“School” or Cult? Do your research (as the kids like to say …)

Two Things: 1) Sometimes justice does prevail: Sarah Lawrence Cult Leader Convicted of Trafficking and Extortion

2) Sometimes it doesn’t: I left “school” in 2011, largely because my husband found the blog Esoteric Freedom. It exposed the cult con & provided a cyber gathering place for all “disgruntled ex-students.”

Following Scientology’s strategies, “school” sued the site owner. L. Ron Hubbard saw that– ironically– our justice system does not have remedies to protect whistleblowers from parasitic groups with loads of money. Free speech, anyone?

So “school” said, “Hold my beer,” hired a sleaze-bag lawyer & Esoteric Freedom evaporated. During my recent interview on the pod The Cult Vault, the host, Kacey, mentioned that she’d struggled to find information. Recently, some folks contacted me because a “school” recruiter had been courting them.

For what it’s worth, here is a list of online information that I’ll keep on the top of this blog & add to it, as things roll out:

Most recent:

The New York Mystery Machine interviews me and Spencer Schneider , posted August 1, 2022: Surviving a Cult: An Interview with Former Members of the Odyssey Study Group

NYC cult bought $925K upstate retreat, uses “forced labor’ to dig ditches: source, posted July 23, 2022

Inside NYC’s secret cult that ‘forced gay people into conversion therapy’ & brainwashed high-achievers into manual labor, posted July 23, 2022

Odyssey Study Group cult still going strong after death of charismatic leader Sharon Gans, posted July 9, 2022

Sharon Gans’ NYC cult member exposes fight clubs and broken lives, posted July 2, 2022: I learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know about “School” from this article.

A Cult Vault round table discussion: the host, Kacey, interviews me and Spencer Schneider, together: the compare and contrast between corporate headquarters, NYC, and “school’s” poor cousin, the Boston branch.

A Little Bit Culty interviews Spencer Schneider – Page Turner on his book Manhattan Cult Story

Accused cult leader Sharon Gans Horn cut kids from will: court papers

Manhattan cult duped women into paying fee, working for free: lawsuit

Inside the cult that has been operating in NY for decades

Cult Vault Podcast interviews me (part 1)

Cult Vault Podcast interviews me (part 2)

Cult Vault Podcast interview with Spencer

Another podcast: New York Mystery Machine–Cult Following:The Odyssey Study Group

Another podcast: Drinking on the Job–Sharon’s son talks about being groomed for cult leadership

Past reports:

Sharon Gans Cult Report – the most current blog to come out of corporate headquarters, i.e. the NYC branch.

Archived Pages of Esoteric Freedom from The Wayback Machine

Random website from 2011

A history & analysis of the Sharon Gans group, also known as “The Work” (aka “school”, “the study” … etc)

Comment thread from various ex-members and spouses of members seeking information about “school”. (2006)

Theater group, cult or stage – an article published in The San Francisco Progress, 1978

Sharon Gans left San Francisco amidst scandal in 1978

Comments on “the work” a “fourth way school”

The ganscult

1978 San Francisco Progress article about the Horn/Gans cult

School” abuse of the court system to shut up an ex-member

Rosie, Sharon, Alex, Robert & “the work”

Rosie O’Donnell refutes cult connection

4 thoughts on ““School” or Cult? Do your research (as the kids like to say …)

  1. Haven't Decided Today says:

    Even though Esoteric Freedom was forced off, there are still the archived versions. Here’s one URL from the Way back Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20160111052700/http://esotericfreedom.com/

  2. Penina says:

    I actually have an archive of the posts on esoteric freedom. Because I was using an RSS feeder. So the posts are stuck in my RSS feeder. Not however the comments

    • The Gentle Souls Revolution says:

      Wow! Thanks for the comment, Penina. I don’t have enough tech savvy to know what an RSS feeder is, or how to access the content… but it seems like there must be a way to provide a link. If you’ve got a suggestion, let me know.

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