Spencer Schneider TalksAbout Manhattan Cult Story

They took an oath of absolute secrecy and lived in a covert world in plain sight.

“It didn’t look like a cult. I was relieved. Nobody was in black robes chanting. No kids running around in rags with faraway gazes. Just a bunch of young professionals––hedge funders, doctors, entrepreneurs, lawyers––in a secret loft in Tribeca. They looked, I realized, a lot like me,” says Spencer Schneider. “I had no way to possibly know they were brainwashed––hollowed out souls––under the clutches of a leader every bit as twisted and commanding as Jim Jones.”

This is Schneider’s true story of how he got entangled in a cult known only as "School," why he stayed, and how––impossibly––he got out after twenty-three years. It’s a cautionary tale about the power of group psychology and how anyone can be radicalized. It’s also a story of resiliency and freedom.