How DCI and BOA fit with Steven Hasan’s B.I.T.E model

Pageantry competitions are built upon Erhard Seminar Training, a 1970’s sales tool by former Scientologist Warner Erhard. Instead of psychiatry, those seeking help for the self-invested up to $300 for Erhard’s lectures in the mid-1970s and 80’s. Known as EST, the technique involves psychological analysis, new hopes and dreams, a regained sense of control over life, release from past mistakes, and the search for a “new self” using religious-like connotations and false discipline. — The Marching Industry Cult by Keven Mazar

So what is the B.I.T.E model?

The B.I.T.E model was developed by sociologist and psychologist Steven Hasan for people to use and determine whether a business, charity, religion, or organization is in fact a cult. Not all cults have to involve a religion some involve manipulative business practices like the pyramid scheme or advertising as an educational opportunity for young people when they are anything but educational or enriching to a group of people whose minds are developing. The reason why groups like DCI and BOA are toxic and dangerous is that parents, teachers, and students don’t know the harm or damage being done physiologically, mentally, and psychologically until much later on in life. I hope this guide will help parents, teachers, educators, and students know what they are up against and encourage others to boycott, cut off funding, and not participate in DCI or BOA affiliated charities (Music for All, United Sound, Free Players, and Sound Sport) and events.

B is for Behavior Control

  1. Regulate Individuals Reality: When people tell other drum corps or band members that what happened to them does not matter and should ignore what happened to them; this is an example of regulation of reality. In reality, the victim was assaulted or hazed by a student group or director but to the group, they do not matter if because Mr.Hopinpop is a great director and should never be harassed like that. This encourages victims to blame themselves for what happened instead of healthy accountability and comfortable with telling their story.

I is for Information Control

  1. Deception: Examples in sites r/dci and r/drumcorps include trolling victims for telling the truth and the fallacy of the One Bad Apple also common in r/MusicEd. A better way of seeing the danger of the fallacy is the cycle of Replace, Abuse, Repeat. Once they fire a director they replace him or her with another director who abuses more victims and then repeats the cycle of abusive management. Therefore they lie to their victims until they too believe the lie is true.

T is for Thought Control

  1. Require Members to Accept Group Doctrine as True: The core of Warner Erhard’s training is teaching members to be self-centered and not think with a critical mind about how wrong or unethical a situation is. Black and White thinking are instilled in members from the very beginning by calling public school bands and college bands bandos as a way to say that DCI and BOA bands are better than a program run by an unaffiliated school. Being ethical and standing up for victims is seen as soft and defaming the band or corp.

E is for Emotional Contorol

  1. Emotions or Needs Deemed Wrong of Selfish: Instead of following Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, these groups ignore complaints and issues with conditions and staff members feeling that addressing these needs does not make people strong but weak. Most of the money that goes into the groups goes for staff and directors in the band or corps and not to the needs and accommodations of members who could use temporary housing and a bed to sleep on. Wanting to further education by leaving the band or corp is also seen as a weakness since all money must be for the band or corp and not towards higher learning.

Remember that you are not alone as a victim of DCI and BOA

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