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Thread: "Human Potential Movement": Corporate Cult

  1. #1

    "Human Potential Movement": Corporate Cult

    This branch of the New Age "movement" likes to dress itself up in vague Zenlike platitudes that give it some Age of Aquarius cachet but aside from a brief early flirtation with Eastern philosophy it quickly became co-opted as a money making corporate scam.

    (Some of these documents have been removed from the web. I copy this stuff into files as soon as I find it because these groups have a habit of pressuring people to take the information down. I'll provide the links even if they are dead, so if someone wants to try to retrieve them from google cache there will be something to start with.)

    Background and some definitions

    Mind Dynamics - Alexander Everett

    Mind Dynamics, founded by Alexander Everett, was the major forerunnner of the Large Group Awareness Trainings. Although it was only in existence for a few years, it has certainly sparked an entire industry of similar trainings.

    Alexander Everett was from England and arrived in America in 1962 and went to Missouri. "Deciding that the Unity ministry was not his calling, he (Alexander Everett) left Missouri in 1963 and went to Fort Worth, Texas, where he had been invited to help establish a private boarding school. He remained in Texas for seven years. In Texas, he not only helped set up the Fort Worth Country Day School but more importantly, completed the work that led to the founding in 1968 of Mind Dynamics, the experiential human potential training organization that was to become the forerunner of est, Lifespring, Actualizations, and several other human potential training organizations that flourished in the 1970s and continue to do so in the 80s. 

    Alexander states that Mind Dynamics grew out of the various paths of spiritual and personal growth that he had been exploring since leaving England. He lists, as the primary influences, Edgar Cayce's work, Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, Egyptology, Silva Mind Control, and, of course, Unity. He knew when he put the Mind Dynamics course together that, primarily, he wanted to develop a training that dealt with the workings of the mind, and secondly, since we live in the Aquarian Age, a mind sign, that he wanted to have the word "mind" in the organization's name.

    The four-day trainings, which were largely experiential, caught on rapidly--not in Texas, where they were first offered, but in California, where Alexander was soon being invited to present them. As a result the headquarters of Mind Dynamics was moved to San Francisco in 1970. Interest in the course, however, was not restricted to California. During the four remaining years of the organization's existence, the course was taught throughout the United States and in Europe and Australia.

    Looking back upon it, Alexander feels that the organizations expanded too quickly. It grew larger than he had originally intended, and was soon being controlled by the dynamic, young staff that he had recruited. Alexander brought in as trainers young men who were soon to become leaders in the human potential movement that spread throughout California in the 1970s and, later, across the country."

    Mind Dynamics was a success and attracted William Penn Patrick's attention. He had a pyramid sales organization called Holiday Magic, which sold cosmetics. He also had a training organization known as Leadership Dynamics. He bought Everett's training in 1970 intending to use it as an additional training vehicle for his distributors. While Mind Dynamics was a non-confrontational course in self-hypnosis like the Silva Method, the Leadership Dynamics program was a hard hitting group encounter. The influences of both trainings are found in the training organizations which followed.

    William Penn Patrick's Leadership Dynamics training organization went out of control in its methods according to a book called "The Pit, a group encounter defiled" by Gene Church (out of print). The resulting lawsuits pretty much shut down Leadership Dynamics as well as Mind Dynamics. The Holiday Magic MLM was busted as a pyramid scheme. Penn Patrick died when he crashed his F-86 Sabre at an airshow in Sacramento.
    When Leadership Dynamics and Mind Dynamics shut down, some of the instructors went out on their own.

    • Four of them [Bob White, Randy Revell, Charlene Afremow, John Hanley] founded Lifespring in 1974 and developed the Lifespring training with psychologist John Enright.
    Another, Werner Erhard, founded est in 1971 which evolved into The Forum. (Landmark)
    • Bob White left Lifespring, went to Japan, and started a training organization there called Life Dynamics.
    • Randy Revell left Lifespring and founded the Context Trainings.
    • Charlene Afremow joined Erhard's organization as a trainer. She later left in a dispute , returned to Lifespring, then returned to Landmark and is now leading Forums..
    • Howard Nease founded Personal Dynamics.
    • Jim Quinn founded Lifestream
    • Thomas Willhite founded PSI World Seminars
    • Stewart Emery worked for est and later founded Actualizations
    • William Penn Patrick's training organization recovered and is known today as Leadership Dynamics.

    LGAT: Large Group Awareness Training (also known as Mass Marathon training)

    The term Large Group Awareness Training (LGAT) refers to "training" offered by certain groups sometimes linked with the human potential movement.[1] By using LGAT techniques, these providers claim to (among other things) increase self-awareness and bring about preferred personal changes in individuals' lives.[2] Michael Langone has referred to Large Group Awareness Training as new age trainings[3] and Philip Cushman referred to them as mass marathon trainings.[4]

    Large Group Awareness Training programs may involve several hundred people at a time.[5] Though early definitions cited LGATs as featuring unusually long durations, more recent texts describe the trainings as lasting from a few hours to a few days. In 2004, DuMerton, citing "Langone (1989)", estimated that "[p]erhaps a million Americans have attended LGATs".[6]: 39 Forsyth and Corazzini cite Lieberman (1994) as suggesting "that at least 1.3 million Americans have taken part in LGAT sessions".[7]

    Michael D. Langone, Ph.D.
    Editor, Cultic Studies Journal

    Cult Observer, Volume 15, No. 1, 1998

    In the 1960s the encounter group movement was born. Advocating enhanced communication and intensified experience, this movement evolved into something that was part psychotherapy, part spirituality, and part business. In some scholarly articles, these groups were referred to as "large group awareness trainings" or LGATs. Erhard Seminars Training (est) was the most successful of these groups, and it has been widely imitated. Even though it no longer officially exists, in the minds of many est is identified with the entire LGAT movement. It is in a sense the progenitor of a myriad of programs that have been marketed to the public and the business community.


    The est model of self-transformation is structured around an intense weekend experience which brings together several dozen or several hundred people and a "trainer" with one or more assistants. People are together morning, afternoon, and evening. Breaks, even for the bathroom, tend to be highly structured and limited. Participants are led through a long series of exercises that proponents say are designed to cut through psychological defenses, increase honesty, and help people take charge of their lives. Undoubtedly, many variations of this basic model exist, and some LGATs may depart substantially from this model.

    Although reliable scientific data are not available, probably at least a million people in the United States have participated in at least one LGAT, with several hundred thousand having gone through est alone.

    Because many observers of this phenomenon have associated such trainings with the new age movement (NAM), LGATs have also been called "new age transformational training programs," or "new age trainings." According to Dole and Langone, the new age can be defined as "an alternative religious paradigm that is rooted in Eastern mysticism, eclectic in its practices and beliefs, tolerant (or undiscerning, depending upon one's perspective) of nontraditional practices and beliefs, and optimistic about humanity's capacity to bring about a great evolutionary leap in consciousness." New age transformational trainings use an eclectic mix of psychological techniques and exercises that proponents believe will improve one's spiritual, psychological, and material well-being.

    Some observers and scientific researchers have also associated some LGATs with at least the potential to cause psychological distress to some participants. Some compare the trainings to thought reform programs, or "brainwashing," and to "cults."

    The implied, if not explicit, religious nature of many of these trainings and the potential for psychological damage in some trainings have resulted in lawsuits against some trainings and employers who have sponsored them. On February 22, 1988 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a notice on new age training programs which conflict with employees' religious beliefs. This notice gave official credence to the claim that some of these trainings are fundamentally religious in nature, even though they may be corporately organized as a business. An article from Labor Law Journal elaborates upon the EEOC document.

    Werner Erhard & est

    The est Standard Training

    Werner Erhard in 1979
    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 US followed soon after. 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.[2] 'est, Inc.' evolved into 'est, an Educational Corporation', and eventually into 'Werner Erhard & Associates'. WE&A purchased the assets of est in 1981.[citation needed]

    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.[3] Bartley quotes Erhard as acknowledging:
    Of all the disciplines that I studied, practiced, learned, Zen was the essential one. It was not so much an influence on me, rather it created space. It allowed those things that were there to be there. It gave some form to my experience. And it built up in me the critical mass from which was kindled the experience that produced est.[4]


    • 1971 - Erhard Seminars Training Inc, first est Training held in San Francisco, California
    • 1973 - The Foundation for the Realization of Man - incorporated as a non-profit foundation in California (subsequently the name of the foundation was changed to the est Foundation in 1976, and in 1981 to the Werner Erhard Foundation)
    • 1975 - est, an educational corporation.
    • 1981 - Sold assets to Werner Erhard and Associates and est ceased operations[5]

    You'll notice at this point that the connection to multi-level marketing and Holiday Magic cosmetics has been written out of the story. These human potential groups have many of the trappings of religion but are still basically Amway but without soap. They are demon recruiters and the point of these classes is to sell more classes. I know this from personal experience as I have a close relative as a member of another branch and was recruiting me as young as 13. I resisted for years and took one introductory class that was frankly pretty mercenary. The main focus is upselling and getting your friends to come to a "guest night" where heavy pressure to enroll is applied.

