Isa Experience Cult
There is another discussion over at http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?12,3585 which explains exactly why isa is a cult. It also voices the concerns of a professional counsellor or psychologist who has attended the isa experience.
In reply to Dave’s comment that ISA isn’t even something you can join, I would like to disagree.
Assisting on the Isa Experience
ISA is run by a group of assistants who volunteer their time and work for free. If you decide to assist on the ISA experience then you sign a contract and one of the clauses in the contract states that you are committing to assist on the isa experience for a minimum of 1 year (while not receiving a penny and indeed having to pay for your own phone calls, travel, etc.) That sounds like joining something to me!
Sure the contract isn’t enforced; however there is a lot of pressure (some of it very subtle) that encourages you to continue to assist on isa. Given that the experience is $395 per person and it’s a Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT) this means that Ole Larsen, the founder is making a lot of money from this!
GIT – Graduate Intensive Training
Isa uses a lot of exercises that are mixture of love bombing and humiliation (particularly on the GIT – short for Graduate Intensive Training). On the GIT some exercises include for example:
- Pounding the floor while repeatedly shouting ‘I hate you’ at yourself.
- A life boat process where you have to go round the room and say ‘You live’ or ‘You die’ to other participants, but only choosing 4 people who can ‘live’.
- Lots of hugging strangers and saying things like ‘I love you because …’
- Sessions that run from the morning until 1am or 2am at night, with exercises to do AFTER the session before the next morning.
The isa experience itself has toned down versions of all of these, plus confessing ‘What I don’t want you to know about me’ to the whole group and other exercises that while they can be cathartic, also serve the purpose of breaking people down and making them extremely vulnerable to suggestion.
My Own Experience
I know that after I did the isa experience, I felt that no-one else outside of isa really understood me. I had shared my soul with everyone on the experience, told them my innermost secrets and completely exposed myself emotionally.
I also felt that I had learnt some deep secret, that is was impossible to share, except by getting other people to do the experience. This meant that I felt superior to other people and probably made a whole lot of people uncomfortable with me and think I was weird as hell!
So, it’s not like anyone in isa will ever say ‘Your only true friends are in isa’, that’s not how cults and brain washing works, it’s a lot more subtle than that and is about getting each assistant to feel a deep connection to isa themselves.
There is also then the pressure to stay assisting, to stay in the isa cult. At one point Ole Larsen, the founder of isa, who was in a long-term relationship at the time met another woman while on holiday. He phoned his current partner up and said “I’ve met someone else and I want you to pack your things and be out of the house before I get back from my holiday”.
This opened the eyes of several assistants who then chose to stop assisting, however when these assistants were discussed, no-one ever said that they stopped assisting because they were appalled at how Ole had behaved, instead they had ‘stopped working on themselves’, or ‘let themselves go’ and were generally discussed as being inferior.
You can see a small example of the way in which isa uses mind control on the isa experience website:
This shows either actors and actresses pretending to be interested in doing the experience, or perhaps standard people at an intro night talking to Luis Cordoba, the main isa facilitator.
In the 3 videos, listen to each of the things that the potential cult member says about doing the isa experience:
- This sounds like it would be really good for me, I want to come, but I don’t know that I’m ready …
- I’m really interested in this and I have some concerns about investing the time and the money …
- This sounds like it would be really good for me, I want to come, but I don’t know that I’m ready … (the same clip used in the 1st video)
If you’ve done the isa experience, you’ll know that in isa they talk about your ‘concerns’ as something that stops you from living life to the full.
In the above videos, each person says ‘I want to come’, ‘it would be really good for me’, but I have some concerns. Even these short videos show you the unconscious projection of the message ‘I want to come to isa’.
If you’re in the cult, the messages are a lot stronger, so I want to avoid isa, I want you to avoid isa and if you’re assisting, I want you to stop!
YOU CAN’T DO SOMETHING
YOU DON’T KNOW
IF YOU KEEP DOING
WHAT YOU DO KNOW
If you’re assisting on ISA, you’re doing what you DO KNOW
Again and Again and Again