> Dear L.E.S's,
> I am currently background checking individuals
> involved in the coaching field, and particularly
> those who have been previously inducted into est,
> Landmark (all iterations) or the W.E. 'consulting
> firm' Vanto.
> While not universal, I am finding a consistent
> pattern of misrepresentation of credentials, which
> may take the form of:
> 1) academic credentials (either completely false,
> or stated in a deceptive manner)
> e.g. "X obtained three advanced degrees at
> Harvard", with no description of what those
> degrees are, or when they were obtained.
> 2) misrepresentation of work and/or leadership
> "X has a background in 'Finance'" -- this
> statement suggests to most readers that the party
> has significant training in this field, and has
> held senior leadership positions. Acting as
> Werner Erhard's does not constitute a "background
> in 'Finance'"
> "X served as CEO of Y for ten years, before
> founding Z" -- this statement suggests deep
> experience in senior leadership roles. Managing a
> training division of est, or a bogus Erhard
> company is not a CEO role. And, none of this
> would qualify one to represent a "background in
> 3) academic background not commensurate with
> employment or leadership activity, and,
> particularly thought leadership activity, e.g. the
> production of 'proven' coaching frameworks.
> Here I would summon the bios of the author's of a
> popular coaching manual, a 'bible' for many in the
> Author 1: CPA
> Author 2: Actor
> Author 3: Actor
> Author 4: B.A., Journalism, no stated work or
> leadership history
> Coaching draws from many fields: Psychology and,
> more specifically, Behavioral Science, ie.
> Organisational Behavior -- See Robert Sutton;
> Neuroscience (an evolving focus), Management
> Science/Leadership Studies; Organization
> Development, and, I would even allow HR Management
> (work design, HR systems design)
> CPA's, actors, and aspiring journo's are not the
> sort of people who, in the REAL WORLD, design
> human development frameworks, or leadership
> development frameworks.
> 4) gaps in employment history, or vague
> descriptions thereof.
> See work done in this forum regarding 'Celebrity
> Coach' David Allen, and his "Getting Things Done".
> GTD is a sophisticated framework that seems to
> have evolved in the course of Mr. Allen's history
> "in training", training what? training who?,
> training where?
> If any of you have encountered similar
> misrepresentations, could you please share them,
> here, or send me a PM.
YES, this often happens with these individuals.
> A bit more background information on Steven
> Zaffron aka Stephen Robert Zaffron :
> STEVEN ZAFFRON WAS CONVICTED OF MAIL FRAUD PER
> WERNER ERHARD BIOGRAPHY OUTRAGEOUS BETRAYAL:
> Steven Zaffron = convicted of Mail Fraud in 1982.
> Steven Zaffron = served Werner Erhard as an Est
> Trainer in Erhard Seminars Training EST.
> Steven Zaffron = current CEO of Vanto Group
> formerly known as Landmark Education Business
> Development (LEBD).
> Steven Zaffron = current Landmark Forum Leader =
> highest level rank in Landmark Forum aka Landmark
> Education aka Landmark Worldwide.
> Steven Zaffron = given “lifetime” designation to
> perform “transformation” work for Werner Erhard
> Steven Zaffron = member of the Board of Directors
> of Landmark and senior executive at Landmark
> Education aka Landmark Forum aka Landmark
> Worldwide = helped design the Landmark Forum
> course itself.
> Steven Zaffron = continues to work with Werner
> Erhard while working at Landmark Education aka
> Landmark Forum aka Landmark Worldwide and while
> working as CEO of Vanto Group formerly known as
> Landmark Education Business Development.
> From the book Outrageous Betrayal as quoted at:
> “[...] Another one of Erhard's new executives was
> an est trainer named Steven Zaffron […] Three
> years after first joining Erhard's staff in 1979,
> Zaffron had been indicted on mail fraud charges
> for participating in a scam to collect phony
> unemployment checks. Zaffron was placed on three
> years' probation [...] Zaffron [...] agreed to a
> plea bargain [...] shortly before Erhard conferred
> on him the coveted 'lifetime' designation to do
> Werner's transformational work [...]”
> Pressman, Steven, Outrageous Betrayal: The dark
> journey of Werner Erhard from est to exile. New
> York: St. Martin's Press, 1993. ISBN 0-312-09296-2
> , pg. 217.
> CONFIRMED ACCURATE INFORMATION PER 1982 ASSOCIATED
> PRESS ARTICLE:
> “San Francisco (AP) – A man whom prosecutors say
> masterminded scheme that bilked 13 states out of
> more than $400,000 in unemployment benefits was
> sentenced Monday to four years in federal prison
> for mail fraud.
> U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson imposed the
> sentence on David Adams Muncaster, 50, of Fairfax,
> who pleaded guilty June 7 to two of 41 counts
> against him. Three other people also were
> sentenced after having pleaded guilty to one count
> Rosalyn Linda Bonas, 40, who lived with Muncaster,
> was sentenced to 179 days in jail, with the rest
> of her three-year sentence suspended. Muncaster's
> former wife, Joan Loretta Sontag, 39, of South
> Lake Tahoe, drew a three-month term with the rest
> of her two-year sentence suspended.
> Stephen Robert Zaffron, 38, was given a one-year
> suspended sentence with three years probation.
> Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Burch said the fraud
> allowed the four to “take extended vacations and
> live in luxurious surroundings.”
> The complaint, covering activities in 13 states
> and a period of time from November 1975 to
> November 1981, said Muncaster set up tax accounts
> for at least 10 fictitious employers in the
> various states, using private mail drops
> throughout the San Francisco Bay area.
> Then, the government said, he and the others,
> using false names, applied for Social Security
> numbers and used them in filing fraudulent
> interstate unemployment insurance benefits claims
> at 19 California Employment Development Department
> offices in the San Francisco area.
> Muncaster and the others would appear at these
> offices saying they were former out-of-state
> employees of the fictitious companies who had
> moved to California to look for work.
> California would process the claims and forward
> them to the states where wages were supposedly
> earned. These states would verify claims by
> writing to the fictitious employers' Bay area
> Muncaster and the others would verify their own
> claims and states sent out more than 2,000 checks
> to the various addresses.
> B. M. McClanahan, postal inspector in charge, said
> the defendants rented 22 post office boxes at
> various places, established mail receiving service
> at 37 Bay area mail drops, obtained more than 90
> fraudulent Social Security cards and opened about
> 60 bank accounts for benefits paid on 130
> unemployment claims.
> The states involved were New Jersey, New York,
> Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Connecticut,
> Vermont, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware,
> Wisconsin, Ohio, and Hawaii plus the District of
> California has filed a civil suit on behalf of the
> other states seeking to recover some of the lost
> Associated Press. San Francisco. Four-year
> sentence given in 13-state mail fraud case.
> September 16, 1982. Nashua Telegraph. Page 15.
> “Mr Zaffron is described in the book's executive
> summary as "a senior executive and board member
> with Landmark Education, where he spear-headed the
> design of the Landmark Forum".”
> Baker, Richard; and Nick McKenzie. (August 30,
> 2011) Department chops $80,000 'charisma' seminar
> Landmark Education and its offshoots have
> attracted global controversy for their group
> training programs. The Age, Australia.
> STEPHEN ROBERT ZAFFRON AKA STEVEN ZAFFRON
> MAINTAINED HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH WERNER ERHARD FOR
> DECADES, AUTHORING A PAPER WITH HIM AND MICHAEL C.
> JENSEN ON “INTEGRITY” IN 2009:
> Erhard, Werner and Jensen, Michael C. and Zaffron,
> Steve, Integrity: A Positive Model that
> Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality,
> Ethics and Legality (March 23, 2009). Harvard
> Business School NOM Working Paper No. 06-11;
> Barbados Group Working Paper No. 06-03; Simon
> School Working Paper No. FR 08-05. Available at
> SSRN: [ssrn.com
> NOTE THAT AT THIS TIME, STEVEN ZAFRON WAS
> ASSOCIATED WITH WERNER ERHARD RELATED COMPANIES
> LANDMARK EDUCATION AKA LANDMARK WORLDWIDE AND ALSO
> VANTO GROUP, FORMER KNOWN AS LANDMARK EDUCATION
> BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (LEBD), FORMERLY KNOWN AS
> TRANSFORMATIONAL TECHNOLOGIES.
> Landmark Education Business Development aka LEBD
> aka Vanto Group has as its CEO Steven Zaffron.
> Zaffron first became an executive for Werner
> Erhard and was an “est trainer” in Erhard’s
> company “Erhard Seminars Training” (Outrageous
> Betrayal by Steven Pressman, St. Martin’s Press:
> 1993, page 217).
> Currently, Zaffron serves the Landmark Education
> corporation as CEO of “Vanto Group”, formerly
> known as “Landmark Education Business
> Development”, and in addition, Zaffron has the
> highest-ranking “trainer” title in Landmark
> Education called “Landmark Forum Leader”.
> Interestingly, in a publication by Steven Zaffron
> as its author, “The Promise of Philosophy and the
> Landmark Forum”, Contemporary Philosophy, Vol.
> XXIII, No. 1 & 2, Jan/Feb & Mar/Apr 2001 Barbados
> Group Working Paper No. 01-01. -- Steven Zaffron
> acknowledges Landmark Education is a form of "
> Large Group Awareness Training " or LGAT. In this
> paper co-authored by Zaffron, the phrase “Large
> Group Awareness Training” is used multiple times
> in reference to Landmark Education. Example on
> page 52: “Dennison’s dissertation,7 which
> categorizes the Landmark Forum as a “large group
> awareness training” is a qualitative study based
> on interviews with Forum graduates. He also
> reports predominantly positive outcomes and in
> addition, briefly summarizes philosophical
> components of the Forum. The extensive research
> literature on “large group awareness training”
> published in the 1970s and 80s (summarized in
> Finkelstein, Wenegrat, and Yalom8) is framed in
> psychological more than philosophical terms,
> albeit there is some reference to the training as
> existential psychotherapy.” Two different academic
> treatises are cited as references in the paper
> co-authored by Zaffron (see page 59, endnotes 7
> and 8, Dennison 1994 and Finkelstein 1982) – and
> both have the phrase “Large Group Awareness
> Training” in their titles.
> RADARIS INFO ON STEVEN ZAFFRON CONFIRMS HIS
> INVOLVEMENT WITH TWO WERNER ERHARD RELATED
> COMPANIES – TEKNIKO LICENSING CORPORATION AND
> LANDMARK FORUM AKA LANDMARK EDUCATION AKA LANDMARK
> Name / Title
> Company / Classification
> Phones & Addresses
> Steven Zaffron
> Tekniko Licensing Corporation
> 1945 N Carson St, Carson City, NV 89701
> 353 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111
> Steven Zaffron
> LANDMARK WORLDWIDE, LLC
> 2390 E Camelback Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016
> 1209 Orange St, Wilmington, DE 19801
> 353 Sacramento St #200, San Francisco, CA 94111