Dean Gotcher

The National Training Laboratory history explained in their own words:
and their mission statement. or
(their effort to tie parenting to social concerns, negating the traditional family system in the process)

(all regions listed below)

"For actual changes in 'content' and 'method' we must change the people who manage the school program. To change the curriculum of the school means bringing about changes in people—in their desires, beliefs and attitudes, in their knowledge and skill . . . curriculum change should be seen as a type of social change, change in people. Curriculum change means a change in the established ways of life, a change in the social standards. It means a restructuring on knowledge, attitudes, and skills in a new pattern of human relations. Educators and others in the role of change agents must have a method of social engineering relevant to initiating and controlling the change process." (Source: An NEA and National Training Laboratory manual edited by Kenneth D. Benne, Human Relations in Curriculum Change, 1951)


During the 30's America experienced a major influx of European Marxists seeking asylum from Fascism. They came with their skills in "Social Psychology" continuing to research and apply their form of Marxism on American culture. The sophistication this branch of European Marxists had in hiding their agenda behind less alarming terminology along with the general trusting nature Americans have towards educators allowed them to gain control over education, business and politics.

Prior to the 30's there developed a major split in the Marxist. What was originally two general movements, the KPD (Communist Democratic Party) and the SPD (Socialist Democratic Party), turned into three. The former following a hard line of Marxist thought, bound to a traditional structure of thought that believed Marxism could be clearly defined with outcomes preset for all to see and follow and only those who were devoted to such behavior could be tolerated. The SPD on the other hand were considered soft and dangerous by the KPD because they were willing to compromise or transcend party lines and work with non-communists in resolving social problems.

While these two knocked it out a third movement developed, the Transformational Marxists. Although this new group of Marxist's did not succeed in making inroads in European Marxism prior to the Second World War, even getting expelled from the communist party, it was this group and their ideas which are now the leading agents of change around the world.

If one studies, in depth, contemporary methodology in education, business, and politics, all research will eventually lead to at least one of three famous European Transformational Marxists. They are Karl Korsch, György Lukács, and Antonio Gramsci. Karl Korsch befriended and influenced Kurt Lewin, the father of "Group Dynamics." György Lukács along with Karl Korsch laid the groundwork for the "Institution for Social Research." Members of this Institution have had a major impact upon American society, men such as Max Horkheimer, Jürgen Habermas, Erick Fromm, Paul Lazarsfeld, Herbert Marcus, and Theodore Adorno. Bloom's Taxonomy is based upon their work. Antonio Gramsci, the third Transformational Marxist, is a must reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of contemporary education, business, and politics in America. His influence is immense.

All three Transformational Marxists have left their mark. Their work has effected organizations such as the UN, the CFR, and NATO.

Gorbachev bases his "openness" upon their structure of thought. Former President Clinton functions from their philosophical thought in his quest for world unity. This, my fellow Americans, is the stuff OBE, TQM, STW, and Common Core is made of. As noted in the 1989 Education Summit that took place in Charlottesville where state governors met about "efforts to reform American education."
"Finally, the growing involvement of the National Education Association (NEA) in American national politics was rewarded with the creation of the U.S. Department of Education by the Carter administration. Although there were serious reservations about the wisdom of creating a cabinet-level education office, President Carter and the 96th Congress went ahead and narrowly passed (by a vote of 210–206 in the House) legislation creating the U.S. Department of Education in 1979. Shirley Hufstedler, a federal judge from California, was designated the first Secretary of Education." (The Road to Charlottesville, p.4) The NEA was fully involved in the development of the National Training Laboratories in the late 40's and early 50's (as mentioned in their first training manual, Human Relations in Curriculum Change, ed. by Kenneth Benne).

The "laboratory" method of education, begun by John Dewey at Columbia University, was advanced by the late 40's and early 50's to National Training Laboratories. The first (national) "laboratory," begun in Bethel Maine, in 1947, was based upon the works of Marxist such as Kurt Lewin and J. L. Moreno (two Marxists who came to America from Europe in the late 20's and early 30'), who advancing Marxism through the use of psychology (placing the child's pleasure-pain spectrum, i.e. his opinion , i.e. how he "feels" and what he "thinks" in the 'moment,' as well as his desire for approval from the other students, i.e. being "positive" over and therefore against the parent's authority) in the classroom, not only advance Marxist ideology (the negation of the father's authority, i.e. the negation of that which is "negative," i.e. the father's commands, rules, facts, and truth) in the children, but advancing Marxist ideology in the adults, i.e. the teachers, the administration, the staff, the community, and the parents as well.


for an overview of their history link to

Kenneth Benne's second book on the National Training Laboratories was THE LABORATORY METHOD OF CHANGING AND LEARNING THEORY AND APPLICATION. The "Cookbook on humans" (Phil Ring), i.e. Human Relations in Curriculum Change, edited by Kenneth Benne is key to any understanding of the NTL's, their 'purpose,' and methods used to initiate and sustain 'change.' During the late 40s and early 50s with grants from the Carnegie Corporation the NTL "developed a national headquarters and a year-round program as a part of the Division of Adult Education of the National Education Association."

