When threatened by criticism, “School” will toss about the pat phrase:“it’s all lies and slander” followed by, “You have all had your own experiences of ‘school’.” It will claim that looking for and reading about “school” online “will poison your experiences.” It will require you to obey the “no internet research” policy.
If “school” is a legitimate 4th-way institution, your experience should hold up and belie the critical mass of online complaints, and accusation, spanning decades and miles. Break the Rules! and draw your own conclusions, based on your own experiences. Trust me, the sky won’t fall, and you’ll only further your “schooling”. If you don’t confess, “school” will never know. If you do confess, “school” will scold you. But “school” will likely find a reason to scold you, anyway. As long as you pay your tuition, it won’t kick you out.
If you’re feeling bold, ask Robert specific questions: what does our “tuition” fund and why is there no transparency? Who was Alex Horn? What was The Theater of All Possibilities? Who was Gurdjieff and why doesn’t “school” mention him? What is the “privacy” policy protecting? Note whether he answers specific questions, speaks in generalities, dismisses the questions, or shames you for asking. Resources below:
A history and analysis of the Sharon Gan’s group, also known as “The Work”: this page includes an outline of the 5-step meeting recruitment process that “school” still uses today.
Cult Education Institute – https://culteducation.com/group/1190-odyssey-study-group-osg-fourth-way-school.html
San Francisco Chronicle article about Alex Horn’s Theatre of All Possibilities. Alex Horn is Sharon’s dead husband and Robert’s first “teacher”
Seeing into the heart of things: one woman’s story of her 28 years in “school”
The Gurdjieff Journal: Rosie, Sharon, Alex, Robert & The Work – this article distinguishes real fourth way school’s from faux and explains why the Gans/Horn “school” is not legitimate.
Freedom of Mind: Odyssey Study Group (aka “School”)
From Slabbed finance page: this blog from Slabbed mentions connects hedge-fund manager Joseph Stilwell and his efforts to sue bloggers who criticize “school”.
Rosie Refutes Cult Connection: this article is about a “school”-produced documentary called Artists and Orphans, narrated by Rosie O’Donnell. The word is that O’Donnell was horrified to learn that she’d contributed to a homophobic/racist cult.
Little Survivors’ Handbook (more corroboration from Horn’s glory days)
High Demand (another “school” memoir from a fellow disgruntled.)
Dave Archer on Gurdjieff (“school’s” California/Alex Horn days)
Dave Archer, Supping with Alex (more about Alex, if you can stand it)
About Cults, Undue Influence & Other Mind Control Groups
Cult Education Institute, created by Rick Ross
http://tonyortega.org/ – all about Scientology