ED Magedson – Founder
Landmark EducationToronto, Ontario Canada
Landmark is a Rip Off
To their credit they do use some sophisticated concepts they have borrowed from socio-linguistics, anthropology, and esoteric traditions (i.e. Buddhism, Sufism, Kabala, etc) that for many people are very interesting and can be a turning point in their view of life; however, you can learn about these concepts by reading couple of books (or if you have the chance take some socio-cultural anthropology and socio-linguistics courses). My point is $600 is way too much when you can learn them (in a more profound and scientific way) by reading academic books.
first says that all the problems in the world today are an ex-solution; for example, air pollution caused by cars today once was a solution to horse feces on the streets. A few minutes later, however, he convinces the audience that if they want to be big people they need to play big, and playing big means they need to find big problems to solve. The already tired audience are blinded to the contradictions of his two arguments: if solution for every problem will turn into a new problem, then what is the point? Logically speaking, solving a big problem means creating another big problem! And of course, he refuses to answer any conceptual question precisely because he does NOT want people to think critically. Critical thinking, by definition, nullifies brainwashing, which is the major mechanism operated in Landmark.
breakthroughs or breakdowns?
They make people recall a dramatic experience in their past which usually make them cry. Generally speaking, human beings experience a feeling of lightness in their chests after they cry. The landmark coach shrewdly uses this opportunity and calls it a breakthrough and make the person believe that they are transformed as of now.
Landmark works like a religion:
Another technique they use in Landmark is the same that many religions use: if you are a non-believer there is something wrong with you. This technique particularly works for those who strive to gain approval by the group. The weaker personalities who cant stand standing alone and always run with the crowd since deep down they dont trust their own judgments and/or their own abilities. They also designed the system in a way that whatever you accuse them of, they project it back on to you. So less courageous personality types prefer to shut their mouth or even worse convince themselves that they do not see any problem with the coach or other enlightened Landmark grads. Simply put: the system works on the principal of one who doesnt see the kings clothing is stupid
Two classes in Landmark:
Landmark is constituted of two classes: the cons (the very few paid employees) and the fools (the volunteers). They make extra money by making their already brainwashed graduate students work for them for free. They also save money by advertising through their students rather than more conventional methods of advertisements.
As an anthropologist (who also have some socio-linguistic background), I was fully familiar with the concepts used in the course (the only useful and non-bullshit part of the course). So I went to Jerry---the coach--- and told him that I did not gain anything new from Landmark Forum. He said he would help me to have a breakthrough and if it didnt work he would give my money back. So he started shooting random attacks at me just to see which one works. He called me a liar, a smart rat, sad, lonely ...(I dont even remember the rest)...none worked because deep down I either knew they were not true or my ego was not threatened by them. Long story short, at one point I self doubted myself and I gave in. He shrewdly used that momentum and made me open up to him to tell him some bitter memories of my life. He then told me that I had trust issues. So, I declared I was letting go off my mistrust while symbolically I let go of a piece of chalk. Being emotionally tense, I then shed a few tears. Less than 10 minutes later, however, when I calmed down and started thinking straight again and reviewed the whole thing, I realized I still mistrusted Jerry and Landmark even more than before. I went back to Jerry and told him I still didnt trust him so I did not have a break through, so I want my money back. His answer was you did have a breakthrough because you cried! Apparently, In landmark vocabulary emotional breakdowns means breakthroughs. Not to mention the paradox here.
I dont deny that some people could improve their life to some extent after taking the Landmark Forum. My quality of life improved in the past couple of years as a result of studding anthropology and socio-linguistics as well as my readings on Sufism and Buddhism. However, as I said earlier, the only useful part of the forum (these concepts) can be found in academic (or good popular) books which in total cost less than $80. So, unless you cannot read books, spare yourself $500 and dont expose yourself to brainwashing machine of Landmark. They dont only make financial damages, but they have potentials to make psychological damages as the coaches are very skilled in breaking down people, especially if you resist and challenge them.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/10/2010 03:27 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/landmark-education/toronto-ontario-/landmark-education-landmark-forum-rip-off-my-money-600-brainwashing-psychological-da-630331. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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