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Landmark Education LLC (LE) offers training and development programs in over 20 countries. An employee-owned, private company, it has its headquarters in San Francisco, California. Its introductory course has the name The Landmark Forum.
Landmark Education purchased the intellectual property of Werner Erhard and Associates (WEA), a successor to the controversial est Training, and since its founding in 1991 has developed other courses.
Landmark Education aims its courses primarily at individuals. Its subsidiary Landmark Education Business Development (LEBD) markets and delivers training and consulting to organizations. Landmark Education's subsidiary Tekniko Licensing Corporation licenses Landmark Education's "technology" to management-consulting firms.
Some critics question whether and to what degree Landmark Education courses benefit participants. Others criticize the use of volunteers by Landmark Education and examine the origins of the organization (est/WEA etc).
Landmark Education's Charter states that the organization is "a global enterprise whose purpose is to empower and enable people and organizations to generate and fulfill new possibilities. We create and provide programs, services, and paradigms that produce extraordinary results for our customers."
Landmark Education states that over 880,000 people have taken part in its introductory program, "The Landmark Forum" since 1991. It has compiled a text entitled "Independent Research, Case Studies, and Surveys" devoted to its courses on its corporate website, and trains its own course instructors intensively in Landmark's pedagogy (also known internally as "technology").
Structure and Financials
Landmark Education LLC operates as an employee-owned for-profit private company. According to Landmark Education's fact-sheet, 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. The shareholders elect a Board of Directors annually. A list of executive officers appears in the box above.
Landmark Education reported revenues of $70 million for 2004; $76 million in 2005 . In 1997, Landmark had 451 employees, 7,500 volunteers in the United States alone, spent $13 million on employee salaries and bonuses, spent $4 million on travel, and made a profit of $2.5 million (which it re-invested in the expansion of the company's operations .)
Landmark Education's subsidiaries include Landmark Education Business Development (LEBD), and Tekniko Licensing Corporation.
Memberships and accreditations
- American Society for Training and Development
- International Society for Performance Improvement
- American Management Association
- International Association for Continuing Education and Training (Membership Details) (CEU Qualifications)
- Academy of Management
Landmark Education, known from May 7, 1991 to February 26, 2003 as "Landmark Education Corporation (LEC)", purchased certain rights to a presentation known as The Forum from Werner Erhard and Associates (WEA, the corporate successor of Erhard Seminars Training — est or EST). The new owners, including former staff of WEA, renamed the course The Landmark Forum, further developed its content and shortened the four-day, two-weekend WEA "Forum" to three full days. Landmark Education states that it made changes to the course content at that time, and that a major re-design of the Landmark Forum took place in 1999. Landmark Education also inherited other WE&A courses.
The group of people who purchased the rights registered themselves initially as Transnational Education, as The Centers Network, and (in Japan) as Rancord Company, Ltd.. Corporation as "Landmark Education Corporation" (LEC) took place later in 1991. In February 2003, Landmark Education LLC succeeded LEC.
According to Landmark Education, Werner Erhard consults from time to time with its "Research and Design team". (See also an article in Time Magazine. ) Erhard's younger brother (Harry Rosenberg) works as Landmark Education's Chief Executive Officer, and their sister (Joan Rosenberg) serves as the Vice President of Landmark Education's Centers Division.
According to statements made by Landmark Education CEO Harry Rosenberg in 2001:
...Erhard [in 1991] kept the Mexican and Japanese branches of the operation...Last year,  Landmark had revenues of $58 million, and ... the company has bought outright Erhard's license and his rights to Japan and Mexico.
The prior president and registered agent of Werner Erhard and Associates, (Art Schreiber), functions as Landmark Education's General Counsel and Chairman of the Landmark Education Board of Directors. Art Schreiber was Werner Erhard's personal attorney.
Landmark Education Business Development
Landmark Education Business Development, founded in 1993, utilizes the "technology" of Landmark Education in providing consulting services to various companies.
The University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business carried out a case study into the work of Landmark Education Business Development (LEBD) at BHP New Zealand Steel. The report concluded that the set of interventions in the organization produced a 50% improvement in safety, a 15% to 20% reduction in key benchmark costs, a 50% increase in return on capital, and a 20% increase in raw steel production. The USC makes the full report available. 
Tekniko Licensing Corporation
Tekniko Licensing Corporation, originally owned by Werner Erhard, formed the successor organization to his Transformational Technologies. Werner Erhard and a management consultant named James Selman originally incorporated Transformational Technologies in 1984. Landmark Education referred to Tekniko Licensing Corporation as one of the company's "wholly owned subsidiaries". According to SEC filings, on the other hand, Terry M. Giles fully owns Tekniko Licensing Corporation, and as of March 31, 2006, SEC filings also listed Mr. Terry M. Giles as the Chairman of the Board of Landmark Education Corporation.
Courses and Programs
The Curriculum for Living is the core set of four programs that Landmark Education offers:
- The Landmark Forum, introductory course and pre-requisite for other courses
- The Landmark Forum in Action Seminar, optional seminar included in the tuition-cost of the Landmark Forum
- The Landmark Advanced Course
- The Self Expression and Leadership Program (SELP)
A full list of Landmark Education's other courses and programs, which are only available to those who have completed the Landmark Forum, is given on their corporate website.
The Landmark Forum
A paper published in the January through April 2001 edition of the "Journal of Contemporary Philosophy" distributed through the Social Science Research Network, gives the following account of the Landmark Forum:
Philosophy promises more than contents of thought. It can cultivate openness to continuously arising new contents of thought. Unconsciously identifying with the contents of thought displaces this openness; the remedy for such unnoticed closed mindedness is self-knowledge. In the Socratic tradition the Landmark Forum — a forty-hour course sponsored by the employee owned Landmark Educational Corporation — provides a model of philosophy as the practical art of uncovering and expanding self-knowledge and thereby generating unforeseen ways of being in everyday life.
Logistics of the Landmark Forum
The Landmark Forum takes place over three consecutive days and an evening session (generally Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday evening). Each full day begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at approximately 10:00 p.m. Breaks occur approximately every 2 to 3 hours, with a 90-minute dinner break. Forum leaders assign homework for participants to carry out during breaks and after the course ends in the evening. The Tuesday evening session generally runs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. (in certain locations, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.).
In addition to our 420 staff members around the world, the people in the Assisting Program play a critical role at Landmark. We have a remarkable group of 7500 people participating on a weekly basis. They are both committed to our work, and to getting personal value out of the Assisting Program. They know we are a for-profit business and still they commit their time and effort.
The Introduction Leaders Program (ILP)
The Introduction Leaders Program forms part of the Leadership Curriculum and consists of a six-month intensive leadership-training program that prepares participants to lead Introductions to the Landmark Forum and trains people in the "distinctions" of leadership. The course forms the foundation of the training for leaders (i.e., presenters) of all of Landmark Education's other programs. 
Landmark Education utilizes some specific terms (some of them categorized as "distinctions") in its courses. Articles in Metroactive and in Life Positive have provided short lexicons of a few terms.
- Racket(s): Recurring complaints in tandem with a "way of being" that allow persons to justify themselves and their point of view but which can rob them of opportunities for satisfaction and joy; ways of being that allow people to justify themselves and their point of view; preconceived notions of why one is right and others are wrong.
- Strong Suit previously known as Formula for success, or Winning formula : Ways of being originating in what Landmark Education identifies as the three main transitional stages of one's life — early childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. These may have worked repeatedly in the past but they can obstruct more effective approaches. Alternative definition: a way of being that has worked well in the past and that we keep using, which keeps us from perceiving new options.
- Vicious circle: Possibility-limiting concepts that determine experience and shape future experiences; a sphere where our concepts determine our experience.
- Taking a stand: Putting attention on a vision for the future; putting our attention on our vision of life that gives us self-expression
- Distinguishing ourselves and our world through language: The world consists of language and can be altered through language.
- Breakthrough: Abandoning old habits and embracing a new way of being; looking at things from a different perspective, getting a new understanding of life.
- Already/always listening: Listening to others with preconceived notions of what they really mean.
- Possibility A phenomenon that exists in and impacts the present. (As distinct from the regular usage of possibility meaning "something that perhaps might happen in the future".
- Enrollment essentially having (or creating) a conversation in which you move, touch or inspire someone by 'causing a new possibility to be present'.
Landmark Education itself has defined other terms in its literature:
- distinction / distinguish: "[t]o distinguish something means to take something from an undifferentiated background and bring it to the foreground."
