Talk:Large-group awareness training/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

Criticisms Section 2007-01-18

In a transparent bit of real-world procrastination, I'm going to make another go of this by reintroducing this section "where angels fear to tread." Rorybowman 17:09, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

The citation you added does not mention LGATs at all, as far as I can tell. There are plenty more sources of criticism, I will add some later. Smee 17:56, 18 January 2007 (UTC).
Thanks, Smee! I had to do a *little* bit of my paying job today... 8^) I've added a few and separated the paragraph so it doesn't look as if a reference to one sentence was to the entire paragraph. Rorybowman 23:11, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Unbalanced, and criticism

I'm new to this page, thus not burdened by previous history. (Points separated to clarify discussion):

  • Wow, is this page unbalanced. All it does is present the DISCREDITED theories of Singer as if they are standard knowledge, credited theories in modern psychology. I am not a psychologist, but am a happy, satisfied customer of WEA's The Forum, and am surprised that this page is entirely negative. Ratagonia 18:04, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I have reworked the lead and the first section to make clear that the Dimpac report was rejected by the APA. A bit ham-handedly, I have to admit. Ratagonia 18:04, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
  • Overall, it seems that while the negative POV proponents (like Singer) may have created the term, the WIKI article on the subject should be balanced, and not give undue weight to the Singerite negative view (which was 100% of this articles content). Ratagonia 18:04, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
  • IS the term LGAT necessarily perjorative? I assume it is descriptive, and that there are positive and negative points of view on the subject (though perhaps the negative get the most press). Ratagonia 18:04, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

jargon alert

Large Group Awareness Training is a jargon term used by the anti-cult activists, primarly on the website. His website has attracted militant cult groupies who do not allow for any oposing views.

LGAT is not accepted by the American Psychological Association and should not be on wikipedia.

It is used as a collecting bucket so that anti-cult activists can label organizations and attempt to discredit them. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lsi john (talkcontribs).

The term "Large Group Awareness Training"

  • The term "Large Group Awareness Training" itself was not rejected as a result of the DIMPAC report, and is in fact still used by Scientists, Academicians, and Psychologists to this day. Smee 03:48, 31 March 2007 (UTC).
    • The term is still in use, as evidenced by this search yielding 48 books, on Google Books. Smee 04:13, 31 March 2007 (UTC).
      • I did not say it wasn't in use by anyone. Clearly its in use by the anti-cult movement. I said it is not a scientific term used by the APA. Quick verification of your google references yields a significant percentage that come from Rick Ross and the other non-degreed anti-cult activists.
      • Rick Ross never attended college: He has no formal credentials. The opinions in his books are not based on solid reliable scientific fact and procedure. He is on a crusade. So, why cite him as your references for something you claim is a legitimate term?
      • Wiki requires published sources. However, anyone can write a book (or 5 or 10) and use terms like LGAT. That does not make it a valid term in the scientific or medical community. Finding multiple books and papers written by unqualified non-degreed individuals does not make it a legitimate term/label. Lsi john 15:12, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
    • You may also want to refer to the book Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training: A Longitudinal Study of Psychosocial Effects (Recent Research in Psychology) - which utilizes the term frequently, the study was commissioned by Werner Erhard and Associates as a study of their course "The Forum". Smee 04:14, 31 March 2007 (UTC).

Tracing through the links will lead you to the same source and common group of people using the term. LGAT is not used by the American Psychological Association and there is no scientific standard for its application. It is used as a JARGON phrase in an attempt to discredit organizations which are targeted by anti-cult activists. Lsi john 04:20, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

