Should Christians go to Landmark Forum?

HomeReligion, Atheism, and Odd TheologyShould Christians go to Landmark Forum?

A GodWords reader asks:

Going to Landmark Forum if you are a Christian…is this a bad thing?

Marlice

Well, Marlice…thanks for asking!

I’m a Christian, and I went to Landmark Forum. It’s not a bad thing to GO. What IS bad is to listen, and to learn, and to change your life based on their teachings.

Christianity and the teachings of Landmark Forum are not at all compatible! Landmark Forum says that nothing has any value at all, except that which we give it…so there is no right or wrong, no good or bad, no evil, and no sin. A Christian is a follower of Jesus, who taught the opposite. Certain things ARE right and wrong, and we should know the difference. Certain things ARE good and bad, and evil exists. In case you haven’t seen it, I wrote an article on GodWords about a visit to a Landmark meeting, and about my three-hour discussion with the leader afterward. You can read about my Landmark experience.

When someone says that there’s no such thing as sin, they put themselves in God’s place. It’s up to THEM to decide what to do. Christians are not free to do whatever we think is best. Instead, we’re to study Scripture, do what Jesus taught, and listen to the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

I was able to visit Landmark Forum without concern because

  1. I was already aware of much of their teachings,
  2. I’m a mature believer who’s already familiar with what the Bible teaches, and
  3. My goal was to help my friend…she’s been duped by Landmark Forum into believing what can’t possibly be true.

If all three of those are true of you, you can go to Landmark Forum without worry.

If all three are NOT true of you, I’d advise that you not go. Be aware that they are VERY good (as an organization, historically) at manipulation. A quick Google search will show you dozens (if not hundreds) of personal testimonials to the techniques they use. I’m immune to their teachings, but MOST CHRISTIANS ARE NOT. That doesn’t make me special…just more prepared. I’ve spent years studying movements like Landmark Forum, so I’m ready for whatever they might throw my way. If you consider yourself young in the faith at all, I would stay far away from any Landmark meeting.

I’m curious: has someone told you that the teachings of Landmark Forum and Christianity ARE compatible?

Join the Conversation

91 responses to “Should Christians go to Landmark Forum?”

  1. JoAnne says:

    I am a Christiand and yes, I have been told that they are compatible and so I attended one invitation session. I really like my friend and she seems very happy. But something did not seem right to me. I couldn’t put my finger on it, however. Fortunately, at this time, I cannot afford to go. So I have said no to repeated invitations. Thanks for your input.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      JoAnne:

      I’m very pleased to have been helpful. Let me know if there’s more I can do for you.

      • Leona says:

        Thank you for this! My parents have gone but they are very young and immature in the faith (and i don’t say this to be disrespectful). This is proof right here that I’m not crazy! Something does not feel right about this! And your right its where you can’t put your finger on it!

      • Sheila says:

        I have just spent over 4 hrs on the phone with an acquaintance who is informing me about Landmark- went through a little practice grid- & she couldn’t reach the part 6 point with me – as I was keeping everything strictly spiritual in my perspective. She even called her trainer, whatever, who came in on the exercise, & she was having difficulties! Of course, they were laying it on thick, “You should sign up for this forum! You’ll be so thankful you did! -etc., etc.! I’m thankful for you being here so I could read your statement & these responses on this site & feel better about turning them down! Of course, one of them is calling me back tomorrow evening to check & see if I’ve changed my mind “after praying tonight!” I’m a 100% DAV & I have a very strict budget (live solely on disability & pay $595 a month out of that for alimony to my ex-husband! Yes, I went back to court to have it stopped- but the judge says I have to keep paying it!😳That’s over $114,000 in the last 16 yrs my ex has gotten from me in this outlandish, unjustified alimony payments!) I truly don’t have the funds for this anyway- oh but they give Vets 20% off the price! Yeah- I don’t think so! I had 28.5 yrs with a narcissistic/borderline personality disordered husband – so I know what manipulation looks like! I don’t need to pay to have more manipulation! That’s insanity!🤪Thanks for your help!

  2. Ian says:

    Do you need the forum? No. Can it bring someone closer to Christ? I think so, absolutely. The forum deals with and seeing life as something bigger than YOU. It’s pretty much heart softening course 101.

    “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. (Matthew 5:23, 24 NLT)

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      Ian:

      With all due respect…if you don’t know that Christianity and Landmark Forum aren’t compatible, it may be that you don’t know enough about either Christianity or the Landmark Forum. While I appreciate your point about seeing life as something bigger than yourself, let me suggest that you don’t truly understand LF. According to their teaching, the only value that anything has is the value you give it. Therefore, YOU are the center of your own universe. Christianity, on the other hand, truly sees life as something bigger than yourself…God exists independently of His creation, value exists independently of our assessments, and Christians are called to give their lives in service to God and others. LF teaches even that other people have no value, unless you decide they’re valuable.

      Not a good fit at all.

    • Leona says:

      But that’s the problem, the course presents everything but christ! The enemy doesn’t care if your a good person living a good life all he cares about is what you do with Jesus and his teachings. We know that all good is as filthy rags, doesn’t mean awe shouldn’t strive to be good and better organised in mind and thinking but any teaching that pushes that you can be all you can be WITHOUT him we know is not correct.

      • Les says:

        I agree with this statement. Landmark may help some people get passed their past but anything built on sinking sand is temporal. My God is a jealous God we are to have no gods before Him! The Devil will take truth and twist and pervert, He will show himself an angel of light. Everything that glitters is not gold. Jesus is God he is Counselor. Beware of Landmark Forum. You may be strong enough to attend and not be shipwrecked but that weaker brother or sister who follows your exampler may not.

  3. Kayla says:

    Thank you for this insight. I have a friend who has began attending LF and I knew something was wrong from the beginning. I must do a lot of research before confronting her about it but this gives me a good starting point.

  4. Peter Baek says:

    I’m a Korean christian.
    I attended LF in Korea(untill the 2nd day of forum), and I felt something worng and God was protecting me at that session.

    so I asked to the main leader(Gary, her first name) that there are any room for religions and it is compatible with christianity.

    The answer was “yes”

    The other local leaders also says, “one of our leaders is a paster. so don’t worry.”

    But I had consultation with my mentor (one of the leaders of YWAM korea), I decided not to attend this forum anymore.

    I cost a lot of money and time to get a lesson that “Be cautious when taking a course which is not based on Bible”

    I should have researched on LF before I pay for it. 🙁

  5. Dolores says:

    Yes, I was told that the bible and Landmark are compatible. I attended because my parents were conviced it was after they attended. They’re Christians, but even they bought into this garbage, they were manipulated. I decided to write down word for word when the Leader got to the point about the meaning of life. Read my notes and you’ll see how evident the incompatablity becomes, your eyes are open to the truth that God’s word and Landmark Forum can never be compatible. My hope is that you protect yourself and your loved ones from being brainwashed.

    “You’re run by the voice in your head, don’t resist it, just get present to it. Life is not in your head, get out of your head. Stop trying to figure out, there’s nothing to figure out. Here you are. You’re a machine, you go automatically, there’s nothing there, just a reaction to something that stimulates you. It’s not even there, it’s all mechanism, there’s nobody home. There’s no you, you just have conversations with yourself. You think you’re real, you’re not, your just a machine. “A toaster hoping to be a fridge” you’re just absurd. A 5-yr old decided who you were going to be, you’re just a life of rackets. You can’t control the voices in your head, it’s the Already/Always Knowing. Your life doesn’t mean anything, your life is empty and meaningless. You have to make life mean something because of the type of machine you are. You’re not a loving machine, that kind of machine doesn’t have rackets. You’re a meaning making machine spitting out stories and dramas and then believes them.

    Truth is relative. No matter if you give your life a meaning that is positive, there’s still no meaning. It doesn’t matter what other people say, what matters is what you say and the meaning you give. All your life you’ve been looking for meaning and here you are, there’s none. What you have right now is all there is.

    Become aware that you’re just a machine. The reality is that the only life you have is what the voice tells you. Confront the reality that there’s no future, your story about the future comes from the past. You and I live in a timeless moment of now. Future hasn’t been written yet. You must get to nothingness before something in your life is possible.”

    He compares us to the floor, a rock, the matter around us.

    “Once we give meaning, that’s in the past. Your machine misses the present because it focuses on the past. What is living a life free of the machine, which is the voice (already/always listening, sea of opinion)? All the thoughts are not you, who are you, what are you, let go of any meaning — and that’s you. Meaningless. Are you your thoughts, no. You’re the space, nothing, you’re the clearing where all life shows up. Everyone wants to be something, but if I’m nothing, who can I be, everything. Mastering living a life of self. Live from being nothing, now you can be whatever you want, freedom from the machinery.”

    “Realize that life “not meaning nothing”, means nothing. Landmark is the new world so you can be intimate with others without the limitations of the meaning-making machine, the Already/Always Knowing state of mind.”

    Those are the exact words used by the leader at my Landmark Forum experience.

  6. Kasey says:

    Hi there!

    I just wanted to say thank you for this article. I’ve read both articles you’ve written on the LF after a couple of good friends have gone along and gotten a lot of out it. They have truly turned their lives around due to this LF. They are not Christians. I’ve been discussing this with a good friend of mine who is a Christian as I am and she has given me a lot of insight the same as you. All of which I whole heartedly believe. Lately my friends have been sorta pushing me to go and they’ve just completed their second LF paying $700 each to go. They’ve been asking me to go on a week night with them but I honestly don’t feel right about it. After doing my own external study I have come to the same conclusions you have about their philosophies and I do not feel that God himself is present in any of this forum. From what I’ve been told and what I’ve researched and viewed they’re very much about self empowerment and humanism which is a form of self worship. Which doesn’t align with the Christian faith that God alone is to be followed and that through Christ we can do all things. This forum is teaching that life only has meaning if we give it meaning and it doesn’t matter but it also doesn’t matter that it doesn’t matter. Which I can’t see being in alignment with gods view of sin and right and wrong.

    My friends have been telling me that the forum has helped many people who are Christians and from all forms of faith however I honestly do not believe that anything that isn’t OF GOD can help with your journey WITH GOD. How can a secular worldly self help group help with furthering your relationship with God and bringing you closer to Him? I honestly do not see how it can. So your articles, the comments and replies from you and others have only furthered my resolve that this is truly not what I want. That my stance isn’t stubbornness and not wanting to try something that might help me but more that I don’t feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in this and I don’t feel it is good for my life.

    I’ll now end this comment with some wisdom my good friend has imparted on me in regards to these types of groups:

    “I think ur uncomfortable feelings are because of the spirit in you! Ur full of the Holy Spirit and he doesn’t like new age stuff. And though I don’t know much about the Landmark Forum, I’ve heard they are partly based in zen new age philosophies.

