I just finished my first 3 days at Landmark (I have “graduation” tomorrow), so I figured I’d post a wrap-up to how my experience was.
First thing’s first… it took me a long time to get to the Forum. I had a lot of friends that went there and recommended it, but for every positive recommendation, there was an atrocious review online. I twittered that I was considering going once and got all kinds of warning messages back.
Nobody I knew personally had anything bad to say about it – but for some reason I just kept trusting the reviews. When I asked my friends who went about the mind control I kept reading about, they admitted there definitely was some. They also said since I know influence tactics well, I should go and just be cautious, but that the overall content was phenomenal.
In retrospect, even Warrior Camp – which lord knows I recommend wholeheartedly – had mind control tactics… most things like that do… but for some reason, I was just really bothered by it this time. I think it’s because my “I freaking hate to be manipulated” meter was up… whereas with other things, the mind control comes unexpectedly so I can’t be cautious in advance.
I Probably Never Would Have Went To Landmark.
That was the final push for me to go, and so I signed up.
I am always looking to push myself to the next level, and self worth is something I could work on.
I Showed Up And Started The Mind Control Lookout.
With that out of the way –
When I first got to the Forum, I went in with a different mindset than I ever have before. I was skeptical from the getgo. I was so on the lookout for mind control stuff that it was incredible. The first thing I did was count the chairs in each row, multiply by how many rows there were, and calculated how much money the seminar was bringing in. I analyzed every word the leader said. I felt like a detective.
I Kept Finding Reasons To Get The Hell Out Of There, Too!
Because we had assignments during each one of the breaks and dinner breaks, I ended up being finagled into staying that night. ;) Our first dinner assignment was to go to dinner with some people from the forum. Once I committed to going with them, I felt like I needed to follow them back into the building when we got back from dinner.
To be honest, the entire theme of the weekend for me seemed to be committing in small chunks. On Friday I thought I wouldn’t go into the Friday night session, on Saturday I thought I might just quit, on Sunday I thought I wouldn’t go Sunday night, and it was today (Monday) that I decided I’d go to the Tuesday night graduation.
At the end of the day on Friday I decided…
There Was Nothing Fishy – Yet.
On Day 2, I didn’t outright see anything mind control-y either. I mean, there is some talk about “enrollment” which is getting people on board with the possibilities you create, but anyone’s going to tell you to have people in your life that support your goals. It’s common sense.
During Day 2, something cool happened.
A Guy That Went To The Mic And Told The Leader That This Was All A ‘Cult’ Full Of Manipulation Tactics.
The Forum leader engaged him and talked to him for probably about an hour in front of everyone.
I definitely had the feeling that the leaders were trained for these kind of things since ours (Jeff) seemed to have an answer for everything. Regardless of that though, the answers were good (enough), with the exception of one (in my opinion).
It may be a small detail – one I would have never even picked up if I wasn’t so on the lookout – but I’ll mention it anyway.
The dude at the mic, in an attempt to explain why Landmark would have a reason to use mind control techniques, mentioned that Landmark obviously makes a lot of money.
Jeff started talking about how he said the same thing when he was a student, and that he mentioned it to the people he went to dinner with on the Saturday night of his forum. Apparently some guy he was at dinner with was the VP of Training at a Fortune 500 company and told him that he had studied through hundreds of training programs, and that if Jeff knew “the truth”, he’d be shocked.
Jeff talked about how the VP was talking about how he had been through hundreds of the best training programs, and when he found out the price of Landmark, he thought it was per hour. When he found out it wasn’t per hour, he thought it was per day… then was shocked when he found out it was per weekend.
Then he started mentioning overhead, and almost making it sound like Landmark was not making anything or possibly even losing money.
The guy at the mic mentioned that you could go on Wikipedia and go through a tour of the San Francisco headquarters, and how magnificent it looked. He said he didn’t care that Landmark made money, but he just wanted to acknowledge that they did. Jeff said, “Have you ever been inside of that building?” The way he said it was like the headquarters were crappy inside or something (which I do not, at all, in any way, shape or form, buy).
Jeff was clearly trying to paint a picture of Landmark not making that much money. Most people just accepted what he said, and I think they really believe that Landmark is almost some kind of charity. That’s easy though – most because most people accept any reason why. It’s the classic Xerox example from Influence – “Can I cut in front of you to make a copy because I need to make copies?”.
I think Landmark makes a ton of money, and that’s fine – but I just don’t like to hear it being denied. I know that they don’t charge that much, but it doesn’t mean they’re not profitable. I have one word for that rubbish: Wal-Mart.
