What is LIG?
Vague. Confusing. Pages and pages of word salad.
Check out any Lighthouse International Group webpage and you’ll be met with a big helping of word salad. Business jargon, inspirational quotes, incredible claims like “10,000 kids saved”, etc, but no actual information, evidence, overview of structure, company ethos, products or pricing; and even though "mentoring, coaching and counselling" are mentioned, there's little sense of what Lighthouse International Group actually does.
So many words, so little information gives the reader a sense that something's not quite right. And there's a dearth of posts on social media, too – not on any platform.
There's an overall sense of vagueness; LIG's members are told that any other approach would attract the wrong sort of person, and that what the organisation has to say is so incredible, it can’t be put down online. In fact, they’ve had the same word salad approach since the early 'oos.
What we do know is…
Members are recruited through Meetup, LinkedIn, 'book groups', Facebook, forums, and word of mouth...
Here’s how it works:
You search "personal development" or "self-improvement" online and find a local group on Meetup.com or Facebook, or maybe in your local listings? It might be called something like Emotional Intelligence Group for a Better Life, Family and Work, or have a much clearer function, like groups that analyse a book called The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey or The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. There’s nothing obviously spiritual or religious about these ‘Mastery Book Study Groups’. The meetings are free or affordable. It’s friendly, and you like it. Then, the group leader or a long-time member approaches you to tell you how well you’re doing, how dedicated and open-minded you are, and that you’d be a great fit to meet the member’s mentor – or maybe even have mentoring yourself.
It's very similar to the coffeeshop method favoured by Multi-Level Marketing (aka Pyramid Selling) schemes.
Here’s how it could work in a coffee shop setting:
You’re waiting in line for your latte and a friendly stranger approaches you. They complement you, you thank them, and even though it’s kind of weird, you think: ‘to hell with it’ and end up talking. In fact, the stranger tells you that you’d be a great fit to meet their mentor, and/or they have an amazing book that changed everything for them, and perhaps you should read it? They definitely think you should meet again. Oh, but only if you’re ambitious, open-minded, creative, etc.
Noah Williams describes this sort of meet-cute tactic over on Medium.com.
At this point, the reveal could turn out to be anything: you could be asked to sell beauty products like Mary Kay, hair products like Monat, cleaning materials from Amway, books by Usborne, etc – but in Lighthouse’s case it’s personal development sessions, with immersive tasks, levels of attainment to invest in, a pay-for mentorship structure, a big big big launch always just around the corner; eventually a spiritual dimension is revealed, and the task to sign up new recruits.
Once you join, and your mentor-mentee relationship is established, you'll work towards rising from Level 1 all the way up to Level 4, and then the real work begins.
Members seem to pay to become "Associates"
Full-timers and/or those who have invested thousands of pounds to become "associates" or “associate elects” have a very, very busy schedule. Hours and hours of sermon-like talks on conference calls, transcribing, re-reading, recitations of pledge-like passages, and the expectation of lots of personal emotional feedback on many different chat channels, plus mentor sessions and evening discussion groups.
For the "associates" who are presumably training to be Lighthouse mentors, coaches, or even counsellors (Lighthouse say they offer this service) the purpose of these five-six hour sermon-like sessions is unclear. "Associates" and “associate elects” don't seem to be employees of Lighthouse (and therefore are probably not protected under employment law), or considered freelance, and LIG does not seem part of a recognised qualification or mentorship association. And counselling – at least in the UK – is unregulated.
With no qualifications whatsoever, this could mean that any of the "associates" would find it almost impossible to find coaching and mentorship work outside of Lighthouse. To but it simply, it's unclear what's in it for them.
We also know of members paying many thousands of pounds to become an "associate" but it's unclear if any have yet seen any financial return whatsoever – apart from Lighthouse's inner circle.