Sunset Star 7 by Brian Sapere


Part 4



From Chapter 2 – Psychodynamics of Rape – in Men Who Rape by Nicholas Groth




Regardless of the pattern of the assault, rape is a complex act that serves a number of retaliatory and compensatory aims in the psychological functioning of the offender. It is an effort to discharge his anger, contempt, and hostility toward women – to hurt, degrade, and humiliate.  It is an effort to counteract feelings of vulnerability and inadequacy in himself and to assert his strength and power – to control and exploit. It is an effort to deny sexual anxieties and doubts, and reaffirm his identity, competency and manhood. It is an effort to retain status among male peers, and it is an effort to achieve sexual gratification.  Rape is equivalent to symptom formation in that it serves to defend against anxiety, to express a conflict, and to gratify an impulse.  It is symptomatic of personality dysfunction, associated more with conflict and stress than with pleasure and satisfaction.  Sexuality is not the only – nor the primary – motive underlying rape. It is, however, the means through which conflict surrounding issues of anger and power become discharged. Rape is always a combination of anger, power, sexuality, and each of these components must be examined in evaluating the offender and assessing the impact of the assault on the victim and the nature of her trauma.


. . .The assault triggers an acute disruption of the victim’s physiological, psychological, social, and sexual lifestyle as evidenced by somatic problems, disturbances in sleeping and eating patterns, and the development of minor mood swings and fears specific to the circumstances of the assault.(1)  The sexual offense, from this standpoint, constitutes a situational crisis imposed on the victim, and the impact of the assault may disrupt the bio-psycho-social functioning of the victim for an indefinite period of time. Tragically, her victimization often does not end with the assault.


(1) Ann Wolbert Burgess and Lynda Lytle Holmstrom, Rape: Crisis and Recovery



Horn:  "Just forget all this crap about 'motherhood' and 'marriage' – it's not for you. You'd kill any poor kid or slob who ever lived with you – can't you see that? You're a real sick girl. If you weren't such a sick lesbian, you wouldn't even be interested in any of those weak men in the first place. All you really need is a big, juicy cock and royal fuck in the ass from a REAL Man!"



Since the "REAL Man" could never stand rejection or take "NO" for an answer, stop lying or quit projecting, scapegoating and gaslighting, he arranged and conducted a special class and kangaroo court, forced "confession" and character assassination, claiming that his rape victim was "a Real Man hater" and "man eater" – "rotten apple" and "rotten egg" – "habitual liar" and "self-willed, ill-willed bitch" – "hateful, hard-hearted Snow Queen, Judas and betrayer of Christ" – "evil saboteur and enemy of 'the Work'!" 


He also told Abe's father, Bob Klein, to "Pick the kid up and keep him away from her!"


 Sharon called me the next day to say:


"You must feel relieved now that the baby is gone."


"No, sorry – you can't have any contact with him until you start to 'wake up' and 'get well'. It's for his own good. You're a sick lesbian and vicious, murderous mother. You'd kill the poor boy 'in essence' if he stayed with you. He's already becoming autistic."






Sharon: "You should try to forget the child.  Just pretend you're a distant relative – like the boy's aunt, or something."



 From The San Francisco Progress – Jan. 12, 1979


 A long-term member, single at the time, was directed to marry up – or get out…  The problem was that the young lady he met and married didn't know about the package deal, i.e., that she didn't just get a husband, but a weird theatre group, and the Horns, too.  When she did get the big picture, she also got out.  She got two things for her pains:  a beating and an annulment.  She was pregnant at the time, by about a month…


Kathleen Salmon-Mandis was also pregnant when she left.  When I asked her (given the facts that members spent all of their spare time working at the theatre, often ‘til near dawn, when they would go to their daytime jobs) what child-care was provided, she answered with anger in her voice.

“None! The babies and toddlers were kept in cribs backstage until all hours. The parents didn’t have time to give to the kids and the theater, too. The theater took precedence.”

