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Where and Why is landmark banned ...
Posted by: Kastlefeer ()
Date: November 29, 2005 04:25PM

My mom recently attended 'the Forum', and i'm trying to learn all i can in a short span of time. She's changed quite a bit in recent days going from alarmingly euphoric and childlike to cool and in charge, and yet strangely distant. I don't know what to expect next. My stepdad tries to show that he's unconcerned by staying busy. However i think he's avoiding mom on purpose now.

I had heard offhand that LEC is banned in Sweeden, France, and Italy. Can anyone point to the specific laws and anything where perhaps Landmark or a group like it motivated the governments there to enact the legislation? I've had difficulty finding much so far, any assistance is much appreciated.

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Where and Why is landmark banned ...
Posted by: critical_thinker ()
Date: November 30, 2005 03:08PM

Landmark Education is not banned in any country. In France, the practice of assisting (donated labor) has been declared illegal by the French labor ministry. The MILS (an administrative agency of the French government had called LE a sect, but the legistalation authorizing the MILS did not define the term sect). Landmark Education has almost consistently (with few exceptions) won retractions or court cases (e.g., the Netherlands) when called a "cult."

Landmark Education has since closed shop in France. A few other centers have closed because of negative cash flow. However, for the most part, Landmark Education is experiencing strong growth. Since 1991, over 850,000 people have done Landmark Education's programs. Many new centers are being opened in Asia (Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, et al). Sometime in 2007 or early 2008, cumulative participation worldwide will exceed one million.

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Where and Why is landmark banned ...
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: November 30, 2005 08:58PM

Landmark continues to get bad press wherever it goes.

See []

In Europe there have been a number of negative press reports notably in France, England and the Netherlands.

Landmark is litigious, much like Scientology. It sues in an effort to silence critics.

For example, Landmark sued this Web site in an apparent effort to shut down this message board and remove news articles archived within the database.

That effort failed.

Landmark has since filed a motion to dismiss their own lawsuit rather than continue with discovery.

Wonder what they had to hide?

Large group awareness training (LGAT) like Landmark has a troubled history generally.

Note other groups with similar problems such as NXIVM, Impact, Lifespring, Asia Works, Sterling etc.

See []

Such trainings are popular in large part because people are looking for some sort of "quick fix," though many are not given enough information about the seminar before enrolling to make an informed decision.

Research has demonstrated that mass marathon training or LGATs are frequently problematic, most often due to their basic structure and dynamics.

See []

Critics of Landmark like Margaret Singer may have said that the organization is not a "cult," but have repeatedly pointed out aspects of coercive persuasion or "brainwashing" used by the company.

See []

There have also been breakdowns associated with Landmark and other LGATs.

See []

Also see []

And []

There is no peer-reviewed published research that demonstrates objectively any measurable results from LGATs including Landmark.

So despite nearing the "million" mark in participation and collecting copious cash from participants Landmark has never funded meaningful scientific research.

Instead, Landmark and other LGATs rely upon anecdotal stories and opinion polling, which is subjective.

LGATs are good at convincing participants they have recieved benefits from their programs. But such persuasion to affect subjective feelings is not the same as objective measurable results.

Landmark does claim it acheives such results, but has never proven this.

The issue of volunteer labor is interesting.

It is odd that a for-profit privately owned company relies upon free labor.

Landmark is not a charity or church, yet in this aspect and others it has the dynamics of one. That is, people donating their time to an organization much like they would the Salvation Army or the Catholic Church.

It almost makes Landmark seem like a religion.

In fact, Landmark is a philosophy not a "technology." And so much like religion people that "get it" have some sort of epiphany or conversion experience.

Again this fits well into the subjective realm without objective measurable results.

You believe therefore you are. The so-called "leap of faith."

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Where and Why is landmark banned ...
Posted by: critical_thinker ()
Date: December 01, 2005 03:27AM

1) Most organizations get some level of bad press. It also gets quite a bid of good press.

