Originally Posted by Orla
The main activity of the Landmark is to make--not urge--participants to apologize to the people around them for the "rackets" they have dumped on them. A racket is a state of being, Sophie explained, a story one tells oneself where one is a victim in a permanent state of complaint. We are constantly affixing "stories" to events rather than seeing the separation between "event" and "interpretation," and these stories are usually based in our self-righteous feeling of being wronged.
I find that totally shocking. It would discourage victims from seeking justice, for example, or discourage people from organising to right wrongs. Sometimes people need to complain and need for their story to be heard and acknowledged. If this doesn't happen a lot of the suffering will continue.
I am with Orla, for a reason and with a qualification:
My father survived more than 3 years and 9 months as a political prisoner (convicted 'political terrorist') of German concentration camps. I've personally met quite a large number of my father's comrades (the small part that also survived) and also quite a few survivors from death-camps like Auschwitz (the very small part that also survived).
I suppose this Landmark practice/theory/whatever logically covers these persons I have known, who had much to complain about, such as decades of no help whatsoever (my father was active here too), in spite of having survived horrors and having a damaged health, apart from the horrors of the camps.
And yes, these survivors complained a lot...
So no, this "rackets" theory and/or practice may have some sense for ordinary neurotics ("Accept! Accept!" as Henry Miller sung) but it hardly makes sense unrestrictedly, and it also wholly seems to forget that many people are often no good morally at all, or pretty harmful, to others, knowingly and knowingly in contradiction with their own professed ethical princiiples:
Video meliora proboque; deteriora sequor =
I see the better I approve of; I do the worse
For the safer, easier, more popular, more remunerating, more pleasant alternative is often other than what one believes one knows is the morally good alternative, according to one's own scale of moral values.
Should one apologize to such persons too, for complaining about their behaviour? One's torturers, for example? Methinks not.
Finally, it also smells too much like having semi-divine wishes and pretensions: "Forgive and forget", ye ken, with The Master Of Masters, and - frankly - neurotic to me, also having met quite a few Bagwanites drunk on their own state of "enlightenment" who were positively persecuting others with the Power of Positive Thinking and Personal Forgivenness for all one's sins, such as thinking that Bagwanites would do well to take some psychiatric pills.
It makes one feel so much more morally superior, to forgive our weaker brethern, in many an unctious & sanctimonious case of 'forgiving'.
The Dutch quite excel in it, by the way, and do it publicly in droves, headed by politiicans, assisted by Psychologists, on three media at the same time, preferably... and as ye ken, I'm an elderly cynic also.
And as I said, for ordinary neurotics, with ordinary problems, it may work. For a while. And provide a nice dosis of self-satisfaction the cynics call smugness. (In brief, I find it hard to believe this is more than make-belief and let's-pretend, in most cases, though there will be exceptions too.)
P.S. Just the other day a formerly Dutch woman, long since US, was 'honored' here in Holland (anno 2010) because when she returned from the death-camp Sobibor in 1945 there was no help for her and a lot of discrimination because she had married a Polish man who had helped her escaped Sobibor.
The woman was quite unforgiving, quite angry, and proud never to have to return to Holland. "Racket?"