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Re: Listing of LGATs and their founders
Posted by: aware ()
Date: October 01, 2010 04:04AM

Millennium 3? Bernie?

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Re: Listing of LGATs and their founders
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 02, 2010 03:15AM

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ILP 5-Day Seminar Very similar to Integral WET, only 5-days long. Currently scheduled for NYC and San Francisco.
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The world's premier integral theorist, and teacher of the theoretical component of ILP, a.k.a. the Mind Module. He's had 25+ books published in the last 30 years, and is the United States' most widely-translated integral author.


Corboy note:

Ken started out by endorsing Adi Da, without ever having lived under his authority. Adi Da, later turned out to be self indulgent in a variety of ghastly ways

David Lane on Wilber's endorsements


Adi Da archives


(Ken Wilber has consistently endorsed Andrew Cohen, who has well documented track record of abusing his students, emotionally, financially-Corboy, see

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(Corboy note: KW is not the last word for Integral theory. By now, there are many democratic, non-Wilberian associated discussion venues for Integral theory. These have developed as more have become concerned about Wilberian dogmatisms and eccentricity (eg the Wyatt Earpy letter) and have chosen to go to non authoritarian and peer to peer discussion venues for integral theory)

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Re: Listing of LGATs and their founders
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: October 02, 2010 10:48AM

Although Wilbur has trademarked the term 'Integral' he was not the originator of the theory:

'Although the first use of the term integral in a spiritual context was in the nineteenth century, Integral Theory's most recent antecedents include the California Institute of Integral Studies founded in 1968 by Haridas Chaudhuri (1913–1975), a Bengali philosopher and academic. Chaudhuri had been a correspondent of Sri Aurobindo, who developed his own perspective and philosophy. He established the California Institute of Integral Studies (originally the California Institute of Asian Studies), in 1968 in San Francisco (it became an independent organisation in 1974), and presented his own form of Integral psychology in the early 1970s.
Don Beck and Chris Cowan use the term integral for a developmental stage which sequentially follows the pluralistic stage. The essential characteristic of this stage is that it continues the inclusive nature of the pluralistic mentality, yet extends this inclusiveness to those outside of the pluralistic mentality. In doing so, it accepts the ideas of development and hierarchy, which the pluralistic mentality finds difficult. Other ideas of Beck and Cowan include the "first tier" and "second tier", which refer to major periods of human development.

In late 1990s and 2000 Ken Wilber, who was influenced by both Aurobindo and Gebser, among many others, adopted the term Integral to refer to the latest revision of his own integral philosophy, which he called Integral theory. He also established the Integral Institute as a think-tank for further development of these ideas. In his book Integral Psychology, Wilber lists a number of pioneers of the integral approach, post hoc. These include Goethe, Schelling, Hegel, Gustav Fechner, William James, Rudolf Steiner, Alfred North Whitehead, James Mark Baldwin, Jürgen Habermas, Sri Aurobindo, and Abraham Maslow.

The adjective Integral has also been applied to Spiral Dynamics, chiefly the version taught by Don Beck, who for awhile collaborated with Wilber.'


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Re: Listing of LGATs and their founders
Posted by: Katy ()
Date: March 20, 2011 04:07AM

Bernie Nathan no longer owns M3 they have new owners and a new name they go by . Bernie will still support M3 as needed.They are still at the same location .

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Re: Listing of LGATs and their founders
Date: April 08, 2011 07:55PM

Hi There

Please could you add the Quest seminars to this list of LGAT's?

More information on Quest, Inquest, and Conquest (based on Lifespring, Impact, and Landmark LGAT's)

When did Quest start?
Quest Seminars was founded in 1992 by Buster and Wendy Sefor in Johannesburg, South Africa. Buster was trained by Pat Grove (The International Magician of Transformation)

Pat Grove is a South African, who runs Insight. He is also an internationally recognised consultant, author, lecturer and authority on Ontological Coaching. Over the past 30 years he has trained a number of trainers, Baruch Banai, Yiftach Sagiv, Tony Wiseman, Buster and Wendy Sefor, Steven Norvell, Phil Smith, Chris Nevill and Israel Bercowitz that use his work in countries such as Israel, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, Guernsey, England, Austria, Turkey and Holland.

Where did Quest come from?
Much of the foundation of this work comes from original trainings created by Werner Erhardt in the United States in the early 70‘s. Werner’s work was ground breaking in that it promoted the message of self-responsibility and had a huge impact on all who participated in his seminars. In the 1980‘s, Buster and Wendy Sefor were at the forefront of bringing this work to South Africa, leading to a paradigm shift with regards to this new way of thinking in this country.

Where does Quest get its content from?
The Quest trainings bring together knowledge and information from many different schools of thought, including Quantum Physics, NLP, Alan Watts, The Silva Method, Mind Dynamics, Essalin Seminars and Alternative studies as well as the work that Buster and Wendy Sefor have done in their lives and their relationship for over 45 years.

Creating a world that works for everyone

The Quest Institute is committed to delivering outstanding transformational programmes which are run with integrity and dedication. Through our wide ranging courses and programmes, we offer delegates an extraordinary experience of what it means to be an authentic human being.

The Quest Institute
It’s time for you to start of a whole new way of living. You have arrived here, because

•you’re searching for something deeper
•you want to learn more about what it means to be a human being
•you want to uncover why you operate the way you do and discover what makes you behave and live the way you do
•you want to go on a voyage of discovery to find out who you truly are
Whether you undertake to participate in our world famous QUEST seminar or the many other remarkable journeys our organisation presents, then you are choosing to create a powerful difference in your life which will manifest the most incredible results in your world.

The Quest Institute isn’t just about trainings and workshops, it’s about joining a community of like-minded people who all share a passion for wanting to live their most powerful lives. Quest graduates are committed to making a significant difference on this planet and we’d love you to join our family.

A few people's experiences after doing Quest:

"I did Quest and Inquest a few years ago and had a psychotic break afterwards. I have also had severe anxiety and nightmares in the years since.

I don't want to blame Quest for what happened but the information on this site is really quite shocking.

On the quest trainings there was a clear distinction (and hence double-bind and extra confusion) between the basic and advanced. On the basic the emphasis was on 'everyone creates their own reality' so you are not responsible for other people. If they don't like something you say or do, its 'their shit" and "nothing to do with you". This was relatively harmless except that it made a lot of people bad mannered and uncompassionate.

On the 'advanced' inquest training the emphasis is on 'you create your own reality' and 'everything is about you' - so if people don't like something you say or do then you're supposed to ask why or how you created that circumstance of people having a negative response to you. That is not too bad, but they take it even further.

They make a lot of cryptic comments about 'the energies' and how the energy you put out creates the world, so if there is poverty, crime, disease in the world then you created it. Added to that they create the impression that they can 'know' things about you by 'reading' your energy (all done very subtly, not in a way you can rationally and consciously deal with). And... just by thinking a thought or having a feeling you are putting things out into 'the universe' and 'creating reality'... also whatever happens in the training room gets reflected back into the outside world. Not just reflected in your life, but in the world. For example, if someone confesses to lying during the training and there is a case in the media of politicians telling lies (everyday occurrence of course) then this is interpreted as the person who owned up to lying has shifted the energies in the outside world.

My 'experience' (I hate that word) with all this was that my rational mind rejected everything but my feelings were more vulnerable to the abuse that is hurled at you while this is all going on, and the two couldn't live with each other. I think that is what is supposed to cause what the landmark people call a 'breakthrough' - you just can't handle the contradiction so your mind shuts down, you go into shock, and you have a whole lot of chemical reactions in your brain that make you very vulnerable to suggestion. (like the suggestion to bring everybody you love onto the training).

So I've seen a few messages about the trainings turning people into sociopaths (no compassion or responsibility for anything) but there is the other extreme of too much compassion and responsibility and a broken reality where you feel you've caused every problem on earth and are just waiting for all the 'universal laws' to kick into action - and you have to monitor your thoughts so as not to cause any damage in the world. I think that is the reaction that causes psychosis i.e. being out of touch with reality. Part of reality is cause and effect, when that is destroyed in your mind and you are lead to believe that you are 'the source' of everything - well, that's just not reality.

No offense to all the people who didn't make it to a psych ward - but for those who did, I think it’s the ones who resist the most and refuse to 'get out of their heads' that end up there - and that's a good thing, in a way. :) I'm pretty ashamed of the small amount of recruiting and assisting I did; I'm glad I spent more time in hospital than dragging more people into this mess.

On Quest they do four basic things:

* indoctrinate the idea that 'powerful people keep their agreements'. If you say you're going to do something, do it - no excuses. This is also known as commitment and integrity.

* work on people's emotions to get them to focus on their relationships with friends and family

* use a bunch of mental magic tricks to create a false high similar to what you get from drugs like ecstasy. It gives a feeling of confidence and universal peace and love. The general consensus is that those three days are a total mind f*ck but by the end of it most people think it was a good mind f*ck because they're on a high and they've forgotten the things that pissed them off on the way there. Also Quest is pretty mild, compared to Inquest. Buster is pretty good, he cracks a lot of jokes and he's kind of entertaining.

* While people are in this high and easily suggestible (hypnotisable) state - right at the end of the course - they sit people down in groups and ask them how many people they are going to bring to the guest event - by then you feel you've had 'an awesome experience' and you want to share it with everyone you love, and they play on that and get you to make an AGREEMENT / COMMITMENT to bring people. This is after indoctrinating the importance of being in INTEGRITY and KEEPING AGREEMENTS if you want your life to work and if you don't want to be a disgusting insect or whatever. Then they phone you on the Monday afterwards and remind you about your AGREEMENTS and INTEGRITY etc.

The high lasts about three days (about up to a day after the guest event) so most people rush out and get people to the guest event. At the event they pull a few more magic tricks on the guests and use a lot of plain old sales pressure and get people to sign up.

So that's how it’s done. They take advantage of people caring about each other and trusting each other. So before the new recruit even steps into the hall, they've been abused in that their relationships have been exploited to meet Wendy and Buster's agenda.

Quest costs about 2 to 3 thousand, and most people don't plan to do any more courses. The other part of the business plan is during Quest (while you're suggestible) they promote the other courses. One of their favourite phrases is "Inquest is not for the faint-hearted" so it’s a challenge.

Then the plot thickens. Most people get at least one but usually two or three people to do the next quest or the one after. Then they call you up and "invite" you to assist on Quest to "support" the person and show some love the same way the assistants did for you - it’s an opportunity to "give back". And of course normally people are curious to see their friends or family have that "awesome" experience, so they're keen to go along and help out.

While you're assisting on Quest you meet a lot of people who've done Inquest. These people usually look really confident and attractive - they are 'models' to advertise inquest, only they don't know it. A large part of inquest is getting people to fix up they way they dress, walk, talk etc (did you notice these changes in your family members?) so that they are more attractive and better 'models'. And they make a lot of cryptic comments that makes Inquest seem great, and crack a lot of inquest in-jokes that make you curious. So you get hooked into that.

There are other tricks as well... e.g. on Quest you get your money back if you finish the course and don't get anything out of it - but only if you "participate" (play all the games that are mind magic tricks) and stay for the whole course including the guest event. So if you don't like what they do on course (I hated a lot of it) you'll get stubborn (like I did) and hold out to get your money back. But by the end your brain is done in - especially at that moment when they ask you to COMMIT to bringing so many people to the guest event.

I have no doubt Buster and Wendy are fully aware of the dangers and yet take no action whatsoever to warn people. I find that hugely dishonest and lacking in ~integrity~. They either don't want to limit their business or are so out of touch with reality and grandiose that they think they can break and cure people at will.

"In my experience, one of the biggest "weapons" used against participants on these courses is this:

A person's greatest fear is identified. Invariably that comes from a past experience in life. The person does not want to go through a similar experience again. However, it is revisited in many ways on a course, including long meditations that take the person back to that time and place. Then, actions are put into place to prevent that experience happening again.

What is in fact happening is the person is then put into a state of fear of that situation because they are forced to experience it once more. Something like meditations can be very powerful in revisiting it.

Everything that is done from that point on is geared towards preventing the situation of the greatest fear happening again. And it is done from a position of fear. People are not empowered; their power is taken away from them.

People's energy is shifted, yes. It is shifted into fear and fear is contracting, negative energy.

Fear has a negative effect on the body, and on decision making. I have found that the body responds to such experiences and shows its distress. Examples you provided of this are, among others, nightmares and depression.

Thus it happens that people afterwards - because their power has been taken away from them and they have been put into a position of fear - often have to consult those who teach such courses to ask what they need to do when difficult situations arise. And difficult situations will arise because of people trying to live by the twisted logic of the courses, logic that doesn't work in the "real" world.

Where does the power then lie? Not with the person who attended the course, but with the "teacher". The "teacher" decides how one should live one's life. The power to make decisions is removed from the course attendee.

Incidentally, what true qualifications do these people who teach the courses have? What proof do they have that their methods work? What can they tell us about the effects on people who are traumatised by the courses?

Buster mentions people who have had nervous breakdowns, but turned out successful. That is anecdotal evidence. The only thing that is clear is that people have suffered nervous breakdowns. Just how much has it cost those people, and those close to them, to get back on an even keel?

Is that what self-empowerment is about? I see severely twisted logic at work.

A number of studies have found a link between LGATs and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Where does the PTSD found in course attendees come from? It comes from incidents along the lines of what I outlined up above.

My ex went through some particularly nasty courses with a con man by the name of Louis Smit. I have since learnt of accusations of mental, physical, spiritual, and sexual abuse against this man, as well as fraud. They come from inside South Africa and outside South Africa. Let me not get away from your subject, though.

Relating to PTSD, one day, after some research, I handed my ex three A4-sized pieces of paper and asked her whether she was experiencing any of the symptoms on them. She answered "yes" to 90 percent of those. That is when I told her they were the symptoms of PTSD.

She had had those problems for nine months, ever since she took her first course.

She still has many of them today, almost two years down the line, and she has shut herself off from all of her friends, living a life removed from them and based on fear. Yet, until she recognises the truth of what the LGAT experience did to her, she will not be able to move out of the constricting vice of the damage it has done and is doing.

The devastation it has caused in her life is incredible and I, too, have suffered hugely because of it.

I experienced firsthand how she dissociated after the second course she did. I saw it with my own two eyes.

When she arrived home, she was glassy eyed. She said: "I feel so big and everything looks so small", and she was "not there". Her eyes and her energy were cold. She looked at me as if I was a stranger. From there, it was all downhill.

Dissociation is a protective measure people use when in situations of extreme stress. It is clear what induced the situation.

If you look on these message boards at other LGATs, you will be struck by the similarities of the methods they use. The stories written by people who did the courses and those indirectly affected by the courses are remarkably similar. The devastation the courses can cause is huge and there are plenty of examples of that.

I would never recommend an LGAT to anyone and Quest is an LGAT through and through.

Turn 180 degrees in the opposite direction and run, is my advice, Run, don't walk.

"One last point, if there are any "questies" out there (do you like being called a "questie?" - that's what they call you, in case you haven't heard the term yet) thinking of doing Inquest, consider this: AFTER you've done inquest you get handed a little form that informs you that "it may take up to two years for the Inquest experience to settle". They don't tell you this BEFORE you do it. The ~commitment~ is not for five days, it’s for two years. At least. Even if you don't have a severe reaction like a psychosis, you life will be disrupted for about two years. Some of the other people I know who've done inquest sank into long periods of depression, changed jobs, changed relationships - and generally disrupted their lives. Some say they're really happy and that's fine for them, but many are not.

I hope that my fellow South Africans do some research before attending any of the Quest courses. I'm trying to make as many people aware of this cult, as possible.

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Re: Listing of LGATs and their founders
Posted by: markR ()
Date: May 16, 2011 10:59PM

Also don't forgot to add Steven Gullan and Life Dynamics Training.
He has caused serious harm to people and even had suicides during or after his courses.

I find it unfortunate that this post has been permitted. This is a very serious allegation which is simply not true in any way whatsoever.

The Life Dynamics Training delivered in South Africa by Steven Gullan has nothing to do with any Life Dynamics Training in Asia, or any other such company anywhere in the world.
There is also an anti-abortion/pro-life organization in the USA called Life Dynamics, which has nothing to do with this either. . . The South African Life Dynamics Training CC is a training company... I can assure you it is not a LGAT and certainly is not a cult in any way.

I have attended 2 courses delivered by Steven Gullan both through my company and I gained a tremendous amount of professional (and personal) value through them.
They were professionally delivered and absolutely above board in every way!

I personally find it criminal that someone can make such an accusation on a public forum...
Surely to make such a horrific and terrible accusation, the author must at least know when these supposed suicides occurred - was it on or during? Come on now, please this is a very serious thing to write about someone and it is completely unsubstantiated. Not only that but it is absolutely terrible, unfair and blatantly untrue

The courses I attended could no more have caused me to commit suicide, than going on a computer software or driving course would.

I sincerely appreciate the information and material on this website, however I feel, like all things it can be taken advantage of for someone or some competitive companies ulterior motives.

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Re: Listing of LGATs and their founders
Posted by: JP ()
Date: September 03, 2011 05:44AM

Having had personal experience of courses run by Steven Gullan, I’d like to address this post by “MarkR” who I believe is negligent in his research at best and blatantly lying at worst. You decide which is more likely.

“The South African Life Dynamics Training CC is a training company... I can assure you it is not a LGAT and certainly is not a cult in any way.”

Really? Let’s just have a look at that since I would hate for you to be so undeservingly aggrieved by something that is “simply not true in any way whatsoever”. Steven Gullan runs Life Dynamics which offers, among other things, the Gateway, Genesis and Revelations courses. I know this because I have participated. So are they LGATs? Since you “sincerely appreciate the information and material on this website” you won’t mind if I make reference to some of it to help your “story” to fit in more closely with “what actually happened” (it’s mighty pesky when something happens and we give it the wrong “context”).

LGATs are courses which take place, usually over four or five days
- Gateway runs Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday the whole day and Sunday the whole day (four days)
- Genesis runs Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday and Sunday (five days)

Complaints against LGATs include the fact that there are incredibly long hours
- During Gateway we started at 18:00 every evening and finished just before 02:00 in the morning on Thursday and Friday night, Saturday we started at 10:00am and finished at midnight and Sunday was an eleven hour day
- Genesis is much the same

LGATs are accused of trying to occupy every waking hour of the person’s life both during the course (course time) and between sessions to minimise contact with people who may disagree with the process
- Homework was given on top of the training time, despite the fact that during week nights we would be working full days in our normal jobs
- This inevitably led to sleep deprivation – by the last day many people were finding it very difficult to stay awake

LGATs are accused of creating an extremely stressful environment, where ALL IMPORTANT RULES are agreed to at the start and may never be broken
- The first three hours of Gateway is a monologue by Gullan, delivered in the manner of a dictator (you may say that this is just my opinion, but it was also the opinion of the majority of participants. To clarify I mean that he spoke loudly, banged his pulpit a number of times, shouted and called everyone names.) Part of this monologue is getting everyone to agree to rules (Rules which hand all control over to him... even though he tells you that "no one can make you do anything" Fall for that?)
- At one point someone, apparently, sat in the wrong chair and he was verbally abused (screamed at, accused of having no integrity)

There are ‘assistants’, all dressed the same, who show no emotions and gaze eerily into the distance unless called upon for exercises
The environment is intentionally tense. Gullan mocks particpants, taunts them and repeatedly calls them “assholes” (something that happened in 1971 in est, the original LGAT)

LGATs use a number of games or exercises that appear to be common among the majority of them. These fairly specific games, which have been described as having been used in other LGATs discussed on this site, are also used by Gullan: (I assume that this isn’t giving away trade secrets because I’ve seen all of these mentioned by other LGATs on this site. I, for example, can’t sue you if you’ve also started to wear pants. If I get a group of people together and tell them that I actually came up with pants then I’d be lying. Likewise I imagine you can’t sue for revealing games that someone “borrowed” from other LGATs.)
- The lifeboat game
- The red and black game
- The “nothing” exercise
- Tarzan and Jane (cross dressing)
- Regression to infancy (confronting your earliest hurt or confronting your mother / father)
- Guided imagery (when someone stands in the front and leads everyone by describing an event or a sensation etc.)
- Group hypnosis (You may argue that it isn't hypnosis, but when someone says... in a very soothing voice "Uncross your arms, uncross your legs... close your eyes... close your eyes... close your eyes," and then proceeds to tell you... in that same soothing way... to imagine a beach and the waves and the cool ocean air... and then ends this process by slowly counting from 20 to 1 then it seems like hypnosis to me? Inducing a relaxed AND MORE RECEPTIVE state without telling anyone first. Of course he's done the little "YOU TRUST SOMEONE... WHEN YOU DO!!!!" trick just before so you trust him unconditionaly. Hope you didn't fall for that one?)
- Face to face sitting positions with knees touching

LGATs are accused of limiting eating and bathroom breaks
- Our breaks were 30 minutes max
- Often they were just 15 minutes (the first 7 of which had to be spent on your own – not talking to anyone else)

LGATs often lead to mass sobbing as a result of the exercises, tiredness, stress, catharsis
- At numerous occasions there were people in the room with me who were bawling their eyes out

LGATs are known for promoting New Age philosophies, along the lines of "You are responsible for everything that happens in your life - therefore you are empowered to do something about it" and for stretching this thinking beyond where the average South African would believe it should go. These types of philosophies are certainly a part of Gullan's trainings.

So what are the biggest, most notorious, original LGATS? Most people who’ve researched the subject will mention ‘est’ and ‘Lifespring’. From these two, it seems, a great number have been spawned. I wonder if there’s any way that Life Dynamics and Steven Gullan could be linked to these VERY OBVIOUS LGATs?

In Steven Gullan’s “CV” given to us before the training he mentions serving an apprenticeship under Baruch Banai (who runs the Insight Training Centre in Johannesburg). Banai has already been mentioned in previous threads on LGATs so go check him out. Looking at other South African based LGATs previously mentioned on this site, QUEST has a long thread, describing some fairly worrying stuff. Wendy Sefor, who runs Quest, and Baruch Banai were both trained by Pat Grove. You can go to Pat Grove’s website and he has their names nicely listed as some of his star pupils. Here’s the connection – In Pat Grove’s book “I AM COMPLETE” he states that he has participated in all of the major trainings, including EST and LIFESPRING among others.

So Steven Gullan runs courses that have the same format as LGATs, use all of the same exercises and language as LGATs and he was trained by someone who was trained by someone who ACTUALLY DID est and Lifespring and you’d like us to take your word that it’s not an LGAT? Interesting.

Now unless Steven Gullan has an equal appetite for, I don’t know… teaching the tuba, as he does for screaming his lungs out at people and charging them for it, then my guess is that the two courses you refer to having done are Gateway and Genesis (rather than something else entirely unrelated). If that is not the case then I sincerely apologise for mistaking you for an unashamed liar. If, however, these were the courses that you did then you are not being forthright. It’s one thing to say that you enjoy drinking vinegar – that’s an odd preference for which you might be excused, but it’s another to tell people that it’s not vinegar but red wine. What you are doing is not even trying to defend the process that you apparently support – instead you are denying that the process even happened and intentionally misleading others who are looking for information. If people want to be screamed at and belittled for five days then they are quite welcome to pay someone to do that to them, but – in order for INFORMED CONSENT to have taken place – they need to have a fair idea of what they are getting into. Your description of Gullan’s courses as being as innocuous as computer software training is highly misleading.

As for “serious harm to people” I know of two people personally who had to take a significant amount of time off work to deal with the stress-reactions that resulted from his courses. Of course you may now be convinced that these people have “chosen” their breakdowns and so it’s not the course’s fault, but it’s very misleading to use your newly acquired “logic” when communicating with people who are still using the language of the general population. If a person off the street wanted to know if psychological casualties have resulted from this ‘training’ then the answer is “yes”. You may then try – without the thought-reform tactics used by Gullan – to explain that they will only have a breakdown if they ‘choose’ it.

Funnily enough the conversion of people to this way of thinking is far lower when the topic is presented in a way that allows them to consider the idea and make a decision without pressure, information overload, hypnosis, sleep deprivation and some sort of stress-generated high at the end. I know, I know – the course isn’t about logic – it’s “EXPERIENTIAL”. Gullan repeatedly tells you that thinking is bad and that you shouldn’t think, but since neuro-linguistic programming (altering the meaning of words to change how people respond to them) is used in many LGATs, here is a little hint about the term “EXPERIENTIAL”: It’s just a euphemism for “by-passing logic”. When someone says to you “Trust me”, “thinking is bad” and “get other people to do the course” (which Gullan says quite directly during the period of the course) you have to ask yourself whether the intentions are all altruistic. (Of course Gullan really enjoys telling EVERYONE at the end that the real reason he does it is “TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!” A difference, yes – the money and power are really just incidental.

Using a level of communication that is understood by most English-speaking people, the two people I refer to having been injured were seriously psychologically harmed as a direct result of the “one-size fits all” approach used by Gullan (and by that I mean they were damaged significantly enough to prevent them from living a normal life –and working – for a period of days or weeks. Who knows how long the residual damage will last).

“I personally find it criminal that someone can make such an accusation on a public forum...”

