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.

7 thoughts on “Yep, “School” is still “schooling”

  1. Spencer Schneider says:

    Im so glad people are able to report this to you. I only gets whispers and glimmers here in NYC but I have some first hand knowledge I consider reliable. Keep up the good work Esther.

  2. Bette says:

    Esther, you are AWESOME!!!!
    Thanks for continuing on this journey in exposing them.
    You commentary and insight is just so spot on!
    Thank you for your courageous reporting!

    • Esther says:

      Thanks for commenting, Bette! I seem to be obsessed with the entire topic. Thanks to “School”, I found my life purpose: cult buster.

  3. Aegis says:

    I’m curious about the age range of cult recruitment now. I was recruited in the mid ’80’s in the NYC cult when I was in my early 20’s. I was there just shy of 2 years. The “older” students (Minerva Taylor, Fred Mindel, and his then wife, Janice Crosby, Greg Koch, briefly reunited with Minerva at the time) were in their mid to late 30’s or so. Also this was the time period when they all moved into Waterside Plaza apartments – and Minerva was pregnant with the child she gave up for adoption at Sharon’s direction. I digress.

    Recruitment was introduced about 6-9 months in and I seem to recall we were told to target mid 20’s to 30 – but that 30+ was probably “too old.” Are they still able to get that age range or have they had to skew older as the people left are themselves getting older?

    • The Gentle Souls Revolution says:

      Hi Aegis – Thanks for the question and the info.

      I’m not sure, to be honest. I left in 2011. I vaguely remember our “make new friends” coaches telling us that we needed younger members, but not “too young.” I don’t recall any discussion about “too old” and I’m guessing that’s because the Boston branch needed warm bodies and more money. In fact, Robert’s standards for allowing admittance seemed … shall we say … not so high. It seems like the people who are contacting me lately are in their mid to late twenties and early thirties, but I can’t tell you for sure.

      I invite a more recent member to comment …

      • Fran says:

        Hi Aegis,
        As the subject of this post, i.e. the person who reached out to Esther to confirm my suspicions–that these interactions I had a few years ago were indeed with “school” “students”–I can tell you that I was 35 at the time, but I look younger than my age.

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