Try to identify a group named "The Work"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 19, 2004 11:38AM

Despite being called 'The Work' Byron Katie's material apparently has no tie to Fourth Way/Gurdjieff work.

Only way to tell if a group or teacher is helpful or not is to look at long term effects reported by former participants and friends, relatives and family members of participants. A group or teacher that are helpful will foster autonomy and students will not feel pressured or obligated to prosyletize, and if they decide its time to leave or take a break, can do so without any feeling of anxiety or failure. Thebest teachers are delighted when students 'graduate'.

Robert J Lifton created some helpful guidelines


Try to identify a group named "The Work"
Posted by: dar3463 ()
Date: January 04, 2005 09:43AM

The essay at
includes old profile pictures of Gans & Horn

Try to identify a group named "The Work"
Posted by: cber7 ()
Date: March 11, 2005 06:01AM

If you are a student stuck in a group led by Alex Horn or Sharon Gans-Horn, then the fact you are reading this is already great news. It means that you are smart enough and intuitive enough and courageous enough to have begun to distinguish between the ideas of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky and the people teaching them. Whether or not what Gurdjieff or Ouspensky taught is valuable and valid does not matter here. If you are someone who has a friend or companion who you know is involved with these groups and you don't know what to do, try to show them this.

You are being preyed upon by phonies-- very clever, manipulative, and charming (when they need to be) frauds. They crave three things-- money, power, and a sense of self-importance-- to excess. Any shred of self-doubt about their motives and behavior disappeared long ago-- they have convinced themselves that they are superior to you and others, further justifying their need for power, money, and self-importance. They manipulate, abuse, and misuse the ideas of Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Nicoll, and Collin to suit their agenda. I repeat-- they do not serve the ideas, the ideas serve them. They are not conduits for higher influences-- they are self-deluded and power-mad with a long trail of exploitation and destruction of lives and families. They will dangle the carrot of "meaning," "consciousness," and "freedom" before you but at the same time undermine your self-esteem by showing you how mechanical and helpless you are.

Over the course of many years they have surrounded themselves with weak-spirited and wretched lackeys whose real motivation is also the lust for power, money and the need to feel important. The way to get away from them requires both a strong mental effort followed by action. Both will be addressed here.

First of all, you must believe in your suspicions enough to look further into what type of person Alex Horn and Sharon Gans really are. Do some research on your own and study the traits of "malignant narcissism" or "malignant narcissists." This should help to ground your suspicions in what you have observed about your "teachers." Your "teachers" are, according to the traits of "malignant narcissism," fully functioning sociopaths/psychopaths. That's right-- they are insane, but very dangerous so long as you think they have power over you because you continue to believe they are sane. The sad thing about the Work and these wretches is that the "Ideas" you have been studying-- when manipulated by them-- dovetail perfectly with the agenda of maintaining the state of Grandiosity that characterizes them as sociopaths.

How do they succeed? How do they get away with all of this? How do they fool so many people so much of the time? You might as well ask how did Hitler and Stalin get away with their agenda. It is the exact same chilling phenomenon, just a different scale. Hitler and Stalin liquidated people who got in their way or threatened them. Stalin, when he did not make people "disappear" sent them to the Gulags. With Sharon Gans or Alex Horn, when you are sent away you too become a non-person. You are in fact treated as a disease by the diseased!

Look at the following websites: and Ask others in this forum on this website about the substance abuse they have witnessed too: food, tobacco, alcohol, mood-altering medications. Talk about "habit" and slavery!

The way to escape, once you have been convinced enough of what you read here and elsewhere, is simple. But the final obstacle to leaving is being aware of and being able to cope with the loss of all the friends you have made during your stay in the group. This will feel like a big and painful sacrifice. But ultimately they must take responsibility for their beliefs and their lives, too. Those beliefs that you once shared that brought you and your fellows closer to each other will now be the source of a divide. And the ideas that helped create that bond must now at this point not outweigh the evidence that is in front of your eyes-- that Sharon Gans or Alex Horn and their respective inner circles are not really for you. They are parasites and vampires who have successfully exploited you, and you must rid yourself of them even when it means losing many friends, misguided though they may be. Which is worse, remaining in a prison-- in a punitive and demoralizing environment with your companions-- or being out of prison without them? You must make an intentional decision to maintain that they are wrong and you are right. Can you do that? Yes, you can. Have the courage to get out of group-think.

