Apologetics Index
LGATs - Large Group Awareness Training
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LGATs - Large Group Awareness Trainings


Large Group Awareness Trainings. These are "encounter groups" often marketed to businesses as ways of enhancing communication among managers and/or other employees, fostering "group spirit," promoting spiritual development, etcetera. These seminars and programs are part psychotherapy, part spirituality, and part business.

Most of these training programs are highly structered, high-pressure affairs, with little time for participants to evaluate what is being taught. Most are designed to induce intense emotional experiences in which people are persuaded to confront themselves, their beliefs, and their experiences. The idea is that in having people think and feel outside their normal frame of reference, they will gain insight into the things that hold them back, and be more open to change.

Many of these workshops promote New Age concepts. These concepts incompatible with orthodox, Biblical Christianity. In some countries, employees can legally refuse to take part in such seminars, or take legal action against companies that make attendance mandatory.

Large Group Awareness Training programs are sometimes referred to as "corporate cults." This is due in part to cultic tactics (e.g. sensory overload, hypnosis, control of time or location, intense peer pressure, etc.), and because in some people, participation has lead to radical changes in personality, behavior, beliefs and perception similar to those seen among members of destructive cults.

Some observers and scientific researchers have also associated some LGATs with at least the potential to cause psychological distress to some participants. Some compare the trainings to thought reform programs, or "brainwashing," and to "cults."

The implied, if not explicit, religious nature of many of these trainings and the potential for psychological damage in some trainings have resulted in lawsuits against some trainings and employers who have sponsored them.

- See Also -
» About Landmark Education

- Sites -
Secular The Awareness Page Pro- and contra information. Includes a good collection of links, and a "fictional LGAT section" with information that is "a stone's throw from the truth" (this approach is probably due to the fact that some LGATs are known for taking legal action against detractors).