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Landmark Forum, est

Jibrail Almuhajir

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Hey y'all,

My wife signed us up for Netflix last week and I've been glued to the Documentary section.  One of the docu's I watched was on Werner Erhard and his "est" training.  He later skipped the country, selling est before he left and out of his teachings grew the Landmark Forum.  From what I can gather, from it proponents and opponents both, is that it is a boot camp for self-help and personal transformation. 

Any y'all heard of it?  I'm really intrigued about it.
 

Minnesotan

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I do know that some people have compared Landmark and est to a cult.
 

Georgii

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Back in the 1970s I was staying with my Dad in the same hotel complex in either New Hampshire or Vermont where some est activities were going on, and even without seeing or hearing what was happening in that building my sixth sense or whatever was screaming: "Danger! Cult!"

That's not very factual or verifiable, but it is a strong memory.
 

biro

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Very New Age and unsafe. They may have tried to put a better face on themselves these days, but they certainly did start out as a cult.
 

LBK

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I second all of the responses. It's at best a worthless exercise, at worst dangerous.
 

minasoliman

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Dear all,

Please when you start a new thread in FFA, you must choose to put it in non-religious or religious topics.  I'm moving this to non-religious topics, but please try to remember that next time.

God bless.

Mina
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

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For anyone-  What in particular is dangerous, New Age, or cult like about it?  I've been reading quite a few articles on it, both pro's and con's.  The con's seem to have not been involved first hand and reacting only upon hearsay. 
 

biro

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Not true. Stephen Pressman spoke to a lot of people who were at the original lectures. He wrote "Outrageous Betrayal" about those experiences. Fr. Mitch Pacwa, a Roman Catholic priest and writer who appears on EWTN, wrote in his book "Catholics and the New Age," that at the EST conferences, people were locked in and harangued for hours, not even allowed to get up to use the restroom - with the result that they went to the bathroom all over themselves. They reported physical pain and hallucinations.

The documentary you saw was probably made by his supporters.

I strongly suggest that you read Pressman and Pacwa before you decide this person was a sweet little lamb who just happens to have some ticked-off former friends. It is a lot worse than that.
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

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The documentary didn't seem one-sided to me.  I've tried to look up Fr. Pacwa's comments on it to no avail; haven't been able to find it.  But, I did plenty of online articles written by skeptics-turned-believers who didn't seem "cultish".  Seems to me that the detractors were either Scientologists who lost potential members from folks who took the Landmark class (which is only one weekend), or from folks who didn't get out of it what they'd hoped to.  After a little more studying up on it, it seems that all it is is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  Now, maybe the EST sessions with Werner Erhard were a little hardcore, but since he's voluntarily sold it to his team, the 'cultishness' has disappeared.

But, anything's possible I reckon.  I was hoping for first hand info on it, but so far all I've got is hearsay, which is just a fancy way of saying 'gossip'. 

 

NicholasMyra

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GabrieltheCelt said:
One of the docu's I watched was on Werner Erhard and his "est" training.  He later skipped the country, selling est before he left and out of his teachings grew the Landmark Forum.  From what I can gather, from it proponents and opponents both, is that it is a boot camp for self-help and personal transformation. 
Based on these three sentences I will hedge my bets against it.
 
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