Posts Tagged ‘LGAT’

The Law of Attraction is not a singular belief. Like religions and philosophies and musical tastes, we have a spectrum of flavors from which to choose. It ranges from the power of positive thinking to the belief that the universe is entirely of your own making.

Nor is it a singular course. Many (to most) of its teachers focus on wealth acquisition and accumulation, ranging from understanding your money blueprint (T. Harv Eker, Garrett Gunderson) to buying real estate (Robert Allen) to managing investment portfolios (Robert Kiyosaki). Others focus on personal growth (Byron Katie) and spiritual development (Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch).

The following table is an approximate overview of the personal responsibility assumption made to varying degrees in the Law of Attraction courses currently raging throughout North America and beyond.

I’ve tried not to pass judgment, as I am convinced that you can learn from just about anyone. While I would not personally take courses from some of the educational forums listed below, I would never go so far as to say they have nothing to offer. Each “teacher” in your life presents you with tools. What you do with them, how you apply them (if you choose to), and what you derive from them, is entirely up to you.

It is included here so that you can see the range. However, it is not definitive. What will make it definitive is your experience (direct or in-direct) with it.

Educational forum promoting…
partial personal responsibility substantial personal responsibility total personal responsibility
Philosophy You have some control over the outcomes of your life. You can shape the outcome of events that impact your life. You have created every aspect of your life.
Degree of action required Significant. Significant. Your thoughts are key, but only if you have the emotional desire to persist through and survive your trials and your failures. Insignificant. Your thoughts shape everything. That which follows is all a result of your ability to think the right thoughts.
Forums Books, counselling and therapy sessions, community workshops, one-on-one. Seminars, classes, leading to larger group. Large Group Awareness Training (LGATs).
Examples Positive-thought proponents, authors, counselors, Alcoholics Anonymous.

Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People

Events happen to you; how you respond to those events will have a significant ability to shape your future.

Jack Canfield’s formula E+R = O encapsulates it (Events + Response = Outcome).

Napoleon Hill advocated that you can receive what you conceive if you have an intense burning desire driving your action.

Landmark Education. Their philosophy is that personal responsibility begins and ends with one’s willingness to be central cause of all results in one’s life. Being both the cause and the effect is the ideal way to to live.

T. Harv Eker’s T > F >A > R formula encapsulates it (Thoughts lead to Feelings lead to Action lead to Results). It’s all you.

Extreme examples Your negative thoughts contributed toward your current situation. If you are down, it’s because you don’t believe you are worth better. Pat Robertson, an evangelical Christian suggests that the recent Haiti earthquake was brought about by the Haitians themselves in a deal they made with the devil to free them from the French.
Further research Irrelevant to the success of the relationship. Encouraged. The greater your exposure, the greater your chances at success. Not encouraged. The knowledge you will receive here is definitive. Stay away from the negative influence of fear-mongering newspapers and magazines.
Costs might fall into this range $20/book

Free consultation then typically $30-$50-$100/session depending on the type

Free intro nights

$100-1000/classes

$50-$500+/session

Free intro nights

$500-$30,000+/seminars

Seminars are frequently hosted by a high-profile success story, and run behind the scenes by volunteers.

Types Positive thinking

Therapy

Counseling

Community classes

Community classes

Seminars

Seminars

Several of the Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT) programs

Techniques Comfort zone is challenged

Guided learning

Journaling

Peer-led group study

Comfort zone is challenged

Mental breakdowns lead to breakthroughs

Call-and-response technique

Comfort zone is challenged

Mental breakdowns lead to breakthroughs

Deprivation (contact, food/beverage, bathrooms, etc.)

Group chants or call-and-response technique

Deviation from the group can lead to personal humiliation

Independent thinking is discouraged (you are here, after all, because you are a failure and you want to learn from the successful expert so shut up and learn)

Spirituality Not typically present unless specifically seeking religious or spiritual guidance Implicit or explicit religious overtones Implicit or explicit religious overtones
Qualifications/ Status Academic achievement Track record success Cult-like status of the guru

Group conversations discouraged

Challenging the teachings discouraged (you can be physically removed from the session)

The Interpretation of Failure Failure means you haven’t yet been able to turn it around and look at it from a different perspective. Failure means you are one step closer to success. Success is built on a succession of failures. Failure means you are personally being punished. You haven’t “played” at 120%. You are personally weak. Typically, more classes will help you achieve a better rate of success.
The Interpretation of Success You can live in your current circumstances and be a happier human being. You can persist through the rough times knowing that the plan and the journey will get you there. You will be rich.