Reproduction was a big factor in the group. At one juncture, Sharon Gans-Horn directed all of the couples to get pregnant within thirty days. All complied, except one couple who just didn’t seem to be able to meet the deadline.

When Kathleen Salmon left the group, Mark divorced her. Shortly after the birth of the child, Mark Salmon and Fred Mindel appeared on her doorstep and demanded custody of the child. Using the usual tactics of the Horn philosophy, they told her that “she was an unfit mother who would kill her child.”  The terrified mother finally placed a call to the police and the pair fled.



Anonymous said on Esoteric Freedom blog – Jan, 9, 2010:


Can anyone tell me why an adopted child and her sister will never be told the truth? Older students adopted a younger student’s child nearly 30 years ago, while I was in the group. I am still in touch with this troubled young woman who still does not know – and when confronted, her parents will never reveal the truth, and the birth mother will not come forward. The girl needs to know [the truth] as she is now facing serious health problems, and family history could help. I have really tried to understand possible reasoning for this behavior from a teacher of ‘the Work’.  Even if it is not ‘the Work,’ Sharon and Robert still ‘think’ they are representing it [so] why would they insist on burying the truth to this extent?  What profit or benefit [could there be] to all or any involved?  Can anyone reading this enlighten me? Who would ever want to go to their grave with the burden of these kind of lies!  Can a mother forget the child of her womb????





Sharon: "We're only trying to help you 'get well', but you always think you know best. But what do you know, anyway? Have you seen the Light?  Bob has his problems, but they're nothing like yours – YOU can't do anything right!"


   "Who do you think you're kidding and trying to fool?!  You weren't supposed get married or have any more children! You're a lesbian – don't you know that by now?  You were supposed to join the other single females who 'agreed' to participate in my husband's 'sexual experimentations'…

My husband is really mad. I strongly advise you to get the marriage annulled tomorrow and participate in his most important 'work on being'."


  "No, you can't see the child again for awhile. You need a 'period of adjustment' with your new husband."


   "Why don't you just admit what a cheap cunt, tramp and whore you are? . . . stop lying and quit trying to whitewash your filthy life."



The unconscious projection of one's own problems onto others helps to reduce tension. But what about the real situation?  ~ Idries Shah



Gaslighting: Know It and Identify It to Protect Yourself
by Stephanie Sarkis Ph.D.
Psychology Today – Jan 22, 2017


Gaslighting is a pattern of manipulation tactics used by abusers, narcissists, dictators, and cult leaders to gain control over a person or people. The goal is to make the victim or victims question their own reality and depend on the gaslighter. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn't realize how much they've been brainwashed.  For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a [con]man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.


The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them and avoid falling into the gaslighter's trap.


*Follow-up article: Are Gaslighters Aware of What They Do?



When it comes to damage, there is no real difference between physical, sexual and emotional abuse. All that distinguishes one from the other is the abuser's choice of weapons.


Emotional abuse is the systematic diminishment of another.  It may be intentional or subconscious (or both), but it is always a course of conduct, not a single event.


Emotional abuse can be active. Vicious belittling and deliberate humiliation: "You're fat. You're stupid. You're ugly."


Emotional abuse is unique because it is designed to make the victim feel guilty and unworthy – unworthy of respect and friendship, love and protection.


    Andrew Vachss

   Parade Magazine



Diogenes said on Esoteric Freedom blog – Sept 17, 2010:


As usual, it is the women who were hurt most.  And like rape victims who do not testify because it is too painful to go through that [ordeal], the women who were hurt by the Gans-Horn cult do not come forward. But unless they do come forth … it is all hearsay.



Anonymous said on Esoteric Freedom blog – May 4, 2009 [excerpt]:


No, most of the stories have not been told.  I hear new ones all the time.  I meet people who left the group 20-30 years ago and have not spoken to anyone about it since.  Some people are still under the code of silence.  The most sensitive of those stories have not been told on the web.  You haven’t heard about the rapes and sexual humiliations yet . . . not the old stuff from California but the stuff that is still going on . . . Have you heard about Sharon's abortions?  About the abortions she forced other women to have?  You have not heard the actual names of many of these people yet. Their families still do not know.  Many children still do not know who their real parents are because they were traded at birth within the group.  Marriages are still being forced on people.  People are still being manipulated into divorcing loving spouses. It will all come out. Give it time.



