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Blog post: est, it turns out, is not dead
You bait a trap for a mouse with tasty food. How do you bait a soul-trap for people too smart to fall for conventional religion? With half-truths, of course. I bailed out of an attempt to induct me in...
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"Here in this new age, there is a seeker born every minute. Give them a light and they will follow it anywhere." - Firesign Theatre 
Holy shit this brings me back.

Family members signed me up in the late 80's. I was on the 7 year plan in college and had a scandalous girlfriend. In their own screwy way they were trying to help me out.

I actually went to get their money back because I heard that they would say at one point: "If this is not for you get up and leave now..." and if you left at that point you would get a refund.

I became fascinated byt EST, Dianetics and the like. We used to do stupid things like get drink and call the 800 number on the back of Dianetics and argue with whoever answered the phone.

Kudos for helping your friend. We dont need any more insanity in the world.
I'm all in favor of scandalous girlfriends.  In fact, if anyone has an extra one or two....
+Phil Stracchino She was / is a wonderful human being. Smart, conscious and crazy - which often go together. I have the experience from time to time of taking a book off the shelf  and looking on the inside cover and saying 'wow - forgot that Nela got me this one..."
You have Landmark well diagnosed. I was propositioned to join by many acquaintances back in the early 2000's. They use good drug dealer marketing tools: the first one is free. Everything else is going to cost you lots.
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