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 purpose of est was to allow participants to achieve, in a very brief time, a sense of personal transformation and enhanced power. The est course was offered from late 1971 to late 1984.

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The est Standard Training

The first est course happened at the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco, California in October 1971. Within a year, trainings were being held in New York City, and other major cities in the United States followed soon after. Beginning in July 1974 the est Training was delivered in Federal Prisons. [2][3] [4] By 1979 est had expanded to Europe and other parts of the world. The popularity of est peaked in 1981, then enrollment for the various courses began to decline. The last est Training was held in December 1984 in San Francisco; in its place came a newly developed course called "The Forum", which began in January 1985. The est Training presented several concepts, most notably the concept of transformation and taking responsibility for one's life. The actual teaching, called "the technology of transformation", emphasizes the value of integrity.[5] "est, Inc." evolved into "est, an Educational Corporation", and eventually into "Werner Erhard & Associates". Est ended in 1985 and a new course called the Forum was created. In 1991 the business was sold to the employees who formed a new company called Landmark Education with Erhard's brother Harry Rosenberg becoming the CEO.[6] Landmark Education was structured as a for-profit, employee-owned company; it operates with a consulting division called Vanto Group.[7]

Early influences

In William Bartley's biography, Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man, the Founding of est (1978), Erhard describes his explorations of Zen Buddhism. Bartley quotes Erhard as acknowledging Zen as the essential contribution that "created the space [for est]".[1] Bartley details Erhard's connections with Zen beginning with his extensive studies with Alan Watts in the mid 1960s.[8] Bartley quotes Erhard as acknowledging:

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