Werner Erhard and Associates

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Werner Erhard and Associates
Private sole proprietorship[1](defunct)
Industry Personal development, Large Group Awareness Training
Founded February 1981
Defunct 1991
Headquarters San Francisco, California, USA
Key people
Werner Erhard (Founder)
Products Seminars, workshops

Werner Erhard and Associates, also known as WE&A or as WEA, operated as a commercial entity from February 1981 until early 1991. It replaced Erhard Seminars Training, Inc. as the vehicle for marketing, selling and imparting the content of the est training, and offered what some people refer to as "personal-growth" programs. Initially WE&A marketed and staged the est training (in the form of the est seminars and workshops), but in 1984 the est Training was replaced by a more modern, briefer, less confrontational program based on Werner Erhard's teachings called "The Forum".[2][3]

In 1991 Erhard sold the assets of WE&A to a group of employees, who later formed Landmark Education. Erhard then retired[4] and left the United States.


Werner Erhard

For additional Information, see Werner Erhard and est.

  • February 1981: Werner Erhard and Associates (WE&A) set up.[4]
  • 1984: WE&A replaces the est training with "The Forum".[2]
  • 1991: Erhard sold the assets of WE&A to a group of employees, who later formed Landmark Education.

Evaluations of "The Forum"[edit]

In their self-published book Self Realization: The est and Forum Phenomena in American Society, Espy M. Navarro and Robert Navarro stated:

What is a fact is that the collective experiences of over 1,400,000 human beings who have gone through either the est training or the Forum series, and each of their particular contributions that have resulted from these experiences have certainly had an impact on America and the world.

Werner Erhard, without any formal credentials, degrees or advanced educational training used his innate intelligence, intuition and insight to promote self-awareness in the United States. In the 1970's he was right for the times — in synch with the fledgling "me generation." By the time that he had retired the est training in 1984, and when he left the Forum in 1991, almost 750,000 people had undergone the courses that he had developed and marketed ... providing one of the best and quickest opportunities available to radically alter one's life. The importance of the est training and the Forum series, especially in the United States, is in the form of individual contributions that have transformed and enabled the people of this nation to enjoy a new level of spirituality, empowerment, perception and enhancement of their personal enlivenment and contribution. [5]

A scientific study, commissioned by Werner Erhard and Associates and conducted by a team of psychology professors, concluded that attending the Forum had minimal lasting effects — positive or negative — on participants' self-perception. The research won an American Psychological Association "National Psychological Consultants to Management Award" in 1989.[6]

The results of the research study appeared in two articles in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1989,[7] and in 1990,[8] and in 1990 in a book titled "Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training".[9]

Impact of "The Forum"[edit]

One of the more common results of the Forum was the healing of relationships with parents. One facet of this course was to urge participants to stop blaming their parents for their problems and begin to express their natural love for them that was often buried under accumulated resentments that went unexpressed.[10]

Many projects to come out of the Forum involved working to foster value, camaraderie and opportunities to serve the community. As an example of this a group of participants in a seminar threw a Christmas party at a homeless shelter by planning and preparing the party, cooking and providing the food, and participating with the people in the shelter. As a result, they "came away with the gift of knowing we are them and they are us, homeless or sheltered, employed or out of work, broke or salaried; we recognized ourselves in their eyes and in their plight." [10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Accordingly, Werner Erhard and Associates ("WEA") was established as a sole proprietorship in February 1981." Erhard v. IRS, 1995. http://www.assetprotectionbook.com/erhard.htm Retrieved 2007-10-05
  2. ^ a b Anthony Gottlieb: "Heidegger for Fun and Profit", in The New York Times, January 7, 1990. http://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/07/books/heidegger-for-fun-and-profit.html?ref=martinheidegger, retrieved 2011-10-29
  3. ^ Dan Wakefield, "How Do We Know When It's God?: A Spiritual Memoir"
  4. ^ a b "Site by Former Associates committed to providing accurate and reliable information about Werner Erhard". Retrieved 2007-09-09
  5. ^ Espy M. Navarro and Robert Navarro, Self Realization, The est and Forum Phenomena in American Society, Xlibris Corporation, October 2002, ISBN 1-4010-4220-1
  6. ^ Fisher, Jeffrey D.; Silver, Chinsky, Goff, Klar (1990). Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training. Springer-Verlag. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-387-97320-3. 
    Page. vii. – "The research reported in this volume was awarded the American Psychological Association, Division 13, National Consultants to Management Award, August 13, 1989."
  7. ^ Fisher, Jeffrey D.; Silver, Chinsky, Goff, Klar, Zagieboylo (1989). "Psychological effects of participation in a large group awareness training". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 57 (6): 747–755. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.57.6.747. ISSN 0022-006X. 
  8. ^ Klar, Yechiel et al. (February 1990). "Characteristics of Participants in a Large Group Awareness Training". Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 58 (1): 99–108. doi:10.1037/0022-006X.58.1.99. ISSN 0022-006X. PMID 2319051. 
  9. ^ J.D. Fisher, R. C. Silver, J. M. Chinsky, B. Goff and Y. Klar, Evaluating a Large Group Awareness Training: A Longitudinal Study of Psychosocial Effects, Published by Springer-Verlag, October 1990, ISBN 0-387-97320-6.
  10. ^ a b How Do We Know When It's God?: A Spiritual Memoir, By Dan Wakefield

External links[edit]