(Morbid?) curiosity about LGATs
Posted by: SirReal ()
Date: January 10, 2017 09:18AM

A couple years ago, a coworker invited me to New Era Trainings in Concord. I researched the group, found out about Lifespring, EST, Landmark, etc, how they work, and both the positive and negative impacts they have in people's lives. I declined the offer.

Since then, I've researched the groups and their techniques and I've developed a fascination with how the process works. I feel it says something about human nature, how group dynamics work, and the individual need for belonging—not to mention the need for agency over life events that we don't really have much agency over.

Would it be a terrible idea to check one out? Money isn't an issue and I'm not concerned about getting sucked into their 7 or 10 day big $$$ programs. I just want to see it. I particularly find the Lifespring stories interesting, and despite the fact that they were one of the most irresponsible, soul-sucking LGAT's of the 80s, the whole psychology of it interests me.


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Re: (Morbid?) curiosity about LGATs
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: January 11, 2017 05:18AM

Well, you know what they say" : Curiosity killed the cat."

If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't. I have given up on discouraging people who are curious from doing things, BUT, if you find that you must, read that consent form.

Here is a thread about consent forms, and although it pertains to LE, it is probably similar:


If that doesn't scare you off, then at the very least be sure to write in, (in ink), that consent covers ONLY the course that you signed up for, (put the name of it in writing), and ONLY activities that take place on grounds at the location where the course is taught. I would also state explicitly that at NO time do they have consent to send anyone onto my property or to my place of employment. They also do not have my consent to attempt anything that would fall under the categories of psychiatric or medical treatment.

Then, when you leave, be careful not to criticize ANYTHING. You're just really busy, okay? Change your phone number and move out of state. Got it?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2017 05:22AM by kdag.

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Re: (Morbid?) curiosity about LGATs
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 11, 2017 11:19AM

One thing to ponder is, you have to ask whether the risk is worth it. If you have friends and especially if you have a partner and children, they'll be affected if you are harmed.

There is no way to be smarter than an LGAT. That is because the process is designed to overload and confuse our neocortex and simultaneously overstimulates
the primitive parts of our brains -- the amygdala/limbic system. It basically causes the critical thinking part of our brains to "crash". The stress, the lack of sleep, the confrontational methods and the crowded seating arrangements stress the body. As humans we are soft machines.

LGATs are the equivalent of putting sugar in the gas tank of an automobile.

If you become a convert to the LGAT you investigate, this could strain relationships if your family and friends are not interested in participating.

Lots of the people who arrive here on the message board seeking info about LGATs are people who were pressured to do an LGAT by friends and family members who got all fired up.

LGATs have a track record for disrupting relationships.

Two, kdag has a point. Read what people have described concerning the waiver/release of responsibility
forms. Most LGATs require you to sign something of the sort as a condition of participation.

In effect, you sign away your right to sue or mediate for damages in event of your being harmed.
An LGAT in effect puts the onus on you if you're harmed. This use of waiver forms is one thing
that has evolved since the early days of the LGATs.

All this was written by a "Guy" who'd been a trainer in an LGAT.



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Re: (Morbid?) curiosity about LGATs
Posted by: SirReal ()
Date: January 12, 2017 02:33AM

Corboy and kdag,

Thank you very much for the detailed and thoughtful response!

It gives me a lot to think about. I'm a skeptic by nature, I never fall into believing conspiracies, weird beliefs, or religions, so I guess I figured I'd be immune to this sort of thing. It's certainly good to know that their techniques bypass intellectual defenses.

I feel that the groups are dying. New Era is dead, other companies are going away quite quickly. Some pop up briefly again, but they don't have the staying power they had in the 80s. This is a good thing!

I feel that it's an untold story, particularly in America. After I investigated it a bit, I asked my parents about them. (they were born in the early 50s) and both of them knew about EST and had strong reactions. "You don't want to get involved with anything like that!"

The whole phenomenon affected many people (particularly in the Bay Area), but no one talks about. It's well over a million in the USA alone. Werner Erhard was in Time and Newsweek and doing PBS shows, selling people brain-crack, and then by the mid-90s, it seems completely gone.