  • This is widely incorrect. Please provide a reputable source for your allegations. Smee 04:22, 31 March 2007 (UTC).
    • I agree with Lsi John. The term itself CAN be neutral, but it is widely used by the "so-called" cult deprogrammers and self-styled cult programmers. I almost think it should be listed as a "propoganda term". Not sure what to do with it other than the wiki-optimist view that a balanced article can be built to explain what it is. Certainly not balanced in its current form. Ratagonia 05:34, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
      • Again, you are probably basing this analysis on internet observation. Please read the material written about LGATs in books and scholarly academic journal articles, and you will see that the term is a widely used psychology term. Smee 05:55, 31 March 2007 (UTC).
        • Smee, this IS the internet. Most Wiki readers are searching the internet for their facts. The references they will click on, will be internet references. The articles they read, will be internet articles. The websites they visit, will be internet websites. The forums they log into, will be internet forums. The facts they verify from your articles, will be internet facts.
        • Many of your articles, for example, cite references to Rick Ross and his internet website, yet in another talk discussion, you acknowledged that the Rick Ross website and forum are 'not' valid or reliable secondary sources. (Even his disclaimer acknowledges this). I happen to agree with you that the Rick Ross website and his activist anti-LGAT platform are a poor, very biased and unreliable secondary source. So, why do you allow your articles to reference these poor secondary sources and, at the same time, you quickly revert any edits which oppose the legitimacy of LGAT labeling.
        • Since you agree that LGAT can be a pejorative term, at least on the internet, then include a balanced paragraph in the article that acknowledges this. After all, Wiki is here to define things, and if LGAT is widely mis-used "on the internet" by folks like Rick Ross, then your articles should say so.
        • If, as you suggest, LGAT is not entirely pejorative, then it would stand to reason that you would have included the good things accomplished by some of the LGAT groups. Why is there nothing in this article which says LGAT can produce good results? Some of the groups which get included in the broad sweep of the LGAT jargon have done some very good work and helped many people.
        • Your biased articles do Wiki a great disservice.
        • Stop requiring that people with opposing views be as Wiki savy as you are. Stop dismissing them and reverting their edits and start helping them find to sources.Lsi john 15:12, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
  • <moved from User talk:ChrisO> John, I will respond here as I am not allowed to post on Smee's (formerly Smeelgova) user talk. Please see my user page and the bit entitled "Doing the work". While Smee certainly does break the rules here as far as sourcing and POV-pushing (see WP:TE and WP:NOT a soapbox) in addition to her inveterate edit-warring (WP:DE), my point is that there are two presentable sides (the 3rd, reality, being totally subjective and simply consisting of whatever the interested parties consist to be reality at that instant); two presentable sides: 1) Helpful even if costly (proponents), or 2) Unhelpful and a scam (critics). Costly is the red herring that the critics love to throw out. Costly is meaningless. Which is worth $1,000 (or $10,000) - a baseball card (Honus Wagner card sold for $2.35 million) or an insight that you might never otherwise achieve, an insight that makes you happier and improves your life in your own eyes and in the eyes of your associates. That is the issue that the critics will never address. You buy what you care to buy, be it a baseball card or spiritual freedom in your own eyes. Anywho, "Doing the work" points out that if you leave the writing of the articles to critics or even to neutral parties with only critical sources then you cannot complain if the article is critical. You can only ask that the editors follow the rules here in presenting their side. For that reason alone, I removed some of the non-RS material from the LGAT article. If you, whom I assume is a proponent, care to present the other side then I suggest that you look here at what the article looked like before Smee came in. Some of that is unsourced but it should certainly show you what you can do with the article. You would present an intro that is NPOV, even, sympathetic, and introduce criticism second. Smee succeeded in turning the entire article critical but only because she was allowed to by other editors that did not rein her in. Smee will be Smee and has been Smee (Smeelgova) since the beginning (see Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Hunger); it is up to the neutral editors here to keep a tight leash on her if she is allowed to edit here at all. And for Smee; this is not a personal attack, this is not uncivil, this is the truth that any editor can verify for him/herself. --Justanother 15:12, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Interesting spin on the word 'proponent'. I had to read it three times. I believe LGAT is widely used for propaganda and I reject it as a legitimate term. I am, however, a proponent of the work accomplished by many legitimate self-improvement and self-help seminar groups.
    • I am against abuse and I believe that abusive training practices are possible, if left completely unmonitored and unregulated. However, contrary to the beliefs and assertions of the groups which Smee supports, I do not believe that everything done by every self-improvement group is harmful and I do not believe they should all be arbitrarily dumped into a bucket and labeled. I am open to legislation which regulates the industry (perhaps requiring companies to have degreed (and licensed?) psychologists on hand, in the event an un-stable person manages to get through their screening process.
    • Smee appears to be a literate and accomplished individual. My challenge to her is to provide unbiased articles and help those with opposing views, not simply revert anything she disagrees with. Lsi john 15:49, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
      • By proponent, I meant a proponent of at least some of the groups that the term is currently being used to smear. By proponent, I meant someone that might be interested in providing another side to the current article that lumps all such groups into one bad category. Similar to the term "cult". Critics do not discriminate. By which I meant that they are not interested in distinctions, whether broad distinctions or nuances, they are interested in stereotypes. Negative stereotypes and labels. User:Smee is that sort of critic. See User:Justanother/Smee (formerly Smeelgova). It's brand-new but tells an old story. Don't worry, you do not have to support Scientology to oppose a POV-pusher. --Justanother 15:58, 31 March 2007 (UTC) (add 17:41, 31 March 2007 (UTC))
  • I do not even no where to begin with this personal attack about, but this is clearly a violation of WP:STALK, at the very least. In any event, I request that individuals read the information on Large Group Awareness Training that is extremely pervasive in books and scholarly journal articles, and you will see that it is a term utilized in the academic sector - separate from the internet. Smee 23:51, 31 March 2007 (UTC).
    • From WP:HARASS, what wikistalking is NOT:

      This does not include checking up on an editor to fix errors or violations of Wikipedia policy, nor does it mean reading a user's contribution log; those logs are public for good reason. The important part is the disruption - disruption is considered harmful.

