The Intentional Living Institute
Posted by: Elisita ()
Date: October 19, 2003 01:29AM

Here is the latest news on "The Intentional Living Institute" []
I have previously posted news on a "Leadership Training Organization" that owns the house in which the business (I am employed by) is located. I had given my boss a printout of an article on destructive training organizations.(I mistakenly thought it would help her somehow) I never said that I thought the ILI was a cult, yet my employer, at our last meeting, told me, with a slight smirk and laugh, that "The ILI is not a cult, it is only phsycology, and she expects me not to say anything seen as offensive about her belief system, because it is who she is".

I am currently looking hard for another job after I was given a set of rules to go by, including:

*Not being allowed to mention any of My Personal Life at work
*Never showing any negative emotions at work, or in front of clients. This includes "being obviously quiet"
*No making or recieving any personal calls at work
*Requirement to do any work for the ILI I am asked to do
*Requirement that I follow the ILI's formulas for meeting structure
*Not allowed to say anything seen as derogatory or negative about the ILI
*I cannot insist on anything at work, i.e., if I cannot do a task (even if I do not have the skills or time)
*Taking on all tasks asked of me "with good spirit"
*Since I am alone at work most of the time, she suggested I "make some friends" and discuss any problems I have with them.(I have plenty of friends already...)
*She suggested I needed to learn to control and cease to express negative emotions in general, and that "would help me in my personal life" as well.

I have had three ILI members walk up to me out of the blue and ask me very personal questions . I do not even know these people, the only way they can know these intimate things about me is from my boss. Also, I have witnessed the emotional breakdowns of new membres in one-on-one dicussions with "trainers"...they have these little discussions in-between the larger group sessions. Believe me, it is like a hell to listen to it. The converted old house has no place that you cannot hear what is going on, and I think they are leaving the doors open for me to hear on purpose now!

This group is truly scary.


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The Intentional Living Institute
Posted by: Guy ()
Date: November 17, 2003 11:25PM

thanks for the post Elisita,

I checked out the site.
It looks like an attempt at mooshing est/LEC into a new age model.

Looks slimey, creepy to me.

I'd get out while you can with minimal damage.


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The Intentional Living Institute
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 21, 2003 12:58PM

'Never showing any negative emotions at work, or in front of clients. This includes "being obviously quiet"

That's a recipe for a nervous breakdown right there. They may be trying trying to suck you in by 'sculpting' your behavior.

By making you behave in all these ways, eventually this will shape your mind and emotions to their specifications.

Its a well known finding in social psychology that if you get people to DO something, no matter how minimal, it increases the liklihood that they will change their attitudes AFTER the action, so as to justify, retrospectively, what they were already doing.

Please dont kid yourself that you are strong enough to withstand the pressure. Its you against a whole group of people, and your boss appears, from your own description to be giving them information about you.

Even if you have to go home to Mom, try and get out of there. Tell us how you're doing.

If you do leave, you may be accused of being weak or disloyal, negative, or unevolved, or that you'd be in line for a really juicy promotion if only you stayed awhile longer.

It will all be bullshit. Run like hell. They may be picking on you precisely because you lack options.

The mind you save will be your own. Run while its still yours.

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The Intentional Living Institute
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 21, 2003 09:20PM

even though you never officially joined.

Here is a possible angle on what they are demanding of you--see if it fits:

*Never showing any negative emotions at work, or in front of clients. This includes "being obviously quiet"

There is a researcher named Paul Ekman who has spent over 20 years mapping the micro expressions of the human face the correspond to emotions. He can 'read' faces the way a trained musician can sight read a musical score and imagine how the music sounds.

Ekman and one of his assistants were on a project trying to teach themselves the facial expressions that correspond with anger and depression. They were tweaking their faces in very specific ways.

One day, the two of them realized that they had both become very depressed and miserable. And then they realized that by exercising facial expressions linked to depression and anger, they'd caused their emotional lives to shift into anger and depression!

What they had done with thier faces (that is their bodies) had altered their minds. (From a New Yorker magazine article entitled 'The Naked Face')

So if as you report, Ekman's research offers a suggestion that your boss, loyal to this group, by nagging you about your facial expressions is ALREADY shaping your inner life.

Again, it is a rock solid finding in social psychology that if you get someone to put thier body on the line by doing something, however minimal, eventually in most cases, the person's attitudes will shift so as to rationalize and justify what the person is doing. (Look up the research on 'cognitive dissonance' to see how this works)

Some time ago, I read an account by a former Mormon missionary who revealed that getting people to make a modest commitment was an essential part of their conversion process.

Finally a scary thought: Ask yourself whether it is possible that the group is using you as a subject to test whether they can recruit someone subliminally, someone who isnt even an 'official member' just someone who works for members.

They may perhaps have selected you and have you under observation. If they learn to mess with your head, they will then know how to teach their members ways to subliminally 'sculpt' the minds and emotions of employees, families, etc.

Most groups demand in overt ways that you share their beliefs in order to continue working for them and eject anyone who refuses to go along. THats why it is so interesting that your boss is making these demands of you and that you seem to be under observation--and despite your misgivings, they've not fired you, as most groups would have done.

From what you have described, it is worthy asking whether you're being tested--the group wants to see just how far they can get into your head--perhaps they want to see how powerful their methods are when applied to someone who already has misgivings .

IMO, the risk for your long term welfare high. I strongly advise making a run for it and changing your phone number.

Dont give any advance notice. Your good faith and compassion will probably be used against you. Your boss already, from your account shared personal info about you with the others, which means she violated confidentiality.


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The Intentional Living Institute
Posted by: elena ()
Date: November 22, 2003 01:11AM

Hi Elisita,

Yup, it's the same old copy-cat, cloned spin-off of something similar to Landmark or Lifespring dressed up in new garb but not that much different from the 1960s and 70s Moonies, Hare Krishna, Children of God, or Scientologists. (The drumming or chanting are probably part of a hypnotic induction.)

These people are so pathetic it's laughable. They don't even have the imagination to change the words. They cut and paste the same idiotic nonsense over and over again. (If anything you see includes the words: "empowerment, breakthrough, coaching, integrity or authenticity, results, clear or clarity in the same paragraph, BEWARE! They are in all likelihood using the psychological tactics of the various offspring of the "church" of scientology.)

Get out as soon as you can. No matter how they appear on the surface, these people are in the business of exploitation and abuse of anyone they can con into joining or working for them.


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The Intentional Living Institute
Posted by: Elisita ()
Date: December 14, 2003 01:37AM

I was only there for a few more days after my post. I was fired from my job via phone call at 9:00pm and asked to come get my paycheck with severance in the morning. My husband and I went immediately that night to my office to collect my things (of which there were few). The door to the offce had a new lock. So I put my useless key in the door and wrote a note, "I was fired because I realized the ILI is a cult. Shame on You!" and stuck it to the bullitin board. Good timing, as there was a meeting going on that night with the big guns. The next morning she told my husband he was tresspassing as soon as she saw him with me (as there was no way he would let me go back alone). He told her she would have to have the police escort him out. So she called 911. She especially did not like the fact he was holding a video camera. She then told me that I would only recieve my check after I showed her what I had been working on (a major undertaking, as I was running the studio). Of course I refused, and told her all I wanted was my check. She said she didn't have to pay me anything (yet another example of her bait and switch techniques she uses). I informed her of my workers rights, and then I gave into a rage that had been bottled up for at least a year and a half. I told her she was under the influence of a cult, and what I thought of her, and then shouted at the top of my lungs "THIS IS A CULT!!!!!!BEWARE!!!!!Several times. I could not help but shout. I had been shouting those words in my mind for so long that they broke out like water gushing from a broken dam. Luckily, there were some new clients at another cult-run business upstairs that heard me. Whooo! My husband told her she was brainwashed as well as a few other choice items. We gladly escorted ourselves out well before any authorities had to. About an hour after we got home, she showed up at my house with two police officers to announce that I was banned from the premises of not only my old workplace, but also her parents house and her house (What the hell?) Then smugly told me how I brought all this grief upon myself for "My Temper". (The police officers were rolling thier eyes at her) She has since told anyone she can (many that are friends and associates of mine) any lie she can about me and my husband, trying to hurt our reputations and impede me getting other work. I have had a hard time finding new work, and oftentimes I fall prey to remorse for confronting her in the first place and starting all of this. I have to remind myself daily that my sanity is worth so much more than any job. She mailed me a note along with my check (that I had to go through the labor board to get) saying that I that I need to come back again (Say what?) and pick up some other items of mine along with my check. NO WAY! What is she trying to set me up for now?? I have had to wait to post this untill I could emotionally visit those days again. They were working me. I know this now. I am not a tempermental sort. I am one of those people who go along with the flow, but a person can only take so much. I wish I had left way before any of this had to happen. But then again, maybe I saved a few people that day. I know I saved myself.

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The Intentional Living Institute
Posted by: automaticftp ()
Date: December 14, 2003 06:50AM


If you're in the US, and in NC, it might be worth talking to a lawyer experienced in defamation. Certainly sounds like it, with the ex-boss saying things she either knows or should know are false. Might be worth having a demand letter sent--you probably wouldn't see anything out of it, but it would certainly put them on notice.



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The Intentional Living Institute
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 14, 2003 11:40AM

You and your husband did good.

I was worrying that you were still there--from your description the place sounded toxic as hell, and I was afraid you might never get out.

Hopefully that dame is so nutso that your friends and associates will know she's a whack job.

But what a classic set up--drive someone insane and then accuse them of being crazy.

If there is a local computer bulletin board for your area like, see about posting some warnings.

Congratulations--do your best to enjoy Christmas. You're a free woman now.

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The Intentional Living Institute
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 14, 2003 10:32PM

I suggest checking with a lawyer, too.

Abusive people and groups get away with a lot because their victims are usually so exhausted that they usually want to 'put it all behind them' and get on with their lives.

But if you at least consult a lawyer and perhaps arrange for the lawyer to do something (go to court and get an injunction forbiddng future harassment/defamation) that may accomplish two things:

1) Give you a sense of mastery

2) It creates the beginnings of a paper trail that journalists and other victims can build on.

It all depends on what your lawyer says.

Even if you do not consult a lawyer, please sit down while your memory is fresh and write a chronology listing, step by step, what you went through. Concentrate on who, what when where and why.

If you send the chronology to the lawyer before you meet for your counseling session, your lawyer will be able to identify the main points and you'll get a lot more out of your interview.

If you cant afford a lawyer go to a legal clinic. If there's a law school in or near your area they probably have a clinic staffed by their students.

Always be clear on how much things will cost. Usually the first interview is free or very low cost.

Ask if the lawyer can also write a letter to your Labor board--that way they'll know this is a crappy workplace.

If you create enough of a paper trail you can then have the kind of info that Rick can use to create a specific listing for this group in his general archives.

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