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.