Insight vs Breakthrough from doing Landmark Forum
Date: January 22, 2003 01:19AM
I am back after a break, although I have been checking the boards and following the discussion. I haven't felt up to contributing - but I am here, now.
So, I did the Landmark Forum this past weekend and the conclusion is this evening. By background, my first LF was in 1996 and I did the Advanced Course in 1999. I have never done a seminar, although I am now signed up for one.
So, first, I wanted to get back to what I perceive you may have gotten out of LF. The problem, of course, is that I didn't know you before your experience with it.
From reading your posts, you seem like you are:
1. Well Read and Well Informed: you are well-read and well-informed about both your own medical conditions and LF.
2. Committed: You seem very committed to helping inform others about LF and about the experience you had with your therapist, i.e. the experience of being disbelieved and unknowingly (by your therapist) manipulated. Your commitment to informing others may be extremely helpful to folks who read about your experiences. I assume you also inform and discuss with folks in your everyday life.
3. Open-minded: Despite the miserable experience that you had, you seem to be open-minded to other people's experiences, to the fact that someone may get something out of LF . . .
4. Responsible for yourself and wellbeing: Additionally, you seem to have taken your medical issues by the horn and are not relying on others to tell you the real deal.
As I said, you may have been all of these things before LF, but it sounds like your experience was so intense and so unpleasant, that you have tackled the issues you discuss with tremendous vigor. I find that admirable.
So the LF weekend was fine. I am a federal criminal prosecutor by profession - I approached LF and LEC with cynicism and skepticism and did a lot more reading about it before I went this past weekend. So - things that drive me nuts about it are the evangelical nature of the format, the jargon, lexicon or whatever, and the invite everyone you know (and don't know) to Tuesday night and here-ever-after multi-level marketing stuff. None of my skepticism or cynicism changed and all of those same things drove me nuts this past weekend.
I nontheless decided to review LF because I did find it helpful the first time I went (less so the Advanced Course) and am hoping that it will be helpful this time around, too. Where I am in my life is I am 41, recently married to the most amazing person, disabled, in chronic-pain, not currently working. I come from a chaotic family with an alcoholic parent and was sexually abused as a child. I left home at age fifteen. In the past copuple of years, I had a horrible set of things occur in my work place (probably another website for that!) and have no interest in going back when I am medically able to do so.
So, why go back to LF: First, it was something to do. Second, Iwanted to meet some new people since I am home and isolated so much of the time. Third, LF/LEC staff and volunteers are very positive people with a can-do attitude. Finally, For the last year, I have not seen a professional future or satisfying personal future. For me, the LF concept of "story" and "racket" have been helpful - For example, I realize that every time I begin to think about a professional future or meeting new people, I make up about 4.2billion resons why it won't work, it'll never happen, it's stupid, it's pointless, people will ridicule me. . . blah blah blah. Did I know this before I went to LF? Yes. Did sitting through three days of other people explaining why they were destined to be unhappy help me examine myself more closely? Yes. What did I take away from it - a renewed sense that if I want something to happen in my life, it's up to me to make it happen, despite the 4.2billion reasons why I think or feel it won't.
I think you are fundamentally correct that LF does utilize cognitive behavioral therapy techniques (and probably others). Great book called the Feeling Good Handbook, by the way, outlines the basic principles and gives practical exercises in gognitive therapy. I won't call the techniques LF/LEC uses therapy, because therapy is designed to help people get well and feel better; I think LEC is designed to get people to think in a particular way and assumes that the outcome will always be "better" and, of course, it is designed to make money. Going back to the camera/film/Washington Monument analogy from my earlier post, I think the biggest problem with LEC is that people who attend the programs conclude (as LEC says its so) that LEC's viewpoint is the only one, the right one, the best one, etc. It's like folks completely abandon every ounce of comon-sense and life experience. Hello?
So - I guess my experience with LF is a mixed bag - I share so many of the concerns that other folks have about the consequences of running out into the world and using all the jargon on people who have no clue what you're talking about or droning on and on to anyone who will listen (i.e., close friends, family, people at the bu stop!). Isn't it still the individual who does that that is responsible for the consequences of exercising no independent judgment or discretion? I think a lot of folks who come to LF are fundamentally unhappy with themselves, their jobs, their families and their lives and are especially vulnerable to falling off the edge if given a push (or even a strong breeze).
I can relate, as I have suffered for depression for 10 years and I mean MAJOR depression; I see a pyschiatrist now. Isn't every individual responsible (whether vulnerable or not) for deciding whether to attend a program like LF and for exactly what they take out of the program? If I were so depressed as to be vulnerable, I wouldn't do Landmark or anything similar. I won't even watch a sad film or talk with any of the toxic folks in my family when I'm depressed, 'cause I know it could be the thing that pushes me over the edge in the great bottomless chasm.
Whatever else happens, I hope that anyone who has any type of bad experience - from LF to personal tragedy to professional disaster to bitter divorce - can find a way to enjoy the rest of their lives. I have a brother who calls himself a born-again Christian. Maybe he is - but he has spent since 1975 (27 years+), being angry and complaining about every single thing that has ever happened to him (and not to him) inside our family). It dominates his every waking minute. His anger and frustration have ruined his life. According to him, all of his siblings are going to hell. It's really sad to see him suffering. Whatever your experience with LF - live your life. Whether its for 15 minutes or the next 50 years - its your life and you deserve to be happy. Don't let the landmark kooks (as I call them) continue to dominate your thoughts the way they did during the LF. If you got something out of what they propose - great. If not - great. Even if all you got was that you absolutely do not subscribe to what they sell . . . at least you can take their viewpoint and put it in the garbage.
Anyway my arms are about done for the moment, although I still have lots to say!
Regards - K
p.s. Are you just dying to know whether I had a "BREAKTHROUGH" or transformation?