An uncrazy review of the Landmark Forum

WARNING: This is a frickin’ long post. Seriously. Get some popcorn and a couple shots of vodka before you start reading.

I promised a Landmark Forum wrap-up, and here it is. Can’t say I don’t deliver.

To be honest it’s not really what I wanted to write about tonight, and I don’t think it’s going to be wildly entertaining for many peeps. But on the other hand, when I was leading up to my forum weekend I was soaking up every blog post about Landmark I possibly could, whether positive or negative. So I feel like now that I’ve done the forum myself, I should contribute to this dialogue in some way.

Annoyingly, most of the reviews I stumbled upon while I was researching the Landmark Forum had one thing in common – EXTREMISM. (Yes, I used all capitals for that. What of it?) It was either the cheerleaders with their verbal arse-lickings of “OMG! The forum has changed my life! I will never be the same again! The last 45 years of my worthless existence have been completely overwritten! In the immortal words of Yazz and the Plastic Population, the only way is up baby!” or the conspiracy theorists whining “Run! Run away children! It’s a cult! They make you give all your money away and they don’t even let you nick out for a loo break!”

They used a lot of exclamation marks, those damn bloggers.

So anyway, hopefully this will be a more balanced review. I’m going to be completely honest about my experience, but it’s just one girl’s opinion really, so make of it what you will.

For those unfamiliar with the Landmark Forum, the basic facts are that it’s a personal development course that runs over three days in London, around the Mornington Crescent area (and also in many other countries around the world). You’re in a room with around 150 others and one forum leader. My leader was David Ure, who was Australian.

Let’s shoot out some highlights and lowlights.

Highlights

  • Watching one annoying woman’s face fall in the first ten minutes of the weekend when the leader called her a jerk and she realised it wasn’t going to be three days of rainbows and group hugging after all. Cop that, bitch.
  • Putting together the weird little puzzle of events in my life that have led me to where I am with certain people, and then actually being able to wipe that slate clean for good.
  • Realising that one of the most important things to me is having the integrity to keep your promises – no matter how big or small – and finding practical ways to implement that possibility in my life.
  • Being told that life is indeed meaningless, and feeling excited about that fact instead of depressed.
  • Getting real with myself about the insane interpretations I’ve had of things that have happened, and realising that they’re just that – things that happen – and nothing else.

Lowlights

  • This one was pretty key for me. Because I had read so much about the forum and knew what to expect, I got everything David was saying straight away. That was slightly problematic, because I felt that the entire weekend I was “getting” everything on an intellectual level, but not having these amazing “Ah-ha!” emotional moments that it seemed every other person in the room was having. I therefore spent a lot of the weekend worrying that I was missing out on some deeply personal revelation. Don’t do this.
  • There was a lot of yelling. (On the other hand, there was a lot of laughing too.)
  • There were a lot of annoying new-agey types who just wanted to hug everyone and talk about their feelings a lot during the breaks. I tried to discourage this behaviour by pointedly putting in my earphones whenever anyone wearing wooden beads or a multicoloured headscarf started to sidle my way.
  • The hard sell – YIKES. To be honest I don’t know if I’d bother showing up on the last night unless you’re particularly keen to do so. They make a big deal about how you really, really, really, really, REALLY have to come on the last night, and then it turns out they just wanted to recruit your friends and sign you up to the next course. I didn’t get anything else out of the last night, personally.

Just to answer any lingering questions you may have after reading some of the craziness lurking online about the forum, its purpose and its effects, here are some quick FAQ.

Is it a cult?
No. The people who call it a cult are stupid and sensationalist. Calling it a cult makes it sound much more glamorous than it actually is. If I join a cult I expect to be mentally seduced by a charismatic bald guy wearing leather sandals, not called a jerk and told to stop acting like a brat by a middle-aged Australian in glasses and a brown cardigan.

But don’t they take all your money and make you dump your boyfriend and stuff?
I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty damn expensive. Especially when you move into the Advanced Course, the Self-Expression and Leadership Program, etc. But on the other hand, who cares? Obviously the people who do this thing can afford to. They’re not paying for it with three years’ wages from sewing Primark handbags in a sweatshop. If you have the money and inclination, more power to you. You’d only have spent it on cocktails anyway.

There was at least one guy from my forum who dumped his girlfriend during the weekend. He did it over the phone too, while she was still at home somewhere in Eastern Europe – which, just quietly, I thought was a bit shit. But frankly, I think anyone who gets dumped as a result of their partner going to the Landmark Forum was probably going to get dumped anyway. The process just got fast-tracked a little, which is likely for the best. If you’re reading this, Eastern European Dumpee, don’t worry about it. The guy DUMPED YOU OVER THE PHONE. And then he hit on me the next day. And he wasn’t very pretty or interesting. You can definitely do better.

But don’t they use brainwashing techniques like the Koreans used on the Americans after the war or whatever?

Um… no.

Well, they do this thing where they make up really arbitrary rules for the weekend, and you’re expected to make a commitment to follow them. For example, one of the rules is no alcohol or painkillers during the full course of the forum. I definitely took some aspirin on the second day and no form of retribution befell me, so relax.

I’ve seen a lot of blogs where people try to justify this rule as, “Oh, they just want you to keep a clear head, it helps you take in the information better” etc, but actually our forum leader gave no such reasoning, and I don’t believe there was any such reasoning.

My guess is that if you can make someone follow a seemingly pointless rule, and follow it to the letter, unquestioningly… then they’re basically giving themselves over to the whole process and will probably shut off that cynical part of their brain that has to question everything all the time. I’m not saying this is a good or bad thing.

Well, actually, it’s probably good. I mean, the thing is, you’ve paid a lot of money to be there, right? You might as well embrace the concept wholeheartedly, even if it’s just for those few days. I wonder if anything I’ve just said makes sense anywhere outside of my own brain.

Don’t they make you recruit all your friends to do it as well? Isn’t it just a big ol’ pyramid scheme?

Yup. That’s marketing, baby. Hey, they’ve gotta make money, they’re not just in this business to make you feel good about your whiny little problems, jackass.

If you’re going to do this thing, you should know that there is a massive push – especially on the final evening – for you to a) bring everyone you know and have them sign up to the next forum, and b) sign up to do the Advanced Course yourself. I didn’t do either of these things. I do actually plan to do the Advanced Course at some point later this year, and I think it will be really fantastic. But I didn’t want to fork out the cash to do it immediately, and I really want to do it when I know I’ve got time for it in my life and I’m excited about it. Not just because someone is in my face saying, “Oh, you’re not signing up for the Advanced Course? Well, that’s okay. It just means that you don’t ‘get it’. You’ve still got some work to do. Yeah, see those people at the back of the room getting out their wallets? They got it. You didn’t. Sucks to be you.”

Honey, I work in marketing and I have a manipulative mother. I’ve heard it all before.

Do they really not let you go to the bathroom?

Don’t be ridiculous. Why does everyone keep saying this? They do encourage you not to be late and not to miss a minute (“That could be just the minute you need to hear the most!” Whatever…), but there’s no burly woman with a crew cut standing at the door waiting to crash-tackle you if you try to leave.

In closing…

Did I enjoy it? Not the whole thing. That weekend was actually one of the most intense experiences of my life. It was – forgive me for this hackneyed cliché (close your eyes children!) – a rollercoaster ride of emotions (cringe. I’ll be back in a minute; I just have to go scrub myself clean).

There were moments at the end of the night when I was at home in the foetal position on my living room floor crying my over-dramatic little eyes out. There were moments when I felt completely empty and pointless as a human being. But there were also moments of elation, and moments when I actually felt a significant shift in my perception of myself, the people in my life, and life in general. A good shift, I mean.

Am I glad I did it? Yep. Will I do the Advanced Course? You betcha. Would I recommend it? Word.

Okay, I’m bored of this now. I’d like to hear from anyone else who’s done the forum though. Are you a cheerleader, a conspiracy theorist, a little of both, disgruntled, excited, elated?

Thoughts? Feelings? Impressions?

148 responses to “An uncrazy review of the Landmark Forum

  1. The whole thing seems a little odd to me. But then again, I’m the most cynical person in the world.

  2. No way, I am definitely the most cynical. That sash and crown is MINE!

  3. RE: Hard sell

    I’m split over this one.

    On one hand I couldn’t take one more minute of “bring everyone you know”, “how many friends do you have?… Only 2?!?”, “sign up now or we’ll get our shite call centre peeps to dial you till your blackberry dies”…

    However, now that one of my dearest friends has been Landmarked too, I can see an immediate benefit. We can talk about our experiences, encourage each other to be our possibility, and provide support when we start to “get on one”.

    Or maybe it is just exciting to have someone who can stand all the jargon that now litters our conversations?

    Either way, it is all empty and meaningless :)

  4. Hmm yes, you are quite the canny badger LC. That is actually a very good point, and personally I think it’s even more beneficial for the recomendee than the recommender, because you have a ready-made sounding board and someone to say “I KNOW!” when you email/text them a series of unintelligible symbols after your first day at the forum, e.g. “!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????!!!!!!!OMGWTF!?!?!”

    On a sidenote, today I am creating for myself the possibility of crispy duck lao mian and perhaps some kind of delicious cocktail in the seedy heart of Soho. I feel good knowing I can count on your encouragement.

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  6. I just got home from my first Landmark tonight. I was almost in tears driving home because it wsa the most terrible day of my life. No… I had no “breakthroughs”. All I heard was a ton of YAPPING, a ton of “when we get to the forum”, and a ton of the leader telling all the speakers NO… NO.

    I am NOT looking forward to tomorrow, but the 3 people I know who have done it are extremely educated & smart and are passionate about this. I will give it a second chance, but they need to cut out this BS first day. It does NOTHING, and I hate all these robots shaking their head in agreement with something I could have told them… I am very upset with this after the first day.

    • My son’s friend invited him to go to a Land Mark forum retreat so I let him go with his friend and his friends mother. No Harm right? WRONG. He came home with shit stains in his pants crying. They wouldn’t let an 8 year old use the toilet and when he said he crapped himself the leader belittled him. They wouldn’t let him call me and belittled him even more for reason’s i can not even think to comprehend. I would not wish that on anybody, especially a innocent child. Oh and they asked for money to further my child saying he had problems. I would burn my money before i gave it to them. If you need self help go to a licensed counselor not landmark forum they will make your problems worse and charge you for it.

      • Whoaaaaa there, Nelly. I’m going to have to step in here, because as much as I’ve had my own misgivings about certain aspects of the Landmark Forum, I honestly cannot imagine this happening. If it did, then you need to report this to Landmark Education. I feel extremely confident that if the incident happened as you described it, that forum leader will be out on his or her arse in a heartbeat. I’m sure the company directors would want to know about this, so please call the branch your son attended and discuss it with them.

      • I have to agree with Jess. This sounds completely foreign to what Landmark is about. It sounds like whoever led this event was a complete shit, and should be reported. The organization would NEVER put up with this. It’s antithetical to everything they stand for – and to a CHILD no less. If you didn’t report it, please do so. This should never have happened. (Poor baby!)

      • I am curious as to whether you did report this incident? It does seem completely contradictory to what Landmark’s methods are.
        If you did follow this up, especially for the sake of preventing other children having such disturbing experiences, please share with us the outcome!

  7. Hmm, I think you’re right to stick with it. Just go with a very open mind, but don’t feel bad if you don’t ‘get it’ (such a stupid phrase!) by the end of the weekend. The truth is, if you only get a couple of useful points from it, that’s totally okay. You do NOT have to walk out of there thinking your entire life has changed and everything’s going to be wonderful from now on blah blah blah… in fact if you do, you’ll only get let down afterwards.

    But listen, there ARE some good things to get from the forum. I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but a lot of it has actually been useful to me, and I strongly suggest that even if you feel ambivalent about the forum weekend, you go ahead and do the ten-week seminar series. I got much more out of the seminar series than the actual forum – and that wasn’t even until week seven or so. I spent the first six weeks being really irritated about the whole thing.

    The thing I really got from it is the thing about having integrity and being your word, and being a stand for something in your life – and when I got that, I REALLY got it.

    Good luck, I hope the weekend gets better. Come back and let me know how you feel about it at the end of the forum.

  8. Just checked in before I go in 30 minutes to reply to a couple things…

    Integrity – I have a TON already, I do everything I say I will, on time, etc etc… so that was not hard for me… and being a stand for something in my life. I am not sure if that means about like, how passionate I am for vegetarianism and animal rights, and respecting peopels things… etc.

    I still have day one assignments to do, and I am struggling. Writing a letter? To who??? Apparently I’ve been inauthentic to EVERYONE, as she said, so, I really don’t know. I definitely DO NOT get it, yet. And am very unsure about what rackets are..

  9. I just stumbled across this site and it brought back nasty memories of my involvement with Landmark. I spent 3 years going through the courses and as an introduction leader and can honestly say that it’s the biggest crock I’ve ever come across. These people have NO interest in your life, none. They don’t care how your life is going, if you develop mental problems as a result of their thinking or how they treat you – as long as they get what they want; bodies to staff their events and paying bums on seats. Bear in mind that their leaders have no externally recognised qualifications in delivering what is effectively group therapy, no training in psychology, no code of ethics and no supervision by external authorities. This organisation exists solely to sell more courses. That’s it. If you want this sort of help, find a registered, qualified and supervised professional. Don’t risk your mental health with these unlicensed shysters.

    • Dear Rootvegetable,
      3 years is a long time.
      I acknowledge your “group therapy” comment as reasonably relevant.
      Revisit “Vicious Circles” – have a read and GET the ideas in “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude.”
      No-one is to blame. You can get the life you want through letting go and focusing on the constructive.
      All the best.

