Express Yourself: Am I a self-promoting marketer pretending to be superior to all?

A reader from California writes:

The way you shamelessly steal from Landmark (Education) on one day and than use Landmark as a platform to show how superior you are to Landmark another day is just amazing.

You are nothing but a desperate telemarketer trying to grab the market any way she can.

With your approach you will never be trusted by anyone and only a few lonely similar disenchanted and isolated persons will give you their $ and the time of day. Anyone else can see the approach you are using is dangerous, self serving and dishonest and wisely will keep you at the greatest possible distance.

OK, this person, so far, has written this kind of email to me about 20 times... most worse than this.

Question: do you agree with his evaluation of me and my work?

Am I a desperate telemarketer trying to climb up on the dead bodies of people, companies, or methods I write about?

You can comment anonymously, but you must use your real email address, or I won't publish your comment. I'll test your email... Cowards are not welcome. Hate, anger expressed is OK.

Author: Sophie Benshitta Maven

award winning architect, magazine publisher, transformational and spiritual coach and teacher, self declared Avatar

24 thoughts on “Express Yourself: Am I a self-promoting marketer pretending to be superior to all?”

  1. I can’t speak to the writer’s comments about Landmark, but once I sensed anger and offensiveness to your offer of signing up soon to receive a discount. I interpreted it as desperation.

    Sure I can distract myself from what I have chosen in my mind by projecting my ‘disgust, righteousness, anger’ onto you ‘for pressuring me to sign up soon’, but eventually, I have to take responsibility for what I think and feel. IOW any anger I feel is my issue not yours.

    “I am not upset by a fact, I am upset by my interpretation of a fact” -ACIM.

  2. Eugene, without sounding anything other than I intend to sound: a coach: is it everywhere that you react to “pressure” or “being pressured” with anger, disgust, righteousness and anger? If it is, than you, maybe, found the focus of what could raise your vibration and make you a better human being.

    You see, if you have to go through the mental process of “it’s not them, it’s me” then you are still unhappy with a mental tool… The goal is to have no issue about anything. I mean anything at all.

    The biggest issue I see with popular methods like the ones put on memes is that they are pseudo-transformation, and take a lot of work. My entire work is about ridding people of the need to use their mental energy to be well, get well, get “transformed”, etc.

    Was this comment self-promoting? Pressure? Superior? Let me know.

  3. I see your point about my reaction to pressure. Thank you, It’s obvious to me, that your comment was not self promoting, pressuring or implying superiority. It was helpful. Stating the intention that what you wrote was coming from the role of a coach made it clear. .

  4. I don’t know anything about Landmark (had never heard of it until 2 months ago), so I can’t comment on that part.

    I don’t experience you as a desperate telemarketer, and actually, your marketing seems minimal. I feel grateful, every day, for the time, care and attention you give out, and whose value is way beyond, and cannot be compared with the modest amount you charge.

    As for the “lonely, disenchanted and isolated persons” the writer refers to, I do not recognise myself in that statement, and nor do the circumstances of my life reflect that back to me. There is judgment contained in those words, that someone in that state is lesser than the writer.

    I find the statement that you are posturing as superior, incorrect. In articles and during sessions, you make it clear that the pitfalls and delusions we fall prey to are human events, common to all, including yourself. In my experience, a superior person would never publicly admit that, let alone use it as a teaching tool, for others to benefit from.

    I think that work as direct as you do could be dangerous for someone who is mentally unstable or fragile, but so could lots of things (eg, extended periods of meditation, binge drinking, abusive relationships). No genuine transformational work is without its risks, but it seems that you take the precaution of not working with anyone you don’t believe is suitable, and you are well aware that not everyone will benefit from the way you teach.

    Interesting that the writer states, “anyone else wisely will … keep you at the greatest possible distance,” while continually contacting you, and thus choosing to try and keep themselves in relationship with you. Perhaps they need to examine their motives in order to discern why they are doing the opposite of taking their own advice.

    Thank you Sophie.

  5. I too was confused at first, as to why you used Landmark one day and then lambasted them the next. But on closer reading of your material and use of your products and courses, I am gaining a deeper insight and respect for you and all you are doing in the “mire” of self promoting “shiny airbrushed” web sites, flashy marketing jargon, on how much we can save today just buy NOW! before it’s too late, too late for whom?

