Landmark Education and the Landmark Forum

April 26, 2010

Being with People – the New Brainwashing

Filed under: inspiration — Tags: , , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 5:42 pm

When I occasionally see someone on the internet say that the Landmark Forum ‘brainwashes’ people – usually in an anonymous post somewhere with no evidence as to what that actually means – I tend to wonder, where was I? There was nothing in my Landmark Forum but a frank conversation about what people are dealing with in their lives. If the course leaders exhort people to do something, it’s do go make a difference with people, help make the world work (see my last post).

But a blog I recently read gets more to the heart about what people can find uncomfortable about Landmark Education programmes. You see, in one Landmark course, I think it’s the Advanced Course, you do an exercise wher you really have to be with people. Like, actually look in their eyes. I would assert that for many people, this is quite scary. They say that public speaking is the number one fear of people (slightly ahead of death), which basically indicates we fear embarrassment more than death. I think the fear of public speaking is simply the fear of being with people we don’t know – lots of them.

In this blog, Ted’s Transformational Tips, Ted talks about an exercise he says is from the Landmark Forum (I actually think it was in the Advance Course, though that’s not really the point here). In it, you take on simply being with another person, looking into their eyes, not saying anything, for about five minutes.

Simple, right?

Well, as Ted points out, not really, for many people. Many people discover how uncomfortable they are truly being with others – they feel forced to laugh nervously, or look away. But when people actually take the time to get out of our own head and be with another, I think many people get in touch with something they may have forgotten – how magnificent people can be, how moving, how powerful.

I think that for some people, hearing about such an exercise can actually be quite threatening – threatening to one’s fears, that is. I think sometimes what alarmists on the internet are most scared of is people giving up their fears. Then they might have to give up their own…

August 18, 2009

Letting go of Limiting Beliefs

Filed under: inspiration — Tags: , , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 6:14 pm

In my fascination with Landmark Education and its programs, and why people have so many different reactions to it, I came across something that I think subtly gets at why so many people like the courses, and why at the same time it seems to upset some outside critics.

This piece barely mentions Landmark Education, it’s more about just giving success tips. It briefly says that Landmark is a great aid to letting go of self limiting beliefs, something that I agree with. And I think that’s why it sometimes attracts a lot of controversy.

Seeing a point of view that you’ve had that’s been holding you back can be incredibly powerful. I noticed it myself when I did the Landmark Forum and I saw where I unconsciously viewed myself as a failure, or at least as someone who was limited in the kind of success I could achieve.

But if you talk to some people about “letting go of beliefs”, I think it makes them a bit daffy. “That’s brainwashing!” some scream, particularly in the western world, where our cherished individuality is everything to us. People will fight and kill and argue forever about the rightness of their beliefs; it’s what you could say we’re best at. If the internet has opened up a new world of communication for people, what have people used this new world for? Well, if you look at the internet, it’s pretty obvious that a great many people are using it to argue about their beliefs. I don’t think anyone would deny this.

And if you look at someone arguing on the internet, “giving up a limiting belief” appears to be the last thing in the universe they’d ever want to do – they’d rather die first.

Which comes back to Landmark Education. I personally think this is what both gives the power to its courses and rankles some people. Something where giving up self-limiting beliefs is a big part of the programs deeply threatens some people.

The ridiculous part of it is that people then assume that if one is giving up certain beliefs, the organization must be replacing those beliefs with its own sinister beliefs. But Landmark Education doesn’t do that at all. It’s not about giving up one set of rigid beliefs so that one can embrace another set of rigid beliefs. It’s about about realizing that all beliefs are inherently limited by their own point of view and that fighting over them doesn’t give a lot of fulfillment in life. Oh well – until next time!

February 9, 2009

Stuft Expresses Disappointment at the Lack of Mind Control in the Landmark Forum

Filed under: inspiration — Tags: , , , , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 8:24 pm

If you’ve never read the “Stuft” blog, I recommend it highly – I’ve linked to it before, but I feel compelled to do so again-over the weekend author Samantha did a brilliant job at poking fun of alarmist websites that believe that personal development programs like the Landmark Forum somehow engage in mind control or spout lies about the so-called ‘Landmark Education Cult’. Here is some of that story. If you have time read the whole thing at STUFT-There’s a lot of great stuff over there on a wide variety of topics, particularly education.

Have I got the Cult for You!

For those of you who don’t know us well it may have slipped by you that my husband and I are in a cult. But don’t feel left out, you probably are too. There are several places you can do your research online to find out if you currently belong to a cult and don’t be suprised if you discover that your frequent trips around the drive through at McDonald’s means you are a victim of a cult too.

Chris and I, however, knew that we were participating in the activities of a registered cult when we began attending Landmark Education Seminars and quite frankly we were dissappointed by the lack of mind control and domination as was promised on various websites and blogs.

What we have experienced after now completing the Landmark Forum, Advanced Course and Landmark in Action seminar series is a pale shadow of the mind control we had anticipated. The Soviets would have been disappointed had they used Landmark’s brainwashing methods for trail.

Unfortunately we still have to think for ourselves, tie our own shoes and take responsibility for our own mistakes. The charismatic forum leaders were completely relatable and easy going folk and we feel no compulsion to carry and effigy of their image in our wallet or even mention their names on a daily basis. They presented not a single concept that was any more bizarre than mainstream philosophical insights presented in scientific or religious circles and they did it using totally secular curriculum that was well-structured and used all the principles of effective pedagogy administered in most state schools today.

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