Friday Evening - Psychological Breakdown
 
The second evening starts again at 7 P.M. By this time the class is 
trained to get to their seats when a particular piece of music is 
played. The agreement is to be in your seat and ready to begin when 
the music ends.
 
However a major traffic jam into the city has caused several people 
to be late myself included. This is a trainer's dream come true. One 
by one people were told to stand up and explain why they were late. 
No excuse was accepted. Every person was made to admit total 
responsibility for being late often revealing other patterns in 
their life where they were supposedly irresponsible. This often 
brought people to tears.
 
Dr. Singer writes in "Cults in Our Midst"
 
"Having observed a number of LGATs and having interviewed many 
persons who attended variants of these programs as part of their 
work assignments, I am astonished at the gross childishness and 
unkindness of humiliating anyone under the guise of education, 
experiential learning, or the claim that participation in such 
travesties enhances work performance. Nor do all participants find 
sessions of "sharing" personal details helpful."
 
Because I was late too I got "called to task" for breaking the 
agreement. Since I knew how that stupid game is played it irritated 
me. So the trainer was trying to get me to admit breaking the 
agreement and I said "that is your context not mine". The trainer 
hollered at me some more and finally I said "OK, I broke the 
agreement" and sat down.  The trainer ordered me to stand up I said 
"No, I decide to sit".  The trainer ordered me again and I said "I 
decide". So the trainer said "well just leave then". So I got up and 
left (my mistake, Doh!). See how the trainer wins every encounter?
 
Of course then the "handling" begins. When people get pissed off and 
walk out the door there is a staff member outside to "handle" you. I 
bitched a bit about it being all too predictable and that I didn't 
want to be right about this course but looks like I am anyway. I 
brought out the copy of Singer's chapter on LGATs and started 
quoting it to the handler. I also made comments like "How come every 
sentence you say starts with 'Are you open to the possibility...'" 
Finally I said just leave me alone for a few minutes and I sat and 
cleared away ALL the anger I was feeling with a little meditation 
trick I learned.  Then I really had fun with the handler. 
 
The handler asks me to come back in the course. I said "Hey, the 
trainer asked me to leave. Guess I'm not welcome in the course." 
 
The handler says "What would it take to get you to come back in the 
room?"
 
I said "An Invitation". 
 
"Well, I invite you to come back in"
 
I said "From the trainer"
 
She said "Well, I'm on the staff and I invite you back in"
 
I said "Let me get a glass of water and think about it."
 
So I hung out for about 15 minutes purposely having fun  with that 
handler. I even made her open the door and hold it for me going back 
in.
 
When I got back in the trainer was in the middle of another one of 
those fast paced lectures showing all the negative things in  
people's life and how it keeps them isolated from the possibilities 
outside their box.
 
Then the awareness exercises begin again; diads, open body posture, 
closed-eye reflections etc.
 
The victim game: Tell your partner a story about which you think you 
were a victim. Then your partner tells you one. After this the 
trainer instructs you to retell your story from the point of view 
that you were responsible and admitting your role in what happened.
 
They made me do it: This process involves stating as fast as you can 
things you were *made* to do. My mom made me clean my room. The IRS 
made me pay my taxes. My boss made me work. The traffic made me 
late. etc. etc.
 
I have to: This process involves finding out why you *have* to do 
things. It is a progression to the underlying cause of why you do 
things. I have to work. If I don't work, then I don't get paid. If I 
don't get paid then I can't make the house payment. If I can't make 
the house payment then the bank will foreclose. If the bank 
forecloses then I have no where to live. If I don't have a place to 
live then I'll freeze in winter. If I freeze in winter then I get 
sick. If I get sick then I die. THEREFORE, I would RATHER work then 
die.
 
The Red/Black game: After several of these types of processes it was 
time for the Red/Black game. In this game people are divided into 2 
teams and sent to separate rooms. Instructions were given to get the 
most number of points, elect a captain who will tally the votes, 
everyone has to vote and the count has to be taken exactly or it 
will be declared invalid.
 
There are 10 frames in this game like a bowling sheet. The 5th frame 
is double points, the 10th frame is triple points.  Points are 
accumulated from frame to frame. There is no communication to the 
other team other than a staffer runs back and forth between rooms 
and tells you how the other team voted. between frames. Each team 
votes on a color red or black with a simple majority. The trainer 
goes back and forth between the rooms and observes. There is 
absolutely no help from the staff. 
 
Scoring is as follows: 
 
Team A vote   Team B vote          Team A scores      Team B scores
 
Black         Black                 +3                +3
Red           Black                 +5                -5
Black         Red                   -5                +5
Red           Red                   -5                -5
 
It should be obvious that the scenario is win/win win/lose lose/win 
and lose/lose. There are people in each group that have figured the 
game out and tell the others the object of the game. The first frame 
is voted black/black. In the second frame red/black. The third frame 
black/red. From then on its red/red the whole way out resulting in a 
negative score to a negative score. Little did we know there was 
hell to pay...
 
By this time it was after 1 AM and we were told to file back into 
the main ballroom in silence. The trainer had a look that would 
kill. When we got to our seats we were ordered to close our eyes and 
the trainer yelled at us for 30 minutes straight. We were told that 
what we did in the game amounted to war and the way we played that 
game was the way we lived our lives. That lecture was filled with 
just about every negative behavior imaginable. You would have 
thought we were the leaders of Russia and America who just fired off 
an all-out nuclear exchange at each other and were now being called 
to account for it in hell. 
 
After a night of sleep deprivation and now another late night plus 
all the psychological opening exercises, this screaming lecture 
sends thunderbolts through your subconscious. I felt like with every 
sentence that a powerful jolt of electricity was sent through my 
nervous system.
 
We were told to leave in silence and were given an assignment to 
spend an hour reflecting on what we just did and to be back at 10 
AM. This is in addition to written homework due the next day. By 
this time it is going on 2 in the morning.
 
How to win the game?  Refuse to vote unless the whole team votes for 
the win-win scenario.
 

Click here for Day 3

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