Considering the Forum???
Date: September 28, 2002 11:49AM
Do not allow questions, particularly about intentionally complex or confusing vocabulary or “distinctions”. Intimidate those asking questions by (1) requiring them to ask in front of the group at the microphone, and (2) telling them that their “racket” is to analyze. They are suffering from this “inauthenticity” (which is neither good or bad, per se… but should be eliminated). Tell the customer this prevents him/her from moving forward and taking action in life (being “transformed”). When the customer accepts this view and commits him/herself to not thinking too much, they are more open to suggestion. If customer does not appear sufficiently intimidated, ask his/her fellow customers to raise hands in unison to show that everyone else has “gotten it”. Dissenter will sit down and shut up, and is no longer a threat to your sales/revenue goals.
Bombard customers with new and confusing language (old words with new meanings) and concepts. This will keep them both slightly in the dark about the real agenda of Landmark, and allow them to feel a sense of accomplishment and acceptance when they finally feel they understand what you’re getting at. Keep asking “did you get that?” They’re bound to feel that they did after a while if they keep raising their hands in unison. “Enrollment” should be slipped into your monologue 20-40 times an hour. No less. Explain that it means engaging others in conversations about their Forum breakthroughs. This will lead to Curriculum for Living, Advanced Course and Forum financial commitments and enrollment. Pretty cool, isn’t it? Subconsciously, we must always impress the connection between conversational ‘enrollment’ and pyramid-scheme style course ‘enrollment’.
Create a situation on day 3 whereby you will be justified in telling customers they have no integrity and instill in them the need to redouble their commitment to being ‘open’ and ‘coachable’ lest they remain terrible and dishonest people. Talking out of turn, standing instead of sitting, being late… any of these examples will suffice. Emotionally extort customers by throwing a temper tantrum in front of them and refuse to continue with the forum (i.e. lead them to higher levels of transformation and further “breakthroughs”) until they recommit themselves. By now they’ve become hungry for your guidance to a degree that they will eagerly apologize and submit. Go one step further and make them repeat the words aloud instead of raising their hands. This will let you further blackmail them by holding them “to their word”. Their contrition and humiliation in the face of your integrity will reinforce their own sense of growth. This is a particularly effective and proven technique in all successful mind-control-based organizations. (The local Landmark crew will reinforce integrity angle with follow up seminars, the first of which is “Integrity: The Bottom Line”. Local Landmark members will demand that customers attend, requiring special permission to skip seminar for emergencies, etc. This session is key to breaking down any resistance to future seminars and expensive courses. It also helps to get the customer’s group members to also call him/her to harass him/her into coming. This is particularly effective with customers who possess decency and a sense of obligation to others. But we digress – this was covered in the Volunteers/Assistants Manual.
The Forum must be conducted in this manner: 5% on Friday, 30% on Saturday, 60% on Sunday (5% in the Tuesday night wrap up/sign up session). Though each day is the same grueling 15 hours of sitting around. This is sufficient time for you to slowly and surely reel in the customers and get them to trust everything you’re saying. The most objectionable (and emotional) material is strategically spaced according to this schedule.
Once customers are sufficiently reeled in and in full agreement with you, you are encouraged to use high-pressure sales techniques with abandon. Some such proven rhetoric includes “How DARE you not share this [Forum/transformation/other Landmark jargon] with everyone you know?” And “Money should NEVER be a barrier to enrolling in the Forum or Curriculum for Living. This is about your LIFE. Isn’t your life worth it? Isn’t your family worth it?” And “Some of you are hesitant to invite your friends, family and co-workers. That’s ok. It’s not good or bad. Just be miserable all of your life! I don’t care.”
Before every break, give customers the assignment of calling up people in their sphere with whom they must become “complete”. Most will stun their contacts with their humility and will experience a sort of euphoria and empowerment. This will reinforce the telemarketing behavior and increase the likelihood that they will contact other potential customers. As a side benefit, it limits the amount of time customers have to obtain nourishment, rest, and feedback from other customers about what’s really going on here.
