Landmark Worldwide

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Landmark Education)
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Landmark School.
Landmark Worldwide
Type Private LLC
Industry self-help, self-improvement, personal development, management consulting, continuing education
Founded January 1991
Headquarters San Francisco, California, U.S.
Key people

Harry Rosenberg: Director;[1] CEO
Mick Leavitt: President
Joe DiMaggio – Director, Research, Design & Development

Nancy Zapolski: Vice President, Program Delivery Division
Products The Landmark Forum, associated coursework
Revenue DecreaseUSD$77 million (2009)[2]
Employees 525+ employees;[2]
800 trained leaders, some of whom volunteer their time;[3][not in citation given]
Subsidiaries The Vanto Group (formerly Landmark Education Business Development or LEBD, from 1993 to 2007)
Landmark Education International, Inc.[4]
Tekniko Licensing Corporation
Rancord Company, Ltd.
Website Landmark's homepage

Landmark Worldwide (formerly Landmark Education), or simply Landmark, is a limited liability company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It offers programs in personal development. The company reports that more than 2.2 million people have taken Landmark's programs since its founding in 1991, and that it hosts courses in approximately 115 locations across more than 20 countries.

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


Landmark Worldwide LLC was founded in January 1991 by several of the presenters of a training program known as "The Forum".[5] Landmark purchased the intellectual property rights to The Forum from Werner Erhard and Associates and used that as the basis for its foundation course named "The Landmark Forum", which has been further updated over the years. It has since developed around 55 additional training courses and seminar programs throughout 20 different countries around the world.

The corporation was originally registered as Transnational Education and changed its name to Landmark Education Corporation in May 1991.[6] In June 2003 it was re-structured as Landmark Education LLC,[7] and in July 2013 renamed Landmark Worldwide LLC.

According to Landmark, Werner Erhard (creator of the est training which ran from 1971 to 1984) consults from time to time with its "Research and Design team".[8] Terry Giles, Chairman of the Board, is credited with resolving a long-standing rift among the descendants of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.[9][10]


Landmark Worldwide LLC operates as an employee-owned for-profit private company. According to Landmark's website, its employees own all the stock of the corporation, with no individual holding more than 3%. The company states that it operates in such a way as to invest its surpluses into making its programs, initiatives, and services more widely available.[2] In addition, its subsidiary, the Vanto Group, focuses on marketing and delivering training and consultation services to corporate clients and other organizations.[11]

The company reports more than 2.2 million people have participated in its programs since 1991.[12] Landmark holds seminars in approximately 115 locations in more than 20 nations.[13] Landmark stated in 2005 that annual attendance at its courses was 200,000, with 70,000 to 80,000 participants in the Landmark Forum.[14] It has stated that from 1991 to 2008 more than 1 million people had taken part in Landmark's introductory program, the Landmark Forum.[15] Landmark reported revenues of approximately $81 million as of 2011.[2]

Business consulting[edit]

Vanto Group, Inc., founded in 1993 as "Landmark Education Business Development" (LEBD), a wholly owned subsidiary of Landmark Worldwide Enterprises, Inc., uses the techniques of Landmark to provide consulting services to various companies. The University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business carried out a case study in 1998 into the work of LEBD with 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.[16] LEBD became the Vanto Group in 2007.

Companies such as Panda Express and Lululemon Athletica pay for and encourage employees to take part in The Landmark Forum.[17][18]

Licensing intellectual property[edit]

Tekniko, Inc., formerly owned by Werner Erhard, was the successor organization to Transformational Technologies, which was incorporated in 1984 by Erhard and management consultant James Selman.[19] Tekniko Licencing Corporation, a California corporation owned by Terry M. Giles, later acquired this technology. In 2001 Landmark Education formed Tekniko Licensing Corporation, a Nevada corporation, which purchased Tekniko Technology from Giles' company.[20][21]

Since that time, the Vanto Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Landmark Worldwide, has used Tekniko to license the "Tekniko methodology and intellectual property to a wide variety of corporations".[22]

Course content[edit]

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 typically ends at approximately 10:00 p.m. Breaks are approximately every 2–3 hours, with a 90-minute dinner break. The evening session generally runs from 7:00 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. Course size varies between 75 and 250 people.[23] Rules are set up at the beginning of the program, such as strongly encouraging participants not to miss any part of the program.[24] Attendees are also urged to be “coachable” and not just be observers during the course.[24][25] The program is arranged as a discussion where the course leader presents certain ideas and the course participants engage in voluntary sharing with the course leader to discuss how those ideas apply to their own life.[15] Ideas presented, asserted and discussed include the following:

  • There is a big difference between what actually happened in a person’s life and the meaning or interpretation they made up about it[15]
  • People pursue an imaginary someday of satisfaction[23]
  • Human behavior is governed by a need to look good [24]
  • People add meaning to events in their life which are not necessarily true[23]
  • People have persistent complaints that give rise to unproductive fixed ways of being[24][25][26]
  • People can “transform” by a creative act of bringing forth new ways of being, rather than trying to change themselves in comparison to the past[23]
  • Course participants are encouraged to call people they know during the course with whom they feel they have unresolved tensions and either be in communication with the other person or be responsible for their own behavior.[23][24][26]
  • The Tuesday evening session completes the Landmark Forum with several further distinctions and sharing by participants about the results they got. Course attendees bring guests to learn about the Landmark Forum.[23][25][26]

Curriculum for Living[edit]

Subsequent to the Landmark Forum, Landmark Worldwide offers a complete series of programs called the Curriculum for Living, comprising the following courses:

  • The Landmark Forum
  • A complementary 10-session weekly seminar (most often The Landmark Forum in Action)
  • The Landmark Advanced Course[3]
  • The Self Expression and Leadership Program[4]

Community projects[edit]

Some other Landmark courses encourage or require participants to create a community project.[27][28][29] In the Self-Expression and Leadership Program, participants are required to undertake a project that benefits the larger community or society as a whole.[30][31][32][33]

In the Team, Management, and Leadership Program, participants create four team-based community projects.[34]

Reviews and criticisms[edit]

The New York Times reporter Henry Alford summarized his review of The Landmark Forum by saying "Two months after the Forum, I'd rate my success at 84 percent. I'm more prone to telling loved ones and colleagues, in person and without glibness, that I love or admire them. But I still operate from a base position that people are a lot of effort."[35] Time reporter Nathan Thornburgh, in his review of The Landmark Forum, said "At its heart, the course was a withering series of scripted reality checks meant to show us how we have created nearly everything we see as a problem …I benefited tremendously from the uncomfortable mirror the course had put in front of me."[36]

The Irish Mail on Sunday says the effects of The Landmark Forum "...can be startling. People find themselves reconciled with parents, exes and friends. They have conversations they have wanted to have with their families for years; they meet people or get promoted in work."[37]

Landmark makes extensive use of web-published and word-of-mouth testimonials from customers to portray its effectiveness, and supplements these with studies, surveys, and opinions.[38]

Some observers[who?] question whether and to what degree Landmark courses benefit participants. Others[who?] criticize the use of volunteers by Landmark; others[who?] highlight the connections with other groups and with Werner Erhard. Some have criticized Landmark as overzealous in encouraging people to participate in its courses.[39]

Journalists Amelia Hill with The Observer and Karin Badt from The Huffington Post have witnessed the Landmark Forum and concluded that, in their view, it is not a cult. Hill wrote, "It is ... simple common sense delivered in an environment of startling intensity." Badt noted the organisation's emphasis on "'spreading the word' of the Landmark forum as a sign of the participants' 'integrity'" in recounting her personal experience of an introductory "Landmark Forum" course. Part of this theme included repeated comparisons between program participants and Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi.[40] Badt also noted that, "At the end of the day, I found the Forum innocuous. No cult, no radical religion: an inspiring, entertaining introduction of good solid techniques of self-reflection, with an appropriate emphasis on action and transformation (not change)", pointing instead to problems lying with uncritical participants.[23]

Landmark makes no claims to being a religion, but some academic observers have nonetheless noted relationships between the training programs and religion. Others have noted a lack of religious elements in the programs or the compatibility of the programs with existing religions.[41] Academic sources have suggested that the programs possess religious features and/or address participants' spiritual needs.[42]

Following a series of investigative articles in the national daily Dagens Nyheter[43][44][45] and programs on the private TV channel TV4, Landmark closed its offices in Sweden[46] in June 2004. The French office of Landmark also closed in July 2004 after labor inspectors, visiting the site and noting the activities of volunteers, made a report of undeclared employment.[47]

Mayfair’s Amber Allison describers Landmark’s instructors as “enthusiastic and inspiring.” Her review says that after doing The Landmark Forum, “Work worries, relationship dramas all seem more manageable”, and that she “let go of almost three decades of hurt, anger and feelings of betrayal” towards her father. [48]

Legal disputes[edit]

Since its formation in 1991, Landmark Worldwide LLC has initiated several lawsuits around the world, pressing defamation actions against authors and journalists who have intimated that it is a cult. Critics of Landmark have portrayed these actions as an assault on free speech or an attempt to suppress legitimate comment, whereas Landmark Education has insisted that it only seeks to have inaccurate statements corrected and to protect its products from unfair disparagement.[49][50] In addition, other actions have been brought by individuals who have been required by their employers to attend seminars delivered by Landmark and Vanto. Landmark has also initiated actions against websites such as Google and the Internet Archive to remove material it deems defamatory and to protect the privacy and confidentiality of participants in its courses.[51]


  1. ^ (January 7, 2002). "Landmark Education Celebrates 11 Years of Business and Growth". Retrieved on October 22, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d Landmark Fact Sheet. Retrieved on October 22, 2008.
  3. ^ The Landmark Seminar Leader Program. Retrieved on July 16, 2013.
  4. ^ (January 16, 1991). Articles of Incorporation, Retrieved on October 22, 2008.
    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."
  5. ^ Pressman, Steven (1993). Outrageous Betrayal: The dark journey of Werner Erhard from est to exile. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-09296-2, p. 254. (Out of print).
  6. ^ LP/LLC information. California Secretary of State. Filed February 26, 2003. Retrieved on October 23, 2008.
  7. ^ Corporation information. California Secretary of State. Filed June 22, 1987. Retrieved on October 23, 2008.
  8. ^ Faltermayer, Charlotte; Richard Woodbury (March 16, 1998). The Best of Est?. Time. Retrieved on October 22, 2008.
  9. ^ Dewan, Shaila (May 3, 2010). "Hired to Bring Order, Kings' Adviser Brings Peace". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2010-11-02. "Terry M. Giles ... the self-improvement techniques of EST. (Werner Erhard, the creator of EST, is a client.)" 
  10. ^ Dow Jones & Co., Inc. (2010). "Landmark Education Corporation". The Business Journals (American City Business Journals, Inc.). Retrieved 2010-11-02. "Landmark Education Corporation - Company Executives - Terry Giles - Chairman of the Board" 
  11. ^ (February 1, 2008). "Landmark Education Business Development, LEBD, Changes Name to Vanto Group". Reuters. Retrieved on October 22, 2008.
  12. ^ Who Participates. Retrieved on September 1, 2013.
  13. ^ See:
  14. ^ About Landmark. Retrieved on July 16, 2013.
  15. ^ a b c Stassen, Wilma (September 2008). "Inside a Landmark Forum Weekend" Health 24[dead link]
  16. ^ Logan, David C. (1998). "Transforming the Network of Conversations in BHP New Zealand Steel: Landmark Education Business Development's New Paradigm for Organizational Change", University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, L984-01.
  17. ^ "General Tso, Meet Steven Covey". Business Week. 2010-11-18. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  18. ^ "Lululemon’s Cult of Selling". Fast Company. 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  19. ^ Norman Bodek (1985). ReVision: The Journal of Consciousness and Change, Vol 7, No. 2, Winter 1984 / Spring 1985
  20. ^ Case Financial Inc · DEFM14A. SEC filings on Filed May 3, 2000. Retrieved on October 23, 2008.
    Quote: "Mr. Giles is the owner of Tekniko Licensing Corporation, which licenses intellectual properties owned by Tekniko to businesses throughout the world."
  21. ^ Pacific Biometrics, filings. Form SB-2. Retrieved on October 23, 2008.
