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Fellowship of Friends Discussion, part 37 June 7, 2008

Posted by Pavel in Uncategorized.
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Welcome to the newest addition to the Fellowship of Friends Discussion.

For previous parts of the discussion please click on home and scroll down, or move to the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, or to AnimamRecro for the very beginning. For a more organized reading check out The Fellowship of Friends WikiSpace.

The largest meeting point for former and current members of the Fellowship of Friends is the Greater Fellowship, you can sign up for the Greater Fellowship website and connect with mostly former members of the Fellowship of Friends, as well as: some current members, family members of former/current members, and others interested in the Fourth Way here.

For sites in Russian and Italian, click http://fofway.narod.ru/ and http://laliberastrada.blogspot.com/ respectively.

For more information check Rick Ross and Steven Hassan.

This is where you can find the website of the Fellowship of Friends.

If you decide to interact as well as digest, this is where you can start.

And as always (and above else), enjoy and have fun.

Excessive abuse, personal attacks, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask people taking part in the discussion will result in a warning followed by a ban from the discussion.

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Comments

1. veronicapoe - June 7, 2008

For those interested, an archive of historical material relating to the Fellowship of Friends, including photographs, artwork, legal decisions, corporate documents, propaganda from successor cults, and related papers, can be found at The Esoteric History Archive:

http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=veronicapoe

2. ton - June 7, 2008

Here is a copy of email I sent this morning to marshall kilduff… his address is mkilduff@sfchronicle.com

Dear Marshall,
Recently I viewed a program on The History Channel called “Cults: Dangerous Devotion.” I believe you were mentioned in connection with reportage of the People’s Temple and the tragic ending of that organization. I have been following and posting at a blog site that deals with issues and many personal stories related to a cult called The Fellowship of Friends which has been in existence since the early ’70’s and is located a few hours drive east of the Bay Area just outside of Marysville. I think you (or a staff member) might be interested in the stories being posted on the blog and I would like to offer this “invitation” to log on at the site… my hope in sending this to you is that it may result in bringing public attention and thereby an end to the abuse that has persisted for too many years and continues to wreak havoc upon the lives of those who are unfortunate enough to come under the influence of this destructive cult.
Sincerely,

3. sharon - June 7, 2008

Rear View Mirror – “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” – is something my mother would say to me in my childhood, prefaced by “as my mother always said…” (albeit with some tongue-in-cheek) – no doubt her mother’s mother, ad infinitum, also said it. My grandmother grew up Pennsylvania Dutch Mennonite (pretty cult-like itself), so there you go. A great example of guilt indoctrination – “toe the line, or else”.

4. lauralupa - June 7, 2008

I recently found out a couple of old Fellowship forums (’85-86 vintage) in one of my drawers. I was about to toss them away, then decided to first read them thoroughly (BTW veronicapoe, respect for having read all the journals! it must have been educational but rather gruesome).

I was struck by the tone of most writings, especially by the many weird rationalizations, statements of faith and wishful thinking.
We sheepish flock seem to have done our best to help each other stay glued in imagination (here I am referring to most of us, possibly not all of us – I never wrote journal articles bur for sure I did my bit).
Just a few quotes:

“In 1976, I had asked for “the real thing”; I received our School.”

“our relationship to Work and to Higher Forces is just as our Teacher has always said it is.”

“As Linda L said at the July Bay Area Meeting, our lives are not our own. C influence maries us and divorces us at will, and they seem to do it to provide us with food for our higher centres in the form of suffering.”

“Meher Baba said that one must become dust at the feet of the Master. O Lord, help me be an obedient son, though this airy essence chafes at the burden.”

“having decided to work extra on Sunday to pay my winery donation, my whole machine became negative. This is odd, I thought, being negative about doing what is necessary to give the School what it needs … I hope I learn to put my selfishness aside in order to give in a deeper and more consistent way.”

“What sustains us is: Love thy Teacher. Love thy Teacher because we will not get another. If we can not see him in one place we will not see him elsewhere-it is inherent in the esoteric economy.”

“We have been given the most prized possession in the universe: a chance to participate in the conscious creation of our souls and the creation of a new civilization according to the wishes of Higher Forces.”

“With regard to the School and the Teacher, one has to assume one has found the real thing, and one may then have the experiences that allow one to verify that this is correct. Girard stated that whenever he had made the effort to adopt positive attitudes toward the School, he had found something of value to his evolution at work behind surface appearances.”

“Even when a prediction remains unfulfilled-which is probably not such a rare event either-it continues to say something. Events along the line of time are concident with events along a different line. Prophecy speaks to this.” (?)

“Sometimes people ask, “What does prophecy have to do with the Fourth Way?” One answer is, “What does it not have to do with the Fourth Way? The aim of the Fourth Way is to make the connection with higher centres. So the close we come to this connection, the less we can expect to have things on our own terms. Isn’t that fortunate?” (?)

I leave you with this last one:

“Girard put his case in no uncertain terms. “I have my chips in. I am winning at this table. I have no quarrel with those who choose to cash in or go to another table, but for myself, I am letting my bet ride a little longer.”

A little longer? This was over twenty years ago.
Maybe time to cash in? How many chips have you still got to play?

5. Rear View Mirror - June 7, 2008

Lauralupa (4), some of my favorite posts going back to page 1 are the posts that simply let the FOF speak for itself. I loved this one: “With regard to the School and the Teacher, one has to assume one has found the real thing.”

——
Sharon (3), very true. Perfect comparison.

Related to the idea that “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”… The Fellowship of Friends created a special psychological condition. Maybe there’s a word for it the scientific journals (insanity?), but here’s what I call it:

Maybe I should be doing something else.

Another variation on this condition was, Maybe I should be somewhere else –or– What am I doing wrong right now?

It’s not a pleasant state of mind to be in. So here’s what we would do to make the pain go away: We would take hints from others, mostly Burton, to figure out exactly what we should be doing, and exactly where we should be, and to figure out exactly what we were doing wrong.

Meanwhile, a part of ourselves — call it gut feeling, or intuition, or common sense — didn’t always agree with Burton’s idea of what we should be doing or where we should be, or even the notion that we were doing anything wrong at all. So, assuming we didn’t simply stop writing checks to the FOF, we were left in this odd No-Man’s Land at times. In that No-Man’s Land, we didn’t like where we were or what we were doing, but we also didn’t like the suggestions of what we should be doing or where we should be.

So the next step at that point was to do what everyone thinks we should be doing, and to pretend that it’s our idea. Our dear friends saw us better than we saw ourselves, so we started molding our behavior around them, and eventually we’d become so good at it, that we actually became one of them. We knew ahead of time what behavior was acceptable, what attitudes were good for the cult, and what actions would gain us acceptance in the eyes of others. Ironically, during this entire game, we even pretended that we weren’t “inner considering.”

Anyway, for those of you who were able to wade through the above description, you’ll get an idea of the inner workings of the cult mind, and particularly the Fellowship of Friends cult mind. Classic group think. And before you think that it wasn’t you, or that it isn’t you, keep in mind that last part about pretending that you’re not “inner considering.” It’s another way to keep the cult engine running smoothly: pretense, and pretentiousness.

—–

By the way, M.B. held a meeting not too long before leaving in 1985. The topic dealt with this very question: how to recognize that weird feeling that we “should be somewhere else,” and to observe how that keeps us from the present. I have not forgotten that meeting. I have also not forgotten how long it took me to take action on it — i.e., stop writing those checks to the FOF.

—–
Veronicapoe, you rock.

6. More history needed? - June 7, 2008

Anybody now where Marlene Dassman’s manuscript is?
Is this posted somewhere?
In this manuscript all the abuse and manipulation, the secretively was already here.

Worth reading, subbtly indications between the lines.

The person who is part of main characters is Brian S-sll-r. This manuscript was about the period 1974-1978 as I remember well?

7. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 7, 2008

This one’s a gem and thought it bared reposting:

305. Traveler – June 6, 2008
Re: eternal ex-student (God Laughing)

The Fellowship of Friends practices dissociative thinking. By that I mean: moving on to the next experience when the previous one becomes either unpleasant or its novelty is exhausted. This way, the past is never fully integrated and owned. Moving on to the new and improved teaching, new name, new form, new statues, new color scheme, new dear friends, new relationships, new cities, new countries – as if the old never happened. Preferably pretend we’ve always done it this way. Preferably pretend those who dropped out along the way never existed. Preferably pretend we were never really expecting the end of the world. Leave it behind, separate from mechanical I’s. Why can’t you just be in the present? Feeding off of the buzz and excitement of new ultimate solutions. Stop thinking and end your problems. Turn from those unpleasant emotions about what you witnessed, be blissfully unaware in the sheltered ignorance of the now. Be an innocent baby.

To those ex students now struggling with guilt over why they can’t just let go and forget about the Fellowship already, I offer this for consideration: the attitude that you should just move on with your life and that you are weak if you don’t, persists from your FoF programming. Joyfully burn it on a pile of old daily cards. Don’t just leave the organization, stop living by its rules. You have every right to do with your life as you please. You have given some of your best years to this cause, you have been deeply invested, most of the people you know are members, it will always be a part of your experience and, like it or not, it has brought you to where you are today. Who on Earth would expect you to casually brush it aside forever? A remark such as “will you be an eternal ex-student” attempts to belittle you, induce shame in you, and hide discomfort. Let them be. But you, respect yourself for what you have been through. Go back and revisit your past, weave a thread through your life and connect it into one story. Go and do your processing, and take as long as you need

8. paulshabram - June 7, 2008

Rear View Mirror (5)
“Lauralupa (4), some of my favorite posts going back to page 1 are the posts that simply let the FOF speak for itself.”

I take your point. Veronicapoe performs an important service by archive secondary sources. But primary and secondary sources work together. And why do I care about getting the history right? Because it can offer understanding for the confused, a way to heal for the wounded, and it may limit future damage. I think your motivations are similar if not the same.

It’s important, for the sake of getting it right, that the selections of quotes are what’s left after filtering. The filtering reveals PART of the mechanism of the transition to cult behavior. Sadly later journals require almost no filtering to see this stuff. What these data show is how short a time it took. You may say it took no time at all. I say it took a couple of years. We agree that it happened.

It has occurred to me that what I am saying, that WE made the FOF a cult, is frightening to some. It should be. We did so against our better judgment. I’ve had a few decades to get used to that. I got past the confusion part in the early 80’s when I became aware of the Milgram experiments.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

The mechanism of cultism is embedded in our nature. That scary fact is demonstrated clearly by the Milgram experiments. I urge the readers here to have a good look at them. Milgram polled psycology scholars and asked them the question: how far would the average American go in inflicting pain on an innocent volunteer when told to do so by an authority? There were 30 levels of electric shock plus 3 off the scale. The last eight levels were labelled as harmful and life threatening ( the “volunteer’ was an actor and no pain was actually being administered). The experts predicted that less than 1% would pass the 10th level. In the actual experiment (extensively repeated), more than 65% took the “punishment” off the scale even while protesting and experiencing considerable emotional distress. (It should be noted that the methodology is no longer allowed and is considered unethical ironically demonstrating the effect in itself.)

“We have met the enemy and he is us” Walt Kelly -Earth Day 1970

9. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 7, 2008

Vinnie the Fisher: This one’s for you.

http://wiredforbooks.org/kids/beatrix/jf25.htm

10. Elena - June 7, 2008

“How many chips have you still got to play?”

All of them:
at my age, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Where would I go?
Who would take me?
Where would I find twenty followers willing to listen to me non-stop and pay for it?
You think I’d change a cult for a wife when I already gave up four?
Wasn’t the cult a great solution to get rid of marriages anyway?
Didn’t heaven promise an endless supply of women without commitments?
Then how do you think he got an endless supply of men without commitment?

It has taken me thirty-five years to get here,
Do you think I am going to let go of it in one?
What for?
For whom?

And then, who can say that I have not paid for it?
That I did not plant my vine
Or build my house
Pruned the roses
And brought the dow?

Maybe some roses were lost in the train
But what are some roses under the rain?
Maybe just a few of us got to ride on it
But someone’s got to row.

Didn’t I wash enough dishes too?

What you don’t seem to get is the trick at stake,
Two men give up their life and wife and marry themselves
And a whole cult ure is made.

The first heroes left and we stayed,
No heroes, but ready to serve
For dinner in bed.
What did it matter, to serve or to rave
As long as we got paid?
Lousy actors don’t care in what role they are placed.

Paradise should know that if you think you’re in heaven
it does not matter if you’re in hell.
How tempting, how luring
it is to separate.
In the end we state:
This earth is hell
Look at it and tell for your self.

Integrity? Oneness?
You kidding? I already gave up half of myself
Do you want the other half too?
This piece of arm and leg?
This face? Take them then
If you’re so brave.
I’ll laugh and rest.

My hand cannot follow my eyes
I cannot touch your skin or soul,
You are not there when I come
Because I was long gone.

Marriages didn’t matter,
Not women, not children, nor men.
People didn’t matter, they just came and went.
Only time mattered, “the watch”, “the watch”,
the scheduler that said: “I am”
Only my wives could understand and laugh.

My hand has never tasted the lightness of your smile
Nor did my soul hear the men’s cries,
When you loved
Or when they crawled out of his smile.

Young men who come like women to the throne,
“Ripped apart” is the goal,
Like me, like him,
Who said integrity is the goal?.
Look how we survived, ripped in half
Shouldn’t they if they are so brave?
Young Russians fill the place.

I like you dressed, half-dressed better than undressed,
Half here, half mine
Because after all
There’s hardly half of me left behind.

We were the inhuman halves:
Half men, half women, half the time.
Half the sex, upside down and backwards:
Half the man, half the life.

Stop talking, stop now or I’ll hit you,
I can’t bear your voice
Your hysterical women’s cries
Your smile gone wrong
Why can’t you just play along?
Or shut up and leave?

When I bring my arm down on your smile
I wipe away the stench with which my smile
Was wiped out in time.

Do you not know how painful it is to smile again?

11. Wikifof - June 7, 2008

Do you have old Renaissance Journals – Daily cards – payment stubs – letters to center directors – Marlene Dassman manuscript – any Fellowship of Friends related documentation?

Please hold on to it. If you throw it away, you are inadvertently helping the Fellowship of Friends to hide and rewrite its past.

Documents you may own are a part of history. Your contribution is valuable. Please contribute any relevant information, quotations etc. at the growing Wikispaces site:

http://fellowshipoffriends.wikispaces.com/History

http://fellowshipoffriends.wikispaces.com/in-their-own-words

Let us not allow the history of the Fellowship of Friends to be shrouded in mystery and myth. Let us expose it for what it is. There is little else that can be done to help future generations of potential recruits.

12. paulshabram - June 7, 2008

Rear View Mirror (5)
My post on this subject seems to have vanished (God damn you C-Influence… I mean C_influence damn you C-Influence). My apologies if a different version shows up.
“Lauralupa (4), some of my favorite posts going back to page 1 are the posts that simply let the FOF speak for itself.”
I take your point. Caveat emptor.

Veronicapoe’s selection of quotes (secondary sources) augment eye witness accounts (primary sources) and vise versa. What the quotes show me is that the journals, and to some extent the meetings, were a feed forward control mechanism that was not apparent to me at the time. The quotes show what the FOF was becoming, not necessarily what it was. These data suggest that it was a cult from the inception. First hand accounts say it took a couple of years. I think we can agree that what ever the time frame is was pretty short.

What concerns me is the mechanism of cult culture development. I think this is why this subject of discussion is so useful. Rear View Mirror and Veronicapoe both seem to be saying is “let the evidence speak for itself”. So what does it tell us when it speaks for itself? I believe it only tells each person what she or he expects to hear. In or out, long time or short time, the message will be different.

I think it’s valuable to take apart and reassemble the mechanisms involved. When we can understand more whats and whys, some that are wounded may heal a little. Some that are angry may digest the anger. The tormented may get a little peace. The bemused may take it a little more seriously. Present victims may stop creating future victims.

I would urge you to look at this link I posted at the end of Blog 36:
http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2007/02/16/when-good-people-do-evil-–-part-i/

And I re-post a quote from part two of the same article:
“The most dramatic instances of directed behavior change and “mind control” are not the consequence of exotic forms of influence such as hypnosis, psychotropic drugs, or “brainwashing.” They are, rather, the systematic manipulation of the most mundane aspects of human nature over time in confining settings. Motives and needs that ordinarily serve us well can lead us astray when they are aroused, amplified, or manipulated by situational forces that we fail to recognize as potent. This is why evil is so pervasive. Its temptation is just a small turn away, a slight detour on the path of life, a blur in our sideview mirror, leading to disaster.”
Philip Zimbardo -Situational Sources of Evil

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” Walt Kelly -Earthday 1970

13. Yesri Baba - June 7, 2008

And I re-post a quote from part two of the same article:
“The most dramatic instances of directed behavior change and “mind control” are not the consequence of exotic forms of influence such as hypnosis, psychotropic drugs, or “brainwashing.” They are, rather, the systematic manipulation of the most mundane aspects of human nature over time in confining settings. Motives and needs that ordinarily serve us well can lead us astray when they are aroused, amplified, or manipulated by situational forces that we fail to recognize as potent. This is why evil is so pervasive. Its temptation is just a small turn away, a slight detour on the path of life, a blur in our sideview mirror, leading to disaster.”
Philip Zimbardo -Situational Sources of Evil

Thank you Paul.
Watching out for this never expires. I find it particularly necessary in the workplace.

14. paulshabram - June 7, 2008

10. Yesri Baba
” I find it particularly necessary in the workplace.” Yessiree me too.

15. veronicapoe - June 7, 2008

I fully appreciate Zimbardo’s perspective as to the processes at work. I also appreciate the argument that Paul is making about whether FoF “became” a cult or was a cult from its inception.

Tell me what you make of this: At a New Year’s Eve party a single man, disinhibited by alcohol, mesmerizes a older woman, married with young children, while she is under the influence of psychedelic drugs. He dangles the hook before her: “I know a god who has no clay feet.” When she calls him the next day, under the influence of the spellbinding ideology of consciousness he has sketched out before her, he begins to manipulate her, meeting with her many hours a day and requiring her to pay him money. He requires long hours of her time in competition with her children and to the exclusion of her husband. He requires her to pay him money. Eventually he seduces her, lies about it to everyone, and ultimately discards her. Later still, she sues him.

This is the story, reduced to its essentials, that Bonita told me. This is the core story of the inception of the Fellowship of Friends. Surely there is manipulation, a confidence game, going on from the first evening. (This is my analysis, not Bonita’s.) And while a “cult” may be many things, one thing it always is is a confidence game writ large and full of sincere and idealistic people.

16. Yesri Baba - June 7, 2008

“Even when a prediction remains unfulfilled-which is probably not such a rare event either-it continues to say something. Events along the line of time are concident with events along a different line. Prophecy speaks to this.” (?)

“Sometimes people ask, “What does prophecy have to do with the Fourth Way?” One answer is, “What does it not have to do with the Fourth Way? The aim of the Fourth Way is to make the connection with higher centres. So the close we come to this connection, the less we can expect to have things on our own terms. Isn’t that fortunate?” (?)

These are precious.
If what RB predicted doesn’t happen, something else did so he was right. Whatever happened was fortunate.

Does this sound like cult-think?

17. ton - June 7, 2008
18. ton - June 7, 2008

yesri… speaking of “precious,” this might serve in a way to represent the inner-dialogue that went horribly wrong in the case of Robert Burton.

Paul… i hope this does not put over-much attention on the “canker.” :~) Thanks for your presence here.

19. paulshabram - June 7, 2008

Veronicapoe (12)

I believe we have an accord about the con.

I also think we come essentially to the same conclusions. It’s just that selecting quotes seems a little like “cherry picking”, and it it may weaken your argument. But I think I am a little confused: What is your point (I think I’m missing it), and where does it lead us?

Bonita’s account is compelling and I will re-state what I make of it. Robert was broke, fired from his job, living at his mothers, didn’t even have a car, mimicked what he saw another sociopathic con-man do in order to get some scratch and maybe get laid. It worked. The initial “students” bought in, I bought into it, you bought in to it, so it kept going, so he kept going.

On the flip side, do you really believe Bonita was the compete innocent victim? What about Bonita’s victims? By her own account she neglected her family. She was doing drugs. She was already having affairs when she decided to have sex with Robert (and by the way that was not a secret even though he lied about it in a meeting).

“And while a “cult” may be many things, one thing it always is is a confidence game writ large and full of sincere and idealistic people.” -I believe this is so very true, but don’t think the reverse is always true, “if it’s a con it’s a cult”.

So, while I look forward to more responses along this discussion line. I hope we can move the pivot point of the argument to what happened within ourselves when the discussion group became a cult. When did the exercises, that taught something about ourselves, became ritual and show? When did the FOF stop needing Robert to self sustain?

20. Yesri Baba - June 7, 2008

JAVOH
Vinnie
Whalerider

Ok, everybody put their waders on.

The thread about ‘higher mind’ and ‘states’ is partly what I was trying to get at in some posts to ton.

Here are some of my experiences and ideas about them.

It is possible to get into states of absortion in the ‘causal’ which exclude sense impressions. It is also true that this ‘state’ can be present while sense impressions are occuring. This is called the ‘non-dual’ state. Everything is connected and there is great freedom in this state. It is also described as the ‘natural state’, ‘ordinary mind’.
I think a large part of our ‘work’ is finding out how it is we seem to be separated from that connectedness and freedom.
But that is only part of the story
There is also our human reason. Our education and experience. We study and learn about what others have discovered and thought about things before us and what our life experience has taught us. These things combine to increase what we understand from the connectedness and freedom.

I think one of the greatest myths we unconsciously perpetuate is that there is a “higher mind’ that knows what is and what should be done.

“We have met our savior, and it is us” Yesri baba

21. Elena - June 8, 2008

Paul, by the time I arrived the Cult was way ahead but my guess is that the more genuine people left and those that settled for being second to first remained and accepted becoming third and fourth to Robert as the show run along. Then they imposed this same pattern on the ones who arrived.

It is a well known pattern under fascism. The instinctive center gets involved in the economic structure or in the power structure and the ego holds on to its position at other’s cost. In the long run it’s at the person’s cost as much as those below him; the ego or role or imaginary picture develops and the person, essence, soul or possibility of development is drowned. To hold this infamy and balance the imaginary picture with a justification of “love” the idolatry projection towards the leader reaches exagerated proportions and extreme behavior is perceived as “normal” like serving young men directly into the leader’s mouth from Russia to the Galleria.

22. Elena - June 8, 2008

In fact, when I arrived, the idols were a bunch of little martials imposing their know how on the rest of us with Girard as the ideal example to copy. Their unconditional commitment to Robert as long as they could apply the same power over the rest of us. If they didn’t like you, you didn’t exist!

23. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 8, 2008

9 and 11 are newly moderated.

24. veronicapoe - June 8, 2008

I also think we come essentially to the same conclusions. It’s just that selecting quotes seems a little like “cherry picking”, and it it may weaken your argument. But I think I am a little confused: What is your point (I think I’m missing it), and where does it lead us?

I am arguing against the “we made it a cult” perspective. People are all too ready to take blame for what was done to them and to accept responsibility for things for which they were not responsible. This is especially true, in my opinion, when people are manipulated by certain specific and identifiable techniques without their knowledge and consent. When we are able to lay blame where blame is due, the stories we tell become even truer.

On the flip side, do you really believe Bonita was the compete innocent victim? What about Bonita’s victims? By her own account she neglected her family. She was doing drugs. She was already having affairs when she decided to have sex with Robert (and by the way that was not a secret even though he lied about it in a meeting).

OK, you have my attention. You have original source material. Out with it! 😉

Let me also say, we each brought certain sets of issues–“narcissistic enfeeblements” is Philip Cushman’s term–that made us vulnerable to the influence which was the group we met. We were and are “responsible” for dealing with those issues, but they were not our “fault,” if that makes any sense. Those issues made us manipulable and exploitable. Shame on the opportunists who leapt at the chance!

“And while a “cult” may be many things, one thing it always is is a confidence game writ large and full of sincere and idealistic people.” -I believe this is so very true, but don’t think the reverse is always true, “if it’s a con it’s a cult”.

I’ll agree with that.

So, while I look forward to more responses along this discussion line. I hope we can move the pivot point of the argument to what happened within ourselves when the discussion group became a cult.

Honoring your wish without necessarily moving that pivot point, let me say, something was sold to me as a “school” which I understood as a “discussion group,” but it was a cult in full bloom long before it recruited me. Looking at the Harold Wirk diagrams from 1970 and 1971, together with comments in the Via del Sol Journals, it is clear during the earliest period the group could “be reached only by invitation.” This is a recruitment process with a goal to bring in specific people and get them to pay money and to commit. Such an agenda distinguishes it, it seems to me, from a “discussion group.” The central agenda of a “discussion group” is discussion, not collecting money and reinforcing commitment to the group. Since when was free and open discussion ever permissible in the Fellowship? It was always ideologically blinkered, meaning it had an agenda; it consisted of value judgments in the guise of statements of fact. Discussion was teleological, meaning the conclusion to be reached directly controlled the reasoning process used to reach the conclusion. This is characteristic of thought reform environments, not discussion groups.

25. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 8, 2008

Vinnie The Fisher: My #9 started on the wrong page. Here is the correct one.

http://wiredforbooks.org/kids/beatrix/jf0.htm

26. Rear View Mirror - June 8, 2008

Veronicapoe: “I am arguing against the “we made it a cult” perspective. People are all too ready to take blame for what was done to them and to accept responsibility for things for which they were not responsible. This is especially true, in my opinion, when people are manipulated by certain specific and identifiable techniques without their knowledge and consent. When we are able to lay blame where blame is due, the stories we tell become even truer.”

Rrrright on!

For a dramatized example of this very phenomenon, watch the movie Glengarry Glen Ross.

There’s a point in the movie where it becomes clear that Ricky Roma, (played by Al Pacino) was on the verge of completely screwing someone by selling him some worthless real estate. If the transaction goes through, it will completely ruin the man’s marriage and his financial life.

So how did this man respond to Roma after it becomes clear what Roma was up to?

“I – I – I’m sorry, Mr. Roma. I am so sorry…”

This “we made it a cult” nonsense sounds strikingly similar to a “photograph” of negativity, victim mentality, self pity, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc., whenever someone criticizes anything related to the FOF or Robert Burton. It sounds quite a bit like the bs we listened to relentlessly in the FOF. Any criticism of the FOF meant we weren’t looking closely enough at ourselves.

More group think. And it’s a type of thinking that served/serves Burton’s agenda very effectively.

27. brucelevy - June 8, 2008

I’m sorry, I’m sure I missed something. Did someone say the members made it a cult?

28. paulshabram - June 8, 2008

Veronicapoe

I’ll try to find the source material. I found a precursor to this blog before I found this current blog. Do you know this source? It seems unlikely you do not, but just in case:

http://www.geocities.com/stella_wirk/index2.html

A quote form Stella and Harold online site:

“Now in their mid-60s, Harold and Stella have had twelve years experience in a group that within three years began slowly turning into a cult. They remained another nine years working against cult-like behavior, and for seventeen years since leaving have been counseling people who ask for help leaving the same group, as well as other cults, to help make the transition to independent life once again, to find friends and family members, having lost contact with much of the “outside world” while in this group.”

Stella’s opinion of whether the FOF began as “study group”
“Subject: Re: RB in the beginning
Date: Sat, 20 Sep 1997 01:36:17 -0700
From: Stella Wirk

> Stella,
>
> >Maybe read the pages about the FOF and early years at
> > the web site:
> >http://www.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx(OLD URL)
> >(follow link “About CULTS”)/Stella
>
> So it started out as a kind of study group?…

No. Burton said he had started a “school.” He said that someone at a party had asked him a question and that’s when he knew he was to be the teacher and the questioner was to be the student, starting the “school.”

The person who asked the first question was Bonita.”

Stella’s take on the origins of Cultishness:

“Usually the expression is that cult members are “brainwashed.” This is a wrong term for it! At the beginning we mostly “wash our own brains.” We want to believe we have found something special. Isn’t this Camelot? Eutopia? The “safe haven” we want? If not, maybe we can imagine it is. (The Work says imagination can satisfy all parts of us.)”

And was the FOF a religious church:

“The small start-up group gathered a few more members around them, and then it was decided that a non-profit organization should be established, a name given the group, and that it should be registered as a “church.”

Those of us who were at the meetings to establish all this knew the group was not intended to really be a church per se. The Fourth Way is not a “religion” and has nothing of the sort to be “followed,” as it is without “faith” or “belief.” The Fourth Way is not the way of the monk.

The Fourth Way is a “finger, pointing.” Each person has to know this kind of work is an internal effort, not an external display, and not “pray in the street.” The work is practical only when actualized individually and personally for oneself.

In a few years, however, a majority of the members liked the idea of a church, although there is no “worship” or “prayers” or hymn singing, for that matter (unless one counts the blind worship of the teacher, and praying one has enough money to keep up with the tithes)!

Being a “church” encompassed the group as a group, and “belonging to something.” The members, then, become more and more separated from people who are not in the group (such as other family members, parents, and old friends “outside”). The teacher discouraged mingling with people who were not members (soon with rules against it), and certainly do not mingle with former members!”

29. Rear View Mirror - June 8, 2008

Paul, some of my comments above are meant for you, and some are meant for others who have come on the blog as apologists for the FOF and for Burton.

I’ll take a look at your posts a little more closely and try to understand better what you’re trying to convey, but in the meantime, I do have one more thought to share on this topic…

Probably the main theme in my recent posts is to point out our reluctance to use the word cult in regard to the FOF. And when we do use the word, we usually add the word “BUT” to it. For example:

“We’re a cult, but we’re not the same as other cults.” –or– “We were a cult, but not in the beginning.” –or– “We were a cult, but not when I first joined.”

And on and on.

It’s a cult, and it was a cult. There is no BUT!

30. Rear View Mirror - June 8, 2008

Bruce: see Paul’s post #8 above, and previous posts. I’m curious what you think.

31. brucelevy - June 8, 2008

OK

“It has occurred to me that what I am saying, that WE made the FOF a cult, is frightening to some. It should be. We did so against our better judgment.”

For me…no teacher, no cult…no “students”, no cult. The symbiosis of the two is clearly necessary to sustain any cult. You can’t inspect one side without the interplay of the other. That is separate, of course, from the discrete fact that RB is a sociopath.

or…which came first, the flaming fairy or the fawning masses?

32. brucelevy - June 8, 2008

They came together… no pun intended, I think.

33. Yesri Baba - June 8, 2008

26 bruce

Seems to me it is another one of those non-dooley thingies.

34. brucelevy - June 8, 2008

31. Yesri Baba

You are correct sir.

35. Yesri Baba - June 8, 2008

30

It is a simultaneous snoregasm.

36. Rear View Mirror - June 8, 2008

Good one, Bruce.
Well, veronicapoe answered that question pretty well about “which came first”. What came first was the sociopath, and then the recruitment, and then the deception. And from Day 1, we helped with the symbiosis part.

Symbiosis is a good word, but we’ve spent quite a bit of time denying — not our OWN part in that symbiotic relationship — but the part of Burton. Paul says we give him way too much credit, but sometimes I’m amazed at the skillfulness of his deceptions, and how easily we are to blame ourselves.

See above: “I – I – I’m sorry, Mr. Roma. I’m so sorry…”

37. brucelevy - June 8, 2008

“but the part of Burton. Paul says we give him way too much credit, but sometimes I’m amazed at the skillfulness of his deceptions, and how easily we are to blame ourselves.”

That’s the “street wise” of the sociopath. It’s innate. It’s comes with the lack of conscience.
But I know where Paul is coming from…RB is a really is a doofus, and a hick, and has no taste or class. Liberace gone amok. And he certainly isn’t the sharpest blade in the drawer. But his intellect has little to do with his instinctive, narcissistic choices. The only part that he’s developed and nurtured is the most damaged part of his being. That’s, I think, is one thing that’s changed from the 70’s and 80’s. He’s way the fuck out there now.

38. paulshabram - June 8, 2008

Rear View Mirror (25)

I am hoping this has been a good discussion, but I don’t see how you get to:

“This “we made it a cult” nonsense sounds strikingly similar to a “photograph” of negativity, victim mentality, self pity, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc., whenever someone criticizes anything related to the FOF or Robert Burton. It sounds quite a bit like the bs we listened to relentlessly in the FOF. Any criticism of the FOF meant we weren’t looking closely enough at ourselves.
More group think. And it’s a type of thinking that served/serves Burton’s agenda very effectively.”

I think there is something here that is really scaring the shit out of you.

Veronicapoe:

I am arguing that “we made it a cult” because WE FUCKING DID. “We” most certainly and emphatically and primarily includes Robert. We just didn’t know we were doing it. I do not feel a whole lot of guilt or shame about this because I have some understanding of how it happened. And once I figured out it had become a cult I thought it was a “benign” cult, just like Stella did. And we were FUCKING WRONG.

The FOF has become a whole different beast. Efficiently extracting peoples lives and livelihoods. If Robert were to choke on some Russian dick and die, it will still keep doing so until its supply of human grist is cut off.

It’s my sense (and I could be wrong) that the way to throw a wooden shoe in to the mill is to have a logical discourse available which includes A) exploring the vulnerabilities in all of us that allow cults to happen, and B) taking personal responsibility for bad choices. Why? Because the poor souls that are in the FOF don’t believe it’s a cult. I don’t think they will respond to jumping up and down screaming “I was a victim and you’re a victim too!” That kind of thing may serve RB’s agenda because that’s what’s expected and has been prepared for.

For certain logical discourse doesn’t alway win, but it’s solid ground and it was my way out.

39. brucelevy - June 8, 2008

36. paulshabram

Your A & B sound good to me.

my first poem.

40. brucelevy - June 8, 2008

nanohaiku

41. Rear View Mirror - June 8, 2008

Paul, yep, of course we made it a cult. Why would anyone disagree with that or be afraid of that idea? (well, maybe many reasons unfortunately) But you’re right, We helped Burton make it a cult.

I wish you had told me I had ‘fear’ many years ago when I first joined the FOF. Quite a few years too late. 🙂

Because it’s fear that kept me in the organization. Right now, fear is not my “issue,” shall we say. What I’m feeling is sadness more than anything — for all of the time lost in that fear. Friends lost. Time lost. Opportunities lost. And I’ve been spending quite a bit of time starting anew in recent years. Positive steps, and now I’m here, like you, trying to help people sort it out. And still trying to help myself sort it out.

So launch your ideas. I ain’t afraid of them. Are you of mine?

My point is: We’ve spent endless hours blaming ourselves for the cult already, and blaming ourselves for a lot of things, and doing that without assigning any responsibility to the institution, and to the leader of that institution. That, in my opinion, is partly what keeps people dependent on it, and stuck within it, and it makes the cult possible.

42. hardlyanafterthought - June 8, 2008

Bruce was a contemporary of mine, and my memory , like his was that we were looking for something outside of life’s meaningless promises. At that time the assaination of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, RFK, the killings of students at Kent State, Watergate, the rise seeing through LSD, and Guru’s promised a way out for those who were seeking truth out of the chaos and emptiness of our time.
We had holes in our hearts and in stepped Robert Burton and the Fellowship which promised a way out of madness, and then we further descended into it, cynical and empty leaving it up to ourselves to find a way forward.

JF

43. paulshabram - June 8, 2008

Bruce,
What are you drinkin’?
I think I’ll have some too
If A and B sound good to you
It surely isn’t brew

44. whalerider - June 8, 2008

I think what makes a cult a cult are cult leader and a handfull of ardent followers who rationalize and defend the leader’s actions, and are given ‘special’ status. That starts the ball rolling. Then the ranks are filled with long wannabeeees and short wannabes that ebb and flow with the tide. The more distance the leader puts between himself and the rank and file, the longer the deception can be maintained and the indoctrination deepened.

45. Rear View Mirror - June 8, 2008

Paul wrote: “It’s my sense (and I could be wrong) that the way to throw a wooden shoe in to the mill is to have a logical discourse available which A) exploring the vulnerabilities in all of us that allow cults to happen, and B) taking personal responsibility for bad choices.”

Why would you be wrong about that? Again, I don’t see how anyone would disagree with that … A or B. Very healthy and sensible attitudes. Was anyone saying something different? Maybe just saying that we should do both? Take look both inside and outside ourselves?

Dudes, about the acerbic wit and sarcasm, and the inside jokes… Is this some sort of club? I’ll pass, but just wondering. Oh well, it’s a damn blog. Have fun.

46. Yesri Baba - June 8, 2008

42 RVM

There is so much I would like to say about wit, sarcasm and inside jokes but it wouldn’t be funny.
I was kicked out at age 24 in 1980 and went through years of numbness and psychic isolation and years more of alcoholism and pain and psychic isolation.
I feel I am qualified in knowing the seriousness of these subjects.
That does not change the fact that seriousness is part of the tragedy.
There is a gold mine of material for comedy in this insanity.
If I could have my way I would make you all laugh so hard it would blow the 2×4 out of your ass.

47. lauralupa - June 8, 2008

Rear view mirror 5

“Related to the idea that “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”… The Fellowship of Friends created a special psychological condition. Maybe there’s a word for it the scientific journals (insanity?), but here’s what I call it:

Maybe I should be doing something else.

Another variation on this condition was, Maybe I should be somewhere else –or– What am I doing wrong right now?

It’s not a pleasant state of mind to be in. So here’s what we would do to make the pain go away: We would take hints from others, mostly Burton, to figure out exactly what we should be doing, and exactly where we should be, and to figure out exactly what we were doing wrong.

Meanwhile, a part of ourselves — call it gut feeling, or intuition, or common sense — didn’t always agree with Burton’s idea of what we should be doing or where we should be, or even the notion that we were doing anything wrong at all. So, assuming we didn’t simply stop writing checks to the FOF, we were left in this odd No-Man’s Land at times. In that No-Man’s Land, we didn’t like where we were or what we were doing, but we also didn’t like the suggestions of what we should be doing or where we should be.”

So right. You reminded me of one beautiful late summer morning, up on the slopes of mount Renaissance, harvesting grapes with as Italian friend. We were doing our more or less “intentional ” picking and chatting, when she mentioned that, on top of that, she was also, as a self-imposed exercise, keeping track of the seconds ticking away.
All of a sudden I found myself at fault, since I was “just” enjoying the sensory experience without taking the opportunity to throw in some extra “good student” effort. It’s just one small memory resurfaced from many such moments of feeling guilty or wrong or inadequate or lacking for just “being” and enyoing myself and not being more of a hardcore student. I always felt I was surrounded by people better than me at the conscious game, people dividing their attention in eight different directions simultaneously, people working their asses off on salary, people giving eloquent angles at meetings, people that always seemed to know what was right and wrong…

It took quite a while to see the personal and collective insanity hiding behind the various compliance and efficiency masks. One one thing that helped me get off the wheel was when it became clear that most everybody, me included, was simply interpreting the work and their role through their features and mechanical tendencies, so that we were basically fooling ourselves by believing that we were “going against the machine”. It was more like “the machine mechanically pretending to be doing something against itself while actually getting off on it”. Quite a hopeless endeavour.

The introduction of the Sequence has likely only worsened the inner self loathing and fragmentation in all the members who have a hard time practising it and getting results. Especially since it’s been heavily marketed to them as the best consciousness-building tool ever created, so one would be a fool and a loser not to take advantage of it, right?

ah, how nice to be able to appreciate again the simple and sweet joy of being a lowly life bum…

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6tiYP4zNMvg

48. veronicapoe - June 8, 2008

39/RVW

Well said.

49. veronicapoe - June 8, 2008

RVM, RVW, whatever. UAC (Understandable Acronym Confusion).

50. paulshabram - June 8, 2008

Yesri Baba (43)

If it weren’t for yours, Bruce’s, and Whalerider’s, and many other’s seriously funny posts. I would have a hard time taking this blog seriously.

Maybe that’s a new one for the “Myth” list- Humor is not a “buffer”.

51. paulshabram - June 8, 2008

Try this when you are alone and do not do it in front of a mirror.

Stand with your hands gently folded, arms relaxed so you hands are at the level of your groin. Tilt your head slightly to the left with your chin lifted and your face turned slightly to the heavens. Almost clench your teeth with your lower jaw jutting a tiny bit forward so that your lips are ever so slightly pursed. Squint while looking slightly up. Blink a few times while squinting. Exhale gently but loudly through your nose as if trying to process something overwhelming. Begin to relax the pose briefly and return to it. Do this a couple a more times exhaling through the nose each time.

Congratulations! This the real “sequence”. You are now a conscious being.

If you do it in front of the mirror, you’ll probably fall down laughing (or crying).

52. Rear View Mirror - June 8, 2008

Yesri (43), The question is: Do you see your own 2×4? When the wit goes in everyone else’s direction but your own, the chances of it getting people to laugh diminishes quite a bit — whatever your experiences may have been.

I’m not ‘against’ anyone — not long rambling posts that never get to the point and always leave us wondering what the person was trying to say; not one-liners on this blog that leave us guessing just the same; not long rambling “angles” that people would give at the Town Hall in the old days; not bizarre, incoherent, pretentious theories about ancient Egypt; and definitely not humor, Paul, when it gives a laugh that we can share with each other.

What I AM against is any more of the same nonsense that we lived through — some of us for way too long — in the Fellowship of Friends. Self guilt. Self blame. Ignoring the abuse. Ignoring and criticizing and ostracizing anyone who objected to it.

There was plenty of joking in the FOF, too… There was sarcasm and mean-spirited, selfish comments cleverly disguised as “photographs,” because we could say whatever the hell we wanted — because we could always pretend that people needed to hear it to “see themselves.”

What recently got my attention on this blog — in part — was the odd, surprising, and highly negative response to someone’s heartfelt and cogent observations a page or so back. Later, another person stated some strident and sarcastic viewpoints, and if anyone came back to state a counterpoint, the sarcasm and the strident viewpoints only strengthened, and with even greater denial. There was little sincere acknowledgment of the viewpoints stated in return, and for the most part only partial representations or even misrepresentations of the other person’s viewpoint. And yet this person is telling us we need “logical discourse”?

When that happens, and whenever I happen to be here reading some of this stuff (and there’s never any guarantee that I will), I’ll say something. It often won’t be humorous.

53. lauralupa - June 8, 2008

Paul, thanks, I tried the real Sequence and it works!

Elena 10
rocking poem. I hope Girard gets a chance to read it.

Poetry is no place for a heart that’s a whore
And I’m young & I’m strong
But I feel old & tired
Overfired

And I’ve been poked & stoked
It’s all smoke, there’s no more fire
Only desire
For you, whoever you are
For you, whoever you are

You say my time here has been some sort of joke
That I’ve been messing around
Some sort of incubating period
For when I really come around
I’m cracking up
And you have no idea

No idea how it feels to be on your own
In your own home
with the fucking phone
And the mother of gloom
In your bedroom
Standing over your head
With her hand in your head
With her hand in your head

I will not pretend
I will not put on a smile
I will not say I’m all right for you
When all I wanted was to be good
To do everything in truth
To do everything in truth

Oh I wish I wish I wish I was born a man
So I could learn how to stand up for myself
Like those guys with guitars
I’ve been watching in bars
Who’ve been stamping their feet to a different beat
To a different beat
To a different beat

I will not pretend
I will not put on a smile
I will not say I’m all right for you
When all I wanted was to be good
To do everything in truth
To do everything in truth

You bloody mother fucking asshole

Martha Wainwright

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=MTH6PrAK4yA

54. Rear View Mirror - June 8, 2008

lauralupa, not lowly at all, although I get what you’re saying. Thanks for your comments.

A bit of a different topic, this article. But I really like this guy’s writing style (and yes, he’s sarcastic at times). Something in this column reminded me of our experiences in the FOF, and our future away from it, the resulting cynicism that we’ve all inherited, and our many different viewpoints in relation to the FOF (as demonstrated above, and in the previous 35 or 40 pages)…

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/06/DDLG113BVC.DTL&hw=morford&sn=001&sc=1000

55. Elena - June 8, 2008

Thank you for all the good posts.

Rear View Mirror, yours too but if you weren’t so afraid of saying what you actually want to say then maybe you could say it.

56. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 8, 2008

#50: Thanks for that article.

57. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 8, 2008

#51: Rear View Mirror, yours too but if you weren’t so afraid of saying what you actually want to say then maybe you could say it.

I am of the belief that not everything need be said and sometimes it’s best to not say anything at all or at least consider how you may be affecting someone else before speaking.

58. Elena - June 8, 2008

Why is that Suzy, because here we are not human enough to be able to say look, this bothers me about you and that’s all? because we like to make up little groups saying how cool and humorous we can be after twenty five years of having left? Because we are not decent enough with each other to address what it is that we don’t agree with and have to remain in the realm of opinion, I like you, don’t like you, address you, avoid you but I’m actually not respectful or caring enough to actually look at what you’re saying?

Or because the deeper issues at stake are frightening? Because this is not just about the Fellowship? Because the Fellowship continues to be within us just as we were inside of it?

59. Elena - June 8, 2008

I must clarify, I have nothing against humor and it would be great if you could actually make me laugh, maybe in twenty years even I will throw some decent jokes, but if vanity is going to hide behind humor to judge others then there nothing funny about it.

What I would be interested in hearing from Rear view mirror is what he’s talking about in this paragraph. It raised my curiosity. And if you feel so strongly about it, what stops you from putting it out front so that who ever it is you are addressing can present a counter point of view. Or we just silently assume that that’s the last word?

“What recently got my attention on this blog — in part — was the odd, surprising, and highly negative response to someone’s heartfelt and cogent observations a page or so back. Later, another person stated some strident and sarcastic viewpoints, and if anyone came back to state a counterpoint, the sarcasm and the strident viewpoints only strengthened, and with even greater denial. There was little sincere acknowledgment of the viewpoints stated in return, and for the most part only partial representations or even misrepresentations of the other person’s viewpoint. And yet this person is telling us we need “logical discourse”?

60. Elena - June 8, 2008

Veronicapoe

“I am arguing against the “we made it a cult” perspective. People are all too ready to take blame for what was done to them and to accept responsibility for things for which they were not responsible. This is especially true, in my opinion, when people are manipulated by certain specific and identifiable techniques without their knowledge and consent. When we are able to lay blame where blame is due, the stories we tell become even truer.”

Truly grateful for that, it took a huge weight off my back.

61. ton - June 8, 2008

WULS 53 or thereabouts:
“I am of the belief that not everything need be said and sometimes it’s best to not say anything at all or at least consider how you may be affecting someone else before speaking.”

i couldn’t agree with you more… call it “tact” or “diplomacy” or just “being cool” (but not in a self-congratulatory sense).

we life in a philadelphia row-house and have an american elm growing between us and the neighbors. the tree is at least 15 years old, the neighbor complained recently that the roots are pushing through the basement wall, we’ve read that the tree can grow to 4 feet in diameter… it’s already becoming substantial and we wanted professional advice on how to deal with it. we called a local tree expert to look at the situation… we want to save the tree if possible, (american elms are rare because of dutch elm disease), we called this local expert mainly because he’s “pro-tree” — his company builds tree houses — i don’t think he’ll mind the advertising if i post his website — i hope this is not violating any ‘rules’ concerning ‘exposure’:

http://www.thelivingtreehouse.com/

This ‘tree expert’ happens to be an ex fellowship student… (it really is a small world after all). when he came out to look at the tree, i didn’t say anything to him about the fellowship of friends, i knew who he was, he was a good bit older than when i’d last set eyes on him but i recognized him… on the other hand i am pretty sure he didn’t know me from joe down the street. he came out on a saturday afternoon to look at the tree, he’d just played in a baseball game and was still wearing his uniform… on the front of the rust red jersey it said “arizona”– the number on his back was “44.”

my wife had a difficult time believing that i didn’t bring up the fellowship of friends in conversation with him. she and i both wondered why he didn’t ask us how we found him… it so happens that it was through an ex fellowship member who we talk to by phone every weekend, he saw a show on HGTV or some similar program about treehouses “featuring” said local tree expert. the point here is (if there is a point other than “it’s a small fucking world”), dealing with the tree was the issue for me, the fellowship of friends was not relevant to the issue.

i have no idea how he would react were i to bring it up, afterall he did have a “44” on his back… is he still brainwashed? he gave us a free estimate and what seemed a fair price for the work… when we call him back to do the work i might bring up the topic… or not.

62. paulshabram - June 8, 2008

57. Ton
I wouldn’t.

Veronicapoe
Re: The history archive link above.

The document “Circle of Angels…” is actually not from the FOF. It’s from Fourth Way group in Vermont. I remember hearing about this group in ’72. RB knew about them and said they were a “B-influence” school. They appear even more controlling than the FOF.

The similarities are so striking, but I don’t think the FOF did things like select 5 members each day to “eat from the pig trough”. There appears to be some forced sex requirements there as well. Is there a linkage to the Fellowship that you know of?

63. lauralupa - June 8, 2008
64. Yesri Baba - June 8, 2008

49 RVM

Yesri (43), The question is: Do you see your own 2×4? When the wit goes in everyone else’s direction but your own, the chances of it getting people to laugh diminishes quite a bit — whatever your experiences may have been.

Not very well, but the people around me tell me it is a 4×4.

Good points in the rest of your post.
——————————————————-

Laura 44

so true.

I am asleep and I am never going to wake up.
I am doing it wrong and I am not doing it enough.

People always miss the truth in those statements.

65. ton - June 8, 2008

58 or thereabouts
thanks paul, of course you are not me (just as i am not you).

laura 59 or thereabouts
love to all… keep the drum beating.

