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Please Help. I Need Information. Is Landmark Education a Cult?

Discussion in 'Scientology Front Groups and Alliances' started by pittny12, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. pittny12

    pittny12 Patron with Honors

    Please help! I have a close friend that is heavily involved with Landmark Education. I am not familiar with it but I had another friend tell me that it's a cult. Lately, she has been distancing herself from me and her other close friends. I researched what I could on the internet, but can't seem to find out definitively why it may be considered a cult.

    If there is anyone familiar with Landmark Education and if it is indeed a cult, could you please help me with your stories or where I can find more information?

  2. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Patron with Honors

    Check out Landmark Forum at Some of the entries might give a better idea.

    In my limited experience (an old friend is involved), Landmark Forum seems to have some cultlike qualities and it does tend to take over folks' time and alter thinking patterns, but in comparison to unambiguous cults, it seems a lot easier to walk away from Landmark.
  3. Hypnotarian

    Hypnotarian Patron with Honors

    Many people think it is. I've heard it referenced as "Scientology-Lite".

    Try Rick Ross' site. I think it's He's a cult expert.

    You should find stories of ex-members there.

    I personally don't think it's as bad as the CoS but apparently it can be bad for a fair number of people.

    I attended the initial seminar myself and admittedly got value from it but I left it at that...

    They were pushy and way hard-sell and even mislead me to get me to come in one day under false pretenses for their own purposes.

    I got into an argument with one of their representatives on the phone that really upset me-although I think I might have verbally bitched-slapped her pretty nicely using her own terminology and philosophy.

    Anyway, try that website I mentioned.

    Best wishes.
  4. CarmeloOrchards

    CarmeloOrchards Crusader

    It is EST renamed.

    It is a capitalistic group, not a cult.

    Don't sweat it.

    They do all the lower level Scientology, but don't sign anybody for a billion years.
  5. pittny12

    pittny12 Patron with Honors

    Thanks for the information. Is it something like a pyramid scam? She tried to get another one of my friends involved and when my friend passed on the opportunity she stopped speaking to her. After I was told this, it reminded me of my own disconnection that was done to me with Scientology. When I did see something written on about landmark referencing it to being like Scientology I got scared because she is really a dear friend to me. I dont really get the purpose of landmark education. It states that you become part owner in the company with no one owning more than 3% of the company. I thought automatically...pyramid scam. Am I completely off here? Is religion spoken of in landmark education?
  6. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

    The prior history of "Landmark Forum" is that it did "derive" from $cn.

    It's rather convoluted, but Werner Erhart took the $cn Communication Course tech level stuff and created the movement known as "Est."

    Werner was actually a powerhouse, upstat "Div 6" entry level public dissemination-type person in the San Fransisco area. Typical with the "church," is shat upon its best producers . . . and getting pissed, Werner took off to do "his own thing."

    He set up "Est" . . . . there is a lot of conjecture of the whys and whats of what happened next.

    Est flourished, it became quite a colossal enterprise, and all it was pitching was basically the "HAS Course level stuff of TRs 0-9"

    The bad news is that some practitioners of Est, running their own franchises and versions of "Est" perverted the basic materials to be applied in an abusive manner such that the doctrine was introduced that "anyone had to be able to experience anything" in order to be "free." and so, women on course had to be willing to be grouped or otherwise humiliated by idiot males in order to get "case gain." Etc., etc.:duh: :grouch:

    It became a classic example of aberrated human conduct run amok due to being given license.

    Such was the eventual outcry (and law suits) against his stupid shit, Est reformed, renamed and rebranded itself . . . it is now known as "Landmark Forum."

    I have attended some of their events to see WTF.

    In essence, my observation is that it is the same old, same old of folks wanting to tell you what to believe and what is true for you . . . and they are into making money.

    Landmark Forum is a money making, career making enterprise for the individuals involved, just like the Dale Carnegie enterprise nowadays . . . these cats have some info they believe is valuable . . . but, Landmark Forum, stemming from the heritage of the operation, they tend to be applying a lot of the pressure selling tech of $cn to get their "stats."

    And while they do use all the tricks of "creating in you the need to buy their stuff" . . . . they do not imprison you as the Cof$ does . . . though they will access, trigger and/or otherwise "masterfully" mess with your own feelings of need, ruin and considerations of needing the information they create in you the need to have to have :eyeroll:

    Realize Landmark Forum is the outcome of a long history of use of "mind manipulation skills" a la Cof$.

  7. Jachs

    Jachs Gold Meritorious Patron

    Good Post, Roger, kind of goes with the territory of DIV6 to use the hard sell
    enforce inhibit desire compulsive making disorder scio sell tech.

    why do you have to sell anything if its good eh.

    are there any Scn based groups without the DEI and whats wrong with you spin?
  8. Tom of Helatrobus

    Tom of Helatrobus Patron Meritorious

    I went to a intro seminar for landmark education. I also read Outrageous Betrayal, a book critical of Eckhart and Est. I would agree this is Scientology lite. The "forum" cost a lot, relies on techniques of wearing and breaking down the participants until they have a "breakthrough." There is a lot of peer pressure, love bombing and even some sleep deprivation. Still I think it is not nearly as bad as Scientology and isn't going to break up the family in itself. I'm sure there is some good stuff in there too. So might even be a good thing. I think I would have gone though the forum, except the cost was more than I wanted to spend. I said as much at the intro seminar before I walked out. They did a follow up call, when I said "thanks, but no thanks." After that I never heard from them again.
  9. BrianWashing

    BrianWashing New Member

    The following page shows the common traits for a cult:

    I used to be heavily involved with Landmark. I was an unpaid assistant for over a year. I can tell you from personal experience that Landmark is a very controlling group and they work at several different levels. First, they engage in ALL of Lifton's 8 criteria of brainwashing. This is what people experience in the FORUM and the ADVANCED course. In the third course, Self-Expression & Leadership Course, they teach members how to recruit ("enroll") new people under the guise of doing some type of personal project.

