The all famed, Landmark Education Cult Question…

So you have heard about the Landmark Forum, and you’re curious to find out what it’s all about. When you start to type it into google, it autofills to “Landmark Education Cult”. Now you’re even more curious, a little worried, not to mention a small bit of skepticism has begun to creep in, to add to what was probably already there.

You click on the autofill that Google suggests of “Landmark Education Cult” and here you are, ready to read!


You are certainly not alone in your skepticism and your curiosity. I was once invited to an intro to the Landmark Forum 5 states away by my crying mother, and the event was less than 24 hours away on a Tuesday night. Odd behavior to say the least.

I too used Google to try to figure out what this whole Landmark thing was about, and was met with some interesting stories, and descriptions.

So in this article, I’m going to cover everything you need to know about The Landmark Forum, detailing my experiences, both good and bad, having been through two of the four Landmark Courses, and I’ll explain to you where this strange stigma of Landmark Education being a cult comes from.

By the end of this post, you will be able to make an educated and informed decision on whether or not the Landmark Forum is for you, and you’ll be able to plainly see that not only is it clearly NOT a cult, it doesn’t resemble one in any way, shape, or form.

So What is Landmark Education?

Landmark Education is a personal growth course consisting of four segments, which together form what they refer to as The Curriculum for Living.
The four segments are:

  1. The Landmark Forum
  2. The Landmark Seminars
  3. Landmark Advanced Course
  4. Self Expression and Leadership Program (SELP)

I’ll tell you everything that you want to know about Landmark Education. I completed the Landmark Forum in July 2017 and the advanced course in December 2017 with my amazing wife Michelle.

Both my parents have completed the entire Curriculum for Living.

I have extended family that have also completed numerous Landmark Education courses.

First things first…

Let’s Get the FAQ’s Out of the Way

How much is it? Price varies slightly from city to city, but the Forum is $600

How Long is it? 9am to 9pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday. 7pm-9pm Tuesday.

That seems intense… It is. You think that changing the course of 100-200 people’s lives is anything BUT intense? Nope. It’s heavy. It’s intense. And it’s incredible.

Is it Worth it? HELL YES. Not only that, they should charge more.

Wait, it’s really that impactful?? Yes…YES…yes.

So what’s it about? It teaches you how to live a life that you love, instead of surviving life in general.

But I have a good life already… Of course you do! That’s because you HAVE A LIFE. That in and of itself is amazing! Landmark teaches you how to live it FULLY and POWERFULLY.

So is it a cult? I googled it and… We’re getting to that. Be patient 🙂

So what is The Landmark Forum then? I’m Glad you asked!!

What to Expect (The Mechanics)

You’ll be in a meeting room for roughly 12 hours for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It’s a minimalist set up. There is two chalk boards, four TVs, and two banners hanging from the ceiling with some wording on it that you’ll learn about. There is a stage that the Forum Leader will be on most of the course, and at the back of that stage there will be a table with an orchid on it, a yellow rag in a white bowl, a dictionary, and a glass of water.

The layout of the room depends on the location. I attended the Landmark Forum in Houston, TX where there is large windows on either side of the room.

Behind the participants in the course is the Landmark Staff. They do all the behind the scenes set up, and time keeping. They will be a mixture of Landmark employees and volunteers that have participated in the course already.

You will be given a white name badge, that has your first and last name on it in black letters.

The chairs are pretty typical for a classroom style presentation. Some cushion…some.

You will be asked to not take notes, and the reasoning is sound. You can take notes if you want to, but I suggest you trust the process and don’t.

There aren’t too many breaks. A short 30 minute lunch, a longer 90 minute dinner break, and a few short little breaks in between.

So You Sat In a Room for 12 hours Straight?

What’s that like?

It’s fine. Truly. There are moments that are uncomfortable, but the content of the course is highly engaging, so you won’t notice it too much.

On Sunday night I was actually disappointed to not be going to the course the next day!

I do have two HIGHLY VALUABLE suggestions to help you with sitting for 12 hours…

Be in an open mind-state. Be ready to learn, be positive, and get ready for some concepts that are counterintuitive, but trust that it will all make sense.

Bring a lot of gum. Also, if you are a fidgeter, bring some toothpicks too. It will give you something to do.

What am I Going to Learn? (Your Breakthrough)

What are you going to learn? That’s up to you, and it’s unique to you. Like I said before, the over reaching concept of Landmark Education is to teach you how to live a live that you love.

You may learn that you have harbored resentment against people who you want to love you, and that resentment has cost you the very love that you crave.

