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Re: Café Gratitude enrollment
Posted by: Christa ()
Date: August 23, 2009 07:25PM


I am starting to get a uneasy with your micro-managing and controlling what is said.

It feels like you are pressuring me to say certain things and not say other things. There are a plethora of views being expressed here, and I do my best not to repeat what has already been said and add some original thought to the discussion.....but now I am walking on eggshells. :-(

Wow, after your ringing defense of corporate conformity and employers' rights, I hardly expected you to be unfamiliar with the saying "freedom of the press belongs to the man who owns it".

It's HIS board. He can micromanage away, if he wants to, and if you don't like it you can go elsewhere.

As it seems you did.

FTR, I don't find rrmoderator micromanaging in the least. He maintains this forum as one of a very few places on the web where people seeking honest info about how cults and lgats really work can find it, and where people who want to talk about their experiences can do so and not have the damage those experiences did minimized. Also, I find his intolerance of victim-blaming quite refreshing.

I do not understand why representatives of groups who chronically repress truth and freedom of expression are the first ones to scream about imaginary violations of their own first amendment rights. These are not rights the truly value, because they recognize them only for themselves.

Human rights don't work like that; they belong to all humans or they belong to none. Very different from an lgat, isn't it, where the more powerful you are, the more rights you get.

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Re: Café Gratitude enrollment
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 06, 2009 10:33PM

"“a school of transformation disguised as a cafe.”"


(the comments are great good fun)

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Re: Café Gratitude enrollment
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 18, 2009 10:44PM

Landmark Jargon


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Re: Café Gratitude enrollment
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 26, 2009 11:09PM


One correspondent wrote in the comments section of the East Bay Express article:


"What if management meant being accountable for the spiritual emergence of one’s staff as well as the well being of one’s company?"

A second correspondant made this point:

What if the "spiritual emergence" of the staff didn't conform to the aluminium-top-hat-wearing vision of spirituality of the Cafe Platitude upper management? What if
someone had a spiritual emergence that was totally unique? Would that be ok? Probably not. But then again, most cults aren't particularly tolerant
of other's beliefs.

All of this sounds like some new-agey dianetics minus the aliens.

This actually illustrates how counter productive troll activity can be.

The comments following the East Bay Express article on Cafe Gratitude run to 5 pages.


In two days (August 5th and 6th) there were two full pages of comments.

By contrast, a highly thoughtful, sensitive and pertinent article on the difficulty and sheer fatigue of implementing a 'slow food' 'sustainable' shopping food-and-cooking program in a household with two small kids, both of whose parents work their asses off, a family that was within in a normal income range both adults were worn out by 5 pm, and not rich rich enough to afford the services of a a nanny or a personal assistant/housekeeper--this article generated only 2 comments in the 3 days following its publication. Two comments, in one third of one page.

It appears that without the intervention of trolls, a discussion will attract much less attention, elicit fewer posts---and fewer new nuggets of information.

That article on the difficulty of implementing slow food is actually valuable reading--you can find it here and if you have a perspective to add, do feel free to register with East Bay Express so that you can comment on it.

'Back to the Microwave'


The article is about the classhbetween idealism and daily reality--a milder form of the suffering endured by those in high demand groups--milder, still a significant source of stress and worth reading about.

Daily life is where the rubber hits the road.

And so many come to trying to describe the consequences they suffered when a demanding leader or group indoctrinated an ideology that at first felt promising, but turned out to generate unsustainable misery when implemented into daily living, while the guru or LGAT tycoon was supported by an entourage and never exposed to the kind of stress that underlings must face when they leave the confines of the ashram or LGAT indoctrinatin chamber and try to live out its unrealistic demands in an outside wold that is not scripted according the the guru or LGAT's weird whims.

Again, trolling is counter productive. It actually causes discussions to run on longer, and increases the risk that yet more information and insights will emerge that subvert the agenda of the guru or LGAT..

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/26/2009 11:17PM by corboy.

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Re: Café Gratitude enrollment
Posted by: Sparky ()
Date: September 27, 2009 05:44AM

corboy, thanks for bringing this to the discussion. I agree that it is sad that a real human interest story (about food prep/stress no favorite topic more so than cults even) gets only 3 posts but lets face it, cults are "sexy" to talk about. I especially like how the Landmark trolls pipe up and mention Rick Ross:


think4youself is a Rick Ross troll. The see through "opener" is disconnected from the rest of the post :

"First, I am a frequent patron. Love the food, bought the cookbook and have recommended the place to countless people...." as if.

