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PSI Seminars and what Happened to me...
Posted by: Jeri442 ()
Date: September 05, 2007 12:33PM

I'm still in recovery and its been almost five years.

I have tried to find my ex-husband just to tell him I am sorry, but noone I know knows where he moved to.

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PSI Seminars and what Happened to me...
Posted by: Jeri442 ()
Date: September 07, 2007 12:40PM


The Intimacy Experiment.

In the early 1960s Eric Berne conducted a social experiment with members of his Tuesday evening seminar. This so-called Intimacy Experiment was designed to find out what would happen between two people when all other modes of social interaction (games, pastimes, rituals) were forbidden. This is how he describes the experiment in an article written for his Transactional Analysis Bulletin.

The two subjects sit facing one another with their faces less than twenty inches apart, taking twenty inches as the near point for visual acuity, and stare into one another's eyes for up to twenty minutes. After about fifteen minutes if the experiment is properly performed some of the subjects would begin to experience phenomena similar to those induced in susceptible people by prolonged sensory isolation or by LSD 25 or similar drugs. He was convinced that these effects were the production of archaic phenomena. He concluded that the conditions of the experiment tended to diminish Parent influence and Adult data processing thus partly exposing the unadapted expressive Child buried since nursing days. The purpose of sitting within the near point of vision is that this is the way an infant sees his mother. Hence people find them selves in a situation such as they have not experienced since early infancy.
In a lecture at San Jose State 1965 Berne warned against using the experiment indiscriminately since the long term effects were not known; the experiment should be restricted to married couples only!

This was similar to "the sharing" practiced at the ranch.

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PSI Seminars and what Happened to me...
Posted by: Samuel ()
Date: September 12, 2007 11:22AM

My ex-wife had her journal from the PSI Ranch and she had written about "the sharing" and how it effected her staring into the eyes of complete strangers.

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PSI Seminars and what Happened to me...
Posted by: Zorro ()
Date: September 19, 2007 01:25PM

My ex-wife had her journal from the PSI Ranch and she had written about "the sharing" and how it effected her staring into the eyes of complete strangers.

They do a similar exercise in the Landmark Advanced course and your standing just inches away from the person looking straight into their eyes for a very long time while the instructor goes on about how the persons eyes are those of your parents, siblings, spouse, lover, etc. Parts of the exercise have you look into the class and make eye contact with others.

During this exercise one of my friends had a break down and started crying. There were quite a few others sobbing too. This is a very intense exercise. Afterwards when people from the class talk to each other it is usettling to watch because of the intensity of the eye contact.

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PSI Seminars and what Happened to me...
Posted by: Jeri442 ()
Date: September 20, 2007 10:48AM


I went to the ranch and participated in the pole, the wall, the ledge, the barn dance and wore the clothing that was selected by my PSI buddy. Clothing that I felt uncomfortable wearing in even a private setting. I looked into the eyes of several men, strangers to me up to then, and felt like they actually wanted to have a relationship with me, beyond the physical. I felt they had seen the real person underneath. I came home gushing like I had the time of my life. My husband was angry as I left without a word of warning to him or my family. He had even called the police to report me missing. I even signed up for the Leadership Seminar for $3600.00 dollars and charged it to my credit card. My husband blew up at me, asking me if I had lost my mind.

Actually there were three women in my group who started having affairs with men while at the ranch. One woman went home and left her husband like I did. There two men who went home and left their wives. Another dumped his girlfriend.

I can't believe that I was so stupid that I fell for this.

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PSI Seminars and what Happened to me...
Posted by: Chastain ()
Date: September 27, 2007 11:45AM

I posted this back a few months ago:

Hi everyone. Just wanted to update you on the plight of my now exgirlfriend. I heard from her father last night and he informed me that my ex was married a few days ago to the guy she met at the ranch. Her father told me that she informed him of her decision over the weekend and said they were flying out to Vegas to get married. He said she invited him to attend but he refused, telling her that she needs to think about whats she is doing. She apparently blew up at him and ranted about him not being supportive, etc, etc.

Update: The ex-girlfriend called me yesterday to "talk." Most the conversation was about asking me how I was doing; I asked her why she cared and why she was calling after this length of time. Now get this: she's playing the "PLD" game they have and she tried to get me to take the PSI basic, as it is one of her goals. I called her a fool and hung up. The nerve of her. Putting me through hell these last few months and calling out of the blue to get me to enroll so she can meet her goal.

After a couple of hours it dawned on me that she must be running out of options trying to get me to take this crap.

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PSI Seminars and what Happened to me...
Posted by: Jeri442 ()
Date: September 29, 2007 10:52AM

PSI Seminars
PSI Seminars employs a well-tested and highly refined formula to get your money. Their methodology is neither proprietary nor unique, and is described in any scholarly work about cult dynamics.
What follows here is a below-the-surface interpretation of what happens during a weekend PSI. This will not be obvious to most participants because the language used at the PSI is carefully designed to conceal and distract.
The invitation
Recruitment is via invitation from a trusted friend, so you start out with a very open mind. This is much more effective than seeing an ad in the newspaper. In fact, PSI Seminars does not buy advertising--instead they rely on the free yet powerful word-of-mouth advertising from their members.
The speakers
PSI speakers are charismatic, that is, they are very good at being persuasive. They appear believable, trustworthy, caring, intelligent, and worthy of admiration. They are well-paid, highly trained professionals, selected for their speaking abilities. These are the only paid employees you'll see at PSI.
The "volunteers"
The member-volunteers you meet, including the friend who brought you, are sincere in their belief that PSI Seminars is good for you. They have been convinced themselves, and are being strongly encouraged to convince others. In fact, PSI Seminars assigns them recruitment homework, as spreading the word is an integral part of their growth as a member. They are encouraged to take PSI Seminars as far as possible by attending course after course, each costing hundreds, even thousands of dollars. At these meetings, members are trained how to recruit.
The psychology
PSI Seminars preys on people with low self esteem or who are somewhat depressed or dissatisfied--in other words, the majority of the population. People are looking for answers and PSI Seminars claims to have all of them. They begin with what I call the "christmas present."
The Christmas Present
Imagine seeing a box under the Christmas tree. It's very nicely wrapped, undoubtedly placed there by someone who cares about you. It's a very large box and has a note saying "Something very special, just for you." You can only guess what's inside, but you know it's got to be something very special indeed. You can't wait to unwrap it because you know it will make you happy.
This is how PSI Seminars gets you interested--by telling you it has something you want without actually giving you a single detail about what it is. Consider the name, "PSI Seminars." What does it mean? Absolutely nothing. Unless your like the name the “Piss and Shit Institute.” This was also true of their previous name, "Est," and of the Landmark offshoot "Scientology," which offers you the wonders of "Dianetics."
PSI Seminars is an empty box to be filled with treasures that only your imagination can provide. This is a popular advertising technique. Think of that car commercial where you get only tantalizing glimpses of the "stunningly redesigned" product. You get no specific details, only a vague framework upon which to place your wildest dreams of what you want the product to be. It makes you want it even before you really know what it is. That's how PSI hooks you. Their members are told they must not reveal any information to outsiders about what actually goes on in the meetings because that will somehow ruin their benefit. In truth it would just undermine PSI’s recruitment strategy.
Breaking you down
Once you're hooked into attending your first PSI, the psychological work begins in earnest. This is where PSI Seminars borrows heavily from successful cult operations--operations that have been powerful enough to lead people to take their own lives in the name of the cult, like Heaven's Gate. Of course PSI has no interest in mass suicide--they want hordes of live, happy, paying customers. Remember, PSI’s sole purpose is to collect money.
The first thing PSI needs to do is kill your own opinions, your own ideas, your own independent thoughts. They'll ask "who are you being" and tell you that you are being a bad person. Your ideas are your "stories" which you need to "let go" of. Your opinions are your "racket" that you use to justify everything you do. If you question anything presented in the meetings, that's your racket, your story, a result of you being a closed-minded person, a person who just won't let go.
And PSI Seminars will provide the physical and emotional stress that facilitates "letting go."
