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Re: I lost a very dear friend to Landmark
Posted by: SalinaM ()
Date: July 15, 2015 12:43AM

I am reading this in utter horror, because I think the same happened to me, losing my friend to one of the LGATs... In my case it's an Israeli version, Humanication. Does anyone know anything about it? Apparently, they teach them how to see auras, as well? Did some other training involve this?

Anyway, it's a very recent thing, and I am completely devastated. We had all those spiritual conversations, and now I blame myself for introducing him to the concepts, that I'm sure he found in this group as well, and that was the hook, being the god of your own life instead of following religion.

Previously, I actually told him he needed professional help, because of the situation he was in (identity crisis, death of loved ones, etc.) But we also discussed spirituality and religion and the supernatural, and what not... A friend, I think a girlfriend, invited him to one of the Humanication seminars, saying it changed her life, etc., and it seemed a bit odd, but I figured, well, to each his own. He wanted a shortcut to enlightenment I guess, but also to feel useful and needed.

I noticed something strange a while ago, when in reply to my comments he just said "thank you for expressing yourself".

A few days ago I read an article on a Russian version of LGAT and two suicides of fashion models. Something sounded familiar, and I started researching, and came across this forum. When I asked my friend, whether his seminars follow the same model, he didn't say anything, just thanked me for taking time to express my concern (!!!).

This was the most blood-chilling thing I read in my life, I swear.

My only hope is - well, he seems to think he can work for them. Do I understand correctly that they are not looking for paid employees?
And he is the high IQ, Mensa-club, naturally curious, but also a college dropout, in the middle of a crisis, and what is worse with 2 years experience in semi-legal sales, something like online betting, to avoid specifics... I mean, good God, Do these people have no shame?

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Re: I lost a very dear friend to Landmark
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 15, 2015 10:40AM

Dear SalinaM

If you go selected the "New Topic" button, you can create a new discussion
focused on Humanication seminars.

From what you have described, other people may be worried about their loved ones too.

If they find a separate topic for Humanication, then they can add their own

Am sorry to hear what happened.

If humanication is anything like Landmark or other "Large Group Awareness Trainings"

it may include elements such as sleep deprivation and an enclosed setting, possibly
even a particular type of room set up.


In conversations over the years, what we have learned is that this type of
indoctrination isn't only words and intellectual concepts -- it is done in such
a way as to affect subjects' bodies.


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Re: I lost a very dear friend to Landmark
Posted by: SalinaM ()
Date: July 15, 2015 02:09PM

Well, they definitely follow the same time schedule for the courses, AND there is a secrecy agreement. Based on what I've been reading here, this sounds very much like it, and the results may be devastating...

I'll start a new thread... I've never even heard of such thing, and no one I know except this one person went to those seminars. I don't understand how could this nightmare even happen.

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Re: I lost a very dear friend to Landmark
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: July 22, 2015 04:44AM


I left Landmark over six years ago. I had taken the forum because someone whom I had considered a good friend had been pushing for a year, and swore that it would change my life. It did, but not for the better. After the forum, I did several seminars, and participated in the assisting program for about a year. By the end of the year, I could clearly see the sabotage that took place in the assisting program, and felt that it was a waste of time. I also became aware that this "friend" was reporting information back to the people at Landmark about my personal life. The people at Landmark made no secret of the fact that they were deep into my personal business.

My friend had also been a kind, compassionate, trustworthy person before she got involved with Landmark. Once she did the Introduction Leaders program, her entire character changed. She became manipulative, deceitful, and was willing to participate in activities that she would never have even considered engaging in before.
We were in a spiritual group together, and there came a time when, at the close of a meeting, she said that the group was a safe space, and that we should "know that nobody here would do anything to hurt you, unless it was for your own good."

I called her after that meeting, and told her in no uncertain terms that she did NOT EVER have my consent or the authority to make a decision to "hurt me for my own good", and that if she was even considering that, she should simply tell me to leave the group, and I would. She assured me that the comment had not been directed at me, and that she had been referring to a misunderstanding between herself and another group member, (which we were all aware of).

The forum and seminars did not, in and of themselves, upset me. I would often tell myself, when I was there, that I was there of my own free will, and that I could leave any time I chose. Toward the end, I saw how they were using personal information against me, (or at least to try to get to me), and that this information had been obtained without my consent. I have very good reason to believe that their activities in regards to me took place largely outside of the center, and this is what concerns me. I don't know how much I am allowed to say, but I will stop here, until given further instructions by the moderator.

