Talk:Landmark Education/Abd

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Name changes[edit]

Due to history of name-changes both with history of the organization itself, and with various individuals associated with the organization, might be best to move this page to Landmark Forum, as it recently changed the company name to Landmark Worldwide but is more well-known by its signature course offering. -- Cirt (talk) 18:00, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Perhaps. The subject of interest here on Wikiversity, as far as I'm concerned, is the "education," that is, the ontology and practices and distinctions that are conveyed, rather than the name of the organization, per se. However, it's not possible, probably, to separate these. My first impression in response is to take the capitalization out of "Education." When I originally created this resource here, I had recently attended the Forum, and was participating in the free included seminar, the Forum in Action. Other participants were interested in having a resource that would define the terms used commonly in Landmark.
Since then I completed the Advanced Course, the Self-Expression and Leadership Program, coached the SELP once, did a little work in the Assisting Program -- which can be the best training in Landmark, including the intense Introduction Leader Program, and I'm now back in a seminar and am coaching the SELP again. The Forum is a bit like Kindergarten. One learns valuable skills there! But it is, indeed, just a beginning, and "Landmark Forum" doesn't cover that fuller topic. Yes, "Landmark Education" is now obsolete as the name of the organization, which is busily rebranding itself. People involved in Landmark routinely call it just that: Landmark, but in the Introduction Leader Program, last year, we were encouraged to always add "Education."
I have no strong attachment to any particular name. If I did, I'd need to call my coach! :-)
Just to be careful, I do not represent Landmark Education in anything I write here. I did the training to represent Landmark, and do, in fact, sometimes effectively function as a Landmark Leader, but that is all informal. Landmark is not responsible for my errors, I am. --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:00, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I've created them as redirects for now. -- Cirt (talk) 20:11, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Background[edit]

Added some historical info on background and prior names of organizations and individuals involved. -- Cirt (talk) 20:49, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

This is essentially undue weight on the top level. The history is proper, I'm fine with that. The names of the officers, who have almost nothing to do with the actual work and activity of Landmark -- would be about as relevant here as the names of the directors of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services trustees would with an article about Alcoholics Anonymous.
That content may be intended to make it appear that Landmark is still Erhard's operation. In fact, while Erhard and Landmark are still connected in some ways -- he occasionally shows up at events and is still widely respected -- the ordinary educational operation of Landmark centers and courses has very little connection with the corporate office. The courses are designed, generally, by the course leaders. I have never heard the name of Werner Erhard or the name of the CEO (Erhard's brother), or any corporate officer, in any Landmark Program except in some seminars where old-timers mention having worked with him, and in the Introduction Leader Program where participants are trained -- a little -- in the history. That material, provided by Corporate, was the worst-written material I've encountered in Landmark; obviously that's my personal impression. If we delivered, to guests, material of that quality, Landmark would collapse. But Corporate doesn't write the programs nor does it deliver them. It simply supports them, providing legal structure and coordination. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:06, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Certainly it is relevant to note the names of the general counsel, the CEO, and the Chairman of the Board of the company. Those are the top positions in the entire company. Mentioned or not by others, the top officers naturally set the entire tone and culture of the company. And one is Werner Erhard's brother and one is his sister, and two are his lawyers. That is certainly quite noteworthy. -- Cirt (talk) 02:30, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Your concept is of a centrally-controlled corporation. That's what you call "natural." However, Landmark isn't exactly ordinary. First of all, it's owned by the staff. The staff elects the board of trustees, as I understand it. I'm familiar with Erhard's work, from videos. He had two aspects: his personality, which was strong and distinctive, and his function, which is what he transmitted to others. Erhard's specific personality still has a mark on the organization, but it's deprecated, it's called the "old enterprise," as distinct from the "new enterprise," which is under development. Landmark outgrew its origins. Although Landmark is legally a for-profit corporation, it was designed to be a community, collective activity, much more like a cooperative. I'm telling you, from personal experience, Cirt, that the personalities and identity of the corporate officers have *nothing to do* with what happens in the programs.
The intention of the Wikiversity resource was not to be an article on the company, but to be a resource on the training, the "Education." If you want to know about the company, read the Wikipedia article! And, of course, it was linked.
If something happened to Landmark Worldwide, the work would still continue, because the core of it is decentralized, it does not depend on corporate guidance for routine operation. It's a body of practice that is shared by many, many people. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:28, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Please provide evidence to back up your above claims, "The staff elects the board of trustees, as I understand it." Thank you, -- Cirt (talk) 08:51, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
It's not the staff, per se, I apologize for the unclarity, It's the stockholders. It's an ESOP company. The shareholders are staff and former staff, and there may be details not disclosed to the public. Cirt, this is not a Wikipedia article. I'm a witness from inside as to how Landmark works. I know the internal culture. From before I took any courses, I had read extensively the criticism of Landmark. The Staff supports corporate, and the community supports the staff. We help them. I'll see what I can find on the structure, but I'm not about to waste my time digging up evidence that is essentially meaningless in the end. If Landmark were a normal for-profit organization, say that Werner Erhard were still the CEO, say that he was being paid millions per year, so what? The workman, Cirt, is worthy of his meat. By naming certain selected officers, you are attempting to create an impression. The impression is based on what source?
The facts about Landmark are covered in the Wikipedia article. I have the official material from Landmark on structure, but this is what the WP article says:
Landmark Worldwide LLC operates as an employee-owned for-profit private company. According to Landmark's website, its employees own all the stock of the corporation, with no individual holding more than 3%. The company states that it operates in such a way as to invest its surpluses into making its programs, initiatives, and services more widely available.[2] In addition, its subsidiary, the Vanto Group, focuses on marketing and delivering training and consultation services to corporate clients and other organizations.[11]
I have not tracked down those references. It used to be that I'd do that, but my time has become substantially more valuable. I mentioned that I know Boston center staff, and a few from New York. They get the financial reports, they have to be included in that distribution, and if Landmark were lying, they would know it. I know these people and their level of integrity. It wouldn't happen that they would keep quiet. They weren't there for the money, they were not afraid of losing their jobs, because they all could make much more money doing something else. Two staff members got married and quit, because they were starting a family and needed ordinary careers. I'd trust them with my life, and, in fact, I did that. Landmark has never declared a dividend. So, effectively, what staff get for their shares is knowledge and control.
I did look ownership up. I found this information:
  • Landmark self-description is very clear: [1]
Landmark is a for-profit company 100% owned by approximately 525 employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and similar international plans. The organization's executive team reports to a Board of Directors that is elected annually by the ESOP.
  • On the ESOP, this would be data from required federal filings: [2]. That report is on the 401(k) plan, not the total ESOP, necessarily. But I'd expect that the bulk of the assets held by the 401(k) would be Landmark stock, otherwise stock distributions under the ESOP would be taxable, and since the stock has never declared a dividend, this would be out-of-pocket for employees, bad idea. The 401(k) was, from that report covering 2009, distributed about $40,000 in benefits, compared to $3 million in net income and $7.5 million in net assets. I assume that the vast bulk of the net assets would be company stock.
  • In any case, the point about employee election of the board, through the ESOP, is clear. I have seen zero evidence to the contrary, and a basic common-law principle is that testimony is presumed true unless controverted. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:58, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
  • This is a Wikiversity educational resource. It is not a Wikipedia article about the company. We can state fact based on our own experience here, if it's so attributed, or if it is accepted by consensus. I will be moving what is obviously an attempt to criticize Landmark to the Criticism subpage, and a brief summary of this I will accept on the main resource page. Almost all that information in the references are details of no import to most readers or educational participants, hence it will be moved to subpages, properly linked so anyone interested can readily find it.
  • Cirt, if you have personal criticism of Landmark, you may voice it on Criticism subpages, attributed as your opinion, and supported by whatever facts or references you wish. That's how we handle controversy on Wikiversity, by inclusion and organization, not by exclusion and what can be endless conflict over "neutrality." We are not confined to a single page here, we can fork controversies, as long as points of view are attributed and placed in a neutral structure. We build educational resources here, as collaborative efforts. Thanks for participating, and I hope you will consider signing up as a participant,on the participant subpage, if you have an interest in this topic. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:58, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good, I can add material to the subpages, as the main top-level page is evidently made out to be some sort of advertisement written by an insider volunteer, and not a neutral point of view. Oh well. :) -- Cirt (talk) 15:53, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Use of unpaid labor[edit]

