This Landmark stuff is scaring me
Posted by: paperlane11 ()
Date: December 09, 2011 06:07AM

I think I am preaching to the choir here. My husband and I consulted a marriage therapist, and he has been previously reluctant to do this. However, they seem to have bonded and this is a good thing. I don't want to ruin this as other attempts have failed and she seems to be doing us some good.

The problem? She is heavily involved in Landmark and she recommends it at every session. My husband and I have discussed this and decided no way. We hope to be able to do therapy without it. One of my biggest concerns is that I am a pushover, and I would easily succumb to the program. My husband is more of a skeptic.

She brought it up at the last session and I finally voiced my concerns about the things I have read here and other places. She seemed upset and began to argue with me- first that it was not a cult, second that my resistance to it was more of the same stuff that was getting in the way of my marriage- my" racket". When I asked her if she thought my marriage would fail if I did not do this, she said no, but she remained visibly rattled and critical of my decision.

I don't know what to do about this. My husband likes her and if we quit, I feel he will never do this with me again- and we need the help. I definitely feel the pressure to go to Landmark, and if I say I don't want to, then I am told my resistance is the problem. I think there are some good ideas to the program, but the lingo and pressure is disturbing. She referred me to a 12 step codependency program and has recruited many of the members into Landmark too. Landmark lingo and intro sessions are brought up frequently, and it seems if I question it, I am accused of being resistant. I can't reconcile the concept of believing in a higher power with the teaching of Landmark. I find the 12 steps helpful and wonder why they are not sufficient on their own.

I have no problem with doing some of the Landmark ideas- in the safety of the office and in private. I do not want to disclose my life in public with people screaming in my face that I am an a-hole. I personally need more support than that. I now feel that my position will not be respected by the therapist, because she seems so entrenched with Landmark.

Would appreciate any feedback.

Re: This Landmark stuff is scaring me
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 09, 2011 11:46PM

Read all this stuff by a former Landmark employee named Guy.


And here

Introduction to Litigation Archive


And here


"You're free to leave at any time...just tell us why."


Damn you WOM for linking to that before I could. \

Similarly to Lululemon and the Landmark Forum, there's a vegan/raw food restaurant called Cafe Gratitude that started in the Bay Area and which recently opened in LA. They've also required their managers, and strongly encouraged their staff, to attend the Landmark courses, which the restaurant makes their employees pay for.

But when Ritter was promoted to management, she received a contract that recommended she attend Landmark Forum. Because it was "recommended," Ritter didn't think it was mandatory. In fact, part of the reason she said she wanted to become a manager was to be a voice for some of the employees who, like her, were not entirely enthusiastic about Landmark.

After being promoted, Ritter says her first manager's meeting involved managers sharing their experiences at Landmark — often emotionally explaining the ways in which it changed their lives. "It was the theme," she said. "'Landmark saved my life.'"

According to Ritter, the leaders of the meeting then asked every manager to enroll ten people to come to an introduction to Landmark. They didn't say it was a required part of the job, but Ritter felt pressured to attend because they asked all managers to e-mail the district manager every time they spoke to an employee who had not attended Landmark about giving it a try. She said they encouraged managers to keep track of the people they talked to, even if they declined the invitation.

Ritter told her higher-ups that she didn't want to attend Landmark. According to her, they responded by saying, "We are not going to force you, but what is your resistance to Landmark? ... What do you have to lose? Lean into that discomfort and see where you can grow."

Creepy. Reminds me of the Movementarians--"you're free to leave at any time...just tell us why."

You're free to leave at any time...just tell us why."

"We are not going to force you, but what is your resistance to Landmark? ... What do you have to lose? Lean into that discomfort and see where you can grow."


Last Edit: 18-11-2011 21:04 By Incandenza

Re: This Landmark stuff is scaring me
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 10, 2011 12:11AM

A licensed is forbidden by law and professional ethics to use the counseling relationship to proslytize a religion or to push for you to go into something like Landmark.

It is unethical, period, to use the counseling relationship to push product.

This person is no longer your therapist because she is clearly loyal to Landmark at your expense. You are better off leave, and you do NOT owe an explanation.

If she hits you with offers of free sessions, keeps calling you, tweeting you, emailing you, delete it all. If she says she feels bad, that you're being negative--ignore her.

These people are no longer normal after they've been through Landmark. YOu have to just walk away and cover your ears.

Block her number and your husband has to be the same way.

You dont owe her anything[/b. These people are trained to keep you talking and as long as they keep you talking they can keep pushing you.

Shut your ears and RUN.

If she has a license, report her to the State board that licenses therapists.

She no longer is a therapist even if she has the credentials on the wall.

LEAVE and refuse to tell her anything.

Re: This Landmark stuff is scaring me
Posted by: good enough ()
Date: December 10, 2011 12:52AM

I'm not a therapist and have no experience with Landmark, so I'm not qualified to give you advice. Having said that, your therapist's job (what I'm assuming you signed up for) is to help you and your husband deal with your issues, to learn tools that will help you now and in the future.

It's not your therapist's job or her right to try to recruit you for Landmark. To me that seems unethical and I think someone like that should be reported.

In the past I was seeing a doctor who turned out to be heavily involved with Scientology. While she didn't outright try to recruit me, she had materials she gave me and that was part of the reason why I stopped seeing her.

A therapist I was seeing several years ago was a New Ager who made no attempt to hide it. She frequently quoted from A course in miracles, Marianne Williamson and Louise Hay. If I dared have a malady such as a cold or yeast infection, this therapist would bring out her beloved Louise Hay (a simplistic book that listed maladies and the supposed metaphysical causes) and she would read it to me. I was supposed to nod my head and agree like a well trained puppy, but I didn't because not everything was applicable. This therapist accused me of being in denial and arguing with the truth (she was big on "the truth" -- her version of it).

The relationship became increasingly abusive, boundaries were blurred and the ongoing power struggles were frustrating and exhausting. I paid her to help me. Abuse I could get for free at work or from my then rageaholic partner.

I stopped seeing her and that was the right decision for me. I don't know what the right decision is for you and your husband.

You have the right to make choices that are healthy for you. You have the right to disagree with her. You also have the right to change your mind.

One of the things I've learned is to avoid pushy people. They don't care about my needs; it's all about them. I'm also learning not to over explain. If I say "no," that should be enough.

Good luck to you.

Re: This Landmark stuff is scaring me
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: December 10, 2011 12:59AM

The other alternative is to tell her to shut up about her private passions. You are presumably paying this woman so you are entitled to set some parameters.

If you don't feel up to putting your foot down, discuss it with your husband and let him do it. Someone has to bite the bullet or you are going to be strung along and short-changed--paying for therapy while gettin a hard-sell for even more expensive crap.

Re: This Landmark stuff is scaring me
Posted by: paperlane11 ()
Date: December 10, 2011 01:48AM

Thank you very much for the replies and info. I had many of the same thoughts. This is the only therapist my husband has liked- although he does think the Landmark issue is weird. Some of the concepts- like looking at the family of origin issues- are helpful, however, I don't believe they are exclusive to LM and we have to look past the lingo. I think one problem with these organizations is that some info is good- but in a suspicious package.

The Landmark grads that I know all remind me of the kids I knew in college who were in cults. They seem to have latched on to some secret that nobody else has and insist that LM is the only- or the faster - way to enlightenment- and they all have this lingo. .. and it's presented in a vague way like "this seminar will help your marriage, or you, or whatever. The difficult part is that in other ways they seem like normal folks- no Hare Krishna ponytails or other features that say "cult". I thought it was one of those marriage retreat weekends at first and so I looked it up and then saw the various critiques on the internet and all alarms went off for me. When I bring those up, any LM grad just tells me I'm blocked, or I'm fighting it. People tell me they "resisted" at first but then went and benefited from it... like eventually I will see the light... and this feels just like being around the cult members I knew in my college days, only they are adults too.

I agree that this is not ethical or correct, and I hope we can continue to gain benefit without recruitment- if that is all possible. I appreciate the feedback here as I feel I have stepped into an alternate universe...and I need objectivity.

I appreciate any feedback

Re: This Landmark stuff is scaring me
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: December 10, 2011 02:25AM

She's going to use mind-fvcking techniques on you and your husband if she is up to her eyeballs in Landmark. You might feel some relief and empowerment, but it will all be manipulated. She'll ignore true issues by blaming every last thing on rackets, integrity, responsibility (Landmark's version where you're responsible for everything), and you trying to look good. Been there, done that all with a naturopathic physician. You'll end up spending your money with her and then have to go to someone else to deal with the original problems and then the mind-fvck.

Re: This Landmark stuff is scaring me
Posted by: paperlane11 ()
Date: December 10, 2011 04:49AM

Hope, thank you for this warning.

I have a hard time reconciling LEC with the 12 Steps premise that there is a higher power, and that one can't control everything in their lives vs the you are responsible for everything. Also that 12 steps and based on Judaeo-Christian principles while LME states that life is meaningless and one is a machine...cognitive dissonance here? I practice a normal mainstream religion and this LEC seems contradictory to some of it.

We came to therapy with some communication issues- not horrible ones thankfully, and while we have benefited from some of the 12 step intervention, whenever I ask a question, I am also told that I am blocked and fighting everything by people in the 12 step group who have also done LEC. I do not know where this is coming from- LEC or 12 step? I asked about a phone list and was told "you're being a victim- you know where the list is" and I am thinking what the heck- I just don't know where it is. I have recently attended a different 12 step group and it seems different than the one that has many LEC graduates in it.

So, not ever having done this, I wonder if I am in 12 steps or Landmark land? Is this LEC mind-effing?

I will definitely discuss this with my husband.

I did read the old posts with "Guy" and "Tricky" and they are enlightening. Thanks for this info.

Re: This Landmark stuff is scaring me
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: December 10, 2011 05:15AM

I'd definitely avoid the 12 step group with the LEC grads--thats setting yourself up for a double whammy. Its a trust issue really--with the therapist as well--if she cannot shut up about LEC after you insist then you should walk.

A certain amount of manipulation is to be expected in life, I think-- there isn't a person alive who does not attempt to get their own way by some means or other--but if they do not respect your wishes once you have made them clear then you can expect things to continue that way and get worse. Nip it in the bud.

Re: This Landmark stuff is scaring me
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 10, 2011 08:31AM

If one goes by the 12 Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, one is supposed to focus only on the 12 Steps and NOT bring any other religious belief or political belief into it.

It is an abuse of the 12 Steps to turn them into yet another tool in a totalitarian regime's kit.

One person in my town has reported there is a 12 group all of whose members follow the same Hindu guru. Word got around the AA community quickly because group vibes were icky. They've been nicknamed the Pod People.

The focus of an AA group should be on the alcoholic who suffers and how to support recovery--period.

Tradition 10. No A.A. group or member should ever, in such a way as to implicate A.A., express any opinion on outside controversial issues-particularly those of politics, alcohol reform, or sectarian religion. The Alcoholics Anonymous groups oppose no one. Concerning such matters they can express no views whatever.

Here are the 12 Traditions.


The intention of the founders was to put a precaution in place to keep 12 Step groups from being exploited for prosyltizing.

Two, it was meant so that a 12 Step group could be a hospitable place for persons with a wide variety of beliefs or --no belief at all.

For a 12 Step group to be Landmarkian is to undermine the 12 Steps, period. Its just an extension of Landmark indoctrination and a recipe for mind fuck.

I have attended many 12 step groups and every one was well run and felt like a federation of free human persons.

It is an unfortunate truth that some persons in 12 Step programs get involved in icky stuff and then abuse their 12 step groups trying to pimp whatever guru or group they're into. Tell them firmly that this is a violation of the traditions.

BTW a solid bit of advice given to persons in recovery is to betware of HALT -- dont let yourself get Hungry Angry/Stressed/Lonely/Isolated/Tired.

This means self care and stress management because a stressed out person is at greater risk of being triggered into a craving and then a relapse.

If you are put through Landmark you will indeed become stressed -- hungry, angry, lonely, tired.

And if you slave as a volunteer and get yelled at and guilt tripped for not recruiting enough people, thats also a recipe for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.

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