Landmark Education and the Landmark Forum

May 28, 2013

Landmark and Lululemon

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 6:55 pm

Many people know that Lululemon Athletica is one of those companies that sends its employees to The Landmark Forum for training and development (Panda Express is another one). I’ve read this in a few publications, which usually have some snide things to say about both Landmark and Lululemon – I’m not sure whether they’re using Landmark to insult Lululemon or the other way around.

Lululemon and Landmark seem to attract the same fans and the same haters, which besides their business connection, seems like it’s because both are cult brands that people often love or hate.

Personally, I think it has a lot to do with responsibility. Both Landmark and Lululemon promote responsibility over making excuses and blaming others for one’s failings. While this seems like a common sense approach to life, it seems like it annoys some people. I think many people are attached to their reasons and blame of others, and don’t know what they’d do without them.

Also, some people seem to equate the idea that if one is responsible, one is somehow to blame for the stupid things other people do. Being responsible, to me, is a view one takes to give oneself power, not some evaluation on the state of the world, and it doesn’t mean stupid things others do are your fault.

Chip Wilson, Lululemon’s founder, has some interesting things to say about this in this old article about Landmark and Lululemon.

May 22, 2013

Landmark, Cult Brand, not Cult

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 8:59 pm

One of the things that gives rise to the Landmark cult myth that floats around the internet and gets recycled like Facebook rumors debunked by Snopes a year ago, is the fact that Landmark and The Landmark Forum, are in fact a cult brand. Now a cult brand isn’t a cult – a cult is weird group that separates you from your family and your money and tells you some fable about the origin of the world is the god’s honest truth (this is much closer to many religions today than it is to Landmark).

A cult brand, on the other hand, is something that can feel ‘cultish’, by which I mean simply that it has a group of passionate devotees, who speak incomprehensibly in their own jargon about things outsiders don’t understand, and spend a lot of time on their shared passion. This definition applies to Manchester United fans, Landmarkers, and those who worship at the church of Apple.

Now, those other groups don’t get taken seriously as real ‘cults’ because they are selling computers or football, which most people can understand, but if you feel ‘culty’ and you are selling ‘personal development programs’, well that just seems dodgy, some people conclude, maybe it is a real cult.

Personal development in general tends to have a dubious reputation outside of those who aren’t personal improvement diehards. The idea of going to someone to have a conversation which could improve your life seems very suspicious these days to Westerners trained to worship at the altar of individualism and self-reliance. If I walk up to you and tell you, I had an amazing conversation with my priest today, and my life will never be the same, or my therapist is the best, my life was headed downhill, but I had some amazing conversations and now I feel great, the best thing you might think is ‘that’s great for you’. Along with this you might have a hope that you don’t get invited to talk to said priest or therapist, along with a vague sense that this your friend is probably a bit soft, a tad weak.

Anyhow, when someone is in your fact, evangelical, and as I said, a bit ‘cultish’ about self-improvement – well that makes some people suspicious. This website does a good job of talking about the Landmark cult brand, and gives a good summary of the controversies. I just wish that their Man U article was a bit longer…

February 14, 2012

A New Review – Landmark Forum , Cult or Transformation?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — landmarkeducationinaustralia @ 7:55 pm

Another rational review of The Landmark Forum has appeared as a Yahoo Voices contribution titled Landmark Forum: Transformation or Cult? As you can probably guess from the title, the article reviews the Landmark Forum while clearly addressing those who call Landmark a cult.

What is distinct about other sane reviews of this type is that it goes through the things that distinguish a cult one by one – a leader to be obeyed, possessions to be surrendered, isolation from family, meditation/chanting, etc. – and of course finds that The Landmark Forum and Landmark Education don’t qualify at any level. Of course you probably knew that already – people call Landmark a cult and people cultists is more the kind of vague insult that people toss at any group of people who seem to have a passion for something.

Read more above.

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