Re: Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: DavidR ()
Date: December 23, 2008 07:59PM

Are you still active at this forum, I've just done an LGAT course and had a psychotic breakdown, can't wait to be sane again... looking for help and advice in RSA.

Re: Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: December 26, 2008 07:59AM

Hello, I'm sorry to hear that's happened. I'm not really active here anymore, I just stop by on holidays :)

I'm afraid I haven't been able to find any formal organisation or person here in Johannesburg (or anywhere in South Africa) who can help specifically with cult or lgat type problems, who has that kind of training and knowledge - what kind of help or advice are you looking for?

For the short term if you have medication from a doctor I'd advise you to take it, let it help soothe your brain out while you put your world back together again and don't panic, it will come right - and whatever you do, don't go on any more side courses in case maybe its all because you never 'got it' the first time round...

Other than that try to stay away from any lgat people (or avoid lgat discussions with them if you can't or don't want to escape them completely, for example if you're married to one...) and read around here a bit, on the lgat thread - even though most of it is from the states and uk its still the same thing - roughly the same techniques, just different degrees of severity from one lgat to another.

May I ask - how recent was your lgat and how far from sanity did you go, and are you almost back and - well - what happened? How did you get involved?

Re: Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: DavidR ()
Date: December 27, 2008 06:47PM

I got involved at the beginning of November this year. Did the LF, got told about it by my best friend who'd had a great experience of it. Even though looking back now he could never really tell me what was so great about it!

I feel really stupid for having done it/ falling for it. I had a full psychotic breakdown, was a very spiritual experience for me, to the extent that during my breakdown I went back to the 'origin of the universe' in my mind! I'm currently on medictaion from psychiatrist and seeing a psychologist, it's been a long and difficult process- most of the time I feel depressed now. Can't concentrate and get tired all the time. My life is on hold, until I get better! I actually didn't even finish my course because I started my breakdown before it finished. I'm looking for advice on how to cope with daily life and what to do to keep myself from thinking about the future too much, because it makes me anxious! I'm almost always sane, but now I'm just struggling with anxiety, depression and tiredness.

Have you done anything to try to stop these lgat's from operating in SA, I feel the need to do something to try stop them! ARGHHH! I'm really mad with them, but not sure who to turn to, to stop them!!!!


Re: Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: December 28, 2008 12:29AM

No need to feel stupid about falling for it - they design their trap specifically for intelligent, motivated people with good relationships and reasonable income, so its a kind of back-handed compliment that you got caught.

With Landmark I think you have some chance of getting them shut down. If you haven't already seen it, there is the story and video of Landmark France being shutdown, after a media expose of what goes on in there - no psychiatric casualties even, just a video showing a seminar leader doing a vicious verbal attack on someone, and some general negative comments from other people. If you have media connections you may be able to get someone interested in doing some kind of show. There are also other ongoing legal cases with Landmark - I think in the states. So the Landmark name is well-known and that helps. Obviously you would have to consider the extent to which you would want to involve yourself e.g. putting your own story in it - that would be pretty stressful, and your first priority should be to keep yourself sane and healthy as possible.

The only thing I have done that may be useful is take a bundle of information to each of my doctors (GP, psychiatrist) with documents on psychiatric casualties from lgats, and a list of LGATs in South AFrica, which included Landmark (is Landmark still only in Cape Town or have they spread elsewhere?). I asked them to distribute the information to their colleagues. As the medical community in South Africa is fairly small I am hoping that eventually someone will connect some of the dots and maybe do something about it, maybe some kind of research paper which could then be useful to create a media expose or legal case or maybe make a complaint of some kind. I also asked them to warn their patients away from the lgats if they had a chance, and I told them that if they had patients who broke down during or after an lgat, it may be helpful to pass on the information - the information here really saved me. It may be helpful if you do something similar with your doctors. Of course you risk getting the "you're displaying a symptom" look, but that's what happens after you've had a psychosis - catch-22 trying to get people to understand something as bizarre and destructive as an lgat without them thinking you're having paranoid and farout ideas. But some of the doctors I spoke to were really good about it.

I also sent some mails to carte blanche and radio 702 but got no response. In retrospect a community paper may have been a better idea, a paper in the area the lgat operates in.

I considered legal action but didn't think I would have a case as one person against an organisation no one had ever heard of - there would be a better case with a group of people, all with the same problem making a case together. I knew several people who had problems but were not willing to get involved - some simply refused to have anything to do with Quest or anyone from there (which I understand fully) and others were still involved and refused to believe Quest was causing the problems rather than fixing them. If you can find other people who have had problems with Landmark South Africa you may be able to get together and make something of it, when you're ready. It may be worth a single visit to a lawyer or legal aid place now, with your story and the known history of Landmark elsewhere, see what they say. If you try one of the legal aid places attached to a university you might find a keen young law student with curiority to take an interest in it.

Another angle I've noticed with another lgat - I think it was the joyspring or ontologica bunch - is that they do special courses for underprivileged kids, township highschools etc. I'd find out whether Landmark SA does that, and maybe add it as an angle - basically they're traumatising and exploiting people who are already traumatized and exploited, and trying to make it look a good deed (what they get out of it is their usual more-business-by-word-of-mouth).

Of course all of the above is a bit difficult if you're struggling with the daily things, depression, anxiety, tiredness and so on! Another Catch-22!

Re: Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: December 28, 2008 01:02AM

To what extent is your life on hold? Have you had to stop work or studies or anything like that?

I don't have any great advice about the daily things... looking back everything I could say would just sound stupid and trivial, psychosis is that horrific. I'd say any way you find to scramble yourself out of it and struggle on for the next year or so is fine, just don't expect to feel perfect for a while. A lot of the tiredness is probably the medication, it may be necessary for a while, or you can ask your doctor to adjust the dose or try something different if its preventing you getting on with work or studies - though based on my experience if you can afford to drift for a while, feeling tired, that's better than forcing yourself off drugs in order to be able to work nicely. Also your brain needs time to rest and recover, its been through hell (plus the origins of the universe!). It gets easier after a while but there is no way you go through that without it taking a fair bit of time to recover.

I also found doing simple things helped me - physical stuff - fixing up the house, cleaning, scrubbing that kind of thing, it also gives your mind a rest, enough to think about to distract you from worrying things, but not so much that it has to work hard and concentrate.

Re: Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: DavidR ()
Date: December 28, 2008 05:39PM

Thanks for the prompt reply. LE is currently based in CT, but do seminars in Jozi and are looking at expanding to Durban. They're also currently looking for a leader from RSA. They do business seminars too, I know Old Mutual are one of their clients. So they're getting bigger!!! I've also emailed Carte Blanche and heard nothing so far.

I've just finished studying and was looking forward to starting a job somewhere next year, but all is still on hold now since this has happened to me. I'm back living with my parents for a bit until I'm better I suppose. They're very understanding but I'm just SO impatient I want my life to carry on as it was supposed to but it's not possible at the moment. I feel really trapped in my mind. I've started building a model airplane on advice from my psychologist, which helps me to take my mind off thinking too much and worrying about the future. I've already printed 'Mary Polaski "L" series' for my psychiatrist and my psychologist and will be giving it to my GP soon too. My psychiatrist suggested contacting the Medical Health Proffesionals Council and telling them my story too to try get these people chucked out of SA. Perhaps you should contact them as well? How bad was your psychosis? It still scares me when I think about what I did and said and what happened during my episode! Unfortunately we can't undo the past!

Keep well

Re: Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: December 29, 2008 05:01AM

That's brilliant, I never knew about the Medical Health Professionals Council - I will definitely write to them, thanks!

My psychosis was pretty bad, I thought I was dead through most of it, on a platform in between other lives, and I had to save a whole lot of people if I wanted to go back into my own life instead of another one that I had a glimpse of and was horrifying. The catch was that since I was quite obviously dead, the only way to save people was to send them my energy, and unfortunately the radio was on, so for every news story with a tragedy I had to sort of send my energy and visit with my spirit to save them, and the way to save them was by taking on their injuries or causes of tragedy, as well as several other tasks that are beyond humiliation to even think of now.

It went on for days and by the end of it I believed I had no legs, from saving someone in a car accident, HIV from saving all the HIV positive people, a heroin addiction, a criminal record for shooting someone (a robber was shot dead, so I took his crime to save him) and several bullet holes in my body (various hijackings and so on) and gang-raped by some quest people, and on top of all that I also had to kill someone to protect some other people.

I still thought I was actually dead by the time I got taken to a hospital, and that I was there to have the work physicall done - legs off, HIV injection, Heroin injection, etc (up to that point it was all set in stone and done in the spirit world, the hospital was just to finish it all up in the physical world). Once that was done I would could come back to life again. There were a lot of details in it that were DIRECTLY from quest and inquest exercises. In fact most of it was based on that, and while it was going on it was all happening in Quest jargon, and most of the people I heard about on the radio became quest people in my mind, all jumbled up. In fact the whole structure of the psychosis was built on Quest processes and exercises and people.

Some parts are quite funny in retrospect but mostly terrifying and humiliating. There was one nice bit where I was visited by an "earth spirit" made of roots and soil and leaves (I like gardening) who came to heal me, because I could't move. That was nice.

Sadly I missed out on the origin of the universe - was it a big bang?

