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Complaints & Reviews

dishonest & lazy & poor customer service

I went to take my exam arrived 45 min early went inside I had 35 mins to get to my destination once in the...

stupid idiots

*** it those PSI cultists are in Hawaii Kai. I saw a bunch of them congregating nearby.

Anyone had experience with the PSI cultists?

WTF is a PSI cult?

It’s an acronym for something...I call it Pathetic Stupid Idiots.

You join them and they motivate you by stealing all your money through membership fees and selling cow dung (serious they sell you cow ***)...they motivate you by breaking you down and making you feel worthless and the only reason to exist is to hang out with only PSI people.

Basically the same mentality that street gangs use to keep members in check...and also the Democrat Party of America.

These are some of the distinguishing characteristics of a "cult" as we my know them;

--The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

--Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

--Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

--The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).

--The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).

--The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

--The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).

--The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).

--The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

--Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.

--The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

--The group is preoccupied with making money.

--Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.

--Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

--The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

Oh, and about Psi.

They're a non-religious self-improvement type of cult. Yes, they have pretty strong cultic characteristics. Basic philosophy; you have the power within you. *** the church business and any reference to a Higher Power.

I actually went to a PSI Basic seminar when I was in high school. I didn't really get the "cultish" feel there, probably because at that level, they really weren't looking to alienate the noobs. I thought it was all good as far as the positive mental attitude stuff, but some of it was still over my head. My mom was heavy into it after her divorce, go figure? Though, I tolerated her during that time, and I figured I shouldn't go any further than the Basic I attended. Thing about it was, a lot of the principles taught at the Basic level are common Biblical themes (though I didn't know it at the time). Like reaping what you sow, and being snared by the words of your mouth.

I went thru PSI back in the late 80's so did my 2 brothers and even my mom...along with a bunch of friends too. I would consider it a cult, but its nothing like the descriptions of cults posted above. I will say that it did help me focus on my goals for a short time, but the things taught by them had to do some basic biblical things and how they translate into everyday life...things like unconditional love and such. Also some relaxation techniques and power of the mind stuff. Oh and of course don’t forget the checkbook.

One thing that is true though, it does cost alot to take the PSI seminars.

psi? is that another word for Scientology?

PSI... sounds like an organization of forced-induction freaks.

and yeah although the definition of religion and cults seem similar. The one big difference is...a cult enriches a few individuals...a church does not.

A true Christian church enriches all its members. Yes money is required to run a church, but that's true of any organization. No organization can survive w/o money. Just trace the money and you can determine the validity of an organization.

PSI benefits a few individuals at the top...hence a cult. If they wanna disprove it...show me their books, financials.

  • Jo
    joeblowe Feb 22, 2011

    That's their game - give them an address or a phone number and they will bombard you with junkmail/cold calls. They have to do this because they are losing members in a steady trickle because Scientology is an abusive cult. Just Google "Wise Beard Man" or "Xenu.net" and the facts are all laid out.

    0 Votes

fraudulent

PSI Seminars induce exactly this kind of regression.

Dealing with persons with psychopathic personality disorder or narcissistic personality disorder. They've become stuck in the small child object relations phase, lack empathy, but are in adult bodies and can speak the adult rhetoric of person hood. But they use others as objects. They can often induce bliss and romance us. But the acid test is--they are incapable of reciprocating our loyalty. One need not feel loyal to an object.

PSI. They process subjects to regard all other persons as objects, while hiding this behind the noble language of personhood and human potential. The actual relationships are objectifying, cloaked with the soulful language of person-hood.

Loyalty is unreciprocated. At PSI Seminars we are all objects, not people. Relationships are a game of chess. Pain is rationalized as meaningless or a mere racket. The bliss is the mere product of diddling people's nerve ends according to a standardized recipe that is copied, pasted and used by many organizations--all claiming to be unique but drearily similar when the techniques are itemized, compared and contrasted.

The message is clear. PSI Seminars will destroy your life and the lives of the ones left behind.

  • Pc
    pcrobin Mar 03, 2011

    So interesting to see so many comments about peoples experiences in the basic and yet not surprised at all. Wherever we go, there we are. The question always remains, is the way you are showing up contributing to you and those around you? HMMMM?

    0 Votes

jan kempton

DO NOT TRUST JAN KEMPTON. She took private conversations I had with her an twisted them into a bunch of lies and then embleished those lies into severe allegations against my husband without having any validity or verification - because they are all lies.

Jan is the Los Angeles Basic Coordinator - No wonder the LA office was shut down. No wonder PSI's legal council is denying she is an employ of their company.

