World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard
Werner Erhard in 2010
Born (1935-09-05) September 5, 1935
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
United States
Occupation Retired[1]

Patricia Fry, September 26, 1953–1960 (divorced)

Ellen Erhard (June Bryde), March 29, 1960 – November 1983 (divorced)
Children 7

Werner Hans Erhard[2]:7 (born John Paul Rosenberg, September 5, 1935) is a critical thinker[3] and author of transformational models and applications for individuals, groups, and organizations.[4][5] He has written about integrity, performance,[6] leadership[7][8] and transformation[9] and has lectured at (among other institutions)[10] Harvard University,[6][11] Yale,[12] University of Southern California,[13] University of Rochester,[14] Erasmus University Rotterdam,[15] Oxford Union at Oxford University,[16] and the US Air Force Academy.[17]

While for the last fifteen years, Erhard has devoted his time to academia, he was originally known for founding Erhard Seminars Training, commonly referred to as est (1971–1983), and The Forum (1984–1991), which were offered to the public through the companies Erhard Seminars Training Inc. (1971–1975); est, an educational corporation (1975–1981); and Werner Erhard & Associates (WEA, 1981–1991). Erhard, along with John Denver, Robert W. Fuller, and others, founded The Hunger Project in 1977.

In 1991, Erhard retired from business, sold his then-existing intellectual property to a group of his former employees (who formed Landmark Education).

Currently, Erhard is best known for his academic work. His scholarly writings can be found at Social Science Research Network[18]


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • Parents Magazine Cultural Institute 2.1
    • Self-education 2.2
    • est (1971–1984) 2.3
    • Werner Erhard Foundation (1973–1991) 2.4
    • Werner Erhard and Associates (1981–1991) and "The Forum" 2.5
    • Academic lectures 2.6
    • Later work 2.7
  • Critics and disputes 3
  • Impact 4
  • Related organizations 5
    • The Hunger Project 5.1
    • Landmark Education 5.2
    • Barbados Group 5.3
  • Film and television 6
  • Publications 7
    • Selected bibliography 7.1
    • Books by others 7.2
  • Notes 8
  • External links 9

Early life

John Paul Rosenberg was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 5, 1935.[2]:6[19] His father was a small restaurant owner who left Judaism for a Baptist mission before joining his wife in the Episcopal Church[2]:6[19] where she taught Sunday School.[2]:6 They agreed that their son should choose his religion for himself when he was old enough.[2]:6 He chose to be baptized in the Episcopal Church, served there for eight years as an acolyte[2]:6 and has been an Episcopalian ever since.[20]

Erhard attended Norristown High School, [96] According to Harry Rosenberg, Erhard's brother, "Werner made some very, very powerful enemies. They really got him."[86]


A 2012 Financial Times article said that Erhard’s influence "extends far beyond the couple of million people who have done his courses: there is hardly a self-help book or a management training programme that does not borrow some of his principles."[97] Erhard and his programs have been cited[98] as having a significant cultural impact on America in the 1970s.[99] Erhard’s teachings have influenced the field of professional “Life Coaching,” although Erhard was not considered to be a coach. The late Thomas Leonard, who was the founder of Coach U, the International Coach Federation, Coachville and the International Association of Coaches was an est employee in the 1980‘s.[100]

Paul Fireman (former CEO of Reebok),[101] Peter Block,[102] leadership expert Warren Bennis,[103] and economist Michael Jensen,[104][105] spoke positively of Erhard. Tiger Woods' father cited est as helping him become a better parent.[106] Over the years, Werner Erhard’s philosophy has been cited in helping to promote[107] a multi-billion-dollar personal growth industry based on Erhard's original concepts.[108][109]

Related organizations

The Hunger Project

Along with The Hunger Project. In 1977 Erhard authored the Hunger Project Source Document, subtitled, “The End of Starvation: Creating an Idea Whose Time Has Come”.[110]

Landmark Education

In 1991 the group that later formed Landmark Education purchased the intellectual property of Werner Erhard. In 1998, Time Magazine published an article[111] about Landmark Education and its historical connection to Werner Erhard. The article stated that: "In 1991, before he left the U.S., Erhard sold the 'technology' behind his seminars to his employees, who formed a new company called the Landmark Education Corp., with Erhard's brother Harry Rosenberg at the helm." Landmark Education states that its programs have as their basis ideas originally developed by Erhard, but that Erhard has no financial interest, ownership, or management role in Landmark Education.[112] In Stephanie Ney v. Landmark Education Corporation (1994),[113] the courts determined Landmark Education Corporation did not have successor-liability to Werner Erhard & Associates, the corporation whose assets Landmark Education purchased.

