Mind Dynamics (company)

Mind Dynamics (company)
Mind Dynamics
Type For-profit
Industry Self-help, Personal development, Large Group Awareness Training
Founded 1968
Founder(s) Alexander Everett
Headquarters Texas,
United States
Key people Alexander Everett
William Penn Patrick[1]
Robert White, President[2]
John Hanley, Field Director[3]
Parent Leadership Dynamics[4][5]

Mind Dynamics was a seminar company, founded by Alexander Everett in Texas in 1968. Mind Dynamics later led[4] to two other companies, est and Lifespring.[6][7]

After investigations for fraudulent representations and practicing medicine without a license, plus the death of co-owner William Penn Patrick and the resignation of President Robert White, the company ceased operating in December 1973.[8][9]


Techniques, methodology

Mind Dynamics has been called a major forerunner of large group awareness trainings.[4] The organization's methods and techniques helped to influence an industry of trainings that would follow it.[4] Mind Dynamics has been compared to Dale Carnegie, and encounter groups.[10] Mind Dynamics trained businessmen in personal development techniques,[11] but relied on unique activities rather than academic theories.[12] The coursework also utilized techniques that focused on visualization, and meditation.[6] Snider wrote that Mind Dynamics was intended to prod individuals and goad them to improve upon themselves.[13]

Techniques drawn from the Unity Church included periods of silence, focusing the mind on positive elements, and distinguishing the "intuitive inner voice."[7]

Some of Mind Dynamics' techniques were compared to self-hypnosis, and mind control.[14] Mind Dynamics has been described as part of the consciousness transformation movement, and has been compared to Scientology, est, Psycho-Cybernetics, and Amway[15]


Snider wrote that Mind Dynamics was part of the Human Potential Movement.[13] Heelas' The New Age Movement states that Mind Dynamics and Alexander Everett were influenced by Edgar Cayce, Theosophy, and Silva Mind Control,[16] and Curtiss' Depression is a Choice also cites Silva Mind Control and self-talk as the basis for Mind Dynamics.[17] Mind Dynamics has also been described by several authors on religious texts as an offshoot of Silva Mind Control.[18][19][20] According to Jose Silva, Alex Everett was a graduate of Silva Mind Control.[20] Everett also drew on principles from the Unity Church, Egyptology and Rosicrucianism in developing Mind Dynamics.[21]

Leadership Dynamics, Holiday Magic

Other companies which had corporate relationships with Mind Dynamics included Leadership Dynamics and Holiday Magic, both of which were founded by William Penn Patrick, co-owner and Board Member for Mind Dynamics.[5] Holiday Magic later folded, amidst investigations by authorities and accusations of being a multi-level marketing pyramid scheme.[22][23] Every employee in management positions at Holiday Magic was required to participate in the coursework.[5]

William Penn Patrick, owner of Leadership Dynamics, invested in Mind Dynamics in 1970.[4] All employees in management at Holiday Magic were expected to take the Mind Dynamics coursework.[4][5]

Investigated for fraud, practicing medicine without a license

In December 1972,[24] Mind Dynamics was investigated for practicing medicine without a license, and fraudulent representation of the potential benefits of participating in their coursework.[2][8][25][26] The company was also investigated by the state of California for making fraudulent claims.[11] A lawsuit brought forth by the State of California in 1973 requested that Mind Dynamics be barred from what California referred to as its unlawful practice of Medicine.[1] William Penn Patrick was named as a party with Mind Dynamics in the lawsuit.[1]

Mind Dynamics ceased operating in 1973, after being investigated and charged with fraud and practicing medicine without a license.[8] According to an article in Forbes, as of 1974, the State of California was still seeking to enjoin the company from making fraudulent claims, and practicing medicine without a license.[9]

Later groups

Vahle's The Unity Movement lists nine personal growth organizations which grew out of Mind Dynamics, including: Erhard Seminars Training and The Forum, Landmark Education, Lifespring, Lifestream, Context Training / Context International, PSI Seminars, Personal Dynamics in Switzerland, Life Dynamics in Japan and Hong Kong, Alpha Seminars in Australia, Hoffman Quadrinity Process, Dimensional Mind Approach, Pathwork, and Actualizations.[7] Vahle goes on to describe similar techniques used by these groups which were incorporated from Mind Dynamics' practices.[7] Berger's Agit-Pop also gives examples of EST, Lifespring and Actualizations, as groups that grew out of Mind Dynamics and helped form the human potential movement.[27] The organizations cited above were founded by prior instructors from Mind Dynamics that had been trained by Alexander Everett, including Stewart Emery who founded Actualizations, Randy Revell, who developed Context Training, James Quinn, who organized Lifestream, and Thomas Wilhite, who founded PSI Seminars.[7]

Former MDI President Robert White founded Lifespring and ARC International which delivered the Life Dynamics seminars in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Sydney.