The Law of Attraction, wrapped in its mantra of self-improvement in the names of God and Wealth, makes for a lucrative industry. In 2006, the research firm Marketdata estimated the “self-improvement” business in the U.S. generated more than $9 billion in sales—including infomercials, mail-order catalogs, holistic institutes, books, audio cassettes, motivation-speaker seminars, the personal coaching market, weight-loss and stress-management programs.[1] It’s also an unregulated field, which means it’s buyer beware.


[1] PRWeb (September 21, 2006). “Self-Improvement Market in U.S. Worth $9.6 Billion.” Press release. http://www.prwebdirect. com/releases/2006/9/prweb440011.php. Retrieved 2008-12-18. “Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., a leading independent market research publisher, has released a new 321-page market study entitled: The U.S. Market For Self-Improvement Products & Services.”

The is an excerpt from my book, The Three Strategies of the Unstoppable Woman (Chapter 8).

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2
Jun

The Two Types of Cults

   Posted by: Britt    in My Story, On Wealth Seminars

I just finished reading a fictional novel by Kathy Reichs, called Death du Jour. It’s a really well written mystery novel based on a character is a forensic Anthropologist Temperance Brennan, who divides her time between Montreal, Quebec, and Charlotte, North Carolina. (K. Reichs is also a forensic anthropologist, PhD, who divides her time between Montreal and Charlotte.)

As riveting as the novel was, what struck me the most were the definitions.

I’ll let the fictional Red Skyler explain:

Cults are not just a group of crazies who follow weird leaders.  … [T]hey are organized with a set of common features.

… A cult forms around a charismatic individual who promises something. This individual professes some special knowledge. Sometimes the claim is access to ancient secrets … sometimes it’s an entirely new discovery to which he or she alone is privy.

… In a cult, it’s this charismatic leader who eventually becomes the object of devotion.

… And often there is a double set of ethics. Members are urged to be honest and loving to each other but to deceive and shun outsiders

… Cult leaders use a variety of psychological processes to manipulate their members. Some leaders are fairly benign, but others are not and really exploit the idealism of their followers.

… The way I see it, there are two broad types of cults, both of which use though reform. The commercially packaged “awareness training programs … user very intense persuasion techniques. These groups keep members by getting them to buy more and more courses.

Then there are the cults that recruit follower for life. … They are manipulative, deceptive and highly exploitative”[1]

A little later on in the book, Tempe runs into Sam again, and they continue the conversation, focusing on the former.

“Unlike the cults we discussed [for-life recruiters], these programs don’t intent to keep people forever. They exploit participants as long as they are willing to buy more courses. And bring in others. … The coercive influence that these so-called self-improvement programs exert is amazing. It’s the same old thing, behavioural control through thought reform.

… It’s known as large group awareness training.

… They’re packaged to sound like seminars, or college courses, but the sessions are scripted to get participants emotionally and psychologically aroused.

… Most programs last four or five days. The first day is devoted to establishing the leader’s authority. Lots of humiliation and verbal abuse. The next day pounds in the new philosophy. The trainer convinces participants their lives are crap and that the only way out is to accept the new way of thinking.

… Day three is typically filled with exercises. Trance inducement. Memory regression. Guided imagery. The trainer gets everyone to dredge up disappointments, rejections, bad memories. … Then the following day there’s a lot of warm fuzzy group sharing…. The last day is fun and happy, with lots of hugs and dancing and music and games. And the hard sell.

… You take the course, then you’re told that you’ve performed so well you’ve been singled out to go to a higher level, or meet the guru, or whatever.[2]”

When asked who falls for these things, “Red” replies that it’s those dealing with depression and “broken affiliations,” those in transition who are lonely and confused.

Have you noticed that we are in the midst of an economic meltdown? That an incredibly massive number of people are in transition, broken, who are feeling they have lost everything? Is it any wonder that we are chomping at the bit to the incredible promises made by these slick snake-oil salesmen?

