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friend went to Landmark Forum meeting. Should I worry?
Posted by: nutrino ()
Date: May 29, 2006 02:22AM

In my opinion it is neurologically related to the [b:0643847ce2] addiction mechanism [/b:0643847ce2] ... medicine can not, presently, account for the reason that certain persons, when given opiates, will develop an intense, irrational, and long lasting addicitve response to them ... whree others can be given high doses of opiates, and even undergo a withdrawal phase [i:0643847ce2] without [/i:0643847ce2] the incapacitating addicitve psychological response.

I did observe that, in my case, when I was prescribed high doses of Codeine for a severed finger injury, I quickly found the opiate high boring and wanted to not be experiencing it. I think that this may tie into an almost anti-addictive response on my part, which may also explain my neurologic responses to LGAT type inductions...

In others, the LGAT programming may trigger an intense endorphin ( the endogenous opioid substances the brain manufactures to create feelings of deep pleasure or block pain ) cascades which then active a fierce addictive response in those people.

I beleive that the endorphin-addiction mechanism is far more the real reason many participants are "sucked in" than the profundity of the message.

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friend went to Landmark Forum meeting. Should I worry?
Posted by: midonov123 ()
Date: May 29, 2006 08:31PM

Here is a quote from Richard Feynman in "The Character of Physical Law (Lecture 6: Probability and Uncertainity - the Quantum Mechanical view of Nature)" about the apparent absurdities of Quantum behavior. I think the same can be said about LGATs.
"Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, "But how can it be like that?" because you will get "down the drain," into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that."
- Richard Feynman

Just as a reminder, Werner Erhard used to invite Jack Sarfatti (from the Physics of Consciousness Research Group) to give lecture about quantum mechanics in the EST seminars. Why was Erhard so interested in Quantum Mechanics? Reading Feynman's quote gives us part of the answer don't you think? There are definite similarities between the absurdities of QM and the absurdities of LGATs. Both lead into a "blind alley". This is because of the apparent "paradox" in the system of logic. Nature is paradoxal, and LGATs put participants "deliberately" in a paradoxical situation to get them confused, addicted and "blinded" (this leads to manipulation and mind control).

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friend went to Landmark Forum meeting. Should I worry?
Posted by: elena ()
Date: May 30, 2006 02:37AM


...I beleive that the endorphin-addiction mechanism is far more the real reason many participants are "sucked in" than the profundity of the message.

That would correspond with the generally accepted percentage of any population with "substance-abuse problems" being a pretty consistant 10-20% and the number of people commonly signing up for "programming" at the usual Landmark "introductory meeting."

How or if this subset laps or over-laps with the supposed 10-20% of the population who are theorized to be deeply hypnotizable I don't know. It would be interesting to find out. Anyone seen anything on this?


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friend went to Landmark Forum meeting. Should I worry?
Posted by: elena ()
Date: May 30, 2006 02:48AM


...After some thorough searching, this website emerged as tho one place where one could "be in the unvarnished listening" of "what is so".

Hi Nutrino,

Don't know how much looking around you've done but if you missed Carol Giambalvo's site, it's a good one. Her "deconstruction" of the Hunger Project is a mini-deconstruction of est/Landmark itself. (She was threatened with the removal of her website by AOL if she didn't take the essay down. AOL caved to the Werner-clone thugs. Anyway, the essay is available on usenet and I've posted it to The title is "The Hunger Project Inside-Out.")

Also, there have been many former esties who managed to extricate themselves and have posted here and to afl over the years and some ex-employees who had plenty to say who posted here. Let me know if you want names.


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friend went to Landmark Forum meeting. Should I worry?
Posted by: nutrino ()
Date: May 30, 2006 05:35AM

Yokey dokie... did find this piece of self analysis on the alt board:

Whoa, horsey, [b:1bc5567c79] what's with this being left slimed ? [/b:1bc5567c79] [i:1bc5567c79] because [/i:1bc5567c79] slimed is exactly how I felt when my trainer took it upon himself to confront my "inauthenticity".... until we got into a discussion in front of the whole room that got a little too "authentic" for his liking... man you never saw an "authentic" mofo bail out of a "real conversation" so fast.... no kidding, when these "authentic, de-slimed" reptiles find themselves out of their depths, and trust my experience, we're talking the shallow end of the pool... [b:1bc5567c79] they just bug out.... [/b:1bc5567c79]

so alright... let the authentic one share...