Cber7 said on Rick Ross – Mar 5, 2005 [excerpt]:


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 they send you away, you too become a non-person.  You are in fact treated as a disease by the diseased!



The Cult of the Narcissist
By: Dr. Sam Vaknin


The narcissist is the guru at the centre of a cult. Like other gurus, he demands complete obedience from his flock: his spouse, his offspring, other family members, friends, and colleagues. He feels entitled to adulation and special treatment by his followers. He punishes the wayward and the straying lambs. He enforces discipline, adherence to his teachings, and common goals. The less accomplished he is in reality – the more stringent his mastery and the more pervasive the brainwashing.


The – often involuntary – members of the narcissist’s mini-cult inhabit a twilight zone of his own construction. He imposes on them a shared psychosis, replete with persecutory delusions, “enemies”, mythical narratives, and apocalyptic scenarios if he is flouted.


The narcissist’s control is based on ambiguity, unpredictability, fuzziness, and ambient abuse. His ever-shifting whims exclusively define right versus wrong, desirable and unwanted, what is to be pursued and what to be avoided. He alone determines the rights and obligations of his disciples and alters them at will.


The narcissist is a micro-manager. He exerts control over the minutest details and behaviours. He punishes severely and abuses withholders of information and those who fail to conform to his wishes and goals.


The narcissist does not respect the boundaries and privacy of his reluctant adherents. He ignores their wishes and treats them as objects or instruments of gratification. He seeks to control both situations and people compulsively.


He strongly disapproves of others’ personal autonomy and independence. Even innocuous activities, such as meeting a friend or visiting one’s family require his permission. Gradually, he isolates his nearest and dearest until they are fully dependent on him emotionally, sexually, financially, and socially.


He acts in a patronising and condescending manner and criticises often. He alternates between emphasising the minutest faults (devalues) and exaggerating the talents, traits, and skills (idealises) of the members of his cult. He is wildly unrealistic in his expectations – which legitimises his subsequent abusive conduct.


The narcissist claims to be infallible, superior, talented, skillful, omnipotent, and omniscient. He often lies and confabulates to support these unfounded claims. Within his cult, he expects awe, admiration, adulation, and constant attention commensurate with his outlandish stories and assertions. He reinterprets reality to fit his fantasies.


His thinking is dogmatic, rigid, and doctrinaire. He does not countenance free thought, pluralism, or free speech and doesn’t brook criticism and disagreement. He demands – and often gets – complete trust and the relegation to his capable hands of all decision-making.


He forces the participants in his cult to be hostile to critics, the authorities, institutions, his personal enemies, or the media – if they try to uncover his actions and reveal the truth. He closely monitors and censors information from the outside, exposing his captive audience only to selective data and analyses.


The narcissist’s cult is “missionary” and “imperialistic”. He is always on the lookout for new recruits – his spouse’s friends, his daughter’s girlfriends, his neighbours, new colleagues at work. He immediately attempts to “convert” them to his “creed” – to convince them how wonderful and admirable he is. In other words, he tries to render them Sources of Narcissistic Supply.


Often, his behaviour on these “recruiting missions” is different to his conduct within the “cult”. In the first phases of wooing new admirers and proselytising to potential “conscripts” – the narcissist is attentive, compassionate, empathic, flexible, self-effacing, and helpful. At home, among the “veterans” he is tyrannical, demanding, willful, opinionated, aggressive, and exploitative.


As the leader of his congregation, the narcissist feels entitled to special amenities and benefits not accorded the “rank and file”. He expects to be waited on hand and foot, to make free use of everyone’s money and dispose of their assets liberally, and to be cynically exempt from the rules that he himself established (if such violation is pleasurable or gainful).


