Monthly Archives: April 2018

Landmark Forum Recruitment – Creepy As Hell

A previous post contains a number of sources detailing what this organisation really does and how it hounds its seminar attendees to recruit others, including family members and friends.

It’s no secret “converted” business owners put pressure on employees to sign up; it has come out in the press repeatedly. The French documentary they managed to take off internet platforms also featured a doctor who had been pushing everyone around him to attend, as shown in the transcript, available here.

LAURENT RICHARD

Who did you enroll?

JACQUES

My whole family. My wife, my kids, my associate, my assistant.

NARRATOR

But this doctor doesn’t only enroll people close to him. With trust built through common experience, he reveals that he’s been recruiting well beyond his family circle.

LAURENT RICHARD

Your associate is a surgeon?

JACQUES

Yes.

LAURENT RICHARD

Is she signed up for The Forum?

JACQUES

Well, she hasn’t signed up yet, but she’s coming to the presentation.

LAURENT RICHARD

There are a lot of doctors here!

JACQUES

Lots! You saw them. Doctors, nurses, psychiatrists.

LAURENT RICHARD

Why are there so many doctors and nurses?

JACQUES

Because we’re all in the shit. When we’ve tried every possible treatment on a patient, and they’re useless, what do we do? We give up. We do nothing. We don’t care. And it bugs you.

NARRATOR

In a few seconds this doctor admits that he just sent his first patient to Landmark Education.

JACQUES

You share it with the patient. And I can tell you, these guys are great for enrollment.

LAURENT RICHARD

Just like that? A patient you see?

JACQUES

I did it. Just like that.

LAURENT RICHARD

Meaning?

JACQUES

I did it once. I said, I can’t let him miss out on it. It’s too obvious that he needs it. So I told him about it. But I kept him guessing. I told him, “What you need is relaxation, self-confidence.” “Oh yes,” said the patient. “Well, there is something that could interest you.” I don’t know if he did it, I didn’t ask about it. I didn’t take responsibility.

LAURENT RICHARD

Did you want him to do it?

JACQUES

Oh yes. The guy needs it. If he does it, he’ll be transformed.

What they do to people’s minds in such a short time is morbidly fascinating, and not a small phenomenon by any standards; according to Landmark, 2.2 million people have gone through the seminar (at least the first one). Its fierce defenders are outraged that anyone who hasn’t taken part feels the need to issue an opinion.

However, one only has to take a quick look at what comes out of there. The obsession, the missionary zeal, disregarding any inappropriateness.

“I just ran into one of these whackjobs on a blind date. I am not exaggerating when I say that ten minutes into the date she had invited me to come to a landmark seminar as a guest and that it would “change my life”. I was like…uh thanks anyways but I dont even know you, never heard of landmark, and I dont want my life changed. My life is my journey and no one steers my ship but me.” (YouTube comment).

In the online environment, it seems the only negative (or suspicious) appraisals they don’t flood with propaganda are on websites which don’t allow commenting. Anywhere else, they try to recruit, even when the author or OP is clearly not interested.

They are even targeting anonymously posed questions on Quora. Seriously. And not necessarily acidic ones. Take this innocently formulated conundrum of a fellow not knowing how to tell his enthusiastic “Landmarkian” brother he didn’t want to sign up (presumably after enough insistence on his brother’s part).

Post after post after post praising the forum and encouraging him to change his mind, even trying to guilt-trip him into going (it’s hundreds of dollars for a weekend of pseudo-psychology).

“So essentially you’re saying you don’t trust your brother and his good intentions.” 

“Maybe you realize that in the Landmark Forum you will confront yourself and live life with no excuses?  If that’s the case, you should be straight and tell him you are afraid of what you might learn about yourself and you aren’t willing to risk it.”

“He is asking you from his commitment of of making a difference in your life. You can tell him that I got your commitment towards my life and I respect your commitment. However my answer is NO at this point. However my suggestion is just go and do it. Perhaps, you may get from the Forum how to deal with people straight without hurting the relation.”

OMFG, these people are so creepy.

The guy was trying to get out of being pestered by a family member and their quick response was he actually needed Landmark, as if he were in need of fixing or something. They didn’t even know him, yet they seemed so sure of that.

In fact, that is exactly what they are taught – that every single participant is “inauthentic”, phoney, “without integrity” before completing the seminar (which translates as everyone outside of our group lacks integrity, a claim only made by cults).

“You are living lives of sham and illusion,” Condon assures us from his director’s chair. “Everything you do in life is meant to make you look good or to avoid looking bad. Everything. You are inauthentic. You have no integrity. Your word is worthless.”

It’s them on one side and the rest of the world on the other. They are the “saved ones”. No different than Jehovah’s Witnesses on that front. The attitude of forum leaders is gleefully regurgitated by minions, an example being this typical comment found on Quora:

“There is nothing dishonest about the Landmark Forum, anyone who says otherwise hasn’t taken the course. People who don’t take the course generally fall into the category of either knowing they can’t be helped, or knowing they don’t need the help (ironically the people in both those categories need the help the most). After taking the course I never paid a therapist again to waste my time and theirs. Hands down, taking the course was the best investment of my time and money… ever.”

