10 fun ways to social hack an awareness training from the inside out

The Program is a novel by author Gregg Hurwitz. Although it’s fiction, The Program provides some great insight into abusive groups and destructive movements, as well as ways to social hack a Large Group Awareness Training.

In this case, social hack is used to refer to a method to literally disrupt and ideally completely destabilize the Large Group Awareness Training, from the inside out.

10 key ways to social hack a Large Group Awareness Training:

1) Act authoritatively. Destructive groups and abusive movements often model their staff and train their leadership after the one influential leader and founder of the group. They will not expect you yourself to also act in this manner. They often act authoritarian and totalitarian, as this is how these staff members are taught, to emulate and act like their leader and founder.

2) Bring a mental health professional as part of your social hacking group. Ideally this would be someone with a PhD in psychology or an M.D. with a specialty in psychiatry. This person would educate and brief the members of the social hacking team about tactics and methods of the group, and the dangers of getting in too deep into its thought patterns.

3) Bring an ex-member of the group in question. This ex-member should be someone intimately aware of the ways the group functions, and yet out for enough time to have fully gone through a period of cognitive dissonance and awakened back to a pattern to appropriately interact with society again.

4) Bring law enforcement or someone familiar with the law. This person will help brief the rest of the members of the social hacking team on their rights should staff from the destructive group or abusive movement falsely make claims about their actions during the seminar. This person would also be quite useful to conduct research into the possible criminal activities of the group and its founder and leader. This person should instruct all members of the social hacking team on ways to have fun disrupting and destabilizing the Large Group Awareness Training seminar, without doing anything illegal.

5) Don’t follow group mentality. Refuse to stand when everyone else stands. Don’t clap when everyone else claps. This will help you maintain your sense of self and independence throughout the attempts by the abusive group or destructive movement at influence and manipulation. If you are asked to explain yourself by a staff member of the abusive group, sample language from the book includes: “From what I’ve seen, I’m not sure if I like The Program yet. If I decide that I don’t like what’s going on here, I’m leaving. Thank you for having me here today.” (Obviously replace “The Program” with the name of whatever destructive group or abusive movement’s seminar you are attending.)

6) Politely interrupt the seminar with inquisitive questions. Make sure to be polite about this. Again, maintain a positive and happy attitude when doing this. Most likely other members of the seminar in the room full of 200 or so people will echo some of your concerns.

7) Assertively affirm your positive outlook on life. Wording suggested in the book by the fictional psychologist, character Dr. Glen Bederman is: “My Program is: I participate in activities that give me self-esteem, and I have the courage to decline to participate in those activities that do not.” This frames your reason for attending in a positive way that simultaneously retains your own sense of self, independence, assertiveness, and self worth. It also signals to potential shills, dupes, and marks in the audience that they can similarly adopt your positive yet independent attitude and modus operandi while being in the seminar.

8) Maintain a positive and happy attitude. You are there to have a fun time. Act like it. Potential shills and suckers and marks will respond positively to you if you question the methods and tactics of the abusive group or destructive movement, while at the same time showing you are a happy and fulfilled person.

9) Bring a digital thermometer. Destructive groups and abusive movements will sometimes wildly alter the ambient temperature in the room where the seminar is conducted, in order to put attendees off balance. If you notice this pattern, politely but loudly question the staff on this, in front of the rest of the seminar participants so they can all hear your concerns.

10) Ask the staff loudly and politely if they are licensed to practice hypnosis. In the book, the fictional psychologist Dr. Glen Bederman asks: “Are you licensed to administer hypnosis in the state of California?” When the abusive group’s leader “TD” responds: “We’re not practicing hypnosis here. We’re simply meditating.”, Dr. Bederman loudly points out in earshot of the entire seminar: “Guided meditation is a form of hypnosis. Everyone in this room should know that.”

But wait, there’s more: There are plenty other helpful pointers to social hack a Large Group Awareness Training in this section of the book, and it’s all there on pages 323-337.

Other educational takeaways from the book:

pages 256-263: Exit counseling with psychologist Dr. Glen Bederman; this fictional character created by the author Gregg Hurwitz is likely an amalgam of non-fiction psychologists and psychiatrists who have studied victims of abusive groups and destructive movements.

pages 270-272: The investigator meets with postal inspector Owen B. Rutherford; the author Gregg Hurwitz in the book’s Acknowledgements section credits postal inspector Mike McCarthy for his research in this area. What’s most interesting about this part of the book is the postal inspector character’s statements about the crime of tampering with U.S. mail. The section of the book deals with an abusive group and destructive movement that takes away mail from its members that live on its controlled compound, a crime which is: “Most obviously a Title 18, Section 1708 — theft or receipt of stolen mail matter, generally. But between theft, obstruction, and destruction, we could have over two hundred federal, criminal, and civil statutes.”

Says the character postal inspector Owen B. Rutherford: “Do you know what a thirty-seven-cent stamp buys you? … Not just delivery service. Oh, no. The thirty-seven cents buys you a fiduciary relationship with the United States Postal Service. We are custodians of private property. Namely: the mail. That private property belongs to the sender until it comes into the hands of the intended recipient. These jelly-spined bliss ninnies can’t grant the right for their leader to destroy incoming mail before it comes into their actual possession — it isn’t their mail to relinquish. First-class mail must be delivered, forwarded, returned to sender, or sent to the mail-recovery center. Any other act is a violation of the rights of the sender. A violation further of the sanctity of the mail and — make no mistake — it is as such a felony in its own right.”


This is all from The Program a novel by author Gregg Hurwitz. Check it out!


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?


Skeptictank.org. “Profile of Cult Leaders”.

Dannyhaszard.com. “Psychopathy and Characteristics of a Cult Leader”.

Truthonthenet.com. “Profile of a Cult Leader”.

Anandainfo.com. “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.

Comedy is a great communicator


Comedy is a great communicator

Through the use of comedy we can learn about the impact of Large Group Awareness Training on individuals after going through a taxing seminar.

Here is an example from comedian Daniel Ryan-Spaulding:



We hope you enjoy it!

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 Americanthinker.com 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 ChillingEffects.org, 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 BoingBoing.net 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.