"The guilt-pitch"

August 1999
By a Landmark refund recipient

A very together, professional co-worker, whom I trust and respect, recommended the Landmark Forum to me a while back. So I decided to register. But when I mentioned the Forum to some other co-workers, they immediately told me about its relationship to EST and some horror stories about their own experiences and those of family members who attended the Forum.

I went to the Internet to do the research I frankly should have done previously. After reading several articles and testimonials, I immediately called the registrar at Landmark to cancel.

The guilt-pitch began immediately. The man I spoke to wanted to know why I wanted to cancel, what comments I'd received from others and were they from people who attended the Forum or not. When I told him, generally, some of my concerns--he immediately blamed it on the fact that the comments came from people who hadn't attended and so of course, they wouldn't understand.

I again expressed my desire to cancel, but he continued to ask questions. I told him that I wanted to do further research before I committed my time and money to any such program. He had the nerve to say that he thought my company was paying for the Forum. I admitted they were, but advised that I didn't want to waste their money either.

Then he accused me of not being able to think for myself and of letting others manipulate me into a cancellation. He also tried to convince me that my inability to follow through on commitments (like going to the Forum) was also a problem that affected my life and that I could only benefit by attending. He again tried to convince me that it was a great experience. He claimed that he had a significant coming event, but couldn't have done it without the Forum. I told him that that was wonderful, but that I still wanted to cancel.

After some time and several strained moments, I explained that I was making my own informed decision, and that I was at work and didn't have any more time to sit on the phone and debate this with him--nor did I need his lecture, guilt, or convincing. I am my own person and I simply wanted to cancel my registration.

By the end of the conversation, I had gained control of the conversation, despite his efforts to do so and I firmly stated that all I wanted to do was just cancel, get my refund and receive confirmation and could he understand and accomplish that. He stopped badgering me and we finally hung up.

What GALL! If you can't even cancel without stress, guilt and badgering--what must the Forum be like!

THANK YOU for helping me save $325.00 and 50 hours worth of manipulation and brainwashing [sic] and loads of future aggravation [sic] in dealing with this organization.

I now realize through this experience that I don't need their "help" and like others who've commented on your site -- I'm 95% fine, and I can deal with the other nominal 5% that gets away from me from time to time.

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