EST and Scientology

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barbiedoll
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EST and Scientology

Post by barbiedoll » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:15 pm

I was reading a little bit about Werner Erhard today, creator of the EST movement (Which became "The Forum" and is now called "Landmark") and found this, which I found interesting and would like to share here:


From Wikipedia:

"Over the following years, Erhard continued to investigate a wide range of other new religious and therapeutic movements, including Encounter, Transactional Analysis, Enlightenment Intensive, Subud and Scientology.

Erhard read L. Ron Hubbard extensively, and Scientology ideas have influenced both est and The Forum. Erhard later said, 'I have a lot of respect for L. Ron Hubbard and I consider him to be a genius and perhaps less acknowledged than he ought to be.' William Bartley, in his biography of Werner Erhard, recounts that he asked Erhard to describe the differences between est and Scientology; Erhard replied:

The essential difference between est and Scientology is two-fold. The first has to do with Scientology’s emphasis on survival and its idea that the purpose of life is survival. est sees the purpose of life as wholeness or completion – truth – not survival.

The other main difference between est and Scientology lies in the treatment of knowing. Ron Hubbard seems to have no difficulty in codifying the truth and in urging people to believe it. But I suspect all codifications, particularly my own. In presenting my own ideas, I emphasize their epistemological context. I hold them as pointers to the truth, not as the truth itself.

I don’t think anyone ought to believe the ideas that we use in est. The est philosophy is not a belief system and most certainly ought not to be believed. In any case, even the truth, when believed, is a lie. You must experience the truth, not believe it."


I wonder if he still feels that admiration for L. Ron now and what he would say about the church. I find it interesting, the pyramid scheme quality to these forums, the pressure to bring people into the organization and meeting quotas, breaking people down and sleep depravation over the course of weekend to help encourage "breakthroughs". I never did EST, although I have done similar workshops...has anyone who is familiar with both seen similarities between the two?

Don Carlo
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Don Carlo » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:13 pm

I did EST and "getting it" is understanding that you control your own reaction to life. "Getting it" is a little like Zen enlightenment or even The Holy Spirit in evangelical Christianity - you show up, do the group stuff and hope "getting it" comes to you. I did feel a moment of strong clarity near the end of my weekend. I still remember them handing out, to each of the 100-200 people in the room, a strawberry and a flower and coaxing us to really look at them. We did a staring exercise, too. There was a kind of primal scream part of it where we confronted fears; I don't remember the details, but I was jumpy and fearful for a day after that exercise - it was like a mild post-traumatic-stress experience. I never did anything further after that weekend; EST called me once; I declined; over the long run I was unchanged. I was curious and actively seeking/collecting personal growth experiences in my 20's, so I went after other ideas, books and fads after EST. Luckily I had a good professional job then so I could afford my seeker hobby.

Of all my seeking, a visit to the Fort Harrison in Clearwater with my Scientologist relative was the extent of my exposure to Scientology; this happened shortly after my EST experience. I looked through some printed materials, which seemed simplistic and me-me-me, and I was totally appalled by the art work. I never took an art course but I had been studying world art since I was 13, looking at every book in the library on the art of East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. The art at the Fort Harrison looked designed by ten year olds with no knowledge of religion, history or art. Any interest in the "secrets" of Scientology vanished as I saw the end result of "knowing how to know."

In my tour of the Fort Harrison they set me up with an e-meter and I decided to fool them. I had been meditating (Transcendental Meditiation) for several years and could drop fast into a deep relaxed state, so I grabbed the cans and started internally repeating my mantra. The guys' eyes popped out of his head - I believe he was looking at a perfectly floating needle before the first question. I answered his questions and then immediately kept doing the mantra. He probed for weaknesses; I was Buddha-like in my polite calmness. He ended the session with his eyes still wide and there was no talk about my personal shortcomings.

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Smurf
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Smurf » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:46 pm

barbiedoll wrote:I was reading a little bit about Werner Erhard today, creator of the EST movement (Which became "The Forum" and is now called "Landmark").

I wonder if he still feels that admiration for L. Ron now and what he would say about the church.
I seriously doubt that Werner has any cherish memories of Scientology. OSA really went after him & caused him alot of misery.

"A private investigator quoted in the Los Angeles Times stated that by October 1989, Scientology had collected five filing cabinets worth of materials about Erhard, many from ex-members of est who had joined Scientology, and that Scientology was clearly in the process of organizing a "media blitz" aimed at discrediting Erhard. According to Harry Rosenberg, Erhard's brother, "Werner made some very, very powerful enemies. They really got him."

http://articles.latimes.com/1991-12-29/ ... ner-erhard

http://nymag.com/nymetro/news/culture/features/4932/

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Wieber
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Wieber » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:19 pm

EST was on $cientology's enemy list.
http://www.xenu.net/archive/enemy_names/enemy_list.html

$cientology has an EST rundown or it may be called something else. It's an auditing action for those who have participated in an EST program.
“Think wrongly if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.”
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Demented LRH
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Demented LRH » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:05 am

EST use Dianetics auditing, so I was told. When I was a Scientologist, I contemplated joining EST, but then a former EST member told me that no one in EST is doing Dianetics research, which was my objective. After that I lost interest in the group
“This OT shit is driving me insane. On a positive side, I laugh a lot these days because I’m at a funny farm.”
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L. Ron Hubbard era un maestro de masturbacion fisica y mental.

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barbiedoll
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by barbiedoll » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:40 am

Don Carlo wrote:I did EST and "getting it" is understanding that you control your own reaction to life. "Getting it" is a little like Zen enlightenment or even The Holy Spirit in evangelical Christianity - you show up, do the group stuff and hope "getting it" comes to you. I did feel a moment of strong clarity near the end of my weekend. I still remember them handing out, to each of the 100-200 people in the room, a strawberry and a flower and coaxing us to really look at them. We did a staring exercise, too. There was a kind of primal scream part of it where we confronted fears; I don't remember the details, but I was jumpy and fearful for a day after that exercise - it was like a mild post-traumatic-stress experience. I never did anything further after that weekend; EST called me once; I declined; over the long run I was unchanged. I was curious and actively seeking/collecting personal growth experiences in my 20's, so I went after other ideas, books and fads after EST. Luckily I had a good professional job then so I could afford my seeker hobby.

Of all my seeking, a visit to the Fort Harrison in Clearwater with my Scientologist relative was the extent of my exposure to Scientology; this happened shortly after my EST experience. I looked through some printed materials, which seemed simplistic and me-me-me, and I was totally appalled by the art work. I never took an art course but I had been studying world art since I was 13, looking at every book in the library on the art of East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. The art at the Fort Harrison looked designed by ten year olds with no knowledge of religion, history or art. Any interest in the "secrets" of Scientology vanished as I saw the end result of "knowing how to know."

In my tour of the Fort Harrison they set me up with an e-meter and I decided to fool them. I had been meditating (Transcendental Meditiation) for several years and could drop fast into a deep relaxed state, so I grabbed the cans and started internally repeating my mantra. The guys' eyes popped out of his head - I believe he was looking at a perfectly floating needle before the first question. I answered his questions and then immediately kept doing the mantra. He probed for weaknesses; I was Buddha-like in my polite calmness. He ended the session with his eyes still wide and there was no talk about my personal shortcomings.
Don Carlo, I love this story, it reminds me of the "South Park" Scientology episode where the kid (I forget his name) has a perfect "Personality Test" reading and they think since he has no "ruin" that he must be the reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard! I wonder how many criminals taking lie detector tests, figured out the same thing that you did.

I have to be careful because I love weekends like this (est, Forum, etc), and the personal exploration - but I hate being ripped off by anything "gimmicky". I've been approached by Scientologists in the town where I live, and I actually went in the office to hear what they had to say. The place was disorganized and the woman who helped me had lipstick on her teeth or her hair was weird or something, it just didn't look right, something was very off. I thought, "How can you ask me about what's wrong in my life when clearly this place is mess..."

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barbiedoll
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by barbiedoll » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:48 am

Wieber wrote:EST was on $cientology's enemy list.
http://www.xenu.net/archive/enemy_names/enemy_list.html

$cientology has an EST rundown or it may be called something else. It's an auditing action for those who have participated in an EST program.
Wieber,

Thanks for publishing this list and that opening quote. You know, I've been reading a lot lately (I'm halfway through Amy Scobee's book, just finished Headley's then onto Jeff Hawkins and Nancy Many), lots of interviews on YouTube, and I've heard those who condemn D.M, but extoll the virtues of Scientology and LRH. Others still talk about the end of the Fair Game practice, or even what they call the "original" intended definition of a Suppressive Person - someone who you get away from because they are basically "dragging" you down- like an recovering drug addict needs to stay away from junkies to get healthy.

But reading this definition of how to handle an SP (including, by implication, if necessary, murder), I feel like this is all the evidence I need of how insane this man was, and to build or defend a church based on his teachings? Pure psychopathology.

