Est Hard to be Humble in the Landmark Forum

The Landmark Forum was derived from Werner Erhard’s est movement, which was quite the rage during the fringe, hippie era of the 70s. Though John Denver wrote a song in praise of Erhard, according to the teachings of est, Denver was responsible for his own death, "creating" the plane crash. Such ludicrous teachings are not without a spiritual paradigm.

The Landmark Forum wishes to distance itself from the duplicitous Erhard, who was accused of deriving many of his teachings from Scientology. When I asked a "coach" at the Landmark Forum (in 2009) why they were not publicizing their "est" roots, I was told that, as the culture changed, the "technology" had to change.

I responded, "Well, how could it have ever been ‘truth’, if the truth could change so easily with the culture? And, furthermore, how can I trust anything taught here at the Landmark Forum if this ‘truth’ is going to also change with the culture?" The "assistant" had no answer. The following are quotes from Erhard.

How can any teachings be held sacrosanct today in Landmark Forum, when they were in fact derived from the character of a man like Erhard? The Landmark Forum is the only system of thought left today of the "technology" of est. The worldview of Erhard was sold, literally, to Erhard’s brother to be packaged as The Landmark Forum. No matter how palatable these teachings are made, the source of est is exemplary in this putative paradigm to "integrity". A closer look at the source can only unmask this "technology’ as spurious. Satan has been telling people from the very beginning that they are gods. Erhard really had nothing new to teach after all..

On “Experience and Non-Experience”:

“It is Werner’s theory that most people spend their entire lives in a non-experiential state. This means that they are constantly acting out a belief, reason, understanding, logic, etc. According to Werner, these basic tenets are the worst way by which to live your life.” –est, Four Days to Make Your Life Work, p. 153

“If an est staff member wishes to have sex with another est staff member, and he or she is married, Werner must have a note from the nonparticipating partner stating that it is ok for the spouse to have sex with the other est person.” Ibid. p. 24

“est is a fascinating compilation of truths. It seems to have its inception in such disciplines as Scientology, Mind Dynamics, Silva Mind Control, Zen, Transcendental Meditation, Transactional Analysis, Freud, Jung, Esalen and others. Actually, the best way to describe it is to say that est has its beginnings in the endings of all these teachings.” Ibid., p. 14

So, it has the makings of apathy?: “Life is a game. Whatever is in life is as it is, and whatever isn’t is that way, too. [What is is, and what isn’t isn’t, is stupid! Of course, any rational human being should already understand this!] As Werner says…’Obviously, the truth is what’s so. Not so obviously, it’s also so what.” Ibid., p. 13 [This is what makes life fatalistic and apathetic for the poor trainee, who is now literally “poor”.]


The goal of est? To get “it”:

“It is accepting the fact that people are machines, and that everything they have done in life to date has been based on faulty belief systems and misconceptions about themselves. Once a person can admit he or she is a machine, the individual is capable of looking at this machine and making it disappear. By doing this, in theory, the individual is then experiencing life and being in the here and now.” Ibid. p. 11

(The goal of this is to make people doubt objective truth, as set forth in the Bible, and accept the truth of est or the Landmark Forum. Who is to say the Landmark Forum is correct in that people are only machines? Certainly no thinking individual. This is where mind control comes in to play, and the ability to think as an individual is taken away from the individual through coercion. Plus, this is ZEN. Big time…where people are treated like "meaningless" puppets).
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