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The Meridian Institute "Breakthrough Intervention"
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: August 16, 2006 01:15AM


I have no connection whatsoever to Meridian, Lifespring or any LGAT.

This is Rick Ross. I am a moderator here.

See []

I have been qualified and accepted as an expert witness in eight states regarding cults and the techniques they use to control and/or manipulate people.

Please try to be concise in your descriptions and explain exactly how Meridian is a "cult."

Why do you call people in Meridian "Kool-aid drinkers"?

Do you suspect its participants will kill themselves like at Jonestown?

That's what the phrase "Kool-aid drinkers" specifically and historically refers to.

Please either tone down your rhetoric or explain it in some detail.

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The Meridian Institute "Breakthrough Intervention"
Posted by: jaxtb ()
Date: August 16, 2006 01:27AM

Another thing about your off-base and irresponsible response to my post, RRMODERATOR:

Firstly, you falsely accuse me of name-calling, when I've only posted the truth of my experience. I did not call anyone names.

Secondly, The Meridian Institute is a corporate brainwashing cult based on the Lifespring movement, and started by a Lifespring graduate. It is a very, very, very small organization (with less than a handful of lecturers, most of whom are members of one family).

Thirdly, those who go along with what's happening at that company are "mindless Kool-aid drinkers" which in modern slang is often used to desribe people who are completely submissive and follow others using no logic or asking no questions. And, by the way, in my experience with Meridian at my company, the worst elements among the leadership team there (i.e. the butt-kissers, the mindless drones, etc.) are the heartiest Meridian followers. Those who are respected in the company, who have the intelligence to see through the charade, and who have brains of their own, are greatly opposed to this organization and the subversive inroads they have made in the organization.

Fourthly, your dictionary definitions and completely illogical and illicit standards (3, I believe) for cult membership are ridiculous. It is clear to me and others that you must be a follower of the Lifespring, Meridian graduate, or similar movement. From those of us who have been victimized by Meridian, Lifespring, etc., we can heartily attest to the cult destroying our company, and ruining the lives of good, hardworking, intelligent people.

And lastly, in your final illogical and completely ridiculous statement, I never referred to the Jim Jones cult in any way, nor did I mention anything about the participants killing themselves or their children. YOU MENTIONED THAT, and FALSELY ACCUSED ME OF DOING SO. As I stated a couple of paragraphs before this one, I simply used common-day corporate slang (i.e. "Kool-aid drinkers") for the "mindless drones" present in almost every organization. There are no inferences or connotations to Jim Jones or any other suicidal group in my post...only in your post. The etymology of that slang term may have origins in the Jim Jones tragedy, but it is a current, common-use, corporate slang term and nothing more. I did not present it in any other way, regardless of how you chose to inappropriately use it in your meager attempt to undermine my message.

What is YOUR relation to the Meridian Institute or the Lifespring movement, anyway? That much is obvious.

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The Meridian Institute "Breakthrough Intervention"
Posted by: jaxtb ()
Date: August 16, 2006 01:31AM

I notice that you rebut me publicly but you do not allow me to rebut you publicly. I think that is unfair and unethical.

You started this rebuttal string...I'm only defending my post.

I highly recommend that you look into "The Meridian Institute" ( and see for yourself.

I welcome any intelligent discussion on the subject.

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The Meridian Institute "Breakthrough Intervention"
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: August 16, 2006 02:01AM


Sorry, but it takes time to get posts through at times depending upon who is moderating etc.

I have absolutely no connection to Meridian whatsoever. Not in any way, shape or form.

The Lifespring connection you mention is disturbing.

Lifespring was an LGAT that was essentially sued out of business over personal injury claims.

It is true that a number of LGATs have made their way into corp. training. This includes Ladmark Education and other groups.

Typically, and LGAT is not a "cult" though it may seem "cult-like" regarding aspects of its training methodology.

Specifically, this would include coercive persuasion techniques, also often used by groups called "cults."

See []

If an LGAT has a weekend or some other form of a three to four day seminar they may do such things as...

Rely upon an "intense interpersonal and psychological attack to destabilize an individual's sense of self to promote compliance."

"Use of an organized peer group" to pressure participants.

"Applying interpersonal pressure to promote conformity."

And ultimately manipulate "the totality of the person's social environment to stabilize behavior once modified."

