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1 Randall Gross  Sun, Aug 18, 2013 12:51:13pm

Everyone should bookmark the Encyclopedia, it’s a good resource.

2 thecommodore  Sun, Aug 18, 2013 12:54:02pm

An est training was portrayed in the movie Semi Tough, and it’s pretty accurate. The “trainer,” as the leader was called, began the training by repeatedly and loudly telling everyone they were “assholes,” and that they’re lives “didn’t work.”

And yes, that is the late game show host Bert Convey playing the trainer.

Youtube Video

Youtube Video

3 Randall Gross  Sun, Aug 18, 2013 12:55:31pm

Here’s a search from Rick Ross’s cult education institute, which is another good site to bookmark:

google.com

4 Decatur Deb  Sun, Aug 18, 2013 1:36:35pm

Lived through that era, and saw est as little more than a money scam, rather than a serious cult. It is one of the loon-fests sent up in the brilliant satire “Serial”.

imdb.com

5 Decatur Deb  Sun, Aug 18, 2013 1:42:07pm

Bookmarked the Encyclopedia. Once started to outline a “Field Guide to the Nut Groups”, but found they were reproducing faster than I could type.

6 cat-tikvah  Sun, Aug 18, 2013 1:44:34pm

I was invited as a “guest” many years ago to a friend’s “graduation” from est. On arrival I was sent to a room filled with other “guests” where two perky people gushed at us about est. Not having agreed to be est-vangelized, I walked out despite the perky folks’ entreaties. Later my friend said he heard I’d left the whatever that was aka sales pitch. I’d like to think I’m not the only ticked-off “guest” that ever just walked out, but it was a proud moment.

7 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 4:31:22am

“you were not allowed to go to the bathroom save for scheduled bathroom breaks, and if you tried to get up and go to the bathroom outside of these breaks, you would receive a stern lecture about how you were breaking your commitment by monitors places at the back of the room next to the doors.”

I am confused, how would adults not be allowed to do anything? If the program was set up to train people to live as their word - to have a new relationships to their promises in life, and people chose to be in the est training and keep the promises of the course, what was so out of line to interact with people who were not keeping a promise that THEY chose to make? I have lots of friends who did the est training and all of them went to the bathroom, the doors were not locked and they went. AND throughout the course they were interacted with about their integrity, their promises as that was what est was about. If any adults were not allowing you to do something as is misrepresented here in this blog, that would have to be called forcible confinement and it it would have been appropriate to contact law enforcement and of course that never happened because what you described is not an accurate take on it.

Yes est was dramatic ad theatrical and over the top, a 70’s thing i guess, but I will also guess that that is what attracted you and others to it - because you heard it approached things a little different. No?

8 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 4:34:37am

re: #7 pittee

Controlling every detail of someone’s life, right down to their bodily functions, is a distinguishing characteristic of a cult.

9 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 4:39:57am

“My opinion, for what it’s worth, >snip< I also wouldn’t call est’s founder, Werner Erhard (formerly used car salesman Jack Rosenberg) a “loon,” but simply an egomaniac, a con artist, and a real piece of work (as a young man, he abandoned his first wife and children).”

Your opinion is only worth something to people who might be invested on the “cult” discourse on the internet and for people who have no clue who werner erhard is and for sure never met him. Like man of us, he worked a salesmen earlier in his life and this point is regurgitated by those who are just lifting stuff from the web and who are too lazy think for themselves. Here is, in my opinion, a more accurate discription of the person in question:

“Werner Erhard is an original thinker whose ideas have transformed the effectiveness and quality of life for millions of people and thousands of organizations around the world. For nearly 40 years he has been the creator of innovative ideas and models of individual, organizational, and social transformation. His work has been the source of new perspectives for thinkers and practitioners in fields as diverse as business, education, philosophy, medicine, psychotherapy, developing and emerging countries, conflict resolution, and community building. Erhard has created new ways of seeing things in areas where progress has stalled or where breakthroughs would make a significant difference. A majority of the Fortune 100 companies and many foundations and governmental entities have used his ideas and models. Fortune magazine’s 40th anniversary issue (5/15/95), in examining the major contributions to management thinking, recognized Erhard’s ideas as one of the major innovations of the last few decades.

While he may be best known to the general public for applications derived from his models (including The est Training started in 1971 and replaced in the mid-1980s by The Forum), currently Erhard commits his time and intellectual effort almost exclusively to the academic world. Some of his recent research, writings, lectures, and courses can be found at: on his Author Page in the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). About The Forum, Social scientist Daniel Yankelovich said of a study he conducted of participants of The Forum: “Several of the study’s findings surprised me quite a bit, especially the large number of participants for whom The Forum proved to be ‘one of the most valued experiences of my life’. This is not a sentiment that people, especially successful, well-educated people, express lightly.” More than two million people around the world have participated in the public, corporate and academic programs and courses Erhard has created.
Werner Erhard is largely self-educated, albeit with tutoring from some important thinkers of his time - Richard Feynman, Michel Foucault, Humberto Maturana, Sir Karl Popper, and Hilary Putnam, to name a few. Philosopher Michael E. Zimmerman said of Erhard, “He had no particular formal training in anything, but he understood things as well as anyone I’d ever seen; and I’ve been around a lot of smart people in academia. This is an extraordinary intellect I saw at work”. In recognition of his humanitarian work around the world, in 1988 Erhard was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Humanitarian Award. “

10 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 4:46:17am

re: #8 Vicious Babushka

You roll out that definition to suit you here and using your definition you would have to include many sports situations and the military and other circumstances that tend to be and more rigourous and rigid than other circumstances. Students working on their PhD’s and people in a jury often sequester themselves in order to get a certain result and that involves not doing things the way they normally do them

But more importantly, est was NOT “controlling” any, let alone “every detail of” anyone’s “life”, let alone anyone’s ” bodily functions”. Paying customers were intrigued by what est offered and promised them and chose to give up certain practices for a very short time as an experiment to see what it would allow for. It was a choice and people were free to choose every single aspect of the est training and MANY did leave or walk out if it did not work for them. That is what adults do. These were smart successful people taking the est training, not slouches. thecommodore who wrote this blog is no slouch.

11 Vicious Babushka  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 4:50:57am

re: #10 pittee

Did you come here just to shill for est?

12 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:00:17am

re: #10 pittee

These were smart successful people taking the est training, not slouches. thecommodore who wrote this blog is no slouch.

You don’t seem to have really read what he wrote though.

13 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:04:13am

re: #11 Vicious Babushka

“shill”? no. express an opinion yes.

If anything might be called manipulative, and so called “shilling” I would say that it is trying to label others “shills” and marginalize viewpoints that do not agree/support your point of view, as you have just endeavoured to do.

That whole internet game of labelling commenters, who express any view but the blogs message, “apologists” or “plants or employees or agents of some kind”, in order to maintain only one point of view in a comments section is cult like behaviour and thought control.

It lacks critical thinking to take a position that only people who are espousing cynical skeptical points of views are credible trustworthy “experts”. No matter how irrational a poster might appear and no matter how baseless their commentary, as long as they are attacking or slandering or criticizing the kicking post of the blog, and staying within the parameters of the blogs basic message, they are viewed as on side and given a pass.

14 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:04:57am

re: #12 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

what do you think I missed? I do admit I read it fast

15 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:05:49am

re: #14 pittee

Oh this part:

And yes, at the time I did the training anyway, you were not allowed to go to the bathroom save for scheduled bathroom breaks, and if you tried to get up and go to the bathroom outside of these breaks, you would receive a stern lecture about how you were breaking your commitment by monitors places at the back of the room next to the doors. You also were not allowed to wear a watch during the training, and the windows were even covered completely so you would not have a sense of what time it was. Whether Landmark still does any of these things I do not know.

Which you simply dismissed with ‘how can adults not to be allowed to do something’, which is just staggeringly naive.

16 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:19:41am

re: #15 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

I don’t understand what you are saying? I read the part your quoted very clearly and it is distorted and untrue in my opinion.

There were no “monitors” (there were people who were “assisting” on the production of the programs who attended to all aspects of the course, and it is just a fact that the paying customers (participants) were in fact allowed to go to the bathroom anytime they wanted, and they did - the doors were never locked or blocked. Adults signed up and paid to take the est training because they heard it was intense. They did not think they were taking a basket weaving course. I have friends who took est and they all told me they went to the bathroom. AND IT WAS THE EST TRAINING! They were interacted with about their promise to only use the bathroom at scheduled breaks. It was an exercise in being fanatical about one’s promises. And in the 70’s some people were attracted to boot camp aspect of it they had heard about and that is why they took est. And once the course started, customers who did not like boot camp feel usually left at the first bathroom break and never returned. And so they should have, why stay in something that is not working for you. None of my friends left and LOVED the est experience and only bragged about the benefits they created for themselves out of the experience.

