Since my ordination as a Spiritualist Minister in July of 2014, I get asked about the Landmark Forum (people seem to value my opinions more since I was ordained.) People ask me whether or not it’s a cult. Is the Landmark Forum a scam? I’m also asked quite often “should I do the Landmark Forum“. You see, during my ordination ceremony, Rev. Eric Berg mentioned that it was after my participation in the Landmark Education Forum that he noticed the biggest changes in me. Since there were 70+ people in the Chapel that day, I am now consulted about all things Landmarkian…
For what it’s worth… Landmark Education and it’s programs are not a cult. The Landmark Forum is not a scam, but it is a well oiled word-of-mouth seminar selling machine.
Should you do the Landmark Forum? Read this, trust your gut, and decide for yourself…
My review of the Landmark Forum is based on my recollection of the time I spent as Landmark Education customer, volunteer, and trained volunteer program leader.
Landmark Forum Reviews:
The good, bad and ugly. As is the nature of reviews, every Landmark Forum Review has a definite point of view being expressed by the reviewer which rarely has anything to do with the truth, but rather the opinion and agenda of the reviewer. My Landmark Forum Review is no different. In full disclosure, my point of view is a Spiritual Point of View based on my personal experiences.
My life with Landmark Education and The Landmark Forum
- I completed my Landmark Forum, led by Mark Spirtos in Newport Beach, on September, 11 2001. You may remember that day. It changed our world. It also set the tone for my life over the next several years.
- I then completed the seminar which was included in the Landmark Forum tuition, the Landmark Advanced Course led by Sophie and the SELP (Self Expression Leadership Program) led by Kathy in 2002. These 4 programs were at the time called “The Landmark Curriculum for Living“.
- During this time, I also took the CAP Course (Communication Access to Power), The CPP Course (Communication Performance and Power) which is now discontinued. I also did the Communication Course that replaced the CPP course. In addition to various assisting agreements (Landmark Education is run by a very small paid staff who manage 1,000s of weekly volunteers who assistant Landmark to do their work).
- It’s important to note that I paid financially and in volunteer hours for the privilege of participating in Landmark Education’s promise to transform my life and the world. I did so willingly as part of the operational structure of their enterprise.
- I was offered a position to join the Landmark Paid Staff which I declined freely and after consideration.
In 2006 I was burned out on all things Landmark Education so I quit. During my time at Landmark, I did a whole lot of doing, coaching, and leading. I had obsessed over integrity, breakthroughs, breakdowns, and who I was being that caused each while incessantly creating new and better possibilities of being for my life as a way to get better results. In the end, I quit Landmark in favor of returning to my spiritual roots.
Landmark Education makes a bold promise for their Curriculum for Living. That you can get anything you want for yourself and your life through your participation.
Here is what I got from my participation with Landmark Education:
- I met and married my wife Amy Hall. By far, the biggest result. We were married in 2004 with some of our family and our Landmark Community present.
- A set of communication and relationship skills that make my marriage to Amy world class especially through some very difficult times.
- A knowing of myself as a dynamic and effective professional speaker, workshop leader and coach.
- A sense of how my humility and caring for others is my biggest asset.
- A matter-of-fact relationship with results, what works and what doesn’t work.
- The courage to be true to myself above all else.
- A joy in helping others find, follow and accept their path as appropriate.
- A practical awareness of who I am and how to play the game of life to get the results I want.
- The courage to accept my Spiritual Nature and take the final steps in becoming a professional psychic medium and Spiritual Business Life Coach.
Why I left Landmark?
I terminated my relationship with Landmark Education for 3 reasons:
- Many of the leadership practices violated my practice Non-Interference, a Spiritual Law that states we will not deliberately cause someone to do something they would not have otherwise done. Many times in my Leadership roles at Landmark, I was asked to do things that were borderline interference to get results.
- Landmark Education had become distraction in my life. I was spending more time winning their game than I was in winning my own life games.
- I grew tired of the complete and total obsession of Landmark Education has with “Integrity”. Obsession is not moderation.
Why I did the Landmark Forum?
In 1987, I began Meditation and Psychic Development Classes at the Chapel of Awareness in Encinitas, CA. I was a quite accomplished psychic, clairvoyant and trance medium and on my path to Ordination when I divorced in 1993. I realized how immature my relationship with certain of life’s problems was and stepped back from the Chapel to find my fortune, date a lot of ladies, and become a professional speaker.
By 2001, meditation was still a foundational practice and I maintained my Healing, Psychic and Communication abilities to a fairly high level but I had not been very successful in business, financially or very happy in my relationships. When I discovered the Landmark Forum, I saw a way to jump start my professional speaking ambitions… I jumped in with both feet and stayed fully engaged until I realized the huge gap between my accountabilities to Landmark Education and my Spiritual beliefs.
