"Sharon Gans's organization will continue inviting failure"

An open letter To the Students of Sharon Gans

May 2002
By a long-term former student

If you are a member of the organization run by Sharon Gans, please consider the following statement. It will stress four points that will help you understand your situation and might give you the nerve to leave, with little regret.

The first point has to do with Karma. Even if you do not believe in Karma, it is notable that the events surrounding the Academy Awards unfolded as they did. (Recall also that by Sharon Gans's own admission there are no coincidences.) Those who have known Sharon Gans a long time are aware that she has claimed to have spurned Hollywood for the sake of the integrity of her art, not to mention "sacrificing" her can't-lose shot at fame and fortune for her devotion and service to the Work. Why then would she break her own rule of invisibility by seeking the attention, respect, and admiration of those in Life?

Having Rosie O'Donnell as the narrator was a real coup-- yet now Sharon Gans has been hoisted on her own petard, thanks to the sexual orientation of Ms. O'Donnell as well as Ms. O'Donnell's "family first" credo. Sharon Gans, as you know, contends that family comes second, the Three-Storied House-- addressed below. All this is to take nothing away from the merit of helping orphaned children and the professional quality of the documentary. But you know that there is little room or tolerance for homosexuality in Sharon Gans's organization, let alone the issue of barring black people from the ranks. Sharon Gans wanted to have it both ways and got caught: She wanted the attention, respect, and admiration of those she has had contempt for, which happens to be a relationship that she had previously reserved exclusively for you, her students.

Still, all these events may have nothing to do with Karma. The coincidence and timing of it all, however, is compelling. And, by Sharon Gans's own beliefs, if "your being attracts your life," why is Sharon Gans more than likely affixing blame to some "outside Other" instead of asking how she could have attracted such circumstances? Why the double standard? If you do happen to believe in Karma then the circumstances say an awful lot. That is, they say that Sharon Gans and her lieutenants must be doing something very wrong in the "eyes" of the Work.

The second point has to do with the Three-Storied House and the notion that this Work is an "Oral Teaching." You will not find the Three-Storied House addressed in any form in any "sanctioned" texts anywhere. The closest we come to it is in the idea of a Good Householder but that's about it. The concept of this Work being an "oral teaching" conveniently justifies and bolsters this fiction, though. In fact the "oral teaching" premise can justify and bolster anything that comes "through" Sharon Gans. Notice how the "often wrong but never in doubt" demeanor Sharon Gans has mastered continues to mesmerize and convince. This puts you the student in an awful bind, especially when it comes to time with your family. Sharon Gans can use the Three-Storied House fiction to help serve... Sharon Gans. It is done by a series of undeclared substitutions-cum-sleights of hand over time. Yes, it is a fact that after a while your Religion or Aspiration, your Third Story, acquires the meaning of you serving the Work. And then your serving the Work means that you do Third Line of Work, for the School, which, though not at all the same as the Work, nonetheless supercedes it.

And then your doing Third Line of Work means that you recruit students and become involved in building/construction/renovation projects, again, for "School," which somewhere along the way has silently lost the "the" before it (the next substitution-cum-sleight of hand). From there, you start assuming that it is the only school that could have the Work influencing it, or that is worthy of the Work. Recruiting and building projects means that you are serving to bring in more tuition money to Sharon Gans (Sharon Gans = School, another substitution-cum-sleight of hand) and increase her value in terms of her real estate holdings by providing free labor and/or expertise. Several students who have directly benefited from the renovation projects feel eternally indebted to Sharon Gans/School and will never leave, tragically.

And this, your "sacred" work, requires sacrifice - what is sacrificed is your time and energy for your family and career - all to serve the Work = School = Sharon Gans. Observe that now you accept the fiction that Sharon Gans is the Work, and that surely must mean she is developed to a very high degree, like a #5 Woman, maybe even #6. You must have sensed if not seen the inequity in this arrangement of your slave labor at some point but have managed to justify it because you imagine that you are "growing your being," even while you help "feed" Sharon and her being.

Whatever happened to "paying in a different coin" after serving School in this way? Why are you still paying full tuition and have even accepted having your tuition raised, along with other fees? And, when you flag, Sharon Gans will provide either charming encouragement, if not coddling, if you happen to have a lot of money. However, there may be a necessary (character assassinating) "shock," if you don't happen to have much money. Sometimes she will "promote" you so your "ego" is sated. Who can say how many other fictions there are, not to mention those "rules," that Sharon Gans's "oral teaching" is comprised of? Are these not just simply battle-tested methods to control and enslave you, as you believe you are growing your Being and paying for your Freedom?

