Re: Linking LGATs and Bipolar Disorder through DOPAMINE
Posted by: M M ()
Date: August 21, 2011 10:43AM

Thanks, DL, for the very informative post linking hypomania to LGATS.

And thanks to all for keeping the thread going and adding so much great information.

The first post was really helpful to me, I've been going through a rough time recently as I just had a revelation that my mother was heavily involved with one of these organizations when I was a kid and we were left in complete ruins. I posted a more detailed version of the story on another thread, so I won't go into it here. Here's the link if anyone's interested


This link between the manic and hypomanic states and LGATS is somewhat relieving to me, since prior to reading this I was sort of freaking out that I'd been brainwashed and couldn't remember what they did to me. This makes me feel like perhaps there wasn't any permanent or lasting damage, just induction into a hypomanic state which eventually one can come out of. I don't think it's good to put children through these kinds of ordeals, but I feel relieved that there isn't any real lasting damage to me. My mom, on the other hand..... :/

Thanks again.

Re: Linking LGATs and Bipolar Disorder through DOPAMINE
Posted by: lordmayor ()
Date: August 22, 2011 05:07AM

I'm not the key person on this thread, but I looked at your post and read your story on the other thread and thought I'd reply quickly in case other contributors are on holiday at the moment.

Your story is tragic and my heart goes out to you. You were so young and to put children under the sort of stress you describe was/is criminal. Also, with your mother having suffered abuse as a child there was a tragedy waiting to happen when she was subjected to high stress indiscriminate cathartic techniques.

I'm no expert but I think I can safely say that when people are put under great stress they either shut down or go into overdrive to protect themselves. Whatever response you had as a child was a natural protection that helped you to survive. (Your story told intelligently, movingly, and clearly - its the work of someone who has been traumatised in the past, but not of a brainwashed person; you are very much in control).

I don’t' know whether you've tried counselling to help you make sense of all this. I live in the UK and so I cannot give any recommendations. I have one friend who is a psychotherapist here and they told me that many counsellors have experience of clients who have been through LGATS like Psi and so there is an increasing awareness and expertise about how to help. (The reason stories about LGAT harm that come to light are only the tip of the iceberg is that counsellors and psychotherapists are bound by client confidentiality). Obviously LGATs have been around longer in the USA than in the UK and I would have thought that professional expertise is even greater if you find the right people. If you need advice about this I’m sure someone on the site will give it.

Take good care.

All good wishes


Re: Linking LGATs and Bipolar Disorder through DOPAMINE
Posted by: M M ()
Date: August 22, 2011 04:45PM

Thanks LM, for the words of support. It really means a lot.

I'm going to continue to stay updated on all of this and definitely going to talk to a trained professional and hopefully get advice about bringing my mom around.

Thanks again.

Re: Linking LGATs and Bipolar Disorder through DOPAMINE
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 23, 2011 01:58AM

You definitely need to consult someone who is not only licensed but expert in treating persons who have the varieties of bipolar disorders. These run on a spectrum and are medical physical conditions that are greatly aggravated by stress (cortisol) and by anything that disrupts the sleep wake cycle (circadian rhythms)--exactly what has happened to persons processed through LGATs.

What I read from persons who have bipolar is the more manic episodes one goes through, the more 'brittle' ones nervous system becomes.

The remedy is, one must use a menu of methods to get balanced and remain that way.

1) Ongoing consultation with a prescribing psychiatrist who can custom make a medication regimen that will be effective and keep side effects to a bearable minimum

2) Stress management.

3) Sleep hygiene 7 to 8 high quality hours of sleep per night (some may need 9 hours-everyone is different). And in addition, some persons not only need the hours of sleep, but find that they must avoid trying to wake up before dawn.

4) Night shift work, though lucrative, may have to be abandoned if one is to remain balanced.

5) Avoid stimulants such as caffiene, or keep them to a minimum

6) Alcohol in even small amounts may destablise someone who has become brittle from too many manic episodes, whether produced by genetic loading for bipolar or too many years in an LGAT or high demand group that works people to the bone. One may have to make a sad peace that one just cannot drink like ordinary folk.

7) Travelling through multiple time zones--watch out.

8) Learn to chart ones mood each day. If one sees the graph moving too high or too low, thats the signal to call one's prescribing psychiatrist. A friend of mine with bipolar was in traffic and had a near miss. This adrenaline/cortisol blast was enough to get his mood destablised even though he was already taking medication. He began to see from his mood chart that he was swinging off base, so he phoned his doctor and the doc told him to up his dosage on certain of his medications--and that prevented him from going into mania.

This kind of collaboration with a psychiatrist is painful for many to accept. Maybe one way to look at it is to see one's doc as the equivalent of a personal trainer, someone you consult to adjust your training so you can get the finest performance possible from your mind and body.

Good luck.

PS A resource would be to find reputable support groups for persons with bipolar You want groups for persons who are working collaboratively with their physicians and that are not infiltrated and disrupted by anti drug types who are shilling for dodgy therapies or barmy religions.

Re: Linking LGATs and Bipolar Disorder through DOPAMINE
Posted by: lordmayor ()
Date: September 02, 2011 05:47AM

I think the discussion of hypomania and bi-polar regarding LGATs on this thread will be of interest to two different groups of people – those who are thinking of participating in LGAT training (and/or their concerned friends and relatives), and those who have already participated in one and are concerned about long term affects (and/or their concerned friends and relatives). I think perhaps there should be a different emphasis in advice given to the different groups.

For those thinking of participating in an LGAT the message for this thread should be clear. If you are thinking of participating the advice is ‘think again’, and if you have any history of bipolar disorder the advice is ‘think again to the power of ten’ (as it were). Something not yet stressed on this thread is the strong genetic link in bipolar disorder (all experts agree on this). It follows that if there is a history of depressive illness and/or bipolar disorder in your extended family you should also ‘think again to the power of ten’ before participating in an LGAT; indeed because of hushed up illness due to social stigma, the possibility of genetic disorder skipping generations, and the lack of rigour/knowledge used in diagnosis in the past it is virtually impossible to know if you are genetically predisposed to develop bipolar disorder; it’s impossible to know of certain if you are at risk , so this intensified advice applies to pretty much everybody;. What is certain is that people who are genetically predisposed will not necessarily develop bipolar disorder as long as they stay away from environmental triggers – and LGAT trainings are a particularly intense form of environmental trigger.

While there is every danger that real hypomania or even manic depressive psychosis will be the outcome for some of taking LGAT training, reflection is leading me to think that rather than real hypomania many participants may be exhibiting ‘quasi hypomania’ (something like/mimicking hypomania but not absolutely the real thing). I can only make a tentative case here. As I understand it real hypomania is an involuntary reaction to stress arising from an individual’s neuropsychology/temperamental makeup – and it is frequently the symptom of an underlying bi-polar disorder. I know that when I first experienced hypomania the symptoms came unbidden and without any prior knowledge on my part of what these are. However in LGAT training, although participants clearly do end up in a state of mental and emotional fatigue turned to euphoria by the training process and bio-chemical reactions that Dopamine Link describes so well, it seems possible that at least some of the hypomanic symptoms are manifested because they have been suggested by the training. For example – in the Landmark course students are bombarded with the suggestions that they now have the key that explains everything, that their life is now opened up to limitless possibilities, that they are empowered to sort out the world’s problems, and that those that oppose them are mired with inauthenticity and rackets of ‘righteousness’; a manic manifesto indeed!

My last paragraph was tentative, but I think I am on firm ground in stating for someone who has participated in an LGAT and worried about the long term effect that if you recognise some of the symptoms described in this thread it is probably only a real cause for concern if the symptoms have recurred in other settings after you have done the LGAT training.

Of course you may be experiencing other troubling symptoms not described on this thread that you think may result from participating in an LGAT; for example anxiety related disorders – panic attacks, claustrophobia etc - can also result from high stress. In the case of some adult participants, but more likely in people who have been subjected as children to LGAT training (abandoned by parents to irresponsible adults facilitating frightening and high stress activities) some form of post traumatic stress may result, with symptoms of recurrent, fragmented, involuntary memories of the original traumatic events.

If you have any worries about symptoms which may have resulted from LGAT training you should see your Doctor a.s.a.p. and discuss these. It can be helpful to read internet sites and threads like this one to gain perspective; but self diagnosis can be misleading (for example it’s possible – if only slightly possible - that symptoms of mental distress you may be experiencing are caused by an infection that you currently have rather than by past events).

Before visiting a Doctor you should make a list of what your symptoms are – even if they do not completely fit the symptoms descried on this thread or any other site. If possible it’s also an idea to ask for feedback on how you have appeared to someone close who has witnessed you in a state of distress. Tell your Doctor what appears to be happening - and look after yourself.


All criticisms and further advice about this post from other posters on this thread happily accepted. I've written it in good faith out of a sort of pastoral concern.

Re: Linking LGATs and Bipolar Disorder through DOPAMINE
Posted by: lordmayor ()
Date: September 10, 2011 06:25PM

I’ve had a private conversation with DL - Dopamine Link - about my last post. DL has a lot on at the moment and won’t be posting here for a bit, but has given me permission to share the private reply to my post -

I agree with your comment on real vs. quasi hypomania and I think we're saying much the same thing. By hypomania I simply mean that dopamine levels are pushed beyond the normal range. There are, to my knowledge, a variety of things (or combination of these things) which could result in this same dopamine overload via different mechanisms - an exaggerated HPA response, a higher number of dopamine producing cells, presynaptic increases in dopamine production, the shutting down of certain dopamine reuptake transporters or (I don't know if this happens with dopamine although it certainly does with seratonin) the reuptake transporters are flushed out.

As I mentioned - when drawing the parallel with height - most people have the ability to (1) not produce a complete excess of dopamine (as a bipolar person might) but rather just an excess of normal (hence the "hypomania") and (2) to regulate production downwards normally when the trigger (stress / sleep deprivation) ends. So I do think that there's a difference between the hypomania felt after the courses by many and the hypomania of a person destined to have lifelong problems.

I do, however, think that the psychological high generated by telling people that they're wonderful and can do anything can't be separated from the physiological high. Moving people quickly from "You are an asshole and caused all of the problems in your life and the world" (which causes stress and dopamine production) to "You are wonderful and can achieve anything" (which immediately removes the need for the dopamine and results in the excess) is exactly what causes a genuine dopamine overload, and that's what I'm referring to when I speak of hypomania.

There's often an environmental trigger for normal bipolar mania or hypomania - LGATs simply provide this in a very obvious way. (Having said that, if LGAT leaders were able to achieve the level of control and authority status that they have without the stress and sleep deprivation - I'm not sure how - then I agree that, by simple virtue of the fact that they are the authority and they tell participants that they are now wonderful that this would cause a minor high. By coupling the psychological manipulation with the physiological manipulation they obviously get the most profound effect.)

All good wishes


Re: Linking LGATs and Bipolar Disorder through DOPAMINE
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: September 10, 2011 09:12PM


Posting on behalf of someone else at this message board is not encouraged.

If someone wants to comment they should do so on their own.

Re: Linking LGATs and Bipolar Disorder through DOPAMINE
Posted by: lordmayor ()
Date: September 11, 2011 03:04AM

Sincere apologies Moderator –

That’s a sound principle of discouragement and I’d not thought this one through (inexperienced poster learning though mistakes).

Suffice to say that in a previous post I’ve stressed the genetic link with bipolar disorder and made a distinction between real hypomania and quasi-hypomania out of concern that some people who have done LGAT trainings might become unnecessarily anxious about their mental health from reading this thread. This distinction is implicit in the excellent post that heads the thread. I have simply made it explicit and emphatic.

Looking forward to DLs return someday soon -

All good wishes


Re: Linking LGATs and Bipolar Disorder through DOPAMINE
Posted by: Martin N ()
Date: September 11, 2011 07:46AM

corboy - do you not feel great when someone agrees with the posts you make on Do you not feel great that you make a difference to the readers here, and they feel great after having read some of your posts?

And if you didn't need to feel this effect all the time, would you have made nearly 3000 posts on

I just want you to have a look in the mirror before we convict LGATs of anything. I am not making a value judgment - I am asking you questions.

Having said that, I've participated in many Landmark Education courses, and to your point, I will share my view:

1) the Forum did make me feel 'high', because of the confessional aspect of it. A year and a half after I'd done it, I chose to admit indiscretions to my wife that I would not have done prior to doing the Forum.

2) the less secrets I harbored toward my wife, and the more I came out into the light with what I'd said and done in the past, that had a negative effect on me and my environment, the more charismatic I would feel.

3) the Forum marked the beginning of my relationship with God. I got baptized, started giving a tenth of my income to church and charity, things I had been previously concerned about or 'cared about', I was actually doing something about them now, rather than just talking about it.

4) you are right in saying I have a need to "get high" constantly by being around people who value and appreciate me and to whom I feel I am a contribution. As a matter of fact, I think I cannot live without that ongoing "high" that comes through participation and serving others, even if it meant they would "take my money". The more I gave - be it Landmark, the church, charities - the more I got back. The experience of giving humbled me, particularly when I knew that the people I give to have committed their _lives_ to transforming human kind, as God ordained it. Money is of no inherent value - its use toward a goal consistent with God's will is what makes it valuable.

And I may indeed be a narcissist too. Who knows.

(quote)the charismatic person has learnt to raise their own spirits by raising the spirits of other people.(unquote)

YESSS! That is it. Ever tell a good story and have the pleasure of friends and eavesdroppers hanging on your words?

And that lovely roar of laughter when you give the punch line? You feel great. Your audience feels great. Your emotions echo back and forth and the shared sum is even greater.

But a few need to get this effect all the time.

In addition to Dr Storr, another person who has examined the psychology of charisma is Len Oakes, an academic and clinical psychologist in Australia. He was able to interview 20 leaders of various sects and groups..and their followers. And he found that all of these charismatic leaders had narcissistic personality disorder--a sense of emptiness and a need to achieve a sense of self repair.

What these persons did was become 'avid students of social manipulation.'

Re: Linking LGATs and Bipolar Disorder through DOPAMINE
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: September 11, 2011 08:25AM

Martin N:

Stay on topic.

The topic of this thread is LGATs not corboy.

If you continue to attack people personally you will be banned from this message board.

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