14 thoughts on “Esoteric Freedom Blog Illegally Removed …

  1. Odysseus says:

    And now that is down!

  2. germ says:

    I wish there was more information. I find it fascinating that it just takes a regular person like my boyfriend to fall for the money making scam.

    • Hi Germ –

      Are you looking for information on “school” specifically or about the removal of this specific blog? Please feel free to ask any questions here, because even if I don’t know the answers, there might be another person out here that can give you some info.

      But in response to this comment – I think it’s so hard to understand the seduction from the outside. I tried to explain it in Chapter 2, How to Join a Cult and Chapter 4, How to Stay in a Cult

      Also the esoteric freedom website is still up; you can get info there and a man named Rick Ross provides info too… also Steven Hassan’s Freedom of Mind is a good resource.

      If you suspect your boyfriend is attending “school” (likely he’s disappearing on Tuesday/Thursday nights) you might even want to tell his family … maybe they could have some influence. Anyway, I’m sorry you are having the “school” encounter. I think it — in many ways — is harder on friends, family, loved ones, because of all the secrecy.

    • To Sleepwalker, I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that you have built a site called “clever insincerity”. Will think on other resources and get back to you. Big thanks!

      (UPDATE) Oops…I was so excited, I inserted the ‘in’ … so it’s clever sincerity … even better.

  3. Germ – One more thing, if you Google the name Odyssey Study Group, you’ll find a lot of info online. Best of luck to you.

  4. Bullfrog says:

    I’ve been in touch with two of my former friends from school, thanks to GSR. With a little luck I’ll even meet up with one of them this Sunday.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to figure out some things about logistics that I didn’t understand at the time. On the trip to Egypt in 2001 there were a number of people who clearly knew each other, but not familiar to me from the NYC class that I knew from acting class. Might it have been that that some of the people on the trip were from Alex Horn’s class? I ask in part because they didn’t have the same vibe as the people I knew from the NYC class. For all that we didn’t like about “school” the idea of external considering was made pretty clear to all of us. Our friends in school did indeed make the effort to externally consider those around them, and that would be evident as a visible courtesy to people.

    I found some of the people on the Egypt trip to be kind of rude, and a bit cliquish, and have always wondered how that could be the case. When we had the class with Sharon talking about the Egypt trip I didn’t feel that I could bring that up. But, it’s always bothered me. Who were these people?

    Michael Imlay was on the trip as was Greg and his wife. Given that Michael Imlay and Greg stopped coming up to Boston, did they become teachers at Alex’s class, or was this another branch of the NYC class that I know nothing of?

    Another question. Has anyone been in touch with David Kulko after he denounced Sharon? I’m tempted to make a trip up to Brooklyn, but just wanted to know where he was with that whole experience first.

    • Millenium Babe says:

      As a former member of the New York group, the hypocrisy and dissonance between what was taught and the way people behaved in that group was what got me out. I was also not a nice person when in that group. There was a lot of harsh violent criticism and attack on people, particularly by older students. This was seen as “externally considering” others, as being a stand-up person, as being a “bell-ringer’ for truth, when in fact it was bullying. I know that my own strident spoken corrections to group members gave me the sense of empowerment that the group and Sharon had taken away. So, yes, Bullfrog, that is the way people behaved in the older New York group (not Alex’s – I don’t know about that), but with each other. There also was definitely an insider vs outsider dynamic as well. If you look at the tenets for identifying abusive cults (Robert Lifton; Dr. Margaret Singer), you will see that this kind of insider/outsider dynamic (yes, even against another sub group of the cult – after all, who did Sharon teach most frequently? Why, us! So we must be best and know more secrets that you poor little rubes from Boston (sorry – just trying to identify the attitude here)

      As for David Kulko, He completely broke from Sharon in 2000, and also from his sister. He has not spoken to Sharon since then and has rebuilt his life into a happy fulfilling productive experience. He has moved on. We must all move on. Dwelling on it for too long (I say more than a couple of years at most) gives them control.

      David is on facebook and his place of business isn’t hidden, so contact him if you wish, but you may not get much encouragement. It’s not something against anyone, but people who have been out for a while and rebuilt their lives (and I’m speaking as one of them!) don’t want to get all up into the cult discussions anymore. It’s the past and after a while, rehashing it gets to be a drain.

  5. Hey Bullfrog – I’m happy to help you, and others, reconnect. In general, I’d love to hear more about this famous Egypt trip.

    • Bullfrog says:

      Sure, be happy to give some of the highlights of the Egypt trip.

      There was between 20-24 of us, 8 from Boston. I recognized some of the NYC people from acting class, but as I say, some were unfamiliar. Just Michael I and Greg were there as far as “teachers” went.

      The origin of the trip was the result of an aim Neil D had to investigate a claim by Robert Shock, a geology professor at BU, that weathering on the Sphynx was due to water erosion, not sand. That would place the age of Egyptian civilization somewhat earlier than usually believed. Indeed, by as much as 10K years.

      The tour was led by Jon Anthony West who had written significantly on the topic. I believe he may have interested Shock in the topic as well.

      The trip started in Giza, where we stayed at the hotel that overlooks the pyramids. Then we took a cruise down the Nile stopping at various ports so we could see Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, etc. I spent of good deal of time with Michael C (tai chi Michael), and we walked around the cities, toured the markets and mosques, and really had a grand old time.

      I remember one morning we had to get up particularly early so we could make it to a temple who was designed such that at sunrise a statue of a particular deity was illuminated just so. Not much of an early riser myself, but this was spectacular.

      We bribed the guards to let us in as a group to the Great Pyramid. There was a chamber inside that resonated at a lower vocal register. The effect when a few of us chanted was like having an out of body experience. After about 10 minutes of this I recall sobbing. I had a great deal of grief built up over everything I had been through the last couple of years, and that was the experience I needed to let it out.

      At the end of the trip our tour guide told us that he planned a special surprise. At considerable expense he had bribed the guards to let us into the Sphynx enclosure where we were allowed to actually touch the Sphynx. That evening we had our good bye party, and then got on our flight back.

      That was the longest continuous time I had spent with a “school” group. Overall, it was a really fine experience. Even miraculous, to quote Ouspensky. After hearing about the death of Alex Horn, and the revelation that there was a separate group in NYC, I began to wonder if I had encountered some of his former students on the trip.

  6. Wow.Thanks Bullfrog for writing this. I will respond more tomorrow. Right now, I’m whooped. But knowing this story gives me some deeper understanding of what some “older” students give up when leaving “school”.

  7. Cara says:

    The other people who went on that trip were from the New York groups. There are several New York groups under Sharon’s command. There was a strict separation between Sharon’s New York groups and Alex’s groups. Michael and Greg did not become teachers in Alex’s class. Greg is a teacher in one of Sharon’s group and Michael used to be.

    As far as the rudeness and the cliquishness is concerned, I think you have to understand more about exactly how much that feeling of “specialness” was encouraged in “school”. In New York, Sharon is in class every week (I think in Boston she only comes once or twice a year) so people are much closer to her there and that encourages a more of a feeling of “being on the inside” which means everyone else who is on the outside is to be scorned.

    I think David has really moved beyond all of it. You are free to go to the store but I wouldn’t expect him to be excited to see you or have a lengthy conversation with you at his place of business. He is more interested in the future rather than the past and I think it would benefit all of us to follow his example and to move on.

    • Brad Usrur says:

      I think Sharon Gans, Joseph Stilwell and Bob Klein would agree–hence the blog removal– move on, nothing to see here…

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