Here's an excerpt from my book, Manhattan Cult Story. I am reprinting it here for anyone who is currently being recruited by the Gans Cult. Although they have changed some of the details, they are using the same playbook they have for decades.
Fishing for Men and Women: Qualified Candidates
• Men or women between 25 and 40.This is the prime age for someone to come to School.They are already some- what established in life but are not crystalized or set in ways which are hard to change.
• Gainfully employed earning at least $100,000 annually.7 Someone coming into School must be a “Good House- holder”—i.e., that they can pay their own way and afford School. Unless a person is willing to pay for something, he does not value it. Therefore, payment is essential to value one’s evolution. No losers allowed.
• Neither candidate nor any immediate family member may be employed as a journalist, author,or in any kind of law enforcement. These people tend to be curious or nosy by nature and itcould pose a risk to the invisibility of School. If someone wrote about School, it would kill it.
• Nobody in therapy. Nobody who takes drugs. Nobody who is disabled. These people are damaged goods. Sharon does not have the energy to help them.
• Candidates must be white and straight. As Sharon once put it, “People of color and gay people tend to have a ‘chip on their shoulder’ and are skeptical and unwilling to be open to the Work.” Although in some cases a gay person will be considered if they are open minded to being converted to a straight life and get married to someone in class of the opposite sex.
• Candidates cannot be living with any parent or sibling.
• Candidates must be “disappointed” in their life or at a crossroads and looking for answers.This is probably the most crucial qualification. The candidate needs to be unhappy or dissatisfied about something important in their life and looking for answers, meaning, and help.Not despairing, but disappointed: empty.
• Candidates should not already be involved in religious, spiritual, or other groups. We want tobe their prime place for spirituality. The Work is a jealous mistress. No dabblers.
• While it’s preferable to recruit single candidates because spouses are nosy, a married candidate is acceptable so long as the candidate demonstrates that they have some measure of independence from the spouse for attending classes twice a week. It is also allowable andpossible to bring a married couple to the Work.
• Do not have any conjugal relations with the candidate, without prior permission from Sharon. Still, if your candidate is of the opposite sex, use your sex energy to entice them. It’s OK if the candidate likes you but don’t act like you are going on “serious” dates. Do not expressly leadthem on, otherwise they may be disappointed when you introduce them to School.
Where to Fish: Rules of Engagement
• Go on outings to find candidates at least seven times per week. Go to places like museums, thetheater, dance performances, concerts, libraries, or any other cultural places and innocently strike up conversations with strangers with the Aim of recruiting them. Dress nicely. Rememberyou are a representative of the Work.
• When not on specific outings and over the course of your usual day, strike up at least tenconversations per day with strangers—in subways, coffee shops, streets, bookshops, bars,Bloomingdale’s, the opera, an airplane, the supermarket, etc. Ask provocative questions: “Whoare our heroes today?” “What is the meaning of life?” “Do you think there is an invisible world?”
• Be positive and show great interest in the other person. Try to steer conversations toward seeing what this per- son’s worldview is like to both glean their perspective
and pique their interest. Compliment and flatter. Listen to them.
• Get their phone numbers, but only give them your ser- vice number. Do not give them your last name. If they ask, give a fake one. Call from a blocked phone.
The Bait: The First Three Meetings
NB: Never mention the words School or the Work until you receive permission from Hazel.[Although she was not a teacher, Hazel headed up recruiting and was considered an olderstudent in a leadership role.] Also, it is entirely possible to combine many meetings into one or two if you have a great candidate and have gotten permission from Hazel.
• The First Meeting, like all of them, should be held in a public place over coffee, a meal, even the park. The first meeting is an open-ended conversation to talk about the state of the world.Everything and anything about politics, history, society in order to get a sense of your candidate’s worldview. Make them feel special and interesting. Listen to them. Compliment and flatter. People love it.
• The Second Meeting is for “qualifying” your candidate. Check the boxes. Find out their income,their work his- tory, their family’s occupations, their sexual preferences,11 and all the otherthings listed above in part I. Write up a detailed dossier on your candidate and hand it in to Hazel.
