Landmark Forum Revisited
Date: June 09, 2007 07:49PM
I have reviewed my posts and before I pass to describe the tuesday night I would like to add this one post to summaries what said and fill a lot of gaps.
I have read once about landmark: "some groups are dangerous, but they are not mind controlling cults. Some groups are cults, but they're innocuous. Landmark is one of the few groups that manages to be both a cult and a destructive one". That is so true. In my post I have revisited the landmark forum doctrine and philosophy, but that's not enough to prevent people from joining or to make some insider know better and leave. The point is, everyone is free to believe whatever philosophy they choose to believe, and in my posts i didn't explain well enough how landmark MAKES you believe the things that I have described.
So I would like to talk a little about the Forum. The Forum is a three 14-hours days marathon of indoctrination, a practice common to almost all the cults (some have 4 or 5 days). It starts at 9 in the morning and ends around midnight. There is a 30 minutes break around 12pm, a 30 minutes break around 3.30/4pm, a 1h30 break around 7 and then straight on till midnight. This goes on for three days.
It's extremely tiring and stressful, and you should also know that:
1-you CANNOT eat or drink during the sessions
2-toilet breaks are strongly discouraged.
This is to break your body resistance. Your mind will follow it down. Dehydration will make you confuse. It's like getting drunk (alcohol dehydrate you), but slower.
3-you CANNOT talk with others during the sessions.
4-you CANNOT take notes or record anything
5-you CANNOT STAY ALONE during the breaks.
Time alone means time to think and re-evaluate what you just herd. That's not allowed. They always say 'wait till the end before judging, wait till the end before deciding' F*** them: do take your time to think and analyze. Imagine a rapist saying to his victim 'wait till i finish before you judge if you like it'. They are like that, so they make sure you are under constant surveillance.
6-you CANNOT leave. The staff are guarding the doors from the inside and more staff are guarding the doors outside. You'll be question endlessly if you just try to use the toilets (where they could even follow you to check you don't run away). Of course, they cannot physically force you to stay, but do not believe it's easy to go. It's more of a psychological prison. Just imagine: you notice something wrong in this 'workshop' you're in, and you want to leave. In a second you have people surrounding you saying 'why are you leaving, why are you leaving, it's just a seminar, and it's extraordinary, wait and see'. And they'll make a spectacle of you, making you stand in front of everyone. So what do you do? put up what will look like an hysteric scene to anyone who didn't notice the mind control?Are you sure you wouldn't be bothered to look like a fool in front of as many people as they can muster around?
During the forum i was having doubts. I tried to check with other participants wether anyone else disagreed with this things they were teaching, but before i could search for them i'd been approached by the people who already 'popped' checking on me if i 'got it'. They point me to the staff and, well, you know.
After, during other courses, i have discovered that everyone is observed. I was a good lekkie but I had questions every now and then and soon I started to notice that the leaders seems to know. I realized everyone is being observed by their peers, their buddies, their coaches, and troublemakers are easily spotted and controlled. That happens in the Forum too, obviously, but you don't notice.
'You cannot leave' applies beyond the three days. The racket-act part is basically, i repeat, 'every rebellion, protest, questioning, doubt, anything at all against the landmark cult is A PERSONALITY FLAW. And that 'flaw' will be exposed and humiliated publicly and repeatedly - every single time you go against the leader in the slightest - or you are late for classes. Or you need the toilet. Needing the toilet is a personality flaw.
6- you CANNOT take medicines
7-you CANNOT drink alcohol.
Even being sick or ill is a personality flaws: psychosomatic disorders created by the mind to dominate or avoid domination. "If you have a fever, you probably just want something from the people around you" (maybe medicines, you ESThole!). During the time of the forum you are forbidden to take any medicine at all that is not imposed by your doctor(s) - and you'll have to fight to convince the leader that you really need that too, so my suggestion is just shut up when you're there and ignore this rule. Take everything you want. And drink everything you want. Yet, do avoid alcohol: it will dehydrate you more.
7-You breaks and the nighttime will be full of homework to do.
The rest is important to keep the mind awake and active.They'll make sure you get as little as possible.
The room will most likely have no windows but only artificial lights. The room and the tables will be kept in perfect lines, perfect symmetry. The tidiness is really demented. No pictures, paintings, plants or any decorations will be at sights.