    Beyond the courses is volunteers who do all the work. You'll see these people seminars and Tuesday recruiting nights. They are the people in the back of the rooms with a zombie like expressions on their faces. At each office, there can be 80-200 volunteer assistants and maybe a small handful of actual paid workers. The volunteers undergo extreme pressure to serve the company (cult). It is not uncommon for these volunteers to become estranged from their family and friends because they become so involved in the Landmark thinking and Jargon that they get into a "them vs. us" mentality.
  10. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

  11. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    Welcome and thanks for your good post, BrianWashing!!
    Lurker5 likes this.
  12. Infinite

    Infinite Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller

    Thank you. I always wondered about a link between Landmark and Scientology. I can't lay my cursor on any DOX, but I have wondered about Amway as well. Although far less deleterious than flat-out Scientology, or even Landmark to some extent, Amway does have the indelible air of the cult-thinking about it.
  13. Voltaire's Child

    Voltaire's Child Fool on the Hill

    It's a spin off of EST.
  14. Motti

    Motti Patron

    Landmark is not a cult. It is a corporation. It does not have a guru or leader, does not solicit anyone to become a lifetime member, does not provide courses or seminars to keep you in for a lifetime. It has three major courses collectively called something like "Life improvement". The first and second courses are one weekend long. the third course is more spread out over a few months, once a week. Then they say to you "Goodbye". In addition they have a few small seminars, some of them for free for people who have taken a weekend course.
    The price of the major courses is about $550 for the first one, $650 for the second one, and $350 for the third one. Unlike Scientology where the price of courses and processes rises as you go up, into the hundreds of thousands.
    There is no soliciting for donations and contributions. Only for the courses. Their marketing is based on word of mouth - friends bringing friends, which they heavily promote. I have not come across any promise of comissions (FSM) to people who bring their friends in. So it's left up to the participants to decide whether they want their friends to take it too, without any financial interest.
    In all these senses, they are NOT a cult but a business who sells courses and seminars, and they proclaim themselves to be just that.

    The material is largely based on Hubbard's lower level material (The stuff that has earned the reputation of bringing results), plus other material. The format of a three day seminar from morning to night with some 40-120 people in the room has some advantages over Scientology courses or auditing: The participant realizes that other people have the same problems/difficulties that he has, and the dynamics that evolve in the group may serve to buttress the wins (gains) of the participants. In addition, the participants are required to implement what they've learned immediately in the break between sessions, so they come back with stories of how they applied it and how it worked. In this sense it is better than Scientology auditing where the person may have realizations (cognitions) but does not necessarily puts them to use in real life, so the gains tend to wane.
    As a person who had derived benefits from Scientology auditing and training, I appreciate the different mode of application practiced in the Landmark courses. It produces faster results for everyday life, costs a fraction of the cost compared to parallel gains in Scientology, does not tie you in to membership in a cult but rather come in, pay, get what you get out of it, and continue with your life.
  15. ClearEyed

    ClearEyed Patron with Honors

    Yes, it's a cult. As others have said, it derives from Scientology (which derives from yet earlier practices.) Landmark is the current incarnation of EST (Erhard Seminar Training.) There are beneficial aspects to it, or else no one would ever become involved with it. But whenever you see efforts to control other someone's thoughts and associations, you are getting a whif of eau de cult parfume. Your friend's behavior reminds me of the "FSM" program in the C of S. Field Staff Members received credits towards services by getting their friends and families to sign up (and pay for) services. There was often very heavy pressure on FSMs to reg their friends and family for services. It isn't unusual for someone to disassociate with a friend/family member who does not succumb to the pressure to join in. I think that this is especially true for a new practioner who is full of enthusiasm for whatever group or practice they've joined.

    The big difference between Landmark and C of S is that it's a whole lot easier to fade out of Landmark. Your friend will probably get over it soon. Be patient, but don't cave in to pressure to join in if you don't want to. Your friend may be done with the Landmark experience sooner or later.
  16. Oh my, here's another bullet I dodged, although I had to beat off several friends with a stick to do so. :eyeroll:

    They do love bombing, body routing, hard sell, etc. It's an outgrowth of Scientology. If you wouldn't do Scientology, don't do Landmark. The only thing that's missing is the Space Opera.

    Members do get breaks on prices for their own training if they bring in other new members...there is much peer pressure to both market and promote and work as a volunteer for the organization. (dingdinding...ring any bells with anyone here?)

    The upper levels or advanced training does cost a lot, and there is pressure to commit to doing them. Otherwise you're a jerk and running a racket on the group. :biggrin:

    Landmark is an updated version of EST, which is squirreled Scientology.

    Here's the Founder himself lecturing:

    Here are some commentaries by people who have done it:

    and finally
  17. Type4_PTS

    Type4_PTS Diamond Invictus SP

    Seems to be a bit of a conflict here. :omg:


    I've had my brain washed enough for one lifetime. I think I'll steer clear. :duh:
  18. RogerB

    RogerB Crusader

  19. freethinker

    freethinker Sponsor

    I know someone who did Landmark. The result was he was no longer bothered by his boss but he almost got to the point where he didn't care what his boss said to him, it didn't matter.

    I don't know what they do to you, but being detached is part of it.
  20. This is NOT OK !!!!

    This is NOT OK !!!! Gold Meritorious Patron

    Thanks Rog.

    Looks like they've had more success at proving they're not a cult than Scientology!