    The next section will transition to Landmark. Feel free to chime in and ask me stuff at any time. I've been immersed in research on this for years and am probably glossing over things.

    Further reading:

    William Penn Patrick

    Description of the Behavioral Structure of the Training

  2. #2

    no soap

    "These human potential groups have many of the trappings of religion but are still basically Amway but without soap."

    Amway is actually "Amway without soap." That leads to some interesting connections.

    An undercover agent, FBI if I remember correctly, caught some higher ups in Amway frankly saying that all of the money was made from selling motivational materials and from rallies and seminars, and not from selling any soap. (The motivational materials are peddled to people supposedly to help them sell soap and "build their organization" of affiliates selling soap.) One of those Amway "double diamonds" at that meeting was Doug Wead. He is an Assembly of God minister, and was hired by the Bush administration, according to Wead, to coach Bush on how to "appeal to Evangelicals" and get and retain their support.

    The Amway founders, Rich Devos and Jay Van Andel, are heavy hitters in the Republican party, big contributers to Bush, and of course it is a son in law of Devos who started and ran Blackwater.

  3. #3

    Part Two

    Who exactly is Werner Erhard?

    Early life (1935-1971)

    John Paul Rosenberg graduated from Norristown High School, Norristown, Pennsylvania, in June 1953, along with his future wife Patricia Fry.[2]:30 Rosenberg married Fry on 26 September 1953[4]:4 and they had four[2]:51 children together. He left Fry and their children in Philadelphia (1960), traveled west with June Bryde[4]:4, and changed his name to "Werner Hans Erhard". Rosenberg chose his new name from Esquire magazine articles he read about then West German economics minister Ludwig Erhard and the philosopher and physicist Werner Heisenberg.[2]:57-58 June Bryde changed her name to "Ellen Virginia Erhard". The newly-renamed Erhards moved to St. Louis.

    In 1961, Erhard sold correspondence courses in the Midwest, then California, and eventually moved to Spokane, Washington.[2]:85 After a few months, he took a job with Encyclopædia Britannica's "Great Books" program, and was soon promoted to area training manager. In January 1962 Erhard switched to the Parent's Magazine Cultural Institute, a child development materials division of Parents Magazine.[2]:112 In the summer of 1962 he won promotion to the position of territorial manager for California, Nevada, and Arizona, and moved to San Francisco; and in the spring of 1963 to Los Angeles.[2]:82-106 In January 1964, "Parents" promoted Erhard and transferred him to Arlington, Virginia as a southeast manager.[2]:94In August 1964, Erhard resigned his position in Arlington over a dispute with the company president and returned to his previous position in San Francisco.[2]:107-114 Erhard and his second wife moved into an apartment in Sausalito and had a second daughter, Adair, on December 27, 1964. Erhard began a close friendship with Alan Watts.[2]:117-138 In the next few years, Erhard brought on-staff at "Parents" many people who would become important in est, including Elaine Cronin, Gonneke Spits and Laurel Scheaf. In 1967 Erhard was promoted to vice president.[5]
    The psychiatrist Marc Galanter described Erhard as "a man with no formal experience in mental health, self help, or religious revivalism, but a background in retail sales."[35]

    Outrageous Betrayal

    Outrageous Betrayal: The Dark Journey of Werner Erhard from est to Exile is a biography of Werner Erhard written by legal journalist Steven Pressman and first published in 1993 by St. Martin's Press. Pressman first became interested in writing a book about Werner Erhard in 1991 while working as a journalist for California Lawyer. He carried out research and investigative work for the book from 1991 to 1993, conducting interviews and consulting documents from court transcripts and previously published accounts.


    In Outrageous Betrayal, Steven Pressman gives a chronological account of Werner Erhard's life and businesses, from high-school years through his formation of companies that delivered awareness training and the later controversies surrounding his business and family life. The book goes into detail regarding his early life as Jack Rosenberg and his name-change to Werner Erhard, his move to California, and the initial inspirations behind the training that would become "est". Pressman writes that Erhard took inspiration from the self-help course Mind Dynamics, cybernetics, from the books Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, and from Scientology and the writings of L. Ron Hubbard. He also notes how an attorney skilled in tax law helped Erhard in forming his first awareness-training company, Erhard Seminars Training.[21][22][23]

    Pressman notes how Erhard and his businesses became successful within two years of foundation, and writes that his awareness-training programs trained over half a million people in his courses and brought in tens of millions of dollars in revenue. The book then describes controversies relating to both Erhard's businesses and his reported treatment of his family. Pressman details some of the lawsuits and professional desertions that hurt his business, as well as some of his conflicts with the Internal Revenue Service. The end of the book describes the impact and aftermath of a March 3, 1991 60 Minutes investigation on CBS News, where one of Erhard's daughters accused him of sexual abuse. Pressman also describes the successor company to Est, Werner Erhard and Associates, and Erhard's decision to sell the "technology" of his course The Forum to his employees and to leave the United States. The book's epilogue includes a firsthand account of a Landmark Forum seminar led by the former Est-trainer Laurel Scheaf in 1992.[7][21][22][23][24]


    Beginning in the 1970s a company named "est" (Erhard Seminar Training) sold courses, which are now often called "large group awareness training" and/or "mass marathon training" for "self-improvement." This included an introductory course known as "The Forum."

    Jack Rosenberg, a former used-car salesman, created Est with no formal education past high school.

    In the 1960s Rosenberg left his wife and four children in Philadelphia, changed his name to "Werner Hans Erhard," moved to California and started another family.

    Erhard was reportedly "the role model, the living example of what the est Training could do."

    But CBS News reported allegations of incest, rape and spousal abuse made against Werner Erhard by his daughters and former employees.

    Not long after the airing of this program Erhard sold his company reportedly to his employees and went into prolonged seclusion.

    The for profit privately owned company, which still sells the Forum and other training courses, is now known as "Landmark Education" and headed by Werner Erhard's brother and sister.

    What follows is a news summary that includes statements made by Erhard family members and insiders, which was broadcast by CBS "60 Minutes" March 3, 1991.

    "I am god"

    Dr. Bob Larzelere was the head of Erhard's counseling staff for seven years during the 1970s.

    "I am god...he did say sometimes in staff meetings," Larzelere told CBS News.

    Wendy Drucker was a top manager who worked closely with Erhard for nine years.

    Drucker told CBS, "I would never have believed that I, could be a person who would wind up in a cult...And yet, certainly mind control was involved. And if that's what cults do, and they set up a leader to be bigger than anybody else, a god-like figure, I would say yes, that was true in the organization."

    "We were told to surrender to him as 'source.' I think that's idolatry...This was not like, being an employee. This was like being, a servant, or a devotee," Drucker said.

    Ms. Drucker confirmed Larzelere's statement and said that Erhard told "...the whole staff. At staff meetings...'I am the source...I am god."

    Whatever happened to ... EST?

    Discover/July 1, 2007
    By Stephen Ornes

    In 1971, the Erhard Seminars Training--better known as EST--exploded out of San Francisco to become a worldwide phenomenon. The program promised personal empowerment, but reports claimed that moderators castigated and berated participants for their beliefs. After knocking them down, the moderators raised their spirits through guided meditations and repetitive readings. At the end of the two- or three-day seminar, participants either "got it" and experienced a transcendent life change or walked away dazed and confused.

    In 1991, 60 Minutes ran a damning profile of charismatic EST founder Werner Erhard (born Jack Rosenberg). A onetime student of Scientology, Erhard was accused of sexual and physical abuse by his family, though some of those claims were later recanted. That same year, Erhard sold out to Landmark Education, which continues to attract millions of followers from all over the world. Landmark is now run by Erhard's brother and sister.

    Rick Ross, whose nonprofit organization gathers information about cultlike groups like Landmark, says the "training" has resulted in psychotic breakdowns requiring hospitalization for some participants. In addition, he says people become addicted to the expensive seminars. "[EST] had a very appealing message," Ross says. "But it was not the empowering experience it was advertised to be."

    Long story short, our brave hero is hounded by scandal and sells his company to his brother and sister. Everyone claims he is no longer directly involved. The new company is called Landmark Education and the new classes are called The Forum.

  4. #4


    Just what every cult needs--it's own army of mercenaries. I think Landmark has been sinking its lunch-hooks into the Democratic Party. The connections are still kind of vague though. I'm keeping an eye on it.

  5. #5

    Part Three

    Landmark Forum

    Landmark Forum began in 1985 by those who had purchased the est "technology" from Werner Erhard. In 1991 the group changed its name to Landmark Education Corporation (LEC), which continues to offer the Landmark Forum training, along with several other programs emphasizing communication and productivity. Erhard's brother, Harry Rosenberg, heads LEC, which does some $50 million a year in business and has attracted some 300,000 participants. LEC is headquartered in San Francisco, as was est, and has 42 offices in 11 countries. Apparently, however, Erhard is not involved in the operation of LEC.

    LEC is aimed at New Age explorers of the 1990s, not the Flower Children from the 60s and 70s who were attracted to est. The search for "It", which characterized est, is out. Also out is the Zen master approach of est, which was often abusive, profane, demeaning and authoritarian. The Forum is apparently just as authoritarian as est but not as profane or abusive.