I have described you the doctrine and some of the hypnotic exercises they use. Most people think 'i can't be brainwashed'. Most people ask, 'how did s/he get inside a cult? s/he's so intelligent!'. It is not about intelligence. If you are kept into a
sensory deprivation room (a room with nothing to stimulate your mind) for 14 hours a day, deprived of food, water, rest, sleep, by sunday you can be as smart as you want, you'll believe anything they say. The doctrine is confused and repeated obsessively. it will be incoherent. It will be contradictory. The last day they say, "by the way, nothing we said here is true!" - just an example. This contradictions are there on purpose to confuse the participants. The repetitions have the same purpose. The fatigue will not let you counter. The group pressure, the love bombing, the emotional abuses and highs will do the rest. Notes are not allowed because they help the brain to focus, they help your concentration and your critical skills. Everybody 'gets it' because no one is physically strong enough to resist that fatigue and pressure and manipulation at suffered at the same time for so long.
Lekkies actually say things like 'the forum is not for everybody'. BS. The only one who could consider themselves safe are people with handicaps or emotional problems, those who couldn't resist long and would probably sue after, since they won't be able to be indoctrinated or would suffer the most visible damages.
And beware: do not expect, from what i have written above, a chinese prison kind of brainwashing. I wrote the forum as it is, not as it looks like: at first glance, it is all ever so subtle, ever so gentle, ever so friendly, full of big smiles and happy faces and soft warm voices. You would never recognize it at a first glance. It really does look like an innocent, only a bit weird, seminar. These guys know their job. They bully you with good manners. They stop you from leaving with a lovely hug. I'm not saying they are hypocrites - tho most of them are. Some are sincerely nice, not even knowing what they're doing. The best one, the coaches, the leaders, the upper you go, the worse they are. They are the snakes.
People ask things like 'how can i keep the good things of landmark?', 'can i just use what works and drop the rest?'. Mostly lekkies use it, in the form 'you can pick up what you like and leave the rest'. Guys, that is completely off topic. You just missed the point and you're still a bit glued to landmark. In a cult the doctrine is not the point. Everybody likes peace, love and understanding. But you have to stop thinking things like 'landmark has good stuff'. It may be. After all, everyone is free to believe what they want. But a cult MAKES you believe. They push their doctrine into your head without your knowledge nor your consent. If you think that landmark has something good you maybe still believe in the doctrine. I'll try to explain my point with a religious analogy. Take the moonies (i'm reading about them in the wonderful book by Steven Hassan 'combatting cult mind control', which i recommend to anyone). They abuse of their members making them work for the group up to 18-20 hours a day. "Oh, but they have the Bible, i like that bit that says 'love your next like you love yourself'. Can't I just take the good parts and let the rest be?". If you think 'love your next' has anything to do with the moonies, though their doctrine is based on the Bible, and such a good lesson comes from them and it could excuse what they do than you're not that out of the cult yet. Same if still are attracted to the good things of landmark AS IF THEY WERE FROM LANDMARK. When i left landmark i didn't stop loving my friends and family. I didn't stop being open and honest with them. I didn't stop taking responsibility for my actions. I didn't stop keeping my promises - or at least doing my best to. THAT DOES NOT MEAN I KEPT "THE GOOD THINGS FROM LANDMARK". I refuse to see these things as something that they reveal and donate to people, 'just using bad methods'. It's not the doctrine. It's the mind control the problem, and it's inexcusable. Or is it right to emotionally abuse of people as long as you end with 'tell your family you love them'? Is it right to humiliate people endlessly as long as you back it up with 'i believe you could do great things'? Is it right to make people donate tens of hours of unpaid work with the only remuneration of 'making a difference'?. How can one ask things like 'can i just keep the good part'?. How can one remotely justify them, or give them any credit?
I have analyzed the doctrine of the forum in the other posts: avoid prejudice, avoid passive-aggressiveness, believe in yourself, dare yourself, be sincere, open and honest. There you have it, 'the good stuff of landmark'. Nobody needs to go through that manipulation to understand things like these. And personally i desagree with the lekkies when they say nobody is good like that before the forum - at least not for real or powerfully. Nobody needs to have their personality destroyed to get that. Nobody has to pay thousands of pounds over and over to be repeated that. And nobody as to be used as a tool to make their most loved ones victims too. But that's a point for the tuesday night.