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Re: Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area--mid-seventies
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 03, 2011 12:21AM

Critique of Gurdjieff and a chapter on enneagram


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Re: Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area--mid-seventies
Posted by: dar3463 ()
Date: January 13, 2011 08:19AM

Part 1

My name is Don Raskopf. I post ALL of my personal information here & EF because I have NOTHING to fear from vampires & leeches. I use full names of those I have known personally for over 2 decades because LIGHT is a disinfectant - an antidote to secrecy & mind-control. I was recruited into this cult - THIS IS A CULT NOT A SCHOOL - by my then girlfriend Julie Hodson (co-founder of Taylor-Hodson). I was manipulated into paying thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of slave labor annually for years. I was seduced into building (with many friends)FOR FREE the following homes & businesses - many sold at huge profit to Gans (I have many photo's I would love to post - RR let me know how):

Taylor-Hodson's first office in Waterside Plaza

Fred Mindel's house in Lake Hopatcong

Terry Christgau's house near Mindel's

Fred Mindel & Minerva Taylor's illegally joined adjacent apartment's in Waterside Plaza

Mindel's "doctor's" office Suite 505, 133 East 58th Street

Gans & Horn's previous apartment 59 West 12th Street, Apt. 11A/G, New York, NY

Montana - Falls Creek Ranch, Kauffman Road, Condon, Montana

Ilsa (Gan's daughter) Kaye's brownstone - 6 East 10th Street, New York, New York

Pawling - see details under real estate link on Esoteric Freedom main page

dozens of other projects

Part 2

It is my opinion that the only way to kill a snake is to cut off it's head. Rick Ross has years of experience trying free cult members with very mixed results. No one will leave while hypnotized - we need to destroy the hypnotist.

This is spiritual rape and abuse - call it by it's real name. Gans has stolen millions and destroyed hundred's of lives. I will join anyone who wishes to prevent further enslavement by ANY non-violent means - pickets, lawsuits, publicity, civil disobedience, etc.

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

Elie Wiesel

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/13/2011 08:28AM by dar3463.

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Re: Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area--mid-seventies
Posted by: John M ()
Date: January 14, 2011 07:05AM


"I have many photo's I would love to post - RR let me know how"

put your photos on any of the free photo web sites like and put a link here to the individual photos

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Re: Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area--mid-seventies
Posted by: nadine ()
Date: January 15, 2011 08:23AM

Hi Don,
I am not involved with the cult you describe, or have any family member involved, but I have a daughter still very much under the influence of the Sri Chinmoy Centre after many years. We believe she may not be a disciple now,but sadly still does not want any contact with her family.
After reading many posts on this board, I am constantly amazed and distressed by how similar and destructive (despite differing names ) high demand, coercive groups can be. It's like the leaders all read from the same "text book" !!
The psychological damage done to decent, trusting people can be, and often is, as I'm sure I don't need to tell you. enormous. I try my best to keep positive that one day I will receive a phone call from my daughter out of the blue. Its been several years since I last saw her.I miss her terribly.
As is the case with many, many others, the distress of being cruelly deceived by a cult leader or of losing a loved one to a group is compounded by the (a) ignorance and (b) apathy of many in the general community. It hurts, but it really isn't surprising is it? It is so difficult isn't it, to try to explain to anyone who has not experienced the phenomenon, just how destructive to one's life it is. I think that many people, including most politicians, don't really want to listen too intently regarding mind-control. (After all, if they knew even they too could succumb to such influence given the "right" circumstances, how uncomfortable would that be?
I understand exactly how frustrated you feel about cult leaders getting away with their deception. There is no easy answer is there, except to keep plugging away, trying our best to get the message out. Sometimes, some brave souls will listen (we have one Senator and one journalist in particular here in Australia, who do their level best to bring this social tragedy to public attention) That gives me heart, even though we have a long way to go of course.
Hang in there Don. You're certainly not alone.
In conclusion, I'd just like to share the words of a song (it is on the 2007 Eagles albumn "Long Road out of Eden")
The words certainly strike a chord with me! Maybe one day, justice WILL catch up with all those who have caused so much havoc.
Regards, Nadine.

"You feel bad, but not bad enough.
You know you got it coming,'cause you played so rough.
Back over your shoulder,you've got an icy chill.
Man you thought you'd get away with it.
Now you know you never will.
Somebody, somebody, you've got a feeling,
somebody's following you.
No one knows about the times you've had.
You've been so evil; you've been so bad.
There's the devil to pay for what you put them through.
And you've got a feeling, somebody's following you."

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Re: Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area--mid-seventies
Posted by: cochineal ()
Date: February 04, 2011 09:29AM

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Re: Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area--mid-seventies
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 06, 2011 06:00AM

For persons trying to get free from the tentacles of Fourth Way / or distorted forms of Sufi practice that took a culty turn, doing some overview reading of the history of Hermetic texts, and their historical sources may help de-mystify the stuff used to mess with your heads.

As I suggest, Hermetic material may be the equivalent of a 'mother sauce' - it was a messy but fascinating collection of texts and it slipped into the esoteric societies within Chrisitanity, Judaism, and Islam.

The Hermes Trismagistius texts were mistaken as sources of primordial wisdom, but actually were composed in the second century CE in the late Classical world, alongside early Christianity and diaspora Judaism. They had such a wide diffusion among both the intellectual elite and in more popularized forms that they seem weirdly familiar.

This isnt because they are true but because ideas are highly portable.

If you give yourself a chance to see that this stuff has its own niche in the history of ideas, you'll find that the teachers who imprisoned you and instilled fear were just using bits and pieces from a collection of material that very many others have exploited in the past and will continue to exploit in the future.