You may learn that you isolate yourself as a way to avoid the rejection that you think is coming, even though you love people and are very lonely.

You may learn that you have had a great life and that you have a great support system.

Or maybe you learn that YOU are a great support system for others.

The clear point here is that this list could go on and on. Everyone comes out with their own distinctions and breakthroughs.

I’ll Give You a Little Insight into What I Got….

I discovered that the traits that I THOUGHT I was supposed to have, we’re all made up in my head. I’m perfect just the way I am, but I didn’t even know who I was.

Going into the Landmark Forum I was very excited. I had visions coming out of the course as the incredible engaging, outgoing person that I’d always pictured myself as. This smiling, hand shaking, charmer that lights up rooms when I walk in.

Coming out, admittedly, I was quite a bit torn, because not only did this not happen, I actually felt like I got quieter.

Now, when I was in groups, I listened to others, and sometimes said very little. This was not only unlike me, but unlike what I thought I was supposed to be!

I’m a deep thinker, and a deep learner. It leads my brain to be a bit of a “slow learner”. Not in the sense of “being slow”, but in order for me to learn, I have to take it apart, reflect on the pieces, and then put it all back together. It can take a while.

So I remained in this confused state for a month or so.

For the record I did feel AMAZING though! Like some emotional baggage was lifted, but almost like I didn’t get my breakthrough. Like my experience was mediocre in comparison to others.

Then all the sudden I started to put the pieces back together…things began to open up…I started to figure it out. Figure ME out.

I’m can be introverted. Hence the deep thinker. Hence the analytical nature. Hence my highly outgoing wife! (Opposites attract ya know).

Ok so…

Here’s My Breakthrough (And it’s Profound)

All the behavior that I have modeled from leaders that I look up to was in direct opposition to my strengths.

To say that differently…

Since I was a child, I was trying to be something, more accurately SOMEONE, that I wasn’t. I thought to be the leader I needed to be loud and charismatic. Engaging and persuasive. What I call “the mayor” in all situations.

I still can’t figure out where I picked this up from…

But my nature is to actually sit back and analyze. Listen, and talk when I have some expertise in the matter, not talk to make sure others hear me talk.

I have years worth of regret from leaving social situations thinking that I didn’t make an impact, or that I wasn’t “on” tonight. Like I had “failed” the event.

So Two Things Came from the Breakthrough…

The first is by far the most profound.

Since I now who I am know, I can be me.

Do you have ANY IDEA how freeing of a feeling that is? Especially since I didn’t know that I wasn’t already being myself to begin with. I thought I was being me, and that I was working at being more outgoing.

I actually thought that outgoing people had to work at being outgoing. Like it was a skill, not a personality trait.

Now, as I have gotten in tune with myself, I can go to dinner with friends, and actually be at dinner with my friends. I’m not constantly wondering if I made a lasting impression or if I was funny enough, of if I portrayed myself as a leader…I can just be me.

The best part about this whole thing, and this still astonishes me…

People are more engaged with me. They enjoy my company more now, than when I was trying to make sure they enjoyed my company.

I also don’t care if I didn’t meet everyone at the party either. Before enrolling in Landmark Education, if I passed by a person, and didn’t talk to them, I thought I was a bad networker for not going out of my way to make conversation. Now, I can just hang out. They didn’t talk to me, I didn’t talk to them, and it means nothing at all.

Simply incredible.

I used to have an anxiety when there was something social coming up because I had to muster up so much energy to be outgoing and try to be the “life of the party”.

Now, I can just go somewhere, hang out, let people come to me, and be totally relaxed.

The Second Breakthrough (Strengths Finders)

Now, since I actually found my strengths them instead of trying to create them, I can work on developing them.

At the time of attending the Landmark Forum I worked for a large company that had a remarkable culture of investing in its employees. Every fall, we had a meeting that is catered to teaching us something new, and guess what fall 2017’s meeting was called?

Strengths Finders. Not kidding.

Best timing ever or what?

So I take the Strengths Finders questionnaire, I get my packet at the meeting, and my #1 strength is looking me in the face, and I have to be honest, I was surprised. It was “Learner”.

It describes me as someone who loves the journey of learning, but the end result of the journey is not that important.

It’s not about “knowing” things, it’s about that act of obtaining the knowledge.

Then when I’ve learned something, I can tend to leave it alone, or just seldom use it as I switch gears and start learning something new.

AKA I get bored after I master something.

