Podcast Recommendation …

Here’s another interview with Steve Hassan that offers lots of great info. It’s his second with the podcast, Trumpcast. I really like this journalist, Virginia Heffernan! She’s smart and funny.

Mr. Hassan’s recent book, The Cult of Trump, is getting a lot of attention, both praise and criticism, as you can imagine. I haven’t read it yet. But I’ve listened to Ms. Heffernan interview him twice. Both interviews were well worth it! Educational, fascinating and at moments, hopeful! So, without further ado …


The Gentle Souls Guide to Managing Coronavirus: Medical and Mental Health

Let’s face it, life’s been weird since 2016. This week, though, was a particularly heinous shitshow. My opinion: with honest leadership at the top, our country would not be shutting down (are you tired of all the “winning” yet?). A Clinton White House would have heeded experts; testing would have been in place and a vaccine on its way.  Most of us would be living pretty normal lives, more vigilant, yes? But quarantined, no.

But, of course, the putin puppet/cult leader/ “president” can’t interrupt his delusions. He lies and his monkeys repeat his lies. The sycophants praise him. They don’t care about the human costs. That’s how cults work. 

Then the medical professionals, and public health officials have to correct the lies. We get mixed messages. People panic. In my 55 years, I’ve never seen Americans freak out and empty grocery store shelves of hand sanitizer, chicken cutlets, frozen meals and toilet paper.

My brother & sister-in-law are medical professionals. I trust their opinions. They believe in science (imagine that). Both of them feel that the mass hysteria over covid 19/coronavirus is overblown. Use common sense. Take precautions. Do the socially responsible thing and keep social distance, for now. This post is my attempt to do two things:

1) Provide factual information gleaned from a YouTube video explicitly for ER professionals (provided by said brother). I’ve listened and boiled it down to essentials for us civilians: 

  • MITIGATING the SPREAD: Social distancing is most important right now. Thanks to the Trump admin, it’s too late for containment. Travel bans are stupid. Coronavirus is here — obvious to most except for those in delirious state of cult coma. So avoid crowds as much as possible. Stay home. Wash hands. And clean surfaces. This virus is transmitted through respiratory drops that live on surfaces. It is not airborne. You can go outside. You can go to the store. Try to avoid touching your face (hard I know). 
  • TESTING: obviously sane people know that we need testing. The purpose is: 1) to protect healthcare workers. 2) to protect the most vulnerable – the elderly, or those whose health is already compromised 3) for surveillience of the data so medical and public health professionals can do their work. Of course, as testing increases, reported cases will, too. Better to know. 4) to determine the best treatment. Medical experts need the financial backing and support of policy makers for this; needless to say, there’s no treatment right now. Isn’t that “great”?
  • ABOUT VACCINES: speaking of treatment, anyone with two braincells realizes that developing and testing vaccines takes time. The experts in this video estimate roughly 6-12 months. But since the those at the top are hindering, rather than helping, it’s hard to say for sure.  The interviewee on this podcast, Dr. David Talen, did say there are some “promising candidates”, fingers crossed.
  • WHAT TO DO IF FEELING SICK: Stay home. Call your doctor. Monitor for symptoms. Isolate. Sleep. Watch bad movies. Steam your throat. Drink tea. Don’t run to the ER immediately. If ERs get flooded by people who don’t need acute care, it exposes the more vulnerable patients to the virus. Some countries have started offering drive through testing sites. Apparently, Southern California hospitals are establishing outdoor triage and testing. 
  • MORE TESING means LOWER MORTALITY RATES: South Korea has had the most aggressive testing and lowest reports of deaths. And, according to Dr. Talen, South Korea has provided the most accurate data. Imagine that.

If you feel inclined to geek out, as I did, here’s the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp29gmsJJ4A 

2) Offer suggestions for maintaining mental health: One healthcare professional in the Podcast said his biggest concern was the social consequences. Fear as a contagion. Gentle Souls absorb their environments, so you need to do your best to mitigate your exposure. Staying sane should be a top priority: say no; set boundaries; limit news and social media. Eat healthy. Get rest. Go outside and take a walk. Connect to family and friends. Calm down your nervous system with the healthiest activities that you can muster. Yoga. Meditation. Music. Art. Take a run. Whatever it is that calms and centers you. Go there. Do that.