    LEC aims to help people transform their lives by teaching them specific communication and life skills along with some heavy philosophical training. The advertised goals of LEC seem very grand and very vague. The programs are hailed as "original, innovative and effective." They "allow participants to produce extraordinary and even miraculous results, and provide a useful, practical new freedom which brings a quality of effectiveness and plan to one's everyday life." Landmark is dedicated to "empowering people in generating unlimited possibilities and making a difference. Our work provides limitless opportunities for growth and development for individuals, relationships, families, communities, businesses, institutions and society as a whole." They are "successful" and "internationally recognized." They are "committed to generating extraordinary communication --powerful listening and committed speaking that results in self-expression and fulfillment." Landmark is "exciting, challenging and enjoyable." "Well being, self-expression, accountability and integrity are the tenets upon which we stand. This stand leads to our extraordinary customer, assistant and employee satisfaction." And, of course, LEC wants to help you fulfill all your human potential, your "capacity to create, generate, invent and design from nothing." [Landmark Education Charter]

    (This word "integrity" is significant. Keep it in mind as we go along.)

    The est of Friends

    THE POCKET-PROTECTED AND PEDIGREED have turned out in surprising numbers for this event. The pervasive presence of high-tech and professional employees makes me wonder if the soulless, isolated nature of keyboard-pecking work isn't to blame. They're alienated from living things like flesh and dirt, I figure, noting a paucity of farmers and horse doctors in the room.

    But maybe it's something simple, like who has 300 bucks to see if they like something. Or the fact that most of these employees didn't grow up here, and they're a long way from their parents and cousins and Fourth of July picnics and churches, all the things that keep people sure of who they are.

    Whatever it is, it's working, and it might not be long before The Forum integrates into Silicon Valley companies. One fellow from Cisco stands up on the last night and says, "I took The Forum because my boss suggested it, and in Silicon Valley you don't say no to your boss." He grins sidelong glance at his employer, who's standing next to him. "But I'm very happy I came." A lot of people came at their boss's "friendly" behest, and several asked for information on Landmark's corporate programs, in which entire companies examine their rackets.

    Here, just a short junket from Landmark's San Francisco headquarters, Forums fill up weeks in advance. One of 53 offices worldwide, including centers in India, Israel, Great Britain and Japan, the San Jose office enrolls about 100 people each month in The Forum. Enthusiastic grads can spend up to $4,000 completing the Landmark curriculum of courses. For companies the cost ranges from $250,000 to $4 million.
    On the last night 39 people sign up for the $700 advanced course--a $27,000 drop in the $48 million-a-year bucket of Landmark revenues. Last year Landmark Education Corporation spent $13 million on salaries and bonuses for its 451 employees, dedicated $4 million to travel and made $2.5 million in profit.

    Pay Money, Be Happy
    For thousands of new yorkers, happiness is a $375, three-day self-help Seminar. Welcome to EST: The Next Generation

    * By Vanessa Grigoriadis

    With its emphasis on self-examination, self-revelation, and sharing both with a roomful of strangers, the Forum seems more appropriate for seventies softies than aughties urban warriors. Yet for upwardly mobile twentysomethings like Tootsie -- the generation that talks sex with the callousness of Samantha on Sex and the City but armors up with irony to discuss the meaning of life -- the Forum offers a chance to explore their innermost hopes and dreams. In New York, the company recently moved out of its offices in a walk-up across from Macy's. Now it leases an entire floor of One World Trade Center.

    Unlike other New Age staples that have been reified as expensive indulgences -- aromatherapy, bindis, Balinese end tables -- the Forum isn't remotely exotic. Nor does it offer enlightenment and a better body at the same time, like yoga. Held in a bright, antiseptic conference room, the Forum is run as a shades-drawn, no-whispering class moderated by one of 50 certified Forum leaders. Leaving during the three fifteen-hour days is discouraged -- a posterboard sign warns, IF YOU LEAVE THE ROOM FOR ANY REASON, EVEN FOR A FEW MINUTES, YOU MAY GET THE RESULT BUT HAVE NO RIGHT TO EXPECT IT.

    The Forum is only the beginning: Seven out of ten people who take the Forum go on to a higher level of Landmark's "Curriculum for Living," which includes the ten-session "Forum in Action" seminar series, the four-day advanced course ($700), and the five-day "Self-Expression and Leadership" seminar ($200) -- about 250 hours in total. In addition, Landmark offers seminars on "Sex & Intimacy" and "Being Extraordinary" and a $1,900 "Wisdom Program." (Landmark also offers courses for children and teens.) Any of the 60-odd courses can be repeated, or, in Landmark terms, "reviewed." "I was very involved about five years ago," says former Rent star Anthony Rapp, who was turned on to Landmark by actor Andy Dick, a childhood friend. "A couple months ago, I decided to review the Forum. I just loved it: It was like going to see your favorite band in concert, the familiarity so comforting and empowering."

    Some Landmark graduates also volunteer for the company, which has approximately 500 employees and a reported 7,500 unpaid "assistants" (though Landmark puts this number much lower) who answer phones, sign up recruits, and cater to the Forum leaders. "They have a person designated to make them lunches," says Laura White, a former volunteer at the Washington, D.C., Forum office. "Someone makes sure they have a clean pair of socks after the second break."

    For some, it's almost a second career. "I've been assisting and then leading the 'Self-Expression and Leadership' course for about seven years," says Larry Panish, who owns the Tomato Restaurant in Chelsea and just sold the Moondance Diner. "To me, it's a fair trade: Landmark may get my time for free, but I get to continue in the process of self-realization for free."
    By 1991, however, after a scathing 60 Minutes exposé, Erhard disappeared. These days, Landmark says Erhard has no role in its business, although their courses are based on his "technology" -- the structure, style, and system of beliefs he used in est and later in the Forum, which he created in 1985 when est enrollment started to dip. Landmark's Forum is shorter than est and has fewer rules (in est, attendees weren't just warned they might miss something if they went to the bathroom -- they weren't allowed to go at all), but it retains some similar exercises and the same tortured relationship to grammar. People aren't in the room; they are "present." One is not "committed to" something; he's simply "committed." A typical Forum phrase might read "The listening you are does not allow for the possibility of being committed that you are extraordinary."

    Then there are the slogans written on the chalkboard by Forum leaders: change causes persistence; you must create a new way of being, but you are perfect just as you are. Even while Landmark teaches its truth, leaders repeatedly assert that "none of this is true"; participants need to "get it," but there's "nothing to get."

    Consider the way one Forum leader compares the program with est: "The est training was based on experiencing your experience. The idea was that if you really, truly experienced your feelings, emotions, anxieties, all of those problems in your life would miraculously clear up. But that doesn't quite get to where the bad feeling came from. What's unique and powerful about the Forum is that it gives you the tools to get to the source."

    The source, of course, is you.

    "You!" shouts the tall man perched on a director's chair raised on a dais at the front of the room. "You are a loyal viewer of your own soap opera. You love it! You couldn't deal with life without it. Your friends are the people who watch it." He pauses for dramatic effect. "Well, guess what? It's going off the air."

    After you get complete, explains Willmore, it's time to have an "enrollment conversation," as in "I'm calling because I want to enroll you in the possibility of me having an extraordinary life." That's followed by the "invitation conversation," in which you ask those close to you to attend your Forum "graduation" on Tuesday night ("because it would mean a lot to me"), and the "registration conversation," in which you ask them to take the Forum themselves ("because I think it would be good for you"). "There's also a bonus assignment," says Willmore. "Who thinks they can bring three or more people to their introductory Forum?"
    Landmark often justifies the value of its courses by citing a 1997 Harvard Business School case study, "Landmark Education Corporation: Selling a Paradigm Shift," which outlines the company's business practices and underlying message in glowing terms but doesn't cover the psychological aspects or effectiveness of Landmark's programs. As of this year, Harvard is no longer printing the study, teaching from it in courses, or keeping it in its library. "Landmark ordered 75,000 copies of the study," says a source at the school. "That's when we knew we had a problem." (Landmark's spokesman, Mark Kamin, calls this figure "grossly inaccurate.")

    Last year, Landmark had revenues of $58 million, and Rosenberg says the company has bought outright Erhard's license and his rights to Japan and Mexico. Entirely employee-owned and run by a board of directors elected by the staff, Landmark also draws on the expertise of successful devotees like Mick Leavitt, producer of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, who works part-time in Landmark's business-development department. Eventually, says Rosenberg, that development might even include leaving behind some of the hard sell associated with Landmark's courses. "We've been accused of pressuring people in terms of our, quote, 'sales,' and we're out to avoid any of that," he says. Instead, "I'd like to experiment with advertising," he continues. "We're coming out with an audiotape. We'll probably do a book." Rosenberg is also "committed" that within five years Landmark will have an IPO.

    The big question, of course, is, what exactly is the Forum selling? "There's no question that the combination of examination, encouragement, and the act of speaking out has been shown to have the psychological benefit of freeing people up to see things about themselves that they never have before," says analyst Kevin Garvey. "My problem is that there's an amount of control going on that Landmark's not honest about. People are being put into a state where they are -- here's the bogey word -- hypnotizable. So I don't care if they can screw better or make more money -- their freedom is being taken away. Can you have freedom without knowledge? I think the answer is no."
    "Although there's a perception that people who get involved with such organizations are simply stupid, lonely, mentally ill, whatever, the dependence on such groups is very real," says Paul Martin, director of the country's only recovery center for such groups, Ohio's Wellspring Retreat. "For some people, life becomes living for the next seminar. It becomes, in a sense, a person's religion." Put a different way, "people become Landmark junkies," says exit counselor Rick Ross, who says he gets more calls about Landmark than about any other group. "They start to take courses, and they just don't stop."

    "For six months, I was just hooked," says a recently counseled Landmark participant from Denver, Colorado. "My parents kept pushing me to do it, and I thought, 'My God! If everyone did this, there would be no need for drugs, 'cause the euphoria is just so . . . euphoric!' I took the whole 'Curriculum for Living,' assisted constantly, and even dropped out of school because being a medical assistant wasn't 'extraordinary' enough for me. Then I had a miscarriage. I missed a seminar because I was grieving for my baby. When I showed up the next week, the leader said, 'The good news is the loss of your baby doesn't mean shit. What does mean shit is that you have gone outside your integrity because you missed your seminar.' "

    This whole article is good. It was hard to pick out things to snip out, so if you get a chance I'd recommend reading it. I've saved it in case it disappears.

    Harvard is going to come up again later on in a big way. Here's a little more about that "study":

    A Harvard Forum For Self-Promotion?
    Boston Globe/November 6, 1998
    By Alex Beam

    The Harvard Business School seems to be out of the business of selling $6,000 videotapes with Rosabeth Moss Kanter droning out platitudes like "Great companies are focused in their approach to doing business." (They will, however sell you a $495, 30-minute video on "Managing Future Performance.") Now the B-School has a brand-new bag: flacking for the "personal development" seminar known as The Forum.

    The San Francisco-based Forum came into being when Werner Erhard (John Paul Rosenberg to his parents) sold the "technology" for Erhard Seminars Training -- est -- to his brother Harry. The Forum, formally known as the Landmark Education Corp., has enjoyed considerable success with the self-actualization crowd, and with the Cambridge intelligentsia. That success is now chronicled in an HBS case study so sycophantic that Landmark has been using it -- improperly, Harvard says -- as a promotional tool.

    The document, originally written for classroom discussion, is also sold to the public. Last revised in April, it reads like a 22-page advertisement for Landmark's "breakthrough in paradigm thinking." Authored by professor Karen Hopper Wruck, the case breathlessly quotes Forum executives who compare their work to that of Galileo and Socrates (!). The study also quotes from a Forum-sponsored Daniel Yankelovich survey of graduates. Surprise! All six veterans of the Forum's weekend training quoted by Wruck loved it!

    Wruck quickly dismisses critics who call the Forum a cult. The Forum is listed on the Internet FACTnet database of "cults, groups and individuals that are alleged to be using coercive persuasion mind control techniques," but they have sued people who call them a cult. In an appendix, she quotes at length from four experts who insist the Forum is not a cult, but cites no contrary opinions.

    Had Wruck been seeking to find anyone critical of the touchy-feely Forum she needed only to cross the campus and chat with Radcliffe public policy fellow Wendy Kaminer. The Forum is the subject of acidulous commentary in Kaminer's best-selling book, "I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional." "If you want to experience or 'process' New Age's heady combination of pseudoscience, religion, and money," writes Kaminer, "visit a session or two of The Forum, the new incarnation of est."

    In her defense, Wruck told me: "I understood that it was a controversial company, but I wanted to study a company that directly addressed issues around human behavior. A case study is a pedagogical vehicle, not a position paper or an endorsement." Harvard has affixed an unprecedented disclaimer ("Please be aware that . . . the school does not endorse this company or any other company") to the document.

    Mark Kamin, a Landmark spokesman, said his company ordered several thousand copies of the document after it was published. He adds that Landmark signed an agreement with Harvard not to use the case for promotional purposes, "and we've endeavored to keep that agreement." When I told him that a recent seminar attendee said the case was being used to puff Landmark, Kamin said, "I can't guarantee that people who led seminars didn't say, 'Hey, there's this case study.' "

    This part is getting kind of long, so I'll continue in a new post.

    edit: forgot to put in the header for the NYmag article

  6. #6


    Landmark Encroachment into Work Places

    This next article has totally disappeared from the internets as far as I can tell. I have the whole thing saved, I'll just post some excerpts.
    (where it used to be)

    The Siren Call of Modern Pied Pipers
    by Lawrence A. Pile

    In an article in Working Woman entitled "Wacky management ideas that work," Nancy K. Austin wrote, "... making it in modern times requires staking out brave new competitive territory. And to do that, the tool managers most urgently need is imagination."

    {1} Few CEOs, managers, or even shop foremen would argue with that observation. Where differences arise, however, is in proposals offered to produce or stimulate this needed imagination. Along with new or expanded imagination and creativity, corporations large and small throughout North America are increasingly looking for ways to augment productivity (and profits) by helping their employees to more effective performance through stress reduction, self-regulation, accelerated learning, and accepting a greater share of responsibility for themselves and their companies.{2}

    To accomplish these commendable and even necessary goals, numerous businesses are turning to a mushrooming crop of training and consultation firms offering workshops, seminars, and courses which claim to transform employees into highly motivated and efficient visionaries and producers. Among the major corporations which have enlisted these firms are AT&T, GM, Ford, IBM, Calvin Klein, Westinghouse, Dupont, Scott Paper, Campbell Soup, Lockheed, RCA, Procter and Gamble, All State Insurance, NEC, Boeing Aerospace, General Foods, GE, and McDonald's in-short, approximately 20% of the Fortune 500 corporations,{3} plus innumerable smaller companies.
    And it is not only business, but also government that is jumping on the creativity training bandwagon. The IRS, CIA, the Army, Navy, and Air Force have all engaged these training companies. Many of the trainers, however, use techniques and promote philosophies at variance with the moral and religious convictions of employees who are urged, and sometimes required, to attend the workshops.
    Most often, these techniques and philosophies arise from the broad and variegated matrix of the so- called New Age Movement (NAM). And this fact has caused a great deal of controversy in and around the workplace, reported in numerous books and articles. The core of the controversy is highlighted by Arthur Johnson's statement that "There's a fine line between corporate culture and corporate cults."{4}
    William Gleaton, former manager of human resources for a Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Albany, Ga., also lost his job after objecting to a training program offered by the Pacific Institute.{6} He sued and eventually reached an out of court settlement with the company. In May 1989 eight former employees of the DeKalb Farmers Market in Georgia also accepted an out-of-court settlement of their suit against their former employer charging that they had been fired for refusing to attend a training program they claimed promoted New Age ideas and techniques. The program in question was the Forum, said by detractors to be a watered down version of Werner Erhard's 1970s est (Erhard Seminars Training). According to the plaintiffs, "...the Forum's espousal of the supremacy of man violate[d] their belief in the primacy of God or other higher beings. Supervisors who declined to participate and recruit their employees were harassed, humiliated and interrogated."{7}


    In the spring of 1991 almost three dozen Broward County, Fla., employees were sent at county expense to attend training offered by Lifespring, a program similar to Werner Erhard's EST and Forum. Though some workers said they enjoyed the program and even went on to further training at their own expense, other employees disliked it and balked at going further with it, while still others dropped out without completing the first sessions. According to an article in the Broward County Sun-Sentinel, "Employees were required to attend Lifespring after work, from about 6 p.m. to midnight for three days, then all day on the weekend."{9} In February 1992 Franklin County, Oh., Children Services discontinued staff training by the Forum (at taxpayers' expense) after a rash of negative news reports and complaints from the community.{10}

    Whether the techniques employed are of the hypnotic or assaultive variety, the effects are frequently the same. Though there often are positive results in terms of the individual becoming more self-confident, stress-free, creative, or whatever, there are also frequently negative results not commonly admitted by the trainers. Singer and Ofshe state that "[t]he majority reaction seen in people who leave thought reform programs ... is a varying degree of anomie, a sense of alienation and confusion resulting from the loss or weakening of previously valued norms, ideals, or goals ... The person feels like an immigrant or refugee who enters a new culture."{20} This sense can be overcome in time as the person adjusts his or her behavior and thought to the new "paradigm."

    But Singer and Ofshe (and others) have found much more serious problems occurring in a significant minority of individuals, possibly as many as 15%,{21} including "reactive schizoaffective-like psychoses" (i.e., they suffer psychotic episodes), "posttraumatic stress disorders" similar to many Vietnam veterans, "atypical dissociative disorders," "relaxation-induced anxiety," and "miscellaneous reactions ... such as difficulty in concentration...; self-mutilation; phobias; suicide and homicide;" and psychologically induced strokes, heart attacks, ulcers, and other ailments.{22} In rare cases participants in such seminars, specifically EST and Lifespring, have actually died during sessions,{23} largely as a result of inadequate screening for people with delicate constitutions and lack of properly trained staff to intervene in a timely fashion to prevent serious harm.
    One celebrated case in 1987 illustrates another type of legal and financial liability that can be incurred by corporations that sign up their employees for New Age training. This involved Pacific Bell, which sent about 15,000 of its 67,000 employees to "Leadership Development" training sessions led by associates of Charles Krone, a student of Russian mystic Georges Gurdjieff. When the California Public Utilities Commission investigated, hundreds of employees complained that "the training was based on spiritual philosophies not appropriate in a job setting."{27} The CPUC ruled that PacBell stockholders, rather than consumers, must pay $25 million of the estimated $160 million total cost of the training. In addition, employees sent to training seminars which cause them serious psychological or even physical injury may claim damages from their employer as well as the trainers if attendance was mandatory, either explicitly or implicitly. The fact that numerous such claims have already been made by individuals against most of the New Age seminars mentioned above{28} should be warning enough for companies considering enlisting them to train their workers.


