When I said "people just have to have the experience" I'm talking about people who [u:54d3b75ede]choose[/u:54d3b75ede] to go through with a course of action rather than take other people's good sound advice and/or concerns to heart. I wasn't talking about experiences people have that are beyond their control... like dying.
you and I may different definitions of what constitutes "choice". in much the same way that Landmark has a wider definition of choice than that used by most people, I have a narrower definition.
up until the age of 18 I reacted and never acted. even when I rebelled, I reacted and did so unconsciously. this choice, which involved deciding not to act in a suicidal or homicidal way but to make the best of the options available to me, got followed up by my getting commited to a mental institution.
while in the mental institution I got a lot of cognitive dissonance around the idea of responsibility and "choosing". when questioned, the employees of the institution denied that they had any choice or free will to, for example, work at an institution which routinely brutalized human beings, while at the same time saying that I had absolute power over my own actions. while at the same time preventing us from leaving the ward. total responsiblity and yet that would only give us plastic knives and forks.
(I also heard the "there are no victims, only volunteers" speech from my father via his brother and/or from the brother himself.)
not that time, but during the my second stay in a mental institution, one guard tried to browbeat an inmate into admitting that she chosen to get put in there. to her credit, she won the debate.
in a way, though, I did agree with them that they had no power over themselves or any responsiblity, because, genuinely, they did seem to act unconsciously.
I just don't see that kind of behavior as very unusual.
still, I remained unprepared, even after having read books on cults, thought reform/conversion, for how my sister changed so drastically after taking Landmark. I had even experienced this and still did. I had never seen the whole experience of a person I already knew, from outside.
I knew that conversions of that kind could happen, just didn't know that it could happen to an experienced, savvy adult who had never shown any large affiliation to any ideology before.
given her circumstances, trying to save the relationship between herself and her boyfriend, I can justify what happened, still, that doesn't make what happened to her all that unusual. every LGAT course will have particpants who went in to save their relationship.
we mean different things here.
also, choices (both my kind or your kind) can end in death. you just can't foretell the death. if we could predict the future, fortune tellers would have no work.
Addictions like smoking or alcohol can't be cured by throwing away the cigarettes or dumping out the alcohol.
sometimes they can. demonstrating that you will risk physical violence from the person with the addiction in order can demonstrate that you really care, rather than just saying you do. the same with an emergency bus trip.
If a person doesn't want to change they won't until they decide it's necessary to. In some cases all we can do is hope for the best, pray, and try to be there when the opportunity to be supportive presents itself.
that, too, sounds almost word-for-word like what one of my cousins said in an e-mail in regards to my sister. to me that translates to doing nothing. you'd always hope for the best, wouldn't you? you'd do that anyway. so it translates to no action.
given how weird she got after the advanced course and how her relationship with her boyfriend continued, I regret having bowed to peer pressure.
granted, my family swarmed on me and stopped me from what they regarded as a bad choice in my life. what moral you can draw from this, I don't know.
I don't find that the suggestive questioning very useful to me. that kind of verbal rat through the maze techique I can see coming a long ways off.
my uncle who spent twenty years working with est/Forum/Landmark tried it and my other uncle who took a course during his workplace both attempted that. I eventually learned to anticipate and circumvent that particular technique. I consider it a form of bullying.
once when my friend (whose apartment I had mentioned going to in a previous post) had some sort of addiction I remember telling her that I loved her no matter whether she quit or not. that sunk in, maybe. she did eventually quit, as far as I know.