Mankind project
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: July 25, 2006 11:03PM

No let's not have a flame war here or bring flames here from another board.

Flaming is against the rules here and those that flame will be banned.

If you don't want to discuss and only wish to dispute perhaps this is not the best place for you.

This would apply to anyone posting here.

It would apply to those that have come here to solely to defend MKP as apologists and go on and on endlessly without responding to questions and essentially offer testimonials.

And it would apply to those that flame MKP without explaining specifically what the organization does wrong, why its wrong and how it might hurt people.

There is room here for both sides, but not for mindless flaming.

Mankind project
Posted by: ginah ()
Date: July 25, 2006 11:14PM

Thank you Anidawehi for replying. I kind of thought that was the case but was not for sure and did not know how to put it into words. Now, with education such an issue within this country, I still don't get how MKP can legally "claim" to be educational when they are clearly doing therapy work. Seems like a loophole within the therapy vs educational laws.

What makes MKP Educational instead of Therapeutic? Are their certain guidlines that has to be followed to be regarded as Therapeutic instead of Educational? Is it just MKP making that judgement? I would be interested in further understanding the distinction between the two. Especially, as for me, when I read their manuals it points me in the direction of MKP being Therapeutic more than Educational.
Thank You

I agree, ginah. It certainly appears that mkp is doing so pretty intense therapy based on Jungian and Gestalt theories. However, in order for the group to claim that they are doing therapy, they must go through a licensing and accreditation process, and they simply do not have the training to do so.

Now, I'm not a therapist, but my hubby is, and this is the issue to the best of my recollection. The mkp leaders themselves would all have to get clinical psychology or social work degrees and take the state licensing test and pass it to become licensed to claim to do therapy. Further, the mkp organization would have to go through the state (and sometimes local) mental health accreditation boards to ensure that they are meeting the minimum requirements for safe and ethical mental health treatment (and that their records are indicating proper diagnosis, treatment, and after-care). Also, psychiatrists must review and sign off on all treatment done by therapists without an independent licensure, which takes at least a graduate degree, about 5 years of supervised treatment, and another test.

Even though some mkp leaders may have mental health backgrounds, they cannot meet the rigors of state licensure and accreditation to legitamize their "treatment." Thus, the mkp could be held legally (thus, criminally) liable for claiming any sort of therapeutic benefit, as they do not have the credentials to be engaging in mental health therapy. Thus, they must label what they are doing as "educational," as anyone with a knowledge of something can educate another on whatever it is they may know (or think they know). However, as an educator with an advanced degree, I find this problematic, as the mkp should also be skilled in proper educational techniques if they truly believe what it is they are teaching and want to do a good job at it (and I mean training done by licensed educators, not just in-house training). And I don't recommend this just for mkp, but any others who plan on educating others. And my first recommendation for mkp is to recognize that a one-size-fits-all LGAT approach is not the most effective way to educate--nor does it promote independent and critical thinking. Any educational model research in the last 30 years will tell them that. So perhaps mkp needs to do more research on effective educational techniques? ;-)

Thanks for your question. mkp's slippery rhetoric here goes unnoticed by many.

Mankind project
Posted by: cb1000rider ()
Date: July 25, 2006 11:35PM

Interestingly, I think the whole purpose of these "Boards" could use a thorough re-examining by all of its users. My take thus far (and this is true of most of the net - not just here) is that nobody is convincing nobody. The anti-MKP folks cannot be convinced that MKP is anything other than what they think it is, and the pro-MKP camp continues to try to prove that despite some warts, they are not contributing to the ultimate downfall of society and marriage.

I have to disagree with you here. Posts by members that have found MKP to at best be "unhelpful" and at worst be "harmful" encouraged me to dig further. This site, well, convinced me that MKP is an LGAT. I don't perscribe to the opinion that all LGATs are bad or that MKP does a great disservice to everyone... Or that someone at the top of MKP is getting wealthy through the recruiting process - but reading these boards made me decide not to continue with I-group and not encourage other individuals to join MKP.

I know that there is at least one other MKP involved individual that was disgusted by the fundraising process. Such a disclosure may not have changed his impression that MKP has done a lot of good in the lives of some men, but he also chooses not to continue with MKP. I can really only speak for myself, however.... And these forums changed my mind.

Discussion here is allowed and encouraged. I am thankful for that. There is now a new forum which is publically viewable and posts are not moderated. We'll see what that board develops into.

Boards that do not allow open opinons of both sides: I see they serve only the purpose of that boards owner as content and membership can be directed. One in particular claims that members must be "protected" and as such content is moderated. If anything the types of posts that go on there certainly contribute to upsetting wives and family members of people who are going through the NWTA weekend. I don't see how that is protecting or promoting healing. I don't see how creating alarmist and exaggerated helps anyone.. It certainly sets a tone for those family members who are already concerned.

