Should Nude Corporate Retreats Be Mandatory?

Heather Murphy-Raines
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Heather Murphy-Raines/Scout's Honor
I'm never really happy about the traveling my husband does for his job, but it pays the mortgage.

I'm even less thrilled about the rare, but required fun corporate retreats for peer bonding that leave me home alone with three kids.

So imagine how happy I'd be if my husband was forced to go on a nude retreat.

Yes, you read that right, nude. Worse, imagine how he would feel?

Lawyer Steven Egglestrom knows the feeling. Shortly after taking a job at a California law firm, Egglestrom claimed he was pressured to attend such a retreat by his supervisor, attorney John Bisnar. His boss said participants were sworn to secrecy. Egglestrom googled the secretive, all-male weekend "retreat" his superior wanted him to attend, and found that at this weekend trip, male-only attendees sit in nude group circles and hold hands on naked, blindfolded hikes.

As reported by AOL news, he discovered:

Men would be holding hands and walking naked, blindfolded, through a forest. Then they would sit nude in groups of 30 to 50, passing around a wooden dildo and giving lurid details of their sexual history. Eggleston said he found out that the men will grab each other's penises if they wish ... Eggleston said in [his] complaint that he was contacted several times by ManKind Project officials who tried to convince him to attend the event. Part of his research revealed that attendees are told to carpool so they would not be able to leave the event once they got there.

Yes, let me reiterate, it seems this so-called male bonding could even include a co-worker bonding with your husband's penile unit.
Hold what?!

I'm sorry, but let me repeat dumbfoundedly: It appears holding the penis next to you in a group circle is acceptable corporate etiquette at this so-called warrior retreat.

What?!

Is anyone else out there hearing Deliverance banjos at this point?

So thoughts? Personally, I don't think that would be acceptable to this wife no matter the paycheck and it wasn't acceptable to California lawyer Steven Egglestrom either. No wonder the sworn secrecy element, eh?

Eggleston states he refused to attend The New Warrior Training Adventure at a campground sponsored by The ManKind Project.  

The result? He claims his pay was reduced 50%.

Six months later, he was pressured to attend once more. He declined and another pay cut ensued.

He quit and now he's suing, saying he was "badgered, yelled at, and ultimately had his pay slashed to zero for not attending the retreat," according to a lawsuit filed in Orange County.

One last scary detail that Eggleston discovered upon googling the retreat? He found that the family of a Texas man sued ManKind Project after the man committed suicide following a similar retreat. The ManKind Project settled out of court.

On the ManKind project's website, it says, "You'll experience a level of energy, a quality of masculinity, a deep sense of safety, joy and laughter, anger and fear, physical challenge, and a connection to life's mystery that we can't explain to you, no matter how hard we try."

Now we know to some degree why it's hard to explain -- especially to their wives!  Whatever happened to traditional male bonding like smoking cigars at men's clubs?

So, raise of hands, will this make you think twice the next time your husband goes on a corporate retreat?



Image by Violet Carson/Flickr

 

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