Re: Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: January 24, 2009 08:49AM

David R, I hope I didn't inadvertantly say something to offend you? If not I hope you're okay out there, and are absent due to more interesting things going in your world. Thank you for your posts here, I found them quite helpful.

Re: Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: DavidR ()
Date: January 24, 2009 08:52PM

Sorry about not replying to your post... I got a bit freaked out after I read what you went through. It's weird I felt like I wasn't done with my whole psychotic episode because it wasn't as surreal as yours? Crazy I know- but I'm much better now- I haven't had any psychosis in about 3 weeks so I think I'm finally over that bit for now thank God, just struggling with my self-confidence and self-esteem nowadays. Did you have similar issues afterwards? It's just so difficult to trust myself not to have another breakdown- I think that's what's holding me back but I'm not even sure if that is what is.

On the origin of the universe, it exsists because God said it 'is'. I think that that's something I got out of doing the Landmark forum though. We spoke about the superstition 'is' and they made up some nonsense about it. It's strange I also thought I had died in the car accident that I had (because I had a real accident), and thought that my hospital visit was part of going to heaven. At the time it was very difficult to ditinguish reality from un-reality (?), and it was still a bit of a problem up until a few weeks ago when my psychosis eventually stopped.

I'm still waiting for a reply from the health proffesionals coucil, so maybe it's not so brilliant after all sadly.

Re: Quest (Johannesburg South Africa)
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: February 01, 2009 07:43PM

Oh, yes, psychosis seems like a dream or - more like a movie - that should have a proper end and meaning - others why go through all that???!!! I'm sorry I gave so much detail, it is quite natural after or during a psychosis to look for meanings in things that don't really have a meaning, or to make irrelevant things more meaningful to yourself. I am quite envious that you got origin of the universe things, it seems you went to a better movie than I did!

Its quite natural and realistic to be afraid of it happening again. The longer you go without it happening, and the more you know about the technicalities of why it happened, the more the fear will go away. I am still afraid of it, even after all this time, but the fear is not too bad.

On the practical side you need to be careful with your medication if you are taking anti-psychotics, when you stop taking them, because the withdrawal can set off an episode - technically anti-psychotics block dopamine, which is a substance that makes you feel pleasure, motivation and "saliency" (a sense that the world is relevant and meaningful to you) - psychosis is like "too much meaning" and blocking dopamine blocks that effect. The problem is that while the dopamine is blocked, your brain starts creating extra dopamine receptors so that if you stop the drugs suddenly, you have too many dopamine receptors, risking too much saliency. Anti-psychotics don't actually undo psychosis in any way, all they do is make you lose interest in everything to a degree, including your weird thoughts. Obviously I'm not a doctor and you should discuss with your doctor, I'm just warning that if you stop any medication it must be very, very gradual - your doctor can probably tell you how gradual. Its also important for you to ask your doctors to tell you exactly what the side effects and risk are, because it can interview with your self esteem if you assume some of your behaviour is just something wrong with you, rather than drug induced. Anti-psychotics do diminish motivation, for example. Some doctors don't like to tell you what the side effects are in case that puts you off taking them, but you do have a right to ask and to know, especially once you are not feeling psychotic and are able to make perfectly good decisions.

The risk is that if you have a withdrawal psychosis it is difficult to tell whether it is caused by drug withdrawal, or inherently caused, and you risk being lumped forever and a day with a diagnosis of some or other permanent problem, rather than a strong reaction to a strange event.

By the way, when I read up on anti-psychotics it made sense to me that this is how the lgats cause psychosis - the manipulation they use on the environment, emotional exerices (stress and release, stress and release) probably releases dopamine - hence everyone feels really good - but if an individual releases too much dopamine (for whatever reason) there is too much and it turns into over-saliency i.e. crazy thoughts. Well, I think that is one of the ways it messes with your brain.

The other way it messes is that it breaks down defences, and sometimes old memories flood back, especially traumatic ones - so it is interesting you were in a car accident and that was on your mind. The stress-release dopamine would likely be stronger in someone who has had some traumas in their lifef than for those who haven't, so that is possibly part of the reason why only some people get really messed up and others don't, another reason could just be temperament, a more sensitive or excitable personn may react more. I suspect that breaking down defences also makes any old traumas more conscious - close to the surface - so if you have therapy to help with those it helps, putting the trauma back in a healthy perspective.

In car accidents a lot of people have out of body experiences, see white lights, go into shock, and lose chunks of memory - that's a healthy defence for your mind. If that defence unravels its not very healthy, you can't be very sane if you're walking around with that shocked feeling of being in a crash - on an average day. It could be that the lgat exercises triggered off the parts of your mind that recalled the accident, and since memories like that are stored in a primitive place your mind would have to invent a lot of symbolism to try to make sense of it.

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