Leadership Dynamics

Leadership Dynamics, also known as Leadership Dynamics Institute (LDI), was a private, for-profit company, owned by William Penn Patrick. The company focused on executive training, personal development and self-improvement. Leadership Dynamics was the first form of what psychologists termed "Large Group Awareness Training".[1]

Leadership Dynamics
For-profit, private
FounderWilliam Penn Patrick
HeadquartersCalifornia, United States
Area served
Key people
Alexander Everett
Servicespersonal development
OwnerWilliam Penn Patrick
SubsidiariesMind Dynamics, Holiday Magic


William Penn Patrick wrote a booklet entitled Happiness and Success through Principle, in 1967, and founded Leadership Dynamics based on those principles. Every employee in the management of Holiday Magic were then expected to take part in the Leadership Dynamics coursework,[2] which was described as having "overtones of strict military training techniques."

William Penn Patrick was the financial backer of the company, and also provided the financial backing for Holiday Magic and Alexander Everett's Mind Dynamics.[3] Patrick stated that students of the Leadership Dynamics Institute would be able to lead "a more creative and constructive life."[3] Patrick utilized the principles of Everett's Mind Dynamics in his company.[3]

Ben Gay, a high-level instructor at Leadership Dynamics, was President of Holiday Magic in the United States.[2] Though he claimed Leadership Dynamics was a separate company, "..in no way related to Holiday Magic, Inc.", author Gene Church pointed out many inconsistencies in this statement.[2][4] According to a lawsuit brought against Holiday Magic by the Securities and Exchange Commission, in order to advance to the positions of Instructor General, Trainer General, and Senior General within the company, employees were mandated to take part in the Leadership Dynamics training.[5]

In 1970, William Penn Patrick bought Mind Dynamics, and the Leadership Dynamics coursework soon became popular in the United States, Europe, and Australia.[6] However, Patrick's businesses became involved in pyramid schemes, and Leadership Dynamics, Holiday Magic, and Mind Dynamics shut down in 1973.[6]


Michael Langone wrote in Business and Society Review that Leadership Dynamics was one of the first "transformational trainings".[7] The extreme form of human potential movement training[7] led to a series of lawsuits for the company. This extreme training involved subjecting course participants to abusive practices such as beating, food and sleep deprivation, being placed inside of coffins, and degrading sexual acts.[7]

Lawsuits against the company by former participants in the coursework alleged that students were sexually abused and tortured, including being placed in coffins or on crosses.[8] The non-fiction book, The Pit: A Group Encounter Defiled described some of these practices in great detail,[2] and this was later made into a film, Circle of Power.[9]


Langone noted that many forms of transformational trainings were at the least, indirectly influenced by Leadership Dynamics.[7]

While working for Holiday Magic, Lifespring founder John Hanley attended a course at Leadership Dynamics.[10] Chris Mathe, at the time a Ph.D. candidate in clinical psychology, wrote that most of today's current forms of Large-Group Awareness Training were modeled after the Leadership Dynamics Institute.[11] Mathe cited Lifespring, Insight Seminars, PSI Seminars, New Warriors, and Impact as groups that were influenced by Leadership Dynamics.[11]


  1. ^ Kilzer, Lou (July 18, 1999). "Desperate Measures Network of Behavior Modification Compounds Known as Teen Help Has Straightened Out Hundreds of Defiant Adolescents, But Its Methods Aren't For the Faint-hearted". Rocky Mountain News. E. W. Scripps Company.
    "The first of the genre psychologists call "large group awareness training" was the Leadership Dynamics Institute..."
  2. ^ a b c d Church, Gene; Conrad D. Carnes (1972). The Pit: A Group Encounter Defiled. Outerbridge & Lazard. ISBN 978-0-87690-087-1. ISBN 0-87690-087-2.
  3. ^ a b c Lande, Nathaniel (1976). Mindstyles, Lifestyles: A Comprehensive Overview of Today's Life-changing Philosophies. Price/Stern/Sloan. pp. 138, 143, 144.
  4. ^ Church, Gene., The Pit, Pp. 2, 8.
    "Ben Gay stated that leadership Dynamics Institute was a separate company, in no way related to Holiday Magic, Inc. (It must have been a coincidence that Ben Gay was at that time President of Holiday Magic in the United States. A coincidence that the founder of Holiday Magic, William Penn Patrick was co-owner of LDI. Coincidence that instructor Jerry Booz was National Vice-President for Holiday Magic Ltd. in Canada, that instrutctor Sharoll Shumate was Regional Vice-President for Holiday Magic in the United States Northeast, and that instructor Vance Powell was Regional Vice-President for Holiday Magic in the United States Southwest.)"
  5. ^ 84 F.T.C. 748, IN THE MATTER OF HOLIDAY MAGIC, INC., ET AL. ORDER, ETC., IN REGARD TO ALLEGED VIOLATION OF SEC. 5 OF THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ACT AND SEC. 2(a) OF THE CLAYTON ACT, Docket 8834., Complaint, Jan. 18, 1971, Decision, Oct. 15, 1974, 248. Leadership Dynamics Institute.
  6. ^ a b Navarro, Espy M.; Robert Navarro (2002). Self Realization: The Est and Forum Phenomena in American Society. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 55, 58. ISBN 1-4010-4220-1.[self-published source?]
  7. ^ a b c d Langone, Michael (1989). "Beware of `New Age' Solutions to Age Old Problems". Business and Society Review. 69: 39–42.
  8. ^ The Role of Small Business in Franchising, Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Minority Small Business.", United States Congress. United States House of Representatives. House Permanent Select Committee on Small Business., 1973, P. 127, 137, 157, 203.
  9. ^ Bobby Roth (1983). Circle of Power (Film). United States: Media Home Entertainment.
  10. ^ Fisher, Marc (October 25, 1987). "I Cried Enough to Fill a Glass: In One Lifespring Session, Trainees May Find Themselves Crawling on Their Hands and Knees, Wailing Like Infants and Tightly Hugging 200 Total Strangers - All to Get Control of Their Lives. Does it Work? Sometimes". The Washington Post. 1987 The Washington Post.
  11. ^ a b Mathe, Ph.D., Chris., Choosing a Personal Growth Program: Ten questions to help you make an informed decision, Chris Mathe 1999. Alternate site

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