Sterling (California)

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Sterling, Glendale, Calif.
Emery Wilson Corporation doing business as Sterling[1][2]
Founded Vacaville, California
(March 1983)
Founder Dr.Gregory K. Hughes, DDS
Headquarters Glendale, CA
United States
Key people
Kevin C. Wilson, Chairman, CEO
Services Business consulting
Owner Kevin C. Wilson
Website Web site

Sterling (previously Sterling Business Management Systems)[1] is a consulting firm led by Kevin Wilson, which offers business administration seminars and training based on L. Ron Hubbard's teachings[3] 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. From 1994 to 2015 the company was affected by the economic climate, reducing its staff complement to 25 from nearly 300.[1]p. 7


Sterling provides services under a license from WISE, the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises[1]p. 10, which oversees the use of L. Ron Hubbard's copyrighted materials in applications in the business community at large. According to a deposition by Emery Wilson's Director of Public Affaris, most of the company's employees are involved in Scientology.[1]p. 25

According to the LA Times, Sterling 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.[4]

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 the company throughout the year in major cities around the US.

Scholarly analysis[edit]

Although ownership of Sterling 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,[5] and the books Perspectives on the New Age and The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview,[6][7]

Wilson's New Religious Movements and Heela's The New Age Movement describe Sterling as an "est-like movement", referring to Werner Erhard's Erhard Seminars Training.[8][9]

In a journal article in the Marburg Journal of Religion, Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, characterizing Sterling as a front organization for Scientology, questioned whether secular activities of Sterling had any effect on the religious categorization of Scientology. Hugh Urban also analyzed Sterling within this context in his article "Fair Game: Secrecy, Security, and the Church of Scientology in Cold War America.[10][11]


Sterling has been criticized for its "high-pressure sales tactics".[12][13][14]

Glover Rowe and his wife Dee stated in 1990 that they were forcibly held against their will by Scientologists after attending two Sterling seminars: they claimed that their tests indicated that without auditing, their business would fail and Dee would abuse their child.[12]

"They put a telephone in front of me and said I should call every member of my family and tell them I was a member of the Church of Scientology. I refused," said Mrs. Rowe. "At that point, they said, 'but you see Dee, you have to.'....... "For seven hours, a man drilled me, tried to brainwash me," said Mrs. Rowe. " l begged him to let me go, he kept saying, 'but you see Dee, you can't.' He tried to get me to confess to crimes. He started getting me to tell him sex stories. He made me list every overt sin I had committed. They insisted I write down everything I had done wrong. I couldn't list anything bad enough to please them." (" 'Management Seminar' Harrowing Experience", by Terry Dean, Cherokee County Herald, December 12, 1990 pp. 1A, 5A) [15]

Sterling disputes this account, saying that the account is "extremely exaggerated and contains complete untruths," saying that after being published in a small weekly newspaper in Cherokee County, "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."[16] Sterling's blog also reproduces the order revoking Rowe's license to practice dentistry and reports on his criminal record.[16]

Robert Geary, also a dentist, claimed that Sterling denied any connection to Scientology. He claims to have spent $180 000 on Sterling services and materials, and that Scientologists forged his signature on a loan application and held his wife hostage for two weeks, leading to her mental breakdown.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Dr. Robert L. Meinders, D.C., Ltd. Supplement to its prior comments on the Emery Wilson Corporation d/b/a Sterling Management Systems’ petition for waiver
  2. ^ Fictitious Business Name Statement first published in Daily Commerce, Los Angeles on 1/14/94 File No. 94-58012
  3. ^ Wilson, Kevin. "Message from the Chairman and CEO - Sterling CPASterling CPA". sterling CPA. Emery Wilson Corporation. Retrieved 2 January 2016. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Partridge, Christopher Hugh (2004). New Religions: A Guide: New Religious Movements, Sects and Alternative Spiritualities. Oxford University Press, USA. p. 402. ISBN 0195220420. 
  6. ^ Lewis, James R. (2004). Perspectives on the New Age. State University of New York Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0791412138. 
  7. ^ Newport, John P. (1997). The New Age Movement and the Biblical Worldview. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 389. ISBN 0802844308. 
  8. ^ Wilson, Bryan R.; Jamie Cresswell (1999). New Religious Movements: challenge and response. Routledge. p. 56. ISBN 0415200490. 
  9. ^ Heelas, Paul (1996). The New Age Movement: the celebration of the self and the sacralization of modernity. Blackwell Publishing. p. 62. ISBN 0631193324. 
  10. ^ Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (September 2003). "Scientology: Religion or racket?". Marburg Journal of Religion. 8 (1). 
  11. ^ 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. 
  12. ^ a b c Behar, Richard (May 6, 1991). "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power". Time. p. 5. 
  13. ^ Koppel, Ted (1992-02-14). "Scientology Leader Gave ABC First-Ever Interview". Nightline. ABC News. Retrieved 2008-08-23. 
  14. ^ Mallia, Joseph (March 2, 1998). "Milton school shades ties to Scientology". Boston Herald. 
  15. ^ Dean, Terry (December 12, 1990). ""Management Seminar" Harrowing Experience". Cherokee County Herald. 
  16. ^ a b "Glover Rowe and Sterling Management Systems". Sterling Management Systems Company Blog. Emery Wilson Corp. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2016. 

External links[edit]