Personal Correspondence

The impact that Werner Erhard's work and ideas have made is acknowledged in the following excerpts from personal letters:

Gordon Starr, Starr Consulting Group
From a letter to Werner Erhard dated October 14, 2006

“Having not looked at a newspaper for two or three days, I was floored when I saw in the NY Times that Muhammad Yunus, who created the idea of microcredit when he started the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, has been chosen for the Nobel Peace Prize. I have been bubbling with excitement ever since.

You undoubtedly know he was chosen. You may not know your role in that coming about. Here is the story.

Sam Harris, a quiet, retiring and almost shy music teacher in Florida, attended a Hunger Project event in 1977, having earlier taken the est training. Like me and tens of thousands of others, he was deeply moved by the idea that “the little individual” could make a difference. He checked the little box that said “I will create my own form of participation”, and in doing so created what would become a lifetime commitment to ending global hunger. He started Results which rapidly became the largest and most effective grass roots lobbying organization in the United States for the end of global hunger.

Sam (who is now Sam Daley-Harris after marrying Shannon Daley) told me this afternoon that he met you personally in 1987 and talked with you about Results. It was that same year he first met Muhammad Yunus. They have been close friends and partners ever since.

The Grameen Bank took off like wildfire in Bangladesh, shattering traditional myths regarding banking, credit and the very poor. With Muhammad, Sam created the idea of the Microcredit Summit Campaign to take this success global, using many of the principles of The Hunger Project. In Washington D.C. in 1997, the Microcredit Summit Campaign was launched in a two-day event with (if I remember correctly) over 2,000 people from over 100 countries, including 14 heads of state, and of course Muhammad Yunus as the source of the initiative. Hillary Clinton made an hour-long speech. Queen Sophia was there. In one breakout room, I looked in the row behind me and there was Robert McNamara. The commitment was to reach 100 million of the world’s poorest families with microcredit by 2005. It was launched with a global support structure that was brilliantly designed and robust. That launching event was profound – and Sam, then around 50, put it all together with a team of only 12 twenty-somethings, mostly volunteers, armed with only passion – no group of 12 high-powered CEO’s could have done nearly as well.

Sam has been the director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign ever since. It has been outrageously successful. It put microcredit on the global stage. Sam, who is the distinction Enrollment, has campaigned for five years to get Muhammad nominated, specifically through his personal relationships with Hillary Clinton and President Vicente Fox of Mexico. While microcredit is Muhammad’s invention, and flourished under his courageous, sourceful and visionary leadership, I am clear the wide global impact it is having today would not be possible without Sam’s own visionary leadership and work in support of Muhammad and his idea.

Sam asked that I let you know how profoundly you, the est training, and The Hunger Project have inspired his life and his work. Sam says that without your influence he probably would have lived his life at 4 feet tall but instead has been able to live it at 9 feet tall. He sends to you his deep appreciation and gratitude for your contribution to his life.

Thank you for being the possibility of being for human beings.

Read more about how microcredit got its start from Werner’s work.

Paul Fireman, Chairman and CEO, Reebok International Ltd.,
From a letter dated March 7, 1996

"Reebok contracted with Landmark for a two year initiative in generating significant increases in performance and productivity. This is a new environment that elicits people’s committed action and in which they generate new approaches and activities that lead to a breakthrough in our results. Our experience has been that Landmark operates with the highest standards of professional conduct and integrity."

Ronald C. Banks, Chief of Police, City of Inglewood, Ca.,
From a letter dated July 16, 1998

"As a police executive with over 30 years of experience, I wish to reiterate how participation in Landmark’s curriculum for Living has enhanced my personal and professional life. I have grown immeasurably as a husband, father, administrator and community advocate. The Landmark training has enabled me to take responsibility for problem situations which previously fostered only a sense of frustration. It has also brought me a sense of power over my life, as well as a heightened ability to communicate with others. I urge that you continue to share your message that no limits exist in a world where individuals create their own possibilities."

John P. Mutz, Captain, Los Angeles Police Department,
From a letter dated November 6, 1996

"My focus has been to transform the police service in Los Angeles. It wasn’t until I completed the Forum that I started to accomplish breakthroughs in this area. It is my understanding that we have approximately 200 Los Angeles police officers who have completed the Forum. It seems as though wherever I go these graduates are actively involved in altering their environments as a result. It is difficult for me to imagine what my life would be like without having this valuable training. It has affected so many aspects of my life in a powerful way. I don’t know how many people it takes to create a critical mass for change in an organization; however I know that we are well on our way to changing police service in Los Angeles as a result of the training that Landmark has provided."

