Thursday, 8 January 2009

Landmark the Ponzi Scheme

With the exposure of Bernie Madoff and his $50 billion Ponzi scheme, someone ought to do the same with Landmark. It's fundamentally a pyramid scheme always depending on new recruits to boost the income. When journalists have attempted to obtain financial information about Landmark, their attornies start the heavy breathing act.

Rachel Jones of Noseweek in South Africa asked Landmark for a simple set of accounts detailing the costs of a Landmark Forum and its profits. She was concerned about the high costs relative to the actual cost of such a program. Needless to say she wasn't given the information, only threats and evasiveness by its executives.

Besides conning actual cash out of its acolytes, Landmark has one extraordinary trick up its sleeve--volunteering. They run something called the "Landmark Assisting Programme". An Australian woman, Jessica, living in London described her venture with this. Not only is it duplicitous but it is greedy and mendacious too. This is one of the reasons Landmark was thrown out of France and Sweden.

Landmark, a for-profit, company doesn't even want to pay the minimum wage. How cheap can you get? But people like Jessica, professionals in crisis as I've said before, are the prime suckers for this. There could be hope for her yet.

Read on....


November 23rd, 2008 · No Comments

Attention, Landmarkers. I am running a racket.

Attention, non-Landmarkers. Running a racket is top-secret (not really) Landmark Forum jargon for someone or something is getting on my nerves and I would like to whinge about it in three, two, one:

My Landmark Forum In Action seminar leader called me last week. I was at work, and rather busy, didn’t want to talk to anyone at all, and especially not anyone Landmarky. Talking to Landmarky people means that I have to have things like integrity, energy and responsibility. Three things best left alone on a Monday morning.

“Hi, Jessica? It’s ****. Are you interested in doing the Landmark Assisting Programme?”

“Um. What?”

“We really need assistants for some of the seminars.”


“We’re desperate.”

“Oh. When do you need someone?”

“This Thursday night. Can you come? It would really help us out.”

“Um. Sure. What time?”


“See you then.”

“Oh, that’s great! We’ll see you on Thursday. Thanks!”

Actually, I’m not at all interested in the Assisting Programme. The Assisting Programme is for Forum graduates who want to climb the ranks of the Landmark elite, ruthlessly clawing their way up out of the writhing pit of volunteers with their endless stories of rackets, breakdowns, breakthroughs, transformations and all manner of jargony life moments they’ve experienced since the forum. In short, they want jobs.

But I like my seminar leader. She’s sensible and intelligent, and she said she was desperate. So I decided I would go, because I told her I would, and because I have lots of Landmarky integrity these days.

Cut to 6:30 on Thursday night. I am prepared for a hectic night of running around the way I have seen assistants do on television. I march into Landmark Forum headquarters on Eversholt Street near Euston station to find a suspicious number of people milling around, all of them wearing name badges that say ‘Assisting Programme’.

“Hi, I’m here to assist. What can I do?”

“Oh!” A look of bewilderment. “Great! Um… go see that guy in the grey shirt.”

I approach the guy in the grey shirt. “Hi, I’m here to assist. What can I do?”

“Oh!” A look of bewilderment. “Great! Um… go see that guy in the blue shirt.”

I approach the guy in the blue shirt. “Hi, I’m here to assist. What can I do?”

“Oh!” A look of bewilderment. “Great! Um… see that girl over there? The one writing the intention of tonight’s session on the whiteboard?”

I look over. There is a girl writing a couple of sentences on a whiteboard in huge letters. She is taking approximately one minute to write each word. “Yes.”

“Do you think you could read out the intention of tonight’s session to her so she can write it without looking at it?”

A look of bewilderment. This time from me.

“Yes. I think I can do that.”

I’m so glad I could help Landmark in their hour of desperation. Nobody reads aloud like me.