Last Friday I had the opportunity to check out the Landmark Forum seminar. Many of you have probably heard about their work and if you haven’t they are a personal development company. This was a three day seminar which was held between the hours of 9am and 10pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You are given two half hour breaks every 2.5 hours and then a 1.5 dinner break over the course of the 13 hour day.
My course leader was a gentlemen named Barry Terry from Virginia. He had supposedly been a senior trainer for a couple decades and was self proclaimed “excellent” or “one of the best” in his field. I was excited to take part in the event and sat down in a large hall filled with a 100 other strangers who sat hopefully waiting to hear a strong message and insight. And boy, were we left disappointed!
We sat in very uncomfortable chairs spaced very close together with six people aside in each row and a path separating the two sides where Barry Terry would perform his spectacle over the next couple of days. Now take in mind that this was a large hall and there was tones of space in this room to move the chairs around to allow for more comfort, but they chose to increase to dissatisfaction of the customers by placing us shoulder to shoulder. For a a long seminar that costs $650 for the three days you think they would provide you at least a little physical comfort to help the information sink in, but I was totally wrong in that assumption. The common solution to this nagging discomfort was to stand in the back corner of the room from time to time stretching out your muscle pain from their agonizing layout.
Top 5 Fails of Landmark Forum
1# – For Fuck’s Sake save your $650 and read The Power of Now, The Biology of Belief and take responsibility for the wrongs you have made in the past by saying sorry and moving forward in life. This will run you for a grand total of $25 on amazon.com ($625 worth of savings, not to mention saving you from frustration). For you brave souls now wondering about amends, well, that doesn’t costs you anything but effort. Yes, I know this is a wild and crazy idea, to now take responsibility for the things you have done wrong and now apologize for your part.
2# – Instead of answering direct questions from the crowd, the fast talking forum leader consistently chose to speak around any question he was unsure of and provide a completely unhelpful answer to the crowd instead of simply stating they he didn’t know the answer. Now Barry Terry, I guess they don’t teach about ego not being your amigo in leader training.
3# – Made people speak infront of a crowd they wern’t comfortable with, coercing them to disclose person information to get down to the hard truth of their problematic lives and this would solve their problems (I.E, rapes, bankrupty info, abuse etc). Barry convinced the crowd that they were safe and the people in the course wouldn’t take any of their deeply personal stories out of the room with them (no, that would never happen now, would it?). Non-dislosure agreements of course were nowhere to be seen, but a simple bold statement of trust would be all these innocent people would need to be secure (you can trust me guys, take the blue pill, lol).
#4 – This one still might be my favourite, but I know how much you guys love to save a dollar or two! Now, after paying customers divulged very scarring personal information about themselves to the crowd, Barry Terry in all his mighty arrogance would label these people as crazy and laugh at them for their bad choices they made in front of 100 strangers. Keep in mind, some of these things could have happened to you at a very young age with an undeveloped mind/brain, a complete innocent state. I may not know very much in life, but one thing I do know is that after I pass over my fear of public speaking, shake in my boots of judgement from Barry and discuss personal matters with self-diagnosed mindset leaders is to be told I’m crazy. Fortunately for Barry Terry I wasn’t one of those lucky few who got publicly lambasted or else he might have left Canada with a few missing teeth. I will admit it has been a couple years since I have taken a psychology course at the University level, but I don’t ever recall reading about the benefits of public humiliation as a tool in behaviour change.
#5 – Course leaders just dominated their co-workers with what seemed to be a subservient regime. Remember that we are supposedly at a seminar where they are guiding you to a higher, better level of life, and to complete your pasts by enrolling others in your bright future, as they would like to also to hold the same humble opinion through the process. Yet, when it came to these second-class “worker-bees” who did most of the work to begin with, they walked around with little to no self-confidence, every couple minutes looking back to the higher-ups to seek validation and direction as if they were a pack of defeated dogs looking back to their Alpha leader. It was really sad. I felt like they had drank the kool-aid and didn’t even know it.
BONUS FAIL: After communicating to the course leader that I was receiving little to no value with the course on multiple occasions she finally agreed to connect with me on Monday for a resolution and that I would be “taken care of” as she described it in her own words. This course leader spoke about the importance of integrity and willingness in our lives and yet sure enough this now being Thursday I still haven’t heard one word from her, totally solidifying the horrific experience at Landmark Forum!
I can only hope that you do trust that there are several other ways to obtain the knowledge that is so highly “sought after” in Landmark. Their work is hardly original and anyone who has jumped on their bandwagon is only ignorant to suggest such a thing.