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Landmark Forum Revisited
Posted by: Humanista ()
Date: April 04, 2007 02:55AM


Au contraire, humans were MORE inclined to magical thinking and belief in the fantastic and supernatural in the PAST, when they didn't know any better. And, once again, evolution has nothing to do with what individuals believe.

Good point but It doesn't seem as though the magical thinking has been completely abandoned for the more scientific explanations of how life works though.
If evolution is purely about genes and natural selection, someone better lock up the magical thinkers before they infest too much of the rest of the gene pool. If depression is heritable so is magical thinking.

Because depression can be treated with drugs, there is a strong inplication that there is a physical cause for it, and there are indications that it is passed through the genes, as it runs in families sometimes.
Interesting point as to whether magical thinking has a genetic compenent or is learned. Could magical thinking be induced through physical manipulation of the brain? Maybe.
I'm afraid the gene pool has been "infested" with magical thinkers for millions of years and their presence apparently did not impeded human survival, as the 6 billion of us on the planet attests to.
As I said before, it may have in some way helped it, if it contributed to social bonding.

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Landmark Forum Revisited
Posted by: mindconcern ()
Date: April 05, 2007 01:43AM

We have to remember not to ascribe one theory, regardless of how true it is, to the ultimate cause of the way everything is.

The way the planets orbit the sun is not a result of evolution- it is a result of physical, natural properties and forces.

Our ability to think magically is a development within the confines of our life that stems from two basic evolutionary adaptations:
1. To adapt and fit in with our peers.
2. To believe what our elders tell us about the world during our formative years

Evolution is a term that describes the process of a reproducible unit improving its ability to reproduce itself.

Our understandings of society and the unseen world do not exist in the genes, but can exist because of our genetic ability to communicate, as well as the minor proclivities to behave in certain ways rather than others.

(By unseen world I do not mean supernatural, I mean the ideas, mathematics, physics that are not empirically obvious)

This is why landmark, cults, or any other supernatural belief system can exist, because they unravel the non-material understandings you have constructed, and braid them back into their own style.

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Landmark Forum Revisited
Posted by: maurice ()
Date: April 20, 2007 04:39AM

“To distinguish something means to take something from an undifferentiated background and bring it to the foreground. Just as learning a new language builds a bridge to a new culture, or the capacity to balance makes riding a bicycle possible, drawing distinctions gives us a facility to navigate in areas that were previously inaccessible.
Distinctions give power and breadth to the ability to live creatively and successfully. With this ability to distinguish, we are left with new worlds and opportunities for action.”

I take two apples. I take two pears. I notice there’s a difference. This difference is what distinguishes the two kinds of fruits. In a bigger sense, someone can be distinguished among their peers for a particular – usually honourable – action or quality. That’s how we, obscurantist, short sighted people outside landmark, see the concept of ‘distinction’. In our insignificant, un-enlightened lives we use distinctions like right and wrong and we think – how foolish can we be? – that it’d be enough to stick to what’s right, or in general to just analyse the options and chose for the best ones. Beside the jargon, yes, you can agree with the stuff above that to see differences between things is a good tools in life. But is this what the lekkies are talking about? No. By now you should have understood that they twist every single word they chose to use for their technology. So what is, in the Forum, a “Distinction”? By the way they’ll expand on the subject during the forum you’ll see that ‘distinction’ is something like ‘definition’ (as in dictionaries definitions), more exactly a kind of dogma.
For example: the ‘distinction’ of ‘racket’ is ‘a persistent complaint plus a fixed way of being’. But it’s not that simple. If you tell them that a ‘distinction’ is just an ‘explanation’ they’ll deny and they’ll be right, because it’s more than that. A Dis. is also something you didn’t (ever) know before, and something which once disclosed will give you new power, new opportunities etc… This is probably one of the most innocuous parts, except when some people take D.s as dogmas.

“Consider that one of the primary obstacles to effectiveness is fear. No matter how accomplished, successful, or courageous we are, fear and anxiety seem to play a role at some point in all of our lives. Often, we allow our fears and anxieties to stop us – to determine how much we’ll risk, and to limit the range in which we live – assigning them an unwarranted power and magnitude in our lives.
When we see that our relationship to our anxieties and fears inadvertently gives them a life of their own, something else becomes possible. We find ourselves being powerful in the face of what has stopped us before, and are free to rediscover and pursue our passions in life.”

Yes, go for it, don’t be afraid to try, blah blah. Nice platitudes (well, for 315 pounds you would expect something nice). What don’t you know yet? This is the segment of the infamous “Fear Exercise”. The leader promise you they’ll rid you of all your fears forever. The exercise is divided in two parts. First, close your eyes, and think of all your fears - the leader will make examples in crescendo till the point were some people even start to cry. The end is ‘think everyone is after you, all the world hate you. Then, your eyes still closed, think everyone is actually scared of you, you’re the one that everyone else is afraid of. You have them all in your hand.
Reading about it is not like living it. It is, in practise, an hypnotic exercise to get you afraid of the leader and grateful to him/her for having saved you. You don’t realise on the moment that to ‘save’ you, they only have to scare you and then give you the opposite. Groucho Marx said once, in one of his comic movies: “yesterday I saved a woman from being raped. It’s been enough to hold myself.” Same happens here. But at the end you’ll be grateful and thankful to the leader. This exercise is the forum in 10 minutes. Of course they need three days because they need the hypnosis to last.

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Landmark Forum Revisited
Posted by: maurice ()
Date: April 22, 2007 08:40PM


"In this session, we inquire into how our identity – who we consider ourselves to be – got created. The process began in childhood, as we gradually adopted ways of being and acting to deal successfully with things that didn’t quite go the way we thought they should. By the time we reach adulthood, we have assembled a set of practices and approaches, attributes and characteristics, that seem to give us a certain measure of success – that make up our personality, our style, who we consider ourselves to be.
When we begin to see that our identity was put together in response to something that we had determined shouldn’t be, the result is a new freedom in saying who we are – a fundamental shift in what we see and know as possible."

Identity is constructed throughout life as a combination of experiences and reactions to them. So far, fine. But the landmark creed is a much worse and disappointing, and if i can say, sad and hopeless. Basically, what they say is that identity is a result of traumas. Ways of being adopted after things that 'didn't quite go the way thy should'. Personality, for everyone, is only a big bunch of traumas and shocks, failures and pain. That's all there is in life. And they will make you believe that. The good things in life, they don't exist. They are but illusion we create to cope.
This is the section of the Strong Suits, in America called the Winning Formulas. They are a set of personality traits that we consciously create as a reaction to some failure, shock or trauma. Of any level. Even 'Paying attention' is a strong suit created after the first time you fall from your bike. That's a failure to, for landmark. Everything is a failure for them. The entire life of everyone. And all the achievements, all the successes, all the happiness, the good thing, the right decisions, they're all delusion. After this session, if you buy into it (and they will make you, if they have to call you on stage and humiliate you in front of everyone because you don't get it, they will make you get it) you'll find very hard to ever love your life and yourself again. It will be hard. Here I talk from experience: it is hard to love yourself again after what they push into your mind. After this treatment, what is left for you to love about yourself is what come next, in day three, which is basically, the new 'you' they are gonna build. A landmark drone, a zealot, that is. It is hard to get people out of landmark because they hate the person they were before landmark. I tried to get my friends out after I left, they are all so hating their pre-landmark selves that they just won't listen. Some of them just say "do you wanna go back in a life of rackets?". Some others shares their darkest secrets of which they are so ashamed that they can't bear the very idea of going back to that - and I'm talking, so irony, about things like "I've had a fight with my mother", "I called in sick at work but I was fine and just wanted a day off" and the sort. They will make you ashamed for the smallest thing that ever happened in your life. All in order to make you feel great to be a lekkie and to keep you in.
Another bothering thing is that they will not tolerate the defects of others either. Some of them, not all to be honest, will judge everyone around them who 'is without integrity' and look down their nose at everyone who is just, at their best, 'being their strong suit', like, to give you an example, thisw lekkie friend of mine with whom I once spoke about great non-lekkie people. I mentioned - it was the beginning of my rebel phase - people like Ghandi or Mother Theresa as extraordinary people and asked him if he thought any less of them for not being lekkies. He said they were just strong suits who got lucky but nothing as special as the people who really are being the possibility of love and integrity and blah blah. I almost slapped him there.

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Landmark Forum Revisited
Posted by: ON2 LF ()
Date: April 23, 2007 02:55AM

so basically, to be a 'landroid' requires living in a perpetual state of denial of your entire past state of humanity, while maintaining a [i:a816746efa]rewired[/i:a816746efa] psychological state in escape driven 'reality'. And this is what dreams are made from? Its no wonder that a lekkies' life can be falling down around them and they don't even notice, or when they do notice, the contradiction between what is real and what they perceive is just a sign that they need another course or need to put in more volunteer time to deal with the discrepancy.

Its quite a superior position the landroid 'leaders' perceive themselves to be in. You would think that the so-called experts of landmark would know by now that whether they like it or not, they too have any one of, or several combinations of, the yet to be disproven 'big five' personality types and have no escape from those basic personalities. So really all they do is keep themselves enslaved, and draw others, in that neurotic process where, according to Karen Horney's theory, is the "core inner conflict between one's idealized self and one's real self." I'm sure Horney's view is based on a normal person's conflict but I personally believe that the same process is pathological in a typical (compromised) lekkie mind.

The lekkie dysfunction seems comparable to a person with a mental illness where 'normal' levels of desire are overwhelmed by obsession as in OCD. i.e. A normal person may want organization and structure in daily life but a person with OCD cannot control the urges to behave obsessively and often destructively in the pursuit of extreme and perfect organization or whatever the obsession is centered around. Only, a lekkie can't take meds to calm down, they have to take more coaching, courses, recruit more people etc. just to keep the madness bearable. Some do so with great enthusiam, like a junkie who likes being a junkie, but how terrible it must be for those who want out of the vicious circle and can't find an exit.

For some in landmark its no doubt all about greed and exploitation, and for others it must simply be a brutal state of being so unhappy with who they are that they are willing to commit the rest of their lives trying to re-create someone they can stand to see in a mirror, thinking that they are making good progress if they've managed to engage herds of others into their pathological escapism.

Maybe I should reconsider my negative toward landmarkia and simply tell myself that it is actually just a world filled with people who are so desperate to escape the underachieving monster they perceive themselves to be that they have actually induced mental illness trying to satisfy that goal of escape.

If I look at them that way, I can have pity and compassion but I don't see any softening of my disgust at the types who are so purely narcissistic and greedy that they are willing to sacrifice others to further build on their self-perceptions of superiority and advantage over those who are equally desperate to inject [i:a816746efa]more[/i:a816746efa] into the self they believe to be less than. The only cure for the illness in those types is accountability, but as long as there are people who are searching in the wrong place for peace, they will remain untreated because they do not have to know how sick they are as long as their illness remains a hot commodity.

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Landmark Forum Revisited
Posted by: nettie ()
Date: April 24, 2007 08:45PM


I think your doing splendid work with this thread! It brings up some new thoughts.


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Landmark Forum Revisited
Posted by: msluyter ()
Date: April 26, 2007 09:05AM

I've read two books recently that have struck me in how much of their ideas I see in Landmark. The first is Jean Paul Sartre's Essay "Existentialism is a Humanism," where he lays out the basic ideas of his existentialist philosophy. You see many ideas that permeate Landmark, such as responsibility, authenticity, and the idea that man creates his own meaning.

The second is Eric Berne's classic "Games People Play." Games are basically neurotic ways of interacting in which we avoid intimacy/responsibility/vulnerability in favor of some hidden payoff. A classic example is "Why don't you? Yes but..." in which someone offers a complaint, like "I'm really overweight," and then other participants offer solutions, each which is rebuffed with "yes, but..." E.g.,

"Well, have you considered joining a gym?"
"Yes, but I can't afford it..."
"Well, you could go running..."
"Yes, but I have an knee injury..."
"Ok, howabout riding a bike?"
"There aren't good bike trails where I live..."

Etc... It becomes clear that the point isn't to seek a real solution to the problem. Instead, the hidden payoff is some reassurance, some way of rationalizing (avoiding responsibility for) one's state by "demonstrating" that no solution exists, and for Berne, a reaction against parental authority/dominance.

Sound familiar? That particular game closely mirror's Landmark's concept of "racket." There's even a mirror language. Where Berne says "being game-free," Landmark says "being racket-free." Games People Play was originally published in 1964, so it's not unreasonable to conjecture that Erhard read it and absorbed it into the EST curriculum.

