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Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: June 25, 2007 05:54PM

Hi SaneAgain,

Many years ago, I was invited to an introduction for Quest in Johannesburg. Thankfully, I never signed up to do it, although a lot of pressure was put on me to do so, including many phone calls.

Having witnessed what Buster Sefor had to say then, and having spoken to people who did his courses, as well as having read up an incredible amount through this website and books, I am in no doubt that Quest is an LGAT. You can tick off point after point that indicates that it is an LGAT.

The kind of work LGATs, such as Quest, do should only be done by professionals, in a controlled environment. One size does NOT fit all, and Buster and his helpers are not equipped to deal with people who suffer psychotic episodes...which they are sometimes responsible for bringing on.

If anyone wants help, see a professional, as Rick so often points out.

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Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: June 26, 2007 03:10AM

Hello Brad,

I haven't seen any South Africans here before (as far as I know). Did you attend another lgat in South Africa or do you have a different interest in being here? (If you don't mind me asking, if so not to worry). Thank you for confirming about Quest being an LGAT and your thoughts on the event you attended.

Just some extra comments for anyone reading:

I hope I haven't given the impression I went to Quest for help with psychotic episodes. I went to Quest in good mental health because I was lead to believe it would be fun and would give me tools to improve my life. I have absolutely no doubt that the psychosis was directly brought on by my involvement in Quest and that I will not have any more problems, as long as I stay away from it. I am now perfectly sane and healthy; what you are reading here is not crazy ramblings. The fact I have to say that is part of yet another lgat vicious circle - they drive you crazy, then nobody believes they drove you crazy because who is going to believe a crazy person??? It could drive you crazy all over again! :lol:

The 'content' of my psychosis (the nightmmare images and ideas) contained the people and concepts from Inquest, which I finished a few days before the episode began. I was pretty old when I did Inquest; I'd been alive long enough and lived through enough stresses by then for any illness to have presented itself, if I'd had an illness.

I have read about other lgats that advise people not to attend the advanced trainings if they have a history of psychological or psychiatric problems. I can't remember anything like that on Quest but maybe it was in fine print and I didn't notice. Either way, that is NOT good advice because based on my own experience, and several articles I have read (including academic medical research on est) the majority of people who have bad psychological reactions do NOT have any history of psychiatric problems. So if anyone is reading this and thinking 'oh, it couldn't happen to me' - think again. And if you have problems already, even more reason to stay away. I've read that the training triggers extreme manic phases in bipolar people, so if you're bipolar lgats are a really bad idea. (They trigger manic phases in average people, so just imagine). The training, especially Inquest, is based on chemical, biological changes brought about by the processes. Its not just a bunch of stupid ideas that causes problems, its the holistic effect of the stupid ideas mixed with disturbed brain chemistry, physical effects like severe sweating and exhaustion, and emotional manipulation. Some people interpret the effects of these processes as spiritual experiences, but they're not. I'm obviously not an expert on spiritual experiences but there is enough orchestration that the experiences can be rationally and scientifically explained.

My main purpose in writing on this board is to provide a warning for others, so that they don't go through the same hell I have. Psychosis is a clinical word for something that I can only compare to a bad acid trip that does not wear off after a few hours. (I haven't ever taken acid, but I read all the huxley books long ago). It can last for days or weeks, and leaves a nightmarish residue that can take months or even years to subside, even with medication. And then you are, of course, left with the stigma of mental illness and picking up the pieces of disrupted or destroyed career, relationships etc - not to mention the medical bills and the risk of spending the rest of your life wondering what's wrong with you, and fearing a relapse. Even worse, trying to make sense of this nightmare world using the pseudo-concepts from Quest that caused the problem in the first place - trust me, not fun.

There is an article on this site called 'The Mary Polanski L series' and that describes precisely what I went through, only my experience was worse because I didn't have the psychological training and framework to understand what was happening to me, as the author of the article did.

If anyone reading this has had a similar experience I have to emphasise what Brad said and what Rick Ross also said - get professional help. The training messes up your brain chemistry, apart from anything else, and it is good idea to at least get short term treatment for that, while you try to sort out the rest of the mess. It is also a good idea to tell your doctor or psychiatrist that you have attended an lgat, and give them a good idea of what that involves. This may not be as difficult as it sounds; my psychiatrist knew exactly what I was talking about because he'd seen severalother patients in the same state, who'd also just come off trainings (don't know which).
Just be sure to first check that the doctors aren't knee-deep in an lgat themselves.