    • WOW! Something happened with you. I’m in the Introduction Leaders Program, and have been involved with this work for 34 years. Have there been times I’ve felt like this? Yes. However… It turned out that I was upset with a person IN the organization, and then decided it was the ORGANIZATION that sucked. As a matter of fact, I just reviewed the advanced course, and absolutely let the leader have it! Through our conversation, I was able to see where I felt a sense of powerlessness (I think that’s a word), and instead took control. She also made sure and support me in my complaint. Together, we communicated to the center manager and the person I was upset with.
      Amazingly enough, out of doing so, I was able to see other areas where I feel powerless in life, and just complain rather than do something about it. I now have community leaders who are asking me for my input and advice. I am also advising community leaders across the globe on their own projects.

      • wow Liz I am hearing how powerful it is to communicate about being upset and that whole “every breakdown is an opportunity for a break through” and how we don’t always know how big that breakthrough is going to be! That’s Great

  10. Yikes, it certainly is a divisive issue.

    I guess I can just respond by saying that a) of course it’s about making a profit, they’re a business… I guess it just depends whether you think that’s fundamentally a bad thing or not, b) I wouldn’t describe it as ‘effectively group therapy’, and if I had gone there wanting or expecting that, I imagine I would be rather miffed, and c) in my experience LM has been quite open about the fact that they don’t accept people who have mental health issues, and they do not provide a psychological health service in any way.

    I haven’t been into LM for three years though (and I certainly won’t continue doing courses for three years… er, I’m a bit busy), and I have no interest whatsoever in becoming an introduction leader. So I guess I can see how our experiences with the organisation are probably wildly different.

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  12. this is a great summation. I just finished Landmark last weekend. I did have a breakthrough, but the whole thing could have been over at 2p.m. on Friday for me. The next two days were unbearably boring (for me) and superfulous. I ended up leaving at 3:00 on Sunday, was given a refund despite saying that I was more than satisified with my experience.

    Of course they think I am in denial or whatev, I am absolutely thrilled with my breakthrough, even if I go back tomorrow to my former self, I had a great 4 day ride. I also have no investment in whether or not any of my friends do it.

    If they wanted to, sure. At the same time it is not the end all be all, but it certainly helped me a lot. I mean their “story” is just a story too.

    Thanks for writing this.

  13. Thanks for your comment. Sounds like you had a pretty similar experience to mine. It’s nice to hear another balanced view.

  14. Hi there,
    I just finished doing the LF course this past weekend and tomorrow is the Tuesday evening class. Even though I did have a break through and my husband and I totally benefited from these three days of BOREDOM and BACK ACHES…I decided to not invite anyone to tomorrow’s session.

    I know some people in my life that absolutely need to take this forum and I know they can have a bunch of break throughs, I just don’t want to be apart of Landmark’s marketing ploy. Granted, I did sign up for the Advance course but it’s because I wanted to do it…I did notice how they were pressuring everybody to sign up but I wanted to do it because I believe in all that they taught me this weekend. But knowing my mom and brother, they would sign up just because they didn’t want to say NO (but is that me just interpreting? Am I really brainwashed? lol). So I decided that if I just show them just how this course helped me by my change of behavior and living, then I think they would want to sign up because they saw a difference not because some stranger told them it was great.

    By the way, your blog ROCKS!!! Today I researched Landmark and I am suprised to hear how people make it sound so bad. I bet it’s from the people who went to the Tuesday evening class who felt pressured to sign up. But your blog is EXACTLY how I felt this past weekend!

    P.S.
    It’s been awhile since you wrote this blog…so have you done the Advanced Course yet? If so tell me about it!

  15. just returned from the tuesday session where one of my friends R invited me. (so much pressure)
    at first i was reluctant to go but one of our common friends called me and asked what has happened to R. he has called him up was apologizing for what happened 4 years back.
    that made me make up my mind .
    anyway
    first hand i had no idea what the landmark forum was about. never heard of previously i thought i may be another inspirational gathering by another sipiritual gurus. I hail from India and there is no shortage of such gurus who can give u very large pag of what we call spiritual alcohol here.
    the leader Mr. Sodhi was quite nice in appearance. immaculately dressed and very humurous. teasing and making fun of himself(being a sardar ) with others. One thing i should make clear before going forward. We in India get a lot of spiritual teaching from our parents and elderly family members right from our childhood. we have a tradition of it and some really really fantastic books on teachings ( hope u know about the Geeta) and many really great spiritual teachers. BUT BUT BUT (and this is important) we are also taught to critically examine anything and almost everything.
    Then mr Sodhi started about the little voice which continuously talks to u. Then i realised what he is asking for. keep ur mind clean plain as a new paper and let them inside.
    he emphasized how we have made a mess of our lives by letting ourselves fall prey to so called rackles and other problems highlighted by them.
    it seemed like a well scripted lecture. we have heard it so many times from our grand parents.
    But the real thing was now when he invited some participants to confess on the stage.
    many of them did and hats off to them for doing many would not dare to under normal circumstances.( A result of introspection)
    But what i found interesting is now
    those who confess on trivial issues like some minor problems with their relatives, a boss employee issue, business not doing so well etc etc were those who apparently did not get such teachings from their parents. they were most notably from such class of the community where materialism has been on the top of priority list.
    Unfortunately even Indians are getting materialistic today despite having such strong spritual tradition.
    So in a way i found out that the forum may work well for those who havent got it. those who have developed a notion that money matters always.
    and that u can carry out ur plans in life without any glitches, those who are afraid to struggle, those who are afraid to accept defeat, those who have developed a shell around them. The forum introduces them to the world of spirituality(though they may not accept it).
    We have lots of stories and epics and songs which give those teachings to u. But the fact is there is always a need of good teacher who can pass them to u? forum does that.
    AND SO THE CONVESION RATE WAS A VERY LOW IN DELHI.
    but as always there are side effects. u can not change urself in three days what u have made urself in years? it need a continuos process and very gruelling one.
    Adaptation is better. u try to change something and it may break in the process. so one needs to be mentally strong before taking such sessions.
    life is cruel and its harshness takes away the good qualities of life.
    so it will be interesting to watch my friend first for a couple of months.
    till then goodbye

  16. Very fair review. Agree that the hard sell was too much.

  17. So I took the landmark forum about 6 months ago and it has been nothing but good for me.. I agree that the sales pitch can be rather anoying, it is definetly a busniess, however the way I see it is that the more people I have in my life who have done the forum, and the more poeople I know who have the same tools I have to ‘deal’ with life the better my life is.. my mom recently participated and we have always had a great relationship but its beyond great now.. its not a pyrmid scheme.. you dont get any money for signing others up. Its like anything in life take what you like and leave what you dont.. Also your not going to get brainwashed.. and its not a cult.. there is nothing to believe in, and many participants practice various religions, or not. its just a weekend which gives you tools to handel the crap life might throw at you, to improve your relationships, to teach you to have a better relationship to your word, and I think thats why you make promises such as not being late.. its not that they want to control you,they are teaching you to have integrity and to keep your word.. YES there is home work, and sometimes your asked to do it on your breaks.. I keep reading about people complaing that it isnt really a break.. however these homework exercizes are when you really have your break throughs.. the break throughs happen from talking to people in your life not a bunch of strangers in a hall.. The fourm will give you tools to have peace of mind, and be empowered to do things you may not have done in the past

  18. i think they should let go of some of the bad leaders. they suck big time. if you do get unlucky and get one of them the whole experience gets messed up. like the newer ones esp in INDIA

  19. It’s a cult. Move on.

    • That was concise Bob.
      Review what a cult is and how they work – it most certainly is not one.
      Granted, it is boring sometimes, it has some zealots in it (as has any ‘way of life’), they can ‘pressure sell’ sometimes. Some of their premises are fundamentally flawed – full of shit, in fact.
      However, I got a huge amount from a couple of sections and some parts definitely give me tools for a better life.
      Take the best and leave the rest :-)

  20. Just finished my basic course and I am confused. They basically kept preaching about how its all about NOW . There is no past, no future.

    Its all what we create of it. Well if the Canvas is mine to paint whichever way I want, then what is GOD’s role in all of this.

    Who or what is GOD then ??

    • Hey Pal, Landmark Education isn’t a religious organisation so it doesn’t talk about who God is. The emphasis on now is rather to remind you that your life is happening right now, in this second, and the next, and the next. Very often people live as though their lives are going to start happening at some point in the future, for example, when I have x amount of money, then I’ll be able to do what I really want to do with my life.

  21. I’m going to the Tuesday session tonight with a friend who has done the course. He’s not given me the hard sell, and to be honest I havent seen him since last thursday the evening before the course started.

    I am not very good at dealing with pressure and if they hard sell me I’ll probably crack.

    I’ve done the same research as everyone else on the net and have no idea what I’m letting myself in for.

    Am bricking it.

  22. Pal.

    L-A-N-D-M-A-R-K is an organisation providing personal training and development seminars to people with too much money.

    C-H-U-R-C-H is an organisation providing imaginary friends and a culture of guilt to people with too little sense.

    I’m not sure how you’ve confused the two.

  23. Hi,

    I finished the course on Sunday. I was looking for a reviews, your blog is really good. I share similar views but not the experiences.

    It is expensive course. I want readers to let know, Sri Sri Ravishankar Guruji’s Art Of Living courses are as good as this. And they donot make you feel like a JERK. My experiences with them was very good, you come out happy with good excercises and a Very good breathing Technique called “Sudarshana Kriya”.

    Today Morning I did 45 mins Kriya to get back to my normal self, because my yesterday was awful.

    Thank you.

  24. I attended Landmark forum on 17th July 2009.
    I am very much confused about how can i let go of certain things in my life.

    They sometimes say that if doing wrong to someone is a sin then letting yourself pushed down by people or used up by people is a bigger sin.

    I am confused whether i should let go and forgive the people who are staying with me or should i take a stand and say “enough is enough”

  25. I will be taking the course this weekend, Sept. 11-15. Thanks for the heads up. If I witness the forum leader telling anyone they are a jerk, I’ll tell ‘em to Fuck off! and then I’ll walk out.

  26. I appreciate your view/experience of Landmark blah blah. I haven’t taken the course but I was interested when I called a friend today and he told me that he attended a forum last week, which was offered at the discounted price of $395.

    To be honest, the reason I’m even searching for information about it is because something was…I donno…different about him, and not really in a good way. I’ve known him for years and there just seemed to be a shift. Don’t get me wrong; he was SAYING all the right things but something was off.

    Now that I’ve read so many articles about it – good, bad and neutral – I’m a little worried but not too much. I hope that he reaps positive benefits from his weekend. I’ve no intention of attending any forums myself but I will support him because it’s what we do for each other.

    Thanks for sharing and for letting me share. Good luck with everything :)

  27. Advanced course which I attended..

    My experience about advanced course was total horrifying. It definitely puts your emotional or psychological state at risk. This is how it went.

    The coach was Mr. Balwinder Singh Sodhi.

    This is how my advanced course went. Every day we spent almost 2 hrs in morning session in waiting and restoring so called integrity of the group since a person was late, 4 hrs in an evening session of 3rd day in acknowledging the possibility of creating world full of peace, love (sorry.. unconditional love), compassion, integrity etc. etc. by participants who became suddenly a form of pure gold since coach declared it at one fine moment in a room of hotel, listening to below the belt jokes from Mr. Sodhi, making a guy stand and asking him to prove his relation with his parents by conducting DNA test of parents, neighbor’s and then community if the first two doesn’t prove it (How embarrassing it would be for Mr. Sodhi’s son/daughter when somebody steps into his son/daughter’s personal space in front of 98 other participants and few assistants), tormenting a guy for having materialistic aim to fulfill his parents’ wish, exaggerating the things to such an extent when they are not and finally selling SELP on every day of the course.

    If SELP is so important then why it is sold under the carpet? i.e. by pressurizing the participants by holding them on a case basis as if they hv done some crime. If it so important and coupled with advanced course then it should be informed while registering for advanced course. I am sure Landmark is not being fair / authentic in doing so.

    When somebody left the course in the middle of the course, Mr. Sodhi was excellent in passing pranks about him after he/she has left. And somebody didn’t register for SELP and is still in the class then Mr. Sodhi was phenomenal in making that point about him/her. A harsh comment passed by participant on Mr. Sodhi became a boomerang ornamented with a nasty language used by Mr. Sodhi for which Mr. Sodhi was kind enough to take it back when it had hit already. In Mr. Sodhi’s language, this one small tap, spat a lot of venom out from Mr. Sodhi’s mouth. If this is Mr. Sodhi then one can really imagine how pathetic situation his family would be going through. And Mr. Sodhi tells that participant doesn’t know who Mr. Sodhi is, which leaves a question in participant’s mind that why would he/she pay Rs. 11400/- to get the answer of this question Mr. Sodhi asked. Mr. Sodhi is coached very badly to lead advanced course.

    Advanced course is much more advertised in Forum. But forum is genuinely an excellent exercise and gives a sufficient idea about “if forum is so good then how powerful advanced course would be” (Unfortunately it’s not, It seems it has been created for sake of creating one more course) which makes a candidate take a decision voluntarily. SELP registration really becomes onerous in advanced course led by Mr Sodhi. SELP is sold in advanced course and now I don’t know which course will be sold in SELP. I met with a guy who is a SELP leader. I can imagine now how badly SELP is lead. I really describe the advanced course was simply waste of my time, energy and money.

    I have paid registration fees for SELP since I succumb to the pressure of the space which was there. I consider it’s a small contribution from my side. But I am not going to attend SELP.

    I might be showing up an ‘ACT’ by writing this message but this is what I am dealing with.

