Last night I learned a very important life lesson. I usually want to trust everything and everyone but I realize this is not the case. I can be a pretty naive person sometimes but I think after the events that happened last night I wont be as much anymore.
So, last night I went to this seminar called Landmark Forum with a good friend. She really couldn’t explain what it was so I just figured I’d go. I mean I like to get out of the house anyways so why not? My friend usually does really cool things too so I figured I’d make a new friend possibly and/or make a new fan of my band.
I get there, everyone is greeting me with nice smiles and I fill out the new person sheet and get a name tag. I was so surprised everyone was so nice and I didn’t feel as socially awkward as I usually do at new events. Pretty soon we find our seats. I notice a lot of the people look very unsure of themselves, maybe alone in some way.
Pretty soon the leader person or whatever starts the seminar. She seemed nice enough, she was from New Zealand and her name was Zoe. She starts talking about what Landmark is about. It’s really hard to explain it all but I sit there and listen with a totally open mind. She talked about how to fix the problems in your life by choosing a payoff and a pay up or something like that. Other people came up to the front and talked about calling loved ones they haven’t spoken to in years and others talked about how their social anxieties were fixed by attending the Landmark forum.
I was feeling pretty good at this point. You know that feeling you have when you’re doing something really good for yourself? Yeah, something sort of like that. I think everyone being interested in me made me feel that though it was probably only because of my crazy leggings, hah. But anyway, I felt good and I felt like I needed this and it could help me fix all my problems. However, something I noticed right away was I don’t even have near as many problems as these people do and the problems I have I already know how to fix.
Most people that were there talked about not feeling good enough and feeling the need to please everybody. Plus a lot of them talked about fixing qualms they had with loved ones. As I talked to people it felt as though I had already made it through the course even though I had barely a clue of what the course does for you. I’m a very confident person, I never feel the need to people please. If you don’t like me I couldn’t really care less. Yes, I may have social anxieties but I’m not perfect and I’m quite good at either hiding it or sucking it up and making it better. A lot of my social issues are due to mental illness anyway which is something a professional should help me with and not some self-help seminar. But, as for the calling long lost loved ones I thought of three people off the bat. I haven’t talked to my parents in two years because they mentally and physically abused my sister and I like no other and then I thought of an old best friend, her name was Olivia. We had a falling out over boys pretty much, silly teenage things.
So, we have a little break in this thing and everyone is just kind of talking and then volunteers come around and start asking if I’m going to sign up for a class. The class was $500 for three days and one evening. At this point I wanted to do it just because. I figured maybe it would better myself. I am at a bad point in my life so I’m a little vulnerable. I said I couldn’t because I’m a broke musician and affirmed I would take a class in the future. We all talked for a little more, the leader explained more self-help things and a few more people talked. Pretty soon it was time to leave and I was glad because we were in there for three hours. As I leave this lady starts hounding me about making a deposit now and I could tell she was upset that I had tours with my band lined up but not a time to do Landmark Forum. She would not stop bothering me to at least put a deposit down which was $150. I just wanted to tell her that I don’t even have $100 dollars in my bank account. It felt like forever when we finally got away from her. That was when the whole situation felt sour to me. If you really cared and wanted to help me, why are you borderline harassing a 19 year old girl for a large amount of money she doesn’t have? I understand they are a business but the way I was badgered was quite ridiculous.
After I got home and had a bad feeling in the pit of my gut I decided to see what the Internet had to say about this forum. I read and watched all sorts of things, things about Landmark making a great difference in someones life, people saying Landmark is a cult, and others just saying it was a scam. Which one was it? I needed to know.
I finally found a woman’s blog about her experience with Landmark and that affirmed everything I needed to know. She talked about how they scammed her. Made her feel awful about her life and basically told her that her rape was her fault. In her blog and also in videos I watched of other people they talk about how you can not take notes and go to the bathroom unless it’s during one of their half hour breaks in a 13 hour day.
After all this research I finally realized that I was almost brainwashed into thinking I needed this class I didn’t really need. They did not want me to get out of that door with out giving them money to sign up for a class. I realized that as I walked outside and my mind set back to reality and rational thinking. That freaked me out pretty badly.
Even though I was freaked out I figured I could at least take something away from this. I learned that I should never make spontaneous decisions without thinking a bit rationally first. I also learned that I should continue to research and question everything because nothing is really as it seems.