Erhard Seminars Training

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Erhard Seminars Training, also known as est, EST, and est training, was an organization founded by Werner H. Erhard, which offered a two-weekend (60-hour) course known officially as "The est Standard Training". The purpose of est was "to transform one's ability to experience living so that the situations one had been trying to change or had been putting up with, clear up just in the process of life itself."[1] The est training was offered from late 1971 to late 1984.

Sourced[edit]

Quotes by founder[edit]

Werner Erhard in 2011
  • In est, the organization's purpose is to serve people, to create an opportunity for people to experience transformation, enlightenment, satisfaction and well-being in their lives.
    • Jamie Cresswell and Bryan Wilson, editors (1999). New Religious Movements. Routledge. p. 66. ISBN 0415200504. 
  • I knew that I couldn't create the space for other people to participate as long as my ego was in the way. It was after I solved that problem that I started est. The way I solved the problem was by realizing, 'How dare you not have an ego! How dare you! That's the ultimate ego!' The ultimate position of ego is to try not to have an ego. So, where my ego is, is right here, and I handle it by taking responsibility for it rather than by being the effect of it. Instead of being my ego, I have an ego.
    • Werner Erhard, quoted in — John Johns (May 1976). "Interview: Werner Erhard". The California Magazine: p. 15. 
  • Some people think est came into being because of my past. Actually, est came into being because I completed my past … Having confronted it, taken responsibility for it, communicated, and corrected it, it is now completed for me.
    • Werner Erhard, quoted in — Jesse Kornbluth (March 19, 1976). "The Fuhrer Over est - Werner Erhard of est: How the king of the brain-snatchers created his private empire". New Times: The Feature News Magazine. 
  • The purpose of est is to transform your ability to experience living so that the situations you have been trying to change or have been putting up with clear up just in the process of life itself.
    • Werner Erhard, quoted in — Adelaide Bry (March 1976). "Est: 60 Hours That Transform Your Life". 
  • My plans could be said to be to make est as public as possible. My notion on how to do that is through the educational system. So I would like to give est up to the environment.
    • Werner Erhard, quoted in — Jesse Kornbluth (March 19, 1976). "The Fuhrer Over est - Werner Erhard of est: How the king of the brain-snatchers created his private empire". New Times: The Feature News Magazine. 
  • I am a sort of revolutionary. I have a strange ambition, though. I don't want any statues. I don't want any ordinary monuments. What I want is for the world to work. That's the monument I want. There's egomania for you! The organizing principle of est is: 'Get the world to do what it is doing.' I want to create a context in which governments, education, families are nurturing. I want to enable, to empower, the institutions of man.[emphasis italics in original]

Italic text==About==

  • "A critical part of ‘the training,’ as practitioners refer to it, is freeing oneself from the past, accomplished by ‘experiencing’ recurrent patterns and problems rather than repeating them, where ‘experience again has a technical significance. To fully experience the pointless repetition of old, burdensome behaviors is to ‘experience them out’.”
    • Moreno, Jonathan D. (2014). Impromptu Man: J.L. Moreno and the Origins of Psychodrama, Encounter Culture, and the Social Network. New York: Bellevue Literary Press. p. 245. ISBN 978-1-934137-84-0. 
  • "The American obsession with Transformation isn’t new. It is about as old as the nation…But it was Werner Erhard who created the first modern transformation when he founded est seminars in 1971. It’s a tribute to the power of his central concept…that more than 20 years after he sold his ideas to a group of employees who went on to create Landmark that Landmark is still the natural first stop in any transformation tour.”
    • Thornburgh, Nathan (April 10, 2011). Change We Can (Almost) Believe In. Time Magazine. 
  • More direct evidence comes from a careful study of Large Group Awareness Training programs, variously known as Erhard Seminars Training (est), Lifespring, or simply the Forum. The basic procedure of these courses parallels the group training workshops … but the emphasis shifts from group effectiveness to personal development. By talking through life challenges, aspirations, fears, and the like with fellow participants and professional counselors/teachers, individuals hope to change how they view themselves, their family and friends, and their prospects for a fulfilling life.
    • Gastil, John (2010). The Group in Society. Los Angeles: SAGE. pp. 228-229. ISBN 9781412924689. 
  • In 1985, est was discontinued and replaced by a program called The Forum, which is very similar to est.
  • Est was known for its intensive workshops that promote communication skills and self-empowerment. The purpose of est was to transform one's ability to experience living so that the situations one had been trying to change or had been putting up with, clear up just in the process of life itself.
  • He [Steven Tipton] pointed out that the youth of the early 1960s rejected the traditional ethics of American society and tried drugs, sex, communes, sit-ins and be-ins, but finding them unrewarding turned to religion, in one or other of the three main forms. The first of these he described as 'born again' charismatic Christianity, which he examined in detail in his case study of the Living World Fellowship. Secondly, he examined the way of enlightenment in his study of the 'Pacific Zen Centre'. Finally his study of EST (Erhard Systems Training) provides an insight into the work of the human potential movement which aims at self realisation.
    • Nelson, Geoffrey K. (1987). Cults, New Religions and Religious Creativity. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 177. ISBN 0-7102-0855-3. 
  • “In many ways the training was the most important cultural event after the human potential movement itself seemed exhausted…”
    • Jonathan D. Moreno, "Impromptu Man: J.L. Moreno and the Origins of Psychodrama, Encounter Culture, and the Social Network," page 247
  • The seminar and organization have undergone numerous transformations and name changes through the years. Est was discontinued and replaced with The Forum, and in 1991, Werner Erhard and Associates (WE&A) was dissolved. In its place, Landmark Education was incorporated, with Erhard's brother, Harry Rosenberg, serving as CEO and overseeing the current seminar, which is called the Landmark Forum.
    • James K. Walker (2007). The Concise Guide to Today's Religions and Spirituality. Harvest House Publishers. pp. 137-138. ISBN 0736920110. 
  • Erhard Seminars Training ('est') was not founded until 1971, but as time progressed it gained one of the more devoted followings of the human potential groups (Tipton, 1982) Blending a brash, pragmatic self-help ideology with a mixture of psychic experience, self-awareness techniques and social concern, it 'trained' some 20,000 people during the first three years of its existence.
    • Wuthnow, Robert (1986). "Religious movements in North America". in Beckford, James A.. New Religious Movements and Rapid Social Change. London: Sage/UNESCO. p. 6. ISBN 92-3-102-402-7. 
  • “Over the years there have been negative stories, rumors, accusations of cultish behavior, disaffected employees and so on. The usual stuff we have come to expect. But there are also far more people in the world, by a long shot, who are among the million or so participants that attended Erhard’s training who were thrilled by the results they received. People had enormous and powerful changes occur for them in a very short time—it was a two-weekend course—and no naysayer could talk them out of the very real value they experienced in their lives as a result of participating in est, whether it was dramatic transformations in their relationships with their families, with their work and personal vision, or most important, with the recognition of who they truly were in the core of their beings.
    • Eliezer Sobel in Psychology Today, 40th anniversary of the est training, Oct 25, 2011

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External links[edit]

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References[edit]

  1. Sheridan Fenwick (1976). Getting It: The Psychology of est. J. B. Lippincott Company. p. 44. ISBN 0-397-01170-9.