  28. Well… I’d have to agree with digressica. Not a cult but not a touchy feely group either. I would have to say our coach was well trained. He expressed his life experiences and was free to go wherever we wanted the conversation to go. The beginning started with lots of cool-aide jokes and ended with an overall sense of completion. I didn’t have a life altering experience or “pop” as he put it, not like many of the others, but I certainly can’t say I walked away from it with nothing. I got a lot of what was said.
    The thing that really struck me was how much my carelessness for others impacts them when I don’t put myself out there 100%.

    The thing I really liked about my coach was how he wasn’t affected by people. Half way through day one he stopped and said if you don’t think you should be here go talk to the coordinator at the back for a refund and walk out the door. Two people did, they left and that was that it was over we carried on. I almost did. but My uncle went through it and he didn’t go squirrelly and I wanted to know that I would have been left with a lingering question and never knowing of “what if I stayed”.
    What I took from the Forum was something I’ve always known but in the latest chapter, and to some extent all my life, is that I make my choices in life and I have to be accountable to my choices. I can’t blame anybody else for where I am how I feel or what I’ve done. It’s all me. I am the master architect for my life and how I choose to live it. I thought it was very intense and am glad I went to it.

    I could have gone without the hard sell the the end of Sunday but I can see where they were coming from. My coach put it out there. I wouldn’t do this for free. I still have to eat and support my family. The Landmark company has an infrastructure of buildings and rentals and crews and other operating costs it has to take care of. But this is no different than going to a college or university for a class in psych or philosophy. The University has to pay for the operating costs of the class. Doesn’t mean they don’t want to help people but they can’t help people from a cardboard box. With that I will invite a friend to take it. But not on their terms rather on my terms as I see fit.

    So go.. or not. take something from it… or not. If you don’t like what you take from it then don’t take that. Just own the choice you make as your choice.

  29. Digressica, hats off for a well-written and hilarious blog. I’m getting the hard sell on Landmark from a friend at the moment (they much teach perseverence, because she started on me ten years ago!) and I wanted to remind myself of all the reasons why I don’t want to do it.

    The hard sell is a real turn off, and I don’t like the way my friend manages to bring Landmark into every conversation. I know it’s not a cult, and there’s no brainwashing, but they do produce some fervent devotees!

    The two intro evenings I attended in those ten years didn’t inspire me. What I found especially annoying was this idea that Landmark had discovered and patented the secret to transforming one’s life. If people are serious about personal growth, there are plenty of avenues to explore that don’t involve paying huge sums of money to be told that you’re inauthentic and involved in rackets with everyone you know. A personal favourite is Inner Frontier, by Joseph Naft, a holocaust survivor. Also Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and anything by the Dalai lama. I think I’ll stick with them for now : )

  30. This was a fun read, and I must say, much more informative and honest than the 50+ blathering sites I found about Landmark’s pros & cons, so thanks for that.

    I’ve been debating whether to go for a few months now. I was invited by a friend whose perspective and opinion I really trust, so I’ve been to the Forum intros twice, but still haven’t enrolled. At both intros, I have been inspired and excited, but also turned off and alienated by the end of the night–all in three hours’ time! I feel like you’re pulled into this amazing world of honesty and emotions, and then immediately afterward, the HARD SELL. It’s really annoying. I was sitting next to a girl last night who had to defend graduating from college as her reason not to sign up RIGHT NOW, which I thought was a pretty good reason:

    “I can’t take off a Friday until I graduate, and then I don’t know where I will be geographically, so I can’t really commit right now.”

    “Well, you could always change your location and the date later…for a small fee.”

    Or she could just sign up later when she knows where she’ll be living so she won’t owe you an additional fee!

    I wish they’d lay off a bit, because I probably would have joined by now. I think it’s the hard-to-get thing for me personally…like, why do you want to be my boyfriend so badly? Something must be wrong with you. I guess we’ll see. I’m half-way there about signing up.

  31. Sweet write up on landmark. in fact, i found your tone not unlike my own when i wrote about landmark years ago. the whole deal is wrought with things to dislike, and yet i still find i use the whole Racket thing to figure out how to deal w/ relationship issues, and i haven’t antagonized my mom ever since i took the course.

    If yr interested, here’s my take on it: http://www.beyondrobson.com/city/2006/01/heard_of_landmark_forum_you_will/index.php

  32. Sweet write up on landmark. in fact, i found your tone not unlike my own when i wrote about landmark years ago. LM is wrought with things to dislike, and yet i still occasionally use the whole ‘Racket’ thing to figure out how to deal w/ relationship issues, and i haven’t antagonized my mom ever since i took the course.

    If yr interested, here’s my take on it: http://www.beyondrobson.com/city/2006/01/heard_of_landmark_forum_you_will/index.php

  33. Just googled for LM , on suggestion by a colleague, but now i am absolutely confused.

    Is it worth all the time (& a day leave?) & money ?

    Is the MUMBAI instructor ( forum leader) going to be good enough ( that is what it depends on the most)

    I donno – & my jury is still out.

  34. Just got back from my first night of Landmark. Drained and not impressed. Wish I didn’t sign up but apparently I’m supposed to wait until the end to make any judgments

  35. Yeah, there were a few people on my course who hated it the first day and loved it the second. Stick with it. Have fun.

  36. Digressica,

    Good post but I didn’t notice anything about the Landmark Assisting Program that this corporation rolls out in order to acquire free labour. Surely that is one of the most insidious things a corporation can do (not even paying minimum wage). Sure there are lots of unpaid internships in the arts industry but not in a massive for profit corporation like this… totally fucked up, no?

  37. Thanks for a really great no-bs rundown of the pros and cons. I got way more than I expected out of it when I did the Forum back in 2002, and I also got pissed off with the ‘hard sell’ on the Tuesday evening. I’ve heard that they got the message about that and it’s way less pushy now than it would have been when you did it, but as I haven’t been to one lately I can’t say how well that’s working out.

    As regards Aaron’s comment about the Assisting Program – I can’t see why people get so exercised about that. It’s completely optional and people only do it if they want to (90% of customers never participate). The benefit is to other customers who get the courses for way less money than they’d have to pay otherwise – just compare Landmark’s prices with say Tony Robbins or NLP or anything else in the personal development field. And people who do assist almost invariably report that they have fun and learn a lot.
    Derek.

  38. N got no monies but spendies it anyway on LF

    digressa – YOU are hilarious. Thanks for the story – I’m trying out the landmark forum in August (in Canada), trying to go in with an open mind so I’ll stop surfin the net now for reviews and take your advice.

  39. My "Interpetation"

    Sycho babble. I’m sorry. I did not return after my first day. I was mentally and physically exhausted. You can’t fully get it until you experince it, because you can’t even explain it. I heard the first day was intense, but it was NOT the kind of intense I expected. It was the most bizzare experience I have ever had. I went with a desire to better my life, with honesty and an open mind. They talk in circles and confused the hell out of me, and many others attending. They will NOT let you take notes, they have you leave your name badge in a basket before you take the break so they can track who does not come back, and they said the forum ended at 10:00. When people tried to leave, they actually “blocked” the door and were trying to make them wait till 10:15. So many people were so angry. But, evidentally, thats just what happened, and only our “interpetation”. All I can say, is it as obviously has worked for some people, but not anything I was interested in even completing. I felt to connection at all. It is not for everyone.

  40. My "Interpetation"

    Sorry, felt NO connection. Just on another note, this is not any kind of a lecture. It’s about them asking questions, and you getting up to a mic, or as a group answering. That’s if you can even understand the questions. ALL day long, the “coach” had to repeat the questions 2-3 times to everyone. Not because it makes you think, but because the way it is asked. This is what I mean by pyco babble. 10 hours of that was just mentally draining. But I belive that is one of thier many bizzare tactics.

  41. I did the form, advance and SELP in 2000/1. honestly I think the first day of the forum was the most boring of the lot. I always describe the forum as going to an airport and checking in you life and at the end of the weekend going to the carousel and picking up the life you want. Now if you want no change, then you get the same life back at the end . Only do this course if there is something in your live you are not happy about and which you want to change. Yes the hard sell is a bit of a pain, but remember how did you hear about the landmark forum. This is not a huggy kissy event whcih suited me fine (never been a lover of tofu and yoga).

  42. Excellent article and blog Digressica!
    I completed the Landmark Forum last night. I did a lot of research prior to attending which along with the hard selling at the intro session really put me off. The only reason that I got my ass there was because I happened to have 2 great conversations with people who had completed the Forum. 2 people from completely different walks of life, each taking completely different lessons from the Forum. They did not try to hard sell me and because I respected them I decided to give it a go. What did I have to lose, some beer time and a few DVDs?
    I’m glad I went. Like Digressica, left feeling comfortable in the fact that although others had major life changing transformations, I hadn’t. Howeve I took a lot of good stuff away and I’m pretty certain that lessons I learnt will filter their way slowly into areas and experiences in my life.
    Hate the hard-sell and the up-sell. Feel like this is truly the most amazing RACKET ever. If you don’t enroll others, you don’t get it. I kind of get the thinking around that but it does leave a bit of a bad taste in my mouth.
    We also had David Ure and I loved him, thought he was brilliant. Didn’t realise that for the fee not only do you get a chance at a realm of new possibilities but you also get some damn good Aussie stand-up comedy thrown in. Was this guy Dame Edna back in the day?
    In short, take what you can out of it, even if it’s one thing, it’s one thing more than you would have got sucking down beers watching crap DVDs.
    I’m bracing myself for the major up-selling at tomorrow nights Tuesday Session.

  43. Great article, in my opinion the most balanced, accurate and interesting of the many account of LMF I’ve read. I’ve just completed the weekend with David Ure and have had a really positive experience that may yet turn out to be transformative. The only real negative for me is the recruitment thing, which is a little intense and discomforting. Otherwise, this isn’t a cult or even a church, its a fairly hardcore, extremely unsentimental and practical look at your life using philosophy, Zen, and Existentialism. This course is not for those who lack the courage to look hard into themselves and deal with what’s there. Overall, a highly recommended and worthwhile experience.

  44. My mother convinced me to take the landmark
    Forum for which I can say I lasted for about 7 hours before killing myself with how dramatic peoples lives are. I am happy with my life and didn’t really seek no “treatment” and I felt pushed towards doing it. I am a skeptic but I’m glad it has helped some people that were crying during the forum, but as for myself I saw no any type of evidence that I could relate to my life, after 7 hours I was exhausted of hearing common sense and had to get out of there.. People must be ready to take it and I was not at this time haha. Yupppp

  45. IF you are unable to do your own soul searching…IF you are unable to self evaluate your choices in life…IF you cannot sit quietly and reflect on what you are feeling (sadness, happiness, anger, etc.), and IF you have a thin skin, are easily hurt, and have no self esteem whatsoever, then Landmark might be for you. Otherwise, buck up, and save your money. Self awareness is important BUT you don’t need to pay for it. Why you do this or that or why you said this or that is up to YOU to discern and question – not others and certainly doesn’t cost a thing. Some people need to be around other people all the time rather than be left alone with their own thoughts and feelings because they can’t “deal” with them (which is why there are so many alcoholics trying to stuff their pain and disappointments). The bottom line to what most get from Landmark is this: shut up and live your life. Now, would you send me a check for thousands of dollars for that????
    Life DOES have meaning – they say it does not. Life IS all about relationships, not things. They go as far to state that the death of a loved one means nothing. Oh really? Where is LOVE in that belief? The meaning of life is life…living, feeling, disappointments and joy, all of it! The alternative is not being here at all or dying. You DON’T need to spend a dime … this “education” is all about bringing in people, and those people bringing in people, and so on and so on…please, THAT’S the lesson. If you NEVER heard of Landmark, your life would still go on……

  46. Hey! I realize that this review was written over two years ago, but I just wanted to say that I find your writing very entertaining and informative. I recently met someone who has been through the forum and he has been trying (adamantly) to get me involved. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit skeptical. Not wanting to ruin the process (should I decide to take it on) by reading spoiler reviews, I found your thorough synopsis just right. I’ve been to one self-help seminar before and found the experience to be less than satisfying. Something tells me that this forum is different. When I’ve set enough of my meager sweatshop earnings aside, I plan to attend. Thanks for telling it like it is!

    By the way, I find it cool that you were so averse to the recruiting process on the final day, but, after having had the time to fully metabolize the process, you’ve written a very positive review. Hasty, thoughtless recruitment is for suckers! Have a good life : )

  47. Hello,

    Nice to be registered on digressica.com. My little name is maxizhu ;-)

  48. I’ve just signed up for the LF this weekend after being invited to an introduction by a co-worker. I wasn’t actually even going to go with her to the intro, but ended up saying yes just to be nice. I definitely wasn’t planning on signing up, but I did, and I’m really looking forward to it! My experience at the introduction was a really good one – and it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. They go through some of the “Seven Major Benefits” of the program, one by one, and people get up and “share” (which seems to be one of the keywords of the Landmark folks) what benefits they’ve gotten out of the program. Then, we “share” with each other on an individual basis. The person that had invited me had 2 “guests” with her, so I ended up sharing with someone I didn’t know. She was a wonderful, deep and caring person and I really connected with her. She said a couple of things to me that really resonated – about the way that her perspective on her life and the people in it have changed, and that I will begin to use in my daily life. I think that the Forum will be valuable for me, even if I only learn a few more things like that. I’m not really into inviting others to this kind of thing, though; that’s just not my style. I’m excited about the new things that I hope to learn once I’ve completed the Forum.

  49. I’m glad I read this… Thank you for your post and for sharing both sides from a seemingly objective point of view. I will attend LF for the first time this weekend. A good friend recommended it, and she’s attending as well.

    As I have shared with others where I will be this weekend, I realized that I knew little about LF. Except that was planning to have a life changing experience that helps me overcome things from my past that I am bring into the now. More profound than other “letting go” exercises I have tried.

    Anyhow, tonight I told another friend what I was up to this weekend, and she told me about her horrible experience… And that she left after the first day. Now that I have read yours and a few posts, I am feeling confident about my choice to try this.

    Thanks again for laying it straight :)

  50. I did the LF in 1992..Wowsa time flies! I like your review of the course very much. I agree when LF says it is like riding a bike and you never forget what you have learned. In fact this is the only course that I feel has grown with me. I know many whom have taken the course and I have come to believe that your experience will be absolutely based on your reasons/intensions for going (hence the form you fill out in the beginning – I still have mine lol) and therefore your commitment to changing something in your life. A strong commitment is one that when you don’t like the first day you still stick with it. I would suggest going in expecting to not like many things and then actually experience not liking those things even if they are some of the people. This in itself is precisely what makes the course so effective. When I went I didn’t have any serious issues regarding my life as far as tragedies, abuse etc. I just knew something need to change in my perspective of things. I did take some of the other courses.. Advanced and another that I can’t recall the actual name where we took on a project. (I believe these courses also reinforced some things for me) but truly it was the Forum itself that impacted my life so much. Over the last 18 years it has been often that others have heard me say “Well, I took this course once and it really changed my life.” I am now looking in to my teenage son taking the course. I am excited to think that both my children will have this same opportunity..of course this will depend on their own reasons for going and their commitment to being there. Again thanks for your review. I think it will help many!

    • Hey Christine, really great that your kids are doing/have done the Landmark Forum. I don’t have kids yet, but when I do, I’d love them to start participating as soon as they’re up for it, so that they get that they are the architects of their lives and do not need to follow the crowd to fit in. And have access to a whole new model of communication to see them through their teens. Awesome!

  51. I just complete LF this past weekend. I agree whole heartedly with this blog. I didn’t have a life changing experience, but I definitely had moments of enlightenment, things that fundamentally changed the way I view life and myself. I would recommend it to anyone who is comfortable with taking a hard look at their life.

  52. In September I did the Landmark Forum with David Ure, I loved him! He seemed like a real jerk at first, but after the first day he didn’t seem so mean after all. Two things I really hated was when he would yell and he had the microphone on and the homework you had to do by calling people to talk to them and stuff.. It was somewhat hard, calling your ex and explaining to them what was going on, or a family member. I cried so many times during them three days. I recommend everybody to do this! It has helped me open up to my family!

  53. interesting story… I’m considering taking this course … Thanks for sharing :)

  54. Thanks so much for this objective account — I haven’t done these seminars, nor do I think I ever will, but I have friends that have gotten a lot from them and I was curious — you really put the word in the unbiased word ;-) — Parisa

  55. So how much did Landmark pay you for this “neutral” review? Whit a pile of shit

    • (Ahem – did I mention the CONSPIRACY THEORISTS?)

      Supermaniac, Landmark didn’t pay me anything for this review. But I think you might be onto something. I can’t believe they haven’t thought of it themselves — PAYING underexposed, foul-mouthed bloggers with next to no readership whatsoever, to WRITE REVIEWS on their BLOGAMATHINGIES in which they mostly say mean things about the other attendees and COMPLAIN about how the organisation tries to put the hard sell on its customers. It’s so SIMPLE it’s BRILLIANT.

      And hey, have you heard that the royal family orchestrated Princess Diana’s car crash and 9/11 didn’t really happen? Cause I think those are some airtight theories you could get on board with, my friend. Thanks for dropping by.

  56. Liked your review of the landmark forum review very much – proves there’s some non-hysterical, entertaining, well-written stuff out there about the landmark forum if you dig around a bit. I also found the course useful if high-pressure, which seems to be a common opinion – here’s another good review that reached pretty much the same conclusion, albeit without as much humor:

    http://thirtytwothousanddays.com/blog/2011/02/landmark-forum-cult-scam-or-path-to-enlightenment/

  57. I just got back from the Tuesday evening session, where I was a guest of a relative who did the weekend.

    I want to say that I found the hard sell so incredibly untasteful, unremorseful and cloaked in hideous rhetoric that it made me furious. How manipulative, arrogant and insulting it was. I am not sure how they can place an emphasis on integrity and then behave in such a way.

    As for the content, I prefer mindfulness, which has scientific evidence to back it up. The ideas of focussing on the present moment, seeing thoughts as thoughts, selfing, etc, which landmark looks at, all seem to be heavily Buddhist inspired.

  58. IN all of my adulthood, one person or another has tried to enlist me in some sort of self improvement seminar. I wish I could say that any of these people represented anything that I found compelling. It’s one thing to have a lexicon of buzz words it’s another to demonstrate an enviable experience of life. I is also dismaying to have people that, pre-forum, could barely stand you suddenly be very concerned with your well-being.
    Both of my children took the forum and were very enthusiastic. They bullied me emotionally to take the course myself. The problem with this is that I, like many of my peers, have seen the results of this workshop when it was called EST Training. Over the long haul, they did no better than anyone else when life took a really bad turn.
    However if the Forum can help people dismiss the rattle and clatter of inner monologue, then it has provided a significent relief and is very worthwhile.

  59. oh, I forgot. In the old EST days they were known as “estholes”. God they were annoying!

    • “Estholes,” really? Quite close to how people sometimes describe ‘them’ (odd to say that because I was one of them, once) now, especially when they are out looking for others to join!

  60. Thanks for sharing this post. I did the Forum 11 years ago and everything you said resonated my own experience. Especially the part where I was not having any breakthroughs but understood the concepts. I started to worry that I was not normal and would never have that ah ha moment. I think for me it happened after the fact, I don’t remember. But it did change my relationship with my mom and for that I was grateful. I learned to put aside my filters for once and just listen unbiased.
    I recommend it to others but quietly. It’s not for everyone. My mom went after much persuading on my part and she doesn’t talk about her experience…I think she bailed out after the second night because it was more than she could handle. Fair enough, I get that too. It did change my life, but in a way that changed my perspective of things. I will always be me. I judge less and try to be more open minded.
    My bff recommended it to me, she did it in LA and yes, her enthusiasm was a bit overkill and I too thought she had joined a cult before I experienced it myself.
    Good job on covering all the bases : )

  61. Thanks for writing this! My interpretation of your interpretation is that I now have created the possiblity to write an interpretation. I just got to the end of the 3 days last night. After sitting in the room most of last evening feeling like I was the only boy at prom without a date it was great to stumble upon this. By and large I had a similar experience. I think I ‘got it’ conceptually, I cried a bit when I was ‘fessing up to the woman next to me about my lifelong insecurities, called my parents and told them I loved them and forgave them for having interpreted that aforementioned insecurities were their fault, and I was moved by many of the things people shared (even if some of them maybe overdid it), but I also found the hard sell and the sense that I wasn’t being transformed as much as other people (a pitfall to transformation in itself of course!) difficult and uncomfortble. I succumbed and put down a deposit on the advanced course and I plan to do it, but the spin placed on this is incredible. I would be annoyed at having paid for it if I didn’t realise that that’s what happened and it’s in the past.
    Anyway, I don’t regret doing the Landmark Forum either, but after reading this I’ve realised I don’t want to get caught up in the corporate machine that it is by convincing everyone I know that it’s the only way they can be happy. I think I was in danger of becoming an unpaid salesman and sales has never been a possiblity I wanted to create.
    Thanks again!

    • “I think I was in danger of becoming an unpaid salesman and sales has never been a possiblity I wanted to create.” HA! Brilliant. Really well put.

  62. Hugh Kilpatrick

    Hi,
    I did the whole curriculum for living – including the lectures.
    I got the absolute most from the forum. Had a really shitty time in the advanced course and went back as a volunteer in the advanced course to understand what they were trying to do.
    The SELP was OK but insincere. My group in it was fabulous and I shifted in my thinking, so I got a benefit.
    Landmark was a significant experience but there is something missing.
    Suggest reading and really GETTING “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude” – or some of the really early books.
    Really enjoyed reading your blog.
    Peace be yours,
    Hugh

  63. Hi Digressia. I really enjoyed reading your experience and all the comments. Have you taken the second course? it has been years since you took the Forum and how is your life and the application of what you learned? Does it still remain with you in everyday life and has you life improved? I am planning to take the Forum late Feb. I am disappointed and apprehensive about the aggressive style of marketing. It is on my mind and I don’t want it to interfere with my listening and learning during the 3 days. I will remain open minded. I did notice people being overly involved in trying to make the guests enrol in the Forum, it is expensive. One went as far as suggesting a guest that it was ok to simply charge their credit card even after they said I am unemployed and have no savings. I jumped in and told them that it was financially irresponsible to go into to debt for anything. I will post my experience in early March.

  64. Thanks for the very interesting info! Love your comments but not quite sure I believe you’ve ever been back…mind you, I haven’t finished reading all the comments yet!
    I’ve heard and read it all too about Landmark! Not a real cult indeed, won’t be any polygamy, mass murders or group suicides but over all, it’s ONLY for people who have LOTS of money and time (or willing to go deeply in debts…) and who seem to be very bored with life or/and have tons of questions about it and not bright enough to either…
    1) Get an analyst (you’ve got all that money and time)
    2) Go on a world tour for fuck sake (you’ve still got the money and time)
    3) Get your ass to a BOOKSTORE and do some research and buy BOOKS and start reading, it will take as much time but on the other hand, with the money saved, you still will be able to tour the world (unless of course, you’ve already toured the world…)
    4) Talk to your FRIENDS (unless you have money, time but no friends…then, yes, Landmark could be an option…)
    I’ve watched some of those “seminars specialists” (similar but not from Landmark) paid by an old employer of mine and I was soooo happy when it was finally over! Mind you, they were in no way discriminating or demeaning which would have been the tip of the iceberg. Good luck to all those LANDMARK lovers…believe me, traveling for a few months will open your eyes, heart and brain a lot more and for a lot cheaper!

  65. Myself and my wife was pressured to attend a introductory session in Chennai, India. And we ended up signing for the program, because of the Hard sell. I paid the advance (rest to be paid on course commencement). I should say, they are very brilliant in the hard sell.

    After a while, I started reading reviews, and there were equally good and bad reviews. People claiming “It changed my life” to “its nothing but a cult, renamed EST.. etc etc”. I became skeptical and decided not to attend the course (did not mind losing money).

    What happened next pissed me off! just before a week they called up asking for money. When I said that I’ve changed my mind and am not going to attend.. the caller’s tone changed and became harsh. He started in a kind of yelling tone and accused me of “not following my commitment.” I was taken back.. and we had a few minutes of heated conversation. Additionally there was one more caller, who identified himself as the lead of Chennai city.. and asked me to pay the money and attend the course. When I said “no”, the whole story started again. Finally I cut him off with a strong statement.

    It may have worked for many people. But I am not ready to join some bad-ass-aching 3 day course, just to make my life better. Instead I’d prefer to spend the money buying some good SI books.

  66. I was pressured by many friends from past 5 years to take up Landmark Forum course. Ive been in Sales and Marketing from past 18 years and hence avoided registering myself in any of the introductory sessions I attended. I found time last weekend and thought let me attend out of curiosity. I just finished my Landmark Forum Course yesterday at Bangalore. Here goes my honest feedback :

    Pros :
    1) Learnt how one creates in-authenticities, rackets, frauds in one’s mind and how it would impact one’s relationships and life.
    2) Learnt how integrity in life makes one accomplish his goals.
    3) Happened to meet and interact with many other people having problems of larger magnitude. In front of them, my so called problems were seen insignificant.
    4) Learnt how our identities get created by our past events in life and how we become what we are today.
    5) How one can take accountability, responsibility of whatever that has happened in ones life.
    6) Finally life is meaningless and has nothing. How one can create everything his new world of power, freedom, self expression, declaration, etc.,

    Cons :
    1) High Marketing and Sales Pitch used. There was so much hype created in Day 1 and Day 2 about the outcome and transformation on Day 3. They promised a Roller coaster ride which it was, but in the end the Roller coaster crashed on hard ground. The hype created resulted in huge disappointment.
    2) Them pushing people aggressively to register for Advanced Course left very bad taste of the whole experience. Using the Forum leader’s own language, it was like a drop of Piss in a glass of water…:)
    3) Them pressurizing one to bring and enroll a minimum of 3 guests reminded me of MLM, Direct Marketing / Selling companies.
    4) Transformation in 3 days promised was complete Bullshit.
    5) In their own taught language and vocabulary, I analyzed the in-authenticities, Rackets, Frauds, lack of integrity, Landmark plays to get more participants.

    On the whole, if someone has had a bad life or going through troubles, this course is a MUST recommended, to get a new perspective and restart life. For others, you can consider doing it if you dont have much to do on a weekend. For sure, they dont teach you something bad. But be selective, use your choice and decision making power (self expression) and dont fall into trap of further registering to Advance Course, till you are convinced and seen the full effects of Landmark Forum.

    Please remember, end of the day, they are just a company with profit motives, intelligently playing with emotions and their large stated objectives of trying to change the world, mankind and humanity. Especially in India, most people fall for such things, become volunteers for life thinking as if they are working for an NGO, Charitable Organization or a Religious cause.

  67. You really summed it up well!!! I must say ive had much harder sells in my life. My entire family left halfway through the last night which is the recruitment night combined with a last lesson on breakdowns, and so i recruited NO ONE !!! I received NO flack not even a snippy remark. As far as the course that i took also with David Ure I thought it and he were fantastic. Very enlightening and even if you have integrity and keep in mind I thought I did, but i realized through LM it is all or nothing you either have it or you dont, like herpes I guess lol anyway if you think you have REAL integrity you can still hone in your people skills and develop a bull shit filter that will help you really disect people when they comminicate and they wont even be aware of it. After analyzing your own life and even more by listening to others you get a handle on how to get to the root of peoples baggage. I helped my ex-wife immennsely one day after the course and it was quite gratifying she had been carrying arround hurt since our divorce ten years ago that wasnt directly caused by me but rather my family my sister and mom specifically. However it wasnt based in fact but her perception and i picked right up on it and was able to explain it with great clarity to the point that we went from her crying to chuckling. I feel that convo already cost justified the course and Im sure il be empolying these lessons for the rest of my life.

