Read this harrowing account of the author’s (alleged) gaslighting at the hands of Silicon Valley elites Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, Stanford Law profs and progenitors of disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried.



The Star Chamber of Stanford: On the Secret Trial and Invisible Persecution of a Stanford Law Fellow is a work of non-fiction in the memoir subgenre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by author Rony Guldmann. The book is an account of the author’s time at law school, investigating the idea that conservative values were being subjugated by the liberals in authority. When the investigation leads to the author being ostracized from the academic community, his motive becomes one of surviving and fighting back against those who marked him as an outsider.

It’s a delicate balance that must be struck in putting forward your version of events when that testimony seems far-fetched and contradictory to the accepted truth of a situation. Fortunately, Rony Guldmann’s legal background leads to him constructing his narrative in a logical and carefully evidenced manner, helping readers to understand that the seemingly incredible suggestions aren’t as far from realistic as they initially appear. It’s a commendable act of bravery to speak up against a large and well-trusted institution to show people that something we all accept at face value should absolutely be challenged and pushed back against.

The Star Chamber of Stanford is an excellent example of such bravery; highlighting the attitudes of the powerful people who determine the direction and culture of academia and questioning whether their actions are in the best interests of the society they serve. Overall, it was a well-constructed discussion of persecution that methodically puts together its message in the face of resistance that is difficult to perceive or fight back against, and I recommend The Star Chamber of Stanford to all those with an interest in academia.

Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

Readers of academic memoirs who enjoy insights and philosophical reflections about teaching and education will find just the ticket for both in The Star Chamber of Stanford: On the Secret Trial and Invisible Persecution of a Stanford Law Fellow, a survey of Rony Guldmann’s encounters with legal, social, and political university circles.

Intriguingly, it’s actually a book-within-a-book that chronicles the making of Conservative Claims of Cultural Oppression, written during Guldmann’s time at Stanford Law School between 2006 and 2011. The memoir portion of the story dovetails with an author’s study in ideology, academia, and firsthand experiences with cultural oppression, offering readers far more depth than the usual educator’s memoir contains.

Guldmann inadvertently became a target of Stanford’s political community and “highbrow illiberalism” himself, experiencing many of the conflicts that turned his research into a study written not for his Stanford circle, but about it.

From when it is appropriate to defy collective beliefs and organizational structures to the survey’s cautionary role as a case study for formulating an academic career, Guldmann provides a scholarly tone and attention to detail as he makes his case and documents his experiences.

This atmosphere permeates his recollections and insights about his colleagues, interactions with them, and the college structure itself: “Despite her own insight that I operated one level up, Barbara had rather sloppily underestimated me in September when she fancied that I wouldn’t see past the four corners of the knockout email. Caught unaware by the epistemic advantages I had accrued upon exiting the elite culture and decolonizing my mind, she presumed she was manipulating me throughout our subsequent phone conversation, when all along I was manipulating her into acquiring precisely that misapprehension—a source of considerable embarrassment. But as this renewed bid to operate one level up now confirmed, Barbara had learned some lessons from her earlier missteps. The home page was truly inspired, psychological warfare of the first order. The advanced studies in the behavioral sciences being pursued at CASBS had evidently borne fruit.”

The result is an exposé, memoir, and study in academic philosophy, all in one.

The Star Chamber of Stanford will especially intrigue Stanford students and those on their own upward trajectories who wish to better understand the underlying philosophy, motivations, and politics of the college environment. It is recommended as a key acquisition for libraries strong in legal and education issues and should be used as a discussion point for students of higher education.

D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

★★★★★ The Star Chamber of Stanford by Rony Guldmann is an academic memoir that documents the author’s life and experience as a Stanford Law graduate and academic fellow researching conservatives’ alleged cultural oppression by the liberal elites. As he immerses himself in an investigation that has seemingly arrested all his attention, Guldmann equally stirs the rage of a network of elites who are unhappy with his stance against some of the ideologies and damaging culture taking root in the circles of academia. Guldmann quickly becomes an object of oppression, a man who was once an up-and-coming respected scholar now reduced to a laughing stock and humiliated through demeaning behaviors and gaslighting. Can he use his knowledge to get back at those who have walked over his dignity and self-worth, treating him as a conspiracy theorist? This is a fascinating memoir that is written in a voice that is as compelling as any can be. When readers meet the author, he is fired up to make a difference through his fellowship, but then he creates enemies through his quest for the truth and his courage to denounce that which doesn’t align with his personal values and what the institution stands for. The discovery that the price of truth is pain dawns on him powerfully as he navigates a dangerous path involving lies, intimidation, and ambiguation. The author writes about the manner in which he was gaslighted with forensic clarity, allowing readers a clear image of an underdog rising up against a selfish group of powerful elites. The book is written in prose that is gorgeous and captivating and the author offers powerful insights into the inner workings of academia, crafting a tale that is legally nuanced and that features compelling political themes. Franklin Bauer, The Book Commentary