This is so true, and something that I always (not kidding here either) thought was a weakness. It drove me crazy that I would spend all this time, effort, and sometimes money to learn this thing that was going to “take me the top” and then when I master it, I’d lose interest. I’d use the experience to help guide me, but I wouldn’t LIVE IT anymore. I couldn’t no matter how hard I tried.

Notice, more of me trying to be someone that I’m not.

And believe me, I’d MASTER things to where I could recite it backwards and forwards…just to rarely use it.

It left me always chasing the past. Trying to get back to something that I used to do, instead of chasing the new thing to learn.

Now that I know this, I actually work less on the mastery, and instead I just enjoy the ride. Relish in the research and the thinking and hypothesizing and the debating of pros and cons. I find joy in the learning now.

I’m an Infinite Learner…and I love it.

What Came Out of My Breakthroughs?

Well, a lot actually. But let me take you through the tangible stuff…

Largest activity or behavior that came out of the Landmark Forum; I’m a writer.

I’m a Writer and I Don’t Really Write Much

I actually always have been a writer. I’m good at it. I enjoy it. But I never cultivated it, or did anything with it.

Now I have the courage to do it.

It started with a Journal that I bought. I pulled off the interstate in a courageous state to buy it, and was unsure of following through with the purchase all the way to the register. You can read that story that HERE.

That journal then spilled online, and became a blog. And here we are, hanging out together!

Maybe the Most Important Change From Landmark Education

Happiness. Straight up.

I was in a prominent leadership position with the company that I used to work for, and I was able to actually start working on developing my leadership style.

As in MY leadership style.

It’s been so fun and so liberating.

I don’t worry about anything to do with human interaction any more. I just interact with people the way that I interact with people.

Many aspects of this self discovery still continues to open up as time goes on, and as I uncover more and more traits that make me, me.

The Last Behavior Change…Openness

Now I’m not very open by nature, so this is a huge one. I’m still not anything NEAR the “open book” type, but as time passes I am getting a little more open.

I can tell when I’m being open because I get two funny feelings.

The first is when I’m being open, and sharing my experiences or feelings, it’s so liberating! It’s crazy that sharing personal things, or things that I KEPT personal, causes so much joy for myself, and so much gratitude from others. Powerful stuff. (Learned that at the Landmark Forum)

The other funny feeling is that later on, after I act in an open way, I get this nagging feeling of remorse that’s almost the same feeling that I used to get the night after partying hard, when you know you drank a bit too much and did or said something that was out of line. Why this one happens I don’t know, but I have begun to train myself that it’s now a great feeling, not one to be regretted. Try to think of it as the age old advice “Do one thing per day that gets you out of your comfort zone”.

I also find humor in the fact that I used to be so closed off that I actually feel guilty now for being open!

Ok, so those are all the things that you can possibly expect from the Landmark Forum, so now I want to address the things about Landmark that I don’t love…

The Downsides to Landmark Education

So obviously it’s not ALL magic and breakthroughs.

There are some things about Landmark that I don’t particularly care for, and this is not unique to me. You’ve read this far, so you can clearly see that the good FAR outweighs the bad, but let’s get into it.

The Lingo

There is a ton of words and phrases that Landmark Education uses, and some of them are very unique. When the Forum Leader is using them, they fit perfectly into the context and flow of the conversation. Then when someone in the course tries to use them, it’s often forced into an area that it doesn’t really fit into. It can be clunky.

It’s like the 13-year-old that just started using swear words, and he can’t seem to get it right yet. “Don’t be such a stupid damn head.”

Then you have the Landmark Lingo Junkies. These are the people who have been incredibly impacted by the course, have fallen in love with what Landmark can do for others, and have since “created themselves as a possibility” at least 100 times since Sunday night. They can be challenging to be around because they try to talk like the forum leaders, but they don’t have anywhere near the experience using these new phrases.

It’s like that same 13-year-old that is new to swearing, and he’s now obsessed with using swear words, but does so in just the same awkward way above.

The Chosen Ones

There are a select few that I was in a Landmark course with that use the Landmark Language masterfully! They are talking with these new phrases intertwined into the conversation like they are a Form Leader! I think they are like the chosen ones. They were made to spread the Landmark message, and they are very inspiring to be around.

The other thing about the language that Landmark uses is that it can be confusing at times. They can use three syllable words when a one syllable word would have done just fine. And those big words are so close to being out of context that it can get confusing.

I actually made the joke that we could start a separate company that translates the Landmark content into regular english and make a ton of money!

The Integrity (Or the Integrityholics rather)

So a HUGE part of Landmark is based on integrity. They have an incredible take on it, and it’s not linked to anything moral or righteous. It’s about honoring your word (not keeping your word). I’m not going to get into the particulars here, but how they approach integrity is awesome.

The Forum Leaders use the concept of integrity in a masterful and inspiring fashion.

Then what do we do? We abuse it. We turn everything into an integrity issue, and we run around restoring integrity with every person that you made even the lightest commitment with.

You’ll hear, “I’m out of integrity with you and I want to restore it. I was 1 minute late in calling you and I promise that next time I’ll call you on time.”

Dude, it’s 1 minute. Just say my bad, or I’m sorry. We don’t need to go through the WHOLE integrity schpeel every time there is a tiny crack in the integrity.

The lesson here is that the lingo is ACTUALLY awesome. But once it’s passed on to us “normals” we kinda butcher it and tarnish it’s meaning. FAST. Leave it to the pros folks!

The Hard Sell (Recruiting)

Now, as a salesman by trade, this doesn’t bother me. Landmark Education is a business. They need more people to sign up so they can make money. That requires recruiting. Simple.

Also of note, the sales pitches are so good that most miss them entirely. Serious.

Of course, there are cynics that not only catch it, but they dwell on it. They think it’s the most egregious thing ever and they just can’t seem to understand it (there are plenty of articles about it on Google, non of which will be linked from this blog post!).

Honestly, some of these sales pitches add some serious value, and many of them are almost a review of what you’ve already learned.

Just know that it’s coming, it’s really well thought out, and part of the program. If you simply can’t stand it, go use the bathroom when one starts, and take a deep breath…it’s really not that big of a deal.

Inviting Others to the Forum

Full disclosure here, this was hard for my wife and I because we took all of our Landmark courses in Houston, TX, and we live in New Orleans, so we only knew one person in Houston.

I did personally invite five people to the introduction to the Landmark Forum in Houston, TX, even though they lived in California, Utah, and South Dakota respectively. My one buddy from Houston did come with his wife (who we’re now also friends with).

During the Forum, you will want to invite everyone you know to enroll in this program. It’s life changing, and to be surrounded in your life by other landmark graduates truly incredible.

For me, the inviting of others during the Advanced Course got to a level that I would describe as “peer pressure”. If you didn’t invite anyone to Tuesday night, you we’re almost judged. It was intense…but the wrong kind of intense.

So, is it a Cult Then or What?

That’s a question that I hoped by now to have answered with an obvious and resounding NO, and not to just do it as TELL YOU that it’s not a cult, but tell stories that clearly illustrate that it’s not anything that even resembles a cult.

But just in case…

I’ll be blunt.

Landmark Education is Not a Cult.

Not even remotely close to a cult, nor does it have anything to do with anything cult-like.

So why do people think it’s a cult then?

Good question.

There are a few factors that lead the conversation to the topic of cults. I’ll list and explain them here…

People Are REALLY Happy After The Forum

This is the largest factor no doubt. People are changed after having gone though the Landmark Forum, and the change is often profound. The Forum takes place over a weekend. You leave work on Thursday the normal you, and then when you come back to work on Monday, you are a totally different person. Mood changes, outlook is positive, and you give off a sense of POWER that you never had before. It’s far outside of normal, and people will no doubt notice.

Landmark Forum Grads Can’t Explain It

This comes right after the happiness that you will portray. When you change that much over a weekend, people are going to ask… “What the hell happened to you??” To which you’re going to reply something like this;

“I took this course…it’s like this personal development thing…and it was AMAZING. It was the most impactful thing in my life. It opened my eyes to the fact that we’re all living lives that we are just getting through! I learned about these things called winning formulas, and mine is that act better than people, and since I realized it I found out that I’m out of integrity with you and I want to restore it, but that’s a conversation that we can schedule for at lunch today. I have to tell you all about this Landmark thing…but I don’t even know how to describe it…it’s like…well it’s incredible and I think you should come with me to the final class tomorrow night. I can invite anyone I want, and I want to invite you…but I want you to know you don’t need it. No one needs it. In fact you’re perfect just the way you are. But you should come with me! You will get so much out of the course, and what you get is different than what I get. It always is! I know I sound crazy. Just trust me. It’s incredible, just trust me. Trust me…”

See how that conversation can cause someone to think that you have gotten in to something weird?

Recruiting Others to Join

Once you experience this new openness that you discover in the Landmark Forum, you want others to have the same thing. You will be a recruiting maniac, but not for any other reason than because you want others to have what you have.

There is no tracking of recruits, or commission on who you get into the program. You just want to share this with others!

This concept is odd in our society… “You mean you just want me to be happier?”

Yep. That’s it.

The Three Factors Together

You see how those three things go right in order?

The whole thing is cyclical…they ask questions about it, you can’t explain it, then you invite them to come to a Landmark event with you to learn about something they don’t understand, and they just have to trust you.

It gives way to what I call “The All-Famed Landmark Education Cult Question.”

  • People change over the course of a weekend
  • They can’t explain their changes in any terms that others understand
  • They recruit others to take the course

One More Small Factor (Landmark Education Brainwashing Accusations)

So there is one more factor that can lead people to make the “cult” accusation, and it has actually also been assumed that Landmark Education is brainwashing the participants.

This accusation, like the “cult thing”, is totally silly…

Here’s what that last small factor is…

Strange Language

So as I said, you leave work on Thursday evening the “you” that everyone knows.

The course runs Friday morning to Sunday night, and then you return to work on Monday morning totally different.

One of the major areas of change will be in how you talk. You will start using words in new ways, describing events with adjectives that are not typical. You have just learned all this new language, so as I said earlier, it all sounds a bit clunky coming out of your mouth.

This CAN lead people to think that you “drank the Kool-aid” and are a member of some new covenant.

And it can lend itself to people throwing words around like “brainwashing”

None of it true. None of it based in reality.

Alright, so here it is….

The Big Reveal (A New Game)

Here’s the crowning moment of this whole post, and the best way that I can describe what changes, or “opens up for you” as you enter the world after having gone through the Landmark Forum…

You are playing a new game in life.

It’s not better, or worse, or changed. It’s a whole new approach to living your life that puts you in a place of power with yourself and others.

The old game was just to survive. Get through.

This new game is to be the author of a life you love. To write a life that you want, and create new possibilities for yourself that connects you to the world, and to the community in new ways.

So Let’s Close it Like This….

Landmark Education is an amazing company that is focused on teaching people how to live a more powerful life.

That’s it.

There are no sinister actions. No ulterior motives. No great hidden secrets.

They take money in exchange for their services, just like every other business on the planet.

There are some participants that have a bad experience, some that don’t like it, and some that decide to take that negative experience and post it in places to see.

There are far more that have had great experiences, changed their lives, started their own businesses, reconnected with loved ones, etc, because of what they learned at the Landmark Forum and in the rest of the Curriculum for living.

As with most things in life, the ones that love it just go forth and conquer.
The ones that don’t like it, complain about it in public places.

As a writer now, I thought that I could do my part as a Landmark Grad to spread the positive word, and encourage some people that may be on the fence about enrolling to tip the way of courage, and go.

Go to the Forum. Have a weekend that will start something amazing for you!

I’m going to open myself up for any and all questions about all of Landmark Education’s services. I have been to the Landmark Forum, the Landmark Advanced Course, and am enrolled in the Self Expression and Leadership Program in February 2018, but commuting 6 hours to Houston for SELP proved too difficult for Michelle and I (She was pregnant at the time too!)

My wife Michelle has done all the courses right along with me.

My parents have both completed the entire Curriculum for Living.

Thanks for reading 🙂


Related: What I Got Out of the Landmark Forum and What you Can Expect

37 thoughts on “Landmark Education a Cult? (Not Even Close)

  1. When people say that Landmark uses brainwashing, it’s because the Forum clearly makes use of all eight conditions of “thought reform” (brainwashing), described by psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton in 1961 (10 years before Werner Erhard created est, the predecessor of Landmark). Before you can state with authority that Landmark doesn’t use brainwashing you really need to understand what brainwashing is. Since youvey bought into Landmark, I imagine you’ll either deny the facts (“Landmark doesn’t control communication” or “Landmark doesn’t use public confessions”, because they call it “sharing”) or rationalise it in that, if they brainwash you’re happy to have been brainwashed. The truth is that if you understood the numerous psychological processes they used on you you would feel used. My guess is that you would also rationalise the negative impact the trainings have on many people as being their own fault. Why do you think they emphasise keeping your word? Do you think it might have something to do with the fact that, once they get you to agree to bring in new recruits they can hold you to it?

    1. So TECHNICALLY speaking, they use “brainwashing techniques” is what you’re saying.
      Got it.
      To that I’d say….ok.
      I mean, the transformative work that landmark does in incredible. Of course not 100% of participants can open up to it, but watching the changes, epiphanies, and improvements people make due to landmark courses, to me, is nothing short of incredible.

      1. I hope you don’t mind if I ask a few questions… What is your understanding about the link between the processes used in the Forum and those used in Scientology? Do you think the studies cited by Landmark are reliable? Do you realise that Landmark claims that they are not a Large Group Awareness Training? Do you know that they claim that what they do does not remotely resemble brainwashing or thought reform? If an organisation is willing to mislead you on these issues, how can you trust that they have your best interests at heart?

      2. Landmark also appeals to the idea of “being open”, but this is really just a smart way of getting people to drop their guards. It’s easier to make use of persuasion processes when a person suspends critical thinking – Erhard used to say that understanding is the booby prize.

  2. I see that critical comments are not posted. This is precisely what Milieu Control (the first condition of thought reform) is all about. Only allow perspectives which support your narrative. This is what the trainer does during the Forum. Wake up.

    1. Apologies. My first post didn’t come through initially… and it wouldn’t be the first time that a pro-Landmark site blocked posts from someone who was critical. I appreciate that you’re open to dialogue.

  3. Really nice that you got so much out of it, happy for you that it helped.
    When I read your story, it seems that you were not very confident and I am not sure Landmark is the solution to that? Introvert, awesome, be proud! I am sorry it took Landmark to tell you that you are good the way you are!
    Interesting to hear that you were feeling a bit “lost” for a month or so after… Surely other people have experienced the same and I was wondering what Landmark does for aftercare (except for the sales bla bla), for participants that feel lost for longer then a month? When reading about this program, it does kind of sound like a “forget everything you are, start fresh, get rid of any defense mechanisms you might have built during your life…” I find that a very dangerous thing to do, seeing the course leaders are coaches and not professionals. Interested to hear your thoughts on this…

    1. Yeah it really did help me a lot! Same for my Mom and dad, and numerous aunts that have attended the program. It’s powerful…Intense for sure though!!!
      So as far as aftercare, they actually offer a great program called the Landmark Seminars that they give you free tuition to. It’s a 10 week program that will have a specific theme, and you attended once a week. I wasn’t able to make it to the Seminars though because I live in New Orleans, and the closest city that offers all the Landmark courses is Houston. I didn’t want to commute 6 hours both ways for a 2 hour meeting once a week. I wanted very badly to attend them though!

  4. So, for those who claim LE is a evil brainwashing scam; how did you manage to side step being brainwashed by the constant barrage of digitally powered sales pitches, publicly placed political agendas, religious beliefs, childhood traumas, etc, that we all encounter at hyper speed in “normal life” these days? … Perhaps Landmark releases you from your already brainwashed condition? For some, that could be terrifying, I assert (warning: LE Lingo here)! The big Landmark presenting challenge here seems to be to ‘THINK FOR YOU SELF’….

    1. Your comment brings up a great point…if Landmark is in fact “brain washing” then it’s just counteracting the “brain washing” that we as a society already have.

    2. Maybe this societal brainwashing can be a voided by critical thinking, same as LE’s brianwadhing techniques

  5. Landmark exhibits all aspects of cult behavior. If you can’t see it, it’s likely you’ve already assimilated. Congrats. I hope the money, headaches, gaslighting, and exploitation all work out for you in the end.
    Also: It’s not news to me that anything content of Landmark magically disappears online. Rest assured, I will not be silenced. If this comment somehow manages disappear as well, I will pursue the same legal actions I have already had to several times in the past to ensure that people can hear from an unfiltered perspective what is actually occurring in this cult religion rebranded as self development seminars.

    1. Thanks for your input Steve!!! Landmark isn’t for everyone. It changed my life in a positive way that is truly hard to put into words. I have had no contact with anything Landmark related is 2.5 years now, and my results of HAPPINESS stay the same.
      Sounds like Landmark had a similar but opposite effect on you, and I feel for that. Please feel free to vent as much as you want here, I promise to listen with an open mind and big heart. I’d never silence any comment you ever make, and I appreciate you taking the time to not only read my content but to contribute as well.
      Have an amazing day, man! Hope to hear from you soon 😁

