EST and Scientology

A place to post and debate the Church of Scientology.
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El Jefe'
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by El Jefe' » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:16 am

sconetale wrote: .... I don't mind the philosophy, it's interesting.
My disagreement with Landmark is this:

Landmark manipulates you into working for its own benefit while distracting you from this fact by telling you that there is something interesting for you to discover and overcome inside your resistance against its manipulation.

Mind control by introversion.
That is one of my main disagreements with Landmark as well, They have something called "The Assisting Program," where you can practice what you are learning by essentially working for free.
the other disagreements being:
1) they nag and nag and nag their participants about guests.
2) they are nice to the point of ineffectiveness; if I want someone to coach me on something I want Vince Lombardi, not Alan Alda.

Like I mentioned earlier, I publicly have mentioned these complaints under my own name and have not been fair gamed, disconnected or otherwise harrased but if I would want to do a seminar there they would happily accept my money. When someone complains they don't send that person to ethics but see if they can improve.

Demented, the CofS can say all they want about how EST / Landmark stole their technology without it being true. The only similarities I saw were the BE - DO - HAVE paradigm, which Hubbard stole from some eastern religion and on the Saturday of the advance course there is an exercise that was a little bit like TR0. There was no talk of the 8 dynamics when I did the Advanced Course.

Another important thing is that no one in Landmark tries to pretend that it is a religion or anything else but a for profit corporation that pays taxes like other for profit corporations.

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Demented LRH
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Demented LRH » Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:53 pm

Turtlez wrote:@ Demented LRH

You have gone off topic in numerous ways and have provided absolutely nothing factual to support anything that you have said regarding where our exchange started and have gone on some new tangent about random lawsuits and things you find interesting, your paralegal background and some vague article you read. There remains nothing to discuss related to the original point of this exchange.

I stand by what I said, you are speaking of things you know nothing about.
I do not understand why you are calling these lawsuits "random". The defendent lost them, which means that they have a merit. APA, who are professionals, find his methodologies highly objectionable, which is a clear sign of trouble for me.

I made a mistake of not reading articles critical of Dianetics written by real scientists when I joined CoS. My mistake resulted in a monetary loss, although I did not suffer any psychological damage. I was among the few lucky ones, the other ex-CoS members did suffer psychological damage as the result of their encounter with Hubbard’s Tech.

You made the same mistake that I did by neglecting to get acquainted with the article critical of EST which were written by true scientists.
“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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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Turtlez » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:29 pm

EST and Scientology
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Turtlez » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:39 pm

EST and Scientology
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by sconetale » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:16 pm

First... thanks Turtlez for your reply!
It's really good to have a discussion about this - not sure if this is the right message board, but there are things I need to get clean about in regards to Landmark and it helps to verbalize all that. I know, you might see all of that as something I'm making up, a story, etc. but I really think that's what 1 of the things language is for - and I like it. :)
Turtlez wrote: @ sconetale,
I notice, that I did NOT use the phrase "it is all about you" , you added that.
That is true, you did not literally use the words "it is all about you", what you said was:
Turtlez wrote: No two people see a tree the same way. What you described is entirely not my experience whatsoever, not even in part, nor was it the experience of my family and all of my friends who participated in The Landmark Forum and other programs, and we are a VERY large and diverse group of people.

Some people get traumatized walking into Walmart or attending a family christmas dinner. They are not wrong for seeing that world that way but it is not the common experience
What I made out of this was that it does not matter that what I described was a logical conclusion of critical thought,
but a subjective point-of-view that contradicts what you describe as a "common (and therefore probably more reliable?) experience".
However, since we learned in the Forum that we are responsible for the way we make meaning from what we experience, my development of critical
thoughts about Landmark is about me - it contradicts "standing in nothing" which I am supposed to get in the Forum.
My critical thoughts are just my experience - I am the one making up my experience - I better shut up about it, there is no merit to it anyway. - thanks for sharing, little voice in my head.

