Landmark, Wachowski Brothers and The Matrix
Date: April 11, 2004 04:53AM
I think you are right on with what you say. Wow, I had no idea that some Tony Robbins courses cost 50k. The cognitive dissonance involved with the aftermath of that must be overwhelming. I was watching their infomercial... just great. Tony Robbins is talking to the interviewer, standing in some garden in Hawaii, and he's wearing these strange jeans, which come up almost to his chest, and this weird belt. Like some strangely repulsive father figure or something. I honestly feel that that is one of the angles... that the excitement of the degradation is not just that you are (subconsciously) giving over your power, your self (money is just a symbol), etc., but that you are giving it to this very strange character, this sort of megalomic bobble head doll nerd with high water pants who spits when he talks. The self denial and self negation must be... delicious for some people. Somehow erotic almost, like the way a beautiful supermodel might fantasize about being spanked and humiliated by a slovenly, greasy, rude, middle aged trucker in the back of his truck somewhere. It's as if the shadow of all the pride and materialism and conceit is this total wish for humiliation and even self destruction, on a completely unconscious level, of course.
Ok, well, this digression kind of in a roundabout way brings us back to the landmark discussion, and/or con-man mentality discussion. Because you bring up some interesting points. But I would take it even a step further, and say that there is actually the remnants of a type of moral orthodoxy buried somewhere in there... which sort of rationalizes thusly:
"These people come here because they don't believe in anything.
They don't have any close relations and are detached because they are selfish and don't care about anyone. They want to rule the world, and are at the root of everything just a**holes, who want-want-want and take-take-take and the only thing limiting them is their stupidity, their laziness, their fear, and all the limitations created in them by their failures and pain, and by authority. They are now buying into the idea that everything is meaningless, that all that matters in life is what THEY want, and that they are essentially the all powerful creators of their existence. Therefore, since they are sitting here, within my control for the moment, I shall feel no conscience about brainwashing, manipulating and controlling or using them unscrupulously, about tricking them, tearing them down, and humiliating them. They have tried to sell their souls to me, but I don't want them, and I even tell them they have no souls. They bow down to the glory of the axe even as the axe is raised against them. They are mere animals and machines and it is the expression of my power that I herd them into landmark classrooms and brainwash them. It turns out the I AM the moral one... in the end, I am better."
Now, that might seem REALLY over the top and too extreme, but in a way, I'm sure you see exactly what I am talking about. It's not just that you deserve this because "you're weak", or because "I deserve what you have", rather, it is that you deserve this because this is what you want to do, too. Your own controlling/selfish/piggish nature lures you into this, and serves nicely to facilitate the process as soon as the technology is used to turn its power against yourself. The carrot on the stick can only be reached by you working hard to "disappear" and dissasemble yourself, thus your own greed and selfishness drive you to your
mental subjection. (which of course is what a large percentage want, anyways).
The ultimate slap in the face, from my perspective, is that when people are in the forum, at the end, and they "wake up" and are told/realize that life is "meaningless", that they are "free", that nothing matters, that they have complete power and freedom and existential truth to attain whatever they want (HOOOORAAAY)
... the insult is, that now they have just had THE most exciting experience of their LIVES... the MOST profound experience... this is it, this is the pinnacle of everything... but the aftermath of "it" is that you will now dutifully keep your sore, tired ass in your seat for 4-6 more hours while I bore the crap out of you with additional (presumably unneccessary?) transparently banal sales talk, recruiting talk, advice, directives blah blah blah whatever. So, you've just won the superbowl, but hey, don't go out and party and get laid and live it up with your friends and touch the sky, just sit in your chair and listen to me tell you what is what for a few more hours. Something like "here's a pack of gum, let me show you how to chew it."
And if you still don't realize it's bullcrap, then it's because you are self destructive. Although landmark is probably, in the end, not a strong enough flavor to satisfy you. I mean, look at all these neurotic 50-somethings walking around who've been doing it forever. F***ed out, probably done every group, course, guru, cult, self improvement, pill, whatever since the seventies, and they're STILL here. Do you really want to end up like that?