Rony Guldmann recounts his time at Stanford and the litany of misconduct in the critical non-fiction memoir The Star Chamber of Stanford: On the Secret Trial and Invisible Persecution of a Stanford Law Fellow. The catalyst behind Guldmann’s exposition stems from an earlier academic piece he’d written, Conservative Claims of Cultural Oppression, that put him in the cross-hairs of fellow colleagues and Stanford staff. This book is the rejoinder to the barrage of contentious reactions levied against Guldmann and the manifestation of disapproval having a measurable impact on his ability to find later work. Additionally, Guldmann covers correspondence on this and on practices that violate the freedom of privacy that Stanford University claimed to embrace. The accounts are broken down into eleven distinct and interconnected sections and Guldmann narrates in a mostly linear timeline, and in the first-person.

The Star Chamber of Stanford by Rony Guldmann will appeal to two different types of readers. The first will be the majority of people who identify politically and ideologically as conservatives. Guldmann fights not only on behalf of himself, his research and his findings, but also for conservatives who believe they have been vilified and marginalized unfairly. The second group that this book will appeal to are people who are interested in an intelligent philosophical perspective that may or may not align with their own, and readers who enjoy real-life David vs Goliath scenarios. The writing is academic and is written in a substance over style manner that is to be expected. All the hallmarks of academia are present. Guldmann’s book is planned and focused with a clear understanding of his subject; the book is structured, coherent and logical, and everything he includes is evidenced either verbally or written and included in the text and/or appendixes. Guldmann’s courage is apparent, no matter where one lands on the liberal to conservative ideological scale and so I will end this in his own words, which best shows he is aware his neck is in the proverbial noose: “It was publish or perish, and the Great Deed beckoned.”

Reviewed By Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite


The Star Chamber of Stanford: On the Secret Trial and Invisible Persecution of a Stanford Law Fellow by Rony Guldmann is a non-fiction memoir that details the author’s experiences as a law student and former fellow who found little support and a lot of reprisals when he published a controversial study. Guldmann’s academic article, titled Conservative Claims of Cultural Oppression: The Nature and Origins of Conservaphobia, did not align with the liberal philosophy of Stanford University. The result was almost instantaneous hostile blowback that was somewhat ironic as it, in its own way, proved Guldmann’s theory: oppression is actually imposed against conservative thinking and not the reverse. The fallout was extreme and as the piece was being written through to its publication and the aftermath, the initially passive-aggressive and ultimately outright undisguised aggressive castigation of Guldmann included but was by no means limited to his girlfriend leaving him, the rumblings of other fellows and staff, calls to “mitigate danger” in order to keep him in contention for the next stage of his academic career, the actualization of this happening due to “stigmatic identity”, and undeniable gaslighting.

“To this end I would need to stir the hornets’ nest and develop a contemporaneous record of my beliefs…”

The Star Chamber of Stanford is at its heart an extension of author Rony Guldmann’s Conservative Claims of Cultural Oppression. In the interests of full disclosure, I am not just a mere liberal, I am a democratic socialist and the rationale behind Guldmann’s research and final conclusion goes against every ethos that I hold dear. I am putting this out to make clear that this review is written by a dissenter of Gulmann’s work but as a defender against the deep-seated and, frankly, vile actions against him. The reality is that there is a degree of subjectiveness in what defines persecution and especially when an unpopular point of view is made that costs a highly qualified academic a place in a taxpayer-funded institution. Sure, it was hard to find private placement…but it should not have been hard to find placement in public institutions going strictly by Guldmann’s credentials. Academia and advancement in the first world are the hallmarks of a progressive society and I am a little embarrassed that my contemporaries failed the very progress we work toward by disowning an academic who presents verifiable counter-arguments to their thoughts and beliefs. Do I agree with the findings of the original article? I haven’t read it so I cannot comment. Do I agree that Guldmann’s study means he should be iced out and have to fight his way back in? No. Do I think others should read this book: 100% yes. Very highly recommended.

Reviewed By Asher Syed for Readers’ Favorite