      Smee, while it would be entirely appropriate for me to check your edit history and reveiw every one of your edits (and I am doing that - it only takes me about 15 minutes per page of 500 as I am very familiar with your style of WP:TE and WP:DE); so while that would be appropriate, in this case I simply noticed the problem with this article on ChrisO's talk and came over here to fix it and to help out a newcomer as any experienced editor should. No disruption here. --Justanother 00:28, 1 April 2007 (UTC)


I have reintroduced the text regarding the DIMPAC report because (1) it is a clear and cogent explanation of the term, (2) it is one of the more historically relevant uses of the term at the cusp of its leaving the world of social science, (3) it provides a context for the expansion of the term outside of such peer-reviewed circles into what may be characterized as the "counter-cult industry." The existence of this material is to my view crucial for understanding the origins and evolution of the term, whether it is used pejoratively or not. Readers of Wikipedia can make their own judgements about the relevance or usefulness of these terms, but providing key parts of the terms origin and extension up to the present day helps them better to do so. If we have a cogent explanation of the term from an earlier peer-reviewed article, that would be good to include as well. Providing cogent information with clear citations and references seems the best course. Rorybowman 18:20, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

If we need non-RS material to build an article then we are in bad shape. Bad precedent. If there is a point to be made that is made in the non-RS then certainly it is also made in RS. It just takes more looking to find it, probably. If not then the point only exists in non-RS and has no place here. --Justanother 18:29, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Actually, the report itself is a reputable source. Even though I disagree with the way that Rorybowman had been using it as a citation, it is relevant and reputable and deserves to be cited in the article space, somewhere... Smee 19:43, 1 April 2007 (UTC).
    • Actually no! How can a rejected report be an RS? Not just because you say so, Smee. That is wishful thinking on your part, IMO. Basic to understanding how Wikipedia works is understanding that, for us, being published by a reputable and responsible 3rd party that stands behind what they have published takes the place of peer review. Therefore it is contingent upon us, as editors, to ensure that the materials we build articles from meet that standard of publication. --Justanother 20:39, 1 April 2007 (UTC)
      • It is a reputable source, for the information contained in the report itself, and should be attributed as such. Note the reputable authors of the report. Smee 00:59, 2 April 2007 (UTC).
        • Smee, you do not get to invent the criteria for WP:RS. Many think that a draft is not RS, let alone a draft rejected by its commissioning body. Get some more opinions if you care to. And ps, do not edit my user pages, please. --Justanother 01:06, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Please see the article DIMPAC, where the report itself is a reputable source, when citing information directly pertinent to the report. Smee 01:13, 2 April 2007 (UTC).
    • Two wrongs don't make a right. Sure you want me over there? The only appropriate use of the report is to mention its existence, what it was to cover, what happened, etc. You cannot take data out of it and refer to that data. Sorry. The data in the report is not RS. You can only use it as and if quoted in actual RS like an article about the report and only using the data in the context as per the article. Hope that is clear. --Justanother 01:22, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

The fact that the APA rejected the DIMPAC report; "stating that it lacked scientific rigor and an evenhanded critical approach to carry the imprimatur of the APA, also stating that it did not have sufficient information to take a position on the issues that DIMPAC was charged with investigating. The BSERP board requested that the task force members not distribute or publicize the report without indicating that the report was unacceptable to the board and cautioned the taskforce members against using their past appointment to it to imply support or approval by BSERP or APA." removes it from the list of reputable published sources. Any reference to it as a source, in order to not be misleading, must clearly include the fact that the report was rejected as unscientific and biased. The only value the report has, is that it was soundly rejected. Any use of the report would be subjective and the only logical subjective conclusions would be any specific item in the report would qualify under the officially expressed opinion of the report. Hence, LGAT, as a term or phrase, is unscientific and its standard of application is unrigorous. Any reference to the report which implies any other conclusion is not based on fact and would not be acceptable.

I have no problem with the report being referenced as long as it is stated very clearly that the APA rejected the report (and thus, by implication, everything in the report).