    No, I do not agree with the above assessment, to do what you do alone, is the very reason I came back to your site. ‘You give your time as you do for very little monetary reward’ says it all but people are suspicious. I admit I was too, but I kept coming back, kept reading, my take on your use of Landmark is to keep in mind the message from the messenger how much truth it reveals to the reader at that particular moment…
    …and distinguish for yourself, be responsible for your thoughts, words and actions.

    Not meaning to sound trite Sophie, as this is a word I do not use often: I feel blessed to have found you and wish you many of the same.

  6. Thank you Trish. I appreciate what you say.

    I do see that I never explained why I always return and return to my reference point of Landmark Education. I may even need to get clear myself.

    For me, Landmark was like religion for many: the air I was breathing for so many years.

    all my friends were from Landmark,
    all my conversations were Landmark…

    and like with your lover, you want to get everything you need from them… and you are disappointed all the time, because they are not all they could be.

    I guess that is my relationship to Landmark, what could have been, what they could be, if they weren’t who they are.

    Sore and still complaining… lol. Funny and not funny. Sad. And painful.

    It’s like you need to go to another country to make a difference because you cannot be heard, you are not respected at home.

    Hm. The story of my life? I can’t wait for our Playground session on Tuesday. I think I’ll make the topic about disappointment, disappointing… I think what I need to see what’s underneath my relationship with Landmark will come up nicely.

  7. Good stuff from Eugene and C.

    Unlike them, I can comment on Landmark Education and though I admit Sophie uses the ideas of Landmark in some of her programs, she doesn’t use the underlying dark side of Landmark Education which is to “Sell” you on the fact that you “need” to pay your very last cent to be in their program. They use unbelievable tactics and pressure to get you to sign on to every program.

    They are not about true transformation, they are about true wealth, plain and simple. I went to the Forum and a few evening sessions, in 1990, and stopped going.

    I liked what they were teaching but I wasn’t about to let them steal me blind and put me in debt. I often sat there thinking this would be so awesome if they taught this to kids in school while they were young enough for it to be with them through their lives, but of course then they wouldn’t make any money.

    It truly saddened me that it couldn’t be available to everyone who wanted to make true changes.

    So I guess that’s why I am so drawn to Sophie, because I don’t feel like I’m being pressured or pushed into anything.

    It’s difficult to hear some of the hard truths that come up but that’s my issue to deal with. And Sophie’s sometimes seemingly abrasive style is just her passion, I suspect, her passion to help people see their truth.

    Anyway I don’t see what she does as stealing from Landmark I see it as improving on a great program that can be made better. As she has said many times, she is an innovator, and from my perspective at least, there’s no shame in that. After all, I am a dog trainer and use many techniques from many different trainers, and I tell people things from those same trainers that I feel aren’t accurate, is that shameful?

  8. Deneen, a large percentage of Landmark participant end up with the same experience. I never did, by the way, and I mostly stood out like a sore thumb. But that is neither here or there.

    My issue is not organizational, not marketing related with anyone, my “complaint” about them is that what they sell doesn’t work, or doesn’t work over time.

    I had a client here (just left) and I explained to him how the Harmonizer works. I emphasized that while the audio is going, that channel, that space opens up to what we could call the Universe, the Divine, Source, and it harmonizes your vibration, it combs your nerves out like you comb your hair, it removes crossed wires, but when you stop playing the audio, it stops doing it and your inner “hair” becomes disheveled again.

    If the many modalities told you the truth that you have to continue doing what they teach or you lose it, they would have no clients, or not as many.

    The goal of alchemists has always been to permanently change tin to gold… in the field of human evolution, to cause something permanent so the person can move to the next level without having to spend most of their lives maintaining the level they just conquered.

    I think that my improvements on what I learned other places, as you say, my innovations, are in the right direction, and maybe even the right solution, but only time will tell, right?

    Thank you for your share. I appreciate it and I appreciate you. I really liked the dog training bit: it really tells the story well.

  9. Sophie, you and your work exist at such a different level than the one that the reader from California is writing from, that it is difficult to bridge the two in a single comment.

    You have every right to mention Landmark in your work and marketing. You have put in the time with them and understand what works and what doesn’t work in their technology. There is nothing desperate in any of your work or marketing.

    I can see where he is coming from. But it’s such a surface reading. At this same level (his), your vibrational reviews of other teachers seem un-spiritual and gossipy. But you have one commitment: to truth and to the growth of humanity. You speak freely and peel back the layers of bullshit. There is no calculation, judgement, or meanness in the way you write, speak, or work.

    He doesn’t comment on your work, only on your marketing. I guess he can utilize being right about that to keep from examining or trying out the work for himself. That’s okay, it’s a strategy.

    He’s resisting something, and I love him for that, he’s a fighter.

  10. John, you really say that resisting is like fighting?

    Apart from that, thank you for your kind words.

    I’d also like to read the take of someone(s) who doesn’t like me, doesn’t believe me, I am eager to learn what turns people off…

  11. Anger is an energy. He’s engaged in some kind of struggle. It’s a sign of life. Maybe he’s waiting for the one word from you that he take as an invitation. After the final No there comes a Yes, and on that yes depends the future of the world. You have no obligation to engage him, really. There may be gold in his complaint. Let’s do the alchemy and find it.

  12. Yes, there is energy in anger, more energy than in resentment.

    The energy of anger can be a fuel or it can turn on the person…

    I am not making invitations… and there is gold in his complaint, let’s mine it. I have already mined some diamonds… if you really want to know…

  13. I love the way your other students can articulate so well their observations. I am on such a babies level right now and observe things only on the surface. I look forward to being able to examine deeper and more complexly as I grow in my journey.

    I thought the analogy you wrote about the Harmonizer was very helpful. I of course thought about it in dog terms because that’s what I do, and envisioned a Maltese who is expertly groomed by a groomer, beautiful, free flowing hair. Groomer gives instructions to brush the dog for 10 minutes every day to the owner and sends them on their way. Two months later the dog is back at the groomer with painful matts of hair under its arms, and neck pulling its skin when the dog walks. So the groomer has to comb and brush the matts, a painful thing for dogs to go through and sometimes the matts are so bad they must be cut out and the dog shaved down.

    Happens every time if the owner doesn’t brush them every day.

  14. The gentleman would do well to try out the power of “and.” This is what I say: I was involved in Landmark for a long time. The Forum was one of the best things I ever did in my life AND the organization is kind of coercive, bordering on cultish, and I don’t like the way that feels.

    “And” calls for responsibility and exercising choice and discernment in the matter. I can tell the truth and I can choose not to be a victim of anything. (Okay, I’m practicing these things…)

  15. John, please stop acting superior.

    The way to do that is you share what you do or what you did… in this case you are trying to say that the ambivalent feelings about Landmark Education can be handles and reconciled by using the AND METHOD… Ambivalence is having two sides of a coin that are incompatible in your world. The AND method makes you put an AND between the two sides and take out the ambivalence.

    In Landmark’s case: I love the programs, and I hate their pressure filled practices, pressure to buy more, pressure to bring guests.

    Which results in peace, and no conflict… Ambivalence is conflicted in English.

    And the person whose comment you are answering is a woman… rare name, but you could know her, she is in our Playground. Lovely woman, by the way.

  16. Thank you, Sophie. I do act superior, it’s one of my worst characteristics, and I am working on letting go of it.

  17. Sophie, from the day I found your website I always thought that you have something to offer that no one else can. Amazing products and services that you sell cost nothing compare to what greedy teachers and spiritual leaders sell their stuff for. Even a poor person can afford what you offer.
    Your work is priceless! No money can buy it and I hope more and more people will realize it. Thank you for being so unique and special and I am grateful for the amazing work you do

  18. Hello Johnny, I am Deneen. I wish I knew enough about the techniques and lingo to have a clue as to what you are talking, about as I am new to all of this. I’m sure what you are suggesting is something I could benefit from and hopefully once I have more experience I will be able to use these techniques. That is the plan anyway. LOL! Ironically you were one of the people I was complimenting when I said in my other comment to Sophie, “I love the way your other students can articulate so well their observations.” Anyway, thanks for the advice.

  19. Oh, Deneen. My comments about the “and” were actually directed toward the original reader/writer from California. Is that you? I am going to step back and allow Sophie to lead the instruction here. She will clarify everything. Thank you for your kind words.

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