I was involved with gnosticteachings for a while (I won’t say what my username was because I don’t want any possibility of retaliation), but my involvement there wasn’t as intense as the other schools I had attended. It was very short and fleeting and I had no responsibilities within it. I was more a part of the "outer circle."
The one school in which I had any level of responsibility (which I definitely won't name, because they sometimes DO retaliate against former members) abused the inner circle greater than the outer circle. When I left, I later figured out that they choose who gets let in, so they can REALLY groom them into whatever they want. It only looks like they’re democratically choosing new members, but it’s really all about the pocketbook. I had a nice, well-paying menial job while I was a member of that school that gave them a small, steady sum each month (but also money from my family), but I was fairly low in the pecking order in the inner circle (believe me, the bigger your gnostic “ego,” the better. Although the gnostics dislike that word, that describes them perfectly). I suspect that it’s this way in the inner circle for other schools of Samael's gnosis. Many schools don't really abuse or manipulate the outer circle (at least not enough to drive recruits away), which may explain why nobody was explicitly mean or underhanded with you. The outer circle gets the "love bombing" more than the inner one (this is a pattern with all cults).
The abuse I and other members (former and current) endured was severe. They don’t have to lay a hand on you to damage you, as you can also attest. While determining who was let in the inner circle, they REALLY probed them for likes and dislikes and broke the person’s spirit. This was especially true if the person was homosexual or bisexual.
To quote what I said in a previous post:
During my near decade going through the various gnostic movements, I watched as people wept while they gave up their assets and hobbies (even their jobs) in order to “sacrifice themselves for humanity.” I myself wept as I did things like destroy my video game consoles and movies (or give them away) and even destroyed a huge collection of books I had because they didn’t fit in with the ideas of the Samael gnostic movements.
I also figured out that they even choose “alchemical partners” for members, as courting people outside the group is undesirable. Of course, the pool is almost always thin because people come and go. It was ALWAYS members of the inner circle who got the partners first, and the more senior you are, the more likely you are to get a partner. Really, they want to see how “loyal” and manipulable you are before they grant you a partner. When you're under delusions of gnosis, it really looks like your partner is "divinely chosen," It's just like them probing you for weaknesses, likes and dislikes so it looks like they have "divine insight" into your psyche, when it's actually clever maneuvering brought on by physical and mental exhaustion. Meditation and thought-stopping rituals like chanting mantras put you into a suggestive state and pull the wool over your eyes (plus doing gnostic stuff like practicing lamasery without breaks).
I’m glad I didn’t marry one of those gnostic girls. Most of them were boring, dry, and not able to think for themselves (think “Stepford Wives” for gnostics). My current partner is feisty, can do things for herself, and doesn’t care about speaking her mind if her BS radar goes off. She’s someone who can THINK. The stories of my time in gnosis I’ve told her appall her. She has even read some of the Samael books I’ve kept (for debunking purposes) and shook her head.
I’m glad the self-doubt and self-hatred are getting less frequent for you. Occasionally, I have “gnostic” feelings that nag me, but now I have my family friends, professors, and partner to help lift me out. I also have experience to guide me.
The only way I’ve found that works for me is to work, talk with those I care about, and do what I love to do (getting plenty of sleep helps, too).