History of The est Training


  • In June Werner Erhard had a realization about the nature of being…
  • And in October that realization manifested into the est Training. Werner Erhard first led the est Training in San Francisco at the Jack Tar Hotel and the world of possibility was born.
  • Laurel Sheaf named as president and CEO of est
  • First est office, 2nd floor on Kearney Street in San Francisco
  • Original est staff members included Werner Erhard, Gonneke Spits, Laurel Scheaf, Jack Rafferty and Elaine Cronin
  • While only about 600 people participated in est Training by the end of 1971, it was the beginning of a movement. The beginning of people getting that what is, is and what isn’t, isn’t and you are responsible for your life. People took on making a difference in their lives, their community and the world. 

1972 Werner Erhard

  • “You Are The Gift”. Inside of making a difference a group of est graduates formed the Holiday Project. A not-for-profit organization that gave people, who participated in the project, the experience of contributing to others with both time and simple gifts.
  • The Franklin House was established
  • Famous Graduates

Werner Erhard
Werner Erhard


1974 Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard and Raul Julia


  • Feature Story in Cosmopolitan Magazine appears – the tipping point of the est Training popularity
  • Books in 1975
    • A look at est in Education by Robert W Fuller and Zara Wallace
  • Est goes international with Werner Erhard presenting the communications workshop in London and Paris.
  • Famous Graduates:
    • Cloris Leachman
    • Ida Rolf (creator of Rolfing)
    • Diana Ross
    • Valerie Harper
    • Harvey Korman
    • Ted Ashley (Chairman of the Board of Warner Bros)
    • David Geffen
    • Joanne Woodward

1976 Werner Erhard

  • The first Graduate Review is published
  • Five year anniversary and 90,000 people have completed the est Training
  • Houston, Philadelphia and Seattle establish centers for the est Training
  • The est Foundation presents “Conversations with Buckminster Fuller”, hosted by Werner Erhard
  • Werner Erhard visits the Dalai Lama
  • Werner Erhard appears on the Dinah Shore TV Show with Valerie Harper, Cloris Leachman and Robert Fuller
  • Werner Erhard interviewed by Barbara Walters
  • Books written in 1976
    • Est: 60 hours that transform your life, by Adelaide Bry
    • The Book of est, by Luke Rhinehart
    • Est – Playing the Game, The New Way, by Carl Frederick
    • Est- Four Days to Make your Like Work, by William Greene
    • The est Experience, by James Kettle
    • Est – Making Life Work, by Robert Hargrove
  • Famous Graduates:
    • Jerry Stiller
    • Anne Meara
Werner Erhard

Werner Erhard and the Karmapa


  • The est Training goes International with its first presentation in London, England
  • The est Training expands to Phoenix, Santa Barbara, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and Portland
  • The Hunger Project, an organization committed to the end of hunger on our planet, is initiated with presentations by Werner Erhard and Roy Prosterman in several cities around the US.
Werner Erhard on the cover of The Family Therapist Networker

  • “Celebrate Your Relationships” Oakland Coliseum
  • From India to Atlanta Georgia – the est Training expands
  • Biography of Werner Erhard is published – “Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man, The Founding of est, by philosopher, William Bartley III, Ph.D.
  • First film about the Six Day produced – “I Used to be Different, Now I am the Same”
  • “Laurel Sheaf Day” June 20, 1978 – proclaimed by the state of California legislature.


  • Werner Erhard with Buckminster Fuller present a conversation “Making the World Work for Everyone”
  • New Seminar “Being Ready for the Rest of Your Life” introduced
  • Werner Erhard appears on the Tom Snyder show
  • First est training in India


  • A Shot Heard Round The World – A World That Works for Everyone
  • Breakthrough Racing research project
  • The Breakthrough Foundation established by Werner Erhard (Youth at Risk Program)
  • Famous Graduates
    • Arianna Stassinopulos Huffington


  • Israel introduced to the Est Training
  • 300,000 people have taken the est training worldwide
  • First of ten annual Physicist Conferences sponsored by the est Foundation


  • “Taking a Stand for the Future” Event
  • Australia introduced to the est Training
  • Film created, “Being Alive”
  • 39 est Trainers now certified


  • Werner Erhard meets with scientists and academics in the Soviet Union


  • Werner Erhard interviewed by Charlie Rose
  • The est Training is retired after 13 years and ….
    • Nearly half a million people have done The est Training.
    • Two million people have been introduced to the work thorough workshops, special events and seminars.
    • One out of every 364 adults in the U.S have been through the est training and participated in the transformation of their lives.

By virtue of the communication and projects initiated by the half a million people who completed the est Training, the possibility that transformation is has become a part of the fabric of the culture; its value is self-evident, its validity assured.

2 comments so far

  1. Nic Coome on

    I was there in London in 1979/80. Good days.

  2. Cassie Eleson on

    I was there in 1971. Changed my life as I discovered who I am.

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