Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Date: June 26, 2007 06:02PM
Firstly, it is a pity more South Africans have not discovered this website because it is the best there is on the subject of cults, LGATs and the like. Secondly, there is a problem in SA with this so-called self-help industry.
As it is almost everywhere in the world, the self-help industry in South Africa is unregulated; anyone can become a life coach, spiritual teacher or whatever they wish to call themselves. This is problematic because it opens the industry up to exploitation by unscrupulous people.
Many people are seeking spiritual answers to life. Unfortunately, in my experience, in most cases they are being exploited by people using tried and tested methods of coercive persuasion that destroy the foundations of people’s lives, removing them from the support of family, friends, and structures that have always served them well.
In most cases, the aim of the course providers is to earn money; once one course is done, there is always another one that a person needs to do.
"Teachers" with even less scruples use their mind control methods for other reasons beside financial ones, including sexual abuse.
Removing support structures is the first step an abuser needs to take in order to abuse. That is why people who do such courses are told not to share what happens on them with their family and friends, because then the teachings could be questioned.
It is not to done so that the courses won't be spoiled for them should they choose to do them. It is done to remove the "sounding boards" of people that course attendees trust.
Now, I am not endorsing Doctor Phil, but there were a few things that struck me recently about things he often says on his show, relevant to LGATs, and they are pertinent to how these "courses" work in people’s lives.
One of the things he often says is that people have to get real…
So, if someone is asked, for instance, "How is it (the course) working for you?", they will invariably tell you what the claimed wonderful outcome is, but what is the reality of the thinking (programming) these courses provide?
Don't give me the claimed outcome, give me the truth of what is happening.
"How is it working for you?" Let's expand on that and ask what the effect of applying the course logic is on one's work, one's personal relationships, and one's health.
An honest appraisal of such areas of one's life should reveal that things are not better and, most likely worse, than before. Disfunction is sure to be found.
As Doctor Phil said to a person on one of his shows: "So if you're smart, and you are, you should see that it's just not working"…
BUT, people need to "get real" to see that.
If things are not working, there are always thought-stopping clichés to prevent doubts from surfacing. SaneAgain, you mentioned some from Quest in your last post: "shift the energy", "create a world that works for everyone", and "why have you created this reality for yourself?"
Maybe the "reality" that has been created is the "unreal reality" of the LGAT thinking. Most likely, it is.
These clichés are often unclear and their meaning encompasses a wide range of possibilities.
What may work in a hall where a course is held – where everyone is on the same page, having been led there through a carefully scripted process designed to produce oneness of view – won’t work out there in the "real" world.
Oh, given the "confidence" the course provides you might get that raise at work, but then you probably deserved it. (Quest, for example, loves anecdotal stories of such things as people getting raises immediately after taking one of their courses).
The LGAT will take credit for that. Yet, when you try something else and fail, then you will be the one that will be required to take responsibility for it. Where something goes wrong, it is not the LGAT's fault...or so they will tell you. It is your fault. You are preventing the success you seek.
Oftentimes, that success, the LGAT will tell you, is you allowing the people closest to you to manipulate you. By doing that the LGAT drives a wedge between you and those people. Naturally, those people won't agree with your newfound point of view, but the LGAT will tell you to expect that; obviously, it is going to happen. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know you will be opposed.
Then, who understands you and where does your support lie? The LGAT "understands" you and "supports" you…not your spouse, your lover, your blood…the wonderful caring people from the LGAT. (SARCASM)
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 affect 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 first hand 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.