This post from Corboy on another thread is so good I think it should be posted under every lgat's thread. Corboy wrote:
Post subject: To Understand One LGAT is to Understand All or Most LGATs
I for one have found each and every LGAT topic thread very good information for all LGAT's.
This is important. Because...nearly all human potential groups/LGATs
claim to be unique.
A very important step in recovery takes place when it is possible for a person to see that his or her group experience was not unique and that it can be compared with other groups.
This insight is very difficult to arrive at, because when we've given our hearts to a group and have the awful discovery that we've been seen and used as objects/income generating-units, this feeling of betrayal is painful and shaming. One way to defend against the shame of finding oneself used and betrayed is to cling, to convince oneself that the experience was special, educational, or a great adventure.
Its a come-down to face that one was had, and that the experience is far from unique. But...if you can stand the pain of recognizing this, you then get to find out loads of people have been through it too, which means, you have a community you can reach out to.
It is a liberating eye opener to find that your particular group is not unique because with that mindset, you then become able to study the 'comparative anatomy' of different groups and see that the external plumage ( verbiage, doctrine of groups) has quite a variety of colors but underneath, the skeleton (recruitment process, room set up, lack of informed consent, signing away rights to seek damages if harmed) ..all that remains quite similar underneath the seeming diversity.
A seminary professor who taught a course on the conversion process had a favorite phrase:
"Same hardware, different software"
* Claims to be unique and often, subtle put-downs of all other groups, and also subtle put downs of all other methods for healing or self development
* Recruitment through friendship networks or work relationships--which means the risk of stressing valued relationships if you dont want to participate or have misgivings
*Being given the bum's rush/hardsell
*A tightly scripted social set up disguised as a spontaneous one
*May include a very, very anal retentive room set up with chairs in precise rows. all external stimuli blocked out, chairs re-arranged when
people depart, having to sit closer together than what is considered normal distance for your culture's physical distances between individuals.
*Demanding intimate, private information from subjects without any written contract from the group promising to safeguard confidential information--very different from professional health care providers and psychotherapists who are legally accountable for confidentiality and who arrange for clients and patients to sign paperwork defining and protecting their confidentiality
***LGAT subjects often sign away their rights, as citizens to sue for damages in event of their being harmed by participation in the LGAT event. No medical or therapy patient EVER signs away his or her right to seek damages if harmed by treatment received.
Thus many LGATs use the language and powerful techniques of psychotherapy and accept no responsibility for thier use of such power in event that subjects are harmed.
Professional healers wield their power in a context of accountability and responsibility
LGATs wield their power and refuse to accept accountability for use of that power and for any harm done.
*Subjects are made to feel powerful, but are not given actual preparation or any encouragement in the LGAT to think consciously about power itself or the way it is exercised. For subjects in an LGAT, power is just an induced mood, a rush. The LGAT keeps its own mits on the actual process of exercising power. If subjects dare to examine the process, they are shamed for being negative--when what they are doing is trying to become conscious of the very thing the LGAT does not want them to actually see.
In LGAT's power, for subjects is an induced and addictive mood.
In reality, power is about process, relationships, resources and information--and who has more and who has less. LGATs control this
and dont want subjects to look closely at the process dimension of power--they only want subjects to get lost and dependent on the mood of feeling powerful.
Subjects are made to feel powerful but actual power remains with the LGAT. You are only free to speak up if you validate the LGAT. LGATs speak the language of power but retain it for themselves.
LGATs speak the language of accountability but in practice LGATs dont seem to feel themselves accountable--but they do make sure to make subjects feel accountable--and subtly, for subjects 'accountability' in an LGAT is separated from personal power and agency and accountability in the LGAT is linked to deep feelings of personal shame, and fear of failing in relation to the LGAT.
LGATs speak of caring and compassion but do not in practice demonstrate an ethos of care in relation to their subjects. If you fail or feel messed up by the LGAT, you are made to feel it is your fault. In professional healing, the provider takes this as a signal to question the treatment strategy, perhaps seek more information by ordering additional tests, and brining other providers in for consutation.
*If there is success, the LGAT takes full credit. By contrast, a true professional healer assists clients and patients to identify their role in the process of healing so clients can retain as much personal agency and autonomy during the process and then the same or increased personal agency and autonomy afterwards.
*Confrontati0n, pushing rapidly for intense emotion, instant intimacy, hectic pace, not enough time to sleep little or no opportunity to think, and possibly being shadowed by a minder
*Pushing people to spend more money than they are comfortable with
*Shaming and ridicule for anyone who disagrees or hesitates--which reproduces/re-enacts life in an abusive family--which can cause persons already harmed by prior abuse to re-enact, either as bully/perpetrators or by submitting to the abuse and intenalizing blame. THe presons in an LGAT who re-enact as bully perpetrators end up wanting to become leaders in the organization. The ones who re-enact as recipients of abuse become the people who work themselves to nervous collapse trying to please the organization, the way a desperate child tries to satisfy a miserable parent.
*Not being told how the process works, which means you dont have any way to give informed consent--a very important matter for persons who risk having physical or psychological health destablized by stress, confrontation and lack of sleep.
All the features listed above apply to Quest. The only thing I'd disagree with is the statement that the software differs from lgat to lgat and ...
the external plumage ( verbiage, doctrine of groups) has quite a variety of colors
For all the groups derived from est it seems even the software and plumage is the same. (I guess this differs in things like Anthony Robbins).
In reading about Lifespring, Impact, PSI seminars, Klemmer & Associates, Landmark and Choices I've found the following processes and games from Quest being used:
* buddy / angel system
* nothing games
* red-black game
* feedback arcs / platform feedback
* reverse dressing
* stretches / theatre
* Lifeboat / raft
* essence walk
And the script - concepts and jargon - is sometimes word for word the same. Common phrases and cliches used in Quest and other lgats:
* Understanding is the booby prize
* Inquest / other training is not for the faint-hearted
* integrity, commitment, agreements, responsibility - redefined
* being at cause
* going to the source
* get off it / get over yourself
* assisting vs helping
* intention vs trying / goals
* there are no victims
* you chose everything that ever happened in your life
* law of attraction
* it works for me / doesn't work for me
* don't judge
* experience is more valid than knowledge
* accepting your greatness / power
* resistance and surrender
To name just a few.
However in a way these games and concepts are almost diversions because the skeleton of the training that Corboy described are actually what make the training effective and keep the organisations going.