Your weekend PSI Basic is four consecutive full days plus an extra evening. The schedule is 3 p.m. to midnight each day. No food is provided. Breaks are three hours apart, and you are told that if you take an unscheduled break--even for the restroom--you will ruin the experience and not get the benefit for which you have paid. The idea is to create physical and mental discomfort by exposing you to marathon sessions. Such a schedule inhibits critical thinking and impairs mental alertness (true adult education professionals recommend breaks at least every 50 minutes to keep participants alert and learning).
When you finally get home you are exhausted, it's after midnight, and yet you have a homework assignment (usually some sort of writing). And you have to be finished and back in session early the next morning. There is little time for sleep. Sleep deprivation is a common technique that cult leaders use to make people's minds malleable and highly open to suggestion. Prisoners of war are routinely subjected to sleep deprivation in the hopes they will reveal secrets to their captors.
Another borrowed technique is public humiliation. You'll be coaxed into getting up in front of the entire group of 150 people to spill your guts, revealing your deepest and most embarrassing secrets. This often reduces people to tearful sobbing, which is amplified by loudspeakers. Again, if you don't do it you're sabotaging your benefit. This activity is designed to break whatever self esteem you have left and leave you desperate for something to depend on.
And that something is PSI Seminars. Exhausted, feeling worthless and helpless, having "let go" of your individuality (but also hopeful for rescue), a charismatic speaker tells you there is an answer, that PSI Seminars "technology" can give you the power to make yourself strong again, to make you feel good again. You've already been told that the life you've been living is unworthy, hopeless, and born of ignorance, "rackets," and "stories." You've even been convinced that your family, friends, and lovers are also ignorant and suffering from not knowing the benefit of PSI Seminars. You'll believe almost anything at this point, and you'll be ready to submit yourself to the particular brand of pack mentality that PSI Seminars offers.
You are ready, in PSI speak, to have a "breakthrough."
They don't have to convince you to go out and kill yourself--there's no need to go that far. All they have to do is convince you there's a reasonable likelihood that PSI Seminars, through its special technology that no one else has, can fix you. And on the final graduation evening you'll have your poor ignorant friends and relatives along so that PSI Seminars can offer to fix them too. And of course you'll need to spend another $3000.00 or so for your next "advanced" course. Then another $4000.00 for the leadership course.
Denying reality
The only way PSI Seminars can keep you paying is to keep you in the dark about what PSI really is. So in a very clever twist, PSI’s mysterious technology, the one you use to make yourself happy, is centered around denying reality --pretending things are something they are not. Now here's the twist: the fantasy that PSI Seminars helps you construct includes PSI Seminars membership itself as its basis. Once you have become dependent on the fantasy, you will go into debt, if necessary, attending courses and giving up your time as an unpaid "volunteer." A volunteer taking notes in the back of the room. All this because without PSI Seminars, the unthinkable could happen: your fantasy would collapse, and you would feel the way did during those first marathon sessions.
Building the fantasy
With PSI's help, you can look at a bad situation and through a fairly simple exercise draw conclusions about it that make you feel good. You use the power of creative interpretation to infer positive outcomes. Essentially you make up your own reality by selectively ignoring the facts in front of you. Got a bad performance review at work? Well forget about that—your negative reaction to it is just a "story" anyway—and remember the time last year when your boss said "Good work." Problem solved! (or to put it more clearly, Problem ignored!)
At PSI Seminars you have hundreds of peers telling you it's perfectly ok to think this way, that it's ok to automatically assume, for example, that it's your partner's problems, not yours, that's causing strife in your relationship. Why face problems if you can simply decide they don't exist? Better yet why not just leave the relationship; it doesn’t exist anyway, Right?
Brainwashing, or mind control, or voodoo; just very effective advertising. PSI Seminars uses well-tested psychological techniques that take advantage of natural weaknesses in human personalities. Advertisers do it all the time with ads carefully designed to appeal to your most basic emotions--sex, power, fear, etc.--those that reside below the threshold of critical thinking. PSI Seminars does it in a more interactive, much more powerful way: they imprison you in a room, convince you that critical thinking is bad, and then, appealing to your emotions, pound their message into you.
And their message is this: Keep giving us your money and you'll be happy.