"Always we do the inauthenticity work on ourselves in the areas were there
is a loss of power in being with the guest or with our relationship with
Landmark Education, Staff or other assistants. Even if we lead 100% and
are totally successful by the measure, there's a place where we were not
free and at home with the Introduction or the guests. There's always a
gap in being great with people. This might also include not being great
about ourselves. What we told yourself when we said the wrong thing and
made that certain look or sound that we unconsciously make. The thought
that "I/they should have" not respecting, appreciating or honoring the
guest, graduate or ourselves. For just that moment not being respectful
of ourselves or others.

I sometimes call myself a "jerk"...and that's inauthentic of not honoring
myself. There's an impact on me of being upset, uncertain, demeaning,


not trusting. There's an impact on you of not trusting me, questioning
what I say, wondering if you need to check somewhere else...being left
"slimed". The possibility I'm inventing for myself and for my life is the
possibility of being the Lighting Rod for Transformation. THAT is a whole
new realm for me...standing for being The One.

I trust that this shed's some more light on BEING an Introduction Leader
and who's leading to your family, friends and business associates anywhere
in the world.

There are only two groups of people that lead to our guests. Landmark
Forum Leaders and Landmark Introduction Leaders. I'm proud to say that
I'm a Landmark Introduction Leader."

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friend went to Landmark Forum meeting. Should I worry?
Posted by: concernedfriend ()
Date: May 30, 2006 12:48PM

Don't know how much looking around you've done but if you missed Carol Giambalvo's site, it's a good one. Her "deconstruction" of the Hunger Project is a mini-deconstruction of est/Landmark itself. (She was threatened with the removal of her website by AOL if she didn't take the essay down. AOL caved to the Werner-clone thugs. Anyway, the essay is available on usenet and I've posted it to The title is "The Hunger Project Inside-Out.")

Elena, would you provide a link to the essay?

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friend went to Landmark Forum meeting. Should I worry?
Posted by: elena ()
Date: May 30, 2006 10:43PM


Elena, would you provide a link to the essay?

It looks as though the folks at THP have been successful in reducing the availability of this essay on the world wide web, which is why I posted it several times to usenet. You can find it easily by searching in Google groups for "The Hunger Project Inside Out." I also recommend a little trip around the internet for sites that evaluate charities. This one has been a cash cow for a few "friends of Werner."

Here's a link to Carol's site:



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friend went to Landmark Forum meeting. Should I worry?
Posted by: nutrino ()
Date: May 30, 2006 11:17PM

Here's part of it:

"The Hunger Project: Inside Out
By: Carol Giambalvo
Note of warning and apology: For those individuals reading this paper
who have participated in The Hunger Project, est/The Forum or any of
Werner Erhard's programs, please be aware that I have used the
"jargon" of Erhard's programs in many places in this paper. This is
done to illustrate the loading of language and the confusion that the
use of such abstract language can cause in individuals. I apologize if
this triggers any reaction. [b:9090d9fc4d] This paper was written in 1987 and has not
been greatly updated, partly due to The Hunger Project not being
willing to furnish me with a copy of their Annual Reports.[/b:9090d9fc4d] However,
recently I received a letter from the Vice-President of The Hunger
Project requesting that I remove this report from my web site. His
letter can be found at the end of this report. In April 2003, AOL
discontinued my service and removed my web site due to a complaint
from The Hunger Project. The service was reinstituted but I was forced
to remove this document from the web site.
The Public Story:
In its promotional pieces, The Hunger Project presents itself to the
public as: "a non-profit, charitable corporation whose work is to
generate the will to eliminate the persistence of hunger by the end of
the century." Established in 1977, The Hunger Project works to educate
and inform people about the problem of hunger and to support them in
participating effectively in its solution. The work of The Hunger
Project is primarily educational: it is not a relief organization or a
development agency. Nor is it a political lobbying group. Through its
programs, it is generating a massive expression of personal commitment
by individuals to eliminate hunger. A grass roots network of
volunteers carries out most of the work of The Hunger Project. It has
"enrolled" over 5 million individuals in the commitment to end hunger.
The Project Is Born:
Since its inception in 1977, The Hunger Project has been the target of
much controversy. Most of the controversy is because its principal
founder is Werner Erhard, the founder of est, an educational
corporation that offered the est training and, later, The Forum to
individuals as an opportunity to transform their lives. Est, as such,
no longer exists. Its name was changed to Werner Erhard & Associates
and its program renamed The Forum. In addition to The Forum, it
offered seminar programs, special events with Werner Erhard, satellite
events and other "transformational" programs to individuals and
businesses. In 1991, Erhard sold his enterprises to his employees and
his brother, Nathan Rosenberg. Eventually the for-profit corporation
was renamed Landmark Education Corp. Erhard continues to receive
royalties from Landmark for the use of his "technology." Now and in
the past, The Hunger Project denies any affiliation with Werner Erhard
or est. This is true in a technical sense, as The Hunger Project was
legally incorporated as a separate charitable entity, in the State of
California. But, the link between Werner Erhard and his organizations,
both philosophically and in personnel remains.
In an early publication that was later withdrawn, The Hunger Project
attributed its inception to four years' research and discussion
between Erhard, Buckminster Fuller, Roy Prosterman and other experts.
The project was "formally presented at the February 1977 meeting of
the est Advisory Board. The est Foundation took responsibility for the
role of bringing the project into existence as initial custodian for
those to whom the project actually belongs. The Hunger Project belongs
to everyone."(1)
In a letter to est graduates from the est Foundation, signed "Love,
Werner" graduates were told of the opportunity to participate in
Werner's new project, The Hunger Project, and invited to attend
Werner's presentation on October 1, 1977 (in New York City). This
presentation was one of eleven listed in cities across the U.S.
Graduates of the est training were encouraged to bring friends and
family. The unique opportunity to participate in The Hunger Project
began when a person signed an enrollment card, stating "The Hunger
Project is mine completely. I am willing to be responsible for making
the end of hunger an idea whose time has come."
[b:9090d9fc4d] In 1978, Werner Erhard stated, "The Hunger Project is not about
solutions. It's not about fixing up the problem. It's not anybody's
good idea. The Hunger Project is about creating a context -- creating
the end of hunger as an idea whose time has come. As a function of The
Hunger Project, we will learn what we need to know to make an idea's
time come; then we will know how to make the world work." [/b:9090d9fc4d] (2)
Joan Holmes is the Executive Director of The Hunger Project (now
called the Global Hunger Project). Despite disclaiming affiliation
with est, in the August 1977 The Graduate Review (the newsletter sent
to all graduates of the est training), Joan Holmes was described as
"The est Foundation's manager for the recently announced project that
has been formally named The Hunger Project."(3) Before becoming the
Manager of The Hunger Project, she was the Manager of est in
Education.(4) She admittedly has taken the est training and says, "the
est training altered everything for me."(5) Joan Holmes is not the
only person involved in The Hunger Project that has taken the est
training or The Forum. The majority, if not all, of the personnel on
staff of The Hunger Project and its hundreds of "grassroots
volunteers" have taken either program.
Describing the process of the formation of The Hunger Project, Bob
Alman stated, "This work was still gathering momentum on Valentine's
Day, 1977, when staff members of the est Foundation met with Werner to
discuss the problem. [author's note: The est Foundation was originally
incorporated in 1973 as a non-profit foundation in the State of
California under the name of 'the Foundation for the Realization of
Man.' An amendment to the articles of incorporation was filed in July,
1976, renaming it as the est Foundation] As the meeting drew to a
close, Werner said, 'I take responsibility for ending starvation
within twenty years'. The est Foundation people went off to think
about it. A few days later, they were managing The Hunger Project even
before they knew exactly what it was. Werner crystallized what the
project stood for and formulated his presentation of it several weeks
later when he discussed it with the est Advisory Board, and it began
taking its present shape."(6) In describing the production of the
film, "A Hungry Planet" by Keith Blume, Alman states, "the est
Foundation funded extra prints and distribution of the film; Keith
Blume graduated from the est training and [then] his involvement in
The Hunger Project had begun."(7) The film was later distributed to
volunteer committees (later renamed "communities") to be shown in
Hunger Project presentations.
In a memo from Joan Holmes to est seminarians, dated November 1980,
she stated, "est graduates represent the state of transformation in
the world, the space of having the world work for everyone. Four years
ago the graduates took on The Hunger Project and the end of starvation
on our planet..."(8)
Werner Erhard shared The Hunger Project with graduates in a special
series, The Workshop on Seminars, as a laboratory for giving The
Hunger Project a form.*9 He asked five graduates in the seminar to
form a committee to explore ways for other seminarians and their
friends to participate. One of those five seminarians was Lynne Twist,
who later became The Hunger Project's Assistant Executive Director.
Prior to her being employed by The Hunger Project, Lynne Twist was on
staff at est and in charge of training the Guest Seminar Leaders and
teaching them how to "enroll" people into the est training.
Later, Erhard developed a new seminar called The Hunger Project
Series. As controversy surrounding The Hunger Project grew, this
seminar was renamed "Making A Difference."
Controversy: Werner Erhard, Est And The Connection To The Hunger
[b:9090d9fc4d] Criticism of Werner Erhard and his est training began as early as 1974
when East West Journal's interview with Erhard quoted him as saying:
"If you blow somebody's mind, you can quickly slip in some data about
being. . .est blows the mind."(10) He further admitted "est puts you
in a permanent meditation state."(11) [/b:9090d9fc4d]
Psychology Today, in its August 1975 report, stated that the guiding
precept of the est organization is "to serve Werner and make est
work."(12) The author described the methods of the est training:
"we're going to throw away your belief system, tear you down and put
you back together."(13) It described the methods as designed
alternately to confuse and enlighten subjects, to develop the
authority of the trainer and build his suggestive power. The training
contained common-sense psychology from which anyone could profit;
simultaneously it was a masterful amalgam of consciousness-altering
techniques that powerfully effect the innocent subject. The author's
description of several stages in the training demonstrated the
step-by-step confusion and helplessness experienced by subjects until
they crack under the pressure and, in the helplessness of the moment
(which Conway and Siegelman call "snapping"), embrace the system.
(14)A study of the est training reported in the Annual Review of
Psychology in 1982 reported that no substantial proof of benefits from
the training can be offered, but there has been reported incidents of
psychiatric disturbances following the est training.(15)
Legal actions have been filed charging emotional damages experienced
by subjects, death during the est training, non-payment of a $15
million loan and non-payment of IRS taxes and penalties.
Who Is Werner Erhard?
Born Jack Rosenberg in 1935, high school was the extent of Erhard's
formal education. Married at age eighteen, he worked several jobs
before leaving his wife and four children and running off with the
woman he was later to marry and, subsequently, divorce.
Simultaneously, he changed his name from John Paul (Jack) Rosenberg to
Werner (from Werner Heisenberg, physicist, philosopher) Hans (from
Bishop Hanns Lilje) Erhard (from economics minister and, later,
Chancellor Ludwig Erhard).*16 His lover changed her name
simultaneously from June Bryde to Ellen Virginia Erhard. They settled
for a while in St. Louis, where Erhard sold used cards. Later, they
were to relocate further west and he sold correspondence courses,
encyclopedias and later trained door-to-door sales personnel. He
worked in this capacity until 1971 with Grolier Society, Inc., which
then was undergoing legal actions for fraudulent and deceptive sales
Critics point to Erhard's study of many disciplines as the foundation
for the est training.(17) His studies included hypnosis,
self-motivation techniques (Napolean Hill, Maxwell Maltz), Karl Marx,
encounter and the Human Potential Movement (Maslow & Rogers and Esalen
Institute), Zen (via Alan Watts), the Dale Carnegie Course, Subud and
the martial arts, and Scientology. He went through five Scientology
levels and received approximately 70 hours of auditing. [b:9090d9fc4d] Of L. Ron
Hubbard, Erhard says, "His genius has not been sufficiently
acknowledged." [/b:9090d9fc4d] (18) Much of the concepts and terminology used in the
est training came from Scientology.
Erhard later took Mind Dynamics and became an instructor. Mind
Dynamics went out of business and was sued by the State of California
for fraudulent claims and practicing medicine without a license.
According to Erhard, however, none of these disciplines resulted in
the est training. He attributed the founding of the est training only
to his transformational experience on a freeway in California.
According to Erhard, "it did not happen in time and space . . .I
realized I knew nothing -- I realized I knew everything . . .I
realized I was not my emotions or thoughts, my ideas, my intellect, my
perception, [nor] my beliefs, what I did or accomplished or achieved.
I wasn't what I had done right or wrong . . .I was simply the space,
the creator, the source of all that stuff. I experienced Self as Self
in a direct and unmediated way. I didn't just experience Self. I
became Self . . .I am I am."(19) (emphasis mine)
[b:9090d9fc4d] In December 1978, Mother Jones magazine published a major critical
article concerning The Hunger Project, exposing its connection with
Werner Erhard and its possible use as a recruitment arm for his est
training. [/b:9090d9fc4d] Suzanne Gordon pointed to The Hunger Project as the first
attempt by one of the "self"-oriented movements to address social or
political issues. She raised such issues as: who gets the money? are
people participating in The Hunger Project pressured to take the est
training?; why, if The Hunger Project claims no connection to est, is
there an est seminar called "The Hunger Project Series"?; why is
Hunger Project office space or telephones often housed in est centers
around the country?; why do famous est supporters such as John Denver
and Valerie Harper (also serving on the est Advisory Board) serve as
spokespersons for The Hunger Project?(20) Following this publication,
est graduates in the seminar programs were handed a statement from Don
Cox, President of est, which quoted The Hunger Project's response to
the article: "naturally, The Hunger Project would prefer immediately
to enumerate and make statements correcting the lies. [Legal] counsel
has advised us that public reference to the specific instances of
libel in the course of refuting them could give license to others to
restate or republish the lies, innuendoes and misrepresentations.
Barring any such specific references on our part, the laws on libel
provide that anyone who republishes or publicizes the defamatory
material in these publications is also subject to legal action for
libel."(21) [b:9090d9fc4d] Considering this statement, it is interesting that after
quoting statements from the Mother Jones article, a newspaper, a TV
station and the Council on Mind Abuse in Canada were sued. In plain
English: The Hunger Project declined to address the issues raised in
the article, which left it free to sue anyone who cited the Mother
Jones material in question. " [/b:9090d9fc4d]

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friend went to Landmark Forum meeting. Should I worry?
Posted by: nutrino ()
Date: May 30, 2006 11:33PM

annnnd some more.... note the appearance of one [b:e3bd4b6f92] Fernando Flores [/b:e3bd4b6f92] :

BTW, and if I may say so myself, [b:e3bd4b6f92] Holy Shitte !!! [/b:e3bd4b6f92] ... why does it not surprise me that the ESTmark organization [i:e3bd4b6f92] "is in the converstaion of not being in the conversation about this conversation" [/i:e3bd4b6f92] ??? :

Have at it, Carol

"In the Fall of 1985, Forbes' writer, Richard Behar, began an
investigation of The Hunger Project and Werner Erhard. [b:e3bd4b6f92] He reported
that The Hunger Project retained one of New York's fanciest law firms
to attempt to bully and to intimidate him and another reporter into
permitting them to censor the story. [/b:e3bd4b6f92] In his article, Behar pursued a
lawsuit concerning a $15 million low-interest loan from Wolfgang
Somary of Zurich to Erhard that was not repaid. The entangled loan
plan involved a Costa Rican foundation, The Fundacion Soberana Orden
de San Juan de Jerusalem that served as intermediary for the loan and
the 2% interest rate. This Costa Rican group had been set up by an
Erhard friend just several days before the transfer and stood to
benefit by receiving a major portion of the interest payments.
Strangely enough, Behar reported, The Hunger Project co-funded a
project with Save The Children to award one of its grants (a $1
million 5-year development grant) in Costa Rica. According to The
Hunger Project's own barometer (IMR of less than 50), Costa Rica is
not considered a hungry country. The person who put the deal together?
[b:e3bd4b6f92] None other than Fernando Flores-Banuet, the same individual whose
charity served as the conduit for the $15 million Zurich loan to
Erhard in 1981. [/b:e3bd4b6f92] *27 (Note: Flores-Banuet was also on the Advisory
Council of The Hunger Project. The President of Save The Children,
David Guyer, (now deceased) had also served on the Board of Directors
of The Hunger Project.)
The McGill Daily reports that CUSA, Oxfam International; the Peace
Corps and other respected hunger organizations have dissociated
themselves from The Hunger Project.*28 [b:e3bd4b6f92] On May 30, 1981, the national
board of directors of Oxfam, Canada passed a resolution that they will
not endorse or support any activities or programs sponsored by The
Hunger Project nor will they accept any funds from the Project. [/b:e3bd4b6f92]
It seems The Hunger Project has turned to the threat of legal action
when it learns of the possibility of critical exposures by the media.
Both the McGill Daily and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp's The Fifth
Estate were threatened with suits. The Hunger Project followed through
in the case of The London Sunday Times, which published an article
raising issues regarding how The Hunger Project spent its money and
the possibility that people who give money to The Hunger Project
believe that they are actually feeding people.(29) It also questioned
whether Hunger Project people were recruited to take est. They quoted
a Hunger Project volunteer as boasting of connections between Live Aid
and Sport Aid and that they were "very much a partnership" with
Geldof's efforts in those events.
Canadian newspapers The Ottawa Citizen and Toronto Star pointed out
that The Hunger Project's "Ending Hunger Briefing" program was barred
from Metro [Toronto] schools and from Ottawa and Carleton schools
because of the controversial nature of The Hunger Project.
On October 23, 1986, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.'s current affair
program, The Fifth Estate, (similar in format to 20/20 or 60 Minutes)
aired[b:e3bd4b6f92] a documentary on The Hunger Project in which Joan Holmes denied
any connection, either philosophical or otherwise, with est. [/b:e3bd4b6f92] Herein
lies the heart of the on-going controversy. Denial. Deception. People
being enrolled into The Hunger Project and being asked for
contributions were not fully informed. Volunteers, most of whom were
est graduates, were kept so busy doing the work of The Hunger Project
and immersing themselves in the "principles and abstractions" that
they very often could not see that there was a vast difference between
what they were told to say to the general public and what actually was
being said to those inside the organization regarding its ideology.
Personal Experience And Opinion:
For the five years that I was a full time volunteer, I denied even my
most nagging doubts. What happens to a person to produce such denials
-- to ignore one's own questioning? My critical thinking was bypassed
by focusing only on the positive aspects: surely God would want hunger
to end, for His children to be fed. For me, this was "the end
justifies the means." I thought it was absolutely true that education
about hunger was needed in order for hunger to become a priority
issue. But what was this nagging question within me? Why did I cringe
every time I met a "Werner hater" while out enrolling people in The
Hunger Project or making a public presentation?[b:e3bd4b6f92] Why was I being asked
to deny the association between est/Erhard and The Hunger Project? [/b:e3bd4b6f92] Was
this not deceiving people? Why did I feel disloyal if I even allowed
myself to ask these questions of myself?
I see these controversial issues as questions worthy of an honest
answer. I go even further than these questions to reveal what I see as
a hidden agenda of The Hunger Project: what it does not say to the
public. The hidden agenda of The Hunger Project is to transform the
world according to the "principles and abstractions" (technology of
transformation) of Werner Erhard. Yes, they want to end hunger. The
fervent staff members and volunteers have committed their lives to
that end. But, hunger is just the vehicle. It could be any issue:
peace, disarmament, prejudice--you name it. Hunger is an issue that
most people would agree needs our attention. After all, who wouldn't
want hunger to end? How can you fault an organization with such a
noble purpose?
When we were enrolling people in The Hunger Project -- at flea
markets, on the beach, at concerts, railroad stations, on the street
corners -- it was fairly easy to get a person to agree that they
wanted hunger to end. From that agreement, more times than not, we
could get them to sign an enrollment card saying that they were
willing to be responsible for making the end of starvation an idea
whose time has come. Think of what it would imply if an individual did
not sign the enrollment card -- that they must not want hunger to end.
[b:e3bd4b6f92] This, in itself, is an unethical emotional manipulation.[/b:e3bd4b6f92] Because one
does not want to support a particular organization does not mean that
one does not want to see hunger end.
The Hunger Project uses its noble purpose to deflect criticism and to
shame anyone who might criticize a "noble" organization which has such
a noble purpose. This implies that a noble purpose protects an
organization from deceptive behaviors and hidden agendas on the part
of its volunteers, staff and the organization's founders.
And noble we were. We were the warriors, living on the cutting edge of
transformation. We believed the world was deceived regarding the
conditions contributing to hunger and was unaware of the technology
available to end it. The world operates under false assumptions about
hunger that actually serve to keep it in place. The world is denying
its responsibility for the cause of hunger and has not taken
responsibility for ending hunger -- we lack the simple commitment to
end hunger in the world. Here we were, The Hunger Project volunteers
and staff, vowing to tell the truth about hunger in the world,
committing ourselves to raising the commitment to end hunger in the
world. We were being totally responsible. How could we possibly think
that we were perhaps being deceived ourselves -- let alone that we
were deceiving the public? How could we possibly entertain the idea
that we were the ones in denial? After all, we were the warriors
against deception and denial which keeps hunger in place. We are the
embodiment of truth, courage and total commitment that is creating the
end of hunger and starvation on our planet as an idea whose time has
Werner Erhard wrote the "principles and abstractions" of The Hunger
Project found in the "Source Document." Yet, The Hunger Project says
it has no philosophy. [b:e3bd4b6f92] Likewise, Erhard says that the est training and
The Forum have no philosophy. According to Erhard, it is nothing to be
believed, since "the truth believed is a lie." [/b:e3bd4b6f92] Regardless, these
principles and abstractions remain the backbone of The Hunger Project.
Through the years, the terminology in Erhard's programs and their
predecessors has changed. Not surprisingly, so has The Hunger
Marty Leaf, a Hunger Project volunteer and one time partner in the law
firm of Leaf, Duell, Drogin & Kramer in New York City, wrote: "True
satisfaction comes from the transformation of Self realized by
maintaining the integrity of Werner Erhard's abstractions and
generating principles."*30 His partner, Ellis Duell, has served as
the Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Hunger Project.*31 In
The Hunger Project's 1988 Periodic Report [Form CT--2] to the State of
California, it is interesting to note fees for legal services of
"Leaf, Sternkler ET AL" in the amount of $108,399. Also of note in
that report are fees for video production services in the amount of
$35,602 paid to Johnathan S. Duell (son of Ellis Duell).
The Inside Story:
The Hunger Project had over 6 million people who have signed an
enrollment card, committing themselves to the end of hunger. Consider
that amazing result. Consider, also, the fact that many well-known
politicians and respected hunger organizations have either aligned
themselves with The Hunger Project or, at the very least, are not
Isn't it silly to get people to sign a little white card to "commit
themselves to the end of hunger?" Not so silly when you ponder how
effective it would be to say to your congresspersons or other
politicians that over 6 million people stand behind your organization.
Wouldn't it tend to open some doors which otherwise might not have
been open?
I have no issue with drawing attention to the problem of hunger or
educating the public regarding hunger. My issue lies with The Hunger
Project's underlying philosophy and the methodology used to have the
volunteers produce these amazing results.
There are other organizations dealing with the issue of hunger that
have clearly stated agendas, i.e., Bread for the World indicates that
it is a Christian lobbying and education group. Yet, The Hunger
Project finds it necessary to deny a philosophy. In my experience as a
full-time volunteer, it became clear and intolerable that the image
being presented to the public and the reality working within the
organization are two entirely different things.
The network of thousands of volunteers who produce the work of The
Hunger Project (Werner's "work") is managed by the paid staff and by
other volunteers who take on a managerial role. Most of the employees
and volunteers have taken the est training or The Forum or other
Erhard programs. Managing tools consisted of communications
(telephone) calls, lengthy conference calls, conferences, Briefing
Leader's training weekends, written communications, audiotapes, etc.
It is from these arenas that the volunteer is brought to commit to the
goals, the ideas and work of The Hunger Project.
The fundamental ideas of The Hunger Project are revealed in "The
Source Document," which was written by Werner Erhard. Among those are:
The Principles and Abstractions of The Hunger Project:
Individual and Personal Responsibility
Alignment of Wholes
Create a Context
Transformation (32)

Definition of Responsibility (33)
"Responsibility starts with the willingness to experience yourSelf as
cause. It starts with the willingness to have the experience of
yourSelf as cause in the matter.
Responsibility is not burden, fault, praise, blame, credit, shame or
guilt. All these include judgments and evaluations of good and bad,
right and wrong or better and worse. They are not responsibility. They
are derived from a ground of being in which Self in considered to be a
thing or an object rather than context.
Responsibility starts with the willingness to deal with the situation
from and with the point of view, whether at the moment realized or
not, that you are the source of what you are, what you do and what you
have. This point of view extends to include even what is done to you
and, ultimately, what another does to another.
Ultimately, responsibility is a context, a context of Self as source
for the content, i.e. for what is.

Volunteers were instructed to read the Source Document. In fact,
Briefing Leaders made an agreement to "stay grounded" in the
principles and abstractions by rereading the Source Document a minimum
of once each quarter.(34) [b:e3bd4b6f92] We were told that if volunteers live their
lives according to the principles and abstractions, hunger will end in
the world. [/b:e3bd4b6f92]
In addressing the question of "What is The Hunger Project?" at a
volunteer conference, Joan Holmes said:
"The Hunger Project has a set of generating principles, the expression
of which out into the world, is The Hunger Project. The Hunger Project
is about locating in the fabric of Self the end of hunger and
starvation, so that [it] can show up there. It is our sense that when
that is done to any appreciable degree, that we can have the end of
hunger...what we stand for is having the end of hunger and starvation
be a natural expression of who someone is: a Self."(35)
Erhard's explanation of Self (as preferable to operating in the Mind
State) is:
"Where one realizes that one is the context of all contexts; that one
is not your mind, your belief system, ideologies, traditions and
identifications." [b:e3bd4b6f92] "The Self is the unsubmitting, unresisting, unformed
matrix in which all forms, all processes and all metaphors exist." [/b:e3bd4b6f92] (36)
In the est training, trainees were led to believe that "the mind" was
a negative concept. If an individual was in their "mind state," they
were being rooted in their past rather than being in this moment.
Erhard and his trained leaders claim the authority to determine
whether a member's actions or statements were arising out of the "Mind
state" or the "Self", depending on whether those actions or statements
agree or disagree with him or the goals of the group. These concepts
set an individual up in a constant state of self-examination and
vigilance -- am I operating from the state of Mind or Self?
Similarly, we were taught in the est training and seminar programs
that the Self, being the context of all things, means ultimately that
we are all One. [b:e3bd4b6f92] There is no one outside ourselves but projections of
ourselves and no reality that we have not created and for which we are
not responsible. Since we are all really One in being, it is out of
relationship with each other that hunger will end. [/b:e3bd4b6f92] Joan Holmes speaks
to volunteers on this concept:
"Now in a larger sense, you are all One. But you express yourself
individually...and our relationships with Self is the space in which
hunger will end...the original sin or lie, as I can determine it, is
that I said I wasn't you. It's to pretend we're separate is the
original lie. . .if the Self won out over that one, then the Mind
would have no control over that person . . [b:e3bd4b6f92] .see, Werner knows who he
is because he is everything and everyone. And so the Mind has really
no control over him." [/b:e3bd4b6f92] (37)
Holmes continued illustrating the concept of the battle our minds has
for control of us by addressing what happens when one realizes that
they are Self:
"...that is the last barrier. And the Mind will do anything because
once you recognize that [you are Self], the Mind has lost its survival
battle . . .the last hold that the Mind has on us is to say that we're
separate and not connected. So when you have things like enrollment
and money [targets] and all those things to confront, the Mind will
pick what it can to get you to think we're not connected."(38)
This basic philosophy that if we all knew we were all Self, there
would be no more hunger, is very different from the image The Hunger
Project presents to the public: that The Hunger Project is about
education and information. In a quotation from the Assistant Executive
Director, Lynne Twist, a further understanding is revealed:
"Our relationship with each other, our relationship with Joan
[Holmes], our relationship with Werner [Erhard] is really why we're
doing all this work."(39)
[b:e3bd4b6f92] The constant reminder that we are the hungry people of the world and
the emotionalism used at conferences and on audiotapes, influenced the
volunteers to recommit themselves to more and more work. Often, Joan
Holmes spoke in tears, with her voice cracking. Emotional manipulation
at conferences got volunteers reinspired and rededicated, which led up
to the point when the new campaign targets were promised. [/b:e3bd4b6f92] A conference
day began with acknowledging the quality, dedication, courage and
commitment of volunteers. There usually followed a time that was
called in est a "clearing." ("Clearing" is a term coined by L. Ron
Hubbard in his Dianectics/Scientology technology) In this "clearing,"
a person introduced themselves and said whatever they need to say (to
clear what's going on in their mind and to be present in the room to
hear what they need to hear). After this process, volunteers were told
what results have been produced in The Hunger Project so far and what
results were produced during the last campaign. Each volunteer was
"acknowledged" for having produced all those miracles, every single
volunteer created that happening. Then the new campaign was
introduced. "

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