Jan's accusing my husband of being unfit around children, when her own boyfriend looks at porn and her husband looks at porn and has hired hookers! Maybe we should be more concerned with the environment her little girl is living in...hmmm. Also this is the greatest form of hypocracy since Jan had her own sons taken away from her by the courts for being such an UNFIT MOTHER. Her son still won't speak to her because of how UNFIT SHE IS. How dare she say anything about anyone else.

Questioning my character and calling me a drunk - Screw you Jan. You were homeless at one point in your life. I'll make sure my attorneys crawl up your history to see if you've ever had a drink or drugs.

Funny how you judge and gossip about me and yet you question my character. If you had concerns regarding me you should have just picked up the phone and addressed them with me. But no, instead you say these filthy things about me. What did I personally ever do to you????????

All of this coming from an employee that works for the seminar that teaches "win-win", "givers gain", "agape love", "see people in their greatness". Jan you're a hypocrite

no complaint

I have no complaints This is my experience: I was first urged to take the PSI Basic Seminar in January 2002...

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psi unliscenced practice

I just took the PSI basic last weekend looking for self improvement. Yes, people should learn and grow. Yes, change is hard and you need to come out of your comfort zone. Yes, life isn't want you expected and you've either disappointed yourself or others. Yes, you want to make a difference and awaken the spirit within you. However...don't get caught like Hansel and Gretel...so hungry that they couldn't resist. What's missing in your life? What are you hungry for? Be smart on how you get it.

What doesn't look right, smell right, sound right...(however that saying goes) probably isn't right.

1. What kind of legitimate education course runs till midnight on Thur and Fri? Then have you come back full day Sat and Sun? Think about it.

2. What kind of course asks you to pay $500 -$700 but won't tell you what it's all about. You're not going to the movies. You won't find good surprises here, although you'll be lured into thinking so. Instead, you'll come back with problems you never knew you had. I don't call that a surprise...and it's not the right kind of personal insight either. There are better ways.

3. If there are negative blogs all over the net regarding this seminar doesn't it ring alarm bells? Keep surfing, get enough info to make an informed decision. I spent over 8hrs finding loads of info, unfortunately only after I went to the basic. Be smart!

If you still decide you'd like to go. What price are you willing to pay? Not financially but cognitively. Would you open your mind to someone who isn't even a liscenced practioner? I was there...I don't care if it's hypnotism, brainwashing whatever. It's guided imagery where they take you back in time and conjure some of your deepest feelings as a kid. I think the practice is beneficial but not done in a group setting by some facilitator!

Even if you go in there thinking you're smart with no issues and you're all happy, they won't get you...well be very careful. My happy go lucky friends who were satisfied with life came out wanting more. The facilitator will want you to be in the now, be open, listen, get your money's worth. And everyone else around you is getting so much out of it. Don't feel that you have to get it. That's when they'll get you. The countless exercises will get you. The meditation, the voice of the narrator, the dim lights, the imagery will get you.

And most importantly, do not get suckered into signing up for the next course on the last day (Sunday). $6000 is not cheap. Ever heard of buyer's remorse? You can get quality education (Universites - continuing education programs), enlightment, and practictioners for that kind of money. Get it from the right people.

I don't know what it's called or what it is but I notice that my feelings are now somehow attached to that seminar. I can hear the facilitators voice in my head to keep my word, don't be a victim, be a contributor, it's not for everyone, it's my choice, speak from the "I", "What other people think is none of my business", don't be a sand wasp, conditioning/ programs, 100% intention, win-win...oh did they every distort this philosophy. And the peace of mind model...??? Take a close look at it. Does it make any sense? What does career and financial have anything to do with mental? There are other models out there. Take only what make sense to you.

I'm the type of person who reads the stuff online but won't contribute whether good or bad. However this time, I think it's really important to not be passive, please please share your thoughts for all to hear. Get the word around...ya, they got me motivated alright...to shut them down!

Believe what you want. According to them, I'm creating a story and seeing only what I want to see. I'm not asking you to justify my story. What you think it none of my business. However be open, you don't know what you don't know...and if you're having doubts about this program...you know more than you think you do. Think it through...I"m not your obstacle or your negative support group. Just remember the Nightingale fairy tale.

  • Ca
    Camille123 Jul 13, 2011

    Whoever made this comment above is a complete narrow minded idiot lol. I just did the basic seminar and I remember the staff people told us that if we didn't like what we heard on the first hour, we can leave and we will get our full money back. Seriously lol nobody was brainwashing or forcing people to come and sit there and listen to wisdom. As a PSI grad, I can tell you now that I don't care about your life. That is your life, be a hater or spread negativity out there and guess what? Who's the loser? You. You know why? Because you're raging over some seminar that brainwashed you or something..Listen, dude, you have a choice do not blame the people who enjoyed it, blame yourself for being the odd one out lol. It's just so funny to see people like you in the seminar..I think I saw 2-3 people just glued on their chair being invisible not sharing, not participating lol. Those ppol were doubting ALL the TIME what the heck they're doing there. Lol I feel that I'm wasting my time writing this comment cuz I don't know if you'll be able to read it. But anyway, if those people chose to be open-minded, they'll get more and enjoy more the course. Anyhow, I hope I'll never be unfortunate enough to meet negative people like you, just not worth it. Anyway I hope u have a good life someday!

    0 Votes

stay away!

was doing some more research on PSI Seminars and their 90 day “Program” called PLD. The following emails were found on their yahoo group. This group started in August 2007 and the bulk of the membership started dropping out after two months. I found this is rather common with PSI; be it their PSI7 groups or the PLD Programs. The die-hard fans of PSI stick around for years either recruiting their family and friends to this crap. I’m starting to see the same names in all of these groups acting like they belong when in fact they try to maintain the group in order to recruit more victims. The main theme is the program causes people to loose their relationships as you will find in the examples below. I removed the names and added some comments.

On 9/28/07, forever_hunt wrote:

I need your support on this issue. My husband is extremely pissed off because my partner is a man! (Imagine that!!!) As my goal to have a number 10 relationship with him. I feel I am miserably failing. I want to quit because of the influences he brings to the table in my life. One way or another information was giving to him about last nights event. He is

mad because I had a DATE with my buddy. (If I had been her husband I would have been mad too; Oh wait I was that husband.) I don't regret what I did last night it was very valuable to me. I learned a lot more about trust and surrender. However, I am being attacked. Do any of you have advice? What am I doing wrong? Coaches HELP!!

K R wrote:

Just a thought here:

Has your husband been to the Basic? (Again the typical answer; “Has he taken the basic?” Like this is the answer to the problem.) If so, there is one scheduled and starting October 11th that perhaps he can re-audit? If not, perhaps he would be willing to try it. Either way it's a great opportunity for him to work though these issues!

Team 27

Thank you for that thought. He has taken the Basic & P7. However, he has scheduling issues with work. He will not be able. He also right now is blaming PSI for our issues. I have told him these are my choices and I committed to them. What else can I do? (I would say quit.)

Re: [team_27] Team 27

Wow Sxxxxx. I'm not sure what to say. Coming from the outside it seems to clear me there are some fears coming to the surface - maybe using some of the tools you learned in Basic, 7, LS are a good starting point in working with him. Try working with each other to honestly confront each others fears. Again - just my thoughts, here are some PSI principles you might want to look at. Remember - PSI didn't invent any of this stuff - they just brought it together. If the PSI idea has bad feelings between the both of you right now, try just using the principles independent of the company ( i.e., no need to use "PSI says" or "PSI taught me". Rather, try operating from "common sense" and a life/relationship success approach.

- identifying and confronting fear in all its costumes (i.e., anger, anxiety, jealously) - how to overcome - courage

- victim / responsible - who's in charge anyway? Is He/She MAKING me something or am I?

- identify with intent - we are right now where we intend to be - perhaps an understanding of why either/both of you are where you are now.

- operating from a place of integrity

- LISTEN to him, then ask him to LISTEN to you.

  • Th
    Thai Mar 31, 2009

    I just took the PSI basic last weekend looking for self improvement. Yes, people should learn and grow. Yes, change is hard and you need to come out of your comfort zone. Yes, life isn't want you expected and you've either disappointed yourself or others. Yes, you want to make a difference and awaken the spirit within you. However...don't be caught like Hansel and Gretel...so hungry that they couldn't resist. What's missing in your life?

    What doesn't look right, smell right, sound right...(however that saying goes) probably isn't right.

    1. What kind of legitimate educational course runs till midnight on Thur and Fri? Then have you come back full day Sat and Sun?

    2. What kind of course asks you for $500 -$700 but won't tell you what it's all about. You're not going to the movies. You won't find good surprises here, although you'll be lured into thinking so. Instead, you'll come back with problems you never knew you had. I don't call that a surprise...and it's not the right kind of personal insight either.

    3. If there are negative blogs all over the net regarding this seminar doesn't it ring alarm bells? Keep surfing, get enough info to make an informed decision. I spent over 8hrs finding loads of info, unfortunately only after I went to the basic.

    If you still decide you'd like to go. What price are you willing to pay? Not financially but cognitively. Would you open your mind to someone who isn't even a liscenced practioner? I was there...I don't care if it's hypnotism, brainwashing whatever. It's guided imagery where they take you back in time and conjure some of your deepest feelings as a kid. I think the practice is beneficial but not done in a group setting by some facilitator!

    Even if you go in there thinking you're smart with no issues and you're all happy...well be careful. My happy go lucky friends who were satisfied with life came out wanting more. The countless exercises will get you. The meditation, the voice of the narrator, the dim lights, the imagery will get you.

