In Reply to: Re: that is hilarious posted by musical cults on July 03, 2005 at 17:10:18:
est wasn't a religious cult, but it was all about proselytizing. "Bring guests", was what we were constantly ordered to do.
If you could get an entire company involved, all the better. One movie studio here in L.A. was known unofficially as "Werner Brothers" for a while because so many execs had taken the training, and you know what happens when the boss gets into something.
The est experience doesn't compare to The Family in terms of what happened to people. Most of us just spent a heck of a lot of money, and drove off friends and family in the process. Of course, there were some terrible stories of people dropping dead in the training due to the stressful environment. I was trained as a "confronter" or "presenter". I would go into the training during something called "The Danger Process" and stand nose to nose with trainees and maintain eye contact for long periods of time. I saw a lot of people freak out during that.
What seems similar about it was I was 21 years old (it was 25 years ago this month!). The est philosophy is that you are God in your own universe. Who, at 21 doesn't want to hear that the world revolves around them? We thought we were elite and special, and were "in on the joke". There was a whole language we spoke that was difficult for outsiders to understand.
It continues on as "Landmark Education" known as "The Forum". It is not as intense as the est traning, which had me sitting in a hotel ballroom for 60 hours over four days basically getting yelled at. It's hard to figure out that after surviving that, the thing I most wanted was for my family and friends to do it too.