What I Discovered at The Erhard Seminar Training

You are an Asshole - the Erhard Seminar Training

You Are an Asshole


That is the message that the Erhard Seminar Training (est) drove home to 500,000 of us between the years of 1971 and 1984. Cher, Diana Ross, Joe Namath, Yoko Ono, John Denver, Jeff Bridges, Raul Julie and Valerie Harper among many others, hung out for two really long weekends and transformed their lives by discovering that they were assholes.

I cannot conceive of the energy and time I used to spend attempting to prove that I wasn’t an asshole.

Yes, you too are an asshole. Like the rest of us, you spend your time trying to prove that you aren’t an asshole. Only an asshole will do that.

You have always been an asshole and you will always be an asshole. And, this will shock you, that is very good news.

It allows you to finally settle into life as it is. You might even be able to stop trying to prove that you aren’t an asshole.

It is OK to try not to be an asshole…. In fact, anything and everything is OK just the way it is.

They Couldn’t Pee?!!!


People who didn’t do the training talked long oppressive hours and about participants not being allowed to pee. People who did the training talked about huge, positive transitions in their lives.

While the training was amazing the best part of the Erhard Seminar Training was yet to come. People got hyped up and experienced presence in the training but the real revelation of EST was revealed in continuing education courses after the training.

The message was simple, life transforming and drummed into us as the way to ensure that our lives would work.  The mantra is simple and it really worked.

“Bring Guests.”


That is all there is to it. It may not sound like much, but I will never, ever forget registering a hitch hiker in the training on the trunk of my car at 3AM in Northern Wisconsin. I will not forget picking up the African American hitch hiker at 2AM by Zion Illinois and driving him to the South side of Chicago.

I learned to be “on” and ready all the time. The presence and power I experienced at the training spread to every aspect of my life.

The EST Training made a bunch of us fearless and unstoppable.  At one point Xerox commissioned a study to find out how EST got more and better work out of volunteers than they could get out of they employees no matter how much they paid them.

Self help has grow a lot since EST but many of us owe a permanent gratitude for our EST roots and experiences. My courses aren’t as confrontational as EST was, but you will receive EST results from them and you will totally transform your life by attending a course. And by the way Bring Guests!


To learn more about the Erhard Seminar Training and its founder Werner Erhard, visit the homepage of Werner Erhard at:


To learn more about what I do, check out my ABOUT ME PAGE

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurence Alter June 20, 2013 at 6:37 am

Dear Mr. Stocking:

Very revealing is, I believe, that on Werner Erhard’s website, there is no way to contact the man or organization.




X August 22, 2013 at 11:01 am

Classic scam: all the benefits marketed, while the “how” part is deliberately left ambiguous


Jerry January 1, 2014 at 2:23 pm

The “how to” is up to you. Rather than saddling us with more rules and structure, EST succeeded in offering us freedom from those rules.


Mike January 30, 2014 at 10:31 pm

I did the est training in NYC in 1980 or thereabouts. I’m no evangelist so I didn’t do their cultish bidding of recruitment…. that said, the transformation was real and still is. That training impacts my life on a daily basis. Probably the best $400 I ever spent. My own bullshit is still with me, AND it no longer holds me back from truly experiencing life…. from being effective in life.


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