My best friend from grade school enrolled in several Landmark courses back in 1996. She invited me to a "friends /relatives" session at the end of her three-day program. I had no idea what "Landmark Forum" was and I was fairly open to what they had to say.
Before I went, however, I was a bit concerned because she came back from each "session" very excited yet concerned about her relationship with her father. She had repaired difficulties between herself and her father years earlier, but she was now suddenly she was bringing everything up again.
I attended the Landmark session and was immediately taken aback by the attitude of the leader. After a few minutes of obviously staged testimonials about "breakthroughs", I was led into a small, plain upstairs room--away from the friend who had brought me there. I was told that the program would last only a short time, but there were no clocks and when I asked for the time I was continuously given the run-around.
I was lectured in speeches about paradigms, but when I asked questions and requested the person to be more specific--they always seemed to give me very vague answers. I was told that there would be no breaks, but I decided to go to the bathroom. I went to the elevator and was inside with two other women. They feigned apathy (in my opinion), and walked with me downstairs as I got a bit of air. They also followed me upstairs and then down again. I became suspicious that I was being followed.
After over an hour I was ready to go. However, people kept coming up to me asking how I was feeling. When I said "fine", they inquired as to whether I was going to sign up for the introductory course (cost $300.00 at that time). When I said no, a variety of people came to me and asked why. I kept giving answers like " I don't need it" and they still kept asking why. I felt like I was being pressured because I was young (24), but they didn't stop asking. Finally, an older man came to the room and questioned me incessantly. He said I should borrow the money from my friend I said no, but he kept insisting. I finally went downstairs and met my friend. She ended up signing up for one or two more courses. I told her my thoughts, but she obviously felt differently.
The Landmark people called me again and again. I felt they were very aggressive and annoying. My mother finally got on the phone and told them to "F--- off". That seemed to do the trick. In my opinion, Landmark Forum is a very aggressive and selfish program. They refuse to answer your questions, but they incessantly ask questions of their own. I actually felt guilty for using the bathroom and I thought that the rooms were uncommonly warm. I also felt that I was being followed by people and that the group of newcomers was fake--except for two or three.
I think it is a big rip-off [sic], a waste of energy and definitely money!
Copyright © 1998 Rick Ross