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Offline psy

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A Psychologist's View of EST
« on: February 17, 2007, 10:18:01 PM »
Back on ST, Before I was banned, Anne From Minnesota and I were having a little debate on EST / Landmark Forum.  Since I was banned, she has responded to my last set of questions via E-mail.  She gave me permission to post the response on Fornits.  She will not be responding to questions here, however i will respond to her via E-mail and post the debate here.

Quote from: ""Anne""
Psy.

I wanted to let you know that I did have an opportunity to watch your film clip on the Forum earlier. However, it didn't seem particularly compelling to me in one direction or another. Perhaps you can tell me why you seemed to place such emphasis on it--or perhaps I misunderstood your comments.

Je parle un "petit peu" of French and I thought the piece was well translated, vis a vis the subtitles.

Not terribly well done otherwise. In particular, the background music was hilarious--it was meant, I presume, to convey something very frightening and almost eerily supra-normal. Instead it was, to me at least, predictably corny and obviously an attempt at marketing the perceived terrors of this "awful" program. Try watching the clip without the music turned on and I think you'll be surprised how "ho-hum" it seems, speaking of manipulation. Not a very balanced commentary, not even a pretense of neutrality from the host.

It has always been clear to me that the Forum was a commercial enterprise, so the stress placed on that in the clip was not off-putting to me---you know the French, their government is a typical Euro-socialist democracy and their media seems to be an extention of this ideology. The part of the film that expressed so much angst about the fact that people were working for the Forum as "volunteers" and that this might (Horrors, Comrade!!) violate the Labor Code was kind of amusing. The "experts" on cults didn't seem particularly convincing to me---more opinion-based than anything else, as far as I could tell.

If it's your point that this documentary led to a halt to the Forum being offered in France, hate to tell you, but that's just not true. A close friend who lives in Berlin went to Paris for a large Forum presentation just before the New Year. And loved it, she's an artist and finds that it really has supported her creativity in painting.

By way of self-disclosure, I've already been to one of these introductory meetings for the Forum. Did I get a lot of pressure to sign up immediately? A fair amount, but I just firmly said "no", that I thought I might do it later, but I was just too busy to consider a committment at that time. That was it.

In this world, you've got to know what you want and learn to assert yourself (and if possible be pleasant about it)--- for anyone who doesn't have this lesson down, I'm in favor of any program that gets this knowledge solidified. Actually the lessons I learned at the workshops at my child's school help me in situations where that particular lesson is called for.

I do remain convinced that people who undertake these kinds of events have to have an adequate ego strength and a fairly certain self-image. I was pleased that an admonition related to good mental health was in the Forum contract--unfortunately enforcement of this provision is problematic: how can the Forum make sure that potential participants don't lie to get in.

Emotional growth is painful sometimes, which doesn't personally overwhelm me as long as the pain is leading somewhere positive---although it's always heart-wrenching to watch someone become so upset, as happened with the mother in the early part of the clip. As I said, this kind of publically displayed affect is not suitable for everyone. I cried a lot in one of my workshop, when certain things became clear to me and in my case, and for many others, it was cathartic. To someone who was more fragile, such a public unhappiness could be very upsetting and have a negative impact.

Similarly some people just can't cope with being called "a**h***" or "inauthentic" in public in the way that it was done in this clip, even if the attempt is to get the person's attention in order to break a negative pattern.

I know three psychologists who just did the Forum this month and all three found it useful. I couldn't do it at that time because of a scheduled vacation--but I bet I do sign up before the year is out. It's kind of ironic but all this talk about it at this site has brought it to the center of my mental radar screen. Rest assured that I would not recommend it to just anyone and that I would make sure that any potential participant knew what he/she was getting into and had a clear self-understanding about why they were doing it. I do agree with you that many of the techniques used in the workshops I attended seemed to have a resemblence to the techniques used in the Forum, although there were many differences too.

So, please psy, let me know if you would, when you have a moment, if there was anything in particular you wanted me to comment on in your clip, i'll probably look at this site tomorrow---just got home from a late night event, therefore a short check in, all for now.

