It’s nothing like est used to be, but it will screw with your idea of who you think you are and what you think your life is about. It’s very effective at doing that. However, there was no “get up in your face” at all at the Forum I went to or any that anyone else I know went to. In fact, no one even has to interact with the Forum leader unless they choose to. It’s all about consent. If a person decides to share something, they are inviting being challenged. It’s very clear from the beginning, if someone gets up to talk about what’s wrong with their spouse or their boss, the forum leader doesn’t care. They want to talk about the specific person in the room and what is really responsible for the problems they chose to come there to face. Whatever external “antagonist” the person thinks is the source of their problems doesn’t matter during the Forum. They are gonna talk about “you” and not “them” and it is going to be very uncomfortable and infuriating to everyone watching too.
However, I can’t say they prey on people or act like a cult in any sense. It is not a support group in any sense - quite the opposite, the whole weekend is a personality breakdown - yet it is not a scam either. The basic premise of the whole thing is that the people attending came there for a reason - or for their own reasons. So when the leader and members of the Forum interact with the attendees, they apply the “technology” - which is a philosophically based process called “technology” so they can legally own it - because that is what the attendees paid for. This interaction is designed to upset people and make them uncomfortable but it does often hone in on behavior and perspectives that are self-limiting or even self-destructive. However, I have to say that dealing with self-limitation is about the extent of its benefits. In my opinion, I don’t see how it could really do much to alleviate truly self-destructive behavior like addiction or mental illness. However, the Forum did somewhat reveal that during the sign up process. They make it clear this is not medical therapy.
I, too, have heard that some workplaces have it as a part of their culture, but, to me, that defeats the entire point. It’s entirely predicated on consent. Attendees agree to be there for the three/four days from beginning to end. They don’t have to do anything, just be in the room during the forum. That’s important. If someone “has” to be there for any explicit external reason, it opens a big flaw in the necessary consent fundamental to the whole thing.
Personally, I hated the Forum too, but I have to admit that over time, what I learned there I have applied beneficially in all sorts of ways.