And what ain't, ain't."
Sixteen years ago there was no
Erhard.Five years ago there was no
(ErhardSeminars Training) are truly
Americanphenomenon, a thriving succefs in thefertile garden
modern pop psychology.
Werner Hans Erhard was born JackRosenberg
years ago in Philadelphia.He married his high school sweetheart
,in true story-book fashion,proceeded
to raise a family
four children.But in
the story took an
turn-JackRosenberg ran awaywith Ellen,who
now his second wife.With characteristiccandor,Werner admits that he took off"to
avoid the responsibilities I·had." (He has
since become very close to hisfirst family,
while also raising three children in hissecond marriage.)
was in St. Louis that Jack Rosenbergbecame
,borrowing fromWerner Heisenberg,Nobel Prize winningphysicist,and former West
his way to California,wherehe worked foracorrespondence school.Not long afterward he went to Spokaneand a
managing a salesoffice forBritannica's
with theParents Cultural Institute,a subsidiary
which published andsold
had become vice-president
excelled as a sales manager. He remainedthere for six years.Werner's next position was·with theGrolier Society,Inc. Their business wasalso encyclopedias,and again
demonstrated remarkable organizationaland motivational skills in sales.
skills,however,Erhard also em
barked on a spiritual quest that took himthrough Zen,yoga,Scientology,Mind Dy-
by John Johns
namics, Gestalt and numerous psychic layovers along the way.Then, driving thefreeway one day,Werner Erhard"got it
the experience that transformed his lifeand led him to the formation
(alsoLatin for "it
.And what ain't,ain't."
years that the San Franciscobased
has flourished,it has doubled insize each year. A paid staff
arotating volunteer corps
6000 to 7000
graduates currently power
There are now more than
,000mostly middle-class graduates (this
nofringe hippie movement) who pay $250 to"get it" from the
60-hour,twoweekend course.Last year revenues weremore than
,000 peopleare on the waiting list,anxious to swell theranks
graduates.Werner himself disclaims any ambitionsto become a millionaire.His salary
reported to be $48,000 a year and he lives
a $100,000 bouse in Marin,pilots arented Cessna and drives a Mercedes thatsportslicense plates reading SO
.Looking to the future,Werner Erhardnourishes the hope that 40 million Amer-icans will someday have taken the
Werner,what brings people to
Considering the relative affluence
graduates,could it be a dissatisfaction withmaterial success?
I don't think it's a dissatisfaction withpersonal success
material success thatbrings people to
In many respects,having achieved that allows you to take alook at what your life
really about.Material success isn't all that bad a thing;however, it's only what people thoughtthey wanted. When they have it,they oftenrealize it's not what they thought it wouldbe,and doesn't
itself bring them satisfaction.I think it's the recognition thatthere's something beyond personal andmaterial success that brings people to
Do you feel that part
the American preoccupation with instantgratification? In this case,overnight enlightenment?
There are some elements
strongly belies that notion, and
a large body
what are ordinarily called "seekers
people who have spent their whole livesseeking for
," usually doing that thehard way.But there's no such thing as
long-term enlightenment. You can't take along time to get enlightened.
takes along time
trying to get enlightened,andas anybody who's studied enlightenmentknows,one
the things that will keep youfrom getting enlightened
trying to getenlightened.
only thing there
people are dissatisfiedbecause they think they have what theywant
find that they're not really experiencing it.
are the barriers to theirexperiencing it? •