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Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence Discussion – Page 116 October 31, 2011

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Welcome to the newest page of the Fellowship of Friends/Pathway To Presence Discussion.

At the Moderator’s discretion, excessive abuse, personal attacks, taking up too much space, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask people taking part in the discussion will result in a warning followed by a ban or a leave of absence from the discussion.

Participants require 1 moderated comment before they can start communicating in real-time. (ie. if you are new to the discussion, your comment will appear about 1 day after it has been posted, any subsequent comments will appear instantaneously).

To visit the official site of The  Fellowship Of Friends;

http://www.livingpresence.com/

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1. Tim Campion - October 31, 2011

Thanks to Steve for keeping this blog going!

And Happy Halloween to all you astral beans out there. Remember: be nice!

2. Tempus Fugit - October 31, 2011

INDEX TO THE BLOG

Animam Recro – Fellowship of Friends – a cult for intellectuals, and Fellowship of Friends Discussion
Part 1 through Part 10

The Fellowship of Friends Discussion – Free speech is a dirty business
Part 11 through Part 33

Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence Discussion
Part 34 through Part 116 (current page)

This is a repeat index of links to help people research the blog (previously published on Page 115, courtesy Tim Campion).

To read the entire blog from 2006 to the present requires following some links on these pages to other pages forward and backward, but is well worth the effort. The early pages of the blog contain an especially lively interchange between then current and former members.

Improvements to this index are welcome from anyone.

If you are a current member of the “Fellowship Of Friends/Living Presence/Pathway To Presence” group, this blog gives you an opportunity to experience some of the unofficial history of the FOF as well as hear dissenting opinions on the validity of your school and teacher.

Please read with an open mind. If your beliefs are secure you have nothing to fear from considering the experience of those who disagree with you.

In my experience and in my opinion you are in a very dangerous position as a member of this group. Remember Jim Jones?

3. Tempus Fugit - October 31, 2011

Okay, let’s try that INDEX TO THE BLOG again, hopefully with some active links!

Animam Recro – Fellowship of Friends – a cult for intellectuals, and Fellowship of Friends Discussion
Part 1 through Part 10

http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/fellowship-of-friends-a-cult-for-intellectuals/

The Fellowship of Friends Discussion – Free speech is a dirty business
Part 11 through Part 33

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/

Fellowship of Friends – Living Presence Discussion
Part 34 through Part 115 (current page)

http://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/

4. x-agent - October 31, 2011

Tax the rich.
Exploit the masses.
Let the poor suffer.
The rest of you are on your own.
Who’s side are you on anyway?
First, let’s ask God whose side He’s on.

5. silentpurr - October 31, 2011

For several years in the Fellowship I remember resisting reading newspaper “headlines” with the belief that I was “developing the all-important will”. It was tricky, to not satisfy one’s curiosity, especially in Manhattan.
I read one once and felt ashamed as though I’d gone against “my work”.

6. rock that boat - October 31, 2011

Silentpurr, can you see how damaging that is?
Feeling ashamed.

Shame reduces one, takes away ones strength and power.
It affects ones heart and soul, blocks the connection to what is higher attracts more shame and eventually one gets sick. By staying in the FOF, a world of lies, deceit, corruption, perversion and decadence, one risks dying…young! Most recently Maria Lucas and Leslie Mott lost their lives to cancer.

7. fofblogmoderator - November 1, 2011

#4 Is new

8. Fee fi fo fum - November 1, 2011

5 silentpurr

Yes, that was a murky period, where we had no television or newspapers or magazines.

I can’t remember how that exercise got lifted. Was it gradually done away with, without a formal announcement? I remember some students buying television sets in the early 1980s and finally buying one myself and feeling enormously liberated, like I had been starved for input. Does anyone remember all of that, and what you got from it?

Shame and guilt. Robert depended on our sense of shame and guilt to self-reinforce some ridiculous tasks and exercises. And then we’d police each other with “judgement i’s” for “having no will” if they couldn’t hold the exercises.

I remember a man coming to a prospective student meeting and being told there was an exercise not to cross our legs. He was wearing supertight jeans (that was before the no jeans exercise). He refused to not cross his legs. He said he had some condition that made it impossible for him to not cross his legs. Needless to say, he got a lot of “judgement” from the students, and he didn’t come back to the 2nd prospective student meeting. Come to think of it, he saved himself a bundle of money on teaching payments he never had to pay!

9. Golden Veil - November 1, 2011

8. fee fi fo fum

Ah, this image of the prospective student refusing to
participate in the exercise not to cross legs ~ ha ha!

How I feel about Robert Burton’s various “Exercises”
issued to promote the state of “being present”…

10. surelyujest - November 1, 2011

“By their fruits you shall know them.”

I ask again: if it is such a great system, where are all the conscious beings?

11. brucelevy - November 1, 2011

10. surelyujest

We know the “fruit”.

12. silentpurr - November 1, 2011

Around Marysville they’re known as the “space-cadets”.

13. Golden Veil - November 1, 2011

We are all super heroes. Fight the Anti-Groove!

14. Tim Campion - November 1, 2011

11. brucelevy

You know the fruit, but this fruit will not set you free.

15. Dennis Larson - November 1, 2011

“Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.”
– Buddha

Where was that quote thirty years ago?

16. Another name - November 1, 2011

Woooh after 4 years of PTS of leaving the fellowship. relieved and healed quite a lot.

Look at this video. the Work in a psychological jacket and no teaching payments.

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/IF/innerfam.htm#family%20Tx

This website is from Peter Gerlach and here follows an artice on the HEALTHY aspects of expressing negative emotions.

Anger is Not “Negative”

Who wants to join a study group. LOL.

Anger is an instinctive automatic reflex to guard against injury, pain, and death Your anger response is no more negative than sneezing, urinating, coughing, or goose bumps. For several reasons, unaware parents may teach kids that anger is negative or bad. Parents rarely teach the difference between feeling and expressing emotions. Did yours?

From this view, trying to repress feeling anger is unhealthy – like trying to stop breathing or move your bowels. Trying to control expressing emotions can help or hurt relationships and families. All families develop rules about how and when to express various emotions. What were the rules in your family about expressing anger and frustration? Who made the rules? What happened if you broke them?

Can you think of someone be who expresses anger or frustration constructively? “Constructive” means “strengthening mutual respect and trust.” Now think of someone who expresses these emotions destructively. For example…

yelling / screaming

throwing things

badmouthing

not listening

bringing up the past

monologing

swearing

breaking things

physical violence

aggression

manipulating

catastrophizing

blaming

insulting

sarcasm

revenge

distorting

ranting

One cost of being taught that “being angry” is wrong is feeling you have to hide or repress it. Another cost is feeling guilt and shame for “feeling and/or acting angry.” Neither of these is justified, unless people express the emotions destructively!

Imbalances in neural and endocrine (hormonal) systems can cause harmful anger behaviors. These can be hard to distinguish from wounded people who repress and accumulate anger until it explodes. Competent psychiatrists can help to differentiate and treat both of these. I suspect that organic imbal-ances can be caused or amplified by serious psychjological wounds – i.e. anger explosions can be psycho-somatic reactions.
Anger is emotional energy. Energy used to change or create something is power. Anger-pow-er can help you to create relationships or can damage them. Stay tuned for ideas on how to use anger constructively.

Anger Policies

A personal “policy” is a learned set of beliefs + values + rules (shoulds, oughts, musts, and have to’s) that regulate our behavior and our opinions of other people. From social training and life experience, every adult and child evolves semiconscious policies about feeling and expressing hurt, anger, fear, needs, frustrations, and other emotions. Do you agree?

A healthy policy is one which helps you and other people fill your needs, heal, and grow. A toxic policy inhibits these. Have you ever identified your anger and frustration policies? Can you describe other key people’s policies? Can they? See the Lesson-4 article on anger policies for more perspective.

How well people’s anger and frustration policies mesh, and how toxic or healthy their policies are, will shape whether they have “major anger problems” with each other. This is true of in each key relation-ship in your life, and with your Higher Power. Have you ever identified your Supreme Being’s anger poli-cy?

Anger 101 continued…

Anger and Healthy Mourning

Feeling and expressing pain and anger are essential phases of healthy mourning. So repressing grief-related emotions or inhibiting them in other people will stress you and/or them, promote false-self dominance, and weaken relationships. Typical kids and adults always have significant prior losses (bro-ken bonds) to mourn.

Premise: incomplete grief is one of five combined reasons for epidemic U.S. divorce and “mental health problems.” self-improvement Lesson 3 proposes how to understand and finish incomplete mourning. Adults’ awareness of these anger basics can help to do that!

“Anger problems” take on a new perspective in the context false-self dominance and wounds. Ad-ding this perspective will increase your options to reduce and avoid “anger problems” within you and be-tween you and other people.

Anger and False-self Dominance

Premise – kids deprived of too many psychological and spiritual nurturances survive by automatic-ally developing a group of protective subselves and coping behaviors. Typical kids and parents aren’t aware of this, and regard the resulting attitudes and behaviors as “normal.” Until in true recovery from false-self wounds (Lesson 1), most adults (like you?) are unaware of…

who comprises their inner family of subselves,

who usually leads them, and…

which subselves form their anger and frustration policies and determine how they express these powerful emotions.

Awareness of your subselves can help you – or anyone – resolve all your role and relationship problems!.

Subselves and Repressed Emotions

How and why do people like my abuse-survivor mom client (and you?) repress their natural anger reflex? I propose that different combinations of subselves cause this. For example: you feel hurt, frustra-ted, and/or scared, and angry subselves naturally start to activate.

Your Historian subself says “Every time we showed anger (in childhood), we got ridiculed, punished, and rejected (hurt).” Historian may also warn “Every time we’ve been around angry men / women / people we’ve gotten major pain!”

At the same time, your Inner Critic and Moralizer can sternly decree “It’s shameful, to (a) feel anger and/or to (b) express it publicly (or to certain people).” Your Catastrophizer may shrilly add “Don’t you dare feel or show anger! You know (something devastating) will happen!”

Your Abandoned and/or Scared young subselves contribute fearful thoughts and feelings (“If we show anger, (someone) will hurt me, and we there’s no one to protect me!”). Your Shamed Child can add inhibiting emotions and thoughts like “I don’t deserve to get my needs met. I’m selfish and disgusting.”

Your Guilty Child may flood you with emotion and thoughts like “Oh NO! I’ve broken a rule again!” Your protective People-Pleaser may plead “PLEASE don’t feel (or show) anger, or Abandoned Child will be even more terrified!”

Your energetic Achiever may activate to distract you by urging “Come on, get busy right NOW!” Still other Guardian subselves may flood you with weariness, and/or images and hungers for comforting su-gars and fats.

The emotional intensity and clamor of these all these subselves overwhelms your wise true Self (capital “S”), Adult, and Spiritual subselves. To quell the stressful uproar, your Guardian Numb-er rides to the rescue by controlling your glands so you don’t feel hurt, scared, and angry. Your Analyzer and/or Observer may pitch in by distracting your Self with intellectual assessments of “What’s going on here, and why?”

If your glands work and you do feel angry, your clever Magician may convince you it’s some other emotion (“Naw – you’re just edgy and irritable.”) . If someone challenges this, this talented subself offers persuasive reasons why the challenge is wrong. That gives ammunition to your Warrier who distracts and defends by counterattacking (“There you go again, reading my mind, telling me what I feel, and blaming me.”)

All this happens in a few seconds below your conscious awareness. Key results:

Little or no felt hurt and anger, despite real cause for it;

A chronic neuro-chemical stress reaction which may weaken organs and/or your immune system. I suspect this was contributing to my obese client’s weight, diabetes, and blood-pressure problems and related anxieties – at age 40;

The needs that cause the anger go unrecognized and unfilled, perhaps including the need to mourn;

Possible unconscious passive-aggressive behavior and/or double messages (“I am not angry!”) that cause new problems; and…

Part of your identity (“I can’t or don’t get angry.’) is strengthened.

Anger repression promotes social reactions too, like distrust, confusion, and anxiety.

Can you think of any kids or adults who cope with stress by reflexively repressing their hurt, anger, and frustration and perhaps denying or trivializing that? Each of them has a different set of inner-family subselves and dynamics, but their outcomes are probably the same. Until they learn about and want to change this protective reflex, repressing or numbing uncomfortable emotions is likely to…

cause a cascade of other relationship problems,

degrade long-range personal serenity and health; and to…

teach kids to inhibit feeling or expressing some healthy emotions.

Have you ever considered the causes and effects of repressing (numbing and denying) normal hurt, anger, and frustration responses like this? Does the above make sense to you? Does it apply to you and key adults and kids in your life? If so, how is this repression affecting your relationships and health?

Let’s continue with practical ways to use anger constructively. Do you need a break first?

17. Another name - November 1, 2011

Thanks Dennis.

For the quote, tell the youngsters?

18. ExAgent - November 1, 2011

“God is not fooled by any outward show.
He is never taken in by such superficial veneer,
Never ensnared by such blandishments.”
– It So happened, pg. 79

19. Shirley - November 2, 2011

“Those people walked around with halos around them. Myths have been created [about certain people]… But everybody puts their pants on the same way, one foot at a time.” (A. Ross-Sorkin)

That includes cult leaders who think they are above the level of the rest of humanity because of some unverifiable “higher level of consciousness.”

20. surelyujest - November 2, 2011

15 Dennis Larson

“Believe nothing merely because you have been told it. …”

Thanks for that quote Dennis.

It is astonishing what some people believe, simply because they read it in a book that impressed them. Things that are impossible to verify. But once they believe, their confirmation bias kicks in, and they eagerly perceive “proof” of their faith everywhere.

Once you begin imagining that you are part of a select group that is superior to “life people,” then you have sunk below the level of ordinary life. Simply making your way back to where you started requires a self-honesty that is very painful. Once you begin feeling your “comfort” in this posture of superiority, it seems to be melted only with great pain and suffering, and the humiliation that comes with that suffering. I believe that most people walk this path eventually. But for some, it’s too great a lure to imagine themselves on a super secret spiritual mission that the other 7 billion are too stupid to comprehend. So they remain stuck there, and their arrogance, judgment and intolerance grow. Any so-called spiritual path that leads in this direction is pretty clearly bogus.

21. nigel - November 2, 2011

20. surelyujest

Yes – it is painful recovering from the FOF experience and it may take many years to find your way back to a place in Real Life…..Nigel.

22. silentpurr - November 2, 2011

Time and distance help us to see in retrospect how the Fellowship has “become it’s own opposite”.
Students practice for years exercises that staunch their abilities to respond spontaneously.. to life.

… interpretations, predictions, and opinions are important myths for the Fellowship/ Living Presence and they cast long cold shadows. Not much can creatively grow in that murky light and scorned soil, let alone bear fruit….

23. nigel - November 2, 2011

…..from “The White Cliffs “, by Alice Duer Miller…..

I
I have loved England, dearly and deeply,
Since that first morning, shining and pure,
The white cliffs of Dover I saw rising steeply
Out of the sea that once made her secure.
I had no thought then of husband or lover,
I was a traveller, the guest of a week;
Yet when they pointed ‘the white cliffs of Dover’,
Startled I found there were tears on my cheek.
I have loved England, and still as a stranger,
Here is my home and I still am alone.
Now in her hour of trial and danger,
Only the English are really her own.

(Alice Duer Miller was an American war poet, who came to England during World War II…..Nigel)

24. nigel - November 2, 2011

22. silentpurr

I must admit – I was taken by the ‘art-factor’ of the FOF – the aura of ‘exclusive being’ in the light of a New Civilization born of appreciation of the ‘finer things in life’. How misconstrued it all was – darkness attempting to parade as light – how untrue…..Nigel.

25. ExAgent - November 2, 2011

“…but do you know what religion is? Religion is a cage and the people who follow it are all birds locked up inside.”
– Lord Meher, pg. 915
And for those who wonder how this relates –
The Fellowship of Friends, a self-titled religious organization, is a lie, a trick, a trap and a con, but if you like it, knock yourself out.

26. silentpurr - November 2, 2011

Knocking yourself out is exactly what takes place. And while you are in that somnolent state doing or attempting to do the precious sequence..crafty things are being planned just beyond your ken….

27. Golden Veil - November 3, 2011

I saw this film and it is relevant.

Martha Marcy May Marlene

It’s a portrait of someone experiencing severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by their being sexually and otherwise abused by an older person in a superior position of power in a small and isolated, but dramatically beautiful community. The insidious and perverted psychological propaganda by the person in power and his long time followers exerted a powerful grip on the psyche of this vulnerable newcomer. It is not clear whether or not they were able to recover.

28. surelyujest - November 3, 2011

If you speak regularly of “going to the moon,” and “conscious souls” and the technique to create one, then you are insane well beyond the ordinary measure of the average person. I think, if anything, the System is a very clever tool of self-discovery, but not the way we were taught to think. When you realize, holy crap, I was starting to believe all this stuff about creating a soul, and being special, and the ray of creation — then, as you throw out every bit of that foolishness, you have the chance to learn something about your own gullibility, your susceptibility to enthralling words about how YOU, alone among the billions, are special. At best, you get to learn in a deep way how little there is we can know about anything.

Yes, the average person is insane. True, we don’t know what reality is like. That is my point. Speaking confidently about reality, when you are just mouthing things you read in books or spoke about with others in a group, is the opposite of becoming more sane. Sanity is being able to say, I have little idea what is going on in this world — who we are, what we are, why everything is the way it is. Latching onto a System that provides a ready answer for every question is just more comforting religious nonsense.

The third state of consciousness has nothing to do with it. I never saw any connection between self-remembering and the third state of consciousness. And I never saw any evidence in others that all those efforts made a bit of difference. Again, the main proponents of this system are pretty poor specimens, that have shown no signs of progressing towards anything worthwhile.

29. WhaleRider - November 3, 2011

surelyujest…Surely you tell the truth.

30. nigel - November 3, 2011

“Frozen”, by Madonna…..

[Verse:]

You only see what your eyes want to see
How can life be what you want it to be
You’re frozen
When your heart’s not open

You’re so consumed with how much you get
You waste your time with hate and regret
You’re broken
When your heart’s not open

[Chorus:]

Mmmmmm, if I could melt your heart
Mmmmmm, we’d never be apart
Mmmmmm, give yourself to me
Mmmmmm, you hold the key

Now there’s no point in placing the blame
And you should know I suffer the same
If I lose you
My heart will be broken

Love is a bird, she needs to fly
Let all the hurt inside of you die
You’re frozen
When your heart’s not open

[chorus]
[verse]
[chorus, repeat]

If I could melt your heart

31. nigel - November 4, 2011

28. surelyujest

I have been insane beyond what the average person experiences. But I have found that sanity lies in finding something within you to do that brings a ‘daily little joy’ and working away at that – through all the difficulties and disappointments – the things that would normally, when not involved with something you enjoy, make you constantly negative. I do not think that FOFfers have, for the most part, a chance to experience ‘a little constant joy’ (many of them take anti-depressants) but are subject to the negative pressure of having to transform the ‘will’ of REB and his cohorts…..Nigel.

32. nigel - November 4, 2011

Michael Ball – “Anthem” (Chess) Lyrics

(Tim Rice/Benny Andersson/Bjoern Ulvacus)
from the musical, Chess

No man, no madness,
Though their sad power may prevail,
Can possess, conquer, my country’s heart
They rise to fail

She is eternal
Long before nations’ lines were drawn
When no flags flew, and no armies stood
My land was born

And you ask me why I love her
Through wars, death and despair
She is the constant
We who don’t care
And you ask me would I leave her — but how?
I cross over borders but I’m still there now

How can I leave her?
Where would I start?
Let men’s petty nations tear themselves apart
My land’s only borders lie around my heart

33. nigel - November 4, 2011

…..from Googleing “what do cult leaders feel”…..Nigel.

Cults, wonderful on the outside but on the inside are very manipulating. Cult leaders are desperate to trick you into joining. They are after your obedience, your time and your money.

Cults use sophisticated mind control and recruitment techniques that have been refined over time. Beware of thinking that you are immune from cult involvement, the cults have millions of members around the world who once thought they were immune, and still don’t know they are in a cult! To spot a cult you need to know how they work and you need to understand the techniques they use. Teaching you these things is what this article is all about.

This article exposes the secret techniques cults will use to try and trick and control you. Cult leaders will not want you to read this, but read it anyway. Once you understand How Cults Work you will be better able to spot and avoid cult recruiters, and protect your family and friends.

First let’s eliminate some misconceptions about cults.

Cults are easy to spot, they wear strange clothes and live in communes.

Well some do. But most are everyday people like you and me. They live in houses. They wear the same clothes. They eat the same food. Cult leaders don’t want you to know that you are being recruited into a cult and so they order their recruiters to dress, talk and act in a way that will put you at ease. One cult has even invented a phrase to describe this, they call it “being relatable”.

Cults are full of the weak, weird and emotionally unstable.

Not true. Many cult members are very intelligent, attractive and skilled. The reality is that all sorts of people are involved in cults. One of the few common denominators is that they were often recruited at a low point in their life — more about that later.

Cults are just a bunch of religious nut cases.

This is a common mistake people make thinking that cults are purely religious groups. The modern definition of a mind control cult refers to all groups that use mind control and the devious recruiting techniques that this article exposes. The belief system of a religion is often warped to become a container for these techniques, but it is the techniques themselves that make it a cult. In a free society people can believe what they want, but most people would agree that it is wrong for any one to try to trick and control people. In the section “Types of Cults” we will examine the various types of cults you may come across.

Christians call all other groups cults.

Basically Christians have said that if a group claims to be Christian and yet teaches something fundamentally different from what the Bible teaches then they are a cult. ie. a Buddhist group that claims to be Buddhist is not a cult, but a Buddhist group that pretends to be Christian is. This definition is not used in this article.

So what is a cult anyway?

The modern definition of a mind control cult is any group which employs mind control and deceptive recruiting techniques. In other words cults trick people into joining and coerce them into staying. This is the definition that most people would agree with.

Except the cults themselves of course!

34. nigel - November 4, 2011

“in2it”….. a few years ago…..Nigel.

“Appreciating relaxation, silence, and rest, but also recognizing when vocalism and action and dissent are welcomed by the universe, and finding the answer to that question in our conscience — however difficult that is to define or describe.”

35. Fee fi fo fum - November 5, 2011

I was talking recently with a former student who had left the Fellowship a long time ago. She recounted some banter she’d had with one or two current students over the course of the year, who live at OH, and with whom she remains on good terms. I got the impression that some of the current students remain in the Fellowship for pragmatic reasons. They work with, or for, other students, so they remain in the Fellowship in a marginal way. The marginal students make just enough of a teaching payment to be considered a member so as to continue being employable by other, more enthusiastic Fellowship members. Looking at it from a distance, it’s like paying your boss an ongoing fee to have your job, except the fee is going to the Fellowship. What would you say to students in that situation?

She went on to say that there is a whole social culture at OH where you have to know which Fellowship members will or will not mix with former members, and vice versa. It almost sounded like those members who are tolerant enough to mix with former members are rather proud of their openness. You could say it’s like a straight person saying that some of their best friends are gay, or how some of your best friends are of a different race or religion than you are. The question did not come up as to whether such proud tolerance might make it easier for those members to stay in the Fellowship forever, because they are no longer on one side of the fence or the other. They feel they permeate both sides as flexible people, and therefore, the Fellowship’s darker sides do not disturb their conscience. Without talking to those people directly, I wouldn’t know what keeps some of them in the Fellowship.

We talked about Abe’s suicide. She asked if I knew anything specific, such as first hand reportage, or if I knew anything beyond hearsay. Because the answer was no, then there seemed nothing more to say. It smacked a little bit of the “no gossip” exercise of eons ago. You don’t talk about it, ergo, it does not exist. It made somewhat irrelevant the issues that were so passionately discussed on the blog, when we heard about the suicide. In other words, were some of us creating a tempest in a teapot?

36. WhaleRider - November 5, 2011

Fee fi fo fum:
“It’s like paying your boss an ongoing fee to have your job, except the fee is going to the Fellowship. What would you say to students in that situation?”

It’s called extortion.

“The crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority.”

~Dictionary.com

37. nigel - November 5, 2011

36. WhaleRider

Funny – in the FOF no-one can ‘play straight’…..Nigel.

38. Tempus Fugit - November 5, 2011

In my opinion there is nothing spiritual about Robert Burton.

Nothing spiritual. Nothing at all.

How strange to think I once thought Burton was enlightened. I guess I was an easy mark. Young, naive, wanting to believe.

And then later when I left the FOF I still imagined Burton had supernatural powers. Certainly “C influence” would punish me for leaving the “school.” I had failed the “master.”

Sanity slowly returned and the world became right again.

I realized that Robert Burton is just a human being – not a god, not a devil, just a man – in my opinion a very sick man.

If you don’t understand why I feel this way, please read this blog. Go back to the beginning and read lots of stories, both pro and con. Links to the blog can be found above in Post #3 on this page.

It may be easy to disregard the reports of one or two unhappy former members, but dozens? And the allegations against Burton are not for minor misbehaviors, but for very serious crimes.

In my opinion the most serious crimes a person can commit short of murder are sexual molestation and theft under the pretence of spiritual teaching. These are exactly the crimes that have been alleged against Burton. What do you think? Reading this blog will help you make up your own mind.

As many others have noted, the standards of morals and behavior for someone claiming enlightenment should be higher than those for ordinary people, not lower. I believe even one incident of indecent, dishonest behavior that is not accompanied by shame and amends is enough to belie any assertion of higher consciousness.

Wanting enlightenment is commendable. Following a teacher you have proven to be false is both foolish and dangerous. Luckily you still have eyes to see the truth and free will to act on it. But you will not have either one forever.

39. rock that boat - November 5, 2011

35. Fee fi fo fum – November 5, 2011

Abe’s suicide … Creating a tempest in a teapot?
Are you kidding!

Abe takes his own life on opening night of Burton’s absolute favorite money making event of the year! Hundreds of students are visiting, a bevy of handsome Russian dancers will be pampered by RB. But on that Saturday evening, home alone with Abe’s wife and daughter off to the ballet, he does the most dreadful thing to himself and takes his own life.

Why on such a Festive evening? It is the act of someone desperate. Someone who is trying to say something…. A warning..
“Don’t be fooled by all the pomp and circumstance…don’t be seduced by the creepy sex energy…the decadence…It is all such a lie …

38. Tempus Fugit
Wanting enlightenment is commendable. Following a teacher you have proven to be false is both foolish and dangerous. Luckily you still have eyes to see the truth and free will to act on it. But you will not have either one forever.

40. surelyujest - November 6, 2011

31 nigel

I too have found satisfaction and joy in pursuing my talents and working toward ordinary, tangible goals in my life. In the Fellowship we were taught to disregard our own interests, desires and talents when they did not match up with what we were “supposed” to like. This is a recipe for unhappiness and ruined lives. I’m happy for you that you have found your passion and a successful way to pursue it, through your teaching and craftsmanship.

41. surelyujest - November 6, 2011

On another matter: I think I struck a nerve. However: debate fail. Time to go back to school and learn to avoid these logical fallacies:

Appeal to tradition/appeal to authority (philosophers are very smart and wrote books a long time ago, so they must be right)

Ad hominem (you are just too stupid to understand me and my complex religion)

Appeal to popularity (if so many billions believe in an afterlife, how can they all be wrong?)

When you strip away everything that falls under these categories, there’s not much left. It starts out somewhat promisingly, but the lure of falling back on insults is just too tempting.

The masses are too ignorant to follow the one true Fourth Way; the masses have believed in an afterlife for thousands of years, so they must be very intelligent and right. Think on this very basic bifurcation.

42. nigel - November 6, 2011

40/41 surelyujest

…..a little verse from an English hymn…..

“The daily round, the common task
Shall furnish all I need to ask”

I was brought up as an Anglican Protestant, but do not believe in the ‘Heaven or Hell’ finailty clause of the after-life. The Buddhist idea of karma is much more appealing to my mind – the fact that ALL ONE’S ACTIONS THROUGH LIFE have an effect on one’s future lifetimes (“They have their exits and their entrances” – Shakespeare) and that there is no end to life itself. Burton, through his selfish, unconscienable activities, will invoke a miserable next, and later, lifetimes…..Nigel.

43. nigel - November 6, 2011

…..from “Leaves of Grass”…..

Come, said my soul,
Such verses for my Body let us write, (for we are one,)
That should I after return,
Or, long, long hence, in other spheres,
There to some group of mates the chants resuming,
(Tallying Earth’s soil, trees, winds, tumultuous waves,)
Ever with pleas’d smile I may keep on,
Ever and ever yet the verses owning—as, first, I here and now
Signing for Soul and Body, set to them my name,

Walt Whitman

44. nigel - November 6, 2011

…..again, Walt Whitman…..

So I pass, a little time vocal, visible, contrary,
Afterward a melodious echo, passionately bent for, (death making
me really undying,)
The best of me then when no longer visible, for toward that I have
been incessantly preparing.
What is there more, that I lag and pause and crouch extended with
unshut mouth?
Is there a single final farewell?

45. nigel - November 6, 2011

…..from Google-ing ‘religious delusions schizophrenia’…..

“The importance of religious beliefs in the cultural patterns of mankind is an accepted fact. The meanings and origins of these beliefs have been interpreted variously by writers throughout the ages. A problem of some importance, the answer to which is not very clear at times, is the border-line relationship between religious beliefs and delusions of a religious nature, which has occupied the attention of many psychiatrists. Although it is beyond the scope of this paper to review the extensive literature on this subject, the opinions expressed by some writers are of immediate relevance. In 1926 Campbell stated: ‘The delusions of the ill-balanced and the beliefs of the orthodox are more closely akin than is usually recognized.’

In one of his earlier papers, Freud compares obsessional symptoms and religious rituals. He states that in ancient religions one finds that many things considered wicked in everyday life were surrendered to the god and permitted in his name.”

WHAT THE HELL MAKES BIPOLARS LIKE ME DIFFERENT FROM BURTON? DOES HE WANT TO IMPOSE UPON OTHERS, WHEREAS I ONLY WANT TO CHAMPION A CAUSE?…..Nigel.

46. Fee fi fo fum - November 6, 2011

36 WhaleRider

I’m not sure I would have gone so far as to call it extortion, but it’s certainly in the category of being held hostage to the tacit understanding that members do not like to deal with ex-members. Friendship and business inside the Fellowship, especially in an enclosed community like OH, seems to come with a condition of everyone having to remain members. Also, once a member starts to exhibit doubt and becomes a wobbly fence-sitter, those relationships are no longer stable.

Ironically, if you were never a member, that’s different in the eyes of current members, because you’re just a “life” person, and you’re more likely to be hired on the merits of your ability or talents.

39 rock that boat

Yes, it was odd to get such a bland reaction from a former student. I couldn’t tell if it was because it had occurred many months ago and the immediacy of the shock had passed, or was it because the old “no gossip” exercise was still exerting a subtle influence concerning people we used to know, or because her interactions with current members who, for all we know, bought the Fellowship’s party line about Abe’s death, influenced her own viewpoint. It doesn’t matter that her reaction was bland. What I didn’t want was for valid questions and probings on the blog to be dismissed as idle speculation. As we know from earlier postings, such as the email announcement and copies of part of the memorial service, the Fellowship’s party line to Abe’s dramatic suicide was an exercise in erasure of conscience.

47. silentpurr - November 6, 2011

Further In
On the main road into the city
when the sun is low.
The traffic thickens, crawls.
It is a sluggish dragon glittering.
I am one of the dragon’s scales.
Suddenly the red sun is
right in the middle of the windscreen
streaming in.

I am transparent
and writing becomes visible
inside me
words in invisible ink
which appear
when the paper is held to the fire!
I know I must get far away
straight through the city and then
further until it is time to go out
and walk far in the forest.
Walk in the footprints of the badger.
It gets dark, difficult to see.
In there on the moss lie stones.
One of the stones is precious.
It can change everything
it can make the darkness shine.
It is a switch for the whole country.
Everything depends on it.
Look at it, touch it…

Tomas Transtomer

48. Associated Press - November 7, 2011

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.
Thomas Jefferson, (Attributed)
3rd president of US (1743 – 1826)

Move Your Money Project:
http://moveyourmoneyproject.org/

49. surelyujest - November 7, 2011

When greeted by a skeptic, religious fundamentalists have this reaction:

Mormon: you are just not smart enough to understand the subtleties of my religion

Scientologist: you are just not smart enough to understand the subtleties of my religion

Christian: you are just not smart enough to understand the subtleties of my religion

Fourth Way: you are just not smart enough to understand the subtleties of my religion

When you point out that all religious nuts say the same thing, the response generally is, “But my religion really is true!”

And do not be fooled. The Fourth Way is just as faith-based as all the others. It is the old religion updated with pseudo-science. It does not take a genius to see this. Only a mind that has been freed from the dogma. That is the trick, and why those in thrall to it cannot see how little difference there is between the Fourth Way and ordinary religion. If you want to believe, fine: just have the guts to say “I have faith in my religion.” The “proofs” are shallow and ridiculous.

50. For the record - November 7, 2011

48. Associated Press
Regarding the Move Your Money Project that you mention…
http://moveyourmoneyproject.org/

I moved my money 15 or 20 years ago. However, I caught myself yesterday almost withdrawing money from an ATM of a mainstream bank. It’s a bad habit. So I said “No” and did an about-face when I thought about the ATM transaction fee. The movement has helped raise my awareness. It’s helped me to question and think.

These were the types of “efforts” (or actions) that helped me leave the cult. I just said “No” to Burton when he asked for more money. Giving money to him was also a bad habit.

—–
49. surelyujest
You are really sharing some valuable insights. Thanks.

51. J. D. - November 7, 2011

180. Agent 45 (last page)

I got a question for participants and non-participants:
Is Robert Burton wrong to treat his followers like brainless fools?

No he is not, because they behave like brainless fools: he teaches by example, they learn by example.

15. Dennis Larson

“…” – Buddha
Where was that quote thirty years ago?

I’m pretty sure Buddha was already dead, his words were right out there and well studied inside the FoF (he is one of the 44 after all, is he?), and probably we all read it. The question should be:
“Where was my common sense when I read this quote 30 yrs ago?”
The same goes for this other quote:
“You have no reason to believe me. I’m asking you not to believe anything that you cannot verify for yourself. If you don’t possess a critical mind, your visit here is useless.” (Guess who?)

On another note, check out this site,
http://ilcredino.blogspot.com/

you don’t have to speak Italian to see how creepy is RB in that picture! At the end of the article on RB and the FoF there is also the link to this blog.
Enjoy!

52. For the record - November 7, 2011

Question on a related topic:
If I buy a bottle of Apollo Olive Oil, am I giving a fraction of the money that I spend to Robert Burton and Living Presence / Fellowship of Friends?

Or is there no connection? And the company is run by former cult members who do not harvest “Apollo” olives?

Just asking…

53. Fee fi fo fum - November 7, 2011

52 For the record

I think one is a current member. So you could interpret the purchase as indirect support.

54. For the record - November 8, 2011

There are hundreds of olive trees on the fof estate — assuming they haven’t been cut down for firewood. And presumably Apollo Olive Oil harvests from those trees. And then it makes you wonder if “salaried” labor is doing the picking, and if they are the ones caring for those trees.

So again, just asking: Does the FOF receive money for the harvest? Is free olive oil provided for Burton’s dinners? Does a percentage of proceeds from the sales go to the FOF?

I appreciate the labor of love involved (it’s an excellent product).

But even if the money is relatively small, it’s just something to think about. I sometimes thought my teaching payments were fairly small, too, until I gained a better understanding of what they were paying for…

55. Fee fi fo fum - November 8, 2011

Actually, I think most are current members, but not completely certain of that.

54 For the record

It’s an interesting conundrum. Is it like “conflict” diamonds, where your purchase of such a diamond (presuming the Fellowship has not wiped out your savings – who has money for diamonds?), in essence, supports and funds certain conflicts and wars?

On one hand, buying or not buying a product is a way to “vote with your feet.” If you are buying a product with your eyes open, where you know the making of that product may have conflicts for you, then live with that choice. If you do so, others may accuse you of making excuses, or having no principles. The idea is a little bit like the Occupy movement’s suggestion that people transfer their money out of the big mainstream commercial banks and put them into local banks or credit unions. Of course, olive oil and fair trade coffee are not the same as your every day banking. You can give up a brand of olive oil or coffee (or not), but before you switch banks, you want to make sure your new bank is on a sound financial footing (if such a bank exists anymore, in America).

The point seems to be, in part, that you’d want to not contribute, indirectly, to the Fellowship’s coffers, without depriving the olive oil owners of legitimate income because you liked their product. (How about, you could offer them 90% of their price, and tell them the 10% is what you don’t want to see going to the Fellowship?)

56. brucelevy - November 8, 2011

51. J. D.

Google translate:

http://translate.google.com/#auto|en|

57. Golden Veil - November 8, 2011

51. J.D. and 56. brucelevy ~ thank you both very much!

Wow, that Italian’s descriptions are quite the expose’ of R.B!

Funny, at one point after describing pimping “explorers” who travel the world and send photographs of prospective students back to California so that R.B. may pick and choose who to call for a personal interview with… the Italian author then describes how fake passports are procured that will enable the selected prospective students to travel, and that “Not without pride we announce that these passports are our own, purchased in Naples.” Ha ha ha! Evidently, a criminal with a conscience!

58. Golden Veil - November 8, 2011

Re: the above:

“Not without pride we announce that these passports are our own, purchased in Naples.”

Perhaps the “our own” refers to Italian made, rather than the blogger having made the fake passports!

59. Fee fi fo fum - November 9, 2011

Agreed. How anyone can stay in the Fellowship when they read, and reread, these kinds of descriptions of Robert’s sordid and pill-dispensing activities, defies common sense. And meanwhile, paying through the nose for all of that abuse.

By the way, the scroll bar at the top of the link that #51 J.D. provided has a “translate” option, right there. You click it, and the article immediately converts to, say, English.

60. rock that boat - November 9, 2011

I just recalled a very painful event that happened about 4 years ago
in Oregon House. An American student came back with a Russian wife. Soon they had 2 children. The mother of the wife left Russia and moved in with the couple to help with the kids etc.

Some Russian Robert Boys started visiting her and confessed what was going on. That they were sex slaves on salary, and if they did not serve RB they would be send back on the first plane home

This mother, with a daughter and son in law in that ‘school’ could not digest it and hang her self in her little room.

61. Fee fi fo fum - November 9, 2011

That’s very disturbing. What happened to the daughter and son-in-law? Not so much, are they still in the Fellowship, but did the mother’s death produce a catalyst for change? Or enough of a shock to shake up a bunch of people?

62. Tim Campion - November 9, 2011

We are the 99.99%!

Robert Burton is the 0.01%.

Whether you’re one of the roughly 1,500 presently serving, or among the 17,000 souls (according to “Daily Cardiac”) who have at one time fallen under “The Teacher’s” influence, one thing is apparent: to him we do not even exist. Our so-called evolution is not his concern.

The Fellowship of Friends was created to serve a single person: Robert Earl Burton. And within this isolated community, his word is the word of god. For over four decades, Burton has been the primary recipient of the “church’s” largesse. The faithful have provided virtually everything he could desire.

But on Burton’s mental ledger, it seems the physical, emotional and financial contributions of the many, many thousands are nowhere to be found. The family which brought him into the world deserves hardly a mention. Those who eventually departed his school are targets for his scorn and condemnation. He owes no debt to his family, to society, to all who supported him (up to a point.) It is HE who is owed everything.

This is what it means too serve a narcissist.

If you are still under his influence, wake up. Take back your life.

63. Tempus Fugit - November 9, 2011

Time for some appreciations:

First, ALL you people are heros to me. Keep speaking your truth, I need to hear it.

On this page I’ve especially enjoyed:
20. surelyujest – November 2, 2011
22. silentpurr – November 2, 2011
everything by Nigel – honest comments and good poetry
Tim, Whalerider, rock that boat – you guys are oldtimers and it shows (you know whereof you speak!)

And honorable mentions to the rest of you!

Some off the cuff remarks:
Of course buying olive oil, wine, or hiring FOF members provides direct support to all of Burton’s activities. Vote with your money.

There is one subject I don’t get much information on here and I’m curious about. Why do people join the group now? The few photos and videos I’ve seen of Burton show a very weird looking old man.

Are people paying to learn the “Sequence?” Are the concerts and dinners that good? Is the appeal to special status still convincing?

62. Tim Campion – November 9, 2011
just pointed out turnover is high, so why do suckers keep taking the bait?

Is there anyone reading this from the FOF or recently out who could explain the benefits of membership?

This is a sincere appeal. The blog is anonymous so you can be too if you wish. Your heartfelt defense of Burton and the FOF is just what the blog needs to enlarge the discussion.

Maybe you could even save a few of us…..

64. x-agent - November 9, 2011

Another lousy honorable unmentioned. Rats.

“Do what the machine does not want to do.” Remember that old saw?
To that I would add “When you’re afraid to leave, it’s time to go.”

65. Jomo Piñata - November 9, 2011

Occupy Apollo: Invest Locally

In honor of “Move Your Money Day,” the “Occupy Apollo” movement is urging Fellowship Students to withhold their teaching payments from the Fellowship of Friends and invest them in small, local or regional scams.

“Why give your money to a large, well organized, well financed international fleecing operation like the Fellowship,” asked Barton Phinney, a former Oregon House resident, “when you could be supporting small, sustainable confidence schemes in the local community? For every Theatron or abandoned winery–or even the cost of a fresh set of dress shirts for Robert’s entourage–you could be helping a boiler-room telemarketer in your own community to liberate a senior citizen’s credit card number, or sponsoring a local teenager’s fledging efforts to produce undetectable counterfeit twenty-dollar bills.”

66. Golden Veil - November 9, 2011

63. Tempus Fugit

I am not a current student or a recent refugee, but I think I can surmise how it could possibly happen that there are new members of the old Burton flock…

I wasn’t in the same country as Burton when I became a “Friend” and started my “Fellowship.” A the time it was a great small group and yes, there was a high but subtle level of control, suggested manners, and Gurdjieffian-type exercises… but I was sucked in at a vulnerable point in my life when I felt happy but was somewhat alone and isolated… I was given a lot of attention; I had read the books, I had “the magnetic center” and I was recruited!

I suppose that the kind of vulnerability and dynamic seduction that I experienced still happens to other young people. Maybe some of the new recruits are anti-computer. But I have to say that I, too, am mystified about people still joining up these days; reading all this stuff would have more than given me pause… I wouldn’t have become a dues paying member to an organization with Robert E. Burton at the helm, even if he was a million miles away.

67. For the record - November 9, 2011

63. Tempus Fugit: “Of course buying olive oil . . . provides direct support to all of Burton’s activities. Vote with your money.”

There’s plenty of quality olive oil to be found everywhere — I’ve never even considered buying the “Apollo” brand. But while you and I are voting “No” with our wallets, hundreds of people are buying this olive oil from store shelves without realizing that they are voting “Yes.” There’s no transparency about who is running the operation, and where the money is going from revenues. If most people knew, they would vote “No” as well. But they don’t know.

So my questions are: Is the money significant? Or is it providing little or no support to Burton? I haven’t heard any details about this operation regarding how much money it makes and whether it’s funding Burton. If it IS funding Burton’s activities in significant amounts, or if it has that potential, then this is something that we should share with the public more directly. That was the spirit of my questions earlier.

– – –
On another topic (sort of), I’m sure most of you have heard about the recent “allegations” that a long-time Penn State University football coach has sexually abused at least 9 young boys at Penn State facilities:

http://assets.espn.go.com/photo/2011/1107/espn_e_Sandusky-Grand-Jury-Presentment.pdf

Apparently, this has been known on campus for years by numerous people, including the head football coach and administrators, and who knows how many others, and yet the man was on campus just last week.

Penn State had a culture of inaction and complete callousness toward the victims. Why did no one step forward and blow the whistle? Why has no one yet fired anyone who knew about this? Because they’re in denial, because there’s a lack of transparency, because of group think, because they’re having so much fun watching the football team, because they’re afraid of losing one’s position in the university by being the first one to blow the whistle. Because it’s hard to fire someone for knowing and doing nothing about it when you also knew and did nothing about it. Because of a lack of conscience.

And similar to many others who have asked here: Sound familiar?

68. nigel - November 9, 2011

…..Burton says he is an angel in a man’s body (even a goddess, maybe)…..since 1990, I have tried living with the character described in this song – “Ordinary Angel”, by Hue and Cry…..

I got the card, delivers the goods
Fills me with happiness
It’s joy for a while ’till the first of the month
Then I’m chasing my tail again
I want a life that’s bigger than me
‘Cause I’m crushing myself to death
Tell you what I don’t need
No heaven sent deity

‘Cause I’m an ordinary angel
Winning tiny victories
And though the ordinary angels fly
Their wings weigh heavily
I try to be a daily genius
There’s no idea beyond my reach
With all the angels and the geniuses
My company I’m gonna keep

I’m watching the news and I feel my face
Hanging like plasticene
Now I see the plot, I’ve got the plan
Every move is transparent to me
Profit and power’s turning the world
And I’m leaning against the spin
Give me a vision please
And I don’t mean heavenly

I’m an ordinary angel
Winning tiny victories
And though the ordinary angels fly
Their wings weigh heavily
I try to be a daily genius
There’s no idea beyond my reach
With all the angels and the geniuses
My company I’m gonna keep

I want a life that’s bigger than me
‘Cause I’m crushing myself to death
Give me a vision please
And I don’t mean heavenly

I am an ordinary angel

I am an ordinary angel child
Walking with the daily geniuses
I am an ordinary angel

Flying as high as I can…

(I would wish that all my found friends here on the blog would find that ‘core of being that sustains’ – it is the Essence of Existence…..Nigel)

69. Guy Grand - November 9, 2011

51. J. D.
Nice photo of Burton on the italian blog. Really fine outfit he’s wearing. He truly is the Superfly pimp-daddy of false prophets.

70. nigel - November 10, 2011

…..Google-ing “anger about past”…..

Honor Your Anger and Transform Yourself
by Beverly Engel

“Anger is a very powerful emotion that can be used in many positive ways to motivate us toward change, to strengthen us against our adversaries and to protect us against pain. Anger warns us that there is a problem or a potential threat. At the same time, it energizes us to face the problem or meet the threat and provides us with the power to overcome the obstacle. Anger can empower those who have been tyrannized or victimized, imbuing them with the courage to stand up to their oppressors, to leave an abusive situation, and to stand on their own. But, sometimes we get stuck in our anger and are unable to move past it. How do we avoid becoming as destructive as those who have harmed us? How do we get past our anger so we can move on with our lives? There are two healthy anger styles: assertive and reflective. Both are positive ways of addressing the problems that anger can signal or the underlying emotions that triggered our anger in the first place. Both are also positive ways of moving past our anger.

When we adopt the assertive anger style, we communicate our distress to the person we are upset with in a direct way. We don’t blame, we don’t emotionally abuse by using sarcasm or by belittling the other person, and we don’t belabor the point. By being assertive in this manner, we optimize our chances of being heard which is what we all need in order to get past our anger. We also take a stand by asserting that we will no longer tolerate any such behavior in the future. This empowering gesture takes us out of the victim arena and this also helps us get past our anger.

When we take on the reflective anger style, we focus on what our anger is trying to tell us about a situation, another person or about ourselves. We discover and address the underlying emotions under our anger and, most important, we view our anger as a teacher. We focus on what we can learn from our anger and from the experience and on how we can prevent a similar situation from happening again. In spite of our best efforts to handle our anger in an assertive or reflective way, sometimes we remain stuck in our anger, unable to move on, unable to forgive. Why does this happen, why do we remain angry? We tend to remain angry because:

We still feel threatened by the other person. If the other person remains a threat, either because she continues the same behavior or because she refuses to admit that she did anything wrong, forgiveness can be extremely difficult. In these cases, remaining angry may serve as protection against further harm. We still feel unacknowledged by the other person, either because he was too busy defending himself, or because he never seemed to be able to put himself in our shoes and really understand our feelings. We feel the other person has not taken sufficient responsibility for his or her actions. If the other person has not admitted the fact that he or she has inconvenienced, disappointed, or harmed you, it is difficult to forgive. This is especially true if the problem has not been rectified or restitution has not been made when needed.

We feel we need to be apologized to. Psychological research, as well as anecdotal evidence show that when people apologize for something they have done to hurt us, we find it easier to forgive them.Several studies have shown that remaining angry, obsessing about revenge and constantly reliving a painful incident is physically and emotionally stressful, while forgiveness is healing to the body, mind and spirit. Over the past decade, Robert Enright, Ph.D. of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has investigated the nature of forgiveness. He and other researchers have found that those who forgive someone who has hurt them seem to reap significant mental health benefits. The act of forgiving appears to be one of the basic processes that keeps personal relationships functioning, according to studies of long-married couples.

Carrying around a desire for revenge or a need to avoid someone is not healthy. Hostility and aggression are linked to a host of health problems including increased risk of heart attacks and a compromised immune system. Forgiveness is not a self-righteous or Polyanna-like turning of the other cheek or a condoning of abhorrent behavior. Neither is it forgetting. The most important component of forgiveness is empathy. Forgiving requires us to acknowledge the other person’s actions as harmful, but then being able to empathize with them. If we can understand the deep pain from which hurtful actions inflicted on us often arise, then we can be compassionate. In that act of compassion, we move from the role of the victim and see beyond.

Beverly Engel M.F.T. is the author of “Honor Your Anger: How Transforming Your Anger Style Can Change Your Life.” A psychotherapist for over 27 years, she has appeared on Oprah, Donahue and Ricki Lake. You can reach her at http://www.beverlyengel.com.

(If cults make us angry, we need to address the proponent of that anger – in this case Burton – in other words, he let us down, not we him…..Nigel)

71. sallymcnally - November 11, 2011

#70 Excellent article Nigel.

72. nigel - November 11, 2011

…..I intend buying this book again and reading it in the light of what I know now…..Nigel.

This review is from: The Theory of Celestial Influence (Arkana) (Paperback)

“Full of intriguing ideas this book will set your mind racing. Springing as it does from the teachings of Ouspensky it is not an easy read, but well worth the effort. It takes the medieval and renaissance ideas of the macrocosm and microcosm and re-writes it for the modern world. This will transform your views on the solar system and the art of astrology. For those of you who would like to pursue the practical applications of this work see the books of A.T.Mann.”

73. nigel - November 11, 2011

…..from “Wikipedia – A T Mann”…..

Writing, art and design

Mann is one of the more prolific astrological authors, and he designed and illustrated most of his own books. From 1973-1980, Mann was a founding partner of Phenomenon Publications in London, and co-wrote, designed and illustrated “The Phenomenon Book of Calendars” that were published in the UK and US yearly for eight years. He wrote “The Round Art: The Astrology of Time and Space” (1979), “Life Time Astrology” (1984), “The Divine Plot: Astrology and Reincarnation” (1986), “The Future of Astrology” (1988) collection of essays by important astrologers, “Astrology and the Art of Healing” (1989) and “A New Vision of Astrology” (2002).

Mann also designed, painted and wrote “The Mandala Astrological Tarot” (1987), published by Harper & Row San Francisco and “Elements of the Tarot” (1995). He wrote “Sacred Architecture” (1993) and “Sacred Sexuality” (1995) with the author and master of divinatory tarot Jane Lyle. He has also written many articles and essays for other books.

Mann’s mandala paintings and designs are featured in “Masters of the 20th Century: The ICOGRADA Design Hall of Fame” (2001, Graphis, New York). The International Council of Graphic Design Associations represents the world community of graphic design professionals and showcases their work at annual London Seminars.

Professional affiliations

Mann is Director of Publications of the National Council for Geocosmic Research (NCGR)[1]; and is a Member of the Authors Guild in New York.

Current work

Mann now lives and works in Hudson, New York, is a founder partner in the web portal http://www.universalquest.com, and has worked with Mystic Fire Video, particularly as editor and voiceover for the Dalai Lama’s “Kalachakra Tantra Teachings” (2009). His current book “Sacred Landscapes” with photographs by Lynn Davis (photographer) was published by Sterling Publishers in New York. Mann also writes for the online Oracular Masters Series at the website tarot.com, particularly about his Mandala Astrological Tarot,as well as a Reincarnation Report, an Astro Location Feng Shui report, and the Solar Return report.

74. NG - November 11, 2011

Latest news:

It seems that Elan Goldman (who allegedly made a brief appearance on this blog on September 9, 2011) has joined the FoF. He is only about 16, but apparently Robert Burton and his inner-brown-circle made an exception; after all, he is the son of Abraham.

This week-end there will be a special dinner at the Galleria: we don’t know who the host will be, but the guests will be teenagers (14-16 years old), sons and daughters of students and former students (that’s the creepy part). The host will be chosen to be young and approachable, as the guests and prospective prospects chosen are forever younger and suggestible. They will be served dinner and they will be given the opportunity to ask any questions they will like: bon appetit!

75. nigel - November 11, 2011

74. NG

Jesu Christe!!!!! Wonder what is Burton’s motivation in allowing under-age-of-majority persons into the cult????? Probably not too difficult to guess, actually, considering what we know of Burton’s delictations. What kind of cover-up excuses do the enablers make????? Again, not too difficult to guess…..Nigel.

76. 2011 - November 11, 2011

Burton was always fond of saying; “why change a winning hand?”. Yet with 20,000 (or whatever the number is) ex-members how does he see the Fellowship as a “winning hand”? If it was a winning hand wouldn’t current membership be over 15,000?

As far as the teenager dinner this weekend this is just another tactic to keep the current older members feeling that the Fellowship is broadening it’s perspective. It’s also Burton’s way of trying to recruit new American members- of which fewer and fewer are joining.

Remember when there was no sex without marriage and then Burton lifted the restriction and everyone felt that Burton was so wise for seeing when to implement the rule and when to lift it. Then there was no rock/pop music. Now they have Beatles Dinners. These are all tactics of Burton to keep the current membership feeling like the organization is evolving. Take away what we had then give it back and we feel like we profited. Nice scam!

77. nigel - November 11, 2011

…..just watching a TV commentary about using art-therapy to help with PTSD in war veterans…..they mentioned the ‘hippocampus’…..

Hippocampus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Hippocampus (disambiguation).
Brain: Hippocampus

(((((The hippocampus is located in the medial temporal lobe of the brain. In this lateral view of the human brain, the frontal lobe is at left, the occipital lobe at right, and the temporal and parietal lobes have largely been removed to reveal the hippocampus underneath.

MRI coronal view of the hippocampus shown in red.)))))

The hippocampus is a major component of the brains of humans and other vertebrates. It belongs to the limbic system and plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory and spatial navigation. Like the cerebral cortex, with which it is closely associated, it is a paired structure, with mirror-image halves in the left and right sides of the brain. In humans and other primates, the hippocampus is located inside the medial temporal lobe, beneath the cortical surface. It contains two main interlocking parts: Ammon’s horn and the dentate gyrus.

In Alzheimer’s disease, the hippocampus is one of the first regions of the brain to suffer damage; memory problems and disorientation appear among the first symptoms. Damage to the hippocampus can also result from oxygen starvation (hypoxia), encephalitis, or medial temporal lobe epilepsy. People with extensive, bilateral hippocampal damage may experience anterograde amnesia—the inability to form or retain new memories.

In rodents, the hippocampus has been studied extensively as part of a brain system responsible for spatial memory and navigation. Many neurons in the rat and mouse hippocampus respond as place cells: that is, they fire bursts of action potentials when the animal passes through a specific part of its environment. Hippocampal place cells interact extensively with head direction cells, whose activity acts as an inertial compass, and with grid cells in the neighboring entorhinal cortex.

Since different neuronal cell types are neatly organized into layers in the hippocampus, it has frequently been used as a model system for studying neurophysiology. The form of neural plasticity known as long-term potentiation (LTP) was first discovered to occur in the hippocampus and has often been studied in this structure. LTP is widely believed to be one of the main neural mechanisms by which memory is stored in the brain.

78. nigel - November 11, 2011

…..on same search page on Google…..

Hippocampus:

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is involved in memory forming, organizing, and storing. It is a limbic system structure that is particularly important in forming new memories and connecting emotions and senses, such as smell and sound, to memories. The hippocampus is a horseshoe shaped paired structure, with one hippocampus located in the left brain hemisphere and the other in the right hemisphere. The hippocampus acts as a memory indexer by sending memories out to the appropriate part of the cerebral hemisphere for long-term storage and retrieving them when necessary.

79. David Ballard - November 11, 2011

Satin is no doubt pleased with his disciple Robert Burton. He has used the ancient art of Sophism to suck in not only the sister I once had but now, her only begotten son. That cock sucker should be put in prison.

80. David Ballard - November 11, 2011

But, what do ordinary people like me know? I’m just food for the moon! By the way can I say “get” yet or is that still forbidden?

81. David Ballard - November 11, 2011

To all the true believers and fellow travelers please, run away from this false prophet as fast as you can and believe in you own God given abilities to study and learn the truth. You won’t learn any faster by joining a gang, however glorified they claim to be.

82. Shirley - November 12, 2011

80 David Ballard

You suddenly made me remember a sentence we used to say at prospective student meetings, to encompass some of our word exercises, “Oh I really get very…”

We must’ve sounded like zoned out zombies at our jobs when we used “it” for “I”, didn’t use contractions or crossed our legs, didn’t wear blue jeans, began eating British style. Yup, nothing like blending in with the world to “do the Work in ordinary life.” And that was when the FF had a crazy intensity, with less of the depravity that seems prevalent now.

83. Tim Campion - November 12, 2011

79. – 81. David Ballard

David, your sister was one of the first friends I had in the Fellowship. We joined at the same time in Los Angeles. She is a beautiful soul, and remains your sister.

Having seen the devastation that Robert Burton’s callousness created in my own family, I can relate to your pain and anger. I apologize for my part in your family’s suffering.

Burton’s shame and rejection of his own family sadly established the dysfunctional model for the Fellowship of Friends. You should know that most who, following Burton’s instructions, chose to renounce and ostracize their families as “sleeping machines”, would later see the profound error of this action, and seek to repair family bonds.

Fortunately for those of us who, like the prodigal son, returned with heads bowed, those “life families” were often more forgiving than we deserved.

Please keep an open heart and forgiving mind towards your sister and nephew. It will be of enormous comfort when they awaken and leave Burton’s flock.

Best wishes to you.

84. David Ballard - November 12, 2011

Thanks Tim,

Forgiveness is the most honorable of human sentiments. Jesus taught me that more than any one of his so called followers. I only trust God and my ability to listen to Him. I will always be open to have an honest discussion with anyone in my family if it ever becomes an option. She and the kids always have the option to join my cult in Mexico. It’s called Camp David. We play music and talk about human nature and how to best deal with it. It’s fun and costs nothing and celebrates honest communication and personal responsibility. We love to BBQ Mahi Mahi and make tacos. We also have a suite for rent if you like surfing, whale watching, or desert/sea landscapes.

Happy Veterans Day, David

85. Tim Campion - November 12, 2011

84. David Ballard

Oregon House? Or…

Frolicking on a beach in Mexico, eating fresh fish tacos, singing and yelling “get!” to one’s heart’s delight.

Tough choice.

86. x-agent - November 12, 2011

Splendid! A dress-up party for the young-uns at the Galleria!
Which pimp thought of that bright idea?

87. J. D. - November 12, 2011

A friend of mine sent me this revised translation of the post on Robert Burton and the FoF from http://ilcredino.blogspot.com/

“Il credino” is a play on words, a cross between a cretin and his creed: a “creedin”.

“In September 1967, through his first spiritual teacher, Robert Earl Burton met Influence C, the direct influence of divine aware beings, without physical body, which later would have worked exclusively with paying members of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF) to ensure their awakening.

After being expelled from the group for sexual harassment in regards to other members, the Angels began to speak openly and directly with Robert Earl Burton and this event marked the beginning of a long and profitable dialogue between him and the gods. Sometime later another event would mark the bright future of such spiritual master: his crystallization (the process by which psychological characteristics become stable and permanent).

Based on those fateful, sudden and accidental revelations, Robert E. Burton established the basis for exercising his official authority, from crystallizing a man number 5 to evolving into a man number 7.8. For the record a man number 7 is a person who has achieved everything possible for a human being (Jesus Christ is a man number 8!) Men number 7 are completely united and have the will and knowledge that are independent from all their functions and, as demonstrated by Robert E. Burton, still slaves to their uncontrollable sexual voracity toward the members of his members, and subdued to gluttony for total sovereignty and riches.

Incessantly pouring into the ears of his own members sermons based on his certified experiences, leaving out the superfluous practical example, for years Robert E. Burton has created around him a true “Spiritual Militia.” His teaching started with his own version of the Fourth Way of G. I. Gurdjieff ending in the creation of his own personal gem: the sequence, a nursery rhyme composed of English monosyllables that should evoke presence. According to the testimony of the first Neanderthal murals appeared on the planet, this practice it’s truly ancient.

The center of his operations is in California, in a hole lost in the mountains, but the FoF boasts centers all over the world where believers helplessly still take the bait of awakening. There are also centers in Italy with creedin-members throughout the territory.

Curiously, the crystallization of Robert Earl Burton outlined above represented, among all the improbable predictions made by him, incidentally the only one to come true. In fact, he predicted the fall of California in 1998 as a result of a cataclysm in which the only survivors would be him and his member-servants. He also predicted the end of the world in 2006 due to hydrogen warfare. The next end of the world will come in December 2012, according to the Mayan calendar, and possibly another one in 2018.

Among Robert Burton’s boldest statements: he had been visited by the Vice-God (or “number two” as he casually calls him; he took a shower with Jesus Christ and the fact that he is constantly prodded by Leonardo da Vinci, responsible, among others, for his awakening.

All of Robert Burton’s charisma, wisdom, knowledge derived from these milestones of his direct and recognized experience, lived first-hand, mind you, not without responsibility. His commitment is dedicated to helping his creedin-servant-members to keep him as the true and only divinity. By his own admission, Robert E. Burton is a “goddess trapped in a man’s body” (a favorite phrase to justify administering fellatio to his members, and it will be his onerous responsibilities to welcome the aforementioned creedin-members in Paradise.

Robert E. Burton maintains his kingdom under strict control by giving “exercises” and assigning roles to his creedin-servant-members:

There are members who participate in nightly orgies set-up by Robert E. Burton (six members, each with a task, or rather a very specific duty: positions and functions are practiced and rehearsed to perfection).

