Landmark Education, aka “the Landmark Forum”, is the most prominent of a style of “human potential” seminars known as Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT). Just some of the many others include PSI World, est, Promise Keepers, Lifespring, the Mankind Project, and the Kairos Foundation/More to Life (source: Wikipedia). There are a lot of people out there who say these weekend seminars transformed their life, but there’s also a lot of people out there who call these companies cults.
I’ve had a number of friends go through LGAT seminars. Some of them I respect a lot. All of them have had overwhelmingly positive experiences. Of course, since Landmark is essentially brainwashing its participants and reprogramming them, that’s about what you’d expect. Which is not to say the program doesn’t work, just that you have to take these opinions with a grain of salt.
I’m considering taking one of these programs, but if anyone’s going to be messing around inside my head, I want to be fully informed beforehand. So this morning I started reading about them in depth.
(UPDATE: I was unknowingly lured into an LGAT weekend program, the Millionaire Mind Intensive, and was nauseated by how easily the seminar leaders sucked hundreds of thousands of dollars out of the participants pockets. See my post My Large Group Awareness Training Experience: Millionaire Mind Intensive)
Landmark Education offers the opportunity to address your emotional state directly. Using a combination of hypnosis, NLP, emotional contagion, and motivational speaking, they break you down emotionally and rebuild you. Some people’s lives are shattered by the experience. Some people find a new inner strength that enhances all their relationships, but others find themselves unable to relate to anyone outside the Landmark community.
You might think that reading all this would turn me off, but to be honest, I’m more curious than ever. I’ll be reading more about Landmark and other LGATs over the next few months. Here’s where I’m starting:
Pros and cons:
Tons more links:
(The neutrality of the article is under dispute, so skip the article and go right to the links section at the bottom, organized by positive and negative opinions.)