I have to tell you first and foremost, that I have been a huge Tony Robbins fan for such a long time. I read his books, I listen to his podcasts, I absorb each and every one one of his social media posts. No he’s not my “guru” but he is someone that I have admired for a long time. A mentor, a guide, a coach… even a hero to me.

In fact, attending his signature event Unleash The Power Within [UPW] has been on my wishlist for years, so a few months back I finally committed to going. I handed over £2000 and spent every day counting down to something that I felt was going to be hugecouldnly transformational.

And then UPW San José happened. And I caught a glimpse of a YouTube clip that shook me to my core. (It took me a few days to watch the clip in full as I was shocked by what I saw, and I watched it at least 10 times after that to make sure I didn't “get it wrong”)

I watched an incredibly brave woman, Nanine McCool, stand up and talk about how she thought Tony had the #meToo movement wrong and I watched in horror as Tony Robbins shot her down.

“I’m not knocking the #meToo movement, I’m knocking victimhood. What you’re seeing is people getting significance by making someone else wrong. You shouldn’t throw stones if you live in a f**king glass house. Is there any one of us that hasn’t done something that we prefer we not?” said Tony.

Am I the only one who cannot believe that he said “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”?!

Victimhood.

Let's talk about that for a minute first.

Victimhood – definition: the state of being a person harmed or injured, as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action

I don't choose to be sat here on my own, age 34, crying about the sexual abuse I suffered as a child. It is a sickening reality of what I continue to suffer at the hands of someone else’s actions.

No matter how much I pour into my life (love, community, family, giving value to others) being a victim is always there in some respect.

I might be watching something on TV, or hearing a conversation that sparks a flashback, or having a nightmare – it's always there. 22 years on.

I don’t choose to be in that state and I certainly don’t cling onto it to make me feel significant or to attack my abuser. I would much rather it not be a blip on my radar, but it is.

That’s my reality whether I fill my life with significance in other ways or not.

No matter how much I live a full life as a wife, a Mum, a friend, a coach – an abuse victim I still am.

So I’ll tell you what the #meToo movement did for me.

It made me feel like less of a complete mess.

It made me feel like I have support.

The #MeToo movement made me feel like whatever pain I continue to have is normal and that I am surrounded by others who might be broken, but that continue to thrive.

And when I see that brave acknowledgment #meToo come from women who are far more successful than me, it makes me strive for better.

Which is why I feel so damn hurt by what I saw.

Watching that brave woman stand up and talk about the significance of the #meToo movement and then watching Tony not only shoot her down, but use his sheer size to intimidate her into being quiet, made me feel sick.

I agree, a prolonged victim mindset is SO damaging – there is always a way out so you can thrive. But silencing Nanine in such a dominating way was insensitive to our struggles, it was so ill-thought out.

I’ll tell you why this personally hurt me so much.

Gosh I don’t want to share this but here goes.

When I was 12, I was having such a tough time at school and home. I was hanging out with people I shouldn’t be (because they actually protected me and took me under their wing), I wasn’t doing well at school and I was getting bullied.

Hardly surprising since I was being sexually abused that my life was falling apart in so many other ways.

When I was 12 I reported my abuser to the police and because there wasn’t enough evidence he got away with it.

I wasn’t protected, the system failed me – and the lesson I took from that, was that it was MY fault.

I deserved it because I wasn’t a good child. I wasn’t doing well at school, people didn’t like me, and I was acting out – therefore I deserved the abuse. I didn’t deserve a happy ending.

I spent the next 20 years in depression, although I didn’t know it at the time, but piece by piece put myself back together.

The childhood sexual abuse wasn’t my fault. You have no idea how much time it has taken me to believe that, live that, say that out loud.

So when I hear Tony Robbins saying “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones” it hurts.

Does that mean I cannot speak up because I am not perfect?

That I shouldn’t share my story because that's attacking my abuser?

I have no idea why he said that, and it is painful as hell to me.

He said he won’t apologise for the UPW situation. But I wholeheartedly believe that because he knew he had done something wrong, he acknowledged that most people in that moment wanted an apology that he wouldn't give.

I tried so hard NOT to be angry at Tony. I tried so hard to look in-between the lines of what he said and extract something wholesome and meaningful, but no matter how much I wished – there was nothing there.

I can't believe the way he spoke to that brave woman who was sharing her thoughts on the #meToo movement.

He tried to silence her with getting the audience to agree with his points, and then used an intensely misjudged and ill-thought out exercise to illustrate what he thought the movement was about.

