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Did Silk Road plagiarise Landmark’s charter?

Last month a friend who had just started reading my book rang me almost hyperventilating. “It’s Landmark!” she said. “It’s fucking Landmark!”

Did DPR copy'n'paste for his charter?
Did DPR copy’n’paste for his charter?

She had noticed some startling similarities between the Landmark Forum’s 2020 Charter (which seems to have been superseded since it was written in the 90’s) and the Silk Road Charter, which is quoted at the beginning of the book. As a long-time member of Landmark (a “group awareness training seminar” that many have accused of having all the aspects of a cult), she recognised the words immediately. She followed up by email, and wrote:

“*ONE* of the courses Landmark offers is the Self Expression and Leadership Program which goes for 3 weekends 12 classrooms. People create a project to forward their self expression – WHATEVER that is, ultimately the project lives on without the creator. Now I can see why SR (even btc for that matter) makes such sense to me, it’s all about volunteers running a project.

The whole thing is so fucking familiar… Landmark offices have approximate ratio of 4 paid staff 250 volunteers. People take on accountabilities, it’s all about communicating, feedback, what worked/didn’t.

The Landmark Charter is kind of hard to find. But after many google searches I found a google groups post from 1999 purporting to retype it from their flyer (you need to scroll down several posts).

See for yourself (identical phrases highlighted in bold).

LANDMARK EDUCATION CORPORATION CHARTER

Landmark Education is a global enterprise whose purpose is to empower and enable people and organizations to generate and fulfill new possibilities. We create and provide programs, services, and paradigms that produce extraordinary results for our customers.

Our mission is to have the power and magic of transformation alive and real for all people.

We conduct ourselves and our enterprise from the following fundamental values that are at the heart of who we are:

The Opportunity to Make a Difference:

The profound privilege of causing and participating in one’s own Transformation, the transformation of others, and the transformation of life itself.

Self-Expression: The freedom to be, giving oneself fully to all of life.

Creating From Nothing: Generating possibilities from possibility itself, free from the constraints of the past

Responsibility: Responsibility begins with the willingness to be cause in the matter of one’s life. Ultimately, it is a context from which one chooses to live.

Integrity. The state of being whole and complete; honoring one’s word as oneself,

We promise to be true to our purpose, to accomplish our mission, to operate consistent with our values, and to generate our enterprise in service of our customers. This is who we are.

This is what you can count on.

SILK ROAD CHARTER

Silk Road is a global enterprise whose purpose is to empower people to live as free individuals. We provide systems and platforms that allow our customers to defend their basic human rights and pursue their own ends, provided those ends do not infringe on the rights of others.

Our mission is to have voluntary interaction between individuals be the foundation of human civilization.

We conduct ourselves and our enterprise from the following fundamental values that are at the heart of who we are:

Self-ownership

Individuals own their bodies, thoughts and will. Anything they create with their property or obtain without coercion is also theirs.

Responsibility

People are responsible for their actions. If one infringes on another’s rights, the victim has the right to defend themselves. Equality Property rights apply to all individuals equally, without exception.

Integrity

Honoring one’s word as one’s self. Word, thought, and action are aligned.

Virtue

Striving to improve one’s self and the lives of others in all actions. To create value.

We promise to be true to our purpose, to accomplish our mission, to operate consistent with our values, and to run our enterprise in service of our customers. This is who we are.

This is what you can count on.

The two charters are not identical by any means but they have some similarities that are unlikely to be explained by pure coincidence.

“There’s another program Landmark runs called TMLP TeamManagement & Leadership,” my friend tells me, “which is all about rotating leaders”.

Make of that what you will.

3 Responses

  1. Landmark sounds like a workshop that Ross would do. Could he have attended them and used those lessons as a model for his own venture? Is it known in the libertarian world?

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