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HHS Grantees…How many Evangelizing, How many Hypnotizing, How many Simply Disappeared?

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THIS POST MAY BE A SLIGHT DUPLICATE OF AN EARLIER ONE.  IT CONTAINS MISCELLANEOUS SORTS ON GRANTEES, BUT BELOW THAT, SOME DETAILS ON A FEW OF THEM MAY INTEREST YOU — IN PARTICULAR RE:  “PAIRS” “IDEALS” “ASSOCIATION FOR COUPLES AND MARRIAGE ENHANCEMENT” & NIRE(r)”GOODSHEPINC.” (a grantee which turns out to be a couple marketing quite a few items, including a specialized product code-named by one guy, “TheoPhoskos” or something like it.

Individuals mentioned:

  • David & Vera Mace (apparently one of the earlier ones  bringing in the “marriage education” field, along with a Catholic Father from Spain…
  • Bernard and Louise Guerney
  • Mary Ortwein
  • etc.


I have just finished some intense days reading about the history of a Christian group (sect) from the 1200s who suffered severe persecution (and massacres) for their lay-preaching, for CENTURIES and eventually, having probably helped influence the reformation, blended in with it — and helped with early Bible translations.  Their primary sin was lay preaching — AND allowing women to preach also.  This challenged the entire ecclesiastic privilege at a time when Popes were warring with each other (and various emperors) for dominance.

At the bottom of the “Where’s Waldo” post (re: the Waldensians) — I randomly pulled up some mainline church doctrine, showed its format (sloppy), and at the bottom, the megachurch Saddleback/Rick Warren.

Marketers use Churches for their distribution network, obviously, so I went to USPTO.gov and looked up things trademarked to Pastor Rick (Warren) – -and even I was surprised.

There also was a single article on a woman who –attempted — at least — to report domestic violence against her by a church member; she’d been paired with him originally by his mother, in a Saddleback choir.  It turns out the man was a serial abuser (his first wife had suffered even more severe abuse, facially disfiguring).  Saddleback, instead, gradually excommunicated the woman reporting (after squelching her reporting of it) and after the man was (properly) dismissed from leadership at his prior church, because of DV, he was instated gladly at Saddleback.


We should be #1 aware that what’s often called “Church” is simply using people for business, and that #2, too many of them simply hate women — which any God, assuming such a God is real and worth worshipping — simply would not do.


There are many lessons to be learned by reading up on these matters.  However this post is less weighty than some others — but I do wish to point out that some of the main players (PREP, IDEALS, etc.) are to be found all over the neighborhood — and HOW they spread their wares. . . . .


Also know that both Romney and Obama have supported the federal funding of these programs on the basis it helps people.  It does — it helps enrich those selling the product, and helps strengthen churches which discriminate against women, specifically, and which, moreover, apparently can’t and don’t read their own scriptures straight, or enough to actually be convinced by the contents.  As such, I say, strip the nonprofit tax status which is a church/state partnership that should not exist, and weakens the function of both church and state.





The format here is less than ideal, so is the database, but even so  ? ? ?  . . . . . ??? . . . . . . . .

Again, my typing in the word “marriage” in a grantee award field doesn’t pull up all organizations on the Health Marriage/Responsible Fatherhood trail.  It’s only a sampler.

And while this isn’t the largest sector of the federal budget, it’s still extremely wasteful, it is enabling (c’mon, let’s get real about this) a leaky system to enable the weakest links to spread their theories around with a little extra “oomph” because instead of critical review of subject matter, these put the energy into lining up to suck off the central sources.

Would these roughly fall into the categories of:

  • Churches, who are already into spreading (selling) classes & training, and have about one main theme?
  • Come from such types of churches where “Swirly Rocket Ship” buildings, or Getting more Rolls Royces, are the routine?
  • How many are essentially thinking communist // change agent?
  • How many are being jumped on by people who belong to cults?
  • How many organizations formed just to get the grants, and had no real life outside of that?
  • How many of these organizations are simply named after the curricula they are promoting?  Here are a few, for example:
  • People who want to test group behavioral modification techniques, and for this, it’s helpful to have a very large sample to draw from (i.e., the PREP, Inc. Markman/Stanley UDenver Crowd…).

