VICTIMS of transformational workshops & seminars (LGATS)
Posted by: TalkingMouse ()
Date: April 12, 2019 09:22AM

Hello Forum,

Not too long ago, my sister suffered a psychotic break at an LGAT called M.I.T.T. in Los Angeles. I was there the night it happened. I was in the program as well and was volunteering my time. In fact, I recruited my sister to the program in the first place. I'll never forgive myself for that. The night her psychosis began, I saw her shaking, with eyes glazed over. She was paranoid and talking irrationally and I was extremely concerned. The company executive took her into another room and after asking her a few questions, he determined that she was experiencing anxiety and he sent her back into the room to finish the exercise. I was told that MY actions and MY concern for my sister were causing her more anxiety and "if I didn't shift" I wouldn't be allowed to see her at all that night. I will never forget my "coach" saying to me "that's her family now" as she pointed to the room where my sister was held behind closed doors. The next day, I had to 5150 my sister. She was restrained in a hospital bed for 8 hours then transported to a psych ward for several days. The trainer told me that in all his years coaching, he'd never seen psychosis in his course like this before. I dropped out of the program immediately and began researching (that's how I found this community and the work of Rick Ross). I learned that psychotic breaks, depression and even death have been a by-product of "transformational courses" since the beginning. And they continue to be, but there's no way of knowing how often these incidents are happening. Is it one per course? Two per course? How many "casualties" per year? Where is this stuff reported? Is anyone keeping track? How many victims are out there???

Re: VICTIMS of transformational workshops & seminars (LGATS)
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: April 12, 2019 12:34PM

Hi TalkingMouse,

I'm very sorry to hear about what happened to your sister.

I know that there have been the type of breakdowns that you have described in your sister, that actually occur during the seminar. I am not aware of any central place that actually keeps statistics, especially in terms of the percentage who have breakdowns from each group, (and there are apparently hundreds of LGAT groups). There are quite a few reports on this website, but I haven't seen any actual number-crunching.

I am aware of articles that have been written by psychologists in which the types of breakdowns have been described. There was one in particular that I liked, but I have spent the past hour looking for it, and can't find it right now.

There have been some deaths reported. In one instance, somebody died in a sweat lodge, and witnesses testified that the "guru" had ignored obvious symptoms of distress. Some other deaths were not so easily explained, but I think that these cases are pretty rare.

There have also been reports of personality changes after LGAT participation, and of people having committed suicide a couple of years after they completed the program. Even if relatives see a connection, these deaths might not be included by the person who would be keeping such a list. It would be difficult to prove the cause.

You could use the search engine on this website, using keywords psychosis, suicide, death, LGAT. I just tried that, and it brought up several posts. You might also try looking up the International Cultic Studies Association. They might have some stats.

Re: VICTIMS of transformational workshops & seminars (LGATS)
Posted by: TalkingMouse ()
Date: April 15, 2019 03:11PM

Hi kdag,

Thank you for your response and compassion & please let me know if you find that article!

I wonder however, how rare these cases really are?

Perhaps we just don't know how often these "casualties" are happening because they're not represented online. Could that be the case? Because in the past few weeks, I've talked to a mother whose son took his own life 4 days after completing the same course my sister and I did. I talked to another woman whose daughter attempted suicide during the third tier of the same course. And I talked with a man who was institutionalized because he was suicidal on the 5th day of "basic" training" same course. Through word of mouth, I know of 2 or 3 others who've had psychotic breaks (although I haven't spoken with them personally so I can't confirm). I feel like there are more people suffering/who have suffered than we think...

Re: VICTIMS of transformational workshops & seminars (LGATS)
Posted by: bakkagirl ()
Date: April 15, 2019 08:11PM

Well, no time like the present to chime in...

I work as a corporate consultant, who coaches, and I had hoped to build a coaching team to support my business.

Plenty of competent, caring people who are attracted to the field, but then came the boggling decision about which training program to participate in...and, I tried to understand the various methodologies -- I had been corporately-trained by psychologists, and heavily supervised -- and to weigh in on these, but I really couldn't sort it...

So, I watched and even sponsored various hopefuls in this 'training', and attempted to provide real-world mentoring.

I, clearly, was not GETTING the personal transformations that were occurring in these programs.

What I can tell you is that I watched a Japanese female, U.K.-trained attorney, completely decompensate during her six months of participating in a coach training program. This formerly prim, and highly disciplined person was coming to my office every day with bandages on her arms -- she was self-mutilating. Later, she seemed incapable of constructing and maintaining a consistent personal narrative, as in, she would state to different people, different accounts of her nation of birth, and sometimes in the course of the same day. Later, came the porn phase, as in she was bringing pornography into my office, and ruminating over this at her desk. And, gosh, I contacted her family, and her friends to better understand what was going on, and they had 'no idea'.

I also watched a happy-go-lucky English friend (male) turn into a sort of brooding existentialist..."Bakkagirl, have you ever read Alan Watts?" answer, "Yes, he was a tosser!" This guy began calling me and telling me I MUST ATTEND this or that 'event'; I MUST take a course in (cough) neuroscience, I MUST go to the Middle East and support NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION MEDIATION EXERCISES.

These people did not join cults, they simply participated in what they though were professional development programs.

I could go on...


Re: VICTIMS of transformational workshops & seminars (LGATS)
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: April 16, 2019 01:19PM

Hi talkingmouse,

Here is the article:

She talks about the illness in the 4th section, I believe.

I would think it possible that relatively few breakdowns happen during the seminars themselves, but wouldn't be surprised if a good percentage of them happen somewhat later, when people are in the process of processing it. Then, when they happen, the people who have them might be diagnosed with a mental illness, but the person diagnosing them might not attribute the illness to their LGAT involvement. The same seems true of the suicides. Or they might say that it was latent, and that the LGAT simply precipitated it. I don't know. .

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/16/2019 01:21PM by kdag.

Re: VICTIMS of transformational workshops & seminars (LGATS)
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: April 17, 2019 02:06AM

I actually reread the article. It actually estimates that up to 10% might end up having some kind of psychological problem afterward, and that wouldn't even count the people who were pretty much brainwashed. The FDA wouldn't allow any drug on the market that came even close to that for a safety record.

Re: VICTIMS of transformational workshops & seminars (LGATS)
Posted by: TalkingMouse ()
Date: April 17, 2019 06:00AM


In response to your comment:
"I would think it possible that relatively few breakdowns happen during the seminars themselves"

That's not true either and if you read the article it clearly states that:

"These psychotic episodes vary in length from days to nearly a year's duration, with most ranging from 1 to 5 months. The decompensation typically occurs in IMMEDIATE RESPONSE to a peak stress-inducing experience.Strong affective components, mostly of a hypomanic or manic quality, are noted near and after the decompensation. These components appear related to the behavior modeled in the group and to attitudes advocated by the group."

Which means that THE BREAKDOWNS DO HAPPEN IN THE SEMINARS. And I know that many of the suicides, attempted suicides and reports of severe depression happen immediately after or during the course as well.

That's why I wanted to start this thread - in hopes that other victims will come forward. The research we are citing is from 30 years ago!!! Before advances in science and before we could share our experiences on the internet. I know there are other victims out there - they need a safe place to come forward so that we can sound the alarm on how dangerous these LGATS really are.

Imagine signing up for a "leadership course" because you want level up in your career... and ending up in a psych ward. Or on suicide watch. Or dead.

Re: VICTIMS of transformational workshops & seminars (LGATS)
Posted by: bakkagirl ()
Date: April 17, 2019 07:01AM


The trail goes back further than 30 years, and all the way to the first administrations of so-called "sensitivity training", or T-groups. These programs were run out of the National Training Lab in Bethel, Maine in the 1970's and 1980's, and they were run globally.

A three-year research study in Japan was terminated in its second year owing to multiple suicides, and I am informed that at least two of these occurred DURING the T-group session. These suicides were recorded across multiple groups, and in different organizations. The facilitators, Japanese academics, had been trained by the 'experts' at NTL.

A "sensitivity training" program conducted in California public schools in the 1970's was also terminated (suicides). The facilitators were psychologists.

It is a misnomer that bad outcomes of these interventions are owing, solely, to their being administered by un- or under-trained facilitators.

Re: VICTIMS of transformational workshops & seminars (LGATS)
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: April 17, 2019 01:11PM

Oh ~ I guess I didn't read carefully enough, (I skimmed). Well then, I stand corrected.

In addition to these cases, there are posts on here where people talk about loved ones who did the seminars, and then went down hill over time, so I guess that these are both things to worry about.

Re: VICTIMS of transformational workshops & seminars (LGATS)
Posted by: bakkagirl ()
Date: April 17, 2019 05:34PM

Well, clearly, the negative psychological consequences participants experience in "transformational" workshops, seminars, and I would add coach training programs, run the gamut from suicide, debilitating melt-down, to varying levels of dissociation/decompensation -- short-term, long-term.

I feel I have lost a number of friends and associates to this, people who were "transformed" into uncaring, un-empathetic, besotted with themselves, well, con artists, who, then, want to sell this state to others.

I kinda have mixed feelings about creating a 'safe space' for individuals who were exposed to these programs via their employer. It seems to me that the best and safest space for them would be an aggressive legal representation.

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.