The Hunger Project Inside Out

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Apr 6, 2003, 11:40:52 AM4/6/03
The Hunger Project: Inside Out
By: Carol Giambalvo
Note of warning and apology: For those individuals reading this paper
who have participated in The Hunger Project, est/The Forum or any of
Werner Erhard's programs, please be aware that I have used the
"jargon" of Erhard's programs in many places in this paper. This is
done to illustrate the loading of language and the confusion that the
use of such abstract language can cause in individuals. I apologize if
this triggers any reaction. This paper was written in 1987 and has not
been greatly updated, partly due to The Hunger Project not being
willing to furnish me with a copy of their Annual Reports. However,
recently I received a letter from the Vice-President of The Hunger
Project requesting that I remove this report from my web site. His
letter can be found at the end of this report. In April 2003, AOL
discontinued my service and removed my web site due to a complaint
from The Hunger Project. The service was reinstituted but I was forced
to remove this document from the web site.
The Public Story:
In its promotional pieces, The Hunger Project presents itself to the
public as: "a non-profit, charitable corporation whose work is to
generate the will to eliminate the persistence of hunger by the end of
the century." Established in 1977, The Hunger Project works to educate
and inform people about the problem of hunger and to support them in
participating effectively in its solution. The work of The Hunger
Project is primarily educational: it is not a relief organization or a
development agency. Nor is it a political lobbying group. Through its
programs, it is generating a massive expression of personal commitment
by individuals to eliminate hunger. A grass roots network of
volunteers carries out most of the work of The Hunger Project. It has
"enrolled" over 5 million individuals in the commitment to end hunger.
The Project Is Born:
Since its inception in 1977, The Hunger Project has been the target of
much controversy. Most of the controversy is because its principal
founder is Werner Erhard, the founder of est, an educational
corporation that offered the est training and, later, The Forum to
individuals as an opportunity to transform their lives. Est, as such,
no longer exists. Its name was changed to Werner Erhard & Associates
and its program renamed The Forum. In addition to The Forum, it
offered seminar programs, special events with Werner Erhard, satellite
events and other "transformational" programs to individuals and
businesses. In 1991, Erhard sold his enterprises to his employees and
his brother, Nathan Rosenberg. Eventually the for-profit corporation
was renamed Landmark Education Corp. Erhard continues to receive
royalties from Landmark for the use of his "technology." Now and in
the past, The Hunger Project denies any affiliation with Werner Erhard
or est. This is true in a technical sense, as The Hunger Project was
legally incorporated as a separate charitable entity, in the State of
California. But, the link between Werner Erhard and his organizations,
both philosophically and in personnel remains.
In an early publication that was later withdrawn, The Hunger Project
attributed its inception to four years' research and discussion
between Erhard, Buckminster Fuller, Roy Prosterman and other experts.
The project was "formally presented at the February 1977 meeting of
the est Advisory Board. The est Foundation took responsibility for the
role of bringing the project into existence as initial custodian for
those to whom the project actually belongs. The Hunger Project belongs
to everyone."(1)
In a letter to est graduates from the est Foundation, signed "Love,
Werner" graduates were told of the opportunity to participate in
Werner's new project, The Hunger Project, and invited to attend
Werner's presentation on October 1, 1977 (in New York City). This
presentation was one of eleven listed in cities across the U.S.
Graduates of the est training were encouraged to bring friends and
family. The unique opportunity to participate in The Hunger Project
began when a person signed an enrollment card, stating "The Hunger
Project is mine completely. I am willing to be responsible for making
the end of hunger an idea whose time has come."
In 1978, Werner Erhard stated, "The Hunger Project is not about
solutions. It's not about fixing up the problem. It's not anybody's
good idea. The Hunger Project is about creating a context -- creating
the end of hunger as an idea whose time has come. As a function of The
Hunger Project, we will learn what we need to know to make an idea's
time come; then we will know how to make the world work."(2)
Joan Holmes is the Executive Director of The Hunger Project (now
called the Global Hunger Project). Despite disclaiming affiliation
with est, in the August 1977 The Graduate Review (the newsletter sent
to all graduates of the est training), Joan Holmes was described as
"The est Foundation's manager for the recently announced project that
has been formally named The Hunger Project."(3) Before becoming the
Manager of The Hunger Project, she was the Manager of est in
Education.(4) She admittedly has taken the est training and says, "the
est training altered everything for me."(5) Joan Holmes is not the
only person involved in The Hunger Project that has taken the est
training or The Forum. The majority, if not all, of the personnel on
staff of The Hunger Project and its hundreds of "grassroots
volunteers" have taken either program.
Describing the process of the formation of The Hunger Project, Bob
Alman stated, "This work was still gathering momentum on Valentine's
Day, 1977, when staff members of the est Foundation met with Werner to
discuss the problem. [author's note: The est Foundation was originally
incorporated in 1973 as a non-profit foundation in the State of
California under the name of 'the Foundation for the Realization of
Man.' An amendment to the articles of incorporation was filed in July,
1976, renaming it as the est Foundation] As the meeting drew to a
close, Werner said, 'I take responsibility for ending starvation
within twenty years'. The est Foundation people went off to think
about it. A few days later, they were managing The Hunger Project even
before they knew exactly what it was. Werner crystallized what the
project stood for and formulated his presentation of it several weeks
later when he discussed it with the est Advisory Board, and it began
taking its present shape."(6) In describing the production of the
film, "A Hungry Planet" by Keith Blume, Alman states, "the est
Foundation funded extra prints and distribution of the film; Keith
Blume graduated from the est training and [then] his involvement in
The Hunger Project had begun."(7) The film was later distributed to
volunteer committees (later renamed "communities") to be shown in
Hunger Project presentations.
In a memo from Joan Holmes to est seminarians, dated November 1980,
she stated, "est graduates represent the state of transformation in
the world, the space of having the world work for everyone. Four years
ago the graduates took on The Hunger Project and the end of starvation
on our planet..."(8)
Werner Erhard shared The Hunger Project with graduates in a special
series, The Workshop on Seminars, as a laboratory for giving The
Hunger Project a form.*9 He asked five graduates in the seminar to
form a committee to explore ways for other seminarians and their
friends to participate. One of those five seminarians was Lynne Twist,
who later became The Hunger Project's Assistant Executive Director.
Prior to her being employed by The Hunger Project, Lynne Twist was on
staff at est and in charge of training the Guest Seminar Leaders and
teaching them how to "enroll" people into the est training.
Later, Erhard developed a new seminar called The Hunger Project
Series. As controversy surrounding The Hunger Project grew, this
seminar was renamed "Making A Difference."