1952 – Western Training Lab

1956 – Management Work Conference Church Workers Conference (National Council of Churches)

1957 – Key Executive Lab

1959 – Educator's Lab

1960 – Community Workers Lab & Higher Education Lab

1963 – Adult Education Division split from NEA-NTL

1964 – European Institute for Trans-national Studies in Group and Organizational Development

1965 – Presidents' Conference for presidents of major industries and businesses

1968 – The Australian Institute of Human Relations . . . etc.

Jane Howard in her book Please Touch: A Guide Tour of the Human Potential Movement (McGraw-Hill, NY, 1970) gives an extended list of organizations, and Who's Who that were involved with the NTL's up to 1970. Called T-groups (Training groups) and following the encounter groups of the NTL, Howard writes "the human potential groups were striving to reacquaint us with the ‘affective domain,' and help us to be less ‘cognitive.'" Small groups were the key to the movement's success. Administrators and faculty as well as students were the main target to be exposed to "affective education," otherwise known as "sensitivity training."

"Growth Centers," (like Esalen, etc.) she wrote "began as a West Coast phenomenon. The more conservative groups organized much earlier in the East" (Bethel). The Growth Centers' "most prestigious founders" were Maslow and Rogers and ranged from their "Basic Encounter Workshop" at the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute in La Jolla to "Nude Encounter Therapy" sessions (blessed by Dr. Maslow) in Los Angeles. Warren Bennis stated "There is no sacredness to anything, including encounter."

Maslow commented to Howard "We have to teach everyone to be a therapist." He recognized the difficulty in getting the public schools to participate, "Reforming a school system is like melting a glacier." Administrators were the key to its success. Without a change in the Administrator the school system itself could not be changed.

Moreno stated "I told Freud he put people on a couch and isolated them, which was entirely wrong. We don't live on a couch; we live in groups from birth to death. Freud took people into the past, I take them into the present and future. Psychodrama deals with the Here-and-Now." As Howard put it "the groups provide the right gemeinschaft for the angsts of our zeitgeist." Moreno commented "Right now (in America, 1970) we're going through a transitional period of anarchy and chaos. The giants are dead and 200 million midgets are in charge. We have to wait for what we need: a psychiatry and sociatry for all mankind."

According to Howard the Human Potential Movement, (on which OBE, TQM, and STW are built), stems from Dr. Ferdinand Tonnies, a German sociologist of the late 1880's who recognized the differences between Gesselschaft (a patriarchal hierarchy), and Gemeinschaft (a matriarchal community. Others who followed were Joseph Pratt, Trigant Burrow, J. L. Moreno, Frank Buchman, Frederick Perls, and Wilfred Bion (Tavistock). "Tavistock groups are emotionally right wing of the NTL. They're to the NTL what the NTL is to Esalen." Howard noted Bion, the English psychologist who eventually moved to Los Angeles, as its founder. Bion was to Tavistock in London, as Kurt Lewin was to the NTL in America. Margaret Rioch, Washington D.C. School of Psychiatry and the National Institute of Mental Health, officially linked the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations to America in 1965.

Kurt Lewin believed that self-help groups could prevent the totalitarianism which developed in Germany under Hitler. He fled Berlin and came to America in 1933. Howard writes that "The small group struck him as the obvious link between individual and social dynamics."

Lewin believed he could use the group dynamic process to overcome "the social restraints imposed on groups by technology, economics, law, and politics." He believed the use of "Force Field Analysis" could help people identify the negative forces (pre-set standards) which acted as a barrier to self-determined, felt needs satisfaction and positive forces which liberated self-determined behavior.

T-groups were originally developed by Lewin at the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Commission on Community Interrelations of the American Jewish Congress. Both were involved in the Basic Skill Training Group held in Connecticut in 1946 (see Benne's book Human Relations in Curriculum Change, 1954). "The use of groups for growth purposes is as old as human life on earth . . . these studies were rather late in coming," Kenneth Benne.

With the help of the NEA, Kenneth Benne, Leland Bradford, and Ronald Lippitt continued Lewin's dream by setting up the first National Training Lab at Bethel, Main in 1947. That year Kurt Lewin died. Douglas McGregor's humanistic (anti-authoritarian) management theories, i. e. "sensitivity training," developed at Berkeley under the Industrial Relations Institute (joining labor-management relations with community service) brought the NTL to UCLA in 1954, forming the Western Training Lab.

Carl Rogers used the basic encounter group as an instrument for self-directed change in Immaculate Heart school system in Los Angeles. Dr. William Coulson overseeing this project stated that the project "simply fortifies the staffs' willingness to run risks. The individual is strengthened in encounter groups. He learns to trust his experience." He saw the encounter group "as a medium of harnessing the energy of the student revolutionary." Today those schools do not exist. The school disintegrated under the watchful eye of Rogers and Coulson. Both discovered a "pattern of failure" with the group encounter process. Rogers saw it as a pattern hard to overcome, traditional minds tended to prevail in society despite the pressure to change, while Coulson saw the process itself as a failure. Coulson continues to sound the warning today.

The NTL's carried out labs "geared to the special needs of key executives, middle-management workers and, corporation presidents." Companies were encouraged to commit themselves to five years of their time to the NTL's.

The National Council of Churches helped sponsor encounter groups such as "Theological Reflection on the Human Potential." As Jane Howard stated in 1970, "One could make a life work of visiting all the churches that have been affected by sensitivity training." Religious institutions such as "Willow Creek" and "Saddleback" push the encounter group experience in churches even today.

The encounter group experience produces an "ephemeral" effect on its participants. Like an intoxicating drug it keeps those who have experienced it "clamoring for more."

A few of the Growth Centers, as mentioned by Howard, which were in operation by 1970, were: Gestalt Therapy Institute of San Diego; Institute of Group Psychotherapy in Beverly Hills, Nexus in El Cajon; Western Behavioral Science Institute in LaJolla; American Association for Humanistic Psychology in San Francisco; Berkeley Center for Human Interaction; Esalen Institute in Big Sur and San Francisco; San Francisco Gestalt Therapy Institute; Institute for Group and Family Studies in Palo Alto; Senoi Counseling and Growth Center in Eugene, Oregon; Center of Man in Mincanopy, Florida; Family Relations Institute in Annadale, Virginia; Laos House: Southwest Center for Human Potential in Austin, Texas; Association of Community Trainers in New York City; Institute for Experimental Education in Lexington, Massachusetts; Institute for Rational Living in Philadelphia; Moreno Institute of Psychodrama in New York City and Beacon, New York; National Council of Churches in New York City; Psychosynthetic Research Foundation in New York City; and Gestalt Training Institute of Canada at Lake Cowichan, Vancouver, British Columbia.

By 1970 there were six NTL divisions: NTL Institute for Applied Behavior Science (Washington D.C.); Midwest Group for Human Resources in Kansas City, Missouri; NTL Institute in Portland, Oregon; NTL Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah; NTL Labs in Bethel, Maine; Cedar City, Utah; Lake Arrowhead, California; and Western Training Labs at UCLA in Los Angeles. The Diaprax article Regional Training Laboratories (Federally funded Marxist training camps) lists the contemporary NTL's, now called Regional Training Labs.

Howard's 1970 list of companies which use NTL training reads like Who's Who; American Airlines, Boeing, Dow Chemical, General Electric, General Foods, IBM, Kaiser Aluminum, Eli Lilly, Monsanto, Procter and Gamble, Standard Oil, TRW, just to mention a few.

Her listing of colleges and universities is likewise extensive, mentioning Stanford, Brigham Young, Georgia State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Universities of Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Oregon, Utah, Michigan, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Harvard, Maryland, Vermont, Yeshiva, Temple, Teachers College of Columbia, MIT, SUNY, New York, George Washington (D.C.), Boston College, Georgia State College, Colorado State College, etc. Today it would be a short list to name those who have not participated with the NTL's group encounter agenda.

All I can say to those who use this process, although I doubt they would or even could understand, "Professing to be wise, they have become Fools." Herein lies the title to a book Death to America. Who killed America? You did. When you refused to proclaim the Word of God or stopped doing so when confronted with group dynamics, you killed America. Every time you made mankind, instead of God, the source for your felt needs satisfaction, America died.


