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Expert and Professional Assessments

Considering participating in any personal development program can bring up a lot of questions.  Landmark, which is recognized as one of the top leadership and development training program providers in the world, has been observed by dozens and dozens of top international experts who confirm the scope, safety and effectiveness of Landmark’s program. The following findings and opinions reflect a wide range of research and study by experts in psychology, sociology and religion, and address many of the questions that sometimes arise when one is looking at doing a personal development program:

What do health professionals and educators say about Landmark’s programs?

To date, more than 40,000 health professionals and educators have participated in Landmark’s programs. Harris Interactive®, one of the largest and most respected market research firms in the world, conducted an independent survey, on behalf of Landmark, of health professionals and educators who have taken Landmark programs.  The results show that an overwhelming 94% agree that Landmark’s programs are professionally conducted and provide great value.

Are Landmark’s programs safe?

Yes. Numerous top experts have independently observed Landmark’s program and confirm they are safe. Following is a representative sample of expert opinions from mental health professionals and academics:

An eminent US psychologist and retired CEO of the American Psychological Association, in an independent report (PDF), which reflected his personal opinion, stated:

“I did not experience any personal sense of harm, danger, threat of intimidation at any time, and I saw no evidence that anyone else did. In my opinion, there was nothing in The Landmark Forum program that I attended either in its content or the way in which it was conducted, that could be considered as harmful to participants.”

Dr. Charles Watson AM, former Chief Health Officer of Western Australia and Executive Dean of Health Sciences at Curtin University said:

“I have personally observed The Landmark Forum and other programs at Landmark. Speaking from my expertise and experience as a medical doctor and former Chief Health Officer, my view is that there is absolutely nothing harmful in Landmark's programs.  This conclusion is fully aligned with those of numerous independent studies by top experts."

Dr. Danny Wedding, Ph.D., MPH, Division President of the American Psychological Association, Past President of the Assoc. of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers, Former Fulbright Senior Scholar and APA Congressional Science Fellow, said:

“I did not see any evidence to suggest that any participant of The Landmark Forum would be harmed or would suffer harm in the future.”

Are Landmark’s programs psychological in nature?

No.

Landmark’s programs are not based in psychology, nor are they in any way psychological in nature. While a representative sample of expert opinions to that effect is provided below, numerous other statements representing similar opinions from mental health professionals and academics can be made available:

An eminent US psychologist and retired CEO of the American Psychological Association, in an independent report (PDF), which reflected his personal opinion, stated:

“Landmark Forum Leaders are not, and do not need to be, psychotherapists or psychologists, and the program could in no sense be regarded as psychotherapy or as a part of the discipline of psychology.”

Dr. Danny Wedding, Ph.D., MPH, Division President of the American Psychological Association, Past President of the Assoc. of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers, Former Fulbright Senior Scholar and APA Congressional Science Fellow, said:

“I observed a Landmark Forum approximately two years ago. I was impressed by the professionalism of the staff that coordinated the meeting. As someone who writes about and teaches psychotherapy, I feel strongly that this educational program is definitely not psychotherapy.”

Dr. Christopher Was, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at Kent State University in the U.S., said:

“I have observed numerous Landmark Forums and other Landmark programs. Landmark’s educational system is based on ontological education and established pedagogy versus other programs that may employ psychological or experiential methodologies.”

Are Landmark’s programs spiritual or religious in nature?

No. Neither Landmark nor its programs are spiritual, religious, or cult-like in any way. This has been confirmed by numerous experts and clergy of different faiths.  While a representative sample of expert opinions to that effect is provided below, numerous other statements representing similar opinions from top experts and clergy can be made available:

Paul F. Knitter, Ph.D., Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture, at Union Theological Seminary, stated:

“The facts are clear that Landmark and The Landmark Forum are not a religion or religious in nature, are not contrary to religion and do not interfere with the religious beliefs of participants in The Landmark Forum. The Landmark Forum provides no theology, dogma or doctrine to believe in and follow, there is nothing to worship and there are no practices to repeat.  In addition, many participants in The Landmark Forum have reported that their participation in fact enhanced their own religious beliefs and practices.  I would strongly state that although the Landmark Forum may produce the results that many religions would affirm, it does so without any kind of religious grounding or framework.”

Bishop Otis Charles said:

"As a former Bishop and Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, I have participated in The Landmark Forum and, while I have never known the program to deal with God, worship, divinity or theology, each person’s religious preference and practice is considered his or her private concern and is completely respected."

The late Father Basil Pennington, world renowned spiritual teacher and author, said:

“While The Landmark Forum is not religiously oriented, the full human enlivenment which it brings about leads to the person becoming more lively in the practice of his or her faith.”