A Day at Lighthouse
Using information from ex-members, anonymously-gathered, we attempt a possible narrative of a day in the life of a full-time Lighthouser.
An inward-looking, repetitive and immersive day, high on intensity but with no clear aim.
Ex-members tell us that full-timers work very hard. They spend their time listening and participating in hours and hours of sermon-like talks and feedback sessions, and then transcribing and re-reading before mentor appointments, public-facing groups, and monitoring a large number of private communication channels, from Slack, ClickUp, Otter (a transcribing app) and WhatsApp where Lighthouse leadership can post at any time. Members can be called on without warning to "feedback" on any of these many posts and messages.
Part-time members might undergo this experience every Saturday, full-time members might do it every day.
7am conference call
It all starts bright and early at 7am when the Lighthousers join a conference call with up to 20 members, headed by Lighthouse 'Associates', with Paul Waugh, Lighthouse International Group CEO, headlining.
One source told us that this pre-amble seems to involve Associates and 'Associate Elects' sharing their personal reflections on what was said by Waugh and other leaders the previous day. Another source told us there is a general emphasis on how much members rely on Waugh's leadership, that they are unable to 'move forward,' unable to make money, or start Lighthouse's next big project without his guidance.
Members can phone in from home, or one of a number of temporary share houses where groups of Lighthousers live transiently, moving on every few weeks or months.
The latter seems to be more common for some of the senior members, full-time members, Associates and Associate Elects, with other senior members living with their parents.
Ode to Lighthouse &
First up, the Ode to Lighthouse, a recitation of a sort of pledge to the organisation, usually lead by a member.
And then, 5 minutes of meditation and deep breathing (deep breathing techniques are very important to Lighthouse leadership) for everyone to "get conscious."
Five to six hours of sermon-like talks
And then the work begins. Full-time members get ready for an incredible five to six hours of sermon-like talks from Waugh and other leaders.
One source describes these talks as very repetitive, often leading back to the same core points: perhaps that members' parents are to blame for many of their ills, or that members themselves are broken and in need of rebuilding and restoring, which takes time – and money – and that investing in yourself (ie through Lighthouse?) is integral. Other topics might include what truly ills the world, from child abuse to narcissism.
At the end of 2020 through to early 2021, a spiritual dimension was revealed, with talks now taking on a religious flavour with Biblical stories and quotes.
Themes have included: "Do not negotiate with the terrorist ego in you", "Paying penance to feel absolute" and "Penance at the root of repentance."
Transcribing and feedback
In these group sessions, members can be called on at any point for “feedback”, repeating what’s just been said, what they understand it means, how resonant it is for them personally…
We understand that "feedback" is always positive and complementary towards Paul Waugh and the leaders.
Ex-members allege that members who are questioning or critical towards leadership are discouraged, or reported, and – in their opinion – general Lighthouse group dynamics on large group conference calls make it very hard to speak up or offer a counter to leadership's ideas.
Morning sessions are fed through a transcription app or typed up by some members, and other members are required to check transcripts for mistakes, requiring them to re-read everything that has just been said; a repetitive and immersive task.
As far as we know, there are no breaks; it's not uncommon for members to take their phone with them on visits to the rest room.
During this five to six hour session, members can also be called on to recite The Vision, another sort of pledge to Lighthouse International Group, about how money will be made by bringing in others to invest in LIG, at the same time as increasing their own investments.
If you know differently, or have any correction whatsoever, please do contact us directly.
Communications monitoring & public-facing groups
Throughout the day, members can be required to monitor the large number of communication channels, and give their feedback, especially if leadership has posted.
Mentor sessions, and daily feedback from that morning's hours of talks.
Each member's feedback has to be formalised – written out and posted on one of the Lighthouse channels – preferably by the end of the day.
Throughout the day, it seems there is a strong expectation that other posts – particularly those from leadership – must also be responded to. Even a holiday photo posted apropos by leaders will elicit a strong and positive response from the wider group. Ex-members report this can be overwhelming at times.
Members can also take part in evening talks for the public, advertised on Meetup, Eventbrite, etc; these groups seem to be the entry point for members.
No obvious aim
There seems to be no obvious aim to these intense "working days", no curriculum towards recognised certification, for example, no practical projects, just lots and lots and lots of talking, listening, transcribing, re-reading, and "feeding back", etc.
Where does all this incredible time and effort lead? What are LIG members paying for? How does Lighthouse International Group measure its success?
Apart from being encouraged to bring in more members, full-time ex-members report they felt as though they were being kept in a holding pattern, never really achieving anything tangible – like the causes Lighthouse International Group lists on its sites (reforestation, clean water, etc).
Perhaps these big projects are perennially 'just around the corner'?
If you have any questions, comments, or corrections please contact us directly.