Narcissistic Husband Discovers Landmark--Ack!
Date: September 11, 2006 05:57AM
I have taken the Landmark Forum in January 2006 and I decided to stop it after I recognized a pattern of behavior, both mine and that of the Landmark Forum that I deemed dangerous and not consistent with anything that resembles education in its truest sense. Here are some examples:
-Anytime anyone would even hint of dissenting with the Landmark's teachings, the leader would very quickly dismiss it as the fault of the person; i.e. you don't get it... and leave it at that with no form of any rational logic or argumentation, furthermore, often the method employed to dismiss the question left the participant humiliated, weak, and harassed.
-At no point do they cite the source and a bibliography of their methodologies. Any proper educational effort is the result of peer review, cross-reference, and openness. If you have ever written a report in High School you have to acknowledge your sources. I have not noticed any pattern of openness from Landmark with respect as to how they have developed these theories. Their examples of success is reduced to sound-bites of previous graduates, one-liners, euphoric/robotic volunteers who make you feel like they achieved something, whenever you ask for something concrete, it rarely materializes.
-They tie the success of your "getting it" to your success at "enrolling" others, in other words, if you don't sell, you fail. If the purpose of this course is to enhance one's quality of life and that of others, why is it the only way of helping others by steering them to the Landmark Forum? There must be an infinite number of other ways of helping people, without even having to mention the word Landmark.
-As part of your agreement to take the course you must renounce taking any form of prescription medications. If this course is supposed to be purely an educational exercise, why must they interfere with your phisiological well being?
-Furthermore, as part of their waiver, you also have to acknowledge that you are free of any psychiatric or mental health problems. It is clear that whatever they are teaching is heavily influencing your psyche and by extension, your behavior.
-The language, group dynamic and setting of these courses all appear very carefully orchestrated and to the point of being dogmatic. Common sense and rationality seems to have been replaced by their vision of the world.
As a result of having taken this course, I have behaved in a way incompatible with my values. One of the objectives I had was to "fix-up my relationship". So, I decided to break up with my girlfriend in a very powerful way, and I had justified it because it led me to believe that I was taking action, in essence being in control of my life (which afterall, is what they advertise you are going to get from taking this course). Although I had issues with my girlfriend, it is the manner in which I behaved which scared me, but I only noticed this months after I got out of Landmark. At the time, I kept telling her how she didn't get it, and became very forceful, telling her that she had to take this course to get it. So, Humanista, I totally see why your husband feels about your marriage and having "gotten it". I don't know what the best course is, but I hope your husband will realize that Landmark is not the solution.
Furthermore, my behavior was becoming more and more "needy" of the Landmark Forum, almost as an addict misses his opiates. At some point, I realized that most of this was becoming too dogmatic and not really centered at achieving one's goals, but rather, of setting seemingly vague, yet grandiose sounding objectives always with the attachment of having to enroll others at this... I thought, wait a minute, if I'm not done with myself, why am I having to bring all these other people, in order to help them, when I myself am not ready? That's when it hit me, it's not about improving yourself...at the end of the day it's about improving Landmark's bottom line!
I have one more observation to make. During my experience with the Forum, there were times you felt like the King of the World, and at others you felt really bad. And the most amazing thing, they had all this predicted, saying, it's going to be a roller-coaster, prepare for the breakthroughs and then the breakdowns. I basically felt as if I was being induced to mania and depression, everyone has mood swings, however, if the source/causation of these mood swings are the by-product of something you are paying to listen to...I think that can be a very dangerous proposition. Only later, I noticed that I was being manipulated; but the caveat is that all the while, I thought I was the one calling the shots. Isn't it a bit scary...?
Finally, after having read through information on the web regarding the history of the Landmark Forum and other people's experiences, further reinforces me that anyone taking this course should be very clearly advised about what it can do to you; for it is dangerous. I was basically naively convinced by the enthusiasm and seemingly positive impact it had on my friend who invited me to one of the Forum introductions; but I believe that today I have realized that as the old adage says, "If it sounds too good to be true..."