Robert P Mueller, Vice President – Magma Copper Company, From a letter dated Nov. 17, 1995

"In 1989 Magma’s operations were generally unproductive and high cost. The company had a high debt load and was faced with extremely adversarial labor relations. Magma hired Landmark to aid us in generating a future breakthrough in our people’s ability to work together productively and to create an extraordinary culture to achieve outstanding performance. Landmark has done consulting and programs for over 3,500 of Magma’s 5,000 employees. Virtually everyone has been impressed by the quality and high standards as well as the results produced. With Landmark’s assistance, Magma has produced a breakthrough percentage in its productivity of 25% and an increase of over 29% in stock price and plans to continue with Landmark’s services for years to come."

Rev. P. Gerard O’Rourke, Administrator, St. Agnes Church, San Francisco,
From a letter dated September 16, 1993

"Working with Landmark has been one of the most valuable ongoing experiences in my life. Through my continuing participation my work as a pastor and interfaith leader has been enormously enhanced. Empowered by a profound opening up of the extraordinary healing, renewing, reconciling, enriching and powerful set of distinctions that has been developed by Landmark over the years. They open up new and inventive ways of seeing the wonderful language, traditions and truths in my faith. Thus the two most important phases and areas of my Ministry as a Priest, my listening and my speaking, have been and continue to be greatly enhanced and empowered. I thank God profoundly for having been open to this remarkable gift in my life."

Aloma D. Marquis, Former Special Agent, F.B.I.,
From a letter dated February 3, 1997

"When registered into the Forum, I was a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I have found that the educational curriculum of Landmark Corporation has assisted me in developing increased levels of personal and professional effectiveness as an investigator and public servant. Landmark presents non-linear education that is a powerful compliment to traditional education."

Daniel Yankelovich, public opinion analyst, Chairman of DYG, inc.,1989

"Several of the study’s findings surprised me quite a bit, especially the large number of participants for whom The Forum proved to be “one of the most valued experiences of my life.” This is not a sentiment that people, particularly successful, well-educated people, express lightly. More than seven out of ten found the Forum to be one of their life’s most rewarding experiences. To me, this suggests that the Forum addresses many of people’s most profound concerns- how to improve their relationships, how to be a more effective person, how to think productively about their lives and goals. I can understand why people recommend The Forum to their associates, friends, and relatives."

Kenneth V. Snyder, Program Manager, Head Start Branch, Health and Human Services, Seattle Washington,
From a letter dated January 26, 1995

"As a result of this training experience, participants reported that communication improved between themselves and others, both within their own organizations and with other community service entities, allowing for a new level of teamwork and partnership. This reframing of their thinking and approach to quality service is much more effectively getting them to the heart of what makes a difference for the families that they serve."

Shlomo Shoham, Judge (Ret.), Legal advisor for the Israel Knesseth,
From a letter dated April 23, 1996

"It is a pleasure for me to recommend Landmark to the Israeli public. The personal benefits that I got from my participation were remarkable. The Forum is an educational program which coaches people to live their lives powerfully without being stopped by patterns of thinking from the past. I whole heartedly recommend these workshops for every human being ready to let themselves have a breakthrough in living a powerful life."

Raymond D. Fowler, Ph.D.,
From a letter dated November 30, 1999

"I have studied psychotherapy extensively, have taught and supervised hundreds of students, and I am a Fellow of several organizations on psychotherapy. I consider myself very experienced in understanding what psychotherapy is about. What I experienced and observed at the Landmark Forum I attended was nothing remotely like psychotherapy as I know it. In general I would consider the content of the program to be philosophical rather than psychological in nature: participants are challenged to examine their ways of thinking much as they might be in a philosophy course. Language, relationships and communication patterns are examined from that frame of reference."

Rabbi Arnold Mark Belzer, Congregation Mickve Isreal,
From a letter dated February 11, 1997

"As a Rabbi, I have been involved for many years with a network of clergy members whose ministries have been enhanced by the work of Werner Erhard who created The Forum. I can full state that Mr. Erhard’s work has validated my Judaism and my Rabbinate and that of my colleagues and has encouraged and supported deeper relationships and ties to our own families and communities. It is extraordinarily important to acknowledge the thousands of practicing Jews who have benefited by the Forum and who have contributed immeasurably to Jewish creativity and the Jewish community."