    I'm usually the type of person who reads the stuff online but I won't contribute. However this time, I think it's really important. For all those who are like me, please please share your thoughts for all to hear.

    0 Votes

non compliant

I went through all the PSI seminars. Some I enjoyed more than others however I learned something valuable from each one. I think psi 7 was the best, I personally didnt like Mens Leadership. Now, for all the people putting bad press you have to realize that you are the one to look at. I know I didnt like MLS because I am not an outdoors kind of guy, I dealt with it, learned from it. I also dont like hanging out with just guys, even as a retreat sort of setting.

Yes I think they use their people to do different chores or events but we also learned a lot about how we act in situations, I also learned how I show up in life.

PSI basic is amazing it is well worth the money. Psi 7 was cool. I could have spent the money somewhere else but I will have memories and a trip to remember forever. I can not take that back, nor do I want to.

MLS I could do without, but I am glad I did it.


It is not a cult, anyone who says it is, is nuts. Remember, you get out of this world what you put into it. If you want to cheat and steal, your life will show those same traits!

lgat

The answer to you question is yes. PSI uses past graduates from the basic and PSI7 to “staff” the basic. It's basically free labor and more money for them. PSI will tell you that once you complete PSI7 you can audit the basic class at no charge. They also tell you that you can attend as many times as you want. Several times I re-audited the basic and was placed into a group with the new people attending. I was told not to tell the new people what we were about to do so as not to ruin the experience for them.

I also remember back to the time I was invited to a basic graduation by my friend. I remember people standing up and telling their stories about how PSI changed their lives. Looking back on this I remember the argument I had with my husband that night. I tried to talk him into taking the basic and pointed out the people who stood and related their stories and how it had helped them. My husband said these people reminded him of “shills” planted in a group to tout the possibilities of PSI. Naturally I got pissed off when he said this and wouldn’t listen anymore; but looking back he was right.

When I staffed the basic I saw the same people infiltrating the micro-groups, acting like it was their first time and pretending to sign up for PSI7 without any hesitation. If you were a first timer and had some doubts how much convincing would you need when someone you sat next to for four days signed up without hesitation? I think about this from time to time and wonder if there was one in my group.

And just so you know I ruined my relationship with my husband, family and friends because of PSI. I have tried to explain this to some of my PSI “friends” and were told to “stop being a victim.”

  • Mi
    Michelle Feb 07, 2009

    PSI sucks, avoid this at all costs.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
    Shekinahp Jun 03, 2010

    Reading this reminds me of my involvement at the Ministry of the Spirit of Truth. Yes, there's transformation and at the beginning everything feels like heaven. But nobody knows about the slave work, the thought reform the spiritual abuse and even sexual abuses.
    I'm glad that part of my life is over, and I feel so sorry for those who fall into these traps. ery dangerous org, high rate of psychosis and suicide post-seminar w/no followup. Classic LGAT.
    If you want to see what happens to the people who become brainwashed by this type of groups please see:
    http://whathappenedtodeerfield.wordpress.com/
    I hope with all my heart that before you put the money in any of these scams you do your research.

    -1 Votes

terrible experience

I attended the PSI Basic seminar in Chicago, and initially believed it to be a good thing. So good in fact that I signed up for an advanced seminar (Psi-7), which is held at the compound (I mean ranch) in Northern California. However, only a couple of weeks after the basic seminar I became aware that I was totally unprepared to deal with the issues that the emotional raping of the Basic seminar opened in me. But, no fear, as the Psi gurus told me... all that will be dealt with in the next seminar.

I continued to have new difficulties in life all the way up to the advanced seminar. Once you get on the ranch in California it is nearly impossible to get out. Shame, guilt, belittling, browbeating, public humiliation, and the ever popular 'You're on silence' are the tactics they use to keep you from leaving. I finally was allowed to leave the ranch only after walking off a 'training exercise' and refusing to participate any further.

PSI claims to promote a 'win-win' philosophy. However, the only way to 'win' with PSI is not to become involved. When approached by someone about PSI, make them get specific. Don't allow them the luxury of 'not spoiling your experience.' Make them give you the intimate details of their life, they did it with a room full of strangers, they can do it with you. Then as you see how really screwed up most of the people who are into PSI really are, you'll be glad that you're not getting involved.

If anyone is contemplating a PSI seminar you may contact me via this list, I'll get back in touch with you, and tell you anything and everything that I know and have experienced with these self-trained hack psychology wannabes. If you're a PSI grad looking for a 'discussion', then send me a check for $3000 and I'll be glad to 'discuss' with you. But not before the check clears, I wouldn't want to 'give you any expectations.'

