Erhard Seminars Training

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Erhard Seminars Training, an organization founded by Werner H. Erhard, offered a two-weekend (60-hour) course known officially as "The est Standard Training". The est training was offered from late 1971 to late 1984. wiki Now known as Landmark Forum. [1]

"Some VIPs on the est advisory board were Don Cox (former vice president and director of canning for Coca Cola USA); Roger Sant (former assistant administrator of the Federal Energy Administration); Richard Aurelio (former deputy mayor of New York City, and former administrative assistant to Senator Jacob Javits); Frank M. Berger...", Harold Lyon, Jr., and Jack Thayer. (p.177) [2]


Richard Behar and Ralph King Jr. in their article "The Winds of Werner" (Forbes/November 18, 1985):

"Plenty of controversy has swirled around Werner Erhard, the millionaire guru of est (Erhard Seminars Training) who began life as Jack Rosenberg of Philadelphia and who once sold used cars for a living. One man undoubtedly wishes that he had never heard of Erhard: Zurich-based Wolfgang Somary, heir to one of the oldest banking fortunes in Switzerland.
"Bankers normally ask lots of tough questions - and demand plenty of solid collateral - before making loans to foreigners. But on one occasion that he's never likely to forget, Somary seems to have done neither...
"The way the loan was set up was astoundingly complex. Somary used an obscure nonprofit Zurich association he cofounded in 1974, the Intercultural Cooperation Foundation, to lend the funds. But instead of having the money go directly to Erhard, he had Intercultural send the money via the First National Bank of Boston's branch office in Panama City, Panama, through what appears to be a spurious Costa Rican foundation, the Fundacion Soberana Orden de San Juan de Jerusalem, and only thereafter to Erhard's pocket in San Francisco.
"The loan, made on Sept. 15, 1981, when est enrollment was peaking and Erhard was casting about for funds, proved enticing. Not only did it carry a virtual giveaway 2% interest rate and required no repayment of principal for ten years, but it also went to Erhard's for-profit, sole proprietorship Werner Erhard & Associates...
"How did a man like Wolfgang Somary let himself get drawn into this mess? Good question - and one that seems to puzzle his own Intercultural colleagues. Dr. Hans Fischer-Barnicol, the executive director of Intercultural's research arm in Heidelberg, seemed completely in the dark about a $15 million Intercultural loan to Erhard through Costa Rica. So did James George of Port Murray, N. J., a current Intercultural board member who has been active off and on since Intercultural was founded. Said he This $15 million is new to me. [The organization] has been in mothballs for a number of years, without financial resources.""


  • Steven Pressman, Outrageous Betrayal: The Dark Journey of Werner Erhard From est to Exile (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993).

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