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Dialogue Ireland Conference 2001

This year's conference took place at Holy Cross College in Dublin on Saturday 13 October 2001.


Dr* Sean Collins
Director Irish Institute of Counselling and Hypnotherapy

Audio of Dr. Collins from the conference is available here.

* [Archive edited 13/04/2011 - We understand that the title of Doctor used by Sean Collins in this instance refers to a Doctorate of Clinical Hypnotherapy awarded by the American Institute of Hypnotherapy.  The American Institute of Hypnotherapy was, at the time of the award being granted, an approved school in the state of California.  An approved school in the state is recognised as being an operational business that provides teaching materials and assesses student work in exchange for fees.  The state does not assess the content of the teaching materials or scrutinise student work.  An accredited educational institute does have its teaching materials and student work assessed for standards by a government body. 

In an accredited institute such as most universities, the international standard for obtaining the award of a doctorate entitling a graduate to use the title Doctor, requires a primary degree (B.A., B.Sc. etc) in the subject, followed by on average 3 years' full-time or equivalent part-time original research under the supervision of a professor of the subject, to be tested by the production of a written thesis and a viva voce examination by a panel of experts in the subject.  It is customary for a graduate to have published a number of research papers in peer-reviewed journals which are considered along with the thesis, or incorporated into it.

We understand that the Doctorate of Clinical Hypnotherapy as awarded by the AIH involved the study of distance learning materials and the production of a series of essays, and that the time required to complete it could be less than one year.

In a number of states in the USA, it is illegal to use the title "Doctor" unless it has been awarded by an accredited institute.  This restriction does not apply in the Republic of Ireland or in the UK.]


Audio of Fr. Hughes from the conference is available here.

Richard Oakley

Gerry Kerr - Audio of Gerry Kerr from the conference is available here.
A couple: one who observed from Ireland, the other went on the seminar.

We had repeatedly invited Tony Quinn and his representatives to participate in dialogue with us at the conference. Regrettably we had no response from them.


9.30 - 10.00Registration
10.00 - 10.55 Dr. Sean Collins: 'THE QUIN(N)TESSENTIAL APPROACH'
10.55 - 11.15 Tea/Coffee
11.15 - 12.10 Fr Louis Hughes The Quinn Philosophy - Where does it come from?
12.10 - 12.40 Richard Oakley: An investigation by the Sunday Tribune
12.40 - 13.00 Open Discussion on first three speakers
14.00 - 14.45 PANEL DISCUSSION
14.45 - 15.45 Two Sessions
  1. Video 20/20 documentary TV 3
    CH 4 Boxing and Hypnosis
  2. Pastoral support for people affected by involvement with Tony Quinn
    A. Support groups
    B. Legal issues
    C. Spiritual Aspect
    D. Counselling
15.45 - 16.15 Tea/ coffee
16.15 - 17.00 Open Forum with all contributors
17.00Conference ends

Invitations to the Tony Quinn organisation:

Dr Sean Collins
Director Irish Institute of Counselling and Hypnotherapy
Dr. Collins gave a very balanced view of the danger of making "success", the total focus of one's life. Pain, failure are written out of the script and as a result the person is diminished. Basically the emphasis was on the danger of Gurus having feet of clay.
This contributor illustrated how Quinn's notions of "Self, Life, Energy" and "unconscious attention" are rather crude adaptations of ancient Hindu ideas. In particular he showed how Quinn misinterpreted the Gospels in attempting to identify Christian prayer with New Age positive thinking.
Richard Oakley
This speaker presented the clear evidence of pyramid sales, with little compassion for the poor and an organisation that had all the hallmarks of a cult
Gerry Kerr
A very convincing look at a person from a former devotee who now realises that he got his wires crossed as far as who is God! He shows how the early days developed and how it took him a decade to break the power of Tony Quinn from his life.

A couple: one who observed from Ireland, the other went on the seminar
Here we get an insiders perspective of how the seminar works. First you go to a Tony Quinn shop to get some product or service. You join a quite reasonably priced six week course. During this you are given what amounts to an overwhelming sales talk about meeting Tony Quinn in person. The brochure is given to you. No addresses, no amounts written down, just the heavy duty atmosphere to go and pay £15,000 for a two week trip.

The Committee of Dialogue Ireland would like to stress the we repeatedly invited Tony Quinn and his representatives to participate in dialogue with us at this conference. Regrettably, despite repeated letters to them, we had no response.

A set of four tapes is available which gives you an accurate flavour of the conference on the 13 October 2001. They cost £20 or € 25.80 per set including postage. Please send your remittance to:
Dialogue Ireland,
7/8 Lr. Abbey St
Dublin 1

The following is an example of the comments we received about the day:
I thought the conference was very successful, I certainly gained a lot from. It was very illuminating to chat to XXXXXX at the meal in the evening. We had a lot in common ........sifting through a lot of material to unearth the facts. Chatting to XXXX and XXXXX shed a lot of light on Tony's personal life and his treatment of women, as Father Collins pointed out examining the guru as a person might expose his feet of clay.
Thanks again for organising the conference it was very beneficial to me.

During the week of the conference a number of the speakers and Dialogue Ireland received a very damaging article about Tony Quinn. Because it was not signed we are not able to upload it to our site. However, if the writer would be willing to contact Dialogue Ireland we would be delighted to discuss its content with him/her. Interestingly in the early '70s there was a strong attack on Tony Quinn. His organisation produced a leaflet with the same name as our conference, "Who is TONY QUINN?"
17 January 2001
Mr. Tony Quinn
66, Eccles St.
Dublin 7

Dear Mr. Quinn,

I am the field worker of Dialogue Ireland and yesterday we had our committee meeting at which we agreed to hold our next annual conference at Clonliffe College on October 20. We have decided that the subject will be an examination of your Yoga School and the Educo Philosophy you espouse.

We would like to invite you to speak about it and other aspects of your philosophy you may wish to share about. We would also like to understand your use of the Bible, which I understand, plays an important part in your life!

We would also like you to bring say, three people to give testimony to the positive benefits they have received from involvement with your courses.

We hope to have Fr Louis Hughes to respond to your presentation, you may be aware of his book, "Yoga a path to God?".

Naturally, I am aware you are very busy with your various courses and that you have one in a week or so in the Bahamas, so if you are unable to speak yourself could you provide a speaker like Martin Forde who would be able to faithfully represent your point of view.

Yours Sincerely,

Mike Garde

To date (25/2/01), we have not received an acknowledgement to our letter inviting TONY QUINN to speak at our conference.

Numerous phone calls and emails have remained unanswered. If we receive no answer we intend to invite former members and another academic to reflect on his teachings and methodology.

Letter to Martin Forde

Dear Martin,

Further to my letter of January 17, inviting Tony or a representative to speak at our annual conference. We have decided to write again, as we received no reply to this request. We are now holding the Conference on October 13, instead of October 20.

We genuinely want to dialogue with Tony or a representative of his organisation and with the different views that have been expressed over the last few months allow for a free exchange of views.

For the present we have structured our conference without his participation, but if we get a reply by the middle of July we would shape the conference to make a dialogue possible!

After that we have to start sending out the Conference brochure and can't leave things much longer than that.

I myself will be away in the US from next week, June 14 till July 17, so if you reply and you do not hear from me you will understand!

You can of course, send a copy to our executive committee chairperson Fr. Louis Hughes, Dominican Priory, Dominic St; Drogheda, Co Louth.

I remain,

Yours sincerely,

Mike Garde
Field worker
Dialogue Ireland.