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Re: Landmark Confusion - seeking support
Posted by: anonday ()
Date: September 23, 2016 12:19PM


I too was a group leader in the seminar. I didn't see it as a form of control. I saw it as trying to show people the benefit of committing to your word. Saying sorry doesn't get back the time lost waiting for someone to call in or the lost benefit from having been on time. It was an exercise that helps me put more effort into being on time and honoring my word in all faces of my life.

Do you see you benefit of that, too? On one hand, it can look like a form of control; on the other hand, can't it be a possibly helpful learning experience?

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Jargon used in Landmark - see if your LGAT uses it too
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 23, 2016 09:18PM


Sportsguy44 wrote:


thought I was pretty strong person but now feel stupid and wasteful for falling for her/their tactics and letting it affect my old skeletons, even though I never went.

These LGATs (Large Group Awareness Trainings) have been around for decades.

Which means they have decades of experience in which to hone their tactics. Plus, outsiders are never given honest, full disclosure.

You'd have to have been downright paranoid to have *not* fallen for it. This jargon has the effect of keeping outsiders confused and off balance.

Here are some specimens of the jargon used by Landmarkers.

Specimens - as in put on rubber gloves, a mask, pick up with tongs, place
in a sealed container, preferably lead-lined, with a bio hazard sticker.

Scientology is filled with jargon. Werner Erhard, creator of est/The Forum/Landmark Education, learned a great deal from Scientology.


On this discussion people described the effect this jargon had when others used it on them.



From Wikiversity - a list of Landmark jargonFeel free to write definitions, and sign them with <small>~~~</small>. Feel free, as well, to write brief comments or alternative definitions.

These definitions have not been approved by Landmark Worldwide.

Already always listening.™ Undistinguished pre-existing interpretations that shape, color and influence the way people experience their relationships with people, circumstances, and even themselves. grantlam

Advanced Course. The second course in the "Curriculum for Living."
At effect. Usage is "at the effect of [some circumstance]"; to be a victim of circumstances or dependent upon them for success. See also At cause. Abd

Authenticity.When one is being consistent with how they portray themselves to be with others and themselves. grantlam

Breakthrough.Freeing yourself from some limitation that allows you to achieve immediate and permanent quantum leaps in performance and quality of life. grantlam

Breakdown. A breakdown happens when some possibility, intention or commitment is frustrated, stopped or thwarted grantlam

Complete. When one is complete with any aspect of the past and therefore the past has no constraint on who one is being or how they are acting in the present. In communication, being complete is one being left with no lingering resentments, regrets or "unfinished business. grantlam

Cost. (as used in Rackets™). The impact of one’s reactive ways of being and acting. See also Payoff. Abd edited by grantlam

The costs of rackets™ are love/affinity, vitality/well-being, self-expression, and satisfaction/fulfillment, all of which fall under aliveness. Shinigami Realm

Change. (versus transformation). Change begins with a something that is made different in distance (from here to there), time (from now to then) or form (for example, from a square to a circle). An aspect of the nature of change is that change causes the persistence of the something being changed. grantlam

Curriculum for Living™ The basic Landmark curriculum, which includes The Landmark Forum®, The Advanced Course®, The Self Expression and Leadership Program, and The Landmark Forum In Action Series.

Disappear To "disappear something" is to eliminate it, such as to disappear a complaint. JF, edited by Abd (discuss • contribs)

Distinction. A distinction is a linguistic phenomenon that brings something into being as a presence, for which previously there was no presence. grantlam

Distinguish. To take something from an undifferentiated background and bring it to the foreground. Shinigami Realm

Effect. See At effect.

Enrollment. A kind of sharing that causes a new possibility to be present for another such that they are touched moved and inspired by that new possibility. This is not to be confused with Registration. grantlam

The Landmark Forum. An accelerated learning experience, set up as a guided dialog between the instructor and participants designed to bring about a transformational shift in the participants' effectiveness and quality of life in three days. The first course in the "Curriculum for Living," The Landmark Forum® is the entry point for all Landmark programs. grantlam

Graduate. A person who has completed The Landmark Forum. edited by grantlam

I. What people tend to think of, in its capacity as an identity, as being a collection of characteristics, attributes, and experiences from the past. Shinigami Realm

A pattern of patterns of neurons firing, see Identity. Abd

Identity. A story that we invented about ourselves. The process of inventing an identity began in childhood, as we gradually adopted ways of being and acting to deal successfully with things that didn't quite go the way we thought they should. Abd

