What is Bushido?
Bushido according to the definition given by Wikipedia is
Bushido, literally meaning “the way of the warrior”, is a Japanese word for the way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry in Europe. What is Bushido?.
The “way” itself originates from the samurai moral values, most commonly stressing some combination of frugality, so with this in mind it is hard to believe that a man who says he is a master of Bushido would have students who would have this to say about him
The student is called Murray Bruton
The Bushido Academy of Martial Arts (BAMA) cult and its leader (the BAMA in England)
(If after reading this document you would like further information on Cults in the martial arts please follow this link to the section titled Herding the Moo!)
It’s been nearly a year since I left the BAMA and as the saying goes, much water has since passed under the bridge. This amount of time later I have decided, finally, to put pen to paper and set the record straight. I have deliberately not done this before now in order to ensure that I am not unduly influenced by the emotion associated with those events, as I am experienced enough in life to realise that to do things when charged with emotion is often a mistake.
They were certainly rough days, around this time last year (Feb 2009). You see, for some time I had been concerned about what I felt I was witnessing at the BAMA, sadly my life’s work was declining into a mire of profiteering, rampant greed, abuse of position and some of the most disgraceful manipulations of people and facts I had ever seen, and it all came to a head in the months leading up to this time last year when I was felt I had no other choice than to resign.
Why resign? Well believe it or not the beginning of the end came because I wouldn’t get involved with something – yes, it was all about something I wouldn’t do! You see I had figured, obviously mistakenly, that by staking my flag in the ground and saying no to something, that the student body, in particular the black belts I was working with at the time, might be moved to question their increasingly sheep like actions and look at things more closely, or perhaps be inspired to at least voice their fears and concerns, and further, that by staying inside the organisation, I was best positioned to try to help them, to challenge, to perhaps influence direction and ultimately help the BAMA to re find its roots.
Naturally the key questions everyone asks are “What wouldn’t I get involved with?” and “Why?” and the answer is simple. The What? was something at the time called Ultimate Bushido, and the Why?.. because it was a blatant, unethical, money making scam! Pete Delane had publicly stated in mid/late 2007 at a Thursday afternoon Pro Instructors meeting that Bushido karate was a “complete waste of time, it doesn’t work”. He also said he “was bored with it and he didn’t any longer care about it”. It was now just about money to him. Hmmmmm!
To be honest, it wasn’t the first time I had heard such undertones, but it was the first time, to my knowledge, that he had spoken out publicly (although he had previously lowered the qualifying standard for all grades by one grade, introduced a sham 2 part grading system and additional weapons gradings all in order to increase revenues). His speech was followed by a shocking and emphatic “there I have finally said it, we have all wasted our lives on that rubbish!”. I remember this all very well because I regarded as a watershed, it reminded me of the famous Gerald Ratner moment I had learned about in business studies, and it came on the back of several months of increased talk about teaching & preaching “peace and harmony”.
Then, towards the end of 2007 he announced that he felt he would come back from his impending around the world cruise an enlightened being!… Hmmmm! Well, low and behold, 4-5 months later when he came back from it (this would be towards mid 2008) he announced that he was indeed now “enlightened”, constantly saying he was in a “special place spiritually” and that “nothing and no-one can get to me now as I am at peace and not going back to where I have been” – apparently this was due to having experienced an epiphany during a helicopter flight over some supposed BAMA historical site in Maui… Hmmmm!!
Whilst away, he had also done his usual trick and sent back several lesson discs, special envoy messages and, on a couple of occasions, had everyone gather around the speaker phone to listen him to deliver a lesson, sermon style from his stateroom – all the classic signs of him preparing the way (classic signs of something else too but more of that later!). Then, upon his return he announced that whilst he had been away he had also had a “vision”, and that Ultimate Bushido (UB) was the future of the BAMA and how it would spread and revolutionise the martial arts world! Personally I have lost count over the years of the number of times he has, whilst away on holiday, had a vision or revelation of one sort or another that would “revolutionise the Martial Arts”!
Anyway, upon his return he then proceeded to try and convince us all of the merits of his latest scheme. I watched in horror as one by one the high grades of the organisation wilted under the pressure of conforming to the Master’s will (all that is, with the notable exception of Ken Stronach)! It saddened me that they meekly towed the line, even though most of them openly discussed their reticence in his absence and were quite clearly uncomfortable with doing kata where you had pretend to be chicken breaking out of an egg or march up and down the room to music or stand and learn to look “hard”!
Well no amount of persuasion was going to work for me on this one, I consider myself a still learning martial artist of only 37 years and whilst I’ll explore any stuff within the trinity of mind body and spirit if I believe it’s relevant to developing me in my vocation, I saw this for what it was and him for where he was going. Not that I said as much at the time of course, that’s just not the done thing in what I now know to be CULT, but I did refuse, point blank, to have my name associated with it in any way.
It also didn’t help that whilst he was away on his cruise I had been made aware that Delane had raised revenues from the student base to pay a deposit on a yacht that he had purchased a year earlier. I remember that he had approached me for money and I had agreed to give him some as an advance against the dojo rent fees I would incur throughout that year. In the end it never happened, as he had come back to me a few weeks later and told me he didn’t need it, saying he had gotten the money from some of his rich American celebrity clients. To my now embarrassment, I didn’t think any more of it, until I was made aware, by several students in financial difficulty, that he had actually been selling a scheme involving the promise of “Zen lessons on the boat!”
He had apparently taken thousands upon thousands of pounds from a wide range of the student base. The minimum fee was £300.00 and many students had taken his advice! to borrow money, take loans or use credit cards to buy in to this unique opportunity. Hmmm!!
By the time I left the BAMA, some of these students had indeed had their “day” on the boat (which turned out to be a sightseeing naval jolly, and not a Zen lesson in sight) but were still owed many more days. And it turned out that for most, in addition to the £300.00 per person per trip price tag in groups of 10 or more, the day itself involved having to clean the boat for half of the day too! Hmmmm!!!
I also remember being gob smacked when, to my face, some of them actually revelled in this great honour!!! – another big Hmmm!!!!
Others who had paid him money never even got their go on the boat and were fobbed off on his return from the cruise with something called a “demon night” at his Cotsfield home instead. Basically a night of listening to several Delane discs [speeches] interspersed with people dressed up in scary fairground masks. Now, regardless of whether there was an attempt at a genuine lesson in that or not, the simple fact is that they were not offered a choice or offered their money back. It was just take it or leave it!
In addition, during his absence (still on the world cruise) he had requested that I re start attending his weekly Thursday night class at Cotsfield to keep an eye on the newly appointed Chief Instructor Darryl Canham. This was after my absence from the same class of around 18 months, caused by other BAMA commitments and Canham’s need for space to grow into his new role. When I got back there I became quite concerned at the sheep like mentality of the students. They were being marched around, almost military style, and constantly being ordered to “look happy” or “be excited” whilst spending a lot of time standing around waiting for something to happen or watching the same old dvd’s. Most worryingly of all to me was that they no longer asked any questions or showed any mind of their own, if they did ask anything , the questions were always safe questions, mostly they just grinned in a sort of glazed happy way! and all this for a knockdown £200.00 per person month too!
A few weeks after Delane had returned from his cruise he asked me to continue to attend the Thursday evening classes (no doubt to keep me close and persuade me to change my mind about my stance on this UB) but it turned out to be an even more eye-popping experience. Because of my position, I got to witness the glazed over, doey eyed, awe struck look that the students adopted whenever he entered the room. But worse, the way he manipulated them as an audience, making deliberate and highly staged grand entrances and exits, always dropping in subtle (and sometimes no so subtle) threats of violence or excommunication or removal from the Cotsfield group and worse, getting the backroom staff [high grades] to prepare them sheeplike, to wind them up with fear or trepidation or anticipation. Things didn’t get better, in fact to my mind they just got a whole lot worse!
Then, around Sept 2008 Delane disappeared on his annual Florida trip (for about 4 weeks from memory). When he returned he was immediately very concerned at the numbers attending his Cotsfield group class. I put this down to news he had picked up in the USA, as he was visibly counting heads and telling me that the recession (Oct 2008 was the start of the credit crunch in the UK) was already hurting him and it was a worry because if it was anything like the US (United States) it was only going to get worse – and he had his Boat, Bentley, Wifes Mercedes and new Kitchen payments to make, not to mention a world cruise, 6 weeks in Florida and first class flights to pay off of his credit cards.
Within a week or two, with him still pressing ahead with UB, and amid great fanfare he suddenly announced that his Cotsfield class, until that time only ever a prestigious Black Belt group, was now open to anybody from the BAMA membership, basically it was now open to anyone that could or would pay. It was sold on the pretext of lower grade students getting taught by him and his UB, Hmmmm… He urged the Pro instructors at Cotsfield to send their own students to him, as in the recession only he could guarantee keeping them ( because, apparently, no one else was good enough!! – his mantra at the time being “no one keeps students like me” and that one will make much more sense later as well!)
The deal was that for £200.00 per month the student of any grade could get to the Cotsfield senior class and the instructor would get £100.00pm of it for the introduction (and for as long as the student stayed) plus the additional benefit of freeing up that teaching slot and would so be able to seek out new students and increase his own income. (I understand Delane did his usual and reneged on that deal just after I left, so that the instructors were required to continue to teach their students as well! Basically he promised one thing then moved the goal posts, without changing the financial arrangements once people had committed – not the first time I’ve seen that stunt from him either!)
Obligingly, as a response to his exhortations, there was an influx of another 30 or so students dropped into harms way. I say that because the Cotsfield complex was already a dangerously overcrowded and unsafe venue. I even remember hearing of several students that had passed out through lack of oxygen in the room. Now, Delane has always shown a complete disregard for things like Insurance, electrical, fire and other safety regulations, building regulations or even planning permissions, but as the BAMA grew, so this cowboy attitude began to worry me somewhat. It was not really any of my business at Cotsfield, because it is his home, but it’s also where he teaches from. However, on witnessing the numbers involved in his Thursday class (as well as the weekend courses and a multitude of other day courses that he runs from there) on my return to Cotsfield earlier in the year, my concerns had led me to arrange a health and safety risk audit by a student qualified in such things. All I got for my troubles was a royal b*****king for allowing somebody to snoop around the complex (even though Delane had agreed to it beforehand) and besides the student was already a Cotsfield student? To make things even worse, I was aware of another influx of lower grades, planned in a second wave early 2009, although by then he had hatched plans to extend and increase the use of his garage and had already extended the Sunshine cafe to accommodate the increase.
When I put all this together (the sum of the hmmmms if you like), I realised it certainly wasn’t what I was used to, nor what I recognised as the ethos of the BAMA that I knew, in fact it smacked of something having gone very, very wrong!
With my resolve to not be associated with this UB standing firm, Delane’s various attempts to persuade me perceptibly shifted in tone, the final quarter of 2008 became increasingly difficult and worsened still further until it all reached a climax on February 19th 2009. In those final weeks I had been bounced around between being told to get a job because my career with the organisation was “over” and he was going to take all the students I taught away from me! to his half cocked ideas about launching something called the Bruton Academy, first in Birmingham, then in Gloucester eventually we agreed on the idea of me taking up a standard BAMA franchise, finding my own new students (the ill-fated Esporta venture) and being in the Bushido part of the organisation but separate to UB part, but even that was scuppered by him in them end.
By now his plotting and behind the scenes character assassination of me had announced its presence in a suddenly silent telephone and some awkward face-to-face conversations with my peers. It didn’t take me long to realise that my card was being well and truly marked. But it also told me something was very wrong with the leader of the organisation. You see my 30 years of service and the fact that we were supposedly ‘close’ given the student/teacher relationship, counted for absolutely nothing, but worse still, my simple desire not be involved with something had by now unleashed a torrent of abuse. Now don’t get me wrong, I have worked in senior management in industry and know well the way it is in the world of work, but this wasn’t political manoeuvring, this was altogether different. I was undoubtedly being marginalised, perhaps even being phased out, but one thing is for sure, the manner of the abuse I was taking from Delane was a disgrace.
Over the years I have seen him treat others in a similar fashion once they fell out of favour; they were bullied, defamed, ostracized, shunned, sniped about and on occasion outright slandered and that was only what I had witnessed publicly. What I certainly never appreciated was the previously untold vehemence of the behind the scenes action that they were subjected to as well, and now it seemed it was my turn to experience it first-hand!
So, in the snow and cold of the start of 2009 I found myself on the receiving end of what is best described as an adult tantrum. Frantic and increasingly intense, alternating between abusive threats and calm reassurance that all was well. Ironically, it was volatility of this behaviour that in the end alerted me to the fact that something was seriously amiss. And, believe it or not, as all this was going on, I tried to maintain a semblance of normality for the students that I was working with, both in the classes I was taking and my weekend courses.
Delane’s behaviour, on the other hand, was patently not the display of emotional control and rational logic one would expect of a supposed martial arts Grand master, a Zen master, a self declared man of peace, and certainly not the behaviour one would expect of a man proposing to preach peace and harmony or one in a “special place” spiritually. Far from it, this was more the polar opposite; in private it was nasty, petulant and vindictive yet always hidden behind the publicly presented facade of his own self-proclaimed enlightenment!! I bet I guess with some certainty the public face he presented at that time when I was the subject matter, feigning hurt, concern and making subtle excuses like he [Bruton] has lost the plot, his demons have got him, he’s having a mid-life crisis etc but in private, the behind the scenes behaviour directed at me was unpredictable, threatening and at times quite bizarre. Even to my uneducated eye, it’s irrational nature was cause for deep concern.
Like I said, ironically in the end it was the increasingly frantic nature of all this that set my alarm bells ringing! I probably would have just walked away had it not been for what I had witnessed and been subjected to. Certainly it is what caused me to set about getting to the truth of the matter. If only for my own good I needed to understand. My 30 years of experience of both the man and the workings of the BAMA stood me in good stead and the enigma unravelled within weeks as I read, researched and consulted with experts.
You see, finally I had dared to ask the one question, the un-askable question, at least as far as anyone in the BAMA is concerned, to think the unthinkable thought “What if it’s not me at all? What if it’s actually him? What if it’s been him with the problems all along? What if I have been caught up in something I am ignorant of… that I don’t recognise because I don’t have any experience or knowledge of it? I was 17 when I got involved with this – too young and naive to understand what I was involved with. I realised that if that were the case I could easily have been hoodwinked into believing it was something else!
And then the door to the answers opened and suddenly, profoundly, everything made sense. Talk about looking the wrong way! Once I had the balls to ask the question and face up to my big mistake, that I been duped and played all this time, the answers came thick and fast. I now know that the journey towards the final conflict, whereupon I resigned under protest from the BAMA, or more specifically I terminated my relationship with its leader, was inevitable once I decided not to be involved in his Ultimate Bushido Scam. I also now know how naive I was to believe that there was ever the possibility of any other outcome because that’s how Delane functions and I simply didn’t know what I was dealing with at the time… to be honest I had never even heard of it! But I have learned fast and comprehensively since!
In a nutshell, this describes Delanes little world…
“I (Delane) am living in my own little fantasy world because I learned as a child that the only way to get attention from people is to be or do bigger than ordinary or normal. As a result I can’t cope with a reality where I don’t control everything, because I can’t allow anyone to cause me to face up to the fact that my pretend world is not real. It’s a case of – “it’s my fantasy, where I can be in total control and if I want to pretend I am the chosen and appointed master of a 1000 year old samurai school, with a lineage of dead Japanese masters, loads of celebrity friends from music and film, contacts in politics and students and friends in high places then I will. And I will tell you a pack of lies to your face to get you to play along, getting you to believe helps me sustain my fantasy. I will get you to worship and adore me because it’s such an amazing yarn and encourage you to spread the word of my special-ness to the world. Of course you must also pay handsomely for such a privilege because that’s how special I am in my own little world. But, if you are not going to play. then you are out. Regardless of your longevity, commitment or loyalty. Why? Because its not about the school, there is no school. It’s all about me and my fantasy life and me keeping my followers hooked inside it at all costs, it’s all about keeping them playing the game and keeping my fantasy going. So if you aren’t playing along, I can’t have you risk it all!”
So the reality is that, actually, there is no school of honour, at least as far as its leader is concerned, to him it’s just a case of “play my fantasy, never say no or dare to challenge me about anything I say or do and you can stay. But we’ll dress it up in some mystic Japanese connection, you will all call me Master and we’ll attach it to emotive words like honour and loyalty to keep you happy and to keep you confused! After all it’s my ball, and I have worked out that you lot like to play ball, you do like to play ball don’t you?”
So there you go, so much for years of loyalty. I was loyal to the cause and the message and the school but was also gullible enough to believe the man, despite there always being inconsistencies, inaccuracies and many times concerns over some very dubious preferences! Especially his twisted and distorted opinions on certain things, which were often based on some erroneous interpretation of the facts. Especially noteworthy are his privately held and espoused attitudes towards women and certain minorities of our society.
The thing about Delane was that there had always been something I couldn’t put my finger on, always, but that something had been explained away as me needing to get my head around the teachings of an ancient school, or to make the cultural shift necessary to grasp the hidden meanings of an eastern warrior culture, or to work on my “self” in order to “get” the lessons delivered by a specially chosen and gifted Master and after all, I was honoured that I had ever met anyone like him and should remind myself everyday just how lucky I was to have found him!!
The reality, quite simply, is that I was just being used like everyone else to fuel the illusion, an acolyte to feed an ego. There never had been any reciprocating loyalty, it was all a sham on his part, it was just a game being played, the loyalty card was the “hook” the message to keep me coming back, which it did! The message worked for me and a lot of others but in reality I was just a bit part in the illusion. Once I resisted the all-knowing master’s will, I effectively challenged his “fantasy” i.e that he could control everything, including me!
Once he realised that I was not to be turned around by the threats that he poured down the telephone or in those final meetings where I was subjected to a relentless tirade of abuse without being “allowed” the right of reply or rebuttal (I still find it difficult to believe that I ever put up with that s**t – but when you are in a cult it seems to be well recognised by the experts that you will. and do!). In the end I had to be removed and so all the right buttons were pressed. It was a classic case of constructive dismissal, my departure was pre-arranged by Delane (yet typically without meeting the honourable responsibilities or obligations that 30 years service would normally accrue) and in fact it was leaked in writing some days previous to the actual event I have since found out!
To ensure his fantasy continued unabated and people that knew me personally didn’t ask awkward questions or feel inclined to show any sympathy towards me or the sudden difficulties my family had been plunged in to, Delane’s cover up ruse was first to pretend to be too hurt to discuss the matter, followed shortly afterwards by a national smear tour. Churlishly running around waving bits of paper, demanding letters from anyone who could evidence my supposed wrongdoings (only for his file you understand which must mean the BAMA is data protection act registered and compliant right? no! oh really ?) quoting me out of context then twisting and demonising anything I had done, said or taught in genuine good faith during weekend courses, classes or clinics in order to blacken my name and reputation why? Because of course it’s all a fantasy and no one can threaten to expose it for the sham that it really is.
You see, Delane’s greatest fear is losing what he believes are his adoring flock and having to face the truth of it all It wasn’t and never is about protecting the school in the sense that the students understand it, everything he ever does is about projecting the fantasy and keeping his believers believing everything! And that’s why there’s always a smear, at all costs he has to encourage his followers not to listen to anyone but him. He tries to eradicate their referring back to any possible source that might plant a seed of doubt as he would call it.. and so keep them believing! (seed of truth I would call it!)
25 years ago a whole heap of black belts left in one go (Mike Young, Mark Brazier, John Curnock, Steve Marsh, Eddie Hobbs et al). They had sussed something was very wrong way back even then and tried to do something about it, but Delane proceeded to accuse them of all sorts of wrong doing and I stupidly listened to and believed him and not them, and worse, I actually defended Delane – more fool me.
In fact as I am writing this I am reminded of the story Delane proudly tells about this incident, apparently he was driving around Gloucester with a loaded shotgun on the front seat (or was it the boot?) looking for these guys who had the audacity to laeve when Bob McFarlane found him and stopped him. Now here’s a serious question – is that a true story? in which case what sort of behaviour is that? Or is it really just more bulls**t to propagate the myth and fear? either way, it shows something’s up!
So basically the attack on my character was his now tried and tested method of attempting to diminish my authority to speak on such matters in the eyes of remaining students, by portraying me as bitter and twisted (I bet those words are spot on!!) and of course, a wrongdoer of epic proportions! (and funnily enough all after I had left and was therefore unable to refute his lies!)
All this from someone who refers to himself half jokingly (which of course also means half not jokingly ) as ‘God’. The same someone that resorts to such low life tactics as character assassination and muck slinging to cover up his own actions every single time someone senior susses him out, refuses to play along with something or simply decides to leave and pursue other avenues in life. S
uch actions tell you everything about the true nature of the man. Driven by his deep-seated sense of shame, someone doing such a thing is a rejection that forces him to, temporarily at least, face up to the fact that he isn’t God at all, and his vindictive and childlike angry response is always the same, to publicly devalue the memory of that person in order to make him feel better about himself. He also, by smearing a reputation, intends to raise his own moral standing in the eyes of those that he preaches to, and of course the very act of preaching to a flock, specially gathered just to hear what he has to say?… well that’s immediately gratifying as it appeases his sense of importance and puts everyone’s attention back on him.
I have to say I nearly p***ed myself laughing at that photo from the BAMA 30th anniversary. If ever you needed a visual representation of what I am saying, that’s it! talk about “look at me, on my pedestal and the centre of attention.” That wasn’t the 30th anniversary of the BAMA it was the 30th anniversary of the Delane samurai master fantasy!.
I don’t know for sure, but I’d even bet my house that everyone who attended that event also had to pay a handsome fee for the privilege of being in that photograph! (unlike the 20th and 25th anniversaries which were arranged by others in genuine celebration of the school and where no one made any money!).
Delane has, over the years, also said the most outrageous things about Jon Alexander (his only certain previous instructor) and former high grade students Mike Powell, Geoff Skiggs, Martyn Tyack, Gary Gregory, Steve Lane, Tom Dann and now me. To my regret I accepted the things I was told about those that walked before me and publicly apologise to them for doing so, now, now I know better than to believe a single word of any of it. No doubt when the next one leaves it will be same old same old but you know what? I find this particular form of behaviour really surprising… especially from someone with so much to hide!!
So where does this leave us, well, quite simply I am not intimidated by such behaviour, nor am I impressed by a fantasy reputation built on bulls**t, lies and fabrications and frankly I am more than a little angry that I have been lied to, deliberately mislead, deceived and worst of all encouraged to propagate the deceit.
Delane has to live a deluded fantasy life to feel good about himself (over the years he’s claimed to be some ancient Japanese schools living embodiment grandmaster, ex mega rockstar, ex celebrity bodyguard, ex African mercenary, guitar playing confidante of the superstars, Hollywood film makers buddy, secret film script fixer, teacher of presidents and senators, playwright, author, Actor, songwriter, music producer and spiritual evangelist as well as being on personal terms with Robin Williams, Robbie Williams, Sting, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Sonny & Cher, Terry Gilliam, Tim Allen, Tony Rivers, Richard Branson to name but a few).. Me? I’m just happy being me, complete with all of my imperfections, the mistakes I have made and being busy trying to make amends.
But I will happily spell it out clearly once and for all for to those of you seeking answers and those of you that still don’t get it:
There is no 1000 year old samurai school
There is no Japanese Master Usaka or line of previous masters
There is no retired Rockstar background
There are no film connections
There are no friends in high places
Don’t believe me? then ask him for the proof!! And don’t kid yourself that you don’t need to ask, that you will take it on trust because you believe in loyalty and honour! that’s how it’s all done… smoke and mirrors, half-truths and innuendo, believe me when I say I accepted those things as answers, and that I was wrong to do so! Ask, in public if you dare – but you won’t! Which is more proof in itself of how it works, because you have been conditioned only to ask safe questions, and to be too scared to challenge the bulls**t, because rightly you fear that the reaction will be disproportional to the crime of asking. You ask the wrong type of question (called “being negative” in any CULT !!!!) and you know you will get a ‘rage’ response with underlying threats, so it just goes on and on getting bigger. “It’s even bigger than bulls**t” was a saying I heard often- Ha! How that one now makes sense!
But if you have got the balls to ask publicly, don’t put up with anything other than irrefutable proof, not smooth words or smiles and feigned “one day when you have earned the right” looks, but hard documented proof. (I’ve still got my picture of some Japanese bloke in a uniform that I was told was Usaka. It could be anyone, which is exactly what it is, just some old pic garnered from a wallet bought in a junk shop on a first and probably only ever trip to Japan a few years ago, and handed to me in an elaborate evening of Delane self-aggrandisement just after he got back). Don’t put up with anything less than irrefutable proof, don’t be schmoozed by the loyalty or honour cards being played either! Anything less than irrefutable proof is f**k all. Do on the other hand keep an eye out for the “how dare you ask or challenge me!” or the “do you know who I am?” or the “I’d retire before proving anything “cards being played or the highly staged drama of “but I’m the good guy” or “I’m the poor victim” usually followed by a dramatic and ceremonial ripping up of a certificate or photograph! They’ve all been played a stack of times before and are just go to prove my point yet again – there is no proof because it’s all b*****ks
LISTEN TO ME CAREFULLY.. Its all b*****ks, all complete b*****ks. A web of deceit and delusion that keeps a narcissist functioning as long as you believe, or as long as you play along. Trouble is, at Cotsfield, genuine people are running around trying to live their lives according to the rules of a fantasy concocted in one mans mind, they are not dealing with reality, they are hiding from it. And when they wake up and suss it out, tire of the abuse or fall foul of their Masters favour, one of which they will all eventually do, then they’ll get the same treatment and they will have to go through the same adjustments everyone that ever left before them has had to make.
For some, that will be very painful stuff and the longer it goes on the more painful it will be. That’s why these cults are called destructive! And by the way, there are an awful lot more students that have left the BAMA inner sanctum than are currently caught in the web. I looked and I can’t find one ex member that won’t say the same as me – and believe me I have really seriously looked! For most they have good memories of the lower school and the camaraderie and aspiring to get to the top, bad memories of getting there and one man!
”Oh I’m all alright” I hear the insiders say, even if it is all b*****ks I love the training and I’m happy. (Whoa, that is such classic cult talk – but of course you’re not in one right??) I say Ha! of course you are happy, junkies always are, until the damage done starts to show. But understand that whilst you stay, you are contributing in no uncertain terms to the whole sorry mess. You are paying money that is fuelling the damage being done to others. Like buying a knocked off DVD you are supporting the structure and facilitating the abuses higher up! And what’s more, when all this comes out in the media and/or the authorities take action your own reputation will be seriously tainted by your continued and knowing association and you will have to address that one with family and friends too!!
Let me put it like this, there are many things in life that appear to be good fun or give you a powerful or positive experience or make you feel good, but aren’t actually good for you or the community. For example, I personally don’t give a s**t how good the high is from shooting heroin up my arm despite what a junkie tells me about how good it makes him feel. I am never going to do it because its just plain f**king stupid and I might get hooked! And as for him tempting others to come and join him, well don’t get me started!
The honour, respect and upstanding behaviour of the students and instructors shown and learned in the lower school might indeed be a great thing, the positivity and self-growth values found nowhere else in society are virtues worth saving, but the fact is at the BAMA you can’t have one without the other. It’s all leading somewhere sinister, the grooming & softening up is taking place and that’s just not a risk worth taking… especially as you can carry the virtues into your life any time you choose.
And as for unknowingly founding your reputation on complete bulls**t, well it certainly is embarrassing enough, but from personal experience I can also tell you that students, ex students, friends, family & even work colleagues will forgive you for that if you come clean. But to continue to support the bulls**t or indeed knowingly pedal it to the innocent to save face or secure an income is absolutely unforgivable!
Now, let’s talk about Kidi for a moment (‘Kidi’ which by the way is a made up, non existent Japanese word – surprising for someone who purportedly spent so much time in Japan and supposedly speaks Japanese – but it is however a classic example of cult jargon) It’s supposed to mean ‘self honour’ and there is, apparently according to Pete Delane, nothing more important in self-development. here’s another two quotes (also not my words)
“Kidi gives an idea of what choices there are and what SHOULD BE DONE”
“ Kidi removes the choice of weakness”
Well those words should resonate because they are supposedly from the man himself!
So, the stalwart senior members of the BAMA like Mike Roberts and Robert Moulds, who I know to be thoroughly decent men committed to and caring for their students and advancing the cause should remove their current choice of weakness and live up to the honour of their names. It’s time to address the depth of their understanding of Kidi if they really believe in it. I know they can, and can only hope they will. They know that it certainly doesn’t mean unfaltering loyalty nor does it mean blind obedience or mindless following! it means “doing that which is right, not that which is felt” [quote source unknown] and I believe they now face the biggest challenge of their entire lives – finding the strength to apply their rational logic and undoubted intelligence to the most serious issue they have ever faced. Either I am wrong, or I am not. Their challenge must be to refute (that’s to disprove or ‘prove as false’) my contentions, without needing to resort to personal attacks – which certainly is not their style but is on the other hand a sure sign that I am right!
What I have to say might well be difficult, unwelcome and unpalatable stuff, but since when has that been an excuse for a Bushido warrior! For certain, a true judgement cannot be made unless they determine to at least educate themselves, independently of Delane, fully about the issues. Then, they should take the measurement criteria of the experts and tell us all how Delane or the BAMA doesn’t fit textbook perfectly! To be honest this stuff is beyond theirs and all but the most specialist experts normal sphere of knowledge, but importantly, it is certainly not beyond their ability to grasp.
Furthermore, their personal (Kidi) self-development needs aside, the students they are responsible for deserve strong leadership and example. I warned them both a year ago that geographical distance would no longer be enough as Delane has his sights set on what he sees as the last rich vein of untapped deposits of money and adulation in the areas that they have so painstakingly and lovingly built. Now it’s happening dressed up this time as the honour and privilege of being a DAC delane academy centre and “going spiritual” (mmm! ultimate bushido by another name anyone?). The truth is, the Cotsfield Cult danger is now looming ever closer and according to my inbox the students in those areas are quite rightly getting very twitchy about it.
As for the so called Cotsfield centre for Martial Artists, the sad thing is there are people like me, putting their lives into something, sold on a message from a mind that trades honour as his contract. No need for any thing to be written down, it’s all on trust! – from a man you can’t trust any further than you can throw, from a mind that makes the rules up as he goes along and changes them at will (yet funnily enough always to suit his own cause ) and which sadly I used to explain away to concerned students as being proof that the only certainty at Cotsfield is uncertainty.
Delane can do all this because of his exalted status , he simply demands/expects you to meekly comply (because its HIS fantasy remember!!!). For years I have seen people trying to plan their lives around these shifting whims, but they simply can’t get anywhere because the game keeps changing and bleeding them dry.
As for Honour! Delane wouldn’t know the meaning of the word if it walked up and smacked him in the mouth. Which no doubt one day it will!
I bear my responsibility and will carry my guilt for ever getting involved in promoting the personality which, unwittingly, helped lead people into the wolfs lair. My only excuse? I had no idea what was actually going on, didn’t, to my shame, or couldn’t work it out and I had no one to tell me what the situation really was. We, my peers and I were once unwitting accomplices but that was then. Now, now there is no such excuse, the evidence is there in the public domain, which turns such ignorance into outright fraud and that’s when the big boys come to play!
The thing is the BAMA is not a single source problem and that’s why people don’t get it. There is no single thing to point at that provides all the answers. In other words you can point at one problem and come up with a theory that might provide a satisfactory answer but there’s always another problem that it just doesn’t address. When you are inside the cult it’s all too easy to point at those things and so reject the whole argument. But the real difficulty in nailing it all down is caused by the interdependent nature of it’s complexity , it’s multi faceted with overlapping issues. Without being condescending, it takes some serious work to understand and a truly open mind to do so.
But what makes me laugh is that the people inside the BAMA seem to do one of three things when it comes to all this. They dismiss me because someone with a heavily vested interest has told them I am a mad, twisted, bitter and angry bad guy (proof of the true power of the smear campaign) and therefore not worth bothering with – and besides I am only saying these things to get students to join my dojo. They put their head in a bucket and ignore what I have to say because they are being ‘spiritual’ and don’t want to take on board any negativity ( a bit like having chest pains but refusing to go to the doctors because they don’t want him to spoil their day by being told they have cancer) or they deny it’s a cult based on a completely erroneous understanding of what a cult is.
I have explained the reasoning behind the first one, the second goes against the very teachings of a once proud school I was part of but is a damned sure sign of what’s going on these days and the third one frankly beggars belief, intelligent people should gen up on the issues and arrive at their own conclusion. And when I say gen up, I mean research independent academic/specialist expert materials that are freely available, not listen to their Sensei’s, what do they know about such issues apart from the fact that they don’t want you to know about them because you might leave and cost them money?
Lets put it like this:
Don’t tell me the BAMA is not a cult until you can tell me what a cult is!
The same goes for everything else I have to say. This is the BAMA conundrum.
1. The lower school teaches obedience and respect for hierarchy that is traditional in the martial arts. But it takes a sinister turn when obedience on the mat becomes obedience off it (respect off the mat is one thing, but obedience is a whole different ball game, especially when it becomes expected or demanded, and is enforced by the twisted application of loyalty to your club or respect for your Sensei !!!) This part of the BAMA is also where the grooming and softening up takes place because the Instructors, working there in good faith, have been indoctrinated through their own training at Cotsfield and then (quite often under direct orders) set about telling the stories and propagating the Delane myth in the lower school. It’s also why things like the ISA’s are done, to get the Pete Delane myth down to the lower grades early and begin the process.
2. As you progress to the higher levels this learned obedience, respect for hierarchy and by now the instilled fear/awe of Delane, when mixed with the natural phenomenon of Group Psychology inside a defined Narcissistic Space (Cotsfield or the dojo), inculcates a cult mentality.
3. The cult mentality is driven and exploited by the leader who’s only true agenda in life is to recruit and secure sources of adulation and attention and feed his sense of entitlement to wealth and power over others. But because he deep down knows that those at the centre will eventually leave him, he extols them to go out and basically recruit their own replacements it’s a replenishment process which has kept him in constant supply for years. Of course he doesn’t tell them this, he manipulates them by dressing it up in something/anything he has worked out they will believe in – Ultimate Bushido, mystical powers, bulls**t stories of his heritage or connections, potential career prospects, important titles or even Japanese names, special envoy positions, new responsibility, franchises, great life, peace and harmony, spiritual growth, making history, guardians of the past blah blah blah!
The thing is No one designed it, no one planned it, it’s just what happens when a mind like Delane’s, combined with Martial Arts respect, obedience and hierarchy, Philosophy instead of training, the Cotsfield compound and the phenomenon of group dynamics meet. it’s purely a fluke of circumstance in time and space.. But one thing is for certain, Delane knows how to work it!
Hence why the BAMA has over time bamboozled so many intelligent and well meaning people.. but times are changing, it’s becoming more obvious that all is not well, its like a degenerative illness it’s getting worse with age!! things are being done now that go completely against everything it ever stood for .. I noticed, and it’s why I staked my flag in the ground! The real worry is where it’s is all going according to the expert’s some of the outcomes of which don’t bear thinking about!!
It’s also sad, but true, to say that there are already far too many damaged ex members to prove it. And there are more to come, of that there is no doubt.
That’s my warning! you can’t say I didn’t try!
So to my advice the lower school is – as the latest BAMA marketing strap says, positive, powerful and fun!!! but believe me, those words also tell you that its going on from the start. Positive because you are not allowed to think for yourself, only safe, group comforting thoughts are permitted or thoughts that you have been told to think, powerful because its all about experiences and feelings and fun. Hmmm… Because if you don’t smile and laugh when everyone else does then you’re being negative and that brings on the ire of the group the sensei or Delane himself if you’re in his company!!
As you aspire to get better and achieve your potential so you increase your risk. Even if you think you understand, believe me when I say you don’t. There are a lot of innocent and intelligent people already caught up in all of this, so unless you are an expert in mental health, group dynamics and the cults (which you are not, because an expert would know better and steer well clear) then I have to say you really do not have any idea of what you are actually involved with.
Eventually you might clock it all and be one of the lucky ones to walk away relatively unscathed, or you will burn out from the pressures being put on you and leave a psychological wreck or you will become a sacrificial lamb and will be threatened and thrown out by Delane (probably publicly because once you challenge the fantasy, the only purpose you serve is to put the fear of ‘God’ ha! into those that bear witness to your departing).
Whichever way it happens, you will by then have been bled dry of funds, damaged important relationships with family and long standing friends, been encouraged to make stupid decisions about securing your future based on promises and assurances made to you that will never be fulfilled… and the rest of the cult will shun you when it happens, regardless. As I said earlier, if you happen to have reached any position of seniority before this, it’s also guaranteed that your reputation will be smeared as well.
There is a saying I have come across amongst many of the ex members I have spoken to that seems to be very true: ‘everyone leaves Bushido skint!’It’s also a sad fact that most of the friendships you form inside the BAMA are not real, they are conditional upon you remaining a member and playing the game. That’s called Conditional Love the very thing the BAMA spiritual teachings/philosophy purportedly fight against!! But I will say this, that when you are both out of the cult, with understanding of what has happened to you both, things can (not always of course) be fixed and friendships re ignited.
“I lie all the time” is a line that Delane says frequently to the Cotsfield devotees, personally I think it’s the most telling line of all because he’s deliberately playing with fire by taking the p*** when he says it. He can’t himself, he needs to test his followers belief in him and it’s the ultimate test. think about it! Even when he tells them the truth they are so wrapped up in the myth and the control that they choose not to believe him. Bingo NOW they believe the fantasy more than reality too!!
Personally, I have to say that it’s about the only thing he could ever say to me now that I would believe.
And finally… before all you currently deluded hardcore BAMA inner circle cult members quote your usual line at my heresy. YES you are right.. a Demon did get me. the seeing through the bulls**t, finding out the facts, owning up to my mistakes and telling it how it is Demon. And thank God (I’ve got news for you, that’s not Delane!) Because I wouldn’t have it any other way, no matter how much pain your actions and willingness to fuel and spread Delane’s slurs have caused me, Emma and our children!
Yours Truly, Murray Bruton ”
I found this statement very interesting because I have known a few people who have been students of this school and they did have nice things to say about the skills of the master, they said that his martial arts were outstanding, when we begin a journey into the martial arts none of us have a clue who to trust, it is new to us all and at some point we can decide to either learn and stay loyal or we can try before we buy.
The problem is that we are often told that we will not learn the good stuff until we have been in the art for many years. What is bushido?