Happy Independence Day: new blog – GSR Healing Arts

Dear Readers,

It seems appropriate that I’m posting this message on July 4th, 2021. Ten years ago, in July of 2011, I decided, “hey, I need ‘school’ like a bullet in the temple” & moved on.

Best decision I’ve ever made!!

In July of 2014, I attended my first International Cultic Studies Association conference in Washington DC. I met ex-cult members from all over the world. These people had ‘joined’ (so to speak) ‘Bible studies’, ‘yoga schools’, ‘self-help seminars’, ‘business managements trainings’, blah, blah, blah. Like me, they all left cults. We were all telling the same. damn. story.

When boiled down to essential social & emotional needs, all of those “unique” groups, were exactly like ‘school.’ They seduced new members by claiming a super-secret-sauce for life! They exploited members using the exact same tactics. It’s like the group leaders all went to the same How-to-Start-Your-Own-Cult summer camp.

So, we all proclaimed gratitude for escaping & toasted our freedom under fireworks on National Mall.

Now, a decade after leaving, I help other ex-cult members recover as a career. I’ve written a book which is in the editing & publishing process. It’s time for me to try to be somewhat appropriate & focus exclusively on providing education and recovery tools. I’ll be posting those resources on my new blog, the GSR Healing Arts Blog, as well as sample content from the book.

This blog, Cult Confessions, has been critical to my recovery. Here is where I said fuck the secrecy – I told my story and in doing so, I reclaimed my voice. The catharsis was exactly what I needed. Reclamation of voice is reclamation of self. I cleared the ‘school’-instilled toxic clutter out of my psyche, so I could see ‘school’ for the dog & pony show that it is.

That is in large part thanks to you – readers, commenters and guest writers. Thanks you, all who shed light, lifted the curtain, exposed the Wizard, filled in the missing blanks, provided me with the context that I needed to understand that ‘school’ was/is a cult: the California history in the 60s & 70s; the physical and sexual abuse of ‘school’ back when it was “The Theater of All Possibility”; the cross-country exodus to the East Coast when San Fran kicked the ‘theater’ out; Alex & Sharon Horn; corporate headquarters in NYC; the amount of money that pours into the Horn coffers; Robert’s complicity; the secret arranged marriages; the heinous baby swapping history.

Knowing this truth– intentionally omitted by my ‘teachers’ –set me free.

I’ll leave Cult Confessions up, as a resource. I’ll post occasionally – especially if I get “school”-related intel.

Otherwise, I hope to see you at the new blog: GSR Healing Arts Blog

Speaking of Cults: Q Anon

Question: Who is Q? Who is the “Great patriot”? Where do the marching orders followed by Q Reps, Marjorie Taylor Greene & Lauren Boebert originate?

Answer: Turns out that Q is an ex-pat, tech geek, who “dropped” instructions from the Philippines, to his minions in the U.S. For years Ron Watkins administered the online cesspool called 8Chan (later it became 8Kun, when 8Chan got shut down when some of the hateful trolls followed up their gun and killing fantasies with deranged rampages.) But that’s another story. I’ll tackle the gun worship another day.

You can learn all about this QAnon thing by watching the HBO television miniseries Q: INTO THE STORM: You’ll get to meet Ron Watkins and his boss & daddy, Jim. Let’s just say, daddy’s got the money and son’s got the tech chops. What a team:

The Q heads are appropriately embarrassed about this; they’d believed that a don don crony was giving them secret orders from inside the White House.

Rather than admit that Ron & Jim duped them, they are now denying that Q is one person. And I supposed, now, it’s true. The overlords in Manilla have created an anti-American movement. Such is the nature of cults. It’s painful to admit that you’ve been played.

Q heads, you’ve been played.

Confirmed: Sharon, departed

Just an FYI, I think I’ve heard from enough people to confirm that Sharon, has, indeed, left this earthly plain. Still no obit, but I’m told that’s pretty “normal” for “School”. Whatever.

Rumors, Elvis, Sharon …

I grew up in the 70s and 80s. Elvis died in 1977, at only 42. For years after his death rumors floated around. He’d been spotted at a mall in Nevada, or on I95, driving north, escaping to Canada, or an IHop in Tennessee where his profile emerged in a pancake–stuff like that. As far as I know, none of those rumors were verified (prob b/c he was dead.)

Yesterday, rumors showed up via text on my phone: Sharon Gans, deceased. So, I tried to verify. Looked for an obit and found, well, nothing. Does anyone know for sure? Or is this a kind of reverse Elvis, rumors flying around that she died, while she is drinking Martinis in her NYC condo?

Well, if you have info that I don’t, lemme know. Thanks!

Latest from The Sharon Gans News blog …

This is a quick one. If you have newly discovered Cult Confessions, because of an encounter with a strange Boston-based group of “friends” who discuss esoteric ideeeaasss … multiplicity, “the many I’s”, the law of three, the moving center, the emotional center, the intellectual center, awakening vs. sleepwalking humanity … blah, blah, blah.

If you’re searching online because you suspect that it could be a cult, you would be correct. This cult once called itself, “The Study” and before that “School” and before that … any number of other names, including the Theater of all Possibilities, back in the groovy 60s. Congrats!

What you probably don’t know is that the Boston group has a New York counterpart. And this blog also has a New York counter part: The Sharon Gans News Blog. Very informative! And funny! And incisive.

Check out the latest post: LMAO

Cult-not-so-lite: School’s intentional use of time-tested mind control techniques

I often refer to School as Cult lite. I’m half joking and half serious. While I take the psychological manipulation School wields quite seriously, I acknowledge that my experience was more ludicrous, than sinister, as in Cult dark, NXIVM.

That said, my obsessive cult research has led me to a class about coercive control. Today’s guest lecturer, Masoud Banisadr, author of Memoirs of an Iranian Rebel, presented on the time tested mind control tactics trotted out by the Iranian Mojahedin. Here’s a description of his book:

“… Growing up in the aftermath of the 1953 CIA coup in Iran exposed the young Masoud Banisadr to extremes of wealth and poverty, loyalty and betrayal. Years later in the United Kingdom, where Banisadr had gone to do postgraduate study, he decided to join the Iranian Mohajedin, an organization fighting to dislodge the regime that took power following the 1979 revolution.

Torn between two loves–his family and the cause–Masoud gave up normal life to pursue the revolution. But it wasn’t long before the dream turned sour. The Mojahedin’s revolutionary fervor demanded more than total sacrifice: he was pressured to divorce his beloved wife, alienate himself from his family and career, and remain separated for over a decade from his children. Years later, following his defection from the organization, Masoud decides to tell his story. ..this account of one man’s revolutionary journey is also a poignant warning against the dangers of extremism.”

I joke about School a lot, but the more I learn, the more I see how evil School really is. It trotted all the time-tested cult tools and tricks. Teachers knew exactly what they were doing.

For example, If you’re a disgruntled ex-student, you probably remember moments in which Robert *taught* (cough) that “Man/woman has a skewed relationship to time,” or proclaimed, “If you tell me you don’t have time to do this or that, I won’t believe you”

I want you to know that leveraging time is a time-tested, well-worn, mind control technique. The Iranian Mohajedin used it in the 70s. ISIS, or Daesh, uses it today.

Additionally, when teachers trotted out the law of 7 and propped up SHOCK as necessary, they were employing another well-worn and proven mind control technique. Every cult has a version of it – School’s version happens to be explicitly laid out as an “esoteric idea” that’s necessary for your “inner development”, so that when the leadership changes course, or springs a new demand on the membership out of the blue, they an call it “SHOCK” as a requirement if you really want to “Remember Yourself.”

The ISIS version of SHOCK comes in the form of filmed beheadings.

So, folks, I know that I am often sarcastic. I like to use humor to point out the irony, hypocrisy and stupidity. But at the end of the day, this shit is sinister, vile, evil. Maybe cult lite isn’t really so lite. After all, I always had a toe out the door. The leaders were never going to “elevate” me up the ladder into the inner sanctum.

God only knows what happens in the inner sanctum.
I probably dodged a bullet.

Yep, “School” is still “schooling”

Sometimes people ask me if School still exists. For a long time, I had no idea. As it turns out, yep. Recently I learned that the cult was recruiting heavily through 2017-2019. Some of those targets reported the following:

School’s bait & switch is the same as it was in 2006, when it hooked me: it seems that School sends out recruiters in pairs, who strike up “random” super friendly conversations with strangers, feign and pursue friendships over time, & bring “friends” to “presentations.”

Some said that School pursued them for up to two years. For some, the pursuit continued even after they said NO to the “free 5-week experiment.”

Some reported attending a “presentation” on the “divine feminine” in April of 2017 at the Meridien Hotel in Cambridge. Apparently, the presentation was scheduled for April 3rd, then, on a week’s notice, rescheduled to April 12th. Sounds about right.

Red flags include:
*many said that their “new friends” were exhausted — one “new friend” even nodded off during the presentation.

*One said, “The ‘presentation’ is probably the most dishonest thing. What a ridiculous setup and time commitment to make that happen on their part. …” Yep. Imagine the hours poured into an orchestrated deception. And those involved neglect their families to create, plan and rehearse after “class,” and in between jobs.

*Another noted: NO digital footprint. Not on social media. Hard to Google. This is probably because their “new friends” provided fake last names. So, that’s something to keep in mind. If you can’t find any online evidence of a human being, it poses some questions about how honest that person is being.
* Another: “the time commitment of twice per week was outrageous to me, even for a month-long trial.”
*Another: “Something always seemed off.” 
*Another found it weird that her recruiter insisted on using email to communicate, claiming her phone couldn’t text.  
*One said her recruitment team suggested that they read and discuss, Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

This is funny because Robert used Plato’s Cave to tell us exactly what he was up to: while listening to him preach that our lives were “caves” he lulled us into believing that our classroom would set us free. Really, the classroom was the cave. If you want to fall down the rabbit hole, I reference that experience in Chapter 1, How to Leave a Cult.

*One described his introduction to Robert– they met at a restaurant & sat in the back of the dining room. Robert floated the invitation — a “free” month in School. No food was ordered. Robert tipped the server, anyway (they were renting the table for a recruitment meeting, I guess?)

Apparently, Robert still vets all potential new Boston cogs, granting the green light, or not. If you were recently targeted and are reading this post, I want you to know that School has been perfecting its strategy for decades.

You can learn more about School’s glorious history HERE should you care to fall into the rabbit hole.

One target, declined the “free experiment,” but told me that although she’s grateful to know that she dodged a bullet, “… I feel violated by their disingenuous behavior.” If you are reading this and, also feel violated, that’s because this orchestrated bait and switch violates your trust — it’s an intentional betrayal.

At times, we are vulnerable to these dog & pony shows. I have been learning that there are neurological, emotional & social reasons for that. If you want to understand why this b.s. is so effective, I recommend reading Malcom Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers, or Maria Konnikova’s The Confidence Game.

Thankfully you can start by trusting your gut instincts and your emotional discomfort. Those signals are your best shields! If you feel that icky, hard to describe, something-isn’t-right feeling, trust it!

School has developed its strategy to deceive smart people and lure them into the cave over decades – literally since the groovy 60s. One recent target told me, “I always felt strange around them but I’m impressed they got me to see them so many times… If it can happen to me, a huge skeptic, it can happen to anyone. I don’t think I ever would have gone to a session, but they definitely had the wool over my eyes in some way.”

This person said,”… why I didn’t trust my instincts because my mind literally did consider that they were in a cult when I met them?

Probably because most people aren’t running around trying to recruit folks into cults. Most people are good and just living their lives. And most of us are wired to extend the benefit of the doubt, before assuming the worst.


Sometimes Joy Happens …

From Philly, the City of Brotherly Love!

Hey, I know this is an anti-cult blog and not really supposed to be political. It just so happens that cults and politics have intersected. RIP, GOP. You’ve become the tRUmp cult & lost legitimacy.

Want to get rid of cults? Dance to the polls, vote for Biden & evict the cult leader out of OUR White House.