    The thing is, God is the only original creator – if u ever experience something amazing, you know that either God created it, or it’s an inferior copy of something God created. Satan can’t create. He can only copy. So for instance, the peaceful feeling u get when ur drunk – free and uninhibited and happy – is just a copy of being drunk on the Spirit. And afterwards u have the throbbing pain of a hangover. And the addiction can ruin ur life. But being filled with Gods Spirit will give more real peaceful feelings, love, freedom for ur worries and cares – and there is no hangover – and u can have it over and over – and it just gets better with time! But satan’s version destroys Ur liver, breaks down Ur body, and eventually kills u. He is the enemy and he loves to entice us with a shiny Apple that looks a lot like something GOD would give, but it’s full of poison instead. GOOD JOB LISTENING to His still quiet voice in ur heart!!

    U know what I mean? So ur friends have found something very attractive in the short term – very fulfilling – but it is just an imitation of something God has already created and does a far better job of!

    When people don’t give God the glory, but give it to you or themselves, it is a form of humanism. That’s where people think we are basically God, and we’re in charge of what happens in our lives. But that theory falls pretty flat when u look at refugee camps and slums and people with birth defects, on life support, in wheelchairs, nasty accidents. We can’t rely on ourselves. We can only rely on our creator! So does any of that make sense??

    The bible says satan comes as an angel of light. The bible calls satan the deceiver. He is a liar. He is a thief. He wants to lie to Gods people, steal them from Gods arms, take them away from a relationship with God so that He can device them into believing they are God, then He can plant whatever thought He wants in their heads. Because there is no middle ground. We either belong to God or Satan. If we are not being influenced by God, then who are we being influenced by??

    Another verse is beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. Matt 7:15 meaning people can present so innocently – they can look like Jesus (the lamb of God!), but inside they are hungry wolves – hungry for money, power, manipulating and controlling people.”

  7. Leslie says:

    It’s true…we are meaning making machines. There’s a lot of noise in our heads and or me, doing the Landmark Forum helped quiet down those voices. And when that happened, I could hear God’s voice more clearly. Instead of spending hours feeling guilty about something I could experience his love for me. For the first time I could except myself as perfect, whole, and complete, in Christ.

    I started documenting all of the scriptures from the Bible that are in alignment with Landmark’s teachings. From Proverbs to Ecclesiastes to Isaiah and Revelation, there is a LOT more in common with Christianity than you may think.

    The Word says “who the Son sets free is free indeed” and now I feel like I can without the constraints of the past holding me back. I am so grateful God used Landmark to bring forth countless blessings and divine appointments in my life!

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      Leslie:

      I don’t say this glibly, so please take my agreement and disagreement seriously.

      1. There IS some truth in Landmark. If there weren’t, it wouldn’t attract anybody. I appreciate that Landmark has benefited you.
      2. Virtually every self-help system (and Landmark is certainly a self-help system) reiterates truths from the Bible. It’s rare to find a book or seminar that doesn’t. That there are similarities is no cause for concern. The question is how they conflict. For example: most religious systems teach the Golden Rule, including Christianity. Does that mean that all are equally true, that all are good, or that there’s no reason to prefer one over another? Certainly not!
      3. The differences between Christianity and Landmark are not minor. They’re deal-breakers. When Landmark teaches that nothing has meaning on its own, and that we attach our own meanings to things, they’re saying that all meaning is personal. Because they say that, they also say (and they do come right out and say it, if you press them) that there is no right or wrong, no good or evil, beyond what our own subjective opinions. Contrast this with the Bible, where God lays out the differences between right and wrong and good and evil pretty plainly. Here’s the question, Leslie: which is right? Is Landmark right that there is no evil, or is the Bible right that there is? They can’t both be right.

      Please take some time to consider not only how alike Christianity and Landmark are, but how the differences impact one’s view of the world. You’re free to provide whatever meaning you want for Landmark…but that doesn’t mean that you’re right. It’s wise to acknowledge that the differences between Christianity and Landmark make the two entirely incompatible. I wish you well. Let me know if you have any questions.

    • Saul says:

      In all things, prayer. im doing landmark now and have had a great however dangerous experiance. tomorrow is day 3 of mental breakdown work and i can see now im learning good lessons but without the correct context. praise god that i still see this. Yes i believe people can come to christ through landmark but not because of landmark. Its because god can, and does use ANYTHING he chooses, to work towards his glory and thats the point. he is awesome. in jesus we have salvation. … totally awesome…… i didnt pray nearly enough today , please pray for me and all in my forum day 3, tomorrow

      • Tony Scialdone says:

        Saul:

        Please be careful. Please also follow up here, and let us know how it went. I’m concerned for you. As you can see, Landmark’s teachings are not to be taken lightly…they, like their predecessor EST, fall into the ‘mind control’ label. They use psychology to manipulate emotions, break down defenses, and wear you down mentally. What they teach is entirely inconsistent with biblical Christianity, and should be avoided.

  8. Andrea says:

    I went to a free introduction last night and was very reluctant to go but a friend encouraged me saying it can encourage a new way of thinking as recently had some anxiety. I was very fearful of them saying something that will throw me and I asked one of the coaches if it can help with fear and anxiety as the seminar focussed more on career and relationships. He said it could but I was adamant not to sign as I went with gods protection and it didn’t sit right. I told him I recognise my anxiety is due to a fear of sickness and death and that I recently joined a church taking a first step to change my mindset through gods word. It’s almost like he was trying to create doubt in my choice saying if I do forum it will equip me with tools to identify things holding me back or blind spots as they call them from my past, and then teach me ways to view world differently so anxieties don’t matter anymore. It did cast doubt on my conviction that I could do it through prayer and petition as he was holding this secret back that only the forum would teach me. I found this very manipulative as I was very impressionable. I’m glad I never signed up but it has left me doubtful if I’m missing something ? Surely being a Christian I shouldn’t be so vulnerable to such opinions?

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      Andrea:

      I appreciate hearing from you. Nobody is invulnerable to the influence of others. Adam and Eve walked in the Garden with God, yet they still listened to the serpent. That’s why Proverbs 4:23 says Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. We shouldn’t fill our heads with every kind of nonsense that there is, just so we’re aware of our options. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that one isn’t susceptible to being misled. Having more information – rather than less – is helpful, of course. For those unaccustomed to thinking philosophically, Landmark can be quite overwhelming. The seeming confidence of the leadership can present a problem, too…it’s difficult to doubt someone who appear thoroughly convinced of their position. Do your homework, be prepared, pray, and think carefully.

      Not everything in Landmark is bad, or a lie. There’s some truth there, or it wouldn’t attract anybody. The problem is that they surround some truth with many lies, and make it difficult to sift through. I recommend that people avoid Landmark entirely…fortunately, the truths in Landmark have always been available elsewhere, so nobody is missing out by skipping their meetings. Let me know if you have any questions.

  9. Rebecca Shaw says:

    Thank you for this insight. I just received a call from a woman that had been my friend for well over 17 years. She abruptly, with no explanation ended our friendship over a year ago. In her call today she said she has had a life changing experience with Landmark. I had never heard of it until today so I started my research. She mentioned she would like to introduce me to it and ended our phone conversation saying “I love you”. She is a Christian, however, over the years of our friendship she has often spoke to me of things that were more “new age” spirituality. I am very focused on the fact the only way to live a happy, peaceful life is through a continued relationship with Jesus Christ. She wants to get together soon to clear up our “loose” ends and to provide closure. Something I am very open to accomplishing. After reading this article and the comments, I now am armed with knowledge and will approach our meeting prayed up in the Holy Spirit,in an attempt to show her the truth.

  10. Jeff says:

    I believe any true mature Christian can endure Landmark. They will hear the still small voice saying “theres something wrong” and promptly reject it. .. Its the ones who think being a Christian meant they said a prayer one easter whom id say stay away from this landmark garbage. Anyone who tells you there is no truth, must be asked if that statement itself is the truth. Red flag right there folks. Its a ponzie scheme, and they prey on the vunerable. Coming out of this program saying “I can do this” is not a christian goal. If it doesnt lead you to saying “I can do nothing without Christ” well then, which Christ? The one who will get you a better job? car? or the one True Christ who says “in this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I overcome the world”?
    Not every prayer results in salvation, but every salvation will have some prayer. The bible says seek him with all your heart, and it says God searches the heart. We are to plead to him for salvation. He will no wise cast out any who come to him. Just gotta make sure you are seeking the One true God, and not just the one you want him to be. He will as promised, meet you there. Joel Osteen wrote a book “your best life now” If thats what you want, well, this may be the place for you. You may have a better life here. But a christian, a True Christian, knows, your best life is to come, and this is not our home. God Bless you all!

  11. nicacioday says:

    I was invited to landmark by a good friend, who is a Christian, but lacks knowledge of the word, I had a similar feeling about Landmark. In the free meeting I heard things that did not sit well with my Christian believes, after three days and about 6 hours of saying no, I lost a friend. They started by telling me that it would improve my Christian life & make me a better Christian by allowing me to better talk to people about Christ. When that did not work, they attacked the fact that i am single and promised me the girl of my dreams, when that did not work, they waved financial success at me. With no more carrots left, they became very aggressive and down right hurtful. Luckily I’d seen the Italian new report on you tube that shows the tactics they use on their 3 day seminar, still I was kinda shocked that a friend would attack my character in such a way and try to convince me that I was not a happy person as well as advising me to stop telling people about Christ since I argued to much and not listen…(I do ask a lot of question and try make decisions based on the word not the heart Jeremiah 17:9)). after that last chat my hands where shaking and I felt as it i had been in a spiritual battle, maybe I was just exhausted. Seems to me that there is too much pressure on volunteers to sign people up to the point that they are willing to loose friends and family.

  12. P says:

    I finished my first Landmark Course a couple of months ago and I was definitely skeptical because I read a bunch of negative reviews of it by mostly people who didn’t take the course. My friend talked me into it and I am forever grateful for that. My life has turned around so much for the better. I have struggled with depression that sometimes led to suicial thoughts. I used to have a hard time controlling my negative emotions and I didn’t realize how much my own thoughts could create good times or bad times. Ater taking the course, I started to lose some of my fears about being a more open and confident person. I can seak better in front of groups, I have more energy at work, I am easier to get along with, and I haven’t been depressed at all since. It probably seems hard to believe but it really was a miracle. I get waves at times of feeling closer to God ever. I have grown up with Christian Values and the lessons learned here actually make me feel closer to Jesus and what his teachings were about. I have learned to let go and forgive people who hurt me in the past and live more in the present which has helped me become more appreciative than ever to be alive. I am also more aware of my actions and how I am beig moment to moment. I realized how much the ego and being right is what drives humans to sadness, drama, and regret. When you live in the present, you can start being aware moment to moment. It really was a positive experience that has improved my marriage, career, family/friend relationships etc. Everything! I learned how to cheer myself up and be a more compassionate leader-type with much improved communication skills. I would never try to encourage someone to do something that would be hurtful to them. I am so inspired now to do something great in the world and rerouting my anger, sadness, jealousy, whatever, has never been easier to do. I feel like a weight has been lifted. Also, the whole thing about there being no such thing as “good and bad” is open to interpretation. They are opinions that express how something makes us feel that we have adopted as beliefs and labels. This is why there are religious wars fighting about which religion is right. The exerises at The Landmark Forum make people form a habit of letting go of the past, hurt, guilt etc., because it disruspts our concentration on what is happening now instead of reliving pain and holding grudges. I mean, What Would Jesus Do?

