By now we disgruntled ex-“students” know that “school” morphs when exposed. Recently some sources have shared transmutations present and past.
Present morph: I have been told that Boston’s satellite branch started a “younger class” this winter. My sources said that it consists of three women, four men, a revolving door of recruits who don’t return, and “older students” who pop in to make the class feel and look more authentic. Sources also tell me that it …
- …meets Mondays and Thursdays, instead of Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- …floats to various locations in the Watertown/Cambridge area. Initially it landed at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge. But two newbies departed after a brief tenure, so the class began floating. They landed somewhere in Watertown, upon last check.
- … tai chi Michael leads the charge, although other “teachers” join him or rotate through. Robert appears when “students” question the institution to apply careful manipulation and damage control.
- … AIMS are becoming “commitments”. According to “school” this is because the word “aim” is becoming mechanical and “losing its meaning”. Could it be that the word AIM and the phrase, five-week AIM, are now searchable key words? Inquiring “students” who break “the rules” and Google these keywords/phrases might discover a veritable potpourri of websites and blogs that criticize and expose a con job and destructive cult, “poisoning their experience” and make it difficult for the cult to retain newbies and increase income.
- … Sustainers are morphing into “the person I work with”. The word is that the “sustainers” themselves requested this change – the “title”, they allegedly said, loses meaning over time. Could it be that the word sustainer is too closely associated with websites and blogs that reveal and criticize this group.
Stay tuned for past fabrications that have morphed into “secret esoteric teachings”.
Not to provide any ammo for “school,” but if they were actually smart about this, they would create their own web sites and use faux unique key phrases, terms and teacher aliases in class so that when “students” inevitably do a web search using the terms “school” will be able to control what they see. Maybe you shouldn’t post this. It might give them ideas – but then again it would take an awful lot of work. Maybe they’ve already done it. The internet must drive them bonkers. Does anyone know how strong they still are? How many “students” they really are able to hold on to?
Guess I’ll take the risk. The problem with them creating a website is that they would then have to let go of the practice of “invisibility” … everything being top secret, the standard line being, “It’s very important not to tell anyone about this.” Or to “keep sealed. Or “not to leak”. They would also have to change their tune about the internet being so evil. Here in Mass, they appear to be very invested in flying under the radar.
Corporate headquarters may have a different philosophy — after all, Time Out Magazine outed them back in 2006 (http://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/follow-the-leader).
I wish I could tell you for sure how strong the group is … last I heard, the satellite’s recruitment efforts haven’t been very fruitful and the report on this new “younger class” indicates that it’s very small and people don’t stay. On a more somber note, I did hear back in 2012 that many big apple attendees are getting serious illnesses … not surprising since secrets like these are so cancerous. I also heard tell of concerns about S getting older. Whose gonna run the show when she’s not able, or after she’s gone?
Maybe someone out there in cyberspace can speak to the strength of the group more accurately than I can.
I wasn’t saying they should have a real website. I think that the “website” wouldn’t be legit. It would be very covert – and anyone doing a search would discover complimentary information about the “school” the student has found. It wouldn’t actually represent the “real” school – sort of like counter-espionage – dis-disinformation, if you will. Okay, I’ve said too much. Shhh – don’t tell them. (These are tactics currently used by internet “reputation managers.” I’m certain that those who we shall not name for fear of being harassed have already employed such people because the search results being returned lately – as opposed to even 6 months ago -show the less favorable links after page one – which is a major coup for them).
I’m sorry to hear about the illnesses of the NY group. Not surprising as the school doesn’t really allow for a healthy life style.
Oooo. You are more IT savvy than I am. I let WordPress hold my hand. I expect you are right, though, they have probably employed these tactics. It would be interesting to come across one of these covert propaganda sites. I might have to do some poking around.
Regarding links and rankings within search results – those who we shall not name have achieved some victory since by taking down blogs there are fewer links to particular search terms and names, thus reducing the rankings of those terms and named individuals. This, in turn, puts search results on later pages and reduces the likelihood that someone searching for information will find it. Names of certain “teachers,” when searched, are not returning the results they were even just a few months ago. To get to the juicy stuff requires patience and diligence. Most people will not look past page one on search results. It’s a key tactic of reputation managers. They create more links and pointers to those links, that are favorable to the individual and pushes down the unfavorable bits in the search results. So, it’s more than getting bloggers to take down their websites through intimidation and threats of lawsuits. By taking down the sites, the search algorithm places less importance on those that are left reducing the overall rankings. Even though your blog is still here, there are fewer blogs pointing to it, and your blog will be further down the search, lessening the likelihood it will be seen. Hope that makes sense.
