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bipolar or mood swings caused by the cult
Posted by: skeptical_one ()
Date: May 22, 2008 07:34PM

I have heard that involvement with cults can produce mood swings. I know someone who is involved with Landmark and they describe their mood as 'cycling'. However I am uncertain whether they are 'cycling' is as a result of their involvement with Landmark or whether they have manic depression and their involvement is not exacebating the condition. Can anyone tell me about the link between cult involvment and mood swings (i.e. the extent and severity of such mood swings)?

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Re: bipolar or mood swings caused by the cult
Posted by: nettie ()
Date: May 23, 2008 03:54PM

I think landmark creates bipolar lookalikes - they are not really having a bipolar disease but they act as if they have one. Also some people behave like sociopaths even though they are not. It goes with the "technology".

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Re: bipolar or mood swings caused by the cult
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: May 23, 2008 04:33PM

Hello skeptical_one,

Two psychiatrists I have spoken to about lgats have said that the cults trigger or exacerbate bipolar / manic depression, and that people who do have a mood disorder should absolutely stay away from them.

My personal view, based on many months of reading, talking to other people who've been involved in lgats, and my own experience, is that courses are specifically designed to manipulate brain chemistry, and thereby actually create conditions that mimic manic depression in people who do not have the disorder, and exacerbate it in people who do.

The cycle roughly works as follows:

- a training session creates a manic or high phase through a combination of emotional manipulation and physical manipulation of the environment. The purpose of this is to get people feeling good so that they will commit to doing more courses, or commit to recruiting others. People coming out of courses report that they feel like they're "in love". That is the same feeling people report during a manic phase of manic depression. While the brain is in that condition people are more likely to take risks, ignore warnings and problems, shut down critical thinking, be more open to expressing themselves and bonding with other people, etc.

The important thing is that the high is a physical, biological, chemical effect, as well as mental and emotional. The brain and body chemistry are not designed to maintain that high - in fact the body is designed to go into a depressed phase after the high, to give the body a chance to rest and recover. Then when the person starts feeling down, they will usually go back to the lgat, looking for a lift - which they get - and so the cycle goes.

Intuitively it is difficult to understand how hanging around a lecture hall can have such a powerful physical and chemical effect, but it does happen. On some of the courses 95% of people have "out of body" experiences. That is what they are referring to when they say they had "an awesome experience". An "out of body" experience is really just the peak point of mania in the brain, also known as dissociation. They are not faking it, they really do have those experiences just from being in a controlled environment and taking part in controlled activities, designed to create that effect in the physical brain. There are also some processes that put people into shock, which is a physical reaction to trauma, and has a physical (chemical and biological) affect on the whole body, particularly the mind and moods.

So my opinion is that cults like landmark cause mood swings, and mood disorder, AND they exacerbate existing conditions. Of the 50 people in my first lgat course and the 16 in my second course, every single one of us had severe mood swings afterwards; the odds of all 66 of us having a pre-existing problem are ridiculously small. As an indication of the extent and severity of the mood swings, when I went on the advanced lgat course we were told afterwards that "it takes two years for the Inquest experience to settle" - my observation was that it took two years to return to a normal level of mood and functioning, for those of us who never went back.

I haven't been able to find any reliable studies to prove any of this. I don't think the studies have been done and I think they should be, not only for exposing what an exploitative and dangerous con-game these lgats are, but also because it could give really valuable insight into how the brain works, that could be used to help people (rather than make a profit out of them). The big danger in my view is that the lgats trigger mood cycles, and it may be difficult to break them even after leaving the cult - my theory on that is that the brain creates "memory pathways" - once something has cut a path of behaviour (or chemical pathways) into the brain, the path remains there for easy use in the future.

I wish a group of psychiatrists and other scientists would do some tests where they measure all the mood chemicals in people's bodies before they do courses, and then again at various points afterwards. I am pretty sure the pattern of chemical changes would change dramatically in each individual, pre and post cult involvement, as well as show a pattern correlating with attendance of cult functions.

