28 Comments

  1. My parents went to Landmark several many times when I was growing up. For a while they were weird scary shell people. They tried to get me to go when I was maybe 12? I ended up dipping out.

  2. I was brainwashed by them to an extent. They create an atmosphere that makes you feel happy and enlightened but that isn't really in line with the real world. I remember getting absorbed into their mentality and that I had to keep coming back and paying for more sessions or volunteering at events just to keep chasing that high I felt when I was part of the group and embracing that message.

    In the end, it was a waste of time and really taught me nothing that I didn't already know. All I know is that me and most people I met there ended up regretting it one way or another.

  3. A coworker took me to an introductory session back in the 80s. The pressure to sign up for a course was horrible and relentless. I said “not right now” and they blasted me for not wanting to make my life better. I was so uncomfortable I finally turned and left while the person was telling me what a shame it was that I didn’t want to take responsibility for my life. Great way to get customers.

  4. A bit of message and thought control happening here, the all wise and omniscient illiminaughtii is deleting comments that do not praise and agree with her brilliant opinions. That's rich. Cultish I might say.

  5. my mum has been fully into landmark since before i was born and so i was raised using a fucking weird jargony vocab that i still dont understand. When i was about 11 i think, she took me and my sister to london to do the youth seminar where two things really stick out in my memory.
    First we were told that every time we sat down we gad to sit with someone new which they said was so that we wouldn't talk over the speaker.
    Second was that they told us so, so emphatically that "your parents owe you nothing. And you will always owe them everything." which is so fucking damaging, especially to kids who's parents do/have abused them.
    My mum has since hopscotched from seminar to seminar, self-help group to holistic business success group and theyre all so similar i genuinely cannot tell them apart and theyve all kind of mixed together in her head so much that i feel like she has a completely unique language so any conversation i have with her feels like im talking to someone with whom i only share a second language that neither of us speak particularly well.
    More recently, about 2 years ago, she brought the family to an introduction.
    At the beginning we were encouraged to talk to the person sat next to us so i got to know a really nice girl who later on went up to speak and really opened up about her depression and suicidal thoughts until she was interrupted by the course leader who told her in no uncertain terms that it was all just in her head and that she was choosing to experience it, before dismissing her back to her seat.
    Didn't improve my impression of the forum much and thankfully most of my family felt the same except of course my mum who defended it saying it was just that speaker.
    TLDR not a fan.

  6. My brother was in it and would just called everyone in the family all the time to spend money on it, that he and we didn't have. It was so crappy I felt I lost him. He's out now, he still happy with it, but our family was not. I looked at it as a cult. Cause it is.

  7. Gaslighting The Movie? Like seriously, taking responsibility for your actions is important. But not everything that happens to you is your fault. And in many cases, there's split blame. My partner and I operate on the idea that you should take responsibility for your actions and work to change problems that you personally create. But as long as you do this, you're not gonna get judged.

    For example, I had never put myself first in my life due to parentification, trauma, and mama bear instincts. When I was given that freedom, I took it too far. I definitely got selfish. I didn't hurt her directly, but I put my needs first all the time, which made her feel burnt out and unappreciated. She called me out on this. I ofc felt a bit defensive at first, but I realized what I'd done and apologized. Now I actively work to make sure she's feeling loved and cared for even during times that I want to just lay in bed and have her cook dinner or something. I made sure she knows she can call me out on it, and she has. The balance is way better now, and I monitor my behavior for this still a year later.

    If she had yelled at me or insulted me or insisted that I was inherently a selfish person, I don't think I would've listened. I would've felt more defensive, been angry, and my trauma would've resurfaced. If this was a rando 3rd party doing this, I would not only have all that but also not feel safe due to not knowing the person well. I'd probably have a panic attack. And I generally have memory lapses around panic attacks. Let alone the fact that it would've been in front of a crowd.

    Google says their weekend costs over $600. With insurance, my therapy costs $20 per 1hr session. That's 30 hours of real, licensed therapy. Or you can go to a calm support group for free. Or if you're coming from abuse, there are free therapy and support group programs for that. Or you can go on a damn facebook group and get better advice.

  8. And what of the 2+ million considerate, respectable rational free thinking adults/customers from all strata and walks of life who have done EST or/and Landmark programs who ignore these tiny, noisy, 'everybody got conned/duped but not savvy/smart me', "cultish" agreement/opinion parties/congregations on YouTube?

  9. I very briefly dated a guy that was involved in Landmark. He had to go volunteer for them almost every other weekend.

    He also had weird conversation. Like he always repeated what you said before he responded. It was like you were doing a psychological counseling exercise when you spoke to him (Example: "What I heard you say was (insert what you just said), well I feel…"). Just so weird and I knew he learned it from Landmark.

  10. Blair, won't you attend and report back? The opinion of someone with you knowledge of these things and fortitude would be great to hear.

  11. A 'therapy group' that uses cult techniques and people are comparing to Scientology on their own accord?

    5 bucks says the head was actually in Scientology at one point, but wasn't high enough in rank and decided to make his own fringe group. The coincidences are too vast in number to dismiss them as mere coincidences anymore. They are TRENDS and need to be treated as such. Shut the whole thing down, get everyone who goes there to seek ACTUAL HELP, and flat out lock the people in charge up. This isn't funny, this is disgusting, and as someone who currently has issues with reaching out for any help whatsoever, this kinda BS pisses me off to no end.

    As usual, great video Triangle Mom!

  12. TL;DR: It's not particularly good or evil, a lot of it is basic mindfulness and self-help techniques. But they are too pushy with their referral program to participants, and that makes it a little MLM/Cult-y. It's not necessarily "mindwashing" (you can pick and choose which parts work for you) but unstable should tread carefully with them.

    I did the Landmark Forum when I was 19 and the Advanced Course when I was 21, after both my parents had gone through it. It honestly wasn't that bad but I think I had one of the best instructors. It's just like basic mindfulness and self-awareness, noticing your thoughts, questioning whether or not they're true/serving you, taking ownership of your own life and how you contribute to the relationships in your life instead of feeling trapped because someone else is a certain way. I think since I took it at such a young age it helped lay the foundation for me for later self-realization work I did in the rest of my 20s. It's by no means a panacea, it definitely provides a high for the days and maybe weeks after attending but thats obviously short-lived because, you know, life keeps happening. I can definitely see how one, people come out of it with that runner's high one gets from processing their emotions (especially if it's the first time they've ever done that in like 50 years of life) and then they act really annoying and "enlightened" to all the people in their life. They're also pretty pushy about inviting your friends and family to your "graduation" where they basically try to sell them on doing the forum themselves. That's the culty-ist, MLM-y-ist part for sure. If they really believed in the merits of the experience, they don't have to be so pushy and salesy about bringing your friends, people will naturally go out and invite their friends…. that was definitely my biggest qualm with it. I could also see how some people who are mentally unstable can't handle that level of intense self-inquiry, but what can you do about that really? There are lots of self-help seminars, weekends, groups, etc out there and there are lots of unstable, narcissistic, or otherwise unhealthy people out there that will gravitate towards those type of things for the wrong reason, should the organization be held completely accountable for that? I don't know. What I do know is that when I went they give you plenty of opportunity to leave if you don't want to be there or if you feel unsafe or unstable, especially in the beginning. They really drove home that this is not for everyone and if you want to leave they will give you all your money back—but you could also say that is a type of manipulation to get people to buy in even deeper….. I don't know my take away is it can be helpful if you are mentally strong, rational, emotionally adept, and generally stable then you can take the bits that work out of their teachings and leave the rest, but not everyone is capable of that.

  13. I've completed both the initial Forum, the Webinar Course and the Communication Course a few years ago. And, yeah, I can pretty much confirm all that is stated here. Personally, my experience with the program was very positive and surprisingly insightful. Not worth the grand it cost me, sure, but I would say that I'm better off for it. What I found very off-putting however, were their insanely aggressive sales tactics, forced recruiting and very cult-ish lifestyle. Long story short, the liberating experience they can help you achieve is smothered by the shear pressure of singing yourself and everyone you know up for the next round of expensive seminars. And at that point, they really hate when you use what they thought you against them, which I found hilarious.

    Happy to share more if anyone cares. 🙂 Cheers!

  14. Cult Awareness Network is now a Scientology front. They got taken down by Scios in 1996, and became NCAN (New Cult Awareness Network), though they still go by CAN sometimes in an attempt to convince people that they aren't up to anything shady.

  15. I went to a landmark forum test class kind of thing and it definitely had cult/MLM vibes Immediately even though my friend swore up-and-down that this was not either of those things I realized that I shouldn’t be friends with this person anymore at that point.

  16. It's definitely some sort of brainwashing thing, a cult without many things that constitute a cult, but it definitely has a brainwashing effect: fasting, withholding water, reducing distraction to a strict minimum and abusive behavior from leading staff will brainwash all kinds of people from optimists to skeptics.
    And suing cult-identifying organizations for calling them a cult confirms they have a nefarious cultish agenda, even if they weren't a cult.
    If they didn't, they'd have like, talked or negotiated like nice people.

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