Soul Searching


Star’s Edge

Landmark Worldwide

David Miscavige

Harry Palmer

Harry Rosenberg


Avatar Training

Landmark Forum

What is the connection between all these? The first three are the organisations, the second three are their current leaders, the third three are their products. All of these are sort of based on the ‘teachings’ of one L. Ron Hubbard, a pulp fiction science-fiction writer who decided to believe in his own sci-fi fantasies and who down the line really was convinced that he was a real spiritual ‘guru’. His 1950’s book Dianetics marked the birth of the Scientology movement. A movement that proclaims to be a ‘Church’ but is in fact not. It’s a cult that acts like a pyramid-shaped money-making machine.

Hubbard died in 1986. His protégé David Miscavige became his successor, with a vastly different style in leadership. Apparently this did not sit well with one of Scientology’s long-standing lieutenants, one Harry Palmer. He ‘disconnected’ or ‘blew’ Scientology for another reason as well: why not start his own Scientology rip-off with the financial bucket stopping with Palmer himself instead of paying up to Miscavige? Harry Palmer founded Star’s Edge, a company that provides ‘Avatar Training’ for self-improvement. Without the Bridge To Total Freedom, no auditing with E-meters, no Warlord Xenu.

Then there is what was once called Erhardt Seminar Training, or EST, founded by John Paul Rosenberg (who called himself Werner Erhardt) in 1971. In 1985 EST changed its name in Landmark Forum and later on in Landmark Worldwide. In 1991 John Paul handed over the reigns of Landmark to his brother Harry Rosenberg. Landmark has studied Scientology and its Dianetics writings well, made some changes, gave the whole thing its own flavour and has become sort of a benchmark for personal coaching. Still, like Avatar Training, it’s a rip-off from lunatic L. Ron Hubbard’s ‘teachings’.

To me, all of this is a sign of the times. It tells me that there are many, many wandering ‘orphaned’ souls looking for answers in the world of today, hoping to find them in these screwed-up teachings instead of within themselves. They rather get hooked into this pyramid, paying their way up to higher levels of self-development. Only to find out in the end that they have found no answers at all, are screwed-up themselves now and a financial fortune lighter. I rather conduct my own soul-searching. Confronting myself, complete with my pluses and minuses, make peace with it all, and love myself…

Oh yes, believe me, I’m very happy. No FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) here…



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Peter van Stigt

Peter van Stigt

Dutch, military aviation artist, civilian, not a pilot but a city bus driver, independent thinker, but most of all: human being.