Here’s a sample of the mythology that’s propagated, but what i want to call attention to is the authors they are quoting.  Also note how it’s presented as a legitimate and established field.  In fact this field is a federally -propped up and religiously motivated field, as is shown by their own accounts of who started the “marriage enrichment field!”   This segment mentions the name “Mace.”  I wasn’t acquainted with this name, but onlooking up (another) nonprofit, it turns out to be one the founders of that 1973 nonprofit, related below.  It is presented like any catechism to a proselyte, or to a child:   “(fill in the blank)  is .  . . . . . . ” (Memorize this definition for later recitation???).  This recitation method of defining what “is” as part of a promotional effort to make sure it not only is, but continues to be (funded and marketed) parallels how Parenting Coordination, as a field, was repeatedly presented to others in the rhetoric surrounding it.  The word “parenting coordination” or “parent coordinator” was simply drilled into the conscience through repetition — like (at a lower level) muscle memory for any skilled artist or gymnast.  Repetition helps makes perfect until it becomes instinctive…  With the exception, I think gymnasts or artists have more immediate consequences if their repetition is seriously off — like muscle cramps, a body injury, or an artistic screwup….

Notice the drumbeat of repeated phrasing.  I underlined some, italicized others, to call attention to it.

Marriage Enrichment

International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family | 2003| WOOD, BRITTON | 700+ words | Copyright

Source:  2003 article, “International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family.”  (say, huh?)

Marriage enrichment is a form of primary prevention in the area of human relationships.

wait a minute — what about basic meanings of words.  Enrichment means, enriching what’s already doing OK (which is also how this is described other places — not intended for troubled (such as violent) relationships!.   Prevention implies that without prevention, the relationship would be headed for a collision, or some other form of injury!   It’s fear-based!  whereas enrichment is more like cultivation..

Begun in an organized way by David and Vera Mace in the mid-twentieth century,

Testing, 1962, rollout into a nonprofit (below), 1973.  is that “mid-twentieth century” or closer to he last quarter?

Its objectives are to promote a mutual commitment to growth in the marital relationship; to develop and agree on a communication style of talking and listening that works for enhancement of the marital relationship; to learn how to use conflict in creative ways that helps, not hinders, the marital relationship, including the sharing of feelings; and to develop and maintain a desire for and the presence of intimacy in the marital relationship, utilizing a variety of positive interaction skills.

Marriage enrichment takes place when couples deem their marriage of primary importance. These couples are intentional about their marital growth and choose to do something about it. Couples who commit to an ongoing marriage enrichment group, through which they can practice quality interactive skills with each other and in the presence of other caring couples, tend to have more successful marriages. The longer the process is of practicing the skills that enhance the marriage, the greater the potential for behavioral change (Markman, Stanley, and Blumberg 1994).

MARKMAN & STANLEY & perhaps Blumberg are University of Denver psychology profs (and their programs it seems HHS grantees) who worked with large sample populations to perfect, among other programs, for all I know, “PREP, Inc.” which is a curriculum of choice for many HHS grantees, and was specifically mentioned in the 1999 “Oklahoma Marriage Initiative,” started from the Governor Keating’s (FYI who is/was Catholic) Office with the encouragement of his HHS appointee (a Bush appointee, Jerry Regier) (as I recall).  This is just a sampler of their work.  I’ve often wondered how their own marriages are — as they aren’t typically mentioned, and these two middle-aged men are usually working (see their dept.) with much younger female doctoral candidates, or Ph.D.s, it seems..

In my list of 1500 grantees (past few posts) go look at the University of Denver ones…

  1. DU Psychology Department Faculty: Howard Markman

    Representative Publications: General. Markman, H., Stanley, S., &Blumberg, S. ( 2001). Fighting for Your Marriage (Revised and updated edition). San Francisco 

    You visited this page.
  2.  Edition of the Classic Best-seller for Enhancing Marriage and Preventing Divorce [Howard J. Markman,Scott M. Stanley,Susan L.Blumberg] on Amazon. com.

  3. But, there is a lot of reason to believe that what couples argue about is not as important as how they argue (MarkmanStanley, & Blumberg, 1994). Married men 

  4. [DOC]  Prep

    File Format: Microsoft Word – Quick View
    by SM Stanley – Cited by 5 – Related articles
    Scott M. Stanley & Howard J. Markman  to believe that what couples argue about is not as important as how they argue (MarkmanStanley, & Blumberg, 1994).

