The Anti-Cult Crusade: why I’m donning the ex-member cape … …

Recently a friend and I were talking about how minds/hearts/spirits can be damaged. Esoteric human traits — thoughts, perceptions, emotions, the meaning we assign to experiences — can be broken, or infected – just like any other limb, or organ. Cults inflict such damage: hummingbirdthey are a societal and psychological cancer. Unchecked, they spread.

My cult-ic misadventure, i.e. “school”, spotlighted my psychological/social fragility. Author/clinician Daniel Shaw sums it up succinctly with this formula: Vulnerability + Bad Luck = Cult Recruitment

The more purpose, guidance, meaning, community, a potential recruit seeks, the more vulnerable you are. My chance encounter, at a particular moment, with an ambitious cult recruiter (Lisa), led to a five-year tenure, with $20,000 price tag.

This month, I’m five years “school” free. My crusade has moved beyond the little cult called “school”. (I’ve heard that “school” is doing itself in, anyway). All the writing, and research, and talking I’ve done since departing the hallowed halls has literally freed me to focus on the bigger picture:

    1. Educating through my presentation – cultic red flags, should be common knowledge. We should teach them in schools & churches & community centers & temples, etc. etc. etc. Everyone should be familiar with recruitment tactics and cult practices; knowledge empowers – if you recognize a predatory group, you’re less likely to fall into the trap.
    2.  Advocating, nurturing and supporting, through my clinical healing arts practice — The Gentle Souls’ Revolution — critical aspects of emotional and psychological health that — if neglected — make people vulnerable to spiritual predators:

Confidence/Self Esteem – Robert is fond of saying, “Confidence is a myth; it isn’t real … doesn’t exist.” (how convenient) He would chastise minions for “being in self love” … (yes, folks, “self love”, how sinful) Without confidence — self worth — you’ve got nothing. Confidence & self worth are inner soldiers; they protect from manipulators and con artists. Confidence would have ended my tenure far sooner, or blocked my entrance into the hallowed halls in the first place.

Community – humans are wired to be social, we thus need some type of community; sociopaths are happy manipulate & engineer this wiring for selfish gain. I once interviewed a lawyer who fights litigious cults, who said, ” …cult leaders believe that they are really on the side of the angels”. When angels endorse your delusions, it’s easy to justify heinous and selfish acts. I’m lucky. I left before the parasite sucked up my life savings, broke up my family, ruined my “un-schooled” friendships. But many are not so lucky. The ripple effect from cults, or shock waves, infect communities, inflict exponential waves of damage.

Identity – after the awful Orlando shooting last spring, I wrote a post titled Cultic Identity Theft. Cults squeeze out identity. You can’t be a cult member and an individual, that’s inconvenient for the group. As a member of a unit of profit-generation and propaganda propagation, you must be mold-able . People with healthy identities tire of shoving their lives off to the side for the “higher cause” — they reject required group think that must supersede personal thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

The rejection of fundamental identity — skin color, or sexual identity, orientation, or family origin — is the root cause of so many societal problems. Myriads of isms are rooted and justified by such rejection — hateful, vile and violent acts grow from such rejection and cultural infections. They go way beyond the cult phenomenon; but cults grab hold and ride the wave and I must do my part to advocate for civil rights — fundamental American values of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech, of religion … because, as we say, ALL men and women are created equal.

Only after leaving, could I recognize “school’s” goal, and violation of basic human rights. Like all cults, it exists purely to shape its membership into cult cogs in the machine  that exists to proliferate profits and prop up one woman (whom I’d met briefly, in bizarre and orchestrated visits to my “class”).

Sinister, yes? But this is typical cult fare. And fighting against cult fare is today, my raison d’etre and the reason why I’m crowdfunding for Cult Confessions: The CD!!!

Today, I have 6 days left to raise $1825 more to make the $6000 goal — so I appreciate any contribution that you can make!!!

Thanks for reading!

GSR

 

Crowdfunding continues, but time’s a’ ticking!

In the spirit of “hitting the mark” today is $20 Tuesday!

Here’s the countdown, folks …
14 days left!
$2300 more to raise …

In the spirit of hitting the mark, today is $20 Tuesday —  $20 today gets you a copy of my first CD, Eve’s Lament, and a digital copy of Cult Confessions upon its completion …  Just send me your snail mail address via gsr@cultconfessions.com.

BTW, you can contribute anonymously, if you’d prefer. So … here’s the link: Cult Confessions: The CD!

Thank you for your support!

About The Music and The Money …

Those I know who have crowdfunded, and everything I’ve read thus far, tell me that halfway into such campaigns, eevveerryytthhiiingg sslloowws ddoowwnn …

To kick thru fundraising doldrums, here are some musical samplings of what contributors are supporting. Most tunes are still in process …

Starry-Eyed Believer – all about cult recruitment … you’ll get the idea.

Your Little Secrets – I think Hank Williams must have visited me in spirit. Somehow, he planted a seed of irreverence & it grew out over time. Obviously, the vocals aren’t mine, I told my producer to have some fun and he did … I’m almost tempted to just leave his vocals, b/c he delivers so perfectly — but being in “self love” and all — I feel attached to singing on my song (thank you, Hank!).

The Oh. So. Good. (OSG) Song – It’s not fair of me to provide this 3 minutes and 14 seconds of auditory brilliance, b/c it’s not my song and won’t be on the CD (unless the author gives me permission) but I believe everyone must hear it!!! I wish it were my song (does that count?) Written by a fellow “disgruntled”. We traversed the Hallowed Halls together.

To Have and To Hold – Here’s my one serious contribution. My departure from the cult came upon realizing that continued membership in the “esoteric mystery school” meant losing my marriage. At our wedding, my husband and I sang our wedding vows. We both had love songs, I suggested to him, “Why not use them as our vows?” Come the big moment, I distinctly remember looking out on attendees, guitar in hand, a Noreaster out the window (yes, folks, there was a Noreaster that day) and saying, ” This seemed like a good idea in theory … ” Then, by some miracle, got through it without crying.

Blog Monitors, “Disgruntled ex-Students” & “Rule Breakers” (conducting “illegal internet research” because they can no longer ignore an echo chamber of doubts — “something here isn’t right … can’t put my finger on it… am I in a…cult???” ) are familiar with this  “slowing down of vibrations” phenomenon; they know it well, b/c “school leadership” refers to it as: “hitting the interval”!

Many a devotee, with a “5-week aim” (i.e. a stated goal), knows that they “must INCREASE EFFORTS between the Mi & Fa, as well as the Ti & Do” !!! (ah, such fond memories)For un-“schooled” readers, who’ve not had the privilege to grace the hallowed halls, cultic study scholars refer to this type of “school” speak as loaded language: please visit further examples of “school” speak/loaded language here: Standing Up to Sharon Gans.

Thus in true “essence friend” spirit (again, for the un-schooled, the term “essence friend” is reserved for those privileged few who’ve donated, unwittingly, to Sharon’s retirement fund and $8million, Park Plaza Condo), I’m halfway in, watching contributions dry up, thus “making efforts” to step it up!

I’m hoping that fellow disgruntled(s), and those who’ve been adversely affected by CULTS, and those who know and love me 😉 and those who are sick of getting these updates, and are cursing me, along with the Democrats for filling up inboxes with pleas for their money, and want these pleas to just GO AWAY,  will contribute to support my campaign against this societal blight.

So … folks, here’s the crowdfunding countdown…

  • I have 15 days to hit the $6000 goal
  • With offline contributions, I’m up to $3675 (Mi to Fa)
  • That means I have to raise $2325 by Monday, 9/5 (Ti to Do)

La, la, la …. click here to contribute: Cult Confessions: The CD!

Any amount helps. $5, $10, $15, $20 … more if you can.
You can give anonymously.
If you’re uncomfortable contributing online, please contact me via GSR@cultconfessions.com.

Again, thanks for reading, thanks for supporting!

 

 

Your Invitation to “The Dark Side”

I want to give another shout out to my fellow “Disgruntled”! I’m sooooo enjoying having a partner in online “evilness”(THANK YOU, Mr. S!) … Right now, he’s on a campaign to steal “school’s” current student body. He’s recruiting them into a new group called…

THE DARK SIDE …

Imagine, if you will, a group that …

  • Kicks off membership with a free, month-long experiment!
  • Politely requests that you don’t tell anyone about this … “it’s private … just for you.” ( … awwww, how special)
  • Requires 2 nights a week from 7 pm until around midnight-ish, or longer if the leadership is feeling particularly verbose (DON’T BE LATE!)
  • Is super helpful for roughly 1-2 years, after which time it “increases demands”, claims the demands are necessary! Paramount in importance is the demand to “make new friends” and maligns your character on a regular basis.
  • Neglects to mention the expectation of lifelong tenure at $350/month …
  • Intentionally sucks up as much of your personal time as possible to alienate you from the unenlightened “un-schooled” with it’s requirements to “protect the invisible world” at all costs!
  • Constantly reminds you that these demands “are necessary for your evolution!” to nurture a lifelong dependency …. (how else to keep  your bank account replenishing Sharon’s retirement via monthly IV drip, my pretty??? )

Oh wait, if you’re reading this, you don’t have to imagine this … b/c you’ve probably lived it. Mr. S new group the “DARK SIDE” … is NOT that. To learn more about the new group visit …

http://neverfeartohatetheodious.blogspot.com/2016/08/the-dark-side.html

About Alex Horn & About $$$ ….

A couple things …

…a funny thing happened this week — funny in the odd sense, not the ha ha sense. I was talking to a cultic studies expert. He asked me about my “school” days. I provided a few details about the group. He said, “Oh. The Gurdjieff group.” I replied, “Yes.” He asked whether I’d ever met the late “school” founder and honored sociopath, Alex Horn (I hear that Sharon, his wife, knocked him off the sociopath pedestal, eventually) I knew nothing about Horn, or Gans, or NY, or the many other “classes” that “school” omitted mention of, until I left “school” and started lifting the curtain on its vast system of deception.He told me that he had heard about Horn and that Horn was a monster, essentially … I can’t recall the exact quote.

You know, I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about Alex Horn: he was a serial rapist; incredibly violent; sadistic & cruel. But nothing quite brought home the extent of the evil that is “school”, until I heard it from someone with no involvement in the group–someone who studies cults.  How crazy is it that – at one point – I truly believed in “school”? I believed that “school” believed in me. It was, in my mind, a haven of inner exploration, of evolutionary efforts and striving … all rooted in crap.

I realized, at that moment, how lucky I was to leave before I either fell victim to, or witnessed, far worse than I did. Sometimes I will – when in snarky conversation with another particular “disgruntled ex-student” – refer to “school” as Cult Lite, because I didn’t experience and/or witness the absolute worst.  But “school” is only cult lite to those of us who were not “privy” to its most heinous practices. I feel incredibly grateful that I left before my path led me into those dark corners.

Perhaps you are “breaking rules” by conducting the dreaded & prohibited Internet research. Perhaps you are the Blog Monitor (Hi Josh! Hi Geoff! Hi Michael! Who else?). Perhaps you might consider freeing yourself before “school” fucks up your life, in the name of “evolution” … that brings me to point 2.

What is “school’s” evolution, really? “School”, like a good little cult, is about generating profit. Every “disgruntled” I ever spoken to has, eventually, asked: where does the money go? Where indeed. The following blog posts from one of the partners in evil blog-ness provides some details, if you’re wondering where the $350 you spend every month goes visit …

Diagram of Everything Sharon Or … They love the dough, the 4 questions …

 

More About Cult Confessions: The CD! & Crowdfunding …

Good morning, Readers – I hope that you are enjoying your cult-free late summer! This here picture is of the big Cult Confessions pilot presentation in Cleveland, mom’s birthday present — by request.

Cult Confesisons_ClevelandCD Crowdfunding is going well, but I have hit that half way point. Crowdfunding gurus inform me that donations trickle down, at this point … in “school” we had a name for this phenomenon: “hitting an interval” …. or “slowing vibrations” – remember that? Gosh, I really miss that pretentious language … not.

I’ve got 20 days and $2825 to raise! The good news is that I’m over half way to hitting the goal! $350 by days end would be fab – that’d get me to $3500  🙂 Can anyone out there help me get there???  It’s easy, I promise, and I won’t insist on secrecy. I won’t ask you to recruit … well, I might ask you to recruit … but it’s not required for membership 🙂

Here’s the link: Cult Confessions: The CD!

Thanks for reading & contibuting!!!

About Anniversaries & Taking Tuesdays Back …

During my “school” tenure, my husband and I referred to the cult as Tuesday/Thursday thing. On a Tuesday, or Thursday, he might ask, “Hey, are you going to thing tonight?” In more sarcastic, or angry, moments, he’d call a cult, a cult. Mostly, though, “school” was “thing”.

I dedicated 5-years of Tuesday and Thursday nights to “thing”. Now I am 5-years “thing”-free. Yesterday I discovered a Tuesday Night Tap Dance class. What a riot!

Now that my freedom equals my cultic tenure, I’m reclaiming my Tuesday nights with tap dancing! Imagine: from 6:30 – 7:30, don the shoes, tap through the hour, laugh a lot with fun people. Go home. No lies or secrets. No one shaming you, or maligning your character. No pressure to recruit. Friends and families know. No shady behavior throwing doubt on your sanity; all to a Great American Songbook soundtrack!

For $15 a class, (as opposed to $350/month) I’m celebrating my five cult-free years. Speaking of money … CROWD FUNDING — Cult Confessions: The CD! has raised $2,350 in two weeks and I’m soooo excited!!! In $650, I’ll be halfway there … would you help me hit the halfway mark??? Every little bit gets me closer to my $6000 goal!! And, as the brilliant John Oliver likes to say, Now This …

 

Is Sharon really Donald Trump?

I hope that headline grabbed your attention. I have three, loosely related, things on my mind & I’m too lazy to write three different posts. So, here goes:

  1. Mom’s Birthday: Mom will turn 80 this September. We pre-celebrated last weekend, for logistical reasons. (Non sequitur — thanks to yoga — mom still sits cross legged on the floor, playing scrabble.)


    Mom requested, as her birthday present, that I present my One-Woman, Edu-tain-ment story, Cult Confessions, to friends and family. I bet that most parents wouldn’t encourage such a confession. I guess I inherited the trait that enables me to don the Ex-Cult-Member Poster Child Cape from her. (Yay!) So, on Sunday afternoon I shared my tale of woe with roughly 30, or so, of mom’s closest friends (some of whom share her yoga practice, btw.)


    The night before, in various states of alcohol-induced relaxation, mom, brothers, sisters-in-law and nieces questioned me about my cult days. Typically we don’t openly discuss anything emotional, embarrassing and/or personal, but “school” has provided a new level of communication for this clan (Thanks, Robert!). We concluded that Sharon must — in fact — really be Donald Trump (aka, Drumph) or perhaps Drumph is Sharon. We envisioned that full-fledged musical theater production I keep dreaming about — borrowing from The Wizard of Oz, ending with the protagonist lifting the curtain on a desperate Donald Drumph, in his glory, barking orders into a megaphone. That brings me to point #2 …

  2. Narcissism: I started reading the book, Traumatic Narcissism, by author and clinician Daniel Shaw for further study on cults. Shaw cautions that the tag is thrown around too casually, so I am sourcing the most recent edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, affectionately known as the DSM-5.

    The diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder is as follows:a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration and lack of empathy …

    1) grandiose sense of self-importance.
    2) preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
    3) belief that he or she is “special” and unique (“I, alone …” blah, blah, blah ) and can only be understood, or should associate with, other special, or high-status people.
    4) needs excessive admiration.
    5) feels entitled (i.e. unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment, or automatic compliance with his or her expectations)
    6) exploits interpersonal relationships (i.e. takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends).
    7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
    8) envies others but believes that others are envious of him or her.
    9)  arrogant & haughty behaviors or attitudes.

    Sound vaguely familiar? Does Queen S share any, or all, narcissistic traits with a certain Republican presidential nominee? I welcome opinions, experiences, anecdotes, compare & contrast, snarky jokes in comments below. Speaking of campaigns …

  3. Crowdfunding … circling back to becoming the Ex-Cult Member Poster Child; my Indiegogo campaign kicked off one week ago, today. Since then, 24 generous souls have helped me raise $1260.00 to complete Cult Confessions: The CD! I have another $4,740 to go, to meet my goal, in the next month. Can you help me trot this awareness-raising-edu-tain-ment campaign out to the greater world??? You could either contribute $$$, or help spread the word via social media, or both …every little bit counts, literally!

    Last word, if you’re seeking some kind of spiritual practice to help you keep your sanity during this election season, yoga seems to be working quite well for mom … maybe find a practice. One note of caution, the word is that one should steer clear of Dahn Yoga … but that’s another post.

 

 

 

TV interview on FCAT

This video comes from FCAT’s show, The Song, with Mary Wheelan. Mary interviewed me and Doug Kwartler about Cult Confessions: The CD! and my anti-cult campaign. I talk about why I’m driven to make myself the poster child, as a public service.

You can help me complete the CD and get this show on the road by making a contribution here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cult-confessions-the-cd/x/9346125#/

Thanks for your time, attention and support!

Cult Confessions: The CD & Crowd Funding …

Hello Readers,

Since 2011, when I departed the hallowed halls a lot of projects have been brewing under the radar:

  • A public awareness raising presentation based around my original songs to educate as many people as possible about predatory groups.
  • As CD project and eventual record of these songs.
  • A private therapeutic healing arts practice.

Cult experiences are full of endless ironies. For example, I went into “school” seeking purpose and found that purpose when I left. I will talk about cultic ironies in another post, though.

This post is to announce my Indiegogo crowd funding campaign. I’m really excited about the CD!!! My producer REALLY  gets it, and me, so I’m thrilled by the way it’s coming out! Woo hoo!

I do need to raise more funds to complete our work and I’m hoping that you, dear readers, can help me do so, either by contributing what you can, spreading the word, or both, if possible. So … here’s the link with more info:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cult-confessions-the-cd/x/9346125#/

Thank you for reading! Thank you for contributing! I raise a toast to your “school”-free life!!!