I've attended 3 ISTA's (2 level 1s, once as an assistant, and 1 level 2).
I have come to the conclusion that it is indeed a cult. There are a group of people coming forward with their accounts of abuse. Here is the form for reporting any negative experiences you may have had. Please share this form with others: [bit.ly
Initially, I thought I had only gained good things from my time in ISTA - friends, intense experiences, insights, stronger voice. Like many participants, we did gain. However, we were also indoctrinated into certain belief patterns, including secrecy, radical personal responsibility, and misuse of the drama triangle, which opened me, speaking personally, to be gaslighted, and to take 'responsibility' for harm that was done to me. If there are no victims, there are no abusers, and that works out great for abusers. All the good stuff comes from ISTA, all the bad stuff is our personal fault/responsibility. I liken it to an organic vegetable soup - we got value from the vegetables, but the point was to drink the poison.