Current Page: 3 of 7
Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: January 23, 2009 08:21PM


What educational requirements does Hoffman have for its program leaders?

How can those leaders be held accountable?

Is there a licensing board or regulatory body of some sort that can specifically handle complaints if Hoffman participants are unhappy?

Is there a staff psychologist or psychiatrist paid to professionally supervise Hoffman programs?

How are people "screened"? Is this done by a psychologist or psychiatrist? Please explain the screening process as you understand it.

You have offered your opinion regarding the various liabilities and danger signs previously cited, which are often evident within LGAT programs. You believe that at Hoffman this behavior is "not their game at all."

But has a mental health professional or academic done an objective study of the Hoffman programs, which has been peer reviewed and published based upon something other than anecdotal evidence?

Specifically, how have the Hoffman programs been objectively and professionally evaluated concerning content, potential risks, liabilities and scientifically measurable objective results?

For example, objectively measurable results might include such things as a higher grade point average, increased income, lower divorce rate, reduced need for psychological counseling, lower rate of prescribed medication for anxiety or depression, etc. notably sustained over a period of time after completing Hoffman programs.

No one has specifically stated that Hoffman is a "cult," only suggested that it appears to use "cult-like" training techniques, as previously cited within a description of coercive persuasion.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2009 08:24PM by rrmoderator.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: Jack ()
Date: January 23, 2009 08:35PM


I am not sure of the answers to all those interesting questions. I suggest you speak with the people at Hoffman directly. I guess they wouldn't mind putting some of the fears of their program to rest. I am not really qualified to answer most of them. I can tell you we filled out extensive questionaires and wrote essays and spoke with members of their staff before we were "accepted" as potential attendees.

As you said, its only my opinion that they are a helpful and healthy form of non-coercive group therapy. I will follow your site though and look forward to hearing anything else you discover about Hoffman or other programs like it.

Good luck,

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: January 23, 2009 11:36PM


You seem to have come here as an apologist attempting to defend controversial LGATs, e.g. Hoffman.

Your posts are very telling.

You describe Hoffman as "therapy" to resolve "personal problems," yet will not or cannot identify its staff educational requirements, qualifications per licensing and/or meaningful accountability that its group leaders have to an outside regulatory board or body.

Your claims that Hoffman leaders somehow understand "transference" and have supposed "diagnostic" skills is subsequently without any meaningful foundation.

Hoffman apparently has no rquirements that licensed mental health or counseling professionals lead and/or officially supervise its programs. And it seems that Hoffman also has no meaningful accountability to an outside board or body for its practices such as psychologists, psychiatrists, marriage and family therapists, etc.

Therapy to resolve personal problems is typically addressed by such licensed counseling professionals that are accountable to boards.

Your defense of Hoffman is based entirely upon your subjective experience and assorted anecdotal stories.

That is, your response to previously posted points concerning LGAT liabilties that it is somehow simply "not their game at all," is purely your subjective opinion without any supporting factual objective evidence cited.

Specifically, you offer no study and/or academic peer-reviewed and published paper based upon objective scientifically measured evidence.

But the verbiage you use to explain the Hoffman "group" "process" is very telling.

You admit that the Hoffman program is "pretty intense" and that it is a week-long "rigid schedule filled with activities and exercises" where the group participants are led to "take time out of [their lives] to examine [their life] and talk about how it was formed." And that it essentially teaches a particular philosophy, which includes a call to "forgive our parents, while understanding how we've adopted or rejected their negative traits, then we can see our adult selves in a clear light and live happier more balanced lives."

You also describe how this was "crammed down our throat" i.e. "an awareness of how a person's positive and negative personal traits can be built on a lifetime of copying or rejecting our parents' positive and negative personal traits."

You also admitted that there is a Hoffman "lingo," which is often a feature of thought reform programs called "loaded language."

See []

Per the admissions in your posts you have offered the typical characteristics of an LGAT.

And your defense of Hoffman has also followed the typical pattern of an LGAT apologist, which can be viewed at other threads on this message board about Landmark Education, Mankind Project, Sterling Institute of Relationship, etc.

See []

Thanks for sharing inside information about Hoffman and demonstrating these points publicly here as a supporter of its programs.

Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2009 11:46PM by rrmoderator.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: skeptic ()
Date: January 24, 2009 12:00AM

Were you encouraged to recruit more participants? That is another red flag. I have noticed, since realizing that the "personal growth course" I was involved in is the business of thought reform, that anything I've done that is NOT cultic NEVER asked me to bring in more business for them. NEVER. Whether it's legitimate therapy, a kayak class, a week long rafting trip, a lecture, whatever. No one, except the "cult", has sent me out to drum up more business.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 25, 2009 01:04AM

If J. arranges to get himself banned from, its worth asking whether this might actually add to his prestige or give him promotion within whaterver group he hangs out with.

So far we have had no one comfirm that any group has ever encouraged or required them to misbehave on as a condition for entry or promotion.

Such a person could even brag in LGAT circles about elicited X number of reprimands from's moderator before being banned and gain a warped sort of prestige--maybe get promoted to inner circles of a group.

And if a group were to encourage or possibly require(??) someone to misbehave and get reprimanded or banned from this could also be a very effective form of phobia implantation.

It might cause that banned person to feel all the more dependent on the group. Later, if they do face that the group is less than what it claimed to be, they might feel afraid to return to and tell what they learned, fearing they'd made themselves permanently unwelcome due to having earlier obeyed the group, trolled and been banned.

*A research space

*Ongoing seminar,

*Journalistic resource

*Protected communication hub for persons willing to discuss the indoctriination process in an objective manner--and ready to tolerate some anxiety in doing so and who have agreed not to react with invalidation, condescension or shaming when others communicate in the same way.

This said, is solidly within its legal and moral rights to maintain its standards to ensure that persons ready to discuss their groups can do so in peace and free from disruption.'s terms of service are clear and no suprise to anyone--they are read by anyone who registers.

Those happy with Hoffman can discuss it elsewhere.

And if Hoffman delivers solid and durable effects, nothing discussed here at the puny little site can rob you of what you enjoy via Hoffman.

So, getting banned from may even be a way to make it harder for anyone to leave an LGAT, because a person who has made himself unwelcome here might then be reluctant to see their LGAT for what it truly is:

Something that failed to reciprocate their loyalty did not live up to its stated promises:

And keep them from recognizing what truly is--a tool for personal education and empowerment.

And that is up front and can be accessed at no hidden financial charge--though the information available via may elicit personal anxiety in those who discover through's archives and message board that their beloved group or leader failed to reciprocate their loyalty.

This is a discovery that is hard to take and visitors to can find this very painful. If one is alone at home and at a computer, RR.coms archives and message board can deliver information that can cause one's world to feel shattered.

In this case, is the bearer of bad news.

But you're the one who has logged on and taken the risk.

And many who have taken that risk are ready to face the pain and do not want to be annoyed by trolls and triflers or snarky types who show up here thinking exists for thier idle entertainment.

The kind of pain here is real and not entertainment. It is not virtual.

It is life and death for many who come here. There's room for humor but underneath it all, there's an underlying dignity that comes whenver enough people assemble who are either telling the truth of their lives, or trying their best to figure out what that is.

And who in some cases risk being rejected by the people they love and care most about who may be unwilling to share their readiness to question indoctrination and break its spell. Others come here fearing for their jobs because their boss is pushing them or a spouse to do an LGAT and they dont want to.

This isnt entertainment.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/2009 01:21AM by corboy.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: Bodhichitta ()
Date: April 10, 2009 08:22PM

Oops...not sure I am posting correctly so please excuse this is this is a duplicate. I am new to this site and I think the site is great for the good it does, however, I am concerned about its true objectivity. The posts here seem bent on proving a negative instead of discovery of the issue at hand. I would like to offer assistance in presenting a case for middle ground so people can make their own choice. My concern is that while this forum is great for education, the wrong education can have just as bad net effect as some of the very groups which are highlighted here...

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: Jack ()
Date: April 10, 2009 08:56PM

Sorry, I logged on here in January and not again until today.
I respect your views RR, but I didn't log on as an apologist.
Only to give you guys some insight into Hoffman.
If you think its an LGAT, then perhaps it is. I only gave you my subjective views of my experience.
And Corboy, I wasn't banned. I just forgot to log on here and see how the thread continued.
No game playing and no recruiting.
I am sure this is a neat site and helps people as you say Corboy a tool for personal education and empowerment.
Good luck,

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: Bodhichitta ()
Date: April 11, 2009 06:47AM

Hey moderator,

How does this work. I had one post in minutes but my last attempt hasn't been posted in hours. Am I doing something wrong?

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: April 11, 2009 07:05AM


This board is moderated and you don't have auto-approve.

If you break the rules the post won't go through and will be deleted.

Violation of the rules can also result in being banned from the board.

Don't attack people personally and stay on topic.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Hoffman Institute
Posted by: harbinger ()
Date: April 22, 2009 10:23PM

Okay, lets get some things out in the open first up.
I'm a born skeptic. I'm not religious and I endorse the scientific method above all else. I have worked in the upper levels of military intelligence and I've passed all the psychological screening required to get my security clearances with no problems. I wondered what the hell Scientology was when I was 19 and a brief taste of that had me thinking that they were some serious cranks.
So when an acquaintance mentioned the "Hoffman Process", I immediately dismissed it as the therapy equivalent of Amway based on what little information I was interested in hearing.
But then I ran into another skeptic during a relationship workshop who had done the Process .
I figured that his opinion may mean something if he's not into all this new age crap. Surely he'll tell me it's a rip off for the weak minded.
But he didn't. He actually said that it was worth doing.

So I was intrigued.