Informative learning. Learning that increases what people know and adds to their skills by bringing new knowledge to an existing worldview and frame of reference. Compare to transformative learning. Shinigami Realm

Integrity. Integrity is a condition that is "whole, perfect, and complete," and specifically that one does what one says one will do, when one says one will do it, and in the manner expected, and that one does complete work. When there is a breakdown, "restoring your integrity" means honoring the word given by acknowledging the breakdown, and recommitting -- or withdrawing the promise when it becomes clear that one is not going to fulfill it. Abd

Life, as in "yourself and your life." Our entire set of relationships with people. Abd

Meaningless. "Life is empty and meaningless and it is empty and meaningless that it is empty and meaningless." "Meaning" here refers to invented meaning, this is not an ultimate philosophical or religious declaration but a "distinction," a tool. Abd

Payoff. Payoffs are consequences of behavior that are perceived as rewards, such as Being Right, Making Others Wrong, Looking Good or Making Others Look Bad. See also Cost. Abd

Pop. To transform, like popcorn, in one moment. Much as a kernel's popping is the result of its being heated, the popping is the culmination of transformative learning. A moment occurs when a newly recognized state of being is opened. Shinigami Realm

Possibility. The future does not exist, it's imaginary, but possibilities are real. Real possibilities, that is. The most powerful possibilities arise from nothing. Abd

Power. The velocity with which possibilities are translated into action. Shinigami Realm

Racket.™ A persistent complaint combined with a fixed way of being. Rackets are maintained because of payoffs (see payoff) and persist until dropping the racket (and thus its associated cost) is chosen. Abd

Reality. What we think of as including an objective world that exists independent of us, where cause and effect are key operative factors. Shinigami Realm

Reason. An excuse we invent to justify choices we make. That would be w:Ambrose Bierce's definition. When choices are made according to "reasons," they are distinguished as the "machine" operating, based on assumptions about truth and reality. Genuine choice operates on another level. Reasoning is not denied, but distinguished as rooted in our stories about reality.

Reasonable. Landmark turns these terms on their head. To be "reasonable" is to stick with what is safe, and therefore unlikely to transform life and generate new possibilities. See also Unreasonable. Abd

Registration. See also Enrollment. Acceptance of a request or offered choice. The goal of a "successful registration conversation" is that a person is invited to take some action, and makes a choice, and is satisfied with their choice. While the invited action might be that the person register in a course, the term is used very generally in the training, and most "registration conversations" that are reported are not "Forum registration conversations," except in the Introduction Leader Program, where such are, of course, common.Abd

Resentment. A poison people swallow hoping it will kill the other person.
Self-Expression and Leadership Program. A program that seeks to help participants expand their natural capacity for leadership and express their thinking and ideas effectively in a way that calls forth the alignment, cooperation, and partnership of others.

Speaking into the listening. Speaking experienced as created by the listening, as an interaction, not as the speaker just expressing personal opinion. When a person speaks to the listening, the listener experiences it as if it was their own speech, i.e., "Great minds think alike."

Stinginess. Unwillingness to share anecdotes, thoughts, etc. that would create opportunities for the other participants to learn something
Story. A "story" is an interpretation or set of interpretations of what happened, providing meaning and thus influencing behavior. Depending on context, the same happening may generate radically different stories. Stories are powerful organizers of experience, developed through language, but also limit us, often severely, when the stories are accepted as real, as "what happened." Human beings tell stories, it's universal, we learn to do this as children, but distinguishing stories from what happened is a crucial Landmark distinction, often liberating in itself. See also What happened. Abd

Strong suit. Special skills developed as a response to early childhood trauma and consequential choices. Strong suits can be excellent tools, but they are not generally transformative when we depend only on them. Strong suits used to be called "winning formulas". Abd

Superstition. The system of ideas, beliefs, social and cultural assumptions, and taken-for-granted conclusions, etc., through which an individual interprets and interacts with the world, other people, and himself or herself. Shinigami Realm

Transformation. A shift in being, not merely a change, but an entry into a new realm. See also Change. Abd

Transformative learning. Learning that gives people an awareness of the basic structures in which they know, think, and act. Compare to informative learning. Shinigami Realm

Unreasonable. An assignment in a course may be to "Be unreasonable!" It means to do something outside the world of routine expectation, to go for results that might be thought impossible. See also Reasonable. Abd

Unreasonable Request. A request that is "unreasonable," that would routinely be avoided as, perhaps, being "too much" or that might be rejected. Examples: my first SELP leader requested that the pizza place across the street give him a free piece of pizza. He was a regular customer. They gave it to him. See Talk for some examples.

Vicious circle.™ When stories are collapsed with what happens, i.e., believed to be what happened, the stories create further stories about stories, leading to deeper estrangement from what happens, leading us to increasingly filter out what is inconsistent with or not related to our stories, and thus miss what is actually happening and possible. We tend to remember dramatic stories more than direct sensory experience. --Abd

What happened. Consensual reality, "objective," aside from judgment, blame, right/wrong, good/bad, and other forms of "meaning." What happens occurs to us as it is analyzed by the Already Always Listening to be good/bad, etc. If my ex-wife told me she had a problem with what I've done, that's what happened. If I say that she was unreasonable, that's my story about it, not what happened. See also Story. --Abd

Terms with "™" are known to be trademarked by Landmark Education.

Definitions to be added[edit]
No agreement
On the court (or in the stands)
Realm of survival/Realm of enrollment
Transform (versus change)
Trump card

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/02/2016 10:20PM by corboy.

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Re: Landmark Confusion - seeking support
Posted by: GloriaG ()
Date: September 24, 2016 11:59PM

Hi Anonday,

I can see why you say that was how you experienced those calls. But (and I'm struggling to remember precisely the words used as this was 6 years ago, what I remember was the tone of voice), the way the words were used were as a form of control to my ears.

I guess because I'm someone who always turns up on time etc, trying to control one member of the group who was a few minutes late at the expense of any useful coaching felt like control to me. The dialogue between the seminar leader and this person went around and around in circles. And the participant was not in any way being rude or difficult.

What I learnt from those calls were that there are other ways to gain people's co-operation rather than pushing some jargon on them in to exert power.

I'm glad you found it useful.

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Re: Landmark Confusion - seeking support
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: September 30, 2016 05:06PM

Yes, Landmark can give some people some useful skills, but from what I have observed, this comes at the expense of their character and their free will.

At Landmark, they define integrity as doing what you have said that you will do, and often it is. But consider this: What if you have promised to do something, and after rethinking it, you have decided that it is wrong?
In my mind, it takes more integrity and courage to back out and refuse than it takes to follow through, but at Landmark, this would put one "out of integrity."

I am also very turned off by the way that they coach people to not take "no" for an answer. When I was still participating in Landmark, I got numerous phone calls from others who were trying to enroll me in the ILP.
I told them many times, flat out, that I was not interested, but the calls persisted.

When I left the program, I told them that I had discussed this decision with my therapist, and that she had agreed that further participation was not in my highest good. In spite of the fact that they instruct us, in writing, to follow the advice of our doctors and therapists, they continued to call me.

About a month after I left, I got one call, in particular, which really showed their manipulative tendencies. The caller informed me that "my" ILP program would begin the following week. I told her that I had NOT signed up for the ILP. She responded that it was already paid for. I reiterated to her the information about the advice of my therapist, and instructed her to refund the money to whoever had paid it. The calls continued for several months, until I threatened to file a complaint, if they ever called me again.

If you read anything on psychopathy and narcissism, you will see many traits that Landmark actually trains into its participants.

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"Amygdala Hijack" - Reflexive Passivity?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 30, 2016 09:22PM

“No-one chooses to suspend their critical thinking,” she said. “This is an idea borne from immense neurotypical privilege."

Here are all the posts written by kdag. Fascinating and informative.


It is important to take a closer look at something kdag mentioned in an earlier article --"Amygdala Hijack."


An Amygdala Hijack is an immediate and overwhelming emotional response out of proportion to the stimulus because it has triggered a more significant emotional threat. The amygdala is the part of our brain that handles emotions. During an Amygdala Hijack, the amygdala "hijacks" or shuts down the neo-cortex.


This governs not just fight or flight response. It also governs the "freeze"/shock

This is why the law recognizes that if there is sufficient evidence that a contract was made under duress, it is not binding.

In day to day life, we run into trouble if something or someone rouses our
emotions, shuts down our critical thinking, we make a decision or a promise
then later, we realize this was unwise. In good relationships, we can change
our minds.