The Quest attitude to psychiatric problems is that they are caused by being out of integrity or are part of a 'game' to manipulate people - some or other application of 'why have you created this reality for yourself' type of crap. On Quest, Buster likes to tell stories about people who've had nervous breakdowns and still turned out successful. I wonder if this is to prepare people so that when they do break down they see it as just another part of the process, just a little experience to ~accept~. Or maybe its to disarm the people who've heard rumours of nervous breakdowns and that puts them off the training.

I don't have any personal grudge against Buster and Wendy or any of the other people around there. Most of them seem to believe what they are doing is good; the problem is they are living on another planet and quite obviously don't mind a little ~collateral damage~ on their quest to 'create a world that works for everyone' - or make money or ~shift the energy~ or whatever their real motivation is.

Considering they've been running the trainings for decades, I have no doubt they 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.

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, its 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.

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Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: Brad69 ()
Date: June 26, 2007 06:02PM

Hi SaneAgain,

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.

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Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: June 29, 2007 03:00AM

Hi Brad,

You are so right about the lgats being all the same; when I first found this board I was outraged at being blatantly lied to, because Wendy told us on several occassions that the Quest training is "Unique in the world". But it isn't in the least; in fact its a carbon copy of every other lgat I've read about (or the other is a carbon copy, who knows) with some minor mutations from one to the other.

As for the "Unique in the world" statement, even more questionable is this, from the Impact thread:

Hopeful Soul wrote:


Robert Paisola did say one big truth. Impact is truly unique in the world.

Now this could just be a coincidental turn of phrase, but you know how these people are with language. So where does this stupid pithy statement come from? Did Hans and Sally (Impact people) train under the same person as Wendy and Buster? Is it an old est phrase? I'm not suggesting a major conspiracy, more likely someone said this thirty years ago and they all just repeat the same tired old phrase - which is almost as scary as a conspiracy.

Anyway, you're welcome to stray off the subject of Quest, to any lgat South African or not and the people involved. I'd like to see any comments here about the South African industry in general.

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Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: exImpact ()
Date: June 29, 2007 06:11PM

Now this could just be a coincidental turn of phrase, but you know how these people are with language. So where does this stupid pithy statement come from? Did Hans and Sally (Impact people) train under the same person as Wendy and Buster? Is it an old est phrase? I'm not suggesting a major conspiracy, more likely someone said this thirty years ago and they all just repeat the same tired old phrase - which is almost as scary as a conspiracy.
The Bergers are graduates of the Lifespring LGAT and created Impact with a man named John Webb (no idea what Mr. Webb is up to nowadays). Here is a link to a family tree:


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Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: skeptic ()
Date: June 29, 2007 10:24PM

Hi Brad,

You are so right about the lgats being all the same; when I first found this board I was outraged at being blatantly lied to, because Wendy told us on several occassions that the Quest training is "Unique in the world".

Tooooo funny!!! I was also told by the (paid) recruiter that course #2 was a unique product on the market (something like that), which she laid on me because I was hestitant to sign up.

Ha ha, even the recruiters' names aren't unique. Wendy is the one who told me the course was unique. LOLOLOL (Unless, we're talking about the *same* Wendy)

Upon reading this board, I was shocked to see how UNunique CONtxt Associated was. I am amazed still to read the exact same jargon and so-called philosophy among the various lgats. SOS, different lgats.

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Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: June 30, 2007 01:18AM

Skeptic: :lol: maybe our Wendies are the same, and they just teleport through the fifth dimension on an Impact broomstick-staff-thing. Maybe all the LGAT staff and leaders are THE SAME PERSON! LOL!!

exImpact said:


The Bergers are graduates of the Lifespring LGAT and created Impact with a man named John Webb (no idea what Mr. Webb is up to nowadays). Here is a link to a family tree:

I checked the link and was surprised to see that Pat Grove (who trained Wendy and Buster) has (est/forum) behind his name, and is not listed under LifeSpring. I'm surprised because from what I've read Quest-seminars seems more like Lifesring and Impact than Landmark Forum. Its all so incestuous.

I wonder, do they ever get together and have a group LGAT leader meeting? Or are they all sworn enemies who ran off with each others' technology??

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Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: June 30, 2007 02:17AM

exImpact wrote:


The Bergers are graduates of the Lifespring LGAT and created Impact with a man named John Webb (no idea what Mr. Webb is up to nowadays)

Well, I think I found John Webb. I'm not 100% sure its the same one, but this is definitely an lgattie sounding guy. He's involved in running [i:a2d0826c68]experiential[/i:a2d0826c68] workshops based on the book "What colour is your parachute".