If Smee (or anyone else) wishes to cite the report as evidence that the APA rejects the term LGAT then I am willing to consider it.Lsi john 14:43, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

John, you just have to be careful that no-one tries to "back-door" in the content of the report. Discussion of the report is appropriate; use of its content, even with a disclaimer, is not. --Justanother 15:09, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I do not know the binding legal status of the APA request, but as far as I know, based on what I have read, any reference to the report 'must' include proper text stating that the APA soundly rejected it and specifically that the report is 'unacceptable to the board'.
However, wiki should be bound by proper journalism rules of conduct and the APA request should be very rigorously enforced, regardless of any legally binding force of their request.
Specifically what I said was, if Smee wants to cite something from the report, then the only conclusion which can be drawn is that the item being cited was rejected by the APA. Which, I said I would be open to consider (not endorse), on an item by item basis. In reality, I don't think Smee would want to use the report to discredit her LGAT term and conversely I doubt she would allow it. Hence, even though I said I would consider it, I believe it is a moot point.Lsi john 15:32, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

This discussion should probably be moved to the DIPMAC report page. And, wiki should be scanned for inappropriate references/usage of the report and its content. Lsi john 15:34, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

John, you can move any or all of this to the DIPMAC talk page; just leave a note here and a link. I do not think that we can say that any particular bit of the content of the report was rejected by the APA unless we have their word on that particular. Otherwise, it becomes WP:OR, another thing that is not allowed here. So, as you say, moot. You can use google to search for instances by using the parameter and/or use the wikipedia built-in search engine(s). Happy hunting! --Justanother 15:48, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

The phrase "LGAT" may have its origins in the psychological literature but is kept alive and promoted largely by anti-cult movement activists such as Rick Ross (consultant) and the International Cultic Studies Association, as the citations for List of Large Group Awareness Training organizations shows. Margaret Singer figured prominently in both groups, so I think it is important to cite her on this, and to nail down her formulation. That Singer's formulation was not rigorous enough for the APA is clearly established, and any reasonably critical reader of the anti-cult material can see that the definition has morphed well beyond that rejected formulation, kept alive by "brainwashing" fans and such scientifically rigorous books as the 1978 Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change and Cults in Our Midst. People cannot evaulate the history of this idea if one of its seminal documents is repeatedly removed from this article. Although I would love the article to include much more context and history of the phrase within the peer-reviewed literature, removing the most popular citation is to my mind counter-productive. More light! Rorybowman 16:10, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

John and Rory, this article is not my battle but if I can provide my advice or backup please let me know. I am interested in keeping non-RS materials out of Wikipedia as non-RS materials are the stock-in-trade of the POV-pusher. I am not calling any current editor a POV-pusher, I am just stating my concern. Is this a valid use of non-RS material? Well, we certainly have the viewpoint here that one can report on primary sources if it is done in a manner that any reasonable observer would agree is a correct representation. It looks to me that Rory's inclusion meets that test. --Justanother 16:19, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Justanother / Rory, I am not wiki-literate enough to know what the specific rules are versus the guidelines. In my personal view, (which counts zero on wiki), if an editor insists on citing a 'rejected' source as a chapter in their 'bible', then I say allow the reference and require that it be 1000% clear that the source was rejected by the group who commissioned the study, and why it was rejected. If unsound and biased research is the basis for an article/term/phrase on wiki, then require that the rejection be included in the article so that the myth is debunked when read by any clear minded reader.Lsi john 17:40, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
Rory's insert says the report contains a concise 'explanation' but I still do not see where a concise definition has ever been posted. In order for LGAT to be a legitimate term/article on wiki, don't we, as responsible editors, need a concise, precise and scientific definition of LGAT? And, I would disagree with Rory's assertion that the report gave a concise explanation. I see their description as vague, imprecise and potentially all-inclusive (which, incidently, is how the anti-cult movement uses the phrase).Lsi john 18:08, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
I think the interesting point about this term is that it was lifted from the peer-reviewed literature and then morphed by non-scientists outside of peer review into its present usage, rather like "intelligent design" and the entire evolution "debate." Compare how the term "brainwashing" may have been a CIA propaganda term that escaped into the popular imagination, or the rise of the anti-cult movement after Jonestown. By tracing this development from its peer-reviewed origins to its present status I think we best serve the reader and make clear the development and history of the concept. The articles on cult and brainwashing are I think good examples of this, nicely illustrating the complex evolution of a term that has expanded into popular idiom. Rorybowman 18:50, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
(EC) Calling it "concise" is WP:OR, feel free to remove that description. As I said, you can make a very strong case that the entirety of the reference is inappropriate. See Wikipedia:Attribution/FAQ#What kinds of sources are generally regarded as unreliable? Perhaps you and Rory can work out if and how it might fit. Point being that we do not build articles out of unreliable material clearly labeled as unreliable, we built articles out of reliable material. That way we save on labels and have more to label articles {{one-sided}} and the like (ThisLastBitIsAJoke). --Justanother 18:51, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Pre-DIMPAC and Peer-Reviewed Literature

I have obtained a printed copy of the 1982 paper by Finkelstein, Wenegrat and Yalom which I have read through once but will go through again later. Basically this paper notes the existence of such trainings and how they have fallen outside of psychological oversight for a variety of reasons (including the disdain that LGAT worldview has for positivistic science). Noting that the Erhard Seminars Training ("Est") is the main training to have been studied, the article is largely a summary of such a training with discussions of how that training might be understood within a standard psychological model. The literature on "psychiatric casualties" among Est trainees is found to be inconclusive and anecdotal, with the remainder of the paper going on to compare Est to behaviour therapy, group psychotherapy and existential psychotherapy. The general conclusion regarding the state of the psychological literature at the time was that 1982 peer-reviewed lit on Est was similar to the "early literature on encouter groups and other vehicles of the human potential movement." Positive testimony from LGAT participants seems consistent with "nonspecific effects of expectancy and response sets." In other words, people expected to a get a lot from an expensive training and report that they did. This may be a polite way of saying the whole industry is built on a placebo. Certainly this article does not have such a pithy and quotable summary as DIMPAC. Alas. More later. Rorybowman 18:41, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Financial Pyramid Schemes

Did the author who originally wrote this section intend to mean that part of the definition of, or requirements to be classified as, a Large Group Awareness Training group is that it includes a financial pyramid scheme? If so, then the entire group of articles related to Large Group Awareness Training may need to be re-thought, as many, if not most, of the targeted organizations have nothing to do with anything related to a financial pyramid. If 'financial pyramid' is not related directly to the LGAT label, then it should not be referenced or included in this article. Lsi john 20:30, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Citing from a corporate web site

  • We cannot use excerpts of the Yankelovich study at Landmark Education's corporate Web site. We must have either the full study, or a citation of a reputable journal where the study was published. Otherwise, it is not a WP:RS. Removed. Smee 21:55, 2 April 2007 (UTC).

Smee, in numerous places, I have added a -fact- request, rather than simply deleting your paragraphs and entries. This gives you the opportunity to locate the facts or repair/edit your own paragraph. If you are going to set a policy precident of simply reverting or deleting someone else's edits, without providing an opportunity to provide needed references, then you can expect the same treatment in return. So far we do not have an official dispute and I would prefer it remain that way. I am, however, very adept at learning your rules and applying them back to you. How about we call a truce and respond like mature responsible adults. If something I post is missing a fact and is not clearly an error, then mark it as fact-needed and don't simply revert it. Lsi john 23:56, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

And if I violate a wiki rule, then help me correct my edit, and dont simply delete or revert it. Allow me the opportunity to correct my own mistakes. Thanks. Lsi john 23:58, 2 April 2007 (UTC)
John, I pulled the redundant line and pruned the other; "himself personally" in unnecessary - it is his book, who else?; "one of the most proclaimed LGATS" would need a cite; and page numbers should go in the ref, not inline in the article. --Justanother 03:24, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
tkx. To clarify my comments.. making a 'correction' is not the same as enmasse deletion due to missing facts. In that particular case, I realized it was there twice and was hoping someone else would decide which place was more appropriate.Lsi john 03:29, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
The general idea is that unsourced "facts" do not go in the encyclopedia. I made a judgement call that you would not likely have a ready source for "most proclaimed". When you do then put it back. I apologize if I was wrong about that. One of the very most important policies here is WP:BOLD. You just build the articles, not talk and talk about it unless there is a problem; then you talk it out and go back to building the article. --Justanother 03:51, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

From WP:V, a quotefrom Jimbo:

"I can NOT emphasize this enough. There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of random speculative 'I heard it somewhere' pseudo information is to be tagged with a 'needs a cite' tag. Wrong. It should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced. This is true of all information, but it is particularly true of negative information about living persons."

--Justanother 03:55, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Please cite the study if it exists in a published journal format, or a place where we can read the full version of the study. Smee 04:05, 3 April 2007 (UTC).

