Posted in Derren Brown News

Posted by Derren Brown News June 27, 2009 at 11:15 am

Our good friend (and Britain’s most gorgeous psychologist) Professor Richard Wiseman has published another masterpiece. I caught Derren reading a copy and got quite upset I was the last to know it was finally available:

In “59 Seconds”, psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman presents a fresh approach to change that helps people achieve their aims and ambitions in minutes, not months. From mood to memory, persuasion to procrastination, and resilience to relationships, Wiseman outlines the research supporting this new science of rapid change, and describes how these quick and quirky techniques can be incorporated into everyday life. Think a little, change a lot.

This title helps to: discover why even thinking about going to the gym can help you keep in shape; learn how pot plants make you more creative; and, find out why putting a pencil between your teeth instantly makes you happier.

‘At last, a self-help guide that is based on proper research. Perfect for busy, curious, smart people’ – Simon Singh

‘A triumph of scientifically proven advice over misleading myths of self-help. Challenging, uplifting and long overdue’ – Derren Brown.

Available now and recommended by DB himself.


June 27, 2009 at 11:49 am
elijah says:

i want to know some of DB mind control

June 27, 2009 at 12:06 pm

[…] This post was Twitted by BrownTowers […]

June 27, 2009 at 1:03 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

I love Richard Wiseman, he gives us puzzles and writes books that make everyone happy. He does Twitter experiments, and is not even remotely frightening.

June 27, 2009 at 1:12 pm
ReliegiousMarie says:

Yes, i want this book too!

June 27, 2009 at 3:48 pm
flapjack says:

I’ve collected a huge stack of self help books designed to get my crappy pointless life back on track, and I’m finding it increasingly demanding to ignore all of them at once.
I guess I’m just going to have to break through all my ‘ignoring good advice’ comfort zones.
Now, who moved my cheese?

June 27, 2009 at 5:15 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Flapjack you don’t need self help crap, you’re KING OF PUNS. That counts for something!

June 27, 2009 at 5:29 pm
roz says:

you’d be happy too if there were lead in yer pencil! 😛

June 27, 2009 at 6:38 pm
Nopke says:

Meaning: get your but out of your sofa and do it. Ehehe …

I’m sure it’s very helpfull to those who read it, and need it. Be happy that Wiseman did not keep it a secret .. and described his superb way of living as MAGIC ….

June 27, 2009 at 6:58 pm
Nopke says:

I beat Wiseman though .. wont take me 59 sec … but I’ll keep my techniques a secret … I leave people flabbergasted all the time …. HOW ?? …

Do we wont to do it in 59 secs? That’s the real question ofcourse. Do we wont to be happy due to a pencil between our teeth??? I myself prefer a cigaret or chips or such. People who stopped smoking def. did not get happier due to the pencil .. I’ve felt the danger zone around those …

And it’s not about ending any form of thinking … nah, Wiseman, you got it all wrong this time … it’s about another form of thinking .. using your mind .. the toolkit. May not make sense in the eyes of others all he time when you start to use all it’s tool but yea man, how it can serve yourself!
Precaution though … the entire enlightening may not be what you expect it to be … once in the light … you at times want the dark back on the inside … For which there are tools upstairs as well. Quite handy indeed.
The manual though .. that’s the only lacking thing .. otherwise it had been a superb example of intelligent design/development. Now it is .. as giving something wonderfull to complete morrons (us entering this planet) … and on top of that .. the guiding angels among us (parents) .. not sure where they got those from … but .. there must be different levels in angel education I guess then …

Yes, we write our own manual .. but in some cases they got it without a writer or diagnostic tools … therefor .. huuray for Wiseman et al. Everybody is entitled to read the manual. But what if it is not compatible with your version ? i mean, how old is Wiseman? And how old are you? And erm .. are you going to write self help books as well? Lot of competition on its way Wiseman!
Not me ofcourse, I’ll krib with the main keepers of the real manual …..

June 27, 2009 at 7:01 pm
Ms 2nd G says:

Oh, and it might be fair to warn those who already live like that but did not know … if you place wiseman’s stuff on top of such a person …. my god, a real zone of disaster will follow this people … they theirselves probably dont even notice … for a while ..
And in the come the men in the white coats ………

June 27, 2009 at 7:18 pm
Chris N. says:

did you mean “pot plants” or “potted plants”? important distinction there. a legal one.

