I love to compare and contrast conclusions with fellow former students. Most of the time, the stories and conclusions corroborate and ultimately, most agree that there’s no “evolution” spinning upward from the hallowed halls. Occasionally, someone will challenge the perception of “school” as nefarious con job and most of the students with whom I’ve spoken consider all the shades of grey between “evolved and enlightened school” and high-demand deceptive cult. The following excerpts compare and contrast the 20th “school” conclusions with those of the new millennium:
20th Century: Most surprising to me is how “school” continues in one form or another for so long? I can’t, honestly, imagine any individual new to the school obeying a directive NOT to use the web to research and discover some of the truths revealed here and elsewhere, and still get sucked in. But I certainly had a dozen or more red flags from day one and continued on … so… not to judge.
New Millennium: I certainly followed the “do not search for ‘school’” on the Internet rule like a good little cog, even after I’d left for a time. It didn’t take very long for me to start filling in the missing pieces and seeing a more complete picture of “school” then the one presented by my “teachers”, and still I obeyed until I thought I would lose my mind from the weird isolated state in which I was living — re-experiencing scenarios from this secret world that had devoured so much of my life and realizing the demands, the “lines of work”, the claim of “being the source” … all lies. I think this speaks to the human need some of us have to be part of something meaningful. The more time, energy, and money invested, the more stronger the need to believe. Emotions trump critical thinking.
20th Century: … I realized pretty quickly after leaving, how programmed I had become, and how we all were victimized by a school structure which seemed to demand that to rise up (or be enlightened, awake, whatever), you had to step on someone else and push them down. So I think it quite positive and healing that — from what I’ve read so far — there is a realization that even those in the group who may have been higher ups, and complicit in running this school and sustaining it for so long, were also its victims and perhaps even more so.
New Millennium: most ex-students I’ve spoken with grapple with this question – do these “teachers” really believe they are evolving and “helping” their “students and the world? Most of them conclude that “teachers” and “older students” sincerely believe in the institution. Why else would all of these intelligent people allow the group to hijack their lives? When I say intelligent people, I mean ivy-league graduates and professors – “school’s” clientele is certainly part of its appeal.
I’ve concluded that intellect is a very different animal than emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is easily derailed when one lacks confidence, is feeling vulnerable, is seeking purpose, or guidance, or all of the above – that was certainly the case for me when I encountered “school”.
Most of the former students I’ve spoken with are simply grateful to be free from “school”, free to reclaim every aspect of their beings and most extend compassion for those still in “school”, often especially the “teachers” and inner circle, whose lives are so intricately linked to “school” (marriages, jobs, businesses, finances) that leaving becomes less and less viable.
20th Century: I don’t have any regrets regarding coming to “school”, as it absolutely was an experience that brought me some quick growth. Then it started to rot and got quite weird as more and more the reality of what was going on at the top and core became revealed. … I have long since given up trying to explain to family or friends that yes, I was in a cult. So just as school had instructed not to “leak”, that trying to explain school ideas to others was counterproductive and … well just not too possible, I’ve kept these experiences to myself all these years.
New Millennium: I also don’t regret my “school” days, although, I wished I’d uncovered the rot in two years, rather than five. Of course, I believe two years is “school’s” new millennium prescribed honeymoon period. Ironically, finding and leaving “school” is exactly what I needed to uncover my raison d’être.
As far as telling others, I find I am very blessed. My family, my friends, even my co-workers and boss have been very supportive. But I do find that — in general — most people scatter at the subject of cults. That’s why I feel so compelled to share, to educate, and to help others heal and speak out. As a society, this blight needs to be shared. As a civilization, we need to understand the emotional needs and social constructs that enable destructive groups to exist. It’s really the only way to combat the phenomenon.