There are members who urinate and defecate on to their teacher Robert Burton. (One of the most unique justifications is that there is a tribe in India where it is considered a spiritual practice. Even Hitler had lovers defecate on him, he also suffered from the same morbid and incurable dissatisfaction, and dementia)

There are members who in the morning go to clean Robert Burton’s bedroom/den, washing the towels impregnated with any kind of bodily fluid, and replace the various toys bought with donations from the rest of the members, leaving the room spotless for the admiration of visitors.

There are doctor-members who write prescriptions for the medications needed by Robert Burton. (When he is seen wandering around his property looking humble and submissive, is just fucked up by psycho-drugs)

There are doctor-members who write prescriptions for Viagra pills to increase the performance of the members. (Not easy to get an erection in front of a flabby old body)

There are members shopping for those pills.

There are members who administer those pills to the other unfortunate members who are due up.

There are members with drug problems to whom Robert Burton gives permission to use but only with their pants down and in his presence.

There are professional-musician-members to whom the pack leader has asked to play their instrument while he was playing their ‘instrument’.

There are members-explorers employed to recruit new members at home and abroad, taking photographs and compiling catalogs where Robert Burton can pick and choose who to order for an exotic spiritual interview.

There are members who bought fake passports in order to deliver the above mentioned items to Robert Burton. (Not without pride we announce that these passports are made in Italy, purchased in Naples)

There are garbage-collector-members in charge of hiding and laundering the money put at Robert Burton’s disposal.

There are members who donate their identities, providing a front for the illegal actions of master Burton (as a Church, and a Pope himself, he cannot legally receive or use money for personal purposes).

There are lawyer-members who continually take care of Robert Burton’s dirty laundry.

There are members that on their deathbed were convinced by Robert Burton and his lawyer-members to donate their properties and with them their dream of preserving their heritage.

There are members who in their youth the leader of the pack had forbidden the pleasure of a companion. Now in their old age they find themselves alone, but they will die full of the love that their teacher Burton once shared with them.

Within the herd of the Fellowship of Friends there are members there are more or less close to Robert Burton, who are more or less aware of most of what has been described above. For various reasons, they do not say, nor do anything.

These are the different reasons:

Some members have no specific reasons other than their own stupidity.

Some members do not know what is really happening. They may have vaguely heard of, but they stuffed their ears with ham. As the worst deaf, they prefer not to hear. As good-students-members they obey the rules of Robert Burton and do not read blogs.

Some members do not feel judging Robert Burton’s private actions, for he is a superior being. As good-students-members, they do not read blogs.

Some members are aware of most that has been listed above, but have built a niche in which they live undisturbed, and which they have no intention of leaving. They have flipped through blogs and have received information, but talking would mean the destruction of the niche and expulsion from the cult.

Some members live the delusion that they have reached a pure friendship with Robert Burton, their mission is submission, and serve at any cost. As good-students-members they do not read blogs.

Some members are trapped, with a resident visa issued by the FoF. Talking would mean not only expulsion from the cult FOF but also from the country. Their only entertainment is to participate in blogs.

Some members even managed to escape from the cage of the FOF. They are self-proclaimed “feather in the wind,” or even “beautiful butterflies”. These former-members-but-still-creedins are unable to escape from the psychology of the cult FoF; they mind their own business and do not care about those left behind.

It’s certainly not enough to get out of a cult in order to cease being a creedin.”

88. Tim Campion - November 12, 2011

87. J.D.

Thanks to you and your friend (and to the author) for providing this remarkable summary. The final two paragraphs are especially perceptive.

89. Ill Never Tell - November 12, 2011

‘creedin-members’

from urbandictionary.com:

‘Creaton:
One who CREEPS around and prays on the young boys and senior men in their old age.’

also:

‘1. cretin
A Person that is: brainless, stupid, child-like, and full of pointless information that makes no sense and appeals only to other cretins. They can be found in abundance in every single populated internet forum, where they race to post as many mind-numbing messages as possible in a single session. In addition, they seemingly interbreed with other cretins, ensuring that their cretinous genes continue long after they end up dead meaning the Internet will never be rid of their kind. . .

2. cretin
A word associated to people whose lack of intelligence, manners/etiquette, appreciation, moral fibre and glaring social ineptitude, which in turn allows upstanding, educated, decent, moral, intelligent, socially respectful and hard working people to perceive them as “degenerates” (owing to their inherent and blatantly obvious flaws). A ‘cretin’ is usually linked, but not limited to the following:

* People who hang around on street corners, shops, public access routes or any other place where the intimidation factor to ordinary, decent folk is a bonus. Note: Participants are usually loud, obnoxious, drunk, seeking trouble, showing off or a combination of all 5.

* Football hooligans who wear specific clothing to associate themselves to ‘their’ club and make a point that they are looking for trouble e.g. Burberry caps, jeans etc. Also, football hooligans, loudmouths, drunkards etc in general are typically “cretinous”.

* Ethnic minorities whose objective is to intimidate, steal, sell drugs, flunk off school, spew forth native commonalities in a drudgingly pathetic manner (you know, the usual).

* Unappreciative partners of seemingly decent, good-looking females whose attitude is mainly focused towards ‘chavalry’ rather than the more honourable, manly and decent ‘chivalry’ attitude.

* Yobbo teens who try (without success) to appear bigger than they are, sound educated or coherent (impossible) and try (also without success) to get ‘one over’ on anyone who ensues. . .

3. cretin
A cretin can only be described as a really dumb, moron, or idiot although cretin sounds much more official.

The word cretin is derived from the latin kretton. Which means brainless ghoul.

4. Cretin
An encourageable greenhorn. No matter how much you try, the person has no idea of what he is being instructed, nor does he care. The person is hopeless
‘That asshole cretin couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel. He’ll never learn.’ . . .

5. cretin
The lowest form of humanity. A person that is a waste of air. A person who is lazy and dosent contribute anything to society. . .

6. cretin
The next level below a fool. . .

7. cretin
Severe mental retardation caused by a major deficiency in the thyroid gland.

A rather entertaining insult used by intelligent people to describe people who won’t get the meaning of the insult even after a second or third explanation.’

And, that is 8 definitions and, therefore, must be the law of octaves.

90. Tim Campion - November 13, 2011

74. NG

So two months ago, Elan (or whoever posted as Elan) said: “I will most likley (sic) never join the school.” And now he has joined?

The Fellowship is actively soliciting other under-age recruits?

Apparently, desperate times call for desperate measures.

It almost feels like we’re coming full circle. Two of Robert’s early Fellowship students “coincidentally” had been in the fourth grade class he taught in Lafayette.

I doubt they fully understood that the rules change once they enter Robert Burton’s Private Academy.

91. nigel - November 13, 2011

…..from “Who Joins Cults, And Why”…..

The following article has been excerpted from Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias (Bay Tree Publishing). It is posted at Apologetics Index by permission.

Is there a certain type of person who is more likely to join a cult?

No.

Individual vulnerability factors matter much more than personality type when it comes to joining or staying in a cult or abusive relationship. “Everyone is influenced and persuaded daily in various ways,” writes the late Margaret Singer, “but the vulnerability to influence varies. The ability to fend off persuaders is reduced when one is rushed, stressed, uncertain, lonely, indifferent, uninformed, distracted, or fatigued…. Also affecting vulnerability are the status and power of the persuader…. No one type of person is prone to become involved with cults. About two-thirds of those studied have been normal young persons induced to join groups in periods of personal crisis, [such as] broken romance or failures to get the job or college of their choice. Vulnerable, the young person affiliates with a cult offering promises of unconditional love, new mental powers, and social utopia. Since modern cults are persistent and often deceptive in their recruiting, many prospective group members have no accurate knowledge of the cult and almost no understanding of what eventually will be expected of them as long-term members.”

Many cults have flourished in recent decades, and changes in recruitment styles and targets have occurred. In the 1970s and early ’80s, primarily young adults, either in college or some other life transition, joined these groups. At that time, cults were extremely active (and some still are) on college campuses and in places where young people congregate. Today, however, increasing numbers of people in their late twenties and older are joining cult groups or getting involved in abusive relationships. In fact, the majority of inquiries to cult information resources involve new recruits or adherents who are in their thirties to fifties, or even sixties. Still no single personality profile characterizes cult members.

Most experts agree, though, that whether the joiner is young or old, certain predisposing factors may facilitate attraction to a cultic system, the success of recruitment and indoctrination efforts, and the length and depth of involvement. These factors include:

•A desire to belong
•Unassertiveness (the inability to say no or express criticism or doubt)
•Gullibility (impaired capacity to question critically what one is told, observes, thinks, and so forth)
•Low tolerance for ambiguity (need for absolute answers, impatience to obtain answers)
•Cultural disillusionment (alienation, dissatisfaction with the status quo)
•Idealism
•Susceptibility to trance-like states (in some cases, perhaps, due to prior hallucinogenic drug experiences)
•A lack of self-confidence
•A desire for spiritual meaning
•Ignorance of how groups can manipulate individuals

A wide range of human susceptibility emerges when we combine the list of predisposing factors with the potential vulnerabilities mentioned above. The stereotype of a recruit is a young person worried about leaving college or uncertain about “facing life.” The reality, however, is that anyone, at any age, in a moment of confusion, personal crisis, or simply a life transition may become attracted to or drawn in by a cult’s appeal. “New in town, lost a job, recently divorced, a friend or family member just died, need a career change, feel a little blue?” The unstable and anxious feelings experienced at such times make a person vulnerable, whether that person is twenty or seventy years old. If a vulnerable person happens to cross paths with a cult advertisement or personal recruiter putting forth even a mildly interesting offer, then that ad will likely pay for itself and that recruiter will stand a good chance of making her mark. According to Michael Langone, “Conversion to cults is not truly a matter of choice. Vulnerabilities do not merely ‘lead’ individuals to a particular group. The group manipulates these vulnerabilities and deceives prospects in order to persuade them to join and, ultimately, renounce their old lives.”

While we are at it, let’s shatter another myth: people who join cults are not stupid, weird, crazy, weak-willed, or neurotic. Most cult members are of above-average intelligence, well adjusted, adaptable, and perhaps a bit idealistic. In relatively few cases is there a history of a pre-existing mental disorder.

Anyone is capable of being recruited (or seduced) into a cult if his personal and situational circumstances are right. Currently there are so many cults formed around so many different types of beliefs that it is impossible for a person to truthfully claim that he would never be vulnerable to a cult’s appeal. Cult recruitment is not mysterious. It is as simple and commonplace as the seduction and persuasion processes used by lovers and advertisers. However, depending on the degree of deception and manipulation involved, the resultant attachments can be even more powerful.

92. ExAgent - November 13, 2011

Madras Message, April 1947
From all types of bondage – physical, mental, spiritual, social, political and moral – emancipation of man is possible sooner or later. But the redemption of mankind from its self-imposed shackles of intellectual self-sufficiency and idealistic or religious inheritance is very different indeed, and the task, if ever attempted, is almost superhuman.
The institution of slavery in the Middle Ages was already bad enough, but the irresponsible slavery of this industrial age of ours is worse. Emancipation of mankind from such types of physical and economic slavery is comparatively an easy affair. But the most cruel and destructive form of slavery is an intellectual bigotry of possessing the monopoly on Truth, exclusive of others. It is such types of people, when they happen to wield temporal power on earth, who hasten the downfall of a laboriously built civilization or the disintegration of a living religion.
Intellect is, so to say, reserved by nature for man. One has to be a man to have intellect, but however keen and quick it may be, it will always be just one of the stepping stones to wisdom, inspiration, illumination, knowledge and realization of Truth, which is above all these.
To keep playing on the stepping stone, however polished and shining it may be, is like sitting tight over an idle heap of hoarded wealth.
Like everything else, intellect can be used as much as misused or abused. The deeper the intelligence, the greater the responsibility for discrimination between essentials and non-essentials, service and disservice, going forward or backward.
May you succeed in transcending the limitations of understanding and crossing into the domain of Real Knowledge, where nothing remains as unknown, unseen and unheard of; nay, everything becomes self-identified. My blessings to all.
-A.M.B.

93. nigel - November 14, 2011

…..I always appreciated how Rodney Collin made simple and effectual the Teaching(s)…..what Burton has done – FROM THE WORD GO OF THE FOF – is to convolute and distort all parts of the 4th Way (which, incidentally, takes place in Life)…..I had a copy of ‘Conscious Harmony’ until 1993, when I gave it to one of my fellow-sufferers in the ‘asylum’…..Nigel.

Luckily, Collin had kept copies of his letters he had written over the years to people all over the world. “Conscious Harmony” is an emotional vignette drawing on key points related to the work in answer to individual’s queries and notes to him from 1944 to 1956. Janet Collin compiled these and edited notes to create 35 different selections of major work ideas. Of particular note is the quality of positiveness that marks his writing throughout. !!!!!”There is so much to do in preparation for the future, so many different fields in which harmony must come, and all by means of ordinary everyday men like ourselves!!!!!…In individual men, harmony among functions; harmony between body, soul and spirit; harmony among its different members, harmony between its leader and its origin; in the great esoteric impulse launched through Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, harmony among all lines and groups; harmony between them, their founders and God; in the world, harmony among all branches of knowledge, all peoples, all esoteric lines,” Collin wrote.

(my exclamation marks…..n.)

94. Fee fi fo fum - November 15, 2011

92 exAgent

Thank you for the quote.

95. nigel - November 15, 2011

…..some of you may have gotten sick of the ‘body types’ part of the Teaching, but I have a gold-alchemy Saturn-Mars student who is a real do-er/giver and is on the Planning Commitee of the Mid-Devon District Council. Bless her!…..she is helping me out with producing catalogues for our 4th Annual Exhibition, since my printer will not work….compare this with Burton, who does nothing substantial (basically gets others to cater to his whims) and is all take, take, take…..Nigel.

96. rock that boat - November 15, 2011

Evil flourishes when people do NOTHING

(Discussion on ‘Anderson Cooper’ about the Penn State
abuse/rape scandal that was covered up by just about everyone!!!!

If ever there was a time to hold RB responsible it is NOW

Should you stay in the FOF or keep sitting on that fence
then you are really and truly on the same level as these Penn State people….

97. Golden Veil - November 16, 2011

I would not want to support a group that includes the following practices:

Heterosexual oriented “Students” are brainwashed into accepting unwanted sexual advances by a much older member of the same sex.

Girlfriend and wives must be complicit in the seduction of her partner by a narcissistic “Teacher” with a satyr complex and the need for strange orgiastic practices that include excrement…

Young, attractive foreign male “Students” are recruited into whoring for a visa.

Justifying what is morally wrong and criminal with the explanation that one cannot understand what the “Teacher” does, by virtue of him being a Man Number Whatever!

Yes, it’s almost as sick as the rape of a ten year old boy.

98. Golden Veil - November 16, 2011

That is, almost as sick as seeing the rape of a ten year old boy, doing nothing to stop it, and passing the buck onto a supervisor to report it to the police or not.

99. Tim Campion - November 16, 2011

97. and 98. Golden Veil

Related to this scandal, NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” featured a story on child sexual abuse today.

Listening to the discussion, I was struck by how closely it reflected the stories found on this blog. Legally, our society draws a line at the age of eighteen. But morally, physically and psychologically, can we really draw such a line? The violation of trust can happen at any age.

The Fellowship of Friends became Robert Burton’s family. He literally called us his children. And he proceeded to abuse the youngest members. Yes, they were (mostly) of legal age. Does that make it right?

For many of us, our Center Directors assumed the roles of parent-like figures. The cues we received from the “authorities” and “older students” around us indicated that Robert’s behavior was unassailable. So if we saw the flaws in the man, we were conditioned to believe the flaw was in ourselves. “I must be bad.”