The "freeze" response is the deer in the headlights reaction; when animals
go dead still hoping a predator will not locate them. Those of us who have
been emotionally abused and unable to flee a bad situation often learn to do
the "freeze". This can nip away at critical thinking. Worse yet, a human predator
can persuade itself that your "freeze" reaction means you've consented.

Some traumatologists refer to this as "reflexive passivity" - the silent shock
abuse survivors go into when later, on someone knowingly or unknowingly invades their boundaries. More on this below.

The worst mind fuck is when a predator will do something that that makes you go into the freeze/shock reaction then tell you you've consented. Or if you do find the courage to complain later on, will accuse you of being crazy or selfish or "out of integrity" for having changed your mind.


All three are primal, primitive, and shut off our neo cortex, where our critical
thinking resides.

Interview with David Goleman



Tricycle: How does understanding the brain help us manage stress?

Daniel Goleman: There are several ways that understanding some brain mechanics and having basic neural tools at hand can help us manage stress. First of all, we have to realize that there’s no escaping stress completely; this is the nature of life. Some of what’s called samsara is what other people call “stress”. When we’re stressed the part of the brain that takes over, the part that reacts the most, is the circuitry that was originally designed to manage threats—especially circuits that center on the amygdala, which is in the emotional centers of the brain.

The amygdala is the trigger point for the fight, flight, or freeze response. When these circuits perceive a threat, they flood the body with stress hormones that do several things to prepare us for an emergency. Blood shunts away from the organs to the limbs; that’s the fight or flee. But the response is also cognitive—and, in modern life this is what matters most, it makes some shifts in how the mind functions.

Attention tends to fixate on the thing that is bothering us, that’s stressing us, that we’re worried about, that’s upsetting, frustrating, or angering us. That means that we don’t have as much attentional capacity left* for whatever it is we’re supposed to be doing or want to be doing. In addition, our memory reshuffles its hierarchy so that what’s most relevant to the perceived threat is what comes to mind most easily—and what’s deemed irrelevant is harder to bring to mind. That, again, makes it more difficult to get things done than we might want.

* "Don't have as much emotional capacity" -- this is the equivalent of your computer suddenly losing 75% of its RAM while you're working on something important -- Corboy

Plus, we tend to fall back on over-learned responses, which are responses learned early in life—which can lead us to do or say things that we regret later. It is important to understand that the impulses that come to us when we’re under stress—particularly if we get hijacked by it—are likely to lead us astray.

Let us look at the freeze response. Matthew Remski, in an article discussing
a long pattern of abuse in a famous yoga studio, brings us this information.



ess Glenny, a British yoga teacher and yoga therapist specializing in working with people who have experienced sexual, emotional and physical trauma, was one of many who begged to differ with Kaminoff’s statements on the Jivamukti case.

“This woman is an abuse survivor in process of recovery,” Glenny wrote in an online comment, referring to Faurot.

“This isn’t about her choices. It’s about the way her neurology has responded to abuse. It’s biologically determined by her experiences. If someone has lost a leg, we don’t chastise them for not being able to run when someone tries to mug them.”

“Some of my clients are very, very vulnerable to this kind of behaviour,” Glenny said, referring to Lauer-Manenti’s harassment of Faurot.

“They often don’t have an understanding of appropriate boundaries. They can be triggered into a reflexive passivity and a need to placate in order to survive when someone makes a sexual advance on them. People with these issues are in our yoga classes, and we all need to be aware of this.”


aminoff’s acknowledgement of individual needs, however, blends with overtones of individualism that presumes an inviolate personal agency.

“There’s stuff that happens that we didn’t choose,” he emphasized in his video elaboration.

“But then there’s how we respond – how we chose to respond to the things we didn’t choose.

“There’s nature and nurture versus free will and the choices we make.”

It’s unclear whether this seemingly common-sense philosophy will survive feminist analysis and trauma-sensitive practice, neither of which separate things that happen to a person from how a person is able to act in the world. Whether studying the propaganda of rape culture or the effects of abuse on sympathetic nervous response, both disciplines — which are changing global yoga discourse from the inside out — argue that the very capacity for personal agency is heavily if not completely socially and experientially conditioned.

Nonetheless, Kaminoff’s statements are neither unique nor fringe in the yoga world. They resonate with a core tenet of yoga faith in the new age: a belief in the personal power by which anybody, regardless of their history, can re-make themselves. The belief is rooted in ancient and medieval practice manuals – or at least contemporary readings of them – that encourage yoga practitioners to transcend their socialization and re-identify themselves with internal or transcendent sources of joy and calm.

The modern era appropriates and fertilizes this metaphysics with the gospel of American independence and the spiritualitized capitalism that has allowed yoga to globalize. Whether yoga teachers channel bygone sources to tell students to “Practice, and all is coming,” or corporate mantras of “Just do it,” the power of modern yoga marketing turns on its invitation to the individual to step out of internalized abuse and oppression into the triumph of self-sufficiency.


As both scholar and survivor, Wildcroft doesn’t see the belief in American-style free will as an eternal tenet of yoga philosophy, nor that it refers to an essential attribute of the yoga student. For her, it’s more of a placebo – which means it’s also a resource, and perhaps the privilege of those who haven’t been affected by trauma.

“Free will is a powerful story, she said via Skype. I’d caught her after her evening classes. “It’s a story we may need. But not everyone can tell it.”

I asked her what she thought about Kaminoff’s statement that people fall prey to abusive persons or organizations because they “choose to suspend their critical thinking.”

“No-one chooses to suspend their critical thinking,” she said. “This is an idea borne from immense neurotypical privilege."

“Over time, I’ve realized that my free will is not as free as I thought it was. My ability to choose as an adult through most of my life has actually been quite crude.

“If I’m caught unprepared, I might hug someone who’s hurt me. I might smile. I’ll say whatever it takes to get them to leave me the fuck alone. So how free is that? These are both symptoms of my history, and tools I’ve developed to cope.

“If yoga culture can’t understand this mechanism, and how it complicates power and consent, it can’t allow me to develop my power of choice further.”

I wondered aloud how yoga has helped her, given that most of the culture isn’t dialed in.

“Yoga practice can radically change my ability to consent. But I have to be in one of those rare spaces where I can let go and be broken, and not be told what’s wrong with me by people who think they have the answers.

“Safe spaces are spaces in which survivors can learn to heal themselves.

“When Jivamukti pretends that trauma-sensitive training isn’t their concern, survivors are reminded that they’re only allowed to be in one of two states. Either you’re broken and you should get the fuck out of here and get fixed. Or you’re fixed – in which case you don’t have any problems, so sure – let’s do yoga together.”

“That Jivamukti response is saying: ‘Don’t come to us with your needs. They don’t fit our view of ourselves or the world. Go away and get them fixed.’”

“Trauma-sensitive yoga brings it back to the person,” she explained. “It puts them in charge. That’s what’s missing in yoga culture in general. We’re too invested in the idea that the teacher is the expert in the condition of the student. That hurts everyone on some level.”

Dusk gathered in Toronto; the night deepened in England. Wildcroft sat back in her chair. It was clear this would be an ongoing conversation.

“The trauma survivor is the canary in the yoga studio coal mine,” she said. “We’re going to react worse than anyone if you stigmatize us.”We’re asking for safer spaces, and honourable relationships, and the cultural and institutional support to help make that happen.

“We’re asking because what’s good for us will benefit everyone.”

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Re: "Amygdala Hijack" - Reflexive Passivity?
Posted by: sportsguy44 ()
Date: October 02, 2016 10:52AM

just want to add my recent personal experience with my ex gf and a landmark offbranch called choices. your discussion called to me bc of the narcissist mention in training.

i was just dumped after 7 months of being idolized, devalued, discard and abandoned by a woman i love. while i didn't realize until after being stomped on and demoralized for being a good partner, she applied almost every narcissist actiom possible.

she spawned it on me after 6 months of dating and went as a coach as she had completed all other courses. she tried to recruit me multiple times upon returning each time more insulting.

After she returned, she was not the same girl. very self centered, egotistical, mean, non loving etc. She dumped me cold over phone and no closure at all, even though things had been great. and continued to hoover and rub things n my face as well as blame me for everything while never owning up to herself or realizing her behaviors. she would always reply in a tantrum and insult me instead of answering questions or talking, respecting my thoughts.

my point is, i started to think after this research and her behavior, choices for years prior made her had made her an emotionless, narcissist. interesting corrolation ny someone whos overcome landmark.

