Exegesis (group)

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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.[1]

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".[2]

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."[2]

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.[2] 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,[3][2] but re-emerged as a telesales company called Programmes Ltd.[1]

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  1. ^ a b George D. Chryssides, Exploring New Religions Contimuum (1999), p. 372.
  2. ^ a b c d Mick Brown, "I know I'm unstable. I accept that". The Daily Telegraph, August 31, 1998.
  3. ^ Terry Kirby, "Caplin 'recruited' for therapy cult investigated by police". The Independent, 12 December 2002.