The #MeToo movement, and Nanine's thoughts, weren't about pushing. It's about awareness, self-love, compassion, solidarity, respect.

It wasn’t what he said that gets me so upset. It was how he used his size, his authority, the crowd, to silence Nanine.

But he wasn’t just attempting to silence her – his authority and stance on the #metoo movement silences those that need so desperately need to be heard.

When voices like Tony Robbins disempowers our voices, then 12 year old girls (and boys) lose their voices too. They lose their ability to take a stand in that one single moment they decide they can be brave enough.

Not everyone who has been through what I have been through thrive, let alone survive.

Don’t get me wrong, I COMPLETELY 10000% agree with what Tony says – you can let your past define you, or you can take back control.

But it doesn’t ever fully go away, not really. I don’t choose victimhood.

I have asked for a refund for the event – I feel like my time would be better put to use doing something else.

I cannot be in that room and spend 4 days trying to absorb lessons from someone who so badly got it all wrong in that moment and is not sorry.

Yes there will always be people who use a movement for their own gain, but the VAST majority of those involved with the #meToo movement are using their voices to empower others – like the 12 year old girls who have no voice.

I cannot imagine how much pain would have been removed from my world if that movement had existed when I was 12.

I’m so sad about seeing what I saw. I can’t unsee it.

What he could have done in that moment is acknowledge the brave women speaking up and stood with us. That was a choice that I have no doubt will have massive repercussions.

It has certainly massively effected my opinion on someone I highly respected.

I do welcome your thoughts below. Please keep it kind, thoughtful and non-offensive.

56 comments

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Personally, I found his entire rant revolting. He didn’t actually listen to a word she said, he jumped straight in to defend his own viewpoint, and I’m sorry, “why are you pushing?” Because that’s what needs to happen.
The whole point of the #MeToo movement was to show solidarity, and to take a stand for everyone who’s suffered at the hands of someone who’s decided they can push without being pushed back, regardless of how they live their life.

I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable about Robbins, I find a level of arrogance around what he says and how he comes across. I’m not disputing he’s great at what he does, but there seems to be a level of his way being the right way. In that video it was all on show. Walking away from Nanine, addressing the audience with “raise your hand” and “say “aye!” with his back to Nanine for the most part, that’s just Ego in lights to me.

I don’t believe we should hide in our victimhood, yet we are still victims, whether it was 2 hours ago or 20 years ago. #MeToo allowed people to rise above and move forward, knowing they’re not alone, which is usually a victims biggest obstacle.
There’s a huge difference between tearing someone else down, and holding someone accountable for their actions.

Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?
If my stone breaks me out of someone else’s glass house, then I’ll throw them all day long!

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It’s so hard for me Debbie. This is someone I’ve looked up to for such a long time but Nanine deserved to be heard, and I don’t deserve to be crying about this all over again. We all deserve to feel safe and supported, especially when we are breaking new ground with this. Thank you for your comment today.

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“Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?
If my stone breaks me out of someone else’s glass house, then I’ll throw them all day long!”

I love this more than you will ever know! Thank you for including it!

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I attended Tony Robbins events and read his books many years ago. He was good, charismatic and spot on – way back then.
Last year I started watching his interview on Netflix. I only watched 15 minutes. His foul language, arrogance and the filth that came out of his mouth was pure evil..
Never will I trust him, recommend him or read another one of his books.
Evil is not a strong enough word to describe him now.

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It’s so sad to see the opinions of so many change! 🙁 I am so sad and disappointed, he was someone I really admired for a long time.

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Hi Laura, thank you for sharing all of this, and so eloquently. Both the video, the post and your own personal story.

I am also a big Tony Robbins fan (listening to his audios every night after my own #meToo incident during uni got me out of a serious depression) but the video was shocking.

I’m quite a sensitive person and the lady in the video stood up to his dismissal and bullying far better than I would have. It was the physical pushing exercise I found most upsetting. I might have misinterpreted that – but it seemed he was telling women in particular not to defend themselves…. wasn’t he asking why she was pushing back in retaliation against someone of his size and acting pretty aggressively? I hope I got that part wrong if I’m honest!

I agree with your decision to cancel going to his show.

Sending lots of love.