These examples illustrate, to me, what is so tricky about Landmark. Many of its ideas ("distinctions") are reasonable in and of themselves. We should strive to be responsible for our actions, true to ourselves ("authentic"), true to our word ("integrity"), game-free, and the like. It's that these are misused and pushed beyond reasonable limits -- if you get cancer, you created that in your life -- combined with the subverting them to the service of Landmark -- authenticity equals enrolling others -- that creates such a toxic stew.

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Landmark Forum Revisited
Posted by: ON2 LF ()
Date: April 26, 2007 04:14PM


These examples illustrate, to me, what is so tricky about Landmark. Many of its ideas ("distinctions") are reasonable in and of themselves. We should strive to be responsible for our actions, true to ourselves ("authentic"), true to our word ("integrity"), game-free, and the like.

Its not that landmark is so tricky, its just that they get enough hypnotically cleared and highly suggestible minds into which they can inject these normal and ordinary bits of knowledge and sense. For instance, who on earth [i:6820a8eee8]doesn't know that they don't know what they don't know?[/i:6820a8eee8] (this idea is similar to the types of abstract ideas a child might develop in the stage of abstract thought development, but to a lekkie's hypnotically primed ears, that little phrase sounds like something only 'the source' could have provided). :shock:

Landmark thrives only because they are able to maintain firm control over the minds they were able to blindside with the initial suggestions of 'you're here because your life isn't working' and '...suspend all judgement..' etc. They seem like slick cons because they are still pulling off the game, but it is only the greatness of the emotional need in those strewn along landmarks path that make the congame a possibility.

I liken Landmark to a huge flock of vultures that circle around a sick or wounded animal as they wait for it to die, but in most cases they don't wait at all.

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Landmark Forum Revisited
Posted by: maurice ()
Date: May 04, 2007 05:22AM

"Much of what makes up today and even tomorrow seems to be an extension or variation of what has come before. What we see as possible – what we are working toward – is essentially a more, better, or different version of the past.
In this section, we are given a technology for putting the past where it belongs – in the past. We begin to design our lives as a free and authentic expression – from what is possible, rather than what has been. Unencumbered by the past, we experience a greater level of vitality, well-being, and fun, and are able to enjoy a newfound sense of connection and intimacy with the people in our lives."

The example is always the same: before an holiday you feel great, before going back to work you feel sad. That's because before the holiday what you have in mind is the future and before going back to work what you have in mind is the past (i.e, your work). So the solution must be to let thepast go and live in a perpetual state of great expectations without any reference whatsoever to the past. If you could speak rationally with a lekky you could point out that if you feel great before an holiday it's because you have some past reference to the concept of 'holiday', otherwise you would feel neutral about it, or at the best curious, at the worst scared.
If you who are reading this haven't taken the forum, do not mistake this part as a 'live for today' or 'live the dream' attitude. It's not like that. It's basically the complete drop of any rational analysis of situations, projects, events, anything. It's not 'go for it', it's a 'do not process any data available about x'. Like if you hurt yourself, you shouldn't take care next time. That the past stopping you. That could potentially lead you to anything, and there's plenty of stories out there about what lekkies have done after a forum. But what landmark would ask you to do unconditionally - free from the constrains of the past - is:
1-stay inside landmark (whatever the past told you about landmark)
2-recruit everyone you can inside landmark (whatever the past told you about it)
3-do anything in order to do 1 and 2, like quit your job, sell your house and belonging, cheat, lie, deceive (how many of you have been told to trick people to come to the intros, things like <say to your friends 'just come and check it out, there won't be any hard sell>. how many of you have been told <ask your friends what's going on with their life, and when you spot something they need tell them how landmark could help>)
When the lekkies say 'free from the past', they actually mean 'get read of what you were/had before landmark and fill your future with landmark, all landmark, nothing else but landmark'.
There is a second use of this 'free from the past' thing, the more vicious. It's a tool of endless self-rightousness and self-justification. You can tell a lekkie about Erhard. "it doesn't matter, it's the past". You can talk of the horrors of the EST. "it doesn't matter it's the past". They can harass you. Humiliate you. Treat you bad. Offend you. Call you names. You can suffer any form of psychological abuse a leader or coach or assistant can think of use to them: you'll never ever be allowed to complain, or tell them off, or protest. In a minute, it will all be 'the past'. I'm not exaggerating. I've seen grads humiliated publicly for being late complaining at the end of the session and being told 'it's in the past now' (of course the leader also denied everything. He was only talking, and the grads 'perceived' it like humiliation. And he apologized to them like you would apologize to someone who says 'you're kicking my invisible dog'). The sad thing is, lekkies AGREE with that 'past thing', so they take everything, and they're even happy about it (see also 'being coachable')

