1. The grounds were beautiful
2. Loren knows about fasting
3. The people I met were very nice and the vibe was good.
4. The lectures were helpful
5. Loren helped with me with my detox
6. The weather was nice most of the time 80f sunny and raining sometimes.
7. The housekeepers were of good service
8. The views were fantastic
9. The natural beauty was spectaclar
10. The air was very clean and amazing
11. It was very affordable
12. The water was pure and excellent
1. The place was dated
2. The sheets and comforters were stained
3. The staff was treated poorly
4. Loren told me that he had no wi fi when in fact he did and he said it caused cancer
5. I paid for the ride to and from the airport and thought it would be included
6. Loren talked badly about other health leaders and said he knew for a fact about personal things about them and I found them not to be true.
7. The beds were too hard
8. The walls were paper thin and you could hear every word your neighbors would say
9. Internet was very expensive, he charges per minute 10 cents which I thought was crazy
10. Lights out at 8:30 pm on the grounds
11. The weight scale was dated and was not really accurate for reading fat and hydration
12. The Library had no books on health and had old novels and old magazines and was small with a small selection.
13. Loren told us all about his financial problems and I found it to be unprofessional
14. I felt as though I was getting Island Fever and felt trapped at times.
15. The fruit after re feeding was not ripe and not very tasty
16 Not every room had warm showers
17. Mosquitoes, spiders, scorpions, snakes were on the grounds and Gekos that were very noisey at night
18. A lot of outside noise from the neighbors at times and dogs barking in the middle of the night. Bring your earplugs!
I hope that one day these corrections will be made by Loren So things will be more comfortable in the future.
[apologies if this post shows up twice... this is only my second or third contribution to 30B forums, and apparently I'm a newbie when it comes to posting / using the forums...]
Ladies & Gents, I've decided it was time to put my experience "on the record" for all to see. I think that describing as objectively as possible my experience at Tanglewood (returned home just last month, January 2011) will add some quality new content to this thread while also adding to the legitimacy of some of the previous posts within this thread. For example, I was at Tanglewood at the same time that Victoria was there, and can confirm that what she has said in this thread is essentially RIGHTon the money. Similarly, Shelah's post pretty much sounds EXACTLY like the way I would expect Loren to act in all of those situations.Before I signed up for Tanglewood, I did a fair amount of research. Evidence against Tanglewood/Loren is building quite strongly at the moment. However, in the fall of last year, while I was doing my reading, I couldn't come to a strong conclusion either way. I wanted to fast, the price was great, the weather forecast for Panama in December & January looked great, so it was sort of a no brainer for me to do it.
[btw, a note/disclaimer: this, of course, is not a complete account of my experiences, I'm just taking 30-60 minutes to write my MAIN observations and MAIN feelings, which will be entirely or almost entirely negative] enjoy :)
I signed up for the internship. A 9 week program (3 week fast, 1 week refeed, 5 week internship). I ended up just doing the fast & refeeding, leaving early and not participating in the 5 week internship.
A primary reason I decided not to do the internship was because it was very clear to me throughout my entire stay that the spirit/energy of Tanglewood felt VERY misguided/dissonant. The internship program is largely about spiritual/emotional development/strength. Maintaining my own spiritual health is one of my strong suits. And, what is EXTREMELY palpable for both Tanglewood and Loren is that Tanglewood & Loren are NOT thriving spiritually. In fact, quite the opposite. I believe that most/all problems with respect to Loren and Tanglewood stem from this truth. Loren and Tanglewood's spiritual philosophy are excellent, imo. However, of course ones spiritual philosophy can be correct but one can be spiritually weak if ones application of that philosophy is not sufficient. And, my observation is this is exactly the case with Tanglewood & Loren. Tanglewood & Loren feel palpably empty, unsatisfied, clearly not thriving, greedy, etc... "You're only as healthy as you're weakest link" (did I take that from a Doug Graham mp3? :) ). In my opinion, Loren believes so strongly in his hygienic ideals (diet, living in the tropics, etc) that he has made major sacrafices in other areas of his life and as a result, his spiritual-emotional health has suffered. Loren is a liar (see other posts for examples of his lying), and possibly the cheapest guy I've ever met. However, to be fair, I am using high spiritual standards here, i.e. most people, of course, aren't thriving spiritually. However, unfortunately in Loren's case it goes beyond just an unhappiness... i.e. I think Vicky said something like "Loren is off his rocker", and I think that's correct. Shelah said that Loren is "dangerous", and, I think that's also correct. Loren = "unprofessional" is also very correct overall (though, quite often he is very good at being a professional at what he does).
I arrived in Panama City 10 days prior to the beginning of my fast. Loren allowed me to stay at Tanglewood for these 10 days, though he charged me a lot for it. This was an enjoyable 10 days. I enjoyed being around Loren. He was very friendly, polite, fun to talk with and learn from. I felt that, overall during my stay, with me especially, he did an excellent job of giving me his full attention for as long as I wanted. Unfortunately, in terms of being there for others for emotional help during the fast, I have to give Loren a VERY bad grade in this regard (though, again to be fair, my standards are high but they should be high at a fasting center). I recall multiple times during our daily group meetings, there were significant emotional problems that some guests were dealing with that Loren CLEARLY dealt with FAR too superficially (i.e. did not really address). This is clearly a huge problem at Tanglewood... the spiritual-emotional support system for fasters is pretty much terrible.
5 days before Friday the interns/guests started arriving, while we were all working in the office, I ended up offering to help Tanglewood with a "high priority" task. I am half joking here, but my deepest apologies to anyone and everyone who had to pay for internet because, the task that I performed for Tanglewood was setting up public internet kiosks/workstations. In the past, people paid internet on the honor system, and many people didn't pay, so Loren wanted one of those real public internet cafe software networks setup for his two guest computers. Neither Emily or Loren would have been able to set this up (it involved finding the right software, setting up a network, installing the software & linking it between the computers, setting up the timecards, etc). It took me approximately 12 hours to set this up for them, which, at the time I was totally happy to do as a favor. To make a long story short, despite the fact that I had spent 12 hours setting up this "high priority" task that would be a huge revenue boost for them and despite the fact that I donated a few brand new books that Loren said would be useful for the internship program (and I also helped Emily troubleshoot while fasting...), Emily still tried to charge me full price for the internet. I told Emily this makes no sense, she cut the price in half for me on my first internet bill. Then, my second and last internet bill, she charged me again, at which point I went into the office to "coach" Tanglewood (especially Emily) on business ethics, commonsense reciprocation. After letting me say what I had to say, Loren reluctantly waived my internet bill of $15. Immediately following this, he gave me a pleasant 20 minute drive to the bus station, where I caught my public transport to Panama City.
OK one more story for now... for the first 10 days that I stayed at Tanglewood prior to the guests arriving, the center had a very relaxed feel, including the way the kitchen worked. We ate together 3x per day which was quite enjoyable. But, the kitchen also had the feel of always being "open" - ie I followed the lead of others who, when they felt like it, went in there to eat a few bananas. Fastforward to the day that I'm leaving Tanglewood. I learned the prior night that guests are able to take fruit with them for the travel day as they leave Tanglewood. I was leaving in a just a few hours, and it looked like Loren (who was in a lecture at the time) may have forgotten to tell one of the staff to prepare my going away fruit. So, I simply saved everyone the hastle/time, and did what I was doing back before the fast when I was eating normally... went into the kitchen, and grabbed a few bananas for the road. Emily saw this and wasn't pleased with it, and she let me know about it... a very mean confrontation towards me, as well as being completely unreceptive to my attempts to apologize. After Emily literally ignored (via walking away) my attempts to apologize, I went straight to Loren to make sure the record was set straight. He handled it fairly well i.e. he said "it's not a big deal", and gave me a mild apology for Emily's behavior. But, if I were him I would have been much more apologetic as I was treated extremely rudely by Emily (and made a point to express this to Loren).
On its own, my account isn't totally conclusive for dissuading a prospective Tanglewood guest, but I think that all of the comments/observations in this thread and others are put together, a prudent researcher will I hope decide not to fast at Tanglewood. Even though I would strongly encourage family and friends to fast, I would never, ever let any family/friends attend Tanglewood...
Well written Dave...I totally agree with your perspective too. At least we met each other and had a relatively easy time fasting...the silver lining to our experience. It was a pleasure to meet you and I am glad to know you.
Very well written. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience!
If you are talking about the girl I think you are talking about, that would be ViNikki on this forum. I really don't give a damn anymore about what's going on between Loren and Doug but thanks for sharing your experience at Tanglewood, it's important information to get out.
As regards the girl, yes a girl who visited Loren's retreat died around Jan 28th of this year after having been at Tanglewood in November. The girl herself was suffering from an eating disorder and was delusional and we know that she lied about many things. She told me that she had fasted at Loren's place. Loren told me she didn't fast. Certainly if she was permitted to fast, one would seriously have to question the intentions of the individual that permitted her to fast. I don't know what the truth is there. That said, this girl had been suffering from an eating disorder for 3 years and by the time she got to Tanglewood, it would have been miraculous if Loren could have done anything for her because her digestive strength was non-existent and her body had been rejecting any type of dense food (bananas, etc..) for a while. We certainly could have done nothing for her when she stayed near me in Costa Rica... just refused hospitalization and was already at the point of no return.
All I will say about this is that it is unfair to attribute the death of this girl to Loren because nothing could be done for her aside from tube-feeding, hospitalization and supervision, all of which she rejected. I can't fathom her being allowed to fast and hope that she was there solely to attempt to increase her caloric intake under supervision.
Okay I was not talking about a girl with an eating disorder..I believe she was the girl Loren told us about and she was there to gain weight and eat, but she refused and she exercised and starved instead. I was talking about a man named Jonathan and he started very very thin and he went on a 32 day fast. By day 7 he was weighing in at a mere 97 lbs and he was 5"10..I thought he done at day 7 to be honest but nobody cared what I thought, what do I know right?
Anyway, he died 2-3 weeks after re feeding..I thought that he should have been better checked up on..the check ups were lousy. It didn't matter what anyone thought, Loren had gotten his $$ already and didn't really care about what people might be going through..You really get to know a person after living around them for almost a month..I say almost a month b/c I decided that I just could not be there past that..I was totally done with the place.
I would love to connect with you regarding L.Lockman..is there an e mail where I can reach you?