This is often called "brainwashing" or coercive persuasion.

As outlined by psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton coercive persuasion or thought reform can also be seen through eight operating features...

1. Control of communication

2. Emotional and behavioral manipulation

3 Demands for absolute conformity to behavior prescriptions derived from the ideology

4. Obsessive demands for confession

5. Agreement that the ideology is faultless

6. Manipulation of language in which cliches substitute for analytic thought

7. Reinterpretation of human experience and emotion in terms of doctrine

8. Classification of those not sharing the ideology as inferior and not worthy of respect.

Most LGATs would not fit Lifton's prevailing definition of a "cult" becasue they don't have "a charismatic leader who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose their power."

Such a defining and absolute leader would be someone like Jim Jones, David Koresh or Charles Manson.

It doesn't seem that Meridian has such a defining leader that becomes an absolute authoriy beyond question for those involved. In this sense Meridian may not be a "cult" per se.

Perhaps it does fit Lifton's other two criteria though, which would be (2) use of what he calls "thought reform" and (3) exploiting those involved in some way and/or causing participants harm.

Again, you may mean "Kool-aid drinkers" as a sort of slang jargon. But it's important to make a few distinctions.

All "cults" are not the same, and only a few are as extreme as the followers of Jim Jones who drank the "Kool-aid."

Thanks for explaining some of your concerns about Meridian.

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The Meridian Institute "Breakthrough Intervention"
Posted by: jaxtb ()
Date: August 16, 2006 02:01AM

Mr. Ross,

I emailed you personally to clarify this discussion.

Thank you.

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The Meridian Institute "Breakthrough Intervention"
Posted by: jaxtb ()
Date: August 17, 2006 11:33AM

Mr. Ross,

Thanks for the clarification. We are definitely on the same page now. I must correct my previous posts in that The Meridian Institute (TMI) may or may not be a cult in the dictionary-defined sense of the word, but their tactics and methods are very cult-like, unprofessional, and have no place in the business world (or any other world I can think of).

I noticed that TMI removed the link to their webpage from the "under construction" link they previously had. I suspect Mr. Koyen, the owner of TMI, might be trying to hide something? His website was awfully vague about many things, primarily his background. I would love to see more info posted about him and his background on his site, as well as those of the other TMI "instructors."

I would also like to know more about their qualifications, their consultant credentials, etc. If I am correct, I do not believe they are even certified consultants, or at least that's what I found the last time I checked. I would like to see a resume and some verifiable membership information to the various consultant groups he/they must, or at least should, belong to.

I would also like to see an email address on their site to be able to contact them personally. I have many, many questions for TMI and their methodology. I would especially like to know more about Mr. Koyen and his Lifespring experiences.

TMI has had a very negative influence on the company they are working with now, based on my observations, experience, and connections. I would like to know how they think they are benefitting the company, and who hired them (I already know that, but I would like to know more from TMI). They seem to be secretive about many things, which I find odd and disturbing.

Thanks again, Mr. Ross.

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The Meridian Institute "Breakthrough Intervention"
Posted by: Cipher ()
Date: August 18, 2006 01:25AM

The Meridian Institute link above is now disabled. Here is the page for Gary V. Koyen bio cached through another link copied below.


Gary Koyen was born at Fremont, Nebraska, and grew up on a farm east of Fremont. He attended the University of Nebraska from 1963-1970, completing a doctorate in 1974. In the early seventies he was director of Head Start Project in Lane County, Oregon, and from 1973-1979 was a Professor in Management/Administration at the University of Oregon, where he taught courses in management, statistics and research methods, and organizational diagnosis and development.

Owner of the Meridian Institute, Inc., Gary has over twenty-five years of experience as a consultant, trainer, teacher, and designer of interventions for large, complex human systems. He has designed and delivered some of the highest quality programs for personal effectiveness and corporate performance in the world. Dr. Koyen has worked extensively with Fortune 500 companies, and is an experienced international consultant, having worked with leaders and companies in Europe, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. His clients have included various divisions of AT&T (including Bell Laboratories, Treasury, and Consumer Products), Duke Energy, JP Morgan-Chase, Livermore Labs, PRD of Australia, Idaho National Energy Lab, Greyhound, American Express, AGLR Inc, Prudential, GPU, Cisco Systems, and several regional telecommunications companies. His classes and programs have drawn participants from several hundred of the Fortune 500.

He has a background in mathematics and hard sciences, a doctorate in psychology, and draws on his background as a university professor, where he taught Organizational Diagnosis, Research Methods, Research Design, Organizational Development, Management, and Statistics. He brings a unique blend of attention to both the rigorous and soft sides of business. Dr. Koyen is a creative, provocative, and unorthodox consultant, valued for his ability as a catalyst for productive change within large systems. He is known for his ability to help organizations create uncommon solutions to their toughest problems. Most recently Dr. Koyen has concentrated his attention in four areas:

Achieving rapid cultural transformation: comprehensive, results-focused culture change programs for large corporations

Helping businesses develop potent business strategies

Leadership Development programs and providing mentoring and consulting to executives

Developing and certifying consultants: intensive training for consultants and change agents

Dr. Koyen is principal author of The Warrior and the Monk: The Journey to Dominance and Wisdom.

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The Meridian Institute "Breakthrough Intervention"
Posted by: nutrino ()
Date: August 22, 2006 03:02AM

IMHO... the "what exactly constitutes a cult problem can, and has for tactical reasons, become [b:6eb3ca37b9] a symantic sticky trap [/b:6eb3ca37b9] wherein the factual or logical examination of the group in question becomes deflected into the issue of is it, or isn't it, or to what degree is it, and who has the authority to apply the label, and what does it mean if you do call an outfit a cult ?

A far more useful way of distinguishing the good guys form the bad guys, in whatever shape they present themselves, is [b:6eb3ca37b9] whether they honor each participant's true emotional and intellectual existence, or whether they deny, refute, condemn, trivialize, or hold up for group judgement the personal realities of any participant [/b:6eb3ca37b9] . Every "bad head" group I have personally experienced says, directly or indirectly.. "what you feel really doesn't count.. your experience is false... what you take to be your reality is an error caused by false beliefs which you are arrogantly clinging to" ... it is this wholesale denial of personal feeling that is most destructive, particularly when a new belief that "They are right, they know better than I, my instincts are fake" ... that is a terrible loss of dignity and self worth and faith in oneself... sometimes, in a therapeutic setting, with the consent of the patient, a false self or false identity has to be deconstructed and replaced with a stronger, more positive one.... but this has to be done with great care, great professionalism, diligently, over time. To demand that someone reveal a concept as vague and ill defined as "commitment" before a group of peers is a form of psychologic being stripped naked naked in public, and is grossly abusive... whether that constitutes a cult or not seems to be beside the point.

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The Meridian Institute "Breakthrough Intervention"
Posted by: jaxtb ()
Date: August 22, 2006 12:22PM

Interesting. TMI now has a message on their web site:

[i:c81e4d469a]We are engaged in a name-change and re-branding of The Meridian Institute, Inc. The name Meridian Institute is too well owned in both the web domain and in the large states in which we conduct most of our work. Due to an error in the Colorado Secretary of State office there is another Meridian Institute even in Colorado. This is causing us a host of problems as we grow our business.

In addition, the existing website has been out of date for some time. It included some products and services we no longer offer, and is missing some of our current programs. Consequently the website is undergoing major reconstruction to bring it up to date with information and materials that more accurately represent who we are, what we do, and what we offer. Included in the new site will be our name change and new product offerings.

We expect our site to be fully operational sometime in late fall, 2006. If you would like information, please call our Boulder office at (303) 530-1605 or email us at:[/i:c81e4d469a]

So they now have contact information posted and are now changing their name (again?). Very interesting?! How many names changes has their been in the last 25 years? Or does stopping one company and restarting an almost identical Lifespring offshoot constitute a name change?

It will be interesting to see the "new site," although I suspect that there will be no links to the "new site" or any other information to help us find it, therefore TMI, et al, could disappear from the radar for a time.

Despite numerous repeated complaints from various levels of management at "Acme" in Atlanta, the company's Human Resources component refuses to ditch TMI.

The next month or two will be very interesting.

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The Meridian Institute "Breakthrough Intervention"
Posted by: jaxtb ()
Date: September 24, 2006 04:15AM

It appears that The Meridian Institute is changing its name to Cruxpoint Consulting. The question is, are they still pandering that same old harmful Lifespring garbage? Likely.

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