  68. WhiteKnight

    Well written! This is similar to what my experience was like, leaving out the bit where it gave me strength to come out to friends and family that I am gay. With the new perspective I gained after the weekend, I re-evaluated my whole life. The life that I was (for want of better phrases) running away from.

    I also did the 10 extra seminar things. My friend skipped those extra seminars. And its safe to say, I gained more out of the whole ordeal than him. So even if you don’t “get it” during the weekend. Do the 10 seminars. It really helps!

    I am doing my Advanced course in 2 weeks, and I hope it won’t disappoint. I know for sure however that I am glad i did the basic course!

  69. Well written. My experience with the Forum dates from 1998 and today I was revising some of my notes of the Forum In Action. Glad I did both, much gladder that I encountered vipassana meditation a few years later. Thus meditation and the buddhist insights (not religion) behind it, are part of what the Forum is made of, but I find them to bring more clarity, more strength, more comprehensiveness. Many thanks for the blog post.

  70. I’m not sure if anyone is still keeping up with this blog but I am attending the forum next weekend and I NEED to get it. I’m a 26 year old woman, live & work in downtown Chicago. My life looks fabulous on the outside. On the inside, I am a complete disaster. Horrible lying habits, awful childhood, broken so many bridge I can’t even count, and done so man things that I am not proud of. Anyways! I need to change. I have a really shitty “slate” and I want a clean one. Does anyone think the Forum is a good start for a young and really messed up woman such as myself?

    Thanks in advance to any adice given!

    • Crashley, I admire your honesty. To see what is going wrong in your life is essential. The Forum can help you with that, but I think ultimately it does not have the right views on what life is. I found those (later) in buddhism. The way to “get” those is much slower than “just a weekend”, through a long practice of meditation, but the truth is deeper, completely based on your own experience in stead of someone explaining it all to you. Now, if you keep in mind that Landmark is very much going to try to sell you more after the Forum, and that most of us here who have done the forum say: Hey ,that’s not worth it, than you could start (and end!) with the Forum to get some improvement. Good luck!

    • Having completed Landmark Forum, I would say it would be of help to you in terms of giving your life a new perspective. It will help you realize the inauthenticities, rackets you play within, unlocking present from past and creating a new future. Go for it with an open mind. Worse come, It will certainly never harm you if not do good…..:)

    • Believe it will do you the world of good :-)
      Follow thier instructions; suspend disbelief until after Tuesday; give everything a go.
      It may not be the complete answer but it did me the world of good and I would recommend anyone to give it a red hot go.
      I actually did the whole curriculuum for living. There was a huge shift in my life and it has stayed shifted.
      I am not involved with land mark at the moment.
      All the best for it – sounds like you are more than ready :-)

  71. Thanks everyone! Your advice is appreciated :)

  72. Very good Blog excepting here and there some enriched prototypes.

    Honestly, I am not that wonder hit with Land mark and its lectures. I haven’t attended any , but I was told about it by my friend. After hearing to what introspect one has after the course is quite naturally occurring in every person. The only point is that the person does not choose to act on it. Instead he/ she tries running far away from it (as if in search of peace). I don’t blame individuals in today’s world as it is the side effects of ones mechanical life. people have created barriers between every individual they interact to such an extent that they have created barriers for themselves. Assumptions are part of life , however considering assumptions as truth/ fact is incorrect. It becomes truth/ fact base don verifications which no one intends to do. Hence a skip occurs here and assumptions are considered truths. I can go on and on with examples on this. But that was not my point why i replied to this blog.

    I hail from India and unlike other countries people have not become completely mechanical here. there is still values and specs that is drawn from past experiences and great stories which give a example oriented situation. People who have no time or those who have not given importance in understanding these fail to understand the concept of self realization and capability of thinking beyond barriers. I state this because the program Land mark wants to cash in on it and yes their marketing strategies. IF all they mean and preach is to share and plug gaps. What harm is it going to cause a person to share the teachings. If they want people to give seminars as a part of helping others without the feeling of business and being unpaid. Why do they ask people to bring in more people.

    All I would say is too much of anything is will have its misery one way or the other. Share what you got, give what you have and learn what can be given with no strings attached. Definitely you will be at peace.

    Human civilization has survived way long before any of our current day life was even dreamt about. Its all about discovering and rediscovering the present.

  73. You are a wonderful writer and thanks for your review. I wonder how different the impressions are depending on who your Landmark Leader is. The woman who lead my forum was a walking testimony of the miracle that can happen for people who attend Landmark Forum. She was entertaining and inspriational. The material is absolutely genius. As an evangelical Christian, I was ready to fend off New Age and anything that contradicted my faith. I applaud them for so masterfully avoiding religion while at the same time leaving space for it in each individual’s interpretation. The program is absolutely genius. My teenagers are attending this week and my husband next month. This is my gift to them: the opportunity to explore a new possibility for their lives. I am in the process of certifying to be a life coach. I was struggling to understand the ontological concepts in my program and someone recommended Landmark. All I can say is now I get it and feel like I know what I am doing, whereas before the weekend I did not. I know a lot about cults (that’s another story) and I can say that Landmark is not a cult–I have been in churches that were far more cultic. One’s relationship to authority, ability to trust, and need to be in control will probably affect their outcome. We had about 4 people leave our program over the course of the weekend. I felt sorry for them. I got way, way more than I paid for.

    • Just because you got something out of it doesn’t give you the right to judge or feel sorry for others.
      I do feel sorry for your poor,weak, impressionable mind.

  74. So glad I read this… I have have been umming and ahhing whether this is right for me or not… it’s still in the not sure basket… glad to read some honest and non-selling opinions!! Cheers

  75. Ok I have been dealing with some weird thoughts in my head that don’t let me focus and be happy… they originate from the stuff I have done in the past incl random one night stands, marijuana, filthy talks with friends etc etc this has been there for quite some time now.. my friend suggested this as a changing experience.. I am giving it a shot in August.. hope i can get a better focus and a better relationship with my wife (I am still dealing with my girlfriend in my as she cheated on me, and relate it to my current relationship) …

  76. Thanks everyone for all the informative comments. I have been to the Tuesday night events twice and finally decided to sign up. Course starts tomorrow. I have been in the advertising business for 15 years so I know about marketing and sales, so while they use hard sell / high pressure tactics (hey… getting anyone to part with $500 is not easy) and I don’t necessarily mind that part… IF the product is worthwhile. I don’t think my cousins (which I consider to be more like brothers) would ever recommend something to me they didn’t think would benefit me. They even offered to pay the course fee for me. I will report back here each night of the course and let you all know how it goes. Right now there are several areas of my life that could use improvement, I change temporarily but I constantly seem to hit a brick wall.

  77. well to start off landmark help me to not make a big deal about my life problems. what I don’t relly like is how they critizice you and the blame on those weakness you have. This has led me to break my relationship with one of my closest friends after he wanted me to have a breakthrough and he critizice me. That dumbasss. Landmark led me to hate my ex-friend with all my heart and destroy a good relationship. Thanks landmark FOR making me to want to kill my friend and never wanting to see him ever again.

  78. After reading so may view points here, my belief has become more firm about LF.

    Totally a westernized therapy session. A mix of ‘Gita’ and ‘Zen Buddhism’. The leader keeps preaching about: parenting, purpose of life, holistic living, relationships, human behaviours so on and so forth. Particularly on 3rd day session leader starts discussing questions like ‘Who am I?’, If someone questions the interference of philosophical principles he is forced to sit down. Preaching in a very forceful manner in loud voice continues and finally ends up in some of the concepts from Zen Buddhism.
    During this period people feel they have discovered something great, which is nothing but false aura created trapping weak minded people. They feel they are free and get whatever they want. This is they label as ‘transformation’ by the Landmark education people. They gove new expressions like ‘racket’, ‘break-through’, ‘possibility’, ‘break-down’, ‘interpretation’ etc.
    After the course gets over, marketing of the product starts. Participants are required to bring people to ask them to take up ‘Landmark forum in action’ lecture series. I attended forum in 1991-92 and was pissed off. After a long period, I attended evening session as a guest with a relative with their evening session and my experience confirmed my belief that it is a wonderful platform for marketing product – LF graduate programme. I was asked again and again will I do Forum again? Bullshit. The number of participants in 1991 was hardly 75 and now it was a group of more than 250 people.
    I have read someone saying that LF is quite interesting to see the way the course is marketed. People who are weak minded, immature or lived a miserable life in the past become ‘volunteers’ of this forum after achieving so called ‘transformation’. These volunteers become mobile marketing/sales people for the organization and they go ahead and force all of their friends and family members to take up the course. By registering few more such persons they feel achievement – and hallucinate making themselves more and more self-centered and selfish.
    I ask the Landmark management, if they really believe in bringing transformation in peoples lives, the course should be designed using local philosophies, social structure and lifestyle. Before inducting volunteers and leaders – management may investigate what are they (leaders & volunteers) in their own lives? Have they achieved so called completeness with immediate family. In particular context of India- a happy family is one where there is faith, compassion and understanding among the members who believe in being ‘ONE’ family and not moving in different directions.
    I have seen in my experiences between 1991 to 2009, who have given their time and energy to LF, are frustrated lot. Who have used these principles independently, are more successful.
    I do see some value of courses like this but can’t think of becoming a marketing personnel for them..

  79. Digressica, for starters thankyou for your blog. I found it very informative. And to answer your question as to weather or not anything you said was making any sence – every word. And your half sarcastic,twisted sence of humor is probebly the only type of humor that really get a giggle out of as long as it isn’t pointed at me or about me. That concludes why I have even stumbeld across you blog in the first place; I gather that Landmark will bennift me in more ways than one. I operate on logic but I am ok to admit that my logic may just happen to be (or clearly is)
    SsLliGgHhTtLlYy (OR QUITE) SsCcRrAaMmBbEeLDd at times.
    But I first herd about Landmark almost 8 yrs ago, and still have yet to experience it. To be honest it is a $$$ issue. Well half that and half lack of putting forth the effort to do my homework. I now have paid the deposit and I am a little choked that I was told it was refundable should I change my mind within a yr. But oh well I guess I need to take the landmark shower or bath or whatever you called it.

  80. Nice review you gave! I’ve done the forum myself and what I believe is, if you follow the concept of ‘INTEGRITY’ as they define it, it ACTUALLY brings about a powerful change.

  81. Loved you’re post about landmark! Very entertaining and a great read. Thank you!

  82. Well, what can I say? You really said it all so well and with your sense of humour, it was a fun read. I revisited my feelings and thoughts as I ‘did’ the Forum and the SELP nearly two decades ago, in India. Needless to say I may have slipped back to being who I am I guess, but am more at peace with myself (and that is not because of Landmark).

    My advice to people wondering whether they should join:

    Do believe in yourself- whether you join or not- and please don’t think you are going to come out all ‘perfectly packaged’ at the end of a factory line after the Forum. Revel in the fact that the world needs ‘all sorts’ of people to make it a better place. Do experience it if you want to and are afraid about the experience, but don’t get carried away- like a friend of mine; whom I had introduced, who possibly pushed it to the extreme and ended up not connecting with friends and family.

    BTW, any idea why there is a preponderance of people from advertising, marketing and sales at the Forum? I always used to wonder if that indeed was the case- for it definitely appeared so.

  83. This is a very accurate and insightful explanation about the forum. My best friend swears by the forum and I can see first hand that it has done miraculous things for her. Let me just add that my best friend sees everything in gray. There is NO black and white in her life. EVERYTHING in her life is a chore. She has to think about every action and decision she makes during the day. Her self-confidence about appearance and actions is driven by being accepted and judged by others. The Landmark forum is actually helping her get past some of these issues. For her, these courses teach her how to live her life in a more manageable fashion. With that said, I on the other hand am the complete opposite. I am a self confident, self sufficient and independent personality who lives totally in the present. I never question my actions or my judgment and I certainly am never worried about what other think of me. I am who I am and anyone who doesn’t like me or the way I look or dress has the issues….not me. Everything in my life is black and white. There is NO gray. I am NOT perfect and never claimed to be. I am just comfortable in my own skin and unlike my best friend, I am never thinking about “what if” or “if only I could” or “how do I look to everyone”. For those who are “stuck” with those types of questions running through their minds, the forum is a great place. In support of my best friend, I attending lesson 7 of the advanced course last night. Here is my perspective. The air conditioning was not working last night and we were all rather hot and sticky. My best friend actually got up to a microphone to share with her hair tied up in a ponytail while sweating. Shall I say it was her not her finest appearance performance. Through this forum process she has learned to let go of the some of things that have held her back over her 60+ years. You have to remember that we are talking about someone who will stand in front of a mirror for 40 minutes fixing her hair before making a trip to the Rite Aid for fear of who she may run into and what they may think of how she looks. If this sounds like you…..I highly recommend this course. After 2 hours of listening to speakers and audience “shares”, it was time to sign up the guests for the course. I stood near the water while my friend used the ladies room. I was then approached by “AMY” (a landmark worker) and asked if I enjoyed the evening. I said it was very interesting (for me that meant I was excited and thrilled at my friend’s emergence and also that I could see there where many people just like her who she could feel really comfortable in and amongst). She asked I was going to sign up to take the course and I answered her honestly and politely. I said that I did not feel it was for me. I explained that I am probably one in a million and how thankful and grateful that I see everything so clearly in my life. I am happy, self-confident, I live in the present, I do not care if others judge me based on appearance, I am kind, philanthropic and I do not live my life “in my head”. I know that I am capable of anything and everything and I am not afraid to try anything nor do others intimidate me. (I did not say this to “Amy” but I could have said that I could teach the forum….not because of having done the forum, but because it is HOW I live my life”) Out of respect for my friend and her involvement with the program, I was cordial and gracious without being pompous or arrogant. “Amy” then said to me…and I quote…”I don’t believe one word you just said” and she turned and walked away. I was dumbfounded!!! How UNPROFESSIONAL could you be???? She has no business coaching and teaching people how to live a better quality of life if she can be that hurtful, disrespectful and ambivalent to another person’s point of view. Her choice of words and actions were those of a 2 year old. On the way home I told my friend about this experience and she was horrified. I told her to just let it go. “Amy” has her own issues and is not worth even a reply. My friend reminded me that she had taken the form back in the 1970’s and they had done something similar to her father when he would not “sign up” for the course. The forum worker took his name-tag and turned it upside down to signify that he was not a willing participant!!! In spite of these ridiculous actions of a few forum followers, my friend is not daunted by the actions of a few but I am left to wonder if the actions of these 2 individuals are reflective of the policy’s and beliefs of the organization. I was also surprised by the wording used by the forum leader when he thanked everyone who signed up for their “business” and for those that didn’t sign up, he hoped that they could do “business” in the future. (he said this numerous times). Using the word “business” really turned me off. It would have been best suited for him to say something like….”for those who have signed up and given us the opportunity to start a new chapter in their lives, we thank you for believing in our ideals and for those who are not quite ready, I would love to talk personally with you and discuss it further”. Using the word “business” made the whole experience so impersonal and left a sour taste in my mouth.

