|Industry||Self-help, Personal development, Large Group Awareness Training|
|Key people||Alexander Everett
William Penn Patrick
Robert White, President
John Hanley, Field Director
After investigations for fraudulent representations and practicing medicine without a license, plus the death of co-owner William Penn Patrick and the resignation of President Robert White, the company ceased operating in December 1973.
Mind Dynamics has been called a major forerunner of large group awareness trainings. The organization's methods and techniques helped to influence an industry of trainings that would follow it. Mind Dynamics has been compared to Dale Carnegie, and encounter groups. Mind Dynamics trained businessmen in personal development techniques, but relied on unique activities rather than academic theories. The coursework also utilized techniques that focused on visualization, and meditation. Snider wrote that Mind Dynamics was intended to prod individuals and goad them to improve upon themselves.
Some of Mind Dynamics' techniques were compared to self-hypnosis, and mind control. Mind Dynamics has been described as part of the consciousness transformation movement, and has been compared to Scientology, est, Psycho-Cybernetics, and Amway
Snider wrote that Mind Dynamics was part of the Human Potential Movement. Heelas' The New Age Movement states that Mind Dynamics and Alexander Everett were influenced by Edgar Cayce, Theosophy, and Silva Mind Control, and Curtiss' Depression is a Choice also cites Silva Mind Control and self-talk as the basis for Mind Dynamics. Mind Dynamics has also been described by several authors on religious texts as an offshoot of Silva Mind Control. According to Jose Silva, Alexander Everett was a graduate of Silva Mind Control. Everett also drew on principles from the Unity Church, Egyptology and Rosicrucianism in developing Mind Dynamics.
Leadership Dynamics, Holiday Magic
Other companies which had corporate relationships with Mind Dynamics included Leadership Dynamics and Holiday Magic, both of which were founded by William Penn Patrick, co-owner and Board Member for Mind Dynamics. Holiday Magic later folded, amidst investigations by authorities and accusations of being a multi-level marketing pyramid scheme. Every employee in management positions at Holiday Magic was required to participate in the coursework.
Investigated for fraud, practicing medicine without a license
In December 1972, Mind Dynamics was investigated for practicing medicine without a license, and fraudulent representation of the potential benefits of participating in their coursework. The company was also investigated by the state of California for making fraudulent claims. A lawsuit brought forth by the State of California in 1973 requested that Mind Dynamics be barred from what California referred to as its unlawful practice of Medicine. William Penn Patrick was named as a party with Mind Dynamics in the lawsuit.
Mind Dynamics ceased operating in 1973, after being investigated and charged with fraud and practicing medicine without a license. According to an article in Forbes, as of 1974, the State of California was still seeking to enjoin the company from making fraudulent claims, and practicing medicine without a license.
Neal Vahle's The Unity Movement lists nine personal growth organizations which grew out of Mind Dynamics, including: Erhard Seminars Training and The Forum, Landmark Education, Lifespring, Lifestream, LifeResults, LifeSuccess, Context Training / Context International, PSI Seminars, Personal Dynamics in Switzerland, Life Dynamics in Japan and Hong Kong, Alpha Seminars in Australia, Hoffman Quadrinity Process, Dimensional Mind Approach, Pathwork, and Actualizations. Vahle goes on to describe similar techniques used by these groups which were incorporated from Mind Dynamics' practices. Berger's Agit-Pop also gives examples of EST, Lifespring and Actualizations, as groups that grew out of Mind Dynamics and helped form the human potential movement. The organizations cited above were founded by prior instructors from Mind Dynamics that had been trained by Alexander Everett, including Stewart Emery who founded Actualizations, Randy Revell, who developed Context Training, James Quinn, who organized Lifestream/LifeResults/LifeSuccess, and Thomas Wilhite, who founded PSI Seminars.
Former MDI President Robert White founded Lifespring and ARC International which delivered the Life Dynamics seminars in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Sydney.
Robin Clark, one of Everett's first 12 Mind Dynamics trainer/facilitators, later founded Mind Dynamics Institute in Las Vegas Nevada.
Werner Erhard was influenced by his experiences at Mind Dynamics, methods of which he later incorporated into est, and this formed the basis for Erhard Seminars Training. Mind Dynamics has also been cited as forming the initial basis for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Manabu wrote in the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies that both Lifespring and Erhard Seminars Training/est had traceable origins in Mind Dynamics, and its developer Alexander Everett.
- Staff (February 18, 1973). "Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California" (in English).
- Staff (December 15, 1972). "Charleston Daily Mail".
- Staff (July 31, 1984). "800G AWARD FOR CHANGED PERSONALITY". Philadelphia Daily News.
"Lifespring's founder, John Hanley, was a national field director for Mind Dynamics who was convicted in 1969 on mail-fraud charges.."