Google came to the rescue and I found this forum and lots of other mentions in other places.
(Reading about some of the other LGATs here made me a little edgy, but I noted that this was the only Hoffman thread that I could find, compared to so many about many others)

I talked about the Hoffman Process with a friend who is a long term supervising psych nurse. She came back a few days later with an educational bit about light Stockholm Syndrome and that the people who seemed to endorse the Process were all somehow connected to the Organisation. I also happened to mention it to a Colleague while at lunch with her and her husband, who got very interested. Halfway through telling him about it, I had the sickening realisation that I was talking to a man who was once a Professor of Psychology at one of our senior Australian Universities. He told me that if I did it, I was likely to get out of it what I wanted to get out of it. Not an endorsement, but hardly a warning either.

I also noted the suspicions and arguments in this particular thread.

I'd like to point out something right now.

This is a forum dedicated to the purpose of Cult Education. The vast majority of people here are going to have an interest in warning people against Cults.
And hey, count me in on that. I truly believe that Cults are harmful and exploitive and should be ruthlessly exposed for what they are.
But is this forum likely to be more than a little biased towards believing that something is a Cult when it's set up to warn people about them?
I'm sure that it will NEVER endorse anything, because that would be opening up a litigious nightmare.

I'll also state that I don't expect any sympathy from anyone here and that you'll likely have a good go and poking holes in what I say. I'm cool with that because I've been in the same position many many times. I'm first and foremost the hole poker.

I didn't find any out and out criticisms of the Process in the first lot of looking. I found endorsements that all sounded similar and positive.
I've also not ever tried anything like this before and I've been after some answers as to why I've been so limited in my career and life in general.

So I signed up for the Process. I figured that they were getting a loaded skeptic to play with but I'd see what happened.

I got my answers to the questions that I had in the first two days. I know why I do the things that I do now.
Anything else that I could say about the process is that which is said in almost every endorsement, so I won't bother.
But I'll go over a few things which may not have been pointed out.

1. We were asked not to spoil some of the little surprises.
They are nice surprises, so why spoil them for other people?
2. We were asked not to make any major changes in our lives for at least three months.
3. We were asked not to get into any relationships with our other course members.
4. We were asked not to try and give anyone any sort of therapy.
5. We were told that we should not try and sell the course to anyone, but should try and live up to our innate potential and let that serve as an example. Anyone who wonders what happened will ask us about it.

So now it's obvious that I've done the process or I wouldn't know these things.

And how do I feel, you may wonder?
I feel regret that I have wasted so much of my life being limited by my own self imposed shortcomings.
I feel relieved now that I have an understanding of these patterns of behaviour and why I do them.
I have methods of changing my reactions from negative to positive.
Most importantly though, I understand not only myself, but my fellow man far more deeply than I did before.
I understand that you reading this may have mixed emotions about Hoffman and I totally expect, respect and understand it.

Oh, I just remembered that some of my course mates discussed having done the Landmark Forum. Both said that their experience was absolute crap and one's story about it making her break up with her boyfriend was scarily similar to posts in the Landmark threads. They both felt like they were being fed the party line.

Is there anything else, you may wonder?
Yes, there sure as hell is.
My inner skeptic is quite strong. Once I was back in touch with the world again, I started to wonder what other peoples experiences were. I started to look for more Hoffman Critics on the Internet.

And I could find two people who were prepared to post of their negative experiences. One bailed out at the end of the first day as he couldn't handle the conditions placed on him. Another told of it stripping her of her ability to cope. When queried more in the same thread, she admitted that she was already having problems and was in therapy.

Sorry that I didn't put links in here for you to read for your own interpretations, but if you google with even the slightest determination, you'll find them.

So I've changed my opinion on the suitability of Hoffman for anyone.
My opinion now is this:
If you are not prepared to trust that someone may know what they're doing is for your benefit, don't do the Hoffman Process.
If you're not in a good place mentally to deal with the emotional loads that within that which the average person might experience in everyday life, don't do the Hoffman Process. (I'd suggest that if you're already in therapy of some kind, please wait until you're emotionally robust)

In closing, I'll state some more things for your consideration.
1. Do any cult-like organisations have a book which is freely available, which explains in detail the philosophy of their process?
"You can change your life" which is alternatively known as "The Hoffman Process" by Tim Laurence will give you a very good overview of the process. Some of the coursework is directly lifted from this book.

2. Do any parents of Hoffman Process graduates complain about their kids coming to them with increased compassion and telling their parents that they love them?
I don't see any of those posts.

You may chose to basically infer that the lack of people posting negative experiences of Hoffman may indicate one of two possibilities.
1. People don't feel motivated enough to enthusiastically post their negative experiences, or they didn't have them
2. The brainwashing was so totally successful that they are all unable to do it, consider it or remember it.

And if it was that good, how come I still haven't made a substantial weekly contribution of my wages to the Hoffman Foundation?

I am still skeptical about UFO's, Conspiracy Theories, most advertising claims, exactly who killed Kennedy, aspartame warnings and every second email that appears in my inbox.

I'm not a Hoffman skeptic anymore.

What you choose to believe about it from a viewpoint of no personal experience is totally up to you.
I understand if you choose not to believe anything that I've said.
Without my experience, I'd do exactly the same.

Options: ReplyQuote
Current Page: 3 of 7

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.