That's the news that est graduates all over America
are eagerly telling their friends, families, co-workers,
and just about anybody else who'll listen. Thousands
have taken the est training so far -- including such
celebrities as John Denver. Valerie Harper, Cloris
Leachman, Joanne Woodward, Yoko Ono, and Jerry
Rubin -- with Incredible results.
In this remarkable book -- the first full-scale, totally
honest look at the est phenomenon -- you'll read per-
sonal statements from est graduates who reveal inti-
mately what the training h.as meant for them -- how
dissatisfaction has become satisfaction, how rela-
tionships have improved dramatically, how physical
problems (from overweight to insomnia to allergies)
have been transformed into vibrant health -- all this
with no effort at all, in just two 30-hour weekends.
That Transform Your Life
gives you a wealth of facts and vital perspectives
on the most powerful new growth experience In America
-- important reading forest graduates
and non-graduates alike,
and must reading for anyone who wants to get real and
continually expanding satisfaction out of life!
erhard seminar training
by Adelaide Bry
PUBLISHERS OF BARD, CAMELOT, DISCUS, EQUINOX AND FLARE BOOKS.
Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to reprint
Excerpts from East West Journal interview with Werner
Erhard reprinted by permission of East West Journal.
Lyrics from "Looking for Space" by John Denver reprinted
by permission of Cherry Lane Music Co. Copyright 1975
Cherry Lane Music Co. (ASCAP). All rights reserved.
A division of
The Hearst Corporation
959 Eighth Avenue
New York, New York 10019
Copyright © 1976 by Adelaide Bry
Published by arrangement with Harper & Row.
Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 75-30329
All rights reserved, which includes the right
to reproduce this book or portions thereof in
any form whatsoever. For information address
Harper & Row, 10 East 53 St.,
New York, N.Y. 10022
First Avon Printing, August, 1976
AVON TRADEMARK REG. U.S. PAT. OFF. AND
FOREIGN COUNTRIES, REGISTERED TRADEMARK --
MARCA REGISTRADA, HECHO EN CHICAGO, U.S.A.
Printed in the U.S.A.
To my parents and their parents who
were still concerned with most of the
three feet, and to my children, Barbara
and Douglas, and to their children, who
will be able to experience that last
"Adelaide Bry did a great Job. The book
is readable, accurate and gives a bal-
anced view of est. Adelaide has demon-
strated her integrity as a writer by
extensive research, verifying the quotes
she uses, checking and rechecking her
facts, and by stating her opinion as
opinion rather than as fact. I support the
-- Werner Erhard
Marjorie Bair and Herb Hamsher, you are both fabulous.
Your assistance with this book was beautiful. Thank you.
I love you.
In New York and California and points in between, I send
my love to all the est graduates who shared their experi-
ence of est with me; and especially to Lea, Christian, Rick,
Cathy, Morgan, Fred, Lee, Nessa, Bill, Ted, John, Jim,
Bob, Alfred, Brad, Phyllis, Stephen, Judy, Carol, Michael,
and Brunhilde. Thank you.
Thanks to Dr. Edward Blair Guy for my official introduc-
tion to the Federal Correctional Institution at Lompoc.
Thank you, Werner, for creating est, and thank you, est
and Morty Lefkoe, for assisting me in getting the facts.
To Alice Kenner and Nancy Cone, of Harper & Row,
thanks for editorial excellence and grace under pressure.
1. How's Your Life?
Gerry and Marcia
2. In the Beginning
Father Joseph Brendler
4. The Training
5. Volunteering and Vomit Bags
Richard M. Dawes, M.D.
6. est Goes to Prison
7. Tots, Teens, Grads, and Others
8. Werner and His Business
Aunt Anna and Uncle Harry
9. Something About Nothing
10. Where Werner Comes From: Grist for the Mill
11. The Future
Shorthand: A Glossary
"Looking for Space"
"Obviously the truth is what's so. Not soIf you put a rat in front of a bunch of tunnels and put cheese in one
obvious, It's also so what."
-- Werner Erhard
of them, the rat will go up and down the tunnels looking for the cheese.
If every time you do the experiment you put the cheese down the fourth
tunnel, eventually you'll get a successful rat. This rat knows the right
tunnel and goes directly to it every time.
If you now move the cheese out of the fourth tunnel and put it at the
end of another tunnel, the rat still goes down the fourth tunnel. And, of
course, gets no cheese. He then comes out of the tunnel, looks the tunnels
over, and goes right back down the cheeseless fourth tunnel. Unrewarded,
he comes out of the tunnel, looks the tunnels over again, goes back down
the fourth tunnel again, and again finds no cheese.
Now the difference between a rat and a human
being is that eventually the rat will stop going
down the fourth tunnel and will look down the
other tunnels, and a human being will go down the
tunnel with no cheese forever. Rats, you see, are
only interested in cheese. But human beings care
more about going down the right tunnel.
It is belief which allows human beings to go down the fourth tunnel
. They go on doing what they do without any real satisfaction,
without any nurturing, because they come to believe that what they are
. And they will do this forever, even if there is
no cheese in the tunnel, as long as they believe in it and can prove
that they are in the right tunnel.
People who are getting satisfaction out of life don't have to prove they
are in the right tunnel. Therefore they don't need beliefs.
Belief is all you have when you're not getting satisfaction in your life.
This Werner Erhard story, familiar to most
graduates, is an
introduction to a simple but basic notion -- that one's beliefs about
reality may have no relationship to what is really happening.
How's Your Life?
"Man keeps looking for a truth that fits hisHow is your life working right this minute? Do you
reality. Given our reality, the truth doesn't
-- Werner Erhard
that it would be better if you had more money? A different spouse or
lover? Bigger and better orgasms? More respect, or responsibility, or
income? Would it be better if you had better looks, brains, figure? If
you were better liked? Or if, as a child, you had received more love,
kindness, education, or opportunity?
Undoubtedly you can answer "yes" to at least one of the above. How nice,
then, to know Werner Erhard has said, "I happen to think that you are
perfect exactly the way you are." He goes on to say, "The problem is
that people get stuck acting the way they were, instead of being the
way they are." So if it's "getting better" that you're after, you're
stuck in a belief about "getting better." Getting better, however,
is not what
isn't interested in changing people, what does it do? What
is this process that has so far trained 75,000 men, women and children
and whose founder and leader has stated that he intends to train forty
From one point of view,
can be seen as beginning where
everything else leaves off.
Starting with Freud, and followed in short order by other systems that
were variations on Freudian themes, contemporary Americans have become
accustomed to the notion that they can talk, reason, or scream their
way out of problems or neuroses and into sanity, or wholeness.
After World War II, psychoanalysis became the change agent for those
who could afford it. But that method of getting in touch with childhood
experiences and of eradicating or accepting whatever mother, father,
and environment had "done to" us is extremely costly and often doesn't
work. Understanding one's past doesn't necessarily lead to change. And
often, screaming doesn't either.
clearly states in its general information brochure that "it is
not like group therapy, sensitivity training, encounter groups, positive
thinking, meditation, hypnosis, mind control, behavior modification,
or psychology. "In fact," the statement concludes, "
therapy and is not psychology."
Implicit in those words is the premise that what they're offering is
something quite different. It was a search for something I was not yet
able to define -- something beyond the psychologies, something "quite
different" -- that led me to
I first learned of
through a young friend who called
excitedly from California to tell me about it. She was certain that
I'd be interested in what she described as "this latest head/body trip"
because of what she knew about my other involvements.