- Church, Gene; Conrad D. Carnes (1972). The Pit: A Group Encounter Defiled. New York: Outerbridge and Lazard.
- Manabu, Haga (1995). "Self-development seminars in Japan" (PDF). Japanese Journal of Religious Studies (22): 3–4.
- Vahle, Neal; Connie Fillmore Bazzy (2002). The Unity Movement: Its Evolution and Spiritual Teachings. Templeton Foundation Press. pp. 399, 402, 403, 480. ISBN 1-890151-96-3.
- Scherr, Raquel L.; Leonard Michaels; David Reid (1995). West of the West: Imagining California : an Anthology. University of California Press. p. 290. ISBN 0-520-20164-7.
- Staff (December 1, 1975). "The Power Of Positive Eyewash". Forbes. pp. Features, Page 22.
Erhard was a division sales manager for Grolier Society Inc. when it was enjoined by the state of California for fraudulent and deceptive sales practices. As recently as 1974 California was seeking to enjoin Mind Dynamics -- whose ex-president said Erhard was once his No. One man -- from making fraudulent claims and practicing medicine without a license.
- Mathison, Dirk (February 1993). "White collar cults, they want your mind ...". Self Magazine (in English).
- Wittebols, James H. (2003). Watching M*A*S*H, Watching America: A Social History of the 1972-1983 Television Series. McFarland & Company. p. 95. ISBN 0-7864-1701-3.
- Kaslow, Florence Whiteman; Marvin B. Sussman (1982). Cults and the Family. Haworth Press. p. 190. ISBN 0-917724-55-0.
- Snider, Suzanne (May 2003). "est, Werner Erhard and the Corporatization of Self-Help". The Believer.
- Turner, Dean E. (1991). Escape from God: The Use of Religion and Philosophy to Evade Responsibility. Hope Publishing House. ISBN 0-932727-43-3.
"Erhard was also closely associated with Alexander Everett, founder of Mind Dynamics, a self-hypnosis mind control enterprise."
- Butterfield, Stephen (1985). Amway: The Cult of Free Enterprise. South End Press. p. 129. ISBN 0-89608-253-9.
- Heelas, Paul (1996). The New Age Movement: the celebration of the self and the sacralization of modernity. Blackwell Publishing. p. 72. ISBN 0-631-19332-4.
- Curtiss, Arline B. (2001). Depression is a Choice: Winning the Fight Without Drugs. Hyperion. p. 305. ISBN 0-7868-6629-2.
- Clarke, Peter Bernard (2006). New Religions in Global Perspective: a study of religious change in the modern world. Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 0-415-25747-6.
- Stark, Rodney; William Sims Bainbridge (1986). The Future of Religion: Secularization, Revival, and Cult Formation. University of California Press. p. 182. ISBN 0-520-05731-7.
- Ankerberg, John (1999). Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions (PDF). Silva Mind Control, entry: Harvest House.
"SMC has resulted in a number of "off-shoots" that have utilized SMC techniques, including Mind Dynamics and est/The Forum. According to Silva, both Alexander Everett, founder of Mind Dynamics, and Werner Erhard, founder of est/The Forum, are SMG graduates."
- Vahle, Neal (May–June 1987). "Alexander Everett and Complete Centering". New Realities Magazine.
- Staff (December 20, 1972). "Endless Chain Scheme Suit Hits Cosmetics Co.". Star-News, Pasadena, California.
- Staff (July 16, 1973). "Battling the Biggest Fraud". Time Magazine. pp. 2 pgs.
William Penn Patrick, a former mentor of Turner's, was charged last month by the Securities and Exchange Commission with bilking some 80,000 people out of more than $250 million through his Holiday Magic cosmetics and soap empire.
- Staff (June 10, 1973). "The Fresno Bee, Fresno, California".
"The California attorney general filed suit against Mind dynamics In December, charging The company made false claims about benefits of The course."
- Staff (December 14, 1972). "The Modesto Bee and News-Herald, Modesto, California".
- Staff (December 15, 1972). "Winnipeg Free Press".
- Berger, Arthur Asa (1990). Agit-Pop: : Political Culture and Communication Theory. Transaction Publishers. p. 68. ISBN 0-88738-315-7.
- The Genesis of Mind Dynamics Institute
- Wilson, Brian R.; Jamie Cresswell (1999). New Religious Movements: challenge and response. Routledge. pp. 56, 72, 280. ISBN 0-415-20049-0.
"Especially influenced, it would appear, by his time with Mind Dynamics at the beginning of the 1970s, Erhard went on to found EST, (the first seminar ran in October 1971)."
- Hoffmann, Frank W.; William G. Bailey (1992). Mind & Society Fads. Haworth Press. p. 119. ISBN 1-56024-178-0.