Bruce A. Campbell, Captain, USNR chairman,
From a letter dated April 13, 1993

"Your observations brought to light several characteristics of our listening behavior that most of us never realize and how this behavior affects our actions. If we are to change quickly and dramatically for the new environment facing us in the Navy, we must indeed learn to listen differently and completely. We appreciate the time and commitment."

Chris Risley, CEO, ON Technology Corporation,
From a letter dated September 16, 1994

"I’d like to thank you for the “Inventing the Future” workshop. There is no question that the workshop contributed substantially to making all of the following happen. Sales for the first 3 quarters are triple last year. Profitability has increased 500%. Top managers work together and many individuals have improved their participation in the company. The company has grown from 60 people to 170 people with less disharmony than we used to have from the original 60. People work harder on solving real problems and less time on “political” problems. People work smarter together."

The Rev. Jack Hennings, Jr., Faith Community Episcopal Church,
From a letter dated September 14 1993

"As I was preparing my sermon last week, I came upon Psalm 41:12 which reads, “In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever.” Right away my involvement with Landmark came to mind. I now have a very clear understanding and working knowledge of the distinction integrity. For this I give the people of Landmark a big thank you and commend their offering to you."

Edward H. Lowell, M.D. P.A,
From a letter dated November 14, 1996.

"I am a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. The Landmark Forum provides a valuable educational opportunity that allows one to gain a greater sense of independence and self confidence in one’s ability and accomplishments in life. Participants find themselves with a greater sense of contribution to their own communities. People I personally know who have taken and benefited from The Landmark Forum include young students, older persons with the highest of academic degrees, laymen, clergymen, physicians, engineers, law enforcement officers, laborers, psychologists, lawyers, judges, movie stars, and educators. They lead their lives with what they learned, empowering their personal pursuits by an increase in their own productivity, communication skills, and self- confidence. The Landmark Forum encourages and enables those who participate to re-examine their own cherished assumptions so as to reconsider them in light of present and future ideas, not the past. In doing so, the participants keep those assumptions which work and remain timely and appropriate, and step beyond those which no longer work or are obsolete. The purpose is to present the opportunity for participants to see new possibilities and choices which they did not see before."

Anthony R. Young, President/CEO, Doctor’s Hospital,
From a letter dated November 11, 1994

"The purpose of this letter is to acknowledge the significant contribution you and your company have made in transforming the culture of Doctor’s Hospital. We have experienced increased productivity. Staff turnover has decreased. Patient satisfaction has improved. In general, morale has improved and people seem to be smiling more."

Brent R. Martini, President, AmerisourceBergen Drug Company,
From a letter dated September 25, 2002

"I am writing to express my appreciation for the work Landmark Business Development (LEBD) did with Bergen Brunswig Drug Company. BBDC increased revenues 14% in the third quarter to $5.3 billion and 10% to $14.8 billion for the nine months. The work we did with LEBD has left us with deep and lasting value. We experienced working together in new ways, in the accomplishments we shared, and in the realization of business results which were unpredictable."

Roy L. Schweyer, Deputy Director of Housing, City of Oakland, Ca.,
From a letter dated September 14, 1993

"Thank you for offering and effective, exciting course. The energy in the room was obvious and people have continued to implement projects they invented. We would recommend the course to other organizations where communication is a problem rather than the resource which allows for possibilities where there was previously only resignation."

Sister Miriam Quinn, O.P., Archdiocese of New Orleans,
From a letter dated September 13, 1993

"My participation in the programs of Landmark was a magnificent revelation. The theology I had studied and loved so much became rooted in my being. I came to understand nature in a very profound way for the first time. I saw where guilt and shame come from and learned how to give these up daily. I gained new insights for old fashioned words like trust, forgiveness, unconditional love, and fear. With these as a stance in life, renewed daily, not merely as a notion in my head, I began to more clearly articulate myself as a woman who is moving forward, creating myself into the future."

Jim Miller, M.D.,
From a letter dated October 29, 1996

"I initially heard about Landmark after my younger sister Kim completed the Landmark Forum. I noticed a marked change in her mood, motivation and actions. Over the next six months I continued to notice distinct changes in Kim’s outlook on life, attitude and disposition and I registered for The Forum. Although I completed The Forum nearly three years ago, I continue to hold it was one of the most useful and stabilizing experiences of my life. My professional opinion is that Landmark provides a deeply meaningful, rich, and powerful opportunity for well people to learn more about themselves, their lives, and what choices are truly open to them."

Bruce E. Haggerty, Captain, Area Commanding Officer, Los Angeles Police Department,
From a letter dated October 31, 1996

"I personally have benefited by the Curriculum for Living and have become more present to who I am in the world. More important than my experience is the tremendous experience I see police officers have. These police officers gain a tremendous sense of what it is to be human. They learn that we are all the same but our external packages are different. With the Forum technologies at their disposal, police officers have become more focused, more efficient, more patient and tremendously human. I recommend this experience for everyone, world-wide."

Thomas R. Moselle, Captain, Los Angeles Police Department,
From a letter dated November 19, 1996

"So often police officers are viewed as uncaring or without emotion when in fact the exact opposite is true. Men and women become officers to contribute and make a difference. The problem is that over a period of time we find our humanity buried under layers of cynicism. It is critical that police officers remain in touch with their humanity and recognize it in others. When officers under my command return to work following their Forum they are energized and optimistic. They once again see what is possible and an entirely new conversation is entered into in the police station and the community we serve. I have had the privilege to meet officers who have been involved in Landmark programs and I am left with the distinct impression that truly enormous progress is about to be made in our cities. In the almost thirty years I have been in Police Service I have never felt so optimistic about anything."

Reverand Robert L. Shearer, Priest-in-charge, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Pawling, N.Y.,
From a letter dated September, 8, 1993

"I am an Episcopal priest with 33 years in the ministry. I have also been a management consultant for over 20 years in both multinational corporations and small businesses. I find for myself that the programs have enabled me to be centered and secure in my commitments in a way never before available to me. And the programs have given me ways of dealing with issues and people, which have me much more effective in doing God’s work. I think of Landmark programs as being a sort of “mechanics school” for dealing with life and work. When anyone asks if I recommend Landmark, I say, yes. Those people who have attended upon my recommendation have always expressed their appreciation for the programs and thanked me for recommending them."

Rev. Msgr. Winus J. Roeten, Pastor, Our Lady of Lourdes Church, New Orleans, La.,
From a letter dated October 8 1993

"As a result of the weekend course I found my self free to be with the situation-open to possibilities for action that enabled me to move in ways I had never dreamt of. I experienced new insights into scripture and prayer. I found myself preaching and counseling more effectively, not to mention more productively in every other way I ministered."

William Cox, Pastor, New London/Spicer United Methodist Church,
From a letter dated October 28, 1993

"Through the programs of Landmark, I realized the possibilities of the church, gained a new enthusiasm for ministry and experienced a second call to the pastoral ministry at 58 years of age. I experienced several significant shifts in my life and ministry –a shift from blaming others and institutions for the way life is to taking personal responsibility for my life and my world –a shift from looking at the limitations of myself and others, to looking at the magnificent possibilities in life –a shift from looking at the circumstances of life from the perspective of “What’s wrong?” to looking from the view of “What’s missing” and thereby opening the opportunity to make a difference in a situation. Many business persons, human service workers, lawyers, doctors, artists, counselors, and laboring men and women have found the Landmark programs to be of exceeding help in accomplishing the things in life to which they are deeply committed. I invite you, if you are considering participating in Landmark programs, to take the plunge. I am confident that you will discover new power in furthering your deepest commitments."

Chaya Adler, Founder and Director, Carlebach Institute,
From a letter dated March 25, 1997

"I am the daughter of a prominent Chasidic family. The Forum imbued me with a sense of pride and responsibility for my community. I had the privilege to be present when six Jewish Rabbis, two African American clergymen and an ex-soldier of the Khomeni army participated in the Forum. What was present in the room was a profound sense of relatedness which resulted in a concert which united the Chasidic Crown Heights community with their African-American neighbors. The ex soldier of the Khomeni army so in touch with his humanity and seeing how beautiful people can be with each other, he committed to becoming a family man, something that seemed totally out of reach prior to his being in the Forum. There are as many such moving and empowering stories as people who have done the Forum."

The Rt. Rev. Otis Charles, Bishop of the Episcopal Church (Anglican) in the United States, Dean and President, Episcopal Divinity School,
From a letter dated September 24, 1992

"I have 13 years of direct experience and observation of the programs offered by Landmark. While I have never known them to deal with God, worship, divinity, or theology, each person’s religious preference and practice is considered his or her private concern and is completely respected. At the same time these programs have actually allowed me to enhance my own grasp of faith traditions, and have helped me to be more effective in my religious responsibilities and practice."



Werner Erhard

At all times and under all circumstances, we have the power to transform the quality of our lives.
Werner Erhard

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