Werner Erhard was influenced by his experiences at Mind Dynamics, methods of which he later incorporated into est, and this formed the basis for Erhard Seminars Training.[28][29] Mind Dynamics has also been cited as forming the initial basis for Neuro-Linguistic Programming.[17] Manabu wrote in the Japanese Journal of Religious Studies that both Lifespring and Erhard Seminars Training/est had traceable origins in Mind Dynamics, and its developer Alexander Everett.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Staff (February 18, 1973). "Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California" (in English). 
  2. ^ a b Staff (December 15, 1972). "Charleston Daily Mail". 
  3. ^ Staff (July 31, 1984). "800G AWARD FOR CHANGED PERSONALITY". Philadelphia Daily News. 
    "Lifespring's founder, John Hanley, was a national field director for Mind Dynamics who was convicted in 1969 on mail-fraud charges.."
  4. ^ a b c d e f Navarro,, Espy M.; Robert Navarro (2002). Self Realization: The Est and Forum Phenomena in American Society. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 54. ISBN 1401042201. 
    Page. 54. :
    "Mind Dynamics, founded by Alexander Everett, was the major forerunner of large group awareness trainings. Although Mind Dynamics was only in existence for a few years, it sparked an entire industry of similar trainings."
  5. ^ a b c d Church, Gene; Conrad D. Carnes (1972). The Pit: A Group Encounter Defiled. New York: Outerbridge and Lazard. 
  6. ^ a b c Manabu, Haga (1995). "Self-development seminars in Japan" (PDF). Japanese Journal of Religious Studies (22): 3–4. http://www.ic.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/jjrs/pdf/451.pdf. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Vahle, Neal; Connie Fillmore Bazzy (2002). The Unity Movement: Its Evolution and Spiritual Teachings. Templeton Foundation Press. pp. 399, 402, 403, 480. ISBN 1890151963. 
  8. ^ a b c Scherr, Raquel L.; Leonard Michaels, David Reid (1995). West of the West: Imagining California : an Anthology. University of California Press. pp. 290. ISBN 0520201647. 
  9. ^ a b Staff (December 1, 1975). "The Power Of Positive Eyewash". Forbes: pp. Features, Page 22. 
    Erhard was a division sales manager for Grolier Society Inc. when it was enjoined by the state of California for fraudulent and deceptive sales practices. As recently as 1974 California was seeking to enjoin Mind Dynamics -- whose ex-president said Erhard was once his No. One man -- from making fraudulent claims and practicing medicine without a license.
  10. ^ Mathison, Dirk (February 1993). "White collar cults, they want your mind ..." (in English). Self Magazine. http://www.culthelp.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=958&Itemid=12. 
  11. ^ a b Wittebols, James H. (2003). Watching M*A*S*H, Watching America: A Social History of the 1972-1983 Television Series. McFarland & Company. pp. 95. ISBN 0786417013. 
  12. ^ Kaslow, Florence Whiteman; Marvin B. Sussman (1982). Cults and the Family. Haworth Press. pp. 190. ISBN 0917724550. 
  13. ^ a b Snider, Suzanne (May 2003). "est, Werner Erhard and the Corporatization of Self-Help". The Believer. http://www.believermag.com/issues/200305/?read=article_snider. 
  14. ^ Turner, Dean E. (1991). Escape from God: The Use of Religion and Philosophy to Evade Responsibility. Hope Publishing House. ISBN 0932727433. 
    "Erhard was also closely associated with Alexander Everett, founder of Mind Dynamics, a self-hypnosis mind control enterprise."
  15. ^ Butterfield, Stephen (1985). Amway: The Cult of Free Enterprise. South End Press. pp. 129. ISBN 0896082539. 
  16. ^ Heelas, Paul (1996). The New Age Movement: the celebration of the self and the sacralization of modernity. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 72. ISBN 0631193324. 
  17. ^ a b Curtiss, Arline B. (2001). Depression is a Choice: Winning the Fight Without Drugs. Hyperion. pp. 305. ISBN 0786866292. 
  18. ^ Clarke, Peter Bernard (2006). New Religions in Global Perspective: a study of religious change in the modern world. Routledge. pp. 33. ISBN 0415257476. 
  19. ^ Stark, Rodney; William Sims Bainbridge (1986). The Future of Religion: Secularization, Revival, and Cult Formation. University of California Press. pp. 182. ISBN 0520057317. 
  20. ^ a b Ankerberg, John (1999) (PDF). Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions. Silva Mind Control, entry: Harvest House. http://www.ankerberg.com/Articles/_PDFArchives/apologetics/AP4W1000.pdf. 
    "SMC has resulted in a number of "off-shoots" that have utilized SMC techniques, including Mind Dynamics and est/The Forum. According to Silva, both Alexander Everett, founder of Mind Dynamics, and Werner Erhard, founder of est/The Forum, are SMG graduates."
  21. ^ Vahle, Neal (May/June 1987). "Alexander Everett and Complete Centering". New Realities Magazine 
  22. ^ Staff (December 20, 1972). "Endless Chain Scheme Suit Hits Cosmetics Co.". Star-News, Pasadena, California. 
  23. ^ Staff (July 16, 1973). "Battling the Biggest Fraud". Time Magazine: pp. 2 pgs.. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,907582,00.html. 
    William Penn Patrick, a former mentor of Turner's, was charged last month by the Securities and Exchange Commission with bilking some 80,000 people out of more than $250 million through his Holiday Magic cosmetics and soap empire.
  24. ^ Staff (June 10, 1973). "The Fresno Bee, Fresno, California". 
    "The California attorney general filed suit against Mind dynamics In December, charging The company made false claims about benefits of The course."
  25. ^ Staff (December 14, 1972). "The Modesto Bee and News-Herald, Modesto, California". 
  26. ^ Staff (December 15, 1972). "Winnipeg Free Press". 
  27. ^ Berger, Arthur Asa (1990). Agit-Pop: : Political Culture and Communication Theory. Transaction Publishers. pp. 68. ISBN 0887383157. 
  28. ^ Wilson, Brian R.; Jamie Cresswell (1999). New Religious Movements: challenge and response. Routledge. pp. 56, 72, 280. ISBN 0415200490. 
    "Especially influenced, it would appear, by his time with Mind Dynamics at the beginning of the 1970s, Erhard went on to found est, (the first seminar ran in October 1971)."
  29. ^ Hoffmann, Frank W.; William G. Bailey (1992). Mind & Society Fads. Haworth Press. pp. 119. ISBN 1560241780. 

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