible. The passage included the story of Jesus leaving the Temple with his parents after their distraught search for him. The story stated that Jesus then obeyed his parents and was a good child. This elicited Brennanís rage because the plain meaning of the passage might lead children who heard it to become loyal to their parents rather than Brennan and his cult. Even knowing that the Bible was a rare gift from a friend and precious to me, Brennan made a display of breaking the binding and throwing it in the trash. Hell has no furry like a cult leader confronted with challenge even if from Scripture.
Beatings By Brennan & McNally
Brennan and McNally beat members for some infraction. Infractions would range from not eating enough fiber, to talking too familiarly with another member or Ė even worse Ė to an outsider, to lying, to sneaking a call to a dying parent, to exposing a cult secret to anyone. A beating would typically commence if the member displayed insufficient detail, emotion, or contrition after being subjected to intense yelling and other pressure tactics.
The instances of shaking, slapping, punching, and light beatings were legion, even though Brennan preferred his yelling tirades of in your face screaming with spit and hot breath to break down a recalcitrant member into cowering submission.
Physical mistreatment, especially when administered by Brennan, would often come in the form of a knee to the groin. Kneeing became the subject of a kind of perverse humor in leadership meetings when the latest episode would be jocularly recounted. On some occasions, Brennan would slap someone or punch his or her shoulder. Aching deltoids became a sort of perverse mark of valor. Members would actually show their bruises with a kind of pride and affection that belied a depth of dependency and despair.
McNally, was far too often less constrained than Brennan. He had a special propensity for beating women. On two occasions, once in Kailua on Oahu in a sound proof encounter room and once on Kauai in a business location being renovated, a petite, timid woman was badly beaten. This is particularly memorable, because McNallyís bulk of more than 6 feet tall and 200 pounds hugely overshadowed her. I cannot remember her infractions, but she was often accused of being "schizy" i.e. somewhat detached. Whatever her psychology, I remember she often froze up in terror when the rage was directed towards her. Her silence only increased the boiling abuses she was subjected to.
On two occasions, McNally beat another woman who is no longer a member. This person was particularly dedicated to him, acting as almost a slave. Both beatings were brought on because she expressed her love for him too publicly or too cloyingly for his tastes. The beatings of this woman constituted a special problem in that the severe bruising required medical attention. The victim was treated by the in house nurse and not allowed to go to the doctors nor for that matter to meetings.
The Brennan Household, including McNally and my brother, also had a regular house boy. Usually it was a man of Chinese descent who came with Brennan from California. He was a teenager when we left California, he is now in his early 40ís. He was destined for Harvard Medical School by his grades and family connections. However, I often saw him with his mouth bloodied with cuts from blows against his braces. McNally usually beat this young man, though sometimes Brennan did, for such things as "feigning" tiredness (this while working a full time job and traveling by long bus connections to serve Brennan and his household), or being emotionally cold, or not working fast enough, or being hostile or reticent with affection toward Brennan.
The beatings generally constituted particular difficulty because they were strictly against the rules we were all held accountable to and because the marks and injuries occasioned scandal within the Cult membership and investigation if known to medical and other authorities. The fact that Brennan and McNally broke the anti-beating rule, however, was typical of the special dispensations made for their infractions and indulgences. We were so desperate for their approval and affection that we forgave them breaking the rules they so forcefully held us accountable to.
We lived in a world of such glaring disparity. We accepted abuse because of the promise that we would improve and be better. Once in the clutches of the cult dynamic, we were like a beaten spouse who will not leave and clings to the hope that this would be the last one, that the good would outweigh the stinging pain of the bad.
Brainwashing & Tracking by Brennan & McNally
We were required to make impassioned oaths of loyalty. We were expected to live in a constant state of readiness to express our rage against parents, siblings, and relatives. One woman was yelled at for hours because she wanted to go visit her dying father. Such a visit would be considered a display of "unclear" sentimentality and a sign of disloyalty and slippage into outside thinking.
It was constantly reinforced that we were no good, that we would be completely dysfunctional without the cult and Brennan in particular. We were made to believe that the cold world outside would crush us if we tried to live without Brennan and the cult and its "salvific" practices. Once initiated, we were brainwashed to believe that we were damned without the cult. Upon leaving, we acquired a status called "departed soul".
