My friend wants to become a Forum leader but I hate LE.
Date: April 24, 2005 10:57PM
The situation has evolved somewhat. My Landmark girlfriend now puts me in this situation. Our relationship can continue if I promise I will never say anything negative again about Landmark. This is because she loves what she is doing, she chooses to do it and she will not stop doing it. In counterpart, she promises she will never ask me to do the Landmark Forum again. This looks like a fair deal, but I wonder if it makes any sense.
I then continue by explaining that I am not saying anything bad about Landmark (I’m walking on eggshells), but that I am only trying to share my concerns about the “influence” this may have on our relationship. She seems to accept the fact that Landmark has a strong “influence” on her, so that’s a good starting point for me. It has a similar meaning to saying Landmark is “manipulative”, but if I was to use that word instead, she would stop right there and say she doesn’t want to hear about anything.
So, from what I understand, the first step in the right direction is to be careful in our choice of wording. So we agree that:
- Landmark has a strong “influence” on your/our life.
This is where I am standing now. Next I need to explain about my concerns.
She says she is prepared to listen to my concerns if it’s about my own health or the health of my children. I indicated it is also about having a healthy relationship and open communication and she didn’t protest.
I am now exploring how I can clearly identify these concerns with a choice of wording that will be acceptable to her.
Some of my concerns are as follows:
- Because of her continuing participation in Landmark (she is now taking the Seminar Leader Program), she receives coaching on a regular basis, participates in events, leads introduction, etc… This is disturbing to me because I am under the impression that she is “working for free” for Landmark and that she is being exploited. This concern is not valid since it has no direct consequences on my own health or that of my children.
- My other concern is that this organization put pressure on their trainees to recruit more members (to enroll people in taking the Landmark Forum) and that all their “education” is about sharing their doctrine with others (comes down to recruiting). It is a pyramidal structure that infiltrates the family and workplace and it’s also about money (of course it’s a business). But again, this is not a valid concern, and she will not listen to this.
Of course, I could continue with a list of testimonies of people whose lives have been turned upside down etc…or the excellent report by Dr. Jean-Marie Abgraal (the French psychiatrist whose negative report was never published by Landmark), but these are just opinions of others and she will not listen to that. I understand her position, and I’ve been struggling with myself over the past few weeks to try and understand why I am being so righteous about my own opinion. After all, it is me who is driving me sick about Landmark by reading all this negative stuff and forging my own opinion based on other’s experience. I agree that this approach of mine may be inadequate and I accept part of the responsibility for getting sick over this. But don’t worry folks, I am not giving in. During the past couple of days, this is what I have discovered that could make a difference (I still need to communicate this to her … and I don’t know what her reaction will be) in the way I communicate with her.
In order for her to listen to my “concerns”, I have to put it in such a way that it’s only about my own health and the health of my children (I will not mention my children again, since they are not affected … and hopefully never will be). So this is what I have to say about the negative effect Landmark has on me.
“Resisting the Landmark enrollment is draining my energy and driving me sick, physically and mentally”
“I am afraid that in the long run it will have the same effect on my children, my family and my friends”.
I know she will reply that it is me who is driving me sick by reading all the negative stuff and by my righteousness to resist, not Landmark, and that I am running a “racket”.
Now (here’s the catch), trying to resist this last argument drives me even sicker, and there is no apparent end to this spiral. So that’s the fundamental problem for me that is affecting my life and psyche. The only way out of this is either to give in to Landmark (become a Landmarkian) or to reject the doctrine without any further discussion (running my racket). Of course, I will choose the latter, and in conclusion, I think there can be no relationship. I am being righteous, and she is being righteous, but we are on opposite sides. But what is inconsistent is she will say I am running a racket, but she is not. And this is driving me sick again.
Let me conclude by a little “logical analysis” of mine over the Landmark doctrine which explains why it doesn’t compute inside my own head and why it's driving me sick.
I think it is a fair assumption to say that the core principle behind the Landmark logical system is this:
G = “To say that the Landmark doctrine is a racket IS a racket”
This means that, “The Landmark doctrine cannot be a racket. Everything else can be”
The problem is that the formula G cannot be demonstrated (this is not an exact science). It must be accepted as the being the truth without any questioning (no critical thinking). If you accept G as being the truth, you will not listen to anything negative about Landmark because you see it as being a racket.
G = “To say that the Landmark doctrine is a racket IS a racket”
cannot be demonstrated means that the negation of G,
Neg(G) = “To say that the Landmark doctrine is a racket IS NOT a racket”
cannot be demonstrated either. I think it is fair to say we cannot prove our position either and it explains why, no matter how hard we try, we will never convince a Landmarkian that we are not running a racket when saying something negative about Landmark. You have to choose where you stand, and you cannot be in both camps at the same time, because you are running into a paradox. And this is why people are fighting so much and why relationships break down.
But here is a way out of this paradox. It is well know from the Godel theorem that when a formula G and it’s negation Neg(G) cannot be demonstrated, it’s because the basic set of axioms that defines the system are incomplete or inconsistent. That is a mathematical theorem that was “proven” by Godel in his 1931 publication, and this cannot be questioned. It is a law of nature and a mathematical truth.
Based on this, one must conclude that the
H = “Landmark’s logical system is incomplete or inconsistent”.
Note that formula H “is not and cannot be a racket” because of Godel’s theorem. The Landmark community has no choice but to accept formula H unless they can prove formula G which they cannot. But of course, they will not listen to this because it’s negative. This is a typical reaction coming from a cult.
This is my explanation as to why Landmark is such a brain teaser and why it is driving logical minds to go crazy. And this is why it is so unhealthy for me and my Cartesian mind.
I am not sure my Landmark friend will see some enlightenment in all of this, but I hope some of you who are reading this will.