Where do you perceive that I am being naive?

17 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:33:23am

re: #16 pittee

I don’t understand what you are saying? I read the part your quoted very clearly and it is distorted and untrue in my opinion.

Ah, so he’s ‘no slouch’ but he’s distorting things and lying. I get it.

The fact that one EST program did one thing and one did another is not a proof that he’s lying, you know.

Where do you perceive that I am being naive?

That you think that adults can’t be prevented from doing something.

18 Pavlovian Hive Mind  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:34:06am

Woo and more woo!
Woo!

19 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:39:35am

re: #17 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

OK.

20 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:42:27am

re: #18 Pavlovian Hive Mind

Anything that is not building a brick wall might be heard/viewed as “woo”.

ALL religion, psychology, philosophy and sociology can be heard/viewed as “woo” by non practitioners. You calling something “woo” (said another way, it has no value for you) just means you are probably not involved in it.

Using the word “woo” as you are using it is woo actually.

The universe could be said to be “woo”. So what.

21 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:44:12am

re: #19 pittee

OK.

I’m sorry, what do you mean by ‘ok’? Do you still hold to the idea that an adult can’t be prevented from doing something?

re: #20 pittee

Do you think all things are equal— that, for example, the Heaven’s Gate Cult and Presbyterianism are essentially the same?

22 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:47:36am

re: #21 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

“Do you still hold to the idea that an adult can’t be prevented from doing something?”

Adults can be “prevented from doing something” and forced to do other things. 2.3 million people are currently locked up in prisons in the US, prevented from leaving, I heard people were forced, at gunpoint, to drink poison at Johnstown. But this just does not apply to the est training. People can and did go to the bathroom during the est training, this is a fact. And yes participants were spoken with at every opportunity about the promises THEY had made and agreed to at the beginning of the est training- THAT was what the course was about. It was not a course on planting awesome rooftop herb gardens. Like many things, there is a certain, ‘you had to be there’ness’ about the est training to understand and have a real sense of the context of it, it was very theatrical. It might seem bizarre in 2013 to hear about a course in 1971 where a person asked a participant “did you make a promise to only use the bathroom at the scheduled breaks.”? etc. But that interaction made sense to people who were there. Anyone who thought it too much for them left at the breaks and never returned and just got up and left - and many did.

“Do you think all things are equal— that, for example, the Heaven’s Gate Cult and Presbyterianism are essentially the same?”

No, I do not view all things as the same. Some things may be the same and others not.

23 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:04:24am

“Werner Erhard >snip< (as a young man, he abandoned his first wife and children).”

Werner Erhard returned to ‘face the music’ once he grew up a bit, and took full responsibility for taking off as a young man and fully mended his relationship with his wife and children that he left behind. His entire family moved to California with him. The story is quite moving when one hears it in it’s entirety. To just post “he abandoned his first wife and children” seems deliberately incomplete and distorted to me.

The story of Werner Erhard’s beginnings can be read about in detail in the biography “Werner Erhard The Transformation of a Man: The Founding of EST” by William Warren Bartley III or watched in the 2006 film “Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard”.

24 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:19:13am

re: #22 pittee

“Do you still hold to the idea that an adult can’t be prevented from doing something?”

Adults can be “prevented from doing something” and forced to do other things. 2.3 million people are currently locked up in prisons in the US, prevented from leaving, I heard people were forced, at gunpoint, to drink poison at Johnstown. But this just does not apply to the est training.

Okay. So do you think that physical restraint or threat of force is the only way to stop adults from doing something?

No, I do not view all things as the same. Some things may be the same and others not.

Okay, I’m glad that you saw your ‘everything is woo’ argument was flawed.

25 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:25:54am

re: #24 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

“Okay. So do you think that physical restraint or threat of force is the only way to stop adults from doing something?”

That is too complex and subtle a conversation for a casual comment section conversation or at least I do not have the writing skills to say anything succinctly that would represent the totality of what I might wish to express on that topic. It is a great question though.

“Okay, I’m glad that you saw your ‘everything is woo’ argument was flawed.

I saw no such thing. What you are saying could be called “woo”.

26 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:28:59am

re: #25 pittee

That is too complex and subtle a conversation for a comment section conversation or at least I do not have the writing skills to say anything succinctly that I would would represent the totality of what I might wish to express on that topic.

Can I read that as “Yes, I understand that many other things, like social pressure, non-legal penalties, propaganda, and other things can stop adults from doing things”?