June 27, 2009 at 7:20 pm
flapjack says:

Hey, how come Jesus gets the undivided attention of 3 Wisemen and us mere mortals only get one Wiseman? Doesn’t seem fair.
Just goes to show, if you’ve got connections…

June 27, 2009 at 8:13 pm
zoe r says:

I WANT that book..

June 27, 2009 at 8:55 pm
jameshogg says:

I personally am done with buying anything else in the self-help category. The two people I study from are probably more than enough for me (if they even technically count as ‘self-help’).

However, I have good expectations for the stuff in this book. But PLEASE bear in mind if you are reading not to treat anything as ‘the whole truth’ or ‘the magical formula’ that somehow fixes everything in your life. Because if you do, you’ll end up saying it doesn’t work at all. THAT’S the biggest problem with the self-help industry as it reinforces the myth of ‘the magical formula’.

Experiment with it. Don’t worship it.

June 27, 2009 at 9:51 pm
Sabina says:

Hee hee, I agree flapjack but then threre’s Len and Frederick too apparently. But Richard is the wisest of the Wisemans I’m sure…

Can’t wait to read 59 Seconds. Exciting stuff!

June 27, 2009 at 10:49 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

I too despise self-help books, because they seem to spend ages teling us all how we suck and therefore need them and they depress me. But come on, this is by the guy who wrote Quirkology, it HAS to be good.

June 28, 2009 at 12:05 am
jameshogg says:

SGC: For every one person who knows what they are talking about in the industry, there are a thousand people who don’t.

What I’ll say is believing that you’ve learned something and ACTUALLY learning something are two completely different things. People often expect these ‘life seminars’ and self-improvement books to instantly make them professionals at, well… everything. I reitterate: instantly! That, of course, is ridiculous.

June 28, 2009 at 9:11 am
flapjack says:

Jameshogg – Totally with you on that one, about 80% of the self-helps I’ve read are a waste of space, but you only find out which ones are chock full of BS by reading them, which unless you hang around bookshops till closing time often involves buying them.
Of the remaining 20% which most likely would help if I bothered to put them into practice, my top 3 are “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people”, “Feel the fear and do it anyway” and “Overcoming Procrastination” (I’m all too painfully aware of the irony).
Anything by Deepak Chopra (yes, someone did give me one of his) goes straight to Oxfam!
But as you say, there’s no magic formula. That’s why I read Derren!
SGC – Reminds me of z-list actor and presenter Troy McClure from the Simpsons – “You may remember me from such self-help programmes as ‘Get Confidence, Stupid!'”

June 28, 2009 at 5:31 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Flapjack: good for you, for daring to read them. I have to admit, I don’t know if I’ve actually read a self help book all the way through. The smug, smarmy gits grinning pityingly at me from the covers put me right off. I did once read a book about NLP, I remember it mainly for its soothing blue colouring. I normally remember books for their content, so that says a lot.
Seriously, though, there is nothing that gets me more depressed than walking into that section of the book store. It’s like you’re suddenly assaulted by a thousand gurus telling you that you’re depressed, you have no direction in life, your relationships suck, basically you can’t get anything right. It’s worse than the new-age bit. I think if I went to a life-improvement seminar I would bite someone.

June 29, 2009 at 7:57 am
Tash says:

i think derren is britains most gorgeous phsychologistover richard wiseman!

June 29, 2009 at 7:58 am
Tash says:

that wasn’t supposed t be random – just on the quote above!

June 29, 2009 at 11:04 am
flapjack says:

