Author Topic: Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement  (Read 1828 times)

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Offline Ursus

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Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« on: August 29, 2007, 10:17:56 AM »
Gary, Thank you for allowing us to reprint this on the forum.

www.isaccorp.org/hyde/eskowstatement.pdf
www.isaccorp.org[/url]
[email protected]

On the night of November 4th, 2005, while attending a weekend of meetings at the  Woodstock campus of the Hyde School, I was summoned to the office of Head of School  Duncan McCrann and ordered to leave the campus, for reasons which remain unclear to me.      

Despite this abrupt dismissal, I still believe that there is value in the bedrock principles of Hyde, and in much of the work that takes place within its walls.  With the sincere hope that its telling will make it a better place, I offer this, the story of my experience at the Hyde  School.

, and the one his son Malcolm Gauld penned with his wife Laura, The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have, and consider enrolling our son at Hyde in the Fall.  Malcolm, Hyde’s current President, and his sisters Laurie and Gigi, are all employed at the school’s Woodstock, CT, and Bath, Maine campuses, as are the aforementioned Mrs. Malcolm Gauld and Gigi’s husband Don. So are a number of other old friends and family members.

Jerri was also eager to read this literature. Fortunately, after a brief period of discord that occurred when he commenced his Fellini-like dissolve from being “the nicest boy in the 8th grade,â€
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Anonymous

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Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2007, 01:59:14 PM »
Reading this, I just feel sad.  So many possibilities when groups come together, working to better themselves and their family dynamic--it's hard to admit that more harm than good can come.

I know many good, well-intentioned folk have come under Hyde's gravitational pull.  I know Hyde has helped many people. I personally have deeper understanding of myself, having lived the Hyde experience.  And I have a great talent (professionally beneficial) for translating between bi-polar meglomaniacs and regular folk.  I finally had to acknowledge that whatever benefit I gained from hanging 'round the meglomaniacs, was outweighed by the psychic/spiritual/ethical toll--I had to excise the "cancer" as Eskow so astutely named it.

It's not just Joe Gauld, though he epitomizes it.  It's the power to pass judgement on other's character and emotional development-- the total lack of humility, and the quashing of critique.  It infects the staff and the group dynamic. For Hyde to truly flourish as a character-building enterprise, it would have to truly embrace the chaos of self-examination.  People would need the freedom to question the school's basic principles and practices on a regular basis.  But that exercise isn't really compatible with maintaining a stable, financially viable institution.  Especially one which so handsomly rewards is administrators.  

Hyde can't have it both ways--ethical leadership and money-grubbing.  Of all the lessons the school grabbed from other institutions (AA included), that's the one they missed.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Ursus

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Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2007, 02:35:59 PM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
Reading this, I just feel sad.  So many possibilities when groups come together, working to better themselves and their family dynamic--it's hard to admit that more harm than good can come.

I know many good, well-intentioned folk have come under Hyde's gravitational pull.  I know Hyde has helped many people. I personally have deeper understanding of myself, having lived the Hyde experience.  And I have a great talent (professionally beneficial) for translating between bi-polar meglomaniacs and regular folk.  I finally had to acknowledge that whatever benefit I gained from hanging 'round the meglomaniacs, was outweighed by the psychic/spiritual/ethical toll--I had to excise the "cancer" as Eskow so astutely named it.

It's not just Joe Gauld, though he epitomizes it.  It's the power to pass judgement on other's character and emotional development-- the total lack of humility, and the quashing of critique.  It infects the staff and the group dynamic. For Hyde to truly flourish as a character-building enterprise, it would have to truly embrace the chaos of self-examination.  People would need the freedom to question the school's basic principles and practices on a regular basis.  But that exercise isn't really compatible with maintaining a stable, financially viable institution.  Especially one which so handsomly rewards is administrators.  

Hyde can't have it both ways--ethical leadership and money-grubbing.  Of all the lessons the school grabbed from other institutions (AA included), that's the one they missed.


You wax so eloquently about this.  Were you student, parent, staff?

One of the things I find so personally valuable about Gary's piece, even though I disagree with some of his approach and conclusions, is that it is entirely his voice, grasping most earnestly to find some solutions and positive outcome from this debacle.  I have tremendous respect for his efforts, and sadness for what he went through.

He also has a fantastic ability to remember dialog, and ability to describe relevant circumstances.  This tale could have just as easily been written during my own family's experience, which was a different time, and the other campus.  Which goes to show... not much has changed.

I personally do not believe that Hyde can be saved, which is not the same thing as saying it will not continue its existence of being a lush money cow for the Gauld family.  There's a sucker born every minute, and the more unhappy the world gets, the more these suckers will flock to idealistic feel-good/feel-better solutions, usually at a table set up by some guru or another of personal development, slick fleecers extraordinaire.  

This type of business has been around a long time. At least the snake-oil just came in a bottle.  Now they want your kid and your family, 'till they empty your bank account.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Anne Bonney

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Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2007, 02:45:25 PM »
Quote from: ""Ursus""
There's a sucker born every minute, and the more unhappy the world gets, the more these suckers will flock to idealistic feel-good/feel-better solutions, usually at a table set up by some guru or another of personal development, slick fleecers extraordinaire.  

This type of business has been around a long time. At least the snake-oil just came in a bottle.  Now they want your kid and your family, 'till they empty your bank account.