  5. icecube.wisc.edu/~richards/ffym.pdf

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
    by HJ MARKMAN – Related articles
    the Classic Best Seller for. Enhancing Marriage and. Preventing Divorce third edition. Howard J. Markman. Scott M. Stanley. Susan L.Blumberg 

  6. Fighting for Your Marriage (3rd ed.) « For Your Marriage foryourmarriage.org/fighting-for-your-marriage-3rd-ed/
    by Howard J. Markman, Scott M. Stanley and Susan L. Blumberg. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, Calif.; 2010; $19.95. (Reviewed by David Gibson, former, 
  7. Markman, H., Stanley, S., & Blumberg, S. (2001). Fighting for your marriage. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. PREP Educational Products, Inc. (1996).

  8. Herbert GoldenbergIrene Goldenberg – 2008 – Family & Relationships

    The Preventive Intervention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP), developed by Floyd, Markman, Kelly, Blumberg, and Stanley(1995), represents a 

  9. (#9 had a flag, “this site may harm your computer” so I deleted it….)

  10. [PDF]PREP® Facts – GoodShepInc.com

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    focused on the dynamic dimensions identified in research as crucial to marital success (StanleyBlumberg, &. Markman, 1999). Thus, the core content of PREP 

From the #10 resource (seems to be a church of some sort?) here are short biographies of Stanley, Blumberg & Markman.  The word “Empirical” can be said however many times they want — but the fact remains that after empirically designing PREP, Inc., Stanley & Markman incorporated it as a business in Colorado, and I highly doubt this was all altruistic!  Look at the website and draw your own opinion!  They then have helped market this through the welfare network (i.e., Title IV, Purpose 4 is formation of two-parent families) and etc.   The link above (#10) Also cites “Fincham” (who is an Oxford or Rhodes scholar working out of Florida, same idea (family-centric) and Cowan & Cowan, more fatherhood practitioners also (as I seem to recall) with an AFCC association.

I was married to a batterer for many years.  He was constantly talking about the marriage as if it were a third party, inbetween assaults, thefts, pimping me financially, and lecturing me.  To this date, he hasn’t changed, either — or taken personal responsibility for any damages, or paid for them, either, including physical injuries.  He even tried to get me to attend a relationship class while the (very unusual, on our part) restraining order was on!   No one who engages in that type of violence has a right to be talking about “the relationship” but that’s EXACTLY what they focus on, to spread the blame…. and, contrary to popular opinion, not all women or abused women (or men) just accommodate — we have our own safety to navigate as well, and calculate risk most of the way out the door, which is generally where that relationship is going to go until someone gets smart and says INDIVIDUALLY, no criminal activity against your partner, ever!

Look where that reference #10 came from, and notice the logo!

GoodShepherd Ministries (logo of a cross, the top of which is a shepherd’s crook, and two intertwined rings in the middle of it.  In reality, it appears to be an organization running relationship classes.  The theme says “Strengthening Families, Healing Individuals.”

BACKGROUND. After serving as a Methodist minister and US Army chaplain for 39 years, Jack established Good Shepherd Ministries as an agency which would combine the highest quality of professional behavioral health services with the ancient Judeo-Christian traditions of compassion and healing. Jack is a licensed therapist, an AAPC Fellow, an AAMFT Supervisor and holds the Doctor of Ministry degree in Psychology and Clinical Studies.

Sheryl, a retired high school guidance counselor, has an MA in counseling. Their training team was formally established by their marriage in 2002, when Jack was a widower after a marriage of 39 years and Sheryl was a divorcee from a marriage of 33 years. They have five adult children, four grandchildren, and Mac, their own therapy dog.

~ ~ ~In case you wondered why I’m so adamant on this point. . . . ~ ~ ~

I’ve blogged it, or you can look it up.  I just searched “CFDA 93086 for Denver — which shows $35 million dispensed in 62 grants (including WAIT training, $1 million) for this function alone.  We should ask why.   Including $2 million in a State Commission on Higher Ed.

Recipient ZIP Code: 80203

FY Award Number Award Title Budget Year of Support CFDA Number Agency Action Issue Date Amount This Action
Award Actions Count: 1 Award Actions Subtotal: $ 2,000,000

(this award got $6 million in three separate years . . . . . . same grant, “discretionary”)

Marriage enrichment programs teach spouses interpersonal skills in communication and conflict resolution. Couples can, in a group process, help couples. A sense of safety develops when the group’s couples have a mutual commitment to growth. The individual couples in the group begin to recognize their issues are common to other couples.

