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Some help, advice, support needed.
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 03, 2006 09:57PM


I am aged 36 and from South Africa. My girlfriend (38) is becoming more and more deeply trapped by a so-called 'guru' and it is hard watching her fall deeper and deeper under his spell. She has, although she doesn't realise it, given over the power in her life to him.

If, by chance, someone from South Africa reads this, the man's name is Louis Smit, and his company is called 4LifeInc. Be warned, everyone I know who has worked with this guy has seen their lives go backwards - their businesses, their relationships (including marriages), their sense of self.

He promises the usual rubbish: mastery of self, "a special journey, filled with an abundance of life, laughter, happiness, joy and fun" etc. None of these things has been delivered. Big surprise. NOT! Anyway, read on...

I am looking for some advice. If you have anything to offer, what I might do, what I might read, who I might speak to, I would be most grateful for your assistance. Please read the story below. Thank you for your time and consideration.

My girlfriend is stuck in following a so-called ‘guru’ who has been systematically destroying her life, taking over her thinking and the information she lives by.

I have investigated this man and found that he possesses none of the esoteric qualifications he claims to have. I have also exposed many of his lies.

His actions, in fact, correspond point-by-point to what cult leaders use to trap people into dependency. In fact, his methods answer to every one of Lifton’s eight ideas on mind control from "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of 'Brainwashing”.

However, this doesn’t matter to my girlfriend. She says he has lots to teach her and she defends him vigorously without looking at the facts – literally. She refuses to read or hear about his methods.

My girlfriend and I were very close, about to move in to together, and we had bought a lounge suite and redone the main bedroom to prepare for this. We never spent a day without being with one another. Then, she did a course with this guy, followed by a number more, and she and has been under extreme stress ever since.

Recently, she even said “What’s the use of this life?”, and she admitted that she had chosen to “check out” by putting the intention out that she should die!

Early on, after seeing a disturbing change in my girlfriend, I became suspicious of his ways, so I decided to do a course with him. It took place in Zanzibar.

On the course, we were not allowed to interact with our partners until three days before the end – the course was eight days long. He told all other partners they could get back together, excepting my girlfriend and I (he has an interest in a sexual relationship with her, which I won’t get into, but I know to be a fact).

By the end of the course, she told me she couldn’t go with me on our holiday elsewhere on the island, which I had already paid for. She went with this ‘guru’ and a small group, while I flew back to South Africa.

Since then, I have managed to get closer to her, although she cut off from me for some time. But now, after she recently saw this ‘guru’ again, she has pulled away. She doesn’t talk to me, keeps me away, and says she needs to be on her own to find her own power.

As an example of where we were, she was asked at the start of the first course to write about her Vision/Dream of the Ultimate Relationship. Below is what she wrote, word for word. It refers to us because I recognized it, and she told me it was about us:

- We must be totally comfortable in each other’s space.
- We must be best friends who share common interests and goals.
- We must be so tuned in that we finish each other’s sentences and pick up on each other’s thoughts.
- We must have an incredible sexual, playful side to our relationship.
- We must enjoy each other’s physical bodies.
- We must connect intellectually.
- We must be on the same spiritual path.
- We must totally trust one another and be devoted to each other.
- We must want to spend as much time as possible with each other.
- We must realize and be accepting of each other’s weaknesses or faults.
- We must be totally supportive of each other.
- We must play together as often as we can.
- We must laugh a lot.
- We must be able to be vulnerable with each other.
- We must be Soul Loves.

Two courses (lasting six days in isolation) and 10 days later, she pushed me away.

This happened in September last year, and I am still fighting it. It is as if she comes into focus and then loses focus.

Now, she has cut herself off from her friends and family. She says she wishes she didn’t have a daughter (she is a single mother) because the daughter stands in the way of her path. She is constantly at war with others, and all she does is follow what this ‘guru’ says she must do. She is drifting deeper under his control and I am very worried.

Her thinking and jargon is riddled with this guy's ideas.

Do you have any recommendations for me - what to read, what to do, who to consult? Besides buying your books, I have done plenty of research on the Internet, but I am trying to learn even more, as much as I can, so that I can help my girlfriend.

This man’s ‘teachings’ have taken money away from her and others (including my girlfriend’s life savings). Trying to oppose him has cost me many thousands of rands, moving my finances from very positive into the red. He has destroyed marriages, and every person I am aware of that has done his courses has seen their life take a turn for the worse – financially, in relationships, and in business.

