The first rule of large group awareness trainings
Posted by: StopLGATs ()
Date: January 14, 2020 07:05AM

Very interesting article about LGATs from the Psychological Society of South Africa written by John Hunter PhD


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Re: The first rule of large group awareness trainings
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 14, 2020 06:33PM

Dr. Hunter's paper is an excellent overview.

One of the most important breakthroughs in understanding LGATs happened on an earlier version of this forum when, over ten years ago, we discussed Landmark Education. One person named kittypaw found a paper written by Drew Kopp, who had once been involved with Landmark - and who described the method used by Landmark to control the physical setting within which the trainings take place.


As we discussed the room arrangement, we were visited by an influx of trolls. At some point, the Kopp paper became unavailable.

But by that time, we identified how Landmark controlled room arrangments and seating arrangements - and much more.


Manipulating the room's environment
Posted by: corboy
Date: May 11, 2004 06:35AM

The Room Arrangement Deserves Our Close Attention

All of these are guesses, but are educated guesses based on material from persons who participated in Landmark.

Concerned OZ and kittypaw have found the URL for a paper written by Drew Kopp a former LEC volunteer who had set up rooms for many such events and who wrote a scholarly analysis of the special features of the LEC seminar room set up, and how social intereactions are scripted in very specific ways during the seminar.

Kopp's 40 page analysis, entitled 'Invisible Bodies, the Disinherited, and the Production of Space in the Landmark Forum maybe accessed here.

Many enthusiasts/publicists for LEC emphasize LEC's verbal content and philosophy and are convinced that these transformed them.

But Kopps data and line of reasoning invite us to speculate that focusing exclusively on LEC's verbal content may keep us from examining from something very important: what Kopp describes as the room set up.

With Drew Kopps material in mind, Look at what Hope has told us in one of the posts above in this thread:

''What I found uncomfortable were the chairs and the lack of space between them. I'm small, and the people on either side of me were big. When we all sat back, I had their elbows in front of me. In order for this not to happen, they would have had to lean forward or turn in their chairs. So it was pretty uncomfortable.'

Hope wrote:

'Some people timidly asked if the AC could be turned down and their requests were met with some nonsense about how the people who run the forum know what works for most people, how they cannot adjust the thermostat to meet everyone's needs, blah, blah, blah. Within 15 minutes, however, the AC was turned down and many sighed a big sigh of relief. The interruption of the sighing, however, brought on another lecture from the leader.'


Manipulating the room's environment
Posted by: corboy
Date: May 12, 2004 03:59PM

Dont go nuts trying to analyse the semantics. It is like trying to calculate the number of digits in PI--you'll go on forever and never reach an end to it.

If you consider Kopp's descriptions of the uncomfortable room arrangements, -you'll be able to spot similar layouts elsewhere and do all you can to stay out of LGATs.

THis is just my guess but from what Kopp has written and former participants have mentioned elsewhere on this thread, the effect of the LGAT on the participant's bodies may perhaps be as important, perhaps more important than its verbal material.

Hope told us that for her this was the most obnoxious thing--she wasnt told the that the schedule plus commute time would add up so that she'd be awake until 12:30 am and that doing the homework after the group would've kept her up until 1 pm.

Under those conditions, how can tired people remember that the leader told them 'Be back from dinner at 7:35 pm' and not '7:25 pm'?

As long as you're aware of this, you can recognize similar LGAT romm arrangements and *stay away from them* and warn your friends to *stay away.*


Posted by: corboy
Date: May 02, 2004 05:35AM

Tricky wrote:'my theory is that on one level it's very complex... but on another it's completely simple to just walk away.'
(Corboy note: Tricky was identified as a pro Internet troll and banned)

Thats like saying that with just a little more awareness you can win at a game of marked cards, not knowing its a game of marked cards.

They talk about freedom, but freedom is excluded in problematic LGATs. To use the concept by Janja Lalitch, its likely that a problematic LGAT is a social venue characterizec by bounded choice--your decision making is exercised in a shrinking menu of options, making departure unthinkable.

Former LGAT participants report on this board

1) You're bombarded by phone calls at home if you try to leave the training before completing it

2) You're in a room where the tempreture is reportedly manipulated several times a day (according to the paper by Drew Kopp and by people who have done the program)

3) Hope reported she was not told she'd up way past bed time and sleep deprived, *meaning the teaching hits a part of you that is mostly inacessible to adult conscious insight*

Result of all this is that it is not 'completely simple to just walk away'. That implies that the person taking a problematic LGAT is in total control of the outcome, when in fact that person is, from the various sources referred to above, fed through a huge, impersonal indoctrination process.

If walking away were simple, the LGAT related threads would not get such a high number of views from guests who visit this site--and who visit because they're concerned.


Saying 'you can always just walk away' distracts from the huge effort these programs reportedly make to ensure that 'walking away' will be difficult, not easy.


Manipulating the room's environment
Posted by: corboy
Date: May 13, 2004 10:38AM

Thanks again to Concerned OZ for finding this!


Invisible Bodies, the Disinherited, and the Production of Space in the Landmark Forum by Drew Kopp

Kopp's 40 page paper is the mental equivalent of a triathlon--gruelling, but well worth it. At the end, Kopp comments:

'I would contend that this is a fundamental inauthenticity of Landmark Education, to use its own term to describe this dynamic and Landmark;s lack of transparency of its operation.

'Landmark Education, in the form of any and all of its representatives, pretends to their customers, that participants can acquire this technology, its consequent powers, and then drop the tools that granted these powers at any given time in the future. For instance, the Course Leader, at the very end of the LF, will say, "I take it all back",claiming that everything said in the course possesses absolutely nothing to believe in.

Yet, this is said against a background of materially enforced re-conceptualizations (the special room set up, the scripted social interactions-Corboy) that have inscribed participants into a social space the existence of which is completely tied up with continuing to participate with Landmark Education

Thus, Landmar;s technology compels participants to inscribe themselves further into more extensive and elaborate social spaces the organization offers participants to inhabit. This is the Faustian relationship with Mephistopheles, wherein desires are granted, but only if the means used are promoted endlessly, ultimately gaining importance over the participant's original aims.' (end of quote)



Manipulating the room's environment
Posted by: Ginge
Date: June 20, 2004 02:23AM

This site is fascinating - thanks for all the LEC stuff. It has helped me assess my own LM experiences, but questions still remain.

Having recently done the LE Forum and Advanced courses (FOOL!!), I came away after both with cold/flu like symptoms. The advanced course was 5 weeks ago and I am still coughing sporadically. On analysis, I place the blame of these illnesses on the sealed-environment and re-circulating of stale air mode of operation of the air conditioning. As a result of having to take time off work to recover from both illnesses, there is no way that I intend going near the LEC training rooms again.

At the beginning of one of the first-day sessions of the Forum, I quizzed a "helper" about the air con as the air tasted vile. After 45 minutes of running, the air con had not removed the "stale breath" taste and the feeling was one of reduced oxygen; breathing required noticably more effort to keep from feeling drained or light headed. My concern was brushed off with a flippant "no one else has complained", or some similar message. I countered by questioning if the air con was a sealed system merely processing the air in the room, or whether it exhausted stale air to the outside world and brought in new air. "It is set the way it is set for all courses". Not a particularly helpful response.

Once I had accepted that (in Landmarkian) "the air con is the way it is because it is the way it is", or in the world of reality, I realised I was not going to get a sensible answer unless I spoke to the air con equipment supplier, I took note of how it was adjusted throughout the sessions: hot, cold, on, off. The variations were noticably different to the point of needing to put on / take off a sweater. In a sealed-environment with re-circulating stale air, a prime breeding-ground for cold/flu. (At one point I even considered the possibility of the air con being a breeding ground for the Legionella bug).

The Advanced course was held in a smaller training room (equally as sparse as the Forum; same decor, same intimate chair spacing, same useless air con, but thankfully a much smaller group). I raised the same air-con questions, and got a very similar answer from a different helper. A programmed response, I guess.

Getting off the subject line a bit, right from the beginning of the Forum, I had suspicions of mind-games. Hopefully the suspicions and the suspect air-con helped in not allowing me to be totally sucked in (er, well, I did carry on to the Advanced). In 3 days I felt that I did not "get it", and frankly, at the time I was annoyed that I seemed to get nothing, but some folk appeared to have had major "breakthroughs", although the gut-spilling process was embarrassingly vile. Gut-spilling in public is not part of my make-up.

The Forum fear exercise did absolutely nothing for me. The leader guided the group deeper into fear and all I could think was that his lines breached the bounds of sensibility, and therefore credibility, and my reaction was to reject it as a load of rubbish. All credibility was lost when the "empty and meaningless" bit came up. "Yeah, just like this course!".

Anyway, I want on to the Advanced course to see if I would "get it". Well, I got a debilitating dose of cold/flu, a heavy mind***k, lighter wallet, and little else. I must have been dozing in the Forum sessions that covered rackets and stories, because I still cannot remember their definitions, and felt a bit left-out in the Advanced when rackets were again discussed.

With regard to the sleep deprivation, yes, I did notice that it was a major factor, but refused to bow to the pressure - when my body signals the need for sleep I acknowledge the need and I sleep.... and to hell with the circumstances. As for making midnight or 8 am telephone calls at weekends, NO WAY. I place a higher value on keeping the good relationships that I have.

The exercise that I found most disturbing in the advanced course was the one where the participants stand toe-to-toe and look into each other's eyes for an extended period of time. Not comfortable or natural. After that I felt totally drained; emotionally, psychologically and physically. For the rest of the day I was totally out of it - a mere observer on the course and in no-way a participant.

Towards the end of the Advanced course each participant has to state what they have "created" for themselves. Some statements were so far fetched as to be totally unbelievable. Surely a mere statement of intent is insufficient to change a person's life? It may sow the seeds of some ideas, but the effort (in time and money) that would be required by some people to see the ideas through were bordering on super-human. Surely, as the ideas become unachievable, these people would feel deep failure? Presumably leading them to go back to LM for more courses?

What is the purpose of the notes that the helpers at the back of the room seem to be constantly taking? What are the notes themselves? Why are notes constantly being taken?

Is it possible to
1. Assess one's state of immunity to the Landmark programming?
2. Assess how deeply the Landmark programming has affected a person?
My wife says I have not changed, a friend who has done the Forum says I am more approachable, am not as moody, and more in touch with my emotions.
Personally, after having had no Landmark contact (apart from a few diplomatically terminated phone calls) I feel no different as a person, but do feel conned. Is this normal/reasonable/good?

Thoughts and feedback welcome.


Manipulating the room's environment
Posted by: hossgal
Date: June 22, 2004 08:41AM


Your reaction to Landmark is quite similar to mine. After the inital euphoria wore off, I was the same person, though the feeling I'd been hoodwinked grew and persisted. However, if that's the worst thing that happened to you (feeling conned), consider yourself lucky! Many of the folks who write in here have suffered the loss of jobs, loving relationships and mental health.

I can't give an opinion regarding the advanced course. I didn't get that far.
I never really gave a thought to the people in the back of the room until one of the follow-up seminar evenings. I figured they were there to answer participant's questions and record the course leader's performance for review. Well, yes, and more. They DO watch participants and note their reactions. This became clear to me when a young man (a "reviewer") sat beside me during one of the "special evenings".

His attempt to get me engaged in the process of enrollment was clumsy and laughable. Obviously the Powers at LE were trying to salvage a sceptical, resistant worker bee (me). It was no coincidence that he chose to sit next to me. He was on a mission. This manipulation was, and is, repugnant! That was the last LE event I ever attended. Later that evening I got into an argument with my seminar leader about hard-sell tactics. I proved to be 'uncoachable".

Interesting possibility -- Legionnaire's Disease in a Landmark course room! Not that I'd wish that on the unsuspecting participants, but such an outbreak of disease would certainly give LE unwelcome publicity. You're absolutely right -- in such a closed environment, the "sharing" of bugs is just as likely as it would be in a commercial airliner.

As to whether or no you've "changed" -- I'd take your wife's opinion over that of an LE grad. The LE grad has an investment in "your having gotten it", especially if that grad is one of the "true believers". Your wife knows you best.

Congratulations on escaping relatively unscathed! Your own insights on your experiences, especially in the Advanced course, can serve as both information and warnings to others.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2020 06:51PM by corboy.

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Re: The first rule of large group awareness trainings
Posted by: StopLGATs ()
Date: January 18, 2020 07:18AM

Also the paper from the same. With several mentions of Landmark


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