In other words, everyone has a problem (literally everyone on this planet), especially those who don’t admit it, and the answer is Landmark.

Back to the article linked to above – a sinister technique is described, consisting of inducing despair followed by inducing euphoria, akin to Pentecostal churches where one is sobbing for their sins, then ecstatically praising God.

“Near the end of an endless day, Barry leads us in a visualization ercise about fear that goes something like this: We are told to close our eyes as he reads to us from what sounds like a bizarro relaxation script. “Imagine that are afraid of the person next to you,” he says. “Very afraid.”

He’s quiet a minute, lets the anxiety he’s inspired percolate. I start to hear uneasy, emotion-suppressing sighs.

“Now…imagine that you are afraid of everyone in the room. Imagine that you are afraid of every single person in the city of Oakland, hundreds of thousands of people.”

I’m sitting near the front of the room, and behind me, off to the left, I hear whimpering.

“Imagine you are afraid of every person in the United States.” The whimpering intensifies. “Imagine you are afraid of every single person, all 6 billion people in the world.” The whimpering becomes sobbing: further behind me someone might be hyperventilating.

“Don’t go unconscious!” he yells. “That’s just your way of checking out!”

The sobbing becomes wailing. And then, from right behind me, some lets rip a wild, primal, angst-ridden, high-decibel growl, like I once heard from my dog when she having a wild dream.

Then Barry says, “Just wait! There’s a surprise on the other side of this. Something absurd!” Sobbing, growling, and whimpering fill the air.

“Now, are you ready for the surprise? Imagine the person next to you is—guess what?—afraid of you.” Barry breaks into a giggle just this side of maniacal.

“Now imagine everyone in the room, in Oakland, in America, in the world, is afraid of you!”

The sobbing begins to turn to laughter. We open our eyes onto a world in which we are powerful because we don’t feel fear, we instill it. I guess. I’m not particularly moved by the ercise. But Barry’s performance has provoked in the group a hasty swing of the emotional pendulum that reveals an ever growing willingness to be led. I know everyone is tired, but their mutability disgusts me. I’d thought we were supposed to become more powerful here.

The all-knowing leader, mind you, is not a trained psychologist, but somehow he is able to induce a trance. Overtime there have been speculations regarding the use of hypnosis. Obviously, this mass hysteria would freak the hell out of anyone who was simply observing.

Another article on the subject is very interesting. Although it ultimately ends in a pitch, which I don’t quite get, the numerous comments, some posted as recently as this year, contain the experience of many with the forum.

“I was involved in Landmark Education for 11 years and I was a staff member before I left the organization. The most effective and confusing element of LEC is that within it’s philosophy is a lot of truth. Most of this truth is based in buddhist teaching. Landmark combines these insights with consumerism and lots and lots of shame. If you are unhappy, you’re in your “racket”. If you are hurt, you’re in your story. I once told someone that I was sad and he said, “Is that your racket or your winning formula?” Landmark discourages self trust and encourages you to judge yourself if you are anything less that joyous and “at cause.”

I literally just left an “Orientation” at a members house today, and I feel like I just escaped Jonestown.I was belittled for not coming up with a $200 deposit for the $650 forum. When I explained I had just lost my job and was struggling to survive, the member blamed me for my own misfortunes and continued to degrade me with a litany of personal insults. I’m like, “So, you want me to pay $650 to you NOW?!” (…)This practice seems to prey on vulnerable people. I was relentlessly recruited by a member after losing my job.”

“I’m a mother of a thirty year old son. It has come to my attention that since he’s been involved in the landmark forum for some time he has become very distant and lost still searching for a higher power even though he’s been baptized catholic. This forum has confirmed him and caused great concern over his well being and driven him into debt. The multi marketing companies that are built on hype led him into this scam convince him that he needs it to become successful in the business. I’ve been through enough to know that he’s become distant, hates ppl, lost all belief in himself even he’s become leader which by the way doesn’t pay a dime, and now he’s lost and more confused than ever! He paid money he couldn’t affford because he has integrity ( and they take advantage of that) for my niece to join a weekend seminar and when she attended in Manhattan became seriously ill with an appendix attack but the leaders didn’t give a damn about her and try to force her back into the room. This organization doesn’t give a damn about human life! They refused to give a refund until my sister threatened a lawsuit. I seriously wish this company would fall off the face of this earth! It’s a scam and I’m sick of wondering when or if I’ll ever hear from my son again!”

“Lord, one of their staff members pestered me continuously about signing up for the $700 (!!) weekend session, and when I told him I couldn’t afford it, he had the audacity to tell me I could borrow it from the bank or from someone in my life. When I continued to resist, he urged me to consider that something deeper, something unrelated to money was keeping me from signing up–and perhaps this was what was keeping me from achieving goals in life. First, how offensive to presume I haven’t been achieving goals in life, and second, yes it really is all about money. I have no urge to get into debt. How manipulative though, eh? Telling me that some unknowable force within me was causing me to resist signing up, and that force might be keeping me from happiness.”

