Urban Myths

URBAN MYTH: Werner Erhard a Scientologist?

THE REAL DEAL: No. Werner Erhard is a life-long Episcopalian. In the 1960’s Werner Erhard explored a myriad of disciplines and courses in the arena of personal development and philosophy, including with a company named Dianetics. Where the confusion lies is that Dianetics was not Scientology. (more)


URBAN MYTH: No Bathroom breaks for est participants

THE REAL DEAL:  This is “a story”. Time magazine said Werner Erhard "challenged participants to control their bladders so they didn't have to leave the long sessions. 'You are not a tube,' he said in the documentary Transformation. 'You have transcended peeing.'"

There were regular breaks in the est Training where everyone was welcome to use the bathroom or to do anything else they needed to do – eat, make phone calls, etc. There were guidelines to help you get the maximum value out of the course and people were given the opportunity to make agreements based on the guidelines.  Much like when you go to a movie, theatre production, opera or even your favorite TV show (prior to Tivo), in order to be sure that you do not miss any of these great performances, you try with all your might to stay in the room. (more)


URBAN MYTH: The est Training was part of the "Me generation."

THE REAL DEAL: Not even close. Just listen to what Jerome Rabow Ph.D. ULCA Dept.of Sociology says about his study of est graduates. You can read his study here.


URBAN MYTH: Sleep Police and logs held over your head to keep from falling asleep

THE REAL DEAL:  No.  There were no sleep police in the est training or log treatments to keep you from sleeping. Darn – if there was only something to keep you from falling asleep  – wouldn’t you love to know it for those long college lectures, or extra long gospels that go on forever.  (more)


URBAN MYTH: No Eye Glasses Allowed!

THE REAL DEAL:  Please, this is absolutely not true. We can only imagine this came from the request to turn your watches in at the door.  The point was to support people in paying attention throughout the course.  (more)

URBAN MYTH:  Secret Smiles and Handshakes

THE REAL DEAL: No requests for smiles and no secret handshakes!  Plain truth is, in the est training, there was a lot of joy and camaraderie. (more)


URBAN MYTH: Est was part of the human potential movement

THE REAL DEAL: Jonathan D. Moreno, Ph.D is an American philosopher and historian in the fields of bioethics, culture, science, and national security who publishes seminal works on the history, sociology and politics of biology and medicine. He had this to say about the human potential movement and est:

“Erhard told me that he doesn’t consider himself to have been part of the human potential movement, but he agrees that his concept of the training was part of the confluence of ideas that emerged during that period.” (From Impromptu Man, by Jonathan D. Moreno)


Werner Erhard

At all times and under all circumstances, we have the power to transform the quality of our lives.

Werner Erhard



Get the straight story
watch the documentary:
'Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard'

werner erhard the life and legacy