I liken the Landmark experience to childhood trauma but did not intend to imply that attendees to the forum ARE in fact childhood trauma survivors. In fact, I disagree with you. I think a large proportion of attendees to the forum are coerced to go along, are ill-informed about what will take place, and most have the rug of social congruity ripped out from under them once they have been unwittingly lured into the Landmark den.
I had no intention of putting words in your mouth. I understood that 'childhood trauma' was used as a metaphor. And using that metaphor, for me, didn't imply 'survivors' attending Landmark. That's why I personally believe many of our actions and reactions are motivated by a 'personal doctrine of denial'. It may be a racket, but that's irrelevant in my view, because it seems those least likely to want to deal with their 'rackets' are drawn to Landmark and other quick fixes. They're just told the obvious and turn it into a revelation - new words for old ideas, I suppose.
I agree, if I may, that many who attend the 'forum' are coerced or, like me, curious. But as I stated, too many converts go along without knowing at least some of the background of EST/Landmark, etc.
And let's make it clear that there is no evidence that attendees of the Landmark forum are "in denial" or "running rackets", Jack. And when you refer to "personal doctrines of denial", perhaps you mean, "wide and varied survival techniques" employed by individuals in wide and varying ways. Let's be careful to avoid the implication that anyone who attends the forum has a "racket".
Okay, so this is where I have to disagree with you. From my experience, there is emphasis placed on the idea that attendees and outsiders are, more or less, obsessed by their rackets. It seems to me that once they convince you that 'they' have the remedy, you won't look back to giving them large sums of cash and trying to rope in as many people as possible.
Again, personally speaking, I think denial is integral to being human. Some of it is healthy (not having that last drink, not placing yourself in harm's way, etc.) and some of it is unhealthy (allowing an abusive relationship to continue, etc.). I agree that we do have 'wide and varying survival techniques' of dealing with many aspects of the human condition and, sometimes, it means doing things we might regret later on, such as, joining Landmark, taking drugs, expressing our anger in hurtful ways, etc.
Not all Landmark attendees have rackets (gee, I hate that term/word). But I think most do...but so what?
Not necessarily. The problem with the forum is that everyone has to deal with their individual situations according to forum rules and in forum time. The way individuals chose to deal with their personal situations is up to them, in their own time, on their own terms. Whatever way these individuals chose to deal with their situations should be looked at as a path of individual strength. The implication that people are ruining themselves with denial, rackets, deepening wounds, isn't helpful, right?
The point I was trying to make was that we all recognise a need to 'better' ourselves. That idea, to me, is pretty straightforward. Most of us will have the foresight to try 'wide and varied' ways, such as, reading good books, taking long walks in the bush, being self-expressive, having honest communications with those around us, etc. But most of us (IMO) are wary of remedies that come in too neat a package. Landmark, no doubt, has many postive qualities, and that doesn't concern me. I'm only interested in what I construe as their negative ones - the techniques used to change those around me for the worse - they promise to 'build bridges' and act like 'nutters with TNT'.
People who attend Landmark, as a lark or as a desperate measure to cope, or even those who attend as a dupe to the nefarious ways of the organisation, regardless of the reasons they came to attend the forum, they shouldn't be looked at as "sad". I just want to avoid the implication that pre-forum, people are sad with deep wounds, and post-forum, people are happy and dynamic...
Now, I'm the first one to admit that sadness (without inverted commas) is normal and healthy. It is not exclusive to the 'sad' souls attending yet another Landmark course. People attend Landmark for a number of reasons, but I believe the common factor is a sense of sadness or discontent in their lives. We all share this discontent (IMO) and some of us will join any group or organisation to alleviate this suffering. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. As a discontent species, we've been joining groups since time began.
I apologise if I implied that pre-forum people are sad with deep wounds and post-forum people are happy and dynamic...that just isn't the case. I have yet to meet a sober Landmarkian who is happy and dynamic. In fact, many who I have associated with, before and after Landmark, are downright miserable, before and after. Tragic.