SGC- I was dragged to one of those overpriced 4 day life improvement seminars against my better judgement by my serial guru worshipper mate who wouldn’t let up nagging me about it for 2 whole years until I eventually caved in, in a last ditch attempt to shut him up.
I was sorely tempted to bite somebody by the end of it. It was self-help, but with a cultish twist. After some basic sensory disorientation, such as not being allowed to take perscribed medication without their say so and having the curtains drawn all day and being told to leave our watches at the door so we wouldn’t know what time of day it was, we were subjected to a mixture of self improvement techniques I’d already got from my self help books at a fraction of the cost and scary culty shite.
We were pared off with strangers so we’d be guilt tripped into compliance “if you let yourself down, you also let your buddy down”. We were told when to wake up in the morning, 6am, not one minute sooner or later. If under cross examination we hadn’t followed this instruction to the letter we were mocked by someone at the back of the room playing Sinatra’s “I did it my way” on a stereo. We were told that they’d hand out our mobile phone numbers to everyone unless “anyone here has any objections to that… nobody does… good” [god help anyone who dared put their hands up in front of the crowd and say “actually no!”].
There would be dancing, followed by mandatory revealing your darkest secrets to a room full of total strangers, dressed up as self-empowerment. When one teenage girl in the group of 200 people failed to go up in front of the group and reveal her inmost secrets, the cult leader singled her out and laid into her in front of the entire group, calling her an ungrateful bitch, and saying “after all your mother has done for you by bringing you here” amongst other things.
We were told not to reveal anything that went on there to outsiders, but nonetheless to try and persuade 5 people to join “because we can’t afford to advertise” [bullshit, there were 150 people paying £260 each… do the calculation!]. In order to progress further (to what was ironically called the ‘GIT’ stage) we had to start finding converts amongst friends and family members.
The biggest irony was it was supposed to help you with your self-esteem issues by systematically breaking down all your basic personal boundaries one at a time.
I can’t tell you what they were called (the ISA experience) but it took my mate 2 years to ask me “do you think it was a cult?”
Hrrrm, let’s see, is the Pope catholic? Do bears defecate in the woods? Was it a total mindf**king ripoff? What do you think?

June 29, 2009 at 11:37 am
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Flapjack: these guys?
What you went through sounds like something out of Scientology. It also sounds absolutely terrifying.

June 29, 2009 at 1:44 pm
flapjack says:

SGC – I’m not allowed to confirm that, but it was.
The significant difference between the ISA experience and Scientology is that the latter has the bogus folklore about space aliens, but in all other respects they operated very much like a cult.
It would have been terrifying, but for the fact Derren’s ‘Heist’ had already made me fully aware what to expect and I was merely going through the motions, although the peer pressure to divulge your deepest darkest secrets was considerable “everyone else in the group has been brave enough to open up, why can’t you” etc. I know this is standard cult procedure now.
My mate was so far gone at one point that he was lead to believe that to achieve self-worth, he had to do menial housekeeping chores at the house the cult leader for free. And he still insisted the leaders weren’t in it for profit. They have ‘assisting’, which means everyone in the seminar has your phone number and can check up on you any time to see if you’re sticking to the regime.
At one stage a friend he brought to the experience said, “it’s not for me, I want to leave” and he was persuaded not to by being segregated from people in the group he knew. He insisted, “I still want to leave” and it eventually got to the point where mere persuasion wasn’t working and the cult members were instructed to bolt and guard the door so he couldn’t get out. He still left during a toiletbreak, as security wasn’t that tight at the conference suite! I would have left on the first day too, but as my mate had provided me with a lift, it would’ve made an already expensive weekend an extortionate one.

June 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

You’re pretty hardcore, Flapjack. If I got stuck in a group like that and they tried to prevent me from leaving I think I would have an actual nervous breakdown on the spot. I would probably vomit on their shoes.

June 29, 2009 at 3:22 pm
flapjack says:

SGC – actually, your ploy of projectile vomiting might have been a great excuse to leave, and if it wasn’t for extravagent gestures drawing further unwanted attention from all those “concerned individuals” with my mobile number I would’ve tried it.

June 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm
ScreamingGreenConure says:

Did people actually call you once you got out of the place, since they had your number?

June 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm
flapjack says:

SCG – Yes they did, and after just hoping they’d get bored, I eventually had to resort to telling them straight up I thought it was intrusive and cult like, that the person running the experience had no academically recognised psychotherapist qualifications [though he acted as though he did] and was way to overbearing and could they stop calling me please.
I did learn two valuable lessons, that the passive approach to hoping people will leave you alone doesn’t really work for cults, and if you ever get caught up in a cult, always give them a bogus mobile number!