“About a year or more ago I lost a great friend to Landmark She can’t afford to eat out but yet she can afford to pay them hundreds and hundreds of dollars to go to seminars to travel with others just like her to be enlightened and to tell me on a regular basis her truths which are nothing more than explanations of how she feels.”

“I have a friend who’s started the Landmark process, and two a few things she reported were hazard signs in my eyes: “I was wrong, i was so wrong…” Having been raised Catholic, i’m suspicious of any thought process that emphasises self-debasement.
She also has encouraged me to attend two ‘graduation ceremonies,’ and if I only started participating in Landmark, we’d have a ‘shared vocabulary.’ You can learn Buddhism for a lot less money, and you get bathroom breaks.”

“My girlfriend of almost two months who I think is a beautiful, smart and wonderful woman put me in a strange position! From first glance things are going good however since we first me has been urging me to join Landmark Education as it’s very important too her! She is 100% into In, she eats it, drinks it, recruits, volunteers and speaks of it religiously daily. (…)Now she demands I join Landmark Forum to reveal my bigger picture or loose her? Question is, what is Landmark Education doing to its paying participants? You see I’m very clear thinking person, so someone trying to hold my relationship hostage will not work on me. I’m stronger that and know when someone in trying to fool me into drinking the koolaid…”

“I have a friend who committed suicide after doing several Landmark courses – he discovered damages that needed far more care than Landmark was capable of supplying – they deconstructed his personality & he was unable to find his way back. It was appalling. And I know other people for whom the same thing has happened to their friends or family. It is irresponsible & dangerous to mess with people’s minds when you don’t know what you’re doing, & no one in Landmark ‘education’ has any qualifications in mental health, ‘Leader Program’ or not. As for putting children, whose minds are still just developing, under this strain – it beggars belief that anyone would do that.”

“I wish I could just vomit and feel better after attending half of Advanced Course for Landmark. I met nice people in the room. Accomplished, educated, interesting. My kind of people. The Forum Leader had the audacity to tell me that people only liked ME because of my accomplishments and did not love me. I told him he was wrong and he argued with me and told me I was ‘not coachable’ so I left. F*** him. F*** Landmark.”

“I have been hounded for three years to join this ‘sect’. I always politely declined because I smelled the shadiness of this ‘denomination’ from the beginning. I have dealt with at least 10 of these people. Each time, with no exception, the relationship with this group of ‘fanatics’, has ended poorly and each of them have had personal issues that requires professional help.” 

These are just a few of the comments, on that site alone. There are many others elsewhere. Another account described how the seminar leader was pushing a woman to call her ex-husband, whom she’d left after many years of alcoholism (and was happy with her decision) to apologise to him and possibly go back with him as well. Mind-blowing stuff (they were, perhaps, trying to recruit her husband after “saving” a destructive marriage).

The Cult Education Institute shares really disturbing accounts of unsuspecting people being substantially affected by their interaction with Landmark “converts”.

“I have been told to do this Landmark Forum for self-development by my supervisor in my last performance review. I had a brief encounter with it many years ago as some co-workers did it. One of whom left her fiancé and married a Forum leader in the short space of three weeks. I have found out that my manager, other management, staff and others within the company have all done this training. For months I’ve been hearing things like ‘honoring your integrity,’ ‘being authentic’ and ‘commitment.’ The pressure put on us all to go and do this Forum is immense. I feel that my job will be threatened if I don’t do it.”

“I’m convinced that Landmark contributed to the end of my marriage. Although it initially helped my ex get out of psychotherapy, it was basically just a form of self-therapy. He was addicted to analysis. When he felt he had problems with our marriage, he took them to his people at Landmark instead of talking to me. They helped him to decide he needed a divorce. The only person he would accept as a counselor was a Landmark ‘coach,’ who was not a licensed marriage counselor. I took Landmark courses myself largely for the sake of my marriage. The best thing about my divorce is not having to take any more! I gave them an earful every time one of those Landmark zombies called trying to get me back into the fold. So now I’m on their ‘don’t-call list.’ I call them ‘Landmark Nazis.’

“I want to thank you for a most informative website. I was hired by a company and unbeknownst to me, everyone but myself and one other person, were Landmark people. We later left, because we both are very strong people and refused to go to the Forum. I am just amazed at what took place and how this all happened within a successful company with very well-educated and socially astute people. Games were played and the people were hurt, which can suck the life out of a company.”

“A friend of mine has been in Landmark for over a year now and it is taking over her life. She only wants to date men in Landmark and quit her job. Now she has more time for Landmark and volunteering. She is usually broke, but somehow always seems to find money for more Landmark programs. She also found someone through Landmark that would take her in rent free. All her dialogue sounds like rehashed Landmark terminology. She talks about ‘creating new possibilities,’ ‘breakthroughs’ and living a ‘life of authentic etc.etc. Of course she is always trying to get others to try out the Forum. Everything she talks about or does is about Landmark. I personally have nothing against anything that will help people empower there lives and make them better, but my friend’s life is losing balance and she is becoming more and more dependent on Landmark in an unhealthy way.”