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Re: I lost a very dear friend to Landmark
Posted by: ConcernedandSad ()
Date: July 28, 2015 05:11AM

What do we do in these situations when the person has hurt you SO much that,in normal circumstances, you would have cut them off?

Do you keep smothering them with love whether they want it or not and hope they come around?

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Re: I lost a very dear friend to Landmark
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: August 09, 2015 04:29AM

Hi All,

After reading some of the comments here, and the warnings about going to an introduction, I can add that Landmark is very much aware of a process called "Amygdala hijack", in which someone, for reasons they can't explain, agrees to do something that they really didn't want to do. Five minutes after they've agreed, they are asking themselves what just happened.

When you Google this phenomenon, most of what you will see are videos and posts about the fight or flight response, and about how someone can be induced to fly into a rage.

I did some further digging, and found some posts, (by a fairly creepy guy), instructing on the finer points of amygdala hijack, and how it can be used to turn political opponents into blithering morons. I strongly suspect that Landmark is aware of, and uses, these "finer points".

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Re: I lost a very dear friend to Landmark
Posted by: SalinaM ()
Date: August 09, 2015 10:47PM

Wow, I should read up on that...
I came across something once, fact or fiction, about how Scientology was once deemed very interesting by the military intelligence department, because of their own research into mind control and telepathy and what not. Here is where my Israeli connection comes in, too, I think this type of mind games attracts the curiosity of those who have "worked" with people in the army, if you get my point...

On a different note..
ConcernedandSad, there is no simple answer to your question, as I'm sure you know yourself... It's all layers... But I think every adult is responsible for his actions (although, after reading about all these word-twisters, I'm even afraid to use the word responsibility).
It is always healthy to define and stick to your boundaries. Some things are always unacceptable. And I know from my own experience, I am that type of person, when feelings are involved, I tend to forget about healthy boundaries - but then it only turns into anger and resentment and wounds that are beyond healing, because when a person comes to himself or changes for the better, the memories of the past hurt come back, and the anger and pain that used to be suppressed come up. And I think maybe it would have been better if those boundaries were set up to begin with... But we live and learn, and sometimes all you can do is withdraw yourself and learn to forgive and hope for the better :)

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Re: I lost a very dear friend to Landmark
Posted by: GloriaG ()
Date: February 01, 2016 05:19AM

I've already posted that about 6 years ago I did the Landmark Forum, The Advanced Course and part of the final part before my subconscious terrified me into leaving. And I was extremely grateful to discover information on this forum as to why I'd been so frightened.

I'm posting this to share the legacy that taking part in Landmark leaves. Yesterday a friend, more of an acquaintance really, posted on facebook that she was doing Landmark again and she asked if people thought it was weird. So rather than arrogantly posting my negative experience on her newsfeed, I sent her a private message saying that I wouldn't recommend it. I didn't go into much detail but enough to show that I was concerned for her welfare.

Her reply was friendly but it turned out that she was a committed Landmarker, had even been an introduction leader and she poo pooed my experience and thoughts. As I read her friendly message peppered with smilies and kisses, I burst into tears and felt really disturbed. And for about an hour,I was back in the nightmare.

My friend said she's love to talk to me about my experience but I firmly closed that door. She sounds so committed to it and I have no time for their double speak.

I'm sharing this small experience to show that for those of us badly affected by Landmark, there is a lasting scar. Its not life threatening for me. But when faced with those involved, it feels raw again.

I am amazed that this intelligent woman is so committed to this scam. She did explain why but that is too personal to reveal here. All I will say is that the help she found could have been gained from any decent therapist. Landmark are clever because they do throw in some useful nuggets. But the dangerous methods they use to bind you to their web isn't worth the odd bit of good advice.

Take care folks and steer clear is my recommendation.

btw - I'm fine now. And I also realised that the people regularly in my life these days are sound and good people who wouldn't go near them. Ironically Landmark has helped me make that distinction. :)

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Re: I lost a very dear friend to Landmark
Posted by: ajinajan ()
Date: February 13, 2016 06:36AM

Some really good background information on the individual who wrote the material for The Forum:

A fair use news summary, here:



"60 Minutes" broadcast about Werner Erhard
A News Summary/August 26, 2009

By Rick Ross


Beginning in the 1970s a company named "est" (Erhard Seminar Training) sold courses, which are now often called "large group awareness training" and/or "mass marathon training" for "self-improvement." This included an introductory course known as "The Forum."

Jack Rosenberg, a former used-car salesman, created Est with no formal education past high school.

In the 1960s Rosenberg left his wife and four children in Philadelphia, changed his name to "Werner Hans Erhard," moved to California and started another family.

Erhard was reportedly "the role model, the living example of what the est Training could do."

But CBS News reported allegations of incest, rape and spousal abuse made against Werner Erhard by his daughters and former employees.

Not long after the airing of this program Erhard sold his company reportedly to his employees and went into prolonged seclusion.

The for profit privately owned company, which still sells the Forum and other training courses, is now known as "Landmark Education" and headed by Werner Erhard's brother and sister.

What follows is a news summary that includes statements made by Erhard family members and insiders, which was broadcast by CBS "60 Minutes" March 3, 1991.

"I am god"

Dr. Bob Larzelere was the head of Erhard's counseling staff for seven years during the 1970s.

"I am god...he did say sometimes in staff meetings," Larzelere told CBS News.

Wendy Drucker was a top manager who worked closely with Erhard for nine years.

Drucker told CBS, "I would never have believed that I, could be a person who would wind up in a cult...And yet, certainly mind control was involved. And if that's what cults do, and they set up a leader to be bigger than anybody else, a god-like figure, I would say yes, that was true in the organization."

"We were told to surrender to him as 'source.' I think that's idolatry...This was not like, being an employee. This was like being, a servant, or a devotee," Drucker said.

Ms. Drucker confirmed Larzelere's statement and said that Erhard told "...the whole staff. At staff meetings...'I am the source...I am god."

"Terrifying man"

An est brochure once featured a loving portrait of Erhard with his second wife, Ellen. The implication was that if Erhard could turn his life around, the Forum could turn your life around too.

In an interview with Larry King on CNN Erhard explained, "[Est is] a program of inquiry into the things that concern people on a very everyday basis. Like - breaking through the ordinary barriers that just go along with children and your relationship with your children at certain ages."

But did that program work for Werner Erhard?

Celeste Erhard, the est founder's eldest daughter from his second marriage didn't seem to think it did.

"I have been afraid, deeply afraid of my father my whole life. My whole life....he's a terrifying man, he can be very terrifying," she told CBS News anchor Ben Bradley.

Dawn Damas was the family's governess and is still a close friend. She told CBS News that she witnessed Erhard assault his son St. John, or "Sinjin" when the boy was twelve.

"He...went over to Sinjin and started to slap him and hit him, and picked him up and threw him on the ground and started to kick him - in front of everybody and nobody moved, everyone was paralyzed. Um, and then said to St. John: 'If you ever get grades like this again, I'll break both of your legs with a baseball bat.'"

Werner Erhard declined to talk to "60 Minutes," but he did speak to reporter John Hubner of the San Jose Mercury News, for an article in WEST, the paper's Sunday magazine. In an audiotaped interview, Erhard denied that he ever hit his son Sinjin.

"Never, ever, ever...Never, ever struck one of my children, not any one of them, ever," he said.

But Adair Erhard directly contradicted her father.

"My dad...freaked out, he pushed him back on the chair, he fell over. At this point you know my brother was so petrified he actually peed in his pants. Um, you know he's down on the floor, he's kicking him, he's hitting him."

CBS anchor Ben Bradley reported, "Sinjin, who is now twenty-three, didn't want to speak on camera, but he told us the beating did take place..."

Ellen Erhard "strangled"

Erhard's daughters also recounted how he and/or his est associates abused their mother.

"At one point someone picked up a statue and hit her over the head. Um, you know my dad constantly saying: "What aren't you saying, what aren't you saying?...he himself also got up and, while she was on the floor, and kicked her a number of times," Adair Erhard told CBS.

Erhard's daughters claimed that the assault on their mother Ellen Erhard continued for two nights.

Celeste Erhard said, "At one point, on the second night, I did stand up and say: 'Please, you're killing her, you're killing her.' I mean, my mother was blue, her face was blue, she had, like drool coming out of the side of her mouth. She was dying. She was, you know, suffocating. And all he said to me was: 'Sit down, or you'll get more of the same.' And that is a direct quote, I remember every word. And that's all he said. And I sat down."

Adair Erhard agreed with her sister's account, "She was strangled literally. She turned blue, there was spit running out of the side of her mouth..."

A consultant that worked for Erhard did the actual choking, according to Adair Erhard.

And Dr. Bob Larzelere admitted to CBS that he was that consultant.

Larzelere said,, "'Somebody's got to volunteer, to hurt Ellen, to punish her, and make her talk, and make her confess.' And nobody did, until I thought, oh my god, this is an opportunity for me, finally, to get Werner's total approval. Now I can be a real soldier for him, now I can make him, proud of me, now I can get him to smile at me. Now I won't have to be afraid of him anymore. So I volunteered."

He did it "to scare her into confessing" about alleged infidelities.

Lazelere said that Erhard "didn't try to stop [him] all."

Lazelere lamented, "It was a despicable thing to do. And it took me days to realize it. Afterward. When I began to let myself feel again. It was, my god, it was like a nightmare. That I could have, gone that far, with wanting to please, wanting to get approval from, wanting to get love from another human being, to do that."

Erhard's daughters also told CBS that their father wouldn't allow their mother to live with them for two years. Adair Erhard said that periodically Ellen Erhard was allowed to come into the house, but "like a maid" to "scrub the floors." And the daughters "had to watch this," but "weren't allowed to speak with her."

Adair Erhard explained, "You know, he, whatever he said, that she should do, she had to do. And that was part of the instructions. Yeah, you have to be a maid for your house...I wanted to - say something so bad, or just do something about it, and there's, it's just so petrified all the time and there's just no way I could be okay with myself to, to tell anybody or to do anything about what was going on."

In an audiotaped interview Erhard dismissed these accounts about his marital relationship.

"Essentially nonsense. Ellen was never a maid. Ellen was my wife, and I always treated her like my wife," he said.

Ellen Erhard divorced her husband and reportedly as part of the divorce settlement she cannot talk publicly about their marriage.

Adair Erhard told CBS that her mother was grateful though that she chose to speak out about her father's behavior and wished she could do the same.


Deborah Rosenberg is one of Erhard's daughters, from his first marriage. Ms. Rosenberg told CBS that her father "molested" her when she was sixteen. She also claimed that Erhard had abused her siblings with "pornography all the way to rape."

She told Ben Bradley, "I wasn't there. But I believe my sister when she says that my father raped her...forcibly had sexual intercourse with her."

Erhard said that the rape never happened in an audiotaped interview.

But Deborah Rosenberg told CBS that when she confronted her father about this claim he admitted, "There had been sexual intercourse, and that it had been a nurturing experience for my sister. He said that 'I did not rape her.'"

When Deborah Rosenberg repeated what her father said to her sister she said that her response to his explanation was that "it was not a nurturing experience for her. And she's had to have a lot of therapy about that" and it was not consensual.

Governess Dawn Damas told "60 Minutes" that Erhard's daughters told CBS "true things about their father that are terrible...he beats his wife, and he beats his children, and rapes a daughter - and then he goes and tells people how to have marvelous relationships. I'm sorry, that's what I have against Werner Erhard."

Celeste Erhard commented about her relationship with her father as an adult.

"I kept thinking - that he would be a father, I kept thinking that when he got older, he'd want children, and he'd want his daughters. I just, I, I really thought that. You know that maybe he'd get wiser with age and he'd regret what he'd done, but um, he didn't," she said.

Erhard's response

Erhard's lawyers sent CBS affidavits from his sister and brother and from a few of his close associates disputing some of the stories from his children and denying that Erhard ever abused his wife.

Erhard stated, "There is only one appropriate response to these allegations, to heal and restore my family. And that is what I will do. To respond to the accusations at this time, would only further publicly exploit my family, and there has already been enough of that."


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Re: I lost a very dear friend to Landmark
Posted by: ConcernedandSad ()
Date: February 25, 2016 10:39AM

Wow, I started this thread over a year ago.

Just an update. I put myself through a great deal of stress and pain because of this friend. I was the only one of his friends that still spoke to him from his old life. I kept checking in, and sometimes it felt like old times and like he was himself.

But I realized recently that he's too far gone. He's not the same person at all. I'm really very heartsick over this. I guess all I can do is pretend he's dead? That's really what it feels like.

I'm really, really sad. I HATE Landmark.

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