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Poll

Is Mark a Cult Member?

Yes.
- 55 (45.1%)
No.
- 33 (27%)
Does the Free State Project count as a cult?
- 34 (27.9%)

Total Members Voted: 46


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Author Topic: Is Mark a Cult Member?  (Read 23480 times)

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One two three

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2006, 11:08:03 AM »

Was the show last night interesting at all, by the way?  I am not sure I want to listen to two hours (AMP) podcast of Ian yelling at Mark about how he is a cult member, and from the show notes on iTunes that seems to be all they talked about.

It was not that good.  Ian kept saying bullshit after bullshit about mark and his cult.  Since mark is not in a cult it was all kinda crazy.  Ian had a bunch of calls though, cuz I tried to get on 3 times and could not get on the show.
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aquabanianskakid

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2006, 12:08:38 PM »

The whole show is about Mark being in a cult? Ian are you sure you aren't turning into Jerry Falwell? Honestly I don't mind talking about it on here, but I don't see it being worthwhile enough to put on the show. Ok, that said, I will listen to it before I judge it.
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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2006, 12:23:01 PM »

Yep, the whole show was about it. I was surprised, reading the show notes before listening to it. But it came out well, and entertaining enough.

I don't think I've ever heard FTL stay on a single topic for all three hours. I was amazed.

There was one guy who called about instant runoff voting during the first hour. Ian was like "Oh, instant runoff voting, yeah, we know all about that. Now, back to Mark's cult..." It was completely different. Not necessarily bad, but that's something I would have expected out of "those other talk shows."
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sillyperson

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2006, 01:05:44 PM »

Ian belongs to the "save your friends from real or imagined cults" cult

RAnthony

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2006, 01:35:08 PM »

I skipped through most of the show.  It wasn't that entertaining.

FWIW, any group organized around an idea can be labeled a cult.  The Free State Project, the LP, Objectivism, Altruism, etc.  Someone quite rightly labeled this board as a cult.  Someone else used the netspeak 'emo', I just used FWIW; both signs of special language developed for conversations with 'those in the know', telltale signs of 'cult like' behavior.

But are they cults? Cults are damaging to the individual, warping their individual will and stealing their wealth.  People damage their lives spending too much time on the 'net, too much time volunteering for political efforts, etc. Is it really any different? (playing the devil's advocate here...) Hasn't Lauren Canario damaged herself in participating in a cult devoted to property rights?

Having once been an Amway 'distributor', I can understand what Ian is driving at.  But I don't like the term 'cult'.  It's one of the words that gets applied simply to discredit an organization, prior to attempting to dismember it from the outside. 

Where does freedom of association fit into that sort of scenario?

-RAnthony
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One two three

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2006, 01:47:06 PM »

Ian belongs to the "save your friends from real or imagined cults" cult

I agree.
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aquabanianskakid

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2006, 02:26:05 PM »

Sorry guys, but this show was the most boring of all the shows I have listened to. It's fun to talk about Mark's cult member status on the forum, but then again that only takes minutes of my time, not two hours.
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FTL_Ian

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2006, 02:38:16 PM »

Sorry guys, but this show was the most boring of all the shows I have listened to. It's fun to talk about Mark's cult member status on the forum, but then again that only takes minutes of my time, not two hours.

Thanks for the opinion, not every show will make everyone happy.  That said, it was clearly more about Landmark and other LGAT cults (and a bit of Network Marketing) than it was about Mark.  He just happened to be the cult member in-studio.   :lol:
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Lindsey

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2006, 02:56:09 PM »

FWIW, any group organized around an idea can be labeled a cult.  The Free State Project, the LP, Objectivism, Altruism, etc.  Someone quite rightly labeled this board as a cult.  Someone else used the netspeak 'emo', I just used FWIW; both signs of special language developed for conversations with 'those in the know', telltale signs of 'cult like' behavior.

'emo' isn't really netspeak as such. It's just a reference to a sub-culture. If it was '3/\/\0' then it would be '1337 5p34k' with is the elitist vesion of netspeak... but I dirgess; Emo is a label of a genre or 'cult' (in this context) in itself, netspeak is just evidence of one.

When I was in high school, there was this skank in my Italian class that would constantly complain that "Emo" is a genre of music, and that people were incorrectly using it as a way to describe people.  Obviously her statements weren't quite as...coherent as mine, but you get the picture. 
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Rillion

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2006, 02:59:53 PM »

Okay, my impressions:

First, Johnson....you're full of it.  Coming together in a group and discussing traumatic experiences you've had with untrained individuals does not cause "permanent physiological and neurological damage."  However, it should obviously be better to go to a person who is trained in psychology if you're going to deal with issues like that.   

And I think Mark needs to grow his testicles.  Ian hardly gives him a chance to finish a sentence the entire time.  I don't know how anybody could stand sitting there dealing with that.  Supposedly he was going to talk about what had taken place in the forum the day before, but that never happened.  And any remotely positive thing he said about the group was met by Ian with "You just think that because you're brainwashed."

As I said, I think Landmark is an obvious scam.  But don't hold an entire show to ostensibly discuss the group with Mark if he isn't even  allowed to make a case.

But as for the scenario about the woman who was raped....I can see Mark's point about that.  There's the rape, and there's the bullshit story resulting from that, which can cause more pain than the actual rape itself.  People need to learn to drop that story in order to go on with their lives and remember who they are, a valuable and independent person.  However, I can imagine how yelling at somebody about that could only serve to make matters worse. 

And what is so bizarre about saying that life is empty and meaningless, and you create your own meaning?  Why should an atheist, especially, disagree with that?  It doesn't negate meaning; it's not nihilism.  It's an encouragement to take responsibility for what you make of life-- the mistakes, but also the opportunities.  I see that as a very optimistic statement to make.

However (of course), the big mistake a lot of self-help courses make (NLP comes to mind) is to over-assert peoples' power over their lives.  You can't  change everything about your life.  Part of being a mature person is recognizing your limits.  "Be all that you can be," is a much better motto than "Be whatever you want to be."  And telling people that they are completely responsible for everything that happens in their life is just a lie-- if you have the power to do anything you want, that also makes everything bad  that has happened your fault, as well.  Being an adult means accepting that things happen which are beyond your control, but you do  have a good deal of control over how you react to them. 
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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #40 on: October 26, 2006, 03:13:35 PM »

I thought the third poll option was humorous. While my gf has agreed to move with me to NH and is excited about it, she asked me to not use the FSP as one of the reasons we're moving there if her parents ever ask us "Why NH?", which they absolutely will. I asked "Why?" as I'm not ashamed of striving for more freedom and she said "because to them, it will sound like a cult." I reluctantly agreed (for now), as I know how extremely closed-minded her parents can be about pretty much everyhing ever. Though her dad smokes quite a lot of pot and I think if I'm around and he's getting high, I'm gonna try and use that as a segue to discuss "personal freedoms".

For now, I'll continue reading my cult literature (currently Stossel's "Myths, Lies..."), listening to my cult radio programs (with an intense-sounding host who can get a little radical and defensive sometimes, but we all love it), going to cult meetings (Porc Fest, Liberty Forum, get togethers), donning my cult garb and prouldly flying my cult flag.
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earthhaven

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #41 on: October 26, 2006, 04:45:56 PM »

If Mark is in a cult it seems he's happy with it so why does it matter? Cults aren't all bad. I'm in a fraternity which has many cult aspects in it and I couldn't be happier.
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Polyanarch

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #42 on: October 26, 2006, 05:37:05 PM »

The show was insightful enough to get ME to sign up for the "Forum" here -LOL  It made me want to speak my mind although I forgot what I wanted to say now.

