How do we STOP LGATs??!?
Date: January 14, 2006 08:50AM
OK, here's the rest. Whew! I really should have been doing my work instead of this, but it was fun!
Saturday, October 18, 2003, 9AM.
Second day of Landmark Forum.
A latecomer, a half-hour of sermons. Nobody has slept (snored); the night was short. The rhythm intensifies. Halfway through the day, I barely know what my name is. They have ordered us to write a letter to someone we are close with, whom we love, asking them to forgive us. This beginning of introspection moves me more than I could have predicted. I feel myself let go of my defenses (or, I feel my defenses lose ground) and come back from the break a bit troubled. A new exercise will make me land (touch ground). Alain Roth asks us to close our eyes and think about the two people sitting on either side of us as sources of potential danger. “Let the fear enter your body, into your breathing, into your gut,” he commands. You are trying to escape from yourselves but there is nowhere to go.” Certain people crack. You can hear crying and trembling all around.
I observe a teenager of 15, blond, timid and slightly stammering. Hyper-concentrated, he absorbs the discourse and then goes to the mike to tell of the death of his mother and his pain. Moved by astonishing courage, he volunteers for the exercise for which Alain Roth has the delicacy of asking for the participation of “someone not too stupid “qu’on n’y passe pas des heures,” (no idea what this idiom means, literally it’s something like “for whom the hours don’t go by”), but not too intelligent either!” Roman says he is happy to dare to express himself thanks to the Forum.
Two months later, I find him pale, depressed, with a haggard air. He confesses to having suicidal urges and suffering from recurring nightmares after his time in the Forum. Tonight, his father accompanies him to understand where his son fell. His verdict: “This is the evidence of a cult. The methods employed are dangerous.” Deconstruction (breaking down) of the person/personality, brainwashing, psychological rape without monitoring/support, scenes of collective humiliation, a Molotov cocktail to reduce a sensitive teen to nothingness. Then pound him with “life is empty and senseless”, the ideology at the core of Landmark, you will have a fair amount of chances to obtain (i.e. turn him into) a good candidate for suicide. Alain Roth has repeated it (the slogan above) many, many times. After all, “Aren’t we all going to finish 6 feet underground, with a dog that will come by and piss on our graves?”
Sunday, October 19, 2003, Third day of Landmark Forum
The confession game continues. But for the last day, while a chalkboard reminds us permanently that we must sign up for the advanced course, at a promotional rate (595 euros instead of 695), Alain Roth insists on the importance of enrollment, the only condition for succeeding at one’s transformation. “To unsettle/move/disturb others and make them share your experience will allow you to affirm who you have decided to become.” And then, “If you sincerely love your loved ones, you can not let them miss this, right?”
November 2003 to February 2004.
The Forum in action, 10 sessions of 3 hours.
To assimilate well the doctrine and apply it to one’s life, Landmark proposes a 10-point review of the intensive stage. Difficult to escape from it due to the prodigious telephone hassling, around 4 phone calls per week. What sticks with me: First of all, annoyance due to the repetition of the incitements to recruit and subscribe to other Landmark programs, preferably those where they teach you to be a good enroller (ILP) or to transform you into “benevolents who do everything” (is there a Landmark term for this in English?) for the account (good?) of society (Assistantship).
Edgar, the teacher’s pet, will be very quickly dragged into the spiral of the program, accruing the training. In less than 6 months, rejoined by his wife, his dad and lots of other close friends and less-close friends, he will have blown at least 1500 euros, spent 4 weekends in Amsterdam for the apprenticeship stage of enrollment techniques…”An example for everyone,” according to the co-interns/instructors.
Secondly, a revolt in front of the indoctrination and submission of the participants. One day, Francoise, 60 years old, dared to speak of sexual abuses of which she was a childhood victim. Martha, the coach of the day, retorted that “not all children let themselves be abused.” Faced with the beginning of a rebellion, Martha persisted: “The identity (personality/ego) is set into place at age 2, we bring this into our life, it’s the manner of being that you choose that makes it so that you function or not.” The session is taken back [by Martha], in silence.
May 24, 2004.
“Opinion Piece” on France 3 (television station)
The broadcast of Elise Lucet denounces Landmark Education’s fiscal embezzlements, the abusive use of an army of volunteers (benevolents) and carries [with it] the existence of prosecutions for “abuse of weakness and mental manipulations" into a murder case. The blow is fatal. A few days later, the organization stages a special evening from which Alain Roth has strangely disappeared. Specially arrived from New York, [Ms. S.M.], the spokesperson for Landmark International, responds to interrogations of assistance, split between unrest and and solidarity. Countering the accusations of France 3, she distributes to us a denial/disclaimer that carefully avoids the more sensible/delicate points of reporting. Why such determination by/of the news media? Because: "Landmark Education proposes a "leading edge" pedagogy and, as such, it is more succeptible to be improperly understood compare to others."
32, d’Hauteville Street.
The inspection of Work (I think this means an official inspection by the French Department of Labor) disembarks/crashes on the Landmark locations, makes note of the exploitation of volunteers/benevolents and draws up statements/charge sheets for non-declared work. The prosecutions speed up, the vise tightens.
The Interns/Student Teachers find the door closed. The French branch of the movement is officially dissolved. Officially, the directors have resumed their activities in London and continue to recruit in France.
Under the form of an ancient (alumni?) association, a “sleeper cell”, that communicates by the way/slant of the internet, the work secretly in France of enrollment of new recruits and attempt to reunite the necessary conditions necessary for rebirth, under a new name, of the dismantled organization… Among them, numerous interns/student teachers who met during the past year at Landmark who persist in not understanding the accusations brought against the society, who feel deprived of a “family” and express their profound regrets of not being able to continue to “bring transformation to people”. “The water is nice”, Alain Roth told us. Those waters, in reality we found them troubled.
Certain names of participants have been changed to protect their privacy.
[edited for spelling and terminology)
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/29/2012 09:20PM by rrmoderator.