Controversy: Werner Erhard, Est And The Connection To The Hunger
Criticism of Werner Erhard and his est training began as early as 1974
when East West Journal's interview with Erhard quoted him as saying:
"If you blow somebody's mind, you can quickly slip in some data about
being. . .est blows the mind."(10) He further admitted "est puts you
in a permanent meditation state."(11)
Psychology Today, in its August 1975 report, stated that the guiding
precept of the est organization is "to serve Werner and make est
work."(12) The author described the methods of the est training:
"we're going to throw away your belief system, tear you down and put
you back together."(13) It described the methods as designed
alternately to confuse and enlighten subjects, to develop the
authority of the trainer and build his suggestive power. The training
contained common-sense psychology from which anyone could profit;
simultaneously it was a masterful amalgam of consciousness-altering
techniques that powerfully effect the innocent subject. The author's
description of several stages in the training demonstrated the
step-by-step confusion and helplessness experienced by subjects until
they crack under the pressure and, in the helplessness of the moment
(which Conway and Siegelman call "snapping"), embrace the system.
(14)A study of the est training reported in the Annual Review of
Psychology in 1982 reported that no substantial proof of benefits from
the training can be offered, but there has been reported incidents of
psychiatric disturbances following the est training.(15)
Legal actions have been filed charging emotional damages experienced
by subjects, death during the est training, non-payment of a $15
million loan and non-payment of IRS taxes and penalties.
Who Is Werner Erhard?
Born Jack Rosenberg in 1935, high school was the extent of Erhard's
formal education. Married at age eighteen, he worked several jobs
before leaving his wife and four children and running off with the
woman he was later to marry and, subsequently, divorce.
Simultaneously, he changed his name from John Paul (Jack) Rosenberg to
Werner (from Werner Heisenberg, physicist, philosopher) Hans (from
Bishop Hanns Lilje) Erhard (from economics minister and, later,
Chancellor Ludwig Erhard).*16 His lover changed her name
simultaneously from June Bryde to Ellen Virginia Erhard. They settled
for a while in St. Louis, where Erhard sold used cards. Later, they
were to relocate further west and he sold correspondence courses,
encyclopedias and later trained door-to-door sales personnel. He
worked in this capacity until 1971 with Grolier Society, Inc., which
then was undergoing legal actions for fraudulent and deceptive sales
Critics point to Erhard's study of many disciplines as the foundation
for the est training.(17) His studies included hypnosis,
self-motivation techniques (Napolean Hill, Maxwell Maltz), Karl Marx,
encounter and the Human Potential Movement (Maslow & Rogers and Esalen
Institute), Zen (via Alan Watts), the Dale Carnegie Course, Subud and
the martial arts, and Scientology. He went through five Scientology
levels and received approximately 70 hours of auditing. Of L. Ron
Hubbard, Erhard says, "His genius has not been sufficiently
acknowledged."(18) Much of the concepts and terminology used in the
est training came from Scientology.
Erhard later took Mind Dynamics and became an instructor. Mind
Dynamics went out of business and was sued by the State of California
for fraudulent claims and practicing medicine without a license.
According to Erhard, however, none of these disciplines resulted in
the est training. He attributed the founding of the est training only
to his transformational experience on a freeway in California.
According to Erhard, "it did not happen in time and space . . .I
realized I knew nothing -- I realized I knew everything . . .I
realized I was not my emotions or thoughts, my ideas, my intellect, my
perception, [nor] my beliefs, what I did or accomplished or achieved.
I wasn't what I had done right or wrong . . .I was simply the space,
the creator, the source of all that stuff. I experienced Self as Self
in a direct and unmediated way. I didn't just experience Self. I
became Self . . .I am I am."(19) (emphasis mine)
In December 1978, Mother Jones magazine published a major critical
article concerning The Hunger Project, exposing its connection with
Werner Erhard and its possible use as a recruitment arm for his est
training. Suzanne Gordon pointed to The Hunger Project as the first
attempt by one of the "self"-oriented movements to address social or
political issues. She raised such issues as: who gets the money? are
people participating in The Hunger Project pressured to take the est
training?; why, if The Hunger Project claims no connection to est, is
there an est seminar called "The Hunger Project Series"?; why is
Hunger Project office space or telephones often housed in est centers
around the country?; why do famous est supporters such as John Denver
and Valerie Harper (also serving on the est Advisory Board) serve as
spokespersons for The Hunger Project?(20) Following this publication,
est graduates in the seminar programs were handed a statement from Don
Cox, President of est, which quoted The Hunger Project's response to
the article: "naturally, The Hunger Project would prefer immediately
to enumerate and make statements correcting the lies. [Legal] counsel
has advised us that public reference to the specific instances of
libel in the course of refuting them could give license to others to
restate or republish the lies, innuendoes and misrepresentations.
Barring any such specific references on our part, the laws on libel
provide that anyone who republishes or publicizes the defamatory
material in these publications is also subject to legal action for
libel."(21) Considering this statement, it is interesting that after
quoting statements from the Mother Jones article, a newspaper, a TV
station and the Council on Mind Abuse in Canada were sued. In plain
English: The Hunger Project declined to address the issues raised in
the article, which left it free to sue anyone who cited the Mother
Jones material in question.
Kevin Garvey, in a series of articles for Our Town, (New York City
newspaper) states that The Hunger Project is Werner Erhard's political
springboard. He quotes a volunteer fundraiser for The Hunger Project
as stating that The Hunger Project is a force for spreading the wisdom
of Werner Erhard and it plans to spread this wisdom through political
action and efforts at public education.(22)
A Guide to World Hunger Organizations described the controversy
generated by The Hunger Project and its relationship to the est
movement: "Erhard founded The Hunger Project as an outlet for the
creative and charitable impulses of est graduates. The financial
relationship between est and The Hunger Project ended with the
repayment of an initial loan. However, est remains the philosophical
inspiration for the work of The Hunger Project and has provided The
Hunger Project with a philosophy for how the world works, much of its
leadership and personnel, a language and a style of work, and
effective techniques for volunteers."(23)
New Internationalist, a world development publication, also questioned
where all the intense activity of The Hunger Project was leading and
whether it was capitalizing on people's concern about world poverty
and using it to insinuate the ideas of a mind-manipulating cult.(24)
Again, it was pointed out that the project's key organizers are est
graduates and many of the techniques it applied to thought (or
non-thought) about hunger issues are strikingly similar. Their point
is well taken that there is no shortage of people concerned about
hunger, that the shortage is of people willing to make the political
decisions needed to change things. Yet, The Hunger Project shied away
from this and used its money and volunteer energies to sustain the
campaign to persuade people to sign a personal commitment to end
hunger. It further asserts that "The Hunger Project seems to be
absorbing the energy of a great number of people. You only have to
show up at one of their meetings to have been considered to have
endorsed the project."(25)
An article published in Seeds magazine questioned The Hunger Project's
use of measurements and statistics to prove its thesis and is wary
that its use of the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in reaching a
"non-hungry" status for countries will be substituted for the much
harder goal of ending hunger.(26)
In the Fall of 1985, Forbes' writer, Richard Behar, began an
investigation of The Hunger Project and Werner Erhard. He reported
that The Hunger Project retained one of New York's fanciest law firms
to attempt to bully and to intimidate him and another reporter into
permitting them to censor the story. In his article, Behar pursued a
lawsuit concerning a $15 million low-interest loan from Wolfgang
Somary of Zurich to Erhard that was not repaid. The entangled loan
plan involved a Costa Rican foundation, The Fundacion Soberana Orden
de San Juan de Jerusalem that served as intermediary for the loan and
the 2% interest rate. This Costa Rican group had been set up by an
Erhard friend just several days before the transfer and stood to
benefit by receiving a major portion of the interest payments.
