The Monroe Institute has again shown itself as an organization run by those who use lies and vindictive malice against those perceived by the Executive Director as her “enemies”–in other words, anyone who disagrees with her.
As you may know, the eruption of outrage in The Monroe Institute (TMI) community of the past few months has resulted in my withdrawal of support for the institute. My personal decision to drop support for the Monroe Institute derived from what I perceived as a litany of lies and vindictive actions on the part of the Executive Director with full support from the Board of Directors. I have explained that decision in prior posts. (See A Post I Never Wanted to Write, An Open Letter to the TMI Board, and Why I Withdrew Support for TMI .)
At the time of the original explosion of community outrage, the then-Chairman of the Board, Mr. David Thomas, abruptly “resigned.” The community was told by the Executive Director that he had chosen to resign as Chairman of the Board in the middle of this crisis, immediately prior to the February Professional Division Meeting.
Monroe Institute Management’s Habit of Lying
As with so many statements from TMI’s Executive Director and Board of Directors in the past months, this announcement had little actual truth in it. In fact, in a secret meeting of the Board—a process not in compliance with the Monroe Institute’s own corporate bylaws—Mr. Thomas was forcibly removed from the Board. As with the earlier ouster of 35-year veteran Karen Malik, Mr. Thomas was given no warning, no explanation, and was offered no opportunity to defend himself from whatever issues the Executive Director had with him.
Don’t believe me? Last week, after holding his silence for three months, Mr. Thomas wrote a letter to the The Monroe Institute Board of Advisors, Board of Directors, and Professional Division. This letter was prompted after an ongoing–and still continuing–campaign of professional harassment and personal disparagement of Mr. Thomas’s character by a Monroe Institute Board of Advisors member who is a close personal friend of a member of the Monroe Institute’s Board of Directors. I encourage all of you to read it.
The Monroe Institute Cast of Characters
Since the letter refers to individuals by first name in places, let me explain the positions of each of these individuals:
- Carol de la Herran (“Carol” in the letter) is the Executive Director & President of TMI.
- Angie Smith is the Secretary/Treasurer of TMI.
- Walter Stock (“Walter” in the letter) is the current Chairman of the Board of Directors.
- Stephen Ng Qui Sang (“Stephen” in the letter) is a member of the Board of Directors
Why Was Mr. Thomas Ousted?
Although Mr. Thomas does not explicitly speculate in his letter on the rationale for his ouster, the evidence suggests that two key factors played into his removal. First, he refused to alter business arrangements already in place in order to feed a piece of a business deal to another Board member. Second, he expressed a willingness to sit down with Karen Malik during the Professional Division meeting and have a conversation with her about TMI’s issues with her—as long as the Executive Director & President were also willing to do so.
Apparently, being willing to discuss issues in a civilized way in order to come to a calm resolution is not a characteristic that the Monroe Instittute’s Executive Director aspires to achieve. I can only speculate that to guarantee such a conversation never took place, Mr. Thomas had to be removed from the Board. (That does make me wonder if there was any justification for Karen’s removal–other than sheer vindictiveness on the part of the Executive Director.)
A third possible cause for this enmity from the Executive Director is that as Mr. Thomas’s letter explains, he suggested that he should resign from the Board in order to take some of the tasks off her shoulders on a temporary basis to enable TMI to generate additional revenue and ultimately hire permanent staff to help her. Although he proposed working under Carol’s direction and on a temporary basis only, the result of such a suggestion may have been his ouster.
It is a truth that those most insecure and lacking confidence in their abilities are often the ones who are unable and unwilling to delegate tasks. Such people also often fail to communicate well with staff–a constant complaint since this Executive Director was hired. None of those characteristics makes her a good manager, unfortunately. It seems to be the case that it’s time for someone with greater professional nonprofit management experience to run the Monroe Institute.
Is There a Way Forward?
The sad part about all this is that it is the Monroe Institute’s own actions–actually those of the Executive Director and the Board–of lying and harassment of someone who was saying nothing whatsoever negative about TMI that prompted Mr. Thomas to write his letter and has prompted this ongoing community outrage.
In other words, they have brought this community outrage upon themselves.
It is my personal opinion that the only way forward for TMI is for the Advisory Board to convince the Board of Directors to fire the current Executive Director & President, and have the Board of Directors resign en masse–or have those resignations take place voluntarily. Then an interim group culled from the TMI community could immediately search for a new Executive Director and Board of Directors who constitute a more heart-centered, spiritually motivated, and less power-focused set of people. Although I see that as the only true ultimate solution, I do not expect such events to actually happen.
Until this–or something similar–happens, however, I will continue to urge people to stay away from the Monroe Institute. An organization operating from a place of lies, revenge for perceived slights, and malicious spite is no place for anyone seeking spiritual growth.