Marriage enrichment uses multiple techniques to provide opportunities for couple growth. The focus of most enrichment events is each couple’s marriage. Given the approach’s effectiveness, its leaders most often help couples apply the material via experiential learning techniques. 

It’s leaders apply this approach because it’s what they’re trained to do — not necessarily because of its effectiveness. The “experiential learning technique” is the main point.

One such technique is thecouple dialogue, where one spouse turns to the other and talks about their relationship while other couples in the group listen. This exercise provides a very different dynamic from a typical group discussion. It also encourages the couple to affirm good communication skills. Much of marriage enrichment depends upon peer relationship in a supportive environment

A married couple provides the leadership for some marriage enrichment programs. In the A.C.M.E. (Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment) model, couples are required to be trained as leader couples. They serve as facilitator participants and need not be experts on marriage. As they lead, they work on their own relationship and bring their issues to the group through their public dialogue. The leader couple’s vulnerability encourages openness for the other couples.

This couple revelation to other couples through the means of couple dialogue is the most disarming and effective tool for growth offered in marriage enrichment. In other marriage enrichment models, leadership couples recite scripted material, but for A.C.M.E. dialogue and interaction are authentic and powerful.

Basically, we are looking at the process of group indoctrination.  It could be an AA group, a Batterers Intervention Group, or a psychotherapy group.  It might be similar.

In any mix of couples going for “marriage enrichment” there may or may not be some INDIVIDUALS who are perpetrating violence against a spouse, and whose spouse may have persuaded them to engage seeking help.  or the abuser may have enrolled to try and “fix” the target spouse (or partner) and justify that they should “get along” better, and work on their communication skills.  This is particularly probable when anything has a religious flavor.  I say this because it happened to me.  In such cases, the group situation will work against confrontation, may make the situation worse (as the abuser bonds with others, possibly of the same gender — or with the leader), and it can endanger someone at home.

As it says, the “facilitators” are not facilitating safety and a boundary against violence.  they are “relationship” oriented.

PAIRS (Florida.  Certifications, etc.)

Address: 2771 Executive Park Dr # 10
Weston, FL 33331-3642
Country Name: United States of America
County Name: BROWARD
HHS Region: 4
Type: Welfare Department
Class: Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations


Showing: 1 – 5 of 5 Award Actions

FY Award Number Award Title Budget Year of Support Award Code Agency Action Issue Date DUNS Number Amount This Action
2010 90FE0029  HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION GRANTS: PRIORITY AREA 2 5 00 ACF 09-24-2010 839942422 $ 990,000 
Fiscal Year 2010 Total: $ 990,000
FY Award Number Award Title Budget Year of Support Award Code Agency Action Issue Date DUNS Number Amount This Action
2009 90FE0029  HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION GRANTS: PRIORITY AREA 2 4 0 ACF 09-18-2009 839942422 $ 990,000 
Fiscal Year 2009 Total: $ 990,000
FY Award Number Award Title Budget Year of Support Award Code Agency Action Issue Date DUNS Number Amount This Action
2008 90FE0029  HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION GRANTS: PRIORITY AREA 2 3 0 ACF 09-14-2008 839942422 $ 990,000 
Fiscal Year 2008 Total: $ 990,000
FY Award Number Award Title Budget Year of Support Award Code Agency Action Issue Date DUNS Number Amount This Action
2007 90FE0029  HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION GRANTS: PRIORITY AREA 2 2 0 ACF 09-21-2007 839942422 $ 990,000 
Fiscal Year 2007 Total: $ 990,000
FY Award Number Award Title Budget Year of Support Award Code Agency Action Issue Date DUNS Number Amount This Action
2006 90FE0029  HEALTHY MARRIAGE DEMONSTRATION GRANTS: PRIORITY AREA 2 1 0 ACF 09-24-2006 839942422 $ 990,000 
Fiscal Year 2006 Total: $ 990,000
Total of all award actions: $ 4,950,000

Showing: 1 – 5 of 5 Award Actions

IDEALS (Kentucky)

Small grant, but the classes are widespread.


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Recipient: IDEALS, Inc.
Address: 813 Hillwood Avenue
FRANKFORT, KY 40601-2458
Country Name: United States of America
County Name: FRANKLIN
HHS Region: 4
Type: Other Special Interest Organization
Class: Non-Profit Private Non-Government Organizations


Showing: 1 – 1 of 1 Award Actions

FY Award Number Award Title Budget Year of Support Award Code Agency Action Issue Date DUNS Number Amount This Action
Fiscal Year 2007 Total: $ 50,000
Total of all award actions: $ 50,000
Mary Ortwein, & The Guerneys….

About IDEALS for Families and Communities

IDEALS for Families and Communities is a non-profit  who is just being created. Founded October 15, 2012, it will attempt to “make Love practical.”  We teach skills for relationships and emotional management.  We provide outreach services to inmates, homeless, and those who work with them.  We provide classes for couples, parents, individuals, and organizations.  We mix science and compassion, caring and quality mental health education and counseling. We provide training for volunteers, para-professionnals, professionals, and professionals-to-be.  We provide materials and consulting for the skills of love.  Based on the work of Drs. Bernard and Louise Guerney, IDEALS provide education model interventions for Central Kentucky and across the US.  Come back soon for more information!If you have specific questions about IDEALS for Families and Communities, email us at mary@skillswork.org.Mary OrtweinAbout Mary OrtweinMary Ortwein, MS, LMFT, is Executive Director of IDEALS for Families and Communities and co-author with Dr. Bernard Guerney of the MML Series of RE materials, including Mastering the Mysteries of Love, Love’s Cradle, Ready for Love, Mastering the Mysteries of Stepfamilies, Mastering the Mysteries of Sacramental Love, the Happy Hometown Marriage Education Kit, and Mastering the Magic of Play.

  • Those are SIX curricula, right?  Not bad — look at the educational background:  a BA in elementary education from Transylvania University (???) and a MS From Univ. of Kentucky in Family Studies.  She taught elementary school for seven years, and gravitates towards federally funded programs (including probably the elementary school she was in….)

A licensed marriage and family therapist, she is also a mother of two grown sons and their families. Mary has a BA from Transylvania University (in KY) in elementary education and a MS from the University of Kentucky in Family Studies. She is a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and a Marriage and Family Therapy supervisor in training. Before coming to IDEALS of Kentucky, Mary taught elementary school seven years, was a full-time wife and mother when her children were small, directed several federal pregnancy, homeless, and VISTA programs, founded SIMON House, was Family Ministry Coordinator for the Catholic Diocese of Lexington, and worked as an in-home therapist, a case manager, and supervisor of mentor and in-home programs for the IMPACT and IMPACT Plus programs in Lexington, Kentucky. [In other words, Mary’s been around a long time!]
For additional information on publications or other matters, query at mary@skillswork.org

Bernard & Louise GuerneyAbout Bernard and Louise Guerney Bernard Guerney, Jr., Ph.D., founder of IDEALS and the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement®, is internationally recognized as one of the most prominent and innovative practitioners of marital and family therapy. His methods have been developed and refined in over thirty five years of practicing, teaching and supervising individual, marital, group, and family therapy. His presentations and workshops have elicited high praise and great enthusiasm on four continents. For their work in developing Relationship Enhancement® therapy and enrichment methods, Dr. Guerney and his wife, Dr. Louise Guerney, have won several national awards. He is a fellow in five APA divisions, a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, Counseling and Psychotherapy, Behavioral Medicine, and Marital/Family Therapy, a certified group therapist, and an AAMFT-Approved Supervisor. Currently Dr. Guerney is Director of NIRE, Adjunct Professor of Psychology at the University of Maryland, and Professor Emeritus of Family Studies and of Counseling Psychology at Pennsylvania State University, where he founded and directed its Individual and Family Consultation Center for 25 years. Alone or with others he has produced over 80 articles and chapters, four books, and numerous manuals, training tapes, and films in the areas of individual, marital, group, and family therapy. He has served on the editorial board of many marital and family therapy journals. He was one Salvador Minuchin’s co-authors of the family therapy classic Families of the Slums. Dr. Guerney’s own book, Relationship Enhancement: Skill Training Programs for Therapy, Problem Prevention, and Enrichment has been called, by Dr. Douglas Sprenkle, “a seminal and potentially revolutionary work … perhaps the best … integration of theory, research, and practice in the family intervention field.”

Louise Guerney, Ph.D., Director of Play and Filial Family Training at The National Institute of Relationship Enhancement® ,
{{Being a nonprofit founded, along with IDEALS, by her husband…}}
is internationally recognized as one of the most prominent and innovative practitioners of child-centered play therapy. A licensed Clinical Psychologist, Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor, and a founding Board Member of the Association for Play Therapy, Dr. Guerney is known, together with her husband, Dr. Bernard Guerney, Jr., as the creator of Filial Family Therapy, a unique family therapy model that teaches parents how to become the primary therapeutic agents for their children through the medium of play therapy.