July 9, 2009 at 1:23 pm
Bill Gibson says:

Actually it is not very good and rather disappointing. Much of it is a rehash of material from his other books plus endless stuff about research conducted by other psycholgists. Wiseman’s best book is The Luck Factor and he has never really bettered it. A better read for you if you like this sort of thing is Derren Brown’s Tricks of the Mind…a GREAT bedside book (whereas “59 Seconds” isn’t)

July 19, 2009 at 9:21 pm
smartboy says:

I had the similar creepy ISA experience ….it was very surreal, you know it’s completely dodgy, but for the first little while I couldn’t quite bring myself to believe any organisation could be opperating in such a blatantly cultish way, and everyone seemed to be buying it!!! I When I went to leave early one of the “assistants” really agressively tried to make me stay, first through pleading with me nicely, then trying to guilt trip me (“what about the person who brought you here, what about your buddy? you’re letting them down!”) then telling me that it was just my “programme” talking because my programme doesn’t want to change and grow (your programme is basically your mind btw) and then pointing out in a vaguely threatening way that the organisers and everyone in the room have my contact details and if I leave they’re going to get in touch and wonder why I left. And then as if all that wasn’t enough, in an extraordinarily spiteful tone of voice she launched in to a description of how sad and depressed I would be if I left early, how terrible I would feel about myself , how much I’d regret it, forever. There are other organisations like this apparently, Landmark Forum is one, they’re known as LGATs (large group awareness training) this link has a pretty good description of them and what to look out for

I wouldn’t recommend going along to them out of curiousity by the way, even though I was aware of what was going on I still found it to be a really stressful experience, I was thinking of staying until the end myself but I decided to get out because it was all getting a bit too weird. Other LGATs to watch out for are
– Lifespring Basic Training
– est
– The Forum (Landmark Forum)
– ManKind Project
– Context Associated program
– Sterling Institute of Relationship
– Momentus
– Silva Mind Control

And that’s just some of them!

August 11, 2009 at 11:59 pm
Anony Mouse says:

ISA Experience
Institute For Self Actualization

There doesnt seem to be much on internet about this. Surprised there hasntg been more serious investigation into tyhis. Almost all posts seem to be people who have been and were uncomfortavble and disturbed but had strength ofg mind to resist the emotional and character disintegration tactics OR ISA member refuting and saying come along its great. I have come across a guy who is always trying to get people to go along, using same lines with everyone and being quite aggressive and harrassing people when they say no. Some of the evidence from people who have been probably seems to explain why. Also seem to prey on people who are emotionally vulnerable

May 18, 2010 at 12:06 am
Tootsie says:

Ditto Flapjack.
Absolute crap.
My friend has been doing ot for years and spent SO much on it.
She’s brainwashed as is every poor sucker who attends this rubbsih.
I finally caved in after years of nagging by my forend to attend with my husband.
I would have left after the firstevening hadn’t it been that my firend was so happy we were ther.
Now looking back she was happy as she’d managed ot get 5x ppl to attend.
There were so many vlnerabel people, who were bullied and coerced into spending their money tht they clearly couldn’t afford.
And boy the awful behaviour I experienced for not sharing my tel number at the end was incredible!!
I was asked if I didnt trust ppl in the hall – no I certainly didn’t but I wasn’t goign to tell the guy in charge that.

May 18, 2010 at 12:13 am
Tootsie says:

Sorry for the typos – but I can’t type fast enough after reading other people have had the same experience as me.
Can you believe whilst in the hall during the sessions they actually LOCK THE DOORS.
The course had vulnerable people with SERIOUS problems.
You were not allowed to bring water in with you, it was under the guise that you need to be able to have control over yourself – which I now realise was so that no would need a toilet break so that nothing can break their so called hynosis over you – or more like NLP.
In one session we were asked to brake into groups of 4-6 people and talk about some of our problems.
One woman had been raped about a year ago. Another had tried to commit suicide. Another woman of say 75 had contemplate don murdering her physically violent husband

May 18, 2010 at 12:17 am
Tootsie says:

She had beaten so badly whilst her hisband was still alive. I felt so sorry for her. I then later met her brother, whom I hadn’t realised was her brother, and he was such a scared scared man. They later revealed that their mother used ot beat them up badly as children.

There were alcoholics, there were men who had good stable loving families but were seeing protitutes regularly. It was crazy. And then there were the simple people who had hit alow point in their lives, either having gone through a divorce or some other point and were quite depressed.
My friend left uni approx 1 years and started working almost immediately, she hasn’t yet paid off any of her loans or overdrafts because she’s been pouring all her money into this black hole!

May 18, 2010 at 12:25 am
Tootsie says:

Oops sorry friend left uni 11 YEARS AGO and has been working since.

In the groups we were given 8 pieces of paper each and told to write words at teh top of them such as communication, love, etc with the final being sex. Of course we all had to associate a word and put it on the piece of paper, then after all 8 had been completed we had to see how many people’s words matched up.

