Walter Plywaski, however, will never be convinced that there is a shred of value in what Landmark has to offer. In particular, he worries about The Forum encouraging people to forget about the past if it disturbs them.
"Wouldn't it be nice if we could just forget the Holocaust ever happened?" he says. "Maybe for some people...the Germans, the paleo-Nazis and the neo-Nazis and anyone else who feels uncomfortable with the subject."
Plywaski himself cannot forget. For fifty years he has lived with the guilt of being too afraid to say goodbye to his mother as she was herded off to the gas chambers.
"Perhaps it would be nice to forget all these bad things," he says. "But then who would be there to remember for when the next Hitler comes along...Part of being human is learning to deal with trouble as individuals, not some group-think."
One section of The Forum he attended, Plywaski says, was a "fear session" during which participants were asked to close their eyes and imagine that the person sitting next to them wanted to kill them. "Then it was all the people around them," he says. "That brought on the first moans and cries. Then it was all the people in the room wanted to kill them. There were screams.
"By the end, everyone in the world wanted to kill us. I cheated and opened my eyes. There were people writhing on the floor, kicking and screaming...just like at the old tent revival meetings. And what is the purpose in either instance except to instill fear so that you can control them...'Only Jay-sus can save you'...'Only Landmark can give you heaven on earth.'
"They want to replace your individual values, experiences, morals with their values, experiences and morals. Your way of looking at the world with their way of looking at the world. Your mind with their mind.
"Sure, it all seems benign. But look at what's happening just in this country. The malicious militias. Farrakhan and all his hatred. All these little cults who 'know the way' the rest of us should follow. Hitler just wanted to unify Germany and protect German people from the Jews.
"True believers are true believers, and they can all be dangerous when push comes to shove.