According to Pressman in Outrageous Betrayal: Landmark Education further agreed to pay Erhard a long-term licensing fee for the material used in the Forum and other courses. Erhard stood to earn up to $15 million over the next 18 years."[21]:253–255 However, Arthur Schreiber's declaration of May 3, 2005 states: "Landmark Education has never paid Erhard under the license agreements (he assigned his rights to others)." [114]

In 2001, New York Magazine reported that Landmark Education's CEO Harry Rosenberg said that the company had bought outright Erhard's license and his rights to the business in Japan and Mexico.[58] From time to time Erhard consults with Landmark Education.[115]

Barbados Group

The Barbados Group represents a "self-selected group of scholars, consultants and practitioners"[116] which aims to build an

  • Official website
  • Werner Erhard's Author Page at SSRN (Social Science Research Network)
  • Erhard biographical website
  • Erhard on transforming performance
  • est and Werner Erhard, The Skeptic's Dictionary
  • Werner Erhard Foundation
  • BEING A LEADER & THE EFFECTIVE EXERCISE OF LEADERSHIP: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model

External links

  1. ^ "Werner Erhard". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v  
  3. ^ de Bertodano, Helena (February 27, 2014). "The man who proved Stephen Hawking wrong".  
  4. ^ "SSRN Author Page for Werner Erhard". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Distilled Wisdom: Buddy, Can you Paradigm", Fortune Magazine, May 15, 1995.
  6. ^ a b "John F Kennedy School Center for Public Leadership Harvard University". Youtube. March 6, 2008. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics and Legality". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  9. ^ Werner Erhard on Transformation and Productivity, An Interview with Werner Erhard, by Norman Bodek, ReVision: The Journal of Consciousness and Change, Vol 7, No. 2, Winter 1984 / Spring 1985
  10. ^ "Social Sciences Research Network".  
  11. ^ Jackson, Robert (November 9, 2007). "Michael Jensen’s and Werner Erhard’s Talk on Integrity – Harvard University Law School, November 9, 2007". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  13. ^ "". August 31, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  14. ^ "". July 3, 2008. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  15. ^ "HBS Professor Michael Jensen to Present Seminar at Erasmus Academie - About RSM - Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  16. ^ a b "The Nature of Transformation," Oxford University Union Society, Oxford, England, September 1981
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b Steven M. Tipton: Getting saved from the sixties: moral meaning in conversion and cultural change. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1982, page 176.
  20. ^ Wakefield, Dan. "Erhard's Life After est Common boundary: March/April 1994". 
  21. ^ a b c d  
  22. ^ Johns, John (May 1976). "Interview with Werner Erhard". PSA Magazine. 
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Kay Holzinger (February 1, 2001). "Erhard Seminars Training (est) and The Forum". In  
  24. ^ The Graphic Designer's Guide to Clients, By Ellen M. Shapiro
  25. ^ William Warren Bartley, Werner Erhard The Transformation of a Man: The Founding of EST, Clarkson Potter, 1978. ISBN 0-517-53502-5
  26. ^ Werner Erhard, the Transformation of a Man by William Warren Bartley III p.133, "Although the est training is quite different from Scientology practices and processes, I am not surprised that people find traces of Scientology in est. In est we use variations on some of the Scientology charts, and as a result the terminology overlaps a bit. In essential respects, however, the two are different."
  27. ^ The Book of est by Luke Rhinhart
  28. ^ name="Steven M. Tipton 1982, page 176"
  29. ^ Erhard, Werner; Gloscia, Victor (1977). "The est Standard Training". Biosciences Communication. 3:104-122. 
  30. ^ U.S.A. "The Believer - est, Werner Erhard, and the Corporatization of Self-Help". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b c Ruys, Chris. "Can you unchain your mind through est or TM?" (January 23, 1977). Sun Times (Chicago). 
  32. ^ McGurk, William S. (1977). "Was ist est?". Contemporary Psychology 22. 
  33. ^ "Werner Erhard Foundation". Werner Erhard Foundation. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  34. ^ Kaiser, David (2011). How The Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 107.  
  35. ^ a b Susskind, Leonard (2009). The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics. Back Bay Books. p. 191.  
  36. ^ "Werner Erhard (est) Foundation Sponsored Experimental Physics Conference 1977: Novel Configurations In Quantum Field Theory". 
  37. ^ "Charitable Non Profit Organization Established By Werner Erhard Foundation". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  38. ^ "Global Hunger Project, The - Charity Reports -". 2011-12-31. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  39. ^ Caroline Whittle - The Alternative Office. "School for Leadership". School for Leadership. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  40. ^ "Mastery Foundation". Mastery Foundation. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  41. ^ Preventing Interpersonal Violence Among Youth: An Introduction to School ... - William DeJong - Google Books. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  42. ^ "The Caregivers Project | Charitable Non Profit Organization". Werner Erhard Foundation. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  43. ^ "The Education Network". Werner Erhard Foundation. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  44. ^ "The Education Network". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  45. ^ "The Holiday Project | Charitable Non Profit Organization". Werner Erhard Foundation. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  46. ^ "The Holiday Project - Welcome to our Site!". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  47. ^ The est Training in the Prisons: A Basis for the Transformation of Corrections, by Mark Woodard, University of Baltimore Law Journal, 1982
  48. ^ "Werner Erhard Video — Ideas In Conversation". July 11, 1987. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  49. ^ Hayek: A Collaborative Biography, edited by Robert Lesson
  50. ^ "Werner Erhard: Biography, Writings, Interviews, Documents & Quotes". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  51. ^ Sourcebook of Coaching History, Vikki G Brock PhD., 2012
  52. ^ a b "Landmark Education Corporation: Selling a Paradigm Shift", Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston, MA, Karen Hopper and Mikelle Fisher Eastley, 9-898-081, p.1, Rev. April 22, 1998. Availability restricted by Harvard "to faculty and staff of universities" (see Alex Beam, "Church takes to bully pulpit" in the Boston Globe, April 2, 1999, page F01; transcribed at, retrieved October 21, 2007)
  53. ^ Compare Bärbel Schwertfeger, "Foreword" in Martin Lell, Das Forum: Protokoll einer Gehirnwäsche: Der Psycho-Konzern Landmark Education [The Forum: Account of a Brainwashing: The Psycho-Outfit Landmark Education], Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag,
  54. ^ "Werner Erhard Curriculum Vitae". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  55. ^ Harvard Business Review On Change, Harvard Business Review Paperback Series, Harvard Business Press; 6 edition (September 1, 1998)
  56. ^ "Transformation and Its Implications for Systems-Oriented Research," lecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Massachusetts, April 1977
  57. ^ "Organizational Vision and Vitality: Forward from the Future," Academy of Management, San Francisco, California, August 1990
  58. ^ a b Pay Money, Be Happy, New York Magazine, Vanessa Grigoriadis, July 9, 2001.
  59. ^ "Mastery Foundation". Mastery Foundation. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  60. ^ Harvard CPL. "Harvard.Edu". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  61. ^ "". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  62. ^ "". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  63. ^ "". May 8, 2008. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  64. ^
  65. ^ "Introductory Reading for the Course 'Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model' by Werner Erhard, Michael C. Jensen, Steve Zaffron, Kari L. Granger :: SSRN".  
  66. ^ "Werner Erhard speaks to Kennedy School students". YouTube. December 14, 2009. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  67. ^ "SSRN Creating Leaders: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  68. ^ "Nitin Nohria - Faculty - Harvard Business School". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  69. ^ "Rakesh Khurana - Faculty - Harvard Business School". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  70. ^ The Handbook for Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing, and Being, Edited by Snook, Scott A., Nohria, Nitin N., and Khurana, Rakesh, Sage Publications, Inc., 2011.
  71. ^ "Program Information". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  72. ^
  73. ^ Marc Galanter: Cults: faith, healing, and coercion. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-19-505631-0 , page 80.
  74. ^ Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard at the Internet Movie Database
  75. ^ "Documentary, 2006, Directed by Robyn Symon". Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  76. ^ Carroll, Roberta (2004). The Skeptic's Dictionary: A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions. John Wiley&Sons. p. 126.  
  77. ^ MacCleary, John Bassett. (2004), The Hippie Dictionary: A Cultural Encyclopedia of the 1960s and 1970s, Page 165., Ten Speed Press, ISBN 1-58008-547-4
  78. ^ Vitz, Paul C. (1994). Psychology As Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 26. ISBN 0-8028-0725-9.
  79. ^ Charlotte Faltermayer. "The Best of est?". Time Magazine. Time Magazine. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  80. ^ a b U.S.A. "The Believer - est, Werner Erhard, and the Corporatization of Self-Help". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  81. ^ San Jose Mercury News staff (April 7, 1992). "Est Founder sues critics: suit names Mercury News writer".  
  82. ^ United Press International staff (March 4, 1992). "EST guru sues CBS, Enquirer, Hustler".  
  83. ^ Werner Erhard vs. Columbia Broadcasting System, (Filed: March 3, 1992) Case Number: 1992-L-002687. Division: Law Division. District: First Municipal. Cook County Circuit Court, Chicago, Illinois.
  84. ^ a b Steve Jackson. "It Happens – Page 8 – News – Denver". Westword. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  85. ^ Faltermayer, Charlotte (June 24, 2001). "The Best Of Est?".  
  86. ^ a b Grigoriadis, Vanessa (July 9, 2001). "Pay Money, Be Happy".  
  87. ^ Charlotte Faltermayer (June 24, 2001). "The Best Of est". Time Magazine (Time Magazine). 
  88. ^ a b c d Fischer, Jack (August 14, 1993). "$2 million suit against MN dismissed – No harm to Erhard's daughter seen".  
  89. ^ "Daughter of est founder sues Mercury News over two articles", San Jose Mercury News, July 16, 1992
  90. ^ "Suit against MN ends in paper's favor".  
  91. ^  
  92. ^  
  93. ^ a b c d "Leader of est movement wins $200,000 from IRS". Daily News of Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California). September 12, 1996. 
  94. ^ "IRS starts liening on Werner Erhard". Chicago Sun-Times (Chicago, Illinois). April 15, 1991. 
  95. ^ "IRS Settles Lawsuit brought by Werner Erhard," Business Wire, September 11, 1996.
  96. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (December 29, 1991). "Founder of est Targeted in Campaign by Scientologists : Religion: Competition for customers is said to be the motive behind effort to discredit Werner Erhard". Los Angeles Times. 
  97. ^ "Lunch with the FT: Werner Erhard". The Financial Times. April 28, 2012. 
  98. ^ Peter Block: Community,the Structure of Belonging, Berrett-Koehler, 2008, pg.14
  99. ^ Bruce Schulman: The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society, and Politics, Da Capo Press, April 16, 2002, pages 96–98
  100. ^ Jane Renton, "Coaching and Mentoring: What They Are and How to Make the Most of Them",The Economist Newspaper, Ltd.,2009, pgs 8 & 27
  101. ^ Nike vs. Reebok a battle for hearts, minds & feet, Fortune Magazine, by Kenneth Labich & Tim Carvell, September 18, 1995
  102. ^ Peter Block: Community,the Structure of Belonging, Berrett-Koehler, 2008, pg.14
  103. ^ Warren Bennis: Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge, Harper Collins, 2003, pg 201
  104. ^ "Morgan Stanley and AFA Announce Michael C. Jensen as Recipient of the 2009 Award for Excellence in Financial Economics". 
  105. ^ Peter Block: Community,the Structure of Belonging, Berrett-Koehler, 2008, pg.198
  106. ^ "The Chosen One". CNN. 
  107. ^ "". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  108. ^ Marianne Williamson, The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife;Hay House Inc.,January 31, 2008, pgs x, xi
  109. ^ Casey Hawley:100+ Tactics for Office Politics (Barron's Business Success Guides); Barrons Educational Series; 2 edition, June 1, 2008, page 173
  110. ^ "". May 25, 1961. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  111. ^ Faltermayer, Charlotte (June 24, 2001). "The Best Of Est?". TIME. 
  112. ^ "Landmark Education, media Q&A". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  113. ^ Appendix A. Text of Court Ruling in Ney Case – Source: LEXIS-NEXIS – STEPHANIE NEY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. LANDMARK EDUCATION CORPORATION; RON ZELLER, Defendants-Appellees, and WERNER ERHARD; WERNER ERHARD AND ASSOCIATES; PETER SIAS, Defendants. – No. 92-1979 – UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT – 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 2373
  114. ^ Declaration filed May 5, 2005] at the US District Court of New Jersey, civil action 04-3022 (JCL), pp 3 and 4
  115. ^ "Landmark Education website". February 10, 2002. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  116. ^ "Announcing Barbados Group Abstracting Journal". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  117. ^ "Barbados Group for Development of a New Paradigm for Performance Research Paper Series". Retrieved December 16, 2013. 
  118. ^ "Werner Erhard's Scholarly Papers". Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  119. ^ "SSRN". SSRN. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  120. ^  
  121. ^ a b Guzman, Rafer (August 14, 2008). "Movie Buzz: Who Werner Erhard, The Deal The founder of the controversial training program called est". Newsday (Newsday, Inc.). p. B9. 
  122. ^ Erhard, Werner. "Putting Integrity Into Finance: A Purely Positive Approach". The national Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  123. ^ Erhard, Werner; Jensen, Michael C. "Putting Integrity Into Finance". ECGI (European Corporate Governance Institute. 
  124. ^ Erhard, Werner; Jensen, Michael C. "Putting Integrity Into Finance". Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance. 
  125. ^ "Creating Leaders: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model by Werner Erhard, Michael C. Jensen, Kari L. Granger :: SSRN". Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  126. ^ "The Hunger Project Source Document – The End of Starvation: Creating an Idea Whose Time Has Come". May 25, 1961. Retrieved December 9, 2013. 
  127. ^ a b "Introductory Reading for Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological Model by Werner Erhard, Michael Jensen, Steve Zaffron, Kari Granger :: SSRN". Retrieved November 19, 2011. 
  128. ^ Erhard, Werner; Gilbert Guerin; Robert Shaw (May 1975). "The Mind's Dedication to Survival". Journal of Individual Psychology 31 (1). Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  129. ^ Erhard, Werner; Vic Gioscia (1978). The Journal of Current Psychiatric Therapies. 
  130. ^ Bodek, Norman (Winter 1984 – Spring 1985). ReVision: The Journal of Consciousness and Change 7 (2). 
  131. ^ Erhard, Werner; Vic Gioscia (1977). Biosciences Communication. 3:104: 122. 