Anyway, towards the end of Day 2, I started learning some stuff. I definitely think I was blocking myself a little bit because I just kept being so suspicious of everything… but I did learn some stuff and I was very happy.
I would not have recommended Landmark to anyone at that point, but I did learn some cool stuff and figured it wouldn’t have been a total waste of time and money if that was the best it got.
On Day 3, the course changed for me – a lot.
My View Of The World Is Forever Changed Now.
Of course, that’s also the day when some ‘mind control’ stuff happened, although in all honesty, it was no worse than a pitch at the end of a seminar.
After we got back from dinner on Sunday night, Jeff tried to have us share with a partner the “creation of a possibility” about how our graduation on Tuesday night could go. Because you can invite people who haven’t yet been to Landmark on Tuesday (it’s when they recruit the new people), people were getting up and shared stuff like “I am creating the possibility of enrolling a million people and spreading the love”.
When I had to share – even after I had learned some AWESOME STUFF – I was still very cautious and on guard for mind control. I told my partner, “Sorry, but I’m not creating any possibility. I’m not bringing any friends, and I don’t think I got enough out of Landmark to recommend it.”
At that point I was also 99% sure I would NOT go to graduation. Despite the fact that I learned a lot and got an amazing new perspective change, I was still on guard and almost resentful of the forum. I figured mind control was looming around the corner, and since I hadn’t seen it yet, it was coming at any minute.
(I am normally not a conspiracist like this! ;)… in fact, I’m usually the opposite.)
Cut To Today…
With Warrior Camp for example, I saw immediate and enormous life-transforming changes, and I was measuring Landmark against that. Like I told my friend earlier today – even on my millionth recommendation of Warrior Camp, I still get just as passionate as I did the first time I told someone about it, and it’s been years.
I felt strongly that I was not willing to give a recommendation of Landmark until I had some time to digest it.
In the hours afterwords, I had lots of time to think objectively.
I was still very on guard this morning. I was still thinking that mind control was looming, ready to taint my views of what I had learned. Because of that I was not ready to give Landmark credit yet. I was honestly not ready to allow myself to accept getting a lot out of Landmark because I kept thinking about those damn reviews.
In all honesty, I expect that graduation is going to prove that a lot of those reviews have merit.
That being said, I also realized that I need to take a more well rounded view of things.
85% Of People Who Post Negative Reviews Are Outright Lying!
So that being said, I’m a bit disappointed in myself that I let those negative Landmark reviews affect me so much. I’m especially disappointed that I wouldn’t allow myself to be OK with Landmark considering:
1. I’ve seen firsthand that people lie when reviewing companies
2. All my friends that went – personal, real life friends – SAID THEY GOT A LOT OUT OF IT
So Now, For My Overall Opinion…
That being said, I will wholeheartedly recommend Landmark anyway. That’s because I DID see immediate and (for me) beyond drastic changes in my behavior already.
First of all, I’m going to Mexico tomorrow. I was in such diet mode for the past few weeks, thinking I needed to look good for my bikini, and that I wouldn’t look good until I reached a certain weight. I tell you, I have NEVER… NEVER, EVER, EVER been 100% OK with what I looked like. There are definitely days when I have “I look cute!” days, but in the back of my mind, I still saw myself as 250 pound Rachel. Today when I looked in the mirror, not only did I feel beautiful and confident, but I ate whatever I wanted – even though it’s thisclose to Mexico and I would have told myself before that potential bloat could ruin a bikini.
Also, I decided to NOT take my computer to Mexico. Burn Your To Do List had been kicking my butt for a while and I was making myself feel very guilty about taking a week off – like I’d be letting down people on my team, that I didn’t deserve to take the time off yet, etc… but Landmark really helped me see that I create my reality in a way that no book has been able to.
Obviously I cannot tell you what’s going to happen a month down the line – and I will do my best to make a follow-up post (feel free to prod me along if I’m taking a while) – but I can tell you that as of this point, I would recommend Landmark, that I think I am forever changed (time will tell for sure), and not to believe everything you read online. :)
I would also say to take what you want from it and disregard the rest. Like I said, I still do expect heavy recruitment techniques during graduation – no doubt about it – and I hope it’s not so obnoxious that it takes away from the content of the forum. At the end of the day though, I decided that I am going to take what is useful for me from the forum, disregard what is not, and stand by my recommendation.
Look out for more posts down the line about some cool things I learned. :)