Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Recently a relative of mine went through a large group awareness training program (LGAT) called "Asiaworks." His behavior then changed for the worse, and this prompted me to do some research on the Internet.

Asiaworks is an apparent spin-off from another LGAT named "Lifespring."

My relative's behavior and jargon was consistent with what I read on the Internet. I have since found many people who have gone through this course. What is frightening is the realization that LGATs like this are spreading through Asia. Asiaworks has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila.

In my opinion Asiaworks is an evil "cult-like" group, disguised as a self-improvement/development-training program.

Asiaworks operates upon the principle of developing people mentally, and thus somehow claims to promote world peace.

Frequently, their approach is subtle. People who have become involved often recruit their friends and family.

My relative, who went through a course with Asiaworks, subsequently was transformed. His entire personality changed. His eyes became glazed, like he was high on drugs. There is a type of euphoria participants say they feel as a result of their "enlightenment." He claimed to possess the "third eye," supposedly could astral travel and said he now had extra sensory perception. All this happened after just five days of within the Asiaworks program. Monks and ascetics don't make such claims, even after decades of fasting and meditation.

My relative also became disruptive and irritating, through his aggressive behavior, self-righteousness and new sense of superiority. Yet, if you asked him what was actually taught at Asiaworks, he would only say it was a secret. He said the only way to find out that secret, was to sign up and take the course.

At work he shocked professional colleagues with his erratic and hyperactive behavior. He complained that he could not sleep and that his mind was racing. He said that voices in his head told him that if he slept he would die.

Over the next few days, he leaked out a little bit of information about his "training."

According to my relative forms were distributed, which required that you disclose your father, husband's or wife's profession. And more disturbing, was the request that you disclose your deepest darkest secret in a journal that would be read to other participants. What was the relevance of disclosing all this information? Why did they want the professional background of a participant's immediate family members?

His family and friends rejected my relative's behavior; subsequently he attempted to return to normal. However, two weeks later, he experienced a complete breakdown. He was given unpaid medical leave by his employer to recover. But his negative behavior instead escalated. He became combative and broke things within his home.

He then became completely delusional, making fantastic claims, such as his mother had urinated on his head and his father and brother had sexually abused him. These claims were baseless fantasies.

Thanks to the Internet his family finally found out about Asiaworks.

Perhaps the pressure to bring in new members was too much for him. Asiaworks expects its graduates to bring in new people. His self-esteem may have suffered due to his failure to accomplish this.

Some of the methods generally used by LGATs like Asiaworks seem to have their roots in other controversial groups such as Scientology, which has been restricted in some countries.

Werner Erhard, the founder of another LGAT once called "Erhard Seminar Training (EST), now known as Landmark Education , was supposedly once associated with Scientology.

Many LGATs such as Lifespring, EST and Vistar have a history of bad press and lawsuits. Lifespring was apparently forced by litigation to close down. But now it seems they have simply spun off a new enterprise under another name in Asia.

All these LGAT programs apparently fit the same pattern. They tear people down within a controlled, confrontational seminar setting and then build them up, according to their program model. Their methods have at times been compared to a type of "brainwashing."

First, groups like Asiaworks gain virtually total control of a participant's environment. Then they may use various methods to induce a kind of Trance State, which may be achieved through long periods of staring into your assigned "buddy's" eyes or some other practice. Then they hammer away in confrontational exercises until you eventually "get it." Whatever that is.

L. Ron Hubbard devised similar techniques, which are now called the "technology" of Scientology. Essentially, this consisted of long training sessions, within a controlled setting, with someone "auditing" you.

In Asiaworks it seems that there are not adequate breaks. A meal may only be a small break. Such an intensely focused and stressful environment can be seen as a kind of breaking and/or "brainwashing" process.

After graduation participants experience the euphoria and some sort of supposed superiority over less enlightened beings that have not experienced Asiaworks.

Psychologists have described such LGAT or mass marathon training as outdated and potentially unsafe or dangerous.

It appears that Asiaworks is constructed like a pyramid. Each graduate typically brings in more unsuspecting participants to pay for courses and so on, which benefits the people who control the organization at the top. More people bringing in more people, which then forms the base or foundation of the pyramid.