  • Bartley, III, William Warren: Werner Erhard The Transformation of a Man: The Founding of est, New York, New York, USA: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc (1978) ISBN 0-517-53502-5.
  • Bry, Adelaide: est: 60 Hours That Transform Your life, Harper Collins (1976) ISBN 978-0-06-010562-4
  • Fenwick, Sheridan: Getting It: The psychology of est, J. B. Lippincott Company. (1976) ISBN 0-397-01170-9
  • Hargrove, Robert: est: Making Life Work, Delacorte (1976) ISBN 978-0-440-19556-6
  • Kettle, James: The est Experience, Zebra Books (1976) ISBN 978-0-89083-168-7
  • Marks, Pat R.: est: The Movement and the Man, Playboy Press (1976) ASIN B004BI5A3E
  • Moreno, M.D., Ph.D., Jonathan D."Impromptu Man: J.L. Moreno and the Origins of Psychodrama, Encounter Culture, and the Social Network." Bellevue Literary Press (2014) ISBN 1934137847
  • Pressman, Steven: Outrageous Betrayal: The Dark Journey of Werner Erhard from est to Exile, New York, New York, USA: St. Martin's Press (1993) ISBN 0-312-09296-2
  • Rhinehart, Luke: The Book of est, Holt, Rinehart and Winston (1976) ISBN 978-0-557-30615-2
  • Self, Jane: 60 Minutes and the Assassination of Werner Erhard: How America's Top Rated Television Show Was Used in an Attempt to Destroy a Man Who Was Making A Difference Breakthru Publishing (1992) ISBN 0-942540-23-9
  • Weir, D., Noyes, D.: Raising Hell How the Center for Investigative Reporting Gets the Story, (Chapter on "Let Them Eat est.") Addison-Wesley (1983) ISBN 0-201-10858-5

Books by others

  • Putting Integrity Into Finance: A Purely Positive Approach, by Werner Erhard and Michael C. Jensen: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) #19986, March 2014;[122] European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) Finance Working Paper No. 417/2014;[123] and Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.[124]
  • Handbook For Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing, and Being; edited by Scott Snook, Nitin Nohria and Rakesh Khurana – Chapter 16 – Creating Leaders: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model, authored by Werner Erhard, Michael C. Jensen, and Kari Granger.[125]
  • The Hunger Project Source Document – The End of Starvation: Creating an Idea Whose Time Has Come[126]
  • Introductory Reading for Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological Model[127]
  • Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics, and Legality[127]
  • Hayek: A Collaborative Biography: Part 1 Influences from Mises to Bartley (Archival Insights Into the Evolution of Economics) Robert Leeson, Editor, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 – Chapter 12, by Werner Erhard: “Bill Bartley: An Extraordinary Biographer.”
  • The Mind's Dedication to Survival[128]
  • est: Communication in a Context of Compassion, The Journal of Current Psychiatric Therapies, 1978[129]
  • Werner Erhard on Transformation and Productivity[130]
  • The est Standard Training, BioSciences Communication[131]

Selected bibliography


Werner Erhard was featured in the 2002 British documentary by Adam Curtis, The Century of the Self, episode part 3 of 4. This segment of the video discusses the est Training in detail, and includes interviews with est graduates John Denver and Jerry Rubin.

In 2006, Erhard appeared in the documentary Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard.[121] The film was co-produced by Robyn Symon and Walter Maksym, who had earlier served as Erhard's attorney in the lawsuit against CBS.[121]

Film and television

The Barbados Group was analyzed by economics journalist and author David Warsh, in an article in Economic Principals.[120]

[119] Some members of the Barbados Group are affiliated with Landmark Education.[118]. Werner Erhard's Barbados Group publications can be found at SSRN.Harvard Business School, Emeritus Professor at the Michael Jensen both have at their head SSRN The group and its main publication-vehicle [117] A private investigator quoted in the

In 1993, Erhard filed a wrongful disclosure lawsuit against the IRS, asserting that IRS agents had incorrectly and illegally revealed to the media details of information from his tax returns.[93] In the first half of April 1991, IRS spokesmen were widely quoted, alleging that "Erhard owed millions of dollars in back taxes, that he was transferring assets out of the country, and that the agency was suing Erhard", branding Erhard a "tax cheat".[93] On April 15, the IRS was reported to have placed a lien of $6.7 million on personal property belonging to Erhard.[94] In his wrongful disclosure lawsuit against the IRS Erhard stated that he had never refused to pay taxes that were lawfully due,[93] and in September 1996 he won the suit. The IRS settled the lawsuit with Erhard, paying him $200,000 in damages. The IRS officials admitted that media reports quoting them on Erhard's tax liabilities had been false; however, they took no action to have the media correct these statements.[93][95]

In 1992 a court ruled that "The Forum" had not caused any “mental injuries” to Stephanie Ney. The court entered a default judgment of $380,000 against Werner Erhard – in absentia[21]:262 because Erhard had not personally received the notice to appear and was not present.[92]

The video of the CBS 60 Minutes program was subsequently withdrawn from the market.[91] Suzanne Snider in The Believer, May 2003, reported that it "was filled with so many factual discrepancies that the transcript was made unavailable with this disclaimer: 'This segment has been deleted at the request of CBS News for legal or copyright reasons.'"[80]

