Here's a recent review of a book on theoretical physics from the New York Times in which the writer refers to "a cult called EST:"
"...In his new book, “The Black Hole War: My Battle With Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics,” Susskind’s cosmos gets even weirder. Black holes already seemed scary enough, with their ability to swallow everything, including light. For a while, we learn, physicists were faced with the possibility that these cosmic vortexes might also be eaters of order, sucking up and destroying information. Like the Echthroi, the evil demons of entropy in Madeleine L’Engle’s novel “A Wind in the Door,” black holes might be chomping their way through the universe, ploughing sense into nonsense.
The story of how Susskind and a colleague, the Dutch physicist Gerard ’t Hooft, disproved (or at least undermined) the theory begins in 1983 at a San Francisco mansion owned by, of all people, Werner Erhard, the New Age entrepreneur who had made his fortune with a profitable cult called EST. Erhard, we’re told, was also a “physics groupie,” and he presided over salons in which some of the world’s great theorists came to butt minds."
...To which Marin Leaf responds, in typical lame-assed lawyerly fashion, that only the ignorant or evil would refer to est as a cult:
January 4, 2009
‘Not a Cult’
To the Editor:
George Johnson’s review of Leonard Susskind’s book “The Black Hole War” (Aug. 22) refers to “Werner Erhard, the New Age entrepreneur who had made his fortune with a profitable cult called EST.” As the former attorney for est, an educational corporation, I would like to respond.
While it is true that from time to time various critics of the est training alleged either out of ignorance or malice that “est”was a cult, it was firmly established that such allegation was false. Dr. Margaret Singer, one of the most prominent experts on the subject of cults in America, testified under oath that she did not believe est was a cult. That est was not a cult was affirmed by many prominent, credible experts. Indeed, the book under review does not describe est as a cult.
Over one million people participated in est’s programs, among them government leaders, members of the judiciary and a complete cross section of professions, businesses, arts and entertainment, the military, media and the general population. In addition, in the more than two decades of its existence, many people were employed by est. In the interest of all their reputations, I urge you to remove the stigma of association with a cult.
Martin N. Leaf
Gee, Martin. Why didn't you mention the fact that Margaret Singer was hounded, harassed, and sued by Landmark till the poor old lady capitulated with a mealy mouthed "retraction." In her book about cults she most definitely includes Werner Erhard's "Landmark Forum."