Characteristics and similarities
By Russ Wise
1. Almost no information available on the seminar itself.
2. All information is held tightly by staff.
3. The trainer is often an untrained or unlicensed therapist/counselor.
4. The seminar is developed over three weekends.
5. The second weekend is usually stretched into five days.
6. Sessions are generally marathons in length. Often lasting upwards of twelve hours daily.
7. Abusive language is used against the trainees.
8. Psychological games are played to re-orient the trainee.
9. Emotional stress always plays a part in the seminar.
10. Emotional pain is revisited and often redefined.
11. Peer pressure is used in a highly effective manner.
12. The sense of individuality is diminished.
13. Group identification and conformity is encouraged.
14. Guilt is introduced at varying levels.
15. The destabilization of one’s sense of self.
16. Group dependency (on the organization) is encouraged and desired.
17. Subtle manipulation is used to bring conformity to the group.
18. The individual is given no opportunity for reflection on what he or she has been exposed to.
19. You are responsible for everything that has ever happened to you, either positive or negative.
20. The individual is confronted with psychological and emotional issues that overload their ability to manage it.
21. There are without exception a number of individuals who have suffered psychological distress as a result of these seminars.