As a Professor (now Emerita) of Human Development and Counseling Psychology at Penn State University, as a workshop instructor in scores of workshops conducted on four continents, and now as Director of Play Therapy and Filial Therapy Training at NIRE, Dr. Guerney has trained and supervised many hundreds of professionals. Independently and collaboratively, she has produced scores of articles and chapters on child and family therapy, two books, and training videotapes for therapists. Active in the professional community, she is one of the creators of PhoneFriend, a nationwide network of “warmlines” serving latchkey children, and has served on the Board of APA’s Division of Children, Youth and Family Services. She has developed a number of parent skills-training programs, including The Foster Parent Training Program in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. She serves on the Editorial Boards of several child- and family-oriented therapy journals, including The International Journal of Play Therapy. Dr. Guerney has won several national awards from state and national organizations for her contributions to child/family enrichment and therapy, including the 1988 Marriage and Family Therapy Award for Contributions to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy, awarded by the Family Therapy Section of the National Conference of Family Relations ((Also gets HHS grants) , and together with her husband, the 1983 Mace Medal for Contributions to Marital Enrichment, awarded by the Association for Couple and Marital Enrichment.

(NOTE:  the “Maces” were a Pennsylvania? couple who founded this 1973 nonprofit.  I’m still looking for its tax return — although it has a NC national HQ (“Council”) while being itself a Delaware Corporation.
“ACME” = website “bettermarriage.org”  That last is a nonprofit founded in 1973, citing as its “founder” concepts a married couple who did a marriage retreat in Pennsylvania (i.e., Group Relationship with a Leadership Couple), a Catholic Priest and a Methodist Minister.   This has all the qualities of a cult, including leadership layers, specialized vocabulary, and focus on the individual leaders, rather than the principles.   See website:   (Profiling Leadership Couples (no singles allowed) including some clinical psychologists, and Abstinence program director, a pastor or so . . .
(A description from a Georgia Site shows its clear religious origins in at least two of the three “founders” of the marriage movement in the USA>  Interesting it started around the same time as (another wave of) feminism and no-fault divorce in at least California:
(These are all sharing central webpage information, obviously).

In 1962, David and Vera Mace conducted their first Marriage Enrichment retreat in Kirkridge, Pennsylvania. They were searching for ways to prevent marital difficulties by working with couples who were not in crisis but wanted to learn skills for living in harmony. Certain components of the Maces’ approach seemed to enhance the learning experience of the participants. These components included a husband/wife leadership team, limited structure, agenda building by the participants, group sharing, and couple dialogue. The Leader couple were full participants in this process.

In 1962, unaware of the work of David and Vera Mace in the USA, Father Gabriel Calvo began meeting with couples in Barcelona, Spain for the purpose of strengthening marriages and families. Father Calvo devised the term “marriage encounter” for his program. With its roots in the Roman Catholic Church, marriage encounter was transplanted to the USA in 1967 by the Christian Family Movement. In its present form, Marriage Encounter has emerged with a highly structured format using no group interaction. Couple leaders present a series of lectures, to which participating couples respond in private. Privately, couples write and share letters with each other. A priest is in attendance for counsel and guidance.

In 1962, Leon Smith was appointed by the United Marriage Church in the USA to develop a ministry in marriage: preparation for marriage, marraige education, and marriage counseling. In 1964, Leon and his wife, Antoinette, presented the Marriage Communication Labs (MCL), a four-day structured program which included experiential and educational components. Communication skills and couple dialogue were emphasized.

The Maces, the Smiths, and Father Calvo are acknowledged pioneers in the field of marriage enrichment. Since 1962, various religious and private groups have combined and adapted different aspects of these three basic models.


“Contact us” — shows a North Carolina Address.

502 N Broad Street, Winston Salem NC 27101
PO Box 21374, Winston Salem NC 27120


Secretary of State North Carolina (for the top entry) shows a Delaware Corporation.  Smart people!