Added info on use of unpaid labor, multiple investigations at the federal level of government in France and the United States. -- Cirt (talk) 20:50, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

This is a tempest in a teapot, undue weight. Landmark extensively "uses" unpaid labor, it's the design of the system, and it is all voluntary, not coerced in any way, beyond the natural consequences of assisting: if you assist at a course, normally you don't pay for the course, you can be there without payment. In most cases you are not then a participant in the course, you will not go to the microphone to speak when that's opened up. In the Self-Expression and Leadership Program, however, all participants have a personal coach, who is a volunteer in the Assisting Program who has previously taken the SELP. Ordinary coaches are quasi-participants in the SELP. That is, every coach (and also the Head Coaches and Program Leader) has a declared community project, and coaches are occasionally called on to shere. However, ordinary Assisting Program people managing the room are not participants, and almost never share. The Introduction Leader Program is run similarly, with coaches being recognized Introduction Leaders.
Landmark is active in about fifty cities, and many countries and that there were occasional investigations and even findings is not itself anything notable about Landmark. The most intense "usage of unpaid labor" would be in the Introduction Leader Program and the Team Management and Leadership Program, where participants, as part of the training, do extensive phone work. I did the ILP last year, and, besides the Staff (who are paid), and at times, we ran the office, it could seem. And it was a crucial part of the training, and I got far more value out of that training, in terms of how I can handle myself on the phone, and in many other ways, than I ever delivered to Landmark itself. If there were to be equity, I'd pay them, not the other way around.
If Landmark were required to pay for all that volunteer labor, the courses would need to more than double in cost, and that's obvious. Landmark essentially breaks even as it is; profits are being plowed back into operations, a dividend has never been declared. The Staff is not highly paid, and the only labor actions where Landmark agreed to make payments had to do with overtime. Staff tends to work long hours, the jobs are intense. What really happens, and I've seen this, is that, having been extensively trained in Landmark, staff members ultimately move on to high-paying jobs elsewhere. Again, it's part of the design. I do not know what Forum Leaders are paid, I've never asked. However, the corporate information states that "executives are paid the median salary for the training industry." I know many Staff members, who are owners, i.e., they are stockholders per the ESOP that Landmark is. I personally trust these people. They were doing the work because they loved it, it was obvious.
Landmark is a transformation engine, a training machine, and nearly every aspect of it fits this function.
A personal story
I'll tell one story about what someone got out of assisting. I was coaching the SELP, and I had a participant, and I suggested that he come to the Sunday evening session of the Advanced Course, where registration takes place for the SELP. Since he was in the program, he was ideal to be there, at a registration table, able to answer questions. It's the easiest registration job in the entire curriculum, because the SELP is insanely valuable for what it costs, people are already over the hump, so to speak. Indeed, the only obstacle to people registering in the SELP is the logistical difficulty of actually getting to the classrooms and workdays and doing the community project (and, by the way, community projects cannot have anything to do with Landmark, they are real community projects, with real measures of success.) Similar courses offered by nonprofit organizations run over $1,000, but the SELP is $220.
He accepted, and was there. The next day he had a job interview, and he called me for coaching on the way. "Just be who you were being last night, sitting at that table, after hearing the Advanced Course for about five hours."
They told him at the interview that he was overqualified. He'd been thinking that he might get an engineering job, for about $80,000 per year if he was lucky.
They said, "We'd like to hire you as a manager, responsible to the company president, for $100,000 per year." It's a testament to the state he was in that he replied:
"That's a great offer! I'm thinking of accepting it. But if you offered me $10,000 more per year, I'd show up at work every day totally thrilled! Wouldn't you want that?
They told him that they couldn't do $10,000, but offered $5,000, and an early review for the rest.
I just spoke with him a week ago, and they did give him the positive review and the raise.
Now, he was "unpaid labor." Is there something wrong here?
His community project, by the way, was fantastic. I cried when I read the report, it was so moving. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:41, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

--Abd (discusscontribs) 02:41, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

So in your view, the opinion of the governments of both France and the United States are not noteworthy? -- Cirt (talk) 08:52, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Not in a resource on the training, at the top level. If we had a resource on, say, Catholic belief and ritual, we would not have substantial material about, say, allegations of child abuse by priests. A study of the church and church history might note this. Any large corporation with a significant history has been involved with various legal actions. Cirt, you are being contentious here. There is no notability issue here, there is only an issue of the organization of knowledge and study into resources. We don't have notability standards. If you think that the information is notable, worthy of consideration, we will not remove it, but we can and will place it where it will be most useful to students. A resource on mathematics will not have, at the top level, information about the personal pecadillos of various mathematicians. It may well have a link to a page on mathematicians, with links to pages on individuals, with links to biographies. We generally avoid BLP controversy here, though, because what amounts to gossip has no place here. We can link to Wikipedia, which has process and resources for sorting that all out.
If you look at the Wikipedia article, the kind of detail you apparently want to assert here is quite limited. It is confined to the Criticism and litigation sections, with the litigation material being on a Litigation "main article," "main" being a Wikipedia trope. It's the equivalent of a subpage here.
You may be as complete as you like here, in context. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:13, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Understood, it is not my intent to be contentious, but this top-level page is turning into one big advertisement for a for-profit company, essentially written by a volunteer for the company who is admittedly biased, and I didn't think that's what Wikiversity is for! -- Cirt (talk) 15:52, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Wikiversity allows experts in a field to express opinions, if they are attributed. I have not "admitted bias," but I do admit a potential conflict of interest, hence my full disclosure. There is no intention for the top-level page to be an "advertisement." Does it contain any solicitation for anything other than study of the topic?
I have shown, in the recent edits, how to frame controversial content so that it is overall neutral in presentation. If you believe, Cirt, that there is something out of balance about the top-level page, you are welcome to fix it; similarly, but what you have been doing is adding highly controversial and sometimes offensive content, clearly POV-critical, to the top level page, where this content and the associated characterizations would not be allowed on Wikipedia, for example, because of obvious POV-pushing. You may add critical comment, but adding it on the top level as you did, many times, is, indeed, contentious.
In addition, Cirt, you solicited me to sue Landmark for alleged back wages, attempting to give me highly misleading advice.[3] You have not disclosed any bias, but you are obviously displaying one, with energy. How about disclosing your own position? --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:47, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Let me be clear, I did nothing of the sort, I did not ask anyone to sue anyone else, far from it — I merely stated that the United States Department of Labor could help you to get back-wages - and in a prior case study from California, they successfully did so without any lawsuit whatsoever. Please do not misrepresent my words in the future. -- Cirt (talk) 18:52, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Scientology[edit]

