Friday, 15 August 2008

What Are the Concerns About Landmark?

Here is a brief survey from Apologetics Index.

What Are The Concerns?

A Landmark critic sums them up as follows:

To round things up, everything in short:

1. THE BAIT
A friend/relative tricks you with the most sincere words into attending an introductory meeting, while appealing to your trust and curiosity, or actual weakness, or all of the above.

2. THE TRAP
Group pressure techniques and wordplay are used upon you and at least 100 more people in 3 days, during which, proper rest and natural needs are denied from you.

3. THE EFFECT
Overwhelming. Might lead to personality disorders. The Forum becomes the most important thing, not its outcomes. You might become a zealot for the Forum (without even registering for the advanced courses), or addicted to it by registering for more, or both. The real effect, most importantly, is economically beneficial to the Forum (unless, of course, you lose your mind and sue them...)

5 comments:

GuruTruth said...

You are awesome. Keep up the great work and keep on writing and informing the public!

Skeptik said...

Thanks gurutruth. It needs to be told and I shall keep on doing so. Let's hope the world isn't too deaf or blind.

Tourlia said...

I went last week to an introductory Landmark meeting. I did not sign up for the seminar. Concerning your three points:
1) My friend didn't trick me, since he believes in Landmark, and he's a real friend, not a fake friend.
2) a. Group pressure techniques sound sinister, but could actually be what a person needs. I'd have to take each instance on a case by case basis.
b. I have heard stories, only online though, about the denial of rest and bathroom breaks. Since my friends never experienced that, I wouldn't work myself up over that.
c. I'm not sure about "wordplay", but they did introduce a lot of new lingo. I could deal with that. I'd just make sure that no one was trying to pull a fast one. (I was skeptical about their "don't know that you don't know" shtick.)
3. Yup, my friend is a zealot for the Forum. He's convinced that everyone who leads the forums are in it for the altruism instead of the money. I suspect he's mistaken, but I really have no basis on which to prove him wrong.

One thing that bugged me: Every now and then, the speaker would share a fresh insight. Truly a good insight. The insight wasn't new to me since I'm pretty well-read. There were some "ahhs" from the audience (of about 80 people). More than just some "ahhs." I had the nagging feeling that the inviters had been coached to ahhh at the right moment. I really wish I had a video of who was ahhhing to see if they were all the inviters as opposed to the invitees.

Anonymous said...

thanx so much, i was pushed into attending an introductory session and i hated the whole cult atmosphere and fake smiles and robot behaviour! when i said i had to leave early they looked at me with disgust lol

Randel Metz said...

It's so great that you're doing this blog, thanks!

I did EST in 1976, and was an "esthole" for a while, then grew out of it. It wasn't a complete waste of time - one thing I learned that stuck with me is how to resist sales pitches.

Now, I've got some friends that are total LandmarkBots and it's so funny to see them beating the bushes for new recruits. People who they have snubbed for years have called me and said "why are they suddenly calling me again, trying to get me to go to this landmark thing?"

A good response I've used and shared with others is: "I get what you're saying, I've researched it, and I'm not interested."

Another good one is: "I get that you are under tremendous pressure to enroll new people, and I'm saddened to see someone I care about being bullied - but I'm not going to participate."

Don't offer "reasons" - they have canned responses for every conceivable reason. Just hold your ground, look them in the eye, stay calm, and say "No." When they pressure with "why," just keep calmly repeating the above suggestions. Smile too, it drives them nuts.