    2. The man said he actually started to shut up and listen to people in social situations, and you expect him to delete your comment and silence you? That’s not the work of Landmark, that’s anti-Landmark. Landmark says everyone is the way they are and I’m the one with the problem with it (think 2 people agreeing that capital punishment is wrong but me disagreeing with them and telling them they’re stupid — they’re not stupid, they are agreeing on a socio-political perspective and I am adding stuff by labelling them stupid) and if I give up being right and righteous about how wrong they are, then I get peace of mind, and they get to experience being accepted and everyone is happier. That doesn’t make the world a better place, and Landmark doesn’t claim to, but imagine a world where I can disagree without fighting and calling the other people stupid, or Israel and Palestine settling affairs with compassion, instead of missiles. That’s the world possible through this viewpoint. Also, I understand the ‘religion’ parallels, but firstly, Landmark doesn’t preach that they know best or people should believe in something, and secondly, they don’t say “we’re telling the truth, buy our books, believe us because we know and you don’t”, they say “question what we tell you, because we don’t have the answers here — see if it applies to your life, and be rigorous because we know you want great results in your life, otherwise you wouldn’t have bought this course”. Oh I guess they were the same point. Anyway, enough rambling, thanks for reading, take care <3

  6. You claim that it isn’t a cult, and while at the same time demonstrating that it operates just like a cult: The pitch, the high pressure recruitment, the financial incentive on their part, the group setting where people are broken down, and so on. If it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, it’s a f***ing cult. Right down to the glassy-eyed “it changed me forever and it will for YOU” shtick.

    1. Hey Kevin!! Yeah if you think it’s a cult then it’s a cult. I know it’s not so to me it’s not. They don’t warp you or berate you to come back or “stay in” the program. I’ve not been to a single landmark related event in 3 years and no one cares. Their teachings helped me so much it’s hard to put into words. And yes, I do think it can have that effect on everyone. But no, no one NEEDS it. It’s just there to help and they do so at a very low price compared to similar programs (look up Tony Robbins date with destiny price, damn!).
      Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment Kevin!!

  7. My daughter’s mother did this course and it changed her from being a kind, generous and easy going person into a self righteous, judgemental and highly manipulative narcissist. I guess the Landmark operatives in her programme were happy with the results as she has gone through all four stages to become a leader herself.

    1. Yeah the courses effect everyone differently and that is sad that you, in effect, lost your friend to their teachings! I’ll say this too, if she’s at the Landmark meetings using all the crazy language and talking passionately about helping people, then they won’t get to see her bringing negativity into the world. Also, her behavior occurs completely different to herself as it does you, so it’s not that SHE IS judgemental and manipulative, it’s that she occurs that way to you (and quite possibly many others). If you care enough about the relationship and her, you could just bring it up in a non-attacking or accusing way and tell her that’s how she comes across to you. The worst is that she tells you your an idiot and invites you to the landmark forum again. Lol. At best, she reflects on her actions and sees what she’s done to your relationship and then is thoughtful about repairing it.
      Thanks so much for reading and for your 2 comments BTW Lee!

  8. Hey Nick, thanks for sharing and good timing. I did my Forum last May and finally got around to completing the Advanced Course this weekend. I’m “grappling” (landmark speak) with what or if I got anything? I completely tuned out the second day which was entirely focused on “enrollment” (recruitment) for our Tuesday night. What I don’t get is if this is about changing the world for the better why aren’t we recruiting folks to feed the hungry, protest bigotry and racism or enroll people into signing up to do things that will make a difference? The last couple hours we were inspected around why wouldn’t we want to spend 7 weekends learning to become a Landmark leader and berated that if we didn’t, we were just talking. To that I have no personal deniability, its not like I’m Mother Theresa or Ghandi in my actions, but really, becoming trained in selling Landmark does not seem to me to be the most altruistic of goals for my life.

    1. What up Christian!! It’s important to keep in mind the fact that Landmark is a business and a for profit one at that. If you let yourself get turned off by the recruiting, you’ll miss the good stuff!! Now, when you say “why aren’t we recruiting folks to feed the hungry…” etc, to that I’d say, why don’t you go do that? Is Landmark going to do it? Of course not, that’s not what they do. They are “educators” that do a pretty damn good job of teaching people how to live empowered lives. It’s very easy to blame them for NOT doing something cause they’re the corporation, but if you ask me, that’s what is wrong with most everyone’s mindset now days. People default into “they should do something” vs realizing that they themselves have the power to do anything!!

  9. I have zero interest in joining a Landmark, but yes it sounds like a form of brainwashing. But that doesn’t make it bad thing. It actually sounds very close to AA except it’s a business. Teaching people who to think it basically the point of education in general.

    1. It’s amazingly transformative and once you’re done they leave you alone. I promise it’s not brainwashing! 😂😂 the notion that it is is so laughable it’s odd.
      Now they are pretty peculiar how they talk and push you out of your comfort zone, but not not not brainwashing promise!