Mankind project
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: July 26, 2006 12:54AM


I have warned once about a flame war here.

Flames are against the rules and if you flame you will be banned.

Note: There have been both pro and con statements made about the Yahoo group.

There is no need to go and on about the other discussion group.

What is important to note is that the instructions regarding how leaders are to run MKP retreats has been excerpted and reviewed here on this thread.

These instructions reflect a very manipulative process managed from above to control people and get the desired "experience."

If what "concerned dad" says is true about the historical roots of MKP, that its founder once was in EST and Sterling, this is indeed noteworthy.

Both EST and Sterling have had very serious problems.

See the following archives:



Both groups have generated a flow of complaints and Landmark Education, the current incarnation of EST is the one group with the most complaints of any single group mentioned at the Ross Institute database.

See []

Interestingly, Justin Sterling the creator of Sterling was once reportedly involved in EST. His weekend seems to be derived from EST and Sterling even changed his name just like the founder of EST "Werner Erhard," who was once known as Jack Rosenberg. Sterling's given name was Arthur "Artie" Kasarjian.

All these groups are LGATs (large group awareness training) and are essentially group therapy without a license.

Each group attempts to download its founder's philosophy within a controlled environment and they use what can be seen as coercive persuasion methods to manipulate participants to "experience" or become aware of what they want.

People have had nervious breakdowns and even psychotic breaks at such LGAT retreats and seminars, some have even required care at hospitals.

One LGAT NXIVM, probably based upon EST/Landmark, reportedly pushed a woman to suicide.

See []

Landmark Education has been linked to three murders committed by participants that apparently went on a rampage.

See []

Note that within the above report psychiatrists cited that there had been psychiatric disturbances linked to EST historically.

The inherent problem with LGATs like MKP is that they are run by people that are not properly trained as mental health professionals and therefore are not qualified to work with people in a group therapy setting.

Plainly put, they don't know how to measure or understand what is going on from a psychiatric/psychological perspective and they subsequently don't know how to deal with people unraveling due to their programs.

Most LGATs will typically blame the victim rather than look at the structure and dynamics of their programs and why they cause casualties.

Many LGATs prefer and expect participants to sign waivers so they have limited liability and they also keep what goes on within their programs secret by not detailing them in advance to potential participants. This essentially means they don't really allow people to make fully informed decisions about what they are being asked to attend.

My advice is to stay away from LGATs due to their troubled history and potential risk. This is based upon my almost 25 years of direct experience dealing with the problems they pose. My work began in 1982 and almost immediately during the early 1980s I became aware of they damage done by LGATs.

There are many much safer options for self-improvement through accredited colleges and learning insitutions, professionally led group therapy through hospitals and counseling centers, and therapy with a qualified mental health professional.

There are also marriage and family seminars and workshops run by licensed marriage and family therapists as well as one-on-one counseling offered in virtually every community with licensed counselors.

Why bother with something potentially unsafe when there are so many viable alternatives?

Moreover, when you instead attend counseling or programs run by credible, trained and licensed professionals they are accountable and you will have recourse, rather than be expected to sign some waiver regarding any future claim concerning an injury.

LGATs often seem to promise something like instant success through some sort of epiphany they supposedly download/produce in one weekend or retreat.

But real growth and change make take time and can mean hard work through therapy and counseling.

LGATs also seems to be saying "one size fits all" through their seminar or programs. However, each person has their own unique personality and set of circumstances that is better addressed by more personalized and focused therapy, counseling and/or education.

As previously detailed on this thread LGATs or "mass marathon training" have had serious problems seemingly inherent in many such programs.

See []

This research paper was written by a clinical psychologist that reportedly attended and studied Lifespring, another popular LGAT.

See []

Lifespring like Landmark Education and its forerunner EST was repeatedly sued for personal injuries linked to its programs.

The psychologist who wrote the paper about "mass marathon training" makes offers the following warnings:

They lack adequate participant-selection criteria.

They lack reliable norms, supervision, and adequate training for leaders.

They lack clearly defined responsibility.

They sometimes foster pseudoauthenticity and pseudoreality.

They sometimes foster inappropriate patterns of relationships.

They sometimes ignore the necessity and utility of ego defenses.

They sometimes teach the covert value of total exposure instead of valuing personal differences.

They sometimes foster impulsive personality styles and behavioral strategies.

They sometimes devalue critical thinking in favor of "experiencing" without self-analysis or reflection.

They sometimes ignore stated goals, misrepresent their actual techniques, and obfuscate their real agenda.

They sometimes focus too much on structural self-awareness techniques and misplace the goal of democratic education; as a result participants may learn more about themselves and less about group process.

They pay inadequate attention to decisions regarding time limitations. This may lead to increased pressure on some participants to unconsciously "fabricate" a cure.