Non-RS "History"

Discuss here, please. The DIMPAC is extensively discussed above. The marginal use of it included the disclaimers that Smee summarily removed. No disclaimers, then no use of it. Skepic's dictionary? Pu-leesse. Unacceptable source. --Justanother 22:01, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

The skeptic dictionary was already there as a reference. I merely declared what the reference was, inside the article, rather than allowing a claim based on such a reference.

To avoid edit warring complaints, I am trying to bend over backwards to allow Smee (and anyone else) to have an opportunity to correct or edit their own work. I do this by placing -fact- requests, rather than simply delete or revert an edit. I have requested the same in return, but so far have seen no evidence of it.Lsi john 00:53, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Examples of LGATs

Both of the paragraphs listed in this section are problematic.

The first paragraph introduces 'new' verbage and requirements, specifically 'term of seminar', which is inappropriate here. Either the reference cites LGATs or it cites 'programs which tend to last at least four days and usually five'. If LGATs then the 'timeframe' is irrelevant. If it cites 'timeframe' then the entire reference is irrelevant in this article.

The second paragraph seems to be a orphan and certainly not belonging to this particular section.

I propose that someone familiar with both of these citations make an appropriate edit, lest they both be challenged and deleted as irrelevant or inappropriate in their current form. Lsi john 03:22, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Please see my above comment. --Justanother 03:25, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Singer Quote/reference

Justanother, I left those in for clarification.

Allegedly secretive and expensive, these were criticized as financial pyramid schemes[citation needed], brainwashing or irresponsible, unlicensed psychotherapy, marketed as "educational" to avoid issues of licensing and malpractice.[citation needed]

Because it could be a poorly worded paragraph that intended to say that Singer alleged that they were secret financial pyramids and the original author intended to use the same 'fact' reference. If its poorly worded, it should be re-written to make the claim clearly, if its citing unreferenced facts, then it should be removed.Lsi john 03:43, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

I would need to check but suspect that this paragraph was mine. Right now this term is hottest on Rick Ross' "cult education forum" where the term is explicitly NOT well-defined and the criticisms come from a variety of places in the form of comments in a wide variety of discussion boards. If Mr. Ross could keep his web site up, it would be simpler to cite individual references, but the three strands occur over and over. The problem with the constant "define/cite or remove" stuff within this article is that the term is NOT used precisely and critics are NOT cogent. The most seminal bits are the ones I have chosen from Finkelstein and Singer, but Ross is the one who currently pumps up the term for his own self-importance, quite divorced from its origins in peer-reviewed social science. Anyone who is familiar with the literature can clearly see that these three threads of criticism are constant ones, almost always in relation to Landmark Education and EST. Finding four or five random cranks on a message board who assert them is a fricking waste of time and only serves to provide more credibility and google-hits to Ross' anti-cult business, pumping him up. Strictly defined, the term clearly refers to a small handful of trainings such as EST, Actualizations, Landmark, etcetera, but this is not the way the anticult camp uses it. Seriously, folks, but this article is making my work over on fox hunting seem simple. What we have is a term from social science grabbed by a few marginal actors and thrown over for the use of semi-literate zealots. It has almost no credibility or relevance whatsoever within any legal or scientific community. EST is dead, Landmark is a joke and Rick Ross is a high-school graduate who has heavily milked a well-meaning schtick. I humbly submit that his paragraph is about as cogent as it gets. Rorybowman 18:16, 11 April 2007 (UTC)


John, hope you do not mind the "crash course". I am playing devil's advocate a bit with you but I am also acting as advocate for the project. You Definition section looks like you wrote it off the top of your head. Please do not try to fill a vacuum with WP:OR; either find WP:RS to fill it with or leave it emprty. That is important. --Justanother 04:01, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

No offense taken at all. If a blank section is better, then that is acceptable, however a definition section should be present, as this is a TERM and should be DEFINED. Obviously I wrote it and am open to suggestions for improvement. Would it be more appropriate to 'suggest' new sections in discussion prior to introducing them into the article? Lsi john 04:07, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm a bit unclear on how you would 'cite' something that is factually absent. If LGAT is to remain a legitimate article on wiki, and further if it has no clealy stated and concise scientific definition, what is invalid about a statement which makes that claim. As you know, mathmatically you would disprove this by providing 1 single fact which refutes the claim. In this case, a clear and concise scientific definition. Lsi john 04:11, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
No ,the "suggest" violates WP:BOLD. What you need to do is either find a good definition in RS or find a mention in RS that no definition exists; otherwise that bit you are itching to write cannot see the light of day. That is something we have to get used to here! Itches ya can't scratch. --Justanother 04:13, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  • The entire "definition section violates WP:OR and has to go, sorry. Smee 04:17, 3 April 2007 (UTC).
  1. Lsi john, you cannot just cite the APA's main website as a source, it does not prove anything.
  2. "Historically, authors and researchers have either loosely defined the term, cited someone else's definition, or left the definition to be implied from the context of their writings." - This part is also not backed up by anything, just your opinion.
    • Untrue, it was backed up by the same 48 google references that you used for a similar claim that the term is 'widely in use today', even though some of those references are very dated.Lsi john 04:26, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
  3. I would suggest first finding sourced citations, and then second write information based on them, not the other way around.

Smee 04:21, 3 April 2007 (UTC).

Ok, I will contact the APA and get an official statement from them. The definition section itself cannot violate WP:OR and needs to stay, even if it is blank. Lsi john 04:23, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I was simply using the "48 books" to state that the term is used. Not to back up anything in particular. To back up something in particular one would need a cite from a particular book. And it is against Wikipedia policy for you to personally try to contact the APA in order to include something into the article. Please see No Original Research. Thanks. Smee 04:30, 3 April 2007 (UTC).
    • We will agree to disagree on this. Independently requesting the APA's definition of LGAT and getting that published, to be quoted on wiki, would not be original research, it would be investigative journalism. Lsi john 04:35, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
      • Where would it first be published? On Wikipedia? Or in a scholarly academic journal article? If the former, than that is most certainly not allowed. If the latter, then of course it is allowed. Smee 04:38, 3 April 2007 (UTC).
      • Then until you see my work product, you cannot claim, out of hand, that my research would be WP:OR can you?Lsi john 04:40, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Why are you so strongly opposed to defining this term? I have made numerous requests for assistance from you. How can we be writing an article about something which is not defined or contains a plethora of definitions and not be willing to clearly state that fact?Lsi john 04:40, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

  • I am not opposed to definition, merely that it must come from secondary reputable sources, preferably scholarly journal academic articles, not WP:OR from individual editors. Smee 04:43, 3 April 2007 (UTC).

Smee, please stop REVERTING and revising the sections that are under discussion here until a consensus can be reached.~~

  • Please, the article should have an intro paragraph, and the way I had done it cited reputable secondary sources from published scholarly academic journal articles. It looked nice. And surely it is simple for you to see that I did not revert, merely editing on top of your edits. No information was removed. Smee 04:48, 3 April 2007 (UTC).

At least twice you have removed the DEFINITION section. And now you are reconstructing all the sections on your own, while we are discussing it here. Please stop your major edits and work with the group to form a concensus first. Thank you. Lsi john 04:54, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

  • To my knowledge the first time I removed it was because it only contained obvious violations of NO ORIGINAL RESEARCH. The second time I was merely formatting, and removing the actual subsection heading, as it was unnecessary. It is implicit that the term will be defined in the introduction paragraphs, so we do not need to have a separate section labeled "Definition". Smee 04:56, 3 April 2007 (UTC).
    • Please do not characterize my edits as "vandalism" in your edit summary. This is quite rude. I was reorganizing things, and did not remove any information you had added. Smee 05:06, 3 April 2007 (UTC).
      • When we have an ongoing discussion about the very things that you completely REWRITE or REVERT, it is considered vandalism and I will call it that.

If you wish for an opening paragraph to define LGAT, then provide a definition here, for concensus, before completely reworking the format of the article.

There are numerous comments in the article where your input has been requested. Several citations do not appear to tie to LGAT but make references to other terms. They need to be corrected or removed.Lsi john 05:10, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

  • How do you propose what this "Definition" section should look like? Will you only allow a citation if the citation states: "A definition of an LGAT is..." ??? I am quite confused as to what you will and will not allow in this article, I am trying to add information from scholarly academic journals on the subject matter. Smee 05:13, 3 April 2007 (UTC).

Its not so much what it should 'look' like, as what it should 'contain'. It should contain, of all things, a definition. That which clearly and concisely defines LGAT. A standard of measure which can then be applied to groups for inclusion in a list of LGAT. webster: the action or the power of describing, explaining, or making definite and clear

If you cannot provide a definitive description which removes ambiguity, then you need to conceed that the term is propaganda in nature and pejorative.

If every author defines it differently, then you would need to include every author's definition, and thereby illustrate that there is no concensus of opinion.

Vague, general and sketchy 'descriptions' of what LGATs 'do' does not provide a clear and concise measuring stick with which to apply the term.

Including one group because they are a financial pyramid, and another group because their seminars last 4 days ,..etc etc.. makes the term pointless.

If LGAT cannot be defined, then it should not be included on WIKI as a valid term.

If you would prefer, we can write a section on what qualifies a group to be included as an LGAT and then list all your different authors and researchers and list why each group was included and demonstrate by reference that almost anything qualifies as LGAT depending on the author.Lsi john 05:26, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Have fun y'all

  • I can see that there is quite a good deal of spin going on here with this article, and that even if I attempt to introduce information from scholarly academic journals the material will be spun in some way or not stay in the article too long. Therefore, I am going to take this article off of my watchlist and take a break from it for a while. Suffice it to say, what some individuals are trying to do with this article - does not reflect consensus among academicians, psychiatrists and psychologists - according to material published in reputable secondary sources and academic journal articles. Have fun with all your editing, I'm off to concentrate on other venues and find citations to create other interesting new articles. Later, Smee 05:31, 3 April 2007 (UTC).
    • After a break from this article, I am going to try to add material to this article, backed up directly by the myriads of published reputable secondary sourced citations from psychology books and psychology textbooks and scholarly academic journal articles. I shall also attempt to remove violations of No Original Research. We shall see how it goes. Smee 21:59, 9 April 2007 (UTC).
      • Can we get a good-faith promise that you will not simply re-write entire sections of this article, please? Quite a bit of effort has gone into its development on both sides and re-writes simply set the entire process backwards. Lsi john 22:14, 9 April 2007 (UTC)
        • Much material was removed from the previous version, including material from reputable secondary cited sources, such as the Rubinstein quote from the highly reputable Psychology and Psychotherapy. I don't know why they were removed, but I will add more reputable sourced material, and remove material that is unsourced and violates WP:OR. Smee 22:16, 9 April 2007 (UTC).


We now have two different history sections. Rory, as you created the 2nd section, would you be so kind as to combine them? Thanks.Lsi john 05:44, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

A series of radical cuts over the past few days has made this entire article a ragged mess. My intention was to explicate the history of THE TERM and its uses, but even this has been cut without any appreciable appreciation for the flow of the article. THERE IS NO CLEAR DEFINITION OF THE TERM, only a history of its expanding usage. I'll check back in a few weeks after the locusts have passed. The current history section is ragged, hanging meat, and I don't have the stomach today to look at it anymore. Rorybowman 05:55, 3 April 2007 (UTC)
Rory, sadly I agree. We have been in discussion and smee decided to hack and slash it, making multiple deletes and moves, seemingly in an effort to avoid the revert rule. I'm beginning to get the idea that almost anything-goes on wiki as long as you know enough tricks to avoid the rules you dont like.
Every time I have tried to pin down a defintion, or get clarification on an included section, it simply got re-written or moved, thus making the question moot and taking us back to square 1 to begin again with another question.
What I've learned so far from smee is: If you disagree, delete/revert. If you have to delete/revert too many times, then switch to rewriting/reogranizing and rearranging, and slip in the deletes at that time to avoid a 3RR rule.
The article was fairly coherent at one point, and then major edits in rapid-succession by smee, turned it into a mess which I attempted to recover back to a form which was currently under discussion.
What I fear now, is that Smee will leave, long enough for the active group to form a concensus and develop the article, and then return and effectively vandalize it back to her designs, disregarding the input from the active authors.
I wish I knew more about what was possible, because at this point I feel that I'm wasting my time even trying to get an unbiased article written.Lsi john 06:13, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Wow, much progress made

I'm very impressed with the progress made on this article in the last 24 hours. It went from crap POV-pushing to a respectable encyclopedic article. Good work, everyone. Ratagonia 17:52, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Rory is the one who did all the reconstruction. We mostly watched.Lsi john 18:40, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Embrace and Extension of Term by Anticult Movement

I would argue that the assertion that the "no original research" policy is not violated by noting how the term "LGAT" has been adopted and extended by anticult activists, using the standard "google test" heuristic on the phrase "large group awareness training." In such a test on 4/9/07 the top hits included such sites as,,,, and Not exactly the APA. Singer's active embrace of the anti-cult movement after the DIMPAC spanking also seem worth noting. Singer may have begun in the APA but at the end of her life she had clearly thrown in with the anticult folks. Rorybowman 06:41, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

  • While all of your points above may be valid, if they are not backed up by sourced citations from reputable secondary sources as per WP:RS, then that is instead violations of WP:OR and has no place in this article. For a better example of an article where very single sentence is backed up by a reputable secondary sourced citation, see the article Mind Dynamics. Smee 07:05, 10 April 2007 (UTC).