Landmark Forum… my experience :)

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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.

 

…had I not seen a blog post that Lori Painter made. She mentioned that someone who studied a LOT about psychology told her that in order to conquer her self worth issues, she needed to go 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.

 

But before I tell you about that, in order to understand this post, you need to know the forum runs for a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and then a Tuesday night “graduation”.

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!

 

Initially when I signed up for Landmark I had planned on staying the entire seminar duration. During Friday afternoon when we were asked to write down if we were able to commit to the whole seminar, I wrote down that there was a possibility I couldn’t stay that night. I figured I’d be bored and that the good stuff didn’t come till later on, because that’s what one of the reviews said.

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.

 

I mean, you can justify anything about anything… but my “mind control meter” didn’t ring at all during Day 1. :)

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.

 

He mentioned that he read the reviews and went full-on discussing how the possibility that Landmark uses crazy mind control techniques, manipulates people, etc.

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.

 

The content on Day 3 was AWESOME.

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…

 

Today is Monday morning. When people asked me how I liked my experience, I told them I didn’t want to give them any judgments until a month or so down the line. I told them I wanted to see how much I implemented before giving my word on anything.

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!

 

I know that for a FACT because people have posted negative reviews about one of my companies – and I’ve investigated their claims! So many people feel it easy to make an anonymous post (I consider a handle on a forum “anonymous” still). It’s no problem to sit behind a computer when there are no repercussions against how much they slander a company. What do they care if they lie?

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…

 

It’s now Monday night. I have the graduation tomorrow and I am stone-cold positive there’s going to be a lot of strong-handed tactics to get people to recruit friends. There’ll probably be enough to frustrate me. I don’t doubt it at all – my friends told me there were mind control techniques and I didn’t see enough yet to warrant their comments.

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. :)

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21 thoughts on “Landmark Forum… my experience :)”

  1. Hi there – I participated with Landmark Education off and on from 1994 to 2001. It was the time of my life. I learned so much and made so many great friends – many of whom are still beloved friends to this day. I had unparalleled support to pursue what was important to me. I pursued my education (2 masters degrees) and had a wonderful relationship with my daughter.

    My family was going through the work – so I did some fund raising and did the entire cirriculum for FREE. Its not designed to take your money from you – its designed to give you an invitation and tools to create your own life – something that MOST people do not believe in.

    Life is not perfect and can be downright horrible at times. People are so nasty about the mind control and brainwashing techniques – but honestly – no one chains anyone up and forces anyone to believe anything. They say “Try it on and if it works for you, use it. If it doesn’t, let it go.” I like what someone said earlier in the comments – what cult invites you to create better relationships with the people in your life.

    There will always be dissenters and ignorant people. There were people in my very own family who were telling others I was in a cult. It just made me think, “what cult are they in?”

    I loved my time at Landmark and miss the freedom completely. I loved how men communicated better and cared about relationship. I loved how women would pursue careers and rise in the ranks of their own personal power.

    No one can take your own mind from you. The neurons in your brain are always going to doubt good things, complain, treat people as fixed personalities, be negative, be cynical, be neurotic, and be resigned. As someone who hasn’t participated with Landmark in about ten years (graduate school took up a lot of time) I MISS IT.

    There are things I didn’t like – and things I did. But where else to you have ANYONE actually LISTEN to what is important to you, treat you as GREAT, and hold you to a higher standard? Nowhere else I have found – not even church…

    Blessings…

    Reply
  2. I know three people who have taken the stupid courses through Landmark. Run, Run Fast as you can out of there; before you disrupt relationships with friends and family. I hate what Landmark has done to my loved one. They are very decieving, clever, and manipulative….Please get out now! I can’t believe that companies actally hire them to inspire people. I am now a paranoid person about words like “transformation” Integrity”, “empowering” they makes me defensive just hearing them now; because of what they have done to my loved one. Please if you want transformation, find faith in God instead its free!

    Reply
  3. Hello all! I like this forum, i organize many interesting people on this forum.!!!

    Great Community, consideration all!

    Reply
  4. Hi Rachel,

    I am planning to attend the Landmark Forum, but I’d love to get the details of the Warrior Camp that you mentioned. Would you mind sharing the details?

    Reply
  5. Rachel,

    Thanks for your honesty in sharing your experience with the Landmark Forum. From the date of your original post, you took the Forum one weekend after I did. I took mine in Orlando, FL the last weekend of Feb. 2010. I, too, had read many of the on-line detractors leading into my Forum, but knew that I was enough of a “big boy” to handle myself given any mind-control or hard-sales tactics, so I went in with an open, yet still critical, mindset. I had also promised my sister that I wouldn’t sign up for any other courses during the entirety of the Forum (through the Tuesday night session)- she was wary. :-) Long story short, after just 27 hours of starting my Forum, during the first break on Saturday, nearly 30 years of angst, blame, and agitation towards my mother were completely eradicated. We had the best phone conversation we ever had about 12:15pm on Saturday Feb. 27, 2010. It’s now coming up on 11 months later, and there’s been no “back-sliding” whatsoever of my feelings or thoughts regarding her. I love her, period. In fact, I was just visiting her this past weekend and several times I thought about just how “crazy” I was before the Forum in how I thought about and treated her- so many years of waste!!! I believe many people’s negative experiences with the Forum are because they do not want to or fail to do what I was finally able to do during my Forum- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY LIFE!!! I saw that my mother had done nothing wrong at all, but I was still throwing my responsibility onto her. As you may recall during your Forum, accepting responsibility and being ultimately accountable are not normal modes of operation for us human folks- we always seem to have a “reason” for everything. :-) Now I’ve completed the Curriculum for Living and am looking to start the Introduction Leaders Program this spring. My continued involvement has not been a mindless, culty obedience to “sign up for the next course.” After each course I’ve participated in, I’ve asked myself, “Did I receive tangible benefit from this program?” Every time- absolutely! The Landmark Forum is the first big step in “peeling” our personal onions. Specifically, the Forum removes that outer husk of the onion, freeing us up. Each successive program I’ve participated in (Seminar, Advanced Course, and Self Expression and Leadership Program) has been a continual peeling of my personal onion such that I am even freer now that I was 11 months ago- more love, peace of mind, and engagement with those around me. In all likelihood, NEVER would have occurred on my own. And, on the financial side of things, compared with other programs available, Landmark’s offerings are dirt cheap. Thanks again for you post! Cheers! Big Mike, Melbourne, FL.

    Reply
    • WOW!!!

      That is so beautiful, Big Mike!! Thank you so much for sharing.

      Man, that’s so very awesome!!! You’ve totally warmed my heart :)

      Reply
  6. I took both the Landmark Forum and the Advanced course in Toronto. I used to be a very long, deep, and drawn out communicator and realized that I cared way too much about what people thought of what I was saying, and if I was smart enough, assertive enough, etc. The Landmark Forum helped me to stop making myself wrong for everything. It has helped me to communicate with much smaller boundaries of my self expression. Anyone who calls it a cult needs to consider this; If it were a cult, why are they asking me to reconnect with people in my life that have become ‘impossible’ to communicate with. Don’t cults actually do the opposite? Another thing to consider is, it is always easier to find negative feedback on a product or service than it is to find postive ones. This is due to our cynical outlook on life that that everyone is out to scam us. Most of us live our life with our heads on backwards and continue to make decisions based on our past. I no longer believe everything happens for a reason; it just happens, and that’s fine with me. I no longer have to rack my brain trying to figure our who I screwed to have something happen to me like a flat tire on my way to an interview, or my furnace stops working on the coldest day of the year. It just happened, and the Landmark Forum teaches you not to create a story as to ‘why’ things happen. Unfotunately I am committed to something that will have me cut this short. I intend to be back to let you know what else I got out of the Landmark Forum. Cheers!

    Reply
  7. Intersting review. Perhaps written too soon and too close to the experience itself and the claim of objectivity is surprising. You can only give your opinion, your subjective ‘take’ on the Landmark Forum’ course that you did. I am happy that you found it positive but many others do not. I am one of them.
    I also did the weekend Landmark Forum (in Ireland,in early 2010) and came to a different conclusion. The group work was impressive and certainly there are many positive, helpful things to be learnt, but the hard, relentless sell is wearisome, the jargon annoying and the philosophical foundations (Hegelian ontology?) very suspect. I am struck that a program for education elicits such extremist responses – either people call it a cult or support it unreservedly. Landmark Forum’s thinking is such that it allows no opposition. Either you adopt the Landmark world view or you are judged negatively. Surely any approach that does not allow dialogue or questioning of its premises raises suspicions.
    Also, any educational program that evokes such strong and opposite responses should cause one to be cautious.
    For myself, I participated in the weekend course and the 10 week seminar that followed. The weekend course presented much that was useful, while the 10 week seminar on ‘Integrity’ was an unashamed effort to get us to recruit family members, friends or strangers on the street to Landmark Forum. The tactics used were disrespectful and lacked integrity in my view. There are lots of other seminars on offer and Landmark Forum graduates appear to enroll for course after course with like minded people. No doubt many are helped by Landmark Forum, but there is a cost! If a person is vulnerable or fragile in any way, this program is to avoided.
    Would I recommend Landmark Forum? No, I would not.
    Do I regret attending it? No, I do not! It was cheap for the money.
    Has it helped me? Very little!
    Did it deliver what it promised? No, it did not in my case.
    Thank you for reading this review of Landmark Forum.

    Reply
  8. Aloha im fresh to this. I stumbled upon this website I find It vastly useful & it has helped me out tons. I should be able to contribute & help others like it has helped me.

    Thanks, See You Around

    Reply
  9. Hi! Sounds like a hell of a experience. How did your graduation day go? did you get bombarded with marketing techniques? I’ve also been looking into the whole Landmark Forum thing and I’m interested in also following a course. The only thing that is holding me back is all the negative sounds I keep hearing.
    You see the problem is that I’m a bit shy (or act like a shy person) and I’ve read some testimonials of people who are now totally 100% ok with just being themselves in no matter what situation there in after following the course. Did you experience a similar change in your mindset? The main thing I’m hoping to reach with Landmark is overcoming my shyness and finally living life to its full potential. Or basically gaining more self esteem. Maybe I’m asking to much from just a single course, but I would love to hear your view on this, since your a Landmark graduate with the most unbiased review I’ve found so far. Regards!

    Reply
    • :) Thank you for the kind words!

      I definitely think you can overcome your shyness from going to Landmark Forum. You might severely hate days 1 and 2, but by the end of Sunday, you’ll be blown away.

      I ended up falling asleep on graduation day, I’m sad to report. I’m sure there would’ve been tons of marketing techniques, but I guess I’m OK with that because of how good the content was.

      Your comfort zone is definitely going to be pushed a lot, I’ll tell you right now… but I think you’ll end up being happy. :)

      Reply
  10. What an INSPIRING post Rachel! I love you so much. It was fantastic talking to you today and hearing all the great epiphanies coming out of Landmark. You may just yet convince me to go!

    Reply

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