Second point relates to this quote:
"The worst mind fuck is when a predator will do something that that makes you go into the freeze/shock reaction then tell you you've consented. Or if you do find the courage to complain later on, will accuse you of being crazy or selfish or "out of integrity" for having changed your mind."

again i didnt reakize the abuse until broken, but she constantly confused me with words, actions and behaviors that would make any human rise up. it was always my fault for taking it wrongly. or shed criticize minute flaws about me passive aggressively abd then when i got upset she callrd me too sensitive. often called too sensitive for reactional communication to her behaviors or belittling.

After breakup i had no idea who i was, what i stood for, or what worth i once had. i was brainwashed to meaningless nothing bc of her emotional abuse and manipulation tactics derived from years of Choices.

I can tell you, this quote is so true and happened to me weeks ago. theres no greater mind fuck or pain than rebuilding yourself, a fake love, fake relationship, fake memories, being smeared afteteards for mo reason and leading me to worthlessness. time has helped me overcome a small bit but those first few days were stranfest feeling of my life.

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Re: "Amygdala Hijack" - Reflexive Passivity?
Posted by: sportsguy44 ()
Date: October 02, 2016 11:21AM

this website explains my relationship a lot better than i could


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Re: "Amygdala Hijack" - Reflexive Passivity?
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: October 03, 2016 02:01AM


Yes.~ out of the fog is a great website for healing. I can also recommend another one. This one has a very active online support group, and was started and maintained by a psych nurse who had her own bad experiences.
If you choose to check it out, posts by Dana and George are especially helpful and well-informed.


(Moderator; I know you will not allow, if this is out of line. Thought it was worth a try. I have also recommended this website to them. Please erase this note before posting).

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Re: Landmark Confusion - seeking support
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 03, 2016 10:42PM

An old, very useful information module from The Anticult



Many thanks to this forum for saving me from PSI!!!
Posted by: The Anticult (
Date: July 13, 2007 02:01PM

the "honor your commitments" is one of the oldest LGAT sales scams in the book. Its part of their SALES process. They get you all excited in the tent-hotel, and then get you to commit to spending $4000+ on one of their other scams.
Then you go home and have buyers remorse, and cancel.

Evey salesman in the world fears that, they make the sale, they sell you the vacuum cleaner person to person, and then you think about it when out of their spell, and CANCEL.

So this is them trying to pre-block you from cancelling, as after all, you gave them "your word."

There is even a contract "cooling off period" in some areas, where you have up to 48 hours to cancel the contract, due to these sales techniques.

So they want to block buyers remorse.
They also want to stop people from lying to them, as they know how powerfully lying is, as they are lying to you.
They want you, the Sucker, to be honest with them, so they can lie their asses off and scam you. They are that blatant, they know what they are doing.

If anyone tries this crap on my anymore, they get the one-finger salute.

Its great to see this forum, and others are saving people. Internet message boards are really hurting these LGAT's. They are trying to dream up new strategies to block that too.

Tony Robbins tells his Followers that being "skeptical" means you are afraid and living in fear. He says you are a coward if you are skeptical. Same type of tactic. Trying to disengage that part of your mind that is going to recognize that these guys are trying to empty your bank account. They want pliable followers, who will follow orders, and buy what they tell them to buy. They are just highly organized Scam Artists.

Of course, Tony Robbins, and others like him are dead wrong. Being skeptical is one of the most important life skills one can ever develop. But they hate it, as it makes them unable to scam you, and sell you their rip-off crap.


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Re: Landmark Confusion - seeking support
Posted by: kdag ()
Date: October 04, 2016 09:06PM

Bouncing off of what corboy just posted - Landmark makes many thousands off of buyer's remorse. They have a $100 non-refundable portion of the deposit.

So your friend, who is in the Introduction Leader's Program, (ILP), calls you up, crying, because she doesn't have enough people for her introduction that afternoon. The crying is the first hook. I could swear that they train them to do that. You agree to go, as a favor. She promises that you don't have to sign up - "Just be there."

After the introduction leader finishes her spiel, they ask if you got any value out of it, and, of course, (to be polite), you say that you did. There's another hook.

You deliberately did not bring any money, credit cards, or checkbook, so your friend offers to loan you the down payment, or even to pay it outright for you, (this is EXTREMELY common). There's another hook. After that, you are indebted to your "friend," so you feel that you HAVE to go.

Later, in the Assisting Program, I processed many refunds to people who had signed up and then regained their sanity, and from each refund I was instructed to hold back $100, because that was the non-refundable part. I was only there for about 3 hours per week, and my guess would be that I probably processed about ten of these each time.

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