Post image for Comfort Zone Crusade: The Landmark Forum

Comfort Zone Crusade: The Landmark Forum

by jenny sansouci on January 30, 2014

Hey curious cats!! If you’ve ever wondered what The Landmark Forum is really like, I’m here to give you the real deal.

What is The Landmark Forum? According to their site, it’s a course designed to bring about positive, permanent shifts in the quality of your lifeβ€”in just three days. You’ll experience a new and unique kind of freedom, effectiveness, and powerβ€”the freedom to be at ease in any circumstance, a new effectiveness in areas that really matter to you, and the power to make what you’re committed to into a reality.

I completed the Landmark Forum this week. I feel very compelled to write this blog because I’ve been resisting (fiercely resisting) Landmark for about 5 years. Countless people have approached me about it, suggested I do it, even offered to pay for me to do it. I heard so many things about how “it would change my life,” but never really got any real insight into what was going on there. I also heard all kinds of crazy things about what it was like: that it’s a cult, that you have to talk about intimate details about your life on a microphone and then you get yelled at, that they force you to call all of your exes, that you aren’t allowed to leave the room to go to the bathroom, that they force you to take out your credit card and register for more courses.

As you can see, I had a million ideas about Landmark. I constantly judged people in my mind for being “soooo Landmarky” and I was completely sure I didn’t want to do it. Even more importantly, nobody could “make me do it.” #rebel

But as part of my 2014 Comfort Zone Crusade….I decided to register for Landmark.

Why!? Well, I finally met someone whose experience really inspired me. We were out having dinner and he started sharing some of the ways he looks at life and the ways he works through different struggles. I was completely mesmerized by his outlook on life. He was committed to living a life of sheer excellence. Committed to breaking through his own comfort zone to transform what he thought were his limitations. Committed to being unreasonable in order to make his dreams come true. He spoke so confidently about the possibilities that were available to him, and to me.

I told him about an issue I was struggling with. He talked me through it in a way I’d never even considered before. He showed me how to break out of the stories I was living in, how to pull myself out of the sea of emotions I felt like I was drowning in. Something immediately lifted, even if just slightly.

“Whoa. Where did you learn all of this!?” I asked, with my eyes wide.

“Have you heard of Landmark?”

Oh boy.

It was the first time I’d actually felt lit up on the inside when hearing about Landmark.

I left the dinner feeling kind of high. Like anything was possible, and that what he said had already changed my life. Really. Suddenly, a song quote popped into my head“you have to try it if you’re ever really gonna know.” I decided it was time to blast through my comfort zone and see what all the hype was about. Honestly? I wanted what he had.

I went online and registered, and I immediately started judging myself, and thinking about what people in my life would think. OMG, I can’t believe I actually signed up for Landmark, who AM I? (Why was I making it SUCH a big freaking deal? I don’t know, it seems insane now).

Landmark seems to be the the type of thing that everyone has a million questions about and nobody really knows what goes on until they experience it. Kinda like Burning Man, maybe.

So now that I’m on the other side, here are some answers to the questions I had before Landmark. If you have others, please, ask in the comments!! Please note I’m not affiliated with Landmark in any way and I wasn’t asked to write this blog.

I’ve attempted to put together a balanced overview of the good and the not-so-good. As T.I. would say… “I got love for the game but hey, I’m not in love with all of it.” πŸ™‚

Is Landmark a cult?

The answer to that is no, but I just freaking LOVE when people dismiss things as cults, it’s funny, like what is that about? I really like immersing myself in things like that, I love investigating, especially when people say something’s culty. Landmark is taught by lots of different teachers, it’s a course. They call it a “curriculum for living” with information you can choose to incorporate into your life or not. You pay to learn, and to be “coached” by a Landmark coach for the weekend on how to have positive breakthroughs in different areas of your life — and then you leave. You can take more courses if you want. You can never step foot into Landmark again if you want. It’s really not that different from going on a retreat where a specific teacher is sharing their specific teachings, and then you leave and decide what to do with those teachings. Do some people get SUPER into it and end up following the teachings in a more dedicated way than others? Of course. Yes. As with any teaching or curriculum. Some people devote their lives to it and speak constantly in “Landmark lingo,” and that may seem nutty to you (I know it seemed totally weird to me!!) Most people, however, take what they want, take what seems useful for their lives, and leave the rest behind. If you’re a strong person who can make your own choices, you should really have nothing to worry about.

Do they really keep you in a room for 13 hours a day, for 3 days straight?

Yes. The days are long. You’ll probably get tired. I was exhausted by the end. The deal: you are in a large room with lots of chairs and a stage where the course leader teaches from. There were 165 people in my course. There are Landmark signs hanging around the room that say things like “Transformation: The Genesis of a New Realm of Possibility” and “A new view and experience of life emerges as constraints from the past disappear.” (Reminded me of the signs hanging up in 12 step meetings, actually).

The day begins at 9am and ends roughly around 10pm, it may go a little longer. There are breaks every 2.5 hours. There are a few 30 minute breaks throughout the day, and then a 90 minute dinner break around 6pm where you can leave and go out to eat. During the breaks, you are given assignments to do. These assignments are suggested and encouraged, but not forced. You can do whatever you want.

A good amount of the time is spent learning about the concepts that Landmark teaches for living life powerfully and living a life you love, which I personally thought were really helpful. The rest of the time is spent with people sharing in front of the crowd and working through whatever they want to create a breakthrough in.

Can you eat and drink?

In the actual classroom, you can only drink water. There is a break room where you can eat food during breaks. I suggest you bring something to eat during the 30 minute breaks, but you are allowed to leave and go get food quickly if you want. I brought Larabars (I don’t think I’ve eaten that many Larabars in a 3 day period, ever)! Oh, also bring your phone charger! They have charging stations and you’ll want to be fully juiced.

They suggest you don’t drink alcohol or do any drugs for the duration of the course.

Is it true that you’re not allowed to leave the room to go to the bathroom?

No. I heard that before I went, but it’s not true at all. You can leave to go to the bathroom as many times as you want, without restriction. I will say, however, that they tell you the more time you spend out of the room, the less you will get out of the course. I honestly do agree with that, I wanted to be in the room every possible moment so I wouldn’t miss an insight or someone’s breakthrough.

Do they really force you to get up and speak on the microphone about your personal life?

Not at all.Β  They encourage people to raise their hands to get up and share what they are struggling with so they can be coached in front of the group, which helps everybody. If you don’t raise your hand, you won’t be called on. Even though public speaking makes me insanely terrified, I did choose to get up on the mic and get coached through something. Believe me, when you’re in the room, you WANT to raise your hand, because it’s fun. I never thought I’d say that. I was so scared before I got up there on the mic. But after a day in the Forum I realized that everyone’s scared and everyone wants to look good in front of everyone else. And truth be told, I really did want to be coached and possibly have a breakthrough with a situation. It wasn’t that big of a deal once I did it.

Do they really yell at you and “break you down” on stage in front of everyone?

Haha. Well, listen. They don’t YELL at you, but I would definitely call it tough love. In an awesome way. My course leader was hilarious and honest.

Here’s what happened when I went up to the mic:

I stood up and told a story about a relationship in my life, something I’ve been working through for a long time. This relationship is one of the main reasons I went to Landmark. I spilled all the beans about it to 165 people staring at me.

The course leader’s response? “Your life is absurd.”

Me, laughing: “I know. It’s so gross.”

Course leader: “You’re living in a Disney movie fairytale or a country western love song or something. Your problems are way too small. You’re just not up to anything big enough in the world. You need to solve bigger problems. You’re like a leaf in the wind with this person, you let a fantasy dictate everything you do. It’s holding you back from actually taking responsibility for living the life you really want. What could you create in your life, and in the world, if you stopped living in Disneyland? If you didn’t spend all your time focusing on this, what possibilities would you want to create for yourself?”

Me: “Yeah. I know. Well, I want to create the possibility of being free, strong, powerful, authentic, expressive, creative, sexy….and totally unmessablewith.” πŸ™‚ (unmessablewith is a term the course leader made up: the quality of being able to stand in the face of any circumstance and generate possibility instead of being thrown off course).

Course leader: “And THAT, my dear, is powerfully attractive.” (Hoots of agreement from men in the audience).

Then we went back and forth a little more on it, about the actions to take in order to create those possibilities. So, yeah, it definitely felt like “tough love,” but she wasn’t yelling at me. In fact, it was endearing. We were all laughing. And honestly, I agreed with her. She simplified things down enough for me to be like, dude, snap out of it.

I won’t and can’t comment on anyone else specifically, but a lot of the topics were MUCH more serious than mine and everyone experienced profound realizations by being coached up there. Yeah, a lot of people cried.

I went to Landmark wanting to work through a certain situation, but I ended up feeling like I had a clean slate for creating whatever I want in every area of my life.

Do they force you to make uncomfortable phone calls to people in your life?

Again, there is no forcing, but they do encourage you to make phone calls to people on the breaks and to redefine what’s possible in relationships where you’re struggling. People reconnected with family members they hadn’t spoken to in 10 years, were honest with their husbands and wives about things they’d been lying about, and more and more. When they shared about it afterwards, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off of their shoulders that they’d been carrying around for so long. It was pretty beautiful and magical, to be honest.

You don’t have to make phone calls. I didn’t call the person I mentioned. But I did make calls to my family to tell them how much I appreciated them, and I called a couple of friends to tell them some of the things I realized, and I thanked them for supporting me. I also made calls just to touch base with people who weren’t in the Forum, so I could snap out of Landmark-ville for a second.

Aren’t they SUPER salesy and weird? Don’t they force you to sign up for additional programs and bring everyone you know to register for the Forum?

Yes, they have very aggressive marketing tactics. Nobody is forced to do anything, though. If, like I mentioned earlier, you feel capable of making your own choices, you can walk out of the room without signing up for anything else. Nobody is going to tie you down. I knew going into the Forum that they were going to be very salesy about me bringing friends to register and about getting me to register for the Advanced Course. I made the decision before I went that I wouldn’t sign up for anything while I was there (they encourage you to sign up while you’re there, of course, which is aggressive but probably a smart business move on their part). I made the choice to go home and let it marinate for a few days, because I promised myself I would. Taking that space felt good to me, and ultimately I did sign up for the Advanced Course. From what I’ve heard from a bunch of friends who have done it, the Forum is about chipping away at all the BS that’s holding you back in life, and the Advanced Course is about what you can create in the world, and reaching a new level of mastery in every area that’s important to you. And if you know me, you know that shit is like crack to me. #forreals

The whole thing kinda reminded me of the Life Extension scene from Vanilla Sky. So creepy I know, but Vanilla Sky is one of my favorite movies of all time, so that’s actually kinda AWESOMESAUCE.

Your life will continue as a realistic work of art, painted by you minute to minute. You’ll live it with the romantic abandon of a summer day. Or a great movie. Or a pop song you always loved. Savor the knowledge that everything is simply improved. It’s all just around the corner. A living dream.” Haha!! I’m soooo nuts.

Do you become a robot or alien after attending Landmark?

Maybe. πŸ™‚ But that’s really irrelevant.

Bottom line?

Landmark is a rollercoaster. You will probably hate parts of it. You will probably experience moments of ecstasy. You might feel your mind get completely quiet for longer periods of time than it ever has before. It is super trippy and at times you might feel like you’re in complete bonkersville.

It might make you think very differently about reality. It might help you drop some of your BS and live life more powerfully.

It might do nothing for you at all. You might just fall asleep in your chair or disagree with every word you hear.

I really got a lot out of it, and I’m glad I did it. I met some great people. My mind was blown by some of the concepts. I feel like I can actually get onto the court of life and be a real player instead of being in the stands. And I’ve done a LOT of self-helpy stuff in my day. πŸ™‚

Would I recommend it to everyone? No, I can’t be the one to decide that. If you feel inspired to attend, I say try it. If not, or if you think this whole thing is completely weird and nutbally, don’t do it.

The absolute most important thing I’d tell someone considering it is this: if you aren’t willing to go in with a completely open mind and the full understanding that you have the power of choice, or if you’re going to be bitter and complain about the hours and the marketing tactics, it’s probably not gonna be your thing.

Anything else you wanna know? Let’s hear it. Comment below and I’ll answer honestly. Don’t be shy.




Like Healthy Crush? Get the play-by-play. Follow me on Instagram. Instagram
Do you love health, nutrition and wellness? Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition!

{ 112 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelsey January 30, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Thanks for sharing this Jenny!

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 9:55 am

You’re welcome Kelsey! You know where to find me if you have any other questions. πŸ™‚

Reply

alison January 30, 2014 at 9:15 pm

omg!!!!!

i swear sometimes we share a brain. and, you obviously know that we don’t actually know each other…which is why it’s so funny to me. i TOTALLY relate to this entire thing about landmark. i’m also sober and friend of bill’s for 9 years.

anywho…landmark has been popping up for me for YEARS!!!! a couple of ppl invited me a long time ago and i was newly sober and thought landmark was definitely a cult.

then someone else brought it to my attention a couple of years later. but the guy had kind of dissed me, so i was not into his pitch.

THEN…on a road trip from san fransisco to humboldt county, without even ever knowing about cafe gratitude, i discovered one in healdsburg and read about the owners and how they were all hype on landmark. my mind literally almost exploded.

now the only thing preventing me from landmark is the fact that i have a 15 month old and can’t quite wrap my head around how long it is.

i know i will go. and i will probably love it. and then i will be one of THOSE people. but i pretty much already am.

thanks for ur post…i felt like i was there. πŸ™‚

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 9:57 am

Wow! The universe is funny like that, huh? In my experience, it was put in front of my face at the perfect time, when I was finally open to it. Your intuition will tell you if it’s the right move.

Hahaha “and then I will be one of THOSE people. but i pretty much already am.” – that’s funny, and exactly how I felt too. I was like, I’m already obsessed with this stuff, let’s take it to the next level.

Cheers:) Good luck if you decide to take the course!

Reply

Faith January 30, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Hi Jenny,

Would you call this a motivational seminar? Is it like a Tony Robbins style event? Thanks for the info!

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 9:59 am

I don’t think they call it a motivational seminar, but I’m sure some people do experience it as motivational. They refer to it as transformational education.

I’ve never been to a Tony Robbins event (maybe someone else can weigh in), but I think they are pretty different. No walking on hot coals at Landmark. πŸ™‚

Reply

Greg E February 1, 2014 at 3:14 am

Note that Anthony Robbins went through the Landmark curriculum, and at one point required all his employees to take the courses too… so the correct phrase might be “Anthony Robbins is like a dumbed down, more commercial Landmark Forum.”

Reply

jenny sansouci February 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm

oh snappppp

Reply

Joe Bains July 1, 2015 at 2:57 am

I’ve been on the Tony Robbins course and have just signed up for the Landmark forum.
The Tony Robbins event is definitely not dumbed down, its a life transformation rock concert on steroids.

Reply

Monica January 31, 2014 at 9:53 am

Hi Jenny,
I just did landmark last month and signed up for the advanced course as well. I agree with what you said here, the ups and downs, and that it should be a personal decision to sign up.

Love that you posted answers to all the questions you had about Landmark too, since it can feel like a mystery going into it!

Cheers to transformation and never ending personal journey!

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 10:00 am

Nice! Yeah, I felt like it was necessary because this is the kind of blog I would have wanted to read before signing up. I wanted to kinda bust through the BS and just lay out the real deal.

It’s so different for everyone! Which is why it’s cool.

Reply

Aly January 31, 2014 at 11:04 am

Who was your forum leader?

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Josselyne. Aka Joss the Boss.

Reply

Michelle Goldblum January 31, 2014 at 11:42 am

Such a good one Jenny! You totally “got it” xx

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Thanks Michelle. πŸ™‚ OHHHHH landmark

Reply

Lisa Bair January 31, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Jenny- You did such a fantastic job explaining what The Landmark Forum experience is like. I went about 8 years ago because my husband completed the course & begged me to go. Our marriage was not going well & I would not admit it or see my cause in it. It changed my whole way of thinking. Both of my adult children went & then all of us completed the rest of the curriculum together. Quite a family bonding experience. Today, my husband & I are still married & we “talk Landmark” as part of our communication. However, no matter how hard I tried, I could never get the message of what it did for my family across to others. That is why I’m so impressed with your explanation. You’ll love the Advanced Course!!!

