Re: The ISA Experience
Date: November 20, 2019 09:34PM
I attended the Waking Up Weekend (what used to be called ISA) on the 15th to the 17th November 2019 in Bradford, England, following it being mentioned to me separately by two people who I would have suggested had “their heads screwed on”. The message has been extremely useful and helpful. I’m the type of person who needs time to think through and process what they have heard and seen - so provided the below feedback to the organisers a couple of days after I’d attended rather than at the event.
My concerns were two fold firstly the delivery by the presenter was on many occasions sexist and inappropriate (often using sexualised language and discussion where it wasn’t required). I felt as though it was a presentation from the 1980’s where all of the things said would have been fine - the reality is we are not and what is acceptable now is not the same.
I suggested to not alienate attendees and to move with the times they look through their training and think twice about comments and jokes made.
Additionally I felt very uncomfortable about the “encouragement” made by the assistants to the attendees to join follow on sessions. I suggest a large number of the attendees had either experienced significant emotional trauma and had or had had mental health issues and I felt the level of “encouragement” along with the message that you NEED to continue with the training (all of which was of significant cost), was to the extent when someone is vulnerable, both inappropriate and verging on manipulation.
I was concerned to the extent that I have logged an intelligence report with the police.
I very much hope that the “encouragement” is attempting to spread the benefits of the course and living your life in this way and if this is the case I very much suggested they re think their way of “encouragement”. Nevertheless I am mindful that there are unscrupulous and manipulative people in this world and could not risk not alerting the police just in case (if they have nothing to hide - there is no issue).
I noted I had raised this with the police rather than coming to them first as I know in my gut that something is wrong with their practice and regardless of their response I would be raising this with the police.
I have also contacted a couple of people on my session to raise my concerns, have messaged the two people who suggested the course to me - raising my concerns (and suggested, due to my concerns that they don’t mention the course to anyone else), in addition to alerting the police to my concerns of vulnerable people being coerced into spending large sums of money on follow up courses.
I do hope they take on board my comments and not write them off as the program speaking (this seems to be a catch all when someone says something that isn’t in line with what they’re saying). I genuinely feel the heart of the training is good and very useful it is issues with the delivery and “encouragement” of very vulnerable people that I take issue with.