Landmark Forum

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Landmark Forum, also known as The Forum and simply Forum, is the first course delivered by Landmark Worldwide (formerly Landmark Education), or simply Landmark, a limited liability company headquartered in San Francisco, California. The Company offers programs in personal development. The company claims that more than 2.2 million people have taken Landmark's programs since its founding in 1991, and that it hosts courses in approximately 115 locations across more than 20 countries.

The company started with the purchase of intellectual property rights developed by Werner Erhard, creator of the est training. Landmark has developed and delivered over 40 personal development programs. Its subsidiary, the Vanto Group, markets and delivers training and consulting to organizations.

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It's weird to think about how skeptical I was when I first went to the Forum. — Chuck Palahniuk
  • Werner Erhard, founder of 'Landmark Education's 'The Forum',' and 'est' seminars, which have about 700,000 graduates, was influenced by Hinduism through Swami Muktananda, one of Erhard's principal gurus.
  • There has been an enormous growth of the phenomenon known as Large Group Awareness Training represented by such companies as Landmark Forum.
    • Douglas Atkin (2004). "What Is Required of a Belief System?". The Culting of Brands: Turn Your Customers Into True Believers. New York: Penguin/Portfolio. p. 101. ISBN 9781591840275. 
  • The first connection between New Age and business life started with the founding of Erhard Seminar Training (EST) in the US, California in 1971. In 1984 EST became known as Forum and nowadays it operates under the name Landmark.
    • Stef Aupers (2005). "'We Are All Gods': New Age in the Netherlands 1960-2000". The Dutch and Their Gods: Secularization and Transformation of Religion in the Netherlands. Studies in Dutch Religious History. 3. Hilversum: Verloren. p. 193. ISBN 9065508678. 
  • Landmark Education, as it's formally known, is hardly alone. There are any number of groups that foster change in an intense, supportive environment. Formally, they are gathered under the rubric 'large group awareness training.'
    • Jonathan Black (2006). Yes You Can!: Behind the Hype and Hustle of the Motivation Biz. New York: Bloomsbury. p. 133. ISBN 9781596910003. 
In effect, to those who are members of traditional faiths, programs such as Landmark are saying: your religion is a hindrance to becoming your true self. — Robert Todd Carroll
  • More direct evidence comes from a careful study of Large Group Awareness Training programs, variously known as Erhard Seminars Training (est), Lifespring, or simply the Forum. The basic procedure of these courses parallels the group training workshops ... but the emphasis shifts from group effectiveness to personal development.
    • John Gastil (2010). The Group in Society. Los Angeles: SAGE. pp. 228-229. ISBN 9781412924689. 
  • It's weird to think about how skeptical I was when I first went to the Forum. 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.
  • I was 26 when I did the seminar, convinced the world was out to burn me at every turn. If it wasn't for that seminar, I wouldn't be a writer. They taught me to see how closed down I was, to face my fears.
  • The Forum and/or est, whose origins are in the United States (Tipton 1982) holds to the belief that the self itself is god.

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