From Erhard to Harvard: A Landmark Timeline

When Harvard Business School got involved with <a href="http://practice.motherjones.com/media/2009/07/landmark-42-hours-500-65-breakdowns">Landmark</a>, who bought Erhard’s abode, and David Letterman’s forgotten role.

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1971 Werner Erhard has breakthrough while driving across Golden Gate Bridge; founds est (Erhard Seminars Training).

1973 Erhard drives a black Mercedes with the vanity plate “SO WUT.”

1975 Est claims to have trained 65,000 people; Erhard dreams of training 40 million.

1975 John Denver releases “Looking for Space,” about his est enlightenment. Later, he asks other est grads to stop sneaking backstage.

1976 Ex-Yippie Jerry Rubin recounts Erhard’s spiel: “He listened to people’s miseries…laughed in their faces and screamed, ‘YOU ASSHOLE, YOU CAUSED IT!'”

1977 Woody Allen encounters a defensive est acolyte in Annie Hall.

1979 Mork & Mindy features David Letterman playing a guru named Ellsworth, founder of erk (Ellsworth Revitalization Konditioning).

1985 Est changes its name to the Forum.

1988 Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk attends the Forum; later credits it with his “big epiphany moment.”

1989 Nicolas Cage buys Erhard’s palatial San Francisco pad, which once boasted a soundproof room, an elaborate security system, and a bedroom painted black.

1991 Erhard goes into exile. Landmark buys est’s “technology” and reportedly promises to pay Erhard a licensing fee for 18 years.

1993 While in Moscow, Erhard appears on Larry King Live; claims Scientologists are out to get him.

2002 Six Feet Under‘s Ruth Fisher tries the Plan, “one of those ’70s self-discovery clubs that yell at you and don’t let you go to the bathroom for 12 hours.”

2006 Erhard breaks media silence in Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard, a film coproduced by his lawyer.

2007 Erhard unveils new management philosophy coauthored with a Harvard Business School professor and the CEO of Landmark’s consulting arm. Message: “Integrity is the pathway to trust.”

2009 Landmark claims to have trained more than 1 million people.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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