Erhard's daughters later retracted the allegations of sexual abuse they had made against their father.[86][87] Celeste Erhard, one of the daughters featured in the CBS program, subsequently sued journalist John Hubner and the San Jose Mercury News seeking US$2 million.[88] Celeste Erhard accused the newspaper of having "defrauded her and invaded her privacy".[88] She asserted that she had exaggerated information, had been promised a book deal to be co-authored with Hubner for revenue of $2 million, and stated on the record that the articles and her appearance on CBS television's 60 Minutes were to get publicity for the book.[88][89] Celeste Erhard did not dispute the accuracy of the quotes in the newspaper.[90] The case was dismissed in August 1993, the judge ruling that the statute of limitation had expired and that Celeste Erhard "had suffered no monetary damages or physical harm and that she failed to present legal evidence that Hubner had deliberately misled her."[88]

In 1991, Werner Erhard “... vanished amid reports of tax fraud (which proved false and won him $200,000 from the IRS) and allegations of incest (which were later recanted).”[79] The March 3, 1991 60 Minutes broadcast of these allegations was later removed by CBS due to factual inaccuracies.[80] On March 3, 1992, Erhard sued CBS, San Jose Mercury News reporter John Hubner and approximately twenty other defendants for libel, defamation, slander, and invasion of privacy, as well as conspiracy.[81][82] On May 20, 1992, Erhard filed for dismissal of his own case and sent checks for $100 to each of the defendants, covering their filing fees in the case.[83] Erhard later told Larry King in an interview that he dropped the suit after receiving legal advice telling him that in order to win it, it would not be sufficient to prove that CBS knew the allegations were false, but that he would also need to prove that CBS acted with malice.[84] Erhard stated to King that his family members (as reported in Time Magazine)[85] had since retracted their allegations, which had been made under pressure from CBS, and that accusations of tax evasion aired in the program were "misunderstandings" that were in the process of being resolved.[84]

Various skeptics have questioned or criticized the validity of Erhard's work and his motivations. Psychiatrist Marc Galanter described Erhard as "a man with no formal experience in mental health, self help, or religious revivalism, but a background in retail sales."[73] Michael Zimmerman, Philosophy Professor at Tulane University, described Erhard as "a kind of artist, a thinker, an inventor, who has big debts to others, borrowed from others, but then put the whole thing together in a way that no one else had ever done."[74][75] Philosophy professor Robert Todd Carroll referred to est as a "hodge-podge of philosophical bits and pieces culled from the carcasses of existential philosophy, motivational psychology."[76] Social critic John Bassett MacCleary called Erhard "a former used-car salesman" and est "just another moneymaking scam."[77] NYU psychology professor Paul Vitz noted that est "was primarily a business" and that its "style of operation has been labeled as fascist."[78]

Critics and disputes

Erhard is the author of the final chapter in the book about Nobel Prize winning economist, Friedrich Hayek; Hayek:A Collaborative Biography edited by Dr. Robert Leeson, Visiting Professor of Economics at Stanford University.[72]

Erhard's ontological work has been a topic for discussion by academics. At the 2013 Philosophy of Communication Division National Communication Association Conference in Washington D.C., Bruce Hyde and Andrew Kopp presented their paper, "Connecting Philosophy and Communication; A Heideggerian Analysis of the Ontological Rhetoric of Werner Erhard," in which they state "We are not suggesting here that Heidegger’s philosophical writings were the source of Erhard’s ideas. We see both men as being at work in the same field, sharing a view toward language and its relationship to Being."[71]

Erhard and his colleagues, Michael C. Jensen and Kari Granger were asked to contribute to the 2012 Harvard University publication, The Handbook for Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing and Being,[67] edited by the Dean of Harvard Business School, Nitin Nohria,[68] HBS leadership professor Scott Snook and Dean of Harvard College, Rakesh Khurana.[69] In their introduction the editors write, “Erhard, Jensen and Granger anchor this collection by taking dead aim at the BE component. In a highly provocative chapter titled 'Creating Leaders', this eclectic group of scholars argues for adopting a decidedly ontological approach to leadership education...For these authors, integrity, authenticity, and being committed to something bigger than oneself form the base of ‘the context for leadership,’ a context that once mastered, leaves one actually being a leader. It is not enough to know about or simply understand these foundational factors, but rather by following a rigorous, phenomenologically based methodology, students have the opportunity to create for themselves a context that leaves them actually being a leader and exercising leadership effectively as their natural self-expression."[70]

He presented his work on "Why We Do What We Do: A New Model Providing Actionable Access to the Source of Performance." at the Kennedy Center For Public Leadership at Harvard University in December 2009.[66]

