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Nor have I “popped” like microwave popcorn, as the Forum Leader striding back and forth at the front of the windowless gray room has promised.In fact, by the time he starts yelling and stabbing the board with a piece of chalk around hour 36, it’s become clear that I’ll be the hard kernel left at the bottom of this three-and-a-half-day Landmark Forum.Like a successful grad of its own program, Landmark has shed its past hang-ups and realized Breakthrough Results.“We are on the list of offerings in the human-resources departments in hundreds of companies and organizations around the world,” boasts PR director Deborah Beroset.Even on day one, most seem positively elated to have plunked down 500 bucks for a more efficient, passionate, powerful life.“Hey, it’s cheaper than therapy,” a therapist-turned-real estate agent tells me.

I've been on other ones too, but they all seem to be the same.

He ponders how to persuade one of his employees to pony up for the Forum.

She’s going through a rough patch, he explains—the recession, her marriage.

Erhard Seminars Training was founded by Werner Erhard, a former used car salesman who’d changed his name from Jack Rosenberg, moved to Northern California, and dabbled in Dale Carnegie, Zen, and Scientology before seizing upon the idea that you, and only you, are responsible for your own happiness or unhappiness, success or failure.

Est’s marathon Transformation sessions were legendary for their confrontational tactics (Erhard calling his students “assholes”), inscrutable platitudes (“What is, is, and what ain’t, ain’t”), and the pressure put on participants to bring in new recruits for the next cycle of seminars.

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