1971 Werner Erhard has breakthrough while driving across Golden Gate Bridge; founds est (Erhard Seminars Training).
1973 Erhard drives a black Mercedes with the vanity plate “SO WUT.”
1975 Est claims to have trained 65,000 people; Erhard dreams of training 40 million.
1975 John Denver releases “Looking for Space,” about his est enlightenment. Later, he asks other est grads to stop sneaking backstage.
1976 Ex-Yippie Jerry Rubin recounts Erhard’s spiel: “He listened to people’s miseries…laughed in their faces and screamed, ‘YOU ASSHOLE, YOU CAUSED IT!'”
1977 Woody Allen encounters a defensive est acolyte in Annie Hall.
1979 Mork & Mindy features David Letterman playing a guru named Ellsworth, founder of erk (Ellsworth Revitalization Konditioning).
1985 Est changes its name to the Forum.
1988 Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk attends the Forum; later credits it with his “big epiphany moment.”
1989 Nicolas Cage buys Erhard’s palatial San Francisco pad, which once boasted a soundproof room, an elaborate security system, and a bedroom painted black.
1991 Erhard goes into exile. Landmark buys est’s “technology” and reportedly promises to pay Erhard a licensing fee for 18 years.
1993 While in Moscow, Erhard appears on Larry King Live; claims Scientologists are out to get him.
2002 Six Feet Under‘s Ruth Fisher tries the Plan, “one of those ’70s self-discovery clubs that yell at you and don’t let you go to the bathroom for 12 hours.”
2006 Erhard breaks media silence in Transformation: The Life and Legacy of Werner Erhard, a film coproduced by his lawyer.
2007 Erhard unveils new management philosophy coauthored with a Harvard Business School professor and the CEO of Landmark’s consulting arm. Message: “Integrity is the pathway to trust.”
2009 Landmark claims to have trained more than 1 million people.