Evaluations of Landmark Education
The Talent Foundation
A study by the Talent Foundation, chaired by Sir Christopher Ball (Chancellor, University of Derby), and led by Dr. Javier Bajer, used the Landmark Forum for the initial stage of a study ('"A Shortcut to Motivated and Adaptive Workforces"). The study found that:
"Within two years of participating from Landmark's three-day program, individuals showed:
International Society for Performance Improvement
The International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) website contains a 2005 report of Landmark Education Business Development (LEBD)'s involvement with improving safety at Minera Escondida Ltd., which ran the largest copper-mine in the world and employed 5,000 people. The ISPI report notes that when LEBD started working with Minera Escondida, the company had a total injury-frequency rate of 23.7 accidents per million man-hours worked. Five months later, after LEBD had finished its program with Minera Escondida, the injury rate had reduced by over 50% to 11.5 accidents per million man-hours worked. ISPI reported that Landmark "created" this environment of improved safety. The ISPI awarded LEBD a "Got Results" award for its actions.
Studies commissioned by Landmark Education
An analysis done for Landmark Education by DYG, Inc. and interpreted by Daniel Yankelovich, chairman of DYG, Inc., ("Analysis of The Landmark Forum and Its Benefits") consisted of a survey conducted of more than 1300 people who completed The Landmark Forum during a three-month period at some undisclosed time. Some details of the study methodology, especially concerning sampling methods and demographics of study participants, remain undefined in what Landmark Education refers to as the "Full Study".
On the other hand, Yankelovich himself personally endorses Landmark Education in his book The Magic of Dialog (2001, pages 143 - 144).
Yankelovich concluded from the survey that 90% to 95% self-reported "value" in taking the course. 
A survey carried out by Harris Interactive for Landmark Education Corporation concluded that one third of respondents who had "completed the Landmark Forum" self-reported an increase of 25% or more in their incomes, 70% worried less about money and assessed themselves as more effective in managing their finances, and an unspecified percentage reported working fewer hours. Landmark Education's summary of the survey has not made it clear over what time-duration or when Harris Interactive conducted this study.
A more recent study by the same firm (http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news/clientnews.asp), into the opinions of health professionals and educators, including doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, teachers, and academicians concluded that:
Harris Interactive found that survey results showed that the vast majority of respondents held very positive views regarding Landmark Education programs as more than nine of ten agreed that Landmark’s programs were responsibly and professionally conducted, produced practical and powerful results, and made a profound difference in their lives. Moreover, nearly all respondents (96%) agreed that Landmark Education Programs provided great value.
For details of litigation involving Landmark Education, see Landmark Education litigation.
In November 2006, Landmark Education used legal action designed to discover the identities of anonymous internet users who posted material, which postings Landmark Education regarded as a breach of copyright. In that case, Landmark attempted (unsuccessfully) to use the direct subpoena provisions of the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act to discover the identity of the anonymous internet poster(s) – and to suppress the posting – of the French documentary Voyage au pays des nouveaux gourous in the Internet Archive, YouTube and Google.
Landmark Education has been mentioned in a number of government reports.
In Austria, in 1996, the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Youth, and the Family published a list of 200 groups it labelled sekten or "sects".
The vast majority of groups termed "sects" by the Government are small organizations with fewer than 100 members. Among the larger groups is the Church of Scientology, with between 5,000 and 6,000 members, and the Unification Church, with approximately 700 adherents throughout the country. Other groups found in the country include Divine Light Mission, Eckankar, Hare Krishna, the Holosophic community, the Osho movement, Sahaja Yoga, Sai Baba, Sri Chinmoy, Transcendental Meditation, Landmark Education, the Center for Experimental Society Formation, Fiat Lux, Universal Life, and The Family.
The International Religious Freedom Report 2006, however, did not specifically list Landmark Education among the examples of sekten, although the wording makes it plain that the list is not intended to be comprehensive. 
In France, the report of the 1995 Parliamentary Commission on Cults (Unofficial English translation), published as part of its investigations a list of purported cults compiled by the general information division of the French National Police (Renseignements généraux) in association with cult-watching groups, included Landmark Education.
This report has come under fire from international groups, the United States government, and even the French Prime Minister. The group has since been dissolved.
Sales and marketing practices
Critics say Landmark is an elaborate marketing game that relies heavily on volunteers. Says Tom Johnson, an "exit counselor" often summoned by concerned parents to tend to alumni: "They tire your brain; they make you vulnerable." Says critic Liz Sumerlin: "The participants end up becoming recruiters. That's the whole purpose." Psychiatrists who speak on Landmark's behalf dispute these claims. But Sumerlin says a 1993 Forum turned her fiance (now her ex) into a robot. She organized an anti-Landmark hot line and publications clearinghouse. Landmark officials made sounds to sue her.
I made some eye-opening discoveries about myself and how I function in the world. [...] One of the most irritating aspects of The Forum is the hard sell to sign up future participants.
Divergent views about Landmark Education exist among religious people. Some of the ideas put forth in Landmark Education programs raise questions for some people in some religious faiths while other felt that it strengthened their religious faith.
Paul Derengowski, formerly of the Christian cult-watch group Watchman.org, states that Landmark "has theological implications". The Apologetics Index (an online Christian ministry providing research resources on what it considers cults, sects, other religious movements, doctrines, and practices) maintains a page on Landmark Education.
An opposing view appears in the article "A Very Nineties Weekend" in the international Roman-Catholic weekly The Tablet stating that several Catholic priests have endorsed Landmark, and that the Trappist monk Basil Pennington has praised the Forum for bringing about a "full human enlivenment".
Other examples of commentary from clergy appear on the Landmark Education Website.
In James R. Lewis' 2001 book (published 10 years after the establishment of Landmark Education), Odd Gods: New Religions & the Cult Controversy, Werner Erhard, Erhard Seminars Training and The Forum are discussed. Odd Gods describes the spiritual influences of the coursework, including Zen Buddhism, Abilitism, Subud, Dianetics, Scientology and Asian spiritual leaders.
In 2002 theologians Deacon Robert Kronberg, B.Th. and Consultant Kistina Lindebjerg, B.Th. of the Dialog Center International in Denmark discussed the religious aspects of Landmark Education, stating: "Also we see a large number of people joining groups, such as Landmark and Amway, which become controversial because of their sales practices."
Specifically, Kronberg and Lindebjerg posited that Landmark Education's courses seem to fill a void in the lives of disillusioned young adults, who have not found answers in religion: "Landmark seems to appeal to young people between 20 and 35 in liberal professions who are disillusioned with or discouraged about their lives. Landmark seems to be a scientific substitute for the need for religious answers to life's fundamental questions."
- The Century of the Self, British documentary by Adam Curtis, episode part 3 of 4 (2002)
- Voyage to the Land of the New Gurus, Documentary (2004)
- Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard, Documentary, (2006)
- Martin Heidegger
- Human Potential Movement (Maslow & Rogers and Esalen Institute)
- Large Group Awareness Training
- Self-help and Personal development
- Zen (Alan Watts)
- Corporate sites
- Link directories
- Dmoz.org: Directory of links relating to Landmark Education
- Dmoz.org: Directory of links related to opposing views of Landmark Education
References and footnotes
- Harry Rosenberg quote as Director
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- Landmark Financial Information, Landmark Education Corporate Website
- The est of Friends, Metroactive Features, July 15, 1998 issue of Metro, Metro Publishing Inc.
- The Landmark Seminar Leader Program, Landmark Education website, 2006, states: "Seminar leaders are accomplished women and men who volunteer their time and talent..."
- See quote: "'This letter serves as the consent by Landmark Education Corporation for the use of the name "Landmark Education International, Inc." by our wholly-owned subsidiary, currently known as Werner Erhard and Associates International, Inc."., Articles of Incorporation, January 16, 1991
- Werner Erhardt Biography
- Landmark Education 2020 Charter
- Landmark Education For the Media, Landmark Education website
- Independent Research, Case Studies, and Surveys
- Landmark Forum Course Syllabus
- Better Business Bureau, June 19, 2006, report, Landmark Education Corporation, Better Business Bureau
- Landmark Education Corporate Website, fact-sheet, accessed November 27, 2006
- Landmark Education Corporate Website, note: unverified vague and approximate information
- Landmark Education website, retrieved 2006-10-25
- Revenues, 2004
- Landmark education, website, Revenues, 2005
- Limited Liability Company, incorporation, Legal Document, California Secretary of State, February 26, 2003, Agent for Service of Process, Arthur Schreiber, Esq.
- Pressman, Steven, Outrageous Betrayal: The dark journey of Werner Erhard from est to exile. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993. ISBN 0-312-09296-2, p.254.(out of print)
- Secretary of State of California website, record: Landmark Education LLP Landmark Education registration
- Time Magazine article, Werner Erhard, Time Magazine
- Pay Money, Be Happy, New York Magazine, July 9, 2001.
- ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION (DOMESTIC), Art Schreiber, President and Registered Agent, June 22, 1987.
- When it comes to Landmark Education Corporation, There's no meeting of the Minds., Westword, Steve Jackson, April 24, 1996.
That got Sumerlin into some unusual reading of her own: angry correspondence from Landmark officials, including Art Schreiber, Landmark's current president and Erhard's former attorney, and Harry Rosenberg, Erhard's brother, who's on the Landmark board.
Outrageous Betrayal, Steven Pressman, pg. 217., St. Martin's Press
"In July 1984 a company named Transformational Technologies was incorporated in the state of New York. The corporate charter listed a successful management consultant, a small, wiry man named James Selman, as the company's chief executive officer, but the sole owner of the new firm was Werner Erhard. Selman was a longtime est enthusiast, having gone through the training in 1975 while he was a partner at the prominent management consulting firm Touche Ross. He later quit to work for Erhard, and now he was ready to put into place one of Erhard's long-standing objectives - applying the principles of est to the world of big business. Together Erhard and Selman embarked on a plan to sell, at a handsome price, franchises in Transformational Technologies to independent business consultants who then would be licensed to utilize Erhard's est-influenced "technology". Within eighteen months nearly fifty franchises had been sold at a cost of $25,000 apiece. The franchise agreement also required each independedt consultant to pay a portion of his or her revenues to Erhard's company.
Tekniko Administrative Manger, Landmark Education website.
"The qualified candidate would be accountable for managing all administrative and financial aspects of one of Landmark Education’s wholly owned subsidiaries, Tekniko Licensing Corporation. Working with Landmark Education Business Development, this person acts a liaison and resource for a wide variety of corporations that License Tekniko’s Technology for use in their corporations."
- Case Financial Inc · DEFM14A, SEC filings, May 3, 2000. "Mr. Giles is the owner of Tekniko Licensing Corporation, which licenses intellectual properties owned by Tekniko to businesses throughout the world.
- Pacific Biometrics, filings, Form SB-2, April 7, 2006. "Mr. Giles currently also serves as Chairman of Giles Enterprises, a private holding company for various business enterprises, as Chairman of the Board of Landmark Education Corporation, a private company providing seminars on personal growth and responsibility, as Chairman of Mission Control Productivity, Inc., a private company, and as the owner of GWE, LLC, a private company specializing in lender financing.
- The Promise of Philosophy and the Landmark Forum
- McCarl, Steven R., Zaffron, Steve, Nielsen, Joyce McCarl and Kennedy, Sally Lewis, "The Promise of Philosophy and the Landmark Forum" . Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. XXIII, No. 1 & 2, Jan/Feb & Mar/Apr 2001 or DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.278955 Available at SSRN
- Harvard Business School study: Landmark Education Corporation: Selling a Paradigm Shift, Karen Hopper Wruck, Mikelle Fisher Eastley, 1997, case # 9-898-081, page 13., quote, CEO Harry Rosenberg.
- Bhattacharya, Anupama (May 1999). "Master of Fate". Life Positive. Retrieved September 20, 2006.
- Landmark Forum course syllabus
- The Talent Foundation website
- The Talent Foundation Study: A Shortcut to Motivated and Adaptive Workforces,Full study
- International Society for Performance Improvement, award to LEBD, award, Landmark Education Business Development
- Daniel Yankelovich: The Magic of Dialog: Transforming Conflict into Cooperation. New York: Touchstone, 2001. ISBN 0-684-86566-1
- The Harris Survey: Money: The Impact of Landmark's Programs on Participants' Income Levels
- "Sekten : Wissen schützt. Eine Information des Bundesministeriums für Umwelt, Jugend und Familie, Stubenbastei 5, 1010 Wien, 1996 (Sects : Knowledge protects. Information from the Federal Ministry of the Environment, Youth and the Family, Stubenbastei 5, 1010 Wien, 1996)
- International Religious Freedom Report 2005, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.
- Jill P. Capuzzo, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1996, Come On! There's A New Life Waiting Over The Weekend
- "Landmark Forum", The Skeptic's Dictionary, Robert T. Carroll, Published by John Wiley & Sons, August 15, 2003, ISBN 0-471-27242-6.
- Apologetics Index, page, Landmark Education
- "A Very Nineties Weekend", The Tablet, Annabel Miller, 29/05/1999; (requires free registration to access). "Several Catholic priests and religious sisters have endorsed Landmark. The Trappist monk Basil Pennington has praised the Forum for bringing about a "full human enlivenment" which make people "more lively" in the practice of whatever faith they have.
- Lews, James R. (2001). Odd Gods: New Religions & the Cult Controversy. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. pp. 382–387.
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