Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

April 14, 2007

Counterpunch article on est

Filed under: health and fitness — louisproyect @ 9:03 pm

Just before I left for Kansas City to go into industry, I worked for a consulting company in NYC called Automated Concepts, Inc. It was run by a handsome, well-built, perpetually smiling fellow by the name of Fred Harris who everybody knew was a graduate of est, a self-improvement cult that was almost as powerful as Scientology at the time. I got to know Fred fairly well through a series of dinners I had with him when I was giving computer classes to his headhunters. I can’t remember him ever coming up with a single intelligent remark although he was certainly a charismatic figure and capable, I’m sure, of selling refrigerators to the Innuit. I imagine that his perpetually elevated mood was something he got out of the est seminars. I myself preferred cocaine at the time.

Years later after I was working at Goldman-Sachs and had money to throw around, I joined a health club not far from my building and even hired a trainer. This guy, an aspiring actor with bulging calf muscles and a lantern jaw, invited me once to go to a meeting to hear some really exciting ideas. Since liberal-minded fellow workers were always willing to come to a Militant Labor Forum with me when I was in the Trotskyist movement, I thought that I’d accept his invitation in the same spirit. The meeting was sponsored by something called Landmark, an innocent enough sounding name. I thought I would hear something about how to succeed in business or find the love of my life, but it turned out to be a pitch to sign up for seminars in what amounted to est’s latest incarnation. Werner Erhard, the founder of est, had sold his business to Landmark Education that was carrying out the same approach. One meeting was enough for me. After spending 11 years in one cult, I was not about to get involved with another.

Check Counterpunch for the eye-opening article on est.

Werner Erhard website

Wiki article on Erhard

Report on Landmark Education

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: