I take exception to the article about Lifespring in The Post magazine {Oct. 25}. I took the Lifespring courses in 1980 and was a volunteer and paid staff person for three years. It was disheartening to me that out of 250,000 graduates from the course, reporter Marc Fisher chose to devote three of the 16 pages of his article to the small percentage who had negative experiences and to the less-than-positive aspects of the company.

Mr. Fisher stated that Lifespring does no screening, when, in fact, candidates are screened. Each candidate has a phone interview with a paid staff person or a trained volunteer before entering the course. If there is serious concern about a candidate's mental stability, he is strongly advised not to take the course. If a candidate has been in therapy, he is required to have a signature from his therapist stating that the subject of taking the course has been discussed with the therapist. The trainer also has the authority to ask a participant to leave the training if he feels the mental stability of that participant is at risk. Graduates are further screened through one-on-one interviews before attending the second, more advanced course.

It is my understanding that a "casualty" to Lifespring includes individuals who simply did not like the course and asked for their money back, not just the people who were allegedly scarred emotionally as a result of the course, as stated in the article.

I am one of the 95 percent of satisfied customers of the Lifespring courses. Although I have not been involved with the organization for the past four years, I can honestly say that my life and my perspective on it have done a 180-degree turn since I took the basic course seven years ago, and I do not need to go back to the Lifespring environment for a regular "fix," as was intimated in the article.

There are hundreds of Lifespring graduates like me. I am saddened that stories like mine were excluded from the article.


I am one of the hundreds of military officers who have "done the training" and one of the 95 percent general enrollment whose life-affirming experience -- in the Basic, the Advanced, the Leadership and other programs -- was not accorded proportionate description in the article on Lifespring.

For the record, I was a woman traveling comfortably enough from birth to death, successful in my career, with family and friends nearby. Then my Lifespring experience offered me the opportunity to notice and to become accountable for the vitality, compassion and self-respect in this life of mine. My Lifespring experience was a summons to joy, a powerful witness to the gifts within me and a challenge (which continues) to use these gifts to their full value.

MARY A. SPRING Arlington