The magic of hedonism

Give someone an orgasm without even touching them. Drop to a size six from a 16. Walk through life with a post-sex euphoria making decisions and relationships with ease.

Give someone an orgasm without even touching them.

Drop to a size six from a 16.

Walk through life with a post-sex euphoria making decisions and relationships with ease.

Do only what you want to do to be happy in life.

That’s what the gurus of ACCESS consciousness say is possible after you fork over roughly $100 an hour for their courses and treatments.

This latest New Age craze to come out of California was conjured by Gary Douglas, a California realtor, in 1990.

But now it’s former chiropractor Dain Heer who’s the poster boy for ACCESS, and who has brought it new popularity.

Local mother of three Marlynn Bourque signed on.

Her exploration of meditation and breathing methods led her to seek out new perspectives on life.

Eventually she hit on ACCESS.

She was curious, she says. And now she’s a facilitator.

SDLqFear is a concept, it’s not real,” she says, snapping her fingers to emphasize the point – which she does often.

“We create limits with the points of views we have. Everyone I have worked with says they see the world differently and has a lot more fun. There are infinite possibilities out there, but we limit ourselves by believing what other people have told us.

“I know it’s a different approach, but shit, I know it works. It’s weird, it’s wacky and it works.”

Put simply, Bourque coaches people to lay aside their inhibitions. To do only what they want to do, for their own happiness.

“Whatever is light in your life is real. What is heavy is a lie or is not real. There is no should in my reality. I don’t relate to responsibility as much as awareness. It’s about empowering people to choose and know what is right for them – knowing what is right, in the moment.”

Bourque’s work can get physical.

ACCESS calls it “running the bars.” The process looks like a simple head massage.

There are 32 points on the head connected to elements of our body and being – something neuroscientists also observe, Bourque says.

“This is a body-therapy that allows you to begin releasing all the limiting thoughts, ideas, attitudes, decisions and beliefs that you have ever had, about anything,” according to the ACCESS Consciousness website.

“Similar to deleting files off your computer’s hard-drive, more space becomes available to receive and create something totally new,”

“I could just feel the grey leaden fatigue draining away from me, and a lot of misery with it,” says Susan Gwynne-Timothy after Bourque ran the bars on her.

She is a reiki and inner-journeying practitioner who also works as the administrative co-ordinator at the Second Opinion Society in Whitehorse.

Not only does she say she’s been feeling better, sleeping better and is more able to follow through with a workout regime after sessions with Bourque, but Gwynne-Timothy also says her husband and seven-year-old son experienced almost immediate improvement in their overall disposition after she ran the bars on them.

Her son said he was feeling sick while her husband had complained of a sore leg. Within an hour, her son was off to school and she says her husband has been doing better ever since.

But Heer takes things further.

The internet is littered with ACCESS videos – including an entire YouTube channel called ACCESS You – which almost entirely showcases Heer stroking empty air above the convulsing bodies of young women.

He claims his pumping and shaking arms are controlling peoples’ energy in what are sometimes conference-sized rooms, filled with wriggling bodies.

He is allowing them to release the bad, so they can receive the good, he says.

The overwhelming majority of female “ACCESSories” is not the only reason why critics have begun to call the movement a sex cult.

Sex Is Not A Four-Letter Word, But Relationship Often Times Is, is one of the most popular titles Douglas and Heer have co-authored. (It sits alongside Money is Not the Problem, You Are, Talk to Animals, Curing the Incurable and MAGIC. You Are It. Be It.)

Sexual liberation is a focal point of the movement and its practitioners.

Multiple cases of ACCESS-instigated affairs and divorce have been cited by Connie L. Schmidt, a snarky Texas-based blogger who has specialized in ACCESS criticism since the first broken and abandoned correspondent contacted her in 2007.

“Over the years I have heard from numerous other people whose spouses, significant others or other loved ones were seemingly ‘lost’ to ACCESS,” says Schmidt, who calls the movement a vehicle for sexual and financial exploitation of vulnerable people.

More than one case that came to Schmidt claim their wives, or partners were actually instructed to seek new sexual relationships by their ACCESS facilitators.

“We’re not about what’s right, we’re about what works,” says Douglas from his armchair on the other side of his Youtube video camera.

In the promotional video for Heer’s Seven steps to orgasm teleclass (six weeks at only $485), he stands on a balcony in front of a harbour. His voice is backed by electronic keyboard notes.

“Why is it you have a body? You know why – so you can enjoy the orgasmic nature of life,” he says.

“If you’re somebody who likes sex, this class is definitely for you.”

Delivering this last hook, Heer smiles into the camera.

Bourque has heard the sex-cult accusations before, but laughs and waves them away.

“Those people are simply not comfortable with their bodies,” says Bourque. “They have a lot of limitation and don’t have much fun with their body. My body is a gift and ‘sexualness’ is an energy. There’s so much limitation in this world, it limits what we can be in our bodies. It doesn’t mean you have to copulate, but it’s about releasing the limits.”

It’s not about what’s right and wrong, according to Bourque, who says she believes relationships should be part of the joy and ease of your conscious life.

But she would never encourage a client to abandon their family, she says. The goal is to encourage them to introduce ACCESS to their lives.

Her three sons are a big, joyful part of her life and they have a lot of fun together, she says, noting that all three take ACCESS courses.

In fact, children have become a new focus for the movement, which claims it hopes to start ACCESS schools in the future.

“I don’t have anything to prove, I just know there’s other options out there and I choose not to judge,” Bourque says with a cheery smile. “There’s more magic out there than we know.”

One of Bouque’s clients, who asked for anonymity, was skeptical when she first saw Bourque’s Joy Awareness posters around town.

But after researching online, and unable to get Bourque’s joyous smile out of her head, she attended a session, she says.

“The pain in my shoulder and neck went away and I immediately found more mental ease, she says.

“Decisions weren’t difficult because they didn’t feel like decisions,” she says. “They were just answers that came to me.”

While mainly situated in the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, ACCESS is a self-proclaimed global movement.

But few Canadian doctors seem to know about it.

The Canadian Psychological Association couldn’t identify an associate or doctor who knew anything about ACCESS, more than a week after the request.

Gabor Mate, a Vancouver, Downtown-Eastside based physician and bestselling author on addictions and Attention Deficit Disorder – two things ACCESS and Bourque claim they have worked with – says he knows nothing about it.

ACCESS has collections of testimonials from across the globe that claim sessions and treatments have cured things from disabilities to medical ailments to obesity.

“So long as it doesn’t replace the main form of health care and rests on the principle ‘to do no harm,’ then I see no problem with it,” says Yukon’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Brendan Hanley, who also admits he has never heard of it.

“I can’t say if it does, or does not work for every individual out there,” he says.

It works for John Brownlee. He’s actually one of the reasons ACCESS found its way to Whitehorse.

After a casual conversation on vacation in Australia, Brownlee says he sponsored the first ACCESS Consciousness course in Whitehorse three years ago.

Brownlee, a former Scientologist who is now a member of the Edmonton Society Against Mind Abuse and is an ACCESS enthusiast.

“The course was great – I laughed so hard at times my stomach ached – and some of the changes we experienced were quite profound,” he says. “But I can’t explain why or how it worked. It was the craziest thing, but work it did!”

The approach provides life tools rather than a belief system, he adds.

“ACCESS teaches by questioning. One learns that possibilities are limitless – if one can learn to remain open to them, if one is willing to receive,” he says.

“For instance, what if the purpose of life is to have fun? To conclude that, no, it isn’t, doesn’t leave much room for fun does it?”

It’s a message echoed by Bourque back in the red-draped and yellow painted office in her home.

“Is the world ready for something different?” she asks again, admitting her clients are looking for something new and are open to anything.

“Weird is OK,” she says, trying to pre-empt the skepticism. “Weird I don’t mind. I know people relate to what they can understand and this is different. But if people are willing to be different and ask questions, something different will show up.”

Bourque’s plans on running session on “sexualness” in January.

Hopefully more people will choose to open their minds and take a look, she says.

After all, it is all about choices.

Contact Roxanne Stasysyzn at