October 5, 2008

Obama and est?

A reader speculates that Obama might have undergone some form of "est" training, or at least was an interested observer of it. That might explain some of the success of the Obama Campaign in 2008 in mobilizing the kind of people who fall for est and its various re-incarnations.

I don't see any evidence for this, but it's not impossible or even all that implausible. These "encounter" sessions, whether run under the original est banner by Werner Erhard or by its offshoots such as The Forum (run by Erhard's brother's Landmark company), were all the rage when Obama was a yuppie in Chicago in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Living in Chicago during roughly the same years as Obama, I had numerous encounters with est's tentacles. My cousin got roped in by a friend into attending an est sales pitch, so he wisely dragged me along to keep him from signing up for a four day session. My girlfriend's roommate was heavy into into it, so the cult leaders used her as their free office temp. The top management of the marketing research firm where I worked in The Loop got briefly infatuated with encounter sessions with each other that seemed clearly modeled on the est methodology. (Werner Erhard got tainted in some scandals in the mid-1980s, but his associates soldiered on.) My bosses all went to marathon soul-baring sessions for a few weeks and came back raving about their "breakthroughs." Me and the other junior executives were supposed to go next, but then all of sudden, they came to their senses and and the feeling around the Top Floor was: We Shall Never Speak of This Again.

If you don't know how est works, here is Tom Wolfe's all-time great 1970s article "The Me Decade and the Third Great Awakening." To Wolfe, est was just the commercial version of Yale's Skull & Bones sessions where every flaw in a new member's personality was publicly picked apart in front of the crowd:

But out of the fire and the heap of ashes would come a better man, a brother, of good blood and good bone, for the American race guerrière. And what was more . . . they loved it. No matter how dreary the soap opera, the star was Me.

This kind of thing can actually toughen people up (or screw them up royally). A fraternity works by picking on new pledges' weaknesses until they start insulting their brothers' back, and then everybody ends up laughting. (Obama might not been quite the head case he depicts in Dreams from My Father if he'd had the good sense to join a fraternity in college.)

The differences between Skull & Bones (of which five of the ten Presidential nominees from 1988-2004 were members) and est is that the former is self-governing and selective (each member only recruits one other member, on average). Skull & Bones has its pros and cons, but but it's essentially a mutual benefit society, while est tends to be exploitative of its members. Est is a pyramid, with a few rich people at the top putting endless pressure on the lower down folks to go round up more dupes.

Obama is self-absorbed and self-pitying enough to have been interested in Let's Talk About Me (after all, he published 150,000 words about himself when he was 33), but also cynical and analytical enough to have figured out how est works on other people.

A brief Google glance doesn't show any evidence of documented Obama connections to est, but we do know he underwent and even led Alinskyite-training sessions. I don't know much about what's involved in them. It would be interesting for anybody with any inside knowledge to describe the similarities and differences between Erhard's and Alinsky's cults. Alinsky was more outward-directed and rational, which may be why Obama became disenchanted with the effectiveness of Alinsky's Rules for Radicals recipe for radical community organizing. Alinsky's system was designed for outside agitators working among proles living Back of the Yards. It was all too Depression-era depressing for Baby Boomers like Obama and Hillary Clinton, who turned down Alinsky's job offer. Alinsky just didn't provide the ineffable self-actualization that the affluent Baby Boomer generation craved.

In my experience, est wasn't exceptionally sinister. It provided a service -- Let's talk about Me! -- that a lot of people were willing to pay for, and it held out the hope of change (hmmhmm, where have I heard those words before?). est was just the usual pyramid scheme where each initiate had to recruit more marks to be milked. After awhile, there's nobody left who hasn't paid yet and the bubble collapses until it can be re-inflated under a different name.

The wildly successful volunteer aspects of the Obama campaign bear a lot of similarities to est.

If the Obama volunteers movement is modeled on est, then Obama has switched the ostensible locus of transformation from self to world ("this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal"). And he has flipped the focus from individual to communal ("We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek"). But it's still a cult with him at the top rather than, say, Werner Erhard.

(Perhaps, most successful mass movements organized around one man are going to look like a multi-level marketing scam, so maybe est didn't have to be directly involved in Obama's education in marketing himself as an Erhard-like Messiah, but it would be interesting to know more about it.)

Barack Obama would be too verbally agile to get caught using clearly est-ian verbiage, but his wife Michelle, who is much less facile with the English language, occasionally lets loose with classic "California Uber Alles" formulations of the Obama Cult that sound a lot like est:
"And Barack Obama will require you to work.

He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism, that you put down your division, that you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones, that you push yourselves to be better, and that you engage.

Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual - uninvolved, uninformed..."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

35 comments:

Truth said...

I actually attended the Landmark Forum recently and found it helpful ad did the overwhelming majority (I would say 75) of the 79 people in my group.

While some of the criticism has it's grounds I would say the weekend was worth the time and money.

Bill said...

Is that what it's called? I got put through something like that in junior high, and I will neither forget it nor forgive the people who inflicted this on kids.

Anonymous said...

Ha, at first I thought you meant electro shock therapy!

Anonymous said...

Obama Delenda est!

(sorry, couldn't resist)

Black Sea said...

"And Barack Obama will require you to work."

Uh, do folks in the hood know about this?

testing99 said...

THE most telling attack on Obama would be the EST Presidency.

Middle/working class Average Joes HATE that. It's boomer twaddle cubed.

Obama as the EST President ???

Maybe the only thing that could sink his campaign.

Anonymous said...

The cult-Democratic Party connections are covered extensively at this blog:

http://themachoresponse.blogspot.com/

The short answer however is that while there is no evidence that Obama himself is a Landmark grad, the campaign sounds exactly like it came out of the advanced course. There is a wealth of information here

http://forum.rickross.com/list.php?4

and the people there who survived Landmark are happy to talk to anybody about their experiences.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind paying to attend a large group awareness session like Landmark Education if they didn't get their attendees to badger their friends into attending. I received a phone call from my friend when he was in a session. He was instructed to call 10 people and get them to show up. His success at recruitment gave him status within the organization. I just couldn't do that because I don't want to sell to my friends.

rightsaidfred said...

>>>>My girlfriend's roommate was heavy into into it, so the cult leaders used her as their free office temp.

That's a pretty good model of me, an alleged business owner, dealing with the waves of paperwork generated by the cult-like nanny State in which we live.

roarin1 said...

The only deadly cult on earth Obama really needs to avoid is Amway.

Their agents are the uttermost vicious.

Anonymous said...

I did est in 77 and I did Landmark in 06. While I am not a rabid follower of the system, (I don't bother with more sessions and I am the only one to quit a follow-up session), but I found the ones I did go through to be extremely helpful, and, um, illuminating even.
Nobody who has incorporated some of the basic messages -- you don't know what it is you don't know; follow the rules or change them legitimately, don't waste time with disruptive rebelliousness; try and make your life mean something, etc.
I think Steve, you don't know what it is you don't know, to use their lingo, and you are assuming things about Landmark that you don't really know. You should avail yourself of the opportunity to sit in on a session. You'd find it very interesting, I think, and I've actually heard a few honest things said about race and ethnicity in these.
One of the basic elements of Landmark/est is truthfulness. I don't know if the founder was truthful himself, but 2 + 2 make 4, even if a lier is teaching it.
The Obama campaign is frought with extremely significant lies, obfuscations and viciousness. I'm an Independent, from a long line of Democrats.
Mr. O is a type of person who might have been attracted to est or Landmark. Such people are in the upper SEC or IQ strata generally, aware of trends, and searching for something. HOwever, not everyone internalizes it in the same way. Be with yourself as you are is fine for someone with good urges, but I've often wondered if evil people feel its ok to keep on being evil. Has there been any study of est-grads?
Perhaps, the results from these classes are sort of like seeing a UFO (I never have.) It is meaningful to one who sees it but impossible to convey totally to those who haven't.

David said...

And Barack Obama will require you to work.

He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism, that you put down your division, that you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones, that you push yourselves to be better, and that you engage.

Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual - uninvolved, uninformed...


Take this very seriously, folks. This is a Mao in the making.

Now I'm going back to my "uninvolved, uninformed" life...you know, the life that is my own to live, until Jan. 20, 2009 at least.

KlaosOldanburg said...

There were also cultish drug rehab programs resembling EST, which may be why obama seems to be familiar with that style of 'thought' (nothing like a little mild brainwashing to get you off coke)

michael farris said...