“My new employer hired an old friend deeply entrenched in Landmark. Two weeks later there was a general staff meeting and we were all ‘encouraged’ to attend the next Forum. My boss called me into his office and said, ‘Be there.” I knew he meant the Forum. I asked if it was mandatory and he simply stated, ‘No, but be there anyway!’ I didn’t attend and my life at work has been turned upside down. I share my office with two Landmark people. These Landmark people don’t seem to be any better at essential communication skills than they were before they started. They instead seem to be in a world all by themselves, where nothing but Landmark appears to have any significance. I foresee this business hitting the skids soon and that’s really the result of Landmark Education [sic].”

“I had a friend who was sucked into Landmark Forum. We intervened to get him out. It took some psychiatric help, but now he is back to normal. I was amazed to find out how big Landmark is, but yet somehow largely unnoticed. Their manipulation and control over people is frightening. After a single weekend, my friend who is a psychology major, was brainwashed. He was as far from reality as you can be and came so close to losing everything.”

Again, there is no need to experience this directly in order to see it for what it is. Anyone remotely normal would not aspire to end up selling “salvation” harder than MLM recruiters or speaking in jargon (I’m sure there are people in rural parts of China whose English is easier to understand).

 

 

Christian Sect Exploits Brexit To Recruit

Every so often, one finds a stack of leaflets in the mailbox, to swiftly move them to the recycling bin. Most are strictly commercial. Some, however, are more interesting.

It turns out a group known as Advent Books is “taking its message to the UK” by pushing a propaganda book, “The Great Controversy”, seeking to link the EU to Papal control starting with the Roman Empire. It is made available by mail order, online order or as a PDF download, completely free.

The great liberation from the grip of this international octopus, described as political but obviously referring to Catholicism, would (of course) be the Protestant reformation.

In other words, they are trying to recruit Brexit voters with some story about the Roman Empire, as if it necessarily had any relevance nowadays. Obviously, some structures have endured throughout the ages and participate in the political process, but give me a break; this is too transparent.

One might wonder who’s got the money to print this publication, potentially in the thousands, and send it out to people. Do they send these leaflets to just anyone, or is there refined targeting, ensuring that the number of orders is manageable?

There must be massive financial backing for this type of project.

 

Apparently, this book was being offered for free in the US as far back as 2006, using the same system. They must think the current rise in adherence to conspiracy theories is auspicious to casting the net.

In 2009 there were only 25.000 Seventh Day Adventists in the UK, more than half of them living in London.

As described in this BBC article, the “great controversy” is group jargon for the battle between God and Satan. It’s unclear how that can ever be correlated with Brexit and the European Union.

I can only speculate they are out to collect addresses so they can keep pestering those who unwittingly order the free book.

From the same article we find out the following:

  • There are impositions in the way they can dress;
  • They are not allowed to dance;
  • They are restricted from entertainment, aside from classical music; they are not allowed to watch films or listen to “dangerous music”;
  • They are sexual puritans;
  • Everyone outside of their sect is going to Hell.

But hey, they can tell you all about the EU, right? They just want to “keep you informed”.

One might think such a book can only be written by seasoned researchers; instead, it was written by the people described here by a former member, who was born into the sect and later renounced religion.

There is nothing in the leaflet indicating their intention to convert the recipient. It’s slimy.

In their own words (which I’m sure many didn’t research before asking for the book):

God’s work is supposed to be advancing and not receding. Here at Advent Books we are recognizing the problems within the United Kingdom and with God’s help we are addressing the need of reaching the millions of dying souls.

Just in the first 4 months of 2014 over 1.1 million homes have been reached and over 1500 books have been sent out.

Now we are planning to expand to reach more people.

Reaching the People of the United Kingdom…

Advent Books is dedicated to reaching the people of Great Britain. Over the last 11 Years 15,000 people have been reached and we are planning to expand to reach many many more people.

Advent Books is planning to wake up Great Britain through the Literature work, reaching more homes, more souls as quick as possible.

Would you like to Help?

Can You Imagine:

Every Home in Great Britain receiving an offer for the book The Great Controversy – Twice

Yes that is right every home in great Britain receiving the offer of The Great Controversy 2 times. And alongside this offer would be the opportunity of receiving the postal Bible studies. Great Britain has over 25 Million homes and already half of these have been covered.

It is our Job to get the literature out like the leaves of Autumn.

Other Denominations reading Ellen White Books

Can you imagine Pentecostals, Baptists, Methodists, Catholics reading books and compilations by Ellen White. Yes that is right it is our aim to offer books like Desire of Ages to other denominations inviting them to use them as their church study book.

Now is the time to act to reach other people and we as Seventh-day Adventists can reach other denominations through these books. Could you imagine when Easter comes Christians reading from Desire of Ages the closing scenes of Christ’s Life?

I can imagine this – lets go out there and reach the people.

Books available in Regular Stores

It is our goal to have Ellen White books available in regular book stores and retail outlets. To have the British public to be able to walk into their local book store or supermarket and pick of the shelf a Patriarchs and Prophets or Desire of Ages etc this will be a major achievement.

To know God’s books are available throughout Great Britain sitting on book stores shelves ready to be bought will certainly advance our Lord’s second coming.

How ironic is this?

A foreign sect, coming to “save the dying souls” of British people by claiming to educate them on what they perceive as their effort to remove foreign domination.

