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Niels Hoven

My LGAT (Large Group Awareness Training) experience: Millionaire Mind Intensive

After being dead-set against (actually, just plain scared of) Large Group Awareness Training programs like Landmark Education, the Kairos Foundation, and so forth, I accidentally attended one over the weekend and watched them take well over a half-million dollars from the pockets of their unwitting participants. It was appalling.

The Millionaire Mind Intensive “seminar” was held last Thursday-Saturday here in Seattle. It’s a free three-day experience that’s marketed as a way to turn your financial life around, but is actually a three-day long series of sales pitches and upsells. I’d heard from friends around the world that the these people (the MMI is put on by T. Harv Ecker’s company, Peak Potentials Training) were some of the best in the world at mass room sales (aka platform sales), so Craig and I signed up to attend. I spent a year selling to large rooms myself, and I love learning about sales anyway, so I was really excited about the event. We got a lot more than we bargained for.

The first day didn’t disappoint. The seminar leader immediately started building compliance by getting the audience to answer questions out loud and raise their hands on command. Soon they were finishing his sentences for him. I was amazed at how quickly 500 adults could be turned into mindless automatons, unquestioningly following every instruction.

He also did some of the most beautiful inoculation I’ve ever seen. There’s an idea in sales that if you bring up an objection and refute it before your prospect thinks of it, you make the objection disappear in his mind. So early on in the seminar, the leader told us, “This weekend will push your comfort zone, and your brain often reacts in one of two ways: by rejecting the message or rejecting the source of the message. I just want you to be aware when that’s happening.” Nice move, any criticisms an audience member thinks of are now immediately discounted as a meaningless reflex reaction. The particularly brilliant touch was what came next.

“It’s going to be a long weekend, so I know people will get tired. And some people will start complaining: ‘My leg hurts, my back hurts, my eyelashes hurt, this information doesn’t make any sense.’ You know what I tell them? I tell them, ‘Thanks for sharing.'” And just like that, the audience is now inoculated not only against any criticisms they think of, but any criticism anyone else in the room brings up. Scary brilliant.

By the time the first sales pitch rolled around, the seminar leader had complete control over the audience. “We have a special price on this book today; it’s an at-seminar special.” He paused and asked the audience, “A what?”

“An at-seminar special!” they shouted back. It was one of the best closes I’ve ever seen. By the time he said, “First come, first served”, people were running to the sales tables in the back of the room.

Unfortunately, Craig and I had other commitments, so we left Thursday afternoon and skipped Friday. But we came back on Saturday to see the big pitches for the most expensive packages.

The red flags were immediately apparent when I came back on Saturday. The mindless obedience to commands, the feelings of euphoria, the complete lack of inhibitions – I had walked into the middle of an large group awareness training (LGAT) session.

I became interested in LGATs a few years ago (see my old post: The Landmark Forum Cult) when I had some friends report positive experiences with Landmark Education and the Kairos Foundation/More to Life Weekend. After their glowing reviews, I started reading more about LGATs, learning that by leading people through extreme emotional swings you can induce a sense of euphoria and connectedness while simultaneously lowering inhibitions and encouraging more impulsive behavior (often reframed as a newfound sense of freedom).

But hearing the effects of an LGAT described in a journal article doesn’t compare to witnessing one in person. I never would have imagined that grown adults (though there were some children in the room, to make things even sadder) could be so quickly completely stripped of their mental defenses. I watched people respond like Pavlovian dogs, chanting, clapping their hands, waving their arms, answering questions, completing sentences, dancing with no inhibitions.

When it came to the emotional part of the day, the leader had no problem breaking people like Ming vases. There were tears all over the room, after which the leader brought everyone back up, made them feel good again, and then took us all back down one more time before bringing everyone back up.

I should mention that while I think it’s a wonderful thing to teach someone to share their emotions, I find it appalling to exploit these huge emotional swings for a sales pitch. By the time we linked arms around the room for a sing-a-long, I saw some people whose states of consciousness were so altered I would have sworn they were drunk had I seen them anywhere else.

And of course, after this came the big sales pitch. Craig and I figured they would be working their way up to selling a workshop for a few thousand dollars. It was a free weekend, after all, how big a sale could they possibly expect to close?

Thirty thousand dollars was how big. I felt sick. Thirty thousand dollars! Bring people who are bad at money management into a room, strip them of their inhibitions and mental defenses, and then convince them to make an enormous impulse buy. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. When the leader suggested using their childrens’ college savings to send them to his “University of Light” I thought I was going to throw up. What a scam.

But the audience was completely bought in. In three days, I’m sure Peak Potentials pulled somewhere between half a million to a million dollars out of that room. I doubt a single person came to the free seminar on Friday with even an inkling that they would be $30,000 poorer three days later.

At one point, the speaker read one audience member’s question back to the audience: “My spouse is trapped in a middle class mindset and thinks all this is voodoo. Should I take Quantum Leap [the $30k package] alone?” In unison, the audience shouted back, “Yes!”

I’m still trying to process what I learned from the event. What made it so sickening to me? I used to say that the difference between persuasion and manipulation was intent. But I really believe the seminar leader believed he was helping people. Is it that he’s taking money from people who can’t afford it? But I’d be much more supportive if he was convincing the audience to send their children to college. So is my objection just the fact that I think Peak Potential’s courses are worthless? Because who am I to impose my values on someone else’s purchases? Craig thinks it’s the bait and switch, that people came expecting a course on money management and were instead sold a $30,000 dose of temporary euphoria. But I’d still be appalled if the courses were sold completely transparently with the same sales tactics. And I can’t even say it’s the sales tactics, because every salesman out there uses the exact same techniques on a lesser scale to make people buy emotionally. If people bought rationally every time we’d never have buyers remorse.

So I don’t know. The best thing I can say is if I ever start asking myself these questions for any practical reason, it will be time to back off and reexamine whatever I’m doing.

58 comments… add one
  • Scary, but very interesting. I definitely have an interest in this element of social influence, and it seems definitely up your alley given your background.

  • Dave D

    If you go that road, at least some of us will call you out.

    Will you listen if we do?

  • Darius

    Super interesting. I’d like to think it couldn’t happen to me. … but I had an intelligent friend who was super into Kairos.

    Ever been to the vacation package places?? I’ve been through the ringer a few times. Never bought anything, and you really do get legit free packages for listening to their spiel. I’d love to hear your informed analysis of the sales techniques.

  • Timeshare pitches and vacation package sales pitches are definitely on my to-do list once my schedule opens up a little more. I went to a timeshare pitch a few years ago and remember being impressed, but didn’t know enough about sales to know what to look for. I’m really looking forward to going to a few in the future.

  • Dave D

    Darius: It’s a value thing. If he is getting real value from the time he is spending, who can say.

    Niels: My ex-wife sold a these for two years. She was actually quite good at it, and reported to me that by and largely it’s pretty reputable.

  • I agree, the moral line gets fuzzy very quickly. On the one hand, you’ve got the MMI where people who can’t afford it are being fleeced, and on the other hand you have organizations who sincerely believe they’re helping the world and operate as a non-profit to allow people to go through their programs as cheaply as possible. If the latter group was to sell a workshop transparently “Come to camp and experience a temporary state of euphoria!” to someone that could afford it, I wouldn’t have much of a problem with it at all. (Though I should point out that there are a lot of anecdotal reports of people having emotional breakdowns as a result of their LGAT experience.)

  • ScamMan

    So I noticed that you have a link to Millionaire Mind web site, in which you get money for each click. I don’t mind you getting money from this, because of your financial situation, but isn’t it a little irresponsible to send your readers/potential fans to a site that will lure them to their financial death?!

    Come on Niels, you are not working for that Scam Man in SF anymore! lol

  • ScamMan – I don’t control the ads that Google feeds to my site, but I hope the rest of my readers see the irony in the situation. Besides, if Peak Potentials is going to pay for an ad-click, I prefer that they pay for a click originating from one of my readers who now believes they’re a huge ripoff.

  • John

    I know a lot about Peaks. You have it all right!
    Buyers remorse is unbelieveable and used as the next step in the sales process. The mid and back end courses have a lot more content but there is a lot of seminars that are just set up for delivering a compliant audience to teams of shady wheeler dealers types with get rich proposals. A lot of people are drawn into this for a lot of good reasons and left holding the bag. The lesson to be learned too late is that not everyone should be trusted!

  • Tom

    Awesome writeup – really interesting stuff. I didn’t know a whole lot about any of this. I have never been to a seminar or sales pitch of any sort… I knew some of them were dirty but I had no idea the extent of the manipulation.

  • Matt

    It amazes me that people see only what they want to see in a situation. I was at this very seminar, and since I actually attended for the whole program, I have place to speak as to the goings on.

    Your breakdown of the activities is correct. YOUR ANALYSIS IS YOUR OWN INTERPRETATION. You are clearly skeptical and are content to teardown others and their intentions rather than seeing the good that can come from a situation.

    You may be so uncomfortable in your own skin that you feel Dancing is a form of being uninhibited. But I enjoy having a good time and don’t feel that clapping my hands and doin’ a two step side to side is bad. Don’t degrade others who are secure with themselves or who are at least willing to get out of their comfort zone, just because you feel that you are a geek. Try some self-esteem, you might like it.