In the end, I definitely have fulfilled my ambition as a professional speaker. I did so using my Spiritual skill set. As a Spiritualist Minister, I speak at my Church, teach meditation, healing and psychic development classes. I also coach people in creating and developing a spiritual business life. Using these ancient spiritual techniques to live life and live it abundantly. Life today is effortless for me. Love and awareness are much more interesting and effective tools for me than constantly obsessing over my integrity (or lack there of).
Should you do the Landmark Forum?
Since I’ve left Landmark, I have recommended two people take the Landmark Forum. They did and it seems to have helped. They are happier and is moving along their paths.
In my opinion, when you consider the Landmark Forum Schedule, cost and time commitment, it’s hard for me to NOT recommend you take the money and time and invest it in a self directed meditation retreat. When I was actively engaged at Landmark, I was fond of challenging people by saying they could do the 3-1/2 day Landmark Forum or the multi-year Landmark Forum, the choice is theirs. I’ve reconsidered this position. In my experience, transformation happens in time and on time. Doing the Landmark Forum will yield many insights into you, your past, your thinking and your behavior. It will also show you exactly how much you have in common with those with whom you share this planet. But nothing will change you or your life until you are ready for the changes which happen in time and on time.
For me personally, my mind was empty, free of clutter and quite by 7 PM on Saturday evening of my Landmark Forum. It stayed quite until the Thursday after 9/11. Of course this was on the shoulders of 13+ years of a regular meditation practice but an experience I will never forget.
My experiences with Landmark Education are part of my history. I am a much better husband and Minister than would have been possible had I not done the Landmark work. What’s interesting to me is my Spiritual Philosophy overlaps Landmark distinctions in only one area, responsibility. You are responsible for yourself, your life and your results. The better you understand all aspects and implications of responsibility the more quickly you will live a life of your choosing.
Bottom-line: The Landmark Forum may be the right choice for you. Chances are, if you’re seriously considering doing the Forum, you have people in your life who are a “stand that you do this work”. If so, your doing it will improve your relationship with them and give you some tools that allow you to call them on their shit (they tend to be an arrogant bunch).
Of all the self-help/transformation seminars, Landmark Education’s are tried and true. They are some of the most affordable programs of their kind available. The people running the program and the company absolutely believe you are whole-complete-and-perfect and will demonstrate this continuously, in their own ways, while you engage Landmark’s services.
My advice, sit quietly for about 10 minutes. Allow yourself to be calm and receptive. Ask yourself (that inner self of knowing) whether the Landmark Forum is right for you. Listen to the answer. Or you can contact me and we can have a short conversation in which I can help you make a decision.
UPDATE: February 9, 2017:
In response to a web contact, here are some additional thoughts…
I’ve done both the Forum and Advanced Courses and have assisted 3 times (2 forums and 1 in center agreement) to learn their sales process (any recommended assisting areas for learning sales?).
I’m contemplating doing the SELP program, but don’t know if it will help me at all. I’m involved in a lot of extracurricular activities and from what I’ve interpreted about the projects selected, I think I already do SELP projects without doing the project within the confines of the SELP course. What are some proprietary benefits that result from SELP? How did that specific course benefit you?
I’m also being harassed about ILP, but they haven’t taken I don’t have time or money to travel as frequently as the program necessitates as an answer (any tips to get them to permanently leave me alone besides quitting entirely?)
Apologies for all the questions, but your review was the most neutral, solid, balanced, informative and thorough that I’ve found.
Thank you for your time.
I’m happy you found my article useful… My Landmark experience was the center of my life for a few years (as it is very easy to be needed there.)
Regarding the SELP, it is the jump into the Landmark “community leadership’ type programs… It introduces coaching and accountability as a formal part of its structure. For me, it was not impactful with the exception of the coaching component. I did the SELP, then coached the SELP before doing the ILP and becoming a Seminar Leader Apprentice.
As far as take aways and training, that depends on where you start and how you play the game. The game I played was to learn to be an effective presenter and speaker. I accomplished that goal and helped many people in the process and many ways, some I will never know. As to stopping the pressure to do the next program, that is the very essence of the way Landmark works. The enterprise is organized and structured at the very core of its being to have you participate and through your participation receive what it has to offer. To be an active graduate is to be invited to participate.
As for me, I found myself drifting farther from my spiritual values and beliefs with some of the leadership practices I was doing in seminar leader training. This caused me to leave the program and quit all Landmark participation. I’ve been to 2 LF Sunday nights since I quit. What I miss from time-to-time is the profound nature of being in a community actively engaged in a single purpose marching in the same direction… What I don’t miss is the culture that allows people to volunteer to assist a for-profit business venture often at the expense of the personal, financial, and/or family well-being. It is our personal responsibility to manage our well-being, but there is a tendency for volunteer based organizations to squeeze everything they can out of those willing to give until they have no more to give. Landmark is exceptionally great at pulling people in with a promise that their program or assisting participation will solve their problems… My experience being that very few get these results.
My best advice is to follow your intuition, your gut feelings, and inner knowing about what your next steps are at Landmark. If there is more for your there, you somehow know it within. If you’re done, you know this too.