I have some comments about a LGAT experience I have had in Taiwan.
I am from Taiwan and my first exposure to personal development industry is through a Taiwanese guy called Steve Chen, a self proclaimed "Success-ology" authority, a term he coined in Chinese. He claimed to be a certified practitioner of NAC/NLP. He basically taught Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn and Anthony Robbins?material (3 major speakers in personal development/sales training) and marketed success seminars, books, videos and cassette tapes.
I attended one of his success seminars. I was in my teens and the experience had an indelible impact on me. I am from a dysfunctional family w/ stepfather and stepmother and half brother and sister and a brother w/ no blood tie. At the time, my life was falling apart b/c of my mother's extra-marital problems, communication problems w/ my family, financial problems, and I held deep grudges against my father who never supported me financial and emotional. I also could not accept him b/c he was a "failure" in my mother’s words and in my mind. My father and I went to the seminar in the hope that things could change for the better. Steve Chen advertised the seminar would "change your life forever!" The seminar did change our lives all right, however, I am not sure it was for the better.
What Steve Chen, the "success-ology" authority taught us was basically marketing (just mentioned 4Ps and an extra P of his own invention), sales pep talk, and a little NLP. He talked about subconscious and sold us subliminal tapes and "potential development machines," a box w/ head phone set and sun glasses w/ blinking red and green lights. He sold us books costing 3,000+ USD w/ no content, not even paragraphs, only "affirmation" phrases such as "I am a very successful person." Students were immersed in the seminar for 2 and ?days. Students were encouraged to read Tony Robbins?books and Think and Grow Rich.
A few months after the seminar, I had a nervous breakdown. My relationship with my family deteriorated and I was not able to finish high school at NMH-a boarding school in
Massachusetts- forced to leave by school psychologists and lay paralyzed in my mother's house in Taiwan for a year. My aunt and a high school friend of mine also attended his seminar and they also did not make "a massive increase in the quality of life," as advertised. They struggle with this same problem as I do. I struggled for many years to overcome my nervous breakdown and this traumatic experience. I feel there is something wrong with Steve Chen’s brand of success philosophy and movement. 1) I feel what he taught is geared towards sales people and not suitable for everyone. What he taught is largely irrelevant to someone who aspires to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, accountant or some other professional. 2) The exorbitant prices he charged for his books and products are unethical in my opinion. Most of the people who bought them were struggling financially. They even had to borrow money to buy these books. Chen told the seminar participants a few anecdotes about how Tony Robbins had to borrow money to attend Jim Rohn's seminars and how he had to borrow money to attend TR's seminars. Of course books with affirmations did not make them rich and they had to suffer the financial consequences and emotional trauma of being duped, cheated and the stigma of being gullible enough to be taken in. Promises of getting rich quickly, secrets of success, and subconscious mumble jumble did not help seminar participants improve their lives, but rather left them feeling duped and cheated, both financially and emotionally. The immersive environment of the seminar was conducive to brain washing and he exploited his seminar participants during these seminars by pushing more of his "money-making" products and seminars. 3) Many of his seminar graduates got into MLM and were shut down b/c of illegal operations.
I have mixed feelings about personal development/motivation industry. I know most personal development trainers are about sales and communication skills and lots of MLM people are associated with personal development industry. Chen's promises of getting rich quickly never delivered and his followers and students were left feeling cheated. Chen wiped people into frenzy, shouting affirmations, appealing to human nature’s lust for sex, greed for money, power, long life, and desire for shortcuts. I find most of the material on success knowledge, NAC, NLP etc. are irrelevant to me, since I am pursuing a career in a field unrelated to sales. I feel the money, energy and years spent on them were wasted and detracted me from my goals. I watched friends moving upward and onward in their chosen professions while I was obsessed with studying "success." I believe success per se cannot be studied. If you want to be a successful doctor, go to medical school, not success seminars. If you want to be successful in business, get a MBA, not NLP/NAC certificates.
I would appreciate any input. I am simply trying to make sense of my negative experiences, find some closure and get on with the rest of my life. Thank you.
PS: Steve Chen embezzled a bunch of money from a cookie chain store he started and a number of his followers turned on him. A big scandal ensued in Taiwan where politicians, corrupt police and Chinese Mafia were involved. Chen fled Taiwan and is now based in China. His websites are [www.chinachaosu.com
] and [www.eblest.com.