What you are saying could be called “woo”.

EST. You said that all philosophy and psychology can be viewed as ‘woo’; this is incorrect. CBT, for example, cognitive behavioral therapy, can be shown in controlled studies to be effective. Likewise, applied philosophy can be shown to be more or less effective; game theory is a good example of this.

27 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:36:12am

re: #26 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

“Can I read that as “Yes, I understand that many other things, like social pressure, non-legal penalties, propaganda, and other things can stop adults from doing things”?”

I would not answer that without endeavouring to provide sufficient context = the whole world of the point of view of it and I am unable and/or unwilling to endeavour to do that. So, sure, you can read it that way if you wish but I am expressly not expressing what you are reading into it.


“EST. You said that all philosophy and psychology can be viewed as ‘woo’; this is incorrect.”

Says you.

“CBT, for example, cognitive behavioral therapy, can be shown in controlled studies to be effective.”

*It can still be called woo by people with opposing views who do not support the studies or who have conflicting points of views. And it is. It is not an exact unquestioned science. It is theoretical, and as woo as anything can be. That YOU might agree or support a certain study is just you supporting or agreeing with a specific study. You can site studies you buy into. Trust me, for every ten people who buy into a “study” you have bought into, there are ten people who say it is flawed, incorrect, incomplete, biased or invalid.

“Likewise, applied philosophy can be shown to be more or less effective; game theory is a good example of this.”

*Same response/opinion as above.

28 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:44:31am

re: #27 pittee

I would not answer that without sufficient context for the whole world of it to be on the table and am unable and unwilling to endeavour to do that. So, sure, you can read it that way if you wish but I am expressly not expressing what you are reading into it.

This doesn’t make any sense. let me give you a very simple example:

There was a rule against eating at my desk at the last place I worked. I didn’t restrain myself from eating at my desk because of a threat of force, but because it was a rule at the job and someone would have scolded me if I had.

Does this make sense to you as a trivial example of how adults are stopped from doing something?

*It can still be called woo by people with opposing views who do not support the studies or who have conflicting points of views.

But thankfully, since it’s science, we can simply compare the studies and see which ones are well-done.

It is theoretical, and as woo as anything can be.

No, we’re not talking about theory, we’re actually talking about application.

Trust me, for every ten people who buy into a “study” you have bought into, there are ten people who say it is flawed, incorrect, incomplete, biased or invalid.

I don’t actually trust you, because this isn’t true. Or rather, most social scientists, psychologists, et al. would say that almost every study is limited or incomplete, but that’s obvious. But that’s not a demerit— a limited study is good because it’s focused. And likewise, all studies are not created equal. A double-blind study in the effect of racial prejudice on hiring before and after sensitivity training, for example, with a large N and no researcher participation, is much better than a study that wasn’t double-blind, had a small N, and had researcher participation.

29 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:46:00am

re: #28 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

Ok.

Sorry, I have nothing to add to the *comment I made above, nor the smarts to argue or support my point beyond what I expressed.

30 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:46:50am

re: #29 pittee

Ok.

I’m sorry, when you answer ‘ok’, it doesn’t really help the conversation along.

Do you understand that not all studies are deemed equal, and that there is an actual, scientific way of judging the value of studies?

31 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:48:53am

re: #30 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

“Do you understand that not all studies are deemed equal, and that there is an actual, scientific way of judging the value of studies?”

You say that but it is my point of view, that if there was some “study” saying something you whole heartedly disagreed with, no matter how iron clad it was, you would find 1000 ways to invalidate it and never break a sweat. There is nothing that humans beings cannot argue for.

32 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:49:58am

re: #31 pittee

“Do you understand that not all studies are deemed equal, and that there is an actual, scientific way of judging the value of studies?”

You say that but trust me, if there was a study saying something you disagreed with, no matter how iron clad it was, you would find 1000 ways to invalidate and never break a sweat.

See, I know this isn’t true. I have lots of beliefs that I’ve overturned because I was convinced by evidence that I was wrong.

You’ve never changed your mind when shown evidence that you were wrong?

33 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:53:00am

re: #32 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

“See, I know this isn’t true. I have lots of beliefs that I’ve overturned because I was convinced by evidence that I was wrong.”

I am only talking about the ones you might not have been convinced of. Not the ones where you were overturned.

“You’ve never changed your mind when shown evidence that you were wrong?”