  22. ^ Landmark Education information.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g Badt, Karen (March 5, 2008). "Karin Badt: Inside The Landmark Forum". The Huffington Post. Retrieved on October 22, 2008.
  24. ^ a b c d e Hill, Amelia (2008-03-05). "I thought I’d be brainwashed. But how wrong could I be…". The Guardian (London: Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  25. ^ a b c McCrone, John (2008-11-22). "A Landmark Change". The Press (The Press (New Zealand)). 
  26. ^ a b c Odasso, Diane (2008-06-05). "My Landmark Experience". The Huffington Post ( Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  27. ^ "Velo and Vintage on Second Saturday". Sacramento Press. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  28. ^ 31/entertainment/24990821_1_breast-cancer-survivors-breast-cancer-survivors-duck-breast "Cherish the mammary: Restaurants raise funds for breast cancer survivors". Philadelphia Daily News. 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  29. ^ "Some of Detroit’s Major Miracle Makers". Time Magazine, Detroit Blog. 2010-09-21. Retrieved 2011-09-20. 
  30. ^ "Cyclists gear up for challenging event". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2008-04-19. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  31. ^ Mauro, Lucia (2001-10-26). "Middle Eastern arts on tap". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  32. ^ "Helping professionals take up community welfare projects". Chennai, India: Hindu Times. 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  33. ^ "Charity walk to boost anti-suicide initiatives". Bay of Plenty Times. 2011-08-20. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  34. ^ "Local couple finds true love is closer than you think". The Daily Courier. 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  35. ^ Alford, Henry (2010-11-26). "You're O.K., but I'm Not. Let's Share.". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  36. ^ "Change We Can (Almost) Believe In". TIME Magazine. 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  37. ^ "Landmark Forum: One Weekend to fix your LIFE?". Irish Mail on Sunday. 2012-02-18. 
  38. ^ "Brief Quotes". Retrieved on October 23, 2008.
  39. ^ Graham Rayman, "Suit Against Sperm-Bank Firm Claims Sexual Harassment and Cult-Like Behavior", Village Voice, 20 May 2008
  40. ^ Badt, Karin (2008-03-05). "Inside The Landmark Forum". The Huffington Post ( Retrieved 2009-08-11. "I questioned the odd apolitical bias of the program. Martin Luther King and Ghandi [sic] were not just victors of positive thinking: they had a radical political agenda to re-adjust political inequality. Their belief system was based in believing in something more than ourselves. Why were we being compared to Gandhi and King if we could stand up to our husbands and get a more successful career? [...The seminar deliverer] concluded, per forma, with moving descriptions of Gandhi and King." 
  41. ^ See:
  42. ^ See:
  43. ^ [1][dead link]
  44. ^ [2][dead link]
  45. ^ Christian Palme (2002-06-03). "Landsting köpte kurs av Landmark". DN.SE. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  46. ^ Tidskriften Analys & Kritik - Irrationalismen
  47. ^ See:
    • Marie Lemonniera, "Chez les gourous en cravate", Le Nouvel Observateur, 19 May 2005, accessed 7 December 2008; French text: "L'Inspection du Travail débarque dans les locaux de Landmark, constate l'exploitation des bénévoles et dresse des procès-verbaux pour travail non déclaré." English translation: "Labor inspectors turned up at the offices of Landmark, noted the exploitation of volunteers and drew up a report of undeclared employment."
    • "Defence workers trained by 'cult'", ABC News, 2 April 2008
    • (1996) "Liste des sectes dangereuses" (French). Retrieved on October 23, 2008.
    • (May 26, 2004). "Landmark Education - Droit de Répons - France 3" (French). Retrieved on October 23, 2008.
  48. ^ Allinson, Amber (April 2014). "Mind Over Matter". The Mayfair Magazine (U.K.). 
  49. ^ "File:2004 Landmark v Ross complaint.pdf - Wikimedia Commons". Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  50. ^ "File:2004 Landmark v Ross answer.pdf - Wikimedia Commons". Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  51. ^ Electronic Frontier Foundation. Landmark Education. Retrieved on September 1, 2013.

External links[edit]