The third point has to do with studying the traits of someone who, according to clinical medicine, is afflicted with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and the extension of this, one might be considered a psychopath. If what has been already mentioned is not enough to cause you pause and to reconsider what you do with your time, energy, and money, you might consider taking a look at websites and books, which describe NPD and psychopathy. Then very carefully look around you two nights a week and some weekends.

Here are some traits of the unhealthy narcissist in the meantime, from a website called www.halcyon.com:

    • grandiose


    • hypersensitive to criticism


    • impulsive


    • flirtatious or seductive


    • feel entitled


    • amoral / conscienceless


    • disappointing gift givers


    • religious


    • critical of others


    • unusual eating habits


    • naive


    • lack sense of humor


    • contemptuous


    • authoritarian


    • passive


    • care only about appearances


    • self-contradictory


    • secretive


    • hard to have a good time with


    • envious and competitive


    • cruel


  • weird sense of time

Now here are some traits of a psychopath, as seen in the book Captive Hearts, Captive Minds (pp.72-79)

    • Parasitic Lifestyle


    • Glibness/superficial charm


    • Grandiose sense of self


    • Criminal or entrepreneurial versatility


    • Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Behavior


    • Incapacity for Love


    • Manipulative and Cunning


    • Need for Stimulation


    • Pathological Lying


    • Callousness/Lack of Empathy


    • Lack of remorse, Shame, or Guilt


    • Irresponsibility/Unreliability


  • Shallow emotions

The last point: Naturally Sharon Gans and her inner circle wish to maintain the status quo. But isn't the status quo just another term for Entropy? And again, by Sharon Gans's own beliefs, Entropy (stagnation) in fact leads to the process of Crime. Everybody who adheres to the ideas of the System knows this. But what will happen next? Will Sharon Gans forbid you to read Rodney Collin (who teaches you about the Six Processes) or Maurice Nicoll (who teaches you about Entropy)? And will a once-in-a-blue-moon class that allows or invites "free inquiry" by Sharon Gans, Fred Mindel, Robert Klein, or anybody else ever substitute for a permanent atmosphere of "free inquiry"? And won't the same go for their rare yet manipulative "admission of failings and weaknesses"?

To maintain this status quo Sharon Gans must belittle or demonize those who have "left" or simply ignore those who have disappeared. That is, Sharon Gans and her lieutenants must belittle and demonize those who see what is really going on-- those who are not there to defend themselves, as though they would be allowed to anyway, in order to neutralize any potential or actual criticism. Then, especially when things go so spectacularly wrong, as they have recently, Sharon Gans and her lieutenants start in, laying blame on those who have caught on and left. This is so much easier than taking personal responsibility, isn't it?

And the whole basis for the blame rests on a purely paranoid fantasy. Doesn't this approach and its absurd premise, evidently the only viable one for Sharon Gans and her lieutenants, trump any genuine self-examination on their part, any critical questioning on your part, and any open debate with her among you and other students? How can you even think of debating someone who is under Higher Influences and using her Higher Centers, anyway? If you dare debate, won't you be accused of being in self-will or negative or asleep?

"I am your Teacher!" is the ultimate response when a student touches a nerve or when Sharon can no longer sustain the discussion; "Sharon is your Teacher!" is the version from her lieutenants. Instead, Sharon Gans seems to have forced her students to believe that bringing in new students will promote freshness and vitality, which the School needs in order to grow and evolve. Another invalid and silent substitution is quantity for quality. But once those new students are indoctrinated into an already intractable situation, Entropy returns.

What is the chief symptom of this Entropy? It is your underlying jadedness. No amount of Sharon Gans's impassioned monologues, other histrionics and/or the corresponding misguided charades and harangues of her lieutenants, can overcome this. Nor need these performances distract you from arriving inexorably at this inevitable conclusion. You only need the courage, conviction, and trust in yourself to admit it in order to finally escape. Yes, escape. A positive change of any kind, except perhaps for the first few months, is ultimately not possible there. Your good will and trust have already been, are now being, and will probably continue to be taken advantage of. You deny these genuine and legitimate feelings at your peril. There is nothing worse than knowing you are imprisoned while being told you are in a sanctuary, or seeing the chasm between word and deed and from fear or some other constraint, allowing this situation to persist. You will hopefully soon find that this fear or constraint is all imagination.

It appears that Sharon Gans's organization will continue inviting failure. This failure will be due to a combination of Karma, "Oral Teaching edict," the status and character of the leaders, seemingly evident behavior that appears to parallel clinical disorders, and Entropy.

Entropy, due to a lack of an atmosphere of free and critical inquiry and open debate may ultimately and ironically be a good. This is because eventually those students will have no reason or basis to remain in a situation that ought not continue to exist, and then they and their Ideas will be freed from prison at last. If you are a Gans student and haven't already escaped, despite your fears and intuitive feelings-- why wait any longer?


Copyright © 2002 Rick Ross.

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