I'm stealing that, it's great.  I'll quote you properly though.
 :D
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
traight, St. Pete, early 80s
AA is a cult http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cult.html

The more boring a child is, the more the parents, when showing off the child, receive adulation for being good parents-- because they have a tame child-creature in their house.  ~~  Frank Zappa

Offline Anonymous

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Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2007, 02:46:28 PM »
Student, faculty brat.  The place was my home and I loved it.  But it damn near ruined my family and my psychological health.  Both have been restored over time, thankfully.  Far from Hyde.

P.S.  Thanks for the writing compliment--public school education!
(Hyde's responible for the typos, certainly)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Ursus

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Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2007, 02:54:50 PM »
Quote from: ""Anne Bonney""
Quote from: ""Ursus""
There's a sucker born every minute, and the more unhappy the world gets, the more these suckers will flock to idealistic feel-good/feel-better solutions, usually at a table set up by some guru or another of personal development, slick fleecers extraordinaire.  

This type of business has been around a long time. At least the snake-oil just came in a bottle.  Now they want your kid and your family, 'till they empty your bank account.
I'm stealing that, it's great.  I'll quote you properly though.
 :D


Be my guest, I'm both flattered and honored!   ::bwahaha::
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Ursus

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Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2007, 03:04:22 PM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
Student, faculty brat.  The place was my home and I loved it.  But it damn near ruined my family and my psychological health.  Both have been restored over time, thankfully.  Far from Hyde.

P.S.  Thanks for the writing compliment--public school education!
(Hyde's responible for the typos, certainly)


Then you have a most interesting perspective, most steeped in Kool-Aide, but apparently not so anymore...  

I think one factor which might heavily affect someone in your shoes, is your parents' take on it.  Perhaps more specifically, your parents' respect for your autonomy, and whether they valued critical thinking over obedience.  I think that does very much affect any kid there, but perhaps faculty brats more so.  I'm rambling about theoreticals, I have no idea whether they apply in your case... I don't mean to presume...

I take it - "public school education" - that your parents left before your high school years?
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Offline Anonymous

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Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2007, 03:40:36 PM »
Quote from: "Ursus
I take it - "public school education" - that your parents left before your high school years?[/quote

No, during--I've looked at life from both sides now.

I think the dichotomy between our family ethics and what was happening at Hyde came into focus while I was there.  Funny what happens when Hyde becomes "personal" and not just theoretical (or "personal" for other people, as the case may be).  Our family ethic of critical thinking wasn't welcome at Hyde.  My parents weren't really ready to engage the Hyde process as parents. They were personally and professionally in conflict.  I just shut down and watched while things spun around me. The obedience/autonomy thing took a long time to figure out.

I watched the other "faculty brats"  with great interest, and still feel--something.  Discomfort, sympathy, jealousy sometimes.  Complicated.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Ursus

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Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2007, 04:22:04 PM »
Some public schools are quite good.  I came from a solid public school background all my life, but when I got to Hyde, I felt like I had stepped back two years in some of my classes.  Not in all classes, depends who they had teaching, of course.  Some of the faculty were actually real live faculty who had got sucked into Hyde due to misplaced idealism.  Some, of course, were just former student ideologues, with or without college degrees, but certainly without experience.  Then also, at least in my time, the athletic coaches had to teach academics as well, and some of them, despite being experienced teachers of one sort of another, didn't know what the hell they were talking about as per the subject at hand, ha!

Did you have siblings?  Were they also involved in the "Hyde process?" Were both your parents involved (they usually had to be)?  When were you there?  
    You can be super vague about that if you want, I'm just curious vis-a-vis a general historical perspective.  Former Hyde people are usually pretty protective of their anonymity.  The experience is usually so personally invasive for a lot us that we're afraid of them leeching into our souls again... Those heavy-handed moral judgments just don't want to die.

Let me ask you this, Guest:  do you think that you got involved with your studies of "bi-polar meglomaniacs" (be they professional or be they amateur, the latter being "for the love of knowing") due to your experience at Hyde, perhaps as a means of psychological survival?

Quote from: ""Guest""
It's not just Joe Gauld, though he epitomizes it. It's the power to pass judgement on other's character and emotional development-- the total lack of humility, and the quashing of critique. It infects the staff and the group dynamic.
This describes what I would call a cult, or an LGAT.  Some would say those two descriptives are the same thing.

Quote from: ""Guest""
Of all the lessons the school grabbed from other institutions (AA included)...

I'd love to read an expansion of your thoughts on this.  I have my own ideas, of course; would enjoy comparing notes.

When you describe your feelings re. the other faculty brats... because of the conflict between your family and Hyde?  A sense of alienation from those other kids' lives at that time?
« Last Edit: August 29, 2007, 04:44:10 PM by Guest »
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Offline Anonymous

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Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2007, 04:35:54 PM »
I'll get back to you later, ursus . . .
digesting, reflecting----plus I'm on a work deadline!  This has been great procrastination :)  
Faculty brat
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Offline Ursus

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Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2007, 04:41:32 PM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
I'll get back to you later, ursus . . .
digesting, reflecting----plus I'm on a work deadline!  This has been great procrastination :)  
Faculty brat

No sweat, thanks for the heads-up.  If you're concerned about your anonymity, get a gmail account with a different name.  Cheers!   8-)
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Offline katfacehead89

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Re: Gary Eskow's ISAC Statement
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2021, 02:51:53 AM »
If you actually want to read the original text on the old board of ?The Jekyll side of Hyde?, it?s here:
http://web.archive.org/web/20070908104258/http://wwf.fornits.com/viewtopic.php?t=23004&sid=a661f6b6496d1777eccc2ff388e65407
« Last Edit: December 05, 2021, 04:01:13 AM by katfacehead89 »