It is a proven psychological phenomenon that the more you flatter customers that they have become “empowered” “their own person”, “transformed” and “free”, the more they are likely to believe you – and the more devoted they become to your guidance, assured of your concern for them and their emotional/social well being.
After every infrequent, insufficient break, spend a minimum of 1 – 1-1/2 hours pitching the $700 Advanced Course. Most customers will be more focused on the lofty vision of their future transformed than the fact that they’re being effectively pitched. Never forget that your Landmark Forum Leadership abilities are being evaluated based on how many people you can get to sign up and plunk down $700 for the Advanced Course, as well as how many of your customers’ telemarketing contacts sign up at the Tuesday night session.
Refer repeatedly to Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, etc. Infer that customers are learning the same secrets of benevolent greatness that these heroes possessed. No one will be able to argue with that. Couple this suggestion with the revelation that you want to transform the world… or want world peace.. or something equally ambitious and noble. If you can do this with tears in your eyes, kudos. If you can tie it into a story about how you promised your mother on her deathbed that you would do this noble work until the day you die… highest marks! Only the most cynical customer will question their tearful, orphaned leader.
When you (repeatedly) tell customers that their telemarketing contacts must bring (1) their checkbooks and (2) appointment calendars to the Tuesday night meeting, make it sound funny. They really like you by now and will laugh along with you. Nothing’s better than to get them to laugh at the blatant (and therefore obviously false) greed you’re displaying. They won’t believe there’s anything sinister in it. They’ll believe that it’s not about money but about your loftier motive of changing the world as quickly as possible. You’ve mentioned this enough times by now. It has sunk in as truth. And they will feel like ambassadors for world transformation, not unpaid salespeople.
On the last day, be funny. Incredibly funny if possible. This will enhance and reinforce customers’ feelings of euphoria at having “gotten it” and that they’ve “graduated” and taken that first big step toward total “transformation”.
Never be overly empathic or sympathetic. You are not at the same level as customers, you are transformed. They will want to be more like you, and will endure your insightful admonitions that they are “slimy” in the interest of one day climbing to your enlightened pinnacle. (Say “slimy” in a funny way so that people will laugh and not resist or realize they’re being publicly humiliated.) They will feel you are empathic enough when you give them your own round of tearful stories about the dark, hopeless, pre-transformation hell that was your life before Landmark.
Convince customers that all the crummy things that have happened in their lives are only fantasies or lies they made up to support their negative feelings about those events (“rackets”). For example, if a customer’s father used to beat him, you must make the customer accept that his feeling that “my father is a bad guy who beats his kids” is a total fabrication (a “story”) and all such fantasies must be banished. Convince him that his father really did love him but had an odd way of showing it. People will do anything to believe that people are good and loving and not bad or evil. This is almost guaranteed to work as the customer is standing in front of his fellow customers (in a seemingly “safe” environment) all of whom have just raised their hands in unison to indicate that they “got it” and were “touched, moved and inspired” by the surprising truth of it (but don’t use “truth” as it will spark resistance). Next insist that the customer/victim of child abuse call up his abusive father and apologize for ever believing the fantasy that he was a bad father. Be sure to tell the customer to invite his father Tuesday night, and bring his checkbook. Don’t worry about any confusion the customer has, his feeling of empowerment at re-categorizing his abusive past will alleviate this. This strategy works with all manner of horrible events: rape, sexual assault, physical assault, verbal and emotional abuse, workplace harassment, etc. The more tragic, the stronger the feelings of “empowerment” when they apologize to their abusers (and invite them Tuesday – checkbooks in hand).
[Disclaimer: Landmark does indeed instill breakthroughs in “empowerment”. Never in my life have I felt more empowered than on Tuesday night as I drove to the store to buy cat food and toilet paper… when I should have been attending the final Forum session.]