Werner Erhard (book)

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Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man, The Founding of est is a biography of Werner Erhard by William Warren Bartley, III. The book was published in 1978 by Clarkson Potter. Erhard wrote an introduction to the book.


Werner Erhard
  • It was an introductory gimmick. I wanted to give customers a name that was easy to remember.
    • Erhard, on his use of the name Jack Frost as a car salesman — Mindess, Harvey (November 5, 1978). "'Transformation of a Man': what makes Erhard run?". Los Angeles Times: pp. O1. 
  • He could sell you City Hall.
    • Erhard's mother Dorothy Rosenberg, on his skills as a salesmanHacker, Kathy (February 4, 1985). "For the Guru of 'Est', A New Empire". The Philadelphia Inquirer: p. C1. 
  • Not only would he sell you City Hall. You would think you got it all tied up in a ribbon. Werner sold something to you graciously.
    • Erhard's aunt, Edith — — Hacker, Kathy (February 4, 1985). "For the Guru of 'Est', A New Empire". The Philadelphia Inquirer: p. C1. 
  • What happened had no form. It was timeless, unbounded, ineffable, beyond language."[6] He told Bartley that he realized: "I had to 'clean up' my life. I had to acknowledge and correct the lies in my life. I saw that the lies that I told about others — my wanting my family, or Ellen (his second wife), or anyone else, to be different from the way that they are -- came from lies that I told about myself -- my wanting to be different from the way that I was.
    • Erhard describing his revelation while driving to California — MacNamara, Mark (May 5, 1988). "Guru II: the return of Werner Erhard". Los Angeles Magazine: pp. 106–115. 
  • ...the peak experience that I had was not related to a person or to my work, not to the ocean or to the sunset or to art, not to any of that. It was a profound sense of Self. I truly experienced the Self--not my Self: the word 'my' belongs to the world of concept about Self, not experience of Self. I was carried out of my ordinary state, not merely to another state, but to the context for all states, the context of all contexts.
    • Erhard describing to Bartley a peak experience he had in 1963. Cited in — Bartley, William Warren (1978). Werner Erhard: the Transformation of a Man: the Founding of est. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.. p. 91. ISBN 0-517-53502-5. 
  • A transformed individual is one who can tell the truth; and a transformed environment is one where the truth can be told.
  • In refining my understanding of the difference between success and satisfaction, and pondering the relationship between the two, it became clearer that Self--which is nonpersonal, nonpositional, nonnarrative--is the source of satisfaction.
    • Erhard reflecting on what was the difference between success and satisfaction. [[cited in — {{cite book | last = Bartley | first = William Warren | authorlink = w:William Warren Bartley | title =Werner Erhard: the Transformation of a Ma
  • The moment when you really experience that you have created yourself being whatever way you are, at that same moment you will never have to be that way again.
  • After my experience with Scientology, I saw what it means to see the mind as a machine. I can now operate my mind accordingly, with exactitude. I can do the familiar mind over matter experiments-- the control of pain and bleeding, telepathy, those things.
  • When he started to have affairs, I saw that as a token of my utter inadequacy. I was terribly afraid that he would leave me."[9] Werner Erhard told Bartley he did not wish to undergo the trauma of problems in his second marriage as had happened in his first.
    • Erhard's second wife, Ellen Virginia Erhard, on his affairs with other womenWilhelm, Maria (September 24, 1984). "His Wife and Former Followers Question the Human Potential of est Guru Werner Erhard". People: pp. 41–42. 
  • If I were to destroy another marriage, I wouldn't be Werner Erhard anymore. I would be the liar Jack Rosenberg. Jack Rosenberg could botch a marriage. Werner Erhard had to do it right.
    • Erhard on his relationships in marriage — Wilhelm, Maria (September 24, 1984). "His Wife and Former Followers Question the Human Potential of est Guru Werner Erhard". People: pp. 41–42. 
  • I want to create a context in which government, education, families are nurturing. I want to enable, to empower the institutions of man.
    • Erhard cited in [1]
  • 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.
  • Ordinary revolution is concerned with social change. It involves resistance. One revolts against something. Whereas a true revolution transcends what one was previously either resisting or submitting to. In this sense I am a revolutionary.


Alphabetized by author
  • Painstaking an act of devotion as it is, Prof. W.W. Bartley III's biography of Werner Erhard fails to achieve its aim. No one reading it is likely to agree with Bartley that the founder of est is a philosopher and spiritual leader of Gandhian magnitude except the already convinced.
    • Chicago Tribune staff (December 10, 1978). "The guru with the most-est". Chicago Tribune: p. E5. 
  • This reviewer is enthusiastic about this book. ... There is a personal quality about the narrative, which, though, sometimes becomes overly detailed.
  • [Bartley] should have known better than to get sucked into writing this promo on Erhard, founder of one of the pseudo-therapies of the '70s. And we should know better than to pass on word of its existence to you. But then, est is in the air these days, and while it is, the public might as well hear one of its evangelists tell about its apostle. And then maybe one of these days it will all go away. Puff puff.
  • As a student and disciple of est, Bartley has made the mistake of being too close to his subject to be objective or critical.
    • CJK (November 1, 1978). "Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man, The Founding of est". Booklist.
  • Bartley casts a Freud's-eye-view on his subject's youthful failings, but after the famous 'transformation' his tone becomes almost reverential.
    • Dennis, E. C. (October 15, 1978). "Werner Erhard: the transformation of a man: the founding of est". Library Journal 103. ISSN 0000-0027.
  • There are also books sympathetic to Erhard, est and Landmark--some of them by writers already in the fold. One such tome, Werner Erhard, was written by W.W. Bartley, III, a professor of philosophy at California State University and an old friend of Erhard's. In it, Erhard is portrayed not as a hypocrite, but as a troubled man who was able to transform himself and then set out to teach others how to do the same.
  • Bartley, [Erhard's] friend and admitted booster, tells the often-sordid story in detail.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about:
  • Bartley, William Warren. Werner Erhard: the Transformation of a Man: the Founding of est. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.. p. 91. ISBN 0-51753502-5.  page 220