Narcissistic Husband Discovers Landmark--Ack!
Posted by: Humanista ()
Date: August 07, 2006 09:58AM

My husband of 16 years took the Landmark Forum In March 2006. He went back for the Advanced Course in July, religiously attends the weekly seminars and is already registered for the 3rd set of 1-day courses. Except for the seminar, he has to drive 4 hours to attend Landmark programs.
We have had problems in our marriage for over a year, due to his infidelity and lying. Our marriage counselor harped on The Forum for a year, so we finally agreed to try it. My husband went first and said it changed his life. I was skeptical, because so much is made of intergrity and your "word" and he continued to lie to me and break promises after he took The Forum.
His phone calls while at the Forum were to apologize for not forgiving ME for something I'd done that made him angry. No apology for the really HUGE issue of infidelity and lying.
I reluctantly attended The Forum 2 weeks ago. I found it tedious, simplistic, manipulative and the constant selling made me almost walk out every day. I never called anyone to "clean up" anything and never "shared" at the microphone. The confessional, emotional atmosphere seemed to create bonding with certain people who were skeptical like me, but to my shock they eventually were sucked in.
Some of it I found interesting, but I wasn't sure it was really true. Why everyone swallows it as Gospel is beyond me. Does no one think critically any more?
When we got to the "empty and meaningless" revelation Sunday afternoon, I thought "That's IT?" it was like a weird fast food version of Buddhism, existentialism and The Power of Positive Thinking.
I didn't go back after dinner Sunday. When I called my husband he was FURIOUS with me for "quitting". He of course said it was my racket, to think I know more than anyone else.
I like to think I am discerning and make my own choices. I used the Forumspeak right back at him. I said," My leaving doesn't mean anything. That's your story. What happened was I left. That's all."

Anyway, since then I've asked pointed questions about Landmark and he is very defensive. In fact, he recently told me it bothers him a LOT for me to say bad things about it. I asked him how deep he's going to get into it and he casually says he doesn't know, as if it's not important, but he talks to other Forum members daily, exchanges emails, tells them about our problems, etc. I told him I was afraid he was using Landmark to put distance between us, that they were his confidante instead of me. He denies it, but I am worried, especially when I read how Landmark is designed to MAKE a narcissist out of you and he already is one!

Does anyone have any experience or insight into how Landmark might make him think he has to end the marriage if I'm not "enrolled"?

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Narcissistic Husband Discovers Landmark--Ack!
Posted by: elena ()
Date: August 07, 2006 10:05PM

It's been called "catnip for the conceited" going all the way back to the beginning.

The "program" was designed by an uber-narcissistic sociopath and there are lots of mini-Werner, Werner-wannabes, and Werner-clones who are attracted to the thing and for whom the thing confirms every self-centered and selfish inclination.

Nothing he's done to you will mean anything because these guys buy into the ~no victim~ thing. In other words, if you are hurt, saddened, or feel betrayed by his behavior that's just you're problem - you are ~making yourself a victim.~

Knowing what I know now, I'd quietly make tracks out of there. If he does come to his senses, from what you've written, it will take a long, long time. I wouldn't wait for that to happen.


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Narcissistic Husband Discovers Landmark--Ack!
Posted by: tywebb ()
Date: August 08, 2006 02:29AM

I have to agree with elena. Run don't walk. This is a horrible situation. Get a great divorce attorney!

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Narcissistic Husband Discovers Landmark--Ack!
Posted by: funnyguy ()
Date: August 09, 2006 10:04AM

I experiense some very tough siutations with my spouse after the LM Forum. She took it too and we both argued all the time about the courses we sat through and how much time it took from our lives. She quit and and LM people tried to make it like see some evil person with a bad rackets. Then they started in on me. I told them all to go F...Off...and die! they were shocked because I'm not a mean person. But it was weird because they left me alone after that...I love my wife not the LM crap. If I had choose my wife or LM, that's a no brainer. Your family is always important even when things aren't going well. Not LM!

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Narcissistic Husband Discovers Landmark--Ack!
Posted by: wokeup ()
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 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..."

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Narcissistic Husband Discovers Landmark--Ack!
Posted by: MercurialMere ()
Date: September 11, 2006 10:00AM

Our marriage counselor harped on The Forum for a year, so we finally agreed to try it.

Having had a similar experience (i.e., a therapist who tried to push Landmark on me as some sort of anxiety abatement exercise), I have to say how much this issue concerns me. It's terrifying to think that educated, licensed professionals in the disciplines of counseling and mental health could promote such an inherently dangerous and non-clinical treatment.

I am so sorry that you have had to suffer through all of this, and I wish you the best no matter what you decide. No matter what happens, feel good about the fact that you smelled a rat and followed your instinct!

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Narcissistic Husband Discovers Landmark--Ack!
Posted by: Humanista ()
Date: September 15, 2006 09:54AM

Thanks for affirming what I suspected, wokeup.

Here's where it stands now: my husband is going to a "creativity" seminar on Tuesday nights from 7 to 10 pm and an "ILP" class on Fridays from 7 to midnight. Plus he goes out of town (4 hour drive) every 4 or 6 weeks to ILP training(three 12 to 15 hour days). But he says he has no plans to become an Introduction Leader. He says he gets something out of the training, but when I ask for specifics, he can't give them to me, he just gets angry. When I ask him if he plans to take more Landmark courses, he is very vague and says he doesn't know.
I notice he spends a lot of time on the phone and emailing the friends he's made at Landmark--all women of course. When I ask what they talk about, he says it's about their courses or plans to go to others, or these women want to tell him their troubles (boyfriends, work)
I am very worried that part of the attractiveness of Landmark is he gets to meet new women at every new course and keeps adding to his "stable" of women he can be in contact with and have a close emotional connection with. I know Landmark encourages them to talk with each other often. Its' like they create a closed community of "believers".

I'm hoping he will realize they are using him. I feel like the mnore I complain or question it, the more he clings to it defensively.

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