“IT” does rain sometimes…

“heard the sound of…
a poet who died in the gutter…”

66. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 8, 2008

25, 28, 42 and 53 are newly moderated.

67. jack - June 8, 2008

In case you didnt know.

j x.

Ps. Across the River and Susan, have you received a donation for the final step with the lawyer?
Good luck

68. brucelevy - June 8, 2008

42. hardlyanafterthought

That’s pretty accurate. And, for me, I had been reading a lot of G & O from the time I was about 18, when I was a dirty stinking hippy. I knew strongly even then that some time in my future these ideas would play a large part in my life. Having realized that I then let it all go.
Years later in SF, while NOT looking, I came across the bookmark. As I hadn’t been investigating the possibilities I wasn’t aware of other groups, even after my first inadvertent introduction to the Theater of All Possibilities. I went and saw and joined. I thought that the ideas would be investigated at another level other than me thinking about them every once in awhile.
The rest is history. I think very few if any joined for RB. Many joined because of the ideas they encountered in their lives that were connected to “4th Way” and the prevailing environment of the 60’s and 70’s, as JF described.

69. brucelevy - June 8, 2008

And I think that that energy of desperation coupled with ideas of a different order is one thing that makes me feel that the early years in the FOF were vital and super active, that and the fact that very few people in the masses of the membership had much to do with RB. It’s when one got close to the fire that it started seeming strange. I say “seemed” because I (and I assume many other) were so shocked at what was happening to us that we had to reexamine all our previous assumptions. We done got took.

70. brucelevy - June 8, 2008

And I take responsibility for my choices. And I can’t help, sometimes, being pissed at myself for some of those choices.

On the other hand, I’m happy with who I am today, and I can’t dismiss that who I am today is the result of ALL those choices.

71. veronicapoe - June 8, 2008

62/Paul

Yes, there is a document entitled “Guidelines for Circle of Angels, 1990-1991” If you examine the document the inference is clear that at least some aspects of their ideology and terminology are the same as in the FoF. If FoF is not a source for this group, FoF and Circle of Angels are linked to a common source. I have no other knowledge of a definite link to FoF. The document is illuminating in that it illustrates a slightly different variety of “fourth way” totalism than we encountered in FoF.

Spiral of Friends, a creation of James Vincent Randazzo, a former FoF member, who was assisted by Stella and Harold Wirk as “visiting teachers,” is an offshoot of FOF. Randazzo’s sex crimes were well documented in news reports which may still be available on the web.

New American Wing is an offshoot of Spiral of Friends and a site that discusses this group can be found at fourthwaycult.net. There were compulsory sex issues there as well. An extensive account at that site is illuminating for the same reason as the Circle of Angels document–it sketches out yet another variation on “fourth way” totalism.

I have a written decision of the United States District Court pertaining to a sexual abuse circumstance within the Circle of Angels group. When I find some time to include it in the Esoteric History Archive, I will.

72. brucelevy - June 9, 2008

71. veronicapoe

Thanks.

73. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 9, 2008

#57: I am of the belief that not everything need be said and sometimes it’s best to not say anything at all or at least consider how you may be affecting someone else before speaking.

#58. Elena – June 8, 2008

Why is that Suzy, because here we are not human enough to be able to say look, this bothers me about you and that’s all? because we like to make up little groups saying how cool and humorous we can be after twenty five years of having left? Because we are not decent enough with each other to address what it is that we don’t agree with and have to remain in the realm of opinion, I like you, don’t like you, address you, avoid you but I’m actually not respectful or caring enough to actually look at what you’re saying?

Or because the deeper issues at stake are frightening? Because this is not just about the Fellowship? Because the Fellowship continues to be within us just as we were inside of it?’

Elena: My response to Rear View Mirror’s #52 prior blog was not in response to what you said afterwards. I believe the more we are able make deeper connections with each other and ourselves, the more sensitive we will become to each other’s feelings and consequently will be more discerning with what we choose to say to one another. Simply that.

74. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 9, 2008

And Rear View mirror particularly hit a nerve for me when I remembered the ‘art of photographing’ aspect of the Fellowship and how it was used so wrecklessly and carelessly and many times simply because people were irritated with one another. I don’t think there’s any need to treat each other that way.

75. Elena - June 9, 2008

Hi Sheik,

Three versions, one is enough. Not in real time. You controlling the posts?

76. Elena - June 9, 2008

Lauralupa,

53 Thanks for that. Where’s the wolf? I’m an old dog, it was good to see him.

“You say my time here has been some sort of joke
That I’ve been messing around
Some sort of incubating period
For when I really come around
I’m cracking up
And you have no idea”

Maybe it’s just because it’s June,
The Moon, too soon, a fool.

Cults? They are everywhere,
Families, nations, blogs,
Even in cults.

And being here.

Did you see?

Why did it take you so long to tell me?

Don’t you know it was already late at nine?

“I will not pretend
I will not put on a smile

77. Elena - June 9, 2008

Timeless

So here’s the formula:
You wake up at eight.
You have breakfast at quarter to nine.
You work at ten, stop at 12,
Work through lunch, stop at two
Work through five,
Clean shoes till seven,
Dinner at least,
Not free.

Hit yourself in between and if you can get me or
Suzy at two,
Consciousness never stops nor does unconsciousness
But hey, if you can keep it up without shooting yourself at three,
You’re better than me.

78. paulshabram - June 9, 2008

71. veronicapoe
At least I didn’t have to eat out of a pig trough.

It occurs to me that the “Circle of Angels” group, which I think preceded the FOF, may have served as a model for Robert. Since he knew about the group it may be that his “shtick” was actual source there and not Alex Horns.
I didn’t know that about Jim Vincent (Randazzo), a shifty kinda creepy guy (but he was nice to me). I’m surprised about Stella and Harold even though they were pals, they seemed to think he could not be trusted.

An earlier post from Stella’s recollecton was being “moderted” it just showed up (28) and was particularly for you.

There doesn’t seem to be any mention anywhere about one of the predicted 7 #5s. His name was Daniel Davis, I believe and he was a real treat. It was what I all the “Hand Knit Norwegian Sweater” era. Like Donald, just as he was supposed to “awaken” he bagged he whole deal.

I don’t remember where I read the Bonita account, I thought it was in your hx archive, but it doesn’t look like its there. It may be in some of the ’97 material from Stella’s recollections.

Paul

79. paulshabram - June 9, 2008

Veronicapoe 71
my post was 28
smileyface took the “8”

80. Rear View Mirror - June 9, 2008

Elena, I got your earlier question. Probably a topic that’s not worth rehashing.

By the way, before I left the FOF for good, I recall taking walks on quiet streets in my big-city neighborhood. And I what I perceived was sadness and lifelessness in the houses, because the people residing in them lacked what I had — the friendship and warmth that I experienced in the FOF, and a feeling of common purpose, and the guidance of angels, etc. etc.

But since then, I’ve had a few years to gradually change my thinking about what I might find outside the FOF.

Now I look at those same houses in my big-city neighborhood, and I feel happy for people, and I feel happy for myself that I feel happy for them. In recent weeks, I’ve had a few experiences that remind me of that prototypical FOF experience — food, wine, good company, a classical guitar playing, some candlelight, some pretty fountains, and some pleasant and charming surroundings. But better.

Someone asked me the other day what I would be doing right now if I weren’t doing what I was doing right now (which was having a lot of fun with them), and my answer was that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing right now, and that it was perfect, and that I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. And they paused, and nodded, and said, “Great answer,” and they smiled, and we both knew we had a friend.

Anyway, what’s my point? I don’t know really. I’m just winding down for the evening, and just thought I’d share that little ‘story’ and give you a quick hello since you were the last person to click the “say it!” button.

81. paulshabram - June 9, 2008

74. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup

“And Rear View mirror particularly hit a nerve for me when I remembered the ‘art of photographing’ aspect of the Fellowship and how it was used so wrecklessly and carelessly and many times simply because people were irritated with one another.”

This is one of those things that serves as powerful evidence that the FOF is not the real deal. Photographing out of anger always happened, but that inappropriate use should be photographed as well. When photographing shifts from a loving gift to a bludgeoning control device, the person is under the control of the “Dark Side”.

82. lauralupa - June 9, 2008

RVM, suzy, paulshabram

A particular aspect of this, and a huge can of worms that we haven’t yet dwelved much into, is the widespread use of the ‘art of photographing’ as a form of control and abuse in the context of couple relationships.

I personally feel I could write volumes on the subject, just based on my personal experiences. I also remember conversations with friends complaining that their partners were laying guilt trips on them for not being good enough students etcetera.

One time I had dinner at Girard and his then wife’s house. I had been invited because I was a newly separated mother of three small children, and I guess they were trying to be supportive. At the end of the pretty formal affair we moved to the kitchen and there I witnessed the discussion about the pot in the sink. The wife was saying we should leave the pot filled with water sitting till morning, so that it would be easier to clean. Girard insisted that it should be washed right away, so as to “bridge the interval and complete the octave” (regrettably I forget who won).

Since I was going through my own personal calvary, I had some of what we used to call “relativity”. I remember feeling, “WTF are these people arguing about? Give the damn pot and yourselves a rest!”

83. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 9, 2008

76 is newly moderated.

84. veronicapoe - June 9, 2008
85. whalerider - June 9, 2008

the art of photographing=the art of censorship

86. veronicapoe - June 9, 2008

78/Paul

Did you mean David Daniels?

87. whalerider - June 9, 2008

the art of photographing=the art of censorship

88. Rear View Mirror - June 9, 2008

suzy, paulshabram, lauralupa:

Paul: “When photographing shifts from a loving gift to a bludgeoning control device, the person is under the control of the “Dark Side”.”

Well said.

Lauralupa: “A particular aspect of this, and a huge can of worms that we haven’t yet dwelved much into, is the widespread use of the ‘art of photographing’ as a form of control and abuse in the context of couple relationships.”

I agree it’s a big topic, and I hope some others delve into it more.

About the old rule that couples need to get married, I never quite understood Burton’s fixation on that when he when he wasn’t getting married himself, but I always explained it away by thinking to myself that gay men don’t get married. (hmm. speaking of compartmentalized thinking). That was always a very odd thing about the fof. Years later it makes more sense what was going on and why he wasn’t getting married. But I recall the stunned silence in the room when I first joined, when I asked the question, “Is the teacher married?” Not one answer from anyone, maybe a knowing glance or two, and then a quick change of the subject. Thanks, guys, for the heads-up.

Just speculating, but maybe Burton wanted people to get married because he saw how marriage would complicate people’s lives enough where leaving would be more challenging. But I wonder if he really gave it that much thought. Also, maybe he felt that couples would keep each other in line by making sure they didn’t buy that humongous television or embark on a weekend getaway before making their ‘teaching payments’, and other pressures to be a good, loyal fof students. But again, just speculating. From what I understand, marriage is no longer required before sex, which is cool. I’m not rejoining, though. Nice try, Robert.

About the pot story, Lauralupa… Interesting. On the one hand, we were taught to separate and “not sweat the small stuff” (in other words, “It’s been a long evening, let’s get some rest and clean the pot in the morning.”), but on the other hand we were taught to obsess over insignificant details (“We should complete the octave and do it now.”). I think that’s where the “confusion is a higher state” sets in. At that point, you just start thinking, “Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it.” — unless of course you’re strong enough to realize it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

Usually, following the Good Student Manual didn’t involve “having some relativity” and letting it go. It involved obsessing over the details and making sure someone saw us obsessing over the details.

It reminds me a bit of the mixed messages in our (U.S.) society, which on the one hand vilifies sexuality as being unholy, but on the other hand inundates the populace with sexual messages in advertisements and movies. Oh well.

One more thought about the art of photography…

Looking at it from the receiver’s viewpoint, we sometimes talked about the quote: “If the shoe doesn’t fit, wear it anyway.” I occasionally still find that one useful for “not sweating the small stuff.” But from the deliverer’s standpoint, it’s also a nice method for asserting control over people if you get them to believe the premise (that it’s good to wear the shoe even if it doesn’t fit), and if you get them to trust you.

89. Elena - June 9, 2008

76 last part

“I will not pretend
I will not put on a smile
I will not say I’m all right for you
When all I wanted was to be good
To do everything in truth”

For being well is a cult too,
Gotta show your smile
So that they don’t run
Tells us a joke
‘cos we gotta laugh.

And when the cotton of the dandelion flies
They cannot even catch them with their eyes,
The coarse hands, the never tasted love
Denied.

“it’ too much for our pants”

90. Rear View Mirror - June 9, 2008

whalerider: “the art of photographing=the art of censorship.”

Sheik, please remove whalerider’s post.

kidding. yes, so true.

91. veronicapoe - June 9, 2008

“photography” = “shame induction”

92. paulshabram - June 9, 2008

Veronicapoe (86)

No, I’m sure Daniel was his first name. I could have the last name wrong. There was another “student” with Daniels for a last name, from a prominent local family. I don’t want to give too many details here. Contact me through GF.
Paul

93. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 9, 2008

#82: “bridge the interval and complete the octave”

Over a pot? I mean come on! I have to laugh. Not at Girard but how complex simple little situations became. This was not unique to Girard but just shows how way unnecessary and way over the top our thinking became.

There have been times I’ve gotten together with former members and had great belly laughs at the ridiculousness of ourselves in those days. A great healing technique for people leaving.

94. paulshabram - June 9, 2008

The “art of photographing” is not unique to the 4th Way. It’s a pretty common technique in business, counseling, etc. It’s just called something different.

Someone pointed out many blog pages ago that the 4th Way is a very self centered system… Self Remembering etc. So it strikes me that the “art of photographing” doesn’t exactly fit unless one realizes that giver of the photograph actually needs to do much more “work” than the receiver to get the value. (I hope you know what I mean). It’s a useful tool for those that care to participate correctly, but it requires trust. Breach the trust and you get a weapon 4th Way or otherwise.

95. veronicapoe - June 9, 2008

For those interested, “Portrait of James Vincent Randazzo, circa 1985, by Harold Wirk” is now online
http://www.archive.org/details/TheEsotericHistoryArchive_478

96. Opus111 - June 9, 2008

From the point of view of those in power, it is pretty obvious that marriage contributes to the stability of a society by creating controllable nuclear units. It also gives the kinghead of the place (RB) easier, less encumbered access to those single, unsure about commitment and/or insecure. So, under the pretext of a higher right, it was mostly a decision to solidify a power structure. Besides, there were all those celebrations, good vibes all around.

Compare the exercise of no sex outside sanctioned relationship with RB rumored opinion of what sex would be like post apocalypse, and you get the idea.

97. veronicapoe - June 9, 2008

More on Randazzo:

Cult sex offender seeks to be paroled:
http://www.rickross.com/reference/general/general528.html

98. brucelevy - June 10, 2008
99. elena - June 10, 2008

The Cult? Yes, what photographs but expressions of power, lines of hierarchy where positions were re-affirmed. Nothing from inside, just the crust.

But those are not pictures nor does it portray the Art of Photography.
The negative is just a necessary part of the process but the true photograph is in the positive: the light, the colour, the image that reminds the model or “the loved one”, of whom s/he has always been for no photographer is an artist if s/he’s not “the lover”.

The process is no different from sculpting what does not belong to the sculpture and it cannot be done by one’s self. The self remains untouched by the tremendous loss and grateful for the suffering once the sculpting is over.

It is the same for the tree, what fruit could it give without the trimming?

100. elena - June 10, 2008

Another Voice, Hope this view of history sounds more attractive than the traditional one:

It is virtually impossible to pin down the origins of most things to one place or one time because life is an art form that defies the school-book approach to history in which events are measured marks on a chronological ruler. When all the historical evidence is sifted, a gap still remains at the beginning which, until a convincing discovery is made, can be filled only by the imagination, by envisaging history as a fluid, multidimensional whole. Viewed in this way, history resembles the starlit nightsky, a planetarium where it is possible to see ends before beginnings: to see the star of Dante (any being or culture for that matter) shining as brightly now as it did at the birth of the Divine Comedy.

Changed and adapted from Stained Glass by Lawrence Lee, G.S& F.S.

101. Yesri Baba - June 10, 2008

Tami Simon and Ken Wilber

Tami Simon shares her experiences of being painfully disappointment by various spiritual teachers, as well as her own personal methods of working with this disappointment. What do we do when our spiritual guides don’t quite measure up to our own expectations of them? Can recognizing their limitations actually help free the wisdom the have to offer us? And most importantly, what does the actual feeling of disappointment have to offer our own spiritual awakening?

Who: Tami Simon is the founder and president of Sounds True, a multimedia publisher dedicated to “the dissemination of spiritual wisdom” and North America’s leading publisher of spoken-word spiritual teachings.

Summary: By virtue of running a business like Sounds True, which has produced a litany of audio interviews with a staggering amount of the today’s heaviest-hitting spiritual teachers, Tami has had plenty of opportunities to get to know many of the world’s most extraordinary teachers in very deep and profound ways. As she mentions in the interview, when there is a business contract sitting on the table between herself and some of these teachers, she is often exposed to a side of them that many of their own students aren’t—a side that occasionally appears to be incongruous with the lofty perceptions that surround them. Rather than being the perfect vehicles of liberation they are often made out to be, Tami has found many of these teachers to be anything but perfect. She has been exposed to their full humanness, and finds that they possess many of the same relative foibles, flaws, and idiosyncrasies that so many of us are subject to. Sometimes this experience can be endearing, but many times it is painfully disappointing—especially when the teachers seem to be so unaware of their limitations, parading their spiritual realization in such a way that tries to mask their own human twistedness.

This sort of disappointment has been felt by a great number of people somewhere along their spiritual path, who have at some point become suddenly aware of their own teacher’s imperfections, in ways that can violently undercut the reverence and spiritual connection they feel with them. Sometimes students are disappointed when they hold on to the naive belief that spirituality is some sort of magical elixir, which, when done right, promises to make us happy all the time and cure all of our life’s ailments. And when flaws in our spiritual teachers are inevitably discovered, it must be because they are doing something wrong, and are therefore in no position to teach us anything. Other times, this disillusionment is simply a result of the quixotic projections many students unfairly impose upon their teachers—expectations that, since spiritual teachers are here as representatives of absolute perfection, they must themselves be absolutely perfect. And when it is discovered that these teachers still eat, use the bathroom, and have sex, they are immediately stripped of their demi-god status and cast out of our idealized heavens.

Much more difficult, however, is the disappointment that comes with recognizing very real pathologies within some of our most cherished spiritual teachers. Often these manifest as insatiable drives toward money, sex, and power—drives which are typically expected to be transcended as a result of spiritual practice. These pathologies can often be devastating to a student, who at best expects the teacher to simply “know better,” or who has at worst fallen victim to a teacher’s abusive dynamics, whether physically, sexually, or psychologically. Perhaps the most tragic consequence of these incidents is when disappointment and disillusionment begin to slowly devour the student’s faith in Absolute perfection itself, becoming lost in the wilderness of suffering and ignorance.

As we can see, there is a wide range of disappointment we can experience around any given spiritual teacher—from naive projection, to authentic pathology, to egregious abuse. In all cases, the student must follow the same general process: identify the problem, understand the problem, and modify—or sever—the relationship accordingly.

There are many times when, despite the disappointment we might feel toward a particular teacher, we continue to recognize in her or him something extraordinarily valuable to our own spiritual path, and wish to maintain the relationship. Unfortunately there is no universal formula for these difficult cases, as the circumstances are often unique to each student/teacher relationship. There are, however, at least three very broad concepts that can really assist our understanding of the dynamics at play, thus helping us to make a more informed decision on how to move forward with the teacher.

Multiple Intelligences
All human beings possess what are often called “multiple intelligences,” all of which grow through different levels of development, often quite independent of each other. Examples of these different sorts of intelligences are: cognitive, moral, spiritual, interpersonal, kinesthetic, musical, etc. It is therefore quite possible to have people with very advanced spiritual lines, but less advanced moral or interpersonal lines, essentially making them “enlightened assholes.”

States and Stages
Much of the emphasis of the world’s spiritual traditions has been placed upon cultivating and stabilizing states of consciousness, ranging from gross (waking) states, to subtle (dream) states, to causal (deep dreamless sleep) states, to ever-present Witness states, to radically unqualifiable Nondual states. While most spiritual teachers are capable of embodying and transmitting these states at different degrees of competency, it is extremely important to take into consideration that all of these states are available at every stage of psychological and spiritual growth. For example, using Jean Gebser’s developmental scheme, people are able to evolve through magical, mythical, rational, pluralistic, and integral stages of development—and states of spiritual enlightenment can be experienced from any of these stages of development. Enlightened Zen masters, therefore, can still remain strongly racist or fundamentalist in their beliefs, while having successfully stabilized some very advanced states of consciousness.

The Two Truths Doctrine
As we continue to deepen our spiritual practices, we are able to notice both the Absolute perfection at the center of this and every moment, as well as the twisted, flawed, deeply imperfect manifestation of the entire relative world—an insight commonly referred to as the “Two Truths Doctrine.” Only through contemplative practice can we fully understand the difference between the relative and the Absolute, slowly dislodging us from our expectations that our spiritual teachers be perfect in every way. After all—sometimes Absolute perfection can only be seen through a dirty bathroom mirror, through the grease and grime of human perception and ambition.

By taking these important concepts into careful consideration, we are able to more accurately triangulate the source of our disappointment, and decide whether we will maintain the relationship, or perhaps move on to another one. Often the relationship can be salvaged, indeed improved upon, by this understanding—by acknowledging the limitations of the teacher, we can actually free the teaching, and more fully submit ourselves to the Absolute truth reflected therein. In fact, the disappointment itself can have the remarkable power to transform, as it brings into powerful contrast all that we already know to be true—a stinging reminder of the inherent perfection that lies at the heart of every experience we have ever had.

transmission time: 38 minutes

most memorable moment: “Even though, Ken, I’ve been exposed to Integral theory for a few years, it hasn’t prevented me from feeling disappointed, again and again, in teachers when a new aspect of their twisted humanness is uncovered in the course of working with them….”

102. whalerider - June 10, 2008

Higher Forces has heard our pleas:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6mPorqb4l8Y&feature=user

103. Yesri Baba - June 10, 2008

101 Whalerider

Oh God! I think I just blew that 4×4 out!

104. lauralupa - June 10, 2008

whalerider, thanks for that, it’s good to start the day with a laugh

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ybAUM7KoXco&feature=user

105. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 10, 2008

96 is newly moderated.

106. Rear View Mirror - June 10, 2008

This is an old article on “memes” or “thought viruses.” I’m sure there’s some better literature on the topic, but wanted to share this anyway: http://www.alternet.org/story/10025/

Some excerpts:
“How could a 33-year-old army corporal, starving artist and self-acknowledged “failure at many things” take over one of the world’s great nations, plunging it into a global war which killed more than 20 million people?

“The answer, according to behavioral scientists, lies in the study of memes: thought viruses generated at a single source which infect millions with dangerous and destructive ideas.”

—–
“The first step, in thought contagion terms, was the simplest: he changed the party name to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, with the NAZI acroynm which was slang for “buddy.” Everyone who joined the Nazis would be a buddy — Bavarian for “cool dude” back in 1921.”

—–

Maybe the idea of “thought viruses” is a thought virus, too, depending on how someone conveys it. But you can see that cults are filled with them. The FOF especially is filled with them — after all, it’s “a cult for intellectuals” as Sheik has stated.

Some examples:
• One needs a “school.”
• One needs to focus on one system of ideas, and have a positive attitude about those ideas, not think critically about them, and not gather ideas from several other sources while evaluating them.
• One needs to “give up one’s will” to a “teacher.”
• The FOF is the only real school.
• The world is a vast wasteland of sleeping machines with nothing of real value.
• If you leave the school, you lose all possibilities for spiritual growth.

Just a few examples. We’re still infected with many of the FOF viruses, to some degree or another, long after leaving the cult. I think the blog has been great for me in that way; I’m still in the process of changing my thinking even after several years.

—-
Yesri: 4×4 — “44” hmm. Anyway, me too.

107. Rear View Mirror - June 10, 2008

Yesri Baba (101), thanks for sharing that essay/article. I found the reference to “enlightened assholes” particularly interesting, because I think the FOF may be populated with quite a few of them:

“It is therefore quite possible to have people with very advanced spiritual lines, but less advanced moral or interpersonal lines, essentially making them “enlightened assholes.”


I wonder, however, if they are truly “advanced spiritually” and “enlightened” — but more that they’ve acquired a certain type of uncanny intelligence about human nature and know how to manipulate people to serve their own purposes. Their ability to seem enlightened, spiritual, and benevolent is their real skill, and what enables them to get what they want from people.

Also liked this passage:

“…she is often exposed to a side of them that many of their own students aren’t—a side that occasionally appears to be incongruous with the lofty perceptions that surround them…. Sometimes this experience can be endearing, but many times it is painfully disappointing—especially when the teachers seem to be so unaware of their limitations, parading their spiritual realization in such a way that tries to mask their own human twistedness.”

108. elena - June 10, 2008

Yesri,

The article is very good but unfortunately it also sits a ground for every Fellowship member today to justify their participation in the Cult. Those points of reference are not enough to determine why one would continue to be with a Teacher or not. In other words, one might totally understand the human side of a teacher but the human side is not necessarily a corrupt side. This is not specified and put in enough perspective in the article and therefore all students can use it to justify why they are still in the Fellowship. At least it is what I am hearing Girard say over and over again.

The relationship the article is describing with the Teacher is no different to the relationship children come to with their parents in which they suddenly realize that they are not perfect Gods but often simply feeble human beings. Our whole youth is spent struggling with that realization and doing everything we can to become as feeble as them while we try to avoid it until we ourselves become human enough to stop seeing only the feebleness and recognize the human and divine if we are lucky enough.

While that is a healthy process and an equally necessary one with Teachers (for a healthy teacher would not want the student to hang on to him forever), what we have in our hands is not a Teacher or a School but a Cult. It is also not just the relationship between one student and a Teacher but a social phenomenon that has attracted a lot of people and conditioned their lives in a very particular way, against their own well-being.

The lack of “well-being” is what I understand we’ve been trying to expose on the blog and it can be seen in the individual life as much as in the social context.

The article you present, which is very good, has some value in the individual context but it is not addressing violently corrupt gurus in wildly corrupt cults, which is what the Fellowship of Friends is, no matter how well they dress, how inoffensive they look or how much money they have. Of course, the degree of that corruption for each one of us, involves the degree to which the social context is taken into consideration in connection with the individual phenomenon and when the perspective of what a true Teacher in a real School is, so as to make evident the disproportion at hand. We cannot know what’s wrong if we only know wrong and we are in a time in which we are much afraid of assuming that we are right because those that were right, like us in the Fellowship, were so wrong. From that angle, each one of us has to come to our own understanding of what is right for our selves and use that paradigm as the reference with which to sift the world outside. Daring to assume that, trusting and moving with that conviction is an aspect of developing one’s self, for it then becomes practical in how one chooses to live, what one is willing to support, who, why, when, and where. Then the many aspects of our lives become more balanced.

109. Yesri Baba - June 10, 2008

107 RVM

‘enlightenment’

There is a ‘meme’ chock full o’ crap.

110. Rear View Mirror - June 10, 2008

109 YB

Beginning to agree. Also, what’s full of crap is the ego that invariably gets attached to the idea. “I am separate from all of you; above the masses, and beyond criticism; therefore I am entitled to do what I please.”

Partly because of this blog, I’m becoming a semi-fan of youtube… have been surfing around quite a bit. Was intrigued by one video (is sometimes banned, they claim) that compares the story of Christ (crucified, resurrected, etc.) to many other similar legends throughout history, and implies that it is all mythology.

So they say. Interesting, though.

It gets back to a recurring theme: What do we really know?

111. God Laughing - June 10, 2008

Any information about
17 current running lawsuits that are
brought against RB/FOF?

112. Kid Shelleen - June 10, 2008

The Christ story has been around in different formats for as long as there have been people to tell it to each other.

Ultimately, isn’t that story illustrative of what everyone living longs for? After all the suffering and uncertainty in this life, we make the leap, via some super-natural help, to a place where there is no more of it forever and ever. A place where all opposites are reconciled, all questions answered.

I remember attending a dinner where Bob spoke quite a bit about the after-life and Paradise. His description made me very uneasy and more than a little nauseated. Higher School, greater and greater responsibility, and then…On to Higher School…and Greater and GREATER responsibility, all the while being watched over by the grinning Bobster and his merry band of Angels. And finally, Paradise, where the “streets were actually paved with gold.”

I guess my lifesaver was the wrong shape and color, so I let it pass by.

Thinking about it now, I can unequivocally state that I’d rather be here, in my own uncertainty, than in Paradise with Robert Burton.

…unless, of course, he really is hiding Isabella Rossellini inside of him!

113. Susan Zannos - June 10, 2008

About the faltering process of completing the petition:

There has been considerable confusion, which I have certainly shared, about the aims and purposes of producing this petition (see The Fellowship of Friends Wikispace for the text) and of entrusting the petition, with the letters which attest to its accuracy, to a lawyer for review.

The purpose of the petition is NOT for use in any court case or legal challenge to the Fellowship of Friends or to Robert Burton. I repeat, the petition is NOT to support legal action against the Fellowship.

Why, then, is a lawyer necessary? The purpose of the lawyer is to protect anyone who writes a letter in support of the petition, or who signs the petition in its final form. The lawyer is (presumably) able to determine which statements might leave us vulnerable to legal reprisal from the Fellowship. In short, the idea is NOT to attack the Fellowship, but to be sure that we are in no danger of attack from the Fellowship.

What, then, I asked, IS the purpose of the petition? After it achieves its final form and is posted on a web site designed to house petitions, it can be sent to sundry agencies that might be interested in investigating Fellowship activities.

Anyone who still intends to write a letter that would remove an allegation from the petition has as an absolute deadline: the 4th of July. Shortly thereafter, the letters will be turned over to the lawyer whose task it is to protect us. In order to present the letters to the lawyer we need to have $150 to pay him. Contributions are welcome for this purpose.

I have no particular opinion about the usefulness of all this. Nonetheless, it is something that we got started on, and something for which at least one person had donated quite a bit of money, so I do think we might as well finish the process.

114. Yesri Baba - June 10, 2008

RVM
KID

It is diabolical too- how the 4th way ‘memes’ morphed into more ancient, ingrained ‘memes’ within the fof.

As it was said in Beowolf: It isn’t the monster you need to worry about, it is the mother of the monster.

(Now that’s an old ‘meme’. An oldie but a goodie.)

115. Yesri Baba - June 10, 2008

108 Elena

I think that was dealt with in the piece:

“As we can see, there is a wide range of disappointment we can experience around any given spiritual teacher—from naive projection, to authentic pathology, to egregious abuse. In all cases, the student must follow the same general process: identify the problem, understand the problem, and modify—or SEVER—the relationship accordingly.”

If someone is a ‘student’ then it is their responsibility to make this evaluation. If they don’t they are just some poor knuckelheaded member.

Like they need one more justification. It has got to be a fucking full time job justifying staying in that cult.

116. brucelevy - June 10, 2008

114 Yesri Baba

“It has got to be a fucking full time job justifying staying in that cult.”

Yup, especially at this point. Unless you’re a sociopath, then no justification necessary.

117. elena - June 10, 2008

Yesri Baba

You’re right, I guess the accent of the text to me, just seemed more emphatic in the other direction. And yes, it takes a whole lifetime to justify staying in there, that’s perhaps why it seems worth putting a spotlight on it.

I much enjoyed your recent post about the time after you left.

I’m not as angry as you seem to be with enlightenment and other memes as you call them but understand where you’re coming from

When I read your post against enlightenment I thought: that’s too bad, it is beautiful when it happens and it happens when looking at the sunset sometimes or playing the guitar or when a photograph by a bunch of crazy dudes on this blog sinks deep in and one sees one’s self down to the bones. I guess I think enlightenment like everything else in the Fellowship was over exaggerated so that no one could access it but Robert, but we have little tastes of it in our daily lives and there were plenty of them as children. They just don’t get called that, but they belong to the same family of states “in my humble opinion”. It’s the craving for it like mad dogs what is so disruptive about Fellowship life. It’s as if with that craving all the abuses can be condoned.

118. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 10, 2008

Ken Wilber Quote
from the foreword to Andrew Cohen’s book Living Enlightenment

What is it in you that brings you to a spiritual teacher in the first place? It’s not the Spirit in you, since that is already enlightened and has no need to seek. No, it is the ego in you that brings you to a teacher. When it comes to spiritual teachers, there are those who are safe, gentle, consoling, soothing, caring; and there are the outlaws, the living terrors, the Rude Boys and Nasty Girls of God realization, the men and women who are in your face, disturbing you, terrifying you, until you radically awaken to who and what you really are.
And may I suggest?: choose your teachers carefully.

If you want encouragement, soft smiles, ego stroking, gentle caresses of your self-contracting ways, pats on the back and sweet words of solace, find yourself a Nice Guy or Good Girl, and hold their hand on the sweet path of stress reduction and egoic comfort. But if you want Enlightenment, if you want to wake up, if you want to get fried in the fire of passionate Infinity, then, I promise you: find yourself a Rude Boy or a Nasty Girl, the ones who make you uncomfortable in their presence, who scare you witless, who will turn on you in a second and hold you up for ridicule, who will make you wish you were never born, who will offer you not sweet comfort but abject terror, not saccharin solace but scorching angst, for then, just then, you might very well be on the path to your own Original Face.

Most of us, I suspect, prefer our spiritual teachers to be of the Nice-Guy variety. Soft, comforting, non-threatening, a source of succor for a worn and weary soul, a safe harbor in the samsaric storm. There is nothing wrong with that, of course; spirituality comes in all sorts of flavors, and I have known some awfully Nice Guys. But if the flavor tends toward Enlightenment instead of consolation, if it drifts away from soothing dreams toward actually waking up, if it rumbles toward a God realization and not egoic fortification, then that demands a brutal, shocking death: a literal death of your separate self, a painful, frightening, horrifying dissolution—a miraculous extinction you will actually witness as you expand into the boundless, formless, radical Truth that will pervade your every cell and drench your being to the core and expand what you thought was your self until it embraces the distant galaxies. For only on the other side of death lies Spirit, only on the other side of egoic slaughter lies the Good and the True and the Beautiful. “You will come in due course to realize that your true glory lies where you cease to exist,” as the illustrious Sri Ramana Maharshi constantly reminded us. Your true glory lies on the other side of your death, and who will show you that?

Not the Nice Guys and not the Good Girls. They don’t want to hurt your feelings. They don’t want to upset you. They are here to whisper sweet nothings in your ear and place consolation prizes in the outstretched hand of the self-contraction, balm for a war-torn weary ego, techniques to prop it up in its constant battle with the world of otherness. In a sense, it’s very easy being a Nice-Guy teacher: no muss, no fuss, no wrestling with egoic resistance and exhausting confrontation. Be nice to the ego, pat it on the back, have it count its breaths, hum a few mantras.

Rude Boys know better. They are not here to console but to shatter, not to comfort but to demolish. They are uncompromising, brutal, laser-like. They are in your face until you recognize your Original Face—and they simply will not back off, they will not back down, they will not let up until you let go—radically, fully, completely, unhesitatingly. They live as Compassion—real compassion, not idiot compassion—and real compassion uses a sword more often than a sweet. They deeply offend the ego (and the greater the offense, the bigger the ego). They are alive as Truth, they are everywhere confronted with egos, and they choose the former uncompromisingly.

Fritz Perls, the founder of Gestalt Therapy, used to say that nobody comes to a therapist to get better (although they always say they do); they really come to perfect their neurosis. Just so, nobody comes to a spiritual teacher to get Enlightenment (although everybody claims they do); rather, they come to a spiritual teacher to learn more subtle and sophisticated egoic games—in this case, the game of “Look at me being really spiritual.”

After all, what is it in you that brings you to a spiritual teacher in the first place? It’s not the Spirit in you, since that is already enlightened and has no need to seek. No, it is the ego in you that brings you to a teacher: you want to see yourself in the presence of the spiritual game, you want to meet yourself tomorrow as a realized being—in plain language, you want your ego to continue into a spiritual paradise.

And what’s a poor teacher to do, confronted with such egoic cunning? Everybody who comes to a spiritual teacher comes egoically motivated. And teachers have two choices in the face of this onslaught of the separate selves, this conference of the self-contractions: they can play to the audience, or they can blow the entire building up.

Andrew Cohen is a Rude Boy. He is not here to offer comfort; he is here to tear you into approximately a thousand pieces…so that Infinity can reassemble you, Freedom can replace imprisonment, Fullness can outshine fear. And that simply will not happen if all you want is consolation, soothing prayers, ruffle-free platitudes, “It will all be okay.” Well, it will not be okay if you want Enlightenment. It will, in fact, be hell, and only Rude Boys are rude enough to tell you that, and to show you that—if you can stand the rudeness, stay in the fire, burn clean as Infinity and radiate as the stars.

119. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 10, 2008

Spiritual Slavery and the Prostitution of the Soul

A Dialogue with Andrew Cohen

Question: I’m very confused about this matter of ethical conduct and its relationship to the enlightened understanding that you speak so much about. Why is it that so many gurus seem to be prey to the very same weaknesses as ordinary people? I would have thought that an ego that had died would not be able to act in the same selfish way as people who did not claim to be enlightened.

Andrew Cohen: Maybe in the cases that you are speaking about, the ego didn’t die. Maybe in these cases, there is a fully intact ego coexisting with a profound realization. Most people don’t realize that ego and profound realization can coexist. It is for that reason that so many people have gotten into trouble.

Q: But I don’t understand how, even after the failings of the guru have become obvious, people will still allow themselves to be taken advantage of. They often will continue to be followers in the face of unethical behavior, and in some cases even gross abuse.

A: Often when a person meets a teacher in whom the Absolute is manifesting to a powerful degree, their heart will open up unexpectedly. They may experience unusual insight and understanding just through mere association with this kind of extraordinary individual. After this kind of experience it is easy to understand how one may get very attached to that individual. The bond that is formed through experiences like these runs very deep. Slowly without even realizing it, in order to protect the love and beauty of that precious event, the person starts to be willing to overlook things. The minute that begins, they become corrupt themselves.

Q: Is that when they start to rationalize?

A: Yes, then they become corrupt, in the same way the guru is. When you try to talk to the disciples of these gurus about simple virtues, they often are unable to make any sense. Also, they will frequently say things like, “Ethical conduct and enlightenment have nothing to do with each other,” in an attempt to justify the confusing behavior of their guru. The minute anybody allows themselves to tolerate corruption they become a part of it. These people desperately don’t want to see the depth of the corruption that they themselves are immersed in. The security of their spiritual well-being depends on the fact that no matter what, the actions of the guru are never questioned. Because their hearts are so invested in the guru, they will make almost any rationalization or justification for the guru’s actions. They will do almost anything in order to protect that love that the guru has revealed to them. This is spiritual slavery and prostitution of the soul. In weak-minded people the seal of enlightenment becomes a license for abuse.

Q: How is it then with the matter of trust? Does one ultimately only surrender to one’s own knowing of the truth?

A: Yes.

Q: Then not to the guru?

A: Ultimately the guru and your knowing of truth should be one and the same. There shouldn’t be any difference. If there is, there’s something wrong. That means there is either something wrong in your idea of what the truth is and your experience of what the truth is or there’s some defect in the guru. Ideally they should be perfectly synonymous.

Q: But shouldn’t surrender be to truth alone?

A: But in a sense that’s all people surrender to anyway. They surrender to their own experience. If you go to a teacher and you have a powerful experience, it’s that experience that you surrender to. What usually happens next though, is that you get involved with the personality of the teacher. Powerful experience makes you hungry for more. That’s why people get more involved. They want to get to know who this guru is. They fall in love and then want to be more intimate. Then they get involved with the personality of the teacher. At that point it’s no longer just a spiritual experience; they begin to get involved with a human personality. That’s when the trouble starts. If there’s any trouble that could start, that’s when it’s going to begin.

When the personality of the guru and the love and beauty that the guru revealed begin to conflict with each other, that means something is wrong.

As I said before, people are weak, weak-minded, and if someone is truly enlightened, they will have a very powerful mind and be very charismatic. People are easily overwhelmed by that. Because their heart has been awakened, because they have been deeply touched by something, they often don’t care about anything else. And in order to protect that experience, they will often tolerate just about anything. This is dangerous. This is a corrupt condition that a great deal of the spiritual world is in these days. If the guru is corrupt and you’re intimately involved with the guru, you can’t help but be corrupt yourself. It’s unavoidable. By association it’s an automatic result. It’s a very delicate business.

Q: So how does one discern? To what degree do I question my own perception and trust?

A: Just go by the basics. There are some very basic, ethical laws that anybody who’s not insane knows. They are not esoteric.

Q: So where do you draw the line?

A: The line is drawn where suffering is caused to other people due to selfish actions that stem from ignorance. That’s where you draw the line.

120. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 10, 2008

The Science of the Student/Teacher Relationship

by Andrew Cohen

I always encourage people as much as possible to look into the whole world of superstitious beliefs in relationship to spiritual authority figures. If someone wants to be free, it is of the utmost importance to dare to look closely at the kind of position that one takes in relationship to individuals who have assumed roles of authority in spiritual matters.

It is dangerously easy in the relationship with spiritual authority figures to allow oneself to assume all kinds of things that may not actually be true. The only way an individual can enter into a relationship with a spiritual teacher, and not get lost in the arena of superstitious beliefs about the teacher or about oneself, is by embarking upon a very sincere investigation. What kind of an investigation? One must dare to question every aspect of the human condition as oneself. One must dare to look very deeply into the nature of the human condition in relationship to the highest possibility of perfect liberation. Only then will one be able to truly recognize the depth or level of attainment of the spiritual teacher.

Meeting the True Teacher:
The Promise of No Limitation

In the presence of that rare individual who has attained extraordinary spiritual enlightenment, a tangible sense of expansion of Self can be felt. When an individual is living life with that much intensity, freedom and love, one recognizes a liberated personality. By their example and in their reflection one can discover, maybe for the very first time, what it would be like to be free.

In such a meeting, unanticipated experiences involving rare insight and/or exhilarating feelings may occur. An event such as this can shake the very foundation of one’s belief system. The effect of this meeting can be so powerful that the individual may suddenly find themselves entering into what seems like the most profound relationship that one human being could ever have with another.

What makes the idea of entering into a relationship with the spiritual teacher so enticing and profound? It is the promise of no limitation.

Few people make full use of the potential inherent in that unique and unusual relationship based solely on the promise of no limitation. Why is this? Because a true teacher always remains true to the fact of no limitation. The true teacher never wavers from the demand that those who claim interest in liberation above all else be willing to meet him or her fully and completely in the living fact of no limitation. Ultimately challenged, the student comes face to face with the true measure of their own desire for liberation. This challenge creates a tension. That tension is the expression and manifestation of the gap between the teacher’s living example and the student’s actual condition. That tension dissipates and finally disappears altogether only when the student endeavors to fearlessly and courageously meet the teacher absolutely, completely and without reservation.

In the true teacher’s reflection, all should be revealed. Therefore the teacher’s living example only becomes superfluous when and if the student equals or surpasses the teacher’s attainment. Until that point, the teacher’s living, breathing example is of the utmost importance, for it is in the teacher’s example that the teaching clearly comes alive and therefore can be seen and recognized. Without the teacher’s living, breathing manifestation of the teaching, the ultimate goal of spiritual experience and practice remains lost in vague, superstitious and even dangerously confused notions.

In most cases, a teaching—even a perfect teaching—in and of itself will not create enough tension to thrust the individual into the radical transformation that is necessary for meaningful and permanent change to occur. It is the dynamic of the relationship with a living teacher that creates the kind of tension in which real transformation can occur.

In the relationship with the living teacher, the individual is afforded the opportunity of a clear reflection—of actually perceiving themselves clearly and without distortion. Association and relationship with an individual who is the living expression of no limitation will make apparent those limiting ideas, beliefs and tendencies that the student compulsively and usually unconsciously imposes upon themselves and on reality as a whole. Therefore, it is through that association that the student will be able to see very clearly and accurately how and where they are limiting their own potential of realizing and ultimately manifesting no limitation.

No Refuge for the Ego

Instead of striving to fulfill the promise of no limitation, which is the discovery and attainment of no security for the ego, most individuals actually endeavor to find security for the ego in the relationship with the spiritual teacher. In this way, they allow a relationship of dependence to develop only because they are not actually seeking for genuine liberation, but instead use the relationship with the spiritual teacher only to take refuge from the very challenging ordeal of mundane existence.

There is no doubt that taking refuge in the knowledge and power of an extraordinary human being has great benefits. But as great as those benefits may be, their effect will ultimately always express limitation. Indeed, the relationship with the spiritual teacher becomes literally evolutionary only when the individual has come to the point when they are finally ready to take full responsibility for their own life. And in that responsibility, the individual must strive to meet the teacher absolutely—in perfect independence.

But because most seekers’ belief and conviction in the actual possibility of genuine liberation for themselves tends to be very weak, the extraordinary and profound surrender and renunciation necessary to truly face and ultimately destroy all false notions of self, which alone will result in true independence, is lacking. In fact, what often imitates that extraordinary and profound surrender and renunciation necessary to truly destroy all false notions of self, which alone will result in true independence, is instead only the desire for validation of the personality.

The relationship with the true teacher should offer no security for the ego whatsoever and should instead result in the discovery and attainment of perfect aloneness, perfect independence and the perfect and ultimate fulfillment of one’s individuality.

Perfect Independence Allows True Partnership

At the beginning stages of association and relationship with a spiritual teacher, it is reasonable for the individual to seek for affirmation of self, and in that affirmation, healing at a deep emotional level. That experience—absolute validation of self—is the unanticipated and mysterious event that occurs in a real meeting with a true teacher. But that event, instead of becoming an end unto itself, should serve as the foundation for the individual’s pursuit and ultimate attainment of final liberation.

Ideally, the healing that occurs in the meeting with the true teacher serves as a catalyst for the simultaneous ending of the past and the beginning of a truly unimaginable future. That future is the intense pursuit of the dissolution of all false and deluded notions about the nature of reality, relative and absolute, and in that dissolution, the rebirth of a human personality that has been liberated from the consequences of being painfully lost in false and deluded notions about the nature of reality, relative and absolute.

For this dissolution to occur, an enormous amount of responsibility must be taken by the student for their own evolution. That means that the individual who wants to be free must come to that point in their own evolution where they would be willing to give everything for the highest attainment. What is that attainment? That attainment is the living, breathing manifestation of perfect liberation as oneself. It is only at that point—when the student is finally willing to take full responsibility for their own evolution in the biggest possible way—that the literally evolutionary potential inherent in the relationship with the spiritual teacher can begin to manifest itself. The literally evolutionary potential inherent in the relationship with the spiritual teacher is the realization and manifestation of a dynamic partnership based on the mutual pursuit of, and intense interest in, the Real.

As long as distinct differences in depth of interest remain between teacher and student in the pursuit of, and intense interest in, the Real, the recognition of that relationship as a dynamic partnership will not occur. Only when the relationship with the spiritual teacher is based on the mutual pursuit of, and intense interest in, the Real can that rare and dynamic partnership begin to reveal itself and actually occur.

Only the individual who has come to that point where they are willing to take full responsibility for their own evolution will be ready to embrace all the implications of what it means to be a truly independent human being. The individual who has not yet come to that point where they are willing to take full responsibility for their own evolution will not be able to move beyond a relationship of dependence with the spiritual teacher, and therefore, will not be prepared to enter into a dynamic partnership with the spiritual teacher based on the mutual pursuit of, and intense interest in, the Real.

Recognizing the True Teacher:
What Is the Seeker Actually Looking for?

What is the seeker actually looking for?

Does the individual who is looking for a spiritual teacher want to be free? Is the individual who is looking for a spiritual teacher aspiring to attain perfect liberation in this very birth? Or is the individual who is looking for a spiritual teacher seeking for something other than perfect liberation in this very birth?

It is important to understand that how one will recognize a true teacher is determined by what it is that the individual is actually looking for. Generally speaking, most people do not go to spiritual teachers out of the genuine desire to attain spiritual liberation in this birth. Instead, many go in search of “blessings” and affirmations. Many seek the presence of a spiritual authority figure to help them to feel better, to find some relief from the burden of the mundane. The individual who is seeking affirmation of who they already are will be looking for the kind of spiritual authority figure who poses no threat to the status quo.

On the other hand, the individual who is seeking for genuine spiritual liberation realizes the awesome magnitude of the challenge they are taking on. That individual will be looking for very different qualities in a spiritual mentor than would the individual who is seeking mainly for affirmation of who they already are.

What Are Some Signs of Attainment in a True Teacher?

The spiritual teacher must be a natural expression of a true teaching of liberation—without effort or any sign of pretense. It is not that difficult with some attainment, a little effort and a lot of pretense to give a convincing presentation. Be aware that a less-than-perfect attainment can actually empower the ego. Indeed, there have been many powerful and charismatic spiritual teachers who have been very knowledgeable about spiritual matters but who have turned out to be extremely untrustworthy as human beings.

Integrity is the single most important virtue that the spiritual mentor must be able to demonstrate, for it is integrity in the spiritual mentor alone that creates that most delicate foundation upon which perfect trust can be realized. It is the realization and discovery of perfect trust that can destroy any and all boundaries between self and other.

