"My friends like I, are the target audience"

February 8, 2001
By a young educated professional

I recently was invited by a new friend to "The Forum." I knew the individual would be taking part in some "education" this past weekend, but little did I know what kind of education. I heard him talk about Landmark previously so I decided to check out what my new friend (whom I'd known less than one month) was talking about through the Internet.

I expected to go to the company website. Instead I also found numerous websites (mostly negative) concerning Landmark. Your website was one of them. What I read shocked me.

Needless to say, I expected his communication. Sure enough, Tuesday morning I received an e-mail informing me I "will be inspired" (His emphasis not mine). He told me he would love to see me there. His e-mail was filled with his concern and love for me!

I declined. My response was "No thanks. I am not interested." Amazingly, he responded that he was not surprised at my declining, nor was he hurt. I thought, "Hurt?" Why should he be hurt? I was honest. He went on to question if my no meant "No, I have too much to do right now" or "No, I am not interested in exploring this trip." He assumed I would explore the opportunity at a later time.

Of course he told me how generous and loving it was for him to extend the invitation. Additionally, he told me in the e-mail that "I say this with all the love I have to offer you, Go for it!"

I thought, "How bizarre!" Again, I expected this thanks to your website! He seemed so inauthentic in his correspondence with me. Ironic considering his blathering about being authentic!

Growing up in a fundamentalist Christian environment I know proselytizing when I see it. I suffered emotional and spiritual abuse because of it. I am working on those issues now. I am not about to get involved in another mind game. I responded as such, declaring in my next e-mail, "I do not respond to proselytizing or manipulation. Assume nothing. I am not interested. Period."

Once again he tried to turn the tables stating that he regretted that I misunderstood him. He repeated how his life had changed and he wanted to share his experiences with me so that I too, could have those experiences.

Sadly, this is the fourth person I know who has participated in the Forum. My friends like I, are the target audience. Young, professional, educated, and successful. Where are the uneducated, and poor? They don't exist in Landmark land. So much for helping humankind. If you can't pay, you can't play the Forum game.

There is hope. Even here in San Francisco when queried about the Forum, the overwhelming response is negative. Thank you so much for your website. You saved me money and misery.

Copyright © 2001 Rick Ross.

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