Behavior: est: 'There Is Nothing to Get'

"What is, is," says Werner Erhard, 40, a former trainer of encyclopedia salesmen and founder of Erhard Seminars Training Inc., one of the more mind-boggling of the many self-help programs to come out of California. In 70 hours over two marathon weekends, est aims at "transforming your ability to experience living "through techniques apparently derived from Scientology, psychoanalysis, humanistic psychology, Arica, Gestalt, transactional analysis and various Eastern religions. Since 1971, est has "graduated" 83,000 people in twelve cities.

TIME Behavior Writer John Leo enrolled in an est course in New York, endured the...

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