There are a lot of groups today, selling themselves as having the solution to the problems people are experiencing in their lives. It is a massive industry, but it is unregulated. Any person can set themselves up as a teacher, and that means that this human potential seminar industry is open to serious abuses. And serious abuses are happening every day.
Some of the groups I am talking about: Landmark Education, Personal Dynamics, The Mankind Project, Millionaire Mind, PSI, The Human Awareness Institute, Impact Trainings, Peak Potential, MSIA (Messiah), Rapport Leadership International, Life Success Seminars, Sterling Institute, NXIVM, Avatar.
Many of these groups use methods that should only be used by trained psychotherapists because when handled by unqualified personnel the results can be very dangerous. Hypnosis, group pressure, lack of sleep, lack of food, meditation, shaming, blaming, confessions are some of the methods used to make people more susceptible to an often twisted ideology that can totally screw up a person's perceptions and understanding of their world, including of their families, their finances, and their responsibilities.
These methods are the same as those used in cults.
I have been exposed to it indirectly. I lost the woman I have loved the most to a man who claimed to be a 'master', one Louis Smit, a South African, who has messed up many people's lives in South Africa, Hong Kong, and the UK. He claims two esoteric degrees and two diplomas that are false.
He used every method as outlined by Robert Jay Lifton in his seminal book "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism" to break apart my relationship with my ex, all for his own sexual purposes, and for the purpose of selling another course, and then another, and then another...
Many individuals such as him exist, and so too do many groups. Sadly, I discovered my story was hardly unique. A visit to the Rick Ross website's (The best resource on cults and contoversial groups on the Internet) message boards confirmed this.
Pay a visit there at http://www.rickross.com/. Check out the Group Information Database. Take a look at the message boards and see how this industry is being exploited.
If people are considering doing a course that could be life changing, then they should treat it with even more due diligence than buying a car or a house, so check out the information on whomever you are interested in very carefully.
I don't want anybody to go through the trauma I and countless others have gone through.
Take a look at this spoof on cults on YouTube because if you attend an intro seminar for any of these groups, you might hear a lot of this stuff.
I'll have more to say, but let this be my introduction. Don't be caught out. Don't allow yourself to be hurt. Don't allow your family and friends to be hurt. Learn what mind control, thought reform, brainwashing is. Make informed decisions. Most of all use your own critical thinking.
You have the answers to your questions, not some group that doesn't know you from a bar of soap pushing their one-size-fits-all story. And pushing course after course upon you.