Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Class Action Lawsuit

Two former members of School filed a class action lawsuit this week against Sharon Gans's estate and others. The suit alleges that, "Through methods traditionally utilized by cults to groom, intimidate, weaken, gaslight, and exploit their victims, OSG coerced and tricked its members," into providing free labor to Gans and others. The suit seeks to recover for unpaid labor members were forced to do for Gans: recruiting, construction, cooking meals, and many other tasks. The suit also names Minerva Taylor, Ken Salaz, Lorraine Imlay, and Greg Koch. Since this a class action, the suit was filed on behalf of all other members who suffered similar damages for provding free labor to School and/or Gans. This would include current and former members of School. The attorney representing the plaintiffs is Mordy Yankowich.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Do You Need Help?

I receive almost weekly calls from former members. Strangers to me. Readers of this blog. Folks who were involved in "School" for a night, a week, month, a year, a decade, what have you. From decades ago. One thing in common: trauma. Doubts, thoughts, dreams, voices. Shame and embarassment. And I also know people who were involved in School who will bet everything they have they suffered no such thing -- that the Work Ideas were fine and that it wasnt so bad, etc. They will even say things such as "leave Alex and Sharon alone - they are dead." I will not argue or debate anyone on this because they can't be argued with. But I do know this: Alex and Sharon and Fred and Robert and Lorraine and the rest of them abused members. Period. That's right: abuse. Bullying. Punishing. Threats. Pressure. Intense. And worse. Criminals. So if you think it was all fine and dandy - good for you -- show your face and name and defend it. For the rest of us, what do you think? Do you need to speak to someone who is compassionate and empathetic and honorable?

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Slonim Woods 9

I have three things to say to those who doubt that School is a cult: Slonim Woods 9, Slonim Woods 9, Slonim Woods 9. If you have any question in your mind as to whether you (a former member of School) were in a cult or suffered a supremely trauamatic experience, read Slonim Woods 9. If you think for a moment that Sharon or Alex were "teachers," read [the book referenced above.]

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Listen to: Cults, Extremists, and Manipulation: Hear the latest thinking

This Tuesday, on August 10, 2021, at 6pm, there will be a show on the Clubhouse app with several moderators to talk about cults and extremists and manipulation. Im going to be on the call. Its like a conference call (audio only) and anyone can listen in and ask questions. Here's the description of the show: "We live in an era of disinformation and deep desire for community. Hear from insiders about how the desire for connection can form the basis of cults, pockets of extreme thinking, and manipulation on a scale that will astonish. What draws people into cults? How can you recognize a cult? Are cults and extreme thinking on the rise? How do people get into and sometimes out of cults. Hear inside the tent" Here's the link to listen in. You will need the Clubhouse app on your phone. If you cant make it live, the above link will archive the recording which you can listen to without the app.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Coming Soon to a Bookstore and an Amazon Near You

Today I signed a publishing contract with one of the most dynamic independent book publishers around; a great home for this story. The book about the 23 years I spent in Sharon's cult should be out next summer. The book is basically done but it takes time for these things to get edited, designed, printed, indexed, and put through spell check. (Readers of this blog know that I can neither spell nor right complete sentences.) Many thanks to those of you-who-know-who-you-are for helping me and supporting me on this project. Im tickled that I somehow managed to make this shit experience into something quite good. Also, please be advised that it makes no difference to me that Sharon will not be able to read it. I didnt write this for her or her pathetic lackeys. Its for every victim still in her cult, for survivors of her cult, and for victims and survivors of other cults. This is now a #metoo moment for victims and survivors.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Sharon's Estate is Public Record

Sharon’s will is now public record, on file in the NYS Surrogates’ Court in lower Manhattan. As a public service, we are reporting on some of the highlights and will soon upload the file. Sharon had created a revocable trust in 2015 which held the following assets to be distributed upon her death: furniture, clothes, jewelry, books, cash and her interest in a company called OSG, LLC. OSG is the legal entity for her cult. The value of this trust is not disclosed. In addition, Sharon had a will and listed assets totaling $3,275,000: over a million dollars in annuities, $2 million in an undisclosed LLC, $25,000 in cash, and $50,000 in stocks. Sharon had a provision in her Trust (and a similar one in her Will) which is called “Omission of Children.” In it she said that she “intentionally excluded” her son and his children and her daughter (but not her daughter's children) from receiving anything “for reasons that are known” to them. She also said that she “has deep regret that [her daughter] . . . betrayed her so terribly, and followed in [Sharon's son’s] footsteps.” Sharon was vindictive in life and in death. Sharon was also fickle in life and in death. She could love someone one day and banish them the next, as the following reveals: In June 2016, she was going to leave her jewelry and clothing to Judy Fowler, Mary Terry, Leslie Okladeck, Una McGillicudy and Lianne McNally. But in September 2019, Leslie was cut out and replaced by Rana Glickman. (Mary passed away) In June 2016, she was going to leave her carpets, paintings, and books to Greg Koch, Graves Kiley and Lorraine Imlay. But in June 2019, Graves was out. In June 2016, she was going to leave her ownership in the cult to Chris McNally, Judy Fowler, Greg Koch, and anyone else chosen by Robert Klein. In June 2019, Chris, Judy, and Robert were out, but Minerva Taylor, Lorraine Imlay, and Kenneth Salaz were in.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Thank You, May I Have Another?

Did you ever hear Sharon give a student outlandish, foolish, horrendous or just plain dangerous advice? Personally, I never heard her not, but I know many former members are in a kind of denial that she was a crank. I would love to hear the top 1, 2 or 3 craziest things you heard her say. You can post them or email me. (All inquiries confidential: Here are a couple of my favorites of many: 1) Sharon told a single woman who wanted children to travel to Italy for the sole purpose of hooking-up with a stranger at the Spanish Steps and have unprotected sex. 2) Sharon told a newly married man whose wife (not in School) wanted to know where he was going at night, to tell the wife to "keep your nose out of my private life." (Guess how that worked out.) 3) Sharon told a married woman that unless she left her husband (who had recently left school), she would be kicked out. (This woman never came back to class.)