Someone sent a poem out on a listserv today … I can’t really say it better. So see below. Inhale and exhale. We’ll get through this.

Don’t call yourself a Christian

When you’re recovering from a cultic misadventure, watching hypocrisy is triggering. You’ve probably realized that some group cranked up the gaslight on you. You’ve started the process of trusting yourself, realizing that your gut instincts and emotional response to abusive and illegal and unsavory practices were right on target. That’s why certain higher ups either dismissed or humiliated you for questions, or stating discomfort. You’ve been recognizing that the more you suffer in silence, wondering things like “am I crazy”, the more the cult, i.e. the narcissistic leader, benefits.

If this sounds familiar, then you, like me are probably exploding right now as the Republican Party props up, venerates and generates profits for our current predator and thief. If that’s so, I offer you, this 3-5 minutes of brilliance, written and performed the venerable Eric Schwartz, an incredible, somewhat hidden jewel and talent. I hope it provides some well-deserved catharsis and relief. Enjoy:

Full Reddit Post – “school”, not so invisible…

Good afternoon Readers – I was at the gym recently working out my aggression and anger about how members of the Trump Cult are actively bringing about the demise of Democracy. Isn’t that “great”.

While, I can’t do anything about Trump Worship (ahhh, ‘the imperfect vessel’ the ‘chosen one’), I can share the initial Reddit post that contradicts school’s claim of being “the invisible world.”

If you want to engage with Reddit users who are kind of curious, I suggest that you visit the site and check out their comments … and I suggest this visit, despite the fact that one commenter said: “That’s a really bizarre blog. Not sure what the person is on about but may just be a general rant about school on general. The writer is really incoherent.”

Speaking of incoherent 😉

If you don’t feel like falling down the Reddit hole, and want to know what was posted, here it is. And it is coherent:

I worked in a building with a supposed cult upstairs(longish read)

I worked in a building with a supposed cult upstairs (longish read)So over last summer I worked at a small business in the Faulkner Mills building in Billerica, MA. It’s a pretty historic building and used to be a textile mill back during the industrial boom in the northeast U.S, but now it’s just home to a couple of small businesses, as well as a little museum detailing some history about the town and the building. I should mention too that this building is overall pretty creepy, barely anyone else was ever usually there, and a few of the businesses inside the building seemed completely dead, as if no one had been working there for months yet they were still fully furnished.

So one day our boss decides to make things even creepier after my coworker and I tell her how weird we think the building is. She said that one floor above us, there was a cult that had been meeting every week for all the years she had been working there. She said that once a week, on the same day of the week, during the evening a bunch of weird people would come to the mill and all go upstairs to the floor above ours. Anytime she tried to strike up conversation with them, or casually ask what they were up to, they would be polite but dodgy, and just say that it was some support group or something. She described these people as older, and kind of hippy-like.

My boss then goes on to say that for a while she never thought much of it, until a note was slipped under the door of her business (and everyone else’s in the building) that read something along the lines of “The people upstairs are a cult, they are dangerous, do not trust them.” Of course this freaked her the fuck out, and she goes to the owner of the building to ask to see the security footage of whoever was in the halls passing these notes out. Upon viewing the footage, the person passing the notes out appeared to be a woman dressed in heavy snow gear, with a hat and scarf tightly wrapped around her face so it was completely unrecognizable to the cameras. The owner of the building, as it turns out, had been suspicious of these people long before these warnings came, as when they originally started renting the space they requested absolutely nobody be allowed upstairs except for the owner, and only when he absolutely needed to be up there.

I’ll also add that the stairs leading up to the supposed cult area are chained off and the door at the top has heavy locks on it. Also, I’m not completely sure about this but the windows of the upstairs area definitely appear to be blacked out somehow. I have never seen anything through them, which is weird cuz all the other windows in the building are transparent as a window should be. It could also be just dark the vast majority of the time up there, but the blackness in the windows seems… flatter then if they were just looking into a dark room, if that makes sense.

Sorry for the rambling, long ass post. I’m just trying to see if anyone else knows anything about this or can dig some stuff up on it. The only info I can find on this is this link, which is kind of hard to glean anything from but seems to confirm that yes, there is a cult, and it may be called “The Study.”