This is just social grease to ad validity to the comment. How quickly it turns to zealous colour by number hatred and "anti" buzz words.

Comment by Pickelpants - August 29, 2009 @ 06:13 PM

I agree with you that the cult apologists do more to damage their cause by defending the clearly undefendable (forcing managers to take Mindfuck Landmark).

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Re: Café Gratitude enrollment
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 15, 2010 11:08AM

Some people discuss their LEC experiences here.


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Re: Café Gratitude enrollment
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 03, 2011 07:13AM

Here is a grateful salute to member JP who posted a description of the Large Group Awareness Training Process (LGAT) to rebut one person who denied the entity was an LGAT.

The entity, from JP"s own description, uses many techniques derived from the old EST program, which was later re-packaged into the Landmark Education program discussed here.

If anyone requires you to submit to the kind of treatment described here, get out. You'll be processed like meat in a stinky hamburger plant.

LGATs fuck with your body as well as your brain--sleep deprivation, folks.

And as mentioned above, you sign a release of liability form--the people who demand that you take responsiblity for your life, refuse to accept any responsiblity for the stuff they are going to DO to you--and that you actually pay money for.

Whatta mind-screw.


Having had personal experience of courses run by Steven Gullan, I’d like to address this post by “MarkR” who I believe is negligent in his research at best and blatantly lying at worst. You decide which is more likely.

“The South African Life Dynamics Training CC is a training company... I can assure you it is not a LGAT and certainly is not a cult in any way.”

Really? Let’s just have a look at that since I would hate for you to be so undeservingly aggrieved by something that is “simply not true in any way whatsoever”. Steven Gullan runs Life Dynamics which offers, among other things, the Gateway, Genesis and Revelations courses. I know this because I have participated. So are they LGATs? Since you “sincerely appreciate the information and material on this website” you won’t mind if I make reference to some of it to help your “story” to fit in more closely with “what actually happened” (it’s mighty pesky when something happens and we give it the wrong “context”).

LGATs are courses which take place, usually over four or five days
- Gateway runs Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday the whole day and Sunday the whole day (four days)
- Genesis runs Wednesday night, Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday and Sunday (five days)

Complaints against LGATs include the fact that there are incredibly long hours
- During Gateway we started at 18:00 every evening and finished just before 02:00 in the morning on Thursday and Friday night, Saturday we started at 10:00am and finished at midnight and Sunday was an eleven hour day
- Genesis is much the same

LGATs are accused of trying to occupy every waking hour of the person’s life both during the course (course time) and between sessions to minimise contact with people who may disagree with the process
- Homework was given on top of the training time, despite the fact that during week nights we would be working full days in our normal jobs
- This inevitably led to sleep deprivation – by the last day many people were finding it very difficult to stay awake

LGATs are accused of creating an extremely stressful environment, where ALL IMPORTANT RULES are agreed to at the start and may never be broken
- The first three hours of Gateway is a monologue by Gullan, delivered in the manner of a dictator (you may say that this is just my opinion, but it was also the opinion of the majority of participants. To clarify I mean that he spoke loudly, banged his pulpit a number of times, shouted and called everyone names.) Part of this monologue is getting everyone to agree to rules (Rules which hand all control over to him... even though he tells you that "no one can make you do anything" Fall for that?)
- At one point someone, apparently, sat in the wrong chair and he was verbally abused (screamed at, accused of having no integrity)

There are ‘assistants’, all dressed the same, who show no emotions and gaze eerily into the distance unless called upon for exercises
The environment is intentionally tense. Gullan mocks particpants, taunts them and repeatedly calls them “assholes” (something that happened in 1971 in est, the original LGAT)

LGATs use a number of games or exercises that appear to be common among the majority of them. These fairly specific games, which have been described as having been used in other LGATs discussed on this site, are also used by Gullan: (I assume that this isn’t giving away trade secrets because I’ve seen all of these mentioned by other LGATs on this site. I, for example, can’t sue you if you’ve also started to wear pants. If I get a group of people together and tell them that I actually came up with pants then I’d be lying. Likewise I imagine you can’t sue for revealing games that someone “borrowed” from other LGATs.)
- The lifeboat game
- The red and black game
- The “nothing” exercise
- Tarzan and Jane (cross dressing)
- Regression to infancy (confronting your earliest hurt or confronting your mother / father)
- Guided imagery (when someone stands in the front and leads everyone by describing an event or a sensation etc.)
- Group hypnosis (You may argue that it isn't hypnosis, but when someone says... in a very soothing voice "Uncross your arms, uncross your legs... close your eyes... close your eyes... close your eyes," and then proceeds to tell you... in that same soothing way... to imagine a beach and the waves and the cool ocean air... and then ends this process by slowly counting from 20 to 1 then it seems like hypnosis to me? Inducing a relaxed AND MORE RECEPTIVE state without telling anyone first. Of course he's done the little "YOU TRUST SOMEONE... WHEN YOU DO!!!!" trick just before so you trust him unconditionaly. Hope you didn't fall for that one?)
- Face to face sitting positions with knees touching

LGATs are accused of limiting eating and bathroom breaks
- Our breaks were 30 minutes max
- Often they were just 15 minutes (the first 7 of which had to be spent on your own – not talking to anyone else)

LGATs often lead to mass sobbing as a result of the exercises, tiredness, stress, catharsis
- At numerous occasions there were people in the room with me who were bawling their eyes out

LGATs are known for promoting New Age philosophies, along the lines of "You are responsible for everything that happens in your life - therefore you are empowered to do something about it" and for stretching this thinking beyond where the average South African would believe it should go. These types of philosophies are certainly a part of Gullan's trainings.

So what are the biggest, most notorious, original LGATS? Most people who’ve researched the subject will mention ‘est’ and ‘Lifespring’. From these two, it seems, a great number have been spawned. I wonder if there’s any way that Life Dynamics and Steven Gullan could be linked to these VERY OBVIOUS LGATs?

In Steven Gullan’s “CV” given to us before the training he mentions serving an apprenticeship under Baruch Banai (who runs the Insight Training Centre in Johannesburg). Banai has already been mentioned in previous threads on LGATs so go check him out. Looking at other South African based LGATs previously mentioned on this site, QUEST has a long thread, describing some fairly worrying stuff. Wendy Sefor, who runs Quest, and Baruch Banai were both trained by Pat Grove. You can go to Pat Grove’s website and he has their names nicely listed as some of his star pupils. Here’s the connection – In Pat Grove’s book “I AM COMPLETE” he states that he has participated in all of the major trainings, including EST and LIFESPRING among others.

So Steven Gullan runs courses that have the same format as LGATs, use all of the same exercises and language as LGATs and he was trained by someone who was trained by someone who ACTUALLY DID est and Lifespring and you’d like us to take your word that it’s not an LGAT? Interesting.

Now unless Steven Gullan has an equal appetite for, I don’t know… teaching the tuba, as he does for screaming his lungs out at people and charging them for it, then my guess is that the two courses you refer to having done are Gateway and Genesis (rather than something else entirely unrelated). If that is not the case then I sincerely apologise for mistaking you for an unashamed liar. If, however, these were the courses that you did then you are not being forthright. It’s one thing to say that you enjoy drinking vinegar – that’s an odd preference for which you might be excused, but it’s another to tell people that it’s not vinegar but red wine. What you are doing is not even trying to defend the process that you apparently support – instead you are denying that the process even happened and intentionally misleading others who are looking for information. If people want to be screamed at and belittled for five days then they are quite welcome to pay someone to do that to them, but – in order for INFORMED CONSENT to have taken place – they need to have a fair idea of what they are getting into. Your description of Gullan’s courses as being as innocuous as computer software training is highly misleading.

As for “serious harm to people” I know of two people personally who had to take a significant amount of time off work to deal with the stress-reactions that resulted from his courses. Of course you may now be convinced that these people have “chosen” their breakdowns and so it’s not the course’s fault, but it’s very misleading to use your newly acquired “logic” when communicating with people who are still using the language of the general population. If a person off the street wanted to know if psychological casualties have resulted from this ‘training’ then the answer is “yes”. You may then try – without the thought-reform tactics used by Gullan – to explain that they will only have a breakdown if they ‘choose’ it.

Funnily enough the conversion of people to this way of thinking is far lower when the topic is presented in a way that allows them to consider the idea and make a decision without pressure, information overload, hypnosis, sleep deprivation and some sort of stress-generated high at the end. I know, I know – the course isn’t about logic – it’s “EXPERIENTIAL”. Gullan repeatedly tells you that thinking is bad and that you shouldn’t think, but since neuro-linguistic programming (altering the meaning of words to change how people respond to them) is used in many LGATs, here is a little hint about the term “EXPERIENTIAL”: It’s just a euphemism for “by-passing logic”. When someone says to you “Trust me”, “thinking is bad” and “get other people to do the course” (which Gullan says quite directly during the period of the course) you have to ask yourself whether the intentions are all altruistic. (Of course Gullan really enjoys telling EVERYONE at the end that the real reason he does it is “TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!” A difference, yes – the money and power are really just incidental.

Using a level of communication that is understood by most English-speaking people, the two people I refer to having been injured were seriously psychologically harmed as a direct result of the “one-size fits all” approach used by Gullan (and by that I mean they were damaged significantly enough to prevent them from living a normal life –and working – for a period of days or weeks. Who knows how long the residual damage will last).

“I personally find it criminal that someone can make such an accusation on a public forum...”

Please save us your indignation – it appears that you are either a liar or a tuba student.

“The courses I attended could no more have caused me to commit suicide, than going on a computer software or driving course would.”

I’m not sure what sort of software training courses your company imposes on you, but if you are deprived of sleep, have limited bathroom breaks, are screamed at for the slightest transgression, are hypnotized without anyone telling you, have zombie-like assistants refusing to greet you back and have people sobbing randomly throughout the session AND if you think that the guy leading the course is the wisest, kindest person you’ve ever encountered despite this, then maybe you should speak to HR about the sort of software courses you’re doing. If, on the other hand, you did the same courses that I did then your comment, in my opinion, reflects either dishonesty (once again) or just a complete void where any understanding of human vulnerabilities may preside. Possibly the course couldn’t push you towards suicide, but there is no screening of participants in any form (other than people who can't afford it I imagine??) and there are many people – I assure you – that would react poorly to the treatment handed out by Gullan.

One useful definition of “brainwashed” is ‘the failure to acknowledge what has been clearly proven through evidence and logic’. Based on what I’ve told you, MarkR, would you still say that Steven Gullan’s courses are not LGATs? Would you acknowledge that some people might respond poorly to the methods used? Would you acknowledge that, without some form of screening, these more vulnerable people may suffer harm?

Maybe I’m wrong, X, and I have this whole thing backwards. Feel free to provide your perspective – I’m eager to hear what you have to say.


P.s. I did see that a few people have commented on their negative experiences doing these courses. I'm interested to hear both positive and negative comments if any other participants care to share.

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Re: Café Gratitude enrollment
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 11, 2011 11:14PM

For anyone wanting info, here are some old posts from this message board from a member named Guy.


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Re: Café Gratitude enrollment
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 23, 2011 10:41PM

Cafe Gratitude Sued for Labor-Code Violations
East Bay Express, California/August 9, 2011
By Ellen Cushing

Read full article here


And...ha, ha, do take the time to revisit the website for EBE and read the comments as they pour in. You will find the usual Landmark apologists doing their thing.

And for anyone who shows up here wanting to learn more, read all these article written by a member named 'Guy' who worked as a Landmark employee. Guy wrote valuable material describing, how from the inside, LEC actually worked. It was all about the numbers. All about getting new meat recruited and processed through the pipeline.

Read this insider information HERE. And make sure to read the entire page of dialogue where each of Guy's written contributions appears. One or more former employees and former volunteers also showed up and contributed their inside info.


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Re: Café Gratitude enrollment
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 24, 2011 07:40AM

Here is a live link to the East Bay Express article. And..see, watch the classic defensive moves in the comments section.


Wow, a lot of you people are very very upset by the idea that people may choose, yes CHOOSE, to share their tips with the workers in the kitchen

Not the disingenuous 'Wow, a lot of you people are very very upset by the idea that people may choose..

Note the 'you people'

and very very upset at the idea that people may choose...

We are not upset at ideas, pal. What bothers us is unjust/illegal behavior in the workplace.

Classic Landmarkian spin.

Keep studying the comments and the replies.

And remember, read all the posts contributed here in 2004/5 by the former Landmark employee, Guy.

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