Certainly Scientology is relevant, having helped form the basis for Erhard Seminars Training EST which later evolved into "The Forum" which was used to start Landmark Forum. It's at the very least noteworthy enough if not to mention - then to suggest to readers as a See also for those interested in further reading on a similar organization. -- Cirt (talk) 02:32, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

You have apparently concluded that Landmark is "similar," Cirt. What's the basis for that?
Yes, the Scientologists claimed that Erhard stole their technology, but I've known about Scientology for about fifty years (my stepmother's father was a Scientologist), I have one close friend who was highly involved for a couple of years, I've read extensively about Scientology, I know a famous critic of Scientology personally and well. There is very, very little resemblance in these organizations. They are both called "cults" by some, and that's about it. So would we have a link to every alleged cult on the planet here? The basic material on which Erhard based his training is rather obviously Buddhist, if I had to name a preceding technology.
Erhard also was, himself, trained in a prior group, and I assisted at an Advanced Course led by the woman who was his coach (at least that's what I heard). That's a woman who sued Erhard when he sold the technology to Landmark, she won a judgment, and, for a time, was a Lifespring trainer. She's a Forum Leader again for Landmark, but mostly works with children. I consider myself lucky to have met her, she's amazing, a powerhouse in her seventies, tough, clear, and kind.
No, these were not Scientologists. That's a myth. If we want to create a subpage on comparison with Scientology, that's possible. But just implying that they are connected is misleading. Someone reading the current Scientology resource here is not going to learn anything about Landmark. --Abd (discusscontribs) 03:07, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Scientology uses unpaid laborers as well. If you cannot afford the money to pay for the coursework, you can join the Sea Org and volunteer for the organization, and then take their coursework in that manner. So yes, similar use of labor force in that manner. -- Cirt (talk) 08:53, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes. So should we link to every organization that uses unpaid labor? Every church, for example? Every hospital that has volunteers staffing information tables that direct people entering to where they would want to go? Or visiting and comforting patients? Landmark does *not* use volunteers for critical functions, that's what staff is for. (And this could be discussed on subpages. France disagreed with this position, but "critical" is a judgment. In Landmark Centers, critical phone operations are handled by staff, only optional communications are delegated to volunteers. The equivalent of volunteer coordinators in nonprofits -- often a paid position in my experience -- are staff, especially the Registration Manager.)
Landmark is unusual in one way: most organizations that depend heavily on volunteer labor are organized as nonprofits. The Church of Scientology is so organized, but not Landmark. Landmark has faced unpaid labor issues only because of this. The distinction is often meaningless, because officers of nonprofit organizations can take effectively unlimited salaries, all they need to do is to have effective control over the board of trustees. There is a restraint on that in Landmark, the ESOP ownership, where the employees, who are generally underpaid compared to what they could make outside of landmark, would take offense at unreasonably high salaries; Landmark's official material claims that executives are paid at the median level for the training industry, which is reasonable. Those are career positions, generally. Center staff is relatively transient, with high turnover as people move on -- with people cheering them!
So the resemblance between Scientology and Landmark is superficial, and the facts indicate a difference, not a resemblance. And none of this has to do with the training itself. If we have a resource on Wikiversity on Scientology, it would not link to Landmark, unless it gets into detail of Scientology's covert and overt controversies, for Scientology funded attacks on Landmark. If the resource were on Scientology theory and practice, as to the training and education they offer, it would be irrelevant to that and would definitely not be on the top level, nor do the Scientology pages here asserted the resemblance. So why here? On a subpage, that's fine if you want to study it. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:37, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Landmark does indeed use volunteers for critical functions, per the Texas investigation by the United States Department of Labor. But I may indeed take you up on that offer to study this in a case study on a subpage, that's a great idea! :) -- Cirt (talk) 15:51, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Great!
As to the repeated alleged fact, a primary source, a judgement by a bureaucrat, becomes an authority? If the Department of Labor accepted that judgement, if it was legally binding, how is it that Landmark was allowed to continue? Landmark accepted the overtime claims, and paid. It openly and directly rejected the volunteer claim, but, here, you are insisting that the determination was definitive and, effectively, true. I read that judgment before commenting on it elsewhere in this discussion, Cirt, so your repeating of it added nothing. Anything actually substantive? Any balance? And what does this have to do with the link to Scientology? Landmark and the Church of Scientalogy both use volunteers, and so does every church and millions of human activities. So? --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:55, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Scientology uses volunteers and it claims to be a religion and is regarded as one by the U.S. government. Landmark uses volunteers and is classed as a for-profit company. Perhaps if Landmark chose to class itself as a religion, the U.S. government would be okay with it using volunteers in the same way Scientology does. -- Cirt (talk) 18:57, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Landmark Education litigation[edit]

Started a sect on Landmark Education litigation.

There is a significant history here, so there's a bit more to add, probably should touch on a few of the most recent and noteworthy cases. -- Cirt (talk) 09:03, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

It's a separate article on Wikipedia and has nothing to do with the training itself. I will create a subpage and link it from the Criticism subpage, which is where it would have some relevance. Please read the lede to the resource, the resource is not about the company, company history, it is about the training. There is relevance to criticism of Landmark, and people interested in the training may wish to study material about criticism and controversy, which is why it's okay on or linked from the Criticism subpage. As someone who has taken the training, assisted with the training, and who has been trained to lead certain trainings, I'll assert that the information about the corporation is irrelevant. If the training works, great. If it doesn't, it wouldn't matter if there had been no controversy at all, it would simply be an uncontroversial, bland and useless failure. What does Landmark actually do in the trainings? And there is a ton of material to study on that. That material is partly critical, but because it is about the training itself, it's relevant, but because of the sheer volume of that material (I've added little of what could be added), it is or will also be subpaged, so that the top level will be mostly a link to subpages with a little connecting text. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:47, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, we can agree on having the top-level page for organization to relevant subpages, that makes sense. :) -- Cirt (talk) 15:46, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, Cirt. Material on the top-level page should reflect the highest level of consensus, it's the same with a lede on Wikipedia. Wikiversity allows non-neutral subpages, as long as bias is disclosed or noted, and the overall presentation (which begins at the top page) is neutral. That allows us to permit original research, open discussion, and many things not possible on Wikipedia. It also allows us to avoid endless revert wars, and fosters cooperation. If you want to assert, say, a highly critical POV, that's fine in context, and it can stimulate learning. In my main interest here, Cold fusion, I have seen highly contentious discussion on subpages turn into real questions for real scientists, that led to some new research, that led to answers. I happen to think that is way cool. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:00, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Agree with the structural framework you are suggesting, but I think all discussion by signed-user-comments should take places on talk pages and not main readable pages which should be descriptions of sourced material, whether on subpage or other pages. -- Cirt (talk) 19:02, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Academic analysis by psychology scholars[edit]

Added sect, Academic analysis by psychology scholars.

Psychologists Jeffrey D. Fisher, Roxane Cohen Silver, Jack M. Chinsky, Barry Goff, and Yechiel Klar studied The Forum; and they published their results in the book, Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training.

The research reported in Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training garnered the American Psychological Association's "National Psychological Consultants to Management Award", in 1989.

Cheers, -- Cirt (talk) 16:04, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Those are about the training. There may need to be some balance, those are very old studies and were not studies of the Landmark Forum, but of the preceding EST or EST Forum. Many aspects of the training have shifted. This should also be a subpage, given the level of detail that will be involved. (There are many other evaluations by psychologists. The award won by the article is irrelevant, by the way, unless someone were to challenge its notability, which we don't generally do here.)
I will change the title of the section to "Academic analysis," "by scholars" is redundant. Landmark has been "analyzed" by scholars of many kinds, including experts on cults, etc. Thanks for working on this resource. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:22, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
The study was not of EST. It was of The Forum. -- Cirt (talk) 18:37, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
And the Forum was run by Erhard Seminars Training, or EST. It was still Erhard's program. Landmark did not begin until 1991, and, yes, it incorporated the EST technology, but grew and developed from there. And this material certainly was not removed, it's been placed where it can be studied in detail. Remember a critical difference here with what happens on Wikipedia: I have substantial experience on this topic and I can report that here, we are not limited to what is in "reliable source," just as professors and students in university courses can do original research and present it. So we don't have the anti-expert bias that shows up famously in Wikipedia articles, where an expert in a field, who actually knows the field and the *balance of sources,* is opposed because he or she has not satisfied often-ignorant editors who don't know how to read the sources and who jump to conclusions.
Wikipedia has that problem because of its design as "the encyclopedia anyone can edit," it avoided assigning any special credence to experts. We don't assign that special credence either, but we do encourage experts to contribute here. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:09, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Wrong, "The Forum" was not run by EST, it was run by Werner Erhard and Associates, which was sold to its employees to start "Landmark Forum". So in essence "The Forum" became "Landmark Forum". At least the initial basis for it. -- Cirt (talk) 19:12, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Actually, you are right, I was being sloppy. But this has what significance? The study was of a program that existed almost thirty years ago, and used certain methodology that doesn't reflect the context of the Forum within the complete training. The Forum was -- and is -- an entry point. I call it Kindergarten. Certain critical distinctions are experienced there, but if they are not practiced and supported and encouraged by continued social contact, if the graduate is surrounded by people who have no clue about the experience, it will fade and become what was similarly called in Zen, "pleasant memories." I am not rejecting the conclusions of that report, I would need to study it in detail, which I have not recently done.
Landmark today officially denies being an LGAT. I've often pointed out that this is ridiculous, after all, as the Forum anyway, it is Large, Group, Awareness Training, but I know why they reject it. It is because the way in which the term LGAT came to be used, to imply that results were simply mass hypnosis. Landmark does use group interaction as a technique, though this really takes off in the Advanced Course, not the Forum. In the Forum, while there are group effects, which could be described, people are still individuals, almost purely. I've seen what walks in the door on Friday morning at the Advanced Course, a series of individuals, each in their own world. It's obvious once one has eyes to see. They walk out as a community, Sunday evening, self-aware, awake to each other, and, as we say in the SELP, ready to rock. It isn't something that has been added to them, something has disappeared, the separation. In the SELP, which comes next, there is the first encounter with personal coaching and objectively measurable results, aside from the single and simple focus in the Advanced Course, about which I won't write. I don't want to spoil it for people. From the SELP, if this be hypnosis, it works. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:39, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Steve Zaffron, a very high-level Landmark Forum Leader, has co-authored a paper that acknowledges Landmark is an LGAT with no disputing this in the paper. "Dennison’s dissertation,7 which categorizes the Landmark Forum as a 'large group awareness training' is a qualitative study based on interviews with Forum graduates. He also reports predominantly positive outcomes and in addition, briefly summarizes philosophical components of the Forum. The extensive research literature on 'large group awareness training' published in the 1970s and 80s (summarized in Finkelstein, Wenegrat, and Yalom8) is framed in psychological more than philosophical terms, albeit there is some reference to the training as existential psychotherapy." — "The Promise of Philosophy and the Landmark Forum", Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. XXIII, No. 1 & 2, Jan/Feb & Mar/Apr 2001 Barbados Group Working Paper No. 01-01. So there is definitely some backpedaling by Landmark going on here with regards to acceptance and then attempting to reject this term usage. -- Cirt (talk) 19:46, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Cirt, you are confusing what I called an "official" opinion, coming from materials directly prepared by the corporate office, with the individual opinion of a Forum Leader, as if every word that comes from Zaffon's mouth is corporate gospel. What I mentioned I'd challenged is also challenged by others, and it looks like Zaffron might be among them. Basically, Landmark has no dogma. The corporation takes positions, but people can disagree with them. It's a human organization, and all kinds of human organization stuff takes place, people being people, and the training doesn't create instant perfection, or even ultimate perfection, though results are not specifically limited.
You are essentially agreeing with me, AFAIK. There are grounds to call the Forum an LGAT, but you don't seem to recognize the other side. That's not surprising, Cirt. You apparently aren't a graduate. The Forum training, one of the emphasized and crucial distinctions, points to the difference between "what happened" and "what we made it mean." I.e., how we interpret what happened. People caught in "meaning" want to know "the truth." I.e., is it an LGAT or is not not an LGAT? And then evidence is interpreted to support one answer or another. Really, though, the Forum is the Forum, it does what it does, and it doesn't do what it doesn't do. Ultimately, one has to be there to truly get it. But we can talk about what happens and what doesn't happen. People talk about their lives, openly and apparently honestly. That happens. People are not prevented from going to the bathroom. That doesn't happen. The sessions are about 2.5 hours between breaks. That happens. The rooms are not normally "windowless," that doesn't happen. In Boston, that is. In New York, the Center is in a very large basement with many rooms, well-lit. (The New York Center was in the World Trade Center and came down on 9/11.) I never felt confined there, and I was there for four weekends. The image of an oppressive space has been conveyed in some critiques of Landmark as if sensory deprivation was part of the format. That doesn't happen. (In Boston, the current Center is on the second floor of a bank building and the windows are large and there is lots of natural light during the day.) --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:48, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
It is likely that there is at least one dogma, which would be not to question the company itself, for fear of removal from participation and/or litigation, as documented in the Introduction to the Landmark Education litigation archive. -- Cirt (talk) 21:31, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
  • That's not "dogma," Cirt, that is a human retaliatory behavior that you expect and consider likely. A dogma will be openly taught by a religious organization, they are generally unashamed of it. (There can be exceptions, but they absolutely don't apply to Landmark. There is no "secret teaching" in Landmark, no Xenu or Mother ship.)
  • If people are carrying a fear like you imagine, that's one of the disempowering, fear-based stories that would be addressed in the training. What you imagine simply doesn't happen with any noticeable frequency. There have been millions of people involved with EST/Landmark, and with a population like that, stuff happens, but I've seen nothing like it, and I would see and notice it. I'm not afraid of corporate, at all. If I want to question something, I'll call them up, but so far, it has not been necessary, because every issue I've had was satisfied locally. I would not allow myself to live in fear. As we are trained, I'd rather find out! We are trained that if we have a dispute, to first resolve it, if possible, with the person with whom we have the dispute. It's kind of like Wikipedia is supposed to be.... I confronted a Program Leader on my experience of "pressure" at a registration event. He immediately apologized, no hesitation. I've seen an SELP leader start to criticize a coach for her attitude about "invitations to introductions," and the coach said to her, "I feel you are making me wong," The SELP leader immediately said, "You're right, I apologize, I was afraid that you'd screw up my participants." And then they worked it out and ended up with total agreement. Basically, Cirt, the culture in Landmark is radically different from what you expect from what you have read. --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:31, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Fascinating how all concerns about the training can apparently be addressed by the training, if you only do the training, ROFLMAO. But yes, the phenomenon I described above about restrictions on the freedom of full self expression is a real phenomenon — it's called the chilling effect. -- Cirt (talk) 00:22, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Someone who has never been there imagines he understands the social environment. Not surprising, Cirt, it's very Wikipedian of you.I did not deny the existence of a chilling effect under some circumstances, but it's preposterous in the environment that I know. People stand up in Landmark sessions and proclaim what BS it all is, and nobody throws them out. --Abd (discusscontribs) 04:17, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
The chilling effect I was referring to is subsequent to the history of Landmark Education litigation, not necessarily what one feels inside the company itself. -- Cirt (talk) 04:33, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
That makes no sense in this section, Cirt. You raised an alleged chilling effect as a "dogma," which directly was nonsense, it would not be a dogma, it would be a condition, and it doesn't exist in the organization. Participants, quite simply, are not afraid of being sued by Landmark. Participants can tell their stories on-line, and can be and have been critical, with no consequences. To speak of an organization has having some "dogma" because outsiders are afraid of being sued if they call the organization a cult is insane. It's becoming obvious how you are arguing, what you are pushing, Cirt. Again, you can push a POV here, as you are doing, but don't pretend it has anything to do with being neutral. What I don't know is your reason for pushing the POV, you have not disclosed it. --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:26, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
You are using your already always listening voice to interpret a POV into things I have said that is not there. Please don't push your POV into what you may or may not think my POV is or is not. You have wrongly interpreted my POV. -- Cirt (talk) 15:30, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Is Landmark Education a "new religious movement"?[edit]

I removed the Category:New religious movements from the resource, because Landmark doesn't meet any reasonable definition of a "religion." It is not so categorized on Wikipedia, unlike Scientology, which has an established Church of Scientology. While there are some characteristics of a religion that could be asserted about Landmark, it fails most tests of that categorization; this is asserted by critics of Landmark and is an extension of the "cult" claim. --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:35, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Actually the above assertions are wrong, this is not an extension of any sort of "cult" claim, but rather a classification used by multiple scholars of sociology of religion about the company and associated movement. -- Cirt (talk) 18:39, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
The issue is far more complex than that. Yes, there are two streams of thinking. There are religious people who say that Landmark is like what their religion teaches. And there are anti-religious people who also call Landmark a "cult." Cirt, I suggest a little humility here. I'm familiar with the criticisms of Landmark and often advocated for certain critical positions within Landmark, as have many others. If you want to create a subpage on Landmark as religion, that would be fine. You could list those scholars and what they say, and it would be up to me or someone else, if we care to and if there are sources, to balance it -- from source or personal experience or opinion. But, Cirt, realize that I could write an article on Landmark as a religion and could show evidence for both points of view. (The same with "cult," by the way.) The problem is that simply categorizing it as a religion entirely misses the distinction between Landmark and religion and assumes an answer. If you look at the other pages so categorized, those movements accept themselves as religions, Landmark doesn't. That's a clear distinction. --Abd (discusscontribs) 19:19, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Very well, a good compromise solution here would be for me to create such a subpage. I'll work to compile some research together, first. But I must add that though Landmark doesn't think of itself as religion, it is widely accepted as a "New religious movement", or also referred to as a "Self religion", by multiple scholars within the field of study of sociology of religion. -- Cirt (talk) 19:28, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Of course, as to creating a subpage if you want to study this issue. However, Cirt, you have not disclosed your interest here. From your history, you have been a strong opponent of Scientology, hence your attempts to connect landmark with Scientology might imply something about your position on Landmark, as have many of your contributions here. However, this is a *learning resource*. Are you here to learn, to teach, or what? If to teach, what are your qualifications, if any? We do learn by doing here, so the research you do could be a way to learn, but if research is only being done to prove some point or position, well, results are likely to be warped by preconceptions. I don't mind, because it's all grist for the mill, but you'll be wasting your time. Remember, my early training was in science, where this danger is emphasized and we are taught to avoid it. What's your stand here? Why are you interested in this resource? --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:54, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm here both to teach, and to learn. I done a significant amount of research on the history of the company and individuals involved. I've contributed to fourteen (14) Featured Articles on English Wikipedia, seven (7) Featured Articles on Wikinews, and one-hundred (100) Good Articles on Wikipedia, among other quality improvement contributions. -- Cirt (talk) 21:34, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Great, Cirt.
You still have not disclosed any POV. Do you think you are neutral? If so, what's your motive for doing so much work? That makes sense on Wikipedia, but not so much here. Again, your Wikipedia experience, which I knew about, doesn't necessarily prepare you for creating learning resources, the principles can be quite different. Wikipedia research is oriented toward what's in reliable source, but Wikipedia editing, then, can be highly vulnerable to data selection, and is almost intrinsically contentious. You have done some research on the people involved, but that will not tell you much about the training, and your conceptions of it could be warped by what amounts to a great deal of propaganda that doesn't match what actually happens in the courses. I have done a great deal of reading, including Rick Ross and many other sources, and then had two and a half years of intense participation. So if you want to learn, ask. I'll be straight with you.
I'm qualified to read what a journalist wrote upon doing the Forum, and notice what the journalist understood and what the journalist did not understand. And that is the kind of information transfer that can happen on Wikiversity, that can actively and properly be suppressed on Wikipedia. (But damage is done there when an topic expert is blocked for getting upset over being overruled by Randy from Boise who is clueless about the topic, doesn't understand the sources, but knows how to influence Wikipedia administrators -- or is one.)
The problem isn't with facts, usually, the problem is with how facts are framed. And that is largely what the Forum itself is about. Fact can frequently be determined by anyone who cares to do the work. Controversy arises, though, over interpretation. That's why Wikipedia relies on secondary sources, depending on the interpretation of others deemed reliable (typically publishers who will suffer damage if they publish material irresponsibly). So, Cirt, is Rick Ross reliable source? How about your interpretations of the investigators in the U.S. Department of Labor case you cited, or others? Is that reliable secondary source, such that your interpretation of it has authority? I just read the Wikileaks copy of a Texas DOL case, the report was whack-a-doodle, utterly unprofessional, completely outside the investigative purview of the DOL. No wonder it was taken down.
Thanks for the interesting educational exercise. --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:55, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
"Do you think you are neutral? If so, what's your motive for doing so much work?" - My motive is to get more information to the public about the history of the company and those involved with it. The same questions could be asked of you. -- Cirt (talk) 23:22, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
The edit summary for the above was: the same could be asked of you...). Sure, it could, though I've largely answered it. I started this resource over two years ago when I'd just done the Forum and thought it might be useful to have a guide to the special usages of words in Landmark. Then I was gone from Wikiversity for almost two years. I now am an unabashed stand for the value of Landmark Education; but at the same time, I value the concept of neutrality and, in fact, the training heavily encourages that. But I don't imagine I'm neutral, I'm simply able to cooperate toward neutrality, and that gets easier when all participants disclose their positions.
So, your motive is to "get more information" to the public? Does the quality and relevance and, yes, accuracy of the information matter? You provided me, on my Talk page, with "information" that, reviewing the sources, was highly misleading. If I believed you and did what you suggested, I'd be seriously wasting my time, there is no U.S. precedent for any award of wages for Landmark volunteers, merely some non-binding and apparently abandoned opinions issued by incompetent investigators. And I'd be wasting the time and money of Landmark, defending a claim that would be, on my part, a loss of integrity, going for a selfish result contrary to my explicit agreement. Does that bother you?
You put the same "information" in the resource, but I'll handle that with balancing information and analysis. And, yes, I'll sign my analysis, taking responsibility for my work. I know the difference between fact and opinion. --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:47, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
That is your personal opinion of the U.S. Department of Labor investigation, but not the reality of what would likely occur, as you would most likely receive the cash money. :) -- Cirt (talk) 00:23, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
I thought you said you were not a lawyer and were not giving legal advice. It sure looks to me like you are doing just that. You have just made a *legal judgment*, proclaimed as legal fact, when the circumstances show this to be extremely unlikely. And, in fact, it has nothing to do with the training itself, which is the topic of this resource, not a traffic ticket received by a Forum Leader, alleged labor law violations, or how ugly the carpet was in the old Boston Center. --Abd (discusscontribs) 04:21, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
I didn't say I was or wasn't a lawyer, just that I was giving my opinion that the U.S. Department of Labor would probably be quite helpful in helping you get cash money for your volunteer hours worked. -- Cirt (talk) 04:34, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Given the huge number of volunteers, many thousands, probably 5,000 or more per year, and even though most volunteers would be horrified at the idea of demanding payment, but given all the noise made by people attacking Landmark, surely someone would have tried it. So what happened? It's not immediately obvious, but those Landmark U.S. Department of Labor cases had no volunteer plaintiffs, these were additional claims tacked on to overtime pay claims. That Landmark failed to pay overtime in some cases is quite plausible. I've seen how the Staff work. I don't know the policy on overtime and I've never asked. It seems the underlying issue may have been the lack of time records. So some Center Manager got sloppy, perhaps. The volunteer issue is *entirely different,* the only connection is that they both involve labor. Notice that Landmark promptly handled the overtime issues and notice that no further action was recommended by the Department. I would not be surprised to find that there were other cases that simply have not come to light.
  • Landmark made it clear that they would contest payment to volunteers, and that issue is of such import for them -- if found to be liable for volunteer pay, as in France, they would be bankrupt many times over (France, see, even if the volunteers donated the pay to a nonprofit supporting the work, would have demanded employment taxes, and the same thing would happen here) -- and the Department let it lie. The Internal Revenue Service and the state tax authorities would demand something in the range of 20% of the pay, and the volunteers would have to pay taxes on it. Landmark could restructure to avoid the issue, easily. They haven't. They can afford sound legal advice, so my rebuttable conclusion is that there is no liability. They might have been able to handle the issue in France, but chose to walk away. And, then, what I wonder, is, What did the French graduates do? They could easily "keep up the conversation." Did they? I've looked, I haven't found any sign of it, but I'd be surprised to find that they did nothing. U.S. graduates have mailing lists and local meetings outside of Landmark Centers. They would probably have had local seminar leaders -- or they could arrange for seminar leader training. They could put the whole thing together on a nonprofit basis. They could hire Forum leaders. Did they? I don't know.
  • By the way, the section title here is about "new religious movement." As a 'religious movement,' there would have been no problem. The problem in France existed because Landmark, entirely unlike Scientology, is not organized as a religion, and makes no religious claims, pays taxes, etc.
  • Landmark also does not accept unallocated donations to pay for people who can't afford the Forum. In the Advanced Course, a high percentage of people sign up for the Self Expression and Leadership Program, and I've seen people try to give Landmark money so that "everyone can do it." It's refused. People can pay directly for someone else, and that happens all the time. It's not very much money, since the SELP is entirely run by volunteers except for modest center support, i.e, in providing space and registration facilities. Nobody who wants to do the SELP doesn't do it because of money. The issue is always logistics: the time involved, transportation, and the like, and sometimes personal psychological issues: it is easy to escape unnoticed in the Forum. It gets only slightly more difficult in the Advanced Course. It's impossible in the SELP, because of assigned personal coaching. Some people are not ready to transform. Or think they aren't.
  • This is the bottom line, Cirt: if payment were required for the volunteer labor, there would be one of two outcomes, or some mixture:
  1. The entire manner of delivering the education would need change, because "assisting" is heavily incorporated into the educational design. Imagine a school where advanced students tutor beginners, that's a fairly common educational concept, and it's highly effective. Indeed, it's part of the Wikiversity plan.
  2. The tuition would need to be doubled for the Forum and much more than that for the Seminars and SELP.