Rare vulnerability is the natural condition and expression of an individual who is deeply in touch with themselves and directly in touch with life itself. Nothing exists between the individual who has awakened and the actuality of life. The individual who is deeply in touch with themselves and directly in touch with all of life is refreshingly vulnerable, unusually natural and shockingly real.

Lack of self-consciousness should be the expression of the individual who has realized the nondual because the extraordinary impact that the profound realization of singularity has on the personality is unification.

Self-consciousness is the expression of a personality built upon a dualistic foundation. The individual who has not realized the singular or nondual as Self to a significant enough degree will still as a personality express a divided condition as self-consciousness.

The personality of that individual who has realized singularity as Self manifests a fundamentally undivided, unselfconscious condition expressed as unity and simplicity.

Spontaneity is the expression of a personality that has been liberated from the chains of fear and self-consciousness. The individual who has realized an undivided, unselfconscious condition has the natural ability to be who they are, as they are, in the most natural and unpremeditated fashion.

Trusting the True Teacher:
The Door to Liberation

When an individual chooses to become seriously involved with a spiritual teacher a process of osmosis begins to occur within that individual at a very deep psychological and emotional level. This osmosis takes place both consciously and unconsciously, and its effect is much greater than most people tend to be aware of. It’s a dangerous business. Most people have no idea how delicate it truly is.

When an individual becomes seriously involved with a spiritual teacher, every aspect of the teacher’s personality—gross and subtle, conscious and unconscious—is absorbed at the deepest levels of being. It is not only the teaching that is studied and absorbed, but indeed it is also the very condition that the teacher as human being is in at the deepest psychological and emotional level that the student consciously and unconsciously begins to emulate. Therefore it is not only the depth and breadth of the teacher’s teaching that is important, but it is the ultimate condition or attainment of the teacher as human being that has the most significant influence on the student.

The individual who seriously seeks for a teacher, master or guru wants to find a mentor who they feel is truly worthy of being teacher, master or guru. There is always the desire in the seeker to ultimately find a spiritual mentor who they perceive as being perfect, or if not literally perfect, then as close to perfect as is humanly possible. Why is that necessary for the seeker? Because it is necessary for the seeker to have enough confidence in the integrity of the attainment of the mentor to allow themselves the profound and rare liberty of utterly letting go at the deepest levels of their being. It will only be possible for a seeker to achieve that degree of liberty—which is the rare and euphoric discovery of trust—if they are convinced of the integrity of the attainment of the mentor as human being.

The euphoric discovery of trust in the mentor enables a radical shift in consciousness to occur. The effect of that shift in consciousness is that the student now feels that they have a center, a very strong center, the foundation of which is the discovery of a deep trust. In what? In the validity of the perfection or near perfection of the attainment of the mentor. That trust enables the student the luxury of being able to trust, maybe for the first time, in life itself. It is in the attainment of absolute trust in the mentor that the student finds the extraordinary freedom inherent in the discovery of trust in life itself.

Ideally, the trust found in the relationship with the spiritual mentor serves as the bridge from isolation and separation to the discovery and attainment of conscious recognition of perfect interrelatedness. It is in this way that the relationship with the teacher can serve as a door to liberation.

121. lauralupa - June 11, 2008

…and here for another side of that story

http://essentialwhatenlightenment.blogspot.com/

122. Traveler - June 11, 2008

Thanks for this Just Another Voice.

Andrew Cohen’s ex-students blogging about the cultic aspects of his movement and freeing themselves from it:

http://whatenlightenment.blogspot.com/

Poignantly similar to the Fellowship story. Though Cohen does sound infinitely more coherent and intelligent than RB on his best and brightest day. But still, the same unconscious motivations are in control even when they can on one level be described and verbalized.

Several statements from Andrew Cohen set off alarms for me and make me question from what perspective this was written. For example, this sounds dangerous:

A: Ultimately the guru and your knowing of truth should be one and the same. There shouldn’t be any difference. If there is, there’s something wrong. That means there is either something wrong in your idea of what the truth is and your experience of what the truth is or there’s some defect in the guru. Ideally they should be perfectly synonymous.

Say I disagree with my guru. But my guru says that there SHOULD BE NO difference between him and my knowing of truth. My guru says that when I disagree with him, it means that EITHER there’s something WRONG in my experience of what the truth is, OR there is some defect in him. Golly gosh, how should I know which one of these two options is true?

Not motivated by the way in which Andrew Cohen describes the great future of ultimate attainment for the student after he has become aligned completely with the true teacher and perfect mentor. I simultaneously want to agree and disagree with Cohen, the content of his article seems all muddled up to me.

…no ignorance, no end of ignorance; no suffering, no origin of suffering, no cessation of suffering, no path, no wisdom, no attainment, and no non-attainment (Heart Sutra)

123. brucelevy - June 11, 2008

120. Traveler

Yeah, I had a similar feeling. A little truth, a lot of fluff, and then…follow me.

124. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 11, 2008

I know nothing about Andrew Cohen, just happened to come across this and thought it food for thought. I did see a photo of him looking remarkably like the title character in the new comedy, the Love Guru. I wasn’t sure if it was intentional parody or not.

Traveler, for better or worse I’m not sure there’s any difference between the section you mention about the identity of guru and disciple and the universal assertion that God, Self, and Guru are one and the same. Tricky stuff. The Heart Sutra? Tricky stuff as well. The razor’s edge.

125. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 11, 2008

126. brucelevy - June 11, 2008

I still believe that if you can “see” someone’s inner work, you can be sure they’re full of shit.

127. Yesri Baba - June 11, 2008

117 javoh

Yep, there’s Ken at his grandiose hyperbolatin’ best. He probably got a good chunk of change for that forward.

128. Allan S - June 11, 2008

I have personally always been a little suspicious of the “Art of photography”, as used by students within the FoF. I feel that it has been used quite extensively as a form of control and abuse, as some have put it, whether in the context of couple relationships or not. I remember on many occasions being photographed with deliberate negative intent, not by Robert I have to say. These photographs were of absolutely no value to me whatever despite the presenter’s sincere expression that it was for my benefit. Often behind such photographs was a smiling face of satisfaction at having off-loaded some shit or other.

I personally cannot remember giving many photographs and being photographed for it by some self-centred, conniving, power seeking fuck-wit! Not that I harbour any bitterness you understand. So, to all those I have ever criticised in the name of photography, all two of you, my heart felt apologies.

On another note I have a question, sorry if this has already been discussed. How much of what Robert Burton has achieved is as a result of suggestion?

129. lauralupa - June 11, 2008

Ken Wilber’s Rude Bot rethoric reminds me of those crusty Fellowship geezers who defend Robert’s behaviour and the “School’s” lack of humanity based on similar reasonings.

“Hey, this is the Fourth Way! It’s not supposed to be nice! Just grin and bear it, you silly wimps”

I agree that Andrew Cohen is way brighter than Robert, but maybe not bright enough to outsmart his own “egoic cunning”.

130. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 11, 2008

same as it ever was

SEXUAL HEALING
by Mary Finnigan
(from the London paper, The Guardian, 10/01/95)

The Tibetan lama Sogyal Rimpoche is being sued for $10 million in the United States by a woman who alleges sexual harassment, coercion and abuse. Sogyal (Rimpoche is an honorary title meaning Precious Jewel) has been teaching Buddhist meditation for more than 20 years, with a world-wide following and meditation centres known as The Rigpa Fellowship in London, France, Ireland, America and Australia. He is the author of a best-seller, The Tibetan Book of Living And Dying, and appeared in Bertolucci’s film Little Buddha. The Rigpa Fellowship in London has issued a letter informing its members that a suit has been brought against Sogyal Rimpoche. Although he is not a monk, and has not taken vows of celibacy, he is accused of using his position to obtain sexual favours. Allegations like these threaten to blow a hole in the aura of asceticism and austerity surrounding Buddhism in the West.

In the late 1960s, western hippies seeking spiritual enlightenment were drawn to the Tibetans’ exuberant, colourful style. Tibet was seen as a Buddhist Shangri-La — a far cry from the reality of a country under repressive Chinese occupation.

In the seventies, rumours started to circulate about other globe-trotting Buddhist gurus, who were said to be seducing their students and behaving more like spiritual barons than spiritual mentors, exercising _droit du seigneur_ among their followers. The late Trungpa Rimpoche was one of the first high-ranking Tibetan lamas to learn English, which he studied at Oxford in the mid-sixties. He fathered a child while still a monk, discarded his robes and settled in America, where he gained a reputation as an inspired meditation teacher. He became a role model for others, including Sogyal Rimpoche. He was also an alcoholic and a notorious womaniser. He died of drink in 1987. Before his death, he chose Osel Tenzin, an American student as his Successor. Osel died of Aids, after passing the HIV virus to several of his students.

Although not all Tibetan teachers are monks – many have renounced their vows and some are from non-celibate traditions – if a sexual relationship arises, the imbalance of power in the teacher-pupil relationship can lay the student open to abuse. Many Buddhists see this as a contravention of the moral code which frowns on all actions that cause harm.

At a conference of western Buddhist teachers in India last year, the Dalai Lama urged delegates not to be afraid of criticising corrupt gurus. “If you cannot find any other way of dealing with the problem,” he said, “tell the newspapers.”

Last year, an American woman and former pupil of Sogyal decided to bring a civil case anonymously, and was allowed by the court in Santa Cruz, California, to use the pseudonym Janice Doe. She says in her suit that she approached Sogyal at a time of a time of confusion, shortly after her fathers death. According to the suit, Sogyal told her that “through devotion and his spiritual instruction, she could purify her family’s karma”. The woman alleges he seduced her the next day, claiming that she would be “strengthened and healed by having sex with him”.

However unconvincing such an argument may sound, the Zen priest Yvonne Rand, who is counselling Janice Doe, points out that the relationship between guru and disciple is one of power and submission. People who seek guidance from a spiritual master want to believe what he or she tells them.

“Many women who seek out spiritual teachers come from dysfunctional families. They may have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse, had no father or bad father relationships, so are looking for a good father. This creates blind spots in their perception of a teacher.”

Rand is emphatic that such high risk relationships rarely benefit both parties. This opinion is shared by other women who have had sexual liaisons with their gurus.

“I was touched by his need for me,” says one, who had a long relationship with a lama, “but it was difficult and strange, in no way a normal relationship. It fuelled my fantasies about having special qualities, but he debunked them. I felt empowered by him but though he treated me with respect, I was always aware he had other lovers.”

Another woman speaks of the confusion that arose from being first a humble devotee, then an exalted sexual partner, then back in the ranks again. “I felt used,” she says “He put his needs above mine.”

More recently, a young English woman attended a residential retreat. She thought she had been singled out for special attention only to discover that she was being invited to join a harem. “At first I was flattered, and very open and trusting. He encouraged me to fall in love with him – but I realised that he was toying with me. I noticed several other young, pretty women going in and out of his apartment, when I confronted him with this, he dropped me for the rest of the time I was there.”

Did she learn anything from her intimacy with the guru? “He gave me good advice, but I am left with a hangover of pain and confusion. I also have doubts about Buddhism. If anything, I have learnt to be more cautious.”

Rand and the British Buddhist teacher Ngakpa Chogyam Rimpoche share the view that the majority of westerners sign up too quickly with their gurus and find themselves in a much more intense relationship than they had bargained
for. This is especially true of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism which, at an advanced level, incorporates sexual union into spiritual practice.

Rand believes that westerners often fail to make the distinction between a teacher who helps along the way and a guru who is an enlightened being.

“Some Tibetan lamas do not see themselves as accountable in the western sense of the word,” says Ngakpa Chogyam. “They get blown off-centre by too much adulation.”

This potential for adulation makes it vital that teachers accept responsibility for the well being of their students. Responsibility must include, if not celibacy, then extreme care with sex. According to psychologist Deborah Clarke, everyone who enters into a spiritual or therapeutic relationship is vulnerable to exploitation.

“I’d be furious if a guru made a pass at me,” she says. “They should all know by now that people with that sort of power have a moral and ethical duty not to abuse it.”

131. lauralupa - June 11, 2008

I meant “Rude Boy”, of course. BTW, out of curiosity I checked and found out what a Bot is:

“A ‘bot’ is a type of malware which allows an attacker to gain complete control over the affected computer. Computers that are infected with a ‘bot’ are generally referred to as ‘zombies’. There are literally tens of thousands of computers on the Internet which are infected with some type of ‘bot’ and don’t even realize it.”

So, metaphorically speaking, I guess one could define Robert a “Rude Bot” and the infected followers “zombies”…

132. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 11, 2008
133. Wouldnt You Like To Know - June 11, 2008

Just Another Voice Out Here
[several recent postings]

Thank you for the diatribe!

Here is a summary:
[as put forth by the Bard.]

LORD POLONIUS:
. . .
What do you read, my lord?

HAMLET:
Words, words, words.

LORD POLONIUS:
What is the matter, my lord?

HAMLET:
Between who?

LORD POLONIUS:
I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.

HAMLET:
Slanders, sir. . .

[It does, however, fill up a page in cyberspace most quickly and differently than many other of the voluminous posters that you will find on this blog. (Excused my satire.) I guess someone has to sell some books.]

134. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 11, 2008

131 Wouldnt You Like to Know

Your point, kind sir?

135. Ill Never Tell - June 11, 2008

Just Another Voice Out Here

Egads! Are you not cyberwise enough to know that ‘netiquette dictates that you give people a heads up that they are about to download a 4Mb file from a link you provide them?

And then you wonder where this stuff comes from:
“A ‘bot’ is a type of malware which allows an attacker to gain complete control over the affected computer. Computers that are infected with a ‘bot’ are generally referred to as ‘zombies’. There are literally tens of thousands of computers on the Internet which are infected with some type of ‘bot’ and don’t even realize it.”

136. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 11, 2008

133 Ill Never Tell

Nope–sorry. Next time.

137. whalerider - June 11, 2008

Just another voice out there:

I guess that makes Robert a nasty goddess in a nice guy’s body.

138. Kid Shelleen - June 11, 2008

I can’t believe I’m reading pieces by Andrew Cohen on here! Please don’t take anything he says seriously. In terms of charlatans and scam artists, he’s #2 with a bullet right after Robert Burton (unless Sharon Gans is still in business). Get the book “Enlightenment Blues” or check out John Horgan’s website for a full description of Cohen’s MO.

Does anyone really understand what Ken Wilber is on about? Talk about a convoluted cosmology that makes the 4th Way look clear and simple. Ever seen any youtube clips of Wilber? To me he comes across as some sort coke-addled narcissist. He’s as smug and smarmy as William Krystal on Fox News. I think you would have a better chance of awakening (if you’re still into that sort of thing) following Mike Myers than either of these two. However, YMMV.

139. Kid Shelleen - June 11, 2008

Oh, and I mean Mike Myers, not that crazy Love Guru he portrays.

140. Vena - June 11, 2008

#126 Allan S:

“I remember on many occasions being photographed with deliberate negative intent, not by Robert I have to say. These photographs were of absolutely no value to me whatever despite the presenter’s sincere expression that it was for my benefit. Often behind such photographs was a smiling face of satisfaction at having off-loaded some shit or other.”
_________________________________________________________

Sounds like Linda T’s speciality.

141. paulshabram - June 11, 2008

These “Teacher” posts, along with Veronicapoe’s pointer to Stella and Harold’s apparent support of Jim Vincent have me wondering. Why do we think we need a teacher?

I can see the efficiency of acquiring a certain amount of proficiency by using a teacher; just like learning math from somebody that knows math. But once you get beyond the basics, experience is the real “Teacher”.

142. Rear View Mirror - June 11, 2008

paul: “Why do we think we need a teacher?”

Also, if we do need to be taught, why do we need “a” teacher? i.e., one teacher?

I don’t know about other cults, but this cult (the FOF) presents the dogma that there’s just one system of ideas for us, and just one instructor to convey those ideas, and that we need to focus on that one system of ideas and that one instructor — the Grand Leader of Instruction.

This is also a meme — a thought virus.

When I started questioning my need for a teacher, I also started questioning my “need” for the FOF.

143. Wouldnt You Like To Know - June 11, 2008

lauralupa:

So, metaphorically speaking, I guess one could define Robert a “Rude Bot” and the infected followers “zombies”…

Yes, and also, playing along with your word play, no, I think it is: “Bude (as in Buddha) Rot”

Or, as said at 28/#238 on January 13, 2008
by real reborn turbot (an anagram for Robert Earl Burton):

“Thanks Rear View.
Apparently Leonardo visited Robert a couple of years back and our teacher took the opportunity to ask a question.

Robert (our beloved teacher): I find it harder to succeed nowadays, do you have any suggestions?

Leonardo Da Vinci: succhi più duro.

The moral of the story is that the harder you suck the more likely you are to suck seed.”

My take:
succhi di frutta di uomo
Or better yet:
di loro succhi di frutta si deve conoscerle
by their fruit juices you shall know them.

144. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 11, 2008

There are people who inspire and guide, and I’ve found those folks to be very helpful as I would anyone that provided this to me along the way. ‘We’ place labels on people and ‘we’ give up our own power, sometimes willingly, as many did in the Fellowship.
The idea of giving up ones power to another individual has been used in many so-called spiritual practices, and is a big ‘red flag’ for me today.

So your own grandmother could be a cult leader if you gave her the power, or your mate, or your mom. It’s the power we give to someone else and our relationship to that person that makes it one way or the other. The idea that we are all connected to one source I have found to be a great tool for establishing equality.

So I think after that is established it goes back to who has more information than you and is it information that will help you or hinder you in your aims. I personally like to be uplifted because it makes me feel better about myself and others, and I like to feel that way. But I believe this is for each person to decide for themselves. Sometimes we like the same stuff and sometimes we don’t. It’s that simple.

145. elena - June 11, 2008

Glad you’ve already taken care of Andrew Cohen, I thought I was revisiting the nightmare because it has a lot of the dark side of the Fellowship intermingled in its ideology especially the strong support for the guru no matter how brutal he might be that Girard has stood on for over thirty-five years. I suppose some are fooled forever by the silk outfit and by being used by a man without scruples who gives them the title of next conscious being on the planet. Of course, how much worse might I have been if I’d been given that opportunity is no joke. Perhaps that is why it is so easy to look at it from within Girard’s shoes and realize that it was on the very human side of human weaknesses. Without a title, I held it up for seventeen years, with a title, three lifetimes would probably not have been enough! I suppose I didn’t do a very good job of it though because they tried to silence me all the time with actual tasks to shut-up. They didn’t know what other formality to invent so that we would not give any more personal angles in the meetings until they finally formalized no angles but quotes from the “conscious beings,” which they managed to corrupt no matter how conscious they were!

Allan S. you wonder how much suggestion was in it and I wonder if there was anything but suggestion! I trained myself for five years with Reich when I was eighteen on the mass psychology of fascism and then landed myself in a Cult for seventeen years as if they’d showed me the script of a horror that I was subsequently going to play just in case I had any doubts about its validity. I don’t regret it no matter how much healing from it still needs to be accomplished perhaps because in Reich’s readings the spiritual foundation was lacking, to a certain extent, even though he wrote The Murder of Christ and brought the mysticism down to very practical terms, which now seems of even more validity. Or perhaps because after two marriages the realization that love alone was not enough, landed me straight into the jaws of the Fellowship like a desperate fish to be eaten by the Shark. I have no doubt that cults much profit from young people with ideals wishing to carry them out and put them into practice with their heart and soul and the struggle between the heart and soul of the student with the inconsistencies of the cult is what is finally able to land us into a more clear understanding of how ideals are put in practical life or against it.
As soon as we lost the practical from the view, the School became a Cult, as soon as we lose the ideals from the view; life becomes a Cult

146. elena - June 11, 2008

A few years ago I began reading Steiner and am somewhat convinced that Anthroposophy is the other side of the coin of The Work, looked at with extremely flexible vision. After almost fifty books and hardly able to pinpoint him down to the ground as the logical mind would wish, the only thing that has helped to give it some structure has been the Work itself. The scepticism that run through me when reading about man developing in other planets before this one would not have lessened had he not specified with enough detail what exactly came from each cycle and then repeated in the subsequent cycles of civilizations themselves. His vision is long and wide and much too long and wide for any logical mind until the logical mind is willing to see the manifestation of the theory in the scientific approach to religion and man’s practical life.

I am bringing it up because I think it is precisely that what made the Fellowship Cult lose the tracks so desperately much and because these were the references that helped me jump the Arc with all its saviours, so I think they might help others jump or land more swiftly. If they don’t, it is fine, let them be a testimony of my personal quest.

In viewing the Fellowship, it is clear that the “I” was raised to the pinnacle of vanity while the functions were belittled to the bottom layers of hell. By freezing people’s functions the Fellowship developed a prototype of individual docile enough to support it indefinitely. (By this I do not mean that everyone in the Fellowship responds to this prototype perfectly. Some individuals would need to be looked at independently in as much as they were to a certain extent able to reinterpret the System for themselves and play out of the Fellowship structure, holding its structure which it also needed, I mean “needs” for it is still in the present). If the suppression of functions can develop docile, depressed, guilty fearful individuals, what is then the role of functions?

Anthroposophy and the System come from very different angles. While Steiner, almost fanatically denied himself the possibility of reducing his being and knowledge to the formatory apparatus, Ouspensky and Nicoll almost fanatically, reduce the System to the formatory apparatus. For those unfamiliar with this term, I guess, ‘the logical mind without a scent for the magical’, would fit it well. The System, they thought, would perfectly adapt to the Western mind psychology and limitations and awakening was presented as the possibility of pivoting one’s self from self remembering into external consideration, while balancing the centres in the process. What Robert and the Fellowship managed to do, was to circle around the idea of self-remembering, extinguish the possibility of external consideration and freeze the centres or functions with dogma and behaviourism. In looking at prototypes of Fellowship individuals and Anthroposophy individuals, with whom I studied for a year about two years ago in a Goethean Studies Course that had suspiciously turned into a “Conscious Study Course” it was possible to observe particular characteristics in each. The overdeveloped and traumatized I of Fellowship prototypes is definitely trained in its behaviour. There is no knowledge, unless you can call rhino poo knowledge but there is an expression of will. Wasted and frustrated will without the possibility of development in that context, but still Will with glimpses of its majesty. In the Antroposophical prototype, of which I must admit, I met just a few there is deep practical knowledge of the world and whatever arena they are particularly working on but the personal manifestations are as bound to “accident”? lack of will?
Lack of harmony between the self and the social and still bound by the programming of regular standards of intellectuals in positions of power with little or no consideration for the individual unless s/he’s a potential follower. So more cult in the long run, but with a different agenda.

It is very interesting to look at the two phenomenon. No matter what, I tend to have a great deal more respect for Anthroposophical developments than for the meagre, no matter how beautiful developments of the System’s authors but there’s too much missing from both of them in the little I’ve seen when put to the test of life. At the same time, I give them both the benefit of simply being in a moment of the process.

It is also interesting to observe that Steiner’s expansion into wide and to a certain extent unverifiable knowledge and his determination to not be clipped down by the formatory apparatus has had the result of hundreds if not thousands of people working with his foundation in all walks of life all over the world. (There are hundreds of authors worth reading, working practically with art, music, water engineering, agriculture, medicine, chemistry…) while the System as we know it, had the potential to develop into a horrendous expression of spiritual fascism or Cult.

The question I would like us to ponder on is; if the system had so much power to develop will in its participants even against themselves, were it to be used with almost perfectly opposite practices, what could it develop? Anthoposophists have been developing knowledge of the world, great and beautiful knowledge as far as I’ve seen, but have they been developing themselves too? I saw great people, even great teachers, but they are somehow going from the knowledge of the world to spiritual powers without one feeling that they are also much integrated within themselves. And I say this with every consideration, almost as much as for the System as for Anthroposophy, realizing that unity and integrity and development in all areas is simply not easy.

Had the Fellowship not thwarted the development of balanced functions, how would have that expressed in Fellowship life? If the individual could have “been,” what could have The School been?

Finally, what is knowledge but knowledge of the centres? Could not the knowledge of the world be reduced or rather amplified to the knowledge of centres? In the world of agriculture, does the instinctive centre not expand into life? What is engineering but an expression of movement? Art? Music? What is history but the life of mankind? And wouldn’t then a conscious man who has raised himself from the limitations of his personal history be able to access the history of mankind at will like in fact Steiner managed and Gurdjieff and Rodney Collin tapped in? It is interesting that these two authors are actually closer to Steiner, than Ouspensky or Collin, no matter how much Steiner and Gurdjieff were supposed to hate each other.

I remain in the conviction that the System’s rigidity, formatoriness, had the potential for the Cult in its womb and the author’s understood it so clearly that they presented it as a fragment and yet I think they were equally convinced that used properly, that fragment of knowledge was enough to put anyone in connection with his own inner worldS. Those connections would clarify the fragments and the dry presentations of hydrogens, worlds and centres would be developed by any practitioner into his own vivid understanding and interpretation of the truth, like different colours of the rainbow, held with equally sufficient light.