Many times and often. BUT there are those times where I held onto my belief a lot longer until I was ready to give it up and those things that I never gave up on and just said I don’t care, I will stick to my guns on this belief.

34 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 7:58:26am

re: #33 pittee

I am only talking about the ones you might not have been convinced of. Not the ones where you were overturned.

But what you actually said was this:

You say that but trust me, if there was a study saying something you disagreed with, no matter how iron clad it was, you would find 1000 ways to invalidate and never break a sweat.

What you are saying now appears to be the rather simplistic “You haven’t been convinced of things you haven’t been convinced of.” Yes, that’s true. It is also a very pointless thing to say.

Many times and often. BUT there are those times where I held onto my belief a lot longer until I was ready to give it up and those things that I never gave up on and just said I don’t care, I will stick to my guns on this belief.

I’m glad that you are accepting your original statement was very wrong, as disproved by you yourself.

Do you think that the efficacy of EST and the conditions it was delivered in might be one of these things you’re holding onto too tight and are sticking to your guns despite the evidence?

35 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 8:03:10am

re: #34 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

“What you are saying now appears to be the rather simplistic “You haven’t been convinced of things you haven’t been convinced of.” Yes, that’s true. It is also a very pointless thing to say.”

Says you.

“Do you think that the efficacy of EST and the conditions it was delivered in might be one of these things you’re holding onto too tight and are sticking to your guns despite the evidence?”

It could be said to be something I am holding onto, sure, it is an opinion I have wound up with and it is a belief I have wound up with, and I cannot prove alot of what I have said. I am ok with what I said and how I said it, and have no interest/desire/inclination in supporting any of it, beyond the opinions and point of views I already expressed.

36 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 8:06:30am

re: #35 pittee

Says you.

See, this is not actually an effective argument. You stated that if there was a study that showed something I disagreed with, I’d find a way to get around this. This is not true, you’ve acknowledged it is not true, you’ve said it isn’t even true for yourself, so your statement is really reduced to the absolutely trivial “you haven’t been convinced of things you haven’t been convinced of”. Your actual claim is still invalidated, by your own statement.

It could be said to be something I am holding onto, sure, it is an opinion I have wound up with and it is a belief I have wound up with, and I cannot prove alot of what I have said. I am ok with what I said and how I said it.

Okay. Given the number of times you’ve made claims that you had to immediately go back on, I think that you do seem to be arguing from an emotional position rather than an actual reasonable one, and I invite you to read up on EST from critical sources to get a better understanding than you currently have.

I don’t think the arguments you’ve made here would convince anyone who wasn’t invested in EST being true.

37 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 8:08:10am

re: #36 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

ok Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut, thanks for the exchange. I read everything you wrote, and it is my impression that you put alot of thought into what you are saying, and perhaps we can leave it there for now.

38 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 10:23:05am

re: #37 pittee

Ironically, Cafe Gratitude has just been closed down for being a cult. They used EST as a kind of management philosophy.

39 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 12:20:47pm

@Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut ,

cafegratitude.com is open for business and thriving. You appear to not know what you are talking about or not care what you say as long as you drive home the message you have blindly bought into: you are the good guy, and whoever you are talking about over there, they are the bad guy, just because you say so. No facts needed. Very convenient (for you.)

Apple, Reebok, Microsoft and Lululemon and many other large successful companies used est or Landmark material. You might want to do a little more research. Consider that your confirmation bias might be blocking you from seeing something and left you with a lopsided point of view.

I have observed that humans always find exactly what we are looking for. Humans can and do create a tall compelling pile of evidence for anything they want to be right about.

40 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 12:47:02pm

re: #39 pittee

cafegratitude.com is open for business and thriving. You appear to not know what you are talking about or not care what you say as long as you drive home the message you have blindly bought into: you are the good guy, and whoever you are talking about over there, they are the bad guy, just because you say so. No facts needed. Very convenient (for you.)

Ah, it’s just their Northern California places that have been closed, their LA one is still open. They are still facing a deluge of lawsuits about forcing employees to attend Landmark seminars and other accusations of mistreatment.

Apple, Reebok, Microsoft and Lululemon and many other large successful companies used est or Landmark material. You might want to do a little more research. Consider that your confirmation bias might be blocking you from seeing something and left you with a lopsided point of view.

I don’t have much respect for any of those companies’ corporate practices in general, so I’m not sure why you think this argument would carry weight with me.

41 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 12:51:48pm

“Ah, it’s just their Northern California places that have been closed, their LA one is still open. They are still facing a deluge of lawsuits about forcing employees to attend Landmark seminars and other accusations of mistreatment.”

YOU are the one spreading a “deluge” of BS, and your additional comments and justification for doing so, reveal your lopsided agenda.

OK I get it, you are so right, and myself, Landmark and anyone or any company or community or group or whoever, who does not see things YOUR way on this topic, are clearly 100% wrong, so clued out, so duped and not as savvy as yourself. Well, hopefully one day soon the Landmark evil doers will disappear from the face of the earth and you will have your victory and we can all live in the wonderful magical “cult”-free, brainwash-free world that you envision and are arguing for. Thank-you for fighting the good fight (on the internet.)

“I don’t have much respect for any of those companies’ corporate practices in general, so I’m not sure why you think this argument would carry weight with me.”

Got it. My mistake.

42 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 1:11:34pm

re: #41 pittee

YOU are the one spreading a “deluge” of BS, and your additional comments and justification for doing so, reveal your lopsided agenda.

See, you may not realize it, but hyperoblic stuff like this doesn’t do you any good, it just makes you look nutty. I’m from San Francisco, and Cafe Gratitude put out a statement that they had to close their stores because of these lawsuits. I misremembered it as being all, when it was ‘just’ their Northern California stores. How is that a ‘deluge of BS’? What ‘justification’ have I made?

OK I get it, you are so right, and myself and Landmark and anyone who does not see things YOUR way on this topic, just so, are clearly 100% wrong. Hopefully one day soon the Landmark evil doers will disappear from the face of the earth and you will have your victory and we can all live in the wonderful magical “cult”-free, brainwash-free world that you envision and are arguing for. Thank-you for fighting the good fight (on the internet.)

Again, this kind of weird hyperbole means I don’t really have to off an argument, because it’s clear that it’s completely silly. What I’ve said is that things that can be scientifically shown to work are cool with me— of course, there’s a whole discussion about labor ethics once you start forcing your employees to do something belief-based.

But anyway, I haven’t even used the word ‘brainwash’, because I don’t think that cults brainwash people. Cults are a pretty misunderstood thing, and there’s plenty of people in cults who are good people and trying to do good. Accusing me of wanting them to vanish is hysterical.

43 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 1:13:32pm

re: #42 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

Like I said, whatever your point of view might be, expressed or not expressed, you are 100% right.

44 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 1:19:04pm

re: #43 pittee

Like I said, whatever your point of view might be, expressed or not expressed, you are 100% right.

But that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that I’m not aware of any academic studies showing the effectiveness of est or Landmark’s program. I am aware of their curriculum, and it literally does involve instilling a belief pattern in people. I am not saying that the people who are instilling it don’t honestly believe that it’s a good thing.

Are you associated with Landmark or est in some way? You said that your ‘friends’ were the ones who went to est training, is that the extent of your association with it?

45 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 1:39:21pm

re: #44 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

“But that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that I’m not aware of any academic studies showing the effectiveness of est or Landmark’s program. I am aware of their curriculum, and it literally does involve instilling a belief pattern in people.”

Can you define a few things for me? I think defining your terms is important.

What is a “belief pattern” and where does your expertise on the subject of “belief pattern” come from? Are you a brain scientist?

What does “instilled” mean and how is it achieved?

Is what you perceive that Landmark does unique from any other so called “belief pattern” that is so called “instilled” in families, in groups of friends, in schools, in any place where people gather and do an activity together? Does it happen in comment sections on the internet? Is there anything but a constant flow of so called “belief pattern” that are so called “instilled” in human beings from birth to death? Or is this just some thing that is unique to Landmark?

“I am not saying that the people who are instilling it don’t honestly believe that it’s a good thing.”

How do you define a “good thing”?
How do you know the “people” involved, believe or do not believe it is a good or bad thing? Where are your facts or supporting evidence what their alleged beliefs are?

“Are you associated with Landmark or est in some way?”

Associated? no. I sat in the landmark forum a few years ago, a useful lasting experience and I only have good things to say about it.

“You said that your ‘friends’ were the ones who went to est training, is that the extent of your association with it?”

With est yes. Anyone I know who did est has an decent life now 30 years later and say mostly good things about their experience.

46 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 1:54:09pm

re: #45 pittee

What is a “belief pattern” and where does your expertise on the subject of “belief pattern” come from? Are you a brain scientist?