Strangely enough, Behar reported, The Hunger Project co-funded a
project with Save The Children to award one of its grants (a $1
million 5-year development grant) in Costa Rica. According to The
Hunger Project's own barometer (IMR of less than 50), Costa Rica is
not considered a hungry country. The person who put the deal together?
None other than Fernando Flores-Banuet, the same individual whose
charity served as the conduit for the $15 million Zurich loan to
Erhard in 1981.*27 (Note: Flores-Banuet was also on the Advisory
Council of The Hunger Project. The President of Save The Children,
David Guyer, (now deceased) had also served on the Board of Directors
of The Hunger Project.)
The McGill Daily reports that CUSA, Oxfam International; the Peace
Corps and other respected hunger organizations have dissociated
themselves from The Hunger Project.*28 On May 30, 1981, the national
board of directors of Oxfam, Canada passed a resolution that they will
not endorse or support any activities or programs sponsored by The
Hunger Project nor will they accept any funds from the Project.
It seems The Hunger Project has turned to the threat of legal action
when it learns of the possibility of critical exposures by the media.
Both the McGill Daily and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp's The Fifth
Estate were threatened with suits. The Hunger Project followed through
in the case of The London Sunday Times, which published an article
raising issues regarding how The Hunger Project spent its money and
the possibility that people who give money to The Hunger Project
believe that they are actually feeding people.(29) It also questioned
whether Hunger Project people were recruited to take est. They quoted
a Hunger Project volunteer as boasting of connections between Live Aid
and Sport Aid and that they were "very much a partnership" with
Geldof's efforts in those events.
Canadian newspapers The Ottawa Citizen and Toronto Star pointed out
that The Hunger Project's "Ending Hunger Briefing" program was barred
from Metro [Toronto] schools and from Ottawa and Carleton schools
because of the controversial nature of The Hunger Project.
On October 23, 1986, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.'s current affair
program, The Fifth Estate, (similar in format to 20/20 or 60 Minutes)
aired a documentary on The Hunger Project in which Joan Holmes denied
any connection, either philosophical or otherwise, with est. Herein
lies the heart of the on-going controversy. Denial. Deception. People
being enrolled into The Hunger Project and being asked for
contributions were not fully informed. Volunteers, most of whom were
est graduates, were kept so busy doing the work of The Hunger Project
and immersing themselves in the "principles and abstractions" that
they very often could not see that there was a vast difference between
what they were told to say to the general public and what actually was
being said to those inside the organization regarding its ideology.
Personal Experience And Opinion:
For the five years that I was a full time volunteer, I denied even my
most nagging doubts. What happens to a person to produce such denials
-- to ignore one's own questioning? My critical thinking was bypassed
by focusing only on the positive aspects: surely God would want hunger
to end, for His children to be fed. For me, this was "the end
justifies the means." I thought it was absolutely true that education
about hunger was needed in order for hunger to become a priority
issue. But what was this nagging question within me? Why did I cringe
every time I met a "Werner hater" while out enrolling people in The
Hunger Project or making a public presentation? Why was I being asked
to deny the association between est/Erhard and The Hunger Project? Was
this not deceiving people? Why did I feel disloyal if I even allowed
myself to ask these questions of myself?
I see these controversial issues as questions worthy of an honest
answer. I go even further than these questions to reveal what I see as
a hidden agenda of The Hunger Project: what it does not say to the
public. The hidden agenda of The Hunger Project is to transform the
world according to the "principles and abstractions" (technology of
transformation) of Werner Erhard. Yes, they want to end hunger. The
fervent staff members and volunteers have committed their lives to
that end. But, hunger is just the vehicle. It could be any issue:
peace, disarmament, prejudice--you name it. Hunger is an issue that
most people would agree needs our attention. After all, who wouldn't
want hunger to end? How can you fault an organization with such a
noble purpose?
When we were enrolling people in The Hunger Project -- at flea
markets, on the beach, at concerts, railroad stations, on the street
corners -- it was fairly easy to get a person to agree that they
wanted hunger to end. From that agreement, more times than not, we
could get them to sign an enrollment card saying that they were
willing to be responsible for making the end of starvation an idea
whose time has come. Think of what it would imply if an individual did
not sign the enrollment card -- that they must not want hunger to end.
This, in itself, is an unethical emotional manipulation. Because one
does not want to support a particular organization does not mean that
one does not want to see hunger end.
The Hunger Project uses its noble purpose to deflect criticism and to
shame anyone who might criticize a "noble" organization which has such
a noble purpose. This implies that a noble purpose protects an
organization from deceptive behaviors and hidden agendas on the part
of its volunteers, staff and the organization's founders.
And noble we were. We were the warriors, living on the cutting edge of
transformation. We believed the world was deceived regarding the
conditions contributing to hunger and was unaware of the technology
available to end it. The world operates under false assumptions about
hunger that actually serve to keep it in place. The world is denying
its responsibility for the cause of hunger and has not taken
responsibility for ending hunger -- we lack the simple commitment to
end hunger in the world. Here we were, The Hunger Project volunteers
and staff, vowing to tell the truth about hunger in the world,
committing ourselves to raising the commitment to end hunger in the
world. We were being totally responsible. How could we possibly think
that we were perhaps being deceived ourselves -- let alone that we
were deceiving the public? How could we possibly entertain the idea
that we were the ones in denial? After all, we were the warriors
against deception and denial which keeps hunger in place. We are the
embodiment of truth, courage and total commitment that is creating the
end of hunger and starvation on our planet as an idea whose time has
Werner Erhard wrote the "principles and abstractions" of The Hunger
Project found in the "Source Document." Yet, The Hunger Project says
it has no philosophy. Likewise, Erhard says that the est training and
The Forum have no philosophy. According to Erhard, it is nothing to be
believed, since "the truth believed is a lie." Regardless, these
principles and abstractions remain the backbone of The Hunger Project.
Through the years, the terminology in Erhard's programs and their
predecessors has changed. Not surprisingly, so has The Hunger
Marty Leaf, a Hunger Project volunteer and one time partner in the law
firm of Leaf, Duell, Drogin & Kramer in New York City, wrote: "True
satisfaction comes from the transformation of Self realized by
maintaining the integrity of Werner Erhard's abstractions and
generating principles."*30 His partner, Ellis Duell, has served as
the Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Hunger Project.*31 In
The Hunger Project's 1988 Periodic Report [Form CT--2] to the State of
California, it is interesting to note fees for legal services of
"Leaf, Sternkler ET AL" in the amount of $108,399. Also of note in
that report are fees for video production services in the amount of
$35,602 paid to Johnathan S. Duell (son of Ellis Duell).
The Inside Story:
The Hunger Project had over 6 million people who have signed an
enrollment card, committing themselves to the end of hunger. Consider
that amazing result. Consider, also, the fact that many well-known
politicians and respected hunger organizations have either aligned
themselves with The Hunger Project or, at the very least, are not
Isn't it silly to get people to sign a little white card to "commit
themselves to the end of hunger?" Not so silly when you ponder how
effective it would be to say to your congresspersons or other
politicians that over 6 million people stand behind your organization.
Wouldn't it tend to open some doors which otherwise might not have
been open?
I have no issue with drawing attention to the problem of hunger or
educating the public regarding hunger. My issue lies with The Hunger
Project's underlying philosophy and the methodology used to have the
volunteers produce these amazing results.
There are other organizations dealing with the issue of hunger that
have clearly stated agendas, i.e., Bread for the World indicates that
it is a Christian lobbying and education group. Yet, The Hunger
Project finds it necessary to deny a philosophy. In my experience as a
full-time volunteer, it became clear and intolerable that the image
being presented to the public and the reality working within the
organization are two entirely different things.
The network of thousands of volunteers who produce the work of The
Hunger Project (Werner's "work") is managed by the paid staff and by
other volunteers who take on a managerial role. Most of the employees
and volunteers have taken the est training or The Forum or other
Erhard programs. Managing tools consisted of communications
(telephone) calls, lengthy conference calls, conferences, Briefing
Leader's training weekends, written communications, audiotapes, etc.
It is from these arenas that the volunteer is brought to commit to the
goals, the ideas and work of The Hunger Project.
The fundamental ideas of The Hunger Project are revealed in "The
Source Document," which was written by Werner Erhard. Among those are:
The Principles and Abstractions of The Hunger Project:
Individual and Personal Responsibility
Alignment of Wholes
Create a Context
Transformation (32)

Definition of Responsibility (33)
"Responsibility starts with the willingness to experience yourSelf as
cause. It starts with the willingness to have the experience of
yourSelf as cause in the matter.
Responsibility is not burden, fault, praise, blame, credit, shame or
guilt. All these include judgments and evaluations of good and bad,
right and wrong or better and worse. They are not responsibility. They
are derived from a ground of being in which Self in considered to be a
thing or an object rather than context.
Responsibility starts with the willingness to deal with the situation
from and with the point of view, whether at the moment realized or
not, that you are the source of what you are, what you do and what you
have. This point of view extends to include even what is done to you
and, ultimately, what another does to another.
Ultimately, responsibility is a context, a context of Self as source
for the content, i.e. for what is.

Volunteers were instructed to read the Source Document. In fact,
Briefing Leaders made an agreement to "stay grounded" in the
principles and abstractions by rereading the Source Document a minimum
of once each quarter.(34) We were told that if volunteers live their
lives according to the principles and abstractions, hunger will end in
the world.
In addressing the question of "What is The Hunger Project?" at a
volunteer conference, Joan Holmes said:
"The Hunger Project has a set of generating principles, the expression
of which out into the world, is The Hunger Project. The Hunger Project
is about locating in the fabric of Self the end of hunger and
starvation, so that [it] can show up there. It is our sense that when
that is done to any appreciable degree, that we can have the end of
hunger...what we stand for is having the end of hunger and starvation
be a natural expression of who someone is: a Self."(35)
Erhard's explanation of Self (as preferable to operating in the Mind
State) is:
"Where one realizes that one is the context of all contexts; that one
is not your mind, your belief system, ideologies, traditions and
identifications." "The Self is the unsubmitting, unresisting, unformed
matrix in which all forms, all processes and all metaphors exist."(36)
In the est training, trainees were led to believe that "the mind" was
a negative concept. If an individual was in their "mind state," they
were being rooted in their past rather than being in this moment.
Erhard and his trained leaders claim the authority to determine
whether a member's actions or statements were arising out of the "Mind
state" or the "Self", depending on whether those actions or statements
agree or disagree with him or the goals of the group. These concepts
set an individual up in a constant state of self-examination and
vigilance -- am I operating from the state of Mind or Self?
Similarly, we were taught in the est training and seminar programs
that the Self, being the context of all things, means ultimately that
we are all One. There is no one outside ourselves but projections of
ourselves and no reality that we have not created and for which we are
not responsible. Since we are all really One in being, it is out of
relationship with each other that hunger will end. Joan Holmes speaks
to volunteers on this concept:
"Now in a larger sense, you are all One. But you express yourself
individually...and our relationships with Self is the space in which
hunger will end...the original sin or lie, as I can determine it, is
that I said I wasn't you. It's to pretend we're separate is the
original lie. . .if the Self won out over that one, then the Mind
would have no control over that person . . .see, Werner knows who he
is because he is everything and everyone. And so the Mind has really
no control over him."(37)
Holmes continued illustrating the concept of the battle our minds has
for control of us by addressing what happens when one realizes that
they are Self:
"...that is the last barrier. And the Mind will do anything because
once you recognize that [you are Self], the Mind has lost its survival
battle . . .the last hold that the Mind has on us is to say that we're
separate and not connected. So when you have things like enrollment
and money [targets] and all those things to confront, the Mind will
pick what it can to get you to think we're not connected."(38)
This basic philosophy that if we all knew we were all Self, there
would be no more hunger, is very different from the image The Hunger
Project presents to the public: that The Hunger Project is about
education and information. In a quotation from the Assistant Executive
Director, Lynne Twist, a further understanding is revealed:
"Our relationship with each other, our relationship with Joan
[Holmes], our relationship with Werner [Erhard] is really why we're
doing all this work."(39)
The constant reminder that we are the hungry people of the world and
the emotionalism used at conferences and on audiotapes, influenced the
volunteers to recommit themselves to more and more work. Often, Joan
Holmes spoke in tears, with her voice cracking. Emotional manipulation
at conferences got volunteers reinspired and rededicated, which led up
to the point when the new campaign targets were promised. A conference
day began with acknowledging the quality, dedication, courage and
commitment of volunteers. There usually followed a time that was
called in est a "clearing." ("Clearing" is a term coined by L. Ron
Hubbard in his Dianectics/Scientology technology) In this "clearing,"
a person introduced themselves and said whatever they need to say (to
clear what's going on in their mind and to be present in the room to
hear what they need to hear). After this process, volunteers were told
what results have been produced in The Hunger Project so far and what
results were produced during the last campaign. Each volunteer was
"acknowledged" for having produced all those miracles, every single
volunteer created that happening. Then the new campaign was
At this point, volunteers were usually on an emotional high. At a
general volunteer conference, all four programs of The Hunger Project
(and any additional ones) would then be targeted for the next
Targets are not to be figured out or based on what we had produced in
the past, or based on our time or energy availability. In Hunger
Project jargon, they are not to come from the Mind. If a person were
to try to assess what they had produced in the past, what time and
energy they were going to have available to produce the targets in the
next campaign, this was considered to be "figuring it out;" coming
from your Mind. Targets are to come from the Self. One is to "get" the
target by looking into the Universe and seeing the Truth and declaring
it -- give our word that we will produce it. Behind the idea of giving
our word (declaring a target) was the concept taught in est (and later
in the Forum) that all individuals are is one's word. Targets are to
be a "go-for-it" figure -- never do you declare a target that is
smaller than one you have already produced.