In extreme cases, the narcissist feels above the law – any kind of law. This grandiose and haughty conviction leads to criminal acts, incestuous or polygamous relationships, and recurrent friction with the authorities.


Hence the narcissist's panicky and sometimes violent reactions to “dropouts” from his cult. There’s a lot going on that the narcissist wants kept under wraps. Moreover, the narcissist stabilises his fluctuating sense of self-worth by deriving Narcissistic Supply from his victims. Abandonment threatens the narcissist’s precariously balanced personality.


Add to that the narcissist’s paranoid and schizoid tendencies, his lack of introspective self-awareness, and his stunted sense of humour (lack of self-deprecation) and the risks to the grudging members of his cult are clear.


The narcissist sees enemies and conspiracies everywhere. He often casts himself as the heroic victim (martyr) of dark and stupendous forces. In every deviation from his tenets he espies malevolent and ominous subversion. He, therefore, is bent on disempowering his devotees. By any and all means.


The narcissist is dangerous.



Email interview with the "Ambassador of Narcissism"


Podcast interview with Sam Vaknin


Debate About Causes and Types of Narcissists


Abuse in Relationships: gaslighting (ambient), overt, covert, by proxy



Many cult leaders have an early experience of abandonment, neglect and disappointment in parental figures and authorities. So, then the dynamic is that they become the powerful parent – the omnipotent parent – for the followers as they find them.


Malignant narcissists have a deep-down desire to bring other people down, in the same way they felt brought down, and that desire leads to extremes. Religion itself is not the problem, but cult leaders use religion to commit [and justify] heinous and terrifying crimes.


Peter Olsson, MD, author of Malignant Pied Pipers of Our Time: A Psychological Study of Destructive Cult Leaders from Rev. Jim Jones to Osama bin Laden . . .



Covert Psychological Murder:  Death As A Result Of Insidious Mental & Emotional Abuse



In Why Is It ALWAYS About YOU? The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism, by Sandy Hotchkiss

From chapter 10 – Strategy One: Know Yourself


…Our reactions to Narcissists are often very complex, and not always negative. Sometimes we are drawn to their larger-than-life qualities and the special way they make us feel when we are included in their grandiosity and omnipotence in some way. If being part of their lives makes our own seem fuller or more exciting, we may choose to pay the price or deny that there even is one. When this happens, we may end up sacrificing ourselves to an illusion that leaves us ultimately empty and bruised. When you enter the web of the Narcissist, you leave yourself behind.



The 'perfuming of a scorpion' referred to by the great Sufi teacher Bahaudin symbolizes hypocrisy and self-deception: both in the individual and in institutions.


Whoever might perfume a scorpion

Will not thereby escape its sting.


From A Perfumed Scorpion by Idries Shah          



The serpents and scorpions are those who appear pious and in secret loath or champion reform to gain power. What the person is and what the person appears to be are in contradiction and so the mind is split.  Deceit is the divided mind. A man or woman speaks well and thinks evil, or does well and wills evil, and so is full of hidden poison.  Deceit is malice from the will cloaked in outward friendliness.


   Christ called the Pharisees, 'Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers', because outwardly they appeared good, and inwardly they were evil. This deceit penetrates the whole being of a person and renders him incapable of growth; he is dead – finished. Christ says to the Pharisees, as examples of deception, 'Why wash the outside of the platter?  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye make clean the outside of the platter, but within are full of extortion and excess'.


From The Mark by Dr. Maurice Nicoll          



    Greed and excess hide the truth from men's eyes and make them blind.

    Would you have eyes to see and ears to hear clearly?

    Then, tear off the obstructing veil of greed!  ~ Rumi



Truth is hateful to the hypocrite.

But you must find a way to introduce it under his guard.

Because this is so difficult, masses of hypocrites are undetected – especially by themselves.


The false teacher represents the ultimate hypocrite, heedless fool, and enemy of Truth in the field of human development. 


~ Idries Shah



The Cults