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.”


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

 

THANK YOU.

We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.