Quote from: ""Psy""
Sure. A few questions actually now that you've watched it. I'll seperate them to make it easy to respond.

1. Considering not all kids sent to Emotional growth schools are 100% in the head, would you consider methods such confrontational methods safe?

2. Could such techniques cause psychotic breaks, disassociation, or decompensation.

3. Consider the woman in the video. She goes up to the stage, and the leader starts to make presumptions about her. He is assuming that she is in need of "negative pattern" breaking based on very little background information. If the leader is wrong, do you think a person could be convinced of something that is not true?

4. Could this be damaging to a person?

5. Is it ethical to use these techniques on people when they have no choice about it?

6. Was the school that your child went to (in which you experienced the workshop described) CEDU based or an actual original CEDU school?


End of questions.

Look. If you want to go to the Forum, and have truth dictated to you by a person reading from a script which requires 2 minutes of training... that's your choice. I would advise against it... Not as a mental health professional, but as somebody who was one convinced of things that were not true, and suffered a lot as a result. It took me a while to snap out of it, and years to fully realize exactly what was done to me.

Am I sure of that? Yes I am sure of it. Why? Because I figured out what was done before I went looking for answers, and only confirmed through research what I already suspected. Did I go looking for information to support a conclusion I already had? No. Because even though I suspected many things, I did not know for sure... and would rather have had the truth at that point, however painful, than a comforting lie.

Look. I don't drink... I just plain don't like it. But in program, those techniques were used to convince me I was an alcoholic. I cried and felt i had come to a realization... I felt I was discovering my "real self"... They told me i was wearing a mask, and i believed it heart and soul. I forgot who I was, and let them touch my mind. They convinced me I needed program, without which I would "relapse" and die (consider I did not have an alcohol/drug problem and was not sent to program for that reason). They knew that, and yet they used those confessions to try and convince my parents that I needed more time. This was not some isolated incident. They did this to many people, many of my friends. I saw them break before I did, and when I broke, i was so happy. I felt like i was alive for the first time. It was all a lie. Happiness is not emotional growth. An rush of hyper-emotional bliss to avoid the harsh truths in life is not any different than a drug. True emotional growth is introspection and self discovery, not having the "truth" dictated to you until you accept it. You don't know me, I don't know you. What business do I have, with two minutes of training, to read from a script, beat you down, and convince you of something on a hunch, that very well may be wrong.

You don't know the pain of realizing you were fooled. Realizing you were tricked. Realizing that what you thought was an epiphany was simply a method of making money off your suffering. You don't know that feeling of violation, that humilation. You don't know what it's like to see this happen week after week, day after day; to see the essence of self in every single person you knew, removed and replaced with nothing more than an elaborate program; to see your friends become shells before your eyes.

Why do I bother trying to convince you not to go through with the Forum? Because nobody deserves that. People with or without problems deserve compassion and love. People deserve more than "asshole" and "not real" until they comply. They deserve understanding and respect. Has your sense of right and wrong become so perverted that you honestly believe anything good can come out of such public humilation. It's as if a child, beaten by his parent, decides it made him stronger, and completes the cycle by in turn "strengthening" his children.

I'm not comparing you to an abusive parent, i'm simply asking if you now feel is acceptable, something that, at one time, you would never have considered.

Her response via Email:

Quote from: ""Anne""
Psy:

As I agreed in recent communication with you, I'll take a crack at your questions about confrontational methods.  These questions are presented in your post of Jan. 28, 2007 on the ST "New Year, New Ideas-Peace?" thread.

Your questions followed a brief back-and-forth we had regarding the Forum and Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT) methods.


1) Your first question was :"Considering not all kids sent to Emotional Growth schools are 100% in the head, would you consider methods such confrontational methods safe?  

I'm on record as saying that I believe that LGAT methods need to be used with people who are in touch with reality and who have the ego strength to manage that kind of focus.  

I'm not quite sure what you mean by not "100% in the head".  At my son's school, people certainly seemed sane, if that's what you mean.  There was no one there who was psychotic.  But I agree with you that careful triaging is necessary to use certain techniques that are similar to the ones in est and the Forum.

2) Your second question was : "Could such techniques cause psychotic breaks , dissociations, and decompensations?  I believe that in a fragile individual this is a possibility.  

I wrote a grad school paper on the est phenomenon a couple of years ago, based on what I could find in the literature and going back to the beginning of LGAT recorded history.  

It?s strange to think now, that in the 60?s and 70?s and even the 80?s, people were using est with people who had had extensive stays in mental institutions.  

The danger, of course, is that Forum and related techniques can bring about an uncontrolled release of affect, which is manageable with most people, but quite disorganizing with some.  If you look at the psychological/psychiatric literature, look for  Simon (1978), Sayre (1977), Kirsh & Glass (1977) and Higgit & Murray (1983).  

Also, in the non-scientific literature, examples given in the book, ?Snapping? by Conway & Siegelman (1995, 2nd edition), but this work is so doctrinaire that I give it less weight than actual, dispassionate reports).

Earlier in my training, I worked with people who had paranoid and other types of  schizophrenia in different stages of development and control.  I could not imagine these people being able to cope with est or Forum techniques, although certainly I can think of adaptations that might well be beneficial.  

3) With respect to the woman in the video that you posted:  I really would have to know more about the woman, and more about what happened before and after the recorded segment to have much to say about this.  Such a limited clip is drive-by television at its worst, I hadn?t realized they had that en France as we certainly have it in this country.

You know, you?ve got to consider that this woman may well be in need of the breaking of  a ?negative pattern?,  perhaps that?s what she was paying for,  I just don?t know, and I presume, neither do you.  

I would have been more convinced of a problem here if this woman had subsequently participated in the film clip as having been harmed.  It sounds as if she reconciled with the trainer and went on with the training.  Perhaps it helped, perhaps it didn?t.  No way for me to know.

And your comment about the leader possibly being wrong?   I?m absolutely sure that happens.  By way of self-disclosure,  it happened to me,  not in est or the Forum but in one of the CEDU workshops, where Mel Wasserman seemed absolutely sure of some things about me that just were not true.  

See, that?s why you need people with the ability to stay in touch with reality to safely participate in these kinds of exercises.  When Mel got off on his particular track in terms of me, I was able to take what was useful from the workshop and to say ?Whatever!? about the things that just didn?t click.  I agree that someone overly malleable or even psychotic couldn?t do that.  Such people could indeed possibly be convinced of something that is not true.  Again, careful screening.  Where this hasn?t happened, I would agree that this is a travesty.

4)  Same answer: I just don?t think that these kinds of exercises could ever hurt someone who was what we like to call ?fully-functioning?.  They might feel like they?d wasted their money if they had a mediocre training, but that?s not the same thing as I think you?re talking about.

5) As to your question: ?Is it ethical to use these techniques on people when they have no choice about it??

 That?s a difficult one, I admit?nobody, including me, as a libertarian, likes the idea of making anyone do what they don?t want to do, but in this society, parents do get to give consent for certain schooling and procedures on minors.  

Again, I have to ask what you mean by ?ethical?, i.e., according to what ethic?  

If you mean according to an ethic that allows parents to make these kinds of choices, then yes, by definition, it would be ethical. If the parents understand what is involved and there is no contravening medical/psychological/ psychiatric reason for not participating.

 If you?re a ?Let them vote at aged 12? activist, probably then it?s not ethical, according to the code that you subscribe to.

I do think that such techniques can be more easily applied in an education or substance abuse counseling context than in a clinical psychology counseling context.  I don?t think that as a clinical psychologist I could lead such an exercise, because the ethic that is governing  in this discipline?at least at the present time---would require a more voluntary effort.

6) My son was a a CEDU school, he is very grateful for what he experienced although like anyone, he had things he would change.  

Same with me.   For us, the world was better because that school existed.  We don?t talk about it every day but when we do, we?re on the same page about that.  We were both sorry to see the schools bought first by Brown and then by Universal.

In fact in concert with some other parents, I tried to buy his school but the current owner, UBH, was just too big.

Doesn?t matter though, the ideas we learned can still be used other places, they?re functional in every one of us who were touched positively by those workshops and that school.  Plenty of really happy, successful grads, whether you believe it or not, there?s no question that this approach worked for a lot of people.

As for the Forum, I?m not taking it this month, I want to take it with certain other people and one of them had a baby early a week ago, so the February session is out.   Which pushes us to April because there?s no presentation in the Twin Cities in March.   But I?ll let you know what I think when I?ve been through it.

Hope you find what you?re looking for, Psy. And maybe I?ll see you on ST if you work out your differences with Lon.

Anne


My next post will be the response to this which i will send a link for her to respond to via e-mail.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2007, 10:54:11 PM »
Why are you treating her like she has even the foggiest clue what she's talking about?

Where'd she get her psych degree, a Cracker Jack box?
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2007, 10:59:49 PM »
Quote from: ""TS Waygookin""
I'm frankly quite bored with all of these debates. Fuck.. I'm getting bored with fornits in general.

Time to go back to rp for a few months to recharge the batteries.


I recommend Paranoia Live for that sort of thing.

As for this place, less debate, more ass kicking. I'm not even bothering to more than skim that (not just because it comes from an ST poster, either).
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Offline Antigen

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Re: A Psychologist's View of EST
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2007, 11:49:20 PM »
This is a perfect example of the slight of mind psychology that makes EST so damned effective.

Quote from: ""Anne""
I'm not quite sure what you mean by not "100% in the head". At my son's school, people certainly seemed sane, if that's what you mean. There was no one there who was psychotic. But I agree with you that careful triaging is necessary to use certain techniques that are similar to the ones in est and the Forum.


Ann, look at some of your own advertising.
Google turns up
about 931,000 for troubled teen warning signs. (in 0.18 seconds)


You know this, Ann! Of course, logically, objectively it is right at the fore of your conciousness. You deal with this shit every stinkin day, you live and breathe it, it is your world. And yet you can effortlessly dismiss it when it becomes inconvenient.

Ann went out to lunch some years ago and hasn't checked back for messages. Please leave a message with Program Super Drone 2007.
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Offline Nihilanthic

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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2007, 12:39:51 AM »
A psychologist condoning something that is unproven and debunked and risky?

what the fuck?
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Offline Ganja

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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2007, 09:20:10 AM »
So....to sum up, this person thinks that EST is a good thing?

Could someone just kill me now?
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Offline Nihilanthic

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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2007, 02:03:14 AM »
Well, they do say there should be screening to see if its safe to use these methods... nevermind that they're ineffective and risky at best anyway and there are plenty of good alternatives now  :roll:
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Offline Ganja

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« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2007, 08:08:03 AM »
All the girls are in love with me; I'm a teenage lobotomy...
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Offline Troll Control

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« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2007, 01:26:15 PM »
Quote from: ""Nihilanthic""
A psychologist condoning something that is unproven and debunked and risky?

what the fuck?


Based on her posts here and some research I've done, I don't believe she ever did receive a master's degree in psychology.  I think she's just a self-important fool looking to make a buck off the TroubledTeen industry.  

I'm quite sure she isn't capable of helping anyone.  She comes across as thoughtful in emails to Psy, but just search here for "Ottowa5" and you'll see what really makes Amoral Annie tick...
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2007, 03:12:17 PM »
Anyone else think PSY is being used by these Struggling Teen posters, ANNE and Karen-in-Dallas/Willie Nelson/CHARLY?

Maybe it's a GOOD THING he got banned.
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Offline psy

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« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2007, 04:56:34 PM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
Anyone else think PSY is being used by these Struggling Teen posters, ANNE and Karen-in-Dallas/Willie Nelson/CHARLY?

Maybe it's a GOOD THING he got banned.


What the fuck are you talking about.  Maybe you should check my most recent posts on ST in response to Anne (yes i got un-banned... long story...  no it did not involve fellating anybody)

The title of this thread, just so you know, is tongue in cheek.  Anybody who knows me would know that.  Are you a total idiot.  Go look at my website.  I devoted several full pages to LGATs...

You have to be a troll.   You have absolutely no clue what you are talking about.
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Offline psy

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« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2007, 04:58:27 PM »
Quote from: ""Dysfunction Junction""
Quote from: ""Nihilanthic""
A psychologist condoning something that is unproven and debunked and risky?

what the fuck?

Based on her posts here and some research I've done, I don't believe she ever did receive a master's degree in psychology.  I think she's just a self-important fool looking to make a buck off the TroubledTeen industry.  

I'm quite sure she isn't capable of helping anyone.  She comes across as thoughtful in emails to Psy, but just search here for "Ottowa5" and you'll see what really makes Amoral Annie tick...


yeah well.  There isn't what's right and what's wrong.  There is only what works and what doesn't...  When they told me that at Bmark i never had any idea where that came from.  Then again...  I didn't get "it" either. Get it?
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Offline Troll Control

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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2007, 05:01:26 PM »
Got it.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2007, 05:04:32 PM »
Psy may not be able to quote his own ST posts....  Thankfully, I, Mr. Guest. shall do it for him.

Oh... and... blow me Lon
Quote from: ""Psy""
Quote
Originally posted by Anne from Minnesota:
[QB] This may or may not be of interest to very many people, but back in January, the poster named psy (who is now banned from ST) and I were having a discussion about est and the Forum, both of which processes seem to shared some features with the emotional growth work/workshops I've attended.

I promised psy I would get back to him on a number of his questions, as posed in his 1/28/07, 4:21AM post on the original ST "New Year, New Ideas-Peace?" thread on the Parent forum.

Since psy's not with us anymore in a capacity that allows him to respond to questions, and we'd been communicating, I thought it fair to email him my response, as well as post it here.
Muahahahahaha.. I'm baaaack.

Somebody who rhymes with nose -->  :eek:  

Kidding.  That wasn't an attack.  Please don't ban me again *ducks*.

 
Quote
Here is my response, which I finally got around to sending him yesterday:

"Psy:

As I agreed in recent communication with you, I'll take a crack at your questions about confrontational methods.  These questions are presented in your post of Jan. 28, 2007 on the ST "New Year, New Ideas-Peace?" thread.

Your questions followed a brief back-and-forth we had regarding the Forum and Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT) methods.


1) Your first question was :"Considering not all kids sent to Emotional Growth schools are 100% in the head, would you consider methods such confrontational methods safe?  

I'm on record as saying that I believe that LGAT methods need to be used with people who are in touch with reality and who have the ego strength to manage that kind of focus.  I'm not quite sure what you mean by not "100% in the head".  At my son's school, people certainly seemed sane, if that's what you mean.  There was no one there who was psychotic.  But I agree with you that careful triaging is necessary to use certain techniques that are similar to the ones in est and the Forum.
Q1.   You say they seemed sane.  Did you have time to evaluate them?  

When i was in ******** there was a schizophrenic girl.  There was also two HPPD (perma-fried on acid) guys there.  Another had chronic anxiety.  A great many had been diagnosed with bipolar depression.

Considering the extended and frequent use of such techniques in schools based on the **** system, could the reality-testing capability of such individuals be undermined?

 
Quote
2) Your second question was : "Could such techniques cause psychotic breaks , dissociations, and decompensations?  I believe that in a fragile individual this is a possibility.
Q2.   Would you consider me a fragile individual?  You know more about me than you do most of those kids you assumed to be "sane" earlier.

Q3.   Is it possible, that such techniques, with frequent use, and in an already stressful environment, could cause such effects in a normal person?