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      P:

      Thanks for writing. It’s never a good idea to take advice from people who don’t know what they’re talking about. That doesn’t mean that the only unbiased viewpoints come from those who believe LF to be good, of course.

      I have some experience with depression, and it sucks. I’m happy that your life is better.

      If there were no benefit to Landmark’s program, nobody would be involved. There would be no “success stories” and no track record of positive results. I acknowledge that some (if not many) can be helped by some of the principles involved. The question is about the trade-off: what things of value must one give up to fully embrace LF’s principles? For me, the price is too high. One can find the same beneficial principles of “living in the now” and “breaking the script” (for example) in other, less-toxic literature. You asked “what would Jesus do?”. I can wholeheartedly tell you, after studying Jesus’ life and teachings for decades, that Jesus would not say that there’s no such thing as right and wrong, good and evil, or virtue and vice. He would explain that some things are simply wrong, and that submission to that concept is a good start in figuring out what God wants from us and for us.

      If someone benefits from learning new and good things from Landmark, I’m pleased. The trouble begins when gullible people become convinced that Landmark is in any way compatible with Christianity. It is not.

      Let me ask you: according to LF, is it good to improve your marriage? They’re not sure, are they? On one hand, they suggest that their teachings can improve your marriage. On the other hand, they plainly say that improving your marriage is neither good nor bad…it depends on your point of view. You know this is true, of course. They can’t even say with a straight face that Landmark is beneficial, can they? It’s only beneficial, they say, if you assign that kind of value to it. If LF is neither good nor bad, why bother with it?

  13. Masa says:

    My good friend attended a landmark forum seminar back in September 2015. This forum has changed her outlook so much (from being disappointed to being hopeful) I thought it must have been good.
    She had been inviting me to her home intro day for a while; they have always been scheduled on Sunday so I had ministry commitments which meant I couldn’t go. She also thought my boyfriend should attend and asked me to invite him. Yesterday I attended the intro session because I wanted to love my friend and see for myself what this was…
    The leader for the session very offhandedly blamed religion as to why people are killing each other and it’s holding people back from their true self. To me, that raised concerns. I like to view religion as what’s written in James 1:27-28. Not as something that hinders.
    My boyfriend also came along but he had his mind set that landmark is a cult. I was of the opinion they were not. My views have changed after this encounter. After seeing them harass my boyfriend and telling us there’s something wrong with our relationship and it needed fixing (which is pretty generic because what earthly relationship is perfect) and generally trying to belittle us, I lost interest. My boyfriend was giving them nothing to work with and they pretty much thought he was the problem.
    The leader asked us to join and they did not like no for an answer. My friend and the leader tag teamed each new person to tell them they should “just register because you won’t regret it.” my friend asked me “why won’t you sign up?” to which I replied I’m not interested. “why aren’t you interested?” she asks. I’m just not, I say. She asks, what is it that you’re not interested in? To which I say, “you’re not interested in Jesus, it’s the same sort of view I have of this forum” then she replies, “so it’s the belief?” I didn’t want to continue because their idea is my belief is holding me back from my potential.
    I can see how their techniques are quite harmful if you are not a mature Christian as I most certainly felt they knew how to convince people of their supposed need for the landmark forum. The problem is the need for reconciliation with the Creator.
    While I’m not saying I’m mature, the instant it started the Holy Spirit was stirring my heart to say something is up.
    For those who say the forum helped… I would rather think God had held on to you very very tightly. However, whether something is beneficial or not is different for everyone. All things are meaningless without the Father. The forum intro told me my Father is a fabricated meaning.
    Even throughout all I experienced yesterday, I’m trying to put my God goggles on to love them. Please don’t see this as me putting it down but rather my experience of landmark forum was similar to Tony’s in that I did not think it helpful to Christians.
    Please pray my relationship with my friend can still continue, but if not: realise that God closes doors for a reason and to trust in His Truth.

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      Masa:

      Thanks for writing! I appreciate reading about your experience. I’ve heard similar things from a number of people, including people who were involved with EST (the predecessor to Landmark). They tend to be very high-pressure, and they don’t seem to react well when people don’t cooperate. I’m happy to hear that you and your boyfriend were able to resist their tactics.

  14. Naomi says:

    I went to the forum last weekend…I was pressured into doing it by a colleague and I’ve always had problems with saying NO! The first day I was on guard and actually had strong feelings within that I shouldn’t do it because of all the things I had read. I realised by the content it wasn’t as scary or wrong as what I had made it out in my head… I was exhausted though and thought it was sad hearing people’s broken lives….and saw how much we need God. Day 2 again changed my thinking..as I heard the story’s one by one and the trauma each person had experienced I started to break down as they seemed to resolve their issues from the application of landmark theory with the clever communication of the leader and I changed my view of the leader from a polished arrogant man to a gifted loving leader who really wanted the best for each one of us…day 3 I was actually getting into it..this wasn’t so bad after all but I did feel it was difficult and confusing to understand the concepts..they did a hypnosis/meditation thing based on fear of others which I didn’t fully participate in …then came the most important information of the whole forum ….everything we had been drilled on, every part of our past every part of our life..was meaningless and empty! I was in shock… I did not expect that… I literally felt like I had been spiritually raped! He said That the only meaning We had experienced our entire life was based on the meaning We gave meaning to everything because We were a machine but that wasn’t us it was just the equipment and to just be present to it?? He gave an example of a donkey chasing a carot dangling in front of his head…that that’s what we do with life. My immediate thoughts were what about the creator of the creation…doesn’t he have a say in what our purpose or meaning is? And that meaning lies outside of us and our thoughts, pasts etc but I was too afraid to speak up cause I had seen him cleaverly put people down for critical thinking..then Someone else kinda Questioned it..the leader simply repeated what he’d already said …and that he had said nothing about God?? I began thinking isnt Gods being and word totally incongruent to emptiness and complete meaningless? Then I read Ecclesiastes 1 to a so called Christian woman next to me who said…oh wow…that is so landmark! I was thinking…no this is so god…and I think the scripture is there to show us that aside from him…life is meaningless and the pursuit of wind. I thought I was a mature Christian ….but honestly I feel llike this has been one of the most traumatic experiences of my life..the brain washing, complete physical,mental and emotional exhaustion and complete focus on the programming and nothing else for 3 x13hr days, peer pressure, gaining of trust and then being completely blown out of the water. I grew up with a mother with schizophrenia and have been raped and have brought up a beautiful child from this, I also have been in an abusive relationship for 17yrs (physical/mental/emotional/financial/spiritual) so I have had my fair share of trauma..but this forum was next level!!! I know it was an attack from the enemy at a time where I had resolved so much of my past thru gods love healing and guidance…since the course I literally feel like I can’t feel the Holy Spirit and like I am worse emotionally than I’ve been in a long time…I nearly had a panic attack just driving yesterday…and I’m not able to sleep…please pray for me . Thanks

    • Tony Scialdone says:

      Naomi:

      I’m very sorry to hear about your experience. This is why I discourage Christians from attending Landmark Forum. You’ve experienced the same things that lots of other people have. LF, like its predecessor EST (Erhard Seminars Training), uses mind-control techniques that are recognized by virtually everyone in the field of cognitive science. You know how you shouldn’t make a big decision when you’re really tired, or emotional upset? There are definite reasons for that…and LF takes advantage of them. They cram your head full of new info, make sure you’re sleep-deprived, surround you with people to make sure you feel you’re the only one having doubts, and pressure you to ‘get with the program’ and to just ‘get it.’ I’m so sorry.

      What should you do now? You should meet with your closest friends who are also mature Christians and discuss what happened to you. Meet with your minister(s) and ask them to help you clear your mind. Pray a lot, and spend some time in Scripture…specifically, I would read Mark and John. You have been traumatized. It will be clearer as you read and talk and pray that Landmark Forum has abused you, and that their teachings are at odds with what Jesus did and said. Make sure you get plenty of rest, even if you have to take a (non habit-forming) sleep aid to do so. Eat healthy, and stick to a routine as much as you can. For a time, stay away from arguments and anything that will make you emotionally upset.

      If there’s more I can do for you, please let me know. My family is praying for you. I hope that, after a time, you’ll be able to write your thoughts about Landmark Forum. I would be happy to publish them, in the hope that your story will help someone else.

      God bless you, Naomi.

  15. naomi says:

    Thank you so much Tony! Honestly, I really appreciate your families prayers more than words can express. I will definitely take your wise advice…thanks. I have since prayed with my sister and talked through some of the issues relating to LF and Faith. I will NEVER give up on God…I have experienced too much of his love, grace and healing to deny him. Before I walked into LF I had peace, calm and contentment despite the chaos surrounding my life because of the trust and focus I placed in God and his plans for me and my family through the leading of his holy spirit.. now I feel like Ive taken ten steps back, like the enemy has been given an open door to come in and collect all he wanted …esp the healing and restoration God has done and stolen it (which was years of flipping hard work by the way in preparation for the work God has for us 😉 . Stupid thing is that I was not guarded enough against it.. so have in a way….actually allowed this to occur! Thing is I would not normally open myself up to teachings like this in other circumstances…
    through this experience I can see how the enemy worked…he knows all my weaknesses and uses them against me!! after being really pushed into it (I have trouble with pressurised no’s and confrontation)..I saw LF as something personally constructive that professionals did (I am a professional)…so not at all spiritual! Boy was I wrong! I have since educated myself and seen that its creator was into all sorts of spiritual things and had no moral sense of right or wrong so used power and control tactics to abuse and mistreat his wife and children (alongside many others including employees that have spoken up in courage) whilst teaching others how to have successful relationships??. I have also noted journal articles that assessed outcomes of people attending landmark verses other forms of therapy.. the people who attended landmark were significantly more distressed over time in comparrison to other participants.
    Honestly, before I did LP I was feeling Gods love for the first time due to the healing and restoration he had done in me personally and massively good things were flowing from that…(miracles actually-healing and restoration of a separated and broken family, my husband finding Christ for himself and finding purpose in his life-hes the first person in the history of his family to do a degree at university and has been head hunted to facilitate a group for men struggling with domestic violence and anger) ……since doing LF I now I dont FEEL Gods love again and I am confused about some aspects of my faith eg hearing from the holy spirit -is that just me making meaning out of my own thoughts?…..Ive also noticed my anger, fustration and emotions are reaching levels that they did before I was even a christian…and my marriage is on the rocks again as a result…but I literally cant control it. I cant beleive this has happened all from attending this forum??……so if you could pray for this in particular… I would really appreciate it as its put a spanner in the works for what Gods been doing in us and for his kingdom. The other thing….when I left the forum on the third night …..I had this overwhelming grief come over me….I wept like I have never wept before….I had a picture that God loved these people so much, the participants, the volunteers the leaders etc but the enemy was robbing them….coming as an angel of light …but in actual fact veering people away from real truth and ultimately eternal life… I feel guilty I am not using my voice enough in this life to guide people toward Christ and his gospel of good news!
    Anyway…I will definatley keep you posted in the future of how things go….
    God bless you and your family!
    P.S. People may not think I am credible due to the struggles I am currently facing? ….but I am speaking what I know is truth! If you are reading this and are contemplating doing LF….my strong advice is….DON’T! The bits of information in the LF that are in fact useful and practical to life are well documented and able to be sourced elsewhere e.g CBT, books, therapy.. without the pushiness, excessive cost, manipulation, and minimization of peoples distress/traumas or ability to think critically n freely. Our brain chemistry is far more complex than what LF make out in an attempt to minimise judgement/criticue of what they teach (in order for a few people to make a very large profit at the expense of others). We are the created..it is therefore our loving creator that determines the meaning and purpose for our individual lives….and just look at his creation…IT IS BEAUTIFUL! It is therefore not soley our declarative word that speaks meaning and possibility into existence but HIS…in unity with our free will to submit to him and faith in his trustworthiness and goodness! xo With love
    Naomi

    • Helen says:

      Naomi, I am so sorry to hear what you have been through. Know, however, that all things do work for good for those who love the Lord. Your story helped solidify the decision i made to not go to Landmark as I was having sleepless nights and horrible anxiety. I decided not to today, canceled the hotel reservation I had made and even was able to get my money back. I’m sorry to hear what you’ve been through. Know, however, that you have saved another vulnerable person like yourself from a horrible experience. God will heal and destroy all Satan has taken from you.

  16. Julide says:

    Hi;
    My sister came to visit me in June and we were talking about our bad childhood experiences,abusive relationship in our life she mentioned about Landmark. I didn’t have any idea what it was.She really wanted to involve and offer to pay for me too and first I said yes. I thought both we will get benefit I have anxiety, panic attract and fear.I am a christian but she is not she believes everything she mostly reads books of Zen, Ram ta, Bud ism,etc. She show some videos from online and I started searching and I found some bad reviews I didn’t felt good about that and I warned my sister and I wanted to cancel mine but my sister said she will go anyway and I asked for switching my payment to my sister and I said I am a christian I don’t feel comfortable after searching about LF. but at the and of our talking over the phone we already convinced and decided to go to introduction forum. We went forum and I asked forum leader about in this forum is there any conflict between forum and Bible. He said one christian leader they have he found common things in LF forum and he also mentioned about said religious wars in the past and fights between Irish Catholics and protestants in Ireland…I told him in Bible God’s message is love your God and love your neighbor…Then I join the Introduction forum…Forum surrounded so many people with a name tag on them and they were trying to be nice but make sure get new enrollment from guest. One old man sit with us all the time from Landmark. At the end I was not sure but convinced again for 3 days session for up coming Sept 9-10-11th.I have been praying God to lead me to right decision…We were planing to go pay rest of the money this evening 8:00 pm…After called them and I was meditating and praying. My sister said we can go another time I was feeling uncertain about should I go or not……Then I have decided to find any comment about christian scholars what they says about Landmark Forums…I found myself in this page : ) Here I am : ) I made my decision and little argument with my sister and she still want to go and I explain why I can’t go…So my mind clear and happy…I pray that what ever the reason that I have fear, anxiety, panic attack I am gonna spend more time with my Lord and wait his blessing me to heal one day…Because did before and it is proven…Thanks for that page really help me to make final decision : ) God Bless you…

  17. Tony says:

    [This is a reply to a comment that has been removed, at the request of the commenter]

    Thanks for writing. I appreciate your input.

    Yes, value and meaning are almost entirely separate ideas. You are correct. The Landmark folks I talked with did use the word value…but that’s not the problem. The problem is that they teach that there is no right or wrong, and no good or evil, outside of the story we tell ourselves. Here’s a quote from Warner Erhard, who created EST and “the Forum” (which became Landmark Forum after he sold the rights to it):

    “In any case, even the truth, when believed, is a lie.”

    This is the foundation of Landmark Forum, and the core of its teachings. The basic idea is that beauty – and everything else – is in the eye of the beholder. If you believe that your marriage is good, then – for you – it is good. If you believe your marriage is bad, then – for you – it is bad. While there’s certainly some truth in this process, that’s not all there is to it.

    If you ask an LF leader what sin is, they will tell you there is no such thing. If you ask them how to determine good from evil, they will suggest that it depends entirely on your point of view. This is clearly not compatible with Christianity. I’ve never said that LF has no value. Clearly, people have been helped by LF…but, in my opinion, the price is too high. It’s a very serious mistake to pretend that there is no objective criteria for knowing what is good, and what is evil. There is: it’s God’s character. When LF says that there is no good or evil, they suggest that either God is wrong, or God doesn’t exist, or God is whatever you think He is.

    That is why I answered Marlice’s question as I did. Landmark Forum teaches that nothing is intrinsically true. That is clearly a lie, and so I cannot recommend it to anyone.

  18. I attended the Landmark Forum in the 1990’s, and I did not recommend it then and would not recommend it now.

    I remember the Forum leader stating, “Words have ‘integrity’ if they accomplish the objective for which they are intended”. So much for the truth!

    The first several hours of the Forum are designed to accomplish control by the Forum leader — the Forum leader plays an extremely authoritarian role in order to take control of the group. Because of what would seem to be an innocuous move on my part (remaining seated when told to stand to “promise” to abide by the “recommendations” of Landmark with regard to the Forum, things such as limited bathroom breaks and all kinds of other weird stuff), the Forum leader demanded that I leave, commanding me to go to the back of the room, get my money back, and leave! When I did not leave immediately, he commanded, “Leave now, or I will call the police and have you removed.” The Forum leader proceeded to accuse me of trying to create a “conspiracy”, being there solely to create trouble, and trying to prevent others from obtaining the benefit which they were there to receive from the Forum (all that because I remained seated without permission; I had not opened my mouth or done anything before that). If I had left as commanded, he would have been able to convince the participants that from his experience he knew how to identify troublemakers like myself and that he had made me leave “for their benefit” (I know the people would have bought it, because the Forum leader was a master at mind control). I decided not to leave and instead maneuvered my way out of the situation so that I could stay and find out what was up. I did not “share” at any time during the Forum but simply observed.

    I really have learned a lot about that organization both from my experience at the Forum and from my subsequent investigation. People are so brainwashed that they will volunteer for free just to stay close to the organization. People will even clean toilets for them at a hotel, because Landmark’s “standards” are so high that the hotel’s cleaning staff does not necessarily live up to Landmark’s standards. Name tags are arranged on tables, up and down and perfectly straight. If a volunteer does not line the name tags up perfectly straight, they are reprimanded. Landmark has a very dark side.

    On the Tuesday night following the Forum (which was held three days — Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), Forum participants were asked to share with the guests the possibilities they had achieved from the Forum. I remember one man standing and say, “I just want to affirm that I really believe in Jesus Christ” (seemingly strange statement to make, considering that Jesus Christ was not mentioned in the three days of the Forum). I recognized that the Forum had created an internal conflict in this man because the principles of the Forum are completely at odds with Christianity (despite the fact that the Forum leader emphasized repeatedly that the Forum had nothing to do with religion and that people were free to maintain whatever religious beliefs they might choose). People can claim all they want that the Forum is not inconsistent with Christianity, but they are simply wrong.

    At this particular point in my life, I cannot say that I have much faith in Christianity, but what I state above is the complete truth about Landmark.

    • Tony says:

      Kevin:

      Thanks for commenting. As your words suggest, Landmark Forum is considered by many to be a mind control cult. I’m happy that you’ve shared your story here. If you’d like to share more, please do.

      I believe that some in LF have targeted my website for posting articles about them. Nothing awful…there have just been a whole bunch of testimonials, all of a sudden, about how helpful Landmark is and how it’s compatible with Christianity. Makes me suspicious. I don’t publish most of them, since they seem pre-prepared and not authentic.

      I’d be interested in hearing about your disappointments with Christianity as well, if you feel like sharing more. Obviously, I’m a believer…I find it helpful to know what turns people away.

      • Helen Davis says:

        Tony, can you share the links from,landmark with these testimonials?

        • Tony says:

          I’m not sure what you’re asking for, Helen. What links?

          • Helen Davis says:

            You said in this comment “there are a whole bunch of testimonials all of a sudden on the site about landmark and Christianity being compatible.”

            I believe you but can you give an example of some of these testimonials you speak of?

          • Tony says:

            As I said earlier, I didn’t publish most of them. They appeared to be a group effort, with many of them saying the same things. Having been deleted, they’re no longer available.

  19. In one of the early efforts to gain control of the group at the Forum, the Forum leader asked if anyone had been “pressured” into coming to the Forum. At the Forum I attended, about 20 or more people literally LEPT to their feet, which was not surprising considering they had so much pent up inside of them from their friends and family members’ insistence that they HAD to go (For those who are unfamiliar with the Forum, people come out of the Forum on an absolute high, and they simply cannot control themselves; they want everyone to attend). The Forum Leader knew people would leap to their feet (it was all pre-planned on his part), but the Forum participants had absolutely no idea what they were in for.

    The Forum Leader proceeded to zero in on one of the men who had lept to his feet (lucky guy! LOL) and spent about 20 to 30 minutes with this man, interacting with him and making him feel ridiculous. The Forum Leader asked “how” he had been pressured, and the man gave a series of responses such as, “My girlfriend really wanted me to go”, “I felt this”, “I felt that”, etc., etc. The Forum Leader broke him down little by little with the questions, and at the end the man was ADMITTING he had not been pressured into anything; it was simply his “INTERPRETATION”. The room was literally laughing and howling through all of this, and the man was clearly very embarrassed. When the Forum Leader directed his attention back to the others who had lept to their feet, asking if any of them still believed they had been “pressured”, not one of them would stand. They had all been beaten into submission; they all understood it was simply “their interpretation”. The Forum Leader had control.

    I’m sure anyone else who attended the Forum knows that what I am saying is true.

    Anyone, please respond.

    • Helen Davis says:

      Kevin, i do understand.

      I was at the intro sessions and felt the same kind of atmosphere. A friend called me and interupptef my vacation to get me to sign up. She would not take “i am out of town and will sign up when i get back to town” as an answer. She and i are no longer friends.

