↑ comment by Viliam_Bur ·
2013-03-19T09:59:55.791Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Don't ever call them a cult (that is expensive). Don't edit their Wikipedia article (it will be quickly reverted). Don't sign anything (e.g. a promise to pay).
Bring some source of sugar (chocolate) and consume it regularly during the long lessons to restore your willpower and keep yourself alert.
Don't fall for "if this is true, then my life is going to be awesome, therefore it must be true" fallacy. Don't mistake fictional evidence for real evidence. (Whatever you hear during the seminar, no matter from whom, is a fictional evidence.)
After the seminar write down your specific expectations for the next month, two months, three months. Keep the records. At the end, evaluate how many expecations were fulfilled and how many have failed; and make no excuses.
Don't invite your friends during the seminar or within the first month. If you talk with them later, show them your specific documented evidence, not just the fictional evidence. (If you sell the hype to your friends, it will become a part of your identity and you will feel a need to defend it.)
Protect your silent voice of dissent during the seminar. If you hear something you disagree with, you are not in a position to voice your disagreement (peer pressure, etc.), but make at least some symbolic disagreement, for example paint a dot on the top of your paper. (Nobody will know what those dots mean, only you do.) If there are too many dots, it means you disagreed with a lot of things, you just didn't have the time and space to reason out your objections. (Note that it was by design, not by coincidence, that you didn't have the time.) Make a note when you are peer-pressured into saying something you don't fully agree with.
Don't buy any anti-epistemology, such as: "there is no real truth; what is true is true for you" and similar. You want measurable results, don't you? (If you want money, you want real money, not just imaginary richness. If you want friends, you want real friends, not just imaginary ones. If you want happiness, you want to really feel happy, not just tell yourself some mysterious phrases containing the word "happiness".)
Take an outside view: They are here for 20 years, they claim to have taught 1 million people. Does this world look like one where 1 million people have the abilities they are promising to you? How does it differ from a null-hypothesis world, where these teachings only work as a placebo?
Avoid "halo effect". You can agree with some parts and still disagree with other parts of the teaching. Each part requires independent evidence. ("Joe said X and Y, X was true, therefore Y is also true" is an evidence, but it is a very weak evidence.)
Always remember that you are in a manipulated environment. Everything that happens, whether pleasant or unpleasant, was with high probability designed to influence you in some way (e.g. to feel happy, friendly, guilty, etc.). Don't trust your emotions during the seminar; remind yourself that your emotions are being hacked by professionals. You will need a time later, alone, to calm down and become your old self again. (Note: It is OK to change. Just make sure that you changed because you wanted it, not because someone else manipulated you to.)
Replies from: FiftyTwo, None, Brillyant
↑ comment by FiftyTwo ·
2013-03-27T17:23:05.354Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
This sounds like it could be summarised as: "Don't go."
Replies from: Viliam_Bur
↑ comment by Viliam_Bur ·
2014-01-23T08:37:49.922Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
If you can't trust yourself to follow these instructions, don't go. Which is probably the right choice for most people. But if you can, I can imagine some positive consequences of going.
First, you can watch and learn their manipulation techniques. Then you can use a weaker form of them for your own benefit. Second, this kind of seminar does fill you with incredible energy. Just instead of spending the energy on what they want you to, prepare your own project in advance and then use the energy you get at the seminar for your own project.
↑ comment by [deleted] ·
2013-03-19T17:43:09.659Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
If you hear something you disagree with, you are not in a position to voice your disagreement (peer pressure, etc.), but make at least some symbolic disagreement, for example paint a dot on the top of your paper.
Interesting idea; I might do that some day if I find myself in the ‘right’ (i.e. wrong) situation.
↑ comment by Brillyant ·
2014-01-22T20:37:53.198Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
I wish someone had given me this list of tips to help me deal with the mind hack I was getting at church when I was growing up. It might have saved me a couple decades...