Monday, 2 March 2009

Is Landmark All About Interpretation?

Landmark Education is frightened of criticism, as is Scientology (to which it's related). It will do all in its power to stifle criticism including law suits. Why is Landmark so scared? Why does Landmark refuse to open itself to scientific inquiry and therefore legitimate itself?

I use the term scientific inquiry carefully. Landmark has some attempts at research on its website. Don't be fooled as these are not impartial, disinterested research projects undertaken on Landmark. They are paid for boosters of Landmark's methods by academics who wished to make a quick buck. Not too different from those who research the products of pharmaceutical companies and always seem to come with results that support Big Pharma's case.

Landmark can't have legitimate research because simply it would expose it for the sham it is. Cults rely on faith and foolishness. The genius of Landmark--and it has one otherwise it wouldn't make all that money--is to dehumanize people before they are led into the glory of how Landmark can fulfil them.

Landmark Forum Critic puts the whole thing very pithily:

The Landmark Forum in 3 Easy Steps:

Friday Morning: Eliminate dissent.

Saturday Evening: Sacrifice the most talented woman.

Sunday: Find a scurrilous nobody and crown her queen.

It's like witnessing a murder and not saying anything about it. The result can last a lifetime. An honest audience turned into a group of frauds in just 3 days. Now that's transformation!

The point about Landmark is that it uses the techniques of interpretation, for that is one of the purposes of the Socratic method, to instil its worldview into the gullible. Of course we all engage in interpretation and we realize that some arguments may be stronger than others, but they achieve that status on the basis of logic and reasoning, not dehumanization or "eliminating dissent." That is barbaric authoritarianism.

I compared Landmark's techniques to a Ponzi scheme based on one adherent's experiences. Jessica, the adherent, took umbrage at my interpretation of her experiences. She said that was not what she meant. If that's the case, Jessica needs to write more carefully and articulately than she has. There is no restriction, mental or spiritual, on interpretation unless it takes place within the confines of a prison.

Maybe Jessica will learn that Landmark is a kind of Ponzi scheme and the feelings of dissociation that she has from being away from home in a strange city, unsure about her job, not knowing how to deal with homeless people will not be answered by Landmark. She must know herself. Certainly by the time Landmark is finished, she won't have any money to contribute to the cause of the homeless.

No comments: