Psychosis after a Tony Robbins Seminar??
Posted by: Ang2BRD ()
Date: January 21, 2003 02:43AM

Have you or do you know anyone who has suffered from mental problems as a result of attending a Tony Robbins Seminar? If so, please let me know! My sister, who had no mental problems at all, went psychotic at a Tony Robbins Seminar in 2000. Since then, she has had bad mental problems and had much difficulty leading a normal life.

Psychosis after a Tony Robbins Seminar??
Posted by: Pauly ()
Date: January 21, 2003 10:07AM

I have heard of simular episodes displayed here is Australia. Whilst I would be hesitant to suggest Tony Robbins seminars are "confrontational" per se - he does employ some radical "empowerment" techniques - such as his infamous "firewalking" escapades. He also combines simular elements of Large Group Awareness Training in the sense of removing "interpretive meaning" from events that have occurred to his students and looking at "actuality" of what happened (does anybody see a pattern emerging here? - a la removing the intellectual ability to form opinion and subsequently calling it "freedom"). He is a very successful, charismatic individual - who "challenges" his audience into a "fast food paradigm shift".

I would be interested in other such accounts as well - Like many LGAT's I think further research is crucial.

My empathy for your loved one.

Psychosis after a Tony Robbins Seminar??
Posted by: Ang2BRD ()
Date: January 21, 2003 07:39PM

Thanks for your empathy, Pauly. It's been a tough road for our family, especially her husband and two children...

In the Tony Robbins seminars, he has everyone purge their deepest, darkest emotions in these huge groups. I am very surprised that we haven't heard more of this type of thing happening. Mr. Robbins also gets people extremely emotional and coerces them into being "superhuman." This just does not seem healthy to me.

Psychosis after a Tony Robbins Seminar??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 22, 2003 12:34AM

in evaluating situations like this:

go to [,] go to the section on cults and read 'Evaluating Spiritual and Utopian Groups.'

It is commonplace for untrained healers to argue that the functioning ego is a trap. The thing is, the functioning ego is like our skeletons. We need it in order to function on a day to day basis. Genuine spiritual growth preserves the integrity of your ego, but shows you that there's reality far beyond your ego. You retain your sense of ethics, your boundaries and your ability to function responsibly.

I hope your sister gets help in reconsolidating her personality.

Psychosis after a Tony Robbins Seminar??
Posted by: Ang2BRD ()
Date: January 22, 2003 06:57AM

My sister was at the Anthony Robbins "Unleash The Power Within" Seminar in Dallas, Texas when she went psychotic. I agree that the focus is making money (the semiars are $700 each) instead of helping people. Unfortunately, Mr. Robbins travels all over the world and many celebrities market for him. There are tons of websites touting his "power" and how people are radically changed for the better by his seminars. My sister said that in the seminar Mr. Robbins was trying to teach people how to talk with people without saying anything...a sort of telepathy communication. That can't be healthy, can it??!!

Do you know how I contact this psychiatry or psychologist association to find out if there's been any other cases similiar to my sister's?

Thank you.

Psychosis after a Tony Robbins Seminar??
Posted by: Ang2BRD ()
Date: January 22, 2003 10:14PM

I really appreciate your suggestions, Corboy...

One thing I failed to mention is that my sister is very selective of who she will talk to about this subject. It has caused a major burden in her family and marriage, and she even avoids discussing her theory about her problems stemming from Tony Robbins to her husband. Her husband is very adamant about her going on and on about the seminar experience because he thinks she reverting back to the psychotic thoughts. She tries to act like everything is OK to him now and she has not opened up to either of her two psychiatrists since this all started. She is dealing with a lot of guilt because this ordeal costed her family lots of money (she couldn't work and her husband couldn't work for some time because the doctor wouldn't allow her to stay home with the kids alone) so she would rather not draw this out. Unfortunately, it's making her depression not dealing with it. I am not even close to wanting to talk to any media about this subject simply because I want to honor her wishes about privacy and if I ever do, I will take your advice as to consult an attorney. My sister-in-law is one.

Before this all happened, she was big time involved in New Age thought and sprituality. Like you said, many people complicate spirituality and her beliefs were more along the lines of controlling things yourself...."Power in words, watch what you say," she analyzed every behavior and thought and felt as though she could control it if she would just believe everyone on earth is God's children and we're all learning. I agree with that, but feeling like you have to control everything and having all the problems of the world on your shoulders really primed her for this event at the seminar. I truly believe this was a contributing factor.

My sister did know, however, that I was going to look into this to see if others experienced the same as she during a Tony Robbins seminar. I will report back to her about these threads. She goes back and forth on wanting to talk about it and then getting overwhelmed by asking we change the subject. It scares her to do any investigation. We'll see what she says...

Psychosis after a Tony Robbins Seminar??
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: January 23, 2003 02:25AM

Something I might add from my experience with my naturopath. I was pretty much convinced for a period of several weeks that I was on a journey that most people are afraid to take. It was a complex situation and I had a very difficult time explaining to my husband what was going on. The naturopath empathized with me, stating that he was having the same problem with his girlfriend and he had dumped her. I was shocked, but he said if I stayed, I would be settling. It is common for charismatic leaders to tell their audience that by virtue of being there, listening, looking for Truth, that there is something special about them that not most people find. The thought of having to leave relationships with people who just don't get it is what causes a great deal of confusion and depression. These 'gurus" are very charismatic and claim they have overcome hardship and are merely sharing what worked for them. Anything traditinoally accepted as "normal", such as marriage, career, dreams for the future, are reframed as social convention, attachment to outcomes, etc. These "teachings" linger for a long time, have a kernel of truth, and nurture a desire for something greater. This may be what has happened with your sister - she's torn between love for her husband and the possibility that she's missing out on something greater by "settling."

Psychosis after a Tony Robbins Seminar??
Posted by: Pauly ()
Date: January 24, 2003 09:08AM

Hi guys - apologies for not writing earlier. (HOPE - I still owe you a suggested solution to your naturopath pseudo-psychologist issues - a phenomenon becoming all too familiar with these med-school drop out types. I haven’t forgotten - and will reply ASAP).

Ang2BRD – There seems to be some common issues that warrant discussion here.

Firstly – don’t feel too panicked about your loved one being hesitant to discuss her trauma – very normal and very common side effect of an induced trauma state where the person afflicted feels a self imposed “embarrassment” about discussing “the event/issue” – ESPECIALLY applicable to a loved one. Understand and be comfortable with the fact that there is no easy short term solution (the antithesis of a Landmark-esque approach).

However – I would be hesitant to flatly agree with a psychologist requiring past history of abuse, affiliation of spiritual ideals and events at the TR conference (I know what you were getting at Corby – great point!!) Simply because the RIGHT psychologist would know WHAT QUESTIONS TO ASK to prompt the defensive barriers to break down (NB: don’t confuse this “controlled breakthrough” with any such induced by Landmark/TR – in this context it would be more likeable to Mr Ross’s deprogramming methodologies and "draw out" the minds rational ability again). Of course the challenge now lies in finding the right professional.

In short – psychologists do not (by default) need an extensive history of trauma before consultation because there is definite commonality in symptoms of traumatic events. You have made some forward proactive steps simply by lodging your concerns on this forum – and I congratulate you for that.

One of the key “red flag” alerts I should bring attention to is the LGAT group structure – Landmark is guilty of this shady technique too (and I think it has some application here).

When a “breakthrough” is promised at a large group setting – the rational/analytical capacity of the mind is relaxed (read: “pressured”) into coveting group acceptance – particularly of those who have attained the elusive “it”. Being influenced by the doctrine of TR or Landmark then becomes easy – because a rational questioning mind is a healthy mind (forum coins this healthy calculating mindset being “uncoachable”). When this is suppressed by a “fast forwarded crash pop psychology” and a breakthrough is induced – it creates an artificial bond with those within the group that have attained “it” – imagine the imposed pressure on an individual if that ever elusive “it” was not attained by the subject. Group rejection (by not attaining “it”) – under altered psychological conditions found in most LGATS – can have the potential to induce self imposed trauma – worse so if there is a history of abuse and impressionability toward eastern philosophies.

So I guess the real way forward – is to simply keep moving forward! Research and ASK organisations (like Rick Ross or where psychologists – particularly those versed in “induced trauma in a confrontational group setting” (prepare to be met with by stunned silence – until you get the psychologist on the phone) can be found near your residence. I am happy to help you draft a letter that you can then send out as a general enquiry - if you wish.

I think ANG2BRD should realise that with every obstacle you have faced thus far – it is STILL a step toward an outcome. Be patient and diligent and things will turn out fine.

Cheers guys – its Australia Day this Sunday (4th of July equivalent) so I am off with the fellas for a long weekend of fishing, surfing and ice cold beers (Weather forecast is 38,43, 45 Celcius or 100F, 110F and 113F). Too hot for this 25YO bloke!!

OHS Consultant
Bsc (Env Law) Hons.

Psychosis after a Tony Robbins Seminar??
Posted by: Pauly ()
Date: January 24, 2003 11:05AM

Hi guys -

Do yourselves all a favor - and read the Mary L Polanski series special report on LGAT's.


I suggest you print it out - and take the time to digest and absorb it.

Clinical and precise - its all there!


Psychosis after a Tony Robbins Seminar??
Posted by: Pauly ()
Date: January 24, 2003 01:47PM

From "Dark Side of the Moonies - A powerful warning of the spread of bizarre cults in modern society" By Erica Heftmann.

- pg 240.

"Former members of cults as EXTERNALLY different as the Manson Family and EST (aka Landmark Education's Forum) CONSISTENTLY report that the mind control they experienced was IDENTICAL - that is, the effect of an absolutist doctrine applied in a totalitarian environment".

Was that a pin dropping I heard?

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