• The Third Meeting is for finding out your candidate’s ache: are they looking for something else in life besides just making money and getting married? Do they have a desire to changethemselves? What is the meaning of their life? Can they appreciate the invisible world? Do they have an itch? Can you picture them in School?
• In the Second and Third Meetings, start planting seeds about Schools i.e., that they existedthroughout civilization to help mankind attain consciousness and obtain their goals, etc. If they liketheater, tell them Shakespeare was in a School; if they are Christian tell them Jesus was in aSchool; if they like music tell them Bach was in a School; etc.
• Remember, you want to find people who are disappointed or at a crossroads. You want people who are looking for friends. We don’t want loners or losers or depressive people. Think aboutwhere you were when you met the Work.
• Find out what has kept them from getting what they want in life. They will love you for asking. Putyourself in their shoes.
• During all meetings, talk about Work ideas that might be of interest to them (but don’t use Work terminology). See how they react. You want them to think you have something of value. It would be ideal if they ask things like, “How interesting. How do you know this? “You will answer by saying something like, “Well, I’ve been studying for a long time. And I have amazing friends.”When they ask for details just say that you will tell them once you get to know them better.
• Also, find a way to say to them, “I used to think like that but now I think differently. “This will be provocative in a good way. And it will make them think you have some- thing. You want them to look up to you.
Getting Help with Fishing: Meetings with Leaders
• Recruiters are to meet after every class for an hour or more to discuss all our candidates withHazel and each of the group leaders. (The after-class meetings could go on until 2:00 a.m., and these were workdays.)
• Each candidate will be discussed collectively so that every- one can see how everyone else isdoing: what people are doing right and what people are doing wrong. Yes, there is a competition among you students to have the most candidates: S says competition is good for innerdevelopment. You want to be a winner, not a loser.
• We will discuss all the personal details of every candidate as a group and brainstorm on how to get the candidate interested in School and how to weed out candidates who are not good fits.This is the place to ask for help and to get it.
• You need to call your group leader twice a day to give a report and get help.
• In addition to the meetings immediately following class, we will meet at the Gemini Coffee Shop on the corner of East Thirty-fifth Street and Second Avenue at 6:00 a.m. every Friday morning to discuss our Aims and our results. Fred may show up by surprise occasionally. Consider these meetings like class. Be on time.
• On Saturday nights, you will meet with your group leader and group for dinner to discuss your Aims and results. After dinner, you are to take off the rest of the evening and not do any recruiting; it is to be like the Sabbath. Everyone needs a day off to rest, even God. On Sundays,you will have “flash meetings “where you will meet with your group at landmark locations (suchas the steps of the New York City Public Library, the Museum of Modern Art, Lincoln Center) and then go out in pairs to find new people. These meetings will give you energy and support because you will be working directly with your classmates.
Keeper or Dud: The Fourth Meeting
• The Fourth Meeting is where a group leader joins you and your candidate at a meeting. At thismeeting, the candidate can be further assessed, and a decision can be made afterward as to whether to invite.
• Invite a group leader of the candidate’s opposite sex. Group leaders know how to seduce a candidate with the sex energy of the Work.
• During the meeting, display your invisible, special connection with your group leader. Make thecandidate yearn to have a relationship like yours. Pull out all the stops.
• If a decision is made to invite, you will hold a Fifth Meeting. Most candidates never get this far. Congratulations.
Reeling in the Fish: The Fifth Meeting
• Tell the candidate that you have a secret you’ve never told a soul and get them to agree to maintain the secret.
• Explain to them that this offer is very special, rare, and an unusual opportunity. And only open for a short time.
• Explain to them that this is a real esoteric school connected to a tradition of knowledge, but that it’s not for everyone.
• Tell them about how it has helped you, how you have wonderful deep friendships, and that theteachers are special.
• Explain that there is a one-month free experiment to commit to but afterward there is monthly tuition.
• If they are interested, schedule a sixth meeting with a teacher.
The Sixth Meeting
• This is with a teacher. If your candidate has been properly prepared this will be a joy, a time to celebrate.
• Most candidates come nervous, but Fred and Robert and the others know what they are doing. Watch, enjoy, celebrate. Congratulations. You have changed their lives, changed yours,and changed School.
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