A transcript of a portion of the broadcast:

BRIAN NAYLOR: Now for, you know, I guess you might say the grooming process, how a predator develops his prey, it usually is – it’s over a period of time, right? It’s not right away. They try to work on gaining the trust of children that they want to prey on?

MITRU CIARLANTE: Yes. Child sexual abuse is often a process of that abuser carefully gaining and then abusing the trust of the child and their parents or the other adult caregivers in their world. So, you know, the relationship may be developed gradually in a very non-threatening way. And that’s important if a predator’s going to be successful. They need to not exhibit any red flag behavior or, you know, boundary violations that might warn the parents.

Usually, you know, those behaviors that we would consider inappropriate and intrusive will be introduced more slowly and gradually not to alarm the child. At the same time, there’s an emotional conditioning that’s happening, whether it’s making promises to the child or giving their family benefits that the child, you know, realizes that this person helps our family. Mommy and Daddy like and trust this person. You know, it’s a complex process.

NAYLOR: Do – does abuse – is sexual abuse always physical?

CIARLANTE: I’m glad you brought that up because children and teens experience a wide range of sexually abusive behaviors and not all of them involve touching. And today, you know – well, exposure to pornography is age-old, but we also have the electronic exposure to inappropriate material, what’s called sexting, or adults exposing themselves to the children. So there is a range of behavior that may not get to the point of touching, but it still has, you know, a psychological effect on the child.

NAYLOR: And do children – I think sometimes they feel like they have done something that has brought the abuse on, that they’ve kind of invited the abuse. And how is that make it – I guess that makes it more difficult for children to tell an adult that something’s happened.

CIARLANTE: Yes, Neal. That is part of the difficulty for children in disclosing, as well as one of the hurdles survivors have to overcome. The self-blame, blame, the feeling that victims were somehow complicit with the abuse and for the rest of us, you know, looking at these situations, it’s helpful for us to understand how powerful the conditioning is that the abuser uses. It may be spoken. It may be very overt, as in, you know, telling a child, you make me do these things. I know you want this. Or even telling a child there’s something about them that makes an abuser touch them in these ways.

But even if it’s not said out loud, the victims often internalize that, you know, we look around the world and say, why me? Why is it happening to me? I must be bad or there’s something wrong with me. I think that’s one of the really heartbreaking things to hear in counseling adult and child survivors of victimization, that self-blame and feeling that, all along, they were dirty or bad in some way and that’s why this happened.

100. Golden Veil - November 16, 2011

With brainwashing, inappropriate behavior condoned by group majority may be labelled “special attention” and the abused may
be swindled emotionally into thinking that they are far from bad
and instead a “chosen one.” Yeah, one of many “chosen ones!”

101. silentpurr - November 16, 2011

If one, during one’s time in the Fellowship, chanced to take a real look at the ‘situation’, I would say your chance of freeing yourself from the bondage of your making is…

102. silentpurr - November 17, 2011

…good.

103. nigel - November 18, 2011

…..as we, at the Academy of Precious Metal Arts, prepare for our 4th Annual Exhibition, it seems fitting to remember that, in any group striving for noble aims, the fruits of labour must benefit ALL CONCERNED!!!!!…..not just a perverted, so-called leader (REB)…..I am so proud of my students and how their design ethos grows year by year…..Nigel.

104. nigel - November 18, 2011

…..the Private View of our 4th Annual Exhibition went so well, with a modest sales income, but much still to come over the next 9 days…..so much variety of design, so much skill…..brilliant students…..Nigel.

105. x-agent - November 19, 2011

Robert Burton / Fellowship of Friends / Apollo Olive Oil /
Pathway to Presence / Affiliated Spawn are dirty businesses.

Such is the nature of filth that it taints and works its way in.

But if you like it, don’t forget to wash & rinse.

Be good, Feel clean.

106. nigel - November 19, 2011

…..from Google-ing ‘cult sexual abuses’…..note “Steve Hassan”…..

• “Spiritual Responsibility: Avoiding Abuses and Pitfalls Along the Path “, by Steven Hassan and Lama Surya Das

“Unselfishness, kindness, gentleness, and compassion should be a basic living principle, not just an ideal. When individuals claim to be spiritually more developed, and put themselves in the role of guru, swami, master, prophet, these virtues must be consistently demonstrated.

We must not allow our desires to know “Absolute Truth” to blind us from observing obvious discrepancies in our teacher’s behaviors. We must become sensitive to the tactic that illegitimate leaders use by turning our questions or comments around and using them to blame or shame us into obedience. A legitimate question or concern demands a respectful response, not evasion or coercion.”

107. nigel - November 20, 2011

…..the Print of a Master is how He motivates (Not Subdues) his Students…..propels them, in their Freshly Mastered Skills or their Inwardly Conquered Sense of Self…..He Gains in their Far Reaching Worthiness and ‘takes up the rear’ when they are prepared to show themselves to be proponents of their Work…..Nigel

108. Aristmus - November 22, 2011

All is well,
Safely rest,
God is nigh.

109. nigel - November 22, 2011

…..from – “Robert Earl Burton – An Unauthroized Blogography”…..

In September 1967, through his first spiritual teacher, Robert Earl Burton met Influence C, the direct influence of divine aware beings, without physical body, which later would have worked exclusively with paying members of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF) to ensure their awakening.

After being expelled from the group for sexual harassment in regards to other members, the Angels began to speak openly and directly with Robert Earl Burton and this event marked the beginning of a long and profitable dialogue between him and the gods. Sometime later another event would mark the bright future of such spiritual master: his crystallization (the process by which psychological characteristics become stable and permanent).

Based on those fateful, sudden and accidental revelations, Robert E. Burton established the basis for exercising his official authority, from crystallizing a man number 5 to evolving into a man number 7.8. For the record a man number 7 is a person who has achieved everything possible for a human being (Jesus Christ is a man number 8!). Men number 7 are completely united and have the will and knowledge that are independent from all their functions and, as demonstrated by Robert E. Burton, still slaves to their uncontrollable sexual voracity toward the members of his members, and subdued to gluttony for total sovereignty and riches.

DOES THIS NOT SHOW THAT BURTON HAS CRYSTALLIZED IN THE WRONG HYDROGENS – A HASNAMUSS – AND TOTALLY, MENTALLY ILL WITH IT?????!!!!!…..Nigel.

110. fofblogmoderator - November 23, 2011

108 is new

111. nigel - November 23, 2011

…..on Google-ing ‘anger and mental health’…..Nigel.

We all feel angry at times; it’s a natural response to threats and attacks, injustice and disappointment. Anger is a powerful emotion and releasing the pressure that builds inside you can be essential to deal with problems and move on. But if anger isn’t dealt with in a healthy way, it can have a significant effect on your daily life, relationships, achievements and mental well-being.

What is anger?

Anger is one of the most basic human emotions. It is a physical and mental response to a threat or to harm done in the past. Anger takes many different forms from irritation to blinding rage or resentment that festers over many years.

“I get this bubble of rage. I go wild. I feel like crying cos I don’t know how to control myself. It happens too quickly.”

At any point in time, a combination of physical, mental and social factors interact to make us feel a certain way. It’s different for each of us. Our feelings are influenced by our emotional make-up, how we view the world, what happens around us and our circumstances. Like other emotions, anger rarely acts alone.

How does anger work?

As we go about our lives, we’re constantly weighing up situations and deciding what we think about them: good or bad, safe or unsafe etc. How we interpret a situation influences how we feel about it. If we think we are in danger, we feel afraid. If we feel we have been wronged, we feel angry. These feelings determine how we react to the situation. We translate meanings into feelings very fast. With anger, that speed sometimes means that we react in ways we later regret.

How do our bodies respond to anger?

Many of our emotions are linked to a particular physical response. Anger gets the mind and body ready for action. It arouses the nervous system, increasing the heart rate, blood pressure, blood flow to muscles, blood sugar level and sweating. It also sharpens the senses and increases the production of adrenalin, a hormone produced at times of stress.

At the same time as these physical changes, anger is thought to affect the way we think. When we are first faced with a threat, anger helps us quickly translate complex information into simple terms: ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ for instance. This can be useful in an emergency as we don’t waste valuable time weighing up information that doesn’t instantly affect our safety or well-being.

But it can mean that we act before we’ve considered what else is relevant and made a rational decision about how to behave. It may be that we need to take more time to look at the situation and deal with it differently. When anger gets in the way of rational thinking we may give way to the urge to act aggressively, propelled by the instinct to survive or protect someone from a threat.

112. nigel - November 23, 2011

…..FMH – for mental health (same Google-ing)…..Nigel…..

Mind your head!
Anger, aggression, and violence …..
What is anger?
Anger is a completely normal human emotion…..

The natural way to respond to anger is with aggression. We have developed this response so that we can fight and defend ourselves when we come under attack. A certain amount of anger is necessary for our survival.

Suppressed anger can lead to depression. However, problems arise though when angry and aggressive responses get out of control and develop into violence.

This can ruin relationships and affects our ability to get or keep a job.

Recognising anger…..

Like other emotional states, anger is accompanied by changes within our bodies.

When angry:

•Heart rate increases

•Blood pressure goes up

•The levels of the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline increase in our bodies

The emotion of anger causes a variety of different responses some conscious and some unconscious.

•Aggressive – Physically, emotionally or psychologically hurting another person. This can lead to behaviour such as hitting, kicking, and harassment, using put-downs, threats, murder.

•Passive aggressive – Repressing the anger by internalising and denying it. This can lead to behaviour such as getting back at people indirectly for example, by spreading rumours, rather than confronting them head on.

•Expressing anger in an assertive way – Being able to say what your needs are and how you want them met in a non-threatening way, without hurting yourself, someone else or their property. This is the healthiest way to express anger.

•Suppressing anger – This is when you hold your anger in by stopping yourself thinking about it, and focusing on something positive. The danger with this method is that bottling up your anger can make you feel like a pressure cooker and may affect your physical or mental health.

•Calming – This is when you try to calm down your aggressive feelings by taking control of the way you behave, inwardly and outwardly. Taking steps to lower your heart rate and letting yourself calm down.

What causes it?

There are a number of factors that make some people more prone to anger, violence and aggression than others.

•Genetic causes – There is evidence to show that some children are born more prone to anger easily than others are.

•Sociocultural causes – From an early age we are taught anger is a negative emotion and we are discouraged from showing it. As a result, we may not learn positive ways of coping with our anger.

•Family background – People who anger easily tend to come from a chaotic family background where people find it difficult to talk openly about their feelings with each other. Instead expressing your anger through violence and aggression is seen as acceptable.

What can you do about it?

First of all identify any situations that tend to trigger off your anger, and develop strategies for coping with them.

Some methods you can try include

•Relaxation – learn simple relaxation techniques.You can find these in books, or learn the skills by joining a class like yoga or tai chi.

•Change the way you think about things and people – When you have a thought that makes you feel angry, test it out to see whether your response is reasonable and logical, or whether you are over-reacting. Find some positive points about whatever it is that has made you angry.

•Problem solving – Anger is often the response to a real underlying problem, the solution to which may not be easy, or may not even exist. Make a plan for facing up to the problem and handling it.

•Improving communication skills – If you are quick to anger and feel yourself getting drawn into an argument, try and hold yourself back. Think twice about what you are going to say rather than the first thing that comes into your head. Listen to what other people are saying and think carefully about your reply.

•Change your environment – If factors in your home or working life trigger off your anger, see if there are any changes that can be made to reduce the stress they place on you.

•Assertiveness training – Helps to develop a more positive way of coping and channelling anger. It teaches people how to express their needs in a non-threatening way. Colleges often run assertiveness training as evening classes.

Get help…..

If you feel your anger is really getting out of control you may need to get some help from a professional such as a counsellor or a psychotherapist, your GP should be able to refer you to someone.

References:

•’Overcoming Anger’ – Dryden,W. Sheldon Press.1996

113. nigel - November 23, 2011

…..right now, I’d like some feed-back from my friends here on the blog…..Nigel…..

114. wildz - November 24, 2011

Nigel, I think many are taking time out for the US Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow. I have enjoyed your posts. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

115. nigel - November 24, 2011

114. wildz

Oops, yes, forgot! And I shall take time off for my birthday which is also today…..Nigel

116. For the record - November 24, 2011

Happy birthday Nigel! And happy thanksgiving to all!

117. Tempus Fugit - November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day is a day of thanks and remembrance for all Americans. Personally I give thanks for our great nation, my health, my freedom, and my wonderful family.

I realize that not all are so fortunate. If you have no family of your own I mean no offense. I hope you are blessed with true friends and companions.

Many years ago I naively fell under the influence of Robert Burton. At the time I believed he was a genuine spiritual leader. Because of how he treated me and many others I now see him as a mentally ill criminal.

When I met Burton he encouraged me to ignore my real family and accept himself and FOF members in their place. Due to the grace of God I had the great fortune to ignore that evil command.

Even so for years I struggled to escape the delusions of Burton and the FOF. Now I am free but others remain in bondage.

On this day of Thanksgiving my fond hope for all of us is freedom from all cults and control by false teachers who preach self determination but instead offer slavery.

118. nigel - November 24, 2011

117. Tempus Fugit

Yes! Our true family will not pervert us nor turn us against our True Path in Life…..however long it may take us to attain it…..Nigel.

119. Tempus Fugit - November 25, 2011

118. nigel
Thank you Nigel. And I hope you had a wonderful birthday! I truly appreciate your posts here.

I believe your willingness to share about your current life and success is inspirational to others trying to imagine their own lives after they free themselves from the FOF cult.

I am not as comfortable sharing about my current life as you are, but I know when I left the future looked dark, scary, and uncertain.

How could I have guessed the joy that freedom would bring!

120. nigel - November 25, 2011

119. Tempus Fugit

It is because I have realised how beautiful Real Life can be when one is allowed to manifest with One’s Reality – One’s Inner Self – stuff this nonsense that REB announces all the time on his website about the Higher Self (i.e. how well you can fit in with his selfish world – his Fellatioship of Fools, as some have named it) and the Lower Self – all the doubts one may have about the cult, the inklings about what is really going on and how it is hidden and obscured from the ‘flock’ by REB’s enablers…..God!!!!! Don’t you think Haven is hanging in there with his prating twitters that just disappear up his own arse? Where the hell else is he going to go????? He could not get a job in his present state and dominates (similarly to Burton) those who ‘pant on his every naff-formatory word’. I post on this site – like so many do – in an effort to support the decisions of those who are coming to terms with the shallowness of the FOF and are willing to ‘step outside’ in their attitude, before making the final decision to leave. We have all made mistakes, but it is a HUGE MISTAKE TO STAY IN A CULT THAT SAPS ONE’S INNER STRENGTH AND RESOLVE!!!!!
With True Love…..Nigel

121. nigel - November 25, 2011

…..just thought, if it is o.k. with the fofblogmoderator…..if anyone wants to contact me more privately and, obviously with more access to how things could be better for all concerned, just email me on nhprice@gmail.com…..Nigel.

122. nigel - November 27, 2011

A Little Boy Lost

‘Nought loves another as itself,
Nor venerates another so,
Nor is it possible to thought
A greater than itself to know.

‘And, father, how can I love you
Or any of my brothers more?
I love you like the little bird
That picks up crumbs around the door.’

The Priest sat by and heard the child;
In trembling zeal he seized his hair,
He led him by his little coat,
And all admired the priestly care.

And standing on the altar high,
‘Lo, what a fiend is here! said he:
‘One who sets reason up for judge
Of our most holy mystery.’

The weeping child could not be heard,
The weeping parents wept in vain:
They stripped him to his little shirt,
And bound him in an iron chain,

And burned him in a holy place
Where many had been burned before;
The weeping parents wept in vain.
Are such thing done on Albion’s shore?

William Blake

(My brother, Richard, bought me ‘The Complete Illuminated Poems of William Blake’ for my birthday – thought you might like this one – quite evocative [Albion is supposed to represent the Land where Jerusalem - Higher Centres - are realised]…..Nigel)

123. nigel - November 27, 2011

A War Song to Englishmen

Prepare, prepare the iron helm of war,
Bring forth the lots, cast in the spacious orb;
Th’ Angel of Fate turns them with mighty hands,
And casts them out upon the darken’d earth!
Prepare, prepare!

Prepare your hearts for Death’s cold hand! prepare
Your souls for flight, your bodies for the earth;
Prepare your arms for glorious victory;
Prepare your eyes to meet a holy God!
Prepare, prepare!

Whose fatal scroll is that? Methinks ’tis mine!
Why sinks my heart, why faltereth my tongue?
Had I three lives, I’d die in such a cause,
And rise, with ghosts, over the well-fought field.
Prepare, prepare!

The arrows of Almighty God are drawn!
Angels of Death stand in the louring heavens!
Thousands of souls must seek the realms of light,
And walk together on the clouds of heaven!
Prepare, prepare!

Soldiers, prepare! Our cause is Heaven’s cause;
Soldiers, prepare! Be worthy of our cause:
Prepare to meet our fathers in the sky:
Prepare, O troops, that are to fall to-day!
Prepare, prepare!

Alfred shall smile, and make his harp rejoice;
The Norman William, and the learnèd Clerk,
And Lion Heart, and black-brow’d Edward, with
His loyal queen, shall rise, and welcome us!
Prepare, prepare!

William Blake

124. brucelevy - November 29, 2011

http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/

An unauthorized biography of the flaming old queen

125. nigel - November 30, 2011

…..extract from brucelevy’s post (124)…..

“What You Should Know About Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends” posted on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog:

It’s a doomsday cult.

The predicted doomsday never came.

Burton predicted major catastrophes for 1984 and 1998, and then nuclear war for 2006. For decades, he predicted the Fellowship of Friends would become the beginning of a new civilization in 2006.
Through cognitive dissonance, followers try to forget the above predictions, or downplay them.

Like other cults, followers are uncomfortable with labels such as “cult,” calling it a “pejorative” term, or insisting that it’s “misleading.” But there’s no better one-word description for this organization in the English language.

Burton has coerced and seduced several hundred young followers — and perhaps thousands — into having sex with him, using promises of spiritual salvation, expensive gifts, and vacations abroad. As a result, many former and current followers have suffered lasting psychological scars and emotional trauma, and a few have committed suicide. (Read the numerous personal accounts within this web log.)

Burton is a sociopath and malignant narcissist who shows no concern for the welfare of his followers unless they are useful to him in some way. When they cease to be useful to him, he discards them.

126. Fee fi fo fum - November 30, 2011

124. Bruce

And since the time you posted that blog link earlier today, an “improved” portrait is now on the top left, when you open it up. It reveals more.

127. Aristmus - November 30, 2011

Odd, isn’t it?
There’s not much participation in a nice, humorless Blog.

128. Aristmus - December 1, 2011

Zing!
That one’s for you, Mr. Jimi.

129. Tempus Fugit - December 1, 2011

“127. Aristmus – November 30, 2011
Odd, isn’t it?
 There’s not much participation in a nice, humorless Blog.”

Actually, Aristmus, there’s been plenty of participation in this great blog. I say this blog is great because I have read this blog and I hear people speaking the truth.

If you are reading this blog for the first time and don’t understand what I’m talking about, please take the time to read as much as you can. Just follow the links I posted above on this page (p. 116, post 3).

Nor, Aristmus, is it true that this blog is humorless, although the humor tends to run towards sarcasm and parody.

Perhaps that’s because the focus of humor is so difficult to find funny.

If you read this blog you will see that Burton and the FOF have been accused of many crimes.

What kind of humor can we find in allegations of child rape, the rape of young men by fraud, stealing the money of members by fraud, the destruction of families by fiat, members driven to mental illness sometimes leading to suicide, and the spiritual abuse of thousands of people over four decades?

When I use the word “fraud” I am speaking of Burton’s behavior based on my own understanding. Burton claims to be a “conscious being,” and makes other fantastic claims (communicating with angels, being a reincarnated goddess, etc.).

I was a member of the FOF for several years and I have first hand knowledge of Burton’s behavior. I believe none of his claims are true. But on the basis of such claims he has ordered followers to give him money and have sex with him.

In my opinion Burton is nothing more than a particularly successful criminal – and that’s not funny at all.

If you are a current member of the FOF you owe it to yourself to read this blog. If your faith in Burton and the FOF is solid then reading this blog will not shake your beliefs.

But if you read this blog with an open mind and an open heart you may find your faith has been misplaced. For that you need not judge yourself; many of us have gone before you with good spiritual intentions not realizing we had fallen into the trap of a false teacher.

The beginning of freedom is as simple as turning and walking away.

130. veramente - December 1, 2011

131. Tim Campion - December 1, 2011

129. Tempus Fugit

Tempus, thanks for your passionate appeals to reason.

Aristmus has a peculiar sense of humor, but I don’t think they were expressing sympathy for the devil. They may have been referring to the Robert Earl Burton blog, but no matter. Both sites can be rather humorless places for the reasons you mention.

Participation need not be vocal. People from around the world visit these blogs. (It’s a quiet spell, but still there are about 200 “hits” a day.)

It is impossible to know what the silent visitors take from the experience. Hopefully, there are a few out there who will be dissuaded from ever entrusting Robert Burton with their lives, their fortunes and their souls.

132. nigel - December 1, 2011

…..website – “Spiritual Soul” – Articles

Articles
•Dreams •Inspirational •Mind Matters •Meditation •Metaphysics •Miscellaneous •Motivational •Personal Growth •Philosophy •Relationships •Spiritualty •Spiritual Healing •Spiritual Growth

Other sites in our Network •Pathways •Healer Soul •Psychic Soul

* Dreams

Dreams are symbolic expressions of the unconscious (and of the total psyche). A phylogenetically older form of thought. The dream is a fact of objective nature and therefore not a disguise. (Sugar in the blood means sugar and nothing else.) It is its own interpretation and is only misunderstood when we don’t fathom its symbols. The manifest aspect is the dream images themselves, and they contain the “latent” meaning. It’s not what causes a dream, but it’s purpose, that matters.

* Inspirational

Inspiration is an awakening, a quickening of all man’s faculties, and it is manifested in all high artistic achievements.
Giacomo Puccini.

Inspiration is a sustainable internal glow which PULLS you forward.
Giuseppe Mazzini

* Mind Matters

For thousands of years, the subject of psychology involved the study of the human spirit, soul or mind. This involves things and functions not obviously visible to the physical senses.

What would a study of the mind entail? It would investigate the nature, functioning, and potentials of man’s inner and invisible mental activity. It would also investigate the actual source of the problems anyone experiences with their own mind.

* Meditation

Meditation is a process that leads to a state of consciousness that brings serenity, clarity, and bliss.

Meditation is a means of transforming the Mind, and developing ‘concentration’ and ‘attention’.

* Metaphysics

The dictionary states that metaphysics is the philosophy that joins mysticism and science.
In other words, it is applied spirituality.
It literally means “after the physics”.

Perhaps one could state that it relates to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the known senses.

* Natural Law in the Spiritual World

Henry Drummond elaborates on how the Natural Law in the Spritual Sphere has gradually grown throughout every department of knowledge, except one – that of Reilgion.
He also answers the objection that the material of the Natural and Spiritual worlds being different, must be under different Laws. His work finalises with the thought: The Spiritual is not the projection upwards of the Natural; but the Natural the projection downwards of the Spiritual.

* Mysticism

Mysticism, is not an opinion: it is not a philosophy. It has nothing in common with the pursuit of occult knowledge. On the one hand it is not merely the power of contemplating Eternity: on the other, it is not to be identified with any kind of religious queerness. It is the name of that organic process which involves the perfect consummation of the Love of God: the achievement here and now of the immortal heritage of man. Or, if you like it better–for this means exactly the same thing–it is the art of establishing his conscious relation with the Absolute.

* Motivational

Sometimes a distinction is made between positive and negative motivation. Positive motivation is a response which includes enjoyment and optimism about the tasks that you are involved in. Negative motivation involves undertaking tasks because there will be undesirable outcomes, eg. failing a subject, if tasks are not completed.

* Personal Growth / Self Help

The term ‘personal growth’ may refer to traditional concepts of education. Education encompasses teaching and learning specific skills, and also something less tangible but more profound: the imparting of knowledge, good judgement and wisdom.
But it is also associated with the New Age. This New Age movement is particularly concerned with spiritual exploration, holistic medicine, and mysticism, yet no rigid boundaries actually exist, making the term point to its own perspective on history, philosophy, religion, spirituality, medicine, music, science and lifestyle.

* The Power of Concentration

We all know that in order to accomplish a certain thing we must concentrate. It is of the utmost value to learn how to concentrate. To make a success of anything you must be able to concentrate your entire thought upon the idea you are working out.
Did you ever stop to think what an important part your thoughts, concentrated thoughts, play in your life? This work shows their far-reaching and all-abiding effects. Theron Q. Dumont

* Philosophy

Philosophy is a quest for a comprehensive understanding of human existence. The objective of philosophy is to consider the rational justification of logical inferences, human values, criteria for establishing the claims of knowledge and certainly, and intepretations of the nature of reality. The diverse insights of significant philosophers from ancient times to the present contribute resources to stimulate contemporary philosophical thinking in each of these areas.

* Beyond Good and Evil

This work, by Friedrich Nietzsche, (translated by Helen Zimmern) examines the topic of Good and Evil from the stance of the philosopher, the human aspect and also from the instance of Spirit. It scrutinises perceptions of morals and virtues, and perceptions of peoples and countries.

* Relationships

What are relationships and how do they evolve? What qualities within a relationship are most important to you? What are the responsibilities inherent in any relationship? Do males and females have different expectations about relationships?
In relationships where intellect and emotion clash, the heart often has the greater wisdom.

* Spiritual Healing

Healing is a completely natural process. Effectively it is a flow of beneficial energy between the healer and the recipient which deals with “dis-ease” at the deepest level and frees your natural resources to work in the most effective way for you.
Basically, spiritual healing is a technique that uses subtle energies, directed by a person’s consciousness.

* Spirituality (Soul Consciousness)

Spirituality is living one’s life from the realization that the body/mind/ego personality we have been taught to identify with is just one little drop in our bucket.
Our spiritual journey is interpreting the precious meaning of this unique life given to us and, recognizing and living this Oneness, brought to us in many forms by the great teacher, Life itself, in its various crises and transitions.

* Dark Night of the Soul

This category contains the complete work of Saint John of the Cross (Doctor of the Church), entitled THE DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL. The work was translated by E. Allison Peers from the critical edition of P. Silverio De Danta Teresa, C.D.

* Truth

Truth is an Epitome of Many Buddhist Scriptures translated from the Japanese.This work has been included into Spiritual Soul for it’s invaluable content towards bringing an indepth understanding concerning the topic of truth.The seven chapters of this work have been treated as separate articles within the category: Truth 7

* Spiritual Growth

Spiritual growth is the process through which our soul becomes conscious, and therefore more dominant on the earth plane. It is also the greater purpose of our Soul to master this Earth life. By the term “master” it refers to the ability to experience oneness with All-That-Is, which leads to the full realization of all our creative abilities. John L. Payne.

* As a Matter of Course

THE aim of this work is to assist towards the removal of nervous irritants, which are not only the cause of much physical disease, but materially interfere with the best possibilities of usefulness and pleasure in everyday life. Annie Payson Call.

* Freedom of Life

INTERIOR freedom rests upon the principle of non-resistance to all the things which seem evil or painful to our natural love of self. But non-resistance alone can accomplish nothing good unless, behind it, there is a strong love for righteousness and truth. By refusing to resist the ill will of others, or the stress of circumstances, for the sake of greater usefulness and a clearer point of view, we deepen our conviction of righteousness as the fundamental law of fife, and broaden our horizon so as to appreciate varying and opposite points of view. The only non-resistance that brings this power is the kind which yields mere personal and selfish considerations for the sake of principles. Annie Payson Call

* How to Live Quietly

SO universal is the habit of blaming circumstances or other people for the troubles of our own lives that I know a strong assertion of the fact that the source of all trouble lies entirely within ourselves will meet with contradiction and resentment from many readers. It takes courage to look to one’s self entirely for pain which seems to be caused by others, but if once we do it, and are thoroughly clean-cut about it in every thought and word and action, the release from bondage seems almost miraculous. Annie Payson Call

133. Aristmus - December 1, 2011

“Are you calling me a clown?”
Contrary to popular belief, he who laughs last doesn’t get the joke.
xxoo Mick

134. nigel - December 1, 2011

133. Aristmus

Here we go again – non-useful, stupid “ping-pong” remarks being bantered about…..come on folks, let’s grow up…..Nigel.

135. nigel - December 1, 2011

I have posted this poem several times since joining the blogsite, but find it tremendously emotional in describing accepting one’s psychological make-up and one’s Fate…..Nigel

“The People”
by
William Butler Yeats

‘What have I earned for all that work,’ I said,
‘For all that I have done at my own charge?
The daily spite of this unmannerly town,
Where who has served the most is most defamed,
The reputation of his lifetime lost
Between the night and morning. I might have lived,
And you know well how great the longing has been,
Where every day my footfall should have lit
In the green shadow of Ferrara wall;
Or climbed among the images of the past—
The unperturbed and courtly images—
Evening and morning, the steep street of Urbino
To where the Duchess and her people talked
The stately midnight through until they stood
In their great window looking at the dawn;
I might have had no friend that could not mix
Courtesy and passion into one like those
That saw the wicks grow yellow in the dawn;
I might have used the one substantial right
My trade allows: chosen my company,
And chosen what scenery had pleased me best.’
Thereon my phoenix answered in reproof,
‘The drunkards, pilferers of public funds,
All the dishonest crowd I had driven away,
When my luck changed and they dared meet my face,
Crawled from obscurity, and set upon me
Those I had served and some that I had fed;
Yet never have I, now nor any time,
Complained of the people.’

All I could reply
Was: ‘You, that have not lived in thought but deed,
Can have the purity of a natural force,
But I, whose virtues are the definitions
Of the analytic mind, can neither close
The eye of the mind nor keep my tongue from speech.’
And yet, because my heart leaped at her words,
I was abashed, and now they come to mind
After nine years, I sink my head abashed.

(Online text © 1998-2011 Poetry X. All rights reserved.
From The Wild Swans at Coole | 1919)

136. nigel - December 1, 2011

…..worth repeating…..

131. Tim Campion

It is impossible to know what the silent visitors take from the experience. Hopefully, there are a few out there who will be dissuaded from ever entrusting Robert Burton with their lives, their fortunes and their souls.

137. nigel - December 1, 2011

129. Tempus Fugit (again…..worth repeating)

I was a member of the FOF for several years and I have first hand knowledge of Burton’s behavior. I believe none of his claims are true. But on the basis of such claims he has ordered followers to give him money and have sex with him.

138. Tim Campion - December 2, 2011

Page 115, Post 98 – Shirley

Regarding Apollo Olive Oil:

From the Yuba-Sutter Wiki article on Fellowship of Friends:

Apollo Olive Oil, which is also headquartered in Oregon House, states, “While some of the Apollo Olive Oil owners may be members, there is no connection” between Apollo Olive Oil and Fellowship of Friends.

All the Apollo Olive Oil employees mentioned on their website appear to be current members. We can assume these members pay a tithe to (or perhaps barter with) the Fellowship of Friends. Aren’t some (or all?) of the olive orchards on “church property”? If the land is leased, doesn’t the Fellowship benefit? Reportedly, Fellowship labor has been used for Apollo Olive Oil operations. No connection? Wouldn’t that be somewhat untruthful?