Landmark: Scientology’s Little Cousin

Self improvement – isn’t it wonderful? If you’re feeling stuck, the market abounds in quick, wonderful books and courses claiming to give you the answer to every problem. Never mind that the claim is bombastic, that your feelings are temporary and that no one can ever know you better than you know yourself, hence the ancestral meme, “the answer lies within”.

Forget your twenty, thirty or fifty years of life experience on Planet Earth, constantly observing, analysing, trying to find the “right path” to happiness, if that even exists. Three days suffice; you will walk out of the Landmark Forum a new person.

Changed, re-engineered – reborn, almost. I don’t know how that sounds to others but it’s not exactly like the wonder pill that makes you lose ten pounds in ten days. This is someone’s mind we’re talking about.

The Landmark Forum, unlike other glorified cults, doesn’t seek to cleanse you of original sin or body thetans, but something easier to grasp – your identity.

“When you came in here Friday morning, you were so certain about who you were, weren’t you? You walked in certain, and tonight you’re walking out uncertain. It could take years to become certain about who you are again. That’s what the rest of the Landmark Curriculum for Living is for: to help you resolve that uncertainty.”

As you sit there for hours and hours daily, you are systematically torn to bits by being told what an arsehole you are, until your entire existence and all its meaning crumbles before you, so you can rebuild your identity from scratch. And all that for the pittance of a few hundred dollars (or whatever currency your country uses, as the recruitment mill operates in no less than 20).

Although satirical, this is a short reenactment of what happens initially. Participants are locked up in a room, unable to leave except for the one meal time (additionally they have a few short breaks during which they are assigned “homework”). They are not allowed bathroom breaks for hours on end, claiming it would be irresponsible to miss even five minutes of the seminar (although up to a third consists of promotion). More importantly, they are insulted to the bone marrow. They are outright told their lives (and therefore achievements) are meaningless facades; “stories”.

It can and does get downright sinister. Part of this deconstruction is to air one’s dissatisfaction with others, as well as painful memories of being harmed – to be told, in each and every case, that they are to blame, even for the actions of others. Applying that technique ends up being cruel and shameless, with no consideration for reality.

The other baffling treatment students endure, aside from being accused and bashed for their every misfortune (even rape), is to have their perception questioned whenever they disagree with organisers. From the article linked to above:

“Mmm, this refund, let’s talk about this. Why do you feel this way? What could you be resisting in your life? What if ‘I want my money back’ is just a story you are telling yourself?”

During the seminar, the leader dismisses doubts or criticism by saying to each dissenter:”This is only your interpretation.” It can be applied to facts from their past (which the leader has no idea of) and even real time thoughts and feelings. By this he means that the student has no ability to accurately discern what is real and what isn’t and must rediscover reality with the leader’s guidance.

Not surprisingly, according to a former Scientologist, the “tech” they use is heavily borrowed from L Ron Hubbard. In fact, Landmark evolved out of Est, which in turn evolved, partially, out of Scientology.

The French documentary detailing this, as well as showing footage filmed by an infiltrated journalist, has disappeared from the internet, aside from a short YouTube fragment. However, the transcript is available on the Wikileaks website (quite a read).

The catch, or hook, comes on the final day, when participants are encouraged to make amends with people they relate poorly to, after intense rehearsals, directed by the program leader, on what to say to them (as shown in the transcript).

Unlike Scientologists, who get a kick out of making members disassociate with loved ones, the founders of Landmark figured out growth was much easier when getting people to be kinder to their families and peers. In emotional prostration, participants invite those they wish to apologise to and publicly relieve their guilt. Meanwhile, “guests” are subjected to unavoidable pitches of the program, which they are invited to join (and sometimes do).

And so it grows.

Of course, this is only the beginning. Those who finish the first brainwashing session are immediately pitched another, twice as expensive, and then another, costing far more.

And if they’re still engrossed, they can always help recruit as many people as possible, as well as volunteer. In fact, the manual labour during these seminars is down to volunteers, at one point 25 per event (apparently now the term has been banned and they are merely “assisting”, as “volunteering” for a for-profit company is questionable). It’s free labour taken advantage of, to put it plainly. In the minds of those showing up to do it, they are helping humanity. Although it’s by no means comparable to what Sea Org members endure in Scientology, the concept is the same – giving one’s time towards someone else’s business, with the pretext of “transforming lives”.

“It’s wonderful; it completely changed my life”, claims the odd person on YouTube . “If more and more people went through this program the world would be a better place.” In fact, a few do add this “changing the world” shtick, with sheer enthusiasm, as if they really thought it was possible.

Where have you heard that before? Give us a few hundred dollars and help us recruit so we can help people and change the world.

It’s a pyramid scheme based on emotional fragility. Those going there are obviously not in a good place. There were reports of breakdowns and even suicides over the decades. Their goal is not to change the world, but to entrap people long enough to get them to recruit others and by that make more money.

As those of Scientology and most cults, Landmark teachings are replete with jargon. Paraphrasing a former student in the YouTube video linked to above, when asking two of his indoctrinated friends what it was about, it was impossible to discern, as their explanations were laden with terminology they had appropriated from the cult, such as “racket” and “winning formula”. “Just go and do it”, they said.

