Steven Pressman

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For another Steven Pressman, who is an economist (born 1952) see, see Steven Pressman (economist).
Steven Pressman
Pressman wikipedia portrait.jpg
Steven Pressman (2010)
Born 1955
United States
Education University of California at Berkeley
Occupation Journalist, filmmaker
Known for Author, Outrageous Betrayal

Steven Pressman is an American legal journalist, freelance journalist and investigative journalist. He is the author of a book about Werner Erhard, titled: Outrageous Betrayal, published by St. Martin's Press in 1993. In 2010, Pressman was involved in the production of a documentary film titled: To Save a Life (renamed 50 Children: the Rescue Mission of Mr and Mrs Kraus), and served as writer, director, and producer.

Early life and education[edit]

Pressman was born in Los Angeles in 1955.[1] He obtained a Bachelor's Degree in political science in 1977 from the University of California at Berkeley.[1]



Pressman has worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.[2] He wrote the book Outrageous Betrayal: The Dark Journey of Werner Erhard from est to Exile, published by St. Martin's Press in 1993.[3] He first began research for the book in 1991.[4] While engaged in researching the book, Pressman contributed writing to publications including California Lawyer, Legal Times, and The Daily Journal Corporation's California Republic – where he was senior editor.[1] Outrageous Betrayal received positive reception, from publications including Library Journal,[5] Booklist,[6] the Los Angeles Times,[7] Publishers Weekly,[8] and Westword.[9] It was cited as a reference in testimony before the United States House of Representatives, in 1995.[10]

He worked at San Francisco Daily Journal from 1995 to 1997.[4] In 1998, Landmark Education spent months in an unsuccessful attempt to compel Pressman to respond to deposition questions aimed at obtaining the confidential sources (used during research on Outrageous Betrayal) for use in the then-active litigation involving the Cult Awareness Network.[11] Throughout his journalism career he has written articles for several publications including California Lawyer,[12] Daily Journal of Los Angeles, California,[13] and the Columbia Journalism Review.[14] He contributed an article on libel law in 1994, for the United States Department of State.[15]


Pressman produced short videos for the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, California.[16] In 2010, he served as writer, director, and producer for the documentary film To Save a Life.[16] The documentary, retitled 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus, and shown on HBO in April 2013, tells the story of Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus, a Jewish couple from Philadelphia who traveled to Nazi Germany in 1939 and, with the help of the B'rith Sholom fraternal organization, saved Jewish children in Vienna from likely death in the Holocaust by finding them new homes in Philadelphia. The heroic Krauses were the grandparents of Pressman's wife, Liz Perle, and the film is based on the manuscript of a memoir left behind by Eleanor Kraus when she died in 1989. [17] [16][18]

Published works[edit]



  • "Libel Law: Finding the Right Balance", Editorial Research Reports 2, August 18, 1989
  • "Taking Cults to Court for Psychological Injuries", New Jersey Law Review, p. 4, March 9, 1992.
  • "Mixing Lawyers and Cults", California Lawyer, June 1, 1992, p. 22, 24.
  • "Suit Against New-Age Groups Hit Snags", Legal Times, p14., November 30, 1992.


  1. ^ a b c Alexander, Judy (Attorneys for Defendant, Steven Pressman) (November 18, 1997). "Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion to Strike Complaint". Landmark Education Corporation vs. Steven Pressman (San Francisco, California: Superior Court of the State of California, City and County of San Francisco). 
  2. ^ Pressman, Steven (1993). Outrageous Betrayal: The Dark Journey of Werner Erhard from est to Exile. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. v, 277–279, back jacket. ISBN 0-312-09296-2. OCLC 27897209. 
  3. ^ OCLC 27897209
  4. ^ a b LaPlant, Carol (Attorney for Plaintiff, Landmark Education Corporation) (November 10, 1997). "Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion for Order Compelling Answers to Deposition Questions, and for Sanctions". Landmark Education Corporation vs. Steven Pressman (San Francisco, California: Superior Court of the State of California, City and County of San Francisco). 
  5. ^ Annichiarico, Mark (September 1, 1993). "Outrageous Betrayal: The Dark Journey of Werner Erhard from Est to Exile.". Library Journal 118 (14): 207. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  6. ^ Carroll, Mary (September 1, 1993). "Pressman, Steven. Outrageous Betrayal: The Dark Journey of Werner Erhard from est to Exile.". Booklist (American Library Association) 90 (1): 7: Adult Books, Non-fiction, General Works, Philosophy & Psychology. 
  7. ^ Halpern, Frances (October 14, 1993). "On Hope, Blacklisting and Rancho Mirage Trio of new titles offered by Barricade Books includes one by poet and novelist Aram Saroyan, a Thousand Oaks resident". Los Angeles Times. p. 9. 'Outrageous Betrayal,' a new and damning biography by Steven Pressman. 
  8. ^ Publishers Weekly staff (August 9, 1993). "Outrageous Betrayal, review". Publishers Weekly 240 (32): 446. Retrieved 2007-11-20. 
  9. ^ Jackson, Steve (April 18, 1996). "When it comes to Landmark Education Corporation, There's no meeting of the Minds". Westword. 
  10. ^ United States Congress (1995). Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations for 1996. House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations. (Washington: U.S. G.P.O.). p. 834. ISBN 0-16-047352-7. 
  11. ^ Skolnik, Peter L. & Norwick, Michael A. (February 2006). "Introduction to the Landmark Education litigation archive". Lowenstein Sandler PC (The Rick A. Ross Institute). 
  12. ^ Pressman, Steven (December 1994). "Litigation noir". California Lawyer. Retrieved 2010-11-03. 
  13. ^ Pressman, Steven (April 21, 1994). "Church calls it quits - As Scientology backs away from critics, it may hurt in libel case". Daily Journal (Los Angeles, California). 
  14. ^ Pressman, Steven (February 1994). "Fouling Up Fair Use". Columbia Journalism Review (New York: Columbia University). 
  15. ^ Pressman, Steven (1994). "An Unfettered Press: Libel Law in the United States". InfoUSA (Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State). Retrieved 2010-11-03. 
  16. ^ a b c "The Filmmaking Team". ( 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-03. 
  17. ^ Jacobs, Emily. "'50 Children': a story of heroism". Washington Jewish Week. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  18. ^ Michael Elkin (July 15, 2010). "Stars of David". Jewish Exponent. 

External links[edit]

  • Skolnik, Peter L.; Michael A. Norwick (February 2006). "Landmark Education litigation archive". Landmark Education. Rick A Ross Institute.  ( 23 links to legal documents involving Pressman)