    It is irresponsible for you to expect the worst in people. If you had been listening and present, instead of formulating your negative Blog notes, you would have learned how to bring out the best in people. How do you know someone who spends 2K-30K for a course can’t turn their life around?

    Did you report on the people who had lifechanging breakthroughs even though they CHOSE not to buy any future courses. Didn’t cost them a thing, and now they are happier for having had the experience. But you don’t bother to explore that POSITIVE side of the equation.

    You need to realize that truly impressionable people, or at least people who love to give excuses for why they don’t do anything with their lives, read your blog and take it as gospel. Even though its just your take on it. Like Tom (last poster) for instance. He’s never been, you’ve kind of been, but now he’s bought into your incomplete, Negative, assume the worst, analysis. I know of people who have read your negative slant and are worked up into a foamy frenzy based on the non-supportive attitude that you have, and YOU WEREN’T EVEN THERE FOR MOST OF THE PROGRAM. What place do you have to condemn when you only have part of the story?

    Show some responsibility, encourage others to do the same, maybe they will stop wasting their money and learn how to manage their money.

    By the way since when does a College Degree guarantee financial freedom? Do you know how many people have spent WAY more than 30K on a 4 Year college only to find that employers really don’t care. Motivated, accountable, responsible, self-sufficent people get jobs or better yet start their own business. Having Mommy and Daddy send you to school for a degree does not mean that you are the person a company needs to get things done. If you are too uncomfortable to clap your hands and high five strangers there is no way you are going to keep a business thriving. You’ll be too busy sitting at your computer writing Blogs about the big bad world that scares you.

    Get Real.

  • Darius

    Hi Matt,

    The reason there is a term “LGAT” is because people have studied this as a phenomenon. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Group_Awareness_Training#Academic_analyses.2C_studies Niels didn’t make up this term, and his analysis is hardly inflamatory.

    BTW, I totally “agree” with you about the 4 year college degree thing. I think we should make vocational schools more available, rather than maintaining public policies that encourage schools to push many students apply for college degrees before they are ready or interested.

  • Matt

    Excerpt from the Wiki posting. “Although extremely critical of some LGATs, McWilliams found positive value in others, asserting that they varied not in technique but in the application of technique.”

    I’m not disputing that a LGAT tecnique is used. I am commenting on the unfortunate assumption and framing that many “victims” and underachievers cling to.

    If people are not creating a positive result based on their training it is because they aren’t choosing to do so. There are no “victims” only volunteers. (mind the context if you are going to resond to that).

    I am personally aware of ones who had breakthroughs without purchase. They are People who had issues before the training and were able to take control, they are completely different nowadays, happier, healthier. Should we really discount the potential benefits on account of those who are looking for excuses to avoid discomfort, to not have to grow?

  • foamy & Frenzy here

    Hi this is foamy, &Frenzy is out back I feel that this entire program is about a numbers game/%’s if ten people buy one will achieve, The other 9 will pad the pockets of the leaders/trainers. (this is called leading the lambs to the slaughter) the #1 nibbles off the scraps left by leaders and trainers. This is a non educated but vastly experienced persons viewpoint and Ive seen these types of people before. There are some people in the world that can be hypnotised and ther are more than cant be. Who is the weaker individual? One that can be changed with callous and nd not consience- his interpetation should be scrutinized. You dont need a top closer salesrep to find success of any kind thats inside of you. This is fact based on facts through historical events and facts. Although manypeople will fall victims and disagree as they pay out the nose,and become a lamb,or at least one that will come to the defence of such questionable individuals.

  • Dan

    Very interesting article. Me and my friend are going to starting a company in the next year. Are there any sales tips youd feel comfortable sharing from your experience. Of course were going to do our own homework and read the books, but I’m curious if you have any sales tips, that are directly related to sales and teaching.

    [email protected]

  • Shannon McHone

    Why is this the only info I have found online which calls Peak Potentials for the scam that it is? I attended the Millionaire Mind Manipulation weekend last Spring, and find Niels account VERY accurate. Thanks for writing it! I’ve been passing it around to my circle of friends who have recently been invited to train with Peak Potentials Extreme Health Trainer/Scam artist Ronald Allen Downey.

  • Ruth

    I found this really helpful, having been offered a free place on one of these and being interested, and also noting my instincts telling me there’s something off about it. What really strikes me is the aggression of the people who have posted in favour of the training. I don’t really want to be successful if you end up living in a world where you’re framing others as losers, victims, non-achievers. To me that feels like a judmental and angry way of living in the world, and one which really misses the truly human uniqueness and beauty of people.
    I work for an international NGO, and I also know that actually lots of people in the world are poor because climates are changing, because the resources they rely on, like rainfall, or fish stocks, or clean air, are becoming so depleted that their survival becomes impossible. Did you know that over 100,000 poor farmers in India have committed suicide over the last 3 years, because their livelihoods have been destroyed by “development”. The talk of victims might actually be appropriate here? Of course, we have to do what we can to look after ourselves, but to see the world in such an atomised, individualised way is, I think, a deception, and not good for the soul or the planet. I love this quote from Thomas Moore:
    “For many years now, I have been advocating ordinary life as the proper arena for care of the soul. The extraordinary, the image of unlimited growth and success, is not characteristic of the soul, which is not satisfied with speed and striving. Growth is a fantasy of spirit, as you see in psychologies in which personal growth is the primary value. The soul thrives more in small, local settings, where ambition is toned down by other values like those of family, place, nature and peace.” (Thomas Moore, Dark Nights of the Soul, p.282).
    Before you leap to attack this, reflect on the state of nature and peace in the world, at the moment. Maybe read Moore’s book.

  • mangwanya

    What I would like to know is how some of these extreme programmes using brainwashing techniques can exist freely without some law to protect people???!!! I just spent a lot of money attending some LGAT scam and now they won’t give me my money back, because I saw right through the whole thing!!!

  • disappointed

    Thank you Niels for your clearly, well- put, yet non-inflammatory.
    I am very glad you have put this together.
    To Matt’s comments (and to others who post very angry replies), you are just really showing that you’ve either been ‘sucked in’ which is fine if it is what you want, or you a a Peak Potentials plant.

    Here are my comments:

    It is not unreasonable to have a time limit on cancellation. I’m ok with that. My disappointment was in the customer service rep coyly (I realized later) avoiding letting me know I could still get a refund if I paid the cancellation fee. In case you think that is confusing, let me elaborate:
    I bought a course and my joby was paying for it. It was all good. A few weeks later my boss said they could not let me have the time off for the course because of a time crunch/deadline issue.
    When I had bought the course I asked the seller behind the desk at the event I attended about the cancellation policy who happily informed me that I could certainly get a refund within 10 days.
    In those 10 days my boss assured me the funds were approved and it was ok to take this course. So I kept it.
    When the work deadline issue came up I was distressed because I knew it was past the 10 days. I did not have a copy of the registration form anymore because it went to the finance office (in a different part of the city) at my job. I called PP and spoke to the service rep describing my situation saying I knew it was past the 10 days cancellation so what else were my options. The rep proceeded to tell me what other courses I could take. The problem was none of those were relevant for my job so my job would not pay.
    When I hung up I thought about it, and did some online research etc. and it led me to eventually discovering that I could cancel in 3 months and pay a $300 cancellation fee. Fortunately for me, I was still within the 3 months. I was surprised the rep at the booth or on the phone did not tell me that. I decided to pay the fee and get the thousands of dollars back. And I am ok with paying that fee – I think companies should have things like that to discourage ‘quitters’ but since I did ask both reps about my options and neither commented that cancellation could take place in 3 months it does seem unfair because looks like PP was trying to hold on to my thousands of $ in tuition and not really help me.
    I have taken 2 PP classes and my honest summary is they teach good principles but not only fall short of living up to the ethical standards you would expect, but they also have a very ‘money lust’ attitude – which causes them to have very poor customer service. And I am not just basing my comments on the customer service on these two events – I have had numerous poor service encounters with PP and about only 2 good ones. And apart from this call to cancel, all my other calls have been basic questions about things I needed for planning my trips to these courses. I really thought they would have been more helpful.

    During my first class I observed but still wasn’t sure if I was right about their treatment of volunteers. But by my second class I knew they were not treating their volunteers right. I have done and seen a lot of volunteering in my life and PP takes advantage of their volunteers – at the same time yes, there are people who are willing to be taken advantage of. But having people like that ‘working’ for you just brings down the energy.

    DO NOT spend several thousands of dollars on these courses just to be stuck in rooms that are packed with over 500 people – more like 600-700. PP obviously makes tons of $ (just think one of the cheaper courses is about $3,000 now multiply that by 500 (to be conservative) which is at least $1.5 mil. With that $ it is surprising that the rooms are uncomfortably packed. I do not mind people making money but I do mind customers and volunteers being treated poorly. Such overpacked rooms really make you susceptible to catching colds or viruses others have.

    And by the way, for those two courses I took, while some of the content was good, I really think they were overrated overall. They try to hype up the audience before they hand out the review forms – a poor tactic.