I have no idea what you mean by a brain scientist. I’m not presenting myself as an expert. A trivial observation of Landmark’s philosophy and methods— that they tell participants that their ideas about themselves are wrong, that they should be judging themselves and the world in a different fashion, et al— is enough to show a lay person that they’re trying to get people to change dramatically. I don’t really semantically care how you phrase it.

Is what you perceive that Landmark does unique from any other so called “belief pattern” that is so called “instilled” in families, in groups of friends, in schools, in any place where people gather and do an activity together? Does it happen in comment sections on the internet? Is there anything but a constant flow of so called “belief pattern” that are so called “instilled” in human beings from birth to death? Or is this just some thing that is unique to Landmark?

Obviously it’s not unique to Landmark. Landmark is similar to any ‘revealed truth’ religion where truths about human nature are asserted not on the basis of scientific inquiry. However, many religions don’t hold that their ‘revealed truths’ have to do with human nature in any interpretable way, so the best comparison is between Landmark and a religion that does believe that, like a religion that believes that we are all innately sinful and talks about how we need to strive to overcome that. The experience of Landmark and the experience of shock conversion are demonstrably similar.

How do you define a “good thing”?
How do you know the “people” involved, believe or do not believe it is a good or bad thing? Where are your facts or supporting evidence what their alleged beliefs are?

I’m not saying anything about the people involved in general, but they’re, y’know, just humans like the rest of us. Some humans are good. I’m not sure why you’re choosing this point to freak out on, but then, a lot about the way you choose to argue makes little sense.

Associated? no. I sat in the landmark forum a few years ago, a useful lasting experience and I only have good things to say about it.

Why did you conceal this earlier and instead say that you had lots of friends who did est? I know it’s not technically a lie, but it’s a rather foolish piece of deception.

And again, I don’t really feel like I have to do much argument, because the tone and logic of your argument is pretty self-defeating when trying to convince people that Landmark totally isn’t culty.

47 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 2:07:50pm

re: #46 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

Ok, I read what you wrote. You have your point of view about it and I have no interest in interacting with you about how you see it. You probably know that these kinds of comment section exchanges, no matter who is talking or what they are talking about, can only always end up as cats games (leads to a draw) unless the two people engaging share a perceived enemy and they can both gleefully slander and slime together. See any anti-scientology comment section for a vivid display of this.

“foolish piece of deception.”

And yes, you are right. I am a fool and I was deliberately trying to deceive you, but you caught me. You are too sharp, too savvy, and too aware. And I am, well, too foolish, to hoodwink you or anyone. Mea culpa.

48 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 2:14:58pm

re: #47 pittee

No, I don’t agree with your characterization of arguments in forums.

And yes, you are right. I am a fool and I was deliberately trying to deceive you, but you caught me. You are too sharp, too savvy, and too aware. And I am, well, too foolish, to hoodwink you or anyone. Mea culpa.

It was a serious question. To me, it’s the obviously ethical thing to do when talking about a subject to reveal your association with the subject. You did more than not do that, you mischaracterized your association by saying that you had lots of friends who did it, while not mentioning your own attendance.

49 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 2:21:03pm

re: #48 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

Your brilliant opinions are noted. Ciao.

50 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 4:19:45pm

re: #46 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

One thing is nagging at me, you seems to have either misunderstood or avoided something I asked.

“Obviously it’s not unique to Landmark. Landmark is similar to any ‘revealed truth’ religion where truths ”

I did not ask about “‘revealed truth’ religion “. I asked you something completely different. I asked:

Is what you perceive that Landmark does to people unique from any other so called “belief pattern” that is so called “instilled” in the following:

(a) families,
(b) in groups of friends,
(c) in all school settings,
(d) in any place where people gather and do a non-religious activity together?
(e) Does it happen in comment sections on the internet?
(f) Is there anything but a constant flow of so called “belief pattern” that are so called “instilled” in human beings from birth to death?

Is there any place where your so called “belief patterns” are NOT being “instilled” ongoingly in people?

51 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 5:16:33pm

re: #50 pittee

Well, it’s rather obvious that most school settings don’t engage in something as radical as what Landmark does. Education doesn’t depend on revealed truth. When revealed truth creeps in, it’s generally due to the influence of religion or revisionism.

Obviously groups of friends don’t do anything similar to Landmark, either. Would you say that the experience you had with Landmark and the experience you had chilling with friends was similar?

It’s weird, you seem to be simultaneously minimizing Landmark while vociferously defending it.

(f) Is there anything but a constant flow of so called “belief pattern” that are so called “instilled” in human beings from birth to death?