[Ironically, in my email today was a note from Robert G. Allen telling the tale of Matt Morris, who only 12 years ago (he must’ve been nine at the time) was broke and desperate and living out of the back of his “red beat-down honda civic” — it’s those personalized details that clinch it! Anyway, in the email, my “good friend” Robert was saying that he discovered 7 closely-guarded online money making secrets (yeah, right, sent by mass mail to thousands NAY tens-of-thousands of us) and he’ll give it to us free in return for a name and email address. I registered (with a junk email I use for these very fine special occasions) only to get the message that he’s already over capacity but will contact me for the next series of freebies. HEY, wait a minute here! My good friend Robert just sent me this email… What’s up dude?]

The common pain is an economic one. Which is why it’s so goddamn easy for the likes of Jack Canfield, T. Harv Eker, James Arthur Ray, Robert Allan, Anthony Robbins, Bob Proctor, and Robert Kiyosaki (to name just a few) flourish in these times[3]. Have you ever noticed that their messages are exactly the same? Have you noticed that no-one references the others, and seem to imply that they have by whatever god-given decree stumbled upon this notion? That when one (James Arthur Ray) gets cooked up for a legal dinner the others don’t rally around their fallen star to help him back on his feet? That their berth is extremely wide from each other, even though they sing each others songs … ALL THE TIME[4]?

It’s getting really bad. At least in my world. Many of the people I know have dabbled in these courses. One I know has done exceedingly well. The others have all dribbled, then dropped.

Even worse, copy-cat courses are springing up all over. It’s what I fell victim to. It’s how come I, at 45 years of age, have to start all over again.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t know what the answer is. I’ve never believed that the government is there to protect us. It’s there to collect taxes and run the world’s biggest corporations (aka countries). I don’t think that regulation is the answer. Education is where I’m putting my efforts.

Listen up folks, and do the math. The guru-led self-help industry is generating billions (yes, that’s BILLIONS) of dollars of revenues every year. Since they offer up the path to wealth, the stats say that in turn there should be at least millions (yes, I mean MILLIONS) of new millionaires created each and every month. Instead, we hear of the smattering of success stories. An oasis the size of a child’s bucket in a desert as big as North America.

Whether it’s a famous charismatic guru listed earlier in this blog or some copy-cat or some poor old schmuck who is genuinely trying to impart is misguided knowledge, know the signs.

And hold on tight to your wallet.

Oh, and thanks for asking … Kathy Reichs’ book was incredible! A writer who is both knowledgeable and articulate. She knows how to write a great mystery novel. Highly recommended. Nothing was given away in this little rant, don’t worry!


[1] Kathleen J. Reichs. Death du Jour. New York:  Scribner, 1999. p. 253-254.

[2] ibid, p. 310-312.

[3] Anthony Robbins released his first book, Unlimited Power in 1987;  On Black Monday of October 1987 a stock collapse of unprecedented size lopped 22.6 percent off the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The world mourned, and a guru kindly stepped up to the plate.

[4] Just a brief disclaimer here. I think that there is valuable information offered by each of the gurus mentioned here. Robbins has is “four classes of experience” (a handy word doc download available here) which I find extremely useful to personal growth; Ray has an excellent handle on marketing techniques (which all belong to Robert Cialdini by the way). But I don’t think that any guru has a singular claim on the whole truth (as throughout the times, it is up to the reader to sift through the claims to get at their individual truth), and I don’t think that it’s worth two to twenty (to infinity and beyond) thousand dollars to access the information. Nor should you need to walk on fire or walk into an arrow tip or suffer in a desert or a sweat lodge to get there.

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Here’s a link to an excellent blog that captures the essence of what I think is wrong with many of these “woo woo” get-rich gurus who like to bring in metaphysics and spirituality to argue their case. In it, LaVaughn makes the case that the universe does not exist to serve your ego. That thought, in and of itself, should be enough to stir some into a type of awakening.

I know just a little about Buddha. And I know enough to make the claim that enlightenment comes from ego-less-NESS. It’s about letting go of possessions, of ownership, of power. Of letting go of the concept of self.

Anyway, read thisblog. It’s a mental gem.

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16
Dec

Oral Roberts dies at 91

   Posted by: Britt    in On Seekers

Oral Roberts died today of complications to pneumonia. He was 91. He’s the guy with the spiritual hands that could heal, and people would line up in droves to be touched by the man.

I don’t know that much about him (except for a vague memory of him in the 80’s where he said that he needs to fundraise several million dollars or else God would strike him dead). A blogger by the name of Karen Spears Zacharias has a very educational and entertaining article on Roberts. Following is the start of her article:

How Big is Your Mansion

I learned of the death of Oral Roberts through a Twitter post that said: “Celebrating with Oral Roberts as he came face to face with Jesus. Your mansion is sooooo big. I’m sure of it!”The news was jarring. Not that Oral Roberts was dead at age 91, though, I imagine for those who loved him his passing on to Glory was still very hard. What troubled me was the remark about the size of Roberts’s mansion.

Up until Roberts died and I read that stupid tweet, I never gave a second-thought to the real estate market in heaven. I just assumed we’d all get an equal share of prime property. Surely God knows me well enough by now to know that in order for me to be eternally happy I need a piece of beachfront property.

Read her blog for more information here.

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25
Nov

Janaki Experience with Byron Katie

   Posted by: Britt    in On Byron Katie

Janaki wrote of her experience with Byron Katie in an online document. I keep on trying to link to it, and after a short while the links always get broken. One site I hit said they removed the post due to legal threats.

Perhaps all is not as beautiful as it seems?

Anyway, TODAY’s links to Janaki’s document are here, here and here. We’ll see how long they last.

Interesting. This is the most frequently visited page on my blog. Robots? Paid patrollers? If one is so terrified of the opinions of another getting out, perhaps one shouldn’t pursue the life of a public figure.

Sheesh.

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24
Nov

Welcome

   Posted by: Britt    in General, My Story

In 2006, I took a financial education course that impacted my outlook in life.The course was offered by a woman whose husband I had known for about 8 years at the time (a man who I admired and learned from), and I was very familiar with their financial situation. They had left the country, in a few short years came with enough assets to call themselves millionaires. This woman, the wife of my good friend, was committed to sharing her knowledge. A noble cause indeed. This woman met and partnered with a fellow who was equally committed to teaching alternative financial techniques.

I had not heard the phrase “Law of Attraction” at the time. What I learned on the course made sense to me, and so I applied what I had learned. The people who gave the course were genuinely well intentioned, had insider information on certain techniques, and had a business that provided the means to apply the learning. And they were both living examples of what can be achieved.

I quickly became on of the success stories of the course, having not just received the information but full-on acted upon it as well. Things were going well.

Eventually, through this same group of people, I was exposed to the movie The Secret and the concept of The Law of Attraction.

Slowly, one investment after another failed, until I reached the point of realization that almost everything I had applied through this company was not going to pan out. About half a year ago, I was at the brink of bankruptcy. They had acted as advisor up until this point, and so, naturally, I consulted with them. Their response? Envy, that I had the privilege, the opportunity of facing this prospect! That’s when my head spun around.

Three years since the course, I have come to the realization that I was taught (and led) by people who strongly subscribed to the Law of Attraction. They hold the philosophy that if you can just persist long enough, and if you can just “keep the faith” it will all work out in the long run. Sure, perhaps if I had access to an infinite flow of money! Meanwhile, in following the advice of those I believed were solidly in-the-know, my financial affairs are in ruin.

I’m a fairly smart woman, and that I have been “had” like this causes me tremendous embarrassment, it’s a shame that runs deep. Further, I’ve recommended this course to others. None with results as disastrous as mine, though, I’m oddly pleased to report.

The point of this blog is to provide information. Those who are obvious teachers of the Law of Attraction are easy enough to spot, because of the spotlight around the phrase. What’s less obvious are those who have learned from the gurus who then become the sub-teachers. They teach their particular area of specialization, and thread in the Law of Attraction stuff, without telling you. Probably without awareness of it themselves.

I don’t think I was maliciously had. Yes, I was taken to the cleaners. And yes, the intentions of my “teachers” were all well and good. But now that I have become somewhat more fully versed in the Law of Attraction (and almost succumbed to becoming a sub-teacher myself), I know what to look for, and what to avoid.

Knowledge truly is the only route to awareness. And the more teachers you have, the more you know.

This site will discuss some some of the gurus. It will discuss cults in general. It will discuss faith, beliefs, and religions. I do not hold the definitive view on anything. That’s why I present this information in the format of an interactive blog, with access not restricted by membership. That’s why I invite all conversation, wherever you stand.

Welcome to my rants, and perhaps it will add to your journey as well.

Britt

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