Please save us your indignation – it appears that you are either a liar or a tuba student.

“The courses I attended could no more have caused me to commit suicide, than going on a computer software or driving course would.”

I’m not sure what sort of software training courses your company imposes on you, but if you are deprived of sleep, have limited bathroom breaks, are screamed at for the slightest transgression, are hypnotized without anyone telling you, have zombie-like assistants refusing to greet you back and have people sobbing randomly throughout the session AND if you think that the guy leading the course is the wisest, kindest person you’ve ever encountered despite this, then maybe you should speak to HR about the sort of software courses you’re doing. If, on the other hand, you did the same courses that I did then your comment, in my opinion, reflects either dishonesty (once again) or just a complete void where any understanding of human vulnerabilities may preside. Possibly the course couldn’t push you towards suicide, but there is no screening of participants in any form (other than people who can't afford it I imagine??) and there are many people – I assure you – that would react poorly to the treatment handed out by Gullan.

One useful definition of “brainwashed” is ‘the failure to acknowledge what has been clearly proven through evidence and logic’. Based on what I’ve told you, MarkR, would you still say that Steven Gullan’s courses are not LGATs? Would you acknowledge that some people might respond poorly to the methods used? Would you acknowledge that, without some form of screening, these more vulnerable people may suffer harm?

Maybe I’m wrong, MarkR, and I have this whole thing backwards. Feel free to provide your perspective – I’m eager to hear what you have to say.


P.s. I did see that a few people have commented on their negative experiences doing these courses. I'm interested to hear both positive and negative comments if any other participants care to share.

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Add the isa experience to the list
Posted by: Andy123 ()
Date: September 05, 2011 03:17AM

The isa experience (Institute of Self-Actualisation) should definitely be added to the list. At least 80% of the games / exercises / processes you mention are carried out in it (some on advanced courses, or different courses to the main one). It's a 4 day course, very long hours, toilet breaks are limited, you agree to loads of things at the start, etc.

It's run by Ole Larsen and Luis Cordoba.

Assistants on the isa experience also agree to do 10 'contacts' a week - basically try to persuade at least 10 different people to do the isa experience each week, assist for free, get very little sleep, etc.

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Re: Listing of LGATs and their founders
Posted by: JP ()
Date: September 06, 2011 03:23AM

What I found very disturbing about the whole process was how Gullan would alternate between frightening intimidation and then small kindnesses. By the end of the course everyone seemed desperate for his approval as his opinion was the only one that seemed to count in the room. Unless he agreed with something that someone said, whatever was said was not worth anything. a month or two after the course I ran into a girl who'd been on the course with me and she said how "it had all seemed amazing at the time, but everyone had forgotten about it now". The next thing she said was very odd though - she said that her and the group of girls she was there with all had a big crush on Gullan during the course. She said that now she couldn't understand why and her friends had also lost this transient crush.

Anyone who has any knowledge of stockholme syndrome will find this really interesting I think. I was in the room while Gullan interacted with these girls and - unless screaming at people at called them assholes has replaced traditional courting techniques - I can't see another way to explain their being drawn to him.

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Re: Listing of LGATs and their founders
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 06, 2011 06:29AM


The next thing she said was very odd though - she said that her and the group of girls she was there with all had a big crush on Gullan during the course. She said that now she couldn't understand why and her friends had also lost this transient crush.

Getting yelled at is dreadfully unpleasant. When the aggressor behaves unpredictably, nicey-nice and nasty in ways one just cannot control or anticipate, this creates a sense of powerlessness. Being yelled at by a nasty person, especially by an authority figure is a horrible experience.

This produces arousal and when a situation is so utterly unpredictable, people can easily confuse arousal (adrenergic fight or flight response) with desire.

Why do you think so many take dates out to horror movies or on scary rollercoaster rides?

Its painful to imagine that one entrusted ones own self, paid a heavy sum of money only to find oneself being yelled at by a nasty person.

Rather than admit to this, its so much easier to convince oneself that one is feeling aroused, not because of abuse and the body/mind fight/flight reaction but that there is something desirable or admirable about the person making your adrenal glands scream.

**Repeat, humans can easily misinterpret arousal as desire.

**Adult humans also dislike admitting they feel powerless and degraded. Rather than admit to this, we try to impose a noble meaning on the situation or person treating us badly and arousing our adrenal glands.

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