Do you see how it works (I think this one is called "thought stopping".)?
The pathway that would permit me to frame Landmark into critical words, however valuable, thorough and well-founded the reasoning behind them might be, is blocked. - it's all just a self-created experience - a little voice in my head - a Racket - a meaning-making machine running amok. ETC.
People aren't really manipulated by Landmark, except that they are.
Turtlez wrote: You calling it a "rhetorical sleight of hand" does not make it an actual "rhetorical sleight of hand". It is actually you doing the exact thing you are accusing me of, using rhetoric to "divert" away from my pointing out that your opinions are just your opinions, whatever they are worth.
There are many situations in which it is productive and liberating to see one's opinion as a position that's just as good as anyone else's, to realize that reality as it appears is not as "real" as it seems...
I just really think it's extremely dangerous to let an organization you know nothing about uncritically shape your approach to reality for you.
Even more so if it is a commercial organization needing your money to survive.
Just think about "Enrollment". How is that not a rhetorical trick to make you bring your family to them and feel good about it?

I'm seeing the benefits some people have had, and I "got things out of the forum" too.
But that is not the whole story.
I also have friends who remain as critical as I do and there are people the Forum Leader doesn't call up to deliver their testimonial at the guest event.
And you never heard what they had to say since all "sharing" is under the frame of "what you got out of the forum", not "what did you really think about it".
Turtlez wrote: As well, it may be a clever sounding and convenient thing to say but there is no "Landmark Book" full of tricks. If there is one please provide a link to it. We both know it does not exist and is a figment of your own imagination and arguement.
Well, there is a binder in front of the room that the Forum Leader runs the course from,
and in that binder there are instructions about how to guide the conversations, how to approach and frame what is being said by the people who come to the front of the room.
While it might be a little exaggerated to call it a "book of tricks", it is quite evident that the Forum Leaders undergo intense coaching about how to deal with criticisms, upsets and negative comments that come from the course crowd especially at the beginning of the Forum.

Framing criticism into something the person is making up - something that is a "figment of their imagination", or something that just happens sometimes like "getting traumatized at Walmart" etc. is a similar trick.
It avoids getting into a discussion.
(And the reason to avoid discussions is that we want to use language to create possibility, as "right or wrong" is supposedly unproductive).

In a coaching context this is probably totally OK, but I do see a problem that ones tends to loose track after 3 long days of being talked at like that.
Certain patterns start to go unnoticed when the environment is constantly slanted in the same direction.

I really think it's great that you got something out of doing EST - for me the good part of Landmark was an intense introduction to Zen/Taoism, also existential philosophy. I had a whole different access to these things. Also, I realized how much of the conflicts I have with people was my fault, that there was a lot of room to move on my part I had not considered. And it brought up that I think I was waiting for the world to make me happy and did not focus enough on creating happiness and sharing happiness. OK. :)

I do have to take a stand for the people that didn't have the differentiation to see where Landmark was delivering something valuable, and where it was just the steam-roller that mixes Landmark advertisement into their new found "unreasonability".
People who just adopted the jargon and I couldn't talk to them afterwards because they had this aura of empty excitement and were jumping from one moment to the next without any coherence in their minds.
There were moments, especially toward the end of the Advanced Course, in which I talked to someone and they thought I was trying to enroll them into the next course.
People that tried to make me do the $6000 wisdom course and kept on "sharing the possibility" with me. Nice people, I wanted to hug them, but they were somehow playing this game... or I don't really now what they were thinking.
No, I never want to see any of my friends and family in that crowd.
I do talk from "what is opening up for me as a possibility" when I get the chance though, and sometimes it does ignite a spark.

Yeah. Enrollment. Try to take that one apart kids.
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by sconetale » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:24 pm


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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Turtlez » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:28 pm

EST and Scientology
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Turtlez » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:37 pm

EST and Scientology
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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Turtlez » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:55 pm

EST and Scientology

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Re: EST and Scientology

Post by Knowledge » Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:40 pm

Cult Education Institute has some good background info on Werner Erhard founder of EST and The Forum precursors to Landmark Forum aka Landmark Education aka Landmark Worldwide.

It is a fair use news summary of the March 3, 1991 investigation into Werner Erhard by CBS News program 60 Minutes produced by David Gelber and hosted by Ed Bradley : ... rhard.html
"60 Minutes" broadcast about Werner Erhard
A News Summary/August 26, 2009

By Rick Ross


Beginning in the 1970s a company named "est" (Erhard Seminar Training) sold courses, which are now often called "large group awareness training" and/or "mass marathon training" for "self-improvement." This included an introductory course known as "The Forum."

Jack Rosenberg, a former used-car salesman, created Est with no formal education past high school.

In the 1960s Rosenberg left his wife and four children in Philadelphia, changed his name to "Werner Hans Erhard," moved to California and started another family.

Erhard was reportedly "the role model, the living example of what the est Training could do."

But CBS News reported allegations of incest, rape and spousal abuse made against Werner Erhard by his daughters and former employees.

Not long after the airing of this program Erhard sold his company reportedly to his employees and went into prolonged seclusion.

The for profit privately owned company, which still sells the Forum and other training courses, is now known as "Landmark Education" and headed by Werner Erhard's brother and sister.

What follows is a news summary that includes statements made by Erhard family members and insiders, which was broadcast by CBS "60 Minutes" March 3, 1991.

"I am god"

Dr. Bob Larzelere was the head of Erhard's counseling staff for seven years during the 1970s.

"I am god...he did say sometimes in staff meetings," Larzelere told CBS News.

Wendy Drucker was a top manager who worked closely with Erhard for nine years.

Drucker told CBS, "I would never have believed that I, could be a person who would wind up in a cult...And yet, certainly mind control was involved. And if that's what cults do, and they set up a leader to be bigger than anybody else, a god-like figure, I would say yes, that was true in the organization."

"We were told to surrender to him as 'source.' I think that's idolatry...This was not like, being an employee. This was like being, a servant, or a devotee," Drucker said.

Ms. Drucker confirmed Larzelere's statement and said that Erhard told "...the whole staff. At staff meetings...'I am the source...I am god."

"Terrifying man"

An est brochure once featured a loving portrait of Erhard with his second wife, Ellen. The implication was that if Erhard could turn his life around, the Forum could turn your life around too.

In an interview with Larry King on CNN Erhard explained, "[Est is] a program of inquiry into the things that concern people on a very everyday basis. Like - breaking through the ordinary barriers that just go along with children and your relationship with your children at certain ages."

But did that program work for Werner Erhard?

Celeste Erhard, the est founder's eldest daughter from his second marriage didn't seem to think it did.

"I have been afraid, deeply afraid of my father my whole life. My whole life....he's a terrifying man, he can be very terrifying," she told CBS News anchor Ben Bradley.

Dawn Damas was the family's governess and is still a close friend. She told CBS News that she witnessed Erhard assault his son St. John, or "Sinjin" when the boy was twelve.

"He...went over to Sinjin and started to slap him and hit him, and picked him up and threw him on the ground and started to kick him - in front of everybody and nobody moved, everyone was paralyzed. Um, and then said to St. John: 'If you ever get grades like this again, I'll break both of your legs with a baseball bat.'"

Werner Erhard declined to talk to "60 Minutes," but he did speak to reporter John Hubner of the San Jose Mercury News, for an article in WEST, the paper's Sunday magazine. In an audiotaped interview, Erhard denied that he ever hit his son Sinjin.

"Never, ever, ever...Never, ever struck one of my children, not any one of them, ever," he said.

But Adair Erhard directly contradicted her father.

"My dad...freaked out, he pushed him back on the chair, he fell over. At this point you know my brother was so petrified he actually peed in his pants. Um, you know he's down on the floor, he's kicking him, he's hitting him."

CBS anchor Ben Bradley reported, "Sinjin, who is now twenty-three, didn't want to speak on camera, but he told us the beating did take place..."

Ellen Erhard "strangled"

Erhard's daughters also recounted how he and/or his est associates abused their mother.

"At one point someone picked up a statue and hit her over the head. Um, you know my dad constantly saying: "What aren't you saying, what aren't you saying?...he himself also got up and, while she was on the floor, and kicked her a number of times," Adair Erhard told CBS.

Erhard's daughters claimed that the assault on their mother Ellen Erhard continued for two nights.

Celeste Erhard said, "At one point, on the second night, I did stand up and say: 'Please, you're killing her, you're killing her.' I mean, my mother was blue, her face was blue, she had, like drool coming out of the side of her mouth. She was dying. She was, you know, suffocating. And all he said to me was: 'Sit down, or you'll get more of the same.' And that is a direct quote, I remember every word. And that's all he said. And I sat down."

Adair Erhard agreed with her sister's account, "She was strangled literally. She turned blue, there was spit running out of the side of her mouth..."

A consultant that worked for Erhard did the actual choking, according to Adair Erhard.

And Dr. Bob Larzelere admitted to CBS that he was that consultant.

Larzelere said,, "'Somebody's got to volunteer, to hurt Ellen, to punish her, and make her talk, and make her confess.' And nobody did, until I thought, oh my god, this is an opportunity for me, finally, to get Werner's total approval. Now I can be a real soldier for him, now I can make him, proud of me, now I can get him to smile at me. Now I won't have to be afraid of him anymore. So I volunteered."

He did it "to scare her into confessing" about alleged infidelities.

Lazelere said that Erhard "didn't try to stop [him] all."

Lazelere lamented, "It was a despicable thing to do. And it took me days to realize it. Afterward. When I began to let myself feel again. It was, my god, it was like a nightmare. That I could have, gone that far, with wanting to please, wanting to get approval from, wanting to get love from another human being, to do that."

Erhard's daughters also told CBS that their father wouldn't allow their mother to live with them for two years. Adair Erhard said that periodically Ellen Erhard was allowed to come into the house, but "like a maid" to "scrub the floors." And the daughters "had to watch this," but "weren't allowed to speak with her."

Adair Erhard explained, "You know, he, whatever he said, that she should do, she had to do. And that was part of the instructions. Yeah, you have to be a maid for your house...I wanted to - say something so bad, or just do something about it, and there's, it's just so petrified all the time and there's just no way I could be okay with myself to, to tell anybody or to do anything about what was going on."

In an audiotaped interview Erhard dismissed these accounts about his marital relationship.

"Essentially nonsense. Ellen was never a maid. Ellen was my wife, and I always treated her like my wife," he said.

Ellen Erhard divorced her husband and reportedly as part of the divorce settlement she cannot talk publicly about their marriage.

Adair Erhard told CBS that her mother was grateful though that she chose to speak out about her father's behavior and wished she could do the same.


Deborah Rosenberg is one of Erhard's daughters, from his first marriage. Ms. Rosenberg told CBS that her father "molested" her when she was sixteen. She also claimed that Erhard had abused her siblings with "pornography all the way to rape."

She told Ben Bradley, "I wasn't there. But I believe my sister when she says that my father raped her...forcibly had sexual intercourse with her."

Erhard said that the rape never happened in an audiotaped interview.

But Deborah Rosenberg told CBS that when she confronted her father about this claim he admitted, "There had been sexual intercourse, and that it had been a nurturing experience for my sister. He said that 'I did not rape her.'"

When Deborah Rosenberg repeated what her father said to her sister she said that her response to his explanation was that "it was not a nurturing experience for her. And she's had to have a lot of therapy about that" and it was not consensual.

Governess Dawn Damas told "60 Minutes" that Erhard's daughters told CBS "true things about their father that are terrible...he beats his wife, and he beats his children, and rapes a daughter - and then he goes and tells people how to have marvelous relationships. I'm sorry, that's what I have against Werner Erhard."

Celeste Erhard commented about her relationship with her father as an adult.

"I kept thinking - that he would be a father, I kept thinking that when he got older, he'd want children, and he'd want his daughters. I just, I, I really thought that. You know that maybe he'd get wiser with age and he'd regret what he'd done, but um, he didn't," she said.

Erhard's response

Erhard's lawyers sent CBS affidavits from his sister and brother and from a few of his close associates disputing some of the stories from his children and denying that Erhard ever abused his wife.

Erhard stated, "There is only one appropriate response to these allegations, to heal and restore my family. And that is what I will do. To respond to the accusations at this time, would only further publicly exploit my family, and there has already been enough of that."

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here. ... rhard.html

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