I've been listening to the podcast now for the past few days as I just downloaded "Juice" because I am always missing PRI's This American Life on public radio.

Maybe Public radio is a cult.  GIVE US MONEY!!!!!

Free Talk Radio is a Cult, so is the FSP and the NH underground.  If people believe in something enough -even against the current of popular public opinion they are in danger of being labeled a cult.  But smashing the prevailing paradigm isn't always a bad thing.  Sometimes being an Iconoclast is positive.

Me?  I'm a cult of one...
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Locke

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #43 on: October 26, 2006, 05:43:32 PM »

I think Mark is a cult member. During the show Mark repeatedly insisted that cults tended to be more religious and Landmark is more philosophical. According to many definitions of the term religion, however, Landmark Forum could be thought of as a religion. I know many think of religions in terms of belief in the supernatural, but that is not always a necessary condition. For instance it is possible to be an atheist buddhist.

The philosopher Bertrand Russel distinguished between three different types of knowing: scientific, philosophical, and religious. Scientific knowledge is about things that can be empirically known and measured and this knowledge is acquired through logical analysis and experimentation. Science, however, can not answer non experimental questions such as: what is the nature of reality, what is the meaning of life and How should I live my life?

Religions tries to answer these questions as does philosophy. The difference is in how the two disciplines try to answer these questions. Religion, unlike science does not involve rigorous logical analysis. It attempts to answer these questions through dogma, established doctrines that you must believe. It typically tries to convince members through emotion rather than reason.  Philosophy, according to Russell, is somewhere between these two. It attempts to answer the questions that are not empirically know, but it does through rigorous logic and debate rather than prescribing a set of beliefs that must be believed.

Now, I have never been to a Landmark class and had never heard of it before the show, but the feeling I got from listening yesterday was that these classes did not present these ideas in a philosophical manner, but in a religious manner, insisting that these ideas are  true and must be believed. It sounds like they have mostly just taken ideas from certain existentialist philosophers such as Sartre, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Heidegger and these are certainly very powerful and moving ideas. However, these ideas should be presented in a critical manner as is done in all philosophy classes.

I would suggest to mark and any others that that have gone to these Landmark forums to maybe look into signing up for philosophy courses, especially in existentialism, at a nearby college campus or perhaps  more cheaply purchase or download some of the philosophy courses from the teaching company(www.teach12.com) so that they are presented with these ideas in a more critical manner.
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rmjarvis

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Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
« Reply #44 on: October 26, 2006, 05:49:03 PM »

Was the show last night interesting at all, by the way?  I am not sure I want to listen to two hours (AMP) podcast of Ian yelling at Mark about how he is a cult member, and from the show notes on iTunes that seems to be all they talked about.

It was absolutely the worst show in the 5 months I've been listening.

While, I probably don't really agree with the life philosophy that Lanmark teaches, it doesn't strike me as completely crazy either.  As other people pointed out, it's just a form of nihilism repackaged.  But any time Mark tried to explain a concept, Ian was completely closed-minded to it, throwing out words like psycho-babble and such.  

Ian was acting exactly how statists usually act when libertarians try to teach them that the state is evil.  Does that make us libertarians cultish?  Maybe so by Ian's highly contrived definition of a cult, but not by any definition that regular people actually have of what a cult is.  Other examples of cults-by-Ian's-definition: FSP (as pointed out by the poll), Liberty Dollar, the Libertarian Party, FTL listeners, etc.  In all of them, the members try to recruit more members, because they believe in the organization, and often even volunteer their time and money for the cause.  Hmmm....

In any case, the only reasonable discussion about this topic would have involved questions about whether the Lankmark philosophy is really helpful to people, or if it is more often hurtful.  I suspect there is a wide variety of reactions, which is why Mark seems to have benefited and other people have not.  Pretty typical of self-help, really.  But this kind of discussion never really happened in the entire three hour show.

Peace,
Jarvis
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