  • Je
    Jeff Oct 07, 2008

    Flirtation with the Cult/LGAT
    So I recently attended a recruitment meeting for an LGAT- a Large Group Awareness Training. These cult-like groups don't really have a compound and make you live there; they are mostly about getting your money by charging you absurdly huge amounts of money for seminars that use some very shady tactics.

    I had presented a speech the night before at my school, discussing the ways that cults and LGATs hook people and their similarities to hypnotic techniques.
    So I went the next night to actually observe what went on and see what happens. Here's the story:

    The first thing was that I signed in to a table outside the hotel ballroom. Several of the seminar leaders were standing by, dressed immaculately. I approached one, smiled, and signed in and was given a name tag. The man recognized my name (I had been emailing him) and introduced himself, asking who had brought me. I told him nobody.

    Tonight's event was the "Graduation" from the initial seminar, which had taken place over 4 days and cost a shade under $500. To celebrate the graduates, all the participants who'd made it through the four days were invited to bring their friends and family along. As the crowd mingled, the grads and guests mingled and chatted with Seminar employees who strolled around, making introductions.

    None of them attempted to talk to me- the lone guy ambling around, talking on my cell phone periodically, taking notes here and there.

    Finally we were let inside to the ballroom where the meeting was being held. We took our seats. Some seminar people went around the room, still talking to people, working the room.

    The man I'd been emailing came to the front, introduced himself, proudly pointed out the grads, and asked us all to give a big hand to celebrate their achievement. I glanced around the room- the grads all looked so excited, so happy, but it was nothing next to when the speaker introduced the man who'd actually led the entire seminar.
    When he came bounding up on stage and took the mike, the grads went wild. It was spooky- it was like Elvis inciting a flock of girls. The grads even gave him a standing ovation, and, as he spoke for the next hour or so, the grads' glee didn't diminish- they kept giggling in bliss and ecstasy.

    The moderator spoke at length, again congratulating the grads, at first admitting a couple of things- first off, how odd this must all seem to the guests. "You get BEGGED to come to this by your friends or family, and now you're here, hearing all this, right?" Pretty much.
    "And you must think its kinda weird, right? They're telling you 'You gotta come to this! BUT- I can't tell you what it's about!" The grad next to me giggled. "Well, let me tell you: it's not a cult. No. We're here to help you, to get you to achieve your full potential…." He went on; talking about what the course could do for you, but in very vague terms. "Nobody's forcing you to attend, right? We're all here on our own free will, are we not? We all have the choice to accept or decline." I nodded, but my stomach was turning. This is exactly the 'illusion of choice' that a cult would present.

    The moderator went on to tell a little about the seminar, but even he admitted it was hard to put into concrete terms- that it was really something that must be experienced, because there were so many group exercises; that it was very 'experiential.' I wanted to hear more about this, to find out what the exercises were like, but he would only say it was like a taste of steak; that the only way to see it was to actually go through with it.
    One of the more disturbing moments was when he presented a 'theory of mind' on the board to illustrate how our minds work. It bothered me because it was similar to part of the hypnotic induction process in how you describe the workings of the mind and how hypnosis works, just before you actually perform it. Basically, 'you first describe, and then you perform.' He prattled on about it, and I nodded my head, pretending to be intrigued instead of horrified.
    He next had all the grads come up on stage as we applauded them. The mod continued heaping all the adulation and praise onto him that he could, recognizing them for being on the pathway to success and overcoming their personal limitations. He gave them diplomas and read them on stage, which pretty much just reinforced or repeated what he'd said a minute ago. Then he asked the grinning grads to tell us all about how much they loved the program and their experience, to tell us how great it was. "Just try to sum it up in one word, " he challenged them.
    They thought a moment and then you heard them say things like "enlightening", "success", "learning", "magical", etc.
    Now came another creepy highlight.
    "And how many of you had resistance at first, when you came in here, all but kicking and screaming, at the start of the first day?"
    Almost all raised their hand. "How about at the end of the first day?" Most hands stayed up. "And the second day?" About half the hands were still up. "How about the third day?"
    ONE hand remained in the air.
    Jesus Christ, I thought. This is how it works- the first two days are spent in long exercises designed to break, embarrass, or humiliate these people, and the second two days are about building them back up.
    It was pretty insidious. One thing a cult or LGAT would do is shower the individual with love and acceptance. But this group went one better- start with ridiculing them or tearing them down. It actually makes sense- in one hypnotic induction, we create relaxation by first inducing some stress, and when that's absent, the relaxation is more powerfully felt. And likewise, how best to show love and acceptance? By first creating its opposite experience….