    If you are thinking of getting PP courses try to get similar ones cheaper elsewhere – like more in the hundreds of dollar range instead of thousands. They do exist and those are what I look at now.

  • Seb in SF

    I attended last weekends MMI event in SF at the encouragement of a group therapist. Her caveat was not to buy anything and I am grateful to her for that. I actually found the money management tools quite useful and the ‘therapy’ aspect really worked wonders for me, BUT that was coming on the heals of plenty of my own work. I smelt a rat at the first major sell. I found myself actually considering spending 2K on a course but being the cautious ‘saver’ that I am I wanted to check in with my life line at home before committing (thereby losing the momentary special).

    Its pretty clever and callous stuff. Anything seems like a bargain when it starts out at 8K and comes down to 2K. I was also very suss about all the funky looking volunteers. As the seminar wore on it became more obvious what was happening; the big emotional swings leading to the evening’s big sell. BUT I did get plenty of very helpful and stimulating things out of this seminar.

    I recommend them to friends for the sake of checking out the LGAT experience (all that motivational euphoria) but tell them to leave credit cards at home! I believe many of the ideas are workable but….. it takes phenomenal effort and plenty of therapy to actually affect real change with ones mental blueprint.

    I did witness T. Harv Eker (that name alone sounded alarm bells, why not John P. Smith?) during the arrow break exercise physically push an attendee into the experience and that really bothered me. As it went against all the ideas he spouted about self motivation. His comments about mormons bothered me, as did his belittling of meditating for years to achieve enlightenment. It showed that he does not understand the intention of enlightenment (its not the same as being financially free, but freedom of mind from ego experience and human suffering that comes with ego attachment)

    Ho hum! I had a mini crash yesterday morning when I realized my life was still ostensibly the same, but I owned that and kept going. If I was less mentally competent or emotionally fragile, I don’t know how it would have gone! So take note.

  • Casey Rome

    My Aunt, Sister, my Girl and myself attended the May, 2009 MMI in Los Angeles. I agree with every aspect of Niels’ article. That said, I found some useful tid-bit information. As a music marketer, I was pegging their techniques as we went on through the weekend. Several times I reminded my relations that I admire their technique while I was mocking it. My Girl is a extraordinarily accomplished live and tv event producer and she just got plain annoyed at the amateur show. The Stars were pros, but the disorganization was astounding, although suble. And the Staff, there is nothing to say but that they were nothings with foul moods. The first day and a half Trainer Keiron Sweeney, not likable.

    In the first 15 minutes of the first day he had us go and introduce ourselves to 10 new people. Well, I shot straight up to the platform and introduced myself with a firm handshake. You should have seen his eyes, it was as if this had never happened before and he was taken back by it. It sort of surprised me that it was unexpected that at least some aggressive “student” would want to meet his “teacher”, who theoretically is suppose to be the most successful person in the room. My Poor Dad taught me to always make friend with smarter people than myself and watch and learn. So, since they love the “=” so much, maybe Student = Mark and Teacher = ?. So my long weekend began.

    When you cramp people tightly together and keep them going from 9am to 10:30pm over a number of days and use the emotional techniques well described by Niels, people lose their ability to resist. When I was in the US Army, I went through the SERE Instructor Course, and MMI uses a substantial number of similar so-called “soft cell” interrogation techniques. Niels mentioned Landmark Forum, Eker did also, as a former EST trained person, I nearly got my butt thrown of Forum (I was a guest of my then current girlfriend who was taking the training). Landmark Forum is a successor to EST and pussies in comparison. I mean I was not obnoxious, I just called them on their shit. They finally found a Forum trainer that had been an EST trainer to call me on my shit. We laugh our asses off when we went outside the room to do our EST thing. I got it, that they were just trying to make a living, so I decided to pretend to behave for the rest of the time. EST people are actually quite honest about it because if you don’t “get it” that’s your problem.

    Anyway, the big emotional crescendo Sunday afternoon was: Harv was telling stories about his father and how it took a song on the radio to ask his 80 year-old dad why he never told Harv, “I love you son.” Then he came over 800 exhausted people, my dad died three week ago (And I am quite sure he is not lying and I do not mock him in this respect). So, they distribute lyric sheet to Mike and the Mechanics song “The Living Years” to all this 800 who then formed a massive circle around the room. Yes, we sang along with the public performance of the song. I almost cried for the loss of my mother – 35 years ago!

    We took a 10 minute break then started down the road to the Quantum Leap Program – That $30,000 alluded to by Niels. It was discounted from a value of $100,000 to $19995 for the Gold and $54,000 to $9,995 for the Core. As sure as shit, some of their Marks, sorry I meant Students, literally ran to the credit card machines wearing the MMI t-shirts. A call to action, and the rest of us losers will remain losers because we fail to act. They weren’t going to, but it felt like the rest of us were going to get kicked out of the remaining of the seminar since we have no commitment to our wealth and happiness.

    My favorite part was the breaking of the arrow. I eat that kind of shit up, break an arrow with my neck-bring it on, after all I volunteered to jump out of perfectly good airplanes when I was in the Army.

    I would have to say all-in-all, I’m fine with the time I spent doing this, I did learn a few things that will help me. I am glad that all I spent, money wise, was for outrageous parking.

  • Maxine

    Hi Folks,
    Well, I can say that I have done it all, or good part of it. To start with Graduate School at UCLA. That cost $70k (1992 dollars) for a brutal 28 month program. It increased my income by 30%, and my break even analysis, not considering risk and stress, was 10 years. After 10 years of Grad School, it is now starting to payoff. However, I am in a more stressful demanding profession, and I am more educated from the experience.

    I participated extensively in Landmark Education after Graduate School after by best friend, ER Doc, recommended it. 28 months later, after a year of TMLP and about 2k. I have taken some time out from Landmark classes. It literally changed my life. The biggest change was being able to put trauma experience from my past into the past. They are a part of my history, but I was living as if I was going to happen again at any given moment. It was a huge shift. Life literally opened up, and I also had that 30% increase in income to help out.

    My brother was involved with PP. So I went to the MMI. The only reason I signed up was to share the experience with him. I was intrigued by the camps. The MMI is very much as described, the hype, the bargain down seminar specials, singing, etc. I found that annoying, but it wasn’t going to stop me. I have completed 3 camps and multiple seminars. Cost about 18K

    As a comparative analysis of all three experiences here is what they provided for me: I have put myself through 12 years of collage and even some of my undergraduate classes were taught in big halls with over 500 students, History and Finite Math to be specific. So this type of teaching format was not unfamiliar to me.

    Of the three experiences, Landmark Education delivered the biggest bang for my buck, and for the impact it made on the quality of my life. If I could only choose one venue, even over Graduate school it would be Landmark. Mainly because it opened up my life to live it fuller. I would consider taking classes again, as I find the material delivered over a longer time period makes it more integrated. On the down side, the “Enrollment” aspect was an annoyance and I took it in stride. The cost for what it delivers is extremely reasonable. It may not be suited for all people, but for me it was extremely effective.

    Peak Potentials was the most FUN! Yes, Warrior Camp was Fun, and a piece of cake after 28 months of grueling graduate school of getting up at 4:30Am and going non-stop until 10PM 6 days a week. So Warrior Camp was nothing new, the greatest benefit was the work by Warrior Sage who delivers very interesting self defense and personal growth work. Their work was probably worth all three of the camps combined. I found most of the work from PP, was very similar to what I had learned from Landmark Education only delivered in a very short period of time, hence with less integration as well. There is a lot of hype, and their is a lot of focus on money which is important but seemed rather shallow and self serving. I don’t foresee taking any more of their workshops as they are pricey for what they deliver and although fun on one level, annoying on another level. Oh yes, I got sick at every single event that I attended. Didn’t matter what I did to prevent it. Their events are “In your face” so to speak.

    As to LGAT, large teaching formats are utilized for a lot of different education purposes and can be effective. I had large classes for many of my college and graduate classes. I recently attended Scott Kelby’s Lightroom seminar and it was effectively delivered at the LA convention center with about 500 people in attendance. It was fun, educational, effective, and not that expensive. Under $100.

    The money machine does go on for all of them. UCLA gave us special “Clinical fees” and said that we could afford it, because we could pay it back after we graduate. This was instate tuition too. We were charged more then the medical students. But, hey, if we wanted the education and degree, we had to pay. We were grateful to be in the program, and they delivered a quality education.

    Landmark is priced very reasonably and for me, it was well worth it and delivered. Their biggest resources is to have people recruited. I always wished they charged more for their work, and paid for advertising to get them off my back. But, it came with the territory.

    Peak Potentials is a wealth game. It’s like an expensive vacation. You get a lot of fun, hype, singing along with their material and you pay top dollar for the experience. They do the “Seminar Special bargain down” sales. Was it worth it? Was it the best return on my dollar, not by comparison. Was the 2 week, 10K trip to India with the Warrior Sage Group worth it? You bet! But so was the 2K trip to Baja Mexico to photograph and yes, Pet the whales with Jim Cline Tours. Was it worth it? You bet. My next seminar . . . Anything with Scott Kelby, as he delivers good computer teaching in a large format setting, and Paul Renner African Safari tours, a very small setting in a vast country.

    Thanks for this forum, I hope this may give some light and it was insightful to put these experiences next to each other. It’s just important to know what you are buying and how that is being influenced. Peak Potentials had the most hype, Landmark had the most pressure, and Graduate School was the most expensive straight up. A good laugh and reflection on LGAT is “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey. Very Funny indeed!

  • Maxine — with your graduate school education, maybe you could write this up with a better analysis?

    Right now you start out as if you are going to do a cost-benefit analysis, but then end up with a description of the programs, with an emphasis on an intangible “value-for-money” metric.

    I think a complete analysis would need to recognize and evaluate the other alternative pathways for coaching and support of your life goals.


  • River Rock

    Very interesting comments on MMI and Peak Potentials. I found your description of the sales techniques informative and acknowledge the possibility of being swept up in a program beyond your means but, we all have free choice in this. When I took a few of these courses, I felt very comfortable picking and choosing what was right for my needs and pocketbook. It is a little unfair of you to be critical when you missed the value offered by attending only a small portion of the (free and yet very useful) program. Some course leaders may well be clumsy and too aggressive. Overall, however, my experience was positive and life changing. The vast majority of folks never go beyond that first program – so a lot of value is being presented up front with no financial commitment required.

    Many (most) people have not had an opportunity nor has it even occurred to them to really examine their personal relationship with money and rarely do we get the the next level which is grasping that your partner’s relationship with money is likely entirely different. Sometimes that’s the reason you married the one you did! Not understanding the “why” of the way you spend or save or how you try control yourself or others with money can have far reaching effects on your life.

    I took MMI (three times), Warrior and Wizard) and, with the exception of one really weird exercise, I felt in control of myself. The result: I came away with greater awareness and knowledge.
    I would go so far as to say these experiences took me from being an “adult child” to a truly independent person, fully responsible for my own life, security and happiness.

    Now and again I pull out my notes and review what I learned. Can’t say I experience some terrible hypnotic pull to go back for more; I’ve learned what I needed. And I would recommend attending the introductory event, taking the fuzzy-wuzzy stuff with a grain of salt and using what you will learn to build a secure future. RR

  • Thanks RR, you seem to have navigated the psychic terrain alright, and i totally believe that there IS value there — you have to bait the hook, as the homily goes.

    What it comes down to is this: knowing that even you lost some control, and there are people attempting to upsell in a sophisticated way, would you recommend these events to less strong-willed members of your family?

    Because you can’t make any assumptions about the strenght of will of the people reading your comment. So, you’re basically recommending it to us all, in the abstract. Even your loved ones.


  • Shannon

    To River Rock,
    I would challenge your notion that [ but, we all have free choice in this] because when you are in a hypnotic state you ultimately have control, but you are also vulnerable to external influences that you may not be if you were in your “normal” state of consciousness.
    It is irresponsible, manipulative, and dishonest to put someone in a hypnotic state then sell them something. If MM and Harv wanted to be upfront about their tactics then I wouldn’t have such a problem with it.

  • a happy Canadian immigrant

    I attended MMI, I volunteered a few times including camps, and I have an opinion to share if anyone cares to read it.
    We are very well trained by the school and society to believe that mind is the only tool we have, and this is not true. The inner guide is there , alive and alert to all the decisions we make. There is always a choice, it’s just a matter of being able to listen to it when it comes. People buy because they are facing their unfulfilled desires, in a way that doesn’t give them room to hide or to run away from that thought. When the solution is offered to their problem, they just take it. The company sells its own courses and packages, nobody ever will tell you to go to their competition to get a better deal. If you are there, it means you want to evaluate their offer. It is your responsibility to research and make up your mind. You have 10 days to cancel anyways, that is a lot of time to get out of your “hypnosis”. If you don’t cancel, you probably have a good reason to keep it.
    I saw many people, in my volunteering activity, going through experiences that forced them to face their fears and learn how weak they (the fears) were, they let them go and got the skill to do the same with all the other ones. I saw people crying of happiness when they let go of resentments or hatred which brought them into illness, after several, maybe tens of years of “swiping them under the carpet”. The time had come, the problem was dealt with and solved just like that; in a weekend. No therapist, no drugs, no hypnosis; just the knowledge of how to take responsibility, and the opportunity to take action in a safe and professional conducted environment. I spoke to people who were not impressed with their own results and insights as well. Well, people who came to be transformed, had definitely another outcome than people who came to check out the techniques.
    Is it too expensive? That is a personal matter. You can buy the same product, or at least with similar features at Walmart, at Zellers or at Sears; It is your choice.
    If this “stuff” would be available in schools, and I mean in high schools so every child would have access to it regardless of financial resources, the society would look different. We would have less complainers, more achievers, less drop outs and more successful citizens. We would enjoy life in more harmony and less fear, and people would feel open and brave to confront their problems, solve them and move on. Some people stuff their frustrations and resentments one on top of the other until they get cancer or fall in depression, or get into alcohol or drugs to take a breath and forget about the night mare their life turned into.
    Whatever way I find to connect and listen to my inner guide and higher self, I grab it with both hands and I feel grateful for it.
    What you do with it, is entirely your choice and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.
    By the way, it is not the fact, but our own perception and attitude that make us feel happy or miserable.
    The excitement, the interactive activities, shouting and dancing, felt very uncomfortable for me at the beginning, but I learned how introvert and uncommunicative I was. It was a good wake up call. The exercises fulfilled their purpose.
    You can’t learn to swim if you don’t immerse yourself in water.
    As a volunteer, in my limited experience, I had a great time; high quality people were in charge with the camps, the food was more than I could ever ask for – in a camp and the opportunity to serve and feel appreciated for the effort, was a good application of my christian background. We, the volunteers, had our own challenges and lessons too, for me, it was really rewarding.

  • @happy_canadian

    I used to believe in MMI, but now I’m a big fan of The Secret. I think The Secret does a much better job. Also, the creator is much more successful.

    Really, when you come right down to it, it’s all about how much you listen to your inner desires. There are things in the universe that are larger than we can understand, and it is only by tapping into these deep inner voices that we can find the wealth that is possible.

    Sometimes you may have moments of doubt while you are reading The Secret. Whenever this happens you should look down at your hands for five minutes and appreciate how amazing hands are. The majesty of engineering that goes into the supple graceful curves.

    It’s important to be uncomfortable. This is the only way to change your own behavior. You have to get together with other people who also read The Secret and discuss WHY you do uncomfortable things. I’m sure you will all come to the same conclusion that my The Secret friends came to… that it is part of the secret of the universe.

    I hope this review is helpful for you as you consider how cheap it would be to buy The Secret today… It’s so cheap and yet will change your life and give you fulfillment by listening to your true inner spirit guide.


  • J

    HAHA!!! Ohh man, these types of trainings and others like it are such HUGE scams. I had the luxury of attending a similiar 3-day event, it being a luxury cause i didn’t pay for it. All I have to say is “WOW”, and not world of Warcraft.

    So the “Facilitator” within the first 30 min of being their pulls alot of the same techniques discussed. At the end of the first day your inhibitions are totally discredited, the second day concludes with your mind defenses being totally bypassed, by your own doing, and the last day concludes with you doing some more crazy new age mental make believe exercises that leave you feeling the fake “euphoria” that was intended all along. The constant emotional ups and downs almost became like clock work. This group follows the training up with a “graduation”, more like parading a bunch of zombies on stage who drank the cool-aid in front of their spouses, family members, and friends. This used as a marketing and recruiting tool to get you, the cool-aid drinker, to solicit how great your training was and how bad everyone else needs it.

    Of course it doesn’t stop there, like a drug-pusher denying you your fix, they have you come back 3 days later for your “post-training”, which consisted of another emotional high and to convince you sign up for part 2 of your training! Yeah!!!! Of course their’s was no $30,000, only $700, but still, if you did sign up you are already in $1000!!! Then of course part 3 is $700 and then they offer couples classes and other non-sense. My uncle got crazy into this NEW AGE GARBAGE, and i say that with confidence because that is what it is and how i came to learn about LGAT’s like Landmark Education Corp and my local new age pushers “The Great Life Foundation”

    Ehhhh…….All nonsense. If you fill a room with people and put a so called “successful” person on stage who can convince the crowd to lower their mind defenses so you can dangle riches and happiness at the end of the stick only to tell them some common sense gibberish and exploit them is completely SCARY and frankly should be against the law. It is brainwashing (Taking away somebody’s ability to be critical) and groups like this don’t even tell you that they are doing it!

    So tell your friends that if they want to save alot money first off, and want what these con-artists have to offer, then read cheap garbage like The Secret and save the experiental training for when you feel like riding a fake emotional roller coaster only to experience fake “euphoria” or fake “enlightenment”.

    Honestly how many people get rich from these PYRAMID SCHEMES? Yes, I called training like this a Pyramid scheme. It is a pyramid scheme because you get all these volunteers to who have been through the training to push it on you. They push it on you because they get another emotional high by being there again and seeing it happen, and then they tell you to go out and recruit for these trainings. Who is profiting from all this? Gee I would like to know? The attendees? Bah!!! Most will go home feeling used, and the suckers who buy into it will be out even more cash and will have lost their dignity on the way telling everyone else that they are so much better for having done it never generating more wealth or “happiness”. Instead they become recruiters and pushers for free, putting more coin in con artist’s pockets like T. Harv Eker.

  • There is always a risk that when people really, really like something, or it really resonates with them, that they’ll become zealots. This happens because they desperately want to share what they’ve gained with others. It comes from a place of genuine kindness and compassion, but it makes the organizations look weird, and can lead to accusations of them all being LGAT/cults.

    I appreciate Niels’ review because he actually attended the course and is sharing his experience. He’s not telling other people they shouldn’t go, but he dislikes the methods used. I haven’t been to Millionaire Mind myself, so I can’t comment on the accuracy of his review, but my guess is that the reason that this is one of the few reviews critiquing this particular course is that most people love large group / motivational training, and like being sold to. It sounds like there is no confusion about the fact that the attendees are going to be sold to. And if they don’t like it, they can leave.

    I believe this is the case with most group training programs. Certainly, it’s true for the variety of programs I have attended (and reviewed). They aren’t for everyone, but they can have immensely powerful benefits. And no one is forced to stay and be pitched.

    There is also an element of brainwashing in these programs, but again, I believe this is invited by most of the participants. There is a difference between brainwashing for the purpose of installing new dogmatic beliefs, and brainwashing away existing beliefs that have been holding someone back from being who they want in life. The latter can be fantastic if it’s invited, and if it’s voluntary.

    Like Niels, I think we could be asking better questions than “Is this an LGAT?” or “Is this a cult?” so I launched a site where people who have done a lot of this work can evaluate the programs based on trustworthiness, integrity, fulfillment on promises, marketing practices, value, etc. If you have a chance to visit it, I would love to hear your feedback on whether you think this is valuable information. One of the contributors is at work on her own review of Millionaire Mind so it will be interesting to see how her account compares to this one.

  • Darius

    Huh. a program-review site. That is about as long-tail as it gets. Good luck Eleanor!

  • Tin

    I am here now, mynwife is drinking the cool aid and is signed up for a $4,000 Internet marketing bootcamp where they promise you will walk out ofnthe 5 day course withna website alreadynearningh passive residual income, in othernwords no work. Not a bad idea except you can do this for 3.95 per monthnon manynhosting websites. And content to sell, Harv eckernsaidnon his infomercial broadcast to the room, don’t worry you can copy content from other sources. Hmmmm….. Something felt wrongnfor me with that. Any how I’m in the lobby waiting for the coolaidmeuphoria to die down so we can cancel andnput our 4,000 dollars in our financial freedom account and invest wisely, as theynsuggest in the first day.

    Hope this helps others.

  • Anonymous

    I just finished going to an MMI seminar. My dad asked if I wanted to come with him. Though I think that it can give people hope and help a lot of people, I did not like how close this seems to a cult. I thought that my dad and I would sit there for the first half day, look at eachother sideways, and go grab a beer or something, as he’s a pretty smart guy. They totally got him.

    The weird thing about it was that my dad manages a conference centre, and he sees similar things come through all the time. I thought for sure that we would just laugh this off.

    Strangely, Tin, my dad got taken for the same thing as your wife. They pitched this internet program on Saturday (yesterday) and he seemed interested in it. I was a little surprised. Didn’t think he seriously consitered it. Today, he called my mum and talked about signing up for it. And yes, like you Tin, I also thought that it was very strange that he said that you could just take things from other sources. Seems very morally-grey to me, and I questioned if this was legal.

    I can definately see why someone would want to buy into this, and how it can help a lot of people. I didn’t care for how they gave their message out, though I did think some of the information was worthwhile. Most of the financial advice seemed good for someone who didn’t go to school for it, and the letting go of the emotional attachments towards money would be incredibly helpful for someone who has issues that relate to that. But again, I did not like how they gave it out.

    I also didn’t like how they were constantly trying to upsell everyone the other seminars which cost up to something like $8 000. Assuming you don’t get the “At-Seminar” discount and the “Early Bird” discount. I get that they have to turn a profit for this, otherwise they wouldn’t do it, but it seemed very over-the-top. Brainwashing hundreds of financially irresponsible people, convincing them that they need this, and then charging thousands for dollars for it.

  • CS

    Wow! I am very glad I found this site. I came across a few others with similar info. I am attending the “free” Millionaire Mind 3 day training beginning this Thursday. I was a little sceptical when I saw at the bottom of the e-mail…….be sure to bring a 100.00 bill and a blank check……????? Usually any of these free info meetings are just a teaser to sell you a higher priced package so you can REALLY get the full benefit. I bought the book, Millionaire Mind, years ago but never read it. When I received the e-mail for the seminar coming to my area, it reminded of the book and pulled it out and started reading it. I havent finished it but, a lot of what I have read so far makes a lot of sense, so thats why I want to attend the seminar. I think I will still go and make sure I LEAVE MY CHECKBOOK/CREDIT CARDS home!!!!! And just get as much free info as possible and utilize it. I will be sure to keep my head and not get caught up in the “brain washing”……………thanks for posting

  • Afraz

    Thank you for writing such a wonderful and enlightening analysis of Millionaire Mind. What do you reccomend I read so that I don’t get duped by these scam artists?

    Thanks it is much appreciated ;)

  • darius

    the Financial Times twice a week

  • Afraz

    I’m not sure you get what I mean.What I meant was where can I learn about the specific techniques that these so called gurus use so I can recognize them when they are being used on me so I don’t get duped? I’m thinking about starting my own blog soon where I will aim to expose these scam artists that are ruining millions of lives each year.

  • Kibby Lewis

    The Legacy Center cult (a Lifespring spinoff) in Morrisville, North Carolina; owned by Rob Katz and Lori Todd (Adjunct Professor at Univ North Carolina).

    I can’t say this strongly enough:
    Revisiting and trying to strengthen relationships may be a helpful exercise in certain environments, but these HACKS are not trained, not qualified to deal with such things.

    Do they not say themselves that they have no one in the professional mental health field on staff??? And by proclaiming this upfront, does that relieve them of the responsibility of the MIShandling mental health issues? They say this (the “training”) is NOT about “Mental Health” issues. EXCUSE ME????!!! This is precisely where the need for regulation comes in!

    People are ripe for abuse and manipulation of just about any kind once they’ve been put on this programmed “indoctrination-isolation-catharthis-stress-anxiety-reflection-humiliation-and-then-catharthis-again” treadmill.

    It is an engineered Design to get a roller-coaster like “high” out of the person, without any real follow up on the very serious issues that come up for people in especially heightened trance states and deep-trance inter-personal encounters.

    It is also well known that these techniques produce high levels of adrenaline and endorphins, direct results of the intense physical conditions and disturbed biorhythms, and anxiety reaction to being “put on the spot” in public with your most intimate issues. These intense and addictive biochemical states can create an alternating rush/relaxation-pleasure cycle that makes you feel as if something tremendous has happened, which may have nothing to do with actual personal sustainable progress.

    The authoritarianism REGRESSES people to childhood, and gives the very dominating drill sergeants that lord over these forums total control over the people. Now watching other people in group formation yield control to the leader/s also stimulates ingrained and involuntary “Herd Instincts” which cause knee jerk compliance through alternating subconscious desire for reward (fit in) and fear of punishment (being singled out/kicked out).

    From a sociological/psychological standpoint, ostracism, or the fear of ostracism is the most primal in the catalog of fears. From the instinct of an infant, abandonment equals death. And being that we are “pack” animals, exclusion or expulsion from the group can also be just as deadly. Theoretically, even as adults, we feel this fear in close proximity to the fear of death. That’s why it’s such an important tool, in the hands of a manipulator.

    It’s a well known mind control tactic and ANYTIME you use this type of COERCION it’s wrong — it’s against your will *whether you know it or not.* That is the problem.

    Also it sets you up for being open to this kind of manipulation in the future. Whether we think we get anything out of these programs or not, they set us up to be mindless sheeple.

    If you’re going to contract into a regressed state, where you knowingly allow yourself to be tranced back into your formative years and guided through a “Seeing” of what’s really up in your head/life, do it in a controlled environment with professionals who know what the hell they’re doing and with the conscious support of trusted family or friends.

    When supressed issues come up people can go through very dark stages, even become suicidal and often emotionally dependent on the therapy or therapist — bc they now associate their emotional liberation with their counselor. This is a very normal transitional state.

    The patient-counselor relationship is held together by well established ethical standards of privacy and trust and an understanding of the complete vunerability this creates. Similar ethical standards are traditionally in play between idividuals and clergy and in other forms of mentorship and counseling. In all cases, there is at least some formal background training in these delicate issues. And what is the “formal background and training” of Legacy staff??? SALES TRAINING!!!!! They call it something else, but that’s essentially what it boils down to.

    In this regressed state, where there is a sudden clearing, the “guide” becomes the parent figure, and we surrender our emotional vunerability and adult rationality to that “guide” in subconscious ways we’re not aware of. Trained professionals understand this phenomenon well, and know how to support someone through the process and keep them from becoming co-dependent. Co-dependency is what Legacy revolves around…. although they call it “being on Team”.

    These programs, and other untrained HACKS looking to make a buck or who simply get off on being in control of other people EXPLOIT this very natural and fragile human state without the participant’s knowledge.

    The person becomes “high” (of course they do) and becomes addicted to this state and now identifies the group as the new family unit and source of their power. AGAIN, that’s fine and empowering in controlled environments where trained Mental Health Professionals know what the hell their doing. There are people in Legacy “trainings” who were dealing with: drug addictions, food addictions, domestic violence, rape, verbal abuse, suicide attempts, post-cult symptoms, prolonged grieving from violent death, post traumatic stress disorder, and numerous other issues like bi-polar disorder and chronic dissociation. I think anyone who has been adversely affected by this group or similar groups, personally or indirectly through a loved one — should SUE.

    Bottom line is they trick you by using well understood and legitimate psychological techniques for understanding the psyche (AKA “self improvement”, “motivation training”, “life coaching”, “discovery”, “transformation”) , which certainly work, but really should be practiced in a professional setting with highly trained and experienced staff. People seeking this experience should try support groups for a healthier and more legit environment.
    (Again, they tell you this upfront which is supposed to make you feel “safe” because they “admit” it…. but it’s the singularly most important thing that should make you RUN IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!)

    (Yes – they make YOU sign a form declaring that you are in sound mental health. But tell me, how many people are there out there who will TELL you there’s nothing wrong with them… like murders, theives, rapists, pedophiles, etc, etc, etc.?!)



    This should only be undergone as a *Process with Long Term commitment* not as a hack weekend to get an emotional high. (Legacy’s “follow-up” consists ONLY of keeping you involved … attending more and more trainings/seminars…. and by pressuring you to ENROLL others so that they will look at the world the same way Legacy does!)

    People leave these sessions and often in a manic moment may leave their spouse, children, job.
    These major life decisions need careful consideration and shouldn’t be made after a 5-day session with Legacy. (Note: Legacy DOESN’T WANT your experience to ONLY be the 5-day Basic training. There is TREMENDOUS PRESSURE to continue with “the Journey” – as in not only the Advanced, and Leadership, but also multitudes of “free” seminars, requirement to help with Guest Events and on and on and on. Why? To reinforce the mindset… and therefore ingrain this way of thinking into your brain…. therefore convincing you that “the world” should be enrolled!!!) Back to the “healing relationships” issue…..Breaking away may indeed “save someone’s life” but come on! Get real help. In most cases people are so high from the experience they want to push away and alienate anyone who isn’t a True Believer — and so they run away from anyone or anything who casts doubts on their newly discovered “self” or who might be forcing them to truly communicate.

    People get “juiced up” by the energy of these “trainings” and people who haven’t been don’t see the world through the same “indoctrinated” eyes as those who have. Legacy “teaches” participants that in order to accomplish their goals they must first believe in them (yes, a legitimate and healthy concept), then surround yourself with people who will also believe in those goals. (And this is where the hidden agenda comes in… Legacy uses this healthy concept and twists it towards their own self-serving, self-perpetuating, business & revenue needs. ENROLLMENT!) When you are strong enough (see it Legacy’s way) you encouraged to get away from those people who don’t believe in your new ideals. You start to believe that those who disagree with Legacy’s way are the people who drag you back away from your goals. And THIS is the UNHEALTHY thing!!! The mindset that it’s Legacy’s way or NO way! Thus, relationships are torn apart instead of truly being healed.
    These organizations know this happens, they let it happen, and they encourage it to happen.

    It all comes down to massive sleep deprivation and other known mind control techniques practiced on people who have no idea what they’re getting into, with untrained facilitators who are the SS of the self help movement.

    I strongly suggest if anyone has been harmed by such participation that you get a lawyer and organize with other victims of such manipulation.

  • Pamela

    Just came back from Melbourne, Australia’s 3 day seminar and it was like watching lamb to the slaughter! Aggressive ugly upselling throughout! Insults to audience members who weren’t taking action and doing what they wanted. How do people buy this kind of manipulation? Too many vulnerable people out there! Shame on this man and his company!

  • moto

    WOW That was along read but very interesting. Some good points by both sides. If anyone attends meetings like these be ready to get a sales pitch on something, so it’s best to leave your wallet at home.

    I think the main reason people would go to something like this is because they want to change their life, but be warned that it will come at a cost. And you may get more then you bargained for.

    I’m not saying that a millionair mind is a bad thing but I am one of those people that trust my GUT instincts. And it hasn’t let me down yet.

  • concerend family member

    So I know someone who attended the Warrior from PP and just got back from MOI, they are all posting on FB about ‘secret ingredients’ they are cooking with. HELP – what does this mean? My family is supposed to have some of the treats that include the secret ingredient and I am concerned! (apparently you can put it in Shrimp Past and Chocolate Chip cookies) – any advise or thoughts?

  • William

    Thanks very informative article. I’ve attended Landmark and found it at first inspiring and later sickening when I saw through what they were doing. I’m having trouble getting in touch with Peak Performances (their several websites do not give you an effective way to speak to anyone – the phone number leads to a recorded lecture) to get my $100 deposit back because I decided not to attend this program.
    There are some good business training programs out there, but these manipulative one are giving the others a bad name. Tread carefully and keep your eyes open. And research – there are a LOT of bad reviews online about Peak Performances, which you won’t find about the more reputable programs.

  • TayTay

    I attended a MMI this weekend and can tell you it is a total scam. I walked out on the second day after the trainer KieronSweeny started the morning by screaming at everyone. So sad to see financially depressed people being preyed upon by these harv eker vultures. Beware of the Millionaire Mind sales scheme. When I asked a volunteer for references or actual real life success stories as a result of the additional services/seminars they were selling I was told he didn’t have any. Wtf! That was it for me. I was outta there. Thank you for this forum to warn people about Millionaire Mind seminars aka bs.

  • Tony

    Just came back from the MMI 3 day free course in Sydney Aus. I left part way through 2nd day. Sales pitches to the max… You can learn some basic concepts from these free courses but the amount of selling pitches to ‘learn more’ was too much for my liking. I understand they need to make money but I’m not sure learning some basic concept over 30-45 minutes followed by another 1-1:30 hour of selling you a course added much value.

    The other thing I was very disappointed about is the free course gave the impression Harv Eker would be there… Well some guy named Doug turned up (from the US) and conducted it. He wasn’t too bad but there was no reference to this before hand which I thought was a bit misleading.

    Also, toward the end of the first day (Fri 1st April), whilst Doug was trying to sell one of the courses you could buy, 2 people got up and started to walk out toward the exit at the back of the room. This was around 10:30 pm – we’d been there from around 9 am that morning. Doug asked where they were going and they said they were listening as they continued to walk out. He wasn’t too happy and said to the remaining crowd something to the effect of “That’s f*cken rude. It’d be like me walking off the stage and leaving you guys here.” This may be true but I thought quite unprofessional. You also need to consider when this had happened Doug had been giving another sales pitch since about 9:45pm (about 45 minutes). To be honest, I was getting a bit bored of that continued tactic.

    Ultimately if you are going to make a difference in your own life you need to take action yourself… not through paying someone $2200 for a course. I have no doubt the course would make a difference but the last thing I want at the end of a 14 hour day is sales pitches for an hour or more when all the information has been given about the course beforehand.


    Australia has its own brand of LGATS. Large Group Awareness Training Seminar.
    Mitch J Behan.
    Founder and Owner-MJB SEMINARS
    Leader Supreme-self proclaimed GURU in his own CULT
    QUOTE: “Yes MJB is a Cult and I am your leader because you need me”.
    QUOTE:”My certainty is greater than any other human beings doubt”!
    Self confessed former DRUG ADDICT, DRUG DEALER, CRIMINAL.
    Uses Psychological techniques similar to those described in above postings by J-8 Mar 2010 and Kibby Lewis 24 Aug 2010.
    You are kept in a locked room with blinds drawn and cold air conditioning.
    No toilet breaks, no food, no drinks, no speaking unless given permission.
    Uncomfortable seating, sit bolt upright, no folding your arms across your chest, no slumping in your seat, no crossing your legs.
    Grim faced helpers checking on you and reminding you of the “rules”
    Long discourses on Spiritual levels, and Quantum Science quackery.

    A non qualified person teaching on this subject is ludicrous because with Quantum Physics and Quantum Mechanics even after 3 years of study at University you would still be a “babe in the woods” on the subject.

    Here’s how he advertises himself on one google blurb.:
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Mitchell J Behan

    Educator, Master Communicator

    Founder of MJB Seminars, Mitch Behan is a master educator and communicator in the area of personal transformation. With over 18 years experience in the Personal Development industry he has transformed the lives of thousands of people worldwide.
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . .
    Sounds good doesnt it?
    Well here is how he treats people attending his Seminars.
    QUOTE:”Dont get in my face or I will rip you appart in front of the whole group”!
    He will stare down every single person at the start of his Seminar Relationships and You, and intimidate them.
    He will order each person to move from where they are seated and he will decide where they sit.
    Good way to stop you sitting near a friend who might encourage you, and themselves, to leave when things get weird.
    He is rude, aggressive,arrogent, and tears people apart with ridicule in front of the other participants.
    Emilia his cohort is equally as rude and arrogant with participants.
    Mitch will tell you that you are not an earthly being waiting to die and go to heaven.
    You are a Spirit that has come down from the celestial plane.
    Your not vibrating at the right frequency and your living in the lower level of the spiritual planes that is why your not successful.
    However Mitch and Emilia are here to teach you how to rise up to higher levels and resonate at the right frequency to be able to attract wealth and success into your life.

    First you have to be Pertubated, (in other words stressed and pushed to the brink of emotional and physical collapse).

    Then you will have a Quantum Collapse(a word they use to describe if you are reduced to crying or falling asleep from exhaustion).

    Then you will be Equilibrated-(Mitch or Emila or one of the grim faced helpers will take you aside and talk to you.(this means that every emotional memory you have of your life, particularly your childhood will be reversed-ie loving parents will be changed to abusive parents. You will be convinced that you wanted, enjoyed being a victim of abuse in any form, even sexual or physical, and it is your responsibility because you chose for it to happen).You have to be grateful for EVERYTHING life has thrown at you, take responsibility for it, because YOU caused it to happen.
    The universe was teaching you a lesson and you were too thick to learn it soon enough so it kept happening to you.

    Now you will be told that you have “GOT IT” and you are Vibrating at a Higher Frequency and are now a Light Bearer for Humanity.

    Of course they will tell you “Don’t tell your family and friends any of this”-“They wont understand”(TRANSLATION: They might tell you that your brain has been F***ed with, and you need to really evaluate that.)
    Next go forth and multiply by conning everyone you know into attending your Graduation evening where they will get the hard sell to attend a Seminar.
    If they dont come to that, then get them to come to an Information evening-it equates to the same thing-Hard Sell.
    Of course you have done the 48 hrs to “Transform your Life”and give you wealth, health, happiness, love,success, fantatic sexlife, BUT! wait! there’s more!
    You really need to go to the next Seminar, and the next, and the next…….
    If you get so far as to do the Student Teacher Prophet Seminar then you will litterally get your leg pulled!
    Yes! You really will get your leg pulled, and your arms and your head!!!
    Mitch or one of his buddies will lay you on a sloping bed and pull your head, and then each limb, and wait for it!
    You have been Beta balanced! WOW! Medical mystery?????
    Somehow Mitch has discovered that he and his trusty trained staff, can balance the two hemispheres of your brain.
    WOW! now you will feel calmer, isnt that wonderful :)
    You are now QUALIFIED to go out into the world and set up your own Self Improvement and Self Development business because Mitch has now trained you in all the great secrets of how to be successful.
    Kaching! Kaching! Kaching! Oh I love the sound of cash registers in the morning.

  • Great informative blog, I have had the pleasure of meeting Harv and speaking with him at his home, I was contractedto do some work for him on his spare lot, he was quite frugal but you might be too if you bought a 10 mil house that’s worth 4 now. He did treat me with respect and began telling me about his principles and how he came about with his book seminars, he truly believes in what he has to offer through the programs and after reading half his book I can say it holds alot of water, people are very confined by what has been programed or blueprinted into there being by family society, and overall environment. The ability to reset those ingrained habits through simple exercises and having the guts to take responsibility for ones own actions success or failure is what separates the people that guide their lives to success or simply let life be controlled by fear and greed, it is your choice! I can understand the disgust that comes from seeing people treated like sheep as you know if it sells there are marketing agents that mazimize profits and will do what it takes to sell sell sell. I say read the book take some responsibility for your actions and form your own opinion by questioning everything. Peace!
    P.s educate yourself on the biggest upsellers of all the FED with there fake fiat currency sycheme and exponential debt banking trick. Zeitgeist.com

  • christian

    I am a german clinical psychologist, 3 weeks ago I had the chance to visit a “Millionaire-Mind-Seminar” in Barcelona with an old schoolfriend. A on first sight sympathic appearing Mr. T. Harv Eker peak-potential trainer, first of all salesman, tried to sell his absurd expensive trainings throughout the free seminar to all participants (about 1200 people) . He ran this seminar in Berlin just about 6 weeks ago. I did a lot of psychological self-experiences and in my opinion a lot of psychological elements (mental programming, suggestions from hypnotherapy, NLP and highly emotional experiencing) were misused to make the partcipants buy his courses. Misused, because elements of psychotherapy were associated in unrelated terms: “..only the people with the right mind and out of their comfort-zone….., will achieve success and what else….. “. This LGAT created a state of mindless, subconsciuos euphoria”. Highly dangerous for people with emotional and/or financial problems, interesting for people, that want to surf on the wave of self-experience, but overall highly manipulative and with a high risk of emotional addicction. Effective Interventions (such as restructuring of dysfunctional thoughts…) were connected to wrong conclusions, amidst circular reasoning (“People who avoid fear, will never achieve wealthfare … ” a few steps later the sale of the courses becomes triggered by elements of fear: “People, that do not buy these courses now, will always fail to see the right options in their life..and so on….” the whole thing in perfect timing and cleverly arranged for instant selling. As this guy is trying to spread on the european market and as he is up to now unknown to critical opinions, he had good chances, to sell his courses in Berlin and Barcelona: approximately in Berlin and Barcelona respectively150-200 people (150 x 8800 Euro = 1,32 million Euros), wich mostly had not been aware, that they just payed the entrance fee to some sort of cult under the guise of a motivational training. In my experience I coincide 100% with Niels experience in 2008.
    Good way to become a millionaire…

  • Redds

    I find it so funny that people are so willing to call groups “cults”. I believe that people have a natural tendency to gravitate towards groups but somehow the predominant American culture of individualism has told us that “groups or LGAT is a bad thing”. We should be selfish and capitalist in our thinking all the time.

    Im a little disappointed that the skepticism that is pervasive here doesnt extend to other systems that we consider normal. It is normal for us to pay thousands of dollars each year to insurance companies for them to make billions of profits but we dont see anything wrong with that because it has become “normal”. College funds and retirement funds are also diverted to make such payments but that is okay.

    Its also normal for us to allow, smart, Ivy-leagued trained people to take our moneys through investment programmes and let it disappaear through a magic trick called credit default swaps and other derivatives but we are totally oblivious to that kind of theft or trickery. Enron, Worldcom and other entities resulted in the loss of college funds and retirement funds and there was no appropriately applied skepticism in those cases.

    Do you want to add value? Spend your time studying something “normal” systems or structures that we have grown to accept that are robbing people of hard earned dollars and their dignity on a daily basis.

    Landmark, Millionaire Mind etc are teaching people to step outside of the ordinary and while it may not appeal to Niels, it appeals to other people. We are so eager to call anything that is outside of the norm a scam. In my mind, the programmes that they sell at Ivy Leagues are more scams because they turn out business people with zero ethics and alot of greed. Add value by challenging those systems or people.

  • When I took the MMI in Denver, the trainer told an unbelievable story of having survived being burned in a house fire. Everybody got roped into the emotion. It dawned on my later that he didn’t appear to have any visible scars: face, hands, neck….When I broached this with someone sitting next to me on day two, he said that he had taken the MMI in Seattle, with a different trainer, but who told the same story!!!!!!

  • HellNo

    Thanks for saving me from this capital B. S. My gut initially told me this was a type of ”scam” although touchy aficionados do not want to call it what it is, for whatever reason.

    I am hearing things like people are paying $9999 USD to take these “courses”, and ”bring a $100 bill with you to the course is a requirement. Well I am guessing that this particular bill will stay in someone else’s pocket by the time the 3 day seminar is over.

    Save the $10,000 for your kids education, or hell, go blow it at a Casino, god knows it will be better spent there.

  • willie

    i feel umotivated to write as lengthy a response as this likely justifies.

    in brief, over three years my girlfriend and i attended mmi. my girlfriend and i purchased the quantum leap program. we attend many camps and courses including warrior, wizard, ultimate leadership, train the trainer, business school and more. both of us paid for it with credit cards. today, without hesitation, we will both say that the courses have paid for themselves several times. we both enacted career changes that have led us to earn a combined $50k+ more annually. the income’s a byproduct of the attitude that one can learn by from attending the peaks courses.

    have you noticed that no one who attended a peaks course such as the camps actually criticized it here?? ultimate leadership camp taught me lessons that i failed to learn from attending tier 1 mba courses. the experience so ingrained the lessons in me that i still utilize them almost daily in business. warrior and train the trainer forever changed me. five days at train the trainer elevated my public speaking to a much higher level than two years of toast masters. what’s that worth today? five years from one? how many more deals have i successfully closed since then and will close in the next five years? what’s the confidence -real or delusional- that i feel worth?

    peak potential, like any experience – whether a course, your job, technology, etc- is a tool. given a tool, some will create a work deemed a masterpiece by some and as absolute rubbish by others. who’s right? if considered worthless today and priceless 100 years from now, what’s the real value today? two people experience the same event and one finds it life changing and while the other walks away unmoved. how come? the mindset and expectations with which we enter any situation determines our experience. i feel immensely grateful for the peak potentials experience. i created some amazing, amazing amazing relationships. some of my dearest friends in the world i met through peaks. i have a loving and supportive network of people in the usa and canada on whom i know i can depend. what’s that worth? what’s the feeling of love and support worth?

    too often we take a short-sighted view about money and investing. i’ve invested a considerable amount of energy and resources in my self-development. i meditate daily -the single greatest way to change your life. change the mindset and we change our lives in every way financially, emotionally and spiritually. i guide my son with many of the principles gleaned from peaks. i feel immensely blessed and proud of him. many of the lessons that i learned enabled me to raise a fantastic child. what’s that worth?

    is peak potentials for everyone? is attending university for everyone? is an office job? construction work? unlikely. peaks worked for me. for those who shared their perspectives here and judge without experiencing peaks at all, ask yourself how such attitudes manifest in your life? as another poster shared. the real assessment of the value of peaks comes from following up with those who completed the courses years later and asking about the ultimate impact on their lives. proponents of chemotherapy will quote its success and yet when one evaluates its success rate beyond 5+ years, it appears no better than doing nothing. what did you do with $10-20k you saved by avoiding the experience that could have changed you forever? do some real research and talk to people who attended peaks courses a couple of years of more ago. ask them if they found and valuable and would they do it again. is that the real measure of its value?

    i criticize peaks and t harv eker, perhaps for the heavy emphasis they place on money. yet, as i say that, i recognize that they do that because it motivates people to act. the camps -warrior, wizard and ultimate leadership- were amazing transformational experiences that have little to do with money and yet have a lot to do with. success -whether financially or whatever it means to you- has everything to do with attitude. many people attend peak courses multiple times. guess they failed to see through scam the first time? perhaps and invalid question: who do you associate with success? (naysayers , doubters, skeptics, pessimists) vs (optimists, hopefuls, inquisitive, curious)? when approaching death, we most regret what we didn’t do NOT what we did do.

    btw, i also attended mmi in denver where the trainer gave account of his burns. his name is doug nelson. during that event i walked up to doug and shook his and spoke to him. i clearly saw the burns on his skin. he also led one of the camps that i attended and again, he burns were evident. so, not sure about the comment that implies deceit about his burns. here’s doug’s bio: http://is.gd/yXof00 and here’s a link to his book “catch fire” http://amzn.com/1600375286 not trying to help him sell books. just lending credibility about him and his burns.

    okay, not so brief as i intended. guess that i got a bit long-winded. i wish you love and joy in your endeavours.

    be grateful. be love. be joy.

  • Dan

    I also attended the initial 3-day training event a number of years ago back when his book first came out and all you needed to do was bring a voucher that was included with the book to “get in”.

    I thought the basic financial principles were ok. Using the jar system is never a bad idea. Budgeting. Breaking your mental barriers regarding how you view money (good, bad, indifferent). It does affect how you spend and how you save. But, it all stops there. My friend and I also bought one of the next level courses (can’t remember the name anymore) – but it was the one that claims to teach you how to become a millionaire. After the 1st day I demanded my money back. After a few weeks of constant pestering, I did indeed get my money back. It was tough, but, doable.

    I demanded my money back because the “course” was not about teaching you how to make money but how to play the stock market, use the internet, gather information, and this is where I almost lost it – having people stand up there recommending stocks to buy. This was pre-2008 stock meltdown, so stocks were riding high. But still, more like a jim cramer show that a fundamental approach to building wealth. I was ticked.

    As far as all the other courses go, my friend did indeed take the courses. She’s like that, she enjoys those types of things and in many ways, it has helped her. She’s no millionaire today, but, is she a better person? maybe. But I am a millionaire today and I was deeply in debt when I took the ekart course. I not only got out of debt but accumulated wealth not because of anything I learned from harv (I hate the jar method), but, simply sticking to tried and true methods.

    Spend MUCH less than you make. Develop a plan and stick to it. Be relentless in saving. Ignore the tony robbins and harvs of the world – their goal is to become rich off of you. And do not gamble in the casino’s or stock market. Keep it simple. Yes, it’s boring and simple. And that’s the point. And nobody else is going to make a fortune off of you in the process.

  • Philip hempel

    I hope this open your eyes and your mind.

  • I really appreciate the through review and response based on what you observed, Niels and grateful for the honorable way you shared what was your experience. I resonate with much of what you wrote.
    I also appreciate the Quantum Leap (QP) member Willie, sharing his experience.
    I’ve been very close to purchasing one of the programs or packages myself. I have read mixed reviews and have heard mixed things from people that have taken them.
    I too am aware of some of the manipulative or persuasion techniques used and often wonder if it isn’t possible to accomplish the same thing by inspiring and empowering people. My own personal experience has been if people experience value they will want to continue learning from where they had that experience. And if something works persistently people tend to want to share it with others.
    I’ve only taken one of the courses on trading stocks and I felt it was misrepresented and not for novices (which I was told before signing up). I also paid for a friend to go who knew more about stocks and trading than I did, and she got a little value from it but she did not feel it was worth the price of admission and much of it was over her head as well. Aside from that I have no personal experience, but if I decide to take one of the courses or the QL or other program I would be delighted to report back (not only my experience) but also the results I gleamed from it/them.
    Thank you again for your review!

  • Carole

    WOW! a lot of testimonials. Very interesting to see the point of vue… All is perception has I can see. I love the post of Willie. Very mature, write as it is. that it. I hope Willie will see this post and reply to me. This post was in 2012. I really want to exchange with him.. now it’s 3 years later! And need to know all the course about Peak potentials.

    Carole/in Canada.
    sorry about my basic english writing… I’m a french canadian woman :)

  • I was hooked into buying the Quantum Leep program in a group of 14, they sold it to us for $4,000. They told us we have 72 hours to cancel our credit card transaction and will get our full refund back. I looked at the back of the contract and sent in my cancelation letter exactly with the words they said to use, I sent it a number of times to make sure the email went through. I called the office and Lisa answered the phone, I told her I wanted to cancel Quantum leap and I am within the 72 hours. I told her I was in a group of 14 people. Lisa told me that because I was in a group and everyone was paying the price of $4,000. They all now have to pay the full price of $6,995.00.
    I said to Lisa the contract does not say this and they can’t just make up rules as they go along. I asked her who her boss was and she said she is the boss. Ok, What is the procedure to cancel within the 72 hours. She gave me an email address that did not work in Canada, but I called Canada and talked to someone in customer service and he said my cancelation went through and someone would be calling me for an exit interview. I went through the exit interview and the man wanted to know why I wanted to cancel. I told him I was caught up in the excitement but I can’t afford the big price tag. I told him I was in a group of 14. He told me that everyone else in the group will have to pay the full price now. I told hime I don’t know anyone in the group and the contract did not say that and no one ever told any of us this. It is illegal to make up things that the contract says to intimidate people into not to cancel a contract. I know it is easy to be caught up in all the brainwashing tactics that they use, but they lie. I had a friend call the office and she talked to Lisa and Guess what, Lisa offered her the price of $3995. to sign up for Quantum Leap and this was just the price for calling up out of the blue. oh, I’m still waiting for my money.

  • Michael


    Thanks for your reflections.

    I attended the MMI twice and both my wife and I purchased the Quantum course after the second time…for around $12K each, for a total of $25K – completely on credit cards. We were financially strapped at the time and soon realized that we couldn’t afford the plane fare and hotel expenses, etc. for most of the courses included in the Quantum package.

    However, we did manage to attend one course together. It focused on life purpose and was overly simplistic, drawing vision boards, basic role-playing, etc.

    My wife also attended a course on health, which turned out to be a non-stop infomercial marathon, featuring over a dozen authors, teachers and practitioners who would give an hour or two talk and then rolled out a paid offering.

    I attended one other course: Train the Trainer, which was, admittedly inspiring and informative, although we were also offered an upsell to Train the Trainer II which was deemed “essential” for our success. I also parted with another $600 to the key presenter, Blair Singer, for his materials which were part of yet another upsell.
    Despite the upsells, this was the one course I found helpful.

    The most disappointing part of the Quantum package was the year of “coaching” we received. The person who was assigned to us did not relate to my business, for starters. And in retrospect, her hours of coaching on setting up money jars (and eventually 6 separate checking accounts) did nothing for our money management or prosperity consciousness. In fact, a year latter, we went through personal bankruptcies.

    Then there were the “CAMPS.” We never did get to attend because no one would disclose the details of these weekends. We had medical conditions and needed to know, for our own welfare, the sleep schedule and whether there would be physical obstacles for us in the daily regime. (Later we learned there would have been obstacles for us.) A couple years later, a Peak Potential’s speaker, James Ray, was convicted and was sent to prison for neglect, after people died and others became sick during his own “camp” event in Arizona. In my opinion, our instincts were right in staying away from the Peak camps.

    Similarly to what you’ve written, it’s been hard to sort out what I find most objectionable. There’s some truth and value in the MMI training. Yet it seems to be used for a Peak Potentials money machine that cares very little if their customers actually get value. T. Harv, in fact, bragged from the stage that he sometimes makes millions of dollars during a weekend, while other trainers present, and he relaxes at home. I guess the MMI works great for him.

  • Jim Habegger

    You might have answered your own question about what was sickening to you: “I was amazed at how quickly 500 adults could be turned into mindless automatons, unquestioningly following every instruction.” Also, the willingness to do that to people, to sell a product.

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