Whenever we traveled, usually in cult owned cars or by bus, whether to work or in other circumstances, we dialed up a computer, recorded our travel route and destination, and punched in our arrival time. If we did not call in and cancel our "call in", indicating that we had arrived, the computer would call a designated member and we would be tracked down. Because we drove such old cars, this was often a relief in that we were soon rescued. However, there was a darker, control aspect to this system.
The main offices where records were kept and the Brennan household always had a "house sitter" on location at all times. Even though all of the critical information was locked in safes or fireproof cabinets, Brennan was paranoid about exposure of his lifestyle and proclivities. Many times members made long drives and experienced considerable inconvenience to fill in these duties. It is truly a miracle that no died or killed someone in an auto accident.
Sexual Repression & Degradation by Brennan & McNally
We were repressed sexually to avoid the pitfalls of jealousy and "unclarity" that Brennan believed plagued sexual intimacy, marriage, families, and the like. We were even expected not avoid masturbation or if we did to substitute images of volcanoes, waves, or sunsets for human beings in our fantasies. As I have had contact with other former members, they shared the terrible loneliness, pillow wringing, and sobbing that often kept away the relief of sleep even when were exhausted. Though painful, our depths of loneliness perhaps pale in contrast to more overt sexual degradation.
Married couples who joined the cult were forced to live in households with single people. They were first separated from each other, and then even moved to separate households. They were expected to exhibit the same "clarity" of self denial expected of all of us.
On one occasion, very memorable because of its uniqueness, we played a game of nude capture the flag. This was at one of the Brennan birthday bashes. However, one woman in particular and some others did not want to take their clothes off. The ensuing pressure to do so was later reported to me to have been like a rape and the begrudging "compliance" a painful degradation.
On another occasion, a woman was subjected to having food put down her crotch with her pants and panties held up by a household member while a dog was brought over to eat from her body. Her infraction was "worshipping her cunt" whatever that was supposed to mean in our weird world. I can still hear and see Ė through my tears and shame as I type this Ė her moaning protest and humiliation. Oh I am so ashamed that I did nothing, said nothing to stop it.
Sleep Deprivation, Forced Work & Money in the Brennan Cult
When a new property would be bought in Brennanís name, the full force of the cult membership would be recruited for weeks at a time of all night work sessions landscaping and building. These sessions were often all nighters because most members worked during the daytime. This was not only a method of controlling members by breaking them down, but it was dangerous because on many instances exhaustion would overcome members while they were driving. These all night work sessions included more than home improvement to encompass rebuilding busses and recreation vehicles, Brennanís personal immaculately restored old Lincolns, and much more.
Inheritances, some substantial, were given over to Brennan as gifts or through other means. Brennan was quite sophisticated in insuring that when large estates were at stake that members maintained as much contact as necessary with parents or relatives to assure handsome returns accruing to him.
In fact, this author kept working and living in the cult because, in part, there were actual and implied promises that as Brennanís wealth increased, members would get their share at least indirectly in improved housing and a lifetime community that would protect and take care of us. This was to assuage concerns expressed by some that we were not putting away money for retirement and that all our energy and work was to benefit the group. It is true that the standards of living for members improved somewhat over time; however, never to the extent that Brennan and McNally enjoyed in their highly improved, palatial, lavishly landscaped estates.
Vitalism & Animals in the Brennan Cult
Brennan is a vitalist, that is he believes in maintaining life under his control or influence at almost any cost. This extended to patients in hospitals who were languishing in commas. Brennan learned about these patients from nurses who ere cult members. Then he and McNally would personally work behind the scenes collecting information and waging sophisticated campaigns to "save the person". Brennanís vitalism led to a radical pro-life position, which some find unusual in a man so committed to political doctrines of sexual liberality.
Animals in Brennanís personal household and to a lesser extent in the households of cult members were given extraordinary care. Brennanís dogs were given sophisticated treatments for kidney and liver failure, some on the cutting edge of medical technology was funded by materials and equipment from Brennanís medical supply business, Lifescience Resources.
Empress, a retired thoroughbred race horse was the subject of an especially gruesome "saving". She was lame in her hind leg when the cult rescued her. Eventually her hoof and foot fell off, so we developed a prostheses upon which she could stand, even though her leg stump kept deteriorating and became infested with maggots. She so favored her "good" other hind foot that it too foundered and fell off. Finally, her kidneys gave out and she died, but only after living for weeks in extreme pain, hardly able to stand or walk. She was held up as an example of courage that should inspire us all to take our pain more bravely.
Humiliation & Familial Separation in the Brennan Cult
Members were strictly controlled in their contact with family. We were allowed private mail, but any letter from family was shared with a sponsor and if troublesome referred to Brennan or McNally. For the most part members were instructed to cut off their parents and relatives and old friends as sources of unclarity.
There were many instances of very angry parents making trouble for members. In retaliation, members would be required to unlist their phones and get distant post office boxes.
One member who was something of a free spirit, a brilliant comedian and mime in his own right, a gentle soul, had a visit from his mother and father. He worked on a golf course and apparently they first saw him on a green. His mom and dad snuck up on him and she kissed him warmly. This scene was reported back to the group. I still shudder in remembering the cult memberís pained and confused eyes as the group started to emotionally pummel him for his sentimentality and unclarity in allowing his mom to kiss him.
Grieving for the death of a parent or grandparent was considered a serious breach of "clarity". One woman was severely berated for wanting to attend her fatherís funeral. My sister called my dying grandmother at her death bed from a phone at work for one of the businesses. The Orange County California Hospital informed my sister that Grandma Cornell was unconscious and unable to take calls. My sister persisted. Her reward: my Grandmother recognized her voice and whispered her name, Lori. Lori was so overcome with emotion and grief that she shared her feelings in one of the sessions. She was not greeted with sympathy. For two hours Lori endured a tirade of hatred and rage because she was sentimental and used a work phone to make her call. This was particularly hurtful because Lori worked in excess of 12 hours a day on Cult projects and businesses and little or no other opportunity to make a private call.
Medical Deprivation in the Brennan Cult
This is an especially odd category for this cult, because it was extremely pro-life and attuned to the latest in medical technology and techniques. One of Brennanís companies, Lifescience Resources, sells medical supplies and repairs and sells high tech, computer based hospital and emergency equipment all over Hawaii. Nonetheless, visits with medical professionals provided a dangerous point of contact out of Brennanís control.
Conditions such as chronic back pain and muscle and skeletal problems were not well cared for because treatment for pain reduction usually required hands on care by professionals. A man who worked with heavy equipment and I were berated for seeking physical therapy and chiropractic care. My condition so deteriorated that I was scheduled for hospitalization with a herniated disk. However, I was "treated" at my Cult household with extensive bed rest. Now out of the cult, I have been successfully treated and am basically pain and symptom free.
Psychology Practiced Without a License & Malpractice
One of Brennanís fears was a lawsuit for unlicensed practice of psychology or malpractice related to his "counseling" methods. He did not want to finish his doctorate, which would allow him to become licensed in Hawaii, because he personally disliked established education and because he would be more easily tagged for malpractice and subject to licensing scrutiny for his methods. He wanted the work he was doing to come under some kind of religious auspice, but of course there were no churches he could approach. When I left, the possibility of a non-profit, religious umbrella was being explored.
In any event, Brennan and McNally in particular both practice a powerful form of psychology without proper licensing and accountability. I imagine that someone may someday file the lawsuit that Brennan dreads.
Nursing & Medicine Without License
We received regular influenza inoculations, some medical care, and in the instances of beatings complete care from the cult nurse, Sue Salisbury. When beaten or when our medical care would entangle us with hands on professionals, she would design and implement treatment programs.
Brennan Cult Confidentiality Breaches
Sue Salisbury and other people who are no longer cult members regularly worked as nurses in hospitals. They would report any instances of non-care for dying patients to Brennan and McNally. In addition, Eric Tessmer, who heads up sales for Lifescience Resources, would report such perceived abuses of care. Brennan and McNally would devise brilliant campaigns to assure "proper treatment". In the latter case of Tessmerís disclosures, the involvement by Brennan and the cult would be more circumscribed with members including myself taking the lead in the public presentation of the cases. Brennan wanted to protect one of his cash cow businesses from connection with his radical beliefs.
Even today, I do not believe that all of the cases the cult initiated were non-meritorious, in fact, some were quite heroic efforts, but nonetheless, they were manipulated by Brennan hiding behind a veil of secrecy and may have violated patient privacy rights.
Brennan Cult Business Practices
Substantial money was made by Brennan owned businesses, all staffed by cult members and managed by McNally. Often a key member had to be involved to carry the licensing responsibilities. But such people always reported to McNally who ran every aspect of day-to-day operation. Some of the activities of the businesses were very sharp and even exemplary. However, many crossed the line into practices that may have been illegal.
Tax & Employment Irregularities
The key businesses, listed above, were often staffed by a licensed person as a regulatory requirement in order to sell real estate or contract for construction jobs. Others required sales and technical expertise to operate. Brennanís highly talented people, listed above, were always paid very little, often just above minimum wage. Such payment is certainly suspect as ways of avoiding taxes on their salaries. The bulk of money would flow to Brennan which would then be offset by very high expenses for travel, reading materials, and other things that benefited him. However, when an issue came to Brennan losing money for taxes or losing control, he always opted for losing the money and maintaining control and personal ownership. No one other than Brennan owned any stock or participated in the profits of the businesses. Of course, keeping salaries low meant that all taxes and expenses pegged to salary were kept as low as possible, such as workerís comp., temporary disability, FICA, Medicare, health insurance, etc.
In order to increase the availability of free member labor while still insuring income streams, key cult members, both skilled and unskilled, would hold jobs that qualified them for workerís compensation and then become unemployed. They would then work for Brennan for no salary while the benefits were in effect.
Brennan was always concerned that a lawsuit might topple his empire, so he devised a multiple corporate structure to split his exposure to losses. However, such a scheme has problems in that for the purposes of workerís compensation and other employment regulations, the costs should be based on the whole enterprise owned and controlled by one person.
Recruiting & Infiltration Particularly of Churches
The Brennan Cult and particularly Brennan himself was very concerned about recruiting. Because the mantra of clarity in relationships translated into celibacy, no children were born to cult members. Expansion required recruiting.
Cult members regularly attended churches as appropriate places to find people searching for answers, ones that Brennan wanted to provide in his cult. This was problematic because Brennan did not want cult members to join or become too close to church doctrines. So, we almost always recruited in pairs and in addition, we rarely went to the same church more than one time in a row. Special charts were devised to keep mixing things up and churches were rated for the kinds of people who attended. The list of the names of members should help those who want to know if cult members are infiltrating their churches or institutions.
On some occasions, Brennan would form a liaison with pastors or church organizations for holding meetings and workshops on the periphery of his organization. These could lead to quite elaborate regular nights where cult members would lead classes in typing, cooking, reading, lifestyle fun and games, etc. Brennan was adept at creating impromptu stage plays and musicals with young people.
More rarely, Brennan would develop liaisons with school or social service professionals as sources for recruiting members. This decreased in time as these kinds of professionals would hold Brennan accountable. In California, he was heavily dependent on such connections. In Hawaii in the 70ís and early 80ís, Brennan actually started a school for a few kids who lived with him and other households. His motives were not entirely educational, for he feared the contamination of his indoctrination and corruption if kids went to regular schools. Brennanís Transculture School failed and the last I knew was closed because the kids dropped out of the cult entirely and there were no students.
Brennan was vehement in his opposition to abortion and in his vitalist opposition to any cessation of medical care, though he favored liberality with respect to sexual practices. Key cult members, including this author, were active in the pro-life movement in Hawaii.
Wanderlust & Emigration
Brennan was always unsettled and looking for new locations. We had a committee that scoured the world for appropriate relocation areas. Criteria were varied from time to time, but included:
No laws barring homosexual relations.
No laws barring manual, oral, and anal sex.
Laws permitting sex between adults and young people at the youngest possible age (no statutory rape laws would have been preferred, but no jurisdiction has yet to go so far).
Laws protecting free speech, freedom of assembly.
Liberal laws regarding religious practice.
Keeping abortion illegal or heavily regulated and restricted.
Nubile native populations.
Acceptance of white Americans.
Acceptance of non-white Americans
Freedom from nuclear power and excessive pollution.
Freedom from excessive natural pollution.
Relative political stability.
View of the sunset over the water.
Good food and water supply.
It always seemed somewhat strange that the list was so heavily weighted toward sexual freedom, since we were basically celibate. Perhaps Brennanís secretiveness and self-described household as a suspected "homosexual den of iniquity" provides an answer as to why a god-king of a celibate kingdom would so favor sexual freedom. The author has his opinions, you reach yours and take appropriate action to protect your loved ones.
The cult attempted to move to Australia in 1978-79, but was rejected. The strategy was to attempt to get work visas for some of the more difficult members who were of ethnic or work backgrounds not actively favored by the Australian immigration policy of the time. Work visaís were also sought for those who were academically and professionally well qualified. It was a sort of list of the best and the worst. We used several different typewriters and computers to make sure that the applications were not easily connected. However, the government down under seemed to catch wind of the connection and Cultish nature of the applicants and rejected them all cryptically.
Why People Stay in the Brennan Cult
A full answer is beyond the scope of this writing. Perhaps a defense of what we experienced as cult members is even unwise. Let Brennan or his cohorts answer such a question. Yet perhaps the answer lies in some of the mysteries of how we are constructed as human beings. Many have asked what are our strongest instinctual or archetypal proclivities?. Is it sex, food, power, intimacy, shelter, family, maybe a combination of all of these. Well maybe, but a strong contender is tribal bond, that mysterious force that glues us together despite our individual differences, tribal abuses, frustration and longing for freedom and individuality.
Some anthropologists believe that banishment was not just a spiritual death sentence, it was literal. Early humans could not survive without the full service and support of a tribe and even if nature would not kill them, another tribe would. Tribal loyalty Ėeven to a very imperfect tribe Ė was required for survival. As our culture and society becomes more and more isolated, fragmented, we perhaps have no easy way to exercise our longing for deep tribal connection.
Brennan not only promised a community, he added the carrot of one that would differ radically from the one our parents reared us in. We were disaffected, estranged children of the 60ís, 70ís, even 80ís and now perhaps 90ís. We craved the promise of rebellious differentiation from our parents. We felt heroic going without sleep, protected that our Brennan Cult tribe would find us if our cars broke down, loved by a powerful almost god like tribal leader and his princeling. Brennan has tapped into and created the new post-modern tribe.
And we were promised that as we became clearer and freer of our cultural upbringing and traditional constraints that we would have a new kind of intimacy and possibly even children, though certainly not marriage. We would raise any children communally, well in reality Brennan would raise them. We were promised that our efforts would build a community that we would share in until our deaths together.
We even filled our imaginations and worldview with "tribal" enemies which included everything outside of our cult Ė our parents, our old friends, our schools, our churches, our cherished cultural and familial traditions, all that did not support Brennan and his radical ideas and practices. And he was a genius, though obviously perverted.
In honesty, I suppose I also have denied in myself the shocking tendency we have as human beings to believe that abusers will heal, that the hurtful will never happen again Ė that the sweet, tender, loving, courageous that I so longed for would manifest in the future without the mistreatment.
Again, mea culpa, mea culpa. I have been deceived, I have deceived, I have held false hope when I knew the degradation and heartache far outweighed the benefits. I have remained silent, protected myself at a cost to others and a cost to myself..
Those who have read this take heed and proceed appropriately. I am available to answer questions, help investigation, and fill in details. Those who wish to report about the Brennan Cult, may E-Mail me at the address above or write me. To all who have reached this point after a careful reading, thank you. Please use your best efforts to see that this information is widely distributed.
If you are Brennan Cult survivor or have information that will help others understand the operations, please E-Mail me or send a fax.
While the Brennan Cult has never espoused violence and did not warehouse weapons, Brennan and the members will not take this kind of exposure lightly. It is a dagger thrust at heavily armored weakness. As any ex-Brennan Cult member knows, the secrecy requirement was sacrosanct. If anyone sends me information, it should be clearly identified with the authorís instructions as to whether it may be distributed or kept for background. Anything sent as background will not be disclosed unless I am compelled by subpoena .
I have used the names of Brennan Cult members sparingly in this document intentionally. Both current and especially past members are victims and as such I thought it fairest to maintain their privacy regarding specific humiliating events. The disclosure of names of members when I left the cult in the list above seemed necessary to identify them to those who run churches, schools, immigration offices and other institutions that might be infiltrated by Brennan Cult members.
I have written this alone and am fully responsible for its content and publication. The facts herein are of my knowledge. I make the above statement in good faith and subject to the laws of perjury, defamation and other doctrines that would punish lying. This is the truth as clearly as I can cognize and articulate it.
3 February 1998
Craig Cornell (Signed on originals)