"I did est in 77 and I did Landmark in 06. While I am not a rabid follower of the system ... I found the ones I did go through to be extremely helpful, and, um, illuminating even."

A lot of things do have a kernal of utility, otherwise they'd never be able to grow.
The secret is knowing when to walk away (usually sooner rather than later - always before making any significant financial outlays).
Apparently you got what you could get from it and declined to center your life around it - well done.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who adopts the slogan of "We are the people we have been waiting for" bears watching. Close watching. Most of those people who have been waiting for themselves can't have been waiting long. They aren't more than 20-somethings. Katie, bar the door!

Anonymous said...

"The secret is knowing when to walk away (usually sooner rather than later - always before making any significant financial outlays).
Apparently you got what you could get from it and declined to center your life around it - well done."

Thanks. The guy that encouraged me to do the Landmark called me as an LM project. It was ok since I was up for it anyway, and I like NY. But now whenever he calls, I wonder if I'm still just an LM project.
The most moving and memorable moments in the Landmark class was a magnificent, beautiful, Algerian-born French woman trainer who quoted Shakespeare and other poets, with such precision and meaning and naturalness that it brought tears to my eyes, a rare thing.
But yes, I don't give them anymore hard earned cash.

Anonymous said...

Scientology has always seemed pretty leftist to me ... it's got
the denial of human nature / support for the blank slate,
the fanatical encouragement of ego/self-esteem inflation, with a fair dose of
turning complaints about the distant past into a platform. That's leftism in a nutshell, actually. Since est is just a ripoff of Scientology, it's not surprising that it would be leftist too. And since leftists hate the leftist they rip off / who rip them off, it's no surprise that the $cios are always sniping at the esters. As of yet, it hasn't gotten to Stalin vs. Trotskly levels....

Or maybe they'll make common cause. Anyone ask Tom Cruise if he likes Obama?

Anonymous said...

"But yes, I don't give them anymore hard earned cash."

Excuse me, my ambivalence, is showing. I mean,"No, I don't give them anymore hardearned money."

Barack Landmark Obama said...

Absolutely. Take what you can use, but know when to walk away.

The culties are creepy. Obamaism is full of culties. Youthful culties along with blacks out for payback are driving Obamaism.

If you want to destroy a society built on trust such a cult in power is ideal. Shades of Mao, Pol Pot, Kim, Che, Ho, Joe, and Der Fuhrer.

nsam said...

--
He was instructed to call 10 people and get them to show up. His success at recruitment gave him status within the organization.
--

This is a common and probably inevitable tactic in any multi-level setup where the to-be-teachers are the ones who are taken along for most of the ride (unless they got in real early)

These groups (in the self growth space) do probably have interesting and valuable techniques (which they have no problems in borrowing from other such groups).. So I agree that its best to learn what you can in the short time required and move on (unless one is independently wealthy and treats it as a hobby)

VoodooMan said...

Those evil Satanic cults! So unwholesome - not like Palin's (former) Assembly of God Pentacostal Church.

kurt said...

Est was popular in SoCal in the late 70's. There was even a comedy movie starring Burt Reynolds (called "Semi-Tough") that depicted a fictional version of Est. Many of the space people (L-5 Society OASIS members) in SoCal had been in Est, which is where I first heard about Est, and it showed in their mannerisms as late as 1986. We used to call them "est-holes" because of their overbearing nature.

I believe Landmark Forum is a modified version of Est that is popular today.

Truth said...

"Youthful culties along with blacks out for payback are driving Obamaism."


And those two groups comprise 45% of the country, DAMN!

none of the above said...

The flowery, inspiring rhetoric of political speeches is just inherently chilling to folks not inclined to be swept up in the excitement. I don't think Obama's speeches are noticeably worse in this regard than other political speeches I've heard. ("Ask not what your country can do for you...." / "If you're not with us, you're against us....")

And I don't find the excitement of the Obamites any creepier than the excitement of the Palinites, to be honest. Same phenomenon, different people affected--do you want a high-IQ clean-cut good-looking black guy as your mascot, or a hot-looking, gun-toting middle class mom of five as your mascot? The most excited folks in both cases are mostly not responding to qualifications or ideas or anything, but to identity and image. (Thus, you want Obama the post-racial intellectual, not Obama the deal-making Chicago politician with ties to shady developers. And you want Palin the hockey mom, not Palin the rather vindictive mayor/governor who had a habit of sacking people who irritated her.)

Heart_Man said...

My wife, daughter, several of my family and friends I have particiapted in The Landmark Forum. The results have been positively life altering. The entire four course Curriculum For Living was under $1,500. Optional follow-up 3-hour, 10 session seminars are only $100. For the past forty years, I have participated in many business, college and personal development courses; Landmark’s were the most reasonably priced and impactful courses I have ever taken.

The Landmark Forum is an inquiry into what’s possible for human beings. In the Landmark Forum they distinguish blind spots that once distinguished gives you the access to whole new realms of possibility that were not available before. The Landmark Forum is for healthy and successful people whose lives are working well and who are committed to excelling at what is next in their lives. The promise of the Landmark Forum is anything you want for yourself or your life is available out of your participation.

The following is a link to a Harris Interactive independent survey of health professionals and educators who had participated in programs offered by Landmark Education. http://tinyurl.com/5hg4fl

Harris Interactive found that survey results showed that the vast majority of respondents held very positive views regarding Landmark Education programs as more than nine of ten agreed that Landmark’s programs were responsibly and professionally conducted, produced practical and powerful results, and made a profound difference in their lives. Moreover, nearly all respondents (96%) agreed that Landmark Education Programs provided great value.

Dr. Raymond D. Fowler, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer American Psychological Association, who participated in The Landmark Forum with his wife, who is also a psychologist, published the following. http://tinyurl.com/5z36ew

The Scoop About The Landmark Forum – Expert Opinions: http://tinyurl.com/5vj5c6

English Oik said...

Speaking as someone who has done nearly all Landmark's courses (some of them more than once) and who has been a volunteer assister at the Landmark Centre in London, I have always thought Obama had more than a touch of Landmark about him.

Not that I've been following your election very closely.

Some people may find it odd, but my participation in Landmark courses, and in particular one course called the Introduction Leadership Program (6 months of evening classes plus 3 weekends + many hours of voluntary assisting plus enrolment targets)was actually probably the most important milestone in me transforming from being a unconscious-cultural-marxist-tribal-left-winger into a somewhat reactionary race realist - and a regular reader of this blog and others of a similar nature.

I suspect this was not an outcome Landmark would welcome - but thats what happened.

My experience of the ILP course brought into sharp focus that whilst Landmark preaches a universalist philosophy, in practice, (at least in my experience, and with some seminar leaders) it incorporates cultural marxist ideas of designated victims. To say I found this infuriating would be a massive understatement.

This preaching of a universalist message whilst at the same time acknowledging a hierarchy of victimhood is not at all uncommon here in little old England.

In fairness, I suppose was being a little harsh on what was a handful of Landmark employees and volunteers as they were just reflecting the wider culture. However, I was very disapointed that employees of an organisation that spouts so much philosophy could not see such an obvious contradiction. I paid money and gave up my free time to abused by righteous idiots!

But my experience on the ILP course did make me think about it - a lot. And, subsequently (following another milestone)read about how it came to be that all are equal but some are more equal than others. Which is how I ended up here.

It wasn't the only milestone, but quite probably the most important one.

Aside from that, I got an awful lot out of these courses and they did change my life very much for the better, and apart from the ILP, I certainly don't regret having done them.

As they say at Landmark, thank you for letting me share that with you.

no potus said...

"not Palin the rather vindictive mayor/governor who had a habit of sacking people who irritated her.)"

You were doing pretty well with objectivity till you got to that.
The assaults on free speech by the Obama campaign are way worse. Ask what Joe Biden's son was doing in the Delaware federal court last summer.
I thought the reasons given for sacking the brother-in-law had been found to be valid? He had indeed been guilty of harrassment, or something. In any case, that was not her biggest deed, which was to get rid of the corrupt pols in the old network when she came in. It was my impression that even her enemies had acknowledged that.

One thing is certain: Sarah Palin is really the only one in this campaign who has been examined publicly and critically and exhaustively. While many strange lies were told, we also got an idea of what sort of mentality she has, what she's done in life, her daughter's pregnancy, etc.