  84. Hmm i have read all the post and i am also a part of LM, did basic , advance, SELP, My view echoes with the majorty here that first of all the content of the whole forum if done without disturbances and discussion vanities of others can b completed in 20 mins flat. Leaders are willing to discuss all aspects of their life , disgrace their parents, employees are willing to induct vulnerable young boys and girls as scouts, but will not share that their real motive is that the equity and profit of the company is owned by its employees.
    To maintain integrity there is a discussion of 3 hours and while we want to discuss our issues we r told deal with it. In any training which can have severe psychological repercussion a company wanting the participants to deal with it without involving the company is to make a participant beware . They want us to take stand for the new enrollment without they them selves willing to stand for them.

  85. My best friend faced sexual harassment by a landmark education leader!
    I blame myself every day for registering my best friend into the landmark forum “I gave the landmark forum to her as her birthday gift”
    She was so impressed with the landmark education work that she went on to do the Introductions leaders program and her lifes purpose became to become a leader in landmark education.
    The Worst happened to her she was Stalked and Sexually harassed by a landmark education program leader, a married man!!
    She struggled to function for 3/4 months,she could not talk to him to stop, she finally complained to the Introductions leader program head.
    She quit landmark and now she thinks of herself as incapable of dealing with situations in life. She is so beautiful and vibrant has become dull and silent.
    We all friends wanted to go to the local newspaper here but my friend and her family refused.
    Landmark Education claims are all Bullshit on providing an environment free from sexual or other forms of harassment.
    Please i beg all the GIRLS/WOMEN reading this to STAY AWAY from landmark forum.I have started to discourage girls from joining landmark forum.
    I pray that landmark education shuts down.

    • I can see how much you care for your friend and are really advocating for her. It’s unfortunate this happened and I do hope that your friend has pursued a remedy. I had a sexual harassment lawsuit (NOT LANDMARK PEOPLE) and it was so empowering to really stand up for myself! It wasn’t until I got that complete that I started to relate to myself again as a powerful human being. Perhaps you can contribute to your friend the distinction what happened vs. the story so that she can see how beautiful and vibrant she is again…and then have her kick some harassment butt!!

  86. There is often a lot of misunderstanding in the industrial world about what “Quality Management” is, and what it isn’t. What it can and can’t do.
    Views range widely –CEOs that barely understand what inspection is (!)

    Yes, I did attend the Landmark course. It doesn’t matter what anybody thinks it is or isn’t – They are a business!!!
    We humans left to our own devices can manage to live behind a veil of deception and waste our precious lives.
    Landmark and other entities give us a format to follow and some revelation into how we all operate. My experience with them was a good one.
    Most people absorb the material but fall back into their old ways.
    If you think they are evil or that you or other have been brainwashed you probably came in with a pre disposed notion and of course left with whatever you came in with.
    In actuality Landmark is a very water down version of other much more “intense” course that came before it.
    Bottom line is –You can get to be “right” about it or open your mind to what they propose. It’s really not that farfetched.

  87. Excellent blog. I have just completed the landmark forum in London. Will be going to the Tuesday evening event today.

    You have summed up beautifully what has been my experience thus far, and I have signed up for the Advanced course for September, when it works in my schedule.

    I don’t have a lot of money but there are some things that I can’t afford NOT to do, and this was one of them.

  88. What a great review of The Forum!! Thank you for sharing!! I had a similar experience as the OP and I think it’s easily worth the money. And she’s right . . . that money would have gone to cocktails. FYI . . . the Advanced Course was also worth it. I didn’t to the next one.

  89. Find it nothing more than a bunch of inconsequential bull shit.What a waste of my advanced forum money.

  90. JUST A LITTLE ADVISE. IF YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED IN ANY WAY, DO YOURSELF A FAVOR. LEAVE QUIETLY!!! THEY WILL TRY AND TELL YOU ITS YOUR PROBLEM, YOUR NOT COMMITTED AND ITS YOUR GAME. NOT EVEN WORTH THE HASSLE OF TRYING FOR A REFUND!!

  91. Thanks for your review – I appreciate your candidness and humour. I’m going in Sept. and wanted to get a feel for what to expect other than what I’ve heard already. Excellently written, thanks!

  92. I agree with the fact that they are very pushy about bringing other people on the last nite however it’s a misconception that it’s because they want to make money off your friends an family. The truth of the matter is they want you to share the possibility you have been opened up to with your friends an family because it will be easier to relate to them an vice versa…while this benefits their marketing scheme perfectly, it also creates possibility for you to build stronger relationships with everyone in your life. People have a hard time understanding that they are fully responsible for EVERYTHING that occurs in their life unless theyve taken the forum an even then most people still dont get it hence the complaints an accusations of it being a cult. In addition, the majority of the breakthroughs don’t happen during the forum…they occur after the forum during the weekly workshops an at home where you put your new tools on how to relate to people into practice.

  93. You don’t think it’s a cult because you hadn’t gone far enough. Sure, they’re not going to reveal their true face so early on, and besides, they themselves don’t reliaze it’s a cult, so whaddya expect? When people ask me to recruit and go against my own judgement, or lead me to believe (ever so subtly) that if you are not in Landmark, then you are not enlightened, and that’s what I should be sharing with others, then it IS a CULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (he-loooo??). I went far enough to realize how they were working. And yes, everybody wants to make money, but usually your brain stays intact. No one tries to force you against your will, unless they are telemarketers or stupid sales people, and you’re smart enough to tell the difference. But at Landmark, they play to your weaknesses and that is how they get you. Sure, some of the concepts are alluring, but you can get the information elsewhere, and sure, a couple of courses here and there won’t hurt, but when you realize that the way they operate is by being good at brainwashing people (in the ever most subtlest of subtle forms so that you won’t even realize you are subtly being brainwashed because they know how skeptical people can be and they want you to entertain the idea that you are your own boss), you will not like them anymore. The minute they tried to get me to go against my family, by saying things like, oh (in a very innocent manner), you might feel when you get out of here that other people don’t understand you – that makes you feel superior to others who have not and will not fall to the Landmark scheme, and you are supposed to think they are STUPID and that you are enlightened. Get real, and start thinking outside the box. Is it really worth hundreds of dollars in their pocket???? I’d rather take a cake decorating course for $160.

  94. “The finger that points to the moon is not the moon”

    The way for me may not be the way for you. We are all going to get there so why does it matter “how ” to anyone else. Take care of yourself. Change the world by changing yourself.

    Landmark is not for me. Church is not for me. My spirituality and my journey are for me to decide. I respect others decisions and path in life. Ill accept nothing less in return.

  95. This post was helpful. I want to go to the Forum, but I have a conflict for the Tuesday night portion. Sounds like I wouldn’t be missing much.

  96. Great article, enjoyed reading it, your humor is great and I understood all you were trying to share. I didn’t have to go searching through google to find out what this thing was all about. my gf 2000miles away is doing it now and invited me to the graduation. That’s at least $800 in travel and a couple vacation days from work I don’t have. I’m still conflicted about it cause we have a very important relationship and I just want to be a part of what matters to her and encourage her. I started a new job and my vacation days are booked. I told her I rather give her $800bucks for the advanced course instead of flying over there. She told everyone about how amazing we are together and now there is a huge push to have me attend the graduation. Your article and your opinions are very nice and neutral, I am a skeptic, and I hate how they try to recruit people instead of letting people volunteer, but in the long run, whatever make her life better. I’ve been to a gazillion churches and I am a man of faith, I know the outcomes of this forum could be good, but I don’t see an underlying beauty and innocence to it like I do with my faith. However they do seem to provide practical motivation to improve life, unlike a lot of faith based organizations.

  97. Hell yeah great blog. You walk into landmark you can tell the people in the room are intelligent human beings. I am a metal head rocker but only because I did landmark. Until then I couldn’t even communicate with some doped out wanna be drummer. Now I have ten band members world class I’m not kidding. All I wanted was a band. Three months later played first gig six months played a stadium show twelve months later played a festival AND with my incredible new friends I met there we raised 250000 bucks with gigs art and self actualised shit and created opportunities for ending child slavery in a third world country. You think I’d ever thought I could do that? Hell no! But I did. Then came advance course. I lost 12 kilos in three months due to getting integrity. I lived on sponsorships and donations so I could tour. And lived well. You have no idea how profound this has affected us. My whole band has done it even our techs. My brother did it and straightaway he went from a rum addled fighting bumnut to us making a fundraiser with international bands raising 50k in a day for our hometown when natural disaster struck. That hometown knew me as a teenage orphaned mother heroin addict stripper. I have no I REPEAT NO (serious it’s magic) broken inauthentic relationships in my life. My son is doing it this wknd. He’s 9. 2.2 million people in the world have done it. The calling thing is to practice the breakthroughs and TBH once you get it you know everyone else should get it. $600 come on. I’ve spent way more on drugs and booze in a weekend and thus is the greatest high ever. I’m a landmartian thru and thru and when people meet us all they’re like “what have u got that I’m missing” we tell em landmark! Rock it!

  98. I too enjoyed this review of LandMark Forum very much! I didn’t find any hostility in our leader, although he was at times quite direct.
    I’m a PhD in New Testament and I didn’t find any interference with faith or religion.
    There was pressure to sign up for the advanced program but it seemed quite consistent with the face of the course itself, it didn;t experience it as pushy marketing or anything negative.
    I met wonderful people in the meetings, and at lunch or dinner during the course (the Forum).
    Very glad I could attend and learn what I learned. How to keep going at a high level is the next step (or steps)–

    • John, this is how places like these stay out of the negative spotlight – by being direst and semi-pushy, but in a subtle way. They know they are dealing with “regular” people, most of who are educated, like you, who view themselves as level headed.
      Take it from a “smart” girl (journalist) who almost went all they way with Landmark. Did the Forum TWICE! Did the Advanced Forum, did some of the individual workshops – their names were super sexy. And went on to join the leadership program, but stopped due to family pressure.
      The thing with Landmark is that they DO talk about a lot of important and interesting things. But – there is one problem with these environments. In addition to collecting a few hundred dollars from a potential customer, they also do a bit of a brainwash, if I may put it like that. Well, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of brain-washing, I guess. We get it every day from commercials etc. But, with Landmark, and especially if you start going to their courses regularly, you sort of lose your identity. Because Landmark does use cult-like techniques. I guess they feel it’s the most efficient way to get people to keep coming. And this is what I don’t like about them, and what is common to cults in general and to religions in part: they try to make you feel like there is something wrong with you, not to mention, hinting, at the Forum they probably do it on a very subtle level, from what I remember – making you think that you are better than people who haven’t done the forum, saying things like: don’t be alarmed, when you leave here, that people don’t “get” you. They are slowly building it up to you beginning to believe that everyone in the world should do the Forum and that if they don’t they are not living life to its fullest. Eventually you begin to believe them, and you might start to embarrass yourself by asking people who will never sign up to sign up, and you knew they wouldn’t. I am telling you this from experience, and I am passionate about this, because it really upsets me that people with power, who are sitting at the top and are interested solely in making more and more money, use these low techniques, and don’t care what it does to people’s esteem and/or identity. It is loathsome in my opinion. And as much as I’d like to think that there is some Magic Way To Live out there, thankfully, now, I am mature and independent enough to realize that nobody has the right to stand on a stage and make me feel worthless and then build me up again, telling me that I have been blind and making me temporarily feel high. Come on! That is not how life works. You cannot feel high all the time. I don’t know about you – you’ve only done the Forum so far, so you’re not deep into it yet, but think about people who continue going, and the money that is made by people who at the top don’t really care about you and take advantage of people looking for something better in life. Your strength can only come from within, not from some 3 month trained leader who read a couple of manuals and was brainwashed himself.
      Hope you’re read through and will pass it on if you can. Hope I didn’t offend you. I am very passionate about this, and my ears perk whenever I think about Landmark. Thankfully it’s far away from my life right now and I’ve never again bumped into someone who was into it.

