Sterling Management Systems

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Sterling Management Systems, Los Angeles, Calif.
Emery Wilson Corp.[1][2]
Sterling Management Systems
Founded Vacaville, California
(March 1983)
Founder Dr.Gregory K. Hughes, DDS
Headquarters Los Angeles, California
United States
Key people
Kevin C. Wilson, Chairman, CEO
Services Management consulting
Owner Kevin C. Wilson
Website Web site
Footnotes / references
Awards: INC 500 award winner 1988,[3] 1989[4]

Sterling Management Systems offers practice management seminars and training to Accounting, Medical and Dental and other private practice professionals. Founded in 1983 in the back office of a dental practice in Vacaville, California, it is currently located in a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) office in Los Angeles, California. It has been named in 1988 and 1989 by INC Magazine as among the 500 fastest growing companies in the US.[3][4]


Sterling provides services under a license from WISE, the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, which oversees the use of L. Ron Hubbard's copyrighted materials in applications in the business community at large.[5]

According to the LA Times, SMS offers and teaches the same techniques the Church of Scientology has for years employed including heavy marketing, high productivity and rigid rules of employee conduct.[6]

According to the company's website it has delivered practice management seminars to over 160,000 professionals, and courses to more than 70,000 clients and staff.[7]

For practice owners and key executives Sterling's services involve formal training delivered at their facilities in Los Angeles, California. Staff training is typically delivered at weekend workshops held by Sterling throughout the year in major cities around the US.

Hubbard Management Technology[edit]

Sterling offers training and implementation support programs based on the management techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard, author and founder of the Church of Scientology. These services are provided under a license from WISE, the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, an international membership organization which licenses the use of Hubbard's copyrighted management materials and oversees their use in applications in the business community at large.[5]

Scholarly analysis[edit]

Although ownership of Sterling Management Systems has been in the past incorrectly attributed, it is owned and operated by The Emery Wilson Corporation. This information is documented in corporate records and is available on . Incorrect attributions can be found in: New Religions: A Guide, [8] and the books Perspectives on the New Age and The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview, [9][10]

Wilson's New Religious Movements and Heela's The New Age Movement describe Sterling Systems as an "est-like movement", referring to Werner Erhard's Erhard Seminars Training.[11][12]

In a journal article in the Marburg Journal of Religion, Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi questioned whether secular activities of Sterling Systems had any effect on the religious categorization of Scientology. Hugh Urban also analyzed Sterling Systems within this context, in his article "Fair Game: Secrecy, Security, and the Church of Scientology in Cold War America.[13][14]

WISE, SMS and the Church of Scientology[edit]

The company states on their site that they are licensed to deliver the secular management technologies of L. Ron Hubbard.[15]


Sterling Management Systems was criticized for "high-pressure sales tactics" during the 1990s.[16][17][18]

Glover Rowe and his wife Dee stated in 1990 that they were forcibly held against their will by Scientologists after attending two Sterling seminars:[16] References to actions supposedly committed by Scientologists were included here but attributed to Sterling Management Systems.(" 'Management Seminar' Harrowing Experience", by Terry Dean, Cherokee County Herald, December 12, 1990 pp. 1A, 5A) [19] Sterling Management disputes this account, saying that the account is "extremely exaggerated and contains complete untruths..." and "the story was then picked up and forwarded by a number of web sites whose stated and sole intentions are to slam and cause trouble for the Church of Scientology and anything vaguely related to the works of L. Ron Hubbard. " The company points to documentation that Rowe, a dentist at the time, has since had his license to practice suspended and later permanently revoked for unethical business practices including misuse of nitrous oxide, making obscene phone calls to his patients, and burglary in violation of a restraining order. [20][21][22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fictitious Business Name Statement first published in Daily Commerce, Los Angeles on 1/14/94 File No. 94-58012
  2. ^ CA Business Register
  3. ^ a b INC 500 List, 1988
  4. ^ a b INC 500 List, 1989
  5. ^ a b World Institute of Scientology Enterprises L. Ron Hubbard Management technology
  6. ^ Sappell, Joel; Welkos, Robert W. (1990-06-27). "Church Seeks Influence in Schools, Business, Science". Los Angeles Times. p. A1:1. Retrieved 2006-11-17. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Partridge, Christopher Hugh (2004). New Religions: A Guide: New Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 402. ISBN 0195220420. 
  9. ^ Lewis, James R. (2004). Perspectives on the New Age. State University of New York Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0791412138. 
  10. ^ Newport, John P. (1997). The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 389. ISBN 0802844308. 
  11. ^ Wilson, Bryan R.; Jamie Cresswell (1999). New Religious Movements: challenge and response. Routledge. p. 56. ISBN 0415200490. 
  12. ^ Heelas, Paul (1996). The New Age Movement: the celebration of the self and the sacralization of modernity. Blackwell Publishing. p. 62. ISBN 0631193324. 
  13. ^ Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (September 2003). "Scientology: Religion or racket?". Marburg Journal of Religion 8 (1). 
  14. ^ Urban, Hugh B. (June 2006). "Fair Game: Secrecy, Security, and the Church of Scientology in Cold War America" (PDF). Journal of the American Academy of Religion (Oxford University Press) 74 (2): 356–389. doi:10.1093/jaarel/lfj084. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  15. ^ [2]
  16. ^ a b Behar, Richard (May 6, 1991). "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power". Time. p. 5. 
  17. ^ Koppel, Ted (1992-02-14). "Scientology Leader Gave ABC First-Ever Interview". Nightline. ABC News. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  18. ^ Mallia, Joseph (March 2, 1998). "Milton school shades ties to Scientology". Boston Herald. 
  19. ^ Dean, Terry (December 12, 1990). ""Management Seminar" Harrowing Experience". Cherokee County Herald. 
  20. ^ name="rowe" | url="">
  21. ^ name="rowe-1" | url=""
  22. ^ name="rowe-2" | url=""

External links[edit]