LOL Communication – I put “Telecommunication” HILARIOUS – everyone else were writing talking, secrets etc etc.
Then one by one we had to share our secrets and it became even more disturbing.
On the final day you had to go to the front and confess “3 Things i don’t want you to know about me”…….
Wow, it was room full of 250 people and everyone were sharing their darkest secrets. It was freaky!!!

May 18, 2010 at 12:31 am
Tootsie says:

Oh yeah and you weren’t allowed ot tell anyone about it afterward…becaseu they would get it, they hadn’t experienced what we had.
That big bad outside world was ignorant and would only inderstand if they attended.
You got to go on one further course for free, same as you had just been on – this of course is a ploy to keep you hooked in, the more people in theor system you see and talk to the less likely you are to wriggle away.

They want you to buddy up with someone and call them once a week to check on each others’ progress – again to reiterate the hook.
They then tried to get us to go tto their Graduate Intensive Training (GIT) at a cost of £800 per person.

Tthe assisants….my goodness all had their eyes glazed over, they were like robots. Quite aggresive with these eeri

May 18, 2010 at 12:38 am
Tootsie says:

with these eerie false smiles. Whenever they spoke to you they would glare into your eyes with so much intensity and a strange eerie continous smile thta kept goign even if you weren’t saying anything.

If you then decided to ask questiosn back, they woudl feel very uncomfortable.
It a cult, a pure cult.
We were even asked to leave the notion of Christianlity outside the door. It made me sit up, faith or spirituality of any kind gives you strength and these people can’t afford you to have a benchmark or sounding board. Luis also made one or two comments about Islam too.

His style of delivery was so easy to see through, unfortunately the crowd for who this is catered for tend to be emotionally vulnerable and therfore they all buy into it.

May 18, 2010 at 12:51 am
Tootsie says:

I have to agree with Smartboy – I DO NOT RECOMMEND the same ISA experience to anyone.

The one thing husband and myself learn’t was that our problems paled in comparison. they are miniscule and we didn’t need and expensive bill of £1,000 to remind us of that. We were both normal people. We totally appreciate how normal we are. We could quite eaily have spent that money on a great holiday together. We could just about afford to lose that money, so many other pooor people couldn’t.

It was awful to see the bullying that was going on. At one point there was a young girl in her very early 20s who was made to stand up in front of everyone and was shouted at, she had Aspergers for god’s sake!

The old woamn who couldn’t afford her bills and didn’t owna mobile phone was told to call her

May 18, 2010 at 12:57 am
Tootsie says:

so called buddy. she stood up and said she didn’t know if she could call them every week, the poor 75 year old woman couldn’t afford to call a moble. all the response she got from the organiser was “how can you not call for a few pence!!!!” – poor woman didn’t own a mobile for god’s sake and to call a mobiel from her landline whould be expensive for her.

I haven’t said anything about it to my friend and don’t intend to because it will do no good, she’s way way too brainwashed, but it has spoiled our reletionship. she keeps searching into my eyes on why I haven’t been moved in the same that she’s been moved.

Nasty group, nasty ISA Experience group that preys on the poor, vulnerable people.


July 7, 2010 at 10:39 pm
Fuzzy says:

Interesting reading! I was recommended this by a very good friend of mine. I am not sure why she did the course as she is a very lovely person and she suggested it to me because of issues I am having during divorce. I am not a spontaneous person and decided to do a little research and found this thread. Not sure what I am going to say to my friend when I next see her now.

July 23, 2010 at 10:52 am
Mertley says:

Having done the ISA experience about 11 years ago, and the GIT, and was thinking of going on a refresher, I’m amazed at what I’m reading here.

ISA uses what can be called cultish techniques because the techniques are used by…… cults. That’s a bit backwards of backwards logic though.

If anything, ISA is a benevolent cult and is somethng which I raised myself in a meeting there and Luis agreed that it could be seen that way, but asked “which came first, the techniques or the cults?”

It’s also the same sort of thing that’s used in just about any successful training scenario, where the object is to get the individual to stop focussing on themselves while they concentrate on the problem at hand.

July 23, 2010 at 11:59 am
Mertley says:

At an ISA Experience, everyone soon realises that everyone has their own problems and many of them are the same worries and concerns. Everyone has had a bad life experience and sharing that does ease the feeling that you are all alone in the world.

What some people seem to perceive as bullying is simply helping people to get out of their own way so they can just get on with the course. Sharing is slightly scary (that’s the point), but no one is hurt and it can be a very cathartic experience.

The whole course is built on the premise “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”. You do a slightly scary thing, which is outside your ‘comfort zone’ , you (amazingly) don’t die. You feel better and more comfortable about tacking other problems in your life.

It’s not brain surgery. :^)

July 23, 2010 at 12:13 pm
Mertley says:

Going a second time a few months later (it’s much, much cheaper) is a good idea, because now you ‘know’ what it’s about and you can really put some effort into the tasks and enjoy them more, knowing you won’t ‘die’. :^)

Of course, there are some people who might benefit from professional help with more serious problems, but ‘talking to strangers’ has long been known to have beneficial effects in allowing people to ‘unload’ and might be an important first step to seeking professional help.

I’d suggest these are in the minority and even they will get some benefit, even if it’s only getting some sort of handle on the size of their problems and the confidence to do something about them.

Taking a few days off from a shitty job with an arsehole boss and coming back with a smile is great.

March 13, 2011 at 11:24 pm
Sceptic says:

This was a very creepy experience. I was nagged for about 9 months by someone – it would be so meaningful if I was to go, it was so life changing etc. There is a lot of non verbal communication designed to show Luis is boss. A lot of getting the whole room of 200 to gang uyp and laugh at or express diapproval of whoever Luis wants to beat down psychologically. A lot of verbally aggresive language – joking about “getting the cricket bat out” if people dont volunteer their thoughts. If they do they are prodded and attacked. Two or three people on the course stood up to it and were given a very hard time. So many of the assistants were in this manic fixed smile, no smile in the eyes mode. If you are not aiming to be “perfect” then you are a failure. And they never stop contacting you after!

April 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm
Self Controlled says:

Just back from my Experience and have to say am somewhat disconcerted. It would be easy to fob the lot off as a group of harmeless shysters but its a bit more than that. There is a great deal of pressure and bullying going on with large numbers of followers at the meeting, ostensibly to share again the joy, but actually just putting more peer pressure on new recruits. There were some seriously vulnerable people there who said it was great for them and would help them move on. I’m not sure as there was much “revealing” of old wounds that perhaps should have been left behind and not reopened over and over again! I’m not looking forward to the Experience of telling them I will not be joining their GIT and expect many calls from various members to persuade me to rejoin.

April 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm
pushed into it says:

Just back from my experience, like ‘Self Controlled’ ( wonder if we were on the same one ?!). I totally opened up to the experience and took some useful things from it BUT …….. oooppps, sorry, we were told you cant say BUT you have to say AND…….. AND it reminded me that im actually a very fortunate person not to have the same crap going on in my life compared to some of the people there, sorry again, its not the people that have the issues, its their ‘programme’ !!!!
Got to say, i did meet a good guy in my Buddy ( seriously think he is ‘Self Controlled’ above ) and hope we keep in touch to continue swapping our stories of how the ‘assistants’ are trying to enroll us on to the GIT and sign our life away…………… or is that just my ‘programme’ telling me that?

April 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm
pushed into it says:

The real disturbing part of the whole ‘Experience’ is when we were shown a video of Children going through a 10 day summer camp version, sorry AGAIN, they arent children they are YOUNG PEOPLE ! I would never allow my kids to go through something like that with people involved in ISA, I totally agree that kids will learn better by experiencing life BUT ( yes BUT !) not like that

May 13, 2011 at 11:34 am
David says:

What ‘pushed into it’ does not say is that at the end of the film you get to see how the kids have been affected by the experience. They are shining – their confidence has grown massively, they are much more grown up, they are more responsible, more enthusiastic, more accepting, full of joy and life.

This is also true of the great majority of people who do the experience. I have been doing it on and off for over 20 years – believe me I would never have gone back if what the comments on this site say about it is a true reflection of what ISA is really like! Yes, it uses some quite strong methods to help people get through their barriers, and some people don’t like it and rebel. But it is done with great integrity and care, and the purpose is to support people to get more out of life.

May 13, 2011 at 11:41 am
David says:

I first did the ISA Experience in 1990 and I am forever grateful to ISA for the support and insights I have gained from it. One thing I want to say is that it is NOT TRUE that they lock the doors. Anyone is free to leave at any time although it is true that someone will try to persuade you not to leave – often the result is that people stay and are really grateful that they stayed. If you’re determined to go no one will try to stop you, all they do is talk to you.

I am really clear that there is nothing unethical in what ISA does, although some people may disagree with the methods. It is incredibly helpful to a lot of people, and I have personally seen people’s lives transformed by it, including my own. I don’t know of any real evidence that anyone has ever been harmed by it.

August 20, 2011 at 5:11 am
Indigo says:

You honestly think that ISA is going to improve the human race? This is the worst kind of organisation which aims to control and condition other people for its own agenda, it has nothing to do with genuine spiritual goodness. The arrogance and incompetence is staggering.
I did the Experience years back and immediately entered into a debilitating psychosis from which I have never fully recovered. I have no history of any mental disorders and functioned well in the world prior to this. Really the pain I have experienced since then as a result of damage to my ego boundaries… well you cannot imagine. It’s happened to others though, usually people who do Landmark forum or other similar things ( ISA is just a clone of these, probably made about $50million since its inception ).

August 25, 2011 at 2:06 am
Jim says:

Wowzas! I think you guys are looking abit too much into this! It’s really not that big a deal! I did the young persons experience when I was 9 and then did the adults one when I was 11, I think I’m one of the youngest people to ever do it. I thought it was awsome, got loads out of it. Yeah, 100 people thinking about their life and sharing stuff with each other ofcourse is abit weird but you guys have totally freaked out!!! You sound well paranoid! All of the information is undebatable simple truths, the same positive information thats in loads of books, philosophies, teachings, nothing weird or distressing. It just presents it in away that really works for some people (obviously not every1!). I empathise if people were open enough to share the truth about their lives with you. The amount

August 25, 2011 at 2:18 am
Jim says:

of suffering some people have been through is astonishing. I have had a really lucky life in a middle class family, it’s tough to hear this stuff. Have some respect though! This is the world we live in, and this people in the Western world, imagine what it’s like in less fortunate parts of the world. I’m not trying to defend ISA, if you didn’t like it thats totally cool, but if you think it’s weird and disturbing to be there for another human being who is suffering you have lost your way. It would be amazing if we had a true sense of community in the world, if we were honest and open with each other and accepting, then we wouldn’t need weirdo courses like ISA! It’s worrying that it’s this part of ISA which is the most uncomfortable and distressing to people.

August 25, 2011 at 2:35 am
Jim says:

All the other stuff people are banging on about is just trivia.Most of the ‘rules’ are the same in any learning environment,school,university,bussiness conferences,they all make perfect sense.I’ve done Isa a few times but not for years,I don’t keep intouch with anyone,no one contacts me or sends me anything.It’s just a self development course,no weirder than the usless self development books that line our book shelves ha ha. I know people who have over come really serious stuff, made amazing changes in their life, became millionaires in a year etc and people like me who just got inner peace, happiness and confidence (but still just lazy bastard!). I’m not advicing every1 to do it,just don’t believe this shit!!+There are loads of ways of getting these results, not just ISA. All the best x

August 27, 2011 at 8:37 am
Indigo says:

I do agree though that most of the course is harmless self-help material that may be of use to some people, but really you can get this from books if that is your thing. The leader constantly bangs on about the need to experience ISA and this is really the exercises that destroy your ego boundaries, or your program. For some people, I’m not doubting that this may work as many people are so conditioned to respond to group behavour that they will do whatever is necessary to not appear different to the crowd. That force in them is very powerful and that’s why you can end up with groups of people who comit suicide en masse just at the say so of some leader. For other people though it;’s really not what is required and ISA should respect that in a person not trample on it.

August 28, 2011 at 11:30 am
Indigo says:

Also Jim, I understand your point about being able to be open and share, but these are things that are private and most people would have a hard time telling friends about such things, and that should be the first step for them, not thrown into some situation like ISA creates. The fabric and texture of life is totally broken down if we start to think in some naive way that we can be totally open with everyone… that’s why we have hierachies of relationships with people, these are to be respected and cherished, not smashed to pieces like ISA tries to do in some ridiculous notion that it will help us. Really the whole thing is a disgrace and still makes me sick to think about it.

August 31, 2011 at 7:06 am
jason says:

i did the isa experience recently and was taken in by it, but am now thankful, that through my family”s skepticism and this web page to have realized the insidious nature of it