  20. The Forum shamelessly humiliated and embarrassed people. They had strict “recommendations” which needed to be followed in order to “obtain the full benefit from the Forum”. They included “no alcohol for the three full days of the Forum”, “being back from scheduled breaks on time”, “not leaving the Forum except during scheduled breaks”, “no food or refreshments in the Forum room”, etc., etc. The hours of the Forum were long, and there was barely enough time to eat during the breaks.

    Of course Landmark knew certain people would not be able to abide by all of the so-called “recommendations”, of the Forum, e.g., they knew one or two people had committed to some pre-planned event, people with health issues (such as diabetes) needed to take a break in order to have a snack, people with bladder problems needed to be able to take extra bathroom breaks, etc., etc. So in the early hours when people were being broken down by the Forum Leader, the Forum Leader was also asking who could not abide by any one or more of the “recommendations”. It was very sad to see, but they had some poor unfortunate people having to confess to their health problems publicly in front of the whole group. I specifically remember one poor older man having to state out loud that he had a bladder problem as he scurried to the back or side of the room to get permission for his extra bathroom breaks. Landmark obviously cared nothing about humiliating these people.

    For anyone who attended the Forum, you know that what I am saying is true.

  21. Helen, I know a lot of people lose friends over the Forum.

  22. After attending the Forum, participants are given the “special opportunity”, if chosen, to volunteer at subsequent Forums, “for free”. Landmark has loads of people who are willing to work for free — enough volunteers to man all of its Forums.

    These volunteers are charged with lining up Forum participant’s name tags on tables outside the Forum room, up and down, in “perfectly” straight lines. If a volunteer does not perform this task perfectly, he or she will be reprimanded or not permitted to volunteer at future Forums. It must always be the “best” for the Forum, because this is the only way people will be able to obtain the “full benefit” from the Forum. The volunteers have other tasks to perform as well, including, if necessary, cleaning the bathrooms at the hotel where the Forum is held, because Landmark cannot be sure the hotel cleaning staff will live up to the highest “standards” to which Landmark is committed. This is all “necessary” to ensure that Forum participants obtain the “fullest benefit” from the Forum.

    Landmark teaches that it is committed to people attaining their highest potential, but Landmark, in actuality, is more interested in obtaining its highest potential (and profit!) by having people work for it “for free”.

  23. Most people come out of the Forum on a “high”. I came out of the Forum on a high. I attributed my “high” to the fact that I had stood up to Landmark, but in reality my “high” was probably no different from anyone else’s “high”. Landmark triggers this artificial high, apparently by the methods it uses in the Forum — total immersion into its teachings, completely challenging one’s prior way of thinking, listening to one traumatic story after another, authoritarian tactics and, to some extent, a little sleep and food deprivation etc.

    They are masters at triggering this high, and sometimes they trigger a high which is so high that a person will experience a psychotic/manic episode. I know there are some mental health professionals who will swear by the Forum, but that simply shows me just how much power and control Landmark has — they can even dupe the mental health professionals, let alone the lowly doctors and lawyers, etc.

    And if Landmark takes a case to court, they’ll probably even dupe the judge, just as Scientology has. The founder of Est/The Forum came out of Scientology, and Scientology declared him an “SP” (Suppressive Person) and put him on their “Fair Game” list, which meant that essentially nothing was off limits to destroy him.

    • Helen Davis says:

      Kevin, the more i learn about landmark the more i am glad i did not go.

      I did sign up but cancelled.,they refunded my money.

      Would you suggest i be on my guard against them,in the future?

  24. Helen, I would definitely watch out for them in the future. They probably have you on a list now.

    I think it’s great you did not go and received a refund.

  25. Helen, they would just call you and try to convince you to reconsider. Nothing bad. Just stay firm. They tend to be persistent. For them it’s all about sales.

  26. Actually, I had what turned out to be a pretty lot of fun when I attended the Forum, but I still would not recommend the Forum to anyone.

    When the Forum Leader commanded me to leave, to go to the back of the room and get my money back (even threatening to call the police to have me removed), I completely took control of the situation. I did not run off as commanded, and I actually used the Forum Leader’s own tactics on him, which he did not appreciate one bit. I had the whole room howling with laughter, and the Forum Leader was not at all happy about it.

    As I indicated in another post, the Forum Leader had poked fun at a participant by demonstrating that something the man believed had not actually occurred but was solely the man’s “interpretation”; the Forum Leader had the room laughing while he did this. When the Forum Leader started accusing me of all kinds of bad things, including trying to create a “conspiracy”, which was totally ridiculous, I extended my arm and hand out toward the Forum Leader and boldly stated, “That’s your interpretation!”. When I did this, the entire room went nuts with laughter. You see, the Forum Leader is supposed to be totally in control — he tells everyone what to do and when to do it, and up until that point, the Forum Leader had been in total control. I turned this around and put the Forum Leader in his place. I told him how we were going to deal with the supposed conflict, and he ultimately ended up speechless, which is never supposed to happen with a Forum Leader. In the course of our exchange, the Forum Leader tried various maneuvers, including trying to get me to take some bait by questioning, “You think I singled you out, don’t you?”, to which I responded, “No, I don’t believe that.” The man who was sitting next to me was screaming under his breath, “He singled you out; he singled you out”, but I knew at that point I was not going to agree with anything the Forum Leader was saying, particularly when I knew he was trying to have me play a victim role. Trust me, I was no victim. At that point in time, I was totally in control, and there was nothing the Forum Leader could do about it. The Forum Leader had to completely give up on trying to make me leave. I deciding I was staying, and there was nothing he was going to do about it. It was quite a trip!

  27. The friend you cut ties with most likely has a new set of Forum friends. After the Forum, they now have a common lingo which outsiders do not understand, such as referring to people’s “rackets”. I believe a “racket” is blaming someone or something for things not working out in one’s life. Actually, one of the characteristics of a cult is this sort of new-found lingo.

  28. I went to the Forum freely and voluntarily but not knowing what to expect, and it was almost as though I stepped into some sort of alternate universe. There was a question and answer session early the first day, and I remember a woman asking if we could bring pillows to be comfortable. The Forum Leader, in a bold voice, commanded something like, “NO, NO pillows, absolutely not. You must sit up straight at all times and be at full attention.” In most situations, one would assume the seminar leader was joking or not being serious, and that’s what I first started to assume, but I soon realized he was not joking in any way, shape, or form. He was being completely serious! He was assuming control and authority and wanted everyone to know he was in charge.

    Then there was the whole thing about the so-called “recommendations”. That is their terminology. I have had people make recommendations to me, and sometimes I accept a recommendation and sometimes I do not. Typically one accepts a recommendation by his or her conduct. For example, if someone recommends a particular restaurant, I accept the recommendation by going to the restaurant. When someone recommends a restaurant to me, they do not ask that I stand and promise to abide by their recommendation. But at the Forum’s alternate universe, one accepts their “recommendations” by standing and “promising” to abide by the “recommendations”. Logically speaking, one would think he or she could accept Landmark’s recommendation of being timely for all sessions by simply arriving on time; yes, that’s the way it happens in the real world, but the Forum is not the real world. At the Forum, in order to accept the “recommendations”, one is asked to stand and promise to abide by the “recommendations”.

    Then there’s a whole set of what they call “requirements” of the Forum. I believe most or all of the “requirements” were disclosed up front in their literature (not so with the “recommendations”!). The requirements included items in the nature of “paying the tuition for the course”, “acknowledging that one has no known mental health problems”, “acknowledging that one is taking the course freely and voluntarily and not under duress”, etc., etc. The “requirements” were not as bizarre as the “recommendations”.

    During the first part of the first day, the “requirements” and “recommendations” were discussed or disclosed. As with the “recommendations”, Forum participants were to accept the “requirements” by standing and promising to abide by the “requirements”. Actually, participants were asked to stand and promise to abide by the “requirements” before being asked to stand and promise to abide by the “recommendations”. Unlike the “requirements” where everyone who wanted to proceed with the Forum was required to stand and promise to abide by the “requirements”, not everyone was asked to stand and promise to abide by the “recommendations”. In fact, the Forum leader specifically INSTRUCTED certain individuals to remain seated when the rest of the group stood to promise to abide by the “recommendations”. The people who were INSTRUCTED to remain seated are those persons who had sought permission to be excused from one or more of the recommendations, e.g., people who had disclosed they had bladder problems and needed extra bathroom breaks, people who had disclosed that they needed to take a snack break for health reasons, etc., etc.

    Now think about this. Accepting or not accepting a recommendation should involve a meaningful choice — either you choose to accept the recommendation or you choose not to do so. In the case of the Forum’s alternate universe, one would think this would have meant that you either choose to stand or choose to sit in order to show your assent or non-assent to the “recommendations”. But here, faced with what should have been a meaningful choice, the Forum Leader was dictating who should sit and who should stand. Sitting was not really a problem so long as the Forum Leader had instructed you to sit. In my case, however, the Forum Leader had not instructed me to sit, and I was sitting anyway.

    When the Forum Leader saw me sitting during this “recommendations” period, he approached me and asked, “What, SPECIFICALLY, do you not agree to?”, to which I responded, “I, IN GENERAL, do not promise to abide by the recommendations”. That is when he commanded, “Leave, Leave now, go to the back of the room, get your $350.00 (not sure of the exact amount), and get out of here!” I responded, “I understood these were recommendations; are they recommendations or are they requirements?” He then boldly responded, “FOR YOU, these are REQUIREMENTS!”. So there you have it, a recommendation becomes a requirement if you do not ask their permission to be excused from the recommendation. This, truly, is some sort of alternate universe, and people go to the Forum and put up with this inane/insane stuff on a regular basis. And, most of them come out singing the praises of Landmark! This truly is an alternate universe.

    I believe the foregoing demonstrates just what sort of manipulation and mind control is involved with Landmark’s Forum. It certainly was not anything like a standard, business-type seminar.

  29. Actually, before I asked if they were “recommendations” or “requirements” (which I knew the answer to; they had gone through “recommendations” and “requirements” ad nauseum that first day), the Forum Leader told me to leave immediately or he would CALL THE POLICE AND HAVE ME REMOVED. Can you imagine threatening someone with the police for merely “sitting”? Other people were sitting as well (but they had been told to sit; that’s the difference). I was not creating a disturbance or anything of the sort. If the Forum Leader had walked past me when I was sitting and had said nothing, that would have been the end of it, because no one would have noticed (After all I was not the only one sitting). I was perfectly willing to sit and say nothing. I was not looking to create a “conspiracy” or anything of the sort as he alleged. I know in retrospect that the Forum Leader wishes he had walked past me and said nothing, because the confrontation we had definitely did not end in his favor. Now please tell me that any of the Forum Leader’s actions I write about here are consistent with Christianity!

  30. Many people get sucked in by Landmark, and I understand why that is. It might take 2 to 5 years on a psychiatrist’s couch or 2 to 5 years of counseling with a priest or pastor for one to gain the strength and courage to mend a broken relationship with a family member or friend, but Landmark has people doing it in just 1 to 3 days. Not sure it is always lasting, but here is how it happens.

    After the Forum Leader establishes his authoritarian control over the Forum participants (including using abusive tactics), which takes a few hours, he convinces the group he is doing this whole Forum thing for them, so that they can have a successful Forum. He starts talking about people’s “rackets” and the things in their lives which are getting in their way, the things which are preventing them from attaining their fullest potential, including their broken relationships. The Forum Leader convinces the group that the only way the group will have a successful Forum is if EVERYONE participates and shares. Everyone is in it together. Otherwise, the Forum will be a complete failure. People owe it to themselves and to the whole group to do everything they can to make the Forum successful. Essentially, people are manipulated through these tactics and through fear and guilt to share their most personal shortcomings and intimate failures, both in relationships and otherwise. The Forum Leader is an absolute MASTER at getting everyone up on their feet and sharing their stories, no matter how personal or embarrassing the stories might be. I saw it happen, so I know it is true. Here is a typical exchange once the Forum Leader establishes his control:

    Participant (standing): Hello, my name is Jennifer, and I haven’t spoken to my sister in 7 years.

    Forum Leader: Why is that?

    Participant: When my mother died 7 years ago, my sister emptied my mother’s house and did not allow me to have anything or even go through the belongings with her.

    Forum Leader: How did that make you feel?

    Participant: I was angry and hurt, and I said some really mean things to my sister.

    Forum Leader: How do you feel now?

    Participant: I really miss my sister, but I am afraid to call her because I do not believe she wants to have anything to do with me.

    Forum Leader: You do know what you need to do about it, don’t you?

    Participant: What? I need to call her?

    Forum Leader: Yes.

    Forum Leader. OK?

    Participant: What do you mean?

    Participant: You mean you want me to call her now?

    Forum Leader: Yes, do it now. Go out in the hallway and call her NOW.

    Participant: OK.

    Forum Leader: Let us know what happens.

    Then the participant parades out into the hallway to make her call, and the next person stands up to share his or her story. Later, Jennifer returns and shares with the group that she called her sister and her sister was so happy she called and told her that she loved and missed her. They arranged a time to get together after the Forum.

    Now remember, the Forum Leaders are not professional psychotherapists, but that does not matter to them. They manipulate people to make calls, having no idea of what the outcome might be. They do it over and over. Forum participants have their so-called “breakthroughs”, and they end up loving Landmark because of it. They do not care that Landmark used mind control and abusive tactics to manipulate them to make the calls they would otherwise have been too afraid to make. All they care about is the end result.

    So the question is, “Does the end justify the means”?

    By the way, religions (at least some of them) also use fear and guilt to manipulate.

  31. At the Forum, people who had major fears of public speaking find themselves standing up and speaking in front of 150 people. They consider this a “breakthrough”. Landmark promises such “breakthroughs”.

    At the Forum, the Forum Leader creates an environment where Forum participants feel compelled to speak. This pressure to speak is so intense that almost everyone gives into it. There is a fear of not speaking (or a pressure to speak, if you want to call it that) at the Forum which surpasses the participant’s fear of public speaking. In essence, a greater fear is substituted in place of the prior fear (now a lesser fear) of public speaking.

    Now, does this truly constitute a “breakthrough”, or does it just appear to be a “breakthrough”?

    The fear of public speaking typically returns soon after the Forum is over.

    Most people do not comprehend that Landmark is substituting one fear for another. It’s part of dark side of Landmark which I see so clearly but which most people who attend the Forum do not see.

  32. Sophie says:

    I am a lawyer by profession and a workaholic. I moved out of my parent’s house when I was 17 and I like to be independent. As a working lady I never came across the right man to get married, but always wanted a child. As a woman I wanted to be a mother. I buried this wish deep inside my heart for years due to my abrupt work hours. After the forum I gathered the courage to apply for an adoption for a young girl. I am soon going to have a little family of my own and this makes me so very happy. This completes my life and I cannot thank the Forum enough.

    • Tony says:

      Sophie:

      Thanks for telling your story. There’s no question that LF can help people. The question is whether it’s true…and it is not. I’m very glad to hear about your adoption, though! Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.

  33. Sophie,

    You are a professional and independent. You always had the courage deep within yourself to apply for an adoption. The sooner you recognize that courage within yourself and that you do not and did not need Landmark in order to apply for the adoption and have a fulfilling life, the better off you will be. Landmark wants you to believe you are dependent on Landmark. Do not believe Landmark’s lie.

    I attended Landmark’s Forum, and I saw the manipulation and mind control firsthand. Do not give your mind to Landmark.

    There are many other groups/churches, etc. which will also try to take your mind. Do not give your mind to them either.

    Best to you.

  34. Carolynn Yancey says:

    I am pretty passionate about my relationship with Jesus, thankful every day for His providence in my life. Looking always at the places I can humble myself, repent, and love God and others better. I am thankful for the Holy Spirit who guides me, gives me discernment, and helps me be a reflection of Jesus to the world. Being loving, in community, and in conversation with the Lord is why I am here on earth. I have an incredible gift and passion for restoring the breakdown of the family structure in our world.
    You see, my mom was an alcoholic, and a single mother. She worked at the bar below our apartment, then she would spend several hours after work drinking, and finally top the night off by bringing her new “boyfriend” home for a little fun. She was gone most days for 10-14. That life doesn’t sound too bad, except that she had, me, a 5-year-old little girl. She didn’t make a lot of money, and childcare came at a high price, so I spent most of my time upstairs, and locked in a closet in the living room, waiting for her to come home. So, at 5 I decided that if people love you, they don’t leave you alone and that being alone is the scariest thing in the entire world.
    When I was 6 I got in a lot of trouble at home one day for getting off the bus at the wrong spot, my mom was really mad. When I got to school the next day, the teacher said to me, “Come here! You are going to the principal’s office!” When I got to the principal’s office there were 2 large armed police officers waiting for me. They told me I was going to foster care…foster care, “What is that?! Oh No!” I thought to myself, “I was SO bad yesterday, that must be child disposal!! I have screwed up so badly they are throwing me out!” At 6 I decided that If I screw up bad enough, people will throw me out.
    Fast forward, I was 28 and had been adopted by a family at 12. I knew for a fact that God loved me, that He said would never leave or forsake me, and that I was valuable to Him. When my adopted mom, who had been sober her whole life, died of liver failure at the age of 56 I knew the promises. I knew God wasn’t leaving me; but I didn’t know that I had decided back when I was 5 that if you are alone, you aren’t loved. I didn’t know when my husband was frustrated about something I had done, that somewhere in the back of my brain, I was sure he was going to throw me out. So, yes, I knew that God wasn’t going to throw me out, it was great that God loved me and wouldn’t forsaken me. But knowing that made no difference in the quality of my life or relationships. I HAD to get my past, which I thought I Had handled, out of the way.
    You see, Satan wants me to believe that I am disposable, that I have no value, that I will not survive this life if I am left alone. Look around at all the Christians that are unhappy, suffer from anxiety, depression, stress, substance abuse… Knowing the Promises don’t make a difference if you don’t know you have something that is keeping you from really living like you believe them.
    A huge blessing in my life was when God decided I was going to be in the Landmark Forum, I have now been part of Landmark for the last 2 ½ years. I have completed the curriculum for living, I have participated in several seminars, I have been part of the assisting program, and am now in the leadership body. And I want to say that Yes, I agree with so much of what you say…if you’re talking to people who aren’t believers. If you are not a believer the Forum will have you believe that you create your life, and that the power comes from you, and that there is no right or wrong. And I might assert, anything you do as a non-believer is going to end up in eternal death.
    One of the greatest gifts the Lord has given me since I completed my forum in 2016 is trust. Through the methodology of the conversations, I got to discover, that I made up the life sentence that people will throw me out, and that I am worthless. Thanks to Jesus, (because you know we do nothing apart from him once we are His follower) I am ability to set aside those lies from Satan and put in the Truth, The Word of Life, the Answers, The Way. The Alpha and Omega. And I trust, feel, see, and experience those promises like Jesus is in front of me. I trust in His discernment for my life; I am no longer blinded by the insecure powerless little girl locked in a closet and beat by an abusive alcoholic mother.
    I get to live into the promises of the one who Saves me, that He created me with a spirit of power, and that He commands us, Do not be anxious, Do not worry. My sins are revealed to me, and more importantly, I am I am trained to listen to listen for, and reliably deliver that which makes a real difference in peoples lives, in what matters to them and what they really care about. – the best way to love your neighbor that I have found in my now 40 years of life.
    Romans says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but by the transformation of your mind, so that you can decide what is Gods good and perfect will.” Only by the transformation of our mind do we discern what is good and bad, right, and wrong. And it doesn’t matter what you do, if you do it without Jesus it is futile. If you are born again, God promises that you are filled with the Holy Spirit, and that HE will guide you, and that HE is your discernment. No matter what class you take, book you read, or study you participate in. And yes, if you can’t be in a class that is “non-religious” without having a huge upset, I would assert that there might be something in your blind spot, that you just can’t see; and that the upset is more of a heart issue with than an issue with some class.
    Thank you to Landmark community for letting me share my faith openly, my exploration of my relationship with Jesus that I was too insecure to share about before. Feeling like I wasn’t a good enough believer, or that somehow, I was going to be tricked out of my faith, is a hard line to tow and I did it for years. Thank you for showing me tools & techniques that allow me to be a better listener, and to love others better. And of course, the ultimate glory is given to my God and King who used a man-made course in my life to show me the way He created me, and that HE has incredible ways that He wants to use me to further His kingdom.
    We all have stories about our lives, like me, we all make up things about us based on what happens to us. A lot of people make up stories about God. One woman said to me, “Thank you so much for helping me see that I made up that God didn’t love me because I watched my dad die.” She got to have the freedom knowing that God does love her, and that It was tragic that her dad died. She was another person who righted her relationship with God through Landmark.
    The powerful testimony I have of God using Landmark in my life is why I couldn’t cruise by without saying something. It isn’t evil because man says it is, only God has that right. Mr. Scialdone, with all due respect, I am thankful I didn’t listen to you, or I wouldn’t be living the life God intended for me today.

    • Tony says:

      Carolynn:

      First, thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate it, and I’m happy to hear that you’ve been able to move beyond some of your earlier struggles.

      I hesitated to post your full testimonial. I’m still not pleased in doing so. Here’s my concern: you are clearly an exception. As you said, If you are not a believer the Forum will have you believe that you create your life, and that the power comes from you, and that there is no right or wrong. That is my point…and I would go further. Not only will Landmark Forum teach you these things – these errors – but it’s not only non-believers who will be led astray by them. Younger believers will too, as well as older believers who lack a sufficient foundation in biblical truth.

      I haven’t said that Landmark Forum is evil. God has, however, expressed truth in the Bible…and Landmark Forum directly contradicts what God has said. Based on your own words, you have not come to this point in your life because of Landmark Forum’s teachings, but in spite of them. Others have not, and will not, be so fortunate.

      Not everything that ends well should be recommended to others. We all understand this. For example, my friends who have survived addiction tell me that they’ve found blessings through their struggles. Would they recommend addiction to others, so they can be similarly blessed? That would be foolish. My friends who have survived cancer say the same: they have experienced great joy in the midst of their suffering. It would be foolish to suggest that everyone, seeking great joy, should try to get cancer. In the same way, it is foolish to recommend Landmark Forum as a way to find truth, peace, or happiness.

      My warning to those who read this page remains unchanged: Landmark Forum teaches lies. Do not think that you can fill your head with lies without consequence. Do not assume that you are immune to them. Do not pretend that God is honored by paying money to listen to lies, hoping that you will find peace and contentment on the other side. Turn instead to the One who made you, who understands you, and who longs to give you abundant life. Unlike Landmark Forum, God will never lie to you.

      • Robert says:

        Tony, although I can see why you got the impression this is what they teach, Landmark does not teach that you are the origins of your life (“create”) and that there is no Truth. They don’t even touch that, it’s a misunderstanding. This should be good news to you. Landmark poses zero threat and can only help a Christian. What they teach is about communication and language — where if you use morality and judge others d(or yourself) based on your grasp of Truth, you can stop the listening and nothing is accomplished. The Holy Spirit does the work. Landmark just helps us not to get in the way. I’m happy to discuss this with you further.

        • Tony says:

          Robert:

          You say that LF poses zero threat. My experience says otherwise. When a LF leader – not a rookie, or some guy who went to a meeting once – teaches that the Holocaust was neither good nor bad, unless I think it to be so, anyone not associated with LF can see that the threat is real.

          As I wrote earlier, I’m happy to discuss this further. The only way I can amend my experience is with more experience. Please, if you can, provide for me official LF documents that show the leader I spoke with (at length, and in multiple sessions) was wrong. Thanks!

  35. Rodney says:

    [This comment has been edited by the website owner. See the response below for details]

    I have done The Landmark Forum and reviewed it twice. The first time that I did it was in May of 1990 and I believe that the last time was sometime in 1993. I’ve done their curriculum for living, seminars and have lead introduction seminars. I am a practicing Roman Catholic since childhood and have remained one.

    . . .

    I have no idea of what “lie” of which some of you speak. In The Landmark Forum they tell you that they don’t have the truth!

    . . .

    The Landmark Forum is a technology or a tool.

    . . .

    What many people seem to miss is that The Landmark Forum is NOT about God or The Bible.

    . . .

    As a Christian I believe in The Holy Trinity. I believe in the 10 Commandments. God is still an awesome mystery to me. I believe that he made me for a reason and loves me immensely which I still find it hard to comprehend.

    . . .

    I hope this long post helps everyone.

    • Tony says:

      Rodney:

      First, thanks for commenting. I completely believe your last bit, which expresses your desire to help. Please don’t think that I’ve missed that part.

      Second, I removed most of your post. I don’t do that very often, and I don’t do it without serious consideration. GodWords isn’t a public forum. It’s my personal website…so I have control over what my website says. While I appreciate reading your point of view about Landmark Forum, I can’t post it in good conscience. I have several responsibilities in this area. First, to God. I am accountable to Him for all that I do. As a teacher, I am held to a higher standard than many others. I take that seriously. Second, to my readers. Millions have come here, looking for simple and straightforward answers to their questions. Millions more will follow. A whole bunch of them are relatively unchurched, so there are some debates that they’re just not ready for. The deeper philosophical and psychological impact of Landmark Forum’s lies are very troubling to me…not for myself, but for them. I’m happy that some have been helped by LF. There’s no doubt that there is some good there…but I consider the price too high. The ideas of letting go of past wrongs, of releasing others from judgment, and of gaining better control over one’s thoughts are good. Fortunately, they’re available elsewhere, and without the baggage that Landmark brings.

      It’s not my intention to bash Landmark, or anyone who has been involved with them. My intentions are simple: to offer the truth. First, to explain that Landmark Forum and Christianity are inherently incompatible. Landmark teaches that truth doesn’t actually exist, but Jesus taught that HE is the Truth. That’s a barrier that no amount of mental gymnastics can cross. Second, to explain that Landmark Forum teaches a lie, and a substantial one: that there is no right or wrong, no good or evil, and no truth. Anyone who takes a moment to think for themselves will know that this is true, but the tactics used by LF sow confusion in the minds of those in conflict. When someone can claim that torturing babies for sport (for example) is neither right nor wrong, they contradict every law, custom, and culture in history. Every religious system would condemn such behavior, but LF leaders try to explain this condemnation away. Your own stated beliefs also contradict LF teaching, but you seem unaware.

      That’s why I edited your comment: not because I think you have bad intentions, but because you believe bad ideas…and bad ideas cause very bad problems. I wish you well, and am praying that you will see the errors that you have swallowed as a most insidious poison that endangers you and those over whom you have any influence. I hope that you will continue to seek ways to help others, and that you will do it in accordance with the truth that God has already revealed.

      • Robert says:

        Tony, are you open to the possibility that they are not incompatible? I’m not asking you to believe anything I say. I would like to present you with evidences based on experience for your consideration. This is important to me. I have in the past had the same considerations I’ve read here. And I have come to a different conclusion than you. Are you open to exchange? I’m assuming you’ve prayed on this. And you can be sure the Holy Spirit will be at work with you in exchanging with me.

        • Tony says:

          Robert:

          Of course I’m open to the possibility that they’re not incompatible. I’m open to exchange. When you can show me that Landmark Forum does not teach that there is no truth, and no right and wrong, I will amend both the original article and each comment to reflect that truth. If you can’t show me that, both my words and my perspective will remain unchanged. Good luck. =)

  36. Robert says:

    This is a powerful thread. I am a Christian. I completely belong to God and Christ. I have been through the Landmark Forum and many courses after. There is zero conflict between Landmark teachings and God’s Word — and yet I completely get why this concern exists. I have not read every post in this thread, but I’ve read many and it seems the primary concern is that Landmark is suggesting there is no morality and no truth. That’s a slight twist on what Landmark actually teaches and it makes all the difference here — to the point where well-meaning Christians are taking it upon themselves to say DON’T do this because it is un-Christian. And this is not so. Landmark doesn’t try to define God or the origin or life or what governs the universe. They simply identify how things work and support people in identifying their blind spots free of morality judgments. Because it is the judgments that confuse us and get us stopped from richly connecting with one another. By removing the judgments from our communications, we are able to simply, cleanly interact with others with a refreshing integrity. That’s what turns lives around. I heard a Landmark Forum leader even say the other day, addressing one person’s skepticism about God’s existence: “Why not create a possibility of God?” Just a possibility. This is a word Landmark uses frequently as a way of opening up our thinking to what could be possible outside of the way we have limited ourselves to be. Those limits include how we think of God. Landmark does not even try to delve into God. Landmark helps to clarify how the tools that God has given work efficiently, and how we so often don’t use them efficiently. [Edit]

    • Tony says:

      Robert:

      The [Edit] at the end of your comment simply removes your contact information. I will not provide opportunities on my website for anyone to promote the very things I’m trying to debunk. Even if you disagree with my purpose, I hope you can respect my intentions.

      >> There is zero conflict between Landmark teachings and God’s Word

      No matter how many times someone makes the claim that LF is separate from any religion, the facts show otherwise. While LF does not, as you say, “try to delve into God,” they do make claims about reality. Where those claims contradict the Bible, they are incompatible with Christianity. Landmark Forum does claim that there is no truth beyond what we believe to be true, which directly contradicts virtually everything the Bible teaches. LF does claim that there is no right or wrong, unless we personally and individually believe something right or wrong. This – clearly and obviously – is incompatible with Christianity.

      I’m sorry to see that you’ve been seduced, Robert. I hope that you will see that truth is independent of you and I. When Jesus said, “I am the truth,” He wasn’t making a claim about His personal perspective. He was making a universal claim that applies to everyone equally. Truth and morality are grounded not in our personal viewpoints, but in God Himself. Landmark Forum’s teaching directly contradict what God has revealed about Himself, and so is entirely incompatible with Christianity. I’m pleased for you that you have benefited from the things you’ve learned there, but am troubled at what you have lost in the process. I’m praying that God will reveal Himself to you more fully, so you can see the objective, independent, transcendent and eternal nature of Jesus, the Truth.

  37. Steve or Jack says:

    Make NO mistake LE is 100% incompatible with Christianity. LE is in direct contradiction with what the Bible says. Any Christian who says otherwise has been greatly deceived. And I am not saying that from a position of insult!
    It is DANGEROUS for any Christian to attend LE. They are highly trained and skilled manipulators who speak lies that come off as truth. If you are forced to attend for your job or other group I would encourage you to pray in the name of Jesus Christ before you enter, while you are there and after you leave. Pray for the Full Armor of God and pray the lies taught in LE don’t deceive you. God Bless you for this website! Cheers!

  38. Carter says:

    I have taken the Landmark Forum and thought I was God and could transform the world. Shortly after I was smoking crack with crackheads. Coincidence? I think not! However, from a completely objective point of view, one thing I have “gotten” from the Landmark Forum is that it did rid me of a lot of procrastination habits I had. On a third note, one girl let me know she is a Christian and that the Advanced Course, the second course in the Landmark curriculum, is one of the main reason she stays CLEAN & SOBER from meth. So I really don’t know where I stand. I’m hoping that I just get rid of more procrastination because I am SO lazy I can barely grow up and hold a job.

    • Tony says:

      Carter:

      Thanks for sharing part of your story. As I’ve mentioned a number of times: if there were nothing good about Landmark Forum, nobody would go. I’m pleased that some are able to find some help. What I’m not pleased about is the damage that Landmark does, which is pretty well-documented. They’re a mind-control cult, and that’s what they were back when they were EST (Erhard Seminars Training). They’ve just been repacked as a self-help group. They are entirely incompatible with Christianity.

  39. Carter says:

    The only solution is to stay in the church if I want to reverse the residual effects of LF, right? Any light you could shed would be really appreciated.

    • Tony says:

      Carter:

      I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “stay in the church.” To avoid any confusion, I’ll elaborate…even if you know this, somebody else will definitely need to know it.

      In the New Testament, the word “church” is EKKLESIA. It means “called out ones.” Christians are the church…the ones called out from our old lives into new lives devoted to God. There is only one church. Quite simply, the church is every Christian around the world throughout history.