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Lisa, so cool about you and your hubs!! Nice work. πŸ™‚ I’m pumped for the Advanced Course.

Reply

Deborah January 31, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I completed the Forum in May of 2012 because of what happened between my daughter and me when she completed it. The transformation in her was so astounding that her sister and all three of my teenaged grandchildren also did it. The quality of our relationships now in our family is truly remarkable. I have found that continuing to stay in the conversation through seminars and assisting at events continues to deepen and make clearer and clearer how I get in my own way. Then I make choices about taking responsibility for my life. Those choices and resulting actions are where the power is for me!

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Deborah, thanks for sharing that about you and your daughter and your family. Super awesome to hear. I witnessed a lot of family reconnecting stuff in my Forum and it was really cool and beautiful.

Reply

Renee January 31, 2014 at 2:45 pm

I did the Forum (after much resisting also) in September 2010. I ended up doing the Advanced and the SELP. Exactly one year later I was driving to Florida living out my dream for the new life I had created for myself. I never would of had the courage to take that leap without Landmark. They showed me how to get real with myself and drop the BS about why I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live. Those 3 days was the start of transforming my life and I will forever be thankful for giving in and signing up for the Forum. Thank you for a wonderful synopsis of what being at the Forum is like. Im sharing your blog with the hope that it sparks enough curiosity in someone to just try it. So so much to gain if they just try it. πŸ™‚

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Thank you for sharing the blog, Renee! I hope it helps people. I’m inspired by your story. I already feel like everything I want for myself is so much more attainable, and already happening. πŸ™‚

Reply

Tabassum January 31, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Hi,
Thanks for the great article. I just completed the whole series. My SELP course ended on Tuesday. Anyway, I wanted to say I really enjoyed reading your article. The forum changed my life for the better and I love assisting to see others transform. I am very happy for you. I have met some great people at Landmark and always look forward to being there. You will love the Advance Course. It was my favorite.

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 8:21 pm

That’s what I keep hearing from everyone, that Advanced is where it’s at!!! Psyched!

Reply

Josselyne Herman-Saccio January 31, 2014 at 7:05 pm

JOSS THE BOSS now i like that nickname..usually I get JOSSIBILTY πŸ™‚ Glad you got value out of being in the Landmark Forum and I know you will LOVE the Advanced Course…if you need anything let me know πŸ™‚

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 8:26 pm

OMG!! JOSSIBILITY, commenting on my blog…possibilities really are endless. πŸ™‚ Thank you for a powerful Forum. See you at the Advanced Course…until then, I’ll be out in the world being unreasonable.

Reply

Josselyne Herman-Saccio February 3, 2014 at 5:12 pm

cant wait to see you again!

Reply

TJ January 31, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Loved your summary!!
Thanks for sharing it!

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Thanks for reading!

Reply

Nathan Black January 31, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Great blog! Love your sense of humor and honesty. πŸ™‚ I completed the Forum in 2004 and absolutely love the life I now have.

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 10:32 pm

tee heeeeeee thank ya!

Reply

Janelle January 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm

In fact they did everything you heard before attending, only now you have (their) a positive view of it. They did originate from a cult, they are aggressive, they brain wash (softly), and I’ve seen people, friends and relationships destroyed by ‘confessions’. Sure people get some good learnings, but there are other, gentler, kinder, self-empowering (not ongoing-Landmark-marketing-attachment) ways to do all of that.

Reply

jenny sansouci January 31, 2014 at 10:31 pm

No matter which way you want to look at it, I have my own view of it now based on my personal experience in the Forum. Like I said, it’s not for everybody. We all approach these kinds of things from a different perspective based on our our own life experiences and circumstances. If it doesn’t work for you/the people you know, that doesn’t mean it’s not helpful for others. It’s an intense thing, and I personally am OK with intense things. Not everyone is. It’s a completely enter-at-your-own-risk situation, and they make you sign a LENGTHY contract about all of that, saying you should NOT register if you are uncertain about your physical, mental or emotional ability to participate.

Reply

Sarah February 6, 2014 at 4:32 am

It was one of the most horrendous experiences I’ve ever had, people were left heartbroken. They bullied people, told them their lives were awful and tried to break them. They were into it for the money and pressured you into getting others to join. The people who enjoy it and think positively of it are the brainwashed ones who probably had such a crappy life to start with they will accept anything that lets them join in and be a part of something. Truly awful cult that should definitely be shut down.

Reply

Melanie February 11, 2014 at 11:55 pm

Sarah – it’s unfortunate you had a bad experience and you feel the way you do. I completed the curriculum between April-Nov 2013 and while I admit some of the tactics are “pushy” the idea of bullying is not something I agree with. Like Jenny indicates, there is a lot of tough love going on. I still feel overwhelmed sometimes by some eager participants (including my husband) and have been known on occasion to tell someone not to “landmark me”. However, I do have choice in how I handle these and no matter how irritated I can get there is one thing for sure that Landmark has given me my life back. The program is designed to have you take an honest and often times difficult look at your life, what you’re holding on to that’s keeping you from getting what you want and moving forward. I closed a chapter of my life that had me living as a abuse victim for over 20 years, in doing so it may have contributed to the end of a relationship of people very close to me. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy and it can get messy. Regardless of the outcome, I now have a rekindled relationship with my godmother whom I hadn’t spoken to in almost 8 years and my voice has been heard. Is Landmark right for everyone? No, as Jenny also said only you can decide if you’re ready to take this journey. Be clear in your choices and if you are a “no”, you are a “no” and they will respect that.

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 2:22 pm

Sarah, I know this comment is coming a little late but I just wanted to say I’m sorry you had such a bad experience, I know it’s not for everyone, but I did want to disagree with your comment “the people who enjoy it are the brainwashed ones who probably had a crappy life to start with.” That is not true, my life was AWESOME before Landmark and became better afterwards because of the shifts I had made in my relationships, my strength, and my perception of life. I had a few things I wanted to work through and I knew I needed some help working through them. Landmark ended up being exactly what I needed to hear at the time. That being said, I may not have been as accepting of it at different points in my life. So while I appreciate you sharing how you felt about it, the truth is, some people do get positive insights from it, even if their lives weren’t “crappy before.”

Reply

Eric Schneider January 31, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Thank you for being willing to share your life with us, Jenny. I’ve done the Landmark Forum, and all of their courses, for 22 years. Out of the Advanced Course in 1992 I created my career as a Teacher of Forgiveness, which gives me great satisfaction, and I’m in the marriage of my dreams – pure creation of love daily.

Out of assisting (volunteering) around MANY Landmark courses over the years, I was “the Midwife Husband” at my 2nd son’s underwater homebirth in 1990, and I now manage my wife (different wife) Susan’s music career as “The Space Lady.” [Susan is a Landmark Graduate for 5 years now.] Actually, it was I who got her out of retirement in 2012, four years after we’d met and three after we’d married. , helped her get a record contract (yeah, vinyl) and good-paying gigs, and am now assisting her London producer to map out her first club tours (She was a successful street musician for twenty years before this.) Our first tour is this March on the West Coast and then the UK in April.

Susan and I are currently registered in Landmark’s year-long Wisdom Course (starting in a few weeks all over the country and in London). Out of just being REGISTERED – and not even in the course room yet – I’ve had a two breakthroughs!
1) In my Forgiveness work, I met a woman on FB who wants to sign the people up so I can just show up and lead Forgiveness seminars. I can stop trying to do it myself!
2) I’ve disappeared one of the main things I did that was driving my wife crazy by getting upset when she was late and had forgotten our appointments – or not keeping track of time – and I was causing tension between us, when I ‘d thought all along that I’d been doing the right thing, and she was just hopeless in that area. I gave that up just the other day. Now, she doesn’t have to make time agreements with me. And if she does, I’ll support her gently in keeping them, making sure that she wins.

I’m going to share your blog with many people, Jenny. Thanks again. And thank to the staff and program leaders of Landmark Worldwide!

Reply

jenny sansouci February 3, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Wow! Thanks for sharing your story and thanks for sharing the blog. πŸ™‚

Reply

Sierra February 1, 2014 at 11:04 am

Hi Jenny!

This is such a wonderful explanation of Landmark. Thank you for taking the time to put this into words. I think it will open the door for so many people! I’m also pretty sure my mom was in your forum. She completed it this past weekend with Josselyne and 165 other people. Josselyne is incredible! Anyway, just wanted to say thank you and I hope you write another post for the Advanced Course – it’s so wonderful!

Reply

jenny sansouci February 3, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Congrats to your mom. Cool to know we were in it together!

Reply

Jeanne February 1, 2014 at 10:18 pm

I’m SO happy to hear more insights from the experience. I’m pissed I didn’t get a call πŸ™ JK I love you lunatic! xx

Reply

jenny sansouci February 3, 2014 at 5:15 pm

hopefully our 4 hour phone call on saturday night made up for it:)

Reply

Hadley Gustin February 2, 2014 at 10:13 am

Thanks for all of this insight, Jenny! I have been considering attending Landmark for the past few weeks now since Integrative Nutrition encourages all of its employees to attend and offers to pay for it if you go. It never quite resonated with me, though, at least not right now, and after reading your blog and learning more about the specifics of the Forum, I know my instincts are right about it for me at this point in time. I really appreciate you sharing all of this information and look forward to reading many more intriguing and fabulous blogs from you! πŸ™‚

Reply

jenny sansouci February 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm

Yeah, I knew about IIN encouraging the employees to do Landmark. I believe lululemon does too. Kinda cool to have a workplace that supports people in this kind of stuff. Thanks as always for reading the blog:)

Reply

Paul Shandling February 2, 2014 at 11:12 am

Hi Jenny,
Thanks for your authenticity, there I said it, a Landmark word.
What is available in the Landmark Forum is the you you’ve been looking for your whole darned life. I did the Forum in 2000 and am now an Introduction Leader. I have coached courses and transformed
hundreds of lives, all I truly believe, for a better world. if you’re ever in Chicago, please come by our Center. P.

Reply

jenny sansouci February 3, 2014 at 5:16 pm

I will do that, Paul. πŸ™‚ I love Chicago.

Reply

Ritu February 2, 2014 at 6:47 pm

That’s so interesting. Thanks for this post Jenny. I randomly ended up at a Landmark thing last Tuesday – I thought I was going to a group for abused women with a friend but entered a giant conference room with a stage and a lot of smiley people instead. My friend left me there and went off to an advance course herself. My review… I liked parts of it and HATED other parts of it. I loved the “coach” in front of the room. He was real – very markety – but real. But the “grads” were too excited about their own transformation and did not know how to listen. The moment I mentioned that “I am not going to sign up today”, the grad next to me, my partner in the sharing so far, literally got up and left. At that point, I had had enough of not being heard to and feeling pressurized so I left during the break. I do feel like I want to give it another shot though and with next time since I will know what I’m walking into, I will hopefully be more openminded.

Reply

jenny sansouci February 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm

How funny Rits! I hear you, I probably would have been a little scared if I didn’t know what I was stepping into. Let me know if you do end up checking it out again. πŸ™‚

Reply

Brian February 2, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Thanks for the post! Since attending the forum 3 years ago, I came out of the closet, ended a 14-year marriage, quit drinking, lost 35 pounds, ran my first Tough Mudder 13-mile/29-obstacle race (before I could not run .5 mile), started 4 businesses (2 of which failed), had my first kiss with someone I was actually attracted to (at the age of 35), and created an annual food festival in a city where no one knew me (was subsequently featured on 4 tv stations). This was also shortly after I sold my three restaurants and moved from Washington DC to Austin. Other than that it didn’t really make any differences in my life πŸ™‚

Reply

jenny sansouci February 2, 2014 at 9:16 pm

BRIAN, you are completely UNMESSABLEWITH!!!!!! WOW. Congrats. Time for me to get to work…

Reply

Jojo February 2, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Such a great explanation about Landmark. Thank you.

Reply

jenny sansouci February 3, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

Reply

Jacque February 3, 2014 at 12:13 am

Great explaination of Landmark. I have been taking courses since 2000. My second favorite course is the Adanced course – my favorite is the Wisdom course – that course is a 10 month journey where you get Landmark in plain english. If you like the advanced course – look into that one for sure. The focus is the conversations we live in (i,e, “money doesn’t grow on trees”) and how that affects not only us but the world around us. I can attest to the fact that my family, my work, my circle of friends have had crazy good things happen and most have never set foot in a Landmark course.

Reply

jenny sansouci February 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Ooh, cool. Thanks for sharing that!! I’m taking the Integrity course starting this week. I’m psyched.

Reply

Sharon February 3, 2014 at 7:33 am

Hi Jenny
Brill article, thanks! I’m so glad that IIN encouraged us to take the Landmark Forum. And that the teachings from both IIN and Landmark are so in tune. Both courses are transformative!
And, at nearly 60, I’m about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, which I absolutely know I wouldn’t have done without enrolling in Landmark.

Reply

jenny sansouci February 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Yeah, totally. I agree. πŸ™‚ IIN and Landmark were both big game changers for me.

Reply

Jennifer February 3, 2014 at 9:08 pm

Well said! I’m sharing your blog post with all the people in my life that I think would really get something amazing for themselves from Landmark.
I agree – it was sort of a love / hate relationship, and definitely transformative. My one friend keeps saying, ‘you’ve gotten more stuff done (all stuff of my dreams) in one year than you have in your whole life! And that’s pretty much true!
I also want to add that I have been to a Tony Robbins Fire-walker event – and did one of his courses on cassette tapes a billion years ago – and His IS more a “Motivational” theory – with some good tools and ideas. Landmark is not that. There is something much more life-transforming in it. Plus the great tools you walk away with for ‘living the life you love’. The salesy-ness of it is a turn off to many of us, yet, I’m glad that I went on to do the Adv course and now SELP – WHICH I DOUBLE LOVE!
I’m not however much of a ‘rah-rah’ for it, which is why I am so glad you wrote this article that I can share, and hopefully my peeps will come to the upcoming intro night and then decide for themselves!
Woo Hoo! thank YOU!

Reply

jenny sansouci February 7, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Thanks so much for sharing that!! And I appreciate your input about the Tony Robbins events. Glad you liked this post and can share it with people!! Fun:)

Reply

Melanie February 12, 2014 at 12:08 am

I also did Tony Robbin’s “Get the Edge” CD program just over 10 years ago and while it helped me get out of a “post-university, what am I going to do with my life funk” it didn’t have the same lasting effect that Landmark has had. Tony is very inspirational but he is just one man with his stories, tips and suggestions. What makes Landmark work so well is that we get to share in the humanity and journey of others through their sharing in the course. Every Forum is different because the group of participants is different, there is much more interaction and connection between people. Like you Jennifer, I’m not good at sharing with all my friends and would not tell someone “you HAVE to do this” but I am happy to share my achievements and my “ah-ha’s” and if people are interested I’d be happy to take them to an introduction.

Reply

Jennifer February 3, 2014 at 9:12 pm

p.s.
When I heard that part about being “unmessable with” I totally wanted that! And- I’m getting there!

xoxo

Reply

jenny sansouci February 7, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Haha!! Yes!! I’m becoming more unmessablewith each day πŸ˜‰

Reply

kirk February 5, 2014 at 8:09 pm

jenny, this is amazing. not because of landmark but the way you wrote it and how you addressed all the issues. i hope people appreciate how gifted you are at getting messages across with your words because it’s really special

Reply

jenny sansouci February 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm

thanks, k-master! and hey, if you really want the life of your dreams…you should come with me to a landmark intro night. i kid, i kid (sort of). #disneyland

Reply

Kara February 8, 2014 at 8:12 am

This is really awesome! I got a lot out of it too. Enjoy the rest of the ride!