Obama? The ex-Indonesian? MSM don't wanna know, and what MSM don't wanna know, you won't find out unless you look a little harder.

Obama is an intellectual about his own racial identity. He is pals with Bill Ayres whose father was a defense contractor during the Vietnam era, and no, this is damn well not off topic. Obama is running for President and his contacts freaking matter. You think Ayres wanted SDS to last? Nah. They bragged about destroying it.

Obama is a black studies intellectual. He should be a professor somewhere teaching that stuff.

Nobody who really should be POTUS will run for that office. Only people who should definitely NOT be in this position will run.

Pols with power are sociopathic by definition. They'd have to be, really.

no potus said...

heart_man, I agree with you about LM. It does more good than most therapies people would take, or self-improvement classes. I know some people who become obsessesed like junkies but that can happen in any system.
There's nothing greatly wrong with it, it is what you make of it, and for a middle class person, it's not all that expensive, though 700.00 for me is a lot.

William said...

A president who will "require you to work"? Let's face it - if anyone's wife except that of the left's Messiah had said anything like this, like for instance a Republican's wife, there would be OUTRAGE among liberals! I'm pretty sure the words "fascist" and "dictator" would pepper that outrage.

He's going to "DEMAND" that you shed your cynicism? Let me translate. Barak Obama is going to INSIST that you agree with him. Joseph Stalin anyone? What will happen to the dissenting "cynics" who ignore Obama's demand? Michelle didn't say. How much do we know about Barak Obama and his intentions? Not a lot, because the liberal media refuses to ask the questions.

He's going to "DEMAND" that you put down your division? Is that what he intended when he asked his legions of creepy followers to "get in the faces of" Republicans? When he requested that his hoards of willing goons shut down and swamp radio stations that featured guests that were critical of him? Hugo Chavez anyone?

He's going to "DEMAND" that you come out of isolation? So I guess the individuals among you will have to get with the collective plan. No more "doing your own thing." If you're the kind of person who doesn't wish to associate with others for whatever reason (I don't care, it's your business), then screw you! Obama is not going to TOLERATE that kind of behavior any more. Who cares what your own personal reasons for isolation? If you're not part of the collective, you're not a legitimate part of Barak Hussein Obama's America and he's going to have words with you.

He's going to "DEMAND" that you move out of your comfort zone? Again, it hardly seems necessary to point out that this is America, and if an individual or individuals wish to exist in a "comfort zone" then that is their business, not Barak Obama's. Americans work damn hard to maintain their comfort zone and they'll be damned if some snot-nosed little socialist dictator is going to evict them from it.

He's going to "DEMAND" that you push yourselves to be better? Isn't the point of individual freedom and liberty (the foundation of America) that whether or not a person pushes themselves - and to what extent - is their business and nobody else's? By WHOSE standard of "better" will Americans be judged? Obama worked closely with anti-American terrorist William Ayers on the board of a Chicago foundation which sought to deprive kids of an objective, marketable education and to instead infuse them with their radical left-wing ideas of "revolution" and "social justice." THIS is Obama's idea of "better." What happens if you have another idea of "better," which involved, say, studying electrical engineering with the view to starting your own business and making a nice healthy profit? Obama doesn't say.

He's going to "DEMAND" that you "engage." Again, it is not the role of an American President to "demand" anything of US citizens except that they pay their taxes and abide by the rule of law. What kind of "engagement" does Obama intend to demand from you? Will you be forced to attend community meetings? Forced to engage in debate? Who knows! And since Barak Hussein Obama will be demanding that you "shed your cynicism," then you can pretty much count on the fact that the issue on whether or not that "engagement" is acceptable to him or not will depend on whether or not you agree with his views.

And last in Barak's apparent manifesto, we hear that he "will never allow you go back to your lives uninvolved and uninformed." In other words, whatever life you were leading before the hounds of totalitarian socialism were released - forget about it. It's gone. Your choice, your agenda, your priorities, your freedom, your volition....adios. Barak Obama didn't like how you lived your life before - he disapproved of it. It's time to forget about your own individuality and bow to your master. HE knows what's best for you. HE has a better use for your life than you do. And if anyone objects to any of this...well, Obama has not yet said how he'd deal with them. We can, however, look to the reality of all other socialist, Marxist and collectivist countries in history. It's not a pretty sight.

I wonder if, when Barak Obama talked about initiating huge "public works" projects in the last debate, he was thinking about the giant Gulag which will be needed to house all of those dissenters who fail to adhere to his demands.

Voodooman said...

Let's go easy on Obama. He's hardly another Stalin - more likely just another Clinton or Carter. He may not be a good man much less a good president, but there are worse choices.

(I.e., I was so relieved when Obama beat that gold-digging corporate fembo Hilary Clinton.)

Anonymous said...

I have similar thoughts when I hear some of Obamas speeches - e.g. that there is a focus of "leaving the past behind" and focussing on future "possibilities", about "disempowering right and wrong" etc., that seem to be parallels to some things that are said in the Forum, but... what exactly is bad or evil about these ideas?
I think they are good and useful no matter what one may think about Landmark education.
The problem with Landmark/est is that in the training once the persons are destabilized and confused with the hope and inspiration of a new transformed life by following the advice of the authoritarian Forum leader, they are pushed toward bringing their friends and families and toward signing up for more courses.
Obama doesn't seem to be in any danger of falling for that - he seems like a reasonable, intelligent and self-reliant human being.
So far, all his speeches have been extremely wonderful and helpful.
I think that EST/Landmark didn't invent or have a patent on the retoric figures he uses.
He uses his power to unite the world in peace with his speeches.
What a difference that makes compared after someone as braindead as Bush.

Anonymous said...

Oh GOD ... I can see that a member of Landmark Education's "Internet Team" -- "Heart_Man" -- is on here once again citing Landmark propaganda bullshit.

Here's the deal with Landmark Education, folks: the company is a lying cult that breaks every labor law in the books by exploiting thousands of brainwashed supporters to serve them as unpaid workers, and then has the nerve to preach in its courses about "integrity" and following rules! This illegal activity has NOTHING to do with whether or not Landmark's programs provide "value". The outcomes people think they get are just absolutely irrelevant: Landmark is one big criminal racket, nothing more. The company is a shell corporation designed to mask Werner Erhard's secret financial ownership and political control: Erhard owns all of Landmark's "technology", which was all taken straight from est. Erhard's brother, who runs Landmark, gives Erhard 50% of all Landmark's profits as "royality payments". Look it up, you can find the actual documents about this transaction on rickross.com, the facts are right there in typewriter black and white, with Werner Erhard's signature on the document.

I know there are a lot of questions about whether Obama can be trusted, or if he is just a manipulator with a soothing voice. If that's the case, I would not be surprised if he had an est/Landmark connection. NOTHING est/Landmark says can be trusted.

As proof, let's examine the propaganda "Heart_Man" posted on here. Everything the guy said is virtually lifted right out of internal Landmark training manuals -- I mean, almost word-for-word off of the script Landmark uses to respond to criticism. I think he's probably a member of Landmark's "Internet Team", a group of Landmark volunteers who monitor the internet and respond to negative postings in chat rooms. Here's what he said, followed by the actual truth:

"The following is a link to a Harris Interactive independent survey of health professionals and educators who had participated in programs offered by Landmark Education. http://tinyurl.com/5hg4fl"

FALSE. The following is a link to a COMMISSIONED OPINION POLL that Landmark PAID Harris Interactive to create. Note the broad term "health professionals and educators". Who the heck is included in that group, and what are their qualifications on determining if Landmark is safe? Oh, and the question asked in the Harris opinion poll is not a professional medical opinion, it is about if the programs provide "value".

"Dr. Raymond D. Fowler, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer American Psychological Association, who participated in The Landmark Forum with his wife, who is also a psychologist, published the following. http://tinyurl.com/5z36ew"

FACTS: Dr. Fowler is the FORMER CEO of the APA. His OPINION about his participation in his Landmark Forum was PERSONAL, and did not represent the views of the American Psychological Association, which has repeatedly ordered Landmark to stop quoting their name -- something Landmark promised to do, and yet continues to quote anyway.

"The Scoop About The Landmark Forum – Expert Opinions: http://tinyurl.com/5vj5c6"

FACTS: Here are the multitude of expert opinions about est/Landmark Education "Heart_Man" does not want this blog to read: www.rickross.com/groups/landmark

Heart_Man said...