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Landmark Forum Revisited
Posted by: maurice ()
Date: May 25, 2007 06:45AM

"We take for granted that things “are” a particular way. To effect change, we go to work on altering circumstances, the people around us, even ourselves. In this session, we explore the difference between change and transformation. Change is essentially a comparison to something that previously existed. By its very nature, change is past-based. Essentially, change yields more, better, or different from what came before. Transformation, on the other hand, is an act of bringing forth or inventing. It is something created, and is inherently expansive and infinite.
It is here in this section of The Landmark Forum that the shift, or transformation, occurs for people. This dramatic shift enables us to think and act outside existing views and limits, and to redefine ourselves and the reality we have known."

This blah blah above is the lowest they've gone so far in this syllabus: basically for lekkies 'change' means..hem...'change' and 'transformation' means 'creation'. Now that's twisted english. But 'transformation' sounds cooler than 'change', and after all, they're salesmen.
The major point is the 'dramatic shit' stuff. Sorry, shiFt. That's the section with the biggest shi(f)t of the entire forum. The point that - allegedly - the forum would be all about. I'm talking of the "LIFE IS EMPTY AND MEANINGLESS" mantra. According to the lekkies, the essence of being human is to attach meaning to everything. To analyze our reality, the things we see, perceive, experience. The data, the object, the event, evrything got processed in a dreadful "meaning-making machinery" (their words). And human beings are "meaning-making machines". This concept has been phrased before by great philosophers, but under another light: Basically, this meaning-making machinery, ever so horrible, is THOUGHT. it is the ability to think. Human beings think. That's what make us human. For lekkies, it's the greatest tragedy tht could ever happen to us. A dooming personality disorder from which all problems come. A machinery that doesn't let us live our own life freely. So there you have it, the big truth: life is empty and meaningless. I.e., nothing really exist and life as no meaning at all. It's pure matter and atoms and all the rest doesn't exist. Nothing else really exist. Life is empty. And thought, being purely abstract, doesn't exist either. So give it up. Life is meaningless. Do not stop think about things, do not analyze things, do not ask, enquire, judge, evaluate, esteem, appreciate anything. All that is abstract, that doesn't exist.
Are you following so far? Well, next step. You can't obviously stop thinking altogether. That's impossible. So the trick is, think up whatever empowers you, whatever you feel good about, and act on it. And whatever happens, do not worry about the outcome. Judgment and critical thinking do not exist really, so you can create whatever reality you choose.
I'll give you a practical example i've just read about. This guy, under the heading of 'life is empty and meaningless', create a new empowering meaning of the concept of 'rape', that is 'sexual initiation', and call it touching moving and inspiring. The girl who he 'shared' chose to stick to her rackets about making him wrong. That's actually an extreme example. There are better ones, but this is how it technically work. "Life is empty and meaningless" is a complete detachment from reality and critical thinking.
So why people 'pop' here? Let's remember that this is day three, afternoon. You didn't have water enough. You didn't eat but once a day. You didn't sleep but a few hours. You have been seating on a very uncomfortable chair for about 30 hours now with no toilet breaks nor a chance to loose attention or distract yourself. You've seen abuse, coaching, everything. You've been pressured by the staff and the others to play the game and 'get it'. Now they prepare a huge climax and finally speak it out. I am no expert of what technically happen at this point but i remember my 'popping'. I just give the life is empty and meaningless shi(f)t a try and i found myself thinking 'well if that's so one needn't worry that much' and then i thought 'i got it!'. And i finally relaxed and felt peaceful. The best way i can explain is that they just stress you to the point you can't bear any longer, they pressure you to get this 'it' that is coming and when this 'it' comes it's just a little mantra but the stress combined with the pressure and the expectation makes it look like something big And being a simple mantra it's easy to understand, after all you've been through, at that moment you see it as an enlightenment. And you're fucked.
I remember now what happens immediately after this point. The leader explains the life is empty stuff. Then he pauses while you 'share' the excitement with the others. Just one minute, than he starts talking again. I remember now, just now as i wrote this now, i remember the very first sentence the leader said there. "Now you got it, go invite everyone you know for tuesday night so they can get it too". This very words. I can't believe i never remembered that...

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