But Randy from Boise is outraged that an abusive cult is taking advantage of volunteers by not paying them. We invite Randy to come to an Introduction, get a possibility for his life, and make a choice. Maybe what he really wants is to spend his time volunteering long hours for an encylopedia with highly paid executives, getting paid nothing, and being spit out as soon as the "community" decides he is a problem. But, hey, he can do it from home! No actual interaction with human beings required, except through text. I wonder. Are Barnstars taxable income? --Abd (discusscontribs) 14:16, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Ha! The problem is always them, but not us. Cute! -- Cirt (talk) 15:31, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Added warning top note[edit]

I see the top note by Abd (talk • email • contribs • stats • logs • global account) to a subpage was added back on that subpage with this explanation.

I've taken the liberty to add a top note to this page, warning potential readers of the bias and conflict of interest of a page that is quickly turning into promotion and advertisement.

There is a pattern of anything even remotely resembling criticism to be moved to one or even two or three levels deep subpages and then buried behind confusing walls of text commentary to confuse the reader from the original material.

Therefore, it seems the whole purpose of this page is promotion by someone who is still an active volunteer for the company itself, a clear conflict of interest.

Readers should be warned that this page is basically formed to be a front for whitewashing and promotion.

As long at the warning is there, I suppose the existence of the page itself is fine.

Cheers,

-- Cirt (talk) 15:37, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

A disclosure is fine, Cirt. I do not have a technical conflict of interest, by Wikipedia standards, but definitely I have a point of view and I am certainly involved with Landmark education, as disclosed in detail on the Participants subpage. The note you added was POV and not neutral. Since you did not sign it, I'll edit it. The resource was not created to "be a front for whitewashing and promotion." That is an uncivil POV, and you have not disclosed your own interest, Cirt, it's preposterous that it is merely to be "informative." I've seen arguments like yours on Wikipedia many times, where a POV editor, opposed to some organization, would resist efforts to balance attacks, calling it "whitewashing." It's characteristic of certain POV factions, and is inimical to consensus. What is offensive about the note you added was that it incorporated opinion -- your opinion -- without attributing it, i.e., in this case, signing it. When I make notes like that, I don't sign them if they are designed to be neutral, and I sign them if they are my opinion, judgment, or conclusion. You have the idea, brought from Wikipedia, that signatures should not be on a resource page, but only on Discussion pages. But on Wikiversity, discussion can be the content. --Abd (discusscontribs) 15:48, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Fine, let's have discussion be the content on subpages dedicated to comments, can we at least compromise on that? -- Cirt (talk) 15:50, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
There is a problem with this, which was shown by recent edits. If material is added that is not accepted by consensus, for it to be allowed to stand, it needs balance. That balance can be supplied through attributed opinion on Wikiversity. So either the entire mass of material is moved, with a neutral reference, or balance is placed with it, on the same page. Otherwise we'd end up revert warring over the original material, to try to make it neutral. That can be useful, if we have time. Allowing immediate comment, placed with the content, avoids conflict. Essentially, Cirt, what you did was place material designed to promote your opinion, but without attributing this or taking personal responsibility for it. On Wikipedia, we would have a glorious mess, a train wreck, and if you have two or more people with experience, it can create a massively disruptive "dispute resolution process" that leads to blocks and bans and still no real solution. Here, we can actually use disagreement to build content. You might notice that hardly anyone is banned from Wikiversity, and the only standing examples have been people who either had an external agenda, used Wikiversity as a platform to promote it, and attacked others. POV-pushing isn't an offense here. If you think about it, topic matter experts almost always have a POV. That's precisely why they so easily get into trouble on Wikipedia.
I moved the material you had added to a subpage, where it could be balanced. You still objected to comment being placed with it, apparently wanting the balancing commentary to be on a discussion page. But I see you now, above, accepting the concept, which is great.
Subpages are not the only solution. There can be Comment sections of pages. Generally, I do this on Wikiversity only on very small resources. Otherwise, the top page is reserved for material that is neutral by consensus and, here, consensus really means consensus, not just majority or preponderance of the stubborn. Any page that contains material that is not accepted by consensus may be balanced by commentary included on the same page. It's an alternative to attempting to make the material itself satisfy consensus, it's the Wikiversity "balance by addition, not by subtraction" process. It does not mean that negotiation over the material itself needs to stop, it can be a stopgap, and discussion can later be refactored in many ways, it can be collapsed, it can be moved to a discussion page when it's no longer necessary. When I've mentioned refactoring, that was not editing others comments, per se, but organizing them, which can include layering and summarizing. I would never want to misrepresent someone's comments, and the original text should always be readily available, but it may be on another page that is linked, etc. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:23, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
I just went and created subpages for all your Commentary in the manner in which you previously showed me how to create subpages for specific sections of discussion you didn't want on the Main Page, so hopefully that is now satisfactory to you! :) Cheers, -- Cirt (talk) 16:28, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Good modification to top note[edit]

Looks better, thanks. -- Cirt (talk) 15:53, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

I can see why you survived so long on Wikipedia. You remain capable of collaboration even when you strongly disagree. Congratulations. --Abd (discusscontribs) 16:04, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! -- Cirt (talk) 16:10, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Removal of valid refs[edit]

Please let's not remove references, there's just no reason for it.

Unless you're scared of viewers actually easily finding those particular references, of course, -- Cirt (talk) 16:10, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

