Notes On Asiaworks:
I've noticed that I get a lot of hits on my previous post, talking about Asiaworks. Actually I was more detailing of people I know and my reaction towards their new self, after Asiaworks training. Asiaworks training approach is experiential learning. AsiaWorks believes that for certain areas of human learning and behaviour change, experiential learning is the powerful, effective and impactful approach to learning.
Do you know where these "self improving" miracle of a seminar came from? A car and encyclopedia salesman.
Read this article for more details. The content speaks of Landmark Education (renamed from "Forum"), which stood for one of the earliest form of Asiaworks training. The titular head of Landmark Education is Harry Rosenberg, but it was his brother “Werner Erhard” previously known as Jack Rosenberg, a high school graduate and former used car and encyclopedia salesman, who created the seminar “technology” touted by the company. They created EST (Erhard Seminar Training) in the 70's.
Lifespring, which many view as the base of Asiaworks training is another LGAT (large group awareness training) founded in 1974 by John Hanley Sr., after working at an organization called Mind Dynamics with Werner Erhard, the founder of EST. Can you connect the dots?... EST -> Lifespring -> Asiaworks? If you need to know more, check out these organizations and read the Wikipedia link below.
I completely understand your curiosity towards Asiaworks. A self-development program that reportedly "shifts your paradigm". Some reportedly says "they can feel the paradigm shifting". Some say it opens up your mind to possibilities and breaks down barriers that has been layed brick by brick by your own life's experiences... and that is keeping you in bondage from achieving your full potential. Confronting fears so to speak. It also allegedly makes you realize what it feels to be on the opposite of your own actions, opinions, thoughts and judgement. Taking you out of your comfort zone... and making you see what you normally don't. Bla bla bla.
You know what I say? BULLSHIT. It's like reading the daily horoscope. You made these things true. Everyone has fears, it's normal. People with no fear become criminals and lunatics. I am not saying fear is good. It is not, but anything can push us to overcome fear. Well, in this case, thinking of the thousands down the drain in some self-dev course would push you to achieve results to justify the price. I believe in being natural and true to yourself. My experiences belong to me, they make me. I will change with time... and inevitably will... for and to what I deem is best.
If you think you're not where you want to be in life, if you think you are a failure or at the brink of it, not liked by your friend but don't know why, if you're not confident that you have what it takes to go the distance in life... if you need your butt kicked all the time to get something done... MAYBE you need Asiaworks and get your paradigm shifted, among other things. I for one am a confident young person. I don't need to be compared with successful boxers who allegedly have realized their dreams through Asiaworks or other 'mass-marathon training' (as these self-dev courses are called), or a corporate high flyer who says it changed his life. Good on ya, mate. Thanks but I love myself very much... and I am very often a risk taker who have very little fear. I have an open mind who listens to others and I am happy. I am a filial son, a loving partner, diligent money earner and am good to my friends. I don't need to spend a few thousand bucks just to turn my life around... to what? Listen, I am sure it works for others, I personally have never been to Aisaworks program. But if it works for you...
Some claim that you have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to get to the LP stage to see the results... and etc. Which is fine by me. And I am not financial controller for my mates, but these are average income earners. My friends have even said they will pay for the new recruits to join Asiaworks and expect an instalment payback scheme. What's the rush?
A lot of websites will say they do not see any cult-like activities. Really? A cult is not defined by deviant religious following, but it also bears the meaning of a a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc. Isn't that what Asiaworks is? You haven't met the people I know... these are fan boys. If this was a Gwen Stefani concert, they'd have their hair pink, hire a bunch of Harajuku street dancers, wear L.A.M.B. and yoddle like the Sound of Music. They're abnormal. I've had the pleasure of chatting with a Asiaworks guru a few years back. He's an experienced trainer who is also a familiar figure at the Malaysian National Service (NS) program - yes, the mental and character building aspects of NS derived from Asiaworks. He said, "there are many extremists from Asiaworks, and they may display an agressive character change. Which is not entirely reflective of the roots of Asiaworks". IMHO, if it can affect people so adversely, it's messing with the human psychology. But then, that's my two cents.
From the results I see of my friends, they become extremely outspoken and portray this supposedly-confident self during conversations, more than before. And often than not, they are talking out of their arses. They are confronting their fears and challenging their introverted personality, but if your knowledge of a subject is paper thin, no Anthony Robbins is going to be able to make you a conversationalist in subjects you know jack about. I think they feel the need to justify the thousands of dollars by showing some change, no matter how superficial they are. These are close friends mind you, who I used to hang out with everyday. Who used to be fun... Now they come across as snappy and bitchy, become utterly selective of their friends (thinking its their ticket to success or some paradigm shift that will take them to the millionaires club)... they become a close-knit community with fellow Asiaworks attendees and start recruiting people to join the training.
Mind you, I can take criticisms quite well, if I must say. But there's no need to get all laser-mouth and sneer people, just because you've healed your life wounds and confronted your fears. If you've been keeping it inside you, this desire to lash out at people, then I guess we're not cut out to be friends in the first place. 'Mind over matter' gone wrong... These guys have lost their minds... so it doesn't matter.
They've even resorted to really low tactics. That makes these bunch that much more despicable. Imagine some would ask people on the pretext of dates... and persuading them to join Asiaworks, making people believe that it's the only way to make the relationship work. (Who do they think they are? Brad Pitt) Imagine meeting a friend's friend and giving Asiaworks gospel in the midst of coffee with 6 other friends? Making people feel uncomfortable about coming out again, after that intimidating encounter. Do you know how low these friends have gone to? One thing that's sure, these pals have tranformed into real ELITISTS. Always insinuating that those who are not Asiaworks-trained as weak. This is pathetic. You ARE m*f* weak, not me. You go find yourself an Asiaworks wife, have little Asiaworks ugly children and live in an Asiaworks neighbourhood like the Stepford Wives.
I have since moved on from these friends... I have plenty of other friends. Plenty who don't feel they are superior to others, who respect each other. That's more important than some self-discovery training sessions for people with trouble in changing in an open locker room or with little confidence looking for that boost they so desperately need in life. If you feel like you need Asiaworks, go ahead. I'd be happy if it makes you feel better but don't turn into a monster. Maybe it's a blessing in disguise, cause now I'd be able to see the real you. As for the other Asiaworks fan boys who might cross paths sometime in our lives, PLEASE CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR....
Links to see:
Wikipedia's Definition and Explanation of Lifespring. A training that Asiaworks supposedly is based heavily on.
RRI is one of the largest single resources regarding this subject area on the worldwide web today. Check out this organization's collection of information on Lifespring and related cult-like self-help groups.
Notes on Lifespring, the training that's similar to Asiaworks training. And often viewed as the direct derivative.
Written based on a panel member's personal experience during a discussion on "Cults and Psychological Abuse" on 30 October 1992 at Western Psychiatric Institute in Pittsburgh. The presentation was led by Dr. Paul Martin, an internationally recognized authority on cults and cult rehabilitation, and a former cult member himself. He joined something called 'Forum', which is the earlier forms of Asiaworks.
Afdlin Shauki feeling Asiaworks paradigm shifting one fine night.
One bloggers personal encounter with Asiaworks.