“The Community”: Cult or Spiritual Seekers?

I’ve long been interested in the out edges of the running community – ultra runners, streak runners, and mega-mileage runners are all areas of the sport I’ve written about frequently.  A fascination with those willing to take the sport to the edge coupled with a lifelong interest in new religious movements* has lead me to a years long investigation into a group of runners and spiritual seekers known as the Community or Divine Madness.

Over the years I’ve had the chance to speak with ex-members of the group, and have done quite a bit of research online.  I thought I’d read just about everything written about them.  And then last night while googling around, I came across this article by Daniel Glick which appeared in Women Outside.  For today’s reader, Glick’s article seems prescient.  Written in 1999, it predates the tragic death of Mark Heineman, but it includes detailed discussions of the accusations of cult-like behavior which would follow the group for years to come.

As in most articles, Marc, “Yo” Tizer does not come off well.  At best, he appears to be a misguided guru, at worst, he’s a manipulative, abusive cult leader.  While most of what I have heard from ex-members of the group is deeply critical of Tizer, I’ll give Glick credit for finding members, and ex-members, who were willing to stand up for the man.

If you’re interested in the Community, this is well worth a read and as always, I am looking to learn more. If you have any information about Divine Madness, the Community, Marc “Yo” Tizer, or any of the other members or former members, please get in touch at miloandthecalf at gmail

*or cults, depending on your view of the group.

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About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock.
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2 Responses to “The Community”: Cult or Spiritual Seekers?

  1. Former member says:

    There was much good to him and many blind spots. First of all he seems to be completely blind to his attachment wounding, to the extent that he has used his charisma and power to build around him a relationship ethos built on his emotional wound. But when it comes to understanding the workings of the body in endurance running, he has a lot of talent. Additionally, just being in an environment where ultrarunning was the norm and so supported was a huge benefit. I ran many 100 mile races there and always marveled at the people (which was most) out there running without similar support. If you are interested in the Community, I’m sure they’d be happy to have you come on by. I think Yo is still teaching and they are having public events some times. They are on 95th St. just north of Valmont outside of Boulder. I think the bridge over Boulder Creek there may have been wiped out in the flood.

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