Consider also that in your previous e-mail you mentioned *** (god bless his dearly departed soul)  stated that the Parent Workshops were considerably less harsh and less frequent than those that were given to kids.

"Destabilization of identity is accomplished by bringing into play varying sets of manipulative techniques. The first programs to be studied utilized techniques such as repeatedly demonstrating the person's inability to control his or her own fate, the use of degradation ceremonies, attempts to induce reevaluation of the adequacy and/or propriety of prior conduct, and techniques designed to encourage the reemergence of latent feelings of guilt and emotional turmoil (Hinkle and Wolfe 1956; Lifton 1954, 1961; Schein 1956, 1961; Schein, Cooley, and Singer 1960). Contemporary programs have been observed to utilize far more psychologically sophisticated procedures to accomplish destabilization. These techniques are often adapted from the traditions of psychiatry, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and the human-potential movement, as well as from religious practice (Ofshe and Singer 1986; Lifton 1987)."

(Singer, Ofshe 1990)

Q4.   Considering kids, especially in the teenage years are still forming their self-image, do you think there is danger in such techniques?

 
Quote
I wrote a grad school paper on the est phenomenon a couple of years ago, based on what I could find in the literature and going back to the beginning of LGAT recorded history.  

It?s strange to think now, that in the 60?s and 70?s and even the 80?s, people were using est with people who had had extensive stays in mental institutions.  

The danger, of course, is that Forum and related techniques can bring about an uncontrolled release of affect, which is manageable with most people, but quite disorganizing with some.  If you look at the psychological/psychiatric literature, look for  Simon (1978), Sayre (1977), Kirsh & Glass (1977) and Higgit & Murray (1983).  

Also, in the non-scientific literature, examples given in the book, ?Snapping? by Conway & Siegelman (1995, 2nd edition), but this work is so doctrinaire that I give it less weight than actual, dispassionate reports).

Earlier in my training, I worked with people who had paranoid and other types of  schizophrenia in different stages of development and control.  I could not imagine these people being able to cope with est or Forum techniques, although certainly I can think of adaptations that might well be beneficial.  

3) With respect to the woman in the video that you posted:  I really would have to know more about the woman, and more about what happened before and after the recorded segment to have much to say about this.  Such a limited clip is drive-by television at its worst, I hadn?t realized they had that en France as we certainly have it in this country.

You know, you?ve got to consider that this woman may well be in need of the breaking of  a ?negative pattern?,  perhaps that?s what she was paying for,  I just don?t know, and I presume, neither do you.
Q5.   Do you presume the Forum trainer did?  He didn't need to know anything about her background. He was reading from a script, picking up on certain words and responding to them.  It's a simple trick.  Any IM chat-bot can do it.

 
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I would have been more convinced of a problem here if this woman had subsequently participated in the film clip as having been harmed.  It sounds as if she reconciled with the trainer and went on with the training.  Perhaps it helped, perhaps it didn?t.  No way for me to know.

And your comment about the leader possibly being wrong?   I?m absolutely sure that happens.  By way of self-disclosure,  it happened to me,  not in est or the Forum but in one of the xxxx workshops, where *** seemed absolutely sure of some things about me that just were not true.  

See, that?s why you need people with the ability to stay in touch with reality to safely participate in these kinds of exercises.  When xxx got off on his particular track in terms of me, I was able to take what was useful from the workshop and to say ?Whatever!? about the things that just didn?t click.
Q6.  And the kids?  Did they have such an opportunity? Or were they forced to accept what they were told, without witch they would never progress in the program.

 
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I agree that someone overly malleable or even psychotic couldn?t do that.  Such people could indeed possibly be convinced of something that is not true.  Again, careful screening.  Where this hasn?t happened, I would agree that this is a travesty.
Q.7   It has happened.  I saw it happen a lot.  Maybe 3 days of a Forum workshop isn't that bad.  Ofshe seems to disagree.  How frequent were raps?  Daily?  On kids?  Profeets?  How frequent were they?  Do you know?

