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Re: Things to read
Posted by: btherl ()
Date: November 07, 2014 07:06AM

Hi Rick,

I didn't deny any historical facts. What I did is stated that my interpretation of the historical facts differs from yours. You then interpreted that as me denying historical facts.

You also state that I demonstrated an unwillingness or inability to think critically about Landmark. I don't believe I have demonstrated that. So far what has happened is that you have stated your strongly held opinion, and I have stated mine. From my perspective we have not yet entered into a discussion about the facts, only about opinions.

I don't have a huge amount of time to respond to you, and I apologize for that. What I think is the most productive use of my time responding is to look at the distinction between interpretations and facts.

It is a fact that Landmark has been sued. It is a fact that Landmark has sued others. It is a fact that people have had bad experiences with Landmark. It is a fact that people have had good experiences with Landmark.

It is an opinion that Landmark is mired in controversy and scandal. It is an opinion that Landmark has great goals and is making a real difference in the world. It is an opinion that Landmark is the same as Lifespring and any other LGAT. It is an opinion that Landmark is not the same as Lifespring and any other LGAT.

For us to have a meaningful discussion, I believe we need this distiction to be clear - which parts are interpretation and which parts are fact. Otherwise we may end up in an "opinion vs opinion" debate, which I find to be very unproductive.

What I would find very productive would be a list of facts with the opinon removed. Then I would be free to make my own judgement, rather than having yours forced upon me.

I'm glad that you get my point about none of this being the truth. If you attend a Landmark Forum you will hear the phrase "None of this is the truth" many times. No attempt is made to hide that Landmark does not pretend to know the truth about life. What you'll also here is "This is not the truth, it's just an empowering place to stand." What that means is that there is no truth to a single thing said in Landmark. But, if you try these beliefs on, you may find yourself empowered in life.

Your approach is actually quite similar, except that you believe that what you are saying is the truth. You believe that I have a disempowering belief system - one that will cause me problems in my life. And you believe that I will be empowered by taking on your belief system, which involves a large number of organizations being declared as cults, among other things. You are asking that I try on your belief system. Currently I don't see any reason why I should take your belief system on rather than the one I currently have, but I'm open to any reasons you can suggest.

The information I've seen so far from you has not yet made a convincing case. You have given anecdotal evidence from people who had a bad experience with Landmark, and treated this as truth, while saying that anecdotal evidence from people who have had a good experience with Landmark is evidence of brainwashing, and dismissing it as false. This approach will be as ineffective on me as it would be for me to give you more examples of positive experiences people have had. You will disregard every single one I give you, because they do not fit in to your belief system.

I have read through most anecdotes you have posted on this site, which appear to be exclusively negative. I have heard a huge number of postive anecdotes too, from people I have met in person. On the weight of things, I view your anecdote collection as small, the reasons being that yours are collected over many years from around the world, and mine are collected very recently from a small area. My anecdotes are overwhelmingly positive. I believe the people with positive anecdotes either do not report them to your site, or do not have them included in your site. My opinion here remains that most people have positive experiences with Landmark. I also notice that many of these anecdotes are very old - the current forum is nothing like what has been reported in most of these.

So in summary - I would love to have a simple list of facts about Landmark, allowing me to make my own opinions. I have seen your list of anecdotes, and you are free to discuss them further with me if there is something more you see in them.

As for the question of whether or not it is education, Timothy Leary said it best - "Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities — the political, the religious, the educational authorities — who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing — forming in our minds — their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness, chaotic, confused vulnerability to inform yourself."

This is at the heart of Landmark - think for yourself. Make your own choices. This state of uncertainty is very powerful you can make choices here like "I will create connection in my community", and then live into that choice as something real. This is what Landmark is really about - making choices powerfully and then making them a reality. Whether that be in business, personal life, community, or wherever you want to be effective.

Ok I spent too long here, but I hope you get something out of what I wrote :) I look forward to your reply.

Sorry corboy, I didn't respond to your post - what exactly are you trying to get at? I can see quotes and links but I don't get any sense of structure or context here. If you can post some explanation then that would be great.


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Re: Landmark, good or bad?
Posted by: btherl ()
Date: November 07, 2014 09:58AM

Hi Rick,

I just thought of a simpler way to view this conversation. I can see two primary arguments you are putting forward:

1. Some people have had bad experiences with Landmark, and Landmark has sued people (including yourself). Therefore Landmark is mired in controversy, and is therefore inherently bad.
2. I (Brian) am brainwashed by Landmark, and even though I believe that I have gained something from them, I have in fact lost something.

Regarding #1, this is what I addressed in my previous post, and I look forward to your reply.

Regarding #2, my question is "What do I gain by converting to your point of view?" Let's say I become a Rickarian, who believes that Landmark is inherently bad and does not benefit anyone. When people tell me that they did in fact benefit, I will tell them it's an illusion, and their life is actually worse now, they just don't see it yet. Is there an advantage to me, my family, my community, or to anyone that matters to me in converting to your belief system? At this stage I don't see any, but perhaps you can put something forward.

Up until now I feel like you are focussing on negative points only - your argument is that other people have had bad experiences with Landmark, and therefore I have also had a bad experience with Landmark, even though I don't think I have.


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Re: Landmark, good or bad?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 07, 2014 10:52PM

Stuff I posted were reports from former members of Landmark.

If you dont understand what they have written, nothing I write will get through
to you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/07/2014 10:56PM by corboy.

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Re: Landmark, good or bad?
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: November 07, 2014 11:38PM


You are here to defend Landmark as an apologist, not to have any meaningful discussion.

But thank you for giving everyone who reads this thread a current example of how the company influences people and affects their ability to think critically and evaluate information.

Your posts have become very repetitive and don't present anything other than your opinion, which is your support of Landmark through your subjective experience, which is anecdotal and not based upon anything solid, scientific, or objective.

You come across as little more than a Landmark clone. And you literally paid the company for that result.

I have posted links to news reports, archived material and research that specifically supports the conclusion that Landmark is a controversial organization with a history of bad press, personal injury lawsuits, labor violations and complaints.

You have offered nothing but empty rhetoric repeating Landmark jargon and claims to support your subjective experience.

No one disputes that Landmark is adept at persuading people that they are good, but that doesn't make the training good or useful objectively, which the available research demonstrates.

A group of researchers, led by Jeffrey D. Fisher, Purdue professor of psychology, studied the effects of Landmark training. They concluded, "In fact, with the exception of the short-term multivariate results for perceived control, there was no appreciable effects only dimension which could reflect positive change." However, even this perception of control among the Landmark participants studied dissipated about eighteen months. Th Fisher study regarding Landmark training has been cited repeatedly, it suggests that such seminars produce of short-term and dissipating results. (Jeffrey D. Fisher et al, "Evaluating large Group Awareness Training: A Longitudinal Study of Psychosocial Effect" New York: Springer-Verlag, 1990).

Regarding the controversial nature of Landmark one need on read recent news report to see this fact. For example, Canadian Broadcast Corp. (CBC) headline reads, "Alberta Health Services staff pressured to attend controversial seminars." Note the words "controversial seminars." This report was filed this month.

The byline below the CBC headline reads, "Government continued to use Landmark Education despite employee complaints." Not the word "complaints."

When interviewed by CBC about Landmark University of Alberta sociology Professor Stephen Kent said, “They are manipulative, they are controlling, they involve coercive persuasion,” Kent added, "There are inherent risks to these kinds of programs. People can find them easily on the internet.”

See []

Landmark has repeatedly been cited and investigated for labor violations. For example, in Colorado, Texas and California.

See []

Landmark is for-profit privately held company, yet it largely subsists and remains profitable through "volunteer" labor.

See []

This official report outlines some of the persistent labor issues at Landmark.

An interesting documentary about Landmark Education was broadcast on French television in 2004. Landmark hired a French psychiatrist Jean-Marie Abgrall, a legal expert, to do a report about the company and its training. Despite being paid by Landmark Abgrall stated, "My critique is of techniques that haven't been mastered at all. There is no control of a psychologist. They just put anyone in there, which means that if this guy takes a blow, he leaves alone in a daze, there's no one to take control for him. They don't exchange information - there's no real inspection of the technique. These guys aren't trained, as if tomorrow you set up shop as a psychotherapist. I mean, that's what's shocking"

See []

After the French broadcast Landmark left France.

I have not expressed any opinion in my posts based upon my beliefs, but rather pointed out the historical facts about Landmark, the Forum, est and Erhard, which are well-known and established.

There is no belief system I am attempting to recruit you into. This is a ridiculous claim. Landmark has a belief system as constructed by Werner Erhard (aka Jack Rosenberg) and the essential purpose of Landmark training is to convert participants into true believers. I have not preached any belief system on this thread. In fact such preaching is prohibited by the rules of this message board. I am not asking you to convert to any particular belief such as Judaism, which is my background.

Accepting historical facts is not a belief system, but rather reflects being grounded in reality.

Please don't continue posting gibberish and nonsense here.

If you want to support Landmark and pay the company for its training that's your choice, but don't peddle and promote sales for the company here. This is not a Landmark "graduation" platform for you offer testimonials and try to enroll and/or influence people to buy some course.

Please understand also that repeating the same slogans and mantras about your Landmark experience here isn't meaningful dialog. That may pass for "education" within the world of Landmark, but it just makes you seem like a mindless cult member here.

Have a nice day.

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Re: Landmark, good or bad?
Posted by: shakti ()
Date: November 08, 2014 01:10AM

"put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness, chaotic, confused vulnerability to inform yourself."

-Wow, I can't believe he used this quote from Leary. It's the very essence of the mindstate an org like Landmark wants its minions to be in. Yeah, I believe in Questioning Authority... including authoritarian personality cults like Landmark.

Go ahead, btherl, put yourself in that state of "chaotic, confused vulnerability" around these vampiric types and see what crawls in... wait, I think we already see it in these posts.

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Re: Landmark, good or bad?
Posted by: btherl ()
Date: November 09, 2014 04:32AM

Hi Corboy,

It's not a matter of not understanding what they have written. It's a matter of you having drawn certain conclusions about what they have written, and me not knowing what those conclusions are. I read what they write and make quite different conclusions, which are not the ones you intend me to make.

My request is that you tell me what conclusions you intended me to draw, as otherwise the whole process becomes a waste of time. I have read a great deal of anecdotes already about people who have gone to Landmark courses, as well as heard a great many in person. Different people have different opinion about it.

Shakti, the state of "chaotic, confused vulnerability" is a state where you can question everything, and that includes Landmark. If you were to go to their training you would find that they are asking you what you want to get out of life, not telling you what they think you should get. I do not expect you to agree with me as you have your own notions of what they are like, which may have been formed without even having any interaction with them. And that's perfectly fine.

Rick, I'll reply to you an a seperate post.


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Re: Landmark, good or bad?
Posted by: btherl ()
Date: November 09, 2014 04:44AM

Hi Rick,

I am not here to defend Landmark as an apologist. The second part of your assertion is partially true - I didn't come here to have a meaningful discussion, I came here to share my experiences. I entered into this discussion after you claimed my experiences were false, which came as a surprise to me.

So my first request is that you accept that my experiences are my experiences, and my opinions are my opinions, and that you respect these. Until we have a basis of mutual respect I don't think we can have a meaningful discussion.

Are you willing to treat me with respect? Treating me as "an example to others" is the opposite of how I am requesting that you treat me.

If you continue on your existing path then I don't see any purpose in continuing this discussion. Ironically, the impression you are making on me is exactly that which you argue against - you appear to me as someone who is absolutely certain in his beliefs, and will not consider any evidence that may go against those beliefs. And there's nothing wrong with you being that way, it's perfectly ok. It just doesn't make for a very productive discussion. And if there's no productive discussion to be had, I'm not sure if there's any purpose in me continuing.

I look forward to your reply,


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Re: Landmark, good or bad?
Posted by: btherl ()
Date: November 09, 2014 03:27PM

Hi Rick,

On the topic of historical facts - I have not denied any historical facts. I have also not denied that you hold an opinion that you have based on those historical facts.

What I am denying is that your opinion, based on those historical facts, is the only opinion possible. I venture to suggest that it is possible to have those same historical facts and also have an opinion that differs substantially from yours.

I'll leave it there for now - are you willing to be open to the possibility of there being other opinions possible, based on those same historical facts?

If you hold that your opinion is the only possible opinion, then there is no purpose in discussing this particular point any further. If you do agree that other opinions are possible, then we can continue discussing this point.

The main purpose of this message is for me to make clear and for you to acknowledge that I am not denying any historical facts.


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Re: Landmark, good or bad?
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: November 09, 2014 10:36PM


You say, "I didn't come here to have a meaningful discussion, I came here to share my experiences"

Then you are here to promote Landmark, which is against the rules.

In essence you are here to testify like a religious person holding forth about your conversion, revelation and experience.

You say that I claimed your "experiences were false."

Anyone reading this thread can see that is a false statement. Your experience is your experience. I have simply posted links to historical information, which provide context to your subjective experience.

Please understand that someone may enjoy smoking, or driving while drinking a beer and that may be their experience. But research and historical information informs us that despite the pleasure of those experiences, smoking is bad for your health and driving while drinking is against the law and unsafe.

The research about Landmark indicates that though the company may be good using persuasion techniques to influence people to ultimately feel good about the training, it's potentially unsafe. Historically, Landmark has also had problems with the law through labor violations and been the defendant in numerous personal injury lawsuits and the continuing focus of complaints.

All of the links to articles, news reports and research papers demonstrate this as facts not beliefs. Please understand that your opinions don't change the facts about Landmark.

So I accept your experiences for what they are, your subjective experiences based upon your feelings, which are the direct result of attending Landmark training sessions and being subjected to the influence of Landmark. Again, no one disputes that Landmark training is effective at persuading people to like Landmark, promote Landmark to friends, etc.

I agree with your statement that there isn't "any purpose in continuing this discussion" with you. As you stated you are not interested in a "meaningful discussion," but rather here to promote Landmark. Your agenda to apologize for Landmark and promote it is not "productive" and violates the rules of this message board so "there is no purpose in continuing."

You have repeatedly been given links to news reports, research articles and regulatory reports about Landmark, as anyone can see reading this thread. If you wish to ignore the facts presented through those links that's your choice, but no one here at the message board need waste any more time with you. There are more productive and meaningful things to legitimately discuss here.

Please don't bother to post the same sing-song about your Landmark experiences and repeat yourself over and over again.

You have demonstrated your Landmark mind-set enough and we get it.

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Re: Landmark, good or bad?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 09, 2014 11:09PM

Ecstacy is a mind-body mood state.

It feels personal to each of us, unique to each of us.

But...ecstacy can easily be produced by impersonal

Such as LGAT technology.

And...this is the tough part, ecstacy feels wonderful.

But it has no truth value. It doesnt **prove** anything.

We do bond passionately to the setting in which we
experience ecstacy.

But that bond itself doesnt prove anything, either.

People who do not love us or care about our welfare
can send us into ecstacy if they know the right methods.

We easily respond by adoring them, but that doesnt mean
they adore us or care about us.

While for for us that ecstacy feels so special, so unique
for the ones who have learned ecstacy inducing techniques,
our bliss and loyalty may for them be expected, typical

To be seen as just one conquert among many is the
greatest betrayal.

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