Entity Name Type Status Formed Online Annual Reports
Legal NC Corporate Name Association of Couples for Marriage Enrichment {{SEE BELOW — FINALLY FOUND A FEW 990s for this one..}}} NP Current-Active 12/27/1973 N/A
Legal NC Corporate Name The Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment – North Carolina Council, Inc. NP Current-Active 5/22/1991 N/A
Name Name Type

Non-Profit Corporation Information

SOSID: 0007460
Status: Current-Active
Effective Date: 12/27/1973
Annual Report Due Date:
Citizenship: FOREIGN  
  State of Inc.: DE

Registered Agent

View Document Filings |
PC, PLLC, LP and Non-Profit entities are not required to file annual reports.

(in North Carolina, Anyhow):

Corporate Filings For: Association of Couples for Marriage Enrichment

Image Date Document Id Event Document
Download blank 12/27/1973 000014873 Creation Filing AUTH – Application for Certificate of Authority
Download blank 9/25/1974 000014873 Amendment RSGN – Resignation of Registered Agent
Download blank 1/25/1989 000014873 Amendment CROA – Change of Address of Registered Office/Agent
Download blank 4/5/1995 950950389 Amendment CROA – Change of Address of Registered Office/Agent








Association of Couples for Marriage Enrichment NC 2010 $30,261 990EZ 13 56-1062236
Association of Couples for Marriage Enrichment NC 2009 $341,730 990EZ 12 56-1062236
Association of Couples for Marriage Enrichment NC 2008 $338,853 990EZ 13 56-1062236

Basically they are one “outreach”nonprofit.  Only a single person got paid as Exec Director (2009 return, above) and that only $32K.  (“Renee ColClough Hinson) NO expenses — at all — are listed for ANY of the program accomplishments (no grants either).  All the board of Directors except the ED — are listed as couples and paid “0” and worked “0” (so, how are they directors, then?)  the tax return is signed by someone not listed on the board (at all).  However, over $100K is paid to Salaries & Professionals (page 1); and Statement 1 shows “$30K expense for “Families Forever” (a conference?).  Statement 7 shows expense “IMEC Conference” (huh?).

Renee ColClough Hinsons shows up as a Staff Psychologist here:

Renee Colclough Hinson , Ph.D. Clinical Psychology and M.S. (R) Clinical Psychology-Saint Louis University, M.A.Ed. Counseling and B.A. Psychology-Wake Forest University; Staff Psychologist 

@ “Trinity Center”:

Trinity Center was conceived in 1982 by three women: Ann Dixon, Betty Talbert and Kathryn Sinopoli. *** Their vision was for Trinity Center to be a resource for people desiring to grow and develop as whole people-mind, body, soul and spirit. The name Trinity was chosen because of its ability to point to the non-competitive cooperation, respect, and mutuality of the holy Trinity. This was designed to serve as the inspiration of our relationships with each other as staff, to professionals in the community outside of Trinity Center, to our clients and to ourselves.

***would that make it a triple-immaculate-conception?  Who (whose ideas?) inseminated it? or was it artificial insemination?

Trinity Center is a 501(c)3, not-for-profit organization and accepts donations from individuals, churches, corporations and foundations. These donations are put into a subsidy fund that allows clients who are uninsured, unemployed or otherwise unable to pay the full fee to receive our services.

They also do EMDR/Hypnosis to help extreme trauma/PTSD situations:


Trinity Center uses EMDR and hypnosis as part of a comprehensive therapeutic treatment plan for some patients. Scientific research has shown that EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is the most effective and rapid method for treating PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) Thousands of therapists worldwide have begun to use EMDR to treat trauma memories that affect client’s long term functioning. Some are also using it to enhance performance and creativity.

Here at Trinity Center we have, in some cases, used a combination of clinical hypnosis and EMDR to treat clients with emotional and physical trauma. We have found that EMDR is a very effective means of treating trauma patients, but in many cases the experience of the treatment has been traumatic as the event is recalled. Clinical hypnosis causes a profound state of relaxation which lowers anxiety and makes the treatment process more effective. The few clients who have received the combination of EMDR with hypnosis have responded well and have been able to remain out of inpatient hospitalization.

For more information on EMDR, go to www.emdr.com

Trinity Center offers:
    Psychological insights that promote greater self-understanding.
 Prayer guidance that helps persons better understand God.
 Educational/ learning experiences that deepen clients’ understanding
 Physical and psychiatric care by our Medical Director.