    Enthusiastic endorsement and testimonials aside, it is an open question whether New Age trainings really produce their advertised results. As PacBell found out, its expensive flirtation with Kroning served mainly to lower employee morale, divide the workforce, and create an uproar in the community. As for the stated goal of many of the business-targeted programs to forge greater employee loyalty and cohesiveness, these are certainly necessary qualities in any workplace. But if a bi-product of their generation is a mentality that, as Langone says, "insists on the primacy of good feeling and the validity of one's own reality,"{29} then the time-proven creativity-enhancing clash of ideas among coworkers may well be inhibited. According to New Age thought, "It is not possible to be wrong, just different."{30} But as Austin says, companies must allow for failure and support risk-taking, both "when it works and when it doesn't."{31} This implies being able to say, "Your idea sounded good, but it proved to be wrong." Saying "Your idea was valid according to your reality, but our customers have a different reality" doesn't cut it in the business world.

    MAY 2003



    est and the Forum did eventually spread East, even though neither incarnation of Erhard's enterprise advertised its workshops. Instead, they relied solely on recruitment by est and Forum graduates, who pulled people into the Forum fold via a quasi-pyramid scheme. Each student was, and is still, encouraged to bring friends and family to the last workshop "session," where the students are encouraged to share their experiences with their invited guests. The guests may hear Erhard-speak from their intimates at these sharing sessions, lessons such as "If you put the truth into the system in which you cradled the lie, the truth becomes a lie. A very simple way of saying the truth believed is a lie. If you go around telling the truth you are lying. The horrible part about it is that the truth is so darn believable, people believe it a lot."[6] Clearly, if a guest wants to understand his or her newly thinking or newly confused loved one, the guest may have to enroll in the workshop as well.

    Such was the choice faced three years ago by Tatiana,[7] a healthcare professional in New York City, who wanted to be able to relate to her new boss, himself a Forum graduate. Tatiana initially resisted the Landmark Forum training, but opened up to it on her third day. She offered a few of the Forum's better points. "It's very focused on action, which I like," she said, "and I like the idea of personal responsibility, separating your story of reality from reality." She didn't remember feeling confined by bathroom and eating rules, but admitted she furtively ate a bag of nuts through part of the training. The final session, though, a sales pitch, left a bad taste in her mouth.

    Tatiana's boss took great stock in the Forum message and its benefits in the workplace, even though he refused to foot the bill for her training. "He basically said, 'This is what I'm into and how I communicate. If you're going to work with me, this is the way we communicate here.'" She said she didn't want to pay the money (presently $375 for a 36-hour workshop), but she understood his point. "He was avoiding future conflict. He didn't want us to blame him for things that went wrong. He wanted us to take personal responsibility, and not put our shit on him," she explained. And it did, in fact, seem to work at first. All of her colleagues took the Landmark Forum workshop at the boss's request, or had already taken it on their own incentive. "But," Tatiana finally admitted, "my boss didn't really want to take on anything, even when he should. He has a problem with responsibility. And with conflict."
    These same press materials boast of the Forum's association with many Fortune 100 companies, proposing these associations as standards of legitimacy and success. This is not mere PR posturing; in 2001 alone, the Forum cleared $58 million in revenue. Approximately 100,000 people attend Forum workshops each year. When the Forum cast its net, it caught CEOs, corporate executives, doctors, politicians, lawyers, psychotherapists, artists, prisoners and ex-convicts, children, Russian diplomats, even NASA. (In 1984, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center paid $45,000 for Erhard's training.) Landmark's own pie chart reports that 40% of Forum participants are from professional/technical fields, 20% are managerial/self-employed, 12% are in sales, 16% are administrative, 6% are students and 6% are "other." Traditionally, the est and Forum audiences, along with the larger HPM movement, have been mostly white. Outside of the United States, however, the Forum has been enthusiastically attended by the citizens of Japan, Israel, India, Australia, South Africa, the Phillipines, Mexico, and most European countries. The Forum is also popular among celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Stephen Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Cher, and Elizabeth Taylor.

    est and Forum concepts have become so embedded in management language and strategy that they are no longer recognized or even credited for some of these appearances. One of the most famous est parables involved a story which demonstrated the difference between a rat and a human. In short, a rat in a maze of four tunnels will always find the hidden cheese in the maze. If the cheese is moved from its usual spot, the rat will eventually change its approach and try a different tunnel. A human, Erhard challenged, will continue to go down the same tunnel where the cheese used to be, over and over again, and come back disappointed. Videotapes and textbooks featuring the rat and cheese story show up in management curriculums and offices all over the country, but few people know the story's origins.

    In addition to the thousands of companies who have formally sought Forum training for staff are those companies subjected to New Age training, or "management training" influenced by Forum thinking or one of the Forum's many spin-offs. On February 22, 1988, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a ruling against New Age Training programs in the workplace. Clarence Thomas approved the EEOC notice N-915.022 on September 9, 1988. The policy cites several hypothetical examples of "New Age training" violations in the workplace. The introduction also points out real-life infractions: "1. a large utility company requires its employees to attend seminars based on the teachings of a mystic, George Gurdjieff [Fourth Way], which the company claims has helped improve communications among employees. 2. Another corporation provides its employees with workshops in stress management using so-called "faith healers" who read the "auras" of employees and contact with the body's "fields of energy" to improve the health of the employees…4. The [personal growth] programs [hired by government agencies and corporations] utilize a wide variety of techniques: meditation, guided visualization, self-hypnosis, therapeutic touch, biofeedback, yoga, walking on fire, and inducing altered states of consciousness."

    My conclusions: Forum discovers that selling its "technology" to big business is lucrative but the est brand is still following them around. Even though the owners have repackaged the courses to seem scientific instead of explicitly spiritual, the New Age elements are raising eyebrows and interfering with the brand. However, they are starting to embed their messages into other aspects of corporate culture. Time for another name change.

  7. #7

    Great stuff

    You gotta problem with these people or somethin'?:laughing:

    Check out the 'Assholes' series at PopIndy(we really need to codify that..), you'll find some of your favorites.
    "We say to the workers: 'You will have to go through fifteen, twenty, fifty years of civil wars and international wars, not only in order to change existing conditions, but also in order to change yourselves and fit yourselves for the exercise of political power."'

    MARX (On the Communist Trial at Cologne, 1851).

  8. #8

    Now it gets interesting. The Vanto Group.

    The unholy trinity: Werner Erhard, former Landmark forum leader Steve Zaffron and Michael C. Jensen, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration Wait, what? Oh yes, it gets just that weird. We've had a peek at Werner Erhard, let's take a look at the other two jokers.

    Steve Zaffron

    Steven Zaffron is a Landmark Forum Leader, the current Chief Executive Officer of Landmark Education Business Development, Inc. and a founder of Landmark Education. He is also the executive responsible for Landmark Education's Research, Design and Development Division.

    Mr. Zaffron has been a guest lecturer at the Harvard Business School and the Marshall School of Business at USC. He graduated magna cum laude in philosophy from Cornell University and received an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Chicago"Meet the LEBD Team.", Steve Zaffron, Zaffron is also a Landmark Forum Leader for Landmark Education, and his photo can be seen among other faculty Steven Zaffron, Faculty Photo, Landmark Education here: faculty photo.

    Mr. Zaffron has been accountable for the creation and ongoing development of Landmark Education's programs, guiding the creation of over two dozen new programs and products focused on a wide range of topics, including communication, productivity, ongoing adult learning, relationships, conflict resolution, executive development, and corporate strategy.
    Erhard Seminars Training

    Zaffron first began working for Werner Erhard as an est trainer for Erhard's Erhard Seminars Training, joining the staff in 1979. He later was hired as an executive within Erhard's next venture, Werner Erhard and Associates.

    "Another one of Erhard's new executives was an est trainer named Steven Zaffron who years earlier had been a door-to-door salesman for the Fuller Brush Company and later sold speed-reading courses. Three years after first joining Erhard's staff in 1979, Zaffron had been indicted on mail fraud charges for participating in a scam to collect phony unemployment checks. Zaffron agreed to a plea bargain in the case and was placed on three years' probation shortly before Erhard conferred on him the coveted "lifetime" designation to do Werner's transformational work" Pressman, Steven, Outrageous Betrayal: The dark journey of Werner Erhard from est to exile. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993. ISBN 0312092962 , pg. 217..

