93 comments

I have never once in my life written a review for anything i've done, read, or taken part in. I usually find myself just sharing to others what i have experienced in person. I don't wish to take much time as i'm about to sit down and don't want to be typing forever.

I'm a successful person living an abundant life in many many ways that is knowledgable about the human mind, spirituality, mediation, sexuality, music, yoga, health through eating and exercise, etc...

I have never experienced such powerful change from anything i have ever done before. I used to go to music festivals and find a sense of community and growth there that i found unique and exhilarating in ways that brought me back time and time again. I found my self slowly swaying to one's over time that were less drug oriented and more spiritually based due to my attraction of the community workshops that would happen where i could find a sense of growth together with others.

I found that in the cleanest, most nuetral, powerful manner at Satvatove. It changed my life and continues to every day I use the tools I learned since the last course day.

I could type forever about the things within me that have shifted ever since reuturing from my first Satvatove course and i'd just like to point out that i did not notice or get any cult hare krishna feelings while attending the seminar. Just because hindu quotes are spoken of at some moments and the word Sattva stems from that part of the world does not mean any of that is pushed on anyone. It's all perception I guess, but I just attended what was the biggest foundational course they ever had and everyone there was in deep bliss and peace from the things they came to realize. I've never felt that close and comfortable with other's, something I didn't know i had been looking for for a long time. It's not about the course, it's about you and your growth, truly.

I deeply recommend looking into your heart and seeing if it's for you.

:)

Love and Peace

Namaste

Reason of review: Good customer service.

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Anonymous
#1608917

I deeply empathize with the individuals who wrote the positive reviews of Satvatove, and I wish them well. Being a Satvatove graduate myself, I understand that these people have been through a very intense course of what is effectively brainwashing, whereby they have come to accept ideas and tenets that are not their own, that are not even real, but are presented as if they are fact and as truth.

In essence, the reviews read like the authors had been indoctrinated into Satvatove World. It is surprising how fast this can happen, but Satvatove builds on the experience of companies (Lifespring, etc.) that have had decades to perfect this dark art of theirs and know how to do it well. You see...there is a distinct link between language and thought - scrambling language in the way that Satvatove does can only induce confused thinking. Satvatove's very concepts and their use of language create confusion - this is partly what has people going back to it.

They need to keep going back to try and make sense of what they have been taught, which of course they never do - because it doesn't make sense. They merely end up becoming sucked deeper into the "rabbit hole". I experienced a state of confusion and disorientation during the Satvatove basic course. It got worse when doing the advanced course.

Yes, there is coercive persuasion during the Satvatove basic course, but the advanced course takes it to another level. The advanced course is smaller, not necessarily more intimate, but more intense. They really try to break you down there. It's very deep...and very destructive.

The multi-day event involves sensory deprivation (our seminar room had no windows, you cannot see passage of time, short breaks and not much time for eating), distortion of normal sleep patterns (due to very long hours, and homework given overnight), sensory overload (lots and lots of information given in very short time which is hard to process), rigid authoritarian leaders who go from put-downs to praise and eventually manage to get the participants to empathize with his/her abusive behavior, plus peer pressure from a large group, public humiliation, confession of very intimate information that one would never usually discuss with strangers and a whole host of psychological pressures and manipulative techniques including covert hypnosis and covert guided meditation. I'm sure you can imagine what this does to the brain and what stress this puts the average person's mind under. Werner Erhard, an early pioneer of the "transformational seminar" industry, said that his aim was to blow the mind - literally. By causing a mental collapse (either full or partial) Satvatove is able to then insert its own thought patterns into someone else's head and by continually repeating ideas over and over again, as well as the covert hypnosis, people come to accept these things.

Also bear in mind that if someone goes there on the recommendation of a trusted friend, they are more willing to accept what they are being told (this is also why Satvatove uses word of mouth rather than advertising). Graduates of Satvatove's advanced course have had their sense of reality subjected to an intense attack.

Even when they're acting like they're invincible, at some level they're questioning what's real and what's not. They will require a further dose of Satvatove if they're to keep that feeling of invincibility up.

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1609842

During a Satvatove seminar, I witnessed a participant undergoing what appeared to me as a very serious psychological breakdown. Symptoms included seemingly incoherent speech (circular repetition of Satvatove dogma), seeming disorientation...followed by physical self-injury, resulting in physical wounding.

The seminar was temporarily stopped. The participant did not return to complete the seminar with the rest of us. That is to say, we moved on without that participant...we left them behind. Marie Glasheen proceeded to give us a bizarre and voodoo-tier non-explanation of what we had just witnessed and experienced.

The seminar resumed. Just like Marie Glasheen, I am not a trained or certified mental health professional. What follows is simply my best understanding, based on reading, contemplation and personal experience. Take it with a grain of salt.

The phenomenon of "Satvatove breakdowns" may be, at least in part, a result of the type of information that Satvatove gives you. Along with some arguably useful interpersonal communication skills...Satvatove gives you some other information that is false, misleading, circular, illogical, irrational, extreme and totally subjective. Yet they present is as factual, almost scientific, and objective. Your brain tries to wrap itself around all of this new, overwhelming and erroneous information and finds itself unable to function properly.

You may experience some degree of impaired psychological functioning, as a result of Satvatove participation. Because some of the Satvatove content is in itself crazy-making. There is a theory that our minds work with a "schema" - ie. an internal representation of the world...one that is different for different people.

Satvatove gives you David Wolf and Marie Glasheen's schema, their understanding of the world. And their understanding of the world borrows heavily from "Dr" John Hanley's (Lifespring). David and Marie present it as how the world is (and the facilitators do believe that this is how the world is), rather than telling you that it is simply two human beings' (warped) belief system (maybe because they do not know themselves). So, you already have your own schema, which your entire life revolves around and which you have had, and has developed, since you started making sense of the world, when you were born.

But then you go to Satvatove and they give you a totally different one (their own). In a nutshell, they are trying to very quickly and brutally alter your inner world and thought-structures. There is no way that this cannot result in confusion. For those with highly developed mental schema, it will cause disruption and will most certainly be problematic.

Satvatove also tries to destroy your own understanding of the world, leaving you in a position where you now have this new value system which you did not choose, you did not ask for, and which you have no idea how to make work in your life, since it doesn't belong to you. This might not necessarily result in a mental breakdown. What may happen to you, as it happened to me, is that your life may stop working in some way. Or that things may stop working for you, in certain very important areas of your life.

If you had a healthy mind before you went into Satvatove, you might not necessarily have a healthy mind once you come out. There are of course some things in Satvatove that could be useful to someone who is irresponsible/immature - e.g. being responsible for your life.

However, Satvatove does not model the extreme personal responsibility that they strive to inculcate in their seminar participants. The glaring example is how they absolve themselves of personal responsibility for harm that results from Satvatove seminar participation.

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1609846

John Hanley (founder of Lifespring) is currently affiliated with Leadership Training and Development Group.

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1611515

Satvatove takes you through an exercise where you deeply reflect on instances in your life when you broke commitments (promises) to others and to yourself…and you consider how hurtful and self-destructive the fallout from this was. The exercise partly sets you up to not drop out of the course, even when the course becomes blatantly abusive and coercive…even when it becomes clear that the facilitators have let it slip through their fingers…and that the whole thing is beginning to spin out of control.

One of the Satvatove-related commitments that you make in connection with the seminar…is not to reveal to others what has been done to you (and to others) during the seminar. However, this must be viewed in a larger context. David Wolf himself gives an example of someone who breaks their commitment of arriving to work on time…in order to help a dying person on the side of the road. This person ends up breaking the lesser commitment of arriving to work on time…in order to keep the larger commitment to help others in distress…when possible.

They do this in order to live as a person of integrity. In simpler terms, to save a life is more important that getting to work on time. The vow of silence about the content of the Satvatove seminar can be viewed in the same way.

When you promised not to reveal to anyone what would be done to you (and to others) during the seminar…this was probably done with the assumption that what would be done to you (and to others) would be reasonable…and therapeutic…even if intense. To give an extreme example…if during the Satvatove seminar, they were to tie participants down and stick sewing needles under their fingernails…would it still make sense to keep quiet?

Anonymous
#1602740

Satvatove is pseudo-intimacy and pseudo-spirituality.

Anonymous
#1598180

Satvatove's promotional materials and graduate testimonies do not discuss the negative psychological effects that can occur during, and subsequent to, the Satvatove training. While making use of some VERY powerful behavior modification techniques, many of the Satvatove personnel are not qualified to assess psychopathology.

To put it in a different way, Satvatove uses techniques indiscriminately which, in a certain proportion of the population, are known to be harmful and potentially quite dangerous. Taking all of this (and more) into careful consideration, I have serious concerns about the implications of the Satvatove phenomenon, and I believe that people should know more about it.

Anonymous
#1596467

Satvatove courses have nothing to do with being a Hare Krishna. Satvatove (like the Lifespring work that preceded it) is, philosophically, based on existentialism, with a dollop of Zen, and a dash of Napoleon Hill positivism (the part I found least appealing).

It is a series of immersive psychological games designed to elicit strong emotional responses from participants that, in theory, are supposed to lead to insights about dysfunctional patterns they have been subconsciously following. These insights are intended to illuminate more productive patterns that are available. This is not terribly esoteric stuff - words like responsibility, integrity, commitment, leadership, and connection are the catch-phrases. Sometimes it doesn't work.

Sometimes it backfires big-time, resulting in profound psychological harm. To counter-balance this, obviously, there are also people who did the Satvatove workshops and found them to be valuable. The best thing I got out of the course was a commitment to clarity, which I then applied to the Satvatove course experience itself. Is there a way to objectively measure "success" in Satvatove?

It's difficult because it's hard to parse what might have happened anyway. I will say that a host of negative results occurred after I did the training, both professionally and personally. Subjectively, I feel that much of it was a direct result of the severe self-worth issues that the workshops triggered, but I acknowledge that anecdotes are not evidence. Some of the positive reviewers seem to have come here exclusively to defend Satvatove.

Is Satvatove perfect?

Absolutely not. It's made and run by humans and we know what screw-ups they can be.

Anonymous
to Allergic2NewAgeWooWoo #1596472

I made the mistake of allowing myself to get sucked into something I thought was going to help me when really it was damaging. Always do your research.

Anonymous
to Allergic2NewAgeWooWoo #1598372

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14639947.2014.932490?scroll=top&needAccess=true&journalCode=rcbh20&

Anonymous
#1590307

Little does the potential recruit know that the Satvatove educational seminar, motivational course, or training, whatever it is called, isn't really something new, or a "breakthrough," but instead simply another spin off from the so-called "transformational industry," which began in America during the 1970s. Satvatove is actually based upon established techniques used by much older LGATs like Mind Dynamics, Lifespring and Werner Erhard's seminars (EST), often called the Forum and now known as Landmark Education.

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1596470

In fact, at the original est workshops led by Werner, who could get pretty abusive, they used to have a psychiatrist on call to handle any psychotic breaks that occurred. So they must have anticipated the possibility.

Of course it's a possibly...when they are crushing strongly held paradigms. It WAS a possibility in est and it is STILL a possibility in Satvatove. Having a psychiatrist on-call was not limited to est or the sessions lead by Werner. This practice was still going on with The Forum (late 1980's) with any leader facilitating.

Life = risk. There's at least some risk involved with everything we do, including sitting here at the computer.

Anonymous
to LifeIsRisk #1596477

On ComplaintsBoard (dot) com, there is an interesting post about about Impact Trainings and Lifespring, written under the username "FormerImpacter". I witnessed someone harmed by Satvatove, in a way similar to what is described there: "While the report is about LifeSpring, the early phases (and possible even the later phases) of the Impact Trainings are a virtual clone of Lifespring.

Every single Lifespring process outlined in the article including (but not limited to), trust exercises, Red Black Game, Language Changes, sitting before the loud music ended, etc were a part of my experience with the impact trainings.

I also observed breakdowns among participants similar to the one experienced by 'Patrick' in the link. Please take a look, it explains LGATs (and specifically Impact Trainings) much better than I ever could."

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1596478

Here is the link that FormerImpacter includes with the post: https://www.culteducation.com/group/1026-lifespring/12660-pathology-as-personal-growth-a-participant-observation-study-of-lifespring-training.html

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1596479

The entire thread at ComplaintsBoard (dot) com is worth reading: https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/impact-trainings-misrepresentation-lgat-c740400.html

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1596488

There is a thread on reddit about Impact Trainings...relevant to the Satvatove experience. The opening post includes FormerImpacter's review from ComplaintsBoard.

However, that posting is followed by some interesting comments, which don't also appear in the ComplaintsBoard thread. Here is the link: https://www.reddit.com/r/Scams/comments/2re61l/impact_trainings_is_paying_ripoff_report_2000_to/ Some excerpts: "...like scientology the organization is good at making people think they are improving themselves even in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary (affairs, inconsistent employment, poverty, etc.). I don't think Impact is an extension of any religion but they definitely incorporated techniques that appeared, to me, to be specifically aimed at people with some LDS background. They appealed to non-LDS as well though so I think they were somewhat flexible in their approach.

Impact was careful to state repeatedly that they are not a religion or alternative to psychotherapy but in my opinion they doth protest too much. (...) I believe Impact to be a scam by design so I doubted reconciliation was possible; the entire LGAT model is a well documented scam. (...) These organizations cause a great deal of harm and awareness is important. (...) the difficulty is that they operate in a very grey legal area.

Similar to churches, they are given much more room to do crazy stuff. The LGAT phenomenon has been around for decades and legislators don't seem to care."

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1596495

Here's a link to a 1990 article about Lifespring, Impact, The Training, New Horizons, CrossRoads, Erhard Seminars Trainings and The Next Step. Reading the article made me wonder if Dorothy Solomon ever got her book about the dark underside of transformational trainings published. I was able to find her book about growing up in polygamy, on Amazon...but have not (yet) found anything about the book mentioned in the article: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/81482/SELF-HELP-OR-LOST-HOPE.html

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1596619

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/est-werner-erhard-and-the-corporatization-of-self-help-2003

Anonymous
to NoSoapRadio #1598182

https://www.revolvy.com/page/Getting-It:-The-Psychology-of-est

Anonymous
to NoSoapRadio #1598183

https://www.revolvy.com/page/Outrageous-Betrayal

Anonymous
#1588845

The Satvatove training uses emotional stress to break down the participant's resistance to conformity with Satvatove concepts, the foremost being that the only reality is subjective -- everything that happens to a person occurs as a result of his or her own intentions. This seems to be carried far beyond rational limits.

At the end of the Satvatove training, participants feel that these ideas are coming from within themselves, rather than having been put there by the trainers. The whole thing has a flavor of radical subjectivity and a contempt for critical evaluation of ideas and beliefs. Questions from the participants about the Satvatove training are strongly discouraged. Some of you might naturally be curious to know if Satvatove has any validated psychological theory behind its training.

Apparently it does not. Nor do the most of the instructors and volunteers, apart from David Wolf, have any particular psychological training. The evidence is mixed as to whether Satvatove training is dangerous. There are certainly cases of real harm to some individuals, but no good studies that show a high risk to most participants, however stressful the experience may be.

In fact, there are no studies at all that I am aware of, about the Satvatove training. The closest thing that you will find are studies about the Lifespring training (from which Satvatove is derived). Does Satvatove training do any lasting good? The organization certainly has testimonials from participants who feel they have been helped in some way by it.

However, there are no studies of Satvatove (or Lifespring) showing any improvement in participant's functioning in any objective sense. One would think Satvatove might be interested in getting such hard evidence, but it apparently prefers to attract customers by word of mouth, personal testimonials and peer-group pressure. The subject obviously has legal, ethical and philosophical dimensions besides the scientific questions about validation or risk. Fortuitously, the Internet makes available a wealth of information about the Lifespring training, and about the many Lifespring training offshoots (of which Satvatove is but one).

There is also a lot of information available about "large-group awareness trainings" (LGATs), in general. Before you sign up for a Satvatove course, you may want to read some of it.

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