Another factor may be that the courses teach people to cut off certain feelings, and take on a false self - but in the background the normal emotional self is still there, and becomes unbalanced, so that emotions become detached from causes - when people talk about 'mood' it usually means the emotion is not appropriate to the situation (nature or severity of emotion) - so if emotions are suppressed and falsely managed in one environment, they may spill out in another.

Hope something I've said here is helpful to you. If you have or get any other information on the link between cults and mood / brain issues it would be really helpful and interesting if you could post it here.

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Re: bipolar or mood swings caused by the cult
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: May 23, 2008 04:58PM

I only saw Nettie's message after I'd posted mine, and I agree with her 100%. There is also a really superficial joy, joy, joy, love, love, love, passion, passion, passion aspsects to the lgats. Life is supposed to be about "Experience" and "Love" so you're kind of expected to go around showing extreme emotions. In general, I'd say most of what looks like a mood disorder or any other mental illness is just the technology - but there is also a real risk of triggering or exacerbating real conditions. You'd probably have to know something about the person's mental state before they got into Landmark, to tell the difference.

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Re: bipolar or mood swings caused by the cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 24, 2008 05:16AM

Go to this section of another discussion thread and scroll down. There are some articles describing issues around sleep deprivation.


One can feel alert, yet be sleep deprived. And if anyone has a tendency toward ADD or bipolar, sleep deprivation can be seriously destabilizing.

One can also do a search of message board on 'all dates' and put 'bipolar' into the slot and see what comes up.

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Re: bipolar or mood swings caused by the cult
Posted by: Sulalee ()
Date: May 24, 2008 11:36AM

Here's my two cents on the issue of Bipolar being caused or exacerbated by Landmark. Usually, something as serious as a mood disorder (Bipolar disorder) can't really be "caused" by attending a LM type of event unless there is already the risk factor for it present in the person. Usually, a person with Bipolar disorder will have family members or people in their geneology who have mood disorders. The problem is that Landmark doesn't screen people appropriately for these disorders. They just ask people to fill out waiver forms that basically lets LM cover its ass in case anything goes wrong.. and we know that things often go wrong.

I also totall agree with whoever said that LM can bring about a mimicking of manic or hypomanic symptoms. This is probably the same thing that happens when people who aren't mood disorders experience periods of euphoria (like falling in love...). It doesn't last and can only be sustained by repeat doses of whatever it is that causes the euphoria.

The manic feeling is such a wonderful rush that people with Bipolar disorder will commonly stop taking their mood-stabilizing medications that tend to dull the high feeling and keep them at a more even keel. This is also probably why people who get involved in LM will repeatedly attend the Forum (as assistants) or other courses. But it isn't sustainable otherwise. It's similar to addictions of other sorts...

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Re: bipolar or mood swings caused by the cult
Posted by: nettie ()
Date: May 24, 2008 03:47PM

I was told to get of my anti depressant by a landmark leader. She was not a doctor and she gave me an advice that she shouldn't have. Getting of antidepressants can cause lots of withdrawal symptoms - it can be dangerous as hell.

Landmarkers think they are experts on everything. But they are not - they are just running their "racket"

Scientologist does not believe in psychiatry - they fight them with all they've got. Sci thinks they are "the autorithies on the mind..." - what a way to behave :-(

Landmark was derived from scientology - landmark will say they are not similar but they are - scientology use more grave harassment tactics to silence their critics - you have to give it to landmark - if you say NO to landmark they usually leave you alone - as long as you don't go out publically - then they will try to silence you with bogus lawsuits.

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Re: bipolar or mood swings caused by the cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 24, 2008 08:41PM

Ha. If you are prescribed an antidepressant, you are given a package insert that lists all the known side effects, something you do NOT receive when urged to do an LGAT.

And if you're lucky enough to be covered by insurance or an HMO, before you walk out with your antidepressant prescription, you are sent to the pharmacist who tells you how to take the drug properly and what side effects to watch for.

