Where did this type of training come from that the Adventures Trainings have been modeled from, and who orchestrated the structure and techniques that could bring about a life transformational experience? The man who introduced the first of many of the workshops of this type and the spin-offs that followed was Alexander Everett. Everett was a Unity Church minister who left England and arrived in the United States in 1962. His trainings were known as large group awareness trainings (LGATs). Everett founded Mind Dynamics in 1968 and created the first experiential human potential training organization which was the forerunner to Erhard Seminar Trainings (now Landmark Education), Lifesprings, and others. Everett said that “Mind Dynamics grew out of different paths that he had taken on his own spiritual and personal growth path.”
Trainings that were of primary influence on Everett’s training approach included Edgar Cayce’s work and trainings based on theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Egyptology, Silva Mind Control, and, of course, the Unity Church. Other major influences were the book Think and Grow Richby Napoleon Hill, the National Training Labs, the Esalen Institute, and Gestalt therapy. His goal in setting up his training was to develop a training that dealt with the mind. Everett trained and brought into his organization men and woman who soon became the leaders of what we know today as the human potential movement. Alexander Everett is considered the founding father of the self-development movement and is the source for all trainings of this type. He later founded a company called Inward Bound, and for over 40 years taught his classes all over the world. Alexander Everett died in 2004 at the age of 83.
A major spinoff from Everett’s original work was Pathways, a seminar conducted by Dr. Joe McGraw, PhD, his son Dr. Phil McGraw, PhD, and Joe’s partner Fred Lowder. Joe McGraw had taken the concepts from the original source and added neurolinguistic programming (NLP), psychodrama, and many other psychological modalities not in the original format. But McGraw maintained the experiential concepts, exercises, structure, and many of the ideas from the original source.
Lowder made some additional changes after Joe McGraw’s death, and a final seminar emerged, Discovery Training LLC–Dallas, Texas, that was distinguished from all others while maintaining the integrity of the original.
While many of the trainings were effective in terms of personal performance improvements, some were also very confrontational in nature and left a somewhat negative aftermath. Some created just another thing to survive and recover from. It was apparent that some instructors were driven by their own egos or agendas and consequently their courses became about them and not about the participants.
Many of these psychotherapeutic (cyberphysiology) and experiential learning techniques have been incorporated into the Adventures weekend; these powerful tools are utilized in this protocol to create life transformational experiences. This seminar is a provocative and positive life-changing experience that can help individuals recover from past life traumas, develop confidence and grow their emotional intelligence, build powerful and loving relationship skills, improve personal vitality, and provide the opportunity to recover from disease. It is this evolved seminar, Adventures in Excellence, that is framed in this protocol process.