And to be clear, I have no knowledge that there is any attempt to create “dis-disnformation” specific to “school” and its “teachings” for current students to find. I was just saying that if these people were smart, they would do something like that. For now, it looks like, based only on how the search results have changed in recent months, that the reputation managers have succeeded in placing greater emphasis on “positive” results, pushing “negative” results to later pages. Searching the name of a certain practitioner in NYC provides a good example of this. Several months ago the first results returned on this individual’s name were all negative. Now, while some of that still exists, it’s been successfully pushed to later pages in the search.
I’ll stop rambling now. I only know enough about this topic to be dangerous at this point.
Thank you, GSR, for keeping as up-to-date as possible on what is “happening” in the group. If others would write in what they know about the current status, that would be really helpful.
I think it is really important for people who might be becoming involved with this group to be able to find out as much as possible so they can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to commit themselves to more than a month’s experiment.
So many people have been so hurt and so irreparably harmed by these people, that any help that we can give them to identify this group as a cult and STAY AWAY FROM THEM is a real service to anyone involved.
Anyone who has recently left, PLEASE add any information that you have. It’s important to expose the lies and mistreatment.
Aegis, you have some interesting points.
“Reputation Managers” OMG! I had no idea. You must have to really be a serious “piece of work” (pun intended) to need to hire someone to put a positive spin on your reputation!!!!
So, anyone reading this can, all by themselves, go to Blogger or WordPress and put up as many blogs as you like about “school” (for free). Get an email address from safe-mail or hush mail, or Google “anonymous email accounts” – there are tons of them. If you need to pay for anything, buy a Visa card at Duane Reade or CVS – they are not traceable. Go ahead, clog the airwaves.You don’t really need to say much. You can point to this blog, to Steve Hassan, to Rick Ross, to Esoteric Freedom, etc. Put up a few names. Put up “work terms”. Write about your own experience. Put up a disclaimer. Not very hard to do at all. They take down sites. We can put more sites up. If everyone spent a few hours doing this, it might really help what you find when you look on a search engine. Let them pay for attorneys to try to take them down. Let them pay and pay. They can afford it…
Yes, this web presence is so important! My intention is to make this information available and create a space for us “disgruntled(s)” to tell our stories. How else would others know about the con job?
Believe me, you never think you are going to get sucked into a cult. I’d been grappling for hope and some guidance and there it was. A group with “ideas”, instructions on “how to live.” Once upon a time I believed I’d “stumbled upon a secret esoteric school”. I thought, “How lucky am I?”
It was so shocking for me to step back and see how I had let this group hijack my thoughts, feelings, actions, time and energy. It continues to be shocking to read all the cult literature and see that it operates exactly the same as any other cult. If we can help others recognize this group as the con job that it is, then it can’t continue to deceive and manipulate.
I am sure that Aegis is onto something in that particular people have probably hired “reputation managers” to protect their businesses. (Yes, Aegis, here am I, perservating). But unlike other cults, such as The Forum, or those crazy kids out in LA (Scientology), who have a public persona as a legitimate business or religion, this one is and always has been in the shadows. The cover businesses have always been covers for the REAL operations. Attempts to discuss what goes on bring about bug outs, lawsuits, new rules and meetings in hotel rooms, new 501c-3 and 4 corporations etc. The Forum is open to everyone – you buy in or you don’t. So is scientology (up to a certain level, when it gets very VERY secret). But this group is secretive all the way. Also to be considered is the fundamental ignorance of the top tier about technology and its effect on the world in the past twenty years (Hello? who remembers the school response to Y2K?) IT and its component parts and series of tubes are so little understood by the Dear Leaders that they still told students in 2000, “dont use email”, and then “don’t use the internet” and “don’t search the internet”. It’s like saying, “don’t think about green monkeys”. Now, what image popped right into your brain?
As the internets became more sophisticated and more of a daily tool for people, the blogs got cheekier. Names were published. Business practices came to routinely include searching people who you did business with . Now you get googled when you apply for a job. Imagine if you are a profession in the fields of law or medicine or finance and a new client googles you and finds a dossier or blog posting such as exists (or did) in ‘the good stuff’? The threat is now personally existential. The group’s funnest and fundamental members are being identified, prevented from an income stream – S’s worst nightmare, too close to home. More definitive measures are taken, a financial ‘war chest’ is compiled, the Devil’s favorite minions of the Bar are hired, and reputation managers are discovered – to protect the holy few, and the great general behemoth. As long as the money stream is basically good, the leaders are good. As long as the leaders are basicallly in the shadows, with the moeny stream flowing, all is well.
Ah yes, we remember it well.
For several years, anyone not in a coma had been conscious of stories on the possible chaos that awaited the world on January 1, 2000. Everyone except S.
In late spring/early summer of 1999 it somehow penetrated her ‘mind’. I remember the night she deigned to tell her students that she had “become aware” of this “very dangerous thing called Y2K”. We all looked at each other. Not only was everyone in the room ‘aware’, but most people now recognized that government and business had been working for a couple of years to make sure there were NO large disruptions, if they even happened. Most experts believed that, at worst, computers would simply turn their dates to 1900 and continue to function. Of course anyone could see that this could cause obvious problems with say, paychecks and shipping dates – so, everyone had been WORKING ON IT – HELLO? Even the cult classic, Office Space, was about a guy, bored with his job – CORRECTING CODE FOR Y2K. And by Summer 2000, Office Space was already OLD.
But She Who Must Be Obeyed had spoken. Bright people who knew better said, ‘There is a lesson our teacher wants us to understand.” Minor league idiots bought it hook line and sinker (and by ‘idiots’, I mean people who really, really, by their position and intelligence, should have known better).
Example: a fairly bright woman (so I thought) who made a lot of money in sales, had hysterics when I told her I was skeptical and started berating me, telling me that global business would stop, society would break down, credit cards wouldn’t process. She finally stopped when I asked her if she didn’t think that credit card and shipping companies hadn’t thought of that and would really really want to prevent it?. she either actually thought about it, or decided that I was ‘closed’ to my teacher and later in 2000, when I left, and even later, when I was vilified, that must have been a ‘sign’ of my ‘negativity to school’. I still think it was just common sense. But hey, what do I know? I actually Left School – can you believe it?
So, that first night, we were ordered to go home immediately and pack an escape bag – it was to include many many many things (survivalist style, for each family member: a sleeping bag, down jacket, rain jacket, clothes you could layer, various pants, shoes, socks, flashlights, extra batteries, dried food, water, liquor to trade with devos, a gun if you had it (again, devos), gold if you had it, jewelry (same), hat, compass – the list went on. Those who actually packed a bag a) spent a lot and b) found them too big and too heavy to actually carry.
People who lived in the suburbs were charged with filling their houses with the above, and get generators. People were ‘assigned’ to different areas and houses. “You go to A’s and you go to J’s and you two go to this one and you five go here and we’ll all meet to fight the zombies” If you could you were supposed to get to the CR at Pawling. So we could all “be together”.
Again, for a few months this became a school focus that went absolutely nowhere. People took archery classes so we could learn to shoot animals and protect ourselves. We had a well-stocked first aid box and a well stocked liquor supply. Construction was stepped up on the property. We bought food that would keep as a trial – and as a result ate potatoes for months. (They don’t actually keep all that well). We talked about it in class and our fears (some of us) for the World To Come. People bought generators. People spent money to do what S said. For New Year’s we all had to leave the City. We all had to call in and say where we were going to be. In a few cases a number of people ended up at the same home out of town and had little parties – that sounded like fun. I was with non-school friends and called these other friends at midnight. I felt very connected, having finally had a decent Christmas party experience.
Nothing happened with Y2k. It was never mentioned by anyone in School again. Eight months later, I was gone with ten percent of our school. So, I guess for S, it was a disaster of sorts after all.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry… That’s a lie, I’m definitely laughing. Thanks for sharing the lunacy!
Triple Agent – I think you have to create a blog. Or publish a book. Or both! This is the third time I’ve read the Y2k story.
Thanks, it definitely figures into my plans to write about it in a permanent form. You can’t make this stuff up and the chapters form themselves. Fortunately it has a (Spoilers!) happy ending.
Re: Less Presence on the Internet about Sharon Gans?
No, I don’t think so. Yes, they have used their bottom sucking barracuda attorneys to remove a number of websites about them. However, in about 10 minutes, I found this by just Googling “Sharon Gans.” Try Googling other names, etc. and you will fined a lot more.
This is but a small sample: