The Free Talk Live BBS

Free Talk Live => The Polling Pit => Topic started by: Johnson on October 25, 2006, 07:22:00 PM

Title: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Johnson on October 25, 2006, 07:22:00 PM
Is Mark a Cult Member? Vote now.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Trademark on October 25, 2006, 07:42:09 PM
Lets go over the definitions of the word cult.

-adherents of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices
-fad: an interest followed with exaggerated zeal; "he always follows the latest fads"; "it was all the rage that season"
-a system of religious beliefs and rituals; "devoted to the cultus of the Blessed Virgin"

In religion and sociology, a cult is a group of people (often a new religious movement) devoted to beliefs and goals which may be contradictory to those held by the majority of society. Its marginal status may come about either due to its novel belief system or due to idiosyncratic practices that cause the surrounding culture to regard it as far outside the mainstream.

In traditional usage, the cult of a religion, quite apart from its sacred writings ("scriptures"), its theology or myths, or the personal faith of its believers, is the totality of external religious practice and observance, the neglect of which is the definition of impiety. Cult is literally the "care" owed to the god and the shrine. ...

A religious group that follows a particular theological system. In the context of Christianity, and in particular, CARM, it is a group that uses the Bible but distorts the doctrines that affect salvation sufficiently to cause salvation to be unattainable. A few examples of cults are Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, Christadelphians, Unity, Religious Science, The Way International, and the Moonies. (See also Cults)

(cult) (kult) a system of treating disease based on some special and unscientific theory of disease causation.

Veneration ( or honoring ) of a saint expressed in public acts, local or universal, and formally approved by the Pope.

A religious group which denies the essential doctrines of Christianity. The term is usually reserved for groups founded after 1750.

***A following of people.***** <-----  :lol:

(noun) often attributive [French & Latin; French culte, from Latin cultus care, adoration, from colere to cultivate -- more at WHEEL]; First appeared 1617 1 : formal religious veneration : WORSHIP 2 : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents 3 : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents 4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health ~s> 5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object ..

as seen here... http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&defl=en&q=define:cult&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title



We all fall under one of these categories. :P

Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Johnson on October 25, 2006, 07:46:33 PM
Quote
(cult) (kult) a system of treating disease based on some special and unscientific theory of disease causation.
I agree.  :D
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: aquabanianskakid on October 25, 2006, 07:50:51 PM
Haha I wouldn't call it a cult. However I would call it a money making scheme, with the goal of obtaining knowlege that can easily be obtained elswhere for free. Besides, why pay people to tell you how to live your own life. But, it is his money.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: BugEyedBeast on October 25, 2006, 08:33:32 PM
Hell, this BBS is a cult.   

So Landmark is a cult...or it isn't a cult, who cares?  After 90 minutes of this the central question of whether the program does any good hasn't been touched.  So far it's just been cult cult cult cult and Ian knocking a biz for incentive practices he'd applaud if other businesses did them.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: FTL_Ian on October 25, 2006, 08:47:06 PM
Brainwashing clients into working phone banks for free?  I don't think I'd ever praise that.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: aquabanianskakid on October 25, 2006, 08:56:03 PM
Whoa?! They convince people to work their phone lines for free, so that they can make more money? Ok that's a little cultish I must admit. I think you need to have an intervention with all of Marks friends. Maybe a hug will do the trick?  :P
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Minsk on October 25, 2006, 09:05:30 PM
Brainwashing clients into working phone banks for free?  I don't think I'd ever praise that.

Hey, they could be brainwashing clients into blowing themselves up. Or practicing unsafe sex, or refusing medical treatment, or passing restrictive laws...

Telemarketing is one of the lesser sins in this world.

(And yes, starting on children with the support of the parents makes all sorts of extreme things possible)
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: BugEyedBeast on October 25, 2006, 09:17:43 PM
How about : Encouraging people to work phone banks for a program they believe in without monetary compensation.

Same thing, different way of saying it.

How's that any different than political activism or fundraising for a group you support?  Is it the profit motivation? 


Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: aquabanianskakid on October 25, 2006, 09:20:03 PM
Funny you mentioned it I was just considering that angle. There is still a difference between doing something for profit and non-profit. I honestly don't know enough about this group to make a decision about their ethics or goals... however I'm not about to pay the money to find out.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Slim on October 25, 2006, 09:50:31 PM
Mark is a cult member but we still love him  :lol:
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Josh on October 25, 2006, 09:56:28 PM
This stuff is ridiculous. Marks statement that life is meaningless shows the mindset that makes people vulnerable to this type of brainwashing.
 
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Soundwave on October 25, 2006, 09:57:16 PM
The news investigation is rather disturbing.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: aquabanianskakid on October 25, 2006, 10:02:21 PM
Got a link for that? Research is always fun...
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Soundwave on October 25, 2006, 10:07:39 PM
I'm sure Ian will post it with the show prep.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: aquabanianskakid on October 25, 2006, 10:24:26 PM
Sweet... You know I've been listening to the show for about four months now and I just joined the forum. I wish I had done it sooner, I don't know any other show that allows you to interact with listeners and the hosts so easily.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: SamInTx on October 25, 2006, 10:49:36 PM
This stuff is ridiculous. Marks statement that life is meaningless shows the mindset that makes people vulnerable to this type of brainwashing.
 

I don't think Mark meant that life is meaningless. I think Mark was trying to say this:

Life is what ever people make it to be. People who believe life is meaningless will look for evidence that life is that way, and guess what, they will find it! It will be exactly what they believe it to be. Other people will find lots of meaning in life and lead full rich lives. Now it's the same world, so what is dfferent? Perhaps it's peoples' perspective?

What Mark I thnk Mark said (podcast not out yet to verify) is, that life has no meaning. By that, he's saying, meaning doesn't exist, each of us defines meaning for ourselves. Each of us decides what's important, what we like don't like and it's all based on our values, beliefs, and judgements.  That's why we are all different and unique individuals.



Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Johnson on October 25, 2006, 11:07:11 PM
interesting that you defend mark on that point about life being meaningless when in the same show he was quoting neitzche
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: aquabanianskakid on October 25, 2006, 11:14:34 PM
Either way... what you are saying tends to hold some water. What is important to me now may not be important to you. Just the same, what is important to me now may not be important to me tomorrow. The things that we feel are important give meaning and direction to our lives. So as a collective man has no purpose, but as an individual a simple opinion can be enough to give us drive in our daily lives. Isn't the belief that life has no meaning a drive of it's own, giving purpose to those that claim to have none?
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: SamInTx on October 25, 2006, 11:17:54 PM
Johnson,

That's exactly my point. The fact that the quote came from Neitzche gives it a whole new meaning for you, based on the values and beliefs that you accept due to your experience of life.

To other people, the fact that the words were said by Neitzche (amoung others) may hold no meaning. They may simply look at the words, and decide what it means to them without involving judgements (again based on values and beliefs) about the first person to write it in a book.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Johnson on October 25, 2006, 11:24:04 PM
well, it's really just that Neitzche was a huge proponent of that whole "life is meaningless" - everything is teh suxxor - mentality.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: SamInTx on October 25, 2006, 11:31:44 PM
Isn't the belief that life has no meaning a drive of it's own, giving purpose to those that claim to have none?

Aquabanianskakid,

That's one way to look at it. The belief I choose to hold true for my life is this:

The meaning of life is what ever I make it up to be!

There's real power in truly understanding that. Each one of us wakes up every day with a blank page. We can create anything we want with the time we have. Some people choose to follow the same old routine every day without doing things very differently. Others want life to be different that it currently is, so they go out and try different things every day, continually striving to improve.

Some people hold a really really big purpose in life like racial equality for South Africa as Nelson Mandella did. Others choose to hold a simpler purpose in life. Now one is not better than the other, good, bad, right, or wrong. They are simply different, and each contributes to the world in one way or another. Yet again, it's the same world, what's different is our perspective, and how we choose to see the world.


Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Taors on October 25, 2006, 11:59:24 PM
It kind of reminds me of Scientology...which most non-Scientologists view as a cult.

And Neitzche was emo.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: dominick on October 26, 2006, 03:17:25 AM
It kind of reminds me of Scientology...which most non-Scientologists view as a cult.

And Neitzche was emo.
Maybe Mark should consider Scientology.

South Park's take on it: http://www.xenutv.com/cruise/sp-closet.htm
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: dominick on October 26, 2006, 03:20:19 AM
A view from inside Landmark Education:
http://www.dailymotion.com/Gourous/landmarkforum

Warning! This video is in French. It does have subtitles.

dominick
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Rillion on October 26, 2006, 03:45:44 AM
I vote no.  To me, the essence of a cult is that it is a religious, counter-cultural movement which alienates people from non-believers, including their own family, and demands unquestioning allegience to a charismatic leader.  AA comes closer to a cult by that definition.

I suspect Landmark Forums might more properly be called a "scam."
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: One two three on October 26, 2006, 04:01:47 AM
Mark is not a cult member.  A Southern Baptist or Catholic would be much more of a cult member and I am not even sure if they count.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: dominick on October 26, 2006, 04:26:56 AM
Mark is no more a cult member than any member of Scientology, or any Amway salesperson.

BTW,

One person's cult, is another person's lifestyle.

BBTW,

Cult Psychology:

1. Make the mark feel guilty, or otherwise disturbed about an aspect of their life.

2. Ask for, and get money.

3. Alleviate the guilt through validation of some aspect of the mark's life.

4. Goto Step 1.

dominick
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Rillion on October 26, 2006, 04:44:17 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.
Title: cultish MLM
Post by: Rick_Wolff on October 26, 2006, 07:44:25 AM
Speaking of links, there's a guy who's produced an indie film satirizing the most horrific stories of business cultism (Amway, et al). Coming out soon. Looks promising.
http://www.believethemovie.com/
Samples are on YouTube.
I plug him because he's using in his marketing my true story of how I attempted to sponsor a guy in the process of mugging me.

Rick Wolff

P.S. Started listening again occasionally via SecondLife, of all things. May try the podcast again.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: One two three 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.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: aquabanianskakid 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.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: error 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."
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: sillyperson on October 26, 2006, 01:05:44 PM
Ian belongs to the "save your friends from real or imagined cults" cult
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: RAnthony 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
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: One two three on October 26, 2006, 01:47:06 PM
Ian belongs to the "save your friends from real or imagined cults" cult

I agree.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: aquabanianskakid 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.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: FTL_Ian 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:
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Lindsey 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. 
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Rillion 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. 
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Xtopher 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.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: earthhaven 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.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Polyanarch 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...
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Locke 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.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: rmjarvis 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
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: aquabanianskakid on October 26, 2006, 06:07:54 PM
I just I don't have to listen to another long spout about lanmark ever again. By saying "long" I mean anything over 30 seconds. Ians comments about it were funny at first, now they've gotten boring. If this had been my first show I probably still wouldn't be listening to the podcast. Not to mention I was considering becoming an AMPlifier, but this made me have second thoughts. I know you can't make us all happy, and I still have tons of faith in you guys, besides I have to have my fill of that wacky Paula.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Slim on October 26, 2006, 06:31:42 PM
I guess you could also call the AMP program a cult also!!!!
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: aquabanianskakid on October 26, 2006, 06:42:33 PM
True dat foo...?
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: FTL_Ian on October 26, 2006, 11:06:43 PM
Heh.. you should have heard what Mark said after the show about rape and molestation and how the Landmark "philosophy" addresses those issues.  I decided not to bring that up on-air the next day because people would be shocked at how callous he has become as a result of his brainwashing.  (And I did not want to broach the subject again, as it has been thoroughly exhausted.)

Also, I really tried to understand what Mark was saying, but most of it was gobbledygook. 

Finally, I believe that the reason why some did not like the show is that it was 3 hours of conflict between us.  Usually you only get a little here, a little there, and a lot of agreement between us.  It was a lot to take.

That said, Mark and I had fun and we enjoyed the show.  As a bonus, listeners responded on-air from both sides, so overall it was a success.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: kayec on October 26, 2006, 11:45:57 PM
Ian, are you jealous?  Really, you almost sound like you're mad because he went out and hand fun.

People everywhere do things that cost money that make them happy.  Some cost way more then $200 too.  I just took a course in hang gliding that cost almost $500, and now i need a glider $3,000.  Am i in a hang glider cult?  Should i be ashamed if i tell me friends and family about how good it was and suggest they should try it?

Give him a break, if he's not hurting anyone let him spend his money freely, however he decides to.  As a friend, just make sure his "donations" don't exceed his means, other than that smile and say "Hope your conference was fun".  Don't be his big daddy government.

Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Skooma on October 26, 2006, 11:51:54 PM
Quote
Does the Free State Project count as a cult?

That's more of a chicken/egg question.

Who was first? Libertarians or the FSP?

The FSP is like a lamp, it does not create the moths, the moths come to it.

Landmark makes the moths. It all depends on how a group does it.

Generally the FSP works on a trickle down model.

Regular people become Libertarians through many ways, this relatively small amounts of people stratify into varying degrees of Libertarian, the more hardcore ones and true believers go to the FSP.

Landmark takes people and turns them into one of them.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Skooma on October 27, 2006, 12:33:29 AM
Quote
Life is meaningless and empty

Wow, I figured that out completely on my own over the years.  :lol:
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: ce on October 27, 2006, 01:44:28 AM
I actually found this show entertaining. Ian was right about the conflict issue, with a plethora of calls as the proof. I was disturbed by the comments Mark was making and his stoic denial of the differing evidence presented.
I am always wary of groups or people who create a new vocabulary in a quasi-philosophic way. Certainly, most philosophers create new meanings to words but only after a strong argument to do so, as in Hobbes' or Hume's definition of "human nature" or Derrida's redefinition of "Narcissism". Landmark does not present any philosophical discourse into 'how' or 'why' they changed or created words, rather they expect the participants to simply submit to them. Without attaining any philosophical standard they are presenting words that have a 'blind author' and denies any counter-interpretation leaving the reader or participant with little else but their own personal knowledge or feeling. This opens a doorway to manipulating one's knowledge by giving Landmark an extreme and unfair one-way challenging of another's philosophical standing but at the same time denying any recourse. I'm sorry to say it but Mark has been duped by this group masquerading themselves as philosophers. They seem utterly uneducated as philosophers but seem very adept as tricksters. This most certainly is a cult.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on October 27, 2006, 01:48:43 AM
Is FTL a cult?
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Johnson on October 27, 2006, 02:59:35 AM
@skooma
The "is the FSP a cult" was just some humor... heh... ( :::wonders what you are like at parties::: )

As far as Landmark being a cult... It's unquestionably so.

They charge money to give psychological advice which they are not trained to give.
They use commonly known brainwashing and huxterism techniques that can be found in any common skeptic book or website.
From my experience watching the french video... I just looked this up.. and low and behold... Let's go through this list.

 THE PURPOSES AND TACTICS OF COERCIVE PERSUASION

Coercive persuasion or thought reform as it is sometimes known, is best understood as a coordinated system of graduated coercive influence and behavior control designed to deceptively and surreptitiously manipulate and influence individuals, usually in a group setting, in order for the originators of the program to profit in some way, normally financially or politically.

The essential strategy used by those operating such programs is to systematically select, sequence and coordinate numerous coercive persuasion tactics over CONTINUOUS PERIODS OF TIME. There are seven main tactic types found in various combinations in a coercive persuasion program. A coercive persuasion program can still be quite effective without the presence of ALL seven of these tactic types.

TACTIC 1. The individual is prepared for thought reform through increased suggestibility and/or "softening up," specifically through hypnotic or other suggestibility-increasing techniques such as: A. Extended audio, visual, verbal, or tactile fixation drills; B. Excessive exact repetition of routine activities; C. Decreased sleep; D. Nutritional restriction.

Does Landmark use Tactic one? Check.

TACTIC 2. Using rewards and punishments, efforts are made to establish considerable control over a person's social environment, time, and sources of social support. Social isolation is promoted. Contact with family and friends is abridged, as is contact with persons who do not share group-approved attitudes. Economic and other dependence on the group is fostered. (In the forerunner to coercive persuasion, brainwashing, this was rather easy to achieve through simple imprisonment.)

Does Landmark use Tactic two? Check.

TACTIC 3. Disconfirming information and nonsupporting opinions are prohibited in group communication. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled. An "in-group" language is usually constructed.

Does Landmark use Tactic Three? Check. This is one I'm sure Mark has to rationalize greatly.

TACTIC 4. Frequent and intense attempts are made to cause a person to re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways. Efforts are designed to destabilize and undermine the subject's basic consciousness, reality awareness, world view, emotional control, and defense mechanisms as well as getting them to reinterpret their life's history, and adopt a new version of causality.

Does Landmark use Tactic four? OH DEFINITELY Check.

TACTIC 5. Intense and frequent attempts are made to undermine a person's confidence in himself and his judgment, creating a sense of powerlessness.


Does Landmark use Tactic Five? Triple Check. It's called the Tear Down and Buildup... They tear you down and build you back up and make believe they helped.

TACTIC 6. Nonphysical punishments are used such as intense humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt, anxiety, manipulation and other techniques for creating strong aversive emotional arousals, etc.


Does Landmark use Tactic six? Check.

TACTIC 7. Certain secular psychological threats [force] are used or are present: That failure to adopt the approved attitude, belief, or consequent behavior will lead to severe punishment or dire consequence, (e.g. physical or mental illness, the reappearance of a prior physical illness, drug dependence, economic collapse, social failure, divorce, disintegration, failure to find a mate, etc.).

Does Landmark use Tactic seven? Check.

On top of all that. they use aggressive marketing and prostelyzation to increase their membership through trusted colleages and family members in order to have an automatic in with which they can use to immediately begin with the above tactics.

There's no question that Landmark is a dangerous and potentially harmful organization. My father was a Scientologist, and so I have some personal experience speaking with someone who attended a pay-for-self-help group. He spent a good deal of money before ever finding out about the whole alien-xenu thing and left with a quickness. (He's actually now a Libertarian and despises scientology as complete quackpottery)

I hope Mark can realize this same thing and how worthless Landmark is before he ends up blowing more money into this group of fraudulent theives.

Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on October 27, 2006, 03:19:21 AM
I dunno, the LP and FSP do a lot of the same stuff as Landmark Education.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: ljossberir on October 27, 2006, 03:21:09 AM
well, it's really just that Neitzche was a huge proponent of that whole "life is meaningless" - everything is teh suxxor - mentality.
In a way, but I don't think that's entirely accurate. He wasn't so much a nihilist as a doctor making a diagnosis - and that diagnosis proved quite accurate in the 20th century, which he took but a few breaths in.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Johnson on October 27, 2006, 03:27:46 AM
I dunno, the LP and FSP do a lot of the same stuff as Landmark Education.

Such as?
(You can cite the tactics I just listed in my post above if you want to make comparisons...)

Although.. I think it's all for naught considering the neither the LP nor the FSP charge any money... all the money they ever get is through voluntary donations which are not required to participate in anything they do.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on October 27, 2006, 03:29:46 AM
I dunno, the LP and FSP do a lot of the same stuff as Landmark Education.

Such as?
(You can cite the tactics I just listed in my post above if you want to make comparisons...)

Although.. I think it's all for naught considering the neither the LP nor the FSP charge any money... all the money they ever get is through voluntary donations which are not required to participate in anything they do.
Hey I'm not attacking either, you can check my myspace and see that I'm a supporter of both, but hey both want you to do all this phone back calling, donations, seminars, etc. and to spread the word to y;our friends, etc.  I just had this realization when I was listening to the episode last night.  thought it was kinda funny.  Whats this uber-secret that FTL will give away at the 10k mark?  I thought it might be something like that. heh....
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on October 27, 2006, 03:36:55 AM
sorry, i'm a little intoxicated, apologizing for the typos in above post
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: aquabanianskakid on October 27, 2006, 12:22:26 PM
You weren't the only one... looks like we were drinking at about the same time. Now my head is killing me. Apparently chugging a 6 of guinness is a bad idea.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: RAnthony on October 27, 2006, 01:17:32 PM
The "is the FSP a cult" was just some humor...

The best humor reveals truths in a different light.  The vote tally speaks volumes, IMHO.

THE PURPOSES AND TACTICS OF COERCIVE PERSUASION

Let's look at another 'cult' that is prevalent in society.  The cult of family.

TACTIC 1. The individual is prepared for thought reform through increased suggestibility and/or "softening up," specifically through hypnotic or other suggestibility-increasing techniques such as: A. Extended audio, visual, verbal, or tactile fixation drills; B. Excessive exact repetition of routine activities; C. Decreased sleep; D. Nutritional restriction.

New parents are subject to extreme sleep deprivation and nutritional restriction, and new routines are introduced and repeated frequently. Feeding times for a new baby occur every few hours for several months, interrupting all normal patterns of life previously known including sleeping and eating. Feeding, burping, diaper changing, etc. are all new routines which, while simple and easy to learn, must be repeated when the audio fixation drill (crying) occurs.

TACTIC 2. Using rewards and punishments, efforts are made to establish considerable control over a person's social environment, time, and sources of social support. Social isolation is promoted. Contact with family and friends is abridged, as is contact with persons who do not share group-approved attitudes. Economic and other dependence on the group is fostered. (In the forerunner to coercive persuasion, brainwashing, this was rather easy to achieve through simple imprisonment.)

New parents are frequently trapped in their own homes for months at a time, with only the new cult member for company. Former family members are excluded in favor of the new family member. Any former friends without children find themselves unable to connect to the new parent due to unfamiliarity with the new group attitude.

TACTIC 3. Disconfirming information and nonsupporting opinions are prohibited in group communication. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled. An "in-group" language is usually constructed.

A child so ugly you'd have to hang a steak around his neck to get the dog to play with him, will always be described as a "beautiful baby" in the presence of the new parent. Every new cult member (hereinafter referred to as 'the child') is a genius according to the parent, even if the child attempts to eat every object that he can get his hands on.

As for an in-group language, does the phrase 'baby talk' mean anything to you?

TACTIC 4. Frequent and intense attempts are made to cause a person to re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways. Efforts are designed to destabilize and undermine the subject's basic consciousness, reality awareness, world view, emotional control, and defense mechanisms as well as getting them to reinterpret their life's history, and adopt a new version of causality.

Every confrontation with the child causes the new parent to reflect on interactions with their parents, and to inevitably fail in comparison. Everything in the parents world is reoriented on the child and his safety, there is no other valid concern in existence. A parent can frequently be found hovering near windows and doors that provide a view of the child at sleep or at play, so strong is the concern for safety even in a house and yard known to be without serious threat.

This is caused by the fact that the genius child will attempt to eat anything he finds, and many things which the parent did not perceive as a threat previously, are in fact deadly when swallowed.

There is no life before children, once you have had children. Don't believe me? Try to remember a time without them.  If you don't have children, ask the parent sitting next to you to remember.

TACTIC 5. Intense and frequent attempts are made to undermine a person's confidence in himself and his judgment, creating a sense of powerlessness.

If the average parent was paid a nickel for every time they heard "but Johnny's parents let him do it", there wouldn't be a need for social security.  All grandparents would be rich people.  This is not to mention the tantrums, the wheedling and cajoling that goes on in addition to the citations of the superiority of other children's parents.

When the attempts to undermine the parents judgment meet with failure, disobedience on the subject simply underlines the powerlessness of the parent.

TACTIC 6. Nonphysical punishments are used such as intense humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt, anxiety, manipulation and other techniques for creating strong aversive emotional arousals, etc.

You have no clue what humiliation is until your child is dusting the supermarket floor with his backside in a screaming fit because you won't get him the cereal he wants.

This tactic is, in essence, the same as tactic two.  Imprisonment could be considered a holiday compared to colic and 4 am feedings.  Social isolation and status changes?  Gimme a break.

TACTIC 7. Certain secular psychological threats [force] are used or are present: That failure to adopt the approved attitude, belief, or consequent behavior will lead to severe punishment or dire consequence, (e.g. physical or mental illness, the reappearance of a prior physical illness, drug dependence, economic collapse, social failure, divorce, disintegration, failure to find a mate, etc.).

Fail to do your part with the child, and the other parent will make you wish you had a drug dependency to fall back on as a crutch.  All of the listed consequences can and will be used as threats by either parent to ensure the continued support of the child.

Additionally, the cult is perpetuated by the parent insisting on the need for grandchildren, which must be provided by the child as soon as it is of age to have children of it's own. All of the above tactics will be applied to the child in turn in order to ensure that the cult of family continues into the next generation...

-RAnthony
http://ranthonysteele.blogspot.com/2006/10/is-it-cult-or-just-average-family.html
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: lfugal on October 27, 2006, 01:27:00 PM
I am a former Amway “distributor” and I have "friends and family" who are involved with an organization similar to Landmark.  I can empathize with Ian.  I despise groups like Landmark.

That having been said, three hours of Ian ranting against Mark for being in a cult made for the worst FTL program I’ve ever heard!  The Reverend Ian was pounding his pulpit so hard I expected to hear a call to march on Washington to get the government to pass a law against Landmark!

Honestly, Ian’s anti-cult crusade doesn’t sound very libertarian.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: AlexLibman on October 27, 2006, 02:49:16 PM
I was interested in them Raëlians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ra%C3%ABlian_Church) for a while, even though I knew they were a UFO cult and that their leaders were lying about everything, including that they could clone their way out of a paper bag.  I found watching them make up their dogma as they went along very amusing, and I came to like parts of their message, especially how science can solve all mankind's problems.  To a lesser extent, I also showed interest in the Bahá'í Faith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bah%C3%A1%27%C3%AD_Faith), but the Raëlian chicks are way easier!   :wink:

As long as you aren't harmed and you can leave any time you want, there's nothing wrong with checking out a weird social movement like that, even if it costs you some money that you can afford to spend.  It's an experience, like going on a roller coaster.  Sometimes weird experiences are helpful in coming to certain realizations.

[...] three hours of Ian ranting against Mark for being in a cult made for the worst FTL program I've ever heard!  [...]  Honestly, Ian's anti-cult crusade doesn't sound very libertarian.

I second this notion.  Half an hour would have been enough.   :roll:

Unlike some movements that are also political, Libertarianism doesn't (and mustn't) cover the entire stack of a person's philosophical outlook.  Islam, to make a counter-example, is full-stack philosophy: it has its form of government (Islamic Republic), its own laws, family traditions, scientific and medical ideas, economic principals, a holy book, a holy city, a holy language, calendar, diet, etc.   :?

Libertarianism is nowhere like that, it's a political movement, nothing more, nothing less.  Libertarians can pick and choose what other components of their philosophical outlook should be, as individuals.  There can be Objectivist Libertarians, Islamic Libertarians, Raëlian Libertarians, Scientologist Libertarians, Communist Libertarians, Vampire Libertarians, Libertarians that say "Ni", etc, as long as they don't force their views on other people (except perhaps their dependents).
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Wayne on October 27, 2006, 05:15:35 PM
Alright, I just finished the podcast of that show. I've got to put in a BIG rant about it, because this is just silly....

I cannot believe that I just listened to an entire 2-hour podcast (3 hours for the radio listeners--sheesh!) that was about almost nothing outside of the Landmark Forum. Even though I thought it completely unnecessary, I could have seen maybe an hour. But the WHOLE SHOW? What a waste!

And you know what, for me it's not even about Landmark. Are they a scam? Are they helpful? Who cares? The fact is, I was not convinced either way, nor was I convinced that it's even relevent. And to call it a cult??? I noticed that using the definition given, entire segments of the freedom movement (such as, yeah, the whole Free State Project thing) could be slapped with that label and handled in the SAME way as Landmark was, with the SAME arguments being valid and the SAME sort of complaints (hey, who cares if your family wants you to stay close, ditch them for the cause of freedom!) Heck, the cultish feel of the FSP--and I guess I can thank the show for identifying the uneasiness I've been feeling over it--is one of the reasons I've yet to join. Listening to that show I got the distinct feeling that about the only people who AREN'T members of some cult somewhere are those who just float through life uncommitted to anything. That tells me: the label is being used far too broadly, just to make something look worse than it is--it seems remarkably similar to calling anyone who is against affirmative action (or "illegal" immigration) a "racist".

And what was the point of it all? To save Mark because he's subscribed to a philosophy Ian hasn't? One that's so "dangerous"? The tone of this turned a little hypocritical when the whole "qualifications" issue was raised about the seminar leaders. Ignoring the controversy over some of the crap that passes as psychology, I found it almost shocking that someone who generally scorns the idea of people bowing to experts and who acknowledges that entire industries--such as the pharmaceutical industry--shouldn't be treated as the only authority on a subject, would suddenly slap an independent company for not hiring trained (and, one could almost feel the implicit "licensed", were he not a libertarian) psychologists. Unbelievable. Heaven forbid that some people might just get hurt by taking some alternative treatment not prescribed by a doctor. We clearly need to spend a whole show shooting down the treatment method!

Ian even went so far as to try to act as if Mark's explanations were just incomprehensible gibberish. I understood him perfectly well ONCE HE WAS ALLOWED TO EXPLAIN. No, I didn't buy it, but it wasn't hard to understand, really. "Life is empty and meaningless." Hard to buy, not hard to grasp. "There's what happened, and the idea of what happened." How is this difficult? The idea of perception influencing one's behavior is a topic that's been brought up on the show before, and I have a very hard time believing Ian wasn't just deliberately choosing to "not understand" what was being said, rather than actually addressing and logically defeating the concepts.

If Mark is personally receiving benefit from this, even if it does have an uncomfortable or strange core philosophy, or if it's exorbitantly priced, or (and this is what I suspect is the REAL issue) is somewhat sales-driven, I think Ian, Johnson and company should exercise some of this boundless faith in the ability of people to make their own choices about what's best for them and LET THIS GO. I've got little doubt Mark will eventually come to see it for what it is, if it truly is bad--he's not an idiot. So it takes him some time and some money before he sees it, so what? That's HIS lesson to learn, and it's certainly not going to be hastened by a bunch of shoddy arguments and unimportant point-making, backed by examples of bad experiences that in no way negate his own.

Could we please not have to go through something like this again?

-Wayne
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Paul-ish on October 27, 2006, 08:10:58 PM
Haha I wouldn't call it a cult. However I would call it a money making scheme, with the goal of obtaining knowlege that can easily be obtained elswhere for free. Besides, why pay people to tell you how to live your own life. But, it is his money.

I agree. Mark will look back years from now and he will just realise he remembers nothing from the forums but how much it ended up costing him. Ian was over the top, he was sounding like a truther "I have done hours of research." lol. I don't think its a cult, its just a fat waste of time. I don't think Mark will find the magic solution and start making millions by marketing because he took this course. This kind of thing would already come with experience.

Also on the 2006-10-25 Ian was playing stupid, a lot of what Mark was saying I understood, and Ian didn't want to admit that he at least understood where they were coming from. I understood it, and see what they are trying to say. I just think a lot of what they are trying to do is change your person and who you are, which is something that can happen just as well with life experience.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: RAnthony on October 27, 2006, 10:18:25 PM
I've got to put in a BIG rant about it, because this is just silly....

Best rant in the thread.  Wish it was mine.

-RAnthony
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Sam Gunn (since nobody got Admiral Naismith) on October 27, 2006, 10:44:55 PM
anybody else notice that "Landmark" landed Mark?

Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: mr_oo3 on October 28, 2006, 07:41:26 AM
I liked the 2 hour cult show.  I found it very interesting.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: bsquared on October 28, 2006, 07:59:40 AM
So Landmark is a cult...or it isn't a cult, who cares?  After 90 minutes of this the central question of whether the program does any good hasn't been touched.  So far it's just been cult cult cult cult and Ian knocking a biz for incentive practices he'd applaud if other businesses did them.

I couldn't agree more.  I couldn't believe the entire show was devoted to the subject.  Ian has said on more than one occasion that people who speak out against things (politicians who speak out against homosexuality for example) are probably hiding their own personal liking for the behaviiour that they're speaking out against.  All I can therefore deduce is that someone who spent an entire 3 hour show rubbishing this thing is in fact a cult member himself.  Ian's cult? FTL and the AMP Program of course.  Giving things away for free to hook people in.  Asking for voluntary donations from people who'll get no personal gain from it.  Having "in" phrases that are often repeated ("the FSP is the only chance for liberty in your lifetime" for example).

So depending on your belief system Mark's in a cult (or not).  Ian's leading a cult (or not).

As Ian would ask of a 9/11 truther...so what?  How on earth would this affect the search for liberty? It made me laugh to thing of all the times Ian scoffed at the waste of time those conspiracy theorists spend on "research" yet he admitted to spending several days doing "research" on landmark.  What's the damned point?

This show annoyed this amplifier so much I was prompted to make what is (I think) my first BBS post after listening to the show for 2 years.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: FTL_Ian on October 28, 2006, 11:39:51 AM
Quote
Ian has said on more than one occasion that people who speak out against things (politicians who speak out against homosexuality for example) are probably hiding their own personal liking for the behaviiour that they're speaking out against.

Invalid comparison.  I'm not calling for a law against cults.  Following your logic, Mark and I are closet communists, since we "speak out" against communism.  When I make that observation, I'm typically referring to people calling to outlaw something, typically something sexual.

Quote
So depending on your belief system Mark's in a cult (or not).  Ian's leading a cult (or not).

As Ian would ask of a 9/11 truther...so what?  How on earth would this affect the search for liberty?

You've made the mistake of believing that FTL is soley about the search for Liberty.  While it's certainly a primary theme, it's not our sole focus.

Quote
It made me laugh to thing of all the times Ian scoffed at the waste of time those conspiracy theorists spend on "research" yet he admitted to spending several days doing "research" on landmark.  What's the damned point?

The point of doing the research was so I could rebut Mark's claims.  If I didn't know what I was talking about, he'd have claimed that they have changed, I'd have no counterclaim, and the conversation would have been over.  The point is to warn people about groups like Landmark so they don't go and blow hundreds or thousands of dollars, not to mention their time, on a bunch of new age crap that is potentially dangerous.

It was a consumer report, but many listeners were angry because their favorite host is a member/dupe.  If Mark and I had agreed on the subject and we'd just taken calls from former cult members telling their stories, I predict no one would have complained.

The backlash on this thread just tells me that the show really got people upset.  That's just more evidence of a successful program.   8)  FTL was bound to make you angry eventually!
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Rillion on October 28, 2006, 01:18:22 PM
Quote
The backlash on this thread just tells me that the show really got people upset.  That's just more evidence of a successful program.
 
Not if people stop listening.  I don't want to listen to a show whose goal is to piss me off.

Quote
FTL was bound to make you angry eventually!
Oh, believe me, it's happened many times before....
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Porcupine_in_MA on October 28, 2006, 03:08:16 PM
I thought it was funny as hell.  :lol:
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Cable on October 28, 2006, 05:34:24 PM
I don't understand why people got so upset.  This show airs 2 hours a day, every day, and has years worth of archives, of the exact same format you enjoy.  If you really didn't enjoy this ONE NIGHT of changing things up, you just had to wait a day or could play catch up on missed shows or something.  Personally, I thought it was a very refreshing change of pace and wouldn't mind seeing a similar change-up of the routine every once in awhile.  It was also pretty entertaining to me.

That said, I did feel Ian was throwing the term cult around a bit too readily and was calling pretty simple arguments straight out of philosophy "gobble-dee-gook".  "Life is inherently empty and meaningless and is up to you to make your own meaning." is the most basic tenet of existentialism (although perhaps worded a bit differently), one of the most adhered to philosophies in modern times.  Even if you didn't encounter it in your public school experience (I did, as well as Objectivism and Libertarianism and a bunch of other ideas, and yes, I'm talking about high school), then you should have run into it several times by now while on the internet.  And besides, just because you don't understand them right away at face value doesn't inherently make them bad ideas.

The other main argument made sense also.  Bad shit can happen to you, but you don't have to associate a bunch of judgements on your character based on those experiences.  (Rape -> I'm ugly, I'm dirty, no man will ever love me, or being Introverted = I'm weak, I'm not like "normal" people, I'll never find a girlfriend, etc).  As long as you allow yourself to believe this nonsense about yourself, you will be trapped by those beliefs, and you will be unable to change yourself for the beliefs about yourself will become self-fulfilling prophecies.   

Some of it may even be somewhat rational, like my own personal limiting thought that since I'm pretty heavy I'll have a hard time finding a girlfriend because women tend to exclusively want to date, or think they want to date, athletic people, which is reinforced by 95% of the personal ads out there.  That doesn't mean I should let it stop me from trying (although I pretty much do, and I shouldn't, but hey, I'm not perfect and let myself be ruled by my emotions more than I should).

That's all Mark was claiming when he was explaining them, although I can even understand the more extreme example you posted, where literally everything only has meaning because you allow it to have meaning.  If you're raped, it's only a traumatic experience because you let it become a traumatic experience.  Just like if you lose your arms in some tragic accident, it can ruin your life only if you ALLOW it to ruin your life.  In the latter case, sure it can mean you're not going to fulfill your dream as a construction worker, but you can still do other things, even things people think they HAVE to have their arms for (like writing, they can switch to dictation and/or voice recognition software instead).

That said, in the example you gave, he was pretty aggressive about it and caused the girl to start bawling into tears, but then again I've seen the same crap happen on television with Dr. Phil, and he's got a Ph.D in clinical psychology.  (Not that I'm a fan of this guy, but people still give him their money and their time to hear what he has to say... even I bought one of his books, which seemed to be more about him saying how much the book will change my life than actual advice on how to change my life...I swear the first 100 pages almost are all talking about what the book WILL do for you... I also hate his very chastizing attitude that pervades his written and oral communication)

I also think Landmark program was designed to take advantage of human psychology to make them money as possible, and if Mark thinks they aren't making money hand over fist in these things, he's nuts.  There are self made millionaires that became that way solely by giving these sorts of seminars.  But there's almost no business that doesn't try to take as much advantage of human psychology as possible.  The world of marketing is almost exclusively that, and even game developers like me study psychology to make our games more addictive (just read some stories about how Everquest and World of Warcraft are designed to try to make you spend all your time on it, at the expense of everything else, so they can keep getting your $14 a month from you, and see how many people's relationships and friendships and other crap get destroyed that way).  In fact, WoW in particular acts very similarly to this Landmark thing, besides the evangelism being totally voluntary (but people WANT to bring other people in, so they can still spend all their lives in WoW without losing their relationships, since they'll be all doing it together, and it keeps going, and going, and going...)  I even knew a guy who was so addicted he even played it at work all day long, as much as he could get away with it, and this was in addition to playing it for 6 hours a night once he got home.

Hell, even I had that problem with Counter-Strike.  For a full year and a half I had to play the stupid game for at least 6 hours a day, every day.  I stopped dating, I skipped classes sometimes, I skimped on my studying, I'd be late to work constantly.  It was a contributing factor to me losing my scholarship and dropping out of college (though there were other factors, like having troubles meeting it's insanely high requirements and being bedridden for a month during a semester I had to have straight A's to keep it).  Now, I just have that problem with the internet :P.

Personally, I'd never go to the Landmark forum, but I'd also never attend a self-help seminar.  I have bought some of the books, though, and I found I'm not the type of person who really benefits from it, since I don't follow through on their instructions and I can't ever believe in a silver bullet, single right way to look at life, the universe, and everything enough to be devoted enough to the ideas to really get anything out of them.

That said, a few that have effected me more than others would be:

Your Money or Your Life (money management.... I now do a couple of these things, like actually examine my expenses, keep track of some things, and make a budget that I always break... hopefully some of it will stick... still it makes the most sense of anything I've read)

The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell - a self-help book written by a philosopher, this is how all self-help books should be: DENSE with ideas and information, not have a single idea they repeat in a million different ways or have exercises to stretch a book to 200+ pages, which is the current trend.  It gives you a lot to think about and consider.  I just read it this week, though, so I don't know yet how it will affect my life, if it does.

http://www.stevepavlina.com - A self-help guy who gives all his ideas away on his website (he even has a podcast), and makes his money via advertisements on his website and talks he gives (they sound more like lectures that respected industry leaders give, not seminars).  I have special interest in this guy because I got to see him transition into what he's become, because he used to be an independent game developer who became an indie game publisher, and wrote his first articles to help game developers overcome their fears and become more productive (they're still up here: http://www.dexterity.com/articles/) and then decided he was happier (and could make more money) with self-help.  He already makes six figures just with effective google ads (amongst others).  I consider a lot of his ideas, but I haven't really sat down to act on them.  Still, many of his articles are definitely worth reading.

But anyway, it seems to be giving Mark some real tangible benefits (his current wife, for example), so as long as he's not being insane about his level of time and commitment, it's not much more dangerous than any random church out there.  Just maybe slightly more expensive (although churches still try to convince you to tithe a full 10% of your income to them, and I know some people who DO that, which has to add up to a lot more than a couple grand over the span of 4 years, like Mark has).
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: bsquared on October 28, 2006, 07:24:10 PM
You've made the mistake of believing that FTL is soley about the search for Liberty.  While it's certainly a primary theme, it's not our sole focus.

Fair enough that the show isn't only about liberty.  But I still ask...so what?  so Mark is a dupe?  so what?  So an organisation exists called Landmark where siilly people doing the 00's version of holding, hands, wearing coloured robes and chanting ummmmmmm and some people fleece some other people of their money.  So what? To me the whole episode was about as pointless as the bloke the next next night who rambled on about 666 - except he made me laugh.  But I would have been bored by him if you'd let it go on all night too. 

I wasn't uspet I was bored witless.  I rarely fast forward through FTL but I did that episode. The last time I did it was probably the last time you spent a long time talking about landmark (you have done it before...an episode before you left Florida when Mark went away for a weekend with the silly folks...you and one of the guest hosts grilled Mark then too for a ridiculously long time and went over the same rubbish then). zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

And while I've never been to a landmark seminar (never even heard of 'em here in Oz) there is something to the point that people who've been through awful experiences separating the events from how they feel about the events.  I have had professional training and although we use different language we basically use the same approach: don't give the events more power over your future life than those events deserve.  For example, modern society is so puritanical about sex that sex-related crimes are seen as the worst possible things that can happen to people.  Therefore when someone is a victim of a sex-related crime they feel worse than if they've been the victim of other crimes.  I don't have anything other than anecdotal evidence from my work as a counsellor for this but I can tell you that I've counselled people who've been the victim of relatively mild sexual abuse (eg no penetration) who have attempted suicide because of how bad they felt about themselves for being a victim of that kind of crime.  That only happens because we (society) teach people that sex is basically bad and anything related to it is bad.  I'm not saying it's ok to sexually abuse someone if you stop before you penetrate them without their permission but I am saying that it's a sick old world where someone that has happened to believes they need to kill themselves because they're dirty.  Someone who was robbed or mugged wouldn't feel that way.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: freeAgent on October 30, 2006, 02:09:30 PM
I don't know that I'd call it a cult, but I was disappointed to hear that Mark was a member of (or believer in) Landmark Education.  It seems like they ask you to pay over and over for these seminars where they redefine words and basically give you a big self-help kind of talk which you could have gotten much more cheaply from a book.  What really bothers me about these things, though, is that they try to get the participants to recruit for them.  I see it as very similar to what the Mormons and similar organizations do with their door-to-door missionary work.  Generally I think Mark is a pretty reasonable guy, but I lost some respect for him after finding out that he belonged to one of these organizations.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: joeshmo on November 01, 2006, 12:20:24 AM
I havent read the thread yet, but did anyone else notice that Ian was behaving very much like a 911-truth'er this episode.
He completely discounted and ignored any argument that disagreed with his own.
He kept referring to how much research he did.
He spouted links to crappy text only websites.

I bet Landmark is a lame organization that does bilk people out of their money, but dont you want them to have the liberty to do so?  How did you get through the whole show without mentioning liberty?  Did you really have no freedom related prep?
 Ian even ignored the one caller that tried to change the topic from  Ian's boring tirade on 'cults'. 

Perhaps worst of all was that he kept plugging them over and over again.  Free talk live generally makes a point to not namedrop because they realize it is like advertising for free (something Ian would never do willingly for Landmark).  His excuse will probably be that he was trying to do an expose.  If so, he did a really shitty job of it.

Ian, you are no John Stossel, and you are not in the same ballpark as Penn and Teller.  Get over yourself.
Sorry if this comes across as militant, Ian I love the show and you are a great talk show host;  you did a really bad job trying to expose landmark, please just keep to the normal format.  It made for a REALLY boring episode.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: FTL_Ian on November 01, 2006, 02:43:05 AM
Thanks for the opinion.  We had plenty of prep, and lots of people liked the show.  Landmark has the liberty to exist, as I have the liberty to trash them on my radio show.

I don't think I've ever claimed to be John, Penn, or Teller.  Nor do I want to be.  I'm Ian, host of Free Talk Live.   :lol:
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Johnson on November 01, 2006, 06:12:03 AM
Don't worry guys, when I get up to NH and get settled... I'll not only thank you for your opinions. I'll actually take them into consideration. Humility is a developed skill... On this, Ian isn't keen on hearing about what the hosts are skilled at, or what makes a good product for Free Talk Live. It was a fun expose show and if you didn't like it, tough titty, becuase a few people did.  (and majorities and minorites don't matter)

Well, I'm not of that mindset... and I would like to see the show stick to what it's good at (TO AN EXTENT) and I do believe experiments are good... but even experiments can be handled well or poorly. You can just start handing out nitro glycerine to rowdy highschool students, or you can educate them first and create a controlled environment... one way is better than the other...

Just remember guys, FTL doesn't have a producer yet... so whenever an experiment like that happens... there is no data that exists to know whether or not it will go over well...  and Ian may not give a crap about repeated quality, or targetting the audience, but I generally believe it's a good idea to have as much info as possible.

Did you guys like the Landmark show... Poll open now.
http://bbs.freetalklive.com/index.php?topic=9550

I, of course, do not think that Free Talk Live should ever cater to a majority... but as a product that goes to a market, I think anyone would have to admit that if the results of that poll are severely tilted in EITHER direction, that  it would be wise to follow what the market wants - and at the very least, rethink the approach if similar subject matter ever rears it's head again.

Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: joeshmo on November 01, 2006, 08:31:16 AM
I was convinced they were doing another Gene Ray episode.  Ian didnt sound like himself at all.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: Porcupine_in_MA on November 01, 2006, 11:28:21 AM
Well I voted that I liked it. It was just one show and I thought it was hilarious. Now if it were to go on beyond that, I would start getting annoyed.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: PG Wist on November 05, 2006, 02:53:20 PM
I got much benefit from Landmark programs (going back to when it was the est training and the forum, including doing the 6-day).  I do think it has the organization is a bit weird and haven't been involved in at least 10 years or so.  Mark is not a cultist---but some who are involved might be so described.  Again, the program is powerful.
Title: Re: Is Mark a Cult Member?
Post by: soliscjw on November 17, 2006, 01:20:39 AM
Landmark is a  not a cult I have taken the Forum twice and the Advanced course once and it is a waste of time but I do not think that it is a cult.