Re: The Wright Institute for Lifelong Learning?
Posted by: BTW ()
Date: June 23, 2009 04:02AM

I came back and I am happy to see that people are still calling the Wright's out on their s*&t! I haven't really spoken to the people I know that I wrote about earlier, so I have no new updates.

The funny thing is I actually see a therapist who has an office in an office space on the second floor, across the hall from the Wrights office. I have been in my session, with a REAL therapist, and have heard screaming coming from the Wrights side of the wall. So, if anyone is reading this from the Wright Institute, please note that you can hear everything said and done in the area that shares a common wall with the other company. And second, the first time I went to meet my therapist I freaked out because their office is across the hall from the Wrights and I thought that somehow she, and the other tenants of this office space, were somehow connected to the Wrights. She laughed and said no, in no way is anyone in that office connected to the Wrights, people have asked her that before, and frankly she didn’t know what went on in that organization, but they were inappropriately loud and remarked that when she sees women in the bathroom she knows instantly which ones are Wright people because of the numbed-out look in their eye. She has no doubt they are a cult.

Finally, everyone who is defending Bob and Judith need to ask why they surrendered their professional licenses a few years ago after something really bad happened to someone under their care. They were the ones that worked out a deal with the office of professional regulators for the state of Illinois to surrender their professional licenses because the complaint against them was bad enough to ruin them if it became public. I was around the people I know, who are “BFF” of B&J, when they were having late night crisis meetings to help Bob and Judith figure out what to do. The fact is, Bob and Judith surrender their professional licenses to avoid further disciplinary action.

End of story.

Re: The Wright Institute for Lifelong Learning?
Posted by: grateful I'm out ()
Date: July 16, 2009 01:10PM

I left WI in March after almost 3 years and at least $25,000. I am still in debt for a big chunk of it. Here is a YELP posting that for some reason was removed from the Yelp site - probably by request from WI as it was too damaging. I can totally relate to it. Citigirl, please take time to read this one.


There is much that I can contribute to the conversation. I just was not ready to share until now. I have done a lot of work to heal after leaving. The Wrights are experts at exploitation. It really is stunning how they con people into paying them to do work for them. I can see it now. I couldn't for 2 1/2 years. I would not have believed anything I read on this site during that time period. The suicide of a long time member and leader last year woke me up. WI does not have anyone trained and licensed in psychology to help people with all the stuff that gets stirred up in their confrontive sessions. Much of what they do to people in their groups is considered unethical by my therapist friends. When I was involved, I did not listen to them either. My first year was the Year of More. It was fun and enlivening. My world expanded. I felt like I belonged to something greater than myself and had a shot at making my life count to help change the world. Looking back, I can see how thought control was woven in. I was prepped to do my assignments. Bob and Judith are very charismatic. I loved the positive attention. I thought that if I continued, I could finally heal wounds that had troubled me all my life. But the game changed with Transformation Lab. Suddenly the positive reinforcement was withdrawn. I had to work my butt off to avoid negative reinforcement and get an occasional positive. Intermittent reward is even more reinforcing. After almost 2 years, I realized how much of my life was about doing things with and for the institute, including recruiting and producing "free weekends". The hope of recruiting another "playmate" became my motive for relationships. I did not like the person I was becoming. I began to get depressed and have thoughts of self-harm. I was no longer doing things that brought so much pleasure into my life - there just weren't enough hours in the day - even if I cut my sleep down to 4 or 5 hours. The last weekend that I helped produce was in January. It felt like the participants were being held hostage to Bob and Judith's sales techniques. Here is another lie they tell at the institute. "No one made them stay...they could have left at participated willingly." Any therapist that practices ethically realizes there is a power differential in a helping relationship. They have power to influence people looking to them for help and answers. An ethical therapist does not sell programs to her clients, does not ask them to work for her for free, or recruit others. And they don't try to prevent them from leaving, shame them for leaving, or make them jump through hoops to do so. When I announced I was leaving to my group, it became a feeding frenzy. On the positive side, I learned to stand up to criticism and follow my gut regardless of disapproval. Almost all those people that I thought cared about me became hostile to me when I decided to leave.

I have gotten a lot off my chest. I have lots of recent information and would be glad to share anything that would be helpful to anyone out there.

"Grateful I'm out"

Re: The Wright Institute for Lifelong Learning?
Posted by: shimmer ()
Date: July 17, 2009 12:04AM

Thank you Grateful for sharing your experience. I am so glad that you went with your gut and got out. I know there are more people out there who have had a similar experience or are going through it now. I hope more people will come out and share their experience so that others don't go down this path or at least the pain and harm is lessened. I think Grateful, whatever you can share would be helpful because I believe there are a lot of people viewing this thread and if they see the comments of someone who has been there and recently, it will give more credence to what people have been saying for a long time. My experience is with a family member so I can only talk about my relationship with this person and the one time I went to the institute for a graduation ceremony. The more actual participants who speak out, I think, the better.

Re: The Wright Institute for Lifelong Learning?
Posted by: grateful I'm out ()
Date: July 17, 2009 03:44AM

Shimmer, thanks for your validation. The thing about a cult is that the people in the cult do not believe it is a cult. They are intelligent, idealistic people passionate about something and under the mind control of another. One of the things that helped me shift my perspective was how sad I was about what I was missing out on in other areas of my life. Leaving the Institute was like leaving an abusive relationship. I would trust my gut and know I needed to leave, then talk to leadership and labmates, get confused again, and then go back. They used my vulnerabilities to try and keep me hooked - plus fear and shame. One of the confusing things was that I looked around at the people at the Institute - beautiful, intelligent, successful people, and ask, how could they all be so misled? It took me a while and some sessions with a psychotherapist who had a similar experience in a LGAT cult to clear my head of the distorted thinking.

I felt shame that I was so misled and taken in, that I had spent so much money, time, and energy to further Bob and Judith's bank account. This website and others helped me understand that anyone can be taken in by a cult, especially in times of transition and vulnerability, and especially people who are idealistic and seekers by nature. Here is a quote that helped:

"When you meet the friendliest people you have ever known, who introduce you to the most loving group of people you've ever encountered, and you find the leader to be the most inspired, caring, compassionate and understanding person you've ever met, and then you learn that that cause of the group is something you never dared hope could be accomplished, and all of this sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true!"

"Don't give up your education, your hopes and ambitions, to follow a rainbow."
- Jenne Mills, former member of the People's Temple and subsequent victim of assassination a year following the November 18, 1978 Jonestown suicide/murders of 911 adults and children.

No, WI is not Jonestown, but the principles are similar. I had given over the authority for my life to the Institute leadership. When I started thinking for myself, they were no longer the friendliest people I have ever known. I was actually frightened for a while to post anything not knowing who they know or where and what they might do to intimidate me from speaking out. I think now that this is part of the unspoken culture.

Check out this website: []
He explains it very well. WI fits the mold.

Are you interested in what goes on at "Summer". When I saw a humorous utube clip "How to be a cult leader" I was stunned by how much Summer at the Wisconsin retreat center fit the pattern of this clip. Did Bob and Judith study how to be cult leaders or does it come naturally for them. Summer was a little bit of education and a lot of exploitation to further Bob and Judith's careers and bank accounts. If ever I would sue over anything, it would be Summer and the manipulation to attend to the tune of almost $2000.

On my last message, I sent a Yelp entry that is no longer accessible to the public. I am glad I bookmarked it and can access it. It was very damaging to the Wrights and I expect, Yelp was afraid of lawsuits. Would someone explain to me why this got deleted out of my message? I know the persons and know it is accurate information.

Glad to be out.

Re: The Wright Institute for Lifelong Learning?
Posted by: pearl ()
Date: July 18, 2009 05:37AM

Grateful, I cannot thank you enough for your contribution. I can relate to all of it. I keep hearing about how Bob and Judith run things so much better and more gently than they did in the early 90's. Hmmm.....doesn't much sound like it from your perspective. Again, thank you very, very much for sharing.

Re: The Wright Institute for Lifelong Learning?
Posted by: grateful I'm out ()
Date: July 18, 2009 10:37AM


The Year of More had much positive reinforcement and was primarily educational with each week a different assignment. It was definitely kinder and gentler than Transformation Lab, Summer, WEE, or Men's Basic(from stories that I heard). Looking back, I can see how I was being groomed and programmed to follow assignments, go for positive reinforcement, if told to jump, I would say how high? and then try to go higher. Bob and Judith and their theories are seductive. I liked being seen and validated. I expected that the YOM would transform my life. It did in some ways. There is much positive that happens during that year, but the mind control is woven in. I was "sold" on Transformation Lab as a way for real change. But no one is ever done and it began consuming the good parts of my life. Myy relationships with people outside the relationship were shrinking.

My best advice to those of you with friends and loved ones caught up in the Wright Institute. Stop resisting. Let them go. Love them, be there for them in the background. My husband's resistance just made me want to prove he was wrong. When he stopped arguing with me about my involvement and said he trusted me to do what was best for me, I started feeling my own resistance. That was the beginning of me shifting my perspective and taking a closer look. That was the beginning of my doubts and questioning.

Re: The Wright Institute for Lifelong Learning?
Posted by: arizonerak ()
Date: July 18, 2009 12:38PM

By chance do you know, approximately, how many members there are? I have just always been curious about how big and far reaching this organization is.

Re: The Wright Institute for Lifelong Learning?
Posted by: grateful I'm out ()
Date: July 18, 2009 10:02PM

I don't have access to that data. They have many activities with various levels of involvement of students. My experience with Lab and YOM, I am guessing between 200 and 250 students. With "Salesforce", "Lifestyles", Individual coaching, and others added, I do not know.


Re: The Wright Institute for Lifelong Learning?
Posted by: pearl ()
Date: July 20, 2009 05:30AM

Grateful, I am very happy that you are out there and willing to share. There is wisdom in what you are saying about stopping the resistance. I hope that citygirl is reading this as I think that she is a lot of pain in the struggle with her daughter and thier relationship.

I, too have backed way off from my friend and just let her be to follow her own path. I pray for her and wish her well. What is so hard is that I miss the deeper connection. Our conversations have become pretty superficial. She knows how I feel about Bob and Judith. I have not bashed them totally but I have bashed how much of her life they are sucking up and how deeply she is getting into debt. However, I have not done this recently because like your husband, I came to believe that it just drove the wedge deeper and that is not what I want. What I want is for her to be happy and feel fufillment in her own life. If WI is the path that she chooses then who am I to tell her that she is wrong? I have tried that method til I am blue in the face and it just doesn't work. Truly, I am jealous of all the time that she spends with "them" because that means that she has much less time for me. And , because I feel like I and all of her other friends and family truly do love her and the WI folks do not. I know that it is not that black and white. WI does do some good but the whole cost/benefit ratio when one is that deeply involved makes no sense to me. But again, that it my judgement.

What you said about the "feeding frenzy" whe you chose to leave was so right on the mark in describing trying to get out of that organization. Getting out of my group was in the top three of the most painful and humiliating experiences of my life. Kind of like a gang where they have to beat the complete crap out of you before they let you out. I hated them for it for many years. Just lately, though I have come to be grateful for it. I am afraid that if it wasn't as bad as it was that I might have been pulled back. There is a certain elitism that WI encourages. They make you feel special and strong for taking on all the assignments and "living your life to its fullest." When you are out of it, there is a ceratin amount of deflation and a hint of uncertainty that maybe you weren't trying hard enough and that maybe you are just runnng away from all of your problems. I, too needed real therapy to see it all for what it was.....a cult.

Another thing that you said is that WI made you feel like you were part of something so appeals to the idealism in all of us. For me, getting married and having children fufilled that feeling of needing to be part of something bigger than myself. I still have problems and struggles but I am not always thinking that there must be something "more" out there and being dissatisfied with myself and my life. I did learn skills from Bob and Judith to make that happen but it certainly wasn't the only place that I learned. And truth be told, I learned a lot more from the process of leaving them than I did in the whole 16 months that I spent in group. I want to congratulate you on leaving. Many, many times in our lives, it takes more courage to leave than to stay--no matter what other "authority" figures might tell you.

Re: The Wright Institute for Lifelong Learning?
Posted by: grateful I'm out ()
Date: July 27, 2009 01:43AM

I just read a private message that suggested I be careful because people from Wright monitor this site and I might offend someone. What does that suggest, that they could harm me in some way? I have not said anything that is not untrue. I am not going to "be careful" with the truth. I do not wish anyone ill. I do wish for the truth to be known and the exploitation to stop. Someone even suggested they knew who I was. That was presumptious and wrong.

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