One chatty young woman turned to me as I was looking over her shoulder for a friend and announced (self-righteously): "Hey, you're racketing with me! The insights she had gotten about her relationship were far more important. You say you’re at some sort of ‘forum’ this weekend, huh? If you need to flag this entry as abusive, The essential guide to taking care of your mind and body. I learn so many things from here. Sophie announced a break herself right after our conversation, as if she too was disoriented, as revealed by the uncharacteristic lack of charisma in her face and her stiff shoulders. I hope you got all the details about Tractor. For more details stay tuned with KhetiGaadi. { 23 comments… read them below or add one }, Hello Admin, The Landmark Forum is the streamlined, slightly gentler offspring of that pinnacle of the ’70s encounter movement, est. No, the problem with the Forum is the participants. She also gave a mini-lecture on existentialism, citing Shakespeare's "sound and fury signifying nothing" as well as a little known poem by e.e. The Landmark Forum is a 3 day personal development seminar. From that awareness comes a fundamental shift that leaves people more fully in accord with their own possibilities and those of others. By observing the process of a person confronting a difficult situation in his life, in real time, and then beginning (and sometimes even completing) the process of forgiving others and forgiving himself, the members of the audience find themselves able to imagine themselves going through that same process. I decided to keep learning more, and perhaps even to consider experiencing the Forum for myself. Besides Sophie's interrogation at the stand had none of Alain Roth's nasty brutality in the TV program: no suggestions to throw oneself over a bridge or get cancer. The woman said she did not care. ©2021 BuzzFeed, Inc. All rights reserved. ), "Are you always so arrogant? What happened that is similar to the way you are treating your husband now? Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. Read them if you like but they all seem to have the The Landmark Forum is grounded in a model of transformative learning—a way of learning that gives people an awareness of the basic structures in which they know, think, and act. "The problem with most people is that they put their past where their future should be," smiles Sophie, elegantly dressed in a ruffled green shirt and midriff blazer. No Income Potential To Keep Non-Profit Status. If they had, I concluded, I would not even know: they were long gone down the jogging trail. So what does this all mean? the meanings that we have created – into the present and the future. So you've heard about the Landmark Forum, you're curious to find out what it's all about, and you are worried to see that Google autofilled your search to "Landmark Education Cult". :). On the other hand, the Forum is described as a means for getting access to the category “we don’t know that we don’t know” – those blind spots in interpersonal relations, habits, or behaviors that keep tripping us up because we don’t even know that they are there. The Landmark Forum is grounded in a model of transformative learning—a way of learning that gives people an awareness of the basic structures in which they know, think, and act. She repeated the most original philosophy of the Forum, one that I was quite taken by: don't change your life, transform it. Why the Landmark is so popular, attracting l million participants annually, with an 86 million dollar revenue and 3 million dollar profit (divided among only 400 employees, as the Landmark relies on obsessed volunteers to run it), why it inspires upper middle class people around the world (at 700 dollars a weekend, it is only for those with means) not only to enroll, but to continue taking classes (which oddly enough, get more expensive, as one gets more "advanced") is that our industrialized societies have apparently led to a breakdown in values beyond individualism and capitalist gain. No, that's not good enough. life coaching|personal growth|peak performance|personal development. We’re urged to examine our “rackets” – the situations where we execute habitual, disempowering behavior patterns by complaining that something or someone should be different from how it actually is. I now went to the microphone, and asked my question. These opinions ranged from extremely positive (“The most important three days of my life, bar none.”) to extremely negative (“They are a cult – all they want is your money, and they’ll never stop calling you once you’re on their list.”). Sophie moved closed, circled to me next to the mike, and looked deeply into my eyes. At the testimony session on the last day, each contestant reported the same sort of "breakthrough", a trauma at age seven and a subsequent script, as if dutifully following a blueprint. Such as reminding me of my own faults in a course, or using a charming smile, or, as Sophie was doing, sidling up and standing two inches away from me as she asked me if people did not like me. Nobody seemed to find it troubling that the Landmark vision was delivered as if it were absolute truth, sui generis. in regressed childhood voices, this until Sophie invited them to laugh, to reach the conclusion that while these 6 billion were frightening, imagine how afraid people were of you! Critical Thinking 3. I’m not shouting at you because I want to kill you. Also as a professor, I am used to manipulation from students who have not done their homework and risk failing a course: they will use any method to get me to "weaken" my stand. of being judged and criticized – to do any judging themselves. Then I went to the stand. After a 13 hour day of emotional roller-coaster rides, it’s time for some homework. Had people run? Yes even little ones have rackets. Of course, in contrast to Rules 1 and 2 – “do not talk about Fight Club” – we were strongly encouraged to talk about the Forum to anyone and everyone who would listen (as well as those who wouldn’t). Tears followed. One man eagerly told me: "We were all waiting to see when your armor would break, but no you stayed composed.". Thanks for sharing, Hey! Is it just me or do most of the answers on here seem to come from people within the organisation? Sophie was a gifted speaker, who kept our attention and enthusiasm during each twelve hour day, making her speeches seem original, with personal anecdotes; only later, searching the web, do I find the same speeches cited by other landmark leaders: the "nothingness" argument, the "Citizen Kane". I did experience my own breakthroughs. cigarette, phone, bathroom, emotional overwhelm). "You're lying. Speaking for myself, I went in cautiously optimistic, and I found it valuable, entertaining, and worth my $485. There was nothing too objectionable about a program that has as a result reconciliation in relationships, as well as a new commitment to responsibility for one's present. I was not breaking. Usually 1 person in about 150 does that. Such methods backfire on me. Completing the past consists of: forgiving ourselves for what happened (even if it wasn’t our fault), and forgiving others whom we have been blaming and “making wrong” for their roles in past events; and consciously choosing to let go of stories and meanings that we have previously attributed to those events. It is a script. With ongoing practice, they are likely to strengthen and take hold over time, but I definitely feel as though being able to experience these states directly during the learning process was worthwhile. The first day was inspiring enough. Have you heard of the Landmark Forum and want to know what it is all about? In our lives, we’re all the victim of a con (in Forum-speak, a “racket”), that is set up and run by our ego. Like any other cult, it instills blind righteousness in its members Previous post: Don’t believe everything you think, Next post: Everything you believe is wrong (but that’s OK). in some way. Very useful and knowledgeable blog. By the way, on the first day of the Landmark Forum, you are given an opportunity to leave and get a full, no questions asked refund. Why were they all waiting in gleeful anticipation for me to break? She draws three circles on the board, with past, present, future, and adds arrows to show the absurd reversal of time: a distortion the Landmark claims to solve by day three. You're not listening! As throughout the Forum, she sprinkled her lecture with an inspiring array of quotes, including my favorite: "A successful person goes from failure to failure with enthusiasm" (Churchill) and concluded, per forma, with moving descriptions of Gandhi and King. This curriculum is delivered by a facilitator, who would alternate between lectures and conversations with the the audience in a Socratic style. Hence “The Forum.” I experienced discussions about awareness, … And so, with some trepidation, I signed up. No, that's not good enough. Within the movie, the structure of the fight club itself also owes a debt to the Forum. They described their own Forum experiences in simple language, and explained to me what the process was all about. The last hours of the Forum were thankfully devoted back to the life lessons of the Forum, rather than the push to call every last friend we knew to come on Tuesday night, so that one day the world could be "transformed" and we would live in a community of the Forum--an urging that inspired one woman from Slovenia to vow to open the Forum in her country, as well as a man from Spain to do the same. First thing’s first… it took me a long time to get to the Forum. Thanks for sharing, Hello , I once dated a man part of this "forum" they call it & after I said I wasn't interested he didn't want to date me anymore. As he put it: You’ll go back to your families on Sunday night and they’ll ask you what happened, and you’ll say “I spent the whole weekend getting yelled at by some Jew with no eyes and all teeth”. And it also reflected a French bias: that radical self-confrontation was always already a suspect activity. She has "cracked": a breakthrough moment. greatest and most inspirational movie ever, Everything you believe is wrong (but that’s OK). I just finished my first 3 days at Landmark (I have “graduation” tomorrow), so I figured I’d post a wrap-up to how my experience was. Sophie teased them humorously. That being said, anyone was permitted, though not encouraged, to walk out of the room at any time for whatever reason (e.g. The experience itself was epic and fun, even as it was emotionally draining. You just wanted her to keep away from men because you were rejected by men. The woman who objected to the hysteria was asked if there was "something behind her question": perhaps a further disagreement with her estranged husband? Philosophically, the concepts are too sensible to be controversial. The main activity of the Landmark is to make--not urge--participants to apologize to the people around them for the "rackets" they have dumped on them. Landmark Education suffers humiliating legal defeat in New Jersey Federal . We are constantly affixing "stories" to events rather than seeing the separation between "event" and "interpretation," and these stories are usually based in our self-righteous feeling of being wronged. But it had not changed its method. Sorry but MOST cults are dangerous. After my mom joined Landmark, she keeps on insisting that I should join the underage version of the program (she usually wouldn't push me to do things I don't want to do), and acting very defensive when I mention Landmark. A lot of this stuff, I already agreed with or “knew”, but the Forum experience helped me solidify it in a more visceral way. Landmark itself makes the syllabus available on their web site so there’s no big mystery about the specific learnings that one will acquire at the Forum. When we use change-based language, we take what’s pre-existing (and, presumably, “wrong”) and attempt to change it. What could be at stake was a re-evaluation of the meaning of "parental love", unsettling cherished French clichés about how relationships worked. Create your meaning; there is none inherent in the world. Yes, they urge us to proselytize, which rather than a cult technique, might just be an unfortunate mistake in marketing strategy: I would never urge anyone to do the Forum precisely because they urged me to do the Forum. Microphones flank the stage, where the participants go to share their stories and receive live coaching from the Forum leader. And I expect to put the experiences and learnings into practice in my life in the days, weeks, and months ahead. keep sharing. "There is no meaning but what you give to it," explained Sophie for us, drawing a new empty circle. Many of these phrases – word for word – turned up repeatedly in the support groups attended by the main character of that movie. i appreciate your quality stuff, that was really so useful and informative blog! In a very similar way, the bracing (metaphorical) slap in the face of the Forum converts “poor me” stories of self-pity and victimhood, into strength of will and determination to live into an unknown future of bold power and possibility. Landmark Education incurs legal defeat in New Jersey Federal Court (2005) by Rick Ross sister projects: Wikipedia article, Wikidata item. Everything is intentional, and nothing distracts participants from the business at hand. Perhaps her own inability to stand up to her beliefs, or honor her breakthrough in the previous session about how she was being a worm in her marriage? By Sunday, participants tearfully explained in testimonies how they had made breakthroughs with family members they had not spoken to for years. Why has the Landmark been subject to so many lawsuits and claims of being a cult? This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. (I found the same speech on the web). New Age 9. You post is very good and Fruitful . Landmark might be called a "snob group," one which promotes elitism. The Forum leader explained that he couldn’t guarantee any results (“getting it”, in Forum lingo) to a participant if he wasn’t there for the full experience. And you? All due respect to those who have found high levels of personal growth from it, I don't want to take that away from them. . Well, not at the participant, exactly, but at the mental cage of bullshit and lies in which they are trapped. This is the review of my Landmark Forum experience. Some of the key messages that I received are: My experience was also filtered through my past experience of movies and books that were known to have been influenced or inspired by the Forum. Participants, having heard the argument drone in their ears for 9 hours in a period of 72, began to cheer and smile as they raised their hands to say they too had the courage to stand for the Forum. But I urge you to spend the weekend questioning your integrity. For the system to work you have to believe that anyone not exposed Landmark is inferior. We recognize that we only have an ego – our egos are not us. I figured that anything that elicited such polarized reactions from people had to have something interesting and potentially exciting at its core. What is the Landmark Forum and is it a Cult? As previously reported by CultNews the private for-profit seminar-selling company some have called a “cult,” has been on what appears like a crusade lately, to suppress a French documentary from being seen on the Internet. Until we realize this, we’re at his mercy, but once we do, we can turn the tables on the opponent and liberate ourselves. One woman in the US said it made her confront her mother, who had beat her, after 20 years of avoiding all contact. "You're lying. Make it last for 29 years so you suffer and die.". The uncomfortable and “unreasonable” homework assignments are another common theme between the Forum and the movie. In the movie, “he” is the ego, the story that you make up and then tell in order to make things make sense, make yourself right and others wrong, and make yourself look good. 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