exImpact mentioned that, in his opinion, LDS people tend to have the most difficult time being involved with the Impact Trainings because their beliefs are regularly challenged and often belittled. I fully support everything that was said in his paragraph.
I am not LDS myself but while in the training I became aware of a release from the head of that faith regarding "self-awareness groups". I have added the link to a copy of the Salt Lake Tribune article reporting the release of this statement. [www.culteducation.com
I'm sure the original release can be obtained from an LDS ecclesiastical leader if anyone wants to check my sources.
The release contains a list of criteria that LDS church members should look to avoid if considering an "awareness training". In the words of the release:
"Church members should not participate in groups that:
1. Challenge religious and moral values or advocate unwarranted confrontation with spouse or family members as a means of reaching one's potential.
2. Imitate sacred rites or ceremonies.
3. Foster physical contact among participants.
4. Meet late into the evening or in the early-morning hours.
5. Encourage open confession or disclosure of personal information normally discussed only in confidential settings.
6. Cause a husband and wife to be paired with other partners."
All six of these criteria apply to the Impact Trainings. I will address each in order;
1. As a part of the Lift Off training, trainees are asked to write a letter to a family member describing all of the ways that their relationship has been disfunctional in the past. As a "Plus One" challenge, trainees are told to mail or read the letter to that family member. While the intent of the exercise is to foster an improved relationship, the act of mailing or reading the letter definitely "advocates unwarranted confrontation as a means of reaching one's potential."
2. As a part of the Summit Training, trainees are encouraged to wash eachothers' feet as a part of a particular process. This is an obvious imitation of a rite or ceremony that is sacred to people of many faiths.
3. Hugging and other physical contact is encouraged and expected.
4. Most of my core trainings and nearly all of my TIT trainings ended long after midnight.
5. In the first day of the Quest Training, I was asked to disclose my "deepest and darkest secret" to another member of my training group.
6. Husbands and wives were paired with other partners at every level of the core trainings, often with another member of the oposite sex.
In short, if you are LDS I can assure you that involvement with the Impact Trainings will be a source of confusion and tension. Your beliefs will be challenged and your organization will be ridiculed at every level of the training. Many of the backhanded remarks will be presented as friendly jokes, but the intent is clear. Also, let no one delude you into thinking that the LDS church's release does not apply to the Impact Trainings. It meets all six of the listed criteria.