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WARNING: Survivors of Sexual Abuse Could Be Easy Targets Landmark Forum


Monday, November 13, 2006

Warning To Those In Baltimore
Landmark Forum in Baltimore's Jewish community
by Vicki Polin

Over the last two years I've been approached by a few individuals in the Jewish community of Baltimore suggesting I attend a free weekend sponsored by a group called Landmark Educational Corporation (LEC) also known as Landmark Forum.

The pitch has always been that if I attended it would help me in my personal life and especially help me run The Awareness Center at a much higher level.  Given what I know about this group, I have always declined each offer.  I'll be honest with you this has not always been easy.  The manipulation to attend included a statement by one recruiter who suggested that "my resistance to come was proof of how much I needed their program."

Recently I learned that two of the recruiters who approached me were also communicating with several survivors of sexual abuse in both the observant and nonobservant community of Baltimore.  For that reason I am hoping to educate as many people as possible about the potential dangers of this group.

For those of you not familiar with Landmark Forum it has close ties to a now defunct group called EST (Ernard Seminar Training), which was created by Werner Ernard (Born John Paul Rosenberg).

Landmark Forum began in 1985 by those who purchased EST technology from Werner Ernard.  In 1991 they legally changed their name from "EST" to Landmark Forum.  Ernard's brother Harry Rosenberg heads LEC, which earns around $50 million a year.  LEC is headquartered in San Francisco, as was EST, and has 42 offices in 11 countries.  According to what I've read, Erhard is no longer involved in the operation of the Landmark Educational Corporation.

Landmark Forum states that their aim is to help people transform the lives of those attending by teaching them specific communication and life skills along with some heavy philosophical training.  Needless to say many survivors of childhood abuse are prime candidates for this type of recruitment effort.  Most are looking for answers and can easily fall into the trappings of this expensive program.

The advertised goals of Landmark Forum seem very grand and very vague.  They state that their programs are "original, innovative and effective."  They state that their program is dedicated to "empowering people in generating unlimited possibilities and making a difference".  Their pitch goes on to say that their work provides limitless opportunities for growth and development for individuals, relationships, families, communities, businesses, institutions and society as a whole."  The problem is that they have been accused of manipulative and deceptive practices (see article below).

Over the past few weeks I've been told that a few requiters connected to Landmark Forum are pressuring Jewish survivors of sexual abuse into attending a free week end seminar which is coming up shortly.  If you know of anyone who has plans to attend one of these weekend workshops please make sure they read the article below called "Defending Your Life."

I've also been told by a reliable source that at the end of the seminar most attendees are at a heightened state that they willingly sign contracts and hand over their credit card numbers.  There have been reports of seminar attendees realizing what they have done and finding it nearly impossible for them to get out of the contracts.