Gurdjieff groups in the SF Bay Area--mid-seventies
Date: July 13, 2007 05:02AM
I would love to hear that these people are put out of business. They are the precise definition of the word "toxic."
After I posted my earlier comments, I suddenly recalled another adventure connected with "Everyman Theater." Someone got the idea that we should try dinner theater, though the meal would be enjoyed at a tiny "restaurant" next door rather than in the actual theater. Every night that dinner was served, there was just one meal on the menu. It could be lasagna with salad, garlic bread, dessert and wine one night, and chicken marsala with all the goodies another night. I volunteered in the restaurant for several nights (I think everyone had to serve a term at it, but I truly love cooking for groups even now), and then after dinner we would rush the cleanup and go do the show. It might have been for Danton's Death that we did that.
Don't get me wrong--I'm not reminiscing here. I just see all of the above and my earlier comments as a monumental head-in-the-sand time for me. However, the reason why my brother sent me the article on Sharon and Alex flying the coop was because one day we were talking and the subject came up of our theater experiences. I started telling him and his wife about Sharon and Alex, and while I was talking, little by little I began to recognize all of that for what it was. In fact, my astute brother began the process by suggesting that it sounded like a cult to him, and the more we talked, and the more I remembered, the clearer it became. It was an "Oh, my God!" experience I won't soon foirget. How can we be so dense?
In support of the squeamish feeling I had that caused me to leave, one day about a year later I got a call from the ticket-seller guy who started it all for me. He had been thrown out of the group, apparently, possibly because he had run out of money, from the sound of it, and was hoping I could take him in temporarily, until he could get himself straightened out. That was one time I knew for sure the answer had to be no. It felt like a trap, and to this day I think that if I had gone along with it, I might have found myself in a situation I couldn't dig my way out of. I saw him just before I moved to LA in 1974, and he looked as though his situation had deteriorated even further.
I sincerely believe that what goes around comes around. If I didn't believe that I'm not sure I could live through some of the things I've managed to survive. So, all things being equal, I hope that someone out there--or even a class action group--can make these people stop what they are doing and have done to what surely must be thousands of people over the years.