3P Brainwashing? A Response to Someone Distressed About a Family Member

I recently received this note from someone wanting some advice (“pick my brains”) about the Three Principles Psychology (3P), which I have written about in a number of articles. I emailed her back but her address bounced (probably misspelled). I’ll call her “A”. 
I thought my response would be of possible interest to other people to warrant posting it here. 

(A. – If you see this, I can always be  reached at:  platt.eric [at]



Message Body:
I hope you don’t mind me reaching out to pick your brains, I came across your website whilst trying to gather some information on the 3 principles it seems a difficult subject to find information from people who have turned their back on it.
I have someone very close to me in my family that has joined the community and I have noticed that it has changed them and I wouldn’t say it’s for the best. I have noticed the person has become quite unbalanced she is highly strung, stressed, unable to listen or follow instructions, telling numerous lies, outspoken to the point of being really rude to people around her and seems to be preaching the 3 principles to anyone that will listen to it. I don’t know anything about the 3ps and have to say that if this is what happens to people when they join I’m not a fan! It appears that she is involved with a cult and has become brainwashed. Are you able to please shed some light or point me in the direction of where I could possibly find some answers ?
Many thanks


Hi A. –

Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry to hear someone close to you seems affected negatively by 3P teachings. I say “seems” because these things are very hard to judge as far as causation and within our perception when we are so close.  And, for a third party to discern how someone else who is supposedly affected, via an email communication, or what to do about it, is also somewhat speculative. But, I’ll do my best.

(And I hope that my analysis of and talking about going beyond the 3P in my articles was not the source of extra concern, as my intent is to help, not hinder growth or be a negative influence.). 

A couple of points: I don’t know if the 3P teaching in itself is the cause of what you describe. In other words, there would have to be some pre-existing underlying insecurity or imbalance. As evidence of this, I’ll point out that some people have felt very liberated and have experienced very great transformations – it all depends on the individual, their reaction, and also, the teacher. There is a huge range of levels of practitioners out there. 

(Can I ask about your relative’s source of exposure: was it a practitioner or online?)

All this being said, the 3P are rather formulaic, and in addition people sometimes can get too enthusiastic, or even rigidly religious about it, especially soon after learning (I can relate to that!), without having enough perspective or understanding.

However it is not a “cult”, as there is no organization controlling or trying to control someone’s behavior. But as I said, someone can get too attached to an answer they have not deeply understood, such that they mis-apply it. Then they may use it as license to act out – this can happen with all spiritual and psychological teachings (and does). That acting out could very well be about something they feel more free to express now. Of course, expressing something is not the same as being free of it (the expressing could be anger, rudeness, addictions, etc.). Nor is repressing of course.

Instead they will want to look inside and see their reactions, and what’s at the root of them, and become the conscious witness. In other words, to realize that in which the reactions occur. But no one can force them to do that, to see that.

The 3P were originally meant as a way to help people find their internal freedom and express their innate potential to be loving, and see the beauty and truth in life. But at times, as the original wisdom spread into the world and became diluted, it sometimes got contaminated by egos, and there can be more of a focus on thinking and the separate or personal sense of self.

However there are some good teachers (practitioners) out there if you can find them…

I would also look at your own reactions internally, as that is truly the only place you can start from. For example – and these are only examples, as I have not met you or seen the situation – a desire to control rather than understand and love; where are feeling-reactions coming from: a sense of separation, of fear or desire, a personal agenda and expectations, or from detached and benevolent love and understanding?


If you like I can reach out to some other folks I know in the 3P world who have grown beyond the 3P and have some perspective and good grounding, if you’re interested in chatting with a professional counselor or life coach  (I’m a writer and independent “creative philosopher”).

What part of the world are you in?


Peace & Love,
Eric Platt


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