Cirt, that reference goes. It is not necessary to establish the text, there is no controversy over the text. You are now implying that I'm scared, in some way, of that text. That betrays that you want this text to be noticed, from the top page, when this book is a straight-out attack piece. You are thus using a reference as an excuse to place a link to an attack piece. No. It goes. The reference belongs, is appropriate, on the page devoted to criticism, which is what that text is. On Wikipedia, it is not necessary to reference uncontroversial facts in a lede, and doing so is deprecated. When I've seen it, it is almost always a sign of a battleground article. What is in a lede supposedly represents a high level of consensus, and reflects fact that is either uncontroversial or that is clearly established, with references (on Wikipedia), in the article below. In this case, it can be on subpages, or we don't even need references, they are not required. We place them where they are useful for further reading on the point for which the reference is cited. One does not need to read that book to know the history, and the Wikipedia article is more than adequate for that basic stuff. --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:53, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Again, you're using your already always listening inner voice to make up what you think my POV is or is not, and your assertions are colored by that fear and emotion and are actually incorrect about me. -- Cirt (talk) 18:05, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Wow, where did you learn to read minds like that? I just added Pressman to a newly-created Books subpage. Somehow I managed to suppress and hide all that fear and emotion even from myself.
Something you have missed about Already Always Listening (AAL): it's frequently right. That's not the problem with it. You have not, again, disclosed the source of your stream of "contributions" here. It's obvious you have a point of view you are advancing, that became more and more obvious with each choice you made. But appearances can be deceptive, that's part of what we learn about AAL. So if I "made up" something that isn't so, you are totally welcome to correct it, but that's not likely to happen by just pointing to AAL, and claiming that my thinking is colored by "fear and emotion" that you have entirely invented, based on? --Abd (discusscontribs) 18:25, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, you did make up something that isn't so, and thank you for acknowledging that. -- Cirt (talk) 21:16, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
I didn't acknowledge that. I wrote that if I made up something that isn't so, you were welcome to correct it. The way to correct the impression that arose is to present what is actually happening, not to simply deny the impression, as you are doing. It doesn't work, and, in fact, it tends to reinforce it. That reference to Presser, and your insistence on it, speaks volumes, Cirt. You want me to read the book, from [https://en.wikiversity.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Abd&oldid=1078537#Outrageous_Betrayal your note on my Talk page. I conclude that you want readers of the resource to read the book, that this was your motive for wanting to keep the reference there, not any need to have a reference for fact, because the facts don't need any citation, they are not controversial. This is not an encyclopedia, and it is not Wikipedia. If you really think your material is neutral, go put it on Wikipedia. We link to the Wikipedia article, so it would all be incorporated by reference here, and you could even be explicit about it.
And if you want unimpeded freedom to express what you think "neutral," you can create your own resource to do it, and we will link to it where that is appropriate. WMF policy requires overall neutrality, and that's a way that we do it. We do 'not do it by engaging in endless debate over content, except as may arise voluntarily. --Abd (discusscontribs) 23:17, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
I want you to read the book because it is a good book and very informative. I want to cite the book because I have been of the practice of citing every single fact and sentence in Wikipedia articles I work on. :) It's a useful practice in working on improving articles up to Featured Article quality. -- Cirt (talk) 23:23, 27 October 2013 (UTC)
Do you add citations to every fact or sentence in an article lede?
I know many people who know Erhard. I've studied the history extensively. I consider Erhard a human being who made mistakes, but also someone who did something amazing. I also know the woman who trained him. He didn't do it alone, Cirt. So again, what "information" would I need to know, and why aren't you placing it appropriately in the resource? I would certainly read the book if I had it. Are you offering to send it to me?
"Articles" is not what we put together on Wikiversity, generally. Sometimes pages here are deleted precisely because they are articles and should be on Wikipedia. Extensive citations in a Wikiversity resource can actually damage it. In a face-to-face seminar, people speak and don't have citation bubbles coming out of their mouths. --Abd (discusscontribs) 02:35, 28 October 2013 (UTC)
On controversial topics such as this one, I do indeed cite every single sentence in the article lede on many occasion, yes. The book Outrageous Betrayal by legal journalist Steven Pressman was quite informative and helped lead several friends of mine out of the cognitive dissonance phases they were going through prior to that time. Over time I have fact-checked multiple parts of the book and found it to be quite accurate and spot on. -- Cirt (talk) 17:54, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

Removed 2nd paragraph which is POV and written in jargon gobbeldy-gook...[edit]

This resource is not intended to substitute for Landmark Education courses, which are not simply presentations of material which could be conveyed by the written word, but, Landmark claims, are based in experience, in skilled and trained presentation in interaction with the participants, in the high-bandwidth observation of others in a course as well as one's own interactions and coaching by forum, course, program or seminar leaders or others. A metaphor or example used for this in Landmark is learning to ride a bicycle. Words alone cannot convey the ability to ride a bicycle; rather it is a skill learned through practice, the skill of balance. Once learned, it is not something that is normally unlearned, the skill may last for a lifetime, even if it sits unused.


  • I've gone ahead and removed the above paragraph from the lede which was the 2nd paragraph.
  • It is POV and written in jargon gobbeldy-gook.
  • It probably makes a lot of sense to the heavy Landmark volunteer, but not to those that don't "get it".
  • That is a major problem with these courses, individuals come out with an inability to speak in anything other than the loaded language and jargon emphasized in the company.

Cheers,

-- Cirt (talk) 17:58, 28 October 2013 (UTC)

That was a disclaimer coupled with a personal observation, which obviously Cirt did not understand. What Cirt did not understand was not Landmark language, and the communication failure is one that I experienced commonly as someone with a IQ of about 160, who became specialized in certain areas, talking with people with no understanding or interest in those areas. This is all not important here, because we are forking the article so that Cirt will be free to construct whatever he thinks important on the topic. --Abd (discusscontribs) 13:38, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, it might not be Landmark language but it is use of the style of communication and jargon arising out of deep deep immersion in the Landmark company culture. -- Cirt (talk) 15:11, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Forking this resource[edit]

By agreement with Cirt, this resource is being forked into two sections. I will create one section with the existing material, later today, and link to a separate section that Cirt or anyone else can manage. I will manage the section I create. I will move all existing pages into that section, because the basic structure here was created by me. I may then edit those pages as I see fit to pursue the educational purpose of this resource, which was to explore the training offered by Landmark. That training is certainly controversial, but ... what is it? A full answer to that may not be possible outside of the experience offered, but we will see what is possible. This is, in part, an exploration into how possible conflict can be handled on Wikiversity, pursuing neutrality by addition rather than by deletion and subtraction. My hope is that what we do will enjoy total consensus,

My section will be identified by my user name as the manager of that section. I will create another section link that will be neutrally named. It will be initially empty (red link) but any existing content may be copied there with appropriate attribution (i.e,. link to history). If Cirt -- or any other responsible user wishes to manage a section, they may create their own section, to be linked here. Each of these sections will then stand as independent resources. Pages may be shared, at the discretion of a section manager, --Abd (discusscontribs) 17:16, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Erm, but what about those subpages with material I had created? -- Cirt (talk) 17:48, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
I see that I never responded to this. It may depend on the subpage. Basically, we may either share the subpages, by mutual consent, one of us may relinquish the page to the other, or we may fork them as well. That is, a subpage may be copied from one subspace into another, the source page should, for licensing and attribution, be noted in the edit summary or on the talk page. If these were complex articles, it might be complicated. It's not. --Abd (discusscontribs) 22:55, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Promotion and marketing[edit]

I removed a link to a subpage that had most recently been added. It had the title as above and the text:

Information on tactics used by Landmark for promotion and marketing.

That subpage has been moved to Landmark Education/Other/Promotion and marketing, where it may be edited by anyone with only ordinary management. The superpage Landmark Education/Other, when created, would be an unmanaged resource and may link to the moved page.

The page was removed here because the organization and placement is not consistent with a resource on the training itself, but is an aspect of Landmark criticism. The topic of how Landmark courses are publicised and marketed is of great interest (the whole process is part of the training, normally), but the content was not significant on that point. --Abd (discusscontribs) 20:25, 29 October 2013 (UTC)