To me, this is a story that has meat and interest and needs to be told. But you're right about the risks of getting personally involved. I've just had a hell of a time finding any actual coursework, literature, etc. I've found personal testimonies and lots of great resources on the site, but I wish I could find original sources for the stuff.

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Re: (Morbid?) curiosity about LGATs
Posted by: SirReal ()
Date: January 12, 2017 02:39AM

Almost forgot—to put this in better context, I want to do a video about it. Eight years ago, I did one about the Secret. I haven't don't any side-projects for a long time, but I've maintained video and editing work and my skills are about 100x better. The only thing blocking me is that I don't feel I have the full story on LGATs yet.

Video I made (again, long time ago):


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Re: (Morbid?) curiosity about LGATs
Posted by: GloriaG ()
Date: January 12, 2017 06:22AM

To add to what kdag and Corboy say:

Landmark also play this trick. They say things like, - "we don't do X or we don't do Y."

Since researching my experience after leaving their programme, I've discovered that the mind doesn't take in the negative aspect of each point. It only reads the rest which then tells your mind that they do do what they say they don't.

So this is another way they confuse you. And get under the skin of clever skeptics who might not be aware of this. It certainly took me in at the time.

Now that I know this, I've started noticing how my mind works in other areas of my life and I'd say this holds true. So rather than point out what someone should not do, I tell them what they should or could do.

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Re: (Morbid?) curiosity about LGATs
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 12, 2017 10:25PM

Just knowing or hearing that Landmark has power can be seductive.

The question is, what kind of power?

That power is linked to the specific social environment created by Landmark (and other LGATs using that same recipe)

All I can suggest, as my citizen's opinion is that this is a social setting in which you're gonna spend a lot of time in a social environment that is seductive, morally corrupt, and that could corrupt you in ways you cannot foresee.

The reputation of having power is in itself seductive. And that reputation is the most effective bait to lure us in.

We can be fairly sure that someone in Landmark is reading this thread.

LEC has nearly 40 years of experience processing people.

Processing - as in processing sausage meat.

EST and LEC together could be considered a four decade psychological experiment done on thousands of human subjects and done in violation of the ethical guidelines promulgated by the
American Psychological Association.

You may feel yourself to be special and unique. But the LEC people can very likely figure out just what type you are and know how to deal with you.

And most likely, they know exactly how to process someone who is a curious investigator.

THe whole point of LEC is, they do not see us as having inherent human dignity.

It is a highly empowering stance to be unrestrained by conscience, unrestrained by empathy.

Right now, I speak only for myself.

At this point I would stop feeling curious about Landmark and LGATs.

Instead, I would sit down and get curious about myself.

I would ask why I knowingly want to spend any time at all with people who value
and cultivate the kind of power developed and used by Landmark.

Radioactive elements are powerful enough to glow in the dark.

But, after reading all that is known about people who sickened from radiation
sicknesses, most of us would not knowingly want to bring a hunk of radium or uranium 235 home with us.

Fascinating stuff, but we are not equipped to handle it and remain ourselves.

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Re: (Morbid?) curiosity about LGATs
Posted by: SirReal ()
Date: January 13, 2017 03:22AM

Power is beguiling! But I think it's more the mystery, the hidden aspect, the fact that such a big phenomenon has almost disappeared with so little conversation over the last decade that gets me curious.

But I'll take your advice and think about what might be driving the interest.

Thanks again!

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Re: (Morbid?) curiosity about LGATs
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: January 15, 2017 01:19AM


It really doesn't feel all that "mysterious" when you're sitting in the middle of it. It's a lot like listening to a motivational speaker.  If you were to go strictly as an observer, then you might observe other people's reactions, but that's sort of like sitting in the middle of a burning room to watch other people burn. (or actually, it reminds me a little of a certain old Cheech and Chong sketch ~ "Good thing we didn't step in it").

People have called me "stoic," but being stoic didn't protect me from being affected.  You might observe the effects on other people without recognizing the effect that it is having on you.

Maybe the reason that these groups are disappearing is that enough people have seen them for what they are, and have warned others. Corboy is right. Your parents are right. IMHO, you would do well to heed the warnings you have received.

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