Again, I don’t care what you call it. What I’m talking about is basing beliefs on revealed truths— that’s the problem.

52 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 6:21:46pm

re: #51 Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut

You went from talking about: “I am aware of their curriculum, and it literally does involve instilling a belief pattern in people.”

to adding some thing you call “revealed truth”.

“Would” I “say that the experience” I “had with Landmark and the experience” I had chilling with friends was similar”?

Absalom, Absalom, Obdicut, YOU are the one who is projecting this point of view you label “instilling a belief pattern” onto landmark and suggesting that this phenomena only happens there and no where else in every day life. So because I do not buy into your “instilling a belief pattern” point of view, I will not answer your question as you have asked it.

“It’s weird, you seem to be simultaneously minimizing Landmark while vociferously defending it.”

Yes, that is how it “seems” to you. I get that.

I am not educated about ” basing beliefs on revealed truths” and know nothing about ” basing beliefs on revealed truths”, so I cannot discuss ” basing beliefs on revealed truths” with you.

Where, pray tell, did you get educated and get this notion about “basing beliefs on revealed truths” from? A book? A web site? University or collage program?

53 Decatur Deb  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 6:23:59pm

Have either of you taken a piss yet?

54 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 6:30:24pm

re: #53 Decatur Deb

There is more to life than going to the bathroom (where this one up match started.)

55 Decatur Deb  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 6:38:54pm

Someone is wearing a Motorman’s Friend.

56 pittee  Mon, Aug 19, 2013 6:40:45pm

re: #55 Decatur Deb

lol.

or here’s a radical idea, adults choosing to exercise some self control.

57 pittee  Tue, Aug 20, 2013 6:21:45am

What is funny, to me, about internet comment section culture is that as long as a member of the comment section is espousing some cynical point of view about another person or group, no matter how hysterical or irrational, it is considered close enough for jazz and gets a pass and as soon as anyone adds a point of point that does not support the cynical point of view, and does not regurgitate the cynical party lines of the comment section, they are instantly marginalized labeled suspect, naive, on the payroll, an apologist, etc. Most internet groups fall into true believer mode buying into anything that is said as long as it is cynical and invalidates the agreed upon group or person, that is what gets the high fives from the comment section group of conforming so called free thinkers. Agree with the comment section group point of view and you will never be questioned or challenged or asked to provide evidence for anything you write, no matter how fictional it is. I have never found a larger group of conformists, who are not aware that they are being conformists, then in internet comment sections.

On the web it mostly winds up being a battle to label the world. One person asserts their labels of others and others activities or the labels they have bought into and defending those labels of labels like them. If anyone shows up and says I do not buy into how you have labeled that, they are immediately suspect and the one point of view is protected by the group, usual gang bang. No doubt this labelling of comment section activities will be rejected and another label suggested by one or more of the group.

——————————————————————————————————————————
oops my bad! Please ignore all the above. I should have just said “OMG thanks so much for posting this, that CULT!!!!! guy is such a effing dick!!!!!! That is a fact!!”

Do I get a membership club jacket now?

58 pittee  Tue, Aug 20, 2013 1:25:38pm

re: #6 cat-tikvah

re: #6 cat-tikvah

I was invited as a “guest” many years ago to a friend’s “graduation” from est. On arrival I was sent to a room filled with other “guests” where two perky people gushed at us about est. Not having agreed to be est-vangelized, I walked out despite the perky folks’ entreaties. Later my friend said he heard I’d left the whatever that was aka sales pitch. I’d like to think I’m not the only ticked-off “guest” that ever just walked out, but it was a proud moment.

Reminds me of Chuck Palahniuk, walking out in the middle of a friend’s “graduation”, but never making it to parking lot, in his own words:

“”It’s weird to think about how skeptical I was when I first went to the Forum,” says Chuck Palahniuk, 39, author of Fight Club. “I brought a book with me in case I was bored. I immediately started railing against the leader about how they were just using me for my money. Then, when I was walking out, it struck me that I was 26 years old and I was never going to take another risk in my life. I was the one being an asshole! So I went back and said, ‘Okay, I’d like to take a risk, where do I sign?’ After that, I bought a word processor. That was my first step to being a writer.”

Fight Club was his first book written shortly after doing The Landmark Forum. And, while I have never met the author, and have only seen interviews on you tube and movies based on his books, I get the impression that this is a pretty tough guy who has no time for fools nor BS.


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