The Regional Educational Laboratories are listed in the National Education Goals Panel Community Action Toolkit. -- -- --For warnings about the NEGPCAT ( )

The Regional Educational Laboratories (FreurxistFreud plus Marx, Transformational Marxists regionalization of the United States) are:

Appalachia Educational Laboratory, Charleston, WV or

Far West Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, San Francisco, CA

Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory, Aurora, CO

Missouri Office, Kansas City, MO

North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, Oak Brook, IL

Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Portland, OR

Pacific Region Educational Laboratory, Honolulu, HI

Regional Laboratory for Educational Improvement of the Northeast and Islands, Providence, RI,

Research for Better Schools, Inc., Philadelphia, PA

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, Austin, TX

Southeastern Regional Vision for Education, Greensboro, NC

Tallahassee, Florida Office, Tallahassee, FL

Math and Science Consortium, Atlanta, GA

Cleveland, Mississippi Office, Cleveland, MS

Columbia, South Carolina Office, Columbia, SC

Their regional representatives and departments are listed as:

Region I: CT, VT, ME, NH, MA, RI,--Boston, MA

Region II: NJ, NY, PR, VI

Region III: DE, DC, WV, MD, PA, VA—Philadelphia, PA

Region IV: FL, SC, GA, TN, KY, MS, NC, AL--Atlanta, GA

Region V: IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI--Chicago, IL

Region VI: AR, LA, NM, OK, TX—Dallas, TX

Region VII: IA, KS, MO, NE—Kansas City, MO

Region VIII: CO, MT, ND, SD, UT—Denver, CO

Region IX: AS, AZ, CA, GU, HI, NV, CN, MI—San Fran., CA

Region X: AK, ID, OR, WA—Seattle, WA


These books are for those who want to go beyond application and want to know how the process for change was developed (justified) and implemented.

A Handbook of Child Psychology by Carl Murchison, 1933; reissued in 1967. Kurt Lewin's "Environmental Forces" is must reading.

A Dynamic Theory of Personality by Kurt Lewin, 1935. This is one of the most quoted and referred to sources of Kurt Lewin's and clearly brings the Berlin, Germany project to Iowa City, Iowa, USA.

Cooperation: Principles and Practices by the 11th Yearbook, Dept. Sup. & Dir. Of Instr., 1938. This work is a precursor to the following books:

The Discipline of Practical Judgment in a Democratic Society by Kenneth D. Benne, George E. Axtelle, B. Othanel Smith, and R. Bruce Raup, Yearbook No. 28, Nat. Soc. Of Coll. Teach. of Ed., 1942, 1943.

The Improvement of Practical Intelligence, February, 1950.

Bulletin Number 7 by Kenneth D. Benne and Boziar Muntyan, 1950. This work was published three times under the Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Illinois Secondary School Curriculum Program Series. C. W. Sanford directed and B. Othanel Smith facilitated.

Human Relations in Curriculum Change by Kenneth D. Benne and Bozidar Muntyan, 1951, 54. This book is the clearest reading I have ever found on how the Laboratories work. Despite its "age" it is up to date concerning the general principles of "controlled" change. A Who's Who book, ie. Lewin, etc.

Child Behavior and Development by Roger Barker, Jacob S. Kouin, and Herbert F. Wright, 1943. Barker was a major influence in the National (now Regional) Training Laboratories.

Readings in Social Psychology (1st and 2nd ed.) by Theodore M. Newcomb and Eugene L. Hartley, 1947, 1953 (3rd ed.) included Eleanor Maccoby, 1958. All three editions are different and each contains specific information regarding the development of the process of "change" and its application.

The Dynamics of Planned Change by Ronald Lippitt, Jeanne Watson, and Bruce Westley, 1948. Ronald Lippitt worked with Kurt Lewin. He had major influence on Ronald Havelock and Warren Bennis who either build off of his material or use it as a supplementary source for their own. Bennis considered Lippitt too constructed in his approach to the implementation of change through the use of change agents.

The Planning of Change by Warren G. Bennis, Kenneth D. Benne, and Robert Chin, 1961, 1969, 1974. All three works are about 80% different from each other and each must be read as unique to the development and implementation of change being used by change agents.

Taxonomy of Educational Objectives Handbook I: Cognitive Domain by Bloom and Krathwohl, 1956 and Taxonomy of Educational Objectives Handbook I: Affective Domain by Krathwohl and Bloom, 1964 are the culminating work of all the books listed above. These are the bedrock works for OBE, TQM, and STW.

The Change Agents Guide to Innovation in Education by Ronald G. Havelock, 1973 is the result of a Federally funded project, The Guide or Diffusion of Utilization Research of Knowledge Linkers in Education under contract No. OEC-8-080603-4535 (010) under the office of Education, U.S. Department of Health, Education, & Welfare. The Change Agents Guide. . . explains how change agents are used and how the Training Laboratories are able to control the local schools and the communities.

Putting Knowledge to Use by Edward Glaser, et al., 1983. Glaser shows how the UN is using science and technology as the medium for global control. He compares and contrasts the research of social psychologists being used around the world today.

© Institution for Authority Research Dean Gotcher 1997-2015