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PSI Seminars and what Happened to me...
Posted by: persephone ()
Date: October 03, 2007 03:23AM

It's been a couple of months since I have posted and read anything about PSI. I have actually forgotten about it. I was the one who thanked you all for your stories. My "friend" recommended this to me.

I still can't believe that this is even for real - especially at the amount of money involved!

Chastain, I'm sorry that you lost your girlfriend through this. I am glad you are smart enough to see through this bs. I'm sorry her dad has to go through this too. Good thing you didn't marry her.

I am still baffled that people will buy into this. I guess everyone wants to feel like they belong somewhere. yikes!

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Re: PSI Seminars and what Happened to me...
Posted by: Jeri442 ()
Date: October 15, 2007 09:57AM

persephone, how's it going with your friend?

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Re: PSI Seminars and what Happened to me...
Posted by: Jeri442 ()
Date: October 16, 2007 11:00AM

I attended the first seminar called Quest. It's the first and basic training and costs about $500. Impact says it's trainings are 'designed to empower the human spirit toward living a free, unconditional loving and joyful life. We provide professional facilitators and a safe environment for each student to discover and be their true selves.'
I read this on ripoffreports and was amazed with the similarly with PSI Seminars. Most, if not all, of this was what I experienced with the PSI Basic.

I entered the training as a pretty happy person, and after attending my self-esteem has been shattered, my confidence gone, my trust is diminished, I'm depressed and struggling with anxiety.

Imact uses public humilation, yelling, namecalling, rigid rules, sleep deprivation and peer pressure to break you down. For example: On the second night, my group (about 120 people) were told to get into small semi sercles of anout 9 people. We had been yelled at all day, and several people had already been kicked out (thus losing their $500) for breaking the rigid rules. We were NOT given a chance to see the rules before our money (and non-refundable deposit) was taken. After we all got into the semi-circles, we were all told we would each have a chance to stand in front of the circles to recieve 'feedback' from trainers and fellow trainees. Our instructions were that in order to properly 'serve' each other, we were not allowed to say anything nice, or even neutral to each other. Whenever someone didn't follow these instructions they were yelled at by the staff. In this high pressure, sleep deprived state, people were told things such as:
'My experience of you is that you are a loser.'
'I couldn't be in relationship with you because you wouldn't be worth the work.'
'You have no real friends or relationships.'
'You hide behind your fat.'
'You are weak.'
...Et cetera
The majority of the group is sobbing by the end of the exercise. We were told by the staff that this is good for us because it helps us break down the 'walls' that are holding us back from success, happiness, meaningful relationships, etc. In reality, these comments put people in a vulnerable, broken down, emotional, and most of all suggestable state. In this vulnerable state we were told that all our problems could be fixed by using the 'tools' and philosophies that Impact teaches. For example:
-There is no right or wrong, only working and not-working
-There are no victims, everyone has choices that lead them to their circumstances or feelings
-There are no accidents
-You are already perfect, just by being you
-'language of increase' where certain words are encouraged and others discouraged.
Discouraged words: 'you, yours, think, help, hope, have to, understand, right & wrong, need, want, victim, etc.
Encouraged words: 'I, mine, know, assist, deserve, get to, natural knowing, choice, possibility, etc.
-There are many, many more
These philosphies seem to ultimately protect Impact from blame when something goes wrong with a trainee (ie 'it's your own choice to feel hurt by our statements', 'we just kicked your husband out, but there are no accidents, it was supposed to happen that way'). They can also create a dangerous belief system in those who take it to heart.

The last half of the last day is basically a hard-sell environment trying to convince everyone to spend $700 for the next training, Summit, and also to sign up friends and family.

What did I get out of this training? My first therapist (to help me recover), broken self-esteem, no confidence, anxiety, broken trust, and time wasted. It has and will takes months to recover and I WOULDN'T RECOMMEND IMPACT TRAININGS TO ANYONE. I'm not the first or last person vicitm of this company. The worst part is that I've only covered the tip of the iceberg concerning Impact Trainings, and I'm glad I got out when I did.

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