The Hunger Artist: Let Them Eat est

The 1978 Mother Jones article in which “we confront Werner Erhard with our awareness of his manifestation of what we’re clear is a big scam.”

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IN 1977, EST GURU Werner Erhard had a vision: He was going to end world hunger by 1997. To that end, he started the Hunger Project, a nonprofit that quickly picked up celebrity sponsors including John Denver, Valerie Harper, and Jimmy Carter‘s son Chip. But, as Mother Jones reported in December 1978, the group had no intention of actually feeding the starving, just raising “awareness” of hunger—and est. The article also exposed Erhard’s complicated web of offshore tax shelters. In response, est threatened to sue. It didn’t, but participants in one seminar were instructed to “focus all your negative energy on the people responsible for this terrible slander.” Twelve years after it was supposed to become obsolete, the Hunger Project now has only one former Erhard associate on its board and notes it has “no ties to Mr. Erhard or his interests.”

READ THE 1978 ARTICLE ON EST

 

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

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