What about "consciousness?" Are you frightened of losing "everything?" Consider this: Is it possible that the phenomenon called "self-remembering" is actually a form of auto-hypnosis? Is it a coincidence that Gurdjieff was a professional hypnotist before "discovering" the Ideas? Is it possible that the power that Sharon Gans or Alex Horn or the other ones has over you and so many others is based on your capacity to reach a semi-hypnotic state that they "teach" you in the first place? By considering these alternative explanations you may strengthen your resolve to get out as fast as you can.

What about the lure of Higher Sex, eroticism, and "sex energy" connected with "self-remembering?" Think about it: if it is possible that self-remembering is simply a way to hypnotize yourself, then it is also possible that the urges you repress that belong to your libido are freed a little bit. Unrepressed libido and "sex energy" are equatable-- yes, it could be that simple. Be courageous enough to think about it.

Again, after you have gotten past this obstacle of leaving your friends behind, the way out is simple: With either Sharon or Alex's group, the only thing that these people understand is force, threats, intimidation, power, and the possibility of exposure. After your last "class" or "meeting," leave pretending that all is normal. Say nothing of your intention and be resolved to never return. Then, when you are contacted by a partner for missing your next meeting...remain vague and inform them that you have decided to leave-- you do not need to give an explanantion no matter how coercive they may be. No, you do not owe them an explanantion! Whatever you do, do not be talked into announcing your departure in class! You do not owe your jailers anything! Tell them that you want no further calls and you are not open to any persuasion. If they persist, remain vague but allude to either an investigative reporter acquaintance at a local newspaper, an acquaintance at the local police department, or a friend at the FBI. Any threat of an authority or potential menace that can expose Alex Horn or Sharon Gans will scare them away for good. Be prepared for a lot of idle threats and violent language though-- that's the last-ditch effort of a so-called Higher Being having a tantrum. In the end, though, it is all bark. Alex Horn and Sharon Gans may be psychopaths but they are also cowards interested only in self-preservation. They will continue to "do" nothing but talk, as they have been "doing" for many many years. If there were such a thing as Sleep, Mechanicality, buffers, and real Conscience in the sense they speak of it, those two and their crowd are much worse off than you-- and incurably so.

Try to identify a group named "The Work"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 18, 2006 12:40AM

full article cited here:



'…these were not and still are not just ordinary schools. Once based in north London and Kensington, they were founded by the School of Economic Science, a little-known organisation, described by its proponents as an educational charity, and by its detractors, as a cult.
The school uses a mixture of eastern and western scriptures as part of its philosophy. Children are taught to meditate and followers are given a secret mantra to chant.

'A former student who wanted to remain anonymous, and shall be known as Paul said: "As children from a very young age, we were told it was our duty to return to the absolute and to do this we had to become fully realised and to do this. We had to be fully conscious and if we day dreamed excessively, we were condemned to an endless cycle of death and reincarnation."

Channel 4 News, London/March 15, 2006 By Victoria MacDonald

Re: Try to identify a group named "The Work"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 01, 2011 11:51PM

Re: Try to identify a group named "The Work"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 02, 2011 06:50AM

Some claim Gurdjieff got material from Sufi lineages. Others claiming to follow him claimed to be Sufis.

Here is a useful bundle of discernment advice.

I personally, would advise having second thoughts about any entity that is constantly seeking money to upgrade to yet more fancy club houses, etc. A path of renunication should not require constantly adding property holdings etc.

It is difficult enough to keep one small room clean--too much money, too much property brings care and anxiety for wealth and reputation

This bit of advice would apply to any belief system


While it is proper for an Order to cover its costs a Sufi Order should not be a profit-making business. Avoid Orders that operate as business ventures or that require expensive membership fees or on-going financial contributions from members.




The following points are designed to assist sincere seekers in their quest for authentic Sufi representatives. These days there are many Sufi organisations. Some are genuine and some are not. It is too common to hear reports of negative experiences of people who have been "burned" by dubious groups. The points below should help seekers avoid such groups.

A sincere devotion to Allah Almighty, a deep reverence for the Holy Prophet - peace be upon him - and a love of a life of prayer and rememberance of God are the main signposts to authentic groups. These are always more important than claims of "unbroken chains of transmission" and other claims of "authority" based on dreams or visions. Don't be too concerned about claims of "authority". seek groups where the Sufi life of prayer and brotherly love are tangible and real. The proof is in the pudding.

Does the Order have a proper relationship to Islam?

Sufism is the interior perspective of the Islamic religion. Avoid groups that deny this or that claim that Sufism is entirely independent of Islam. Avoid de-Islamicized forms of Sufism. A Sufi Order should have a strong, healthy connection to (externalist) Islam and be respectful of the Islamic faith. The people who run the Order should be pious, sincere Muslims.

Are members of the Order required to be practising and committed Muslims?

While some Orders will permit non-Muslims into the introductory levels, properly constituted Orders will insist that serious long-term members are practising and committed Muslims. Avoid Orders where this is not so or that are indifferent to the religious affiliations of members.

Does anyone make money from the operations of the Order?

While it is proper for an Order to cover its costs a Sufi Order should not be a profit-making business. Avoid Orders that operate as business ventures or that require expensive membership fees or on-going financial contributions from members.

Does the Sheihk have some other occupation by which he makes a living?

"Sufi Sheihk" is not a job. Sufism does not have a paid priesthood. Avoid Orders where the Sheihk is not successfully established in some other occupation beyond the Order.

Are the private and family lives of members respected?

A Sufi Order should not interfere in the private or family lives of its members. Members shoulds never feel pressured to change jobs, marry or divorce, move location, etc. Avoid Orders that do not respect the right of members to pursue their own private and family life.

Are members free to come and go from the Order's activities as they please?

The Sufi path should be freely entered. It is arduous and demanding. Members of an order should be free to drop out at any time for any reason without having to justify themselves and without being pestered or pursued. The decision not to continue participation should always be respected. An Order should not in any way coerce or pressure members to participate. Avoid Orders where this is not the case.

Does the Order have a tolerant and universalist perspective?

Sufism is an esoteric perspective. At an esoteric level all religions meet. There are many paths. Avoid Orders that insist that they and they alone are the true path or that are hostile to religions other than Islam.

Is there a fraternal spirit in the Order?

A Sufi Order should have a well-developed atmosphere of fraternal love between members. This Platonic fraternal nature excludes members using an Order as a dating pool or a marriage agency. Avoid Orders that do not have a fraternal atmosphere or that are incestuous.

Is there a proportionate sense of formality and chivalry?

A Sufi Order should have an appropriate code of behaviour that is both formal and chivalrous. If the conduct of the Order is too casual then it is merely a club. Sufism is a serious spiritual endeavour. Avoid Orders that are too casual or frivolous.

Is the Order directed exclusively to spiritual purposes?

An Order should only have one purpose - the spiritual advancement of its members. They come together for rememberance of Allah Almighty. Avoid Orders that combine Sufism with other, more profane purposes whether it is a sport, learning Turkish music, bellydancing, etc.

Does the Order mix spiritual forms and systems or employ profane methods and philosophies?

Sufism is a rich self-contained tradition. Avoid Orders that try to blend Sufism with other disciplines or spiritual systems such as yoga, Gurdjieff, pop psychology, gestalt therapy, American Indian rituals, etc. Seek an Order that is purely Sufi in its philosophy and methods.

Re: Try to identify a group named "The Work"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 03, 2011 12:23AM

A critique of Gurdjieff and the Enneagram. Suggestion made the if Sufis did use the enneagram, it was more likely the Ismailis--a very small subgroup, indeed.


Re: Try to identify a group named "The Work"
Posted by: cochineal ()
Date: January 03, 2011 01:03AM

Why do you post the same comments all over the place. It's kind of a waste for those of us who get notified when something goes up on these boards. I get notified many times for the same comments in different places. It's kind of like spam.
There's so much "stuff" on the internet to wade through, why repeat yourself over and over?

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