    (This little tidbit about mail fraud doesn't make it's way into his PR these days.)

    Anyway, that job description has been considerably softened for his new gig:

    Steve Zaffron, CEO of Vanto Group, is an internationally respected leadership authority, organizational consultant, and author.

    He focuses on strategy, innovation, leadership for change, and the cultures and dynamics of high-performing organizations. His strategic and practical insights have guided leaders of large and small organizations worldwide for more than 25 years.

    This logo is pretty much the only place the word Landmark appears, but Vanto is the reincarnation of Landmark.

    Business consulting

    Vanto Group, Inc., founded in 1993 as "Landmark Education Business Development" (LEBD), a wholly owned subsidiary of Landmark Education Enterprises, Inc., uses the techniques of Landmark Education to provide consulting services to various companies. The University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business carried out a case study in 1998 into the work of LEBD. The report concluded that the set of interventions in the organization produced a 50% improvement in safety, a 15% to 20% reduction in key benchmark costs, a 50% increase in return on capital, and a 20% increase in raw steel production.[25] LEBD became the Vanto Group in 2007.
    Now this may not seem very secretive, as the information is easily obtainable on wikipedia, but interestingly enough only as a subsection on the LEC wiki page. It comes up on google of course, but unless you realize the significance of the connection there would be no real reason to go delving into it very deeply. The Landmark wiki page is kept pretty clean of most signs of controversy and if you were just skimming it would seem fairly innocuous. A look at their discussion page where all the fun bits of wiki are usually located, you will see this message:

    Notice re Checkuser case

    A checkuser case resulted in "confirm" on several users as sockpuppets of each other, that edited articles on closely related topics including Landmark Education, Werner Erhard, Landmark Education litigation, Scientology and Werner Erhard, Erhard Seminars Training, and Werner Erhard and Associates, among others. As a result, several of these users and sockpuppets of each other have been blocked. The checkuser case page is here: Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Eastbayway. Cirt (talk)
    (Many psychotherapy cults are notorious for trolling the internet for suppressing evidence of controversy and LEC is no exception. They are also extremely litigious.)

    Coming up next, a look at Michael C. Jensen, Ph.d

  9. #9

    You could say I've got a bit of a grudge.

    :grin: Thank you. I've always wanted to put this all in one place. I'll check out the "Asshole" series. I'm going to try to do one more page tonight here, but my brain is starting to get fried. Cult jargon makes me stabby. I'll have more to add later in the week.

  10. #10

    Michael C. Jensen

    MICHAEL C. JENSEN, Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus, joined the faculty of the Harvard Business School in 1985 founding what is now the Negotiations, Organizations and Markets Unit in the School. He joined the Monitor Company in 2000 as Managing Director of the Organizational Strategy Practice, became Senior Advisor in 2007 and as of 2009 is no longer associated with Monitor. He was LaClare Professor of Finance and Business Administration at the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Rochester from 1984-1988, Professor from 1979-1984, Associate Professor from 1971-1979, and Assistant Professor from 1967-1971. He founded the Managerial Economics Research Center at the University of Rochester in 1977 and served as its Director until 1988.

    Professor Jensen earned his Ph.D. in Economics, Finance, and Accounting and his M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago and an A.B. degree from Macalester College. He was awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degrees, Docteur Honoris Causa, by Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, July, 1991; by the University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, December 2000; by the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, June, 2001; and by the University of Toronto, June 2005. He was named Honoris Causa Professor by HEC Business School, Paris, France, Nov. 2006.

    Professor Jensen is the author of more than 100 scientific papers, in addition to numerous articles, comments, and editorials published in the popular media on a wide range of economic, finance and business-related topics. Most of his papers are downloadable from his SSRN Author Page at: He is author of Foundations of Organizational Strategy (Harvard University Press, 1998), and Theory of the Firm: Governance, Residual Claims, and Organizational Forms (Harvard University Press, 2000). He is editor of The Modern Theory of Corporate Finance (with Clifford W. Smith, Jr., McGraw-Hill, 1984) and Studies in the Theory of Capital Markets (Praeger Publishers, 1972). His book co-authored with Kevin Murphy and Eric Wruck, CEO Pay and What to Do About It: Restoring Integrity to Both Executive Compensation and Capital-Market Relations will be published by Harvard Business School Press in 2010.

    In 1973 Professor Jensen co-founded (with Eugene Fama and Robert Merton) the Journal of Financial Economics, one of the top three scientific journals in financial economics, serving as Managing Editor from 1987 to 1997, when he became Founding Editor. From 1992 through 1998 he served on the steering committee of the Mind Brain Behavior Initiative at Harvard University (a Harvard interfaculty effort to bring together a wide range of scholars interested in understanding the limitations of the human brain and its role in generating counter-productive human behavior). In 1994 he co-founded and is currently Chairman of Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. (SSEP) which is devoted to the electronic publication of scientific working papers in the social sciences Since 2003 Jensen has been a member of the Barbados Group, a worldwide group of a dozen scholars, including philosophers, economists, psychologists, technologists, and educators to develop the ontological foundations of performance. The group’s work and that of its members is available at

    The Three Laws of Performance

    by Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan

    The authors of this book, Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan, acknowledge Werner Erhard as as the developer of the original ideas upon which much of the material in the book is based.

    Foreword by Michael C. Jensen, PhD.

    I have no doubt that the ideas, distinctions, and methodologies that underlie what Steve and Dave so expertly present will have a substantial impact on the world. I am honored to be invited to write this foreword.

    When I was first introduced to some of the ideas contained in this book I saw the extraordinary impact they made on the audience. I was struck by the enormous potential, relevance, and applicability of this approach to transforming human beings and organizations. But from my worldview I could not understand how this dramatic impact occurred. Since then I have spent considerable time and energy researching these ideas on my own and in collaboration with Steve and Dave with the intention to see them become universally available. It has not been a simple task. This book takes a substantial step toward accomplishing this aspiration. My congratulations!

    I contacted Steve early in my efforts to get to the bottom of these ideas and to fully grasp their ability to dramatically influence the power and productivity of people and organizations. Much of my research and writing is now devoted to these efforts. In 1997 I was hitting the wall as a leader with my Faculty Unit at the Harvard Business School. To be blunt I was failing. I asked Steve to help and he generously agreed to work with me and my group (the Organizations and Markets Group at HBS). That two days of work (during which he undertook a task that most of us thought impossible in such a short time) put us, as a group, back on the track to becoming a formally sanctioned unit of HSB. For that, and for being the teacher, counselor, partner, and colleague that Steve has been for me, I am deeply grateful.

    Steve has a proven track record over decades of designing and implementing large-scale initiatives that elevate organizational performance, and that talent was truly required to bringing the Organizations and Markets Group at HBS to its current status. I've been fortunate to both observe and work with Steve in designing and delivering programs in other client and academic settings. He is a master.

    I met Dave Logan through the Barbados Group. Dave has a deep expertise in researching and designing programs that synthesize organizational change, management, and leadership. I have been privileged to work with him in delivering sessions of an executive development program for a large multinational company. I am always amazed at Dave’s ability to penetrate to the core of what it takes to bring about progress. I recall one particularly difficult situation I faced when Dave coached and guided me in a way that quickly turned this situation around. Dave is also a master.

    I must recognize the members of the Barbados Group; in particular, Werner Erhard, for being the catalyst that brought these extraordinary thinkers together and for his superb leadership of the group’s discussions. I am deeply grateful for the contribution these conversations have made to me personally and to this book.

    I especially invite all readers to be open to what may occur as an unfamiliar and perhaps even strange way to think about people and organizational issues.

    There is much to learn and the payoffs are huge.

    Michael C. Jensen
    Jesse Isidor Straus, Professor of Business Emeritus
    Harvard Business School

    You'll notice that the Harvard website does not mention Werner Erhard in any way, shape or form. Gee, I wonder why?

    The link for the Barbados Group given in the Harvard Business School biography goes to the so-called SSRN or Social Science Research Network.

    There you can download "academic papers" that are also co-authored by Werner Erhard.

    SSRN Abstract Database Search Results

    Barbados Group for Development of a New Paradigm for Performance Research Paper Series

    Incl. Electronic Paper eDocument is available from the SSRN eLibrary for free
    Incl. Electronic Paper eDocument is available, fee may apply
    Incl. Electronic Paper Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics, and Legality - Abridged
    Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 10-061, Barbados Group Working Paper No. 10-01, Simon School Working Paper No. 10-07
    Werner Erhard , Michael C. Jensen and Steve Zaffron
    Independent , Harvard Business School and Landmark Education LLC
    Date Posted: February 18, 2010
    Last Revised: February 19, 2010
    Working Paper Series

    Incl. Electronic Paper Beyond Agency Theory: The Hidden and Heretofore Inaccessible Power of Integrity (PDF of Keynote Slides)
    Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 10-068, Barbados Group Working Paper No. 10-02
    Michael C. Jensen and Werner Erhard
    Harvard Business School and Independent
    Date Posted: February 16, 2010
    Last Revised: February 16, 2010
    Working Paper Series

    Incl. Electronic Paper Integrity: Without it Nothing Works
    Rotman Magazine: The Magazine of the Rotman School of Management, pp. 16-20, Fall 2009, Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 10-042, Barbados Group Working Paper No. 09-04, Simon School Working Paper No. FR 10-01
    Michael C. Jensen
    Harvard Business School
    Date Posted: November 22, 2009
    Last Revised: January 17, 2010
    Working Paper Series

    Incl. Electronic Paper Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological Model (PDF File of Powerpoint Slides)
    Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 09-124, Barbados Group Working Paper No. 09-01, Gruter Institute Squaw Valley Conference 2009: Law, Behavior & the Brain, Simon School Working Paper No. FR 09-27
    Werner Erhard , Michael C. Jensen and Kari L. Granger
    Independent , Harvard Business School and Center For Character and Leadership Development, United States Air Force Academy (!!! Fuck)
    Date Posted: April 22, 2009
    Last Revised: December 29, 2009
    Working Paper Series

    Scientific working papers in the social sciences? Looks like cult astroturf to me, dressed up with the shiny imprimatur of a professor who should fucking know better.

    Of course his HBS listing of abstracts is noticeably Erhard-free.

    This one catches the eye, however:

    Karen Hopper Wruck and Michael C. Jensen, 'Science, Specific Knowledge, and Total Quality Management,' Journal of Accounting and Economics (1994) pp. 247-287. Reprinted in Michael C. Jensen, Foundations of Organizational Strategy, (Harvard University Press, 1998).

    For Abstract and to Download Full Text of Science, Specific Knowledge, and Total Quality Management readable with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
    This is the same Karen Wruck whose article was bought up by the thousands by LEC. What's going on Harvard Business School?

    Dr. Jensen's wiki page also carefully fails to mention that he is a shill for Werner Erhard.


    Michael Jensen[1] was born on November 30, 1939 in Rochester, Minnesota, United States. He received his A.B. in Economics from Macalester College in 1962. He received both his M.B.A. (1964) and Ph.D. (1968) degrees from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, notably working with Professor Merton Miller (1990 co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics).

    Between 1967-1988, Jensen[2] was a professor of finance and business administration at the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration of the University of Rochester. He also founded and managed between 1977-88 the Managerial Economics Research Center at the University of Rochester. Since 1985, Michael Jensen also joined the Harvard Business School, keeping a double appointement until 1988, when he left the University of Rochester remaining only at Harvard. In 2000 Jensen retired from academic work, remaining a Professor Emeritus at Harvard, and joined the consulting firm Monitor Group.

    He was also a visiting scholar at the University of Bern (1976), Harvard University (1984-85, before joining the faculty) and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College (2001-02). In 1992 he held the chair of president of the American Finance Association, he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1996 and, since 2002, he is a board member of the European Corporate Governance Institute. Jensen is also the founder and editor of the Journal of Financial Economics.

    The Jensen Prize in corporate finance and organizations research is named in his honor.


    Prof. Jensen has played an important role in the academic discussion of the capital asset pricing model, of stock options policy, and of corporate governance, developing a method of measuring fund manager performance, the so-called Jensen's alpha.

    Jensen's best-known work is the 1976 paper he co-authored with William H. Meckling, "Theory of the firm: Managerial behaviour, agency costs and ownership structure," one of the most widely-cited economics papers of the last 30 years. Besides reigniting interest in theory of the firm (a field pioneered by Ronald Coase), the paper's argument that managers' interests are different from those of shareholders laid the foundation for the widespread use of stock options as executive compensation tools.

  11. #11

    Also, that's interesting about Amway

    I'm not too surprised that the main money maker is the sales materials--surprising is that they would be so frank about it even just to each other.

    That also reminds me that Blackwater is also tied to the Prince family. The whole pack of weasels (Prince & Devos) is rabidly anti-gay and pour tons of cash into anti-equality votes. That's why it always bugs me when people say this stuff doesn't matter. These assholes are very influential.

  12. #12

    Thanks for all of this

    This is quite excellent. Just what I was looking for.

    Here are two links to Pile's article:

    Here's another interesting link:

    Commercial Cults & Multi-Level Marketing

    There is also a bit about political cults at the culthelp website. Only Larouche is listed. Me thinks they need to include the Repubs und de Dems in there as well.

    There's a lot in here which you are probably aware of:
    "It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness."

    -Karl Marx's 1859 Preface to the Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy

  13. #13
    Senior Member meganmonkey's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    The Belly of the Beast
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    Great thread - this is scary stuff

    I noticed a link or two in this thread to the Rick Ross site - I read that site and the forums regularly out of some sick fascination with it all, I've been fortunate to be a few steps removed from any of this stuff, or any cult-like groups (although in the hippie/rainbow circles I used to run around in there were some close encounters).

    I'd recommend the rick ross group database for LGATs or other shady groups, and their forums (eg discussion boards, not to be confused with Erhard's Forum!) for all sorts of research and personal stories. They also have a section on Multi-level marketing, although it's definitely the LGATs and the cultish groups and destructive churches that get more discussion.


    Info database on groups:

    Articles on Est/Forum/Landmark/Erhard:

    There was some great research and info uncovered with the James Arthur Ray sweatlodge situation - often the details and connections posters on this site found would show up in MSM articles soon after being posted. Interesting reading:,77450

  14. #14


    "I think Landmark has been sinking its lunch-hooks into the Democratic Party. The connections are still kind of vague though."

    I couldn't quite make any connections there either, but I have a strong suspicion about it as well. The Obama campaign was so similar to the Landmark seminars.

  15. #15

    Amway and the apple industry

    Don't know if I told these stories to you before...

    American apple growers, as part of an ongoing program run by the USDA, taught the Chinese how to grow apples and got the industry started there a few years back. The program was modeled after the one in Japan back in the early 1900's. The Chinese then in the late 90's started dumping apples below cost, in the form of juice concentrate, onto the US market and in violation of trade agreements. There was some effort by the Feds at ending it until the Bush administration stopped enforcing the regulations. The market was then flooded by Chinese concentrate, and this eliminated the "juice apple" business for growers here - apples that can't make it to market as fresh eating apples for cosmetic reasons always went into juice a cider. At about the same time, the cider scare shut down thousands of small cider operations that small growers were running, and the FDA (heavily and inappropriately moving into ag issues previously managed by the USDA since the Bush administration, who staffed the FDA with pharmaceutical industry hacks) ruled that "falls" - apples that had fallen to the ground - could no longer be harvested. This all seriously hurt small growers and put many out of business altogether - hundreds? thousands? It also meant increased pressure to plant high density orchards and to grow for size and color, and to limit the number of varieties the growers planted, and that is all pushing the apple industry toward the CAFO and industrial agriculture models that now dominate the livestock and row crop sectors. It weakened the growers and gave more power to the corporate buyers and brokers and super market chains.

    Today, it is hard to find apple juice or cider made from apples grown here, while just ten years ago it was hard to find apple juice or cider made from apples grown anywhere other than here. Since the COOL - country of origin labeling - law is not being enforced (against the big players, the little guys have the Feds crawling all over them as never before)) it is hard to even tell where produce is coming from now.

    Back 7 years ago or so, a few of us investigated this to find out which American companies were receiving the smuggled goods - apple concentrate with false labels on the containers and brought through Canada to elude US customs. Who here was buying it, packaging it, and distributing it into the US market? We looked at every apple juice producer in the country, verified where they were getting their apples, talked to all of the growers supplying them with apples, matched inputs to outputs, and watched the routing of the containers coming in from Canada.

    About that time, I was talking to someone who lived near the Amway operation in Ada Michigan, and I had heard the story about Amway putting up some new plant there. and no one was sure what the purpose for it was. The woman told me that strings of container cars were coming in every day and that the whole neighborhood no smelled like apples. After some more investigation, it turned out that it was in fact Amway that was the fence for all of Chinese concentrate, the entry point into the US market for it, from where it was then slipped into the flow around the country. Devos being a big Bush donor and "pioneer" and the Bush administration not enforcing the regulations can't be a coincidence.

    Then we have Amway and the tart cherry growers. The growers, a couple hundred small operations, scraped together $100,000 and gave it to Michigan State University to research nutritional value in the fruit - part of an ongoing program by the USDA to connect dietary issues to produce, for public benefit. The research did discover exceptionally high levels of certain nutrients. Then, Amway approached the university and bought the research for $7 million dollars, half of which went to the lead researcher who has now presumably retired in luxury. Within days, Amway then ordered massive amounts of tart cherries, virtually the entire crop, so growers turned away other buyers. At the last minute, as the fruit was being harvested, Amway cancelled the order - prices collapsed, fruit went to waste - and most of us believe that the whole thing was a ruse and that they never had any intention of buying any fruit. Amway then buried the research. The research was a threat to their phony "nutraceutical"- business.

    The growers, with the encouragement and support of the USDA then begin distributing the research results, and that led to paramilitary raids by the FDA on the fruit growers. The FDA declared tart cherries to be a drug, and said that the small growers were illegally selling an untested, unapproved and unregulated drug and threatened to shut them down, and then turned around and released a statement to the media that fruit growers were making "false claims" about the health benefits of fruit, which is not what they charged the growers with, and which was not true but which would be plausible to the public. That needs to be put into context - the FDA virtually NEVER bothers the big corporate food producers or the pharmaceutical industry.

  16. #16

    That's a huge help, thank you.

    I'll snag those. That Pile article is like gold.

    The other links I'll delve into after I add a couple more things that I have to this thread. It's easy to get absorbed in following the connections. So many assholes!

    I think an excellent case can be made for describing the Repubs and Dems as coercive groups at this point. I don't know how to explain the intense loyalty in the face of so much cognitive dissonance any other way. The fake "fights" between the two just seem to reinforce it.

  17. #17

    I found an astroturf group last year

    connected to Landmark that calls itself 21st Century Democrats. I haven't looked at those links for about a year. I'll go back and check it out and see if something can be fleshed out here.

    We never see Dem presidential candidates up close in CA really. They know we will go blue even if they run a bonsai tree so they just stop off and pick up cash. I would have been interested in seeing what was going on in the battleground states. There were some low-level Landmark people who were doing campaign things on their own, but I haven't been able to make any connection to the higher-ups. I wouldn't be at all surprised if there were.

  18. #18


    I had no idea they'd gotten that cozy. I never heard any of that. That's incredibly shocking and horrible. Most of the stories I read are cults ruining individuals by duping them with their own greed. This phase of duping large groups of innocent people and destroying them with government collusion is fucking frightening. That's a huge operation.

  19. #19

    Yeah, RR is invaluable.

    I second your recommendation on reading the forum. Ross makes trolls eat hot death and really keeps it safe for people to discuss their experiences in abusive groups. People go there first with tips on connections and areas that a cult is spreading into. One or two are starting to pick up on Vanto.

    I've been able to warn away a few of my friends who were getting recruited to take courses. Fortunately most of them are too broke to be juicy temptations to cults. Most of these groups target people with disposable income, are generally kind of isolated and usually have just experienced some huge life change.

  20. #20

    Vanto Group con't

    Our Services

    Vanto Group offers a unique technology to business corporations. A fundamental premise of Vanto Group's work is that the individuals in an enterprise and the enterprise itself have the possibility not only of fulfillment and success, but also of greatness.

    Vanto Group's engagements encompass a full range of consulting services:

    Cultural Integration
    Forging a new organizational culture based on common goals and values.

    Strategic Vision, Planning, and Implementation
    Creating, with full company participation, a powerful, achievable future for your organization.

    Workforce Mobilization
    Building and coaching high-performance teams.

    Leadership Training
    Eliciting innovation, initiative, and action at any level in the organization.

    Breakthrough Project
    Accelerating organizational performance with outcome-driven teams

    Executive Excellence
    Developing new levels of partnership and effectiveness among an executive team.

    Union and Management Relations
    Forging powerful relationships.

    Mergers, Acquisitions, and Alliances
    Melding business cultures for optimal performance.

    [/b]Diversity Empowerment[/b]
    Honoring uniqueness as a source of strength and creativity for the organization.

    (This one really bothers me, so I'm highlighting it here)

    Union and Management Relations

    Union and management relations historically are based on mistrust, conflict of interest, and ingrained adversarial attitudes. Surmounting this history and building a strong foundation of trust are essential to achieving new levels of productivity and a competitive advantage.

    Vanto's initiatives, tailored to specific union and management situations, bring about a dramatic shift in how people work together to fulfill organizational goals. When people can see themselves as an integral, vital part of an organization's future, they are able to step outside their separate, often adversarial roles and experience themselves as part of a team.

    "During the work Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) did with Vanto (formerly LEBD), we tore down a lot of the old traditional barriers between union and management, the stuff that kept us from achieving the company's goals.”

    "The cost of producing megawatts has so far dropped 18%. Our grievances dropped more than 50%. The incentive program we developed is probably paying the largest incentive payouts in the country for utility workers. Instead of a very difficult and untrusting environment, there is a new attitude and new level of productivity that reap benefits for the company and the workers."

    Jerry Roberts
    United Steel Workers of America, Local 12775

    Our Clients

    Vanto Group is a global consulting firm distinguished by the track record of its clients:

    Apple Computer
    Banco do Brasil
    Baytown Refinery, Exxon
    Bellevue Hospital Center
    BHP-Billiton (Australia, Chile, Peru)
    Bergen Brunswig Drug Company
    Compania Minera Antamina
    De Lucht Petrol Stations
    Fortis Bank
    Glaxo Wellcome
    Guidant Corporation
    Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals (China)
    JP MorganChase
    Lockheed Martin Corporation
    Lonmin Plc
    Magma Copper Company
    Marsh McLennan
    Mercedes Benz USA
    Minera Escondida Ltda.
    MMC FINPRO Insurance
    National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)
    New Zealand Steel
    Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO)
    Northrop Grumman Corporation
    Panamco (Coca Cola Bottling Company, Brazil)
    Petrobras (Brazil)
    Reebok International
    SAP (Brazil)
    Santos Ltd (Australia)
    Standard Chartered Bank (India)
    State of Bahia (Brazil)
    State of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
    Telemar (Brazil)
    UNUM Insurance
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
    U.S. Department of the Navy

    Transformation as an Organizational Competency

    By Pamela Dodd

    Bob Mueller knows first hand the power of large-scale transformation. Together with San Francisco consultancy Vanto Group (formerly LEBD), a wholly owned and independently managed subsidiary of Landmark Education Corporation, Mueller helped Magma Copper Co. turn transformation into a key organizational competency in the mid-1990s.

    Magma had a history of low productivity due to bad union-management relations, including strikes, escalating hostility and distrust, and legal suits. As the vice president transformational technology, Mueller initiated a three-phase strategic process for Magma's culture transformation. In Phase I, 140 executives, managers, and union officials spent a total of 11 days over a five-month period creating a company charter, and establishing accountability charts and overall goals for the next 13 years. The charter and accountabilities expressed the commitment of all Magma stakeholders to teamwork, safety, community well being, financial and environmental responsibility, high performance, innovation, respect, trust, integrity, and a bold future.


    Integrity. Most organizations are designed to allow for, or tolerate, complaining, cynicism, resignation, and getting by with less than people's best. People who want to make a difference often are stopped by those who don't, and the whole atmosphere becomes one that lacks the integrity of true commitment. Integrity is being true to one's vision and commitments.

    When all the people in an organization, from the CEO to the truck driver, share a common vision and commitment, the organization produces extraordinary results.

    Mueller carried these messages of transformation to BHP, which acquired Magma Copper in 1996. Since then, Vanto, with Mueller on board, has worked with BHP to produce breakthrough thinking and business results at New Zealand Steel, Goonyella Riverside Coal in Queensland, Australia, Iron Ore Ports and Rail operations in Western Australia, and BHP Corporate in Melbourne, Australia.

    A case study of Vanto's work at BHP New Zealand Steel is available. For information on personal transformation as a competency, read The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Ben Zander, Harvard University Press, 2001.

    From my point of view reading this, it sounds like companies contract these "courses" from Vanto to mess with the traditional relationship between management and the workers. Maybe I'm just being sentimental, but the thought of some hard working stiff having to sit in a room and examine his "rackets" about his attitude towards the company just seems totally wrong. "You're making the company wrong again. Can't you visualize abundance instead of raising demands? Create a conversation that puts you in integrity." Barf!

    Corporate Consulting

    Because Landmark's programs dramatically improve organizational and personal communication skills, major corporations have been some of Landmark's most enthusiastic advocates. Vanto Group, a global consulting firm headed up by CEO Steve Zaffron, and Business Breakthrough Technology (BBT), a consulting firm based in Asia and led by director Ramesh Ramachandra, apply Landmark's unique technology in business situations. Both firms are wholly owned subsidiaries of Landmark Education.

    Vanto Group and BBT design and implement strategic initiatives to elevate organizational performance and create unprecedented business results that give their clients a competitive advantage. The fundamental premise for both firms is that the individuals in an enterprise, and the enterprise itself, can go beyond success and fulfillment to achieve greatness.

    Vanto Group and BBT offer a full range of consulting services from strategic planning to building and coaching high-performance executive management teams to implementing workforce mobilization initiatives. Both firms tailor these initiatives to the unique needs of their clients, with a specific focus on performance, agility, and the ability to maintain a competitive advantage.

    Vanto Group has worked with hundreds of organizations in twenty countries, including Apple, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Heinz Northern Europe, Reebok, Northrop Grumman, BHP-Billiton, Petrobras, Telemar Brazil, and Polus Group Japan.

    BBT has worked with clients throughout Asia including Central Sougou Kenkyusho, International Consumer Products (ICP), Kobayashi Judo-Orthopedics, Mekong Capital, Nihon Process, Nippo, Sharp, THP (Tân Hiệp Phát) Group, and Yasuda Metal.

    Landmark Education and its subsidiaries hold memberships in the Academy of Management, American Management Association, American Society for Training and Development, International Society for Performance Improvement, and International Association for Continuing Education and Training.

    I haven't looked into all the organizations listed in that last paragraph yet, but I'd be shocked if they weren't all LEC shell organizations. Scientology has several front groups like these and the two groups are very similar in ways. Landmark has been more efficient in recreating itself to run away from bad press.

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