Each graduate is expected to continue to participate. He or she then attends little get-togethers with other Asiaworks alumni, which reinforces their loyalty. They often become deeply enmeshed within this close-knit group of fellow participants. They will use the same jargon as other members and say things such as, "How far ahead I have evolved."

The euphoria they feel may become addictive like heroin. And like any addict they feel the need to keep using. This means further group involvement through the Asiaworks post-graduate support system. But like heroin, their high fades, despite increasing dosages. And ultimately, like any mood-altering substance, its effects can be debilitating. This seems to be the case in my relative's experience.

It appears that many Asiaworks participants come to believe that the organization and its participants are their only friend. And that their family and old friends mean very little, if not nothing. In the end, they may spend more and more money on continuing courses which then may preclude other considerations such as their job. They may even become a full time unpaid volunteer. Until eventually Asiaworks becomes the center of their universe. Does this sound like a drug addict? Someone overwhelmed by an addiction and out of control?

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Anonymous said...

These people are EVIL. I only managed to break their spell on my wife after I threatened to divoce her.

Chern Jie said...

Divorce? that's harsh. Is that really necessary?

I_got_duped_My_Fault said...

I can understand fully what anon is saying. My wife, the wonderful patient woman she is, didn't say much to me at the time or shortly after I attended AW.

A few months later she informed me, quite casually that during that time my personality and behaviour "changed". That's when the REAL self-awareness kicked in: I was badgering her to go for the course, I was pestering my friends to do the same. Thanfully, I chose well: they let it slide until the "spell" wore off and I returned to my normal self—warts and all.

To me, being "personally effective" is always letting your conscience be your guide. No "feel good" program can hide the fact that there are and always will be negative events and negative emotions.

The course is based IMO on many dangerous assumptions—one fundamental is the DENIAL or suggested denial of a physical universe and an objective reality.

I don't believe you have to be cruel to a person and stress them out to the ends of their emotions. Emotions are important, and we need ALL of them—especially the negative ones which could be saying to us that something REALLY NEEDS ATTENTION.

I have further comments here:

I find it amazing that the which banned scientology is allowing this sort of thing to go on. Surprising too is the amount of peoplle from the public sector who attend.

Simon said...

hey, my girlfriend will attend the course tomorrow, cos she was forced by her mum >_<..what can i do ??

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many actually did a search on Rick Ross to find out what sort of an organisation and person that he is. I've read the article initially and was so affected by it.. and then i decided to research further and guess what? The same article appeared elsewhere, word for word. Who's the real author? *Shrug* "Asiaworks is an evil cult"... well, do a search on Google and see what it comes out of Rick Ross's organisation as well. I don't know who's right or who's wrong, you decide.

"I_got_duped_my_fault": I wonder who made the choice to go through the whole course or pester friends and family to go for it. Sounds so victimized by Asiaworks. "They made me do this... yadda yadda yadda..." It's all a matter of perception, you hear what you wanna hear and you see what you wanna see.

Anonymous said...

I have a video of a documentary exposing the works of LGATs very similar to Asiaworks. You can also find it in the Torrents and can be found hosted through a link on my blog.

The documentary speaks of an undercover attendee to the program and filming what happens within, with expert opinions. The LGAT sister company to Asiaworks filed a lawsuit against the French TV company, and later retracted its suit.

Anonymous said...

I too had to threatened to divorce my wife to get her to drop out of their leadership course.

To this day, she still cannot see them for what they are.

LP46 said...

Dude, your relative must be delusional.

The 3rd eye has nothing to do with AW training. And if you've ever been "approached", that's only cuz they care about you enough to share.

Hey, how many times have you been approached for networking businesses? Are they evil?

Its easy to comment from the outside. Why don't you try the basic training, and if you really think its a crock, go get your money back. It comes with a no questions asked 100% money back guarantee, what have you got to lose?

spanishcaravan said...

hey simon,
make her read about asiaworks on , i hope that would help

and LP46, you moron
YOU are delusional
you gotta be nuts to believe in asiaworks,
stop playing with words
see the reality
they would never give the money back

i have attended their courses, and i say its a brainwash and moneymaking LGAT scheme, its all out in the open, every forum and sites have reviews against them

in the company that i work in, we usually dont partner or have business with a compay if we hear anything negative about them, here we are with all the web FULL of bad reviews on asiaworks, and you are still believing in them

dont you think a normal and respectful business will NOT have such strong bad REVIEWS and ARTICLES against them?

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jeremy said...

i wolud say.. it's the chooice ppl make,, i am an lp and i don't see myself like the bloggers relative...
but i understand the concern the blogger have and this asia works thing is a cult and so on.. for me.. if a person believes it is.. then it is..a cult.. it's up to a persons perception and how a person translates the training.

Anonymous said...

Guys, for those of you who have attended AsiaWorks, remember this, they are crazy, they teach you that the opposite of love is fear, but you have to know the truth, you can find it on the internet, the opposite of love is hate.

Anonymous said...

Remember, Asiaworks is a spin-off from Lifespring, and Lifespring originated from Mind Dynamics, if you read about it, Mind Dynamics was forced to close down because they were practicing medicine without a liscence, I think they are using brainwashing techniques without a liscence, get it?. Their methods and techniques are not recognized by any psychologist or Certified mental health institutions. This means that if they screw up your mind, you're screwed. No one is going to help you. My advice is, stay away. Red flag.

NEIMA said...

Hey all Anti AsiaWorks..

As a graduate of the program, I would confess, Yes we are a cult!!!, and what the fuck are you going to do about it?? Why should we listen to you anyway if you all have not even been to the program. All you morons and fuckers are either to scared to do the program, shallow minded, or a big loser with a fuck up life to with a lot of excuse to do the program. If you think that it is a cult, I challenge you to do it and prove your point...Stupid fuckers!!!

Anonymous said...

I am a graduate of the AsiaWorks programme. I am a professional performing a senior leadership role in a multinational orgnanisation. My family and I are very close. Mom and Dad have not gone for any of the AsiaWorks trainings and neither one of them have experienced any extraordinary adverse changes in me. I have not changed my religious beliefs. I have many friends who are not aware of AsiaWorks. It does not consume my time and life. It is just a training programme.

For those of you who are considering the training or who are asking your friends and families to consider it, you must be honest and responsible when declaring the status of health before the training and this includes mental health. The programme is designed for healthy people. Anyone who is unhealthy or is at risk of being adversely affected, should not attend it.

The training is emotionally engaging and can be very intense for some people. My personal experience has been very positive where I have gained useful knowledge and tools which I can choose to apply in life.

MissyGlutton said...

As someone who had done the trainingS with Asiaworkds (btw i only found this site when i tried google for their #), I do find the courses useful and enlightening.

The only problem i might have is the people (who are in the training, done the trainings, going to do the trainings) who are twisting and turning the concepts to suit their own purposes.

My take is If you can afford it, sure give it a try. But don't get too involved in the mambo jumbo.

Remember life is also a great teacher, but the craps are spread throughout a few decades. Asiaworks can be a shorter version of life.

MissyGlutton said...

okieeee... this is my 2nd time trying at this... hope it works :)

I had done Asiaworks and its trainingS. I do find it extremely useful and enlightening. I think people just need to step back and look at it as a life lesson, rather than this is a cult and that's some life changing course.

Hey everything we do (even making a choice between plain water and a can of soda) is life changing. It is a cult, as much as people dressing up in cosplay.

My personal dislike about the courses is the fact people (those who done the course, organizing the course, abusing the course, in the course) will use whatever pathetic understanding of the course to try to STRONGLY justify their purpose and reasons to abuse anyone.

I learnt alot from it, but I also know it might not be the one for everyone.

Stanley Chee said...

My own personal experience with AsiaWorks training. Feel free to comment.

ZEB said...

They failed to inform participants how they would be impacted by processes like catharsis and hypnosis. In the wrong hands, this knowledge can be damning. I encourage ppl to call up the centre to get the actual figures of participants committing suicide who happened to be cormer trainees. They will say that they arent able to disclose such information as it is against their non disclosure policy. I would not suggest it and i have attended all the programmes i could. LGAT is known to impact the lives of some of the participants who believed mass suicide would cleanse themselves of the sins in the past. You wouldnt by a car that guzzles if u knew that people are looking at green energy.