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 As movie premiers go, this one was the un-premiere of the decade. Absolutely no one representing the film was there to greet ticket holders to the tiny theater on West 13th St. off Fifth Ave. The theater was about 70% capacity for the 2pm 1st show of the day. There was no opportunity for us to discuss the movie afterward as we were, literally, hustled out the door to make the room available for the next group. Opportunities were missed.
 
   I struck up a conversation with the woman behind me and her daughter, in from New Jersey. Turns out Mariella went through the est training in 1970 – when it was still in its formative stages. Her daughter, Julliana, had graduated from the Kids’ Forum and Teens’ Forum programs intends to become a Forum Trainer. Both were enthusiastic about their training experiences and the quality of their lives ever since.
 
   The movie begins with the trailer you can watch on this blog, and transitioned into the film itself. It hits the ground running and gallops exuberantly through the next 2 hours with ease, power and compassion.
 
   The documentary delivers value on so many levels:
  • The Whatever-Happened-To curiosity is sated, we not only see Werner, we get a very personal visit with him and his family;
  • What-Is-He-Doing-Now questions are answered as the film follows him all over the globe as he works with (primarily) non-profit groups using elements of the est training to break down the barriers of fear and misunderstanding creating violence in Northern Ireland and Palestine, for example;
  • We watch Werner work with a translater as he delivers an est-like training in Tokyo.
  • Correcting the Reporting Errors – journalists such as Don Lattin, SF Chronicle, Dan Wakefield, Jane Self and others cite the news media’s shameful record of publishing Scientology-engineered smears and IRS slanders and failure to print the later retractions and court-ordered reversals of fact.
  • We meet the key players in the est organization to get not only their firsthand view of the movement, but their reflections on what its legacy  is almost 40 years later!
  • We get to "see" what all the hype and controversy was about for ourselves;
  • We are permitted to learn from people no different from ourselves learn how to live their lives fearlessly with the intention and devotion to celebrate the beauty, nobility and courage of being authentically human – without masks or armor.

What happens to Robyn Symon’s clear-eyed, intimate and totally absorbing film depends on what kind of distribution deals it gets. Ultimately, it will be available on DVD with extra scenes cut from the movie.

If you’d like the movie to play at a theater near you, I challenge you to go to the official website and email Robyn! http://www.transformationfilm.org

This film is always "in your face" giving you the opportunity to let go of your judgements, props and self-sabotage and get a contact high off a program that truly embodied the idealism of the "human POTENTIAL movement."

Thanks for listenning!

Lauralyn, est grad, March "A" training, NYC, 1976

PS Shout out to Randy McNamara! Lookin’ good! You were the trainer for our 2nd weekend. You were awesome then. You’re awesome now!

 

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