Last year at Oscar time former daytime TV star Rosie O’Donnell was angry with a “cult” that used her to do voiceover for its small-documentary, which was later nominated for an Oscar.
But what made Rosie mad? The openly lesbian celebrity didn’t appreciate the group trading on her name, when she found out later that they had a history of discrimination against gays and blacks.
The group called “The Work,” is led by an aging former actress named Sharon Gans, but was once known as the “Theater of all Possibilities” in San Francisco, before leaving the Bay area amidst allegations of abuse.
Last year O’Donnell said, “What is my luck that of all the theater groups in the world, the one I pick would be a cult?”
What a difference a year makes.
Sharon Gans has apparently decided to liquidate some assets. And up on the block is a $1.45 million dollar estate in upstate New York.
The “estate,” or what some might see as a “cult compound,” was only just recently completed for the nonprofit corporation Gans controls called “The Hudson Valley Artists Association.”
It is located near the town of Pawling and is surrounded by 20 acres of “beautiful countryside,” touts the sales ad, which can now be viewed on-line.
Paid for by Gans’ devotees is a main house with 4,800 square feet. And that three- bedroom main residence boasts a ballroom that can accommodate a hundred. The compound also includes a guesthouse, caretaker cottage, two duplex studio buildings, a large workshop and a heated inground swimming pool with a “deep end.”
It looks like “cult” members may have taken a dive into the “deep end” on this property. Public records show they put up more than a million dollars, seemingly to please their “teacher.”
However, Gans has now apparently decided she’s had enough of Pawling.
And why not?
The “cult” leader still controls other properties worth millions of dollars in Manhattan and Montana. Her sprawling ranch/compound near Kalispell has more than a hundred acres. It not only has a heated pool, but a sauna too.
Members toiled for years to remodel and improve this “ranch” for their leader.
Ms. Gans still has yet another private estate in New York near Croton, which was put up for sale not long ago.
Gans is almost 70, maybe she is engaged in estate planning and/or rearranging her portfolio?
So if some cult leader is looking for a compound, there is one just waiting for devoted sycophants and ready to occupy. Of course chain link fencing and guard gates are not included, but this might be negotiable for the right buyer.
However, Pawling residents are probably hoping cult leaders will pass up this buying opportunity and instead a new owner might opt for some better use.
The real estate agent suggested that the compound could become an “Inn” and/or “restaurant.” Certainly, this would be a more benign purpose for the property that might actually raise neighborhood home values.
What about an Inn with ballroom dancing and gourmet dining? Someone should be able to put together a menu featuring better fare than what Sharon Gans has been serving.