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.
Who did you enroll?
My whole family. My wife, my kids, my associate, my assistant.
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.
Your associate is a surgeon?
Is she signed up for The Forum?
Well, she hasn’t signed up yet, but she’s coming to the presentation.
There are a lot of doctors here!
Lots! You saw them. Doctors, nurses, psychiatrists.
Why are there so many doctors and nurses?
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.
In a few seconds this doctor admits that he just sent his first patient to Landmark Education.
You share it with the patient. And I can tell you, these guys are great for enrollment.
Just like that? A patient you see?
I did it. Just like that.
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.
Did you want him to do it?
Oh yes. The guy needs it. If he does it, he’ll be transformed.
“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.
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.