Magpie - if your friend sounds to you like he is trying to fix your relationship by having you attend the Forum, then he's got other issues he has not dealt with yet. LE is aware of how people come off a high after the Forum, like Jesus walking on water so to speak, and they cannot stop talking about it because of the experience.
Describing the Forum, explaining the Forum, telling you about the Forum, giving you the logistics of the Forum - which Rick Ross has done an _awesome_ job of collecting these from various sources - from people who have and have not done it but think they understand it because they are psychiatrists/psychologists/philosophers/social inquirers or what have you - is, in my view, a _futile_ exercise.
I'm a technocrat, I work with computers - and I can assure you, any inane amount of time you will spend "researching" the Forum via Google, Yahoo, reading testimonials about it from people who have taken it or not taken it, is only going to leave you with one thing and one thing only - FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt).
Why? Because it looks to you like your friend who has done this is trying to "fix" you or your relationship with him by having you do the Forum. And which one of us thinks we need fixing? Exactly.... few to none.
In the end the choice will come down to - you will either _do_ it or you _won't_. There is nothing in-between other than the FUD I pointed out above that you will be left with if you just "research" something which absolutely cannot be researched because it doesn't live in the realm of knowledge but in the realm of experience. To put it another way, you can research what tasting a lemon, or having sex for the first time, or jumping out of an airplane looks like to your heart's content - all will fall short of the glory of the experience of those things. _REST ASSURED_ the Forum is exactly like that.
You won't hear anything you don't already know in the Forum. The only new things you will hear are people's stories about their lives which are kept confidential inside the room for the sake of protecting everyone's privacy. The one thing the Forum is, is a safe place to share a story you may not want to share on this Forum about yourself or even with people who know you..
The only thing you will come out of the Forum with after you do it is a new perspective on your life experience, history, past. This past also includes, as I have pointed out, many unresolved traumas that result from childhood and have lingered into adulthood for all of us that have us act out in _patterned ways of behavior_ - many times _contrary_ to our benefit, our integrity, sense of morality, values, etc. E.g. how is stepping out on your marriage beneficial even once? It isn't. How about doing it over and over again until you get caught red-handed, as all have? But I kept doing it. Intellectually, it doesn't make sense to engage in self-destructive behaviors, right? Then why does one do them? That's the conundrum that one begins to _scrape_ the surface of in the Forum.
The Forum will not heal you, help you, nor resolve your problems. No such miracles exist inside of 3 days and an evening. Unless Jesus himself is resurrected and touches you with the healing touch of God, nothing will be different about you after the Forum other than you will come out 1) with a new view/perspective on things, and 2) you'll be pissed or 3) you may be elated. I've seen people be elated - I wasn't one of them. I went _down_, e.g. depressed - but then I also had this pile of crap on my back that I had to clean up with my wife, former employers, friends, etc. which had lingered for years.
Your friend may have a pile of crap on his back too - toward you, which is why he thinks he can "fix" you by having you do the Forum - and that's exactly why you're pissed, because that same empty self-righteousness he always had, is now just more pronounced after his LE experience, and until he starts facing himself and his crappy behavior that had gotten him to where he is now, you can bet your bottom dollar he will remain that way for a while.
If he contacts you again next time - you should ask him, why are you so insistent on me doing the Forum? What did you get out of it? He'll most likely start with a story about some feel-good material he may have picked up - e.g. "life's empty and meaningless" is a really good feel good line to justify out of integrity, desirous behaviors , but cut him off and just start asking him about specific stuff, e.g. _what happened_ when you were a child between you and your dad, for instance... or you and your mom? Or what was your relationship with your parents like? Or, were you ever sexually abused or physically abused? Or have you ever lied to a loved one? Just general, 7 deadly sins, type of questions... or questions that relate to the violation of the 10 Commandments. Why? Because you can bet your house, life and bottom dollar he's violated one of the 10 Commandments, or as they call it in the Forum - "out of integrity" behavior.
The only way _YOU_ are going to ever do the Forum is if you see something in what your friend that you recognize as a quality that he has gotten out of being in the Landmark Forum - e.g. he's more generous than before, or more relaxed, or more forgiving, or more easy going, or has cleaned up his life/act completely with his gf/wife/friends/family/employer/community, etc. You will also have to want to change something about yourself - some persistent habit that has you be in ways you don't want to. The Forum isn't the ONLY avenue to effect behavioral changes. You can do therapy as well - but unless you've got insurance to cover for it, it can get very expensive, very quickly. If you do the Forum, you will at least BEGIN to see what it is that you can change in yourself that you have been resisting changing for a long time. To your friend's point - you are resisting him when he talks to you about the Forum. If you leave your friend out of the discussion, for a moment, and focus on your feelings in the moment when he's blasting you with the Forum on the phone or in person - what feeling do you have? Can you describe it? Where does that feeling come from - is it really triggered by your friend or by something that happened in your past that you are now projecting onto your friend? etc etc.
I'm not gonna go psychoanalyze anything - given that I am NOT a psychoanalyst - however, I've put myself into uncomfortable situations many a times over, whether through LE or therapy or just LIFE (at work, at home, etc) to know we are ALL prone to thinking in similar, if not exact, ways. While we all may be unique as far as our individual paths/lives/experiences/skills - there are some things which are common to 6.8 billion people. You only get to discover those things by being part of some group and interacting with others and actively seeking feedback about how you are occurring to other people... LE is one avenue for that. Therapy another. Scientology may be yet another route - which I'm willing to try provided someone else pays for it :).
Again, nothing I say here will actually have you understand a damn thing about the Forum - but sharing some of my experience with it can definitely add _some_ value. What you will get if you do it is _completely_ different than what I got, or what Stoic got or any # of people here have gotten by doing it. That's the beauty of it. And remember, it will not _fix_ anything, ok? It's just a peak experience.. like an orgasm :).
Thank you for replying to me. There is no possible way he can get me to go and to be honest I am mystified as to why he waited nearly 8 months before he even broached his involvement with me. I think that perhaps he knew all along I would disapprove of it from the get go. I grew up in clearwater florida, scientologists all over the place no chance of me getting sucked into a cult. I also have spent loads of time reading about various cults all my life as they fascinate me.
The problem I am having now is that he seems to want to have a friendship relationship with me but I do not know why..... What does he want from me? I cannot answer this question no matter how much I read on Landmark. Like this morning he texted me wanting an old aquaintances last name, I asked him why, and he said notice your resistance instead of willingness to assist????? ( he sounds like a borg from star trek) I was curious is all and I didn't remember her last name anyway. I wonder if he needs to complete his past with her as well. Anyway I eventually went on to tell him he and I no longer shared the same reality, and he says We NEVER did but he can live with that??? There was a time a long time ago that he loved me but now that has no meaning to him whatsoever it is like he scrubbed it from his brain and now looks on me like I was not a part of his past but yet he continues to try and be my friend. It is so confusing.... I desperately need to talk to ex members or people who really know how to decipher his behaviour. At this point I am just greatly curious to understand.