Rick Ross has never participated in a Landmark Forum or any Landmark offering. All his thoughts on his site are his opinions.

Do the research for yourself and Follow Your Heart.

Anonymous said...

Look at the speed of Heart_Man’s response (it says “Landmark Internet Team member” to me)! Let's see if the components of est/WEA/Landmark's ... I mean, Heart_Man's ... statement about Rick Ross hold any water:

"All [Rick Ross's] thoughts on his site are his opinions."

FALSE. The Rick Ross page about Landmark contains NO "thoughts" or "opinions" by Ross. Ross simply reposts NEWS REPORTS BY JOURNALISTS, most of whom HAVE participated in Landmark's programs. Ross also posts letters he receives from people who HAVE participated in Landmark's programs, or who have lost loved ones to est/WEA/Landmark. Ross also posts court documents from lawsuits Landmark has been involved in, as well as original documents from inside est/WEA/Landmark.

Let's move on:

"Rick Ross has never participated in a Landmark Forum or any Landmark offering."

FACTS: Ross has offered to participate, but Landmark won't let him unless he signs a lengthy legal waiver. Landmark makes everyone sign this waiver. I wonder why? Could it be because people suffer mental breakdowns or commit suicide, then Landmark gets sued?

When a comprehensive body of evidence is available, one does not need to participate in something to be able to arrive at an informed conclusion. est/WEA/Landmark Education has a 38-year history of identical complaints from hundreds of thousands of individuals in dozens of countries all around the world. Hundreds of news reports have documented these complaints; tellingly, est/WEA/Landmark has sued or threatened many of these critical journalists. These complaints have also been confirmed by lawsuits and independent government investigations. The negative facts about est/WEA/Landmark are a well-settled issue, which only Landmark and its supporters continue to contest.

Rick Ross has been recognized as an expert on cults by the U.S. Federal Courts and the courts of 10 states, including Landmark's home state of California. He has provided expert opinions for dozens of major media outlets, including CNN, the LA Times, the BBC, and Oprah Winfrey. His work has been referenced in almost every major publication about cults for the past decade. He is well qualified to form an expert independent opinion about est/WEA/Landmark.

Notice how Heart_Man does not offer any response to the Landmark propaganda I pointed out in his original post. That's because Landmark knows that having been publicly called out on these lies, continuing to defend them is a loosing discussion. Thus, Heart_Man is trying to pivot the focus onto undermining the credibility of a single individual who does nothing more than host original documents about Landmark on their web site. In Scientology (which est/WEA/Landmark is partially based on) this is called "dead agenting".

"Do the research for yourself and Follow Your Heart."

You are the one who needs to do more research, Heart_Man. The issue is not about whether or not people feel they get benefit from Landmark's programs. The issue is whether Landmark Education tells the truth, or if it is a deceptive, slick-talking propaganda machine that sucks people into a cult-like worship of it. Sound familiar, Obama doubters?

The research clearly proves that est/WEA/Landmark Education's business operations have always violated labor laws, and that they have always lied and propagandized in an attempt to conceal this. est/WEA/Landmark has always lied to their supporters about where the profits actually go, and about who actually owns and controls est/WEA/Landmark. They have always manipulated facts about outside opinions, as part of a propaganda campaign to manufacture an appearance of support for est/WEA/Landmark.

An organization that refuses to follow the law, exploits its converts, constantly uses lies and propaganda in its public communications, and which has consistently been described as a cult for 38 years is not credible. In fact, I would say it is a cult.

This does not mean that no one gets "value" from their programs.

phil said...

As a fan of the US and close watcher of it's foriegn and domestic policy over the last 20 years, it has been with great sadness that i have watched it slowly become the most hated nation on earth.
As Australians we have tried very hard to talk you up around the world and remind half the world that you did infact save all our asses 60 sum years ago.
The problem as i see it is you stopped engaging with the other people of the world with language and pursuasion and instead started going around dictating and manipulating others to your will.
It's amusing that the greatest critisicms of Obama's apparent domestic style seem to suggest he is a power hungry totalitarian when what we see internationally is that he wants to have a chat about the problem rather than send in the bombers first. As your mates, who have to back you in every fight right or wrong, it is a great relief.
I guess time will tell what difference your new 'agent for change' will make but surely he couldn't be worse than the last dangerous clown you had running the show.