Michelle

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Hi Michelle! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment. I am so overwhelmed to read responses like yours. Yes I agree, I found the pushing exercise VERY difficult to watch. Sending lots of love right back xx

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Hello Laura,

I had to see the video more than one time tu actually believe what happened there. I was a huge fan of Tony Robbins, Done UPW 3 times and I am just shocked. Just like you say, it’s not only the Words, but more the physique and basically his strength and power that he uses. So wrong in many levels. Like the number dropping is just childish. A little boy that wants to win, and then his reaction afterwards in deleting the Facebook discussion and just legal power Play. I totally understand your feelings especially were you are coming from. I guess Mr Robbins lost me as a customer aswell… Hang in there,

Greetings Yvo

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Yvo, thank you so much for stopping by. I feel a lot better today as I see this has created such a beautiful conversation that needed to be had and that is empowering many people. Thank you so much for the love and support 🙂

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Beautiful article. Thank you for expressing and articulating so much of what I was feeling

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Thank you so much Lauren. It wasn’t an easy one to write, but I’m glad I did – and that you have taken the time to share your thoughts. There is so much power in our solidarity 🙂 Sending you love

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Thanks for writing, I saw the video posted the other day. I LOVE Tony, so when I started watching, I thought for sure I’d be defending Tony … welp I was quite shocked.

I wish I saw what led up to that moment as maybe there is more context but here’s what I saw …

– Tony saying don’t applaud the victim mentally – amen, agree!
– Tony towering over Nanine and not letting her speak – I have seen many many if these audience interactions over the years both online and personally at UPW – I always have seen him be so loving toward women – this was different
– Tony saying the movement is a “push” – I believe it’s about showing people the greatness of the issue, it’s about awareness not an “anti-man rant”
– Tony saying something like his Hollywood clients can’t hire attractive women ??!? I wish I could quote that one … not sure what he is implying – is it bad to have attractive women around b.c men won’t be able to not sexual abuse her??? Not sure I get it …
(that one annoyed me the most)
– My fav part tho – NANINE!! You go girl, she didn’t step down or flinch!

<3 <3

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Laura, that’s exactly how I felt on Friday when I saw the video for the first time. “nooooo, not my hero Tony!”. I didn’t watch it again for a few days but when I did, I saw the same things you saw. And yes Nanine was amazing!! We connected yesterday, and she’s been so strong! It must have rocked her to the core… I know it did for so many of us. Thank you for being here and for sharing your thoughts. x

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Also I REALLY want to hear Tony clear this up and I WISH SAGE WOULD SPEAK ON THIS ONE!!!

<3

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An apology would go such a long way.

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Thank you for your beautiful share! Another victim being shamed and another non trained expert trying to blame. Very sad. I appreciate your voice! Thank you beautiful sister!

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Thank you for being here Kristy. I SO appreciate your support and the time you took to comment x

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He sounds guilty :/

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Thanks for being here Stacy and for reading the article 🙂

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I see how can people misinterpret what he said, however I agree with the point he was making about both resistance turning to anger and how this can be manipulated fast through technology for the outcome of the victim to feel like it has the upper hand using mass anger momentum instead of personal choice for healing. That’s where he asked people to pay attention without putting down the movement, the women, or any person that has been a victim of sorts.
How about this blog post? Can’t it be interpreted as using the technology to get attention on the trail of his name? It can, but if it’s uses to get clarity over something sensitive that needs healing that it’s my personal choice to take it as such – hence my comment here. I hope I helped a bit.

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Hi Liliana, I don’t think there was any misinterpretation here in all honesty.

Edited to add: Tony has apologised for his behaviour which clearly demonstrates that what he said was wrong. But I am so grateful for the conversation it opened up!

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You stated exactly what I felt and how I reacted.
She maintained her poise and kept a smile on her face. What many may not have noticed is the body language and facial tension she experienced as he bullied her. She may not have realized what the subconscious felt and burned into her being.
This is not about the movement only. It’s about allowing any public or authority figure belittle a person and victimize them and the rest of us again.

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It was complete bullying. I totally understand that Tony felt threatened in that moment but it was one of the most misjudged responses I’ve ever seen to ANY difficult conversation. You’re right, its not about the movement – its about figures of authority bullying and silencing voices that need to be heard.

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Hello Laura,
Wow, great post. I worked for him for years. This behaviour is not new, only this time he’s been caught out.
Check out a man named Gary King, author of The Happiness Formula. Many people have been posting their experiences and they are not good. So much could say, but the video uploaded originally by Butterscotch (singer) demonstrates it in a way my words could not.

Btw, I actually screen shot her comment on the video when she uploaded it originally. She received incredible legal pressure to remove the video which speaks volumes really. There has also been a #metoo storm on his Twitter page.

Here are Butterscotch’s words: I’ve copied and pasted them. If you want the screen shots, pls email me and I’ll send them to you. I also managed to capture a bit of the commentary that occurred with that video which had over 96k views and nearly 1000 shares.

thanks again for your blog.
All the best, G

“Tony Robbins bashes #MeToo Movement

Butterscotch
last Tuesday ·
When Tony Robbin claims the #MeToo Movement is bullshit, I simply cannot stay silent. His physical display of dominance towards Nanine, the woman who spoke up, was incredibly disrespectful and insensitive. Watch for yourself and read below to understand the background:

I have been a fan of Tony Robbin’s teachings for the past couple years, and was hesitant to post this at first, but after communicating with several women and men who went to his “Unleash the Power Within” event, this past weekend, I felt it was more than necessary to share (also he invited the conversation). I understand that he was making a point about victimhood and not letting problems rule your life, however when he started bashing the #MeToo movement, I was furious.

In my community and while I’m on tour, I work with at risk youth and always make a point to visit schools, so that young women and men (and non-binary individuals) who identify with my story, can feel empowered and know they can make it too! While I was sitting at the event, I kept on thinking about all the women who stood up and marched (women’s rights, civil rights, etc) so that my generation could live a better life, and now it was my turn to take a stand for the next generation. I walked out and requested a refund and made a detailed report why. It wasn’t just his “MeToo,” comments; It was also his blatant sexism of calling men feminine or a “pussy” or a “bitch” for being weak. Yes, at a motivational event… For who I don’t know, maybe to uplift a group of frat bros! The list goes on of all the things that made me feel uncomfortable and there are other posts about it online or you can message me if you want to know further.

The #MeToo movement may not be the answer, but it’s created an important dialogue. There are so many amazing men out there who want to help and as women we must accept imperfect allies who are hesitating to help because they are afraid to be called out themselves.

This is BIGGER than ANY MOVEMENT. Know that YOU ARE GREAT and you don’t need some demeaning “powerful” self-proclaimed (or unproclaimed) guru to tell you that you are! If you feel uncomfortable in any situation, WALK AWAY and listen to your gut.
See Less
938 Shares96K Views”

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Thank you for sharing this Georgia – yes I heard that the legal team had got involved which is such a shame. Further trying to silence the important voices. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here, I appreciate you SO MUCH. Laura x

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“The meaning of the communication is the response that you get” I’m sure Tony is aware of this phrase and still did not take the feedback from those who surrounding him to articulate himself in a manner condusive to their understanding (if he did have a valid point that is). I think it was he who misunderstood.
I watched the video and cringed the whole way through. I have never attended UPW event, but have read his work and used his books to help me through atough spot or two in my life time. But his fuzzy logic, his poor communication and complete disconnect to the situation was alarming. I’ve heard his line of reasoning somewhere before, “Im not racist… I’ve got black mates..” (and so on).

How he subsequently dealt with the matter was even more so disturbing. Why try to get the video taken down? If you honestly believe what you say, then have the power of your convictions, or if you know that you made a mistake be open to learning. Lets not bullshit each other.

Nanine was fierce, and ruthless in her compassion. She come from a space of love yet stood for what she believed. Much kudos to her.

Those who cannot see how Tony’s actions were problematic are the very reason the #MeToo movement is needed.

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Absolutely CJ. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts here. And yes, the legal “clean up” afterwards… if he’s got nothing to be sorry for, why are they needed? Nanine was AMAZING!!!

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Laura,
I am saddened by this whole event. Yes, I have been a Tony fan, but years ago I started listening to something on one of his tapes about his son and his weight. As he has gotten stronger in his community of personal development, I have seen a shift. I cannot put my finger on it, but it is a sad time for those of us creating a better patch of the planet for women and our voices, and men and the need to have them partners in life.
God knew what he was doing when he created women. We are healers of the heart. We are the nurturers. Instead of looking at what Tony is doing wrong, let us collectively gather our energies and shift the consciousness around that mentality and invite them to hear our roar.
I would love the opportunity to chat more with you. If interested, please email me. Thank you for who you are and the vibration of voices you are creating.
Please put in the subject matter “Women Matter” Blessings, Sarah

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Tony Robbins is threatened by #metoo. If the women who follow him actually become truly empowered by speaking their truth and not buying his bullshit “you own it” mantra, he loses $. He’s defensive in his #metoo rant, which, I believe, may indicate guilt…either by defending his rich male clients or his own infidelity. The part where he says one of his clients is afraid to hire women appalled me. He clearly thinks this mindset is ok. Tony’s responsibility, with all of his power, was to tell this client that he’s full of shit, not to use it as an example to shut women up. Tony is a fraud and he’s fearful #metoo will impact his empire.

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Dear Laura,
thank you so so much for sharing your feelings! I can totally understand that this video hurt you so much. It keeps me busy in my mind too and I am still figuring out how to deal with it in a way that brings more love and peace into this world and not more rage and anger. I haven’t found my answer yet.

First, I want to say: No, it doesn’t ever fully go away, it is a part of what we experienced. It is part of what made us the incredible fabulous women that we are today. So we can’t put it away but – with healing and self love and kindness and support and whatever is the right thing for us – we can turn it into power and strength. We can integrate it, completely, fully, and we can be in peace with it. This is possible. It is not always a soft road to take and maybe it is not a road for everyone but it IS possible.

I was 3 years old when I experienced my own #metoo situation and I dedicated my last 4 years to my self liberation, my coming out of all the sh*t inside of me. I dedicated these years to my personal freedom, my inner peace and the love I knew was somewhere there. And I won. There is so much inside of us that we have no idea of as long as the pain is overwhelmingly present. When we start giving to ourselves what other people denied us, whole Universes can change.

For me, all the #metoo I read were truly empowering. To see that I am not alone. To see highly successful women declare their #metoo was inspiring and empowering for me. To see their bravery and their courage deeply nourished my soul. To witness men reading/listening to these and struggling with their response, but committed to FIND a response made my heart open and wide. To see the awareness raising about a topic that is usually so well hidden behind walls of guilt and shame, on both sides, men and women.

For me, the #metoo movement is not about women vs men. There are women AND men who experienced sexual abuse and there are men AND women who abused.
For me it is not about us victims vs. them predators either, it isn’t against anything. Being against something takes us on a fighting road and that’s not the path that I want to follow. For me the #metoo movement is about speaking up, bringing light to the topic in the many meanings that this word has. It is about empowerment. And yes, all these women are in different healing and integrating stages. Some are more angry than others, some act more from “victim mode” than others. That is ok. We are all on our personal journey, we all have different tasks in our life and we are where we are.

And, one last thing: In terms of self love, anger is a much higher way to deal with something than shame. Sexual abuse often comes along with tons of shame, so speaking up in anger is a HUGE step forward. Anger can be a incredible spark for change. Gandhi got angry when he was forced to leave a train because of his skin color and he used this anger as a powerful spark for a non- violent revolution. He acknowledged it, he used it and then he left it behind. he didn’t let anger dictate his actions and that’s the point.

How can we turn this around? How can we let our tears and our anger spark the change we want to see in the world without letting it dictate our actions? How can we turn this into a blessing to bring what #metoo means for us forward?

I haven’t got my answers to these questions yet but I am willing to dive deep to find them. Not out of anger or resistance, but out of love. Love for me, love for you, love for all the women and men out there in this world.

Much much light to you.

Simone

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Hi Simon! Thank you sooo much for your heartfelt and brave message – know that you are loved, and the world needs more brave souls like you. I wholeheartedly agree that anger can be a very positive thing! In my own journey I used anger as a driver to begin with “I’ll prove the world wrong, I’m not a statistic” which has over the years (through a lot of work and self-love) turned into “I’ll show the world just how empowered victims can be”. I feel that writing this blog and having a HUGE outpouring of love and support back has given me the “turnaround” I personally needed but we have more work to do. I am seeing this as a personal opportunity to step into my power as a female leader, and to be the change I want to see… Love, love, love. Thank you again. Much love and light right back <3

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I completely agree – i too have followed him all these years but no longer. His use of the audience and his physical pushing were nothing short of abuse and intimidation. Sadly we have been given these men as role models however now the feminine energy is rising and they are being exposed one by one and their egos are not happy about it.

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Feel the RISE Kathie!!! thank you for reading and being here <3

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Dearest sister,
Thank you for your sharing, it touched me a lot. What happened as a child doesn’t define who I am now but it is something that I live with each day and reading your words inspired me with how much the world is changing and that things that were seen as shameful are now being talked about. In such a liberating way that it is like the light is being shined into all of those dark and sad places.
I personally have never got into Tony Robbins work. I know many people like his style but I have avoided his work as I felt that his style was too much like taking heroine and people I met who had done his work became addicted to it and became like cult groupies.
Tony’s work has a place and time in the world and I think that this used car saleman style of creating disempowered heroine addicts is coming to an end. His comments, behaviour and inability to see that his intimidation of this woman were inappropriate but also a great sign that his style is coming to an end.
It is a season of change and I am sorry for the woman but also grateful that people are waking up to these types of behaviours from people like Tony Robbins and seeing them for what they really are!

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I spent 12 years of my childhood as the sexual plaything of a pedophile. Seeing a massive man like Tony physically push a small woman across a room with his fist while shouting at her “Don’t push me! Stop pushing me! Why are you resisting me?” turned my stomach and made me sick. It reminded me how my abuser blamed me for everything he did to me. How can anyone who wants to help human beings possibly take that stance on sexual harrassment and abuse? His glass house comment made me think that he must be fearing lawsuits and criminal charges of his own. Tony, I can’t say I’ve ever been a fan. Your book on Money had a single token woman and glorified risk takers and economy breakers- the exact people making money off of things you told us regular people like us weren’t smart enough to do. But this, this takes the cake. I cannot respect a man who physically overpowers a woman in public. If you do that in public you probably do far worse in private. At least we can see the powerful men are getting scared. The Harvey Weinsteins of the world are falling and movements like #metoo are making it happen.

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Jen, I’m so sorry for your suffering and I hope that you are stepping into your power every freaking day!!! Thank you for your comment here.

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Laura, I saw this on the I Am Her Daughter page and felt compelled to write this open letter to Tony Robbins:

Tony Robbins, your privilege is showing. How do I know? Because I’m a white male also and I understand that this culture is DESIGNED to benefit me. But not only are you a white man, you are physically imposing, have wealth, power, status and influence. So why does this matter? Because you seem not to know that you are in a rarified bubble of privilege.

Your ignorance was completely on display in this video. You engage with a brave and clear woman about the #MeToo movement and took what could have been a powerful conversation about how to empower and protect women into a mob rule shaming of the victims. You are curious about what I mean? Let me show you – good on you Tony for wanting to listen. Maybe it’s because I am a white man also so you can hear it from me.

First, you made a good point: the #MeToo movement can be a force of good – I agree. You compared it to a tool which is not a fair comparison though. A tool is neutral, it.is designed to perform a task such as hammerimg a nail into wood. The #MeToo movement arises from thousands of years of systematic oppression and suppression of women – it is not a tool, it is an upwelling of anguish, despair, pain, and anger that has been denied expression for far too long. Emotions are not tools. Of course women are going to get attention for calling out powerful men who have abused their power but that is rarely the aim of the survivor– the survivor wants to be #VoicedAndVisible, because the society in which we live wants them to remain mute and meek – it benefits people like you and me, Tony.

You invoked the name of Jesus, Tony, when you said “let he who has not sinned cast stones”. But remember what Jesus did in the temple when he saw the money lenders taking advantage of people. He used his righteous anger to bring attention to a situation that was wrong. I have made many mistakes in my life and have apologized to anyone that I know I have hurt – that does not preclude me from calling out people who abuse power. The essence of the #MeToo movement is point out and to stop systematic power abuses against women. You then talked about how men are afraid to hire attractive women out of fear – that is blaming the victim for the actions of the abuser. I CALL BULLSHIT.

And of course Tony, when the woman who had the ovarias to confront you in front of your crowd, you did not have a one on one conversation, you brought your thousands into the fray on your side and made it a One vs. Thousands bullying rally. Now, I understand that you think this was a teaching moment because you are Tony Robbins and it is your mission to enlighten the world, but you might have learned something and taught a greater lesson in humility in that moment, but you could not hear the wisdom coming from this brave woman. Why was that? Was it because she is a woman? Or was it because she is not you? I know I have acted this way in the past from a deeply subconscious level, believing that someone not like me is less than me and can’t teach me anything. This bubble you live in can have the effect of making it impossible to learn from anyone who is not like you – and given the rarified air you occupy now, that is not many people. Even Deepak Chopra is apparently below you.

So, Tony, the last point I want to make clear to you is that you are completely wrong in your demonstration of force. First of all that was physically aggressive towards your customer. Your demonstration was that calling out the abuser is an attack – WRONG – it is the CORRECT RESPONSE TO AGGRESSION. Lets make no mistake about this Tony, abuse of power is aggression and it MUST NOT BE TOLERATED. Blaming the victim is reinforcing the historic subjugation of women – which side of history do you want to be on? Right now you are on the wrong one.

So, Tony, why did I write this open letter to you? To let women know that there are men in the world who are starting to understand our privilege and are willing to use it to help those who do not have the same privilege to rise in this world. I also wrote it to the men like me who can make a difference and help to make this world safe for everyone. So, Tony, you may ask “how can I help”? You can listen to the voices of women who want to make a positive change like #DaughtersOfEarth. You can put down your pride and truly listen to the women in your life, the quiet ones, and encourage them to tell you of the pain of being invisible and unheard, and when you dry your tears you can act on what she tells you; that is what I am doing, I hope you will join me – #ItsTime!