      • That is an awesome reply, Maia. I might add that it’s a tragedy that brainwashed people most often don’t recognize they’ve been brainwashed and will only think that those who say something about brainwash are “not open to the possibility”, or “not well informed”, or even “brainwashed by ordinary culture”. I remember very well when my Landmark brainwash started, and when it ended. I can fully understand that you’re – as you put it – very passionate about this.

      • Hey, thanks there. I wasn’t sure if anyone would even get to read this post, plus I wrote in a rush. But yeah, I’m just hoping to get more negative output there – ideally like you’d google Landmark and the second result would be this website that is very convincing and makes people not want to do it, and that would hurt their damn organization, though I do remember them fondly at times hahah, well, I don’t actually think of them but IF I were to. I knew someone who “advanced” to Scientology after doing Landmark and the glow in his eyes made me so sick I almost had a mental breakdown….;)
        THANKS

      • Hi Maia,
        I got a lot from your reply and it resonated with me on a number of levels.
        It appears that brainwashing is critically important for growth and development.
        Radical change is brought about by radical intervention.
        I did the entire “curriculum for living” and it left me, while VERY helpful on some fronts, feeling that it wasn’t the answer.
        I still use regularly some of the tools – “Vicious Circles” as an aid to the “ABCDE” of Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy (REBT), and other tools for myself.
        I still use “Probable Almost Certain Future” as a way of playing the tape through to the end.
        I reflect often on the tools and techniques that I got value from, and I use them.
        I DON’T like their pushy way of doing things. I don’t like the way they present as THE answer.
        I am horrified that they strip away coping mechanisms and then just cast people free at the end of 3 and 1/2 days. Incredibly dangerous for some.
        I too met lovely people who are searching for answers and I got huge value from some parts of the course and was not helped at all, a little bit hurt, by others.
        On balance, I believe it was of real value to me, however people need to be really supported on the journey.

  99. Well, this is the obscurity of Landmark which is how they thrive. They are so subtle that almost any person would be able to justify some parts of their behaviour to compensate for other, or the other way around. But still there ARE people, and LOTS of them, who would not even consider going to Landmark, and that is because these people already know how this stuff works and they are strong enough inside to recognize when someone is trying to manipulate them. I am not saying Landmark participants are worse than others, just that they have some level of vulnerability and or a desire to better themselves or a tendency towards spirituality etc, and those are the people Landmark gets. And yes, while you could potentially learn a thing or 2 from them, the danger for some in going and especially in the long run outdoes whatever “positive” things they might teach you. Plus there is nothing new in their stuff. They just add some sexy lingo to make it appear as if they invented it. It’s deceitful really. What happens is that you get into it and want to do more and more you know like people who want another tattoo, or say I want to do a cake decorating class and I know that after it I will want to do more and more. But I don’t think the people at the cake decorating workshop will be standing there on cue ready to push me into buying the next course. Everyone has to make money, but people have to maintain their , yeah “integrity” by having a good sense of self and what they need or want. Everyone has to make money, but the cake decorating people aren’t really manipulating you like Landmark does, right? So if you go to the CEO of Landmark or whatever and tell him, look there’s a percentage of people who have done Landmark and had a mental breakdown (which I’ve heard of) you think they’d care? they’d say they’re not responsible. Anyways – enough about Landmark. I think I have better things to do than think about them hahaha. Bye and THANKS for your reply!!!!! I was hoping some people would read it, hopefully someone who is thinking of signing up. I am dying to cost them a customer.

  100. Thanks for this review. I was invited to an introduction session today and like everyone has mentioned, felt a lot of pressure to sign up for the Landmark Forum. I’m 25, educated and work for a University in a job where I am often helping and directing people in their journey through their education. I was not convinced to sign up and I am very skeptical about the whole thing.

    During the break where they encourage your friend or family member to tell you why you would benefit from joining the program, I felt extremely pressured. And when I said no, I wanted to think about it and possibly choose a time in the new year to go through the Forum, the friend who brought me was okay with it. A lady who I believe was a recruiter came over and asked me why I wasn’t signing up, how my financial situation would change between now and the new year if that was an issue, how I would never make time for something like this if I didn’t start now, and continued to ask me questions and probe as to why I wasn’t interested and what kind of information I needed to feel comfortable with making the commitment today. Not only was I angry at this point, but I was frustrated that the whole thing was scripted and seemingly a huge marketing ploy.

    I can definitely see the benefit for some people who have made the choice to commit to this type of course, however, I think there are probably a lot more genuine, personalized options out there for people that can help them come to terms with some issues or situations they have been victims of in the past. For instance, a student who doesn’t know which direction to go in with their education could find way more tailored sessions to attend and benefit from. Someone who is experiencing parenting issues with their child could attend tailored parenting classes or actually attend something with their child together. To me, it seemed to be advertised to help solve all issues, no matter how large or small, and I’m not sure that is a fair claim.

    I really didn’t agree with the statement that the past doesn’t have an impact on your future. Don’t we learn from our mistakes? I know I sure did. For instance, if you’ve been a victim of violence, abuse or harassment, allowing yourself to forgive the perpetrator is only a single part of the healing process. I think it is dangerous when blanket statements or ideologies are used to comfort those who have experienced trauma in their lives. Often there is a mental trauma associated with those physical or verbal traumas and that needs to be addressed and cared for properly.

    Having said all of that, I am oddly interested to see what the Forum would be like but $645 is A LOT of money just to fulfill my curiosity. So, while I may give it some consideration, I am not convinced it would better me and quite frankly, I think it would frustrate me to see 3 days of what I saw tonight (someone reading from a binder…).

    • Hi SJM, I totally agree with you and comment you on NOT GIVING IN TO THEIR STUPID AND DECEITFUL PRESSURE!!!! You are completely right about everything except one thing: Landmark is not good for ANYONE! Take it from someone who DID fulfill her curiosity and did the Forum TWICH, the Advanced Forum, and some other courses, and even started the Leadership program. Yes, it is very interesting to witness a company in full swing deception, taking advantage of hones people who want to better themselves. But DO NOT pay them a cent. If you can get in for free, yay, but I doubt they will grant you that ;) Regarding your curiosity, you can ask me about it and I’ll tell you for free. Again, I say Landmark is not good for anyone, because it is based on deceptive brainwash, and it robs people of their money and their self judgement. I would suggest that you stay as far away from them as possible and I would suggest that your friend also stay far away from them. Some people have had breakdowns after doing the Forum – as opposed to BREAKTHROUGHS that they promise. This is NOT a good organization. They make money while robbing you of your true identity and good judgement. Read my other posts……
      I have signed up to this Forum and get notified when someone has posted something here, so I can do my little share in getting people away from bad things. So this is my bit to you. I’m glad you didn’t sign up and don’t even CONSIDER signing up. They are a scam, a cult and whatever else you want to call them. There is nothing good about them. They’re in it for the money and the don’t care about the individual. The recruiters are brainwashed themselves, so don’t be angry at them. They are just brainwashed. Be angry at the person sitting at the top. HE’s NOT brainwashed and knows exactly what he’s doing. I don’t know who he is, but perhaps I will find out one of these days hahahha. Good Luck.

  101. Maia,
    I don’t know what is going on for you but it is not balanced to say that it is “not good for anyone”
    I agree very much with your caution about breakdowns – I have seen people stripped of their “coping mechanisms” who are then left to their own devices. Very dangerous, it would appear.
    I got a lot of value from vicious circles, probable-almost certain future, and meaning of life.
    These tools are refer to constantly for myself and others with great affect.
    Maia, consider speaking to them, or someone else, about what comes up for you regarding them.
    I would also, as I have done, ask people to be cautious about their “curriculum for living” and their endless programs – it can add value to your life, but it would be best if it didn’t become your life.

    • Hi Hugh,

      Well, what I’m trying to point out is that even though there is some value in things that they teach, all in all it is not a good organization because it doesn’t really care about the people it serves. So, for example, let’s say, you buy good meat at a local fine foods store, and the food there is excellent, but at the same time, you find out that the owners of this store are promoting something that is immoral, won’t it make you not want to buy their food anymore, even though it is ok? Besides, you can get the same information that Landmark provides elsewhere, without the need to be brainwashed for 3 days straight. You can stay level headed and not give in to them trying to make you feel small. So, yesterday I was thinking about their “racket” lingo thing, and I thought, why are they calliing it racket and making people think that there is something wrong with themsleves, that they are to blame, and that they need to get rid of this racket. They propse it as if you are stupid and you have rackets. But in real life, these are called hang-ups which are a much more positive term. Everybody has hang ups, so what? you don’t have to feel bad about it, It’s just that having them use their own terminology, in my eyes is deceitful. They are trying to create sort of a cult of followeres who have rackeets and whatever other lingo they use, I don’t remember. FUCK THEM!!!!!!!!!!! Again – I know that it is very tempting. Look at me, I almost went all the way. But I had a level headed enough mom and relative who talked me out of it once they saw how deeply I was getting involved. Go read some free books from the library, or spend $100 at the bookstore if you want to learn about yourself. Fuck, don’t pay stupid people hundreds of dollars to talk bullshit into you. God, it just makes me so mad!!!!!!!!!! I hope their organization fall to pieces, just before Scientology follows suit. (yes, Landmark is definitely using “light” cultish techniques, stress on “light”, because it deals with educated smart people. Think about it for yourself. Why can’t they use regular language? why do they have to create their own language? And in any case, I’m really glad you commented on my post. It means a lot to me.

      • Hi Maia,
        I REALLY like your meat example.
        I always caution people about Landmark and how it was good for me but to be VERY careful about becoming a disciple and losing themselves. I have seen Landmark take advantage of people who are vulnerable and use them to death as “volunteers” in their assisting program.
        I get what you say about “Lingo”
        I am currently doing REBT – Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy – and they invent their own lingo too.
        I believe it is both cases to define the problem or issue in a way that makes it addressable from THEIR perspective.
        You sound like a gem of a person Maia and I wish you peace in your life.
        Please consider meditation or relaxation to let go – I like living in the past cause it’s cheaper – you are a great person with a huge amount to offer.
        All the best always.

      • You are absolutely right. I DO need to relax and meditate (?). I can’t even get myself to a Yoga class hahha. Thanks for your suggestions. I don’t know about inventing lingo, though. I don’t like that. But I promise I will try to relax, I got really excited today about all these Landmark posts. But I am still going to fight to “save” a few people, if I may…:)

  102. Well, thanks Digressa for putting up your initial post which is as honest a run-down of what the Landmark Forum is or isn’t as you can find anywhere. And thanks everyone else for such a rich range of comments and opinions. As you can see, people either love it or hate it and there’s not much middle ground.

    One thing strikes me as pretty obvious: the people who love it did the course in full the way it was designed (and the way they promised at the start), applied what they learned there to their life and got great results that were worth WAY more than the time and money they invested. This is what about 95% of the participants get.

    The people who hate it either didn’t do the course at all so they are just basing what they say on their imagination, or they started the course but held back in some way – left before the end, didn’t do the assignments, whatever (usually they admit this freely, even boast about it) – so they didn’t get any useful results and they blame Landmark. 1% or 2% of the people in each course do this and then they go back home and complain about it endlessly on the internet.
    Finally, OPINIONS and FACTS are two different things: I don’t know where the idea came from that Landmark is driven by people trying to make a fast buck; the FACTS are these:
    a) The owners of the shares in Landmark are the staff who work in their offices;
    b) They never pay themselves any dividends – all the profits are put back into expanding the operation;
    c) They work long hours and pay themselves salaries that are half what they could easily earn elsewhere, or less.

    The idea that anyone would do this because they are motivated by money is ridiculous. But why would you care anyway? If you buy an iPhone, what matters is whether it’s something you want at a price that provides value, not how much the Apple stockholders are getting.

    And finally this ‘hard sell’ thing – yes it can sometimes seem that way, but my experience is that anytime I say clearly: “I’ve considered this and it’s not something I’m interested in doing at this time”, they stop bothering me and go and talk to someone else.

    • Hi DerekD,

      So you are saying that it’s the shareholders who are not in it for the money?
      Ok, quick google search: Landmark + Wikipedia =

      Harry Rosenberg: Director;[1] CEO
      Mick Leavitt: President
      Joe DiMaggio – Director, Research, Design & Development
      Nancy Zapolski: Vice President, Program Delivery Division

      525+ employees;[2]
      800 trained leaders, some of whom volunteer their time;

      Revenue: USD$77 million (2009)

      So now, I would like to ask you a question: Is Harry Rosenberg sitting in one of Landmark’s offices as one of the staff. What about Mick Leavitt, Joe DiMaggio (weird, sounds a bit fake), and Nancy Zapolsky. Where are those people sitting?
      Next question: 77 million in 2009 (4 years ago) divided by 525+ employees and 800 trained leader SOME OF WHOM VOLUNTEER THEIR TIME. Okay. I’m not so good at math, but I’m sure 77 million divided into 600 or whatever staff that work long hours because they are so dedicated to the cause and don’t take a lot of money, doesn’t add up. I don’t know, do the math. I can’t be bothered.

    • Dear Derek,
      I share the concerns of Maia and Ton Bil – it is better to disclose associations with an organisation, if indeed this is the case.
      238% of statistics are made up.
      Sources for your stats?
      I have been through the ENTIRE Curriculum for Living. Done ALL the assignments. Recruited friends I thought would benefit. Been in rooms where more than half the participants appeared to feel bullied or coerced into going on with other courses.
      If you have done the courses, you know that a portion of the time in each is spent attempting to get people signed up for other courses or getting their friends and family involved.
      This MAY be for the most positive of reasons – build a constructive Landmark environment around them – but it is often heavy handed and incessant.
      I am in the middle ground where I got huge benefit from it but am VERY concerned with some aspects of it.

  103. @derekd You sound like someone from Landmark, and I think in that case you should have given that as a disclaimer. I quote you: “This is what about 95% of the participants get.” and “1% or 2% of the people in each course do this and then they go back home and complain about it endlessly on the internet.” How would you know these percentages if you are not in the Landmark enterprise?

    You make clear that you “love” the so called “Curriculum” and I quote you further: ” the people who love it did the course in full the way”. This makes you someone who did the course in full the way. But then you will have signed up for the complete program, which I can not understand when I read (I quote you again) “my experience is that anytime I say clearly: “I’ve considered this and it’s not something I’m interested in doing at this time”, they stop bothering me and go and talk to someone else.” How could you possibly have had that experience when you did the complete program?

    You wrote “did the course in full the way it was designed (and the way they promised at the start)” – No. Landmark offers the Forum to “beginners”, and only afterwards comes up with more courses.

    You wrote: “people either love it or hate it and there’s not much middle ground.” – No. I don’t love it, nor do I hate it. See my comments above.

    Could you please elaborate about your supposed connections to the Landmark organisation, or people working there? Please don’t take this as an offense, it’s because of your remarkable defense of Landmark.

    • Yeah, exactly! Did he go home to bed with 95% of those who became enlightened by Landmark? how does he have this inside knowledge. I’m glad to say I am from the lucky 5% who didn’t complain on the Internet, up until now – 16 years later. These 5% are people who cannot fully be brainwashed because they have their own doubts and ideas. It’s not because they are too lazy to do their homework. Come on, they paid so much money – of course they are looking to get as much out of it as possible. Who is this freak Derek? Maybe he is Harry Rosen(berg) himself or Joe DiMaggio. What a bunch of losers. They only made 77 million in 2009, not nearly as much as Bill Gates and the rest of the gang (oh, wait a minute, I forgot Bill Gates was a Saint, he’s got that charity right?). Fuck!

    • Thankyou for your measured reply Ton Bil.
      I also neither love nor hate Landmark.
      I got a huge amount from it – was able to tell my Mother I loved her, after one particular “discussion”, and meant it with all my heart. Got other tools I have mentioned already.
      But I have grave concerns about some parts of it and ESPECIALLY how they leave participants to their own devices AFTER stripping coping mechanisms.
      All the best :)

    • Hi Ton Bil, Maia, and Hugh
      Wow – some pretty immoderate remarks here, but I’ll answer the questions you asked me specifically:

      1) Am I “someone from Landmark”? – No, I’m not employed by them or commercially involved with them in any way and never have been. I am (just like many of the people commenting on this thread) one of their customers. I did several of their courses about 5 to 10 years ago (the Landmark Forum, the Advanced Course, the Self Expression and Leadership Program, the Communication Course, and a couple of the 10-session 3-hour-per-week Seminars. I learned a lot that is useful in all sorts of ways every day of my life. I haven’t done any more Landmark courses in several years and have no plans to, but don’t rule out that I might feel like doing more in the future.
      2) What’s the source of my stats? – There are two: a) there are several published surveys by respected independent pollsters like Harris Interactive and David Yankelovich; and b) my own observations both at the end of particlular courses and over periods of years with participants I’ve kept in touch with. I assume it’s obvious that these are broad-brush figures with no claim to precision, but I’m confident in the orders of magnitude.
      3)To clarify what I meant when I wrote: wrote “did the course in full the way it was designed (and the way they promised at the start)” – I wasn’t talking about doing Landmark’s entire product offering. I was talking about any single program. When people register they promise to turn up on time, to be in every session, to engage with the conversations, to do the assignments, and to consider what the leader tells them with an open mind. Nothing really controversial there. You’d need to do those if you wanted to get best value from a course on geometry or basket weaving. Around lunchtime on the first day, they are asked to review those promises and agree that they commit to them. If they don’t want to, they can leave and have a full refund. Many of the people writing negative nonsense about Landmark on the internet (including this thread) are totally upfront about the fact that they either left before the end, or didn’t do the assignments, or ignored what the leader said because they knew better. Personally I’ve never met a single person who did the Landmark Forum and kept those promises without getting a result that they were delighted with.
      4) “How could I possibly have had that experience when I did the complete program?” – I think you misunderstood what I meant by “the complete program” – I didn’t mean every single course offered, I meant whatever course I was in at the time. I’ve been offered lots of courses – some I bought and some I didn’t; I had no problem making a choice I was happy with. (And yes, sometimes I was irritated by the persistence of the “salesperson”. That is a valid criticism, but it doesn’t make it a cult or a scam).
      5)And Maia – I suggest you get some elementary business education before trying to throw numbers around – ‘revenues’ means total sales turnover, not profits, still less dividends. But why should you care? If I go to Tesco, it’s because I like the groceries and I’m happy with the prices; I could care less what the CEO earns.

      • Hey, that’s too bad that you don’t care what the CEO earns. I threw numbers around (well, I didn’t really throw them – they were right there on Wikipedia) just to make the point that a few people up there are making or at least trying to make A LOT of money off people’s backs, that’s all. I don’t care if in the end it will turn out that the staff is making a good salary, which I’m doubtful about. I think Landmark relies A LOT on volunteers. I wish I could count how many volunteers are in ALL of Landmark offices around the world, and how many employees there are and how much each employee is making. I also want to know how much these top 4-5 executives are taking home. Then I want to know how many people that can’t really afford Landmark because it’s not in their budget are coerced by Landmark volunteers to spend money they don’t have. Then I want to know how much more money these people spend once they do one thing and find it helpful, and entertaining, and a good way to meet a lot of nice people. So, why is Landmark worse than any other educational course out there? hmmmmm…….let me think………you know what? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s not so bad after all. Maybe I’m remembering wrong.Hmmmmmm…..wait a minute. Some people get cursed at – ok, one thing. What else? Oh, wait, those people deserved to be cursed at in the name of the ultimate good results they are supposed to take home with them.
        I totally understand the benefits you got out of Landmark, and I know what you are talking about. You definitely do get a good hard look at yourself and your life. I assure you, I understand where you are coming from, but I am still convinced that Landmark is a business that should not exist, because all in all – the negative outdoes the positive in their case. And I can hear just by the way people talk, even Hugh, sorry – when you said to look inside and see “what comes up for me (total Landmark lingo). What kind of bullshit talk is that? what comes up for me? Are they nuts? In a second I’m going to raise my fist and punch them in the nose. What comes up for me? What, are you in some bizarre psychological planet. This is what “comes up for me”: A SNEER. Hugh: please stop using their terrible lingo. It makes people sound weird. You don’t want to be a weirdo, do you? I find that Landmark makes people start to talk like weirdos.
        Derek. Ok, now we know you are not Harry Rosenberg, which I kind od knew from the beginning. Sorry I called you freak. I am mad at Landmark, not at their customers. But if someone talks positively about Landmark, I am hoping to balance it out with the negative that they do.Just because you got benefit out of it, doesn’t mean it’s a good organization. I also thought I got benefit from it at the time. And I probably did get some benefits. But I still wouldn’t endorse it. And if I went just as a guest to one of their guest evening, I think I would probably want to puke hearing the recruiters talk like weirdos. So, if someone came up to me and said – how can we help you be where you want to be, I would turn around and smack them in the face.

      • G’day Derek,
        Ta for taking the time to reply.
        “published surveys by respected independent pollsters like Harris Interactive and David Yankelovich”
        Where? Link?
        “my own observations both at the end of particlular courses and over periods of years with participants I’ve kept in touch with”
        You actually said “1% or 2% of the people in each course do this” – it is impossible for you to have that figure.
        I KNOW there are benefits from doing the courses. My reservations still stand.
        “writing negative nonsense about Landmark on the internet (including this thread)” – mate, that is unfair. This thread has a lot of different views in it – nonsense is subjective. The original post is VERY balanced.
        I know there are people who LOVE anything and people who HATE anything – I’d rather be on the LOVE side.
        I can’t with Landmark all the way – but it was, with reservations, incredibly useful.

  104. Note to all who read this: Join Landmark or don’t. Benefit from them or don’t. They are still a cult and a scam. So you can transform your life all you want, but you are still doing it in a cultish and scammish way. Good luck. If I chose to do Landmark again today, I would be so ashamed of myself. I think anyone who joins Landmark or supports them should be embarrassed! I would still be embarrassed but it was such a long time ago that I don’t really care. But if you do go to Landmark, it is because you are weak/vulnerable/prone to manipulation. That’s the sad truth! It’s ok, I was too. But do consider taking a step to join the Other Side – people who wouldn’t touch Landmark with a 10 foot pole. Look for them. They’re all around you, and doing well, at least not worse than Landmark graduates. Landmark – three words: GO TO HELL. Good night and peace to all.

    • Maia, I mean this in the kindest of ways — I think you need to get a hobby that isn’t posting aggressive comments on my blog. I never usually step in here — in fact I rarely even look at my dashboard to see the comments people are posting on this, because although it’s my most popular blog post, frankly I’m just not that interested in it — but come on. You’ve been incredibly rude, dramatic and rather silly here, and your comments don’t come across as fair-minded discourse, they come across as bullying and aggressive. I’m starting to get a bit cross.

  105. Heather Renee Kirby

    Somewhat informative…wish it entailed more of what the process requires, etc.

  106. I think I will eventually go and do the course. I was very pressured into signing up after the introduction seminar and they would not take no for an answer. Well the person that signed me up paid the deposit and i tried to pay him back but he gave me the wrong bank details… thats beside the point. I am registered for this feb… 2014… i have gambling problem moments where i blow this kind of money in less than an hour so moneys not the problem the whole hard sell thing is what puts me off. They were so persistant I felt as if they cornered me at the end of the introduction seminar and i could not leave until they signed me up. bit of a guilt trip / hard sell. I am going to go into it with an open mind and I am thankful for everyone that has written on this site it was definately most helpful from all my internet travels seeking info on whether to go or not. And they have been calling me flat out since i registered and I have been ignoring there calls and they have been relentless! new years new years day! 3 – 4 times a day i keep telling them i am busy and they are like we need to talk to u for like 10 minutes to make sure you get your value from the course. From what they told me I get a refund if i dont like it. AND ANY MORE HARD SELL CRAP I WILL JUST TELL THEM TO SHOVE IT. So I am going in with an open mind… except for the pressure to spend more money. the $650 it is a big investment… but i spent $1700 on gambling this holidays in 2 days so big deal….

    • You know, just because you signed up for this doesn’t mean you have to go through it. You now you are going to be sitting for 3 days in a room full of people for hours on end. It is definitely a social event but if you feel that you were coerced into this, just don’t do it and try to get your money back. Landmark isn’t really helpful. It puts you in a room, uses a lot of brainwash, gets people high for a while, and then lets them go. They put people down in order to build them up. They just wanted your money, they don’t care about you. Even if you end up doing this, keep that in mind. Do they really care who you are? you can always back out of it. If I were you I’d spend my money on gambling instead of this. They’re not going to cure you out of gambling that’s for sure.

  107. Do not do this! Do not waste your time and money! Do not risk destroying the awesome human being you already are!

    After suffering painfully through the three day BS extravaganza, I survived without “popping” my mind still intact, but sleep deprived, angry and and down right fed-up! Bullies, manipulative and in all honesty, if you are emotionally vunerable it could be down right dangerous for you!

    You do not need this… You (whoever you may be reading this) are a unique and amazing person. Do not let them take away your soul and replace it with Landmark zombification!

  108. its not a pyramid scheme. you dont make and get a cent from landmark. its a form of business and the forum ethically designed to help humanity of life changes, but its definately not a pyramid. David Ure’s salary is just as normal as everyone else which it has already been confirmed. His not a millionaire and he doesnt need to become a millionaire. Alot of people make a big deal of how much they make or what they spend it on. End of the day, see greatness of the forum, listen and you’ll be transformed.

  109. My biggest problem with the whole Landmark theory is that everyone around you “must” go through the Forum or your life’s goals cannot be reached. Now they don’t say that in so many words, but you certainly get the idea. I believe the most important thing in life is a solid loving family, not saving the ….(fill in the blank)… but almost without exception most of the people who have been associated with Landmark for a long time are single, divorced and based on reading between the lines not close with their close family. i.e. children, spouses, etc.. Most of the leaders I have had met lived thousands of miles away from their children during the time they were growing up. Sorry, but instead of spending so much time “helping others” maybe you should have been at a few more recitals or baseball games your children were participating in. That to me is a major flaw in the system.

    Is it a cult? I don’t know or really care. Is it a double talking sudo self help fest, yea I think so. The way they describe things is one of the best forms of talking a lot without saying ANYTHNG, Their writers who publish the manuals are fantastic at saying almost nothing then allowing you to get it, whatever “it” is. Even the trainers must read it word for word, because it does not even flow off their lips easily. Which means to me the trainers..opps “coaches” don’t even get it. Yes I have gone through the LF and yes I had some insights, but some of those insights were not reality as I discovered as I saw my therapist. He has also gone through LF when it was still EST, yes the names are changed but the basics are the same. Do I recommend it? Sure if you have spare money. Would I encourage some of my family to go through it? I might, but I will pay the bill, no reason to have them blame me if it was a waste to them. Will it change your life? Depends on what you consider success is. If it is having connections with people to hide from true intimacy you should be having with your spouse or children, then it will provide that cover for you and you will be with many like minded people hiding in the halls of Landmark offices.
    If it is making a commitment to being close with a spouse or child then follow your heart, use some of the tools LF provides and live your life to the fullest, and place the LF in the proper prospective. It is a tool and insight into life, but it is NOT life.

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