For anyone inclined to encourage their local Apollo Olive Oil buyers to question the source of that oil:

Store accounts

Restaurant accounts

139. nigel - December 2, 2011

…..whenever I take Haloperidol to calm me down, along with my my other anti-psychotics, I have vivid, psychadelic, technicolour dreams…..I have just woken up from a dream where all my friends were building me a ‘play-palace’ over the San Francisco Bay and no-one had to pay anything and you did not have to keep receipts…..and so……

…..from Bun and Bang web-site…..

“After my recent ‘dreams do come true’ success story where love of my life Mr Idris Elba called me on Valentine’s Day, it would almost be unfair of me to not share my Field of Dreams Theory with you, my dear readers.

For those of you not familiar with the movie ‘Field of Dreams’, I’m gonna need you to go brush up on your cinematic history before reading any further. In the movie, Kevin Costner’s character hears voices telling him ‘If you build it, he will come.’ He takes that to mean he should build a baseball field on his farm, which he does, and soon the ghosts of a bunch of baseball players show up and start playing. Ironically, hallucinogenic drugs are never mentioned through the course of the film. Nevertheless, there are few times in life where quoting Kevin Costner is even remotely appropriate, but he was really onto something with his ‘if you build it, he will come’ Field of Dreams mentality.

Key Rules of Field of Dreams Theory

– The aim is to speak whatever you want into existence. Adjust your language to sound like what you’re after has already or soon will happen.

E.g. When are these people gonna tell me I’ve won this Idris Elba competition?

Answer: Two days later I got the email telling me I’d won. Boo-ya!

– Laugh at people’s claims that you’re crazy. Just because they don’t know about the wonder of Kevin Costner, don’t let it dampen your spirits.

– Understand that after a certain point, if you’re just talking about it and not actually doing anything to make it happen, you pretty much are crazy.

– The more you talk about ‘it’ being a part of your life, the more you will want to make that an actuality. You’re more likely to get out there and make it happen if you’ve already convinced yourself that ‘it’ is already yours.

– Once you have your ‘it’, it’s perfectly acceptable to brag about it and rub it in everyone’s face (see again, my Idris Elba video blog where I make bragging a fine art).

The most important thing here is to not just talk about it. The saying goes ‘If you build it, he will come’ – so you have to be putting some work in, getting things in place in order for things to pan out the way you want. Ghosts aren’t just gonna show up in your garden and play baseball, you know what I’m sayin’?

So, what will you ‘Field of Dreams’ today?

I’m about to go ‘Field of Dreams’ me a cup of tea *stares at empty mug*

(P.S. The Tiffany website I went on shows the same old stuff…..the San Francisco Gate website shows ethnic jewellery…..the Amazon website shows huge discounts on crap jewellery…..you have to know a bit about what I do for a living to ‘get the gist’…..creepy, huh?????…..n.)

140. nigel - December 2, 2011

…..maybe a song that the Gods are singing today?????…..

MAKING PLANS FOR NIGEL
(Written by Colin Moulding)
XTC

We’re only making plans for Nigel
We only want what’s best for him
We’re only making plans for Nigel
Nigel just needs this helping hand
And if young Nigel says he’s happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work
We’re only making plans for Nigel
He has his future in a British steel
We’re only making plans for Nigel
Nigel’s whole future is as good as sealed
And if young Nigel says he’s happy
He must be happy
He must be happy in his work
Nigel is not outspoken
But he likes to speak
And loves to be spoken to
Nigel is happy in his work
We’re only making plans for Nigel

141. nigel - December 2, 2011

“I cannot be awake, for nothing looks to me as it did before, or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.”
― Walt Whitman

142. Aristmus - December 2, 2011

Point well taken, Tempus Fugit. Readers would do better to look at some other part of this blog. This one’s pretty much Nigel, Nigel and more Nigel..

143. fofblogmoderator - December 2, 2011

138 is new

144. For the record - December 2, 2011

138. Tim Campion – December 2, 2011
“Page 115, Post 98 – Shirley
“Regarding Apollo Olive Oil…”

———-
Tim, Shirley, thanks for posting that. Yes, “no connection” is a lie.

In addition to all of the connections that Shirley states, the founder of Apollo Olive Oil has been one of Burton’s steadiest sycophants for decades. The connection is profound. Whether Apollo Olive Oil proves to be successful or not successful in the long run, it’s a blatant omission of the facts to deny that connection (to Fellowship of Friends / Pathway to Presence / Living Presence) when selling this product to the unknowing public. But similar to what occurred with Renaissance Wine, they know sales would suffer dramatically if merchants receive word. There’s plenty of excellent olive oil out there.

However, if there is no connection, and I’m overstating it, let’s see the company put it’s money where it’s mouth is, and require everyone to leave the Fellowship / Living Presence, to move production away from Oregon House, and to harvest olives from another location, and sever all bonds with the cult and the predator Robert Burton.

145. Fee fi fo fum - December 3, 2011

Tempus Fugit,

I’m not so sure that sarcasm and parody are inappropriate on this blog.

For example, some of the best depictions of the inanities and frustrations of our country’s politics is on Comedy Central’s so-called fake news shows. (And then there was Saturday Night Live’s Tina Fey doing a memorable imitation of Sarah Palin in 2008.) Ironically, it’s sometimes more effective than a serious talking head show. Why? Because the comedy format enables the teller to deliver the gem of the truth. Sometimes when we laugh really hard, it’s exactly because the truth has hit home.

You make a good point that, “Perhaps that’s because the focus of humor is so difficult to find funny.” That is right. Scratch below the surface of the FF, and the revealing stories emerge and never stop. Robert used to encourage “gentle mirth”, as opposed to sardonic humor. But when someone or something is corrupt, that is no time to “be in essence and engage in “gentle mirth”.

146. Golden Veil - December 3, 2011

131. Tim Campion

“People from around the world visit these blogs. (It’s a quiet spell, but still there are about 200 “hits” a day.)

It is impossible to know what the silent visitors take from the experience. Hopefully, there are a few out there who will be dissuaded from ever entrusting Robert Burton with their lives, their fortunes and their souls.”

Yes ~ you, out there, “prospective student, beware! As excited and fortunate (you think) you are to have found these attentive “older students” of the Fourth Way (an exaggerated and untrue claim)
with their somewhat mysterious, somewhat attractive manners…
BEWARE! Some of you are recruited for your MONEY, some of
you for your BODY. Do you have a well paying job or a trust fund?
Do you have a youthful attractive male body? You are a perfect
mark for an organization that will attempt to get you to believe loads
of absolute HOGWASH… that you will be part of an ARK that will
survive and perpetuate after the fall of civilization due to some kind
of natural (or supernatural) disaster. This is a “School” that will
increase your “sleep,” not one that will assist your waking or elevate
your conscience.

BEWARE!

147. pi - December 3, 2011

I’ve been reading this site on and off for a few years having been in the FoF and in america. I think of people still. So in the thanks for this site and my old friends in america.(and even though we’re not family and therefore can dismiss easily) I’d like to acknowledge that i ran from the pain of existence to escape to a half baked way out. However I still think there is something in the fourth way. It maybe lacks abit of definition of what we as human beings are lacking.But this may be purposely understated because we all need something higher than our selfish needs being satisfied.I’ll miss my children again this christmas but where’s the healing? Can I suggest that the FoF would not have been a healthy school even if RB wasn’t sexually abusng his position? That we were partaking in a cop out of the reality of a cruel environment? That we escaped responsibility and duty? I know I did.

148. fofblogmoderator - December 4, 2011

#147 is new

149. nigel - December 4, 2011

“The Selfish Gene”
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Selfish DNA.

Author(s) Richard Dawkins
Subject(s) Evolutionary biology
Publisher Oxford University Press
Publication date 1976
Pages 224
ISBN ISBN 0-19-857519-X
OCLC Number 2681149
Followed by The Extended Phenotype

The Selfish Gene is a book on evolution by Richard Dawkins, published in 1976. It builds upon the principal theory of George C. Williams’s first book Adaptation and Natural Selection. Dawkins coined the term “selfish gene” as a way of expressing the gene-centred view of evolution as opposed to the views focused on the organism and the group. From the gene-centred view follows that the more two individuals are genetically related, the more sense (at the level of the genes) it makes for them to behave selflessly with each other. Therefore the concept is especially good at explaining many forms of altruism, regardless of a common misuse of the term along the lines of a selfishness gene.

An organism is expected to evolve to maximize its inclusive fitness—the number of copies of its genes passed on globally (rather than by a particular individual). As a result, populations will tend towards an evolutionarily stable strategy. The book also coins the term meme for a unit of human cultural evolution analogous to the gene, suggesting that such “selfish” replication may also model human culture, in a different sense. Memetics has become the subject of many studies since the publication of the book.

In the foreword to the book’s 30th-anniversary edition, Dawkins said he “can readily see that [the book's title] might give an inadequate impression of its contents” and in retrospect thinks he should have taken Tom Maschler’s advice and called the book The Immortal Gene.

“Selfish” genes
In describing genes as being “selfish”, the author does not intend (as he states unequivocally in the work) to imply that they are driven by any motives or will—merely that their effects can be accurately described as if they were. The contention is that the genes that get passed on are the ones whose consequences serve their own implicit interests (to continue being replicated), not necessarily those of the organism, much less any larger level.

This view explains altruism at the individual level in nature, especially in kin relationships: when an individual sacrifices its own life to protect the lives of kin, it is acting in the interest of its own genes. Some people find this metaphor entirely clear, while others find it confusing, misleading or simply redundant to ascribe mental attributes to something that is mindless. For example, Andrew Brown has written:

“Selfish”, when applied to genes, doesn’t mean “selfish” at all. It means, instead, an extremely important quality for which there is no good word in the English language: “the quality of being copied by a Darwinian selection process.” This is a complicated mouthful. There ought to be a better, shorter word—but “selfish” isn’t it.

Genes and selection
Dawkins proposes the idea of the “replicator,” the initial molecule which first managed to reproduce itself and thus gained an advantage over other molecules within the primordial soup. Today, Dawkins postulates, the replicators are the genes within organisms, with each organism’s body serving the purpose of a ‘survival machine’ for its genes.

Dawkins writes that gene combinations which help an organism to survive and reproduce tend to also improve the gene’s own chances of being passed on and, as a result, frequently “successful” genes will also be beneficial to the organism. An example of this might be a gene that protects the organism against a disease, which helps the gene spread and also helps the organism.

Genes can reproduce at the expense of the organism
There are other times when the implicit interests of the vehicle and replicator are in conflict, such as the genes behind certain male spiders’ instinctive mating behaviour, which increase the organism’s inclusive fitness by allowing it to reproduce, but shorten its life by exposing it to the risk of being eaten by the cannibalistic female. Another good example is the existence of segregation distortion genes that are detrimental to their host but nonetheless propagate themselves at its expense. Likewise, the existence of junk DNA that provides no benefit to its host, once a puzzle, can be more easily explained.

Power struggles are rare
These examples might suggest that there is a power-struggle between genes and their host. In fact, the claim is that there isn’t much of a struggle because the genes usually win without a fight. Only if the organism becomes intelligent enough to understand its own interests, as distinct from those of its genes, can there be true conflict.

An example of this conflict might be a person using birth control to prevent fertilization and thereby inhibit the replication of his or her genes.

But that may not be a conflict of the ‘self-interest’ of the organism with his or her genes since a person using birth control may also be enhancing the survival chances of his or her genes by limiting his or her family size to conform with available resources thus avoiding extinction as Malthusian models predict can be the result of uncontrolled population growth.

Many phenomena explained
When examined from the standpoint of gene selection, many biological phenomena that, in prior models, were difficult to explain become easier to understand. In particular, phenomena such as kin selection and eusociality, where organisms act altruistically, against their individual interests (in the sense of health, safety or personal reproduction) to help related organisms reproduce, can be explained as gene sets “helping” copies of themselves (or sequences with the same phenotypic effect) in other bodies to replicate. Interestingly, the “selfish” actions of genes lead to unselfish actions by organisms.

Prior to the 1960s, it was common for such behaviour to be explained in terms of group selection, where the benefits to the organism or even population were supposed to account for the popularity of the genes responsible for the tendency towards that behaviour. This was shown not to be an evolutionarily stable strategy, in that it would only take a single individual with a tendency towards more selfish behaviour to undermine a population otherwise filled only with the gene for altruism towards non-kin.

Reception
The book was extremely popular when first published, caused “a silent and almost immediate revolution in biology”, and continues to be widely read. It has sold over a million copies, and has been translated into more than 25 languages.

Proponents argue that the central point, that the gene is the unit of selection, usefully completes and extends the explanation of evolution given by Charles Darwin before the basic mechanisms of genetics were understood. Critics argue that it oversimplifies the relationship between genes and the organism. Mathematical biologists’ initial relationship with the ideas in the book was, according to Alan Grafen, “at best difficult” due to what Grafen postulates is a reliance solely on Mendelian genetics by these biologists.

In 1976, Arthur Cain, one of Dawkins’s tutors at Oxford in the 1960s, called it a “young man’s book” (which Dawkins points out was a deliberate quote of a commentator on A.J. Ayer’s Language, Truth, and Logic); Dawkins later noted he had been “flattered by the comparison, [but] knew that Ayer had recanted much of his first book and [he] could hardly miss Cain’s pointed implication that [he] should, in the fullness of time, do the same.”

Other types of selection suggested
Most modern evolutionary biologists accept that the idea is consistent with many processes in evolution. However, the view that selection on other levels, such as organisms and populations, seldom opposes selection on genes is more controversial. While naïve versions of group selectionism have been disproved, more sophisticated formulations make accurate predictions in some cases while positing selection at higher levels. Nevertheless, the explanatory gains of using sophisticated formulations of group selectionism as opposed to Dawkins’s gene-centred selectionism are still under dispute. Both sides agree that very favourable genes are likely to prosper and replicate if they arise and both sides agree that living in groups can be an advantage to the group members. The conflict arises not so much over disputes on hard facts but over what the best way of viewing evolutionary selection in animals is.

Unit of selection or of evolution
Some biologists have criticised the idea for describing the gene as the unit of selection, but suggest describing the gene as the unit of evolution, on the grounds that selection is a “here and now” event of reproduction and survival, while evolution is the long-term trend of shifting allele frequencies.

The late Stephen Jay Gould also took issue with the gene as the unit of selection, arguing that genes are not directly ‘visible’ to natural selection. Rather, the unit of selection is the phenotype, not the genotype, because it is phenotypes which interact with the environment at the natural selection interface. As Kim Sterelny summarizes Gould’s view, “Gene differences do not cause evolutionary changes in populations, they register those changes”. This is also Niles Eldredge’s view. Eldredge notes that in Dawkins’ book A Devil’s Chaplain, which was published just before Eldredge’s book, “Richard Dawkins comments on what he sees as the main difference between his position and that of the late Stephen Jay Gould. He concludes that it is his own vision that genes play a causal role in evolution”, while Gould (and Eldredge) “sees genes as passive recorders of what worked better than what”.

Moral arguments
Another criticism of the book, made by the philosopher Mary Midgley in her book Evolution as a Religion, is that it discusses philosophical and moral questions that go beyond the biological arguments that Dawkins makes. For instance, humanity finally gaining power over the “selfish replicators” is a major theme at the end of the book. This view is criticized by primatologist Frans de Waal, who refers to it as the “veneer theory”. Dawkins has pointed out that he is only describing how things are under evolution, not endorsing them as morally good.

150. Aristmus - December 5, 2011

I could point out that eventually the individual has to give up all their cherished notions and ideals, especially those of the 4th Way and the dreck spewing from the Fellowship of Friends and those who support Robert Burton. Good Luck.

151. silentpurr - December 5, 2011

And their cherished notions have been assiduously replaced by new notions. Consider the mother who proudly sacrifices her son to the minotaur/ RB.

152. fofblogmoderator - December 5, 2011

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