147. Allan S - June 11, 2008

138. Vena

I’ve lost track of names…is Linda T the same person as Linda K? Too many Linda’s

148. Allan S - June 11, 2008

Elena

Was Reich the Cloud Busting guy? Haven’t read any of his work but recently I came across him and discovered for the first time that Kate Bush’s Cloud Busting song was about him. He’s got some interesting ideas relating to health and sex although maybe I’m thinking about someone else. The songs pretty good also!

149. elena - June 11, 2008

Allan, definitely the same one. A fascinating character the more I look at him. The orgone or the life energy in sex as much as in all life forms, the atmosphere, aurora borealis, the sun, etc could well be the energy that is regenerated through the practice of self remembering in its purest form. It connects all beings.

How did we ever swallow the Fellowship and allowed it to reduce us to a backyard retrograde church mentality? We must have enjoyed all that dressing up a lot more than we’ve been willing to confess! I’m the one that’s been screaming here mostly about how important the community is but everyone here dived into that community life with the hope that it would be something different to what it really was. If not, why would anyone have bothered?

150. Traveler - June 11, 2008

Yesri Baba 125: Ken Wilber was an important figure in my process of allowing myself to separate from the FOF for about 2 years prior to when I actually left. I still have his books and I do think he has many useful and true things to say – although I am not drawn to read them much more these days. I remember that you seemed quite impressed with KW last year and enthusiastic about him, and I would be curious to hear how you feel about him now. For me, I remember a period of deep questioning, about one and a half years ago when I was contemplating leaving the FOF and was seeing its inner circle as a ‘blue’ or even ‘purple’ structure in KW’s interpretation of spiral dynamics, which was very helpful, but at the same time I also wrote a post titled ‘Has Wilber lost it?’ I was growing increasingly queasy about the way he presented himself, and the divisions between us and them that he was creating, and my impression was that he seemed bent on saving the world in some fashion (while making money doing it) – that in practice, the Integral Institute organization was going precisely down the same path it was denouncing. It felt familiarly uncomfortable. But damn, he has a gift for articulating things clearly. I can read him if I buffer knowing who wrote it. 🙂

151. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 11, 2008

Francesco Clemente: Artist

When I paint, there is no thought of “I” and “mine.” There is no thought of gain or loss. There is no hope for immortality, but rather hope to reach a timeless place. If I could live as I paint and keep a sense of humor too, only then could I claim to know what spirituality is.

I found this on Oprah.com today and liked it. Thought others would.

152. lauralupa - June 11, 2008

electric food for no-thought.
Interestingly, this video has 292 comments, which is a lot by YouTube standards. It looks like searchers of pure awareness are a very talkative bunch.
hmmm… I guess I should have already known that!

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=LFFMtq5g8N4

153. lauralupa - June 11, 2008

personally I find this more uplifting

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=tPlmIhGbJ6s

154. lauralupa - June 11, 2008

(I mean more than the EEG experiment)

155. Allan S - June 11, 2008

152. Laura, found that one of the most mind numbing videos I’ve ever watched! I think I achieved the same drinking 3 bottles of bud whilst watching France play football a couple of nights ago.

156. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 11, 2008

144 elena

Elena, nothing personal–I enjoyed your post and this comment could just as easily be responding to lots of others–but I think comparing “the System” to anthroposophy gives the former much more credit than it deserves, and I’m not even a fan of Steiner. My kids went to Waldorf schools and I think it has strong cultic tendencies, and I didn’t care for the education my kids were receiving and I took them out. But to give credit where it’s due, many thousands of kids have benefited from Waldorf schools in various ways. Many of Steiner’s ideas have moved into the mainstream with positive influence. For example, there’s much in biodynamic agriculture of value. Steiner had many other original ideas that he promoted for the general welfare that anyone can use without regard to the anthroposophical cult or even Waldorf schools.

I also don’t see anthroposophy as being a particularly effective approach to personal development. But neither is the “Fourth Way,” let alone the Fellowship. There’s nothing original in the Fellowship, or even “the System,” (although I personally find body types valid and entertaining). It’s all repackaging, and many of the parts have been left out. Just in terms of intellectual constructs, compared to Buddhism, for example, the “System” is extremely crude and elementary, and I suspect the same could be said in comparison to the core of all the great traditions.

Even using the term “the System” strikes me as fantastically overestimating the uniqueness of the group of concepts known as “the Fourth Way,” which itself suggests a level of specialness that is largely imaginary, and that was exactly the reason these lables were invented. The whole point of the Fourth Way and the System was to create the illusion of specialness. All those intriguing, dogmatic statements in ISOTM about “schools” that are so “hidden” that hoi polloi like you and me couldn’t hope to actually contact one of these sacred, inconceivably powerful groups; about how “nothing is harder to find or easier to lose than a school,” or how “we have no will,” or how, without the help of the System and Gurdjieff himself, “dogs we shall live and dogs we shall die.” Masterfully written propaganda.

Arby just took the ball and ran with it, adding additional layers specifically designed to enhance the aura of specialness. “The only conscious school on earth.” “The one and only ark for humanity.” “The only conscious being on earth (except for Junior).” And now, the Sequence–the one and only Method. The history of the Fellowship has been the history of efforts to attract and retain members with fanciful assertions designed to create the illusion of specialness, on the well-founded assumption that people like to feel special and will pay almost anything to keep feeling it.

Sorry if the link above to Stripping the Gurus (#130) gives anyone’s computer problems (it works fine for mine), but glancing at it illustrates–if anyone needed any more illustrations–that the situation in the Fellowship is common as dirt. Look through the index. Interestingly, Arby’s name isn’t even mentioned. He, and the Fellowship, are so relatively inconsequential in the limited context even of corrupt Eastern-inspired gurus in the West (and we’re not even including the multitude of Christian-based cults, the all-American evangelical or Morman yahoos, like the Yearning for Zion women who dress up like Country Bear Jamboree at Disneyland) that they don’t merit a footnote in a comprehensive, 500-page treatise on the subject.

Arby’s con is a caricature. There’s nothing even imaginative about it.

157. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 11, 2008

Leonardo gets around

Stripping the Gurus, p. 21:
“Sri Aurobindo was known in his ashram as the rebirth of Napoleon. Napoleon’s birthday was also August 15th…. In his previous births, it was believed he was Leonardo da Vinci …”
p.267: “The late Tara Mata (i.e., Ms. Laurie Pratt, editor of Yoga-nanda’s Autobiography, and former senior vice president of SRF) is claimed to have been the reincarnation of Leonardo da Vinci.”

_________________________________________________________________

p. 445-447

The recurring phenomenon of “bad gurus,” from which no one is immune so long as he holds on to the hope that one or another of them can lead him closer to enlightenment, is actually completely predictable. For, absolute power corrupts, not merely some of the time, but all (or at least 99.99%) of the time. (It was actually in response to the 1870 papal declaration of infallibility that Lord Ac-ton coined the relevant phrase [Allen, 2004].) Against that psycho-logical reality, whatever public face any “sage” may show in appar-ent tolerance for questioning by his celebrity followers or the like, is typically no more real than one’s temporary mask shown at a news conference might be.
And beyond even any sagely “best behavior,” human transfer-ence and projection can create a “god” even out of a pile of shit—as Nityananda knew well. One cannot afford to go into any such “spir-itual” environment with a naïvely positive attitude, hoping for the best, seeing only the good in others while ignoring the red flags for the bad, and trusting the guru-figure and his guards/henchmen to guide you right. For, such Pollyanna-ish behavior is exactly, with-out exaggeration, how Jonestowns (and Rajneeshpurams, and “true sanghas” such as Trungpa’s and Muktananda’s and Yoganan-da’s) get started.
No small part of what is supposed to separate mystics from the truly insane is exactly the ability to distinguish reality from their own fantasies or externalized voices/visions. Yet, that ability to distinguish is exactly what is apparently lacking in “astral moon
cannibal slaves,” subtle Allied Forces, irreconcilable reincarnations of Leonardo da Vinci, sprightly leprechauns and Paulsen’s bad-science-fiction UFOs. And in that case, the relevant “sages” could potentially have simply imagined/hallucinated/self-hypnotized eve-ry step of their own “enlightening” spiritual experiences.
The preceding point makes the fact that a person can be si-multaneously at a very high level of spiritual development, and at a very low level of conscious evolution along moral lines, essen-tially irrelevant. For, if one cannot tell the difference between “real” spiritual experiences and imagined ones, it is not simply one’s lack of moral development or the like which invalidates the supposed wisdom in the teachings and behaviors which are based on those same experiences.
By comparison, a clinical schizophrenic with a high level of moral or empathic development would still make a very dangerous leader or guru-figure. That is true however clearly the imagined “voice of God” might be speaking to him or her and then enforced on the world “with integrity.” It is further true even if that voice is experienced as a nondual (e.g., One Taste) phenomenon by the mentally unstable individual. Conversely, if one is going to surren-der one’s will to any guru-figure, one would hope to do better than an evaluation concluding, “Sure he’s psychotic, but he’s got a lot of integrity”!
One is then left with very little indeed to cling to in all of this. For, if even the widely recognized “best” Realizers apparently can-not distinguish between hallucination and their own ostensibly valid realizations, are lesser Realizers to be regarded as being more reliable?
Seen from that perspective, the most that any spiritual teach-er can be is a decent, honest, unpretentious, even-tempered and caring human being, never “divinity in the flesh.” Yet, if even one-tenth of the allegations made against those figures are valid, the overwhelming majority of them would fail miserably at even that minimal, level-headed decency. Thus, the bulk of what they would wish to teach us by their own behaviors, no sensible person would want to learn.
So even let each of them be every bit as enlightened as they have claimed to be, then. (Again, if these top forty spiritual leaders are not so divine, who is?) It makes no difference; for, with the en-demic reported character flaws which they bring to the table, who of them could ever do more good than harm in the world? What
use, then, is their vaunted “enlightenment”? And, if anything like karma and reincarnation exist, who could suffer more for their al-leged actions, in future lives, than such respected holy fools, from the “Christ-like” Ramakrishna on down?
The good news, though, is that none of these grandiose god-figures, playing unconvincingly at being holy, compassionate and wise, have any power whatsoever over anyone else other than what you, or I, would give to them. Without our obedient submission and credulous swallowing of their untenable claims and widespread exaggerations, they will dry up and blow away as if they had never existed.
Put another way: They need us much more than we need them.

158. Yesri Baba - June 11, 2008

150 Traveler

I still read his stuff. I think he is a friggin genious and I don’t have the slightest idea about what he his babbling about half the time. I think he has updated and integrated a bunch of ‘spiritual’ stuff. The states and stages stuff is probably the biggest revelation,for me, in a long time.
He seems to have a real good brain and I think he has done the contemplative work and he has put in a whole lot of effort with his philosophy.
I am with many who have talked about taking what you need and screw the rest. Maybe there will come a time when some of the other stuff will become interesting.
I have heard Wilber talk enough times and read enough stuff that contradicts stuff he said in that forward to Cowen’s book that I believe he knows he is slinging crap.
There is a point in the ‘spiritual search’ where a certain amount of ‘tough love’ needs to happen IMO but turning it into a S&M fest is crap. Anybody trys it with me again and I’ll bust their fucking nose.

Sorry, I’m at lunchtime and had to hammer this out.

159. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 11, 2008

158 Yesri Baba

“Anybody trys it with me again and I’ll bust their fucking nose.”
_____________________________________________________________

Remarkable, is it not, that no one seems to have taken that approach in the past 38 years?

160. elena - June 11, 2008

I also don’t see anthroposophy as being a particularly effective approach to personal development. But neither is the “Fourth Way,” let alone the Fellowship. There’s nothing original in the Fellowship, or even “the System,” (although I personally find body types valid and entertaining). It’s all repackaging, and many of the parts have been left out. Just in terms of intellectual constructs, compared to Buddhism, for example, the “System” is extremely crude and elementary, and I suspect the same could be said in comparison to the core of all the great traditions.

Another Voice,

I’m sorry you have not yet found the Fourth Way of great value for you to work with or appreciate deeply. Perhaps I am no longer as demanding as you and no matter how ‘failed,’ I am eager to find where the experiment stood its ground and the people in question withstood the test. Leaving, separating, creating new forms is a the natural process of regeneration; some stay with the old form, some move on, spread out, create new life forms.

I cannot agree with you that the System is just about over rating a form of thought with the label of especial. I think those who brought it to the West were betting on the possibility that Western man was individualistic enough to put it in its belt and walk the mile that it offered.

I believe Anthroposophy is as much an expression of a Fourth Way tradition as the System itself and am personally more attracted to that tradition throughout history than to any of the others, finding them no less admirable in their achievements.
What else could Anthroposophy be but a Fourth Way System that moved into the mainstream of life without violating it? The Fellowship is not even worth mentioning in this context for it not just raped life, it raped its participants too. It is not just an expression of destruction but of crime in no matter what tradition.

But the Fellowship’s crimes are not my failures, nor the System’s responsibility. The strength of the System lies in its focus. There is really nothing missing in it from other traditions and it is simple and available if one is willing to use it. I am an ignorant more than I am a person of knowledge, but the little I know, I know enough.
Enough to stand here and there at the same time. Enough to know that I am already dead and still alive. That nothing from this world will bury my soul and that nothing from the other world will darken my body. I cannot thank the Fellowship for having helped me get to that understanding but I will never deny the System was the rope that helped me get across those boundaries.

Those understandings do not make me a conscious being and I do not suffer less than anyone else, nor have a greater capacity for joy than most people. I have no ambition to become anyone’s teacher but I am eager to speak with human beings who respect themselves as such. Each one of us has tread a long road, each human being alive today has tread more roads than I could ever dream of walking. I photograph myself every time I fail to acknowledge another person’s presence and I do it all the time.

I do not know what you used from the System and what you mean when you talk about it, but I could probably spend two or three lifetimes practicing non identification before I can even begin to exhaust the tool. Another couple of lifetimes on inner considering, and I’d be willing to practice external consideration for eternity (no matter how much I despise the academic terms to such wonders) if it continued to grant me the joy of appreciating the world around me as it does. And still, I am far from being a balanced, happy person filled with integrity. The only difference now is perhaps, that at fifty, or almost, I no longer have the time to fiddle around without at least stating my case for the young people to come even if just my children but hopefully also for the “Travelers” of the world, who are already way ahead than most of us; there’s more beauty in life than misery, it is worth every second of the way and death is no less welcome for it too is just the other side of life, consistently filling it with meaning. One ray of light is enough to fill a whole room with warmth. That is all we need to keep dignity alive.

161. Vena - June 11, 2008

147. Allan S – June 11, 2008:

“I’ve lost track of names…is Linda T the same person as Linda K? Too many Linda’s”

_________________________________________________________
Yes, one and the same.

162. Bares Reposting - June 11, 2008

Bares re-reading:
Comment #1144:
37/#113. Susan Zannos – June 10, 2008:
‘About the faltering process of completing the petition:’
Go there now:
https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com/2008/06/07/fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-37/#comment-1144

163. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 12, 2008

160 elena

“I’m sorry you have not yet found the Fourth Way of great value for you to work with or appreciate deeply.”

______________________________________________________________

I didn’t say that, and it isn’t the point of my comment. I don’t criticize the value of, say, “not identifying.” To me, that has nothing to do with the “Fourth Way.” It’s common to many traditions, in which it has been described and practiced for centuries. The term “external consideration” is a particularly clumsy phrase for something that has been extensively studied, taught, and practiced in other traditions with immeasurably more practical effect than the few sentences found in Ouspenky’s books, let alone the worthless approach presented by the Fellowship of Friends. I don’t advocate for, or argue against, complete refusal to utter words associated with Gurdjieff’s teachings, but with all due respect, I do think continued referral to “the System” suggests a lack of familiarity with the universe of “systems” that have existed for thousands of years. Again, nothing personal, but the statement “There is really nothing missing in [“the System”] from other traditions,” is ignorant.

164. Associated Press - June 12, 2008

~159. Just Another Voice Out Here:

‘Remarkable, is it not, that no one seems to have taken that approach in the past 38 years?’

You just don’t know about it having happened. It has happened.

It might not have been the nose. More likely ass-o-ciated press, as in
a kick in the butt with a hard right boot. That way it would not show, butt it might necessitate a pillow to sit on.

165. Yesri Baba - June 12, 2008

162 Bares reposting

I am sending my previously pledged $50 to Susan. Anybody else? I guess we need $100 more.

166. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 12, 2008

164 Associated Press

Gee whiz, is that all we get to know….?

167. elena - June 12, 2008

Another Voice,

Thank you for your opinion.

Too bad that is all you got from that post. I hope you find pleasure in whatever system you decide to work with.

168. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 12, 2008

167 elena

“Too bad that is all you got from that post.”

__________________________________________________

It appears that if I respond to your comments with anything other than applause you reply with snide and bitter statements that have little to do with what I actually said. OK, I get it. Great comment, Elena.

169. elena - June 12, 2008

If for any reason we become separated, I wish to thank each one of you for having helped me along throughout this first year out of the Fellowship. Without you it would have been impossible for me to understand where I wanted to go. I apologize for any discomfort I have put any one of you in, it has not been my intention to offend anyone here.

To you Sheik, I also extend my gratitude.

I will try to participate still, whenever that is possible.

170. elena - June 12, 2008

Just Another Voice,

Don’t worry about it, it is not worth it. You have no applauses and that is alright. You think my statements are ignorant but you do not provide us with your visions or understandings or knowledge of other Systems. What can I offer you in exchange? I am no longer here to argue or convince you or get your applauses. I had already spent over five hours on the blog today to have time for more, I beg you forgive me for not giving you a longer answer.

I wish you good luck, it’ll be good to meet again further down the blog.

171. nigel harris price - June 12, 2008

In the Asylum (seriously!) for ‘flushing’ the system of confusion/delusion with ‘mummies boys’, men who ‘own businesses’ i.e. it failed because they sunk everyone elses labour into it and never made even any the faintest efforts of their own as ‘starting equity’ and THE LAST, a megalomaniac Two Red Queens (whose energy can only be stopped by mentioning the word SEX!). I have inherited from the South Welshian acting hero, Ritchie Jenkins (AKA ‘Rich’ Burton) a super powered and emodulated and fickle-fancy free of imprompuity VOICE.

Dedicated to the aim and honour of the soon-to-be lawsuit (forget this chat-room stuff with the lads Elena – not worth your beautiful eloquent energy).n.

172. Across the River - June 12, 2008

A note regarding the petition:

It has been a tedious, steady effort to build and gather all the pieces of this petition and now we’re ready to put it together to see what we’ve got. Procrastinators, fencesitters and latecomers still have until the 4th of July to send documenting letters. The petition page at the FOF WikiSpace explains in detail; find the link at the top of this page.

I emailed the attorney to say we’re ready to forward the letters as soon as his fee has been pledged. We’re down $50 thanks to YB and looking for the remaining $100.

Based on the content of the letters, he’ll determine which statements can stand as fact and which must remain allegations in the final copy. All this effort is to ensure protection for those who sign the petition.

It’s the final step before finally getting this little declaration out there for the world to see. Think of all the ones you know who will declare a big ‘NO WAY’ by signing, happy to be asked.

Jack currently has limited web access but is still the one who will finally post the petition – I know we’re all ready to get it done and it’s as ready as it will ever be…..just looking for a final pledge to legally mesh all the efforts that have been made to date.

I’ll post Ford Greene’s address so the payment can be sent to him directly.

Can we go?

173. Cake please - June 12, 2008

Ivory Castle

how long have I lived here
in this world of sun and blue
closing my eyes and heart
any time anything black or grey
came travelling through

well tonight
you gave me revelations
threw all my heart felt preconceptions
against the sharpest rock face
broke into a million pieces
each piece reflecting what? me or you?

well now it is daybreak
can couch all these thoughts in soft light
but soon, too soon, the light, too bright
have to look at all that I ever believed in
stripped of my rose coloured glasses
so afraid of what I will see

some want to know truth
show me what really is
really?
me, just want to understand my heart
really?

Cake

174. Yesri Baba - June 12, 2008

Cake

Nice poem

So afraid of what I will see.

A bunch of garbage floating on a deep, warm, clean pond.

175. Cake please - June 12, 2008

dear Yesri

Gee, wish it was just a poem
but me facing the the third hardest day of my life
have to tell you

there is only love floating on that pond

think that is the only way out

from this pink and gold world
Cake

176. Cheryl - June 12, 2008

Dear Cake and All,

I’ve spent a lot of time swimming down into the deepest parts of the pond for about a year or two now. Everyone’s journey is truly unique, and mine seems to include both love and garbage, since I have left FOF. Darkness and light – and the exquisite pain of walking in the trembling place where they meet and become one.

Cake, my heart goes out to you today as I skim the blog (it’s what I do with this amazing place, I catch up when I can, usually an invisible reader). I’m also inspired to write for the first time in a long time, as your poetic “third hardest day” speaks to me.

My journey has led me to simple, plain TRUTHS, even new ones, just in these past couple of days, more puzzle pieces of my life suddenly clicking into place: AH, okay, now XY and Z just makes more sense. It’s really sad when the rose colored glasses come off and we fall into millions of pieces, in fact, it’s so far beyond sad, it’s indescribable. But it’s more real, more whole.

Certain circumstances have allowed the most incredible Family Secrets to be revealed to me. What was shown on the surface was: The Most Happily Married Couple Anyone Has Ever Met, happy happy good good straight simple true open what-you-see-is-what-you-get-ness. My sister and I could NEVER be that happy good, so we hid our badness and felt so guilty and ashamed for being made of light and dark, that the dark grew thicker and the light beckoned brighter and the two could not meet, the dark and light could not dance together at the edges and be one.

And even though it all looked pretty and good and happy and light, two little girls intuitively sensed “something’s funny with this picture”, ‘everything looks good, but something feels wrong…what is it? what can it be?…” but since Mom and Dad looked so happy and good and right, then we must be wrong, both in our perception and inside ourselves.

So I grew up as well as I could, feeling anxious and ashamed and afraid and not sure why, doubting my self, numbing my self with whatever worked best. My sister didn’t make it: she drank and drove into a truck in the middle of a sunny bright afternoon. But I made it: I found a Real True School, the answer to my prayers, my longing, to know, to be, to be comforted by the peace and grace of higher states…

It’s a long story, believe me I could go on and on…but for now, my point is that I grew up in a situation where the light and dark were not integrated, so the light shined brighter and the dark tasted darker. Without consciously being aware of it, an aspect of joining FOF is that I simply resonated with the structure of it’s Secret-ness: a truly remarkable, magical place where the dark side was disallowed and hidden.

Now I have learned Family Secrets. Now I understand that my parents Secret burdens came down on me. I picked up on the murky weird bullshit and carried it on my shoulders. I didn’t know what was wrong so I thought this is how things are, shiny happy golden smiling people on the outside and something stinky un-named dark on the underside.

This is one aspect of FOF and I intuitively knew and joined and fit. It took a long, long time before I understood some of the dark details. My personal journey in FOF was full of magic and bathed in light, it didn’t seem to matter what was going on in the dark, it seemed irrelevent – disconnected. So I kept it that way. Outside and inside, my self, my friends, my Teacher, my family. No dancing blended trembling play of dark-light (the place I like to watch the most now, when I walk on the beach and look at my shadow on the sand: the place where my shadow meets the dazzling sand in sun light, where in fact there is no line and the meeting place dances as one).

Everyone’s journey is unique. When circumstances unfolded in a way that I saw more of the dark on the underside of the surface, I guess I saw the surface in a new way. That it wasn’t the Whole Truth. For myself, I eventually wanted to know the Whole Truth, about FOF, about myself, about my family.

When I found out more about the dark side of FOF (and I apologize for being vague. My personal story is no more revelationary or new than anything that’s been written here already.) it slowly became my personal understanding that if that’s how Evolution is being expressed and unfolding here, I would rather be food for the moon. So that’s another piece of how I came to leave FOF.

I do hope and work on these things now:

I am not sure what will happen when we die and that’s scary and thrilling. Whatever it is, I wish us all well and I aim to be useful and kind as I can each day, regardless of what’s going to happen when this life ends.

I don’t know what you should do, so I don’t want to convince you of anything. I just wish to share that in discovering darkness and light in Family Secrets, myself, FOF, I do feel that something heavy is lifted. Choices and decisions are simpler, darkness isn’t so stifling and horrid, light is welcome, the dance of them both is life and balance, healing and love.

My intention is to forgive myself and you, all the way back to “Adam and Eve”, if it is so. My intention is compassion for us all, every one of us. Part of my darkness includes that it is hard to forgive.

I resist following other structured paths, ways, gurus, teachers, religions, forms, etc for NOW. Some parts of me so desperately still wish to belong, to know, to follow, to project the divine onto Something, Someone. I get the feeling that it’s okay for me not to do that for awhile. I stumble and fall and cry and hurt and laugh and am amazed at resilience and synchronicity and I’m still growing up.

I cannot say that I regret having joined FOF, though in retrospect I regret that I sat on the fence for about two years too long, out of fear. I do regret borrowing understandings from those I revered and playing various roles based on understandings that weren’t truly mine. I am sorry for things I said and did from places of “authority” without having verified and/or understood certain things for myself.
Or perhaps coming from a place of wrong scale, that My Present Awakening was sacred and more important than anything else. I no longer agree with that statement.

I continue to feel grateful for this blog. For many reasons, too many to list. Thank you to everyone who reads, to everyone who writes.
Cheryl

177. ton - June 12, 2008

zannos, jack, and all those involved in whatever way with the ‘petition’ — thanks for your efforts, i know it’s not fun — as joseph put it a few pages ago. i’ve been ‘sitting on’ a letter that was written a while back but it will be in the mail by the last week in june; it will arrive there by july 4.

yesri, i hope to match your donation, depends on finances by the end of the month… ‘in relation to’ finances (as we used to say as a justification for ‘associative thinking’) depending on whether or not i can find someone to drive west with me and help with gasoline costs, i’ll drop in on you later this summer. will email you when i know more.

elena (and all other female contributors), thanks for your continuing presence on the blog, if i may, speaking for “the lads” as (nigel put it) we need you here.

nigel around 171 thanks for your post, good to ‘hear’ your ‘impromptu voice’ again…

think ‘positively about ‘the negative.’

178. lauralupa - June 12, 2008

158 Yesri
159 Just Another Voice Out Here

Maybe some hope for the new generations?

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1MfQ3UnTHGo

179. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 12, 2008

170 elena

Didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, Elena, and I’m sure you didn’t mean to respond with the fem-dom routine.

180. vinnie the fish - June 12, 2008

20. Yesri Baba – June 7, 2008 “I think one of the greatest myths we unconsciously perpetuate is that there is a “higher mind’ that knows what is and what should be done.”

Yes a higher mind that knows what ‘should be done’ must be a myth.. whatever happened musta been what shoulda happened… but there does seems to be a higher mind that knows what is.

I’d heard somewhere they’ve hypnotised people and found they knew even what was happening behind them in all their previous experience. Some sort of bug-eyed Witness. That might be a handy beast to be more connected to.

181. Allan S - June 12, 2008

161 Vena

In that case I know what you mean. I certainly did experience a sense of being manipulated by this individual in order to hurt someone else. I felt at the time somewhat stunned that someone who had such experience (an older student to me) could do this. Somehow I just accepted it but then again it is the story of my time in the FoF. She was one of many and as such I guess it tells a real story.

182. Yesri Baba - June 12, 2008

175 Cake

Sorry, I’m such a buttinski.

Hope tomorrow is better.

183. paulshabram - June 12, 2008

Cake
Maybe we should welcome you home.
Paul

184. ton - June 12, 2008

laura around 177
thanks 4 the ‘punching america,’ she needs that…
on the other hand, ‘america’ as a symbol does not represent the individual.

here’s to fun ‘american style’ — seems to have something to do with the ‘ultra violent’ — (see kubric: ‘a clockwork orange’ — a tale cast in the brittish system which isn’t so different from the italian system which isn’t so different from… you see my point, it’s the mentality of the situation). and of course heres to girl power! (i love gurls).

185. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 13, 2008

176 is newly moderated.

Elena: All the best!

186. elena - June 13, 2008

Thanks Ton,

I didn’t say I was leaving but it does seem like a good idea to give others a chance to speak without my permanent drum and we lunatics only put the breaks once and that is to stop! Hope that makes you laugh and that I am recovering some humour!

A.Voice,
You neither hurt me nor did I react as you say. I was just tired of you included. You really are out of tune love, but thanks for the apologies although they were not needed!

Nigel, you’re the best fan I’ve had yet! I’ll have to ask you for an autograph!

Thanks Sheik

187. veronicapoe - June 13, 2008

I appreciate your sharing of your story, Cheryl. Thanks for writing.

188. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 13, 2008

186 Elena

Great comment, Elena.

189. whalerider - June 13, 2008

For a great piece on fasle memory syndrome:

http://www.wnyc.org/flashpop.html?playlist=%2Fstream%2Fxspf%2F71758

190. Cake please - June 13, 2008

Thank you, Cheryl

Cake

191. nigel harris price - June 13, 2008

I think the time is of Crisis – christ Is and so conscience and all our features become awakened – ‘you have to take the rough with the smooth’ as they say. Charlotte McDonald reminded me of the fact that Super-Cleanliness – All around householder MOST DEFINITELY SHOULD INCLUDE THE SEX CENTRE – OTHERWISE FROM MAN NUMBER 5 up becomes warpage and twisted self and vortexed destruction and eventually CRIME (n.b. reb).

So as not to use more than alloted Occupational Therapy time, I will stipulate to all bloggers – BE THIRD-FORCE HUNGRY – SOLVE.n.

192. nigel harris price - June 13, 2008

180

Try – being mindful of others’ needs and in you right mind.
There’s a start. nigel.

193. nigel harris price - June 13, 2008

And now for the last of three (triads rule in ninja terminology) – Avatar – manifestation or phaseluv all – n.

194. Kid Shelleen - June 13, 2008

I wish to chime in with others to thank Cheryl for one of the most open and heart-felt posts we’ve seen here.

195. Mick Danger - June 13, 2008

175
How can you be sure it’s the third hardest?
What were the first two?
Are there no more harder days to come?
Look on the bright side: “All worthwhile things are difficult.”

196. elena - June 13, 2008

176
Your words are not just thrown in the dark,
They are like mature kittens that sit on my lap,
Or friends with whom I sit by the lake, until dark.

Windows to look outside
and inside
Doors that open the heart,
Not blunt

188
Sharp edges cut
Would you hand me a band-aid?
Or should I take you to the hospital?
Is your wound so deep that it cannot be healed?

If you could say where it hurts,
I might be able to help.
Or would you consider holding me?
Take me from the back in a long embrace
As if we were both looking beyond space

It is not that I don’t need it or wish it
Like the women you know.
Like the woman in you
who cries.

Would you be so kind and be the man?
Or allow me to be the woman?
And walk out in each other’s hand?

How intimate do you wish to come
And maybe not by the heart but do you think
The knife is any less intimate than that?

Wounded in each other’s sight
I remain, passively yours
Until dark.

197. Dream Catcher - June 13, 2008

176 Cheryl

It took a long, long time before I understood some of the dark details.

When circumstances unfolded in a way that I saw more of the dark on the underside of the surface, I guess I saw the surface in a new way. That it wasn’t the Whole Truth. For myself, I eventually wanted to know the Whole Truth, about FOF

I do feel that something heavy is lifted.

Wow, thank you Cheryl!

It is amazing when the veil lifts, when the rose colored glasses
become crystal clear, and then when the TRUTH unfolds.

Like a great novel or movie suddenly the story takes a dramatic turn, details hidden or suppressed come to the fore.
The plot unfolds, and things will never be the same.

The truth will set one free.

I for one, never read the Wim letters, the Thomas Easly letters
even when they were mailed to me personally.
I never went to Stella Wirk’s website and I never read any of the
newspaper articles about RB’s lawsuits.

Why not? I guess I preferred the rose color glasses
Was afraid to disturb the equilibrium 
Afraid the balance would tilt to the dark side

And then it did, and I am glad
because for me to something heavy has lifted

The truth has set me free

198. God Laughing - June 13, 2008

Cheryl, Thank you!!!!!!!

Dreamcatcher:
Wim Letters? Thomas Easly letters?
Does anyone have those?

Please post if you do

199. lauralupa - June 13, 2008

God Laughing
At the time of the “Buzbee incident”, a group of letters of departing students were photocopied and circulated among members. I think I got my copies from Ames, and still have most of them. I was looking through them just the other day, since I wanted to quote a reply from a “crusty old fellowship blowhard”, as mentioned at post 129. Couldn’t find it though, maybe I threw it away in one of my despondent moments.
Anyway, here is the list of the letters I’ve got, let me know if you are interested and I’ll post them here or on the wiki site when I get the chance. (also, people who wrote them, let me know if this is ok)

Carl M (1994)
Samuel S (1981)
Ames G (1994)
James B (1994?)
Thomas E (1989)
Wim P (1994)
Richard L – B (1994)
Charles R (1994)
Pluto – The society for the esoterically challenged (1994?)

200. God Laughing - June 13, 2008

Lauralupa,

Thank you

Please post Wim
and Thomas if it’s ok with them

201. We Were There - June 14, 2008

Lauralupa,

Re: Posting letters, how can I reach you privately?

202. ton - June 14, 2008

cheryl around 176, thank you.
a ‘wise man’ once told me ‘when you face the light, the shadows fall behind.’ contained in the pithy remark is acknowledgment of both the light and dark forces at work, one doesn’t exist without the other and ignoring or hiding the fact can have dire consequences (as you pointed out). ideally in early childhood, we are cared for and loved and as a result growth is fostered by the impression that ‘the world is good’ — that foundation hopefully sustains us as we ‘battle through’ the reality of the situation… on the other hand, some people never grow up. it’s not all love and light, there are so many ways to hide the facts of ‘the terror of the situation,’ the case in point here involves (among other things) ‘systematically’ diverting attention with the absurdity of ‘sequences’ cameo broaches, foppish finery, expensive french furnishings, oil paintings, ‘mice-on’ china, drunken debauchery, sexual perversions, etc, etc, etc. a few pages back a topic of conversation was involvement with the fellowship of friends in connection with some of the issues that we all carry with us from our family of origin… veronicapoe, and especially whalerider and uno had a very interesting, meaningful exchange around the subject, laura touched upon the important work of jodorowsky in this connection… it is an important piece of the puzzle and needs reflection… thank you again.

203. Cheryl - June 14, 2008

Thank you for the many thoughtful responses. I’ll check back a few pages, ton (201) , for the family of origin conversation, sounds interesting.

After I’d written the earlier post, I hurried off to pick up my father from his day care program. I am his caregiver now – he is brain damaged from an aneurism (part of the reason some of these Family Secrets are being revealed to me – they slip out of his disinhibited world!). He chose a Bob Dylan cd to play while we drove home and the first song touched me…

….Yes and how many times must a man look away
and pretend that he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind…

I hope the light and dark of Truth sets us all free, everywhere in our lives. Our steps become lighter and we walk side by side.

204. whalerider - June 14, 2008

Cheryl:
I can think of no greater gift to yourself and to your father than to become his caregiver. That’s compassion 101.

endlessly
light turns to dark
dark turns to light
our presence
is the golden
magic hour
at sunset
and sunrise

205. Yesri Baba - June 14, 2008

The lighter side of metaphors:

Dark is light with all the ‘l like it’ taken out.

206. elena - June 14, 2008

Ton and friends,

On the subject of how our childhood affects us all throughout our life much has been written in psychology. What I haven’t found much after Reich is how this connects with our displays in society and it seems well worth exploring.

Where Reich doesn’t seem to have gone is to the original imprint of mother-father figure deep in our mythological being. Jung might have a lot more of that but unfortunately I have not explored Jung enough. If anyone has, it would be very welcome for this exploration.

I’m just going to throw things out because none of it is clear enough for me either.

I’m to a certain extent verifying that my relationship to the “public” is perfectly determined by my relationship to men and women as determined by my mother and father. As we’ve seen on the blog, I have an innate distrust for men while at the same time, desperately need their approval. With women it is even worse but I am presently less dependent emotionally on them than I have been in earlier years. For a long time, all bloggers were just men to me, I was therefore not talking to the women but to the men, screaming at them and my husband included. I mostly only know how to take care of women when they allow me (so that they don’t shoot themselves).

When I look at this pattern it is almost transparent that the fact that my mother shot herself imprinted a message in my being that people and husband’s and men do things that can cause women to shoot themselves. It could be said, that I live trying to avoid that happening to me because from one angle, it is the only solution I was taught.

The great frustration that I’ve observed and have been more susceptible to perceiving in women, is what seems to be the total inability that men have to commit to a woman. And of course, it is not to another being where the commitment has to be, but at the same time it is as if what women are committed to and identified with throughout their lives, has really nothing to do with what men are committed to and identified throughout theirs, causing tremendous suffering to us both. One of the reasons that the Cult is so successful is because both men and women have to give up what they are identified with for the Guru’s identification. Then instead of men and women struggling to live a decent life, no matter how indecent it gets, we became men and women trying to live and provide for Robert’s style of life.

One of the most interesting aspects of Anthroposophy is the way Steiner makes the understanding of processes a mobile, vivid, experience. He turns things inside out and outside in repeatedly so that one can grasp the movement rather than the object. The most difficult aspect of Cult mentality for the intellectual centres of the participants is precisely the fact that the world becomes static, a dogma, one magnifying glass to look at a fixed reality, imposed and presented by the Cult. Those of us who spent so many years inside would do well in understanding that this is one of the most pervasive aspects of life inside a cult and that unless we work on it, we will continue to condition our outlook on life for years to come with similar magnifying glasses on fixed realities and a lot of that because regular society is also filled with similar devices. Families in particular tend to have only so many possibilities mechanically, just as individuals do. The rigidity with which we perceive the world is closely connected with that phenomenon. Our inability to perceive the world at large, the magnanimity and beauty of its infinite reach as a picture of our own being is what also conditions our outlook. And this becomes subsequently expressed in our moving, instinctive, emotional and intellectual interactions. After living in a cult in which a whole group of people can be modified to move, dress, speak, think and feel in a similar way, it is not difficult for us to perceive how the external world conditions people in definite behaviour. We are extremely sophisticated beings and tuning each aspect of our constitution is not nearly as simple as we would like it to be. Simplicity I guess, comes from not worrying about it but not avoiding it either if we are after acquiring some balance.

Something that delights me about the blog is that I’ve come to distinguish the masculine voices and the feminine ones and deeply appreciate both. I had never experienced anything like it and no matter how much friction we’ve given each other,
it is with tremendous gratitude that I appreciate the different positions and roles you have each taken.

This was another huge void in Fellowship life because since followers had to deny themselves a role but play only Robert’s enablers, I realize that I have not been in an open a community as this one, ever. Schools, Universities or jobs, have always been marked by the hierarchic conditioning of the group and although here we have many conditionings, at least they are not instinctively dependent on anyone and that gives us a certain freedom to write. It’s our own God’s and Demons what we are looking at.

Going back to the feminine and masculine, I have the suspicion that the ‘social’ itself acquires definite characteristics and that the way one subjectively perceives the social or the public is closely related to how one’s mother was perceived. While the father’s legacy is incarnated in how one presents one’s self to the public or society. At least this seems to be my pattern which may be very different to others since my mother died when I was almost nine. But this same fact that she shot herself, certainly conditioned my whole outlook on society itself.

It is on this lines of how first line or life, connects with third line or society in no matter what context, that I would be much interested in a mutual exploration because there may be nothing objective about that but it could also give us a great tool with which to look at many of the difficulties we face as adults.

I hope it is clear that I have no interest in exposing my personal experiences for pity or shame or fear or a particular kind of consideration but because I am convinced that this exposure of our lives in a public forum that will embrace them with due respect, will allow us to view each other’s experience with much greater relativity and without having each to pay a personal shrink to help us. The mentality that we each have to have a car to get to Rome, will soon be dead, or it’ll kill us all.

For those who love argument as much as I do, I would appreciate it if you understand that I am not trying to prove anything. I am finding out. I think that we have not been here for a year to not understand with some discrimination that the possibility for a human dialogue lies in the possibility of quietening our personal ego somewhat and allowing our self to speak, sincerely and without imposition. To throw pieces of ourselves in this common soup is a healing process, so I encourage you to give without fear even if some salt gets to us all in the process. And if nothing else happens to others, let me at least thank you for allowing me to write, I obviously need it more desperately than most and you are, not only the people I know, but the people I love.

207. lauralupa - June 14, 2008

… and without the constantly fascinating play of light and dark there would be no art of photography

http://www.masters-of-fine-art-photography.com/02/monthly/top.html

208. elena - June 15, 2008

Last week I met with a student’s daughter. An eighteen year old who was crying and saying: “I am so depressed because I am so present.” She then explained “how being so present didn’t let her be”

I observed the same phenomena in myself for many years without being able to do anything about it, not quite understanding why the more I worked the worse I got and also in my younger daughter who, although I never spoke about the System with her, she copied me and tried to do some of her own, picking very vague ideas from her sister and daily cards.

This situation of becoming more self-conscious than conscious seems pretty spread-out in Fellowship life with the underside that it makes one so much more vulnerable and prone to inner considering than one would be without any practice at all. I also think it has a lot to do with the “abolition of functions” in the Cult and concentration on mind processes related to being present or remembering one’s self. With ‘abolition of functions’ I mean, the activity of not giving any energy to one’s own thoughts, emotions, instincts and moving impulses and replacing them for the stereotyped formulas of the cult. That quickly lands people into “self-consciousness’ rather than consciousness.

This young girl continued to tell me about the value of trying to work with the ideas although she’s not a member but a prospective student sometime in the future. Her father explained how much the Fellowship had helped him, how he did not expect to actively participate in Fellowship decisions for he was not the Teacher, how having become a good house holder instead of someone without aim or direction had made a better person of him and how he might be more concern about the boys if they were his own sons but they are not “and they could say no, like many have”, he also said he didn’t read the blog because Robert’s humanity didn’t bother him.

I was told fourteen students joined all together in Cartagena, Colombia.

209. Across the River - June 15, 2008

Elena 205

As a child, I vaguely remember realizing that the limited expressions of behavior, meaning and communication acceptable within the framework of my family were not going to change, and I was just going to have to outwardly adapt in order to survive those years. As a curious kid, this lent my childhood a sort of existential flavor!, and of course it was lonely.

The FOF was a community where I imagined all things possible had a place to take root, and this suited me perfectly. For years I had no problem suspending common sense because I knew how dead “life” could be as an alternative.

Although I’m not without my own worries and moments of confusion, within myself there resides so much optimism, and most importantly I’ve understood that it’s a choice. I’m grateful for the abundance of mirrors out there now where before I found none. Formulary paths can serve their purpose, but the relevance of ancient wisdom is not exclusively accessed by those who “study it” or “practice it” or “think about it”. We’re in the soup alright!

Love you, too 😉

210. Across the River - June 15, 2008

Elena, we must have posted at the same time.

I hope this young woman will understand soon enough that her way is her very own and precious, with no obligation to follow the choice her father has made. Is it damaged self-esteem that muddies this issue for her? Her father is a good householder but unconcerned about his Teacher’s humanity? Please, dearest young woman, if you’re reading, the Fellowship is an extremely wrong-headed group of misguided followers who might not be otherwise so ignorant. Your father has made a mistake he’s not yet aware of, please don’t do the same. The world is yours and rich with spiritual guidance that honors and guides the potential within human beings without supporting a person like Robert Burton. As this mental formula imprisons your spirit, don’t believe the lie that the problem is within you.

211. elena - June 15, 2008

It’s good to hear you again Across the River. Would you tell me again what you mean by your last sentence: Formulary paths……. I didn’t understand it.

And thank you for the love, if it is not about loving each other here, what are we doing here anyway?

The situation of this girl is so tremendously pathetic, I’ve only told you half of the story to not offend but to remind us what still goes on without checks.

I hope none of the men here have been put off by my post. It is because I have appreciated your presence that I dare speak. I have much respect for your being here and it is good to get to know what you’re like in a very positive way. No one spoke in the Fellowship. Just rhino poo! or other forms of it.

212. brucelevy - June 15, 2008

206. lauralupa

Good one. Thanks.

213. Across the River - June 15, 2008

Hi Elena – I mean practicing a specific disipline, course of study, belief system, theory of thought, etc provides a framework and reference points that might be useful, but IMHO it’s not the end in itself or necessarily needed to gain the experience of knowing oneself or the nature of the universe!

Essentially for me the nature of the “soup” is in this truth: that “there’s nothing new under the sun”.

214. Anna - June 15, 2008

Dear Elena,
(207 and 205)

I am really touched by the pieces of ‘human history’ you have just given us: You talking with the eighteen year old… you as a child… you now. These have an entirely different resonance for me than more technical/theoretical/concept based posts (which I also enjoy)

I carry the images with me they ‘ring’, work on me. Very powerful, thank you. Please tell us more about the girl, if it would help, her plight seems relevant. Does she have a link to this page on the blog?

All the best…

215. ton - June 15, 2008

thank you all for the heartfelt posts…
not to change the atmosphere but shifting gears a bit:
if not experientially, then at least genetically (as ‘spawn’),
it might be said there’s a little of the mudder and the fodder in all of us…

happy d day

this is part of a curriculum that is being taught to children…
among other issues here, regarding the authenticity / verity of events, what is said of history and who relates it? as long as war represents a means for those in power, there will be no end to war… as the bumper sticker says so eloquently: ‘visualize whirled peas’

216. ton - June 15, 2008

happy d day continued…
(‘d’ is of course for ‘dad’ — the ‘cannon fodder’ you can figure in):

… ‘the largest invasion force in military history’ ?!

here are some really staggering numbers that dwarf the accounting of wwii… but of course numbers says nothing of the individual ‘human’ cost: “Herodotus claimed that the land and naval forces of Xerxes at the passage of Hellespont totalled 2,317,000 in addition to 2,000,000 slaves and support personnel…”

peas

217. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 15, 2008

201 is newly moderated.

Elena: Being present and being self-conscious are two very different things.

It seems to me that one of the reasons why depression and other negative states become so powerful once someone starts working on him/herself is that the increase in the ability to focus and concentrate (such as through meditation) is then used to look deeply into all those self-identified faults, instead of being focused on things such as self-acceptance, or letting go altogether.

Newly acquired abilities in self-control or self-observation can be very painful if they do not come with the realization that we are the ones who produce our own mind and emotional states. It’s like giving a nuclear weapon to a 3-year old.

218. Rear View Mirror - June 15, 2008

Ton (202), thanks for sharing this aphorism: “When you face the light, the shadows fall behind.”

Sheik (217), your comment struck a chord with me. ‘Self observation’ in the fof was almost entirely about bringing a microscope to our weaknesses or supposed weaknesses. At some point, assuming we really do self-observe that way, we began to actually create the weaknesses that we were supposedly observing — or maybe we created some other weaknesses.

One way to heal from that insanity is the ‘self acceptance’ you mention. Also, realizing when it may be a good idea to ‘cut yourself some slack.’

… which circles back to the aphorism in Ton’s post: “When you face the light, the shadows fall behind.”

219. elena - June 15, 2008

Thanks Across the River for the clarification, I agree: the belief System is not the issue and all languages should seek to unite us if they are true languages and systems.
Since we can’t know them all, each one must use the one s/he knows or wishes to use, to convey his/er deeper understanding.

Hi Ana,
A heartfelt Fellowship hug, filled with meaning and not just pose!

You see the wonders of this toy we are playing with? I’ve been trying not to get that personal because we were not suppose to be personal and theories sound more intellectual and objective! Then one can talk with men but that didn’t work either! All I’ve managed is to fight!

What’s was interesting to me was uncovering the idea that the cult worked because we both, males and females, had to give up our personal programming to adopt the Fellowship’s. It is a major breakthrough in the understanding of this phenomenon, one that will reveal a whole world beyond it. It’s taken more than a year to get to it.

I much appreciate your comment because although the post is very personal, I have brought the personal to an arena of study so that we can look at the theory we are dealing with. I’ve spent forty years digesting this ‘personal’ and although there isn’t much pain in dealing with it in certain sphere it still revealed how subjected I am to its pattern. The fact that I live trying to avoid using the only solution I was taught and instead of shooting myself I leave, which is a different form of death. The day before I left the Fellowship I told Collin, “I am about to commit suicide” and in this last little play with A. Voice in which in the middle of the friction I said, “If we happen to separate for any reason, thank you and goodbye” it was followed by a deep feeling of peace and letting go of the blog, us, life. I could have managed it I think but I don’t really want to, I think we are going somewhere worth going here. We are constantly revealing ourselves to our selves, no matter what we are doing. I’ve observed in others and myself that this act of “leaving the blog”, also has a taste of “diva solution” but “divas” are no solution Mother, as we both know so well by now.

On Lina’s plight (that is not her name but it is better than “this girl”) I cannot say more without exposing too much for them and myself. I made that mistake already on the blog and learnt the lesson. It is really no different to most Fellowship plays: A father who has also been one of Robert’s boys and sometimes still is? What man wasn’t one of Robert’s boys even if he never went to bed with him? Just asking. For he does call on older men whom he knows will allow him. They give him a very different kind of reassurance. One in which they thoroughly justify what he is doing with the younger ones. If they could handle it and still can, what wrong can there be in continuing? Both for him and the men involved it is a way of reassuring themselves that it was not really that denigrating. It is also a man whose business and therefore instinctive centre is very dependent on Fellowship clients. Lina, like other Fellowship children, never lived with her father and it is the first time she lives with him. She is very happy to have that opportunity.

They haven’t been reading the blog and Lina does not speak English, but I cannot bet myself on that and speak more, after all they trusted me in their home. The attitude is that he doesn’t need to read it because he is not bothered by Robert’s “humanity”. Isn’t it interesting what they call it? We called it? His weakness becomes “human” and they themselves become “human” in accepting it, then the whole negation of humanity at large and the six billion dead people on the planet, together with themselves who are nothing but too human below the divine being in charge of their “awakening” is again turned around and used against them to Robert’s benefit. The intricacies of brainwashing are appallingly astute.

220. elena - June 15, 2008

Sheik,
What ever magic has made you reply, I hope more of it comes.

Totally agree, I thought that was what I’ve been trying to expose here for a year. It is precisely this particular issue that I find so fundamental to address because most people think that the only wrong with the Fellowship is Robert’s “humanity” as they call it but very few understand deeply enough that the layers in which the Cult has managed to penetrate each follower are way beyond the having sex with Robert or not. Cults not only don’t awaken people, they lead them way below a condition of normal human being with regular difficulties and joys in life into a submissive condition of highly vulnerable individuals or extremely dangerous fanatics.

If we just look at the prototypes of Fellowship followers, we could see the inner circle bullies with their martial, Saturn drive and almost a mass of passive followers all doing the same passive act. (Saturn-Mars Sheik are, in the Theory of Types, the only one’s who deserved a role of power in the Fellowship of Friends because they had the right machinery! That with a “King of Hearts” centre of gravity, which altogether landed as in a style of life in which “work, work, work, make money and quietly bear with the load while feeling noble about it throughout eternity”, were the ideal behaviour and we became addicted to that pantomime of a life like tender puppies to a bitch’s tit. (If more precise information of those types and centres of gravity are pertinent, we can get into that later). People don’t seem to realize how “that” sole fact is so denigrating of their individuality, how accepting these conditions reduced the rest of types into a “you are not welcome here unless you submit” and how “submitting” destroys the connection between one’s self and one’s life. Becoming self-conscious about who one is then becomes the inevitable next step because what can people do with themselves if they cannot be themselves?

From another perspective what this also brings us to is the fact that in the Fellowship the feature of dominance and power of a few individuals expanded without conditions into everybody’s most intimate sense of self. Their feature invaded the rest of us with a condition of how we were supposed to live and we bought it. We not only bought it, we paid for it with our lives. Robert imposed a form a formula and Girard and the rest of enablers justified it. A form in which they could expand the whole of their corrupted beings with all the force of their feature at the cost of the rest of us not only expanding theirs but giving up the possibility of working with ours. The fact that we could not deal with our own weaknesses or strengths but simply had to give them up, slowly depleted us from the energy, the self respect, the intimate and healthy connection with our own I, and made us submissive vulnerable people making money for Robert’s delights. Cults make weaklings not awakened ones on the one side and super over inflated fanatics on the other. Fanatics look very strong, they have an extremely well developed false personality and it looks highly charismatic. This is what makes it so difficult for us to unravel this puzzle.

“once someone starts working on him/herself is that the increase in the ability to focus and concentrate (such as through meditation) is then used to look deeply into all those self-identified faults, instead of being focused on things such as self-acceptance, or letting go altogether.”

What you are describing here is exactly what takes place in the Fellowship when people are banned from taking hold of their work and sharing it, reaffirming it and developing it through second line of work. All the self discovery and joy that comes from working on one’s self turns into self-consciousness and guilt when there is no outlet because there is the presumption that no one has anything of value to offer except Robert and his chosen ones. The “chosen ones” like Girard, then expand outward fully and develop volumes of indoctrination on how to accept BEING SEVERELY MUTILATED by the conscious Master. The physical, emotional, intellectual and moving centred mutilations that we have been subjecting ourselves voluntarily for years and years will go down in history as the most decadent expression of the human being throughout its history. The Nazis of different nations at least did it for instinctive reasons: land, property, possession, the Nation, but we have done it in the name of consciousness.

“Newly acquired abilities in self-control or self-observation can be very painful if they do not come with the realization that we are the ones who produce our own mind and emotional states. It’s like giving a nuclear weapon to a 3-year old.”

Again I agree. For a few years while I was away from Renaissance, Isis, Apollo, self remembering only brought beauty and deep understandings. Our life with the children while mummy struggled to not leave them without a mother was too successful, for it determined my eldest daughter to join the Fellowship when she grew up. She finally left recently!

This idea that we produce our own mind and emotional states, yes, but they are not disconnected to the experiences of our lives. It is how we interpret those experiences that we have the possibility of remodelling our mind and states and the stronger our self trust is, the better chances we have of transforming the experience into a positive understanding not necessarily a less painful one but at least not negative. Is this not what we are doing in relation to our Fellowship experience on the blog?

“It’s like giving a nuclear weapon to a 3-year old.” It is a nuclear weapon what we are playing and dealing with and it’ll be good to understand that fully so that we can more seriously address the need to close down all cults, one way or another.

I thank you highly for your input.

I beg those who hate long posts to forgive me, I just don’t know how to make it easier or shorter, I wish it were.

221. Yesri Baba - June 15, 2008

217 ES

It seems to me that one of the reasons why depression and other negative states become so powerful once someone starts working on him/herself is that the increase in the ability to focus and concentrate (such as through meditation) is then used to look deeply into all those self-identified faults, instead of being focused on things such as self-acceptance, or letting go altogether.

————————————————

Yep. Then the abilities and concentration further bind rather than liberate.
Add to that a superstitious fear of the ‘beyond’ and welcome to the Fellowship of Friends.

222. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 15, 2008

217 Elena:

‘It seems to me that one of the reasons why depression and other negative states become so powerful once someone starts working on him/herself is that the increase in the ability to focus and concentrate (such as through meditation) is then used to look deeply into all those self-identified faults, instead of being focused on things such as self-acceptance, or letting go altogether.’

——
In a healthy spiritual practice self-acceptance and acceptance of one other are paramount and with this lacking one is instead working against oneself.

223. elena - June 16, 2008

Yep, Suzy, we didn’t have that in the Fellowship Cult. The work turned around and used and abused us as much as Robert liked. In our extreme naivete, we allowed it.

Accepting that seems rather healthy, then we could respond for others falling in the same trap, for it is nothing less than a trap.

224. elena - June 16, 2008

Ton, was deeply touched by your D-Day, thank you. It took about an hour to download it but it was worth it! I’m just downloading Sparta.

Happy Father’s day to all the fathers. It is a lovely thing to be a parent. It opened the wish to do things now that will make life less absurd for future generations.

225. brucelevy - June 16, 2008

226. brucelevy - June 16, 2008

227. brucelevy - June 16, 2008

For those in the “area”, Leon Russell is playing at Coopers on the 14th and 15th of July. Get your ticket early.

228. brucelevy - June 16, 2008

My all time favorite L.R. song when he was with Marc Benno as Asylum Choir 2, around 1968.

Fuck, I was 18.

229. brucelevy - June 16, 2008

Words to live by:

“Pappa dropped the ball in the bowling hall cause he bet on a loser and he took the fall, poor momma”.

LR

230. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 16, 2008

228 brucelevy

You’re the first person I’ve come across since I first heard Straight Brother whose even heard of it, let alone loved it as I do.

231. elena - June 16, 2008

Bruce, I’d love to get a first row seat at your essence and I am guessing being in the Fellowship for almost two decades didn’t quite do it! Do I have to wear a skirt and will you go in tuxedo?
Where can I get tickets and could I cling on to you so that it is not totally alien?

Lost your e-mail with the computer, would you email me at ludotekaatsucceed.net?

232. nigel harris price - June 16, 2008

Elena and others
In Don Mclean’s ‘American Pie’ album, there is a song called ‘Crossroads’…..

“We walked both sides of every street; through all kinds of windy weather,
But that was never our defeat, as long as we could walk together;
For there’s no need for turning back; for all roads lead to where we stand; and I believe we’ll walk them all, no matter what we may have planned. n.

233. brucelevy - June 16, 2008

231. elena

No tux for me, ever again. It’s a bar, so one dresses accordingly…anything short of naked. If you call they can give the info.

235 Commercial St.
Nevada City, CA.
Ph.(530)265-0116

234. elena - June 16, 2008

Bruce, was just kidding about the tuxedo! Thanks for the phone.

Beautiful, Nigel. Thanks.

235. Rear View Mirror - June 16, 2008

excerpt from Scientific American
June 2008

Blogging–It’s Good for You

Scientists (and writers) have long known about the therapeutic benefits of writing about personal experiences, thoughts and feelings. But besides serving as a stress-coping mechanism, expressive writing produces many physiological benefits. Research shows that it improves memory and sleep, boosts immune cell activity and reduces viral load in AIDS patients, and even speeds healing after surgery. A study in the February issue of the Oncologist reports that cancer patients who engaged in expressive writing just before treatment felt markedly better, mentally and physically, as compared with patients who did not.

Scientists now hope to explore the neurological underpinnings at play, especially considering the explosion of blogs. According to Alice Flaherty, a neuroscientist at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, the placebo theory of suffering is one window through which to view blogging. As social creatures, humans have a range of pain-related behaviors, such as complaining, which acts as a “placebo for getting satisfied,” Flaherty says. Blogging about stressful experiences might work similarly.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=the-healthy-type

236. Ames Gilbert - June 16, 2008

The leader of the Church of Burton has a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical “Inner Circle”, and blindly supported by the hollow “intellectual”, Girard H., whose central proposition is: that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

237. Yesri Baba - June 17, 2008

Hint: It’s the end with the vaseline on it.

238. Yesri Baba - June 17, 2008

It says in the Dzogchen teachings, whether our nature descends into Samsara or ascends into Nirvana, it is not ruined in Samsara and it is not improved in Nirvana. It is beyond both. Samsara and Nirvana are inseparable. I remember twenty five years ago, at Lama Yeshe’s place in Kopan, Kathmandu, there were two very funky latrines, little huts with doors. The men’s side said Sam. Right next to it, the women’s said Sara. Get it? Sam-Sara! So even Lama Yeshe’s toilets knew: Samsara and Nirvana are inseparable. That’s what it says in the tantric teachings: inseparable. Not that we have to go from here to there. It’s here. It’s not what we think it is. Nirvana is not the Other Shore. It’s right here. Of course, we are sort of elsewhere; that’s the problem! But we come back here, we get a little more pickled in Nirvanic juices.

239. lauralupa - June 17, 2008

We Were There 201

laurao@fastwebnet.it

Rear View Mirror 235

That makes a lot of sense. Self expression is a powerful healing tool. And if one doesn’t like to write, there are many other beautiful ways. Just do it!

I don’t know about you people, but for me the language-thingy is a big issue. I always loved writing. After a couple of years in the FoF I basically stopped writing altogether. I couldn’t really adapt to expressing myself in FoF-talk, which I found very dry, nor I could go back to my old personal style, which seemed to lack “objectivity”, so I was stuck, at a loss for words. That went on for a long time, even after I left. In a way, it felt like as if I had lost my soul. Was I a victim of just another form of Newspeak?

“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought – that is, a thought diverging from the principles of IngSoc – should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meaning and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meaning whatever.”
from George Orwell, “The Principles of Newspeak”
An appendix to 1984

240. nigel harris price - June 17, 2008

Nice to see you return again, Ames! and Elena – got your telephone number. Wwill blog more when time is less pressing – on a limited ‘out’ from the funny-farm (honestly!). Nigey-pooh.

241. nigel harris price - June 17, 2008

Back on the blog and homing in on Yesri Baba – Samsara and Nirvana – both I hve attained; Whitman ‘The Song of the Answerer’ and Isiah 42. My little numbers game and, more pronouncially, the colours (back-scroll, everyone, and ‘inwardly digest’, as my mum in her earthly role once told me) are PSYCHODELIA (sp. Elena?) – the ‘Mind in the Moment’. Why did any of you go ‘In Search of the Miraculous’, if you did not think it would be possible IN THIS LIFETIME? The payments and efforts you have made are for your Self and the intervention of the Gods and Angels in your life (and beyond). ‘There are divine things well hidden’ – JUST BE!. n.

242. elena - June 17, 2008

Bruce,

I think I’ll cling to my first row view of the Fellowship’s expression of your essence, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between them, but thanks for the effort of sending me the telephone number.

And for you my love and everyone like you,
When No is always the answer
When down is better than up,
When there is no room for dialogue
Because you’ve already made up your mind
Because talking might change the course of your life
And you’d rather die than that,
When a whole world is dying
And another one beginning and
who can understand
Why you and I have to stand apart
I try to remember that
I am still the question
And up is still the answer
And dialogue the connection
Because where there is no room for change
We are already dead
and it is better
to be this far apart,
and survive.

243. somebody - June 17, 2008

Elena, I know the girl you are talking about. Gorgeous young lady with a very sad glaze.
Can you or someone who can speak her language help her? I think it is very hard to be stuck in a foreign country somewhere in the distant village without friends or anyone to talk to when you are 18! I am sure she has some options she is not aware of. Maybe there are English classes or summer activities available in Marysville or Nevada City. I am sure there must be some sort of transportation or carpool to the places she can find friends and help. It is amazing how many foreigners are stuck in Oregon House because of ignorance and luck of information about their options.

244. elena - June 17, 2008

NO CULT
CULTURE

NO RE-LEGION
BUT HUMAN REGIONS

NO MAN MADE GODS
BUT GOD IN HUMAN

NO SUBMISSION
NEVER
NO SUBMISSION
NO MORE
NO SUBMISSION
NO MORE
NO MORE
EVER

FREEDOM OF THE SPIRIT
FREEDOM OF THE MIND
FREEDOM OF THE HEART
FREEDOM OF THE BODY
I AM

NO CULTS
BUT HUMAN CULTURE

245. elena - June 17, 2008

Somebody,

The fellowship never did to Americans what it did to people from other countries because Americans continued to be in their essence and the rest of us had to give it up. An American would have never accepted the multiple mutilations that the rest of us accepted but they have not yet been willing to stop the Fellowship from the mutilations it continues to carry out while they look without seeing.

This young girl, with all her innate disabilities represents the condition most of us were in when we joined the Fellowship and no one was willing to stop it from raping whatever was left of us to be raped. Do you wish her to learn english so that she can get more quickly indoctrinated? There’s got to be an advantage to being disabled.

I will start picketing at the gatehouse soon and have no expectation of anyone joining me but I never close the door to being surprised. Should you be interested, please contact me at ludoteka@succeed.net

246. elena - June 17, 2008

There’s got to be an advantage to being disabled, even if it is only to live for dignity.

247. God Laughing - June 17, 2008

Helena,

What will you put on the picketing sign?
Make sure you get a picture taken.
Send to newspapers?

Good Luck!

248. Across the River - June 17, 2008

Dear Elena,

No matter what difficulties or horrors a person has faced in their life, I’m convinced there is always a possibility to become free of the shame/blame/regret that lies within those who have been victims. Personally I don’t think living for (or with) dignity has anything to do with being disabled or not. The circumstances of our lives can come in any form imaginable. To use any circumstance as a basis for living as a victim in the world is short-sighted, even if we dress it up and call it dignity. The freedom I want for myself I want for you, too, and Bruce, and this young woman who actually has many practical options to choose over *multiple mutilations*.

It seems to me that compassion for the neverending shortcomings of all human beings reserves our own and others’ dignity but pursuing a view of ourself and/or others as victims does not.

249. Across the River - June 17, 2008

PETITION UPDATE:

Susan has decided to pay the difference for attorney fees so that we don’t have to drag this out longer. The check and the letters will be on their way this week, with any late-coming letters sent along as received, up to July 4th.

Jack is still on-board to post the final copy for signing after it’s fine-tuned with the proof provided by the letters. I’ll continue as the liason between the attorney and Jack and we’ll all be glad when it’s finally on-line. Once there are signatures and it’s time to send a copy to the agencies posted earlier, hopefully a few others who value this valiant little effort will step up to help.

That’s the latest on the petition for those interested. Although insignificant to some, being able to take action beyond words has been useful for quite a few of us, even more so because it required so much diligence.

The next update will probably be where to go for signing 😉

250. God Laughing - June 17, 2008

Elena,

Forget my previous posting.
I don’t think it will be good for you
to picket outside the gate house.

You will be ignored, ridiculed or worse
and it will eat at your health and energy

Don’t do it!

251. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 17, 2008

245 elena

“The fellowship never did to Americans what it did to people from other countries because Americans continued to be in their essence and the rest of us had to give it up.”
——————————————————-
What victimized, ignorant drivel.

245 elena

“Do you wish her to learn english so that she can get more quickly indoctrinated?”
——————————————————-
No–let’s do everything we can to keep her from learning the language, so she can find life in this country as inconvenient as possible. It would be worth it, if it makes her less susceptible to Fellowship propaganda.

“I will start picketing at the gatehouse soon and have no expectation of anyone joining me.”
—————————————————–
You might reasonably expect the police to join you. But it would be worth it, because there will be many Fellowship members inside the gates just waiting for you to picket so they can finally find the courage to leave. As you get handcuffed, there will be an outpouring of angry protesters, who will burn down the property before running out into the world, blinking in the daylight.

246 elena

“There’s got to be an advantage to being disabled, even if it is only to live for dignity.”
——————————————————-
Have you discussed this with someone who has to spend her life in a wheelchair, or is blind? I’m sure they’d find your thought an inspiration.

252. Cheryl - June 18, 2008

204 Whalerider

Really enjoyed your poem-thought, thank you. My favorite time of day is “the golden magic hour at sunset and sunrise”. Re. caregiving my father, you’re so right – what for several years has often seemed to be my worst nightmare has become an unexpected, fully unique gift to both of us.
*** *** *** *** ***

206 Elena

I’m glad you took a risk and shared a significant, personal piece of your family history – how you lost your mother and the impact it has on your relationships to men and women. Your story helps me to understand your inner world and I feel that I “get you” a bit more, thank you for that. You sound kind of vulnerable right now and I can see how that happens, in this wild, wild blog space where everything enters, in all shapes, colors, forms, shadows and light…
I hope you have some time and space to just be with your inner, quiet self that guides you forward with compassion, however that uniquely expresses itself for you.
*** *** *** *** ***

Also want to just throw out the name of a book for anyone who may still be contemplating the ethics of sexual activity between two people with power imbalances, or when we invest a great deal of trust in someone like a therapist, minister, guru/Teacher, doctor, etc. The book is from the 1980’s so maybe hard to find and some outdated thoughts (such as the author viewing the topic exclusively from the point of view of “Men in power” and how they “Betray women’s trust” … in our experiences and times, prbly more accurate to say “people in power” and how they “Betray people’s trust”.) It’s called “Sex In The Forbidden Zone” by Peter Rutter, M.D. Also helping me to slowly sort out a bit of “the role each of us plays in this conspiracy” when one is involved in the community, church, etc.

Cheryl

253. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 18, 2008

#252: ‘I hope you have some time and space to just be with your inner, quiet self that guides you forward with compassion, however that uniquely expresses itself for you’.

Worth repeating.

254. elena - June 18, 2008

Hi Across the River,

I have no shame in picketing at the gatehouse. I do not blame anyone in particular for what the Fellowship has done, it is for the judges to blame people individually and hold them responsible and I also have no regret. Your projections do not reflect on me. When I joined the Fellowship the dream was different but this is the nightmare I got and I am happy to deal with it. This is how I deal with it. I respect how you deal with it and how the rest of you have dealt with it for over twenty years but had you dealt with it the way I intend to deal with it, you would have probably reduced the time I spent in it. I do not hold it against you today. Those were your choices.

I have no shame in extending the Public Square to the Public Road where it is legal to picket. The Public Space will forever stand in protection of human values and using it is our birthright. It is there where one can tell anyone that one does not support or condone what they are doing. It is there where the great men and women where crucified, decapitated and burnt without shame, blame or regret. What is there to be ashamed of in this situation?

I do not support what the Fellowship of Friends Cult does or has done for the length of time I have known it and I have a right to say it and picketing with a big, big sign calling out for dignity and integrity is nothing I will ever be ashamed of. I did not invest seventeen years in a Cult to go and hide with my tail under the bush and weep about it. It too gets what it invested itself in and nothing hits harder than a boomerang.

God Laughing, I have been ignored, ridiculed and worse for seventeen, perhaps eighteen years, I have a master’s degree on it, do you really think that will stop me now?

Just Another Voice out here,
One day, you will stop being just another voice out here and stand up on your own two feet without being afraid of saying what you think and acting on it. The things you tell me are your fears, not mine. I wish you well even if you think this is just more ignorant drivel. Your desire to humiliate me with such language no longer touches me. My saliva fell over me for the many years I was in the Fellowship, now I can swallow the shame of having accepted it without questioning it.

There are places where almost everything happens in the Public Space. In my home,
the children close the streets when cars are not crossing and make football fields to play in. In India people give birth and die in the street. In Europe, tables and chairs are placed outside for the enjoyment of the public space. It is a lovely thing to have a place for people to be without having to pay for it because the real beauties of life do not cost anything. I understand this is difficult for you to understand but I invite you to think about it so that you too can recover for yourself a place where the human within you can flower. If only you knew how beautiful it is.

On people who are disabled, let me remind you that only recently did the courts of the United States have to pass a law banning anyone from banning disabled people to enter any public place. Disable people were mistreated and banned from restaurants and other public spaces and mistreated to the point that a waiter once said to a Vietnam veteran: People like you should never be allowed in the street, you are disgusting. After twenty or more years of fighting for this law to be passed, the hero whose name I do not know, had a law passed by the Courts. Dignity and integrity are the only things worth living for in our times in which people like you are terrified of standing up for them.

We shall get the Courts to ban the freedom Cults have today to abuse anyone without being responsible. We shall not allow any Cult or institution to ban freedoms we have already constitutionally acquired. We shall not turn back on what Americans already gained as a Nation for a sick sociopath’s whims. When you understand your own essence you will know about your own greatness in a far deeper way than I have managed to grasp in the few years I’ve been here. When you understand the submissions we allowed the Fellowship to impose on us because we trusted your culture, your achievements and especially your integrity, you will understand the pain people feel everywhere in the world when you turn your back on them. We will all understand everything there is to understand, sooner or later, that is not the problem. The issue is how much suffering do you need, to come to understand it.

I’m sorry if I took long to answer you, I just got back from playing with glass and learning how to cut it. One day we will fill our cities with glass sculptures with each colour representing a virtue, the colour for dignity will be everywhere. The sculptures will be lit at night so that we remember that we are human beings who have brought light to Earth and even in its darkness we can fill it with colour. We will take the stained glass out of the Church and use it in daylight and outside to colour our gardens and Public Spaces and remember that God no longer lives in the temples, beautiful as they will continue to be, but in the Public Square where we ourselves become human and play. We never resemble the Gods as much as when we play in the daylight. One day you will learn to eat as if you were playing and not just feeding yourself, and sleep and dream and not just rest to work next day, and make love as if you were meeting the God within you and not the woman without you.

On this young woman who you think should learn English, there is no reason for that. She should not be here long. This is no healthy place for an eighteen year old young woman with that many difficulties or for anyone else no matter how talented. They simply learn to bear not being allowed inside the Cult where their parents think they are awakening. They learn to bear the humiliation of being left out because they are not conscious enough to belong but really because they don’t have the money to pay. What the Cult wants is that they start making money. Soon no one will need to learn English, we will all try to learn our own language better and keep to our piece of land and send what is not needed where it is needed not because we have to but because we want to. No one will be producing more so that a few can have in excess, but there’ll be enough for everyone.

If you come picketing at the gatehouse you will never forget the pleasure of claiming the public space for human integrity to be recovered everywhere.

Thank you Cheryl, I’ve never felt better. It is like a tree when it lets go of the leaves it has grown during the summer, happy with the autumn, the winter and the New Year.

I am no hero, but I am no coward either and with all my disabilities and clumsiness I will stand against this death we shared for as long as I live. It is not that I am right, it is that it is right no matter who I am and I know it. What makes people feel shame for what they know?

255. elena - June 18, 2008

On disabled people, let me remind you that Robert Burton banned Gloria Cambridge who has been in the Fellowship of Friends Cult for longer than she can remember for eating a piece of cake with great joy, more joy than he has experienced himself for a lifetime. He could not stand the sight of her wrinkled hands and her worn out shoes and the face with which she thanked him because the cakes were so delicious. Right after the tea she was told she was not to come to a dinner with Robert again. I was there, I saw it all and Gloria told me right after what happened. How blind to do you people feel comfortable with.

256. whalerider - June 18, 2008

Cheryl:
As you can tell from this blog, words cannot express the value and importance of working out one’s issues with one’s family of origin before they are gone or unexpectantly taken from us.

For my first year in the outlying center, the FOF was my surrogate family, helping me cope with my parent’s divorce; that is, until I moved to ‘Renaissance’ and Robert got into my pