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Exegesis, an alternative therapy programme, operated in the United Kingdom in the later 1970s and early 1980s. Exegesis was founded by Robert D'Aubigny, a former actor, in 1976 as Infinity Training, offering "enlightenment and personal transformation" through a course of paid seminars.
The Exegesis programme consisted of workshops where participants "worked on their personal and individual development" and were encouraged to "visualise their worst fears and problems, then confront them".
In 1978, British musician Mike Oldfield underwent Exegesis therapy during a seminar in London, including a rebirthing experience. People[who?] who met Oldfield after he had undertaken the therapy often found that he would stare at them as above, with his face only a few inches from theirs. The part that perhaps left the biggest impression on Oldfield was where he went through a rebirth experience. The course-goers were encouraged to do so. Through this, it emerged that Oldfield's problems all stemmed from him having a distressing birth. He then went through this rebirth experience to counteract it. Oldfield's metamorphosis has been described[by whom?] as "astonishing", a transformation from a "painfully diffident recluse" into "a garrulous, over-bearing extrovert". Oldfield, who has since undergone psychotherapy and taken up meditation, described his behaviour after the programme, which included frequent interviews, nude photographs, flying lessons and a short-lived marriage to D'Aubigny's sister, as "a reflex action... I wanted to try everything", but also stated: "But it was right for me, that's all I know. I felt like I'd turned the clock back and had a second chance. It became obvious to me that all the panic I’d felt was the memory of my birth, coming out into the world."
Greater interest in the programme, arguably due to Oldfield's proselytising, led to the group being investigated by the press and becoming the subject of a controversial television play. British Members of Parliament raised questions in the House of Commons, resulting in an investigation by Scotland Yard. Although the police brought no charges, Exegesis ceased to operate around 1984, but re-emerged as a telesales company called Programmes Ltd.
- George D. Chryssides, Exploring New Religions Contimuum (1999), p. 372.
- Mick Brown, "I know I'm unstable. I accept that". The Daily Telegraph, August 31, 1998.
- Terry Kirby, "Caplin 'recruited' for therapy cult investigated by police". The Independent, 12 December 2002.