Founded in 2012, Lighthouse International Group is a UK-based organisation presenting itself as a mentoring, coaching and counselling service offering online and in-person group sessions and 1-1 mentoring for businesses and individuals.
Inspired by reports from ex-members, their families and friends, this site questions the actions of the organisation, the conduct of its leadership, and its overall transparency, and fact-checks its claims, including its purported charitable acts. We seek to raise awareness, share experiences, and encourage a balanced and informed decide-for-yourself approach towards Lighthouse International Group and similar organisations.
This site is also a resource for survivors of high-control groups and so-called “therapy cults”, their current (and future) members, their friends, families and colleagues, and anyone concerned about coercive control techniques within groups and organisations that may employ multi-level marketing schemes.
Important: this site makes no comment whatsoever on whether or not Lighthouse International Group fits the criteria for a high-control group, "cult", or MLM and instead encourages others to research the organisation, listen to ex-members, and make up their own mind.
So, why the focus on high-control groups and "therapy cults"? They are concerning for the following reasons:
For some members the costs of these groups can rise to tens of thousands of pounds and these costs may never be recovered.
Members are led to believe they are not just transforming their own lives, but perhaps taking part in a world-changing project, saving children overseas, investing in reforestation, clean water, etc – but usually no evidence of significant giving or charitable investment exists.
There’s always a big launch just around the corner, a massive project about to be unveiled, but another investment ("another £5K, please, for marketing") is always needed to get it over the line.
These big projects never seem to come to fruition.
As they undertake “training” to become “mentors”, “coaches”, and “counsellors”, paying members of these groups will gain no nationally- or internationally-recognised qualifications, they are overseen by no independent governing body (for instance, in the UK, anyone can use the term “counsellor”). There's no HR contact and no safe-guarding.
We believe mentoring, coaching, and counselling practitioners should adhere to an ethical code of conduct via membership to recognised professional bodies.
Some members of high-control groups are encouraged to disconnect from their families and friends outside of the group, seeing them as “toxic”.
Some members are encouraged to move from their homes and live transiently in temporary accommodations organised by the group’s leadership, and away from family, friends, and authorities.
There is no opportunity for recourse. Members are encouraged to report dissenters, and questions and criticism can be met with bullying, intimidation, and shaming in a public forum.
Some members end up financially destitute, selling their assets to invest even further.
And some members end up socially isolated, mentally vulnerable, and emotionally broken.