Q.8   Careful screening?  Are kids never sent to these schools with psychological issues which could pose a problem in your opinion?

 
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4)  Same answer: I just don?t think that these kinds of exercises could ever hurt someone who was what we like to call ?fully-functioning?.
"Induced Psychopathologies

Reactive schizo affective-like psychoses. These occur in individuals with no prior history of mental disorder and from families free of such history, as well as in individuals with no prior history of mental disorder, but whose families have members with affective disorders.

These psychotic episodes vary in length from days to nearly a year's duration, with most ranging from 1 to 5 months. The decompensation typically occurs in immediate response to a peak stress-inducing experience. Strong affective components, mostly of a hypomanic or manic quality, are noted near and after the decompensation. These components appear related to the behavior modeled in the group and to attitudes advocated by the group. Certain programs appear to interact with personal histories and situational properties of the group to produce depressive reactions.

Posttraumatic stress disorders. This type of disorder is described in section 309.89 of the DSM-III-R.

Atypical dissociative disorders. This type of disorder is described in section 300.15 of the DSM-III-R.

Relaxation-induced anxiety. This is a type of atypical anxiety if one uses DSM-III-R classification, but is best described in the recently growing reports appearing in research literature.

Miscellaneous reactions. These include anxiety combined with cognitive inefficiencies, such as difficulty in concentration, inability to focus and maintain attention, and impaired memory (especially short-term); self-mutilation; phobias; suicide and homicide; and psychological factors affecting physical conditions (described in section 316.00 of the DSM-III-R) such as strokes, myocardial infarctions, unexpected deaths, recurrence of peptic ulcers, asthma, etc."


(Ofshe, Singer 1990)

 
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They might feel like they?d wasted their money if they had a mediocre training, but that?s not the same thing as I think you?re talking about.

5) As to your question: ?Is it ethical to use these techniques on people when they have no choice about it??

 That?s a difficult one, I admit?nobody, including me, as a libertarian, likes the idea of making anyone do what they don?t want to do, but in this society, parents do get to give consent for certain schooling and procedures on minors.  

Again, I have to ask what you mean by ?ethical?, i.e., according to what ethic?
What ethics?  Compassion.  Empathy.  Liberty.  How would you feel if you had no choice in the matter.  Do you think children have no feelings?  These techniques, at that age, can modify who a person is (not just what they do), shaping development.  Nobody should have the right to do that.  It interferes the natural course of personal development.

Q.9   At the age of 16, a child may refuse medical treatment.  Why?

 
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If you mean according to an ethic that allows parents to make these kinds of choices, then yes, by definition, it would be ethical. If the parents understand what is involved and there is no contravening medical/psychological/ psychiatric reason for not participating.
Q.10  Is it not true that profeets were kept secret from the parents?  They were in my case.

 
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If you?re a ?Let them vote at aged 12? activist, probably then it?s not ethical, according to the code that you subscribe to.

I do think that such techniques can be more easily applied in an education or substance abuse counseling context than in a clinical psychology counseling context.  I don?t think that as a clinical psychologist I could lead such an exercise, because the ethic that is governing  in this discipline?at least at the present time---would require a more voluntary effort.

6) My son was at a xxxx school, he is very grateful for what he experienced although like anyone, he had things he would change.  

Same with me.   For us, the world was better because that school existed.  We don?t talk about it every day but when we do, we?re on the same page about that.  We were both sorry to see the schools bought first by Brown and then by Universal.

In fact in concert with some other parents, I tried to buy his school but the current owner, UBH, was just too big.

Doesn?t matter though, the ideas we learned can still be used other places, they?re functional in every one of us who were touched positively by those workshops and that school.  Plenty of really happy, successful grads, whether you believe it or not, there?s no question that this approach worked for a lot of people.
You have any numbers on that rate of success?  Because, in my opinion, those set of schools permanently harmed more people than they helped.