Reply

Kelsey February 23, 2014 at 2:16 am

Thanks again for sharing all these experiences Jenny. I just attended the Landmark Forum last weekend and feel roughly the same as you said you did about it. I definitely got a lot out of it. Here’s the blog post I wrote about it in case you’re interested: http://theseheartwords.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/the-landmark-forum-a-review/

Reply

wyldkat March 25, 2014 at 8:05 pm

I just finished the Advanced Course in Seattle. I really appreciated the approach to the work we did this weekend…it’s not at all like the Forum, except that it’s in the same room, the same three days, breaks, etc…and you don’t review Forum concepts except as a reminder of things that prevent us from having breakthroughs.

What was really exciting, though, was a new access to language and how language shapes our reality, everything we say and do. As a speaker and leader in social justice, I have understood what it means to be in action, but that role for me in life has a new clarity.

Reply

Ida Centineo April 26, 2014 at 9:04 pm

Came across your blog on Google. I’m a Landmark graduate – did the Forum and Advanced Course 7-8 years ago. It was an extremely powerful experience for me. My life totally changed as a result of this work.

Has it been perfect? No. Do I live in a fantasy? Absolutely not. Have I had my share of ups and downs since the course? Yeppers! No question! But how I now handle it, manage it, view it, perceive it, deal with it, etc., etc., etc., – COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY CHANGED FOREVER!!!

I get out of my own way, get out of my head, get out of my story in record time now! The power to do that propels you forward in life. Staying in your story and wearing the pretty hat at your own pity party keeps life stagnant and keeps you spinning your wheels.

Every misstep is an opportunity… Don’t forget – A slingshot gets pulled backwards before it’s shot forwards!

That’s what Landmark did for me! Brava Ms. Sansouci!

Reply

Lori Marie June 18, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Hi Jenny, how was the advanced course for you? Did you blog about it, or can give me some insight in how you felt during and after? I just completed Landmark Forum a couple weeks ago, and next week I do the Advanced Course and I will admit am a bit scared after reading the disclaimer they send you to fully register. Thanks!

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 2:30 pm

Hey Lori, I did the Advanced Course and I’m glad I did. It was much more in depth than the forum. It triggered a lot for me but I learned a lot too. πŸ™‚

Reply

Haydee Alonso July 30, 2014 at 3:15 pm

Jenny,

I came across your blog because I am reviewing (taking the Forum a second time) this weekend and was hoping to find a list of of things I should bring. It’s been ten years since the first time and I got there the same way you did: I knew a lot of people who had done it and they all recommended it, but, it wasn’t until I met someone that I really, really respected/trusted that I pulled the trigger. And I’m very glad I did – the third day I felt the weight of shame and grief and thinking that I wasn’t good enough physically lift off of my shoulders.

Thanks for writing such an honest, clear summary of your experience. I don;t agree with all of Landmark’s methods – but they are easy enough to avoid/ignore. The freedom from my self imposed limitations is truly priceless and worth a few irritations and all that flourescent lighting. πŸ™‚

Reply

Steph August 12, 2014 at 6:17 am

Hi, I just stumbled across your page totally by accident (I’m in London) and I loved your blog post! So spot on! I finished my Forum a few weeks ago and have just started my seminars.

I’m also massively pro-active about self help, developing and learning to constantly discover deeper meanings, create better relationships and live in balance with my mind, body, soul and the world. I’ve just trained as a life coach and am also a yoga and Pilates teacher and am now training to be an Ayurvedic Practitioner. I went to a friends evening 4 years ago and pretty much dismissed it as not for me. I’d just trained as a Meisner actress and that felt like intensive CBT therapy! I felt they were too pushy and overly ecstatic! But very recently I also met a guy who’s honesty, presence, passion and authenticity really moved me. He is creating an exceptional life for himself and I was so inspired by him. I knew that even with all the various amazing courses I’d completed, I still felt stuck in my life.

I was quite resistant the first two days and felt like I wasn’t really getting much out of it. The third day was a mega breakthrough in an area I had’t even thought was a problem! I realized I was angry with my sister for ‘always leaving me’ (totally untrue of course), which led almost immediately to another HUGE breakthrough in realizing that I hold my relationship with my sister up as the most fulfilling one of my life and look forward to having the same/similar with a life partner. And hey presto, I always pick men I know will leave me! CRAZY behaviour for someone who thinks they are relatively grounded and aware! I had no idea I was doing any of this. I was convinced the frustration I felt with my sister was just me being judgmental. Needless to say it’s transformed our relationship and I’ve already started dating more realistically, which is terrifying but very exciting πŸ™‚

I’ve also signed up for the Advanced Course as I knew immediately it would be helpful.

Brian your story was MEGA inspirational!! I cant get over it! And Ida, I’ve copied your comment about the stories and pity party for my notebook as it was awesome πŸ™‚ Thank you all for sharing!! I’m sure I will have ups and downs but this was so inspiring to read today.

Landmark can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet πŸ™‚

Reply

Meg August 15, 2014 at 2:25 pm

No, it’s not like Tony Robbins. His events got me all hyped up but never really did anything long-term for me.

I disagree that you shouldn’t go unless you have a open mind. I went VERY skeptical. I had my arms crossed for the first five hours or so. lol.

Despite myself.. I started to get REALLY interested bc it was making a lot of sense. I went to an salesy intro thingy 12 YEARS BEFORE. I too hate anything that seems to be even slightly pushy. And I am NOT an group, club, joiner person. I’m an independent thinker. My friends meant well insisting I go.. I regret not listening to them. Honestly I think my life would have looked completely different if I’d gone then.

No, the organization is not perfect. The jargon can be a little annoying, etc., etc. It won’t make your life PERFECT in three days but it does change lives bc often people realize something that was holding them back that they had NO clue about.

I’ve tried a LOT of things because I want the most out of life. This is the best so far. Be brave. πŸ˜‰

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Nice outlook. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

Reply

ggg August 19, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Hi,
If others are considering the Landmark as a brainwash, I consider then that they are using good kind of soap πŸ™‚

Reply

Judith August 28, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Jenny,

I have read all that you did and I have a few concerns. I don’t do religion because I’m opposed to mass indoctrination of the the ignorant. From what I understand they basically combine deconstrucionism (in my opinion, anyone who hasn’t read enough philosophy to know what that is or if they don’t start the course with it, then no one should go) with combination of semi-cultish and interogation techniques — dark rooms, isolation from the outside, wearing people down with exhaustion, peer pressure, limited food — with charismatic but forceful leaders. I am plenty strong enough and studied more than enough philosophy to “get it”, but it would be very difficult for me not to interject philosophical questions and defend people getting reduced to tears by “tough love”. Plus, who the heck wants to sit in a dark room for 30 hours? If it’s such a great thing, why not open it to everyone, everywhere, outside, take questions without personally attacking people as their response, not make you sign huge documents, etc. If people are suspicious, it’s because they are setting it up that way. Why would they do that if it’s all positive and good? Strange way to approach something that clearly has some good in the message but totally screws it up with the methods and messengers. How did you stand not challenging the things you disagreed with and defending those being “abused”, “yelled at”, whatever?

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 1:45 pm

Hi Judith,
Totally understand your concerns, but just want to clear up a few things.
1 — it’s not in a dark room. It’s in a regular, large, well-lit room with chairs and a stage where the leader teaches from, pretty much like any other seminar.
2 — it’s not “limited food.” You have lunch and dinner breaks that are pretty long, so you can go outside and walk around to get food, go to a restaurant, etc and eat as much as you want. You can also bring snacks, you just can’t eat them inside the main room. You can take them to the lobby of the building and eat them.

Aside from that, your points are valid. I don’t think the experience is “all positive and good.” In fact, I did challenge many of the things I disagreed with. I got in arguments with people and I even cried multiple times. (This was in the Advanced Course). But I think it was worth it and I learned a lot.:)

Reply

Donald Adiska September 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm

Thanks for sharing πŸ˜‰

And thank you for an honest and thoughtful review.

Landmark people tend to get so fired up and enthusiasts that the seem like a cult. Cults force you to achieve their goals, while Landmark asks you to set your goals and then provides the framework for you to achieve them.

It’s not for everyone (many Landmark people don’t believe that), but I think for someone looking for a support structure or some guidance and insight into their own minds – it’s a great possibility.

I don’t work there and am not active.

Reply

meme September 25, 2014 at 3:26 pm

hi jenny, i’m one of those been fighting it for about 5 yrs too, my ‘logic’ being its for the weak people, and i already have all the answers inside me so why do i pay an outsider to ‘tell’ me, etc. but as you said somewhere, i’ve already obsessed and spent so much wasted energy on ‘should i or shouldnt i’ … i’m moving towards it as a comfort zone + curiousity challenge.

one question i do have – did you find the after effect wear off over a year or so, did you feel you needed to follow up with another course to keep the ‘buzz’ going ?

Thanks, meme

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Hi Meme, there is definitely a “buzz” that you have for awhile right after attending Landmark that wears off after a bit, but I don’t think that’s any different than any other seminar, book, teaching, etc. Of course, you have to re-visit the material sometimes and keep it at top of mind in order to practice it continuously in your life. That being said, though, there are DEFINITELY a few concepts that are just second nature to me now – especially the “story” concept (i.e. what’s actually going on vs what’s our “story” about what’s going on). I’d personally love to review the forum (take it again at a discounted price) now that it’s been 2 years since I originally took it, just to see how the information would resonate with me now.

Reply

Dr Rama September 30, 2014 at 6:55 am

Hi, Jenny,
I happened to read your blog with interest, word by word, without missing any. I just googled Landmark and hit your blog. I too have heard about Landmark and the hype in India. I wanted to understand what all people had to say about it, before signing up for it. Your blog seems to be the most honest. But I have a question. There are quite a number of blogs which criticize Landmark saying it is ‘dangerous’! I am unable to decide whether it would be really beneficial to me or my wife. We don’t have any serious problems in life and we are married for 35 years now! But my wife insists we should both attend, although I have told her I don’t intend to. In India, you know the course is pretty expensive for middle class people like us. May be, you could throw some light on whether we should both attend.

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 2:42 pm

Hi Dr. Rama,
As far as whether or not Landmark would be considered “dangerous,” that would be for you to decide for yourself based on any history with mental illness, etc. They will give you a contract to read and sign that goes over every reason not to sign up, so that will give you a better idea and you’ll have to make the choice for yourself. For me, it was not dangerous.

As far as Landmark being better than Eckhart Tolle’s teachings, I can’t say that – Landmark is an immersive experience, it’s not something that you could just read out of a book. I think they are completely different (not necessarily saying that the content doesn’t overlap, but the landmark forum is a course/curriculum – it’s different than reading from a book or watching videos).

Reply

Dr Rama September 30, 2014 at 7:08 am

There is one point that I missed out in my previous post. I had read Eckhart Tolle and also listened to his numerous youtube video clips. His technique of staying in the present moment impressed me immensely. In fact, to some extent his books brought about transformation in my life and the way I have learnt to tackle it now.
Will the Landmark course be better than Eckhart Tolle’s teachings?
This question assumes, of course, that you must have studied Eckhart too.
Now you may respond please

Reply

Jennifer October 2, 2014 at 4:07 am

Hi Jenny,

It was great to read your blog and everyone’s comments. I too stepped into the Landmark Forum completely unprepared, just knew I was going to show support for a very dear friend who participated and understood it was the last closing day and I was invited along with her few other beloved friends and families to share her experiences.

When she initially told me about it over the phone the day before, I had finished telling her that just a week and a half before, I had experienced an incredibly mind blowing, emotional breakthrough- while catching up with another very close friend we had in common. You see, I have been struggling with severe depression, anxiety, and lived an extremely unhealthy, self destructive, self masochistic life for the past 20 years. About a month ago, which was about 3 months after what must have been my 4th suicide attempt in my life time- I had a very faint urge to get out of bed and call a friend and make plans to visit her and just catch up.

I found myself rambling on in the car while I was sitting in the passenger seat while we were on our way to run a quick errand. To make the long story short, few hours later I found myself sitting in her living room- actually HEARING what she was saying, which was nothing I haven’t heard before, but I knew something strange was happening. I started to freak out because I didn’t know what it was, and then just like that the “breakthrough” happened, and I realized that when I was 16, a simple incident, a simple phrase that my mother confessed to me as part of helping me understand why my parents were getting a divorce. To realize it was those few words “I am sorry, but I never loved your dad- we both didn’t know eachother, we got married, because..well I was pregnant with you”. My world turned upside down and I couldn’t stop crying because the pain of that moment came crashing down on me. I realized at that moment that I declared myself the reason that my parents who obviously are so wrong for eachother got married, if I hadn’t been born, brought into this world- none of their horrible past would have had to happen. At that impressionable age of 16, at that moment I had claimed myself as undeserving, unworthy and erased that memory- and lived the past 20 years collecting evidence to prove to myself that I didn’t deserve any good thing happening to me.

I was a successful designer, but every two years I would burn out, irresponsibly quit my job and fall into a dark hole and shut out the world. I tried therapy, took the anti depressants, after multiple failed suicide attempts, I voluntarily admitted myself to a mental clinic..twice consecutively. It was so painful, I couldn’t forgive myself. I was resentful and destroying my life with my own two hands. But as much as I knew only I could help myself, I help utterly hopless and helpless. I knew I had loving family and friends worried sick, but I couldn’t accept their love and heal.

Anyway, sorry the story got long again. The point is that I had a breakthrough and literally felt the presence of God that night. I actually heard him speak through my friend and I blew out a candle to signify my spiritual rebirth as a god fearing person. I was baptized right after, and for few days was walking on cloud nine, feeling anything was possible.

Then after the adrenal wore off, I was afraid again. Thinking now what? What happened to that glorious feeling of freedom, when did the doubts creep back in? But I had the support of my dear friend who was present at the breakthrough and witnessed my rebirth. For two weeks she guided me to not lose track of my progress and positive transformation.

Then I get the call from the other mutual friend- the three of us were like sisters we didn’t have. We have known eachother for 18 years and were there for the toughest and the most joyous moments in eachother’s lives. I was thrilled she had just completed a course called Landmark and listened to what she was telling me, and was skeptical but supportive and promised I would meet her at the forum.

I cried numerous times as I heard people share their stories, I felt compelled to get up on the mic and share my story but chickened out. However, I was determined that the timing of my breakthrough and being at that forum that evening was not a coincidence, I truly believe that it’s God’s work, he led me there..everything happens for a reason. I instantly realized I must take part in this program which has drastically brought forth changes in my dear friend, and I wanted my personal transformation already kick started by the breakthrough learned from my ‘rebirth’ experience a month ago.

Yes I agree that they are very aggressive, and yes not everyone signed up. But I, along with the friend who helped me with the breakthrough, we both found ourselves squeezing eachother’s hand and knew this was our chance to change our lives. We were both open minded and ready to find out what has been preventing us, face our fears and be free and really live out our lives the way we design it to be without fear.

And I have to tell you, I have yet to start my forum- it’s not for another 2 weeks. But my transformation has already begun and going strong. I have already reconnected with many many friends and old bosses and already have had few job interviews to reclaim my passion for denim (I design jeans for a living). I wake up with hope and am productive, I actually am expressing clearly and fearlessly. My communication with my family has never been better- and I have never felt better. I am so excited to find out just how much better things will get AFTER I actually complete the forum mid October. And already thinking about the advance course as well. I have never ever posted comments on a blog before, never spoke infront of 150 people life I saw at Landmark, but the shocking truth is that I know I can, just never had the courage to try..but already see myself on that mic to share my story and inspire and motivate others, and can’t wait to be inspired and motivated through other’s stories for those 3 intense days. I know I will cry and heal and come out of it a powerful, unstoppable being, free from her past and hopeful for the tomorrows to come.

I wanted to share my story to anyone interested in considering Landmark- it’s totally your decision. I didn’t decide because I was forced, I truly felt that jolt of unwavering motivation, and I feel incredibly blessed that things happened the way it happened.

Thanks for reading my long story, and I will be back to comment more after my forum is over. πŸ™‚

Reply

Vanessa November 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Hey Jenny… I was gifted the three day forum and I am excited (not taking mine until January 2015). I searched back in your blog to find your post on it, because I remember seeing on instagram a while back that you had attended. How did you feel about not being able to take notes? That’s the only thing that’s really irking me a bit. I know, generally speaking, what i’m stepping into and feel the same way you did about the sales aspect. I intend to leave my cash, credit cards and checkbook at home. πŸ™‚

Reply

Andrew December 9, 2014 at 4:53 pm

This is a spot-on review of Landmark. I, too, resisted it for YEARS because the hard-sell marketing tactics really turned me off. I found it off-putting when people I know would call me on the 2nd day of their forum begging me to come because it somehow really reminded me of religious missionaries trying to recruit other people. I also think that’s where a lot of the “cult” stuff comes in.

But I found Landmark tremendously useful as a way of looking at life and I learned a tremendous amount from the experience. Really, I’d pay a LOT more to do a version of Landmark where they were constantly upselling me or trying to get me to recruit my friends. I’d love to just go somewhere with a Landmark coach and get down to brass tacks without all the marketing.

Reply

Joan Marshall December 26, 2014 at 12:33 am

I too was approached to do the “Landmark course” what? when I delved in to self development long long ago. It was the generosity of a very caring gentleman who asked me to get the first book
“The Sky Is The Limit” written by Wayne Dyer from that book to many books by Louise Hay and I have never looked back. I was told I would take ten steps forward in my way of thinking and ten steps back that is true because society and Parents condition us. Why would someone like me want to waste $500 on Landmark. I am a realist no excuses for people who say you are being judge mental you are only judge mental when you do not know the facts when some situation is blatantly thrown in your face deal with facts and not airy fairy excuses of being judge mental.

Reply

Manthan January 18, 2015 at 4:23 am

Thanks for writing this Jenny, It will be useful to tell my friends about it… Congratulations for ‘what happened’ to you over there, I liked your ‘story’ πŸ˜‰

Reply

Hank January 27, 2015 at 9:39 am

Thanks, Jenny! I attended the Forum also and got a lot out of it. There is pressure to tell family and friends to sign up for it, but they would get something out of it, no question. I signed up for the advanced course as well, and am really psyched. My approach to this curriculum is to enjoy it with an open mind. Others will see what you have and want it – attraction, rather than promotion. πŸ˜‰

Reply

shirley September 21, 2015 at 10:14 pm

Hi Hank, I am considering do the advanced course having just this weekend gone completed the forum, & tonight the last tuesday of the 3 days then will be the follow up 10 days. I want to ask you if you did the advanced & was it worth it? Regards Shirley

Reply

Shedward January 31, 2015 at 9:16 pm

Hello Jenny. Happy Anniversary to the article! It is (was) well said and well written. Your words are right on and relate very much to my experience at The Forum. I recently attended the October 2014 session in the Boston area. I also attended The Advanced Course in Dec. 2014 and currently taking The Landmark Seminar Series – Breakthroughs: Living Outside the Box to deepen my exploration & transformation. BTW, Vanilla Sky is one of my favorites too! Peace.

Reply

Annemarie February 10, 2015 at 4:47 pm

I would like to thank the author of this blog for her refreshing view of the Forum. I just completed my Forum this week end in Chicago. And I would like to let everyone know. I got my life back and my voice. Its interesting to see the negative comments on the Forum and the comments on the restrictive practices “the Forum” supposedly does. I for one didn’t leave starved or sleep deprived..
Its funny how much we run ourselves ragged in the game of life. Running our families and working late hours for our business and yet giving oneself 3 days to explore why something is not working for us is a cult. Last time I looked this program is not a court required treatment center. Yet, I believe just as Jenny stated if you aren’t ready to listen and be open to what the Forum has to offer. Then the B.S. story you walked in with you will leave with.
My own personal reason for doing the Forum is that I thought I had been unhappy with my business and I was going to develop new perspectives to address this. Lets face it most of us have spent 100s of dollars on self-help books to assist us with the reality. Instead what I received from “the Forum” was a new way of communicating with myself, my loved ones and my clients..It took me out of my head and placed me in action to just ask better questions and make declarations about what I deserve for myself. I did the work necessary and came away with a new perspective and a non fear of getting my power back.
If one thing could come out of doing a weekend. Then just having a conversation with someone that I hadnt had in 10 years and feel complete about it; then it was worth it. “The Forum” only makes you aware that we have “now” there are many in my life that have passed and I never had that conversation. Is that worth 3 days. We spend more on our lattes every day then on 3 days to become complete.
For those of you looking to be “in action” in your life I applaud you. Congratulations do the work and stop finding people to surround yourself that will feed into the B.S. believe. Something brought you to the forum and stop blaming a “Forum”leader for yelling at you. Yelling is what you hear. What I heard is stop the insanity and wake up. If you want a better life and peace. You are resposible.
Remember DWIT “do whatever it takes” you have the ability to have an extrodinary life.

Reply

Kayvan Sylvan February 12, 2015 at 12:58 am

I did the Forum back in December of 1989. This was before Landmark Education was formed.

The BEST course I have EVER done. It literally changed (for the better) the course of my life beyond anything I could have imagined.

Since then, I have reviewed the Landmark Forum a few times. Each time, it has been incredibly transformational. This work is a miracle.

I THOROUGHLY recommend it to everyone. If you are anywhere near San Jose, get ahold of me and I will get you to an introduction. In fact, we have one coming up in a week or so (Wednesday February 18th) led by a Landmark Forum leader.

Thank you for your post, I very much enjoyed your sharing your experience!

Reply

Susan February 28, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Hi Jenny, thanks so much for your post. I am taking a Landmark Forum next month and since I registered I’ve heard lots of bad experiences and received some “culty” comments. So was wondering what to expect, if I’m doing the right thing, etc… Your post put it in perspective for me.

Reply

Lauren March 3, 2015 at 11:18 am

I’m taking the class in Dallas in April and I’m very nervous/excited about what I can get out of this whole experience. I’m very nervous about being judged by everyone in the room, I am terrified of public speaking but I know I’ll want to go up to the mic and say what difficulties I’m going through in my life. I want this course to change the way I look at life but I don’t know how I’m going to be able to do that if I have this fear inside from stopping me to do so.

Reply

Katie March 11, 2015 at 2:24 am

before I completed the forum I was cynical and reigned to my life as a single, 22 year old welfare mom with two kids.

Since the forum I’ve gone to college for a certification, held a great job for over a year, gotten engaged to the man who introduced me to landmark, travelled the country with my kids for a year straight (which included two trips to Disneyland), I have 2 apartments now, one in Arizona and minnesota, amazing relationships with most of my family, and so much more! Oh and I’ve completed the advanced course, SELP, communication course, and I’m currently in the ILP. πŸ™‚

Feel free to contact me if anyone wants to have a conversation! πŸ™‚

Reply

Bruno March 24, 2015 at 4:47 am

Did you complete the advanced course? What did you think? I just completed before him and I am debating on signing up for the advanced course. Any insight you can give me would be amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Reply

Bruno March 24, 2015 at 4:48 am

That was supposed to say “the forum”*, not “before him” ugh, Siri

Reply

Ryan March 30, 2015 at 6:44 pm

Great honest review of the forum. I just attended one and I agree with essentially everything in this review.

Reply

S May 4, 2015 at 9:07 am

Seems they prey on people who have a low self esteem, or a lot of turmoil or issues in their life. Her friend asked her to go there, of course he was pressured to bring someone to sign up.

I have read so many reviews on this. Yelp is a great one. I am wondering if your plugging this thing is your way of repayment?

I know of a person who was pressured to take the courses and as soon as she ran out of money… poof gone….. no further interest by Landmark. She finally had to disassociate herself with this …. Just a financial drain.

I read articles that they start charging your credit card if you don’t sign up. Emails and addresses for this place is very difficult to locate. If you don’t bring a person or persons to the Wed night friends and family, you are told you are being resistant. Not koolaid but close.

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 2:53 pm

Hey S, what do you mean by me “plugging this thing as a way of repayment?”

I paid for the Forum, I paid for the Advanced Course. My blog had nothing to do with that payment.

I wrote this blog to share my experience because I wished someone else had written one like this before I went. These are the questions I had about Landmark and I wanted to answer them. That’s it. πŸ™‚

It’s not hard to find physical addresses for Landmark. They are on the website. http://www.landmarkworldwide.com/who-we-are/contact-us/contact-your-local-office

I don’t know of any instances where they charge your credit card for anything you didn’t purchase.

Landmark isn’t perfect as I’ve mentioned in this post, but some of these claims are simply untrue.

Reply

Bunny May 25, 2015 at 5:01 am

Did the Landmark Forum in Vancouver, BC this past weekend. It wasn’t for me, as I have already processed everything with my biological family, and don’t need someone to tell me that “even if you don’t love them, you should still call them & tell them that you do.” How INAUTHENTIC is that.

The whole discussion around ENROLLMENT is creepy. They brought it up over & over & over & over & the sales tactics were over the top ridiculous. If the course is so amazing, why the need to push it like that. They kept pushing us to say we would bring people to a Tuesday night meeting (which I will most decidedly not be attending) and then started spewing off stats on how many people certain people have brought in the past, as if it was a contest.

When I told them I wasn’t buying in 100%, they told me I was stuck in my rackets, and would never ever be happy in my life unless & until I followed their program. Wow. Felt like people would start speaking in tongues at any moment. Then when I explained that I didn’t agree with every single thing, they looked at me with the saddest puppy dog eyes.

I think it was a cathartic experience for a lot of young folks who had never done something like this before (spoken openly and honestly with their friends and family members or examined their past in detail).

Not for me, was a total waste of money.

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Yes, I experienced some of that too. I had to miss my Tuesday night of the Advanced Course because I had a flight, and many people said to me, “Do you not want to live a life that’s powerful, and a life that you love?” And I was like, dudes, I can live a powerful life without attending the Tuesday night. So chill out please. Haha. It ended up being fine. πŸ™‚

Reply

Markb3699 June 12, 2015 at 8:38 pm

As a Landmark graduate, I have to say: Good work. You captured the essence of the Forum while keeping an objectivity usually missing in other journalistic investigations of the Forum. I found most of your observations right on the mark.

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 1:31 pm

Thanks!

Reply

Priya June 19, 2015 at 3:55 am

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for this post! Very insightful πŸ™‚ Can I ask about your experience on the Advanced Course? Did you do the Self Expression and Leadership Programme too?

Priya xoxo

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 1:32 pm

Hey Priya, the Advanced Course was way more intense than the Forum but I am glad I did it. You really need to go in there with an open mind but ALSO remember that Landmark is not the entire world – you still have your own personal choices and you don’t have to totally buy into everything. I wish someone said that to me before I did the Advanced Course, because I struggled with that a bit. But overall I learned a lot about myself!! I think it was worth it.

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 1:33 pm

And no – I didn’t do the SELP

Reply

shirley September 21, 2015 at 10:07 pm

Hi Jenny, thank you for laying Landmark out they way you have. I wanted to ask you, as this article is a while ago now how the Advanced Course has worked for you. Just this weekend I did the Landmark forum and a whole heap of ‘stuff’in my life known & unknown has left me a bit depressed and unsure. I haven’t had a breakthrough as a lot of people did but am going tonight for the last night of the forum & then following up with the 10 weeks. I just wanted to ask your current thoughts about the course & advanced course & if it has had a positive impact on your life to date? Would really love to hear from you as I have been googling Landmark & too have found some negative things about it – cultish, just after vulnerable people’s money blah blah but I don’t want to get sucked into that. Regards Shirley

Reply

jenny sansouci January 4, 2016 at 1:05 pm

Hi Shirley, sorry for my delay in replying to this. The Advanced Course was NUTS but I’m glad I did it. It was way more intense than the Forum and really triggered me in a lot of ways. But I don’t regret it. I learned a lot. πŸ™‚ There were some negative things about it but at the end of the day I actually do understand why they structure it that way. I think if you go into it with an open mindset while remembering that you don’t have to buy into every single thing that goes on there, it’s a great experience.

Reply

BASAVARAJAIAH October 27, 2015 at 6:04 am

Registered for ILP starting October 2015, this education must be included at school level

Reply

Hank October 27, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Hi,

I did the Forum last year in September. I got my relationship back (and better then it ever was) and I feel happier and less stressed. I was never pressured, never pushed and I met a lot of nice people. Great course.

Hank

Reply

Melinda January 6, 2016 at 11:49 am

Hi Jenny, great write-up! I did the Landmark Forum in 2008 with no idea what I was getting into, my boss wanted me to go so after resisting what I saw as “giving up my weekend” for about a year, I went – and there’s been no looking back since then! For me that 3 days and an evening (it’s not complete without the Tuesday completion session) were like a complete mental workout and spa. My brain got stretched and massaged and scrubbed clean, and the world became a place where I can now create life how it works for me, rather than being a victim of circumstances, as I’d seen myself prior to the Landmark Forum.
What I signed up immediately was the Assisting Program. This is not your typical volunteer program, it’s a training and development program in the Landmark curriculum, and the amazing thing it’s free.
I did the Advanced Course about 6 months later, and the ILP 2 years after that – plus I’ve done 3 seminars a year either as a participant or as part of the Assisting Program.
Why do I continue my participation? Because what Landmark offers me is a community that stands for me as big as I can see myself and bigger, and provides the tools and coaching to fulfill on any possibility I create for my life.
What I really want to mention is about this talk of “pressure”. I have never felt any pressure to sign up for anything or bring anyone. I’m in the same courses, though, right? My point is, it’s all in how we hear it. The way I’ve heard it, from my very first Landmark Forum, is that part of creating a world that works for everyone, starting with me, is going to be having my friends, family, and co-workers aligned – in our goals and our methods. Just like if we are all going to coach a swim team, it makes a huge difference if we are aligned in our plan and our methodology.
As a result where I had good relationships with my kids I now have AMAZING relationships with my kids, and I have also created fabulous relationships with my siblings, my parents, my friends, and my co-workers – many of whom have also done the Landmark Forum but not all – however with this education we are now all aligned with how we be with each other, and we be in a way that has elevated us from a family that grumbled at and about each other on holidays, to a family that has fantastic, loving, and fabulously fun vacations together!
Does some of this sound like lingo? Great, get yourself into the next Landmark Forum and find out what it means and what it can bring to YOUR life!
(BTW for those who have been dissatisfied with their experience, are you aware that Landmark promises satisfaction or money back – if it’s been years you may not be able to redeem that promise, but they are committed to your satisfaction – which by the way does take participation on your part. It’s not a magic wand. It may take more than you’re willing to give, and that’s okay. It’s up to each of us to choose. Just like someone who wants to play the violin, it takes more than buying an instrument and paying a teacher. Although I entered the program skeptical and cynical and resigned, once I got, for the first time in my life at age 54, that I could actually participate in my own life and design it, that I could CHOOSE what my life looks like, my days of being a victim were over forever!)
Thanks, Jenny, for providing this look at the Landmark Forum for people who want to know a little something about it and are suspicious that their friends and family who are so excited, are lying to them or trying to sell them something – isn’t it crazy that we even think that way? Yet we do, and we wonder why our lives don’t work the way we want them to!

Reply

Chinarut January 8, 2016 at 9:57 pm

wow jenny! I found your article Googling “why is the Landmark Forum not considered therapy” and really inspired by how you shared about your experience! the way you bolded key statements and succeeded in using everyday language is what I think I wanted to do after my Landmark Forum back in 2001 but didn’t quite succeed and unfortunately turned some of my friends and colleagues off. Now that it’s been so long, I’m starting to realize a lot of my share are just about things I’ve created in my life and the difference I make – it’s no longer about the Landmark Forum or teaching people distinctions – it’s kinda nice πŸ™‚

i think it’s also awesome you are still replying to posts here 2 years later! it must be great to keep the conversation alive like this and hear from all kinds of peeps! it’s nice to see most of the comments here are very positive and you haven’t gotten any trolls!

in any case – just wanted to give you another kudos – ditto to a lot of what has been said! Look forward to hearing what you get out of reviewing the LF and if you decide to do the SELP! either way, I’m clear you’re creating an unmessable community! πŸ™‚

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:





  • Follow me on google+ here.