Here is an article describing how Hermetic ideas were incorporated into Sufism.


Much later, Mme Blavatsky, who grew up in a Russian family whose male members were members of Masonic lodges, would have learned about Hermetic material as filtered through the Western European Freemason traditions. Blavatsky in turn wrote her own set of texts, and these texts were propagated far and wide by the methods of mass publication made available in the late 19th century. This material was very popular in Tsarist Russia, and it was exploited in turn by Gurdjieff.

What added disastrously to the impact is that this material already has a haunting familiarity because it underlies so much of our culture without most of us being aware of it -- The Secret and The Da Vinci Code and The Matrix are variations on gnostic/Hermetic themes.

What made this still more damaging was that Gurdjieff appears to have been proficient in trance induction.

This stuff has its place in the history of ideas and isnt magic at all. Learning all this stuff did not cure Gurdjieff of his own chief feature--greed and a need for attention from an entourage--tastes shared by too many of his successors.

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Re: Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area--mid-seventies
Posted by: cochineal ()
Date: October 06, 2011 08:33AM

John M -
Do you still have the photos?
Did you post them someplace?
You could try and see if they would post them.

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Re: Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area--mid-seventies
Posted by: chaosraines ()
Date: September 02, 2012 01:59AM

Hello there - I am new to this forum, and found it through a general search regarding the 85 St. Elmo house in SF. My parents were a part of the the Work during the late 60's and into the 70's with that group. At first they commuted from the Santa Cruz area, two or sometimes three times a week, to attend meetings in SF. Eventually, we moved to the SF Bay Area in 1969 - in part so they could be closer to those meetings. There was a program for children also, and I was recruited at the age of 11 or 12 for that, and went every Saturday morning with my parents for several years as a part of the children's Work.

To this day, I have next to no memories of what I did those Saturday mornings. I have spent a large chunk of my adult life wondering about that memory loss, and both wanting to get those memories back and also being apprehensive about what might happen to me if I did.

Having stumbled upon this forum after a number of years searching the internet for information about that time and place, I feel that perhaps at the very least I can read about other people's experiences - and that maybe now is the time for me to talk to other people who were there at the time and who can shed some light on what may have happened to me.

Being new to the forum, I am not clear on how to search the archives to read other people's posts? I notice there are reference numbers cited in a number of posts, but don't seem to be able to bring anything up when I try to search with them....any technical assistance is greatly appreciated.

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Re: Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area--mid-seventies
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 28, 2017 04:04AM

Russian Traditionalism started with Gurdjieff


A recent interview has revealed more details about the origins of Russian Traditionalism in the 1960s: it all started with Gurdjieff.

In chapter 12 of Against the Modern World, I wrote "The attention of Yevgeny Golovin, a Russian poet known only to the circle of dissident or ‘independent’ intellectuals he led, was drawn to . . . Traditionalist writers in 1962 or 1963." Later in the chapter, I wrote that "the closest Golovin's circle came to action was that occasionally they would become very drunk," and mentioned Vladimir Stepanov as "a graduate of the Moscow Institute of Philosophy who belonged to Golovin's circle."

Later research has revealed that I got this somewhat wrong:

As I have already written in the revised version of chapter 12 (already published in Serbian and forthcoming in Russian), Vladimir Stepanov was the leader of a circle to which Golovin belonged, not the other way round.
It has now become clear that this circle did, in fact, follow a spiritual path: the "Fourth Way" of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff.

Arkady Rovner, who met Stepanov in 1964, explained (interview, Berlin, March 12, 2007) that Stepanov’s interests during the 1960s and early 1970s were principally in Gurdjieff, whose Fourth Way he had encountered in the Lenin Library via a book by Peter D. Ouspensky. Stepanov, Golovin, Haydar Jamal, Yuri Mamleyev and Rovner were among those who for a few years "almost lived" in the Lenin Library, not only reading but also eating and–above all–talking there. They formed a small and very close Gurdjieff group–or, Rovner insists, a "company," as its members were "too individualist" to form a group.

For the rest, read here:


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"Cruel Friends"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 21, 2018 06:51AM


"It's like being absorbed into a group of false, sometimes cruel friends. Cults have the illusion of solidarity, but Stein describes them as a perverse group of deeply lonely individuals who have lost the will and the capacity to make decisions on their own. "You can't confide in anyone in a cult," she says. "If you say, 'There seems to be a problem here,' you will be likely to be punished, so there's nowhere to go. You're scared but you've got nobody else left in your life, so you cling to the very people who are causing you that fear."

That's how cults operate: on a cycle of fear and attachment. It's Stockholm Syndrome, only more insidious and confusing because you feel like you made the choice to join when you started out."

Quoted from


A cult studies psychologist named Alexandra Stein has published some
very interesting material describing the exact nature of the personal bonds
that distinguish cult leaders from genuine healers.

Fear is always part of the bond between a cultic leader (or abusive partner) and others.

A Cult Member Turned Expert Explains How Anyone Can Be Brainwashed

Dr. Alexandra Stein was brainwashed by a Marxist-Leninist sect as a young woman. Now she studies them for a living.


How totalism works

The brainwashing methods of isolation, engulfment and fear can lead anyone to a cult. I should know – I was in one

Alexandra Stein

How totalism works

The brainwashing methods of isolation, engulfment and fear can lead anyone to a cult. I should know – I was in one


Professor Stein has also published a book:

Terror, Love and Brainwashing by Alexandra Stein


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2018 06:52AM by corboy.

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