And, it is scary that non professionals would reportedly pressure someone to go off an antidepressant. Some of these have to be tapered, and quite slowly, to avoid side effects, particularly Effexor.

This does not mean it is wrong to take antidepressants, simply that one must exercise care in using and adjusting the dosage, as one would any potent medication.

Heh. Its a fascinating contrast. We hear all these protests about the evils of psych meds.

But unless I am misinformed, there dont seem to be nearly the number of complaints and protests about the evils of Viagra as there are about the so called evils of psych drugs.

A double standard may be at work here. Viagra has all sorts of side effects, too--social/relational as well as physical.

This might be worth a survey.

Has any supervisor at any LGAT who tells people to go off their psych meds ever told people never to use Viagra or Cialis?

And---this worth pondering---how many groups that are known for having an ardent stance against psychoactive drugs have just as vociferiously told people that using Viagra or Cialis would hinder their spiritual progress?

A case could be made that these are psych drugs too. Why arnt cults raging in the streets about the evils of male performance enhancing drugs?

Evidently some psych drugs are sacrosanct and others are being arbitrarily demonized.

Just a wee thought.

If you are in an LGAT or some other cult that wants you to ditch your psychoactive drugs ask, 'Hey, is it OK for me or my male partner to continue using Viagra?'

See how they respond to this question.

Further thoughts on medications.

To use an analogy to psych medications, many persons require digitalis for cardiac conditions, it saves and prolongs their lives.

But no responsible cardiologist would assert that the need to use digitalis under medical supervision does not prove that digitalis is bad in itself.

And no responsible cardiologist would assert that the need for medical supervision while tapering the dosage of digitalis does not 'prove' that the person never needed the drug in the first place.

Again, its a matter of respect when using any powerful--and therefore effective--medication.

Folks who dont believe in using psych medicines are free to refrain from using them.

But, especially if they have no professional training, they should butt out and not dump on those who have found such medications to be life savers.

And if they're not singling out Viagra and Cialis as being impediments to spiritual progress, they have no basis for asserting that psych medications are impediments to spiritual practice, either.

Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 05/24/2008 08:56PM by corboy.

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Re: bipolar or mood swings caused by the cult
Posted by: Zorro ()
Date: May 25, 2008 05:39AM

Has any supervisor at any LGAT who tells people to go off their psych meds ever told people never to use Viagra or Cialis?


They would probably claim its your way of thinking that is keeping you from getting it up!!

But as a side note. When I was in Landmark I started to notice that my fellow men seemed to not have the sex drive that guys would normally do. There was not any hooking up between the single men and the single women. Also it seemed to me that the men who were incharge of running the office and some of the courses were a bit wimpy and efeminant. They weren't gay or anything there was something else about them that didn't seem right. Even the men who were Gay didn't seem to act like the Gay men I know.

In myself I noticed that my sexdrive diminished. I also started having issues that I had never had before in my love life. It was all very odd. I also heard through the grape vine from a woman in Landmark that one of the guys from Landmark that she had dated wouldn't do anything sexually.

Its almost as if Landmark makes unick's out of men whether your straight or gay.

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Re: bipolar or mood swings caused by the cult
Posted by: Europe-girl ()
Date: May 25, 2008 06:53AM

Hmm Zorro, you could argue that all this "communication stuff" and happy clappy feeling business, brings men further away from their core then it does for women. But that is based on the idea men-Mars / women-Venus.
You could also argue that people heavily involved with LM (which is true for people in assisting programmes) are more stressed out then average, more sleep depraved, have more anxiety and feelings of guilt. Looks like a libido killer to me.
Furthermore if you take on the approach that people who are heavily involved are actually addicted to the adrenaline rush of having breakthroughs, as with any addiction there is little room for anything else. People addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling and so forth also have a dimineshed sex life, no?

And yeah, if you ask about viagra you would get a conversation for resolving breakdowns, LOL.

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