They fail to adequately consider the "psychonoxious" or deleterious effects of group participation (or] adverse countertransference reactions.

Likewise he points out these telling symptons that an LGAT may be potentially dangerous if...

Leaders had rigid, unbending beliefs about what participants should experience and believe, how they should behave in the group. and when they should change.

Leaders had no sense of differential diagnosis and assessment skills, valued cathartic emotional breakthroughs as the ultimate therapeutic experience, and sadistically pressed to create or force a breakthrough in every participant.

Leaders had an evangelical system of belief that was the one single pathway to salvation.

Leaders were true believers and sealed their doctrine off from discomforting data or disquieting results and tended to discount a poor result by, "blaming the victim."

Also see []

This paper written by a Stanford University professor reviews coercive persuasion techniques.

He states the following characterisitics.

The reliance on intense interpersonal and psychological attack to destabilize an individual's sense of self to promote compliance

The use of an organized peer group

Applying interpersonal pressure to promote conformity

The manipulation of the totality of the person's social environment to stabilize behavior once modified

Sounds like almost any LGAT doesn't it?

Here are eight more critieria to recognize coercive persuasion or "thought reform" within any environment or program.

Control of communication

Emotional and behavioral manipulation

Demands for absolute conformity to behavior prescriptions derived from the ideology

Obsessive demands for confession

Agreement that the ideology is faultless

Manipulation of language in which cliches substitute for analytic thought

Reinterpretation of human experience and emotion in terms of doctrine

Classification of those not sharing the ideology as inferior and not worthy of respect

Again, doesn't this sound like most LGAT environments?

LGAT apologists often attempt to explain this away with a remark like "doesn't everyone uses those techniques" such as the Marines, your neighborhood church or school?

Not true.

Here are some distinctions made by eminent psychologist Margaret Singer a former professor of psychology at UC Berkely that studied thought reform for decades.

See []

She makes distinctions between education, adverstising, propaganda, indoctrination and thought reform.

LGATs often use what can be seen as thought reform.

Many LGATs will say they are somehow "different" than the ones that have historically caused so many problems and injuries.

But are they?

Anyone approached by a friend, family member, business associate etc. about attending an LGAT like MKP should use the above criteria and information to measure what they are being asked to attend.

Is the group secretive or seemingly evangelical in its approach?

Is its weekend experience something that supposely will make you "aware" of some truth through emotional "breakthroughs" culminating in life changing realizations? Can you only really understand it by "experiencing it"?

This is typical LGAT talk.

"If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck it just might be a duck."

Think about it.

Mankind project
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 26, 2006 01:07AM

A great post by the moderator. It should be compulsary reading for anyone thinking of attending a LGAT.

Thank you for your well constructed and helpful input.

Mankind project
Posted by: Ivy ()
Date: July 26, 2006 01:20AM

Best Informations that has been posted in a long time!

Mankind project
Posted by: Ivy ()
Date: July 26, 2006 01:28AM

I feel bad that my husband went threw all that crap! Now he has been out for a while, but acts as if it was just a bad dream and never mentions it! I hope they still dont try to contact him!

Mankind project
Posted by: barabara ()
Date: July 26, 2006 01:52AM

What exactly is the connection between MKP and the various 12-step groups?
I keep seeing AA mentioned here, as in a statement that "MKP is 12-step graduate work", (at least, I though I read that on this thread, but it might have been another). I would like to know more.

I found one reference:

How did your husband get involved with MKP. My husband was in a 12 step group and was recruited by his sponsor. That seems to happen quite often.

Mankind project
Posted by: nutrino ()
Date: July 26, 2006 01:59AM

FWIW.... has this enlightening tidbit of historical information... in case you had your doubts about exactly where these "management technologies" might spring from:

""Phill Scott" posted:

When I was at the cults Sacramento Calif Org in 1975 I was taken into the US Guardians offices and shown their book shelf where Adolf Hitlers, Mein Kaumph was pointed out to me and then handed to me,[b:074f304db5] with the comment that Hubbard recommended it for strategy [/b:074f304db5]... but not the philosophy...however we see the Nazi philosophy written plainly in his book, Dianetics Modern Science of Mental Health. clearly advocating genocide of various groups classified by Hubbard as inferior.

Hubbard and the Third Reich came from the same lineage... a 60 minutes special a few years ago detailed the third reichs occult roots, spinning from Madam Blavasky.. it spun also to Aliester Crowley, then to L Ron Hubbard, who incorporated that crap into the core of dianetics and scientology...which paralled also the OTO, founded by Crowley, self proclaimed satanist."

Mankind project
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: July 26, 2006 02:33AM

Hey everybody-- this thread is about MKP, not AA or Scientology.

Let's try to focus on the topic.

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