  10. Keith Raniere, the sociopathic NXIVM cult leader who was recently sentenced to 120 years in prison for racketeering, sex trafficking fraud and several other federal crimes, based his “curriculum” on Werner Ehrardt’s Est coursework… the predecessor to Landmark Education. Landmark is most definitely a cult. India Oxenberg, who had her flesh seared with a brand of Raniere’s initials didn’t believe she was in a cult either… until she woke up. That’s how brainwashing works. I am glad that you got something good out of The Forum, but your opinion is not relevant to the facts. As another reader pointed out above, Landmark uses all of Lifton’s eight criteria of thought reform (brainwashing). These tactics of coercion and control may be subtle and hard to see, but they are also extremely dangerous! If your brain isn’t in need of an abusive washing, I recommend you steer clear of Landmark.

    1. The reason it’s NOT a cult is because they don’t require anything of you. They don’t demand anything. They don’t try to get you to do anything. They are not malicious in anyway. I finished my programs 4 years ago and haven’t been back and haven’t been contacted by them. They don’t care that I’m not not going to the courses other than the fact that they don’t make money off me. It’s a business not a cult. Now, if they employ some forms of what you refer to as “brainwashing” in their teaching, then that certainly would appear to be suspect, but I assure you, they are trying to help people.

      We do now of course find ourselves in the paradox here where the more I tell you it’s not a cult the more you THINK I’m brainwashed by a cult, so we can just land on different opinions and be happy about it 🙂

      I wrote the article to help people as well. Landmarks courses have helped MILLIONS of people lead happier, empowered lives, but the literature out there is all quite negative so I wanted to put out some very straight forward info for people to read, especially if they were on the fence about enrolling.

      Im not here to persuade people that think it’s a cult. I’m here to reassure curious minds that the program will definitely be worth the time and money invested.

      Thank you Katie!

  11. I completed the Forum in 1992. I had all the misgivings that people have voiced. I was on guard all weekend against believing anything I heard. I just listened to everyone else engage the Forum leader in conversation. At 1:41 am I had a profound breakthrough in my hotel room the last day of my seminar. I finally understood why my life was so out of balance. I went home and sat my wife, who was 5 months pregnant with our second son, abd told her about my breakthroughs concerning our marriage. She couldn’t believe what I was sharing with her. I invited her to take the Forum and she trusted me enough to agree. That was 28 years ago and we continually find new ways to create an amazing relationship. Our two sons took the teen version of the Forum and have avoided a lot of the life pitfalls that many of their friends went through. They have grown up to be quite happy and independent. As a family we are super close and relate very honestly with each other. Thank’s for this post.

    1. That’s incredible Larry, thank you so much for sharing that! I always KNOW that the folks that make outrageous claims of Landmark being a cult, or brainwashing, etc could have that same breakthrough if they would open up. Thank you again and congrats on having a life that you love to live!

  12. So who is paying you to manipulate people just like the landmark cult? “Not even close”? dear dear, do go on… Liar

    1. Unless the check got lost in the mail, no one is paying me 😂 it’s not a cult because they don’t make you do anything. Haha. I’ve had no contact with them in almost 4 years and they haven’t reached out once. They don’t care about your life unless you want them to. But you think it’s CIA so this reply is only gonna make you think I’m MORE in on it so….I’ll just leave it 😂😂

  13. Just got out of a forum. There are helpful elements. But there are “promises” (wrapped in legalese so they can say they actually didn’t promise anything) that they can’t fulfill and the demand that you turn off your brain and accept what they are saying.

    If it weren’t for the MLM style techniques and high pressure demands that you keep BUYING into more and more Landmark stuff and recruiting others, it MIGHT be a good program for some.

  14. Usually when somebody declares themself to be a “deep thinker and deep learner”, you should run the other way.

    Seriously, how amazingly narcissistic.

    Surprised he didn’t also divulge that he has a 14″ penis.


    1. ❤️Sending positivity your way. You just read a long article I wrote to help people, and I know it does help people because I get emails from readers telling stories that I did actually help them, and then you left an extremely rude and attempted hurtful comment. Glad to chat if you want to reach out to me! ❤️

  15. Try “completing” after 30 years. The term CULT suddenly has context.
    It’s real and many are putting themselves on the do not call list.
    Is this their issue, “building evidence” or is landmark itself a cult?
    I ask you to look at the core work, and then see what the business does to the actual work.

    1. I respect your opinion greatly though I disagree. Landmark does nothing at all that’s cult-like in my experience. You of course have much different experiences therefore differing opinions. I’m not right, but I’m confident in my opinion. Thanks for your comment!

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