    But why would nobody walk off after the first few hours of abuse? Simple; they've heard the promise of personal benefit if you stay in for the full four days; plus, you're not eligible to get your money back for any reason if you don't complete the course in full.
    After this, the moderator showed the schedule for the next seminar (four days- 2 days of 6pm to midnight, and 2 days of 10am-8pm) and presented the cost and where we could sign up, also saying if we had any doubts, just ask around tonight, and to take it, since we could always get our money back if we were dissatisfied (provided we completed, of course). He closed by suggesting we now turn to the person who brought us here and ask them why they so badly wanted us to take this seminar.
    I turned to the man next to me, "A", I'll call him, and began asking questions. I talked to him for a while, learning that a friend had gotten him into this almost a year ago. At first he had declined but I guess the friend had badgered him enough and he finally took it. I also learned he was new in town and I wondered why he'd waited till he'd moved to take it, but didn't ask him.

    He told me that he'd always been into reading about religions, philosophy, self improvement, and the like. Off the bat, he also admitted that this seminar was like a religion and wasn't- it was definitely an organization, and they were out to make money, plain and simple. That said, he felt like it benefited him quite a lot anyways.
    I moved on to my next question. "I understand this stuff is a lot of group exercises; that you learn a lot in there."
    "Oh, yes, definitely, " he nodded vigorously.
    "But what was it like? What did you guys do?"
    He looked blankly, as if he'd lost his train of thought, finally saying. "It's hard to describe. We did so many…” and trailed off- it was as if he couldn't remember any! Why couldn't these people describe what had gone on? It wasn't like they were being coy or secretive about it; it's more like they just couldn't retrieve the memory!
    He finally told me an odd one about the inner child or intuition, being in groups of 2, where one person describes a sick friend, giving somebody a few clues, asking them to come up w/ whatever they intuit about the described person. "A" claimed 90% accuracy rate in the facts the intuition drags up and looked at me, wide-eyed, for my reaction. I saw through this (vague-speak, like an Oracle; can be interpreted so widely that it could apply to nearly anything) but he was amazed by it. I feigned amazement, too.
    "What else did you guys do?"
    I really had to pry it out of him- you'd think in four days of doing mainly exercises, he'd be able to remember much more, more readily, but no. Finally he came up with another, and it was sad.
    I'd had heard of this one before: the "broke your word" thing, designed to make everybody see their flaws and play that up. "A" described how he seemed to have done the best, seeming to have kept his word the most faithfully, for a full week, until the mod turned it on him, saying he didn't believe it; either A had lied to him, or A had broken his word to himself. When confronted with that, A said he felt shocked, and reacted in an astonished manner, as if he were still stunned by it. He even described hearing that as a "slap in the face." Of course, this same point was driven in, in many ways, to all the graduates in those first 2 days.
    At end of our conversation, I asked if he had any last things to tell me about it, and he advised me to "take the jump" and just try it out. He thought I'd get a lot out of it, that I was curious and smart. He hoped it would help him succeed farther, especially to get over his shyness, loner tendencies, and to help him become a leader- after all, he'd signed up for the next 2 courses, which probably cost $6, 000 to $8, 000.
    I kind of wanted to hear more about this and track his progress, so I exchanged phone numbers with him and left, wondering what I'd hear next. As I stood up to go, I noticed nobody ever asked me directly to sign up, which was kind of a nice sign, but then again, when I looked around, I saw all the seminar people were busy talking to the grads and their guests.

    So what hypnotic techniques and methods did I observe? I'll detail them in the next blog.
    Oh- and if you don't think these people are out to take your money, if you really think they're beneficial- I just have one question for you:
    If this group does so much good, and there's nothing sinister or shady about their method, and that it really WILL change you life, well, why can nobody who goes through the program seem to be able to tell many details of it?

    Surely something so important, so groundbreaking in one's life would be a bit more memorable, wouldn't it?