Does not have to file annual reports, yes, founded 1982.  Does a little bit of everything, it seems — ideal for religious psychologist marriage therapist types:

Entity Name Type Status Formed Online Annual Reports
Legal NC Corporate Name Trinity Center, Inc. NP Current-Active 7/7/1982 N/A
Legal NC Corporate Name The Trinity Center Inc. NP Current-Active 12/23/1998 N/A
Previous Legal NC Corporate Name Trinity Center for Counseling and Spiritual Development, Inc. NP Current-Active 7/7/1982 N/A
Trinity Center Inc. NC 2007 $141,928 990 21 56-1337065
Trinity Center Inc. NC 2006 $113,116 990 19 56-1337065
Trinity Center Inc. NC 2005 $131,551 990 19 56-1337065
Trinity Center Inc. NC 2004 $160,380 990 19 56-1337065
Trinity Center Inc. NC 2003 $164,615 990 19 56-1337065

Then for the same organization’s “COUNCIL” which is a domestic organization (but has no “address.”)

Corporation Names


SOSID:0288044  Status:Current-Active  Effective Date:5/22/1991   Annual Report Due Date:   Citizenship:DOMESTIC  State of Inc.:NC  Duration:PERPETUAL Registered Agent

Agent Name:MOURY, DANIEL N  Office Address:1972 SHIRLEY DR
BURLINGTON NC 27215     Mailing Address:1972 SHIRLEY DR
BURLINGTON NC 27215 Principal Office

Office Address:NO ADDRESS     Mailing Address:NO ADDRESS

Corporate Filings For: The Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment – North Carolina Council, Inc.

Image Date Document Id Event Document
Download blank 5/22/1991 000505149 Creation Filing INC – Articles of Incorporation
Download blank 1/31/1994 931905097 Amendment CROA – Change of Address of Registered Office/Agent

 They basically don’t file anything.  The website is clear — they are selling (ebooks or books — take a look) and I see no 990s either.   

This organization is being sponsored by the Disciples of Christ and is listed under “DHI Home Missions” page:
http://discipleshomemissions.org/pages/FCM-MarriageACMC  (look at the page):


© Disciples Home Missions
130 East Washington Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
(888) 346-2631

Web site Terms and Conditions

DHM is a general ministry of the
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

This ministry supported in part by
Disciples Mission Fund giving. 

The church is evangelistic with specific goals for 2020:

At the 2001 General Assembly, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) adopted the 2020 Vision, which contained four priorities that will guide the Church through the first two decades of the 21st century.

The Four Priorities are:

  • Becoming a Pro-reconciling/Anti-racist church
  • Formation of 1,000 new congregations by 2020
  • Transformation of 1,000 current congregations by 2020
  • Leadership development necessary to realize these new and renewed congregations

Becoming a Pro-reconciling/Anti-racist church

Reconciliation Ministry is the special ministry of the Church that fights the primary causes of racism in North America. Strides toward becoming a Pro-reconciling/Anti-racist Church were made with support from the Reconciliation Offering soon after the 2020 Vision was adopted.

Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment

What is ACME?

With a national office in Winston Salem, N.C., The Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment is an international, nonprofit, non-sectarian organization whose purpose is to promote better marriages by providing enrichment opportunities and resources that strengthen couple relationships and enhance personal growth, mutual fulfillment and family wellness.

A.C.M.E. consists of married couples dedicated to enriching their own marriages and other marriages in their communities. Trained lay-couples facilitate various types of events throughout the United States, Canada and several other countries. Professionals in marriage enrichment and related fields are also members.

This page also has a link to “Prepare/Enrich” which is a class that pops up all over marriage grantee pages.  It’s an on-line tool with a “trained facilitator” helper:


Prepare/Enrich is described as a couple assessment tool that is completed online. The assessment identifies a couple’s strength and growth areas. It is a tool already used by some Disciples ministers for premarital counseling and premarital education.

There are also customized versions of the inventory used for marriage counseling, marriage enrichment, and dating couples considering engagement. Based on a couple’s assessment results, a trained facilitator provides 4-8 feedback sessions in which the facilitator helps the couple discuss and understand their results as they are taught proven relationship skills.

To learn more and to become trained as a facilitator in Prepare/Enrich, go to www.prepare-enrich.com/.

That’s fine.  But they are in sales.  Is there any sales tax?  Where are the sales’ profits going to?  And if they are tax-exempt, then for the public’s purposes, where are the tax returns?  Are their board members being paid?

Written by Let's Get Honest|She Looks It Up

October 24, 2012 at 8:45 am

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