Very often, upon returning from one of these conferences and having
promised a target made from what we called our Self, we would then
face the reality of our home and work schedule. That schedule would
then need to be readjusted to fit the target since, as Hunger Project
volunteers, we must keep our word and do what we said we would do or
hunger will not end. It is no wonder that often we were told by our
manager that for every one person we enrolled (or later on in our
experience, every one person we briefed), one less person died of
hunger. Since we are all one anyway, each individual enrolled is a
"hungry person." The effect that concept had was if we did not make
our targets, more people died of hunger, which produced a sense of
guilt. However, since guilt is not responsibility (refer back to the
definition of responsibility), we were made to feel guilty for feeling
guilty. When we expressed these feelings to our manager, the manager
reminded us that we have an agreement to produce satisfaction and
aliveness for ourselves out of our participation as volunteers and
that the targets are only a game anyway. If it was a game, why were we
confronted for not making the target, for not keeping our word?
If we were not meeting our target, on the weekly communications call
with our managers we would need to look at what stood in the way of
making the target and reaffirm our commitment to next week's target,
no matter what. We were to look at the entire National volunteers'
targets as ours from the point of view that if we were the only ones
left in the world, we would make the targets. There was a constant
mixed message: "people are dying because we aren't keeping our word,"
and "it's all a game."
When a person completes a program in Werner Erhard's Network, they are
led to believe that he or she creates his/her reality and "can have it
all." To keep that magical thinking, one has to disconnect with the
people in their life that don't think that way. Neither est nor The
Hunger Project tells one to do that, it is a natural response. As
expressed by Erhard's biographer:
..."a transformed individual demands transformed relationships because
only in such a context can he or she naturally express a transformed
"Erhard says, 'an effective siege on Mind cannot be directed only to
the individual, as in the training, but must be directed to
relationships and to the social environment, too. Thus, the larger est
program has a revolutionary goal: to create the conditions -- the
space, the context -- in the larger community to foster transformation
at each level: individual, family-relational, and
It is this transformational work that each volunteer is to live out,
living the abstractions both within their personal lives, having their
relationships, job and finances "work" and extending out into the
organizations and society within which they live. In speaking about
the accomplishments of The Hunger Project, the work we did on
ourselves and the necessity of maintaining the intensity of the
volunteers' work, Joan Holmes addressed the volunteers at a
"You've got to complete all that stuff in yourself FOR THE WORLD. When
you've completed it all yourself, internally, and you have a critical
mass of people who are doing that with you, those statistics [hunger]
will be down completely . . ."*41
"Our personal IMR's [Infant Mortality Rate] are 24 people are dying a
minute. And I'll tell you, we did a Hell of a lot of work on ourselves
to get it down that far AND there's a lot more to go. So, if you stay
at the same rate, you will go backward. There's no doing that. You
can't do that in this game. It'll come back in on you. [The Mind] You
will stop producing results. The problems you solved in your life will
be RESURRECTED. So, all that stuff you already handled in your
families and your personal lives, that'll all come back to do again.
You remember how great it was the first time? (Laughter) It'll be
worse the second time. They're gone now if you continue . . ."(42)
The abstraction that the Mind will continuously try to get a volunteer
to slow their efforts or stop doing the work was emphasized. Holmes
spoke to this concept:
"How many people ever got sick so they could take off, to give
themselves an excuse? I just want to underscore that because it
underscores the strength and the dirty playing of the Mind."(43)
Holmes then used these concepts to build up to targeting for the next
"Raise the bar. You didn't think you could go over it how high you
raised it last time? You went over it. You're a champion. Raise it. Up
the ante. Press yourself into more brilliance. You've just begun.
We've just begun. We've got a long way to go. You're beautifully
trained. You've put yourself together well. You have a great
relationship. Deliver on the promise. Raise the bar. Raise the ante.
And go for it. And you will need to decide to do that and do it in
spite of the instructions your Mind's going to give you, whether you
ask for it or not. You need to strive for more brilliance. You need to
raise the targets. You need to increase the gradient. You're on a very
high gradient. Don't get off. It would be very dangerous to you.
Things will get very messed up for you if you do that."(44)
Phobia induction is not uncommon in groups that manipulate members to
do their work (become deployable agents) and who create in their
members a dependency on the group and the other group members as their
only source for feedback. As previously stated, the individual has
already been convinced that the group has the only answers and the
outside "world" has lost its credibility. After all, the world does
not really want to be transformed. In est and Forum seminars, we
continually heard: If you don't share your transformation, (give it
away by enrolling others) you will lose it. You need to be in a
transformed environment, you need to be supported in doing 'the work.'
You will lose your transformation if you leave. Joan Holmes used a
more overt threat to volunteers in the previous quotation.
Consider the effect the message that "coming from your Self" rather
than "from your Mind" can have on an individual. It denigrates the
process of critical thinking to make decisions that are best for the
individual. We were not to declare a reasonable target -- one that we
could meet without causing a conflict of time and energy to spend on
other important areas of our lives such as jobs, marriages, children,
etc. An example from my personal experience was that I would come home
after stating a target and have to allot extra time to either do those
extra enrollments myself or manage other volunteers to produce the
result I had promised. With two teenage children at home and having to
spend time on the work of The Hunger Project, it often meant that I
spent less and less time with my children. In addition, during the est
training, the trainer had confronted me on the fact that I had created
my diabetes in order to manipulate my father and to keep from doing
what I said I would do and that I continue to use my diabetes that
way. (refer back to the definition of responsibility and "being cause
in the matter") If I had some complication of my diabetes or if I were
ill, instead of taking care of myself, I would not allow myself to use
my diabetes as an excuse and as an avoidance of responsibility, so I
would "be with" (ignore) the symptoms and continue to do what I had
promised. In both examples, instead of being truly responsible in the
real definition of the word, I was being irresponsible toward my
children and irresponsible toward my health. But in terms of the
group, I was being what they wanted me to be for them. In terms of
responsibility toward children, I was told "it's not the quantity of
time you spend with your children, it's the quality of time."