*John Webb has for the past 10 years been teaching Germans, either unemployed or frustated in the current profession, how to go after the jobs and careers they have always wanted. Using the LWP method developed by Richard Bolles, author of the worldwide bestseller "What Color is your parachute", he has turned traditional job searching methods of the approximately 6000 Germans who have come through the two-week programme upside down. Since 1990 John has offered programmes to a growing list of Universities

He has a list of familiarly sarcastic reasons for people NOT to do the courses, including:


[i:a2d0826c68]6. I know that I won’t do the homework.[/i:a2d0826c68]

In a L/WP seminar there is homework every evening, and this homework does take time. If you know that you will not do the homework, then you might prefer a process that does not require homework.

[i:a2d0826c68]9. I don’t have the energy.[/i:a2d0826c68]

L/WP requires energy. Maybe you could look for a less exerting seminar?

[i:a2d0826c68]10. I have a head full of something else.[/i:a2d0826c68]

For the duration of the course, L/WP requires a certain priority in the life of a participant.

[i:a2d0826c68]15. I just find Life/Work Planning to be "interesting".[/i:a2d0826c68]

Some people buzz about from course to course, sniffing and hovering and gathering meaningful experiences. These people listen carefully when do’ers report on their doings. But hoverers and sniffers tend not to do and what’s more, [b:a2d0826c68]they spread their aura of not doing[/b:a2d0826c68]. If L/WP seems to you to be "interesting" (as opposed to vital and immediate) then maybe you would prefer to simply read the book?

[i:a2d0826c68]26. It’s too much money.[/i:a2d0826c68]
It’s important that you can see the course (meaning not just the money, but also the effort and the time spent) as an investment in your own future.

[i:a2d0826c68]16. I’m afraid that the course might have to do with a cult or a sect.[/i:a2d0826c68]
L/WP’s roots go back to the American Protestant churches. But the process has nothing to do with converting people or promoting a certain religion. People of several different faiths (Jews, Moslems, Bahai’s, Hindus, Buddists, Christians, agnostics, and atheists) have successfully used the course to find the work they wanted.

If you are afraid the course might be a subtle process for manipulating you, then please clear this up before you register.

Hmmm... may not be the Impact guy but ... I hear the language... And why would anyone have to explain why a career guidance course is NOT a cult?

from []

This is a south african company that does career training, in consultation with John Webb in Germany.

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Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: wiseman ()
Date: July 03, 2007 07:09PM


I am also from South Africa and am wondering if anyone out there has had similar experiences to myself. A few years ago a couple of my family members went on training with Wendy and Buster (what a name!), the first was Quest, then Inquest.

They also developed a certain way of talking. My family memer would ask how I was and I would reply "Ok", and I would get a retort to the tune of "Why just OK?What does OK mean? Why dont you feel fabulous" etc etc.

Enormous pressure was exerted on me to attend these trainings, and I resisted. They would not communicate with me properly afterwards, looked on at me in disdain etc etc. Typical symptoms of these LGATs as described on this webiste and others. The processes seem bizarre and cruel. I am also astonished that none of these people that give these courses in South Africa are trained psychologists or psychiatrists.

Is Quest very popular in SOuth Africa? Seems like it is modelled on IMPACT training?

Does anyone have similar experiences? I remember the cost of these courses, and this was a good few years ago been absolutely obscene (I think it was about 2-3k for Quest and about 6k for Inquest), and this was about 6 yrs ago. I remember thinking "But this is held in a school hall, why the hell is it so much?"

Then, my family members became assistants or whatever it is you call it, and they did it out of their own time, for no payment, nothing! Wendy and Buster must have laughed all the way to the bank!!

Have any other South Africans had similar experiences?

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Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: July 04, 2007 03:17AM

Hello wiseman, thanks for your message.

I am very curious - did you see any significant or measurable improvements in your family members when they did quest and inquest? And how are they now, are they still involved and if not do they still talk quest-language? Can you tell us more about how it affected them?

Quest is a relatively small organisation. They do a quest seminar once a month, with about 50 delegates, and inquest about five or six times a year with 16 delegates. Then there are evening courses that run on and off, not sure how many people in those. So its not a huge corporation like Landmark, for example.

I don't know if they're modelled on Impact, but they are similar. I think they are modelled on original est and maybe Leadership Dynamics and / or Lifespring. From what I've read though the processes are very much the same as in Lifespring, PSI, Impact, Legacy Center and the thinking is the same as Landmark. When I say Impact I'm not talking about the staffs and purple lights and chanting - I don't know about that because I never got up to that level, thank god. Though they do seem to think at quest that they have magical powers over 'energies' and things. I just mean the processes on quest and inquest i.e. before IMPACT trainer in training level.

May I ask how / why you ended up here at this site today? Are you still under pressure to attend?

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