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sconetale
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by sconetale » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:27 am

barbiedoll wrote: I have to be careful because I love weekends like this (est, Forum, etc), and the personal exploration - but I hate being ripped off by anything "gimmicky"."
I would be very careful with Landmark/EST - I mean, it definitely has an effect on people's psyche, so there is a moment of self-experience it delivers, but their courses have a very noticeable problem with the differentiation between what is "helpful coaching" and what is "actual real-life manipulation to make you behave in a way that benefits Landmark economically".
This distinction gets more and more erased the more the course moves on.

When you go along, you enter a state of mind in which you basically do anything Landmark/the "Forum Leader" says without thinking twice about it.
What's promised to you is that you "can get everything you want out of life through your participation in the Landmark Forum", and all your "second thoughts" are is just something that's holding you back.
It's a pretty intricate setup in which you overcome your boundaries by overcoming your resistance against being a Landmark advertizement robot person.
All your critical thoughts toward what Landmark is doing are continuously reflected back to you as what your problem is.
It's "introversion" instead of "debate", all the way.
Everything that can be interpreted as a psychological benefits is super-glued into giving up criticism to Landmark's way of getting your friends, family and work colleagues into the guest even to reg them.
So if you don't watch out you will end up letting Landmark turn your friends&family into a group of people who constantly try to "share the possibility they got out of Landmark with you". Hard to render what that means exactly using normal English.

I have not done anything in Scientology, but I think that in terms of "giving a commercial organization the permission to manipulate your personality" and "creating the impression you are doing one thing while you are in fact doing another thing"
the two are probably very comparable.

Landmark Education also has volunteer programs, (e.g. the so-called "Assist Program") in which you are tricked into working for free while they promise you "breakthroughs", in fact, most of its operations are based on volunteer work this way.
I think there must be some similarity between this and the EPF and other work programs that Scientology has.
Like Scientology, Landmark Education is also an onion - nobody really knows what goes on in its core, for example, how much Werner Erhard REALLY still involved.
My own testimonial of it is that it manipulates people and is potentially dangerous to people's mental health as it
instigates a very specific kind of conformity.
As an organization it does seem a lot less extreme than Scientology, albeit having similar tendencies.
Last edited by sconetale on Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:44 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Wieber
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Wieber » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:10 am

Steven Hassan has something on Landmark on his site.
http://freedomofmind.com/Info/infoDet.php?id=120
“Think wrongly if you please, but in all cases think for yourself.”
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barbiedoll
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by barbiedoll » Fri Aug 24, 2012 6:49 am

Wieber wrote:Steven Hassan has something on Landmark on his site.
http://freedomofmind.com/Info/infoDet.php?id=120
More invaluable information, Wieber, thank you.

I read the Mother Jones article, and I think I underestimated the danger of est and the Forum. From what she describes it may be Scientology-lite, but the basic tenets are there. No wonder they are on LRH's hate list, est, The Forum, and Landmark are all fishing from the same pond that he's trying to get future Scientologist's from, and taking their money. No wonder he was pissed.

Reading that article made me sad, because there is a much bigger conversation about why we are attracted to this stuff, as Americans, as Westerners, as capitalists. (I'm not a socialist. I think there must be something in between.) I'd love to write about this, perhaps under a pseudonym, because there is a certain type of person that I think is attracted or vulnerable to scientology and est. I think a desire to "win" is a part of it, but also early abuse accounts for some of it - not all, but there is something about the idea of being made perfect, of enduring humiliation to achieve impenetrability, of being successful, successful, successful at any cost.

It makes me think of the movie from the late sixties with Jane Fonda, about the dance marathons/competitions during the depression, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?", where people didn't have money to eat, but they would dance themselves to death for prize money. When I read about Scientologists at the various Orgs being "Upstat", having to do better than the week before, no matter how well you did, even if it isn't humanly possible, and being punished for being "downstat" or failing, regardless of the economy, or outside circumstances, it feels like a situation guaranteed to lead to absolutely madness over time. (And from what I've read, ultimately helped to drive Lisa McPherson crazy. You win for the church ,until you lose, and then you are absolutely abandonded.) Only people like Tom Cruise will all the time (until you make an ass of yourself on TV, get fired by your movie studio and your wife divorces you. I wonder who was sent to the RPF for that? Who was the Supressive Person in his life that got him in all this trouble, because it couldn't have been him. Maybe it was Katie.)

Thanks for this, because I thought The Forum was more benign, I had a friend who tried to recruit me years ago, and I realize it's just more of the same crap. Now I just read somewhere that Anthony Robbins was a Scientologist, or took several classes which I really pray is wrong, but wouldn't be completely surprising. What the &$*% are we looking for from these people?

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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by El Jefe' » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:24 am

I have done Landmark and Scientology. I have found some of the theory to be similar but the techniques totally different, the major similarity is the BE DO HAVE theory.

Also, if you want to quit doing Landmark no one will try to disconect or fair game you. They have no problem with using what works and leaving stuff that doesn't work for you or that you are comfortable with. There is no, KEEPING LANDMARK WORKING policy.

Also, the pricing is much more realistic. The Landmark Forum costs less than 500 bucks, the downside is that they are constantly nagging their participants to bring guests so that they can be regged. At the forum, hours are spent by the forom leader to get the participants to bring their friends and Family to the guest event

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barbiedoll
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by barbiedoll » Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:33 am

El Jefe' wrote:I have done Landmark and Scientology. I have found some of the theory to be similar but the techniques totally different, the major similarity is the BE DO HAVE theory.

Also, if you want to quit doing Landmark no one will try to disconect or fair game you. They have no problem with using what works and leaving stuff that doesn't work for you or that you are comfortable with. There is no, KEEPING LANDMARK WORKING policy.

Also, the pricing is much more realistic. The Landmark Forum costs less than 500 bucks, the downside is that they are constantly nagging their participants to bring guests so that they can be regged. At the forum, hours are spent by the forom leader to get the participants to bring their friends and Family to the guest event
Can I ask, El Jefe, did you feel you benefited at all from Scientology? I've often thought that maybe, as a student of mental thought, that I should read Dianetics, there was even a time when I thought, maybe I'll take a Scientology course or two. But after reading what I've read, I'm uncomfortable even passing by the organization in my city. I wonder if you understand or agree with the point of the independent Scientologists. I just heard Marty Rathbun great ripped apart on a radio show, trying to defend the church teachings apart from the church (and the Xenu story.)

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Demented LRH
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Demented LRH » Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:06 pm

barbiedoll wrote:
El Jefe' wrote:I have done Landmark and Scientology. I have found some of the theory to be similar but the techniques totally different, the major similarity is the BE DO HAVE theory.

Also, if you want to quit doing Landmark no one will try to disconect or fair game you. They have no problem with using what works and leaving stuff that doesn't work for you or that you are comfortable with. There is no, KEEPING LANDMARK WORKING policy.

Also, the pricing is much more realistic. The Landmark Forum costs less than 500 bucks, the downside is that they are constantly nagging their participants to bring guests so that they can be regged. At the forum, hours are spent by the forom leader to get the participants to bring their friends and Family to the guest event
Can I ask, El Jefe, did you feel you benefited at all from Scientology? I've often thought that maybe, as a student of mental thought, that I should read Dianetics, there was even a time when I thought, maybe I'll take a Scientology course or two. But after reading what I've read, I'm uncomfortable even passing by the organization in my city. I wonder if you understand or agree with the point of the independent Scientologists. I just heard Marty Rathbun great ripped apart on a radio show, trying to defend the church teachings apart from the church (and the Xenu story.)
Some people claim that they have benefited from Scientology (I am not one of them). This may be true considering the fact that Hubbard the Plagiarist “borrowed” several valid psychological techniques from the legitimate scientists without mentioning their names.
“This OT shit is driving me insane. On a positive side, I laugh a lot these days because I’m at a funny farm.”
L. Ron Hubbard

L. Ron Hubbard era un maestro de masturbacion fisica y mental.

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gray_geek
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by gray_geek » Fri Aug 24, 2012 5:41 pm

barbiedoll wrote: I just heard Marty Rathbun great ripped apart on a radio show, trying to defend the church teachings apart from the church (and the Xenu story.)
Can you post the link where I can read/listen to that radio show ? TIA

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secularpatriot
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by secularpatriot » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:10 pm

The reason I'm here at Operation Clambake is because of EST and Landmark. In the 1980s and 90s, Werner Erhard started offering franchises of an EST-related organization called Transformational Technologies. I watched several of my colleagues be pulled off THEIR goals, give up THEIR dreams, in order to become low-paid drones for the goals of one of these franchise holders.

The leader told them, "The problem with your career is that you aren't enrolling people in your dreams. I will teach you how to enroll people in Transformational Technologies and you can use what you learn to enroll people in your career. And you'll be building "A World That Works for Everyone®" at the same time.

The only problem was, they never got back to their own careers. Their own careers withered and died.

I had heard that EST was an off-shoot of Scientology and the more I read, the more I saw that Scientology was ground-zero for all of these destructive self-help cults (Mind Spring, Enkankar, etc.) and that this was where I needed to be informing myself and protesting.

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