Illustrating concepts known to New Age thinking, Holmes addressed
"There's a window of time and it's the next twenty years or eighteen
years in which people have the opportunity to be on Earth to go from
the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age . . .it's a unique time in
history. It won't come around again after we get there for another
2000 years and it hasn't been around for 2000 years. It is now. No
Following the statement, Holmes congratulated each volunteer for
having created that. This reinforces the philosophy that we create our
own reality:
" is a special time. Acknowledge it. And then look deep into your
Self and see how you want to participate in it. You created it to
here, now how are you going to play in it? ...So, given that you have
designed the world to be alive at this window of time, given that
you're conscious and that you're participating and that you have the
tools now, no kidding, to give that gift to everyone, now is the
opportunity to do it. One of the things we want to look at for a
minute is the targets that you've set up."(46)
In looking at the targets, Holmes distinguished between Mind and Self:
"I congratulate you for setting them [targets] as group and looking
into the Universe and seeing what the truth was and putting it down.
I'm clear they're way too high for you to have come from your Mind . .
.I'm clear that your Self set the targets . . .so my final word about
the targets? MAKE THEM."(47)
Since volunteers are continuously surrounded with these abstractions,
it is common for them to begin to align their whole lives with the
goals of the organization. Often they will subjugate their
relationships, businesses or their marriages to the end of hunger. It
was common to hear volunteers say "my life is about The Hunger
Project" or "my life is about the end of hunger." As they accept the
concept "we are One," they identify more closely with both the hungry
people in the world and with The Hunger Project. At conferences, staff
often told volunteers, "you ARE The Hunger Project." These slogans
represent the philosophy that produces the zeal, the intense
commitment, the enthusiasm and the sense of urgency exhibited by
Hunger Project volunteers and staff. It is also a reason that whenever
someone criticizes the organization (either est/The Forum or The
Hunger Project) the individual feels as though they are personally
being criticized. Healthy ego boundaries have been eliminated.
Joan Holmes spoke personally about having her whole life be The Hunger
Project. She encouraged volunteers to live their life by the
abstractions. In speaking of the Self, from which the Source Document
and The Hunger Project is said to be generated, Holmes said:
"There is, in fact, a great inauthenticity of Self generated by any
and all acculturation. And that inauthenticity of Self is exactly the
persistence of hunger. And it is that The Hunger Project will call
into question . . .culture, nationalism and sovereignty as we've
defined it in this country, Canada or any other country at this time,
does not allow us enough space for us to tell the truth about
ourselves -- that we are responsible for everyone. The cultural
boundaries, the nationalism, the divisions in the world that have us
separate ourSelves here from ourSelves in other countries is the
persistence of hunger and it is what The Hunger Project intends to
transform . . .The Hunger Project is Self. The Hunger Project is
transformation -- or the true nature of The Hunger Project is Self and
Throughout conferences, there was an emphasis on the relationship of
love between staff, Joan Holmes and volunteers. Joan Holmes praised
volunteers by "acknowledging their magnificence," with her voice
cracking and eyes filled with tears. Her last communications to
volunteers consist of "I love you." The emotional attachments within
the volunteers are built gradually on several levels. First, most of
the volunteers have taken Werner Erhard's programs and have a sense of
gratitude and love toward him and/or the organization for the
transformation they believe they have achieved. Second, volunteers are
praised by the leaders of The Hunger Project for being transformed
individuals who are actually ending hunger in the world by working on
themselves and keeping their word to produce the results The Hunger
Project expects. Third, through viewing movies and videos of hungry,
often starving, people and being reinforced in the idea that we are
all one, the individual is bonded to the starving people of the world
and accepts a great amount of responsibility for them and guilt should
the results they promised not be produced. The web of love,
commitment, responsibility and a lack of healthy ego boundaries
tightens and tightens.
In relating to the abstraction that "we are the hungry people," and in
stating the statistics of how many of us die each minute of hunger,
there is a sense of urgency instilled in the volunteers. Using quotes
from experts in the field of hunger, volunteers are told that our work
is THE most important work being done on the planet. When addressing
volunteers concerning the miracles The Hunger Project has produced,
Joan Holmes used the opportunity to warn of the dangers that the Mind
would try to get us to stop doing the work. In this instance, she took
emotional manipulation a step further when speaking of the Mind trying
to stop us while we were on a win:
"Or do you want on your tombstones, 'I was about ending hunger and
when I reduced the deaths to a million, I stopped. It was good enough
for me. I didn't think I should go all the way -- 2 million -- only 24
babies [dying] per minute. That was tolerable to me. See, I got it
down from 28 people [dying per minute] to 24 -- 21 children [dying per
minute] to 18 -- and that was good enough. And my Mind said I should
take a rest and I went into agreement with it.'"(49)
On the other hand, when volunteers recommitted themselves to the work,
they were termed "courageous, bold, daring, warriors, on the cutting
edge," and it was stressed that when we reach the end of hunger, we
probably will never be given the credit, but WE know we are the ones
who did it, we authored the end of hunger. We are the pioneers, the
modern day Paul Reveres.
Stressing the importance of our work, Nathan Gray addressed
volunteers, speaking of his experience with a group of 75 nurses in
India who reduced the IMR in their area. He compared the targets of
those women who were actually keeping babies alive to the targets of
The Hunger Project volunteers:
"But I want to tell you, our targets are as important as their targets
-- what's more accurate, your targets are interchangeable with theirs.
Don't bullshit yourself. Don't let anybody -- expert or so-called
expert or anybody tell you differently."*50
Toward the end of my affiliation with The Hunger Project and est, I
had a disagreement with the New York State Volunteer Manager
concerning whether my husband and I would deliver 14 cards (filled out
by participants in an Ending Hunger Briefing that we had led that day)
to the airport in the middle of the night to fly them to California so
they could be counted in the campaign target the next day. I was told,
"don't you know that every person you brief is one less person dying
of hunger?" By this time, we had received five phone calls from Hunger
Project staff members in San Francisco and other Briefing Leaders who
were attending a Briefing Leaders' Training there. We were told that
Joan Holmes would not "be with" the briefing leaders until they had
made their targets. Only those cards "in house" counted. One staff
member told me (after midnight) that briefing leaders' lives depended
on their having those 14 cards by the next day. It was in hearing
statements like these that my gnawing concerns grew to an intolerable
level. When we took our criticisms to The Hunger Project Staff (we had
an agreement to "clear" all complaints with staff), they promptly
apologized only for the inappropriate timing and number of calls. But,
staff was not willing to be responsible for the thinking and the
pressures that caused the incident.
The Four "Sourced" Programs Of The Hunger Project:
1. Enrollment. (no longer in existence)
Enrollment was the primary target of The Hunger Project. Enrollment
consisted of getting someone to fill out and sign a card committing
themselves to the end of hunger. To volunteers, it was the heart and
soul of The Hunger Project. Lynne Twist spoke about enrollment:
"Enrollment is a code word for Self . . .[it] is a code word for being
with a person in a way that they experience who they are, even for a
moment. They will never forget it. Even if they don't remember it.
