Turning Point self-help course

Was on 60 Minutes. Will be interesting to see what the Coroner says.

I had a friend who did the course and he loved it. He recommended I do it, but – running it by my Thoreausian benchmark – “Do I feel attracted to doing this course?” – I didn’t want to.

I rang the course this week out of curiosity and the bloke said they still run it once a month (the website is temporarily down). He said he’d mail me some material but it hasn’t arrived. I said I couldn’t afford the $675 and he said they can arrange a payment plan. Anyway, I’m not keen on that sort of intense course as I feel they tend to be a temporary band-aid. When I meet people who’ve gone on that sort of thing (eg. est), they’re all keyed up and evangelical for a few weeks but the glow wears off.

I dislike the 60 Minutes spin so it gets the Tulip of the Week Award. Lots of people go through courses and don’t end up psychotic.

On another track: I’ve known people who were drug-dependent or caught up in self-destructive lifestyles who’ve joined crazy cults and ended up getting their lives back on track. Sure, the cults always had an element that was “unacceptable” and kept them on the fringe (eg. free-for-all sex or a weird guru or a belief in aliens) but at least they learnt how to live much more productive lives. And some of them got disillusioned and left and lead more conventional lives.

As a stepping stone upwards, fringe cults are essential and great. Apart from the ones where everyone suicides. You have to know when to get out before it goes too bad.

If you know people who’ve been in cults – or have accidentally ended up in one yourself – you’ll know there are a lot of good things about them, especially if you can get what you need and then move on.

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