"I did the Basic Training, Advanced, Leadership Program 104, and Masters at Lifespring. I found their hard sell, rhetoric and pressure to enroll friends very distasteful. But it was a lonely time in my life and I was ripe for the group. Suddenly there was a large group of friends who welcomed me with hugs and enthusiasm. Many of the people did not handle it well, some dropped their friends and family, others performed badly at work and became 'jargon junkies.' I lost friends, alienated family members and behaved badly by pressuring people to join. It's amazing that I didn't recognize my own crazy cultish behavior. I remember thinking that quitting Lifespring would be akin to failure and if I failed before my classes were over, then I would never be an 'effective' person. Finally I cut the umbilical cord when the pressure and phone calls did not stop, but the loving tone did. They wanted me to join more seminars, pay more money, work the phone banks, volunteer as a recruiter, be volunteer staff at Basic Training and all the while continue to recruit my friends. I realized it was never going to end and I'm grateful that I made it through relatively unscathed without having a breakdown."
"I took the Lifespring course, urged by my champion at the time. We ended up going our separate ways. I totally related to the article on your site 'I Lost My Husband to a Cult.' I took the basic and the advanced course and believe they take advantage of people's weaknesses and turn good information into bad."
"I took the Basic Training, the Advanced Training, the Leadership Training, the Master's Training, and successfully enrolled many people in the courses. Lifespring was a major contributor to a severe mental breakdown that I suffered in 1990. If it were not for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I would not be alive to talk about it."
"Once in a while I search the Internet for news on Lifespring. I took Basic, Advance, and half of Leadership. I really 'got it' and left. If Lifespring was ever about personal growth, that was not evident to me. It was about money. At least, that was how I 'experienced' them. Everything was oriented to getting you to get everyone you know to take Basic. Lifespring was always the answer even if the problem was money. The argument for the poor was that they will learn the money making skills the need in Lifespring, and if they cannot afford to take the course, well, they simply were not ready to do 'whatever it takes.' When I run into someone who is thinking of taking Lifespring or Landmark Forum, or has a friend in it I fill them in on what goes on and what to expect. Sometimes I think that Lifespring could have been a truly beneficial experience. Some of the things they say about not making excuses are useful. If Lifespring was non-profit, open to the public (e.g. media) and presided over by psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists, it might be worth something. Until then, I will continue to tell people to stay away."
Copyright © 2001 Rick Ross
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