I have bought Steve Hassan’s books on cults and am investigating everything so as to help my girlfriend. If you have anything to offer, I would be most grateful.

Many thanks,

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Some help, advice, support needed.
Posted by: estie ()
Date: July 04, 2006 02:33PM

Hi Brad,

I always hate to see a message like this, because there are no easy answers.

I checked out this group's website [] and they seem to be more on the fringe than the US LGATs, which try to look legitimate. Smit calls things outright "Real Magic." The "Initiation" invitation claims sending an email asking for more information "connects you to the outer band of the Initiation Force Field." WOOO-EEE! (Okay, I bought it that the est training started when you registered, but this is even more ridiculous.)

But, back to your problem. The thing is, you have to get through to her. That isn't easy. I think the most-used approach is to do an intervention, if there are other family members and friends to join you. Can you find an exit-counsellor in your area?

We're in a holiday weekend here, but let's hope you'll hear from some others.


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Some help, advice, support needed.
Posted by: glam ()
Date: July 06, 2006 04:28AM

First thing I'd do is check out/read all the stuff avail. on this site...under "getting help," "mind control," etc. Education is step 1.

It's painful when someone you know gets pulled into something like this.


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Some help, advice, support needed.
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 06, 2006 08:45PM

Just to let you guys know, anything offered is truly appreciated and valued. Just the fact that you take the time to say something provides me with support, which is something that makes working through a situation like this easier - and as you will know it is not easy.

Thank you so much.

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Some help, advice, support needed.
Posted by: dwest ()
Date: July 07, 2006 12:37PM

From experience, do not say many negative things about the cult. This can move her away from you. If you feel you must, make it generalities, such as asking her to think about certain ideas, without bringing the cult into it.

You can always leave negative literature around, but let her pick it up. She is already being controlled by someone else, if she starts to feel that, and thinks you want to control her (although you don't she has distorted thinking right now), you may lose her once and for all.

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Some help, advice, support needed.
Posted by: estie ()
Date: July 07, 2006 01:51PM

Just out of curiosity, was your girlfriend already interested in mysticism? This group seems geared toward people who are.


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Some help, advice, support needed.
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 07, 2006 03:31PM

Corboy - pretty prophetic words you once wrote:

Posted: 10-29-2004 09:15 PM Post subject: Complex question


It does not appear that Castaneda got his material from any known LGAT. But someone may come up with a way to use Castaneda type material in an LGAT format.

C created what some commentators call 'New Age Shamanism'.

Castaneda did create a group and the dynamics are described by Amy Wallace in her memoir The Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda.

There's a lot of material on thread


Scroll through the threads and read the stuff on Castaneda.

Someone has now come up with a way to use Castaneda material in a LGAT format. His name is Louis Smit and he operates in South Africa, although I know he has also presented courses in London, Zanzibar and Hong Kong.

I know that in those courses in London, Zanzibar and Hong Kong he used, as he did in South Africa, all eight mind control techniques as defined by Lifton. Then, he moved in for the kill with his Castaneda-speak.

While those people under his influence don't live in a commune or cult-type set up of that sort, they view him as some type of guru or teacher, and he doesn't discourage the use of either term.

Some people who have done his courses live far away from his base in Johannesburg, but many, not all, have become dependent on him to tell them how to live their lives, what to read, and, of course, what courses to do with him.

All inappropriate behaviour, which we would under normal circumstances find repugnant, is easily explained away by him saying he is a sorcerer and he is being a sorcerer - Castaneda said that, as a sorcerer, it is okay to lie and it seems he encouraged it too.

Convenient and so devious.

Of course, Castaneda's stories were fiction, but why deal with the truth? It's scorcery isn't it?

His claims:

Louis Smit, a native South African, has lived and traveled in many parts of the world for more than 33 years. (I can't comment on that).

In his pursuit of conventional knowledge, Louis has obtained various business degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand. (True)

Louis has an ongoing interest in martial art, with Black belt qualifications in Aikido and Karate. (The Aikido bit is true. I can't comment on the Karate).

His training in Aikido led him to the study of metaphysics, the healing arts and a ‘somersault into the unknown’. (So vague. What the hell is 'a somersault into the unknown'? Is that where he found special powers and hidden knowledge?)

Louis has studied with various esoteric systems, including Hermetics and the Rosicrucian Order. (I can't comment on Hermetics and the Rosicrucian Order won't say who their members are. Again, very convenient.)

He graduated with a Bachelor Of Esoteric Sciences - Honours (B.E.Sc.-Hon.) with the Australian School Of Esoteric Studies in 1995 and completed a Diploma Of Esoteric Education (Dip.E.Ed). (Lies. No such school exists or has ever existed. His so-called guru - one Patrick Desplace claims to have founded the school, but a study of the Australian Business Register shows it has never existed. Desplace also claimed to me in an e-mail that he founded The Australian Institute of Human Resources. Again, there is nothing under that name, although there is the Australian Human Resources Institute who have never heard of him, their supposed founder).

He attained a Healing Diploma and a Masters of Esoteric Sciences in 1997 within the auspices of The World Development of Human Resources. (The WDHR is a company formed by Desplace which, can you believe it has the web address of [] It claims to be affiliated to the Australian School of Esoteric Studies. In December 2005, in an e-mail to me, Desplace claimed the school was moving from Darwin to Adelaide. No record of that, even to this day because it doesn't exist. Who gave Desplace the right to hand out diplomas and degrees? With which bodies is WDHR registered?)

Louis invites You to join him on a special journey, filled with an abundance of life, laughter, happiness, joy and fun. (Since my girlfriend first did a course with this con man, she hasn't experienced any of this so-called abundance. She has experienced serious depression, suicidal thoughts, a business going in reverse, and has become very serious, isolated, evasive, and fears she will not make it i.e achieve her potential - ah the instilled phobia. And she believes in stories made up by Castaneda, Florinda Donner and Merilyn Tunnenshende, all of which Smit has prescribed to her to read).

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Some help, advice, support needed.
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 07, 2006 11:03PM

Well, I phoned my girlfriend a short while ago and asked her why she hasn't invited me around to her place for over a month now. And guess what? Her answer: "I don't know what to say. I just need some space. I don't feel like talking".

The same babble I have heard for the past month. Ironically enough, that falls in exactly with the last time she saw this conman/guru Louis Smit. I can only guess what Castaneda rubbish he put in her head. And, of course, he is playing the Castaneda role. Brilliant! It covers all his lies because he's being the sorcerer?!?!?!

Would she wake up and realise what is happening if he made a pass at her, tried to bed her? Boy, I sure hope so.

I am so frustrated. Being confronted by a stone wall with the reasoning power of a stone wall is incredibly frustrating. And this is/was a bright, beautiful woman.

Hell, it's a tough battle, but I am going to win it because I will NEVER give in to this charlatan and I choose to believe that true love conquers all...

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Some help, advice, support needed.
Posted by: estie ()
Date: July 08, 2006 10:57AM


I tried to email this guy to get info about the "Initiation", but his server doesn't take email from yahoo. I did, however, find out he's used proxy services both to register his domain name and host his website, so they don't trace back to him. I think his website only has his first name, and he has some info in a linked Word doc, which search engines may not pick up.

I'm glad you brought him to our attention. I hadn't heard of him, and he's a bad one. His local press needs to find out about him. :twisted:

I hope you'll win your girlfriend back, and I know you won't be satisfied if there's something you could have done and didn't, but you need to know she may not get out of the cult. Many people don't. It's up to her.


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Some help, advice, support needed.
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: July 08, 2006 11:41AM

Thanks for the post, Estie.

One line open to me is the media. I work for a small company run by two of the most respected press men in South Africa. They have won numerous awards, both locally and overseas, and one of them is the head of the School of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand and a frequent expert guest on the media on television.

I am sure they can help me get my story out. My concern, though, is the timing. I don't want to do anything until my girlfriend is out of this mess. That, of course, could change, depending on how things play themselves out.

I realise my girlfriend has to decide herself to get out, but I still believe she will - when, I don't know.

I have so much clear info that would easily debunk all that she has been taught, but thought reform is the problem. If she would only give me an opportunity to show her the overwhelming case against what she has been shown.

This includes the thought reform and the idealogy she has been taught - that of Carlos Castaneda, which has so many holes in it that it is unbelievable (and untrue). As a person, too, Castaneda was a despicable man.

My girlfriend has always had an almost uncontrollable anger at the abuse of women by men. I will give her Amy Wallace's book on Castaneda to read. Wallace was his fourth wife and exposed his sexual cult type ways, and many of his lies.

Hopefully she will read it because she is fascinated by him.

Maybe that is a starting point. What do you think?

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