There's quite a battle going on at Wikipedia regarding the article on The Hunger Project (THP). Apparently, THP wants to post their glossy brochure, and some biased and agenda-driven Wikipedians keep wanting to mention criticism of THP and the controversy which has always surrounded it. The biased and agenda-driven Wikipedians have put it into arbitration and mediation, charging that THP keeps rewriting the entry. Poor Wikipedia, who only wants to have a neutral POV encyclopedic article, is caught in the middle. I'm bettin' on them, though. They've done a good job on other controversial subjects.
It struck me how important it is to THP, as well as est/Landmark, to *look good*, even when that means denying reality. For THP, it's about attracting donations. For est/Landmark, it's about appealing to new customers.
I always had the impression that a primary motivation for Werner Erhard in creating THP was the hope that it would bring glory and accolades to Erhard and est. Fate has worked out quite differently. With Erhard and est becoming public liabilities, THP now tries diligently to relegate Erhard to a minimal mention as just one of a number of people involved historically in THP's founding. As one of the Wikipedia discussion entries notes, est and THP were so intertwined in the early years it was difficult to separate them. Werner Erhard wrote what was always referred to as The Hunger Project "source document", published by THP. It's really the only published example of Erhard's and est's "principles and abstractions", and it's those principles and abstractions that THP was founded on. Not only was Werner Erhard vitally important as the *key* person who founded THP, THP completely embodied Erhard's and est's philosophy/ideology. From all public indications, they still do, and THP and Landmark have strong ties.
It's this effort to "look good" which fuels the continuing controversies surrounding these groups. Try as they might to sweep criticism under the rug and bully critics into submission, there are always going to be people who will not sell out their integrity. This is a case where "what you resist persists" has played out. Were THP (and Landmark) to own up to their mistakes (as est/Landmark course participants have done), they'd quickly find that the truth can indeed free them from the endless task of "managing the public conversation." Instead, they continue to dig their graves deeper.