Update: The owner of the blog responded to my emails and gave very thorough responses (thank you if you’re reading this!!) to my questions about Faulkner Mills and what the hell happened there. The group is definitely Odyssey Study Group run by Sharon Gans as others have mentioned below. Faulkner Mill’s “classroom” was just a very small satellite sect of the main part of the cult in NYC, operating with a bunch of other locations in the Boston area. The people running these Boston “classes” retold the teachings of philosopher George Gurdjieff (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gurdjieff) as if they were ultra-valuable ancient secrets of old. The comments have provided the majority of links to do more research if you’d like. Also, I can now confirm that yes, the windows were in fact covered up by heavy curtains so I knew I wasn’t crazy for thinking they were blocked out all the time.

The “school” origin story …

Are you curious about how “school”/”the study”/the Odyssey Study Group came to be? If so, visit my New York City counterpart’s blog: The Sharon Gans Cult News Blog. That particular “disgruntled ex-student” happens to have much more insider info than I, as he attended classes at corporate headquarters … I was just a cog from “school’s” poor cousin, the Boston branch at the Faulkner Mills Building in Billerica.

I think that you’ll enjoy this latest post: The Rom Con

Trumpcast talks about the Trump cult …

Hi Readers,

I’m listening to a Slate podcast that I want everyone to hear. It is fascinating and important! So here’s a link: Why People Fall for Trump’s Political Cult.

The episode notes on Slate’s website — “Virginia Heffernan talks to Steven Hassan, author of The Cult of Trump, about why we fall for cults, Donald Trump’s brainwashing, and stories of his own deprogramming from a political cult in the 1970s. “

The content is more about how cultic dynamics relies on our social wiring, and how neuroscience now explains cultural influence through media and how it can be manipulated, then our current “president”. They give a nod to him, but mostly talk about the power and momentum behind him, which has been building for decades through various cults, some posing as “christians.” (Like the Moonies, but must notably, the group that initiated “national prayer breakfast “The Family, Mike Pence’s cult ).

I found it both insightful and (dare I say) hopeful, as Ms. Heffernan reminds her listeners that cultism is counter-adaptive. Those of us who got swept into hypnotic cult states leave when we recognize the point at which group requirements became destructive to us, as people. It is at that moment, that we realize, wow this group has been lying to me.

I had that wakeup moment and can attest to it! I hope America will start waking up – I mean do we want our Judicial system to became illegitimate?
I don’t think so.

Anyway, I learned quite a bit in this hour & it was time very well spent!

The not-so-invisible world …

I left “school” in 2011. To this very day, I still laugh when something in the real world contradicts the cult’s claim of being “invisible”. Apparently, it is quite visible to several people who work at the Faulkner Mills Building, in Billerica, Mass; according to this reddit post, people have been wondering about this super-secret group for years, including a building owner: https://www.reddit.com/r/cults/

“School” made it into reddit. Who knew. Someone should let the blog monitor know. Now you’re gonna have to read reddit, too.

For a cult-free 2020, know the red flags …

I admit, this post is a tease. It’s meant to point you to my new website, where I’ve posted a graphic identifying Cultic Red Flags. But I also want to talk about an 8-episode podcast called Escaping Nxvim — you know Nxvim, the sex-trafficking, women-branding, cult. I’ve listened twice. Both times the uncanny similarities between cult lite, “school”, with the worst of the worst, Nxvim, struck me. While the former is far more extreme, the recruitment & indoctrination are the same.

Every cult that I’ve heard about, read about, or studied, to date uses the same basic recruitment & indoctrination strategies. The outer marketing varies, but the inner manipulation is the same. Once you know those hallmarks, you quickly recognize cons . You can reverse engineer the damage, by using the group’s ammo against it. That’s what Sarah Edmondson did when she left Nxvim. It is also what my buddy, Sir Tubman, did when he left “school” AND he took half of his “class” with him. You can read about that HERE.

Now Keith Raniere, Nxvim‘s lead narcisisst, is in jail. Here’s a report from The Guardian: “Raniere… was found guilty of all counts against him, including racketeering, forced labour, sex trafficking and child abuse images charges. The jury reached their decision in less than five hours of deliberations.”

Thanks to Ms. Edmondson, and the other brave ex-members who spoke out, Raniere is in prison where he belongs. Unfortunately, there are always more scumbags and con artists lurking, I don’t know why that is. But YOU don’t have to be vulnerable. Educate yourself, protect your privacy. They will bug off.

And, oh, yea, I have a new website: here’s the How to spot a cult page