I wonder why the health authorities stay mute on this. Above all, how can parents do this to their own children. Remember these are kids between the age of 8 and 12!
This is the "Health Warning" on the application form to the Landmark Forum for Young People (the form is available through the official Landmark website):
NOTICE OF IMPORTANT INFORMATION AND HEALTH WARNINGS
You must read the section below carefully and completely.
1. We are pleased that you are going to participate in The Landmark Forum (the “Program”). Many people have found the Program to be an enjoyable and valuable experience. However, the Program is not advisable for everyone. The purpose of this
Notice is to ensure that you are not one of the people for whom this Program may be inadvisable.
We take our responsibility and your safety seriously. Please read each section of this Notice carefully and completely so you can make the right decision for yourself. The recommendations in this Notice have been made by mental health professionals who
advise Landmark Education.
Although the number of people who have experienced serious problems during or after the Program is quite small, you should be certain whether the Program is appropriate for you. If you have any questions, please contact a mental health professional.
We will assume from your participation in the Program and from your declaration at the end of this application that you have a full understanding of each and every paragraph which follows and that you understand our recommendations and will comply
with our instructions.
You and you alone are responsible for your choice to participate in the Program and for your own health and well-being at all times prior to, during and after your participation in the Program.
2. The Program is a unique course of instruction designed to support people in being more effective in realizing their own personal and societal goals. Through a series of philosophically rigorous and open discussions, voluntary sharing of your experience and short exercises, the Program provides an opportunity to explore basic questions that have been of interest to human beings throughout time and to examine many aspects of your own life. In the Program, people come to grips with what it means to be human — not as a mere classroom exercise, but as a rigorous inquiry. The Program offers a unique technology through which people create new possibilities for their lives.
3. In the Program, you will inquire into fundamental issues that have been of interest and concern to us as human beings. The experience of the Program is unique to each individual and there is no way to predict in advance exactly what you may think or feel.
It is normal for some people to experience unwanted or unfamiliar emotions from time to time, such as fear, anger, sadness, regret, hatred, irritation and impatience. For most participants, exploring thoughts and feelings that they have not fully explored before is a
useful and positive learning experience. Some participants have found that exploring life’s issues honestly may evoke uncomfortable and unpleasant feelings. For others, the Program may occur as physically, mentally and emotionally seriously distressing. If you are unwilling to encounter any of these powerful experiences in yourself or in others, or if you have any concern about your ability to deal with such experiences, THE MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WHO ADVISE LANDMARK EDUCATION
(“OUR ADVISORS”) STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT PARTICIPATE in the Program.
4. Some people experience temporary and not seriously consequential stress during and after the Program. For most people, stress is a normal part of everyday life. However, people who have a history of mental illness or serious emotional problems personally
or in their immediate family may be more vulnerable to stress and may experience additional and very severe physical, mental or emotional problems. In people who have physical, mental or emotional problems, even normal amounts of stress from any
source may generate severe physical, mental or emotional problems. If you have any history of mental illness or emotional problems personally or in your immediate family, whether temporary, occasional or intermittent, and whether treated or not, or
have concerns about your ability to handle stress, OUR ADVISORS STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT PARTICIPATE in the Program. If you are uncertain about whether this applies to you, we advise you to discuss this with a
mental health professional before participating in the Program.
5. While it is ultimately your choice, OUR ADVISORS STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU SHOULD NOT PARTICIPATE in the Program if you:
(a) have a personal or family history of bi-polar affective disorder (manic-depressive disorder), schizophrenia, acute or chronicdepression or other psychotic disorder, whether or not you or they are being or have ever been treated or hospitalized;
(b) are taking, have taken or been prescribed to take within the previous twelve months anti-anxiety drugs (such as Librium, Ativan, Klonapin, Xanax, Dormicum or others); anti-depressants (such as Elavil, Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Cipram, Prothiaden or others); anti-psychotics (such as Thorazine, Haldol, Stelazine, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Dogmatil or others); any medication to treat bi-polar disorders (such as Lithium, Gabapentin or Depakote); any drugs or medicines, whether prescription or non-prescription, intended to treat or affect mental processes or mood or to treat a chemical imbalance; or
(c) have an unresolved history of drug or steroid abuse;
(d) are or have in the past year been depressed and/or considered or had ideas of suicide, self-harm or harm to another;
(e) are currently in therapy and your therapist sees a health reason why you should not participate in the Program; or
(f) are uncertain about your physical, mental or emotional ability to participate in the Program.
6. From time to time, during or shortly after participating in the Program, a very small number of people who have no personal or family history of mental illness or drug abuse have reported experiencing brief, temporary episodes of emotional upset ranging
from heightened activity, irregular or diminished sleep, to mild psychotic-like behavior. An even smaller number of people have reported more serious symptoms ranging from mild psychotic behavior to psychosis occasionally requiring medical care and
hospitalization. In less than 1/1000 of 1% of participants, there have been reports of unexplained suicide or other destructive behavior.
While we know of no independent studies to suggest that people who are physically, emotionally and mentally healthy are at risk in the Program, certain persons have claimed that the Program has caused or triggered in them a psychosis or psychotic event.
7. The Program is designed for people who clearly understand they are responsible for their own health and well-being before, during and after the Program. It is not therapeutic in design, intent or methodology and is not to be used as a substitute for medical treatment, psychotherapy or health program of any nature, regardless of what you may believe or have heard from anyone. We advise you that the Program Leaders, staff and people who assist at the Program are not mental health professionals and there will not be any mental health professionals in attendance.
8. If you experience any symptoms or suggestion of mental distress in the Program sessions, during the breaks or at the end of any session, or between sessions, you must immediately inform the Program Leader or the Program Supervisor. In such event, you
and the Program Leader will discuss the matter and you will determine what is the appropriate thing for you to do. If you experience any symptoms or suggestions of mental distress outside of the Program, we strongly recommend that you immediately inform a physician or mental health professional.
9. While there are breaks in the Program approximately every 2 to 3 hours, we do not promise that we will always break at precisely that interval. Each day there is one meal break. We suggest that you eat a meal before arriving at the beginning of each
day, and have a third meal or snack after leaving in the evening. If you have a medical condition requiring you to eat or care for some special need more frequently than the regularly scheduled breaks, or need special seating or must stand and stretch
frequently or have any other special needs, please notify the Program Supervisor or Director before the Program begins so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
10. If you have not been feeling well or if you have been meaning to see a physician or a mental health professional for some complaint, symptom or concern, or if you have had difficulty sleeping lately, or been depressed, it is imperative that you consult with a physician or mental health professional prior to your participating in the Program. Upon request, Landmark will provide you with information required to enable you to make an informed decision about your participation.
11. Although the schedule of the Program usually (but not always) accommodates sufficient time for sleeping, some participants have stated that they did not have sufficient time to sleep or were unable to sleep at night before, during or after the Program. Some people have entered the Program without having had sufficient sleep. For some people, lack of sleep can become a serious problem and may be symptomatic of a mental or emotional illness. If in the past you have become (or think that you may
become) ill or seriously distressed because of lack of sleep, OUR ADVISORS STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT PARTICIPATE in the Program. If you do not have sufficient sleep or if you have a sleep disorder during the week
before the commencement of the Program, OUR ADVISORS STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT PARTICIPATE in the Program. If during the Program, you feel that you have been unable to sleep or have not had sufficient sleep, you must notify your Program Leader or Program Supervisor at once.
12. If, after your consulting with your medical or mental or health professional, your health professional needs any additional information about the Program in order to resolve your ability to participate, please contact the Registration Fulfillment Manager at the Center delivering this Program who will provide you with such information.