In addition to being a practicing psychotherapist and a writer, I am a
seeker of truth, self-realization, and spiritual and physical highs. You
name it -- in terms of self-improvement discipline, and chances are I've
done it. I've studied yoga and transcendental meditation. I've been
Rolfed and psychoanalyzed. I've "done" nude marathons, encounter groups,
transactional analysis, Gestalt, guided LSD trips, and Silva Mind
Control. Most recently, prior to
training, I went through
the heady forty-day Arica training.
I had experienced much of the growth (sometimes called "grope") movement
of the sixties, had undergone some important changes, but was still hungry
In my quest for growth, for meaning, for inner change, I was but one
of many searching for surcease from the malaise that increasingly has
marked middle-class America since World War II. I, like many others,
was searching for
The affluence that had been so ambitiously pursued through the sixties
in this country, and to a great extent attained, clearly wasn't living
up to its promise: happiness ever after. As more and more of us bought
ourselves swimming pools, foreign vacations, and early retirements,
both the divorce rate and the crime rate soared.
Two cars in a suburban garage didn't seem to change our feelings of
loneliness, alienation, disappointment, or despair. Nor did the divorce
or affair that often followed, because they were responses to symptoms
rather than to causes.
Another sacred cow, education -- and especially college education --
also turned out to promise more than it delivered. The expectation was
that the young, their heads crammed with information, would emerge from
school equipped to create better or happier lives than their parents
had. The fact was that a lot of theso youngsters rejected their parents'
work and moral ethics, creating still further alienation.
Along with money, education, and status, the sacrosanctity of the family
also began to be questioned. As the extended family became a thing of
the past, and nuclear families experienced increasing isolation in their
suburban homes and urban apartments, the task of rearing the children fell
almost completely to the woman parent. This proved an incredibly heavy
burden for both mother and children, and they suffered and suffocated
in it, while fathers grew more remote.
Cornell University social psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner noted
cover story on the contemporary family that the
incidence of family pathology is spreading swiftly among all sectors of
U.S. society. "The middle-class family," he said, ". . . is approaching
the level of social disorganization that characterized the low income
family of the early 1960's." *
* September 22, 1975.According to the same article, teen-age drug abuse and alcoholism are
also on the rise. Suicide has become the second leading cause of death
among young Americans between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four, and
the rate of juvenile delinquency is increasing at such a pace that today
one child in nine can be expected to appear in juvenile court before
the age of eighteen.
To chronicle the ills of the past couple of decades, by way of understanding
how we got to
is not my purpose here. Suffice it to note,
at the risk of sounding simplistic, that our values are breaking down
in all areas -- relationships, education, economics, politics, etc. --
and that out of this crisis new alternatives are being sought.
Many of us have become, like myself, seekers of a better way -- a way
out of the confusion, the complexities, the uncertainties that seem
greater now than ever before.
This search is reflected in such items as the fact that every suburban
community has its yoga class; in the incredible sales figures of books on
mediums (Edgar Cayce), magicians (Don Juan), and mystics (Sri Aurobindo,
Chogyam Trumpa Rinpoche); in the fact that whole families take the phone
off the hook before dinner for twenty minutes of transcendental meditation
(at last count more that 450,000 people have studied TM); and in the
consciousness expansion still sought through such hallucinogenic drugs
as LSD and mescaline.
A friend of mine, married to a longshoreman, is studying Tai Chi and is
heavily into its philosophy. A businessman I know is using biofeedback
to reduce his blood pressure. And a woman with whom I once pushed baby
carriages leaves a luncheon early to meet with her Zen master. It's no
longer unusual to encounter people who have left careers they sweated for,
because the work or the goals were no longer "meaningful." I did it --
as have a-half a dozen friends in their middle years.
These reports of individual experiences are not isolated ones. They
have become part of a spontaneous movement called the "consciousness
revolution." The movement is taking many forms, going in many directions,
and has many spokesmen. Many see it as the beginning of the New Age,
a time in mankind's evolution which has been prophesied for centuries
and which is both an end and a beginning; a critical point in history
in which man and his planet are undergoing vast transformation.