    How the Cult Works: Hypnotic Secrets
    So here's my expose on how and why the group worked:
    One of the really ingenious tactics they used was not to use any kind of promotion except for the very best of all: word of mouth. Everybody knows how strong word-of-mouth is, and anybody can tell you that's going to beat any paid advertisement. But these people went a step further- they had instilled it into their grads that they absolutely HAD to share this path to success with whoever they loved and cared most about.
    I thought that was pretty smart. Just think: if your closest friends and most beloved family members came begging you to do something, you'd surely listen to them and consider it over just about any other source in the world, wouldn't you? I mean, what if it was your parents? Your wife or husband? And that's exactly what I saw. One woman even brought her 8 year old daughter.
    As further proof that the seminar leaders found this angle to be absolutely critical, remember that nobody approached me before the meeting to give me a friendly hello. Why? Because I'd come alone- they had no convenient grad to use as an opportunity to springboard through to me. No, they concentrated on talking to the grads and getting through to THEIR guests. They knew full well that those people were the ones to work on, because they already had a very solid 'in'. Remember also that the lead guy took notice of me when I signed on and his first question was to ask who brought me.
    The Moderator: He was definitely 'built up' in the grads' mind as an authority figure; unquestioned, blindly accepted, and acknowledged as somebody who had total control and commanded total admiration of the group. Again, it was creepy to see the unabashed adulation for the guy- standing ovations, big vacant smiles and laughs at whatever he said.
    The moderator was also quite smart early on in his speech to disavow that the group was a cult or that it was shady, all the while acknowledging it was mysterious, wasn't it? In hypnosis, one great tactic is basically to acknowledge whatever the client says; all the while you lead them in the direction you want. He also made sure to let everybody know that they had a choice to say yes or no to this, but to request that you at least give a chance and listen with an open mind. Doing this puts the guests at ease and calms them, as well as creates an "illusion of choice." If you believe you have a choice, it relieves the pressure and you remove your mental blocks and defenses to whatever you're about to hear.
    Also, this talk was similar to our hypnotic pre-induction speech, in which we give to tell the client what is going to happen, what to expect, and demystify the process, etc.
    Most of the talk was quite vague and nebulous- the moderator almost never gave concrete ideas or facts, but rather couched everything in metaphoric and indistinct terms- these is completely the language of trance, especially that method practiced by Milton Erickson, who could basically hypnotize somebody without them really being aware of how it was working. The way it works is that the mind of the subject is distracted, trying to address and make sense of the vagueness, while the speaker continues, throwing out more stuff, slowly overwhelming the subject's critical mind and thought processes, until they just want to escape, which they do- into hyper suggestibility and hypnosis.
    The Theory of Mind diagram was more of the same- misdirection, vagueness, and giving an explanation of how the mind works. Again, we do something almost identical in hypnosis. It's part of the standard process.
    Bringing Up the Grads: This was just more of the adulation and praise and attention lavished on those who succeed in the group's terms. If they deviate or fail, they are punished, ridiculed, but once they make it through, they are accepted and rewarded by the group. These people who did stick it through probably have some issues on where they belong, or are looking for a place or group to have an identity with (In fact, the man I'd later talk to would tell me as much, saying that he was new in town, didn't have any friends, and was sort of lonely. I also thought it was curious he waited for a year to take the class, it was as if he had come at a more vulnerable time).
    Also, with this praise/reward, it becomes even more powerful when it's contrasted against earlier punishment methods- again, what better way to make somebody feel loved or appreciated than to first put them down?
    RESISTANCE: The major creepy moment. In the first two days, the grads admitted resistance to the group's exercises, but almost none for the 2nd two days. This suggests that the first couple days were completely about breaking down the grads, showing them they were insignificant, wrong, and fundamentally incorrect and deeply flawed. Of COURSE there would be resistance to that. Incidentally, in almost ANY hypnosis, there is resistance of some sort, even for very positive therapy, because the subconscious is grappling with suggestions for change and there's a consequent struggle as it grapples with integrating the hypnotherapist's suggestions. And hypnotherapists actually take resistance as a positive sign, because it means that the course of therapy is working...
    So 'resistance' means that the lessons are sinking into the grads, and after two day's worth of these exercises they're open to all sorts of things, reflecting sadly over this deeply vulnerable self that has been exposed and open. They go home, probably feeling broken and beaten down. But there's not much time to reflect on that and think too critically about it, because after the second day ends (at midnight), they're back at 10am the next day for another round. So they have just enough time to sleep before they return- this limits the chance they have to think too much about it and try to get out of the seminar, which they probably won't, because they can't get a refund unless they tough it out for the full four days. So they reluctantly trudge back to the group, likely expecting more abuse and breaking-down exercises.
    But when they come back, there's a change: the group is using a new tactic! Now, they're focusing on acceptance, more positive things, likely telling them that they can change and have all they could ever want if they take the next courses and learn more what the group has to offer. And that day and the next are devoted to showing them acceptance and love, as well as heavily pitching their higher levels of courses.
    In fact, I'd suspect that the group doesn't really impart much, if any, lessons for success in the first seminar. I bet, as the first session in hypnosis is really to condition the subject for more hypnosis, that the group is really just priming the individual client for more and more sessions and seminars.
    Another thing that contributed to breaking down the individual's willpower and opening their suggestibility was the long hours. There are many ways to go into trance; the best known of which are things like dancing, chanting, singing (which I heard there was singing going on at these), and doing this for long periods of time. However, a lesser-known way of increasing suggestibility is by controlling the diet. Not just by fasting, but by affecting the blood sugar levels, by not eating, or eating too much. If you control the diet (which seems likely, since the first two days were held during typical dinner hours), you could affect blood sugar, making it drop and creating a subtle anxious, hyper suggestible state in your subjects.
    That said, when all was said and done by the 4th day, they had created 30 people who had 'learned' that this group was the key to success and changing their lives, and were also told to share this wondrous revelation with all the loved ones in their lives. This was reinforced again after the moderator finished talking and suggested that we turn to the people who brought us and ask them why they wanted us to take the class so badly. Again, they're using the power of word of mouth (from loved and trusted friends and family) to convince and tantalize the guests, so they can continue the cycle.
    So there you have it- of course, many different walks of life use these methods, but before you dismiss it, you have to admit that when a group is using all sorts of hypnotic manipulation tactics, whether or not they intend to, then they consequently must be practicing hypnotic manipulation, whether they intend to or not.
    I think I've made a pretty strong case that's what this group is obviously doing and using that leverage for the sole purpose of making a lot of money from their seminars.
    Oh, and here's another bit of evidence why I doubt their sincerity: Part of their name/motto is about people working synergistically together. You'd think with a focus like that, what better synergy could you get than a couple of their grads partnering up? Or better yet, a big group of them networking within each other, buttressing and backing each other up? What a strong, powerful bond, right?
    But when I asked "A" if he was going to stay in touch with his fellow grads, who we had just been hearing had some sort of collective epiphany all together, he reacted like the thought had never really occurred to him. "Hm, I guess so, that might be good, " he said hesitatingly.

    0 Votes
  • Du
    Duane Nov 01, 2008

    I have to laugh at all of these, no literally. I look at life as a experience and to see and hear people that have closed their mind off to growth is a horrible way to live. I have seen many lives changed for the better, relationships rekindled, people coming in that are so closed up and stuck in selfishness that getting a smile out of them would be like pulling teeth. What the writers fail to tell you about this is that we are a result of our experiances and when your raised with negativity or beat down for anything, you become closed off from accepting that you are not your past. When people leave a quality training like this and accept that they can be different and accept that they can CHOOSE to be different is powerful and creates a benchmark in their lifes.

    It is so sad to see that one would think of this as a cult, when you can go to a church, read a book, watch the news and be influened to exactly what they want you to be induced to. There is no cool-aid, no NIKE shoes and nothing in these things that hurt people in anyway except when people like you leave feeling sorry for yourself and choosing to not to step out of the box and live a life that is much more full.

    The single most powerful law is the law of attraction. I would suggest looking at the people you attract in your life and review what your thinking.

    Good luck in your endeavor for happiness

    PS, I did not attend the groups your are talking about, however PSI Seminars is one that I can absolutely vouch for. Changed my life and has brough more happiness and success in every area in my life. I was always down, kind of like you, but I was open for change.

    Duane

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    MacAlister Feb 09, 2009

    I attended the PSI Basic seminar in Chicago, and initially believed it to be a good thing. So good in fact that I signed up for an advanced seminar (Psi-7), which is held at the compound (I mean ranch) in Northern California. However, only a couple of weeks after the basic seminar I became aware that I was totally unprepared to deal with the issues that the emotional raping of the Basic seminar opened in me. But, no fear, as the Psi gurus told me...all that will be dealt with in the next seminar.

    I continued to have new difficulties in life all the way up to the advanced seminar. Once you get on the ranch in California it is nearly impossible to get out. Shame, guilt, belittling, browbeating, public humiliation, and the ever popular 'You're on silence' are the tactics they use to keep you from leaving. I finally was allowed to leave the ranch only after walking off a 'training exercise' and refusing to participate any further.

    PSI claims to promote a 'win-win' philosophy. However, the only way to 'win' with PSI is not to become involved. When approached by someone about PSI, make them get specific. Don't allow them the luxury of 'not spoiling your experience.' Make them give you the intimate details of their life, they did it with a room full of strangers, they can do it with you. Then as you see how really screwed up most of the people who are into PSI really are, you'll be glad that you're not getting involved.

    If anyone is contemplating a PSI seminar you may contact me via this list, I'll get back in touch with you, and tell you anything and everything that I know and have experienced with these self-trained hack psychology wannabes. If you're a PSI grad looking for a 'discussion', then send me a check for $3000 and I'll be glad to 'discuss' with you. But not before the check clears, I wouldn't want to 'give you any expectations.'

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    Jacnie Sep 30, 2015

    I have completed all PSI offerings even Principia. I am forever disconnecting my self from this fraudulent organization. They love you when you are buying their crap; they are nasty when you don't. I was so disgusted at the last Principia due to the pushing to buy the next event which will be The Summit, that I left the week long event half way through the week. I could go on and on; however I've decided if you would like honest feedback please contact me at: [email protected]

    0 Votes

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