My Letter to the Landmark Forum
Posted by: Jools ()
Date: May 11, 2005 08:38PM

I visited the Advanced Class (22nd March – Cape Town) last night as a guest…for the third time. I managed to get 5mins to talk to Annie (the speaker)at the end and seemed to be unable to have my usual “answer for everything” and consequently signed up for the next course in July (See attached) paying my R300 none returnable deposit. My philosophy at the time was and always has been “regret the things you have done, not the things you haven’t”. As Annie put it “what have you got to lose?”. So, already, without delay instead of walking out a free man I’m busy passing on the good news and roping people in, knowing all along this is really not me at all. So, I thought to myself, hang on, what am I promoting here? I haven’t done the course, I have noticed very little difference in my partner (now Ex ) who has done three courses (and of course is actively selling the course with great enthusiasm – recruiting!) and the people I see on the course bare no reflection to myself or my own concerns in life. These appear to be people who live in the past, dragging their baggage with them, or just plain and simply not been honest with themselves.
I had a break through with my father…big deal, the opportunity was always there
I stopped blaming someone for something…blame is a complete negative waste of time. I have no time for this.
Two people who were called up on stage didn’t even know what their breakthrough was…they had to be “coached” there and then.
In fact one person was so away with the fairies I’m not even sure what planet he was on.

Any way…this is not a letter of insults, I have no reason for that. Its simple, I listened to what everyone had to say, did the exercise (and got nothing from it…again) and noticed that it was very repetitive. The same exercise done in a different way…then the sales pitch…then the exercise, some personal stories (generally all of the same flavor – blame, guilt, dishonesty etc)…then the sales pitch…this goes on until the end.

So, why do I write to you? Well I’m not sure whether I am about to be “had” or not. So, I did a little research and look what I found! What is disturbing is that this is what I have noticed myself and then made excuses for. And why? Due to the fact that the course came from people I hold in very high regard. So I have a dilemma…do I do the course? Have I got something to lose? (R1495) so that is a yes, possibly I may leave disillusioned so that’s a yes again. I may become confused about my present stable life, so that’s a yes again. So if I lose, its down to me not putting in, and if I gain…well that’s down to the wonderful Forum!

I actually received 3 phone calls following the last visit to the Forum, follow-up sales pitch, hard sales at times. If the course is that good, then why the sales pitch? On a number of occasions I have heard first hand that participants are made to feel guilty by not recruiting enough future participants. This again is making me think I am doing the wrong thing here. But I don’t like going back on my word…but even less so “been had”.

I’m still in two minds as to whether I should go despite the fact that my sister who is a highly qualified psychologist claims LMF are a bunch of amateurs playing a very dangerous game. I asked to be taken off of the list of people that would be hounded to attend. I did this forcefully enough not to be called again. However, I would appreciate been contacted by a rep of the Forum to discuss my concerns and findings attached.

As regards the attached. When do you ever buy anything of this price without checking it out? The simple answer is NEVER. So I checked LMF out and found so much bad press its amazing more people don’t hear this rather than the hard sales. Please feel free to comment when you call.

I mean no insult by this letter, only have a real concern for peoples well-being, including my own.

Best regards,

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My Letter to the Landmark Forum
Posted by: herbie_k ()
Date: May 11, 2005 11:14PM

Hi Jools

The money is a sunk cost, treat it like a bad run at the Casino and move on.

Where there is smoke there is fire and if you give up on finding things wrong - as in the commandments, you'll ignore the smoke and subject your brain to asphixiation from the smoke while you get burned.

The best thing to do right now is put your hand over your shoulder and pat yourself on the back for questioning the value of the forum.

If you dig deep, you will find that a report to the French Parliament ( report in 1996, entitled Les sectes en France. The parliamentary report made a clear distinction between "religions" and "cults." Religions served the common good and enjoy religious liberty, while cults are obstacles to the common good and do not deserve the support of the public. )classifed Landmark Forum as a dangerous cult. Parliamentary reports in democracies do not attach such labels lightly.

Get yourself some psychological or psychiatric treatment to address any damage you might have experienced, get on with your life, spot the errors, respond to them and savour the experience of being right.

From your writing style, name and location there is a chance that we were at school together, particularly if you have 2 sisters and a brother.

Get as far away from Landmark as you can, you clearly don't need them.

Good Luck


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My Letter to the Landmark Forum
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: May 12, 2005 01:43AM

Ask for a refund and do not go. I got a full refund AFTER I attended the Forum. Any representative from the Forum is going to smoothely get you to keep your reservation. It's more of the same of what you already experienced - you won't be missing anything, so you will have nothing to regret.

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My Letter to the Landmark Forum
Posted by: midonov123 ()
Date: May 12, 2005 04:28AM

I’m still in two minds as to whether I should go despite the fact that my sister who is a highly qualified psychologist claims LMF are a bunch of amateurs playing a very dangerous game,

This is exactly the weakness they will try to exploit in you, conciously or not. You should trust your sister and your inner feelings that tell you something is not right. Don't test yourself into resisting their manipulation techniques. It's a dangerous game. I did play that sort of a game with my landmarkian friend, but it took me enormous amount of efforts to resist her "enrolling" technique. Unless you want to learn the hard way and risk becoming a victim, by best recommendation is you should ask your sister for her professional advice and read as much as you can. I couldn't recommend more the excellent work of M.T. Singer "Cults in our Midst".

Good luck,

Michael D.

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My Letter to the Landmark Forum
Posted by: elena ()
Date: May 12, 2005 01:16PM

Hi Jools,

May I recommend Cialdini's excellent litttle book, "Influence." Many of the tactics that Landmark uses to sell its so-called courses are typical and now used everywhere, so you'll be able to recognize and guard against them whenever someone tries to manipulate you into buying or doing something. They are just tricks of the trade of selling.

Getting a deposit is one way to insure future payments because people hate to think they've thrown money away and will, astonishingly, keep paying, throwing good money after bad, rather than just admit it was a mistake and write it off.

Tactics like asking you "What have you got to lose" are meant to bypass critical or rational thought. If you answer: "300 Rand," they would have had a tactic to make you feel petty or cheap, or said "Isn't the rest of your life worth 300 Rand?"

They also know that once a person has made some "investment" in time and money he or she will come up with all sorts of rationalizations to defend their initial decision. They call it "getting the ball rolling."

There are more, lots more. All these things are pre-planned, rehearsed, and formulated. They are trained to target your emotional vulnerabilities and will find ways to make you feel optimistic that their program will solve some long-standing problem you might feel bad about. They are professional scammers selling a bogus product. It's nothing you couldn't learn from a few sessions with a legitimate and ethical therapist or even a few hours at a library. It sounds as though you've already figured most of this out for yourself.

Best to you,


(You might be able to get your money back if you are aggressive enough and willing to make a nuisance of yourself. These people prey on the polite, the willing, and the courteous who feel obligated or embarrassed to ask for a refund. Just be prepared to fight.)

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