Re: virus: Fwd: Case in point

Fri, 02 Apr 1999 13:09:48 -0800

David McFadzean wrote:

> The Skeptic's Dictionary has a couple interesting articles on est and The
> Forum

> I'm curious to know if anyone else sees the simularities between the
> teachings
> described in these articles and some of the views expressed on this list.

Certainly. You'd pretty much have to be looking the other way not to see them. Werner Erhard, founder of Est and grandfather of Landmark Forum was interested in self-improvement and he utilized a lot of the same techniques that various contributors to this list, myself included, have discovered and employed in their own programs of self-cultivation.

The Skeptic's Dictionary's Robert Todd Carroll writes:

est is a hodgepodge of philosophical bits and pieces culled from the carcasses of existential philosophy, motivational psychology, Maxwell Maltz's Psycho-cybernetics, Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts, Freud, Abraham Maslow, L. Ron Hubbard, Hinduism, Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale, P.T. Barnum, and anything else that Erhard's intuition told him would work in the burgeoning Human Potential market.

There's some good stuff in that list.

Erhard was also influenced by Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich," and as I mentioned a few weeks ago, my self-work path pretty much started with Shakti Gawain's version of Creative Visualization. She readily acknowledges Napoleon Hill and the Silva Mind Control Method as major sources of her own material, and so I investigated both of those. I consider myself quite fortunate to have discovered these resources.

Robin and Joe seem to have invested quite a bit of themselves in the Buddhist worldview, and I spent a long time there myself and return to it from time to time. Richard is interested in "the stink of Zen" and I've often heard him commend a course of action or approach by describing it as "the Zen think to do."

Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" has a Machievellian sounding title, but the pith of his program is, "take a genuine interest in other people, structure your communication with them with THEIR ends and interests in mind, be generous with your sincere praise (as opposed to insincere flattery) and make people feel good and they will reciprocate."

Just because some of the people who have recognized and employed these worthwhile techniques later started believing their own press, getting off on the power they had over people, and blossomed into demagogues says nothing about the value of the wares they were hawking.