Recovery from LGAT "Discovery" in Dallas
Posted by: elena ()
Date: July 30, 2007 12:55AM

You know, I had heard of the white collar cults but didn’t realize this qualified (as I do now). My mother in law has recruited both of her daughters and her sister into this thing. I will admit I had some trust in my mother in law because she is completing her Ph.D. counseling from the University of North Texas!
I wonder if UNT realizes they are essentially granting a professional license for counseling to people this unstable.

Sad to say but there are many psychotherapists and other legitimate counselors who have been drawn into the whole LGAT thing. It's disgusting. They don't or are not able to see the bullshit, the stupidity, the hypocrisy or the low-rent scam that these groups perpetrate. They mistake the valid-appearing portion for the whole. They are as easily seduced, apparently, as the rest of us. All of these groups contain a portion of normal, ordinary, easily-obtained, standard, and good common-sense content. It's their window-dressing. Their lure. They do train and motivate people. They do offer "community" and validation and support. They do attempt to "educate." It's just that they conceal a nasty undertow that invisibly pulls people into a philosophical and psychological whirlpool of conceit, immaturity, and nastiness if not downright sociopathy.


I have been trying to reason with my wife and discuss on an analytical level. We both have graduate degrees and have always been able to work things out through this type of discussion. Now it seems her IQ has dropped because and she throws “thought stopping” comments. From the postings I see I need to not try and reason with her. I will try this but cannot hold out for long.

You might try the very academic and scholarly ICSA, which has been in existence since the 70s.



She insists she wants our marriage to work and these relationships she has are more like big brothers (there is a frightening analogy).
Is it possible for someone to be mildly influenced and they will snap back to reality? I ask because of some threads I have read have spouses immediately leaving and renouncing their family. I have not experienced that to date.
I would like to find other “Discovery” affected spouses/loved ones in Texas, We live in a small town and it would be difficult to find anyone here.
Thanks to all for responding this is helping be cope.

I might try Craigslist or something similar. There's someone on Yahoo (Singapore) I've responded to.



Recovery from LGAT "Discovery" in Dallas
Posted by: Enviro_Cop ()
Date: August 20, 2007 03:03AM

I wanted to share what I am doing to recover my wife from a LGAT, and have made some headway. After reading a lot of posts saying you should be supportive and not argue with them about their new friends, I took another approach.

First, I was at the point of filing paperwork for a divorce because of my wife’s actions. She had placed her new family (and she called them that!) above me and our 12 year old son. She would get calls from others having trouble (oddly enough they were all from men?) She would immediately leave the room even in the middle of a conversation to talk with her new family. She would stay up until 3:00 am emailing and chatting with her family. She was planning two plus weekends a month, plus holiday parties, to volunteer with the group.
I began to stop her when she would use thought stopping comments like “I acknowledge, I experience… blah blah blah, and tell her what she was doing and redirected the conversation to stay on topic. She would take the exact opposite to any subject we discussed. I would point out my feelings counted and she needed to listen and think about her responses. She connected anything I said that didn’t fit her view back to trauma she experienced all the way back to when she was 6 years old. I would redirect the conversation back to the topic and asked her if she really felt this compared. Many times she would not answer BUT, I could see she was thinking on her own.
She was alarmed when she saw me reading this forum. I suggested she read some of the topics. She read several topics and I could see another glint of critical thinking emerging.
I convinced her we should go to a professional for help. Again I had to redirect the thought stopping crap, and she agreed to go with me. The counselor (which had worked with clients in EST) helped her realize she was having issues that isolated her husband, family and her religious beliefs, and that should be a warning sign about this group.

A small group leader was calling and sending cards encouraging my wife to not share with me. My wife asked that I speak to a high level TA to address this. This TA was in law enforcement and she and I found some common ground for a discussion. I told this person how I felt and used some terms she would understand and how things didn’t need to escalate, and would not if the negative encouragement stopped. After more thought stopping crap I pinned her down and she agreed to call this guy off. The calls and cards stopped.

The counselor recommended a book “On the Threshold of Hope” by Diane Mandt Langberg, which I have read and my wife is interested in reading. The book helped me understand why she says some things.
Also, this forum helped me understand the process used by these groups, (exercises like people in the lifeboat, I trust you, don’t trust you, Red and black game, catharsis, …) which helped me understand how to interact with my wife.

While I do not thing the battle is over I am pleased she is becoming aware that the group is not all good and others are suffering affects from her involvement.
I know this may be rambling, but I want to share anything that may help others out there that are going through what I am.

Recovery from LGAT "Discovery" in Dallas
Posted by: question lady ()
Date: August 20, 2007 04:00AM

Glad to hear there is progress. That is very good after so short a time.

Be prepared for relapse. There may be times when you think she finally sees the b.s. and then the next day she'll be talking nonsense again.

I warn you of this possibility so you don't freak out like I did.

Recovery from LGAT "Discovery" in Dallas
Posted by: Enviro_Cop ()
Date: August 20, 2007 04:44AM

Thanks Question Lady
I fully expect a relapse or backslide, but being aware and prepared to respond may help me and my wife.
I appreciate the people and information on this forum. I am glad to see a positive response from my wife. Evoking critical thinking was a last resort attempt for me. It really makes sense in a way. This LGAT clearly attempts to subdue critical (or questioning the goal of Discovery-Training) and analytical thinking. Provoking that type of thinking may be a viable way of reaching loved ones.
I also want to make sure this LGAT (Discovery-Training) is put on the radar to hopefully save others from the trap.
The more I research, the more I see elements of Lifespring in Discovery-Training.
Another strange element I see is the use of music in this group. The trainees are required to “donate” for music CDs at each level of training. My wife is really hung up on these songs. While they are songs from popular 80s and 90s artists………….. they just sound different. It actually makes me uncomfortable listening to them.
Do LGATs use subliminal messages in music? At the very least they should be prosecuted for stealing songs from artist and reselling them, unless of course they have permission, which I doubt, hence the term “donation”.

How could one analyze the CDs for subliminal messages?

Recovery from LGAT "Discovery" in Dallas
Posted by: question lady ()
Date: August 20, 2007 07:18AM

That is interesting about the songs and CD's. Even if they aren't selling them, it could still be copyright infringement. I wonder if contacting the artists and informing them of this use would result in any action on their part?

And yes, I agree with you about getting the critical thinking back. I found open ended questions to be very useful. Sometimes i had to wait and wait and wait to get a thinking response or ask again what he thinks when the response was "Well Larry (guru shyster) says . . . ."

Recovery from LGAT "Discovery" in Dallas
Posted by: The Shadow ()
Date: August 20, 2007 09:58AM

correct me if I am wrong, but the CDs enviro-cop talks about probably do not contain subliminal messages, but rather are simply used as tools to "trigger" to an emotional response then at that emotionally vulneral time the Leader will "anchor" a message in the recruit. I think the music will change, depending on the age of the recruit. People who know more about this feel free to correct me here.


Recovery from LGAT "Discovery" in Dallas
Posted by: The Shadow ()
Date: August 20, 2007 10:04AM

I just had another thought:
with reference to all LGATs, I wonder if there is a practice of discarding people who do not "present well".
By this I mean, there will always be some people who are more articulate than other. So once a recruit has spent all their money, and has nothing else to suffer, I wonder if the breakdown occurs with they are discarded by the Leaders. Then the ones who are "successful" are perhaps more likely to bring in more recruits (they are more successful conning their friends and family, as well as being hightly attractive and able to speak easily in public, therefore they make good Trainer material).

I am just wondering what happens when it becomes clear to the Leader that a recruit has no money, and no friends or family to bring to the Programme?

Recovery from LGAT "Discovery" in Dallas
Posted by: suspect ()
Date: September 04, 2007 01:37PM

I have attended Discovery (all three trainings) and I am a licensed therapist who is not a church-goer and pretty suspicious by nature. Most people would consider me a critical thinker who doesn't buy into a lot of B.S. I was very hesitant to attend and am shocked to admit, quite gratefully, that I have benefitted a lot from going through the training.

I can completely understand how, if you haven't gone...but a family member might feel excluded or feel left out of a powerful experience your loved one has had. And I felt very suspect of the process during the initial weekend...however...I feel comfortable attesting to the fact that it is not a cult. Do I agree with every part of the training? No. Am I allowed to disagree with parts of the training? Yes. Has Discovery attempted mind control on me or tried to dictate anything about who or how I spend my time or the priorities in my life? No way. Nobody has recruited me to change anything in my life (my faith, my family, my job, my career, my hometown, etc.). I suppose what I have gotten most out of the experience is...the realization that people have the same basic human needs, and that it is very easy to go through our lives not feeling great, despite our many efforts to improve ourselves.

Discovery had such a positive impact on my husband (who went before me) that I agreed to attend myself, quite hesitantly. I can say now that I feel more free, loving, honest and alive than I did before the trainings. I was pretty high-functioning before attending Discovery, but have had past doubts with depression and anxiety. While therapy I've had has been very helpful...I feel that Discovery was able to offer me something therapy couldn' "experience" with a group that has allowed me to see myself in a more realistic light and also inspire me to live a better life. Discovery has also challenged me to be a more honest and accountable and loving person. I am really grateful for this. Other people who've been through have gotten ENTIRELY different "gems" from attending. It's a personal thing--not a cultish thing. I can also say that none of my political or religious beliefs have changed.

The point of Discovery is just to help you identify what you want most out of life, and help you free yourself of what gets in the way of that. If you love someone who has been to Discovery, and don't feel that they are taking more personal responsibility in their life...then your loved one has missed the point. I see that has happened with some of the people who were in my group--maybe not so ready to face their part in why they are unhappy. Or...perhaps they were depressed and stuck already...who knows? All I know is...if your loved one has been through Discovery and is still blaming everyone else in their life for their problems...they missed the point--big time.

Discovery is indeed a large group awareness training of sorts, but it is by no means a cult. Cults make sure that all members believe the same things and have the same purposes and goals. My experience with Discovery showed that each person who went took away something different from the experience. Some people "felt better" for going, some "felt worse" for a while as they began to finally deal with the junk of their past that prevents them from living the life they want.

I am sorry for those of you who've had negative experiences with loved ones, or if you had a negative experience in attending yourself. That is difficult and I can understand how let down or freaked out you might feel. There is no "single" road to happiness or freedom or feeling better. For some people, therapy helps. Some people go to church. Some people climb mountains. Some will try a large group training. And others, who want to deal with pain or discomfort in their lives, will drink, betray their spouses, live dishonestly, eat excessively, isolate themselves from the world, hide in their work and ignore their children, gamble, watch TV all day, be unrealistically hard on themselves or others and in general...suffer or create suffering for others.

Given the options, I'll take a little therapy when I can use it, some faith when I feel I need it or can believe it, a large group training like Discovery if there is something to get out of it, and HONEST LIVING where I can always remember what matters most to me and CHOOSE to live in truth and with a purpose.

Oh...and about the CDs...that is almost laughable. Discovery (like ANY retreat I've ever been to) plays music during their training. From my perspective, it's just cheesy music from the 80s and 90s that ultimately does have an encouraging message. That's biggy. You can buy the CDs and listen to the music, or not. My husband got a lot out of Discovery, but really can't bear to own any Celine Dion! And although I don't like most of the music they played and wouldn't choose to listen to the artists otherwise, I do listen to it from time to time, because it softens me up and helps me take a deep breath and get into a better frame of mind (kind of like a good run) and remember a lot of wonderful people who I met. That's it. So...I hope, at least, the whole CD thing has been de-mystified!

I hope this doesn't sound preachy...I have a lot of therapist friends who are very "ANTI" large group trainings who, based on me and my experience with Discovery, would attest that I have in no way been brainwashed or am in a cult. I just went away for a few weekends, learned a bit of how to live in my heart and take responsibility for my own crappy behavior and am now much more satisfied with my marriage and with myself in general. Their feedback is, "you seem more peaceful, more relaxed, less tired, more loving, gentle and open-hearted."

For those of you who are concerned about your loved ones who've gone, just tell them honestly and speak from your heart. If you have gone and are feeling disturbed by stuff that got "stirred up" in up and share with a good friend or find a therapist. Your life can't totally change in three weekends, but I do believe that it can start to. ALL GOOD THERAPY typically means that things may get worse before they get better. It is a process. It is part of the risks and benefits. I hope soon you will experience the benefits of the courage you've had to deal with your depression and get un-stuck, however it makes the best sense for YOU to deal with it. You are worth it.

The best to all of you,

Recovery from LGAT "Discovery" in Dallas
Posted by: SaneAgain ()
Date: September 04, 2007 03:04PM

suspect wrote:


Discovery is indeed a large group awareness training of sorts, but it is by no means a cult. [b:b2e159a819]Cults make sure that all members believe the same things[/b:b2e159a819]

Then how come you're using the same jargon, concepts and thought-stopping cliches that all the other defenders of not only this lgat, but all the other lgats in the world, use?

Though nobody is claiming that every larget group awareness is training is a cult, most are classified as destructive groups. Did you read any articles here before you jumped in to defend this pyramid scheme of the soul?

I know several psychologists who've done these types of trainings. They raved about it for about a year, tried to "integrate" it into their work, then came to their senses and now say they would NOT recommend it to ANYONE, having seen that any positive changes are very superficial and are far out-weighed by the damage.

You are putting your professional reputation on the line and you are potentially putting the mental health of your patients on the line, and its going to come back and bite you. Just a warning.

If you haven't read around, here are some places to start:




Recovery from LGAT "Discovery" in Dallas
Posted by: yasmin ()
Date: September 04, 2007 03:10PM

I cannot speak to your experience with Discovery, never having attended it. However your statement that "all good therapy makes you worse before you get better" surprises me.Most good therapy (for example, solution focused, cognitive behavioral), is based on making the client feel better and solve their problems.
If you counsel an alcoholic and they feel so lousy after that they go for a drink, the therapy was not good.

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