Updated: Dec 30, 2021
When you learn that trolls are inflated old infants, you see that they need to be stood up to and not feared.
Through our pioneering work at Lighthouse International Group we have attracted all sorts of responses over the course of 18 years from over 70,000 people. We’ve been discovering what it takes for the everyday, goodhearted person to become a highly effective leader, entrepreneur and benefactor who never needs to say no to help someone in need in their own home or outside because of a lack of resources. Anyone healthy will read this and think, “Wow! That sounds incredible! How can I be involved?” And we’ve had that, many love the idea of what we’re seeking to achieve, but very few have been prepared to make the investments and sacrifices required to get to the root of this.
Recently we’ve had a tiny percentage (less than 0.01%) of the thousands of people we’ve engaged with who have decided to troll us anonymously online. We’ve been monitoring this for around 9-10 months. We’ve sought legal counsel and used the situation as a real-life case study into the pathology of trolls. We’ve been accused of all sorts of things; scammers, cult leaders, manipulators, coercive. I’ve written about this in another post - What Trolls Say About Lighthouse International Group When They Are Anonymous.
There’s been absolutely no balance; it’s been full of bias, prejudice and hatred. Trolls are hateful people who have often been damaged in their experience growing up. Whilst we do not condone their actions, we do feel compassion for them because of the reasons for the way they feel about us and our work. Unhealthy people do unhealthy things and trolling is far from healthy… it causes children to take their own lives and it needs to be stopped!
The Challenge To The Trolls of Lighthouse International Group
So, on a recent call we discussed some of the next steps with handling this situation and our Head Mentor Paul Waugh basically laid down the gauntlet and communicated a very clear message to anyone choosing to troll us at Lighthouse…
"Whoever wants to do their worst, do your worst, do your damnedest, be the most negative, the most unwise, be as stupid, be as foolish, be as anti-loving, as non-loving, as bitter, as horrible, as nasty in the name of clever or intellect, in the name of it. Be as unrighteous, be as unloving, be as bitter, be as twisted, be as unprincipled, be as unlawful, be as anonymous as you can be. Feed that into your intellect, we will feed exactly the opposite. Let's see how this works out." - Paul Waugh
I was excited to share this because of what this represents. This is not just a message to the people trolling Lighthouse, but it’s a message to anyone who decides it’s acceptable to troll another human being. This is the voice of Parents Against Trolls & Trolling; to stand up against those who insist on being negative, nasty and destructive. If you dare to troll in a way that harms a child directly or indirectly, then we will do what it takes to ensure you are held accountable by law!
What Have The Trolls Achieved Through Trolling & What Has Lighthouse Achieved?
For the last several months I’ve been closely monitoring the trolling situation and what I’ve found incredible is that the actions of our trolls have actually had the opposite effect to what’s been intended.
To back this up I thought I'd lay out the facts of what the trolls have achieved through their trolling over the last 9 months;
So far, the trolls have achieved the following….
Created posts on Reddit that are being used to dog-pile through comments from multiple anonymous users - not liking it when our supporters challenge their vitriol
Copied and pasted slanderous posts on LinkedIn and Quora that aren’t relevant to the posts in question.
Created a trolling website ‘Questioning Lighthouse Group’ that attracts 36 visits a month and is under criminal investigation.
Set up a site ‘Questioning Lighthouse International Group Blog’ site that is now offline
Started a Facebook group for ex-members of Lighthouse International Group and then took it offline or made it private because they realised their anonymous cover would be blown!
Created a YouTube channel with one subscriber and one video with an anonymous robotic-sounding female voice and no humanness
Risked the financial security, careers and reputations of every single person complicit in this illegal online abuse (contrary to slanderous rumours, our legal team does exist!) Their employers are now being contacted to report the fact that people in their employ are engaging in this unlawful behaviour.
Wasted police time on two separate occasions (also under investigation).
On the other hand, this experience has meant the following for us at Lighthouse International Group….
Strengthened the core team of Lighthouse Associates; to stop being so passive and neurotic, find their voice and stand up to vitriolic nonsense.
Deepened our relationship with Christ and God as the ultimate source of our human potential - what a story we have to tell!! We started off as agnostics, Muslims, Sikhs, Catholics and atheists.
Through real-life experiences, categorically prove our findings that the top 5 biggest obstacles to realising our potential are parents, siblings, partners, friends and colleagues. Many of us didn't want to believe that our families would be opposed to our growth, but the true feelings towards us and our work have been revealed.
Shown even more clearly who we can and cannot work with at Lighthouse International Group.
Provided greater impetus to optimise our online presence and social media strategy - producing and sharing some incredible insights.
Enabled the production of videos that’s enabling people to benefit from pioneering wisdom and inspiration through our YouTube channels.
Have provided hundreds of pages of evidence to show the narcissism present in trolling that we and our PhDs can study and reference to help others.
Used this experience to launch Parents Against Trolls & Trolling.
Instigated the launch of this Lighthouse Community site to express the voice of the wonderful human beings involved here.
Provided the final impetus for our global launch… giving a message of hope to the children drinking toxic water and a damning blow to all our critics who never believed in us and our potential.
Attracted an interview with ITV News approaching us to discuss anonymity in relation to online trolling on the day of our launch… an unplanned bonus!
Apparently, the trolls are 'just getting started', but what that means is that if they intend to continue and even step things up, then they do two things;
Incriminate themselves further because what they are doing is illegal (have they sought legal counsel to advise otherwise as we've recommended?)
Accelerate our progress and levels of success at Lighthouse because we strive to take every negative situation and turn it into a positive one.
See the difference in pathology at play? A troll looks to break down, criticise and destroy. We don't want that... we want to build value and create more ways to serve others. Genuine, self-sacrificial love is more powerful than hate or fear and darkness doesn't exist where light is shone. When things kicked off a few months ago, Paul Waugh shared that ultimately we have more time, more people, more resources and we are building a business that will add extraordinary levels of value to many, many people. We have everything to gain from this situation whilst those trolling have everything to lose; their careers, their source of income, their reputation, their blindsidedness and the inflated idea of themselves.
We're prepared to take the hits, we've taken them for the last 18 years through snide comments, cynical questions and derogatory statements... we're also harder on ourselves than any troll can be! We're far from perfect and we'll openly admit that... BUT we are prepared to look at ourselves to do something about our fallibilities. That's part of what it means to be an Associate at Lighthouse. Those who have left Lighthouse found that too frightening and uncomfortable to bear - why aren't they sharing that online? Are they willing to look at themselves and change their ways or will they continue to point fingers at others for their own shortcomings as they have done through their whole lives?
We Haven't Been 'All Talk' at Lighthouse International Group
We’ve had criticism from the trolls about our ‘endless sermons’ at Lighthouse, but what’s evident is that those criticising this clearly weren’t listening! By their unhealthy pathology, they did recognise the power and potential of us and our work at Lighthouse. Do they really think we’ve made all the sacrifices and investments we have to not go out into the world and do something about all we’ve learnt? That would be absolutely barking mad!
Just because many of us had been picked on and pushed about when we grew up and just because we are the sort of people that many would not expect to excel in life and business, it didn’t mean that we would be continuing that trend. This is what our work is all about and 18 years of pushing ourselves to the limit have proven how hard it can be to break through because we've tried absolutely everything humanly possible through mentoring, coaching and counselling.
We’ve also needed to ensure that the team was right before launching globally and a lot of healing needed to take place first. We've let go of the last weak links who were not truly committed to their growth and development. We're looking forward to meeting whatever challenge the trolls are looking to offer, but ultimately we don't want to fight, we want them to become healthier and inspire other trolls to do the same so that we do not have to hear about children taking their own lives because of trolling.
This year has been a formative one, so I wanted to end by expressing my gratitude for how catalytical this experience has been. As someone who’s suffered from bullying personally, it has enabled me to face my own demons and grow in such a way that I’m more capable of helping others who’ve been through similar experiences. Here's to those out there who have been persecuted and want to join us in healing to become benefactors capable of alleviating suffering in a way that's never been done before; starting with ourselves. If you'd like to learn more about how mentoring through Lighthouse International Group can help you stand up to bullies, then I'd love to hear from you. Here is a powerful example of what it means to build meaningful, rich, win-win relationships from my mentor Paul Waugh:
Discover more about what we've learnt on our social media platforms.