Dear Ms. O'Donnell,
We learned recently that you narrated the documentary "Artists and Orphans: A True Drama." The film tells a great story, but it lies because of what it omits. We anticipate there will be negative press on the film, (similar to the attached Jeanette Walls article, MSNBC.com March 11, 2002) because of the film's hidden association with the following group.
Behind this film is what many former members consider to be a destructive, homophobic cult [sic] that has controlled the film's creation every step of the way. Lianne Klapper McNally, the director, is currently a member of this group, as are or have been almost all of the Americans in the film. Sharon Gans, who appears in the film, is the self-proclaimed leader of this "Fourth Way school of inner development," based on the teachings of G. I. Gurdieff. It was this group of over a hundred "students" that provided the money and the manpower for the relief effort at the orphanage, but that was never mentioned. This was an anomalous project that was atypical of the cult's [sic] operations. The "why" of that is something on which we would like to provide you with further information.
This "school" currently operates out of a loft in Tribeca with a compound in Pawling, New York under the name of Hudson Valley Artists Foundation. They also have a branch in Boston. The East Coast group has been run by Sharon Gans since she fled San Francisco in 1978 after exposure of a similar operation (see attached San Francisco Chronicle article).
As former members, we believe that if you investigate the matter, you will find that the group is anti-family, totalitarian, racially discriminating and anti-gay, and engages in emotional manipulation and mind control of its students. We are concerned that this Academy Award nomination might legitimize their operations.
Your name and influence has helped these orphaned children of Georgia [in Russia] and we applaud you. But it is regrettable that you have unknowingly associated yourself with a group that represents the antithesis of what you stand for, in terms of freedom of choice, honesty and family.
To corroborate what we are telling you in this letter, we invite you to contact us. We would be happy to go into greater detail. We also suggest you consult with Rick Ross, a highly respected expert in the field of destructive groups and exit counseling. He can be reached at 201-222-3531 or at www.culteducation.com and we can be reached by contacting Mr. Ross. We would appreciate it if you kept identities private.
Thank you for taking the time to consider this matter.
[Names omitted to protect identities per request]