A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

From Abracadabra to Zombies | View All

MJB Seminars

MJB Seminars is a large group self-awareness training program directed by Mitchell J. Behan and Angela Carroll-Behan in Western Australia. In addition to the usual stuff about helping you find your true potential, fulfill your dreams, and achieve maximum happiness, the Behans have two unique twists. "The foundation of our work," they say, "is based on the fundamental universal laws and principles that govern humanity and is derived from the study of quantum mechanics and quantum physics." And, they have a travel department.

Naturally MJB has plenty of testimonials about how wonderful they are and you can visit their website to read them. They also have some dissatisfied customers. For their stories, however, you'll have to go elsewhere. One of them has posted several messages on the Rick Ross cult education forum.

It is rather sad to see normally intelligent people going so far out of their way to follow ... Mitch J. Behan who is using Cognitive Psychotherapy in a most unethical way on unsuspecting and uninformed people who think they are doing Self-Improvement Seminars that will "Transform their life in 48 hours."

It is a mishmash of Quantum Physics/Quantum mechanics pseudoscience gobbledygook to impress, and Dr. Demartini/est/Scientology/Landmark methodology that traps people in a situation where the Seminar facilitator takes control of everything (toilet breaks, permission to speak, etc.) and they do not realise what is being done to them. The hissy fit thrown by these people when they finally realised they could not get me to attend any Seminars was phenomenal.

Normal close family relationships are broken and I have been told that all communication is to cease. There has definitely been a "Transformation" in their lives in 48 hours as per the promises on the internet site for MJB. It is impossible to get them to even consider that the MJB doctrines may be flawed in some way. (Rozzanne)

Another person has written me about her concerns:

There is a group in Western Australia called MJB Seminars. They are run by a Michael [sic] J. Behan who originated in Ireland. I have been unable to find anything out about him other than the spin that this group originates.

They have a Facebook page called "Mitch and Mills." [There you'll find some positive feedback, for what it's worth.] They claim to be teaching something based on Quantum Physics and Quantum Mathematics and to be "educating" people.

They teach that the "Universe" loves you, and every bad thing that happened to you was meant to happen and is a result of the Universe teaching you a lesson you had to learn.

I have been told that being a victim of rape and sexual abuse "was love". I said to the person who was trying to coax me into attending an "Information night" and a "Relationships and you" course that if an experience like that in my life was "love" then someone could rape their (the person's) children and it would be "love" also. Their glib reply was "Yes". They did not hesitate in giving me that reply. I find that shocking for a parent to say such a thing.

They are trying to convince me that I am damaged, faulty, broken, etc., and need to attend the course as it will set me free from my past. I know that very few people on this earth are intelligent enough to understand the complexities of Quantum Physics and Quantum Mathematics, and I cannot understand how anyone can be so stupid as to think that this is the answer to everyone's problems etc.

Their tactics are similar to Landmark Forum: the Graduation night and invitations to friends and family to attend; the lack of information; "You have to do it to understand it," "It won't work properly if you know what to expect," "If you don't pay for the course you won't value what you are being taught."

Some months ago I read one woman's message on the Facebook "Mitch and Mills" site where she claimed the course helped her to see the "love" in her sexual abuse experience, and that she was able to thank the abuser and to see the "love" in what happened. I find that quite SICK! Sexual abuse is about power and control and humiliation of the victim, and for someone to be so brainwashed that they see it as a "love" experience, whether it is because they are convinced the "Universe" loved them so much it wanted them to have this traumatic experience to mould their character into what it is today or whatever the sick, twisted reasoning, something is wrong with what this group is teaching.

There may be something wrong with teaching that the Universe loves you and everything that happens to you happens for a reason, but this message is not unique to MJB. It's a message many religious people make: the creator of the universe is perfect love or power or some other noble attribute. From that belief some of these holy, loving people derive a conclusion that makes their creator appear to be the maddest being ever, madder than the maddest hatter, the mad one beyond madness.

The MJB site has a rotating set of quotations. The first time I visited, the following came up (attributed to Einstein):

If this being ‘God’ (Generator, Orchestrator, Designer) is omnipotent, then every occurrence--including every human action, every human thought, every human feeling and every human aspiration is also his work.

From this innocuous little quotation one could derive the conclusion that everything that happens is good and an expression of love. Yes, even child abuse, murder, rape, you name it; all is good because all emanates from the Creator who is all-good. There is a certain appeal to this logic, but since the conclusion is clearly absurd, it is obvious there is something wrong here. Even so, this belief is not a strange teaching among Christians or Hindus or many others. What is strange, though, is that MJB somehow connects this idea with quantum physics and the teachings of The Secret and other New Thought notions. MJB calls it Alchemy and You:

No human being, and that includes you, is deprived of the ability to be wealthy. No matter who you are or what you do whether you work for yourself or work for someone else, whether you consider yourself to be one of the rich or one of the poor, whether you have been earning money for forty years or forty days you can have greater wealth than you have ever believed possible and all the financial security your heart desires. How? By understanding the laws and principles that govern wealth, and managing your money accordingly.

And, you can get the gist of it all in just 48 hours. How cool is that?

See also est, firewalking, Impact Training, Landmark Forum, large group awareness training program, neuro-linguistic programming, and New Thought.

further reading

books and articles

Barry, Dave.  "Altered States"  in The Miami Herald, April 13, 1997. (Humorist Dave Barry takes Peter Lowe's SUCCESS 1997 12-hour success seminar featuring Anthony Robbins, Elizabeth Dole, Rabbi Harold Kushner, Brian Tracy,  Lou Holtz, Jim Morris, Peter Lowe, Pat Riley, Dr. Ted Broer, George Bush, and Dan Kennedy.)

Salerno, Steve. (2006). Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless. Three Rivers Press.

websites

The Awareness Page - everything you wanted to know about various LGATs

AFF's page on Large Group Awareness Trainings

Jamal Mazrui's Empowerment Zone an amazingly extensive list of Internet links for "helping individuals and communities achieve self-actualization and full citizenship"

List of self-help authors (by their fruits ye will know them!)

Cult Status: In which the author struggles to escape the psychological shackles of a self-help seminar by Kirsten Marcum

Last updated 29-Jan-2014

© Copyright 1994-2014 Robert T. Carroll * This page was designed by Cristian Popa.