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Wow, that is powerful. Thank you for standing with us Peter Berry.

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The question I keep coming back to is: it sounds like he’s saying that men are being hurt by the #metoo movement; his friends won’t hire women because of it and all that. So then how then is that not also men sustaining a victim mentality? He’s essentially telling women not to speak or act out of hurt over what was done to them, but then turns around and lets men off the hook for basically doing the same thing.

His view of #metoo is wrong. It’s not a victim position; its asserting your power. It’s claiming space for yourself. That’s not a weak action or a drag on achievement and success. But “I won’t hire women because I’ll have to think too hard about my behavior and someone might accuse me of doing bad stuff?” THAT’S a victim mentality.

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That really is a victim mentality – you are SO RIGHT. Thank you for your comment Margo

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Hi Laura😎

How are you feeling today (spirit, mind & body)?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your story and your vulnerability. I feel painfully inspired and joyfully saddened🙏

I’m so sorry about the violence you’ve endured, and as your fellow member of team-humanity I want to remind you that you did nothing to deserve it, and no one had the right to do that💜

Have a grateful day, and thank you for being an empathic warrior (strong, kind, brave & present)

Tony Scruggs ‘The Empathy Guy’ (“Together We Rise, Together We Fly”)

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I haven’t watched much of Robbins’ work. I’ve only been aware of his popularity from afar. I did, however, see the video from the event.
And I just now was scrollling FB and saw an unrelated video of his abusive childhood-to-successful motivational speaker story. I believe he was showing what worked for him: power yourself beyond your pain. Don’t ever let yourself go there. As a therapist, this is not my approach when it comes to trauma and healing.
What he seemed to be missing is that dropping in, acknowledging the devastation is part of the process. Having the strength and support to say this is what has happened to me, without being attacked back into submission.
There is authentic power and core strength in the #metoo movement that comes from a place of feminine power. This is not Robbins arena. He comes from a place of overcoming through force.
What feels so additionally and incredibly offensive is watching him behave on stage in ways we’re pointing out will no longer be tolerated.

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Thank you for this powerfully written response to an disgusting display. As a survivor, and as a therapist who works with female and male survivors, I was and am appalled by his words and behaviors.

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Okay so I have read a few of the comments and yours as well yet I am not sure we watched the same video. In your own words you stated you caught a glimpse but did you then decide to watch the full interaction or did you do as so many do in this time and say ” Why use the facts when I can use my feelings? ”

I myself was a victim of sexual abuse that went on for some time, yet I have chosen to let the disempowering memories go and instead I understand it wasn’t about me it was about a sick person wanting to inflict their sickness on me. And I won’t allow that to happen. The person that helped me to realize this was Tony Robbins. I feel you have done yourself a disservice by choosing not to go to his seminar, as it is amazing. Does the man use foul language? Yes! Does he use emotion at another level to get people to engage? Again Yes.

The main question though is by acting this way does he help people to think for themselves? The answer is most certainly yes. In the video he stated he supports the #meto movement, that when it is used to empower it is a great thing. What I think people are getting hung up on is when he states if you are using it to harm others or as a crutch you’re doing yourself a disservice. I am unsure what they were talking about prior so I am unsure of the context of these words. So often blurbs of video are shown yet the true context of them is held in order to serve the purpose of the one putting it on display. Could he have used better analogies? Most certainly yet in the end he stated what he believes, he thanked the young lady for statements and her bravery.

He made a point in a controversial way and then wouldn’t be shamed into not being true by saying I am sorry. And what would he have to be sorry for? Because he made a point about not using things to keep yourself a victim but instead embrace a cause if you do so out of empowerment. I may be the unpopular person on your page, yet that is okay. I think it is wonderful you look to help others and I feel it is brave that you spoke of your abuse. I respect your opinion and wish you this best on your travels

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Hi Michael! I caught a glimpse, and honestly I was so upset it took me 3 days to bring myself to watch the rest of it. I watched 10 times and tried so hard to be objective, to lean towards Tony’s side.

As a huge Tony Robbins fan I was hurt. I still am. I don’t mind you being here posting an alternative view point, but I invite you to be open-minded about why this is such an important movement.

I don’t care if he swears… I’m a Brit. We swear alllll the time. But I do care about how he treated Nanine and what that represented as a much wider issues.

I can’t even begin to explain my disgust at him moving away the blame from his client’s organisation’s culture of “don’t employ attractive women” from the men, to to the movement.

Edited to add: Tony has apologised. He knows what he did was wrong, and I hope this paves the way for positive conversation! Thanks for stopping by.

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Great piece Laura.
When I watched the video I felt such a mixture of emotions; disgust, anger, sadness and disappointment. (I have followed his work for decades). What a bully!
It’s interesting how Tony Robbins refused to apologize at the time, because it would be “inauthentic”, yet now, after seeing the backlash from women (and men) everywhere, he’s back pedaling. So sickening.
Ladies, let your money do the talking. Spend your money elsewhere, and for those who have already purchased tickets, DEMAND A REFUND!
Kudos to Nanine McCool for standing her ground and @TheButterscotch for posting the video and bringing this issue to light. #MeToo

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Thank you Helen, I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and YES I saw the apology… kinda late, but I hope it does pave the way for SOME good!

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The irony is he kept asking her why she was pushing, but HE was pushing her -right out of the room! I wished she’d noted that he was pushing her and that passivity doesn’t make you safer either it just allows others to push you around without pricking their conscience.
I found his 11 minute sermon astonishingly incoherent for such a polished speaker.. Glass houses, victim blaming, pity for the animals masquerading as humans whose lives have been ruined? Makes one wonder if he has a stack of NDA’s like so many of these other guys whose “lives have been ruined”. Seems to me that we need a different word than either victim or survivor to describe those who report these kinds of crimes. Whistleblowers maybe? There isn’t this kind of vitriol toward those who report robberies to the police. We don’t complain that pressing charges against an armed robber is “ruining his life” we call it accountability or justice. Sexual harrassers and assaulters are armed robbers and ought to be treated as such.
Apparently, In the Tony Robbins’ moral universe it’s outrageous to hold a powerful man accountable for his crimes. That’s just not fair. His entire argument was one of gaslighting, deflecting, and getting his thousand strong audience to collude against one brave woman. Abuse of power in action.

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I read your blog post after seeing your comment to TR’s apology post on Facebook.

I am struck by the way he interrupted Nanine instantly and proceeded to engage a decades -old “act”, which he used to diminish her, silence her and intimidate her while building himself up, rallying the crowd and imposing his position.

She waited patiently, she stayed strong, she spoke up. She is my hero.

As for him – he exemplifies the problem. As does his subsequent “apology”. It’s all a well-practiced game of power and dominance. I learned a lot about what #MeToo is about just by watching it all happen.

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Chris, thank you for taking the time to pop over here and read my blog and to share your thoughts.

And yes – what you’ve seen is exactly why this conversation is so important!

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I’m so sorry to see what happened. This was wrong wrong wrong, he made a terrible mistake.

I believe in TR and I trust that he will learn from this and sincerely apologise and do better. My hope is that looking backwards, the dots connect into a positive outcome. Great lessons sometimes are hard and painful and it looks like he’s honest and committed in the statement that he’s just published.

Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your story, let’s continue supporting our women in every possible way.

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If someone wants to be a victim they should be allowed to be a victim. What’s wrong with at some point in your life or multiple points being a victim.
I believe all emotions are there for a reason and can’t be categorised as good or bad.

The problem I have with Tony is he did not listen he did not connect to feelings and listen to what was being said. His ego took over.

I also think that being positive all the time and motivated is not authentic. It makes the unattainable feel like something that can be real for a few thousand dollars at a seminar.

Life is never that simple and I enjoyed your thoughts
Thank you

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I am thrilled at the conversations our society is having, it’s empowered me to add to the conversation and am writing a book of my accountband other women who have found strength, joy and healing. To see an influencer such as Tony shut out the conversation… Wow. This is exactly what the #metoo movement at it’s finest is all about saying no more. We have the right, no — the duty to speak out and educate society to protect our children and the child within each of us.

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I am too Leta. There’s a hint of negativity and many idiotic comments now this has gone viral, but on the whole – beautiful, intelligent conversation. Thank you for being brave!

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“Unleash The Power Within” – He sure did!
Tony’s perception of power could no longer be contained when it was challenged… by a woman no less.
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”
RIP Tony’s reputation.

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Thank you so much for this post! The amount of misogyny towards women is appalling, jmit doesn’t really have to be blatant or straightforward to be upsetting, is the fact that whatever happens to women now or then it’s treated by men like “get over it”
I am a me too victim as well and I find myself paralyzed when it comes to speaking out, but I have to or my children will never understand that most moms have been a victim one way or another and just because we don’t say anything about does not mean it has not traumatized us in any way.

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