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Erhard Seminars Training

est (always in lower-case) or Erhard Seminars Training, comprised a controversial large group awareness training (lgat) program of seminars widespread during the 1970s.

Werner Erhard (born Jack Rosenberg) conducted the first est seminar in October 1971.

Approximately 700,000 people participated in the seminars in the history of est, including John Travolta, Cher, John Denver, Valerie Harper, and several other celebrity figures. Some of the unique est word usage became an enduring part of the popular lexicon.

Responsibility assumption formed an important part of the est curriculum.

The organization metamorphosed (supporters say "transformed itself") in 1980 - 1981 into "Werner Erhard and Associates", eventually becoming in about 1991 "Landmark Education". Landmark still operates seminars today with content similar in many ways to that of est.

External Links

One can perhaps best grasp the nature of the est program by reading through some of the many personal narratives available on the web. These illustrate the nature of est both from the point-of-view of the program's supporters and of its detractors. The Psychology Today article [1] gives a factual account and occasionally shows up in on-line sources.

Individual est-oriented web pages are ephemeral so are not listed here. A search for "werner erhard est" will turn up many of them.


[1] Brewer, Mark. "We're Gonna Tear You Down and Put You Back Together" Psychology Today, August 1975

[2] "Research on Erhard Seminar Training in a Correctional Institution" (Hosford, Ray, E., Moss, C. Scott, Cavior, Helene, & Kerish, Burton. Catalog of Selected Documents in Psychology, 1982, Manuscript #2419, American Psychological Association)

[3] "Psychiatric disturbances associated with Erhard Seminars Training". L. L. Glass, M. A. Kirsch and F. N. Parris. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1977; 134(3): 245-7.

[4] Rhinehard, Luke, The Book of Est (out of print)

[5] Fenwick, Sheridan, Getting it: the psychology of est