      Being human, we have voluntarily organized ourselves into smaller groupings like Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Episcopal, and so on. Let me be clear: these are not “the church.” Any individual in these groups who has been born again (as Jesus talked about in John 3) is a called-out person, and so is part of THE church. There are many in virtually every church who are not born again, and so are not part of the church…regardless of which congregation they join with, or how long they’ve been there, or how involved they are in the activities of that group.

      So, when you ask whether the solution to the damage done by Landmark is to “stay in the church,” it needs to be said that attending some local congregation’s services is NOT going to accomplish anything for you, spiritually. The Holy Spirit dwells in every believer, and it is He who will help you heal. If you have not been born again, you need to be. Read John 3, and ask God to transform you into a new person. The Holy Spirit will come to dwell in you, and He will help you. He will empower you for service, help you grow, teach you truth, and much more. If you have already been born again, I have great news: you can trust God to help you heal from anything in your past, including the damage done by Landmark Forum.

      I hope that makes sense. You asked for help, and I would not be helping if I failed to point out the difference between the true church that Jesus started and the churches we find in our neighborhoods. Many in our local congregations are part of THE church, but many are not. Does that make sense? I’m here to help if you need me.

  40. Mark David Frost says:

    Greetings Tony…I became a ‘called out one’ at 6:45 PM EST April 1st 1990…while I was volunteering for landmark…I finally got ‘it’…but unfortunately once you ‘get it’…they kick you out…(they wouldn’t let Rudolph play in anymore reindeer games)…seems I was suppose to ‘live in the question’…my subjective truth aligned with objective….now here’s the part that gets you locked up in psych wards..hand cuffs and leg irons while the crown asks your dad on the stand if you were baptized…not much changes in 2000 years but I’m thrilled you have this site …turns out I’m a stigmatic…like the bible says…sometimes you need a little ‘fertilizer’ around your tree..thank-you Landmark…..love your enemy….after being born from above (Pinocchio story) I was awake for 5 days fully energized…a week or so later I was looking at my hands..they were drying up and turning red making the palmistry quit visible…that’s when a man projected two shadow circles upon my hands…(hold out your left hand palm up..touch your ring finger to your life line) ..formed a pentagram when overlaid on my palmistry…long story short he said it’s not good but not bad to ‘share? ‘ this insider information…just be careful you don’t get kicked in the nuts…my story goes over as a lie..hence the medication….I’m currently on 24hr stand by for an assessment and stabilization program …pray for them because I might just tell a truth they can’t deny…Ps I could use some prayers myself….look forward to hearing from you…I wonder if you’ll post this?

  41. Mark David Frost says:

    Got a mind to infiltrate ‘em one more time…that is if I’m not black listed…go by a different name? after all ‘I was’ ushered off the premises in California by security (headquarters)..play it right back at them..with a twist…a form of chelation…trojan horse style 😉

  42. Janine says:

    Hi! I appreciate this discussion so much. I really felt that LF was an answer to prayer! When I trace the path to that conclusion, I realize it may not have been. I take a medication to relax me at night (treatment for depression accompanied by anxiety). That night, I forgot to take the capsule so didn’t sleep and allowed my mind to search out what seemed like deep questions of life. So, first of all, my state of mind was influenced by lack of medication. In that state that I would describe as hyperfocused, it occurred to me that I was allowing life to happen to me and not exerting any control of it. I got up and started reading a book about reclaiming your life but from a Christian point of view. The very next day a friend invited me out to lunch. She told me about the LF and how she had a breakthrough and practiced more authentic communication. I thought that this was a way to practice the principles I was reading about! Perfect timing, right? (My friend had actually replaced going to church with going to the weekly forum.) Then I went with her to the initial meeting that night. I thought it was a little culty right away as people were walking around all smiles and happy. One mother brought by her son even said she thought it was a cult. She was probably right. But I have a lot of broken relationships so was hooked by all the people talking about how they mended their relationships. I did sign up for the course and paid my non-refundable course fee; however, I am concerned about the long days since I don’t have a lot of stamina. Somehow the person directing the course that night didn’t look me in the eye. I certainly had a resistance to ever speaking in the mike during the forum! I watched him try to draw in an obvious skeptic. He spoke to her during the break. Later when she laughed mockingly, he took the time to go over and stand in front of her and applaud. I wonder if that worked. She seemed to be with her mother and grandmother. The pressure was on her. Today I began to ask myself if I was looking to LM instead of God to heal these broken relationships. Was this really an answer to prayer? How will my children respond? Will I be a total emotional wreck? Especially after reading about Naomi’s trauma (thank you for sharing, Naomi, and I hope you are recovering through God’s grace), I concluded it would be best to stay away. Six hundred dollars is an expensive lesson, but I’ll stick with God’s ways to answered prayer. A wise Christian woman I told about the upcoming Forum (who knew church friends deeply into it) helped me focus on God by pointing out how she has eliminated certain foods from her diet as she prays for her family. Please pray that He will lead me into all truth and that I would experience His mercy and grace through the healing of these relationships. I worship Him above all else. Thanks for providing this godly forum!

  43. Julia says:

    Hello all and God bless in JESUS name…

    My boyfriend and I attend a nondenominational church. I am a Christian and I believe he is too. I only say this because when we started attending church together about a year ago he was not taking communion in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice for everyone. He has since, a few months ago started taking communion. I believe with my whole heart he is trying. However, I found out he had attended this Landmark Forum a few years back with his brother and sister-in-law and TRULY believes that there is no “right” or “wrong”. It has been tugging at me why he believes this nonsense. Such as today I said there is a difference between right and wrong and I gave an example of a blue pen and someone calling it a red pen. He said that does not make the one calling the blue pen wrong…he/she may have a different pupil than me. I figured that was a bad analogy…I said again, there is a difference between right and wrong…that there can be only ONE absolute Truth. His rebuttal, “according to who?”. I said according to God. It became heated and we decided to laugh it off. At this point, I know he has been sucked into this Landmark Forum. I am sad and my heart hurts. Any prayers will help as I will be on MY prayer bones praying for him and for God to give him clear understanding of who Jesus is and HIS truth…thank you.

    • Tony says:

      Thanks for sharing, Julia. That sounds difficult. Clearly, your boyfriend needs prayer. Just as clearly, it would be a mistake to be in a marriage relationship with someone whose beliefs so radically differ from yours. I’m praying that he will see that Landmark has led him away from reality into a fantasy world of his own making, and that he learns to trust that God is the final word on reality…and that this is good news.

  44. Joshua Barton says:

    I am a graduate of the entire LE Program – multiple Forums, seminars, advanced program, wisdom course, Communications Course and Intro the Forum Leaders Program, and I can tell you that it is a scam and a cult. Landmark Education is FOR PROFIT. Landmark Education is not a church and has no regard for the bible and its teachings or for any religious doctrine of any faith whatsoever. They never will. In fact, most of the advanced leaders are agnostic or merely worship the god within. Many are satanic. This organization is about money, control and power, period. To have influence within the organization you have to spend $$$$ and submit to the whims of the leaders and those more advanced in the hierarchy. They are master manipulators and they care only for what you can do for them. If you resist their leadership, they will make you “wrong” and shun you. The education has immense power if you are involved, because they make the rules. They will gang stalk you and break you with “group think”. This is Large Group Awareness Training and they know how to push buttons; mind contol is their weapon of choice. They look for weaknesses to exploit. My strong warning is to stay away. If you have problems and want to create a life free from the constraints of the past, then do so privately with a trusted therapist. In this organization they will use anything and everything against you to have control over your psychology and ultimately your purse. Buyer beware.

  45. Roberto B Lucas says:

    it depends on where you are and your faith I agree with that. For me personally I was a Christian before the landmark forum and even better when afterwards after all in the landmark forum some of the key points are forgiveness being honest and the high cost of being dishonest and holding grudges and not forgiving you some key tenets of Christianity. Not only did I take the course but I was at Landmark Forum supervisor which is his role second only to The Landmark supervisor within the corporation so I know the distinctions of the course very well and it knows the Bible fairly well myself they can be completely compatible but you have to be strong in your faith in order for it to work for you

    I the main goal of the course is to take what is a matter of any importance to you to a higher level so if Christianity is of high importance to you and it is to me you keep that in mind while you taking the course it can make you a a better Christian if that’s what you want to get out of it. I clearly see the connection between the 16th distinctions are learning points of the landmark forum and the New Testament. People who are not strong in their faith or whoever maybe not strong mentally may not be able to get this point and when you sign up for the course he specifically asked about your mental well-being and do not recommend that people take it who are not well grounded mentally emotionally and physically. It is demanding and rigorous work and is not for the faint of heart but it is totally changed my life my mother who went was is dead now a very strong Christian was against it when I took the course but after I changed the course she and my father were very pleased with the results that I got out of it such that they demanded that my younger brother do you want a few things go to therapy to take the landmark forum.

    • Tony says:

      Roberto:

      First, welcome. =)

      When you say “it depends on where you are and your faith,” what do you mean? It sounds like you mean that immature Christians might have trouble with Landmark, but that more mature believers (such as yourself) will find it beneficial. Is that what you mean? If so, why do you think so?

      You say “you have to be strong in your faith in order for it to work for you.” It sounds like you’re saying that Landmark only works for people who are strong in their faith. I’m not sure what that means either.

      You can certainly be helpful to the many (many) who read this conversation. Your experience as a supervisor puts you in a position to answer this question: does Landmark teach that nothing has value of its own, but only the value we assign it? Thanks in advance for your input.

      A question for you: do you believe that something’s value (that is, whether it’s beneficial or harmful) can be assessed objectively? Here’s what I mean…if Landmark is NOT compatible with Christianity, it still might provide some benefit. Right? The question is whether that benefit is worth the danger that comes from embracing anti-biblical ideas.

  46. Julia says:

    2 Corinthians 1:14 “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

    Roberto, first and foremost you are my brother in Christ and I say these things to you because I love you. You may think you are a mature believer, but THINKING and BELIEVING that Landmark Forum can “add” to your mature Christianity is false entirely and you have been deceived. If you are a mature believer and read God’s Word, then you would know to stay away from self-help forums or anything that steers away from the Bible and God. Because Landmark does not it is deception in itself. Christ is and forever will be the only way, Truth and life.

    Satan’s main concern is not that we are saved, but our growth IN Christ and the Truth. Landmark is a perfect playground for the adversary because it takes our focus OFF of Christ and puts the focus on US (self). Landmark does not praise the Lord, does not speak of the Lord nor is Biblical in any sense or form whatsoever. The co-founder himself is a Scientologist. Perfect for Satan to work with since he’s been studying us for over 6,000 years, right? He twists the truth just a little bit so we will be deceived. You should know this if you were and are a mature believer as you say as in the Beginning at the garden of Eden. Think and pray about this dear friend.

    “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” Revelation 22:18-19

    PLEASE READ:

    https://www.forum.exscn.net/threads/landmark-forum-scientology-light.31483/

    GOD Bless you, Roberto and I pray Christ Jesus will open your heart and eyes…

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