Book which summarises my PhD - 'The God Hypothesis: Mental Illness, Manipulation, and the Cost of Conscience'
Posted by: John Hunter PhD ()
Date: June 26, 2020 11:38AM

I hope that this does not break any of the site's rules. This is not about self-promotion... I experienced an LGAT in 2010 and, after spending years trying to get academics and the mental health community to address the manipulation and abuse which occurs in LGATs (without success), I returned to university to study psychology. My PhD is an examination of the sophisticated manipulation which occurs in these seminars - a process which destroys relationships and, not infrequently, results in significant psychological harm.

I recently completed a book which summarises my findings, hopefully making them more accessible to the public, and I would like to make it freely available to anyone who wants it. I'm quite good at psychology, but terrible with technology, so I don't know how to upload this pdf (or if I'm allowed to?) Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

I think we have all suffered as a result of these, and similar, organisations for long enough. It's time to end this abuse.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/2020 11:43AM by John Hunter PhD.

Re: Book which summarises my PhD - 'The God Hypothesis: Mental Illness, Manipulation, and the Cost of Conscience'
Posted by: John Hunter PhD ()
Date: June 27, 2020 12:52AM

Please can someone assist with this?

Re: Book which summarises my PhD - 'The God Hypothesis: Mental Illness, Manipulation, and the Cost of Conscience'
Posted by: StopLGATs ()
Date: June 27, 2020 05:28AM

I've read your "First rule of large group awareness trainings" and many thanks for sharing this info and the Youtube video.

My perspective is from an outsider, I've never been to an LGAT, though I know a few people who have. So it's a bullet that I just missed by millimetres after someone told me about it and I was intrigued to do some digging into the organisation (which led me to the French TV report).

The LD Training one in the video I found particularly disturbing, partly because it shows video footage of the kind of things I've only ever read about in LF (i.e. treatment of rape victims).

What I'm struggling to deal with and grasp is why regulators and politicians (apart from in a couple of European countries) won't deal with this problem. Given that what we're seeing is intense pseudo-psychotherapy methods in the hands of rank amateur pyramid salesmen. My experience is that even professional bodies for counsellors and psychologists won't take it on board.

I think part of the problem is all of the out of court settlements. What's needed is a victim and a lawyer willing to take this all the way so it's brought out in the open. And all the other Keith Ranieres in the world can be exposed, brought down and sent to jail.

Re: Book which summarises my PhD - 'The God Hypothesis: Mental Illness, Manipulation, and the Cost of Conscience'
Posted by: John Hunter PhD ()
Date: June 27, 2020 11:14AM

Hi StopLGATs

The only thing that will stop these things from happening is that people become informed about them, which is now easy to do. Explaining the complexity of this manipulation is challenging (although my PhD and book do this), but that footage speaks for itself and you can share it.

My book will find its way around, and anyone who reads it will be able to see through the manipulation which occurs in these seminars. The only question is whether you will play a role in distributing this information. My hope is that those who have been negatively impacted by LGATs will take a stand, and simply share what I've spent the last decade putting together. I don't see how any caring person could watch that footage, or read my book, and not feel a need to expose this (we spend our lives sharing the most unimportant things on social media... it's just as easy to change the world with the click of a button...)

In the foreword to The God Hypothesis, I call out the academic community, the mental health community, and Dr Raymond Fowler (who personally endorsed Landmark while he was the head of the American Psychological Association... without acknowledging the concerns of other mental health professionals, or stating whether or not he was paid for this endorsement...) Why would the head of such a prominent organisation personally endorse such a controversial organisation, which had previously been investigated by the APA (See DIMPAC committee, led by Dr Margaret Singer)? Why would any ethical person in this position - when approached by Landmark - not say, "Endorsing this organisation is a conflict of interest for someone in my position - find another psychologist to do it"? Regardless of whether he actually supports what they do, endorsing this organisation is highly (HIGHLY) unethical. He describes the Landmark environment as "pleasant" and the trainers as "pleasant" and "sensitive"??? You don't need a degree in psychology to recognise these as blatant lies.

Dr James Doty of Stanford University recently (a few years ago) hosted Werner Erhard ('Conversations on compassion'... see YouTube), during which he claims that there is "overwhelming scientific evidence" that Landmark and similar programs offer enormous benefit to millions of people. When I challenged him on this, he denied saying it (although there's video footage of it), then - when cornered - acknowledged that there is NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE at all to support his claim. This was not an innocent mistake. A Stanford University professor understands very well what "overwhelming scientific evidence" is, so he used his position as an authority to lie... endorsing this snake Erhard. He has not retracted this statement and Landmark and est supporters (who I actually have a great deal of empathy for), and future participants, will participate and recruit their loved ones because of this blatant corruption.

Erhard has been accused of horrific things (see the suppressed 60 Minutes episode on Wikileaks) by most of his children. The public believes that all of his children retracted their statements, yet - while their accusations were made (convincingly) on televison - the only 'evidence' of supposed retractions from Debbie Rosenberg (who accused him of molesting her) and her sister (who accused him of raping her) came some six years later, in parentheses, in a very vague statement, at the end of a sentence in a Time Magazine article. In Dr Jane Self's book - which "exposes" Scientology's plot to "frame Erhard" she acknowledges that Debbie Rosenberg and her sister had NOT RETRACTED their statements. Ellen Erhard is prevented from talking about Erhard as a condition of their divorce. The fact that est/Landmark/LGAT supporters cannot see through this is all the evidence you need of the power of this manipulation process.

We cannot rely on corrupt institutions to protect the public. I'm just a person like you who was negatively impacted by these abusive seminars. When I took part I had a degree in finance, so I've spent a lot of time educating myself so that I could speak with some authority on this cruel, but compelling, process. I've pleaded with academics and mental health professionals and regulatory bodies for ten years now. They will not lift a finger. I've written academic articles that no one will publish. I've generated compelling video evidence (as you can see in that footage) that no investigative journalism program will air. I've worked with executive producers to pitch a series on these seminars to Netflix and other networks... they are too frightened to touch this topic.

My academic career is all but over because I've called out the corruption and cowardice of all the people I once trusted and respected. I don't care. I care about the people who are manipulated and harmed in these trainings. I have lived with bipolar disorder for seventeen years, and I know first-hand the suffering caused by mania, depression, and psychosis. I understand how these organisations profit from pain and how they destroy relationships. Their processes are sophisticated but I've explained them in a way that anyone who reads my book can grasp. Because, from the first time that I participated in an LGAT (run by "Doctor" Steven Gullan... the sociopath that you see in that video... and who is NOT ACTUALLY A DOCTOR), I understood what they were doing, I knew that I had to do something.

The technology now exists for a caring and compassionate public to expose the "technology" used by LGATs. We don't need these corrupt people or their corrupt institutions. We have a voice so let's use it. Forward the video, PM me and I'll send you the book. Forward it to friends. Let's get it out there. There's nothing stopping us from doing this (completely anonymously) and I am the only person at risk. I will not be silenced and I think that, by now, I should have earned your trust in that regard.

Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2020 11:43AM by John Hunter PhD.

Re: Book which summarises my PhD - 'The God Hypothesis: Mental Illness, Manipulation, and the Cost of Conscience'
Posted by: facet ()
Date: June 27, 2020 11:17PM

Hi John,

Thank you for sharing about your book, and also for the private message about sharing it too, I can understand your frustrations about tech and also getting people educated about these dreadful matters.

I think the best bet as far as the book being out there is concerned would be to create a blogger (or similar platform) which is free, and then use a file hosting platform such as drop box (or whatever is popular right now) to upload the pdf which you will then be able to link back to.. you could do that via the blogger, sharing the link to the pdf there.

Anyone can then access the book via the link, I guess you could do a little blogging on the site too if you wished?

It is difficult, I am sorry to hear what you have been through and it is only natural to want to stop this rubbish from happening, however information cannot be forced upon people.

As a field of things it will not be for everyone and those involved may also not be ready to see or read about such things, so some materials really are for those who know what sort of thing they are about to see and read.

Sometimes, even when presented with full information about harmful stuff we still go freely into things, I guess sometimes it is that people must find out for themselves, but then afterwards all of the helpful, reality affirming information (such as your book) is there, and what you wish to do in helping is still achieved, just not in the way you originally proposed.

I hope that you will take very good care of yourself throughout, and look forward to seeing some kind of blog up and running if you choose to go down that route.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2020 11:37PM by facet.

Re: Book which summarises my PhD - 'The God Hypothesis: Mental Illness, Manipulation, and the Cost of Conscience'
Posted by: facet ()
Date: June 28, 2020 12:01AM

.. you could just directly post the link here too if you can get the pdf up on a file sharing host - apologies forgot to add this bit.

Re: Book which summarises my PhD - 'The God Hypothesis: Mental Illness, Manipulation, and the Cost of Conscience'
Posted by: John Hunter PhD ()
Date: June 28, 2020 12:47AM

Thanks facet

I really appreciate the advice, and have put a warning on the 30-minute video.

This one is much shorter, and gets the message across in an interesting way

Fox has given the go-ahead for me to use clips from Fight Club, and I think you'll agree... if you listen to the lyrics... that it's perfectly suited to both these abusive seminars, and to the current protests against police brutality.


Please share this one :)

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