One of the key words to watch out for in discussions about Landmark is “authentic”. “Authenticity” is a state you reach through the program (through being depersonalised), apparently, as opposed to your natural one. Devotees often use this term when praising the group or each other.

More problems arise when, akin to any cult members, Landmark students begin to pester their family members and friends to join. In the video, one relative describes them as “speaking like drones, full of jargon, with cult-like glazes over their eyes”. And that’s not by far the only account I came across at a simple search.

They also engage in damage control when negative appraisals pop up. The French documentary featuring actual seminar footage and expert opinions was simply taken off a number of platforms, to the point that it has become impossible to find. When a series of critical videos  appeared on YouTube, the former student making them received a letter and refund, without having contacted them. So they browse the internet for any material likely to affect their business even slightly and then attempt to address it.

If you watch this video, posted by someone who had just finished the advanced course, the level of indoctrination is gob-smacking, akin to that which follows a dramatic religious conversion.

Immediately, you notice the following:

  • She censors her speech as directed by the group (she catches herself  expressing ideas naturally and adapts them to those of the group);
  • She describes the advanced course as a way for people to figure out how they can have an impact on the world (“change the world” mantra);
  • She talks a lot about how everyone should be and live (as opposed to personal improvements, a personal path etc), which proves that the seminar leads to uniformity;
  • Her speech is difficult to understand at times as it is laden with jargon;
  • She alludes to activism, “becoming uncomfortable” (approaching others with her ideas in order to “covert” them).
  • She talks about “going back to normal life outside the seminar” and the difficulties of that (seriously, it’s less than a week).
  • She traces her natural thoughts and feelings back to the seminar (“I’m going to try to not care what people think about me saying this because this is the foundation of the original Landmark Forum”).

From her description it’s easy to understand that the first seminar is about someone’s identity (deconstructing it) and the second about launching this new person into the world to “change it” (which obviously means drawing more people to Landmark). What does that sound like to you, in broad perspective?

In fact, this tendency of “speaking like drones” some attendees display has been noticed before.

Although the person uploading the video remained appreciative of the program, he had not arrived at the level seen above before giving it up. His observations are very interesting. First off, quasi-religious fervour and the belief that Landmark has the solution to the world’s problems. Then, word policing and always referring back to the program (as seen above).

Apparently, the seminar is not one of a kind. Similar ones, employing the same techniques, can be found across the world.

For more information, visit anti-landmark.blogspot.co.uk.

A small note would be that half of the comments in support of the program make heavy use of jargon, without any indication that those reading them can relate or properly understand the message. It’s fairly disturbing and justifies the observation that “they talk like robots”.

Muslim Apostates, Betrayed By All Sides

Western culture is generally keen on celebrating courage in the face of adversity; documentaries, films and books inspire audiences with narratives of the underdog overcoming seemingly unbeatable conditions.

Escaping controlling, demoralising environments is of great interest. Former Scientologists are, rightfully, given a large platform, as are former cult members in general. And it wouldn’t cross the mind of the average viewer to start defending Scientology or the FLDS after hearing stories of imprisonment, violence, threats and mind control.

Muslim apostates, however, aren’t shown that level of interest or kindness, at least by proponents of public policies on the left or right, who use them in conversation but ultimately ignore them when it comes to envisaging actual solutions to deal with radical Islam (or Islam in general, to the degree to which it contrasts with secular democracies).

Feminism and the unholy alliance 

As detailed at this engrossing conference, there is increasing frustration and disappointment with those identifying as feminists yet actively participating in the cover-up of female oppression in Muslim communities. Public speakers like Linda Sarsour, one of the organisers of the Women’s March, who decries the “slanderous talk” surrounding Islam and its restrictions, often unwanted, on women’s lives.

When taken out of that religious context, the treatment escapees describe is nothing short of disheartening. Chastisement and vilification for being alone with a man in a room, for allowing three inches of their forearms to show, for having any male friends at all. Threats of disowning, physical violence or even murder, at the sole mention of a potential transgression. Ostracism and threats from their entire community. One’s hymen treated as a precious family asset. That is unimaginable in societies which left that mentality behind hundreds of years ago.

Should a woman from a different background describe growing up in such ways, feminists would be outraged. In this case however, they turn a blind eye, referring to “their culture”, as if the word “they” did not include many forced participants.

Moreover, people like Linda Sarsour dare vilify public speakers who have overcome these difficulties to the extreme, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali, as traitors to the religion. “They’re not women; I wish I could take their vaginas away” (paraphrasing). Not only is it distasteful to refer in that way to a victim of FGM – it proves the utter disdain fundamentalists have towards apostates. One would think common sense would stop her from being so venomous, at least publicly, but that is not the case, since apostasy carries a death sentence in Islam.

The hypocritical right

Activists on right or far right often refer to the “barbaric rules and traditions” of Islam, especially to counter the non-issues spouted by western feminists nowadays. They get all descriptive and outraged about it, as if they truly cared outside of wanting to rid their countries of Muslims altogether, including those who are trapped into the religion.

“And they’re bringing that over here”, they cry next, not realising that apostates have a far better chance of breaking away in countries offering them minimal protection, at least, and the choice of being able to live as free individuals. De-conversion and apostasy are indeed much safer in the west.

“This is what they do to girls and women in the Middle East!” they indignantly shout. “Bomb them!” they shout next. You know,  including those abused women and innocent children they care so much about.

Many right-wingers, in the current climate, would give their approval to have all Muslims deported from western countries. Aside from the grotesque idea of uprooting innocent people based on the religion they were born into, which is not even feasible, they don’t spare a thought for those who have a real chance of getting out, a chance they wouldn’t have in a theocracy.

Although not used often enough, there are laws protecting women and apostates from religious violence; in recent years a law was passed against forced marriage, for instance, and the threat of honour killings is taken very seriously. Victims of rape are treated as such, as opposed to being blamed for their assault, which happens in some countries. Merely being in western countries when these traumatic events occur can and does save countless lives.

Also very popular with this camp are Trump’s famous immigration bans, regardless of some people having waited for years on end to emigrate  and having gone though all needed formalities. No thought is spared for the fact that among those wishing to leave will almost definitely be apostates seeking to escape the dangers of living in theocracies, which follow them day and night.

 “Islamophobia” – blasphemy laws again?

Imagine heaving a sigh of relief when finally arriving in a safe country, where you cannot be oppressed for your apostasy, as well as your criticism of your former religion, in this case Islam. Imagine how liberating that must feel.

And five or ten or twenty years later, that wonderful, liberal country starting to cave in to demands from your former persecutors, in efforts to suppress your right to criticise the authoritarian ideology that just might’ve got you killed.

If to the formerly neutral (people only exposed to Islam from a distance) it seems restrictive and uncanny for criticism to be criminalised, imagine how it feels to defectors of Islamic theocracies, to witness the ever-growing power of lobbyists, pushing for what can be construed as blasphemy laws.

Supporting or wanting to ban the veil 

Former Muslim women are very outspoken about that yet nobody in the public arena seems to hear them.

On the one hand, you have progressive leftists claiming women choose to wear it and that right should not be infringed upon by legislators. That, I actually agree with, should those women be absolutely free of constraint and choose to wear it of their own accord, as adults.

On the other hand, you have right-wingers saying any woman covering up (especially her face) is a threat to national security, and therefore simply banning it would solve the problem. Unfortunately it solves jack shit for the women who are forced to wear it – their relatives are so indoctrinated they will probably resort to banning them from going outside altogether.

A moderate approach would be to support those who truly want to wear it according to their own convictions. As adults.

But at the same time admit that there are many, many cases of girls and women being forced to cover up as a matter of family honour. And consider the problems they will face when any such legislation is passed.

Complicated; I know. As life often is.

 

To Red-Pilled Ladies Who Somehow Think They’re Special

There are quite a few ladies nowadays who think that because they disavow feminism in its current form, their next logical step is joining the MRM, qualifying as “those who are cool and different”. Arguing against the legal overreach of feminism is one thing – for some it’s a path to taking the “red pill” (and swallowing, pretending not to notice the foul taste).

If, as a woman, you want to know what the Red Pill is really about, don’t start with what you reject about modern feminism, namely today’s exaggerations. Start with the “positives” – what they actually think and want out of life. And if you identify with that or don’t feel revulsion, good luck.

You’re not part of their gang, nor are you witnessing their discussions as an outside observer.The walking “flashlight”, the inferior animal with secret “rape fantasies”, the “use by date” commodity – that’s you. They’re not just talking about certain women or most women or women you don’t associate with, but every single one, including their acolytes, partners/wives, mothers, grannies, sisters etc. Logically, since it’s all about biological determinism, it would apply to their daughters as well.

Here is an excellently written account of a woman’s interaction with this crowd, initially neutral, out of sheer curiosity, wanting to better provide “what men typically want” to her partner. What she stumbled upon was a pit of glorified misery, on one side, and a bunch of  bona fide sociopaths on the other. In between there were a few masochistic women grovelling at their feet, in agreement with their judgement.

Whereas the MRM as a whole has a reputation of distancing men from women, the Red Pill aims to depict women as commodities, to be manipulated, exploited and discarded. It’s the sociopath’s handbook, so to speak. No empathy, no connection, no consideration. Obtaining sex is referred to as “game” (a term also used to describe the carcasses of hunted animals).

This attitude might be understandable when coupled with teenage frustration. Yet Red Pill strategies were concocted by grown men, who claim they are applicable even in a marriage. Members egg each other on to cheat and emotionally abuse their partners as efficiently as possible, in cold blood, and then report back to the community for a gag. And indeed, there are accounts of men who applied these strategies to later regret it.

Nihilism is OK at 15. An adult is assumed to have enough life experience to consider the humanity of others and at least not harm them in a premeditated manner, after gaining their confidence. If they cannot do so, pathology is involved.

The much exulted channel Red Pill Philosophy claims women are biologically programmed to get down on their knees and “serve the cock”. Sure enough, by intermingling with them, some women appear to prove them right; for some, it seems, it would take being physically defecated on to become aware of their true standing.

There are men who get off by watching videos of women being slapped or punched “because they were looking for it”. It’s a YouTube genre by now. “The bitch got what she deserved”; “men strike back”; “here’s your equality”.  And even if those particular women pushed men’s boundaries to the very limit, what type of person does it take to enjoy watching that? One can agree with abstract concepts, such as men fighting back when assaulted, without jerking off to their depiction and replaying three times, just as one can agree from a distance that perhaps a military intervention was justified, without actually enjoying the sight of dead bodies. There is a difference. They get off on seeing women being hit; it really boils down to that. Even some titles exude delight.

Back to the Reddit story.

All these confident big-name gurus with their Red Pill channels made it easy to interact with actual adherents and my user name was obviously female so I thought I might enlighten them. Mistake. No matter how sweet and rational my comments, kindly pointing out that NAWALT and there are plenty of good gals out there, I was called “ugly” and a “liar” and told to leave. There were other female commenters who would suck up to the men and agree with all the misogyny and they would get patted on the head. But when I even quoted Jordan Peterson (oh boy) the boys club flipped out at me and labeled me a c&*t. Nothing short of full capitulation would appease these twerps.

Case in point.

AWALT (all women are like that) by definition includes present company, namely the ladies posting there in support of such views. It’s probably not their intention and they probably assume they are viewed differently; however “all” does not leave room for interpretation.

It was widely accepted that any woman my age (over 30) was a withered hag who had no real prospects but this did not match my life experience.

Not only is the “sell by” date meant to apply to their prospective partners, but as mentioned above, it logically applies to all their female relatives as well, should they be over 30 and single, for any reason.

Would one of these men say something like that in front of his divorced or widowed mother who is looking to remarry?

I felt pity and compassion.

Until I read the Married Red Pill subreddit.

That… was the darkest depth of human ugliness on the whole of the web. Holy crap. Instead of poor kicked puppies posting out of loneliness I found the Dark Triad masquerading as husbands. Men who hated their wives and called them “disgusting” and men who urged eachother to have affairs, all from a combat style relationship which made it hard to picture them ever standing up in a tux and saying their wedding vows. Post after ugly post. That was it for me, that was the end goal of Red Pill.

I’ve read some as well, out of morbid curiosity. They are exactly as described above.

Imagine that while a wife goes about her routine, even out of inertia, and keeps washing a man’s spunk off the sheets after he gets off thinking about someone else, he slumps over a desk expressing the most chilling contempt for her, as he wipes off the last crumbs of his desert. Imagine he describes her body and private parts for all to see; how sick the sight of her makes him and how sickening it is to have sex with her. Meanwhile she washes his socks and thinks of what to cook for him the next day. And after having received groans of commiseration from his fellow redditers, he goes to bed beside the “disgusting cow” and says good night to her.

It’s fair enough to fall out of love or to stop being attracted to someone. Shit happens. Divorce happens and sometimes it’s for the best.

What you read there isn’t a simple lack of attraction or wanting a divorce. It’s pure, unadulterated hatred; the kind that makes you think the OP might just smother his wife with a pillow one night for existing. No one deserves that just for failing to conform to someone’s physical standards.

For some cheating is not enough. Boasting about it is not enough. They have to actively humiliate their wives in front of complete strangers they share nothing with, except this hatred of “substandard women”. When you’ve been through years, perhaps decades of your life with someone, had children, shared powerful experiences, and still don’t grant them enough humanity to not describe their naked bodies on the internet, you are one sick motherfucker.

Either on Reddit or elsewhere, the same story, in a plethora of variations, keeps popping up – a man who is, to some degree, dissatisfied, comes across the Red Pill or MGTOW. He becomes increasingly abusive and, many times, the relationship or marriage falls apart. It’s described by men and women alike as a gradual process, often taking months for extreme  behaviour to manifest.

Again – if you’re a confident, attractive woman and think you can meet the standards of a Red Pill adherent, you are in fact:

  1. Conforming to being considered less intelligent by your social circle;
  2. Accepting that abusive tactics will be deliberately used on you in a relationship;
  3. Accepting that past a certain age (30) you will be considered valueless;
  4. Accepting that you will at best be tolerated but never respected.

As a last note, yet another Reddit comment which makes a lot of sense.

Forget about women for a second: Red pill is pure masochism for the supposed target audience.

According to TRP, 99% of all women are vile creatures always ready to backstab when you show the slightest weakness…

Yet you’re supposed to change your entire persona and your entire life just to bed as many as these vampires as possible. Is that schizo or what?

If women are indeed so terrible, than being “alpha” is even worse, because “alpha” exists only to sexually please the very same people he hates. Again, how fucking insane.

A 24*7 World of Warcraft playing virgin who genuinely enjoys what he does is a million times more alpha than any TRP lunatic.

Also, hating 50% of humanity yet arranging one’s life primarily to have sex with them is sexual abuse of oneself. Sex becomes intertwined with these negative feelings, yet also becomes the most important thing in your life to boot. So negativity itself becomes your life-goal.

It’s a sure ticket to the psych-ward in the long run.