Dyadic exercises, belief systems, sharing, complying to the rules, accountable for 100% of our lives, we set things up to be that way, "get out of your head", "quit anal-yzing everything"...
Any of this sound familiar? I'm referring to large group awareness, mass marathon training, and self-awareness seminars.
It seems little has been discussed about groups like these. I know a number of people who gone through the “training”.
I attended all three courses at Impact Training in the early ‘90s. Like most attendees I was recruited by family. At General Conference in 1997 LDS church leadership denounced such groups. Yet I still hear of LDS members getting involved. Perhaps it's confusing because there are many training companies under different names as opposed to having one unified church.
I was later recruited again in 2003. Despite my objections I was told this was a completely different experience from what I had when I went through Impact Training when I was a teenager. Though the name of the company had changed and the facilitator was new, I could immediately see they were using the exact same Day 1 script.
I was the last one standing and I chose not to consent to the rules because I objected to any activity that suppressed critical thinking of the participants. I walked out of the large room but was taken to another room for 30 minutes while they attempted to persuade me "go for it". I left but not without first expressing my disappointment in the character of the loved one who attempted to recruit me.
Her ex-husband, coincidentally, was the one who recruited me for the second course, back when I was 16. However she had only recently discovered the program. I later regretted criticizing her, I was perhaps too harsh telling her that she should know better than to waste time with them. You should never blame someone for getting involved in groups like these -- it's not their fault. Although they'd likely respond, "Don't should all over yourself"...
These trainings are regarded with full-on religious fervor. I find these seminars to be over-rated, potentially damaging, and at the very least a waste of time and money regardless of whether you listen with "your heart" or "commit one hundred percent". Admittedly at the time I personally experienced the typical elation and sense of heightened well-being, I thought as a result of courageous "sharing" and learning to fully "commit".
This subject comes to mind tonight because a TV show reminded me of my past experiences. There's a story-line involving a group like this in Season 2 of Six Feet Under, episode 3, The Plan. "...it's one of those self acualization things in the '70s where they yell at you for 12 hours and don't let you go to the bathroom." LOL
There are very few references to groups like this in pop culture. It must be because we were all sworn to secrecy.
I'd like to learn where it came from and what its true purpose is. I don't believe that it's to empower people. Is it designed to start a new movement or religion? Are we just lab rats? Is it purely a business for profit? Or a way to find suckers for another scam?
I am interested in finding studies and critiques on what some would call a brainwashing cult. Here's a start.