 
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As for the Forum, I?m not taking it this month, I want to take it with certain other people and one of them had a baby early a week ago, so the February session is out.   Which pushes us to April because there?s no presentation in the Twin Cities in March.   But I?ll let you know what I think when I?ve been through it.

Hope you find what you?re looking for, Psy. And maybe I?ll see you on ST if you work out your differences with Lon.

Anne"


In addition, I sent this material to psy earlier today:

By googling "apa and Landmark Forum", I also came up with the Wikipedia entry which, in reference 88, provides an analysis of the Forum by a past-president of the APA, Dr. Raymond Fowler, who states in 1999 that the Forum is not a cult, and that it cannot hurt anyone with normal coping skills and that he cannot see how anyone would think that either of these things were possible (I'm paraphrasing: check it out for yourself if interested).
I've read that one before.  They guy, first of all, doesn't believe brainwashing even exists.  He was also invited by Landmark to do his evaluation.  It's a bit like the red cross visiting Terezin and saying "the jews are just loving it here."  My view: Landmark gave him a good show.  I wouldn't put too much faith into that report.

The point that I am making about LGATs is really secondary to the point I am making regarding thier use in TBS schools (especially the family of schools you mentioned).

Lifton's charachtaristics of thought reform programs: (annotations)
   1.   Control of communication
bans, monitored letters, monitored phone calls, censored reading, censored music
   2. Emotional and behavioral manipulation
LGATs, raps, etc
   3. Demands for absolute conformity to behavior prescriptions derived from the ideology
"your heart isn't in it".."you aren't being real"
   4. Obsessive demands for confession
dirt lists, raps, disclosure circles in profeets
   5. Agreement that the ideology is faultless
self evident
   6. Manipulation of language in which cliches substitute for analytic thought
countless instances of **** nomenclature "bans", "real", "running your sh**"
   7. Reinterpretation of human experience and emotion in terms of doctrine
being "real" as defined by the program, "wearing masks"...
   8. Classification of those not sharing the ideology as inferior and not worthy of respect
bans, arbitrary punishment

(Lifton 1961)

I'm sure you are aware of Margaret Singer and Richard Ofshe's views on LGATs.

 http://www.mindcontrolforums.com/though ... niques.htm
 http://www.rickross.com/reference/brain ... ing10.html
 http://www.rickross.com/reference/brain ... hing8.html

"Perhaps the most famous example of a thought-reforming program developed for the ostensible purpose of rehabilitation was Synanon, a drug treatment program (Sarbin and Adler 1970, Yabionsky 1965; Ofshe et al. 1974). The Synanon environment possessed all of Lifton's eight themes. It used as its principle coercive procedure a highly aggressive encounter/therapy group interaction. In form it resembled "struggle groups" observed in China (Whyte 1976), but it differed in content. Individuals were vilified and humiliated not for past political behavior but for current conduct as well as far more psychologically intimate subjects, such as early childhood experiences, sexual experiences, degrading experiences as adults, etc. The coercive power of the group experience to affect behavior was substantial as was its ability to induce psychological injury (Lieberman, Yalom, and Miles 1973; Ofshe et al. 1974)."

Sound familiar?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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A Psychologist's View of EST
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2007, 05:05:46 PM »
Quote from: ""Anne From Minessota""
So glad you're back, psy.

Now of course I have to digest all this stuff you wrote before I can respond: it's gonna take a while.

But, for now, I've got to say: Margaret Singer as a source, heaven help us.


I think you overstate the case when you say past APA president Dr. Fowler (who gave such a positive eval of the Forum) "doesn't believe brainwashing exists" (it's the circumstances and mechanism he argues about).

But MARGARET SINGER? She seemed to think that EVERYTHING was brainwashing, and made a whole lot of money testifying about her specious opinions too---until she got into all kinds of conflict with the APA, and then got excluded as an expert all over the place.

All that trouble with the LGAT taskforce report she wrote in the 1980's I think, and the APA wouldn't endorse, remember that?

But fast ones aside, it's good to have you back though, undoubtedly we'll argue and perhaps even communicate later.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »