Best 9 ways to check if your group is led by a dangerous charismatic leader


Best 9 ways to check if your group is led by a dangerous charismatic leader

Is your Large Group Awareness Training being led by (or founded by) a dangerous charismatic leader? Here are the best 9 ways to find out, with some additional resources below:

1) Is your charismatic leader manipulative, does he act like a con artist?

2) Does your charismatic leader maintain a grandiose sense of self? Does she feel everything is owed to her as a right?

3) Is your charismatic leader a pathological liar? Does he lie even when it is obvious or even in small situations when it is unnecessary?

4) Does your charismatic leader have a lack of remorse? Does she not show any guilt or signs of shame for dangerous or even possibly criminal behavior she may have performed in the past?

5) Is your charismatic leader a thrill seeker? Does he have a need for stimulation? Does he partake in dangerous thrill seeking behavior in his spare time?

6) Does your charismatic leader have a lack of empathy? Is she callous? Does she ridicule others in public or in front of large groups of people?

7) Is your charismatic leader impulsive or have poor behavior control mechanisms? Is he prone to making large purchases of extravagant gifts for himself? Is he prone to fits of rage or abuse? Does he command others to perform abuse on his behalf?

8) Did your charismatic have early onset of behavior problems? Was she a juvenile delinquent? Was she cruel to others as a youngster? Did she have early failed relationships?

9) Is your charismatic leader unfaithful to his sexual partners? Is he promiscuous? Does he have a disturbing pattern of serial adultery or infidelity? Were there reports of child abuse, child sexual abuse, or rape committed or allegedly committed by the charismatic leader?

Resources: “Profile of Cult Leaders”. “Psychopathy and Characteristics of a Cult Leader”. “Profile of a Cult Leader”. “Cult Leaders: The Master Manipulator”.


Tobias, Madeline Landau; Janja Lalich. Captive Hearts, Captive Minds. (1994). Chapter 5: “Characteristics of a Cult Leader”. pp. 67-79.

Note: Captive Hearts, Captive Minds is an excellent resource for further info, many of the questions above were drawn from warning signs about charismatic leaders in this section of the text.


Disappointing lunch

Disappointing lunch

Knox Bronson Music and Art

Knox Bronson gives a most interesting audio commentary on a controversial Large Group Awareness Training. Take note of the entertainingly fervent responses in the comments section. See more at: Knox Bronson Music and Art.

Dean Brandon

Dean Brandon links readers to this intriguing reflection on a Large Group Awareness Training, in this post drawing attention to a YouTube video clip. Again the response posts make for amusing reading material.

The PR Verdict

The folks over at The PR Verdict analyze this disappointing lunch date, and they comment on the behavior of the subject being interviewed. Note what caused more than a hint of irritation from his luncheon companion.” The conclusion: “this was a disappointment.”

Food for thought

Is it possible that those same characters who often show up to praise leaders of controversial Large Group Awareness Training organizations themselves suffer from debilitating cognitive dissonance ?

The Huffington Post on ‘How Corporate America Is Turning Into a Cult’

The Huffington Post on ‘How Corporate America Is Turning Into a Cult’


“How Corporate America Is Turning Into a Cult and Why It’s Harming the American Employee”, by Ruth Whippman. The Huffington Post. November 24, 2012.

Two key points from this article:

1) “Over the last decade or so, a growing disconnect has developed between the bizarre and almost cult-like rhetoric and practices that companies use with their staff, and the increasingly grim reality of being an employee in modern day Corporate America.”

2) “It would seem that the more Corporate America demands cult-like devotion from its employees the worse it is able to treat them, and the less likely they are to complain. Yet given that the vast majority of Americans stand to lose rather than gain from this type of relationship, it is worth injecting a bit of healthy scepticism back into our assessment of our employers’ motives. Now that really would be empowering.”

Read the full article here over at The Huffington Post website.

Chilling Effects and American thinkers


LGATs in the News

November 16, 2012 – Jack Cashill writes in of the Peoples Temple group and what they came to realize at Jonestown in Guyana: “What they discovered was a South American gulag equal parts Werner Erhard and Pol Pot.”

Those are his words, we can’t make this stuff up folks, most interesting references by the above author to Werner Erhard and Pol Pot in the same sentence.


“Chilling Effects”

Here’s how “chilling effect” has been described online at RationalWiki: “A chilling effect describes a situation in which rights, such as free speech, are threatened by the possible negative results of exercising these rights. The effect is to silence criticism and freedom of expression, even in cases where criticism is perfectly valid.”

Interesting development at the website, a revealing look at a complaint over a 60 Minutes program by CBS about Werner Erhard from March 3, 1991 and attempts to remove multiple different types of references to it from the Internet.

Some background about prior history of that on the Internet at by Xeni Jardin, and more general background history in the biography Outrageous Betrayal by Steven Pressman, see for example some excerpts from that biography at the orange papers website.