If It Looks Like a Cult….Hmmmmmm

Captain’s Log   4,523

So here I am again completely excited that I will be taking off December 24th and December 31st to give myself two 4-day weekends.  Indeed.  Planning for time off.   I am not able to stay in the present moment very well anymore.  If I was at a different stage of my life, I would consider therapy to keep myself on track.  But…I don’t want to be on track anymore.  Tired of the damn track.  Want to drive a free course without any damn track.  And I can get there on my own, thank you.

Speaking of tracks…..

A friend of mine is attending a very controversial “empowerment”  hoopla thing this weekend in an effort to get back on track.  I find that whole phenomenon disturbing, to say the least.  I dabbled in woo-woo crap for awhile, and I saw for my very own eyes just how dangerous these seminars can be.  I cannot see how sitting in a confined space for three days with people yelling in your face is going to make you a better person.  New Age boot camp?  No fookin’ WAY!  I saw some of my dearest friends go through “training” like this and emerge from the other side with an almost cult-like devotion to their abusers.  It’s the VERY SAME tactics used to “extract” information from war prisoners.  It’s the Stockholm Syndrome manifesting with willing participants.   Mind fuck them until they are so broken they will agree with you.  Maybe even love you.  Maybe even become a recruiter to bring more people into the program.  That’s their game plan.  Might as well be a fundamentalist church.

I can see why this program attracts the wounded and the abused.  Because their tactics WORK with wounded and abused people.  Only people who have been wounded and abused would find solice and emotional comfort in more abuse.  They are merely repeating the cycle…..and paying a LOT of money for history to repeat itself.  The last time someone yelled in my face, I responded with a resounding bout of yelling back, jamming my finger into that person’s nose, and warning that person to NEVER assault me like that again.  It’s amazing how quickly an asshat will back down from an truly angry woman.  I can teach someone to do that for……oh…..how about $20 instead of $500?

Here is one person’s account of the legendary New Age Woo-Woo Crapfest.  It’s reported in Mother Jones, so naturally it is not complimentary.

The founder of this particular movement dabbled in Scientology (scary) and had a shitload of legal actions brought against him for heinous violations of human decency.  Sounds like my kind of role model!  Sign me up!

The only New Thought training thing that ever had a positive impact on my life was a program called Virtues Training.  No, it isn’t about following commandments, it’s about positive communication with people.  I was so impressed with the program that I became a facilitator and taught the classes at a church.  

In a nutshell….

Virtues Training designs training to solve problems, whether that is creating kinder, more caring and peaceful environments in schools, helping families speak positively, effectively, and respectfully to each other, or helping organizations reduce bullying, increase productivity, creativity, and excellence with integrity.

Since 2002, Virtues Training has worked with hundreds of educators, families, and organizations to bring the virtues to life.  Virtues Training empowers staff, students, and employees with five transformational strategies and 52 virtues. Virtues Training will help you resolve problems such as lack of integrity and respect, disunity, bullying, discipline and power struggles, while encouraging people to achieve their potential.

I never once raised my voice.  I never locked people up for three days until they are so tired they cannot even think straight.  I never commanded anyone to go out into the world and bring more people to the program.  I offered my classes free.  And I never wore my training like some badge of honor, I simply let the communication work its magic.  I was trained in Florida.  Yes, it was intense.  We were housed in a Catholic retreat center in the middle of nowhere.  Yes, we trained 12 hours a day.  But….we also had time to sing songs, canoe in alligator-infested waters, build fires in the pit, etc.  It wasn’t until I was leaving that I understood why the fencing around the compound was so scary.  It wasn’t to keep us in….it was to keep the gators out.

So I have a considerable amount of worry for my friend this weekend.  I don’t like this whole thing at all.  I just don’t like it.




Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

18 responses to “If It Looks Like a Cult….Hmmmmmm

  1. Patti

    I still talk about the Virtues Class I took from you. When you asked us to take a card – any card, each one had a Virtue written on it, and I pulled the one that said, “Service”, well, it changed my life. See that, Poolie, I’m a minister and it’s because of you!

  2. farm girl

    It wouldn’t, by chance, be spawns of Charles Manson teaching this? How sad. I agree with Penny, and yet I know that people are always looking to someone else, some new drug, some new book, some new therapy to fix any and everything wrong. Maybe one out of 100 is remotely legit. The rest just take your money and run…laughing all the way to the bank. They, like Charles Manson, know that button in all of us, and they will push it every chance they get. There should be a special hell for them. I love the concept of the virtues training…maybe we would have far less school and mass shootings, divorces and abuses. I wish your friend good strength in this search.

  3. goatbarnwitch

    Freaky stuff…. it is sad that so many people are alienated from themselves enough to pay to be abused into thinking like someone else (I am working on my double speak so I can start my new business fixing people. Whatcha think?)

  4. Ummm… yeah. I didn’t realize those enlightenment retreats and such involved brainwashing techniques. Isn’t that kind of the opposite of what the woo-woo stuff is supposed to be about???

  5. Joanie Benson

    Funny. This reminds me of a seminar in which I willingly participated back in the 70’s called “Summit”. More of the same crap you’re talking about. I developed an almost unbearable stomach ache (purely psychological, of course) whilst listening to the diatribe and watching the “leaders” all but mentally abuse some of the more vulnerable people in the group. I raised my hand and asked to be excused so I could use the restroom and I couldn’t have made a bigger mistake. I then became the main focus of attention, (which was my main goal according to this well-trained “therapist”) who then tried to convince me that the cause of my stomach ache at that moment was because my Mother left me at the hospital when I was 5 years old to have my appendix removed. She dragged this information out of me like a Nazi interrogator until I agreed with her just so she’d shut up! The whole thing was so laughable. I’ve never let a friend convince me to do anything like this again. I can be humiliated for much less money if I’m so inclined.

  6. You are so right. People who have been abused are so used to it and think that they are not worthy of anything else. I think your methods would work so much better. Want to take on my fights for me? Or maybe you should give me a crash course in Virtues training…. LOL.

  7. When I got put into a group like that, I used to feel embarrassed for the idiots who were telling me what I already knew — in their own language. “Don’t tell us what you think, tell us what you FEEL.”

    I started to say, “I resent…” and the perp corrected me, “you FEEL resentment.” I said, “do you people have a problem with verbs? I resent what you said.”

    Blowin’ in the wind.

  8. Penny Tushingham

    It’s a shame when people look to others to put them back on track when the only person that can really do it is themselves.

    • poolagirl

      It’s like those people who go out searching for enlightenment. You either have it or you don’t. Getting mentally abused is NOT gonna make it happen for you.

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