2) Landmark Education has obtained about 15 retractions over the years from the press, and they have won a few verdicts for defamation. In no jurisdiction can any entity sue for a matter of opinion. Landmark Education must have asserted that A) facts were presented, B) the facts were false and C) the false facts were defamatory. That's for defamation/libel. The tort of false light is slightly different; this is presentation of facts in such a way that it is intentionally misleading. These cases are notoriously difficult to win (to overcome the high barrier of free speech, for instance). You posted the NVIXM complaint, I would be interested in seeing you post Landmark Education's complaint for product disparagement. I'm not sure how "discovery" would be relevant. It is a matter of what was posted on the web site, unless they were asserting something was false and you had proof of its correctness. Again, I would be interested in seeing the complaint.

3) The breakdowns associated with LGATs I can't say much about. I can only see from LE, since 1991, over 850,000 have done Landmark's programs. Three cases ended up in lawsuits: two for LE's alleged effects of course conduct and one for sexual harrassment. The two course conduct cases (alleged effects of the courses) were both resolved in LE's favor.

4) There is research on LE's web site beyond anecdotal research, including the University of Southern California study and the ISPI study for the Chilean copper mine. It is not true causal research in the sense of "rigorously monitored, placebo controlled, double-blind clinical trials" wherein a group is randomly administered a treatment of "the Landmark Forum" and another is a control group. Such research is very expensive to do; at that level, even things like the value of an MBA are debated. Alas, I agree with you that LE should do more case studies.

5) It is odd that LE relies on volunteer labor, both in marketing and operations. I can't think of another for-profit company on the planet that does this (or that can do this). Do you know any other one?[/i]

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Where and Why is landmark banned ...
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: December 01, 2005 03:45AM

Anyone considering LE courses should read the links I previously posted.

If you are actually a "critical thinker" they are quite thought-provoking and report related facts and research.

LE certainly has had the financial resources for some time to do extensive objective research. Instead they have chosen not to.


The study cited by "critical thinker" was not peer reviewed and published within a scientific journal and remains essentially untested and unproven. More spin than substance, unless otherwise conclusively demonstrated.

If LE believes its claims why not prove them conclusively through further repeated objective studies, peer review etc.?

The press articles about LE are repeatedly bad. Some would say overwhelmingly so. That's why LE apparently resorted to litigation, in an effort to intimidate the press.

It didn't work.

The lawsuit filed by LE against this Web site was a humiliating defeat.

No concessions were made to LE in any way, shape or form.

Faced with discovery to substantiate their claims, they filed to dismiss their own lawsuit and backed down.

LE now faces possible sanctions, costs etc. in Federal Court in NJ.

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Where and Why is landmark banned ...
Posted by: critical_thinker ()
Date: December 01, 2005 04:50AM

1) Some of the articles report facts and a lot of opinion. There are other points of view. I think the three legal claims (with the exception of the sexual harrassment claim which happened off premises) should be struck because the resolution favored LE. Many articles are favorable to LE and included in CultNews but don't make it to the LE group page, e.g., "Homework assignment promotes controversial group."

2) LE reported profits of 4% in 1997 (from the Time Magazine article). Again, we are back to the issue of what you would test through peer reviewed research. There are two classes of benefits: hedonic (happiness) and utilitarian and LE does assert happiness to be one of the benefits of being a customer. How would you test happiness in a peer reviewed study? Would you expect Apple Computer to spend its money, for example, doing peer reviewed studies of whether its customers are happy with the iPod? Then there is the utilitarian aspect, wherein you test through the rigorously monitored, placebo controlled double blind clinical trials, peer reviewed by a neutral third party, etc., which you are pointing to. How would you design such an experiment? I don't know of any other business, off the top of my head, which has done that kind of research for a service rather than a product. (Products can easily be so tested, but even that's rare because of the cost.) The study mentioned does have the reputation of Marshall School of Business on the line, as do all the other studies.

3) I think you have causality wrong in the LE case as to why they dropped the product disparagement lawsuit. Such cases are notoriously hard to prove, and, I suspect, many of their claims were duplicates of NVIXM's claims. That said, I would like to see you post their complaint as you did NVIXM's.

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Where and Why is landmark banned ...
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: December 01, 2005 07:38AM

"critical thinker," be honest you are here as an apologist for Landmark.

LE dropped the suit against this Web site and message board when they realized that they were facing a big law firm that agreed to take the case pro bono.

There was no chance of a war of attrition. That is, beating down a defendant through excessive legal fees and costs, which was what they did to CAN and Margaret Singer.

This is an old Landmark and Scientology strategy.

Second, they lost several motions regarding an effort to keep discovery sealed and not available to the public.

Likewise, they lost a series of general discovery motions.

It is unclear if any "settlements" reached with LE by publications or other defendants was a ruse or the defendant paid.

This institute was offered various "settlements," which were all refused.

If the other defendants harassed by Landmark were offered similar terms of settlement they may have actually won, and the settlements were more of a face-saving spin for LE.

Perhaps that's why the terms of those settlements are sealed.

As far as the PR spin effort through "home work" assignments done by LE graduates, they are not about Landmark and its courses, but rather about community efforts outside LE done seemingly to get the organization some needed positive PR.

Your second point once again sounds pleaces LE in the position of selling subjective feelings or religious euphoria, even though it is a for-profit company doing business to make moneyl.

And there is not sufficient financial disclosure to discover what money is really made by Landmark, what money is still paid toy Erhard or even the actual terms of the so-called "sale" of EST to an "employee group."

As a privately held complany Landmark doesn't need to disclose much and they don't reveal many meaningful details. Maybe that's why the seem to fear discovery through a lawsuit so much.

Let's wait for the judge to do some more rulings in the case regarding the lfriviolous lawsuit filed against this Web site.

It's ironic, but right now Landmark's attorneys appear desperate to dismiss their own case and the Ross Institute attorneys eager to continue to the discovery process and keep the case open.

Landmark must regret filing the frivolous suit in the first place and no doubt they feel just a bit embarassed.

Of course everything will be on the record, be patient.

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Where and Why is landmark banned ...
Posted by: critical_thinker ()
Date: December 01, 2005 08:16AM

We can drop the "apologist" label and look at each issue on its merits.

1) Settlements are regularly sealed by just about any business. That's part of the bargain for settling.

2) I trust that you will make everything publically available to the extent nothing prohibits that. What prohibits the LE complaint from being made public RIGHT NOW (today)? Surely LE had to have known the risks in it if something could be construed adversely and publicized.

3) It seems you are acknowledging knowingly suppressing the positive PR associated with the SELP projects. We can't decide if the positive/negative PR is weighing one way or another if the positive PR is KNOWINGLY suppressed? (Such community service projects are direct homework assignments of LE in that program, clear causality.)

4) Will you post links or full text to all the positive PR I can find if I provide them to you, and in chronological order of appearance in media with the rest of your media articles on LE? This is a YES/NO question.

5) That's correct that there are not sufficient financial disclosures from LE as a private corporation, though they do give significant information (revenues and margins, at least in 1997); they are, of course, not audited or subject to SEC (10Q, 10K, et al) reporting requirements. They further state on their web site that Werner Erhard has no financial interest in LE.

6) LE definitely paid in the sexual harrassment case (Neff, 1997) and in the Been versus Weed case, though if the Federal Government's proceedings had been released prior to settlement, LE might not have paid (both prosecution and defense were exculpatory to LE in Weed's sanity hearing). The court cases in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, LE won and forced retractions, with the exception of Martin Lell where they ruled "brainwashing" was a matter of interpretation, not an assertion of fact (and thus free speech, not a candidate for a false and defamatory assertion of fact).

7) Good, bad, ugly -- everything on its merits!

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Where and Why is landmark banned ...
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: December 01, 2005 10:24PM

"critical thinker"

No, let's not drop the word apologist.

That is your purpose here and it's made obvious by your posts.

Who exactly are you?

Are you an employee or somehow retained/paid by Landmark?

Do you act as a "volunteer" frequently?

You have a very narrow agenda here as reflected by your posts, so it seems meaningful to better understand your relationship to Landmark.

Again, court records are public and any filings regarding the Landmark vs. Ross Institute lawsuit is at the courthouse. Perhaps you should make the trip, copy the text (if you don't already have it on-file) and publish it at the Landmark Web site.

When and which documents are posted at this database will be decided by the Ross Institute and not dictated by either you or Landmark.

Your demands do sound similar to those made by Landmark's attorneys.

Are you working for them or is that just a coincidence?

Again, articles about community work projects done by Landmark graduates is not specifically about Landmark itself and its courses.

If you are so concerned about the "Good, bad, ugly"--why not persuade Landmark to balance the content of its Web site with some critical articles, links to such articles, Web sites etc. There are certainly plenty to pick from.

I know Landmark is in business to make money like other for-profit companies, but as you say "everything on its merits." And wouldn't that fall under the heading of "taking responsibility" as opposed to "running a racket"?

It should be noted that Landmark requires participants to sign paperwork waiving the right to a trial by jury before entering the Forum or other courses it offers. This document certainly makes it difficult to pursue personal injury claims. Very few if any personal injury lawyers would take a case on contingency, which is how most personal injury cases are taken, without the ability to go to trial.

Landmark knows this.

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Where and Why is landmark banned ...
Posted by: critical_thinker ()
Date: December 02, 2005 01:11AM

BACKGROUND per your request
1) I have been a customer of theirs for 13 years. I have had courses in law (tort law, unfair competition, etc.) as part of the MBA I have. I read German fluently and also have a degree in German as well as Electrical Engineering/Computer Science, and read some Dutch as well as Danish and Swedish. (I have read, specifically, some of their documents in those languages, particularly German.)

2) The purpose is to have a full and fair exposition of the facts.

3) Why is some information (like the NVIXM complaint) published and some (like the Landmark Education complaint) not published? There is no "dictation" as to what you do or not. This is the same with the set of articles regarding LE in which you selectively select (and will not publish others) which articles to post. A) We have established that you knowingly and willingly suppress the SELP articles which are all favorable to LE. B) We have established that you could but choose not to publish LE's complaint, yet you assert it is "frivolous."

4) LE is a business. Go to Apple's web site or any other company's web site and see how much adverse information they publish, particularly when it is a matter of opinion and not fact. To the extent the Rick Ross Institute investigates and publishes factual information, and that factual information is in FULL and FAIR exposition, it is doing a community service. Where favorable facts are suppressed, as asserted in #3 above, it is not a full and fair exposition of the facts.

5) Lawyers will not take the cases on contingency period since most states, as noted in the Virginia law on your site, "cabin the universe of emotional distress claims by forcing the plaintiff to show some physical injury" and that is never going to happen. People sitting in a Forum room bouncing sound waves off of one another, when they are free to leave at will at any time for any reason, is never going to yield something worth taking on contingency. (The Neff sexual harrassment claim is an exception to this.) The arbitration agreement is there to dissuade mentally ill people or those with a number of specific, enumerated conditions from taking the courses. Our society thinks a cup of hot coffee at McDonald's is worth $2 million, and there there is demonstrated proximate, causality. With over 850,000 having taken LE's courses, you only need 0.1% (850 people) to claim injury and you will spend a lot of time and money defending lawsuits.

6) We should drop the label "apologist" and discuss each issue on its merits. It's like me calling you a "convicted felonious tortfeasor." You yourself, on this web site, have noted "ad hominem attacks" on you pertaining to your prior criminal convictions, which are totally irrelevant to a debate about LE. I only ask consistent behaviour with me.

7) I am both happy and surprised that you are allowing this to be posted.

8) For the record, I think your "Flames" page is hilarious. I couldn't stop laughing.

9) What is the upset regarding which articles you will post or not? If it pertains to Landmark Education, why should they not all be part of the picture and the reader allowed to form his or her own opinion? If I come up with other articles and expert opinions, will publish them?

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