San Jose Mercury News Tuesday, April 7, 1992 Est Founder sues critics; suit names Mercury
San Jose Mercury News Tuesday, April 7, 1992
Est Founder sues critics; suit names Mercury News writer
Mercury News Staff Report
Werner Erhard, controversial founder of the self-improvement
program known as est, has filed a wide-ranging defamation lawsuit
against 20 defendants, including a Mercury News staff writer,
news media, commercial publications and private groups that
have criticized Erhard or his teachings.
Mercury News attorney Edward P. Davis Jr. said the
allegations against staff writer John Hubner are false. "It's
frivolous," the attorney added, "Why they're dragging John into
it is hard to say."
The Mercury News is not named as a defendant.
The suit, filed last month in Chicago's Cook County Circuit
Court, includes charges of slander, invasion of privacy,
conspiracy and other allegations. The defendants include CBS,
Hustler magazine, the National Enquirer and the Chicago-based
Cult Awareness Network, which distributes information on groups
that it classifies as cults.
Hubner wrote a series of critical articles about Erhard
that appeared in West magazine in November 1990. But the lawsuit
focuses on a March 3, 1991, broadcast of the CBS news program "60
Minutes," which used part of a taped interview that Hubner
conducted with Erhard while researching his articles.
During the "60 Minutes" report, one of Erhard's daughters
told CBS that her father had molested her. While Erhard did not
appear on the program, CBS aired portions of Hubner's taped
interview, in which Erhard denied the incest allegations.
Erhard's attorney, Walter Maksym of Illinois, could not be
reached for comment.
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