I took the est training in the 70's. It was the one where they didn't let us go to the bathroom and yelled at us for 16 hours a day, all weekend, so that we'd learn to experience life, not just live life.
It was okay, but in retrospect it was silly, costly and excessive, and had I been anything more than a naive 25-year-old, I would have told them to shove it mid-training.
In the 80's, est founder Werner Erhard (nee Jack Rosenberg) got into some IRS and media trouble and rechristened est into something he called Landmark Forum. Basically the training was the same, it just had a new name to avoid the taint of the est reputation.
Eventually Erhard sold the company to his younger brother and lammed out of the country with the money.
A friend of mine works for a small advertising company, where the boss is a recent Landmark Forum "graduate."
Though he can't really articulate or exemplify the drastic changes he says he's experienced through the training, he's a zealot who cannot resist preaching the forum gospel to his hapless employees. He jabbers forum cliches by rote, forces them to endure two hour meetings about the forum, and basically has everyone entirely freaked out.
First he offered to pay the tuition for each of his employees to take the training and its subsequent seminars. Now he's making it a condition of employment.
The trouble with cults like this is some people get wigged out and end up doing just what this joker is doing.
Another friend has a husband who's doing "the work of Byron Katie." Same basic shit with a different name. The guy is all about Byron Katie and it's screwing up his marriage and family life. As his friend, I think he's gone off the deep end.
So, as a public service, I am going to give for free the lessons of these programs so my readers can save money, time and sanity.
1. This is it. Enjoy it while you can.
2. The choices you make are what you'll get in life. Choose well.
3. You will be as happy as you make up your mind to be.
4. It's not their fault.
5. Suck it up and quit that bitching.
There. You are now a Zipdrive Seminar Graduate. Go in peace.