MTTA Retreat for Masters
By Master Taíno
November 13, 2010
This weekend we gather here for this first MTTA Retreat for Masters sponsored by MTTA as a service to our alumni from the Master Training Weekend of our Academy.
As president and founder of MTTA, I would like to take this opportunity to address an important topic in our Master/slave community: CONTINUING EDUCATION.
As a framework for my message to you tonight, let me take first a moment to put it in the MTTA perspective.
Nine years ago, in the summer of 2001, just two years after I attended the first ever educational event on Master/slave relationships known as MAsT 99 in Atlanta, and after I experienced further enlightening education in my journey, I came to the realization that much more education was needed.
After the life-changing experience at MAsT 99, I returned to Atlanta to the Southeast Leather Fest who took over the International Master/slave Contest in 2000 and the following two years. At that time, I had the privilege to meet many leaders including the one who became my mentor, Master Steve from Butchmanns and also Master Dean Waldradt from the Texas Leather Tribe in Dallas.
Master Steve served as an inspiration and his Butchmanns SM Academy was basically the only effort for Master/slave education at the time.
At the same time, Master Dean Waldradt ran the Masters Retreat and the boys Training. Both served me as an inspiration on the educational endeavors I was about to embarked on.
Master Dean held in the summer of 2001 a Masters Retreat in Atlanta. It was the first time he held that event outside Dallas. I was able to attend alongside 30 other Masters including Master Steve, Master Z, Master Jack McGeorge, among many others.
That Masters Retreat, a smaller event, made me realized that we can do an educational event in a small and affordable setting.
Few months later, in October 2001, we held in my house the first Master Taíno’s slave Training Weekend with just two gay male slaves. A month later, we held the second with three slaves.
By the summer of 2002, we had our first Master Training Weekend. The rest is history.
The training events have continued over the years, they developed, changed and grew. A few years later, the name was changed to Master Taíno’s Training Academy. Then we opened to females and increased the number of participants to eight per session.
As I said, I wanted to do something simple and small. Little did I know at the time, that three years later, we would incorporate, become a non-profit organization and launch the Master/slave Conference that has become the premier educational event on Master/slave relationships.
This year, Master Taíno’s Training Academy became the MTTA Academy. I proposed that change because I wanted this endeavor to go beyond my person. I am now convinced that MTTA will continue as a powerful and solid organization educating our peers beyond my lifetime.
MTTA also has begun a new Mentors Service for our Master/slave community – a new program under the leadership of my dear friend and leather brother Master David Cook.
The reason I give this short history on how MTTA was born and how it has grown and developed is because – as individuals – we should aim to the same goals: growth, development and continuing education.
This first MTTA Retreat for Masters is a step in that direction. We wanted to provide you with another opportunity to continue your journey of learning and developing yourselves in becoming better and wiser Masters.
You probably have heard the term “continuing education” in our professional world. Many professionals like physicians, dentists, lawyers, teachers, computer specialists and many others are compelled to continue their education throughout their careers. Imagine a physician who still pretended to use what he learned in medical school 25 years ago and has not updated his knowledge with all the new technologies and medical advances.
Well, my dear friends, Masters are not an exception.
We are even more challenged, because we cannot have continuing education when we have so few opportunities in basic education. All of you have been able to start your journey attending MAsT meetings and going to sporadic workshops. Finally when you attended the Academy, you were able to enhance your knowledge in an incredible fashion in just 72 hours. As MAsT 99 did for me, the Academy also changed most of your lives.
And most of you have continued learning and growing in your personal journeys by attending MAsT meetings, making the annual pilgrimage to the Master/slave Conference and now this weekend, you are back to the Academy, for this first Retreat for Masters.
It seems that I am preaching to the choir.
Yes, I do acknowledge that most likely all of you are on the right track taking advantage of all the learning opportunities that present themselves to you.
But I also believe that there is more.
There are still more opportunities day in and day out in which you can benefit.
But even more, I also strongly believe that there is much more that your can contribute to the Master/slave community by making yourself available to help others.
Our Master/slave community is still small and there are not many real opportunities for education.
We have had many leaders and organizations that have led us through the last few decades:
I can mention leaders like Guy Baldwin, Master Steve, Vi Johnson, slave david stein, Joseph Bean, Jack Rinella, Doctor Bob Rubel, and others who with their writings and books, as well as their participation in educational events have led us on this journey. Ten years ago, we may have had a couple of books with references to the M/s dynamic. Today we easily have few dozen of them.
Organizations like MAsT, Butchmanns and MTTA have been instrumental in educating and developing our community.
Events like the Master/slave Conference, the International Master/slave Weekend at South Plains Leather Fest, the Southwest Leather Conference, the Southeast Leatherfest, the Northwest Leather Celebration and the Great Lakes Leather Alliance have been key in these educational efforts during the past decade.
Educational schools like our own MTTA Academy, the Butchmanss Experience, the Servant Retreat and other efforts from Lady Catherine Gross, the Masters Retreat and boys Training which still continue as the legacy of Master Dean Waldradt, the Development Center from Sir Stephen, among other efforts definitely have make a difference as well during the last 15 years.
Are these efforts enough?
Can we be complacent for what we have done?
My answer to both questions is NO. It is not enough.
There are still more individuals living or trying to live the Master/slave dynamic that never have read a book, attended an academy or a conference.
Many of those are good people trying to develop relationships to the best of their abilities, but others are making many mistakes because of their lack of knowledge, their misconceptions and lack guidance.
Unfortunately the effect is that people are being hurt because of the lack of education. We all hear horror stories almost every single day.
So, my fellow Masters, we need to do more about that.
You have heard me saying this before and I am going to state it again here today.
The responsibility for the education of our Master/slave community belongs to all of us, and not to just to a few.
We are all called for Mastery.
But we are also called to educate and help those we find in our path.
We need to continue to learn as much as we can about our dynamic so we can empower ourselves to educate, teach and help others in their journey. We also have to lead by example by living our lives and our relationships with honesty, integrity, and transparency.
You may think you are not an expert or an elder to take on that responsibility.
All I am asking you is to help in sharing the knowledge, the experience and the resources that you have.
If we all do our share, we can make a difference in other people’s lives, we can improve the community and we can save many people – particularly slaves – from being hurt by the ignorance of others.
When I started my journey, I remember asking Master Steve during one of his powerful classes how we can stop the abuse and misconceptions that seem to prevail in our community.
I was naive. I was hoping for my dear mentor to give me the silver bullet of how we could change the world. His answer was simple: “Master Taíno, one person at a time.”
I want to pass that simple message to all of you today. Please go out there and try to help “one person at a time.” one slave at a time, one Master at a time.
Then maybe, we will be able to build a better community.
Thanks very much.