When I first left “school”, I believed that each “student” had made a personal choice about “joining” and “staying”. I left because I finally saw how my participation was damaging my marriage, but I was still unable to consider that the group, itself, was destructive. Even as I realized that Robert’s claim of “school” as “the source” was delusional, at best, I vowed to keep the silence out of respect for my colleagues; but when I started uncovering “school’s” seedy past and deceptive recruitment and retainment practices, I formulated my new life policy: No More Secrets.
I “broke the rule” of “no internet research”, mostly because my silence and the accompanying isolation were starting to make me insane. The strange, confusing and intense experience I had recently left was playing out in my mind like a movie. I saw myself giving my power away, surrendering my voice and my perceptions over to those who were “more highly evolved”. I saw myself allowing the institution to micromanage personal decisions to my detriment, usurping five precious years of my “only life”, hurting my marriage and other essential relationships through the practice of “clever insincerity”, steering me away from my passions, squashing my true nature and voice– ironically my essence — and painting me into the prescribed cult identity of helpless, entitled and unemployable Jewish American Princess.
Even though I was no longer in “school”, its “don’t leak the experience” rule had locked me into a strange and invisible cage, still isolating me from the “un-schooled” — i.e. everyone else. Contact with the “schooled” was also “against the rules”, unless it was via a “school”-sanctioned teacher conversation. Essentially, I had no outlet or resource to process and heal from this bizarre experience. I was strangely and invisibly alienated from everyone, locked into this secret.
My first month out of the cult, and several hundred miles of travel made me realize that I needed to speak out to save my mental health and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. The blog — i.e. breaking the rule of silence — freed me from the damaging psychological, cognitive and emotional prison. The end result is that I have emancipated myself in every way — I have never felt stronger, clearer and more self assured. Every day reminds me that I am free and I live in a state of gratitude, because I can refer back to my “school” days and contrast them to today. The stark difference between life “in school” and life without “the source” begs the question: source of what?
My No More Secrets policy is the key to my emancipation. I posted my story in cyberspace for this reason. With nothing to hide, I am free to tell it to whomever, whenever I feel it best and right. Secrets lock you into an invisible prison. “School” counts on secrecy on all levels. Secrets fuel the operation and keep it going. I have found healing in telling my story, letting go of that burden, and so can you.
You don’t have to take your story to your grave. You don’t have to blast it out to cyberspace either. But tell it to someone; even one trusted person will give you some relief. No more secrets. Secrets are cancerous. They will eat you up inside. Let them go. Know that when you give voice to your experience, you reclaim your truth and your true identity. Know that the more people who are telling their stories, pulling the curtain on the Wizard, the more exposed this cult will be and less able to perpetrate its twisted version of “evolution”, also known as life long and dependent “students” who will pay $350 every month.
I imagine most of my readership lives in America, although, I have noted visits from various countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and even Asia, which is very cool. Regardless of your location, those of us who lived the “school” experience can practice our Freedom of Speech. In the land of the free and home of the brave we have civil rights and we can speak out against that which has proven odious and harmful.
I do think you and everyone else should know that many people did not keep the “rules” even when they were in school.
A very close friend of mine (who is till a very close friend of mine) left school about 5 or 6 years before I did. We never stopped talking on the phone. She found out “all about school” and it’s very seamy underbelly when she left and told me all about it. At one point I did have to stop talking to her because the cognitive dissonance was so great and I was for certain reasons unable to leave school at the time (although I wanted to.) I called her as soon as I left. I was very puzzled the whole time because I kept thinking that if Sharon and Robert were so damned evolved, why didn’t they know I had been talking to her and knew all their secrets???
When I left, I kept in touch with a number of people who were still in school. We didn’t really talk much about school but I knew they would eventually leave (and they didi) and I didn’t want to pressure them too much. Actually, now that I think about it, I kept in touch with quite a few people after I left who were still in.
Also, don’t believe that everyone was telling the truth when they said that they made their “aim” every five months. The list could go on.
The important thing to note is, however, that if you have left school but are still following their rules by not talking and telling your story, you are as good as still being in school. You haven’t left if you are still following the rules.
BREAK THE RULES. It’s the only way to freedom.
Funny coincidence (isn’t capital L Life full of them!) When I left, I kept talking to my dear friend who was still in, for about a year. I was finding out all of that “seamy underbelly” and conveying it to her. My constant shock impelled me to send it to her unedited, plus she and I had discussed doubts about school for a long time. She took it pretty well, but also could not leave due to entanglements with family and eventually the (not seeming) contradiction compelled her to tell me she knew I was speaking the truth, but she couldn’t keep talking to me. I was sad, but I understood. I knew that she would eventually leave. I ‘spoke’ to her, sending her love, for years. Eventually she left and we have resumed out close and dearest of friendships. Recently I told her that if I could make the choice of never “meeting” school but never knowing her, I would have gone into school anyway, because her friendship (and one other, also saved from the wreckage) are that important and meaningful to me.
We ‘broke’ the rules for years as much as we dared – recruitment became dinners out and shopping trips; during a time when she had to travel from one city to another for class, we made sure to ask the one teacher we knew wouldn’t give us a hard time over her staying at our house for permission (thanks DK!). We never got caught. The higher beings never suspected. She used to ask me, “Sometimes I think it’s a cult – what do you think?” and I would reply, “Oh that’s silly – how could so many bright and talented and educated people be in a cult?” That was before I knew I had given the very definition of a person who joins a cult – a functioning, bright individual who seeks something meaningful in life and hasn’t found it in traditional venues (or at least yet).
It wasn’t until we were both out that I told her I had been breaking more rules than she knew, for many years. It started wiht a loss of interest and ‘force’ in five-week aims. So formulaic and dumb – in our city, you only stated your aim to your partner, and it was always something like “I’m going to do ten things to improve my dating life/relationship/family life” “I’m going to do five things to improve my apartment” “take five bassoon lessons” etc. etc. Ater about 7 or 8 years, I could see that none of these ‘small’ aims were doing much for me. Plus, with all of the demands of school they were becoming just another something I had to do. We switched partners and most partners called infrequently or called several times a day wanting help with every aspect of their lives “I was thinking it would help my aim of being good to myself if I had an ice cream cone, but then I was thinking that conflicted with my aim of losing weight – I don’t know what to do! What do you think? Silverware!” Finally, after being screamed at for “showing off” when I brought in the results of two years of work learning a new musical instrument and performing in public, which is nervewracking for me, I began “not making” my aims, but I certainly wasn’t going to admit to that and get blown up in class as I saw happening to others – hell to the “NO!”. I reported excellent progress with appropriate intervals to my partners. I reported making my aims on aim night. No one ever doubted a micron of what I said. The highly evolved detected not an iota of a lie. Huh. Wonder if they really don’t see more. I was assigned to a small group of recruiters (at that time only a small group of special assholes was assigned to recruitment). If you didn’t have people and get them along the meeting ladder, you got picked apart, criticized, yelled at – never mind that no new student had been brought for years. We were given a student leader who was a dead loss and all he did was have meetings until 4 am and whine at us and pose questions about “why weren’t we doing well?” No one ever knew what he wanted, so eventually he would tell us the answer (No strong aim) and when we all began stating strong aims, he told us we were no good because we hadn’t thought of it. To get away from this kind of specious hectoring, I began making people up. Names, meetings, what was said, where we went – funny, though – none of them ever got past the third meeting! But there were always new people added to my list. At least I wasn’t being screamed at.
I realized that school was a fake. I had seen sustainer reports by accident, so I knew how teachers knew supposedly secret information. Now I knew that none of them had any kind of advanced insight or knowledge or “secret powers”. I used this to temper my life in school the last three years so I could survive.
Those years were horrifying. I won’t go into the details, but events in school and events in my life combined to throw me into a clinical depression. I was gone, gone, gone. Female teachers called me and told me to “get over it”. Finally, I called in and left a message saying I had been to 2 doctors and it was absolutely recommended I get onto anti-depressants (so frowned upon!). I told them I was going to do it. ( believe me, my life was at stake). I went to class. No one said anything to me until the end when I was leaving. A female teacher called my name and said, “dont’ you want to talk to S?” I said, “sure” and walked over to her, where she sat on her platform in her barcalounger. There I met with the most sympathy and kindness I ever was to experience in my 12 years there. I knelt and she pulled my head onto her lap. I sobbed (I was sobbing all the time in those days). She said I could try anti-depressants for three months to “get a window on life without depression, but for god’s sake, don’t go to a psychiatrist.” I agreed, but found that the only way I could get the medicine was to have sessions. So began my meta-school – I saw a psychiatrist and took the pills for my last three years in school – until I left I never told her about school, I never told school about her – and now, I am telling all. If I hadn’t broken so many rule, I would be dead today, and I wouldn’t be talking so much!
Yes, Cheers to breaking the rules!
Hi Ginger Berry & Triple Agent –
I really have to laugh at my naivete … while in, I really took most of those rules to heart and I believed everyone else did, too. Sometimes I wouldn’t honor the entire hour of silence and then I would feel incredibly guilty about it. And my husband always knew I was with this secretive group on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But, I must admit, in most other ways I was a pretty good doobie. Although, I did give up on self sensing after a while, because I had the good sense to start resenting the fact that “school” was intruding on my private early morning hours with this “instruction”.
I’m pretty sure I wrote about this before, but I remember recruiting with an “older student” once, who was clearly making no effort at all. She didn’t even try to look like a good recruiter doobie. I think we may have spoken to two people. Otherwise, we ate burgers at O’Neil’s Pub in Salem and shared our mutual unemployment woes. Shortly after the meal she said, “Gotta run.” and she was off to the races. I was confused, but relieved, too, because there was nothing I dreaded more than recruitment. Anyway, that was my first glimpse into those who “break the rules” even when still “evolving” via “school”.
The following comments really made my day:
About rule breakers in general …
“I do think you and everyone else should know that many people did not keep the ‘rules’ even when they were in school.”
About “non-fraternization” …
“When I left, I kept in touch with a number of people who were still in school.”
” …recruitment became dinners out and shopping trips; during a time when she had to travel from one city to another for class, we made sure to ask the one teacher we knew wouldn’t give us a hard time over her staying at our house for permission.”
About aims …
“I reported excellent progress with appropriate intervals to my partners. I reported making my aims on aim night…The highly evolved detected not an iota of a lie.”
About “clever insincerity” …
“To get away from this kind of specious hectoring, I began making people up. Names, meetings, what was said, where we went – funny, though – none of them ever got past the third meeting! But there were always new people added to my list.”
About “school’s psychic teachers” …
“I had seen sustainer reports by accident, so I knew how teachers knew supposedly secret information. Now I knew that none of them had any kind of advanced insight or knowledge or ‘secret powers’.”
Oh my God, how could I have so believed the farce … the smoke and mirrors …
Anyway, Triple Agent, I’m sorry that your last three years were so hellish. I do hope you will continue to shed light and share your experiences on this blog.
Here’s to the Rule Breakers! Long May They Reign! Triple Agent – Can’t wait for those Margaritas and a marathon catch up. See you soon.
[P.S. Created a new moniker for here. Hope I remember it next time I post. I keep forgetting my alias].
Aegie, you got it!
One of my greatest surprises, on leaving, was finding out how many other people in school were also lying about making aims, particularly in recruitment. One woman was particularly dismayed because she never thought of it. “Think of all the BS I didn’t have to go through!” She wailed. We all could empathize – we all went through way too much BS!
GSR, I really admire your gutsiness! You never know who you’re helping (in addition to yourself) by speaking out about your experience. I spoke honestly about my experience (which, admittedly wasn’t traumatic, so I know it might not be possible for everyone involved), even to those I barely knew, and found that one person was in the process of being recruited! She put two and two together and realized it was this group, and told her (now former) friend what was going on. (They decided not to ask her to join! Gosh, can’t imagine why!!)
Another woman I met at a bioneers conference was finally able to make sense of her own friend’s strange behavior– she has been stuck in this group for years and does a lot of research for the lectures. So she could explain the situation to their mutual acquaintances.
Recently, a friend who had helped me publicize the existence of the group around town realized that a coworker of hers was getting sucked into what had all the hallmarks of a cult and could warn this person to investigate further (http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=1572.0 is one website that describes it). Her experience learning about “School” helped her spot the cultic hallmarks immediately.
Telling people about your experiences is performing a public service, it really is.
Btw, GSR, WHERE do you find these marvelous illustrations? You always manage to find the perfect one for your posts!
Thank you for your kind comments. First of all, good for you for spreading the word! I don’t think I can say this enough: the more people who talk about their “school” days openly, the less people they will be able to recruit and the more likely that this group will simply dwindle away.
Sometimes I start to wonder if I’m either crazy or stupid, because most people have to good sense to be embarrassed by being duped into a cult. But at this point, most people in my life know — friends, family, even work colleagues and I can’t describe the burden that fell off my shoulders when I decided to let it go. I truly do feel free, and light, and even on my worst days, I feel gratitude for my freedom — no one is dictating personal choices, or devouring my time with “demands”, “instructions”, “assignments”, recruitment meetings, etc. My holiday seasons are my own without the dread of “school’s” all-important party consuming it. I wish I could create an enormous billboard — a public service announcement that could hang over the Mass Pike, or hang in Harvard Square — Beware of “school”.
As for the illustration, I spend far too much time on Google Images. 😉
Thanks for reading and commenting and encouraging! Keep on putting the word out! Break “the rules”! I will check out the link you included. Enjoy your true freedom!
Does anyone reading this blog know Leslie and Stuart? I know they have been part of OSG for many, many years. If you do know them, I’d like to talk to you. My email address is below. I have nothing but good intentions and a desire to search out the truth.
You could also respond here and tell me anything you know.