> The most unsettling thing that I experienced
> during my time with this family was something with
> a former employee of the Institute––I forget the
> exact name of the procedure, but it was a
> back-and-forth "dialogue" (word in quotes for a
> reason, which I will explain) designed to help
> you, the employee, dig deeper and uncover any
> blocks you might have to truly joining (aka
> mimicking) the child during sessions and doing so
> with joy. The dialogue is really just the person
> in charge––aka the Son-Rise operative––asking you
> increasingly personal questions that you answer
> without being able to respond in kind.
I can appreciate that you would have felt uncomfortable in doing a dialogue, when you were neither versed in the technique nor requested it. I am certain that your employers believed they were helping you, when in fact they were projecting their own wants and needs and norms on you. Dialogues should only be done when someone *wants* to get at deeper beliefs, and not be forced on unwilling people. It's also not actually a woo-woo technique like Scientology's auditing stuff, where I think you hold metal things attached to a machine or some crazy shit. It's a commonly used method in cognitive behavioral therapy based on the Socratic method, or Socratic questioning: [en.wikipedia.org
] . Funny, you are right that it's odd they call it a dialogue when only one person asks the questions and doesn't weigh in, and the other responds. They do that because they don't want to lead you or project on you in your answers, so you really are saying what you believe or feel. In any case, dialogues can expose really intense emotions and beliefs you didn't realize you held underneath everything, and if a person wasn't actually actively wanting to examine those feelings or beliefs, it could feel very vulnerable and invasive to go through that. Your employers should have asked you if you wanted to explore anything, and if not, respected your feelings. At the Option Institute itself, they always ask for permission. It's kind of a rule about dialogues or interactions in classes, where they make clear that nobody is obligated to share, and almost always ask, "Is it OK if I ask you a few questions?" even when we are all there specifically because we want to work on issues.
Anyway, end story is that in my experience, Option Institute is like a week long cognitive behavioral therapy session. Yes, some people leave there a little too gung ho to "share" their new techniques with family and friends because it really can cause very positive attitude shifts, and that feels great to those who experience it, but those who scold people for being negative around them, people monitoring others (which is actually very UN-Option, given that they are taught to strive for non-judgment of others) aren't actually practicing what the place teaches them. That's on them and not the institute.
I get that people might wonder about it, but still don't understand why on earth a place like that is suspect, but society accepts millions of people going into a building every week on the same day, listening to a preacher tell them about a supposed person who turned water into wine, walked on water, died for their sins, then resurrected and was actually the son of an invisible deity. They then put money in a collection basket, clap and sing in unison about the invisible deity, and THAT isn't a cult while a few people sitting on a mountain talking about their feelings is? I mean, the former sounds completely cultish and bonkers to me, and the latter makes rational sense to me as someone who wants to break bad habits and learn to feel happier. And the "destructive cult" claim by 'retting' here is actually hilarious to me. I feel almost certain this is someone whose partner realized at Option that they weren't going to put up with whatever abuse this person was dishing, and since then he or she has had it out for Option as the "cause" of the "brainwashing". People don't like it when those they have established unhealthy, codependent patterns with change, and they want everything to stay the same. So they look for an external place to lay the blame.