All roads lead to the Rick Ross Institute at the moment. An excellent reference for cults, brainwashing and creepy groups in general, it has been a goldmine of information on Landmark ‘Education’. In particular its shady beginnings in the EST Movement, and its founder’s (Werner Erhard, formerly Jack Rosenberg) strong links to L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology.
I would do a poor job of properly explaining how Landmark operates, so you should read the Rick Ross site, it’s very enlightening. I find it interesting with regards to the sort of person I’ve been living with for eight months, how she operates, has tried to engage me in conversation about emotional issues, attempted to convince me to join her sect and clearly how she treats non-Landmark members in a disagreement.
I had the most horrendous ‘discussion’ with her yesterday. I was roundly insulted and treated to a breathtaking display of manipulation and intimidation techniques, that people normally use only in business. It was utterly ruthless, vicious and frightening. Landmark has trained her well. The only thing she didn’t do was accuse me of homophobia, which I was also expecting.
She went through a textbook display of ‘how to screw your opponents’, which didn’t occur to me until 5am the following morning. It should be noted here that we have discussed all our issues thoroughly over a month ago, I have told her directly what my expectations are, now informed her of when I expect her to leave and am the only person on the lease. Legally, I can give her 14 days to get out, and in fairness, have given her a month. This is where the argument started:
1. Whatever you do, make no eye contact. Turn your back if necessary. Very, very mature. That really solves a lot of problems.
2. Attack is the best form of defence. I was accused of acting like a 4-year old, creating the entire drama myself, being completely uncompromising and was lectured for a while about my ‘trust issues’.
3. Call the conversation to a close, midway through the conversation. Nope, nothing immature about that at all.
4. Don’t sit down, move from room to room, always getting in the last word. For the past week, this woman has refused to talk to me at all about this. I have received the most stupid texts and little snippets of information, but no time in the day to sort this out.
5. Diversion: destabilise your opponent. Throw in random and unconnected accusations. Halfway through, I was accused of creating the entire drama myself, because I ‘don’t like her girlfriend.’ No, I don’t like either of you. I do not play favourites in that game.
6. Completely disregard the facts. Behave as though they do not exist and do not acknowledge or refer to past conversations. The whole fact of the matter, that her girlfriend has virtually moved in, has been completely overlooked. Most other things we agreed to have not been done, and are now forgotten.
7. Guilt-tripping and shaming. Despite being completely slagged off, she tried to appeal to my better side by saying that she couldn’t move under 6 weeks. She has ‘nowhere to go’ and is in her exam period. Sweetheart – refer to point #2. My heart is bleeding.
While sniffing around the Rick Ross site, I also found this, an article about dealing with manipulative people. Putting this together with my 5am wakeup call, I realised a few things: that I wasn’t actually dealing with someone who is willing to talk and communicate on a human level. This is someone who will do absolutely anything to get her own way. Regardless of whether she’s right or wrong – that’s not the issue any more.
The worst thing is how I wind up feeling after things like this. I feel like an awful person. I become aggressive and ranty. I can’t stop thinking about it and I begin to question whether what I’m doing is right, despite the fact that I’ve done everything I can to communicate and work it out. Everyone says ‘don’t worry about it’. They say put on the music, read a book, and ride out the month. But I can’t – I feel like shit. The atmosphere in my house is now like poison.
It’s not all bad – I am quite touched by the level of support shown however! My parents offered to come around and make things uncomfortable. My sister wrote to give me a long rundown on her old housemate who was a total lunatic. Another mate offered to come round and unleash their anti-social mate ‘Graham’ upon the house. And Mai, all the way from Montreal, has offered the use of her five Sikh brothers, swords drawn and beards twitching angrily. (they all have cool French names like Didier and Hubert, you really have to check out her site for yourself to believe the wonders within.)
Yesterday I stomped in, in a mighty mood about the unfairness of life and came upon this post by Audrey, which was incredibly sad and moving. My dramas melted away. Much love to you Audrey, from a total stranger.
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