…Enrollment is truly a code word for the clearing that each of us
wants around us in our lives."(51)
According to The Hunger Project, a critical mass of people enrolled
will result in the actuality of hunger's end. The original Source
Document illustrated the critical mass:
"Off the coast of Japan are a number of tiny islands where resident
populations of macaques have been under continuous observation for
more than 20 years. The scientists provide supplementary food, but the
monkeys also feed themselves by digging up sweet potatoes and eating
them, dirt and all. This uncomfortable practice continued unchanged
for many years until one day a young male monkey broke with tradition
and carried his potato down to the sea where he washed it before
eating it. He taught the trick to his mother, who showed it to her
current mate and so the culture spread through the colony until most
of them, let us say 99 monkeys were doing it. Then one Tuesday morning
at eleven, the hundredth individual acquired the habit, and within an
hour, it appeared on two other islands in two physically uncommented
populations of moneys who until that moment had shown no inclination
to wash their food.
I believe that ideas in human societies spread in the same kind of way
and that when enough of us hold something to be true, then it becomes
true for everyone."(52)
After leaving The Hunger Project, I discovered refutation of "The
100th Monkey Theory" as written by Watson. Watson, himself admitted
that he took certain "scientific license" in his theory. There were
not even 100 monkeys in the behavior observation.*53 The observation
of note was that a young monkey taught his parent a new behavior.
Other monkeys on other islands learned the behavior, but a potato
washer, "Jugo," swam from one island to another.
In speaking about enrollment targets, Twist said: "the targets are all
a game. So, one needs to play a game like there's nothing more
important than what you're doing."(54)
"Enrollment" followed Cialdini's criteria for modern persuasion:
commitment and consistency.*55 Cialdini, a Professor of Psychology at
Arizona State University, states that once we have taken a stand, we
will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave
consistently with the commitment. Those pressures will cause us to
respond in ways that justify our earlier decision. This drive to be
consistent constitutes a highly potent weapon of social influence,
often causing us to act in ways that are clearly contrary to our own
best interests. Once we have committed to something, we really don't
have to think hard about the issue any more. Often, there are
disturbing things we simply would rather not realize in relation to
this commitment and an automatic consistency can supply a safe hiding
place from those troubling realizations. As this automatic consistency
functions as a shield against critical thought, it can be exploited by
those who would prefer that we not think too much in response to their
What is the key to get a person into this automatic consistency mode?
Commitment. Once one goes on record as "committed", (or "enrolled")
there is a natural tendency to behave in ways that are stubbornly
consistent with the stand. Once a person's self image is altered to
have them believe that they are the type of person who is committed,
[to the end of hunger] all sorts of subtle advantages become available
to someone who wants to exploit that new image. The effect of the
change in self-image [you are bold, courageous, audacious, committed,
magnificent, etc.] is lasting, according to Cialdini. The volunteer is
likely to continue his behavior for as long as his new self-image
2. Income and Financial Family
The Financial Family is a program in which one makes a pledge to
contribute a certain amount of money each month to The Hunger Project.
Other income programs include(d) Contribution Meetings, Major
Leadership Program (where people agree to contribute $10,000 or more).
Lynne Twist tells volunteers that "we take your $25 and empower the
transformation of the planet."*56 Since the inception of The Hunger
Project, it has taken in over $85 million (as of 1992). Of that
figure, $2.5 million has been expended in grants. That is 2.97%. Not
all grants are allocated to organizations that directly feed the
hungry or are development organizations. For example, in 1992, a grant
was given to The Hunger Project India in the amount of $99,523.
Another was given to The Hunger Project Bangladesh for $19,300 and
another to CONAPOR/Senegal Council, sent in care of Le Hunger Project,
Senegal in the amount of $114,000.
The Hunger Project has never professed to be a relief or development
agency. If a person asks directly, they will be told that fact. If a
person does not ask, they will not be made aware of that fact until
and unless they read Hunger Project materials. The Hunger Project
states that it does the work of education and raising the commitment
to end hunger with its money. It cannot be proven that money flows
directly from The Hunger Project into Werner Erhard or his entities
except for the repayment of the monies and equipment loaned to The
Hunger Project in the early days of its development. But as I have
demonstrated previously, there is much more to The Hunger Project's
agenda than education.
3. The Ending Hunger Briefing Program (no longer in existence)
The Briefing was a two-to-four hour lecture that The Hunger Project
promoted to the public as an educational experience. These briefings
were led by Briefing Leaders, who were specially selected and trained
volunteers. In fact, volunteers paid to be trained to become Briefing
Leaders. Briefing Leaders targeted the number of Briefings they would
lead, the number of persons to be briefed, the number of enrollments,
contributions and new volunteers they would produce out of the
Briefing for each campaign.
Briefing Leaders were told that the Briefing is "a transformational
experience in which people are moved to that place in themselves that
we call the Self."(57) The information given in the briefing was
"displayed in a way that allows the Mind to be by-passed because your
Mind is fed by information. The Briefing delivers it [transformation]
camouflaged in a legitimate package called education or
A special campaign for the Ending Hunger Briefing Program targeted
schools for briefings. Joan Holmes said:
"You will brief young people in a way so that the commitment to end
hunger is located in them. And you know how irritating they can be.
So, if they want something, they're going to get it, aren't they? I
mean, they're ruthless people, and I consider it the kind of secret
weapon of The Hunger Project to unleash them on the world."(59)
In 1990, The Hunger Project initiated a program called Youth Ending
Hunger (YEAH). It seems that the organization listened to Joan Holmes'
comments about the energy and ruthlessness of youth and how to use
those qualities for the organization's benefit.
Deception, Dependency & Dread
In describing the process of mind control, Michael Langone, Ph.D.,
Director of Research and Education for the American Family Foundation
refers to mind control or thought reform as a process in which a group
or individual systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to
persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often
to the detriment of the person(s) being manipulated. He describes the
stages of mind control as deception, dependency and dread. First, the
group/leader must persuade prospects that the group is beneficial in
some way that appeals to the targeted individuals. As a result of this
deception and the systematic use of highly manipulative techniques of
influence, recruits come to commit themselves to the group's
prescribed ways of thinking, feeling, and acting; in other words, they
become members. By gradually isolating members from outside influences
[often by discrediting other sources of information], establishing
unrealistically high, guilt-inducing expectations, punishing any
expressions of "negativity," and denigrating independent critical
thinking, the group causes members to become extremely dependent on
its compliance-oriented expressions of love and support. Once a state
of dependency is firmly established, the group's control over members'
thoughts, feelings, and behavior is strengthened by the members'
growing dread of losing the group's psychological support (overt
threats also occur in some groups), however much that support may aim
at ensuring their compliance with leadership's often debilitating
In my opinion, the issue that remains at the forefront concerning The
Hunger Project is the discrepancy between what The Hunger Project
presents to the public and its hidden agenda, as well as the methods
used on volunteers to produce its results. Many well-intentioned and
well-known people, not having this information, have joined forces
with The Hunger Project to end world hunger. The Hunger Project uses
its growing number of individual enrollments and endorsements by
influential people to gain more political power, acceptance and
credibility. Does Werner Erhard stand to benefit from this credibility
and political power?
The philosophy remains the same, masked under their "principles and
abstractions." As the "fund balance" (the money not used each year) of
The Hunger Project grows, people still die of hunger. Will an idea
feed them? Will "opportunity?" Will an idea help them feed themselves
and become self-sufficient? Or will that idea transform the world?
Transformation according to whom?
End Notes:
1. The Hunger Project. May 1978. "It's Our Planet -- It's Our Hunger
Project" San Francisco, CA: The Hunger Project [pamphlet]
2. Ibid.
3. Holmes, Joan. August 1977. "Managing The Hunger Project: …the joy
of it, the celebration" The Graduate Review.
4. Fuller, R. W. & Wallace, Z. December 1975. "A Look at est in
Education" [Pamphlet published by est]
5. Holmes, Joan. loc. cit. P. 11
6. Alman, Bob. September 1977. "An Idea Whose Time Has Come," The
Graduate Review
7. Ibid.
8. Holmes, Joan. November 1980 Memo
9. Alman, loc.cit., p.3
10. Erhard, Werner. "All I Can Do Is Lie" September 1974, East/West
Journal, p.2.
11. Ibid. p. 3
12. Brewer, Mark. "We're Gonna Tear You Down and Put You Back
Together" Psychology Today, August 1975
13. Ibid. p. 3
14. Finkelstein, Peter, Wenegrat, B. & Yalcom, I. 1982. "Large Group
Awareness Training" Annual Review of Psychology p. 524
15. Glass, Leonard, MD; Kirsch, M., MD and Parris, F., MD "Psychiatric
Disturbances Associated with Erhard Seminars Training: I. A Report of
Cases" American Journal of Psychiatry, March 1977 and "Psychiatric
Disturbances Associated with Erhard Seminars Traing: II A Report of
Cases" American Journal of Psychiatry, November 1977
16. Bartley, W. W., III. Werner Erhard: The Transformation of a Man,
Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., New York, 1978
17. Ibid. p. 64-162
18. Ibid. p. 156
19. Ibid. p. 166-168
20. Gordon, Suzanne. "Let Them Eat est" Mother Jones, December 1978
21. Cox, Don. "Statement by Don Cox, President of est, an Educational
Corporation," November 4, 1978
22. Garvey, Kevin. "Hunger Project: Erhard's est laboratory" Our Town,
April 13 through April 19, 1980
23. Knowles, Louis L. A Guide to World Hunger Organizations, 1984.
24. Tanner, John. "Hungry for Converts" New Internationalist, June,
25. Ibid.
26. Clark, Jack and Chapin, Jim. "It Doesn't Add Up" Seeds, December,
27. Behar, Richard and King, Ralph Jr. "The Winds of Werner" and
"Fuzzy, but Fervent" Forbes, November 18, 1985
28. Bell, Daniel and Weston, Brendan. "Hunger Project Feeds Itself"
The McGill Daily, February 13, 1985. McGill University, Montreal,
29. Moore, Toby. "Exposed: the charity that 'fights' hunger but won't
feed the hungry" The (London) Sunday Times, 15 June 1985
30. Leaf, Marty. "Celebrate Each Day" Quantum Leap, The Hunger Project
Newsletter -- Northeast Region. October 1978
31. States, Katherine. "Good Morning, You're Terrific: Life at an est
Firm" The American Lawyer, August, 1981
32. The Hunger Project. "Generating Workability" North American
Volunteer Conference, February, 1983
33. Erhard, Werner "Definition of Responsibility," 1979
34. The Hunger Project. "Briefing Leader Guidelines and Agreements"
The Ending Hunger Briefing Program, March 1985
35. . Holmes, Joan. "What Is The Hunger Project?" The Hunger Project
Source Material, February 1985 from an edited transcript of January
23, 1985 Global Meeting, San Francisco
36. Bartley, W. W., III. Werner Erhard
37. The Hunger Project. "Conversation with Joan Holmes, Lynne Twist,
Cheryl Newbrough on 'Love and Relationship'" San Francisco, CA, May
22, 1980 (audio tape)
38. Ibid.
39. Ibid.
40. Bartley, W.W., III. "A Place To Tell The Truth" The Graduate
Review, est. May, 1978. P.2
41. Joan Holmes. "Joan Holmes at Volunteer Conference with Nathan
Gray" The Hunger Project, San Francisco, CA, May 29, 1982 (audio tape)
42. Ibid.
43. Ibid.
44. Ibid.
45. Ibid.
46. Ibid.
47. Ibid.
48. Holmes, Joan. "Ending Hunger Briefing Conference" the Hunger
Project, San Francisco, CA, January 1983 (audio tape)
49. Holmes, Joan. "…volunteer Conference with Nathan Gray"
50. Ibid.
51. Twist, Lynne and Parrish, Catherine. "The Four Sourced Programs of
The Hunger Project." The Hunger Project, March, 1985 (audio tape)
52. "A Transformation" An Idea Whose Time Has Come. The Hunger
Project, 1977. Written by Werner Erhard. Quotation from: Lyall Watson,
forward to Rhythms of Vision by Lawrence Clair
53. Amundson, Ron. "The Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon" The Skeptical
Inquirer, Summer, 1985
54. Twist, Lynne and Parrish, Catherine. Four Sourced Programs…
55. Cialdini, Robert B. Influence Scott, Foresman & co., 1985
56. Twist, Lynn and Parrish, Catherine. Four Souced Programs…
57. Ibid.
58. Ibid.
59. Holmes, Joan. "Joan Holmes: Ending Hunger Briefing Conference",
The Hunger Project, San Francisco, CA, January 1983 (audio tape)
60. Langone, Michael. Recovery from Cults. W.W. Norton, 1994, p.7
A Letter from The Hunger Project:
February 5, 2003
Dear Carol,
It has come to my attention that you are continuing to publish a web
page about The Hunger Project based on your experience as a volunteer
more than 20 years ago.
While I did not agree with your statements about the organization at
that time, perhaps you are not aware that, since the 1990 World Summit
for Children, The Hunger Project dramatically redesigned its programs.
The Hunger Project of today is a well-respected organization that
implements on-the-ground programs that are improving the health,
nutrition, education and family incomes of millions of people in Asia,
Africa and Latin America. The public education and advocacy programs
you refer to - enrollment and the Ending Hunger Briefing - were
discontinued in the late 1980s.
The Hunger Project has never denied that Werner Erhard was one of the
founders of The Hunger Project or that, in the late 1970s and 1980s,
Mr. Erhard encouraged participants in his programs to support The
Hunger Project. You may know that Mr. Erhard left our board in 1990
and has had no subsequent participation with The Hunger Project. The
successor to his own organization, Landmark Education, has not
supported The Hunger Project, either directly or through encouraging
anyone to support The Hunger Project.
Based on my understanding of your professional standards, your sense
of fairness, and the misleading information about and impression of
our organization on your site, I request that you remove the webpage
about The Hunger Project from your site, and eliminate any other
references to The Hunger Project in your professional materials.
I would be pleased to discuss this if you would like and can be
reached at 212-251-9100.
(Signed) Dr. John Coonrod, Vice President
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