In later years Erhard devoted his time to academic investigation, and presentations in writing and lectures of his ideas. In 2007, he presented a talk exploring the link between integrity, leadership, and increased performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for Public Leadership,[60] led a course on integrity at the 2007 MIT Sloan School of Management’s SIP (Sloan Innovation Period),[61] and spoke at the Harvard Law School program on Corporate Governance.[62] In 2008, he took part in a presentation on integrity at DePaul University[63] and co-led a course on leadership at the Simon School of Business.[64] In 2009 he presented Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological Model at the Gruter Institute Squaw Valley Conference: Law, Behavior & the Brain.[65]

. Werner Erhard and Associates and then consulted for Erhard Seminars Training, who had taken Warren Bennis at Harvard University entitled "From Thought to Action: Growing Leaders in a Changing World". The event was in honor of a friend, John F. Kennedy School of Government He attended an event on May 11, 2004 at the [59] with author Peter Block.Northern Ireland During this time he worked in the area of peace and reconciliation in [58] After retiring from Werner Erhard & Associates, Erhard made a few public appearances. One of these was on

Later work

Throughout his career Erhard has lectured at universities and organizations around the world.[54] The Harvard Business Review On Change states "We are indebted to numerous philosophers, scholars, and thinkers who have inquired into the nature of being, especially Werner Erhard." In their publication the Harvard Review cited, "Transformation and Its Implications for Systems-Oriented Research," lecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge Massachusetts, April 1977 and "The Nature of Transformation," Oxford University Union Society, Oxford, England, September 1981" and stated "Numerous writers have grappled with the relationship of past, present and future in the workplace, especially Werner Erhard," citing "Organizational Vision and Vitality: Forward from the Future," Academy of Management, San Francisco, California, August 1990.[16][55][56][57]

Academic lectures

Presentations that evolved from the "Forum" continue to take place today in major cities in the US and worldwide as the "Landmark Forum" under the auspices of Landmark Worldwide.

On February 1, 1991,[52] some of the employees of Werner Erhard and Associates purchased its assets, licensed the right to use its intellectual property and assumed some of its liabilities, paying $3 million and committing to remitting up to $15 million over the following 18 years in licensing fees.[53] Shortly afterwards the new owners established Landmark Education.[52]

In October 1987, Werner Erhard hosted a televised broadcast with top sports coaches John Wooden, Red Auerbach, Tim Gallwey and George Allen to discuss principles of coaching across all disciplines. They sought to identify distinctions found in coaching, regardless of the subject being coached. Jim Selman moderated the discussion and in 1989 he documented the outcome in an article called “Coaching and the Art of Management.”[51]

In the 1980s, Erhard created a new program called "the Forum", which began in January 1985. Also during that period Erhard developed and presented a series of seminars, broadcast via satellite that included interviews with contemporary thinkers in science, economics, sports, and the arts on topics such as creativity, performance, and money. The interviews were designed not to present particular views, but to inquire into the commitments, visions and influences at the source of their work. People interviewed in this diverse series included Mike Wallace, Milton Friedman, Alice Cahana, Robert Reich, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Senator Daniel Inouye.,[48][49][50]

Werner Erhard and Associates (1981–1991) and "The Forum"

  • The Physics–Consciousness Research Group, described in David Kaiser's How the Hippies Saved Physics and Gary Zukav's The Dancing Wu Li Masters.
  • The Hunger Project: to create awareness of and find solutions to chronic, world-wide hunger.[38]
  • The Mastery Foundation: an inter-faith organization that worked to reconcile divisions created by religious differences.[39][40]
  • The Breakthrough Foundation created Youth at Risk: a community-based mentor/apprenticeship network aimed at giving troubled youth opportunities to choose productive, responsible lives.[41]
  • The Caregivers Project: a volunteer organization that gave support for caregivers of people with terminal illnesses.[42]
  • The Education Network:[43] a national, grassroots organization aimed at transforming education in the US.[44]
  • The Holiday Project:[45] a national volunteers group who organized gift-giving and visits for people who are confined to hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and other institutions during Christmas, Chanukah and other holidays.[46]
  • Prison Possibilities, Inc.: provided programs in the prisons, including the est training, that significantly lowered the rate of re-arrests among participating prisoners.[47]

In the nearly 20 years of its existence, the Werner Erhard Foundation[37] supported these charitable organizations and projects:

In the early 1970s, the est Foundation became the Werner Erhard Foundation[33] with the aim of "providing financial and organizational support to individuals and groups engaged in charitable and educational pursuits – research, communication, education, and scholarly endeavors in the fields of individual and social transformation and human well-being". Among its activities was an annual lecture series in physics, a science in which Erhard was especially interested.[34][35] These lectures attracted leading names in theoretical physics of the era, including Stephen Hawking,[35] Leonard Susskind and Richard Feynman.[36]

Werner Erhard Foundation (1973–1991)

While Erhard led all the early est courses himself, by the mid-1970s there were ten trainers trained by him.[23]:384 Further est centers opened in Los Angeles, Aspen, Honolulu and New York, and many other cities, and est was enthusiastically endorsed by celebrities such as John Denver and Valerie Harper.[23]:384

"est", short for Erhard Seminars Training, also Latin for "It is," offered intensive communications and self-development workshops.[27] Their purpose was "to transform one's ability to experience living so that the situations one had been trying to change or had been putting up with, clear up in the process of life itself."[28] The point of the est training was to have a transformation in one's natural self-expression rather than living by an inherited set of rules.[29] Between 1971 and 1984, 700,000 people enrolled in the est training.[30] Participants at est workshops adhered to strict rules and were given designated breaks for bathroom visits and one meal break.[31] Smoking, eating or drinking alcohol was not permitted during the workshop.[31] Sessions lasted from 9:00 am to midnight or the early hours of the morning, with one meal break.[31] Participants had to hand over wristwatches and were not allowed to take notes, or to speak unless called upon, in which case they had to wait for a microphone to be brought to them.[23]:384 The second day of the workshop featured the "danger process".[23]:384 Groups of participants were brought onto the stage and confronted. They were asked to "imagine that they were afraid of everyone else and then that everyone else was afraid of them"[23]:384 and to re-examine their reflex patterns of living that kept their lives from working.[32] This was followed by lectures on the third and fourth days, covering topics such as reality and the nature of the mind, ending with the conclusion that "what is, is and what ain't, ain't," and that "true enlightenment is knowing you are a machine."[23]:384 Participants were told they were perfect the way they were and were asked to indicate by a show of hands if they "had gotten it".[23]:384

est (1971–1984)

In 1970, Erhard became involved in Mind Dynamics.[23]:383 Founded by Alexander Everett, Mind Dynamics seminars included teachings based on Rosicrucianism and Theosophy, as well as the methods of Edgar Cayce and José Silva, founder of Silva Mind Control.[23]:383–384 Erhard subsequently trained as a Mind Dynamics instructor with Everett, and took over the teaching of Mind Dynamics classes in San Francisco and soon also Los Angeles.[2]:136–137 The two directors of Mind Dynamics (William Penn Patrick and Alexander Everett) eventually invited him into their partnership, but Erhard rejected the offer, saying he would rather develop his own seminar program – "est", which he announced on September 13, 1971, at his last Mind Dynamics course in San Francisco.[23]:384

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.[2]:151,157

Erhard attended the Dale Carnegie course in 1967.[23] He was sufficiently impressed with it to make his staff attend the course as well, and began to think about developing a course of his own.[23] Over the following years, Erhard continued to investigate a wide range of movements, including Encounter, Transactional Analysis, Enlightenment Intensive, Subud and Scientology.[23]:383 Erhard read some works by L. Ron Hubbard, and some Scientology terms overlap with terms from est.[26] 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."[23]:383 William Bartley, in his biography of Werner Erhard, recounts that he asked Erhard to describe the differences between est and Scientology; Erhard replied:

Of all the disciplines that I studied, practiced, learned, Zen was the essential one. It was not so much an influence on me, rather it created space. It allowed those things that were there to be there. It gave some form to my experience. And it built up in me the critical mass from which was kindled the experience that produced est.[2]:118

During his time in St. Louis, Erhard read two books which were to have a marked effect on him: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (1937) and Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz (1960).[23]:383 When a member of his staff at Parents Magazine introduced him to the ideas of Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, both key figures in the human potential movement, his interests became more focused on personal fulfillment rather than sales success.[23] After his move to Sausalito, he attended seminars by Alan Watts, a notable Western interpreter of Zen Buddhism, who introduced him to the distinction between mind and self;[23] Erhard subsequently became close friends with Watts.[2]:117–138 In William Bartley's biography, Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man, the Founding of est (1978), Bartley quotes Erhard as acknowledging Zen as the essential contribution that "created the space for" est.[2]:146,147 Bartley details Erhard's connections with Zen beginning with his extensive studies with Alan Watts in the mid 1960s[2]:118 and quotes Erhard as acknowledging:


After a period as a car salesman[23]:42 working for Lee Iacocca,[2] :42 in 1961 Erhard began selling correspondence courses in the Midwest. He then moved to Spokane, Washington,[2]:85 where he was offered and accepted a job with Encyclopædia Britannica's "Great Books" program and was soon promoted to area training manager. In January 1962, Erhard switched to the Parents Magazine Cultural Institute, a division of the then Fortune 50 W.R.Grace & Co.[2]:112[24] In the summer of 1962, he was promoted to the position of territorial manager for California, Nevada, and Arizona, and moved to San Francisco; and in the spring of 1963 to Los Angeles.[2]:82–106 In January 1964, Parents promoted Erhard and transferred him to Arlington, Virginia as the southeast division manager.[2]:94 In August 1964, Erhard resigned his position in Arlington over a dispute with the company president and returned to his previous position as west coast division manager for Parents in San Francisco.[2]:107–114 In 1967, Erhard was promoted to vice president.[25]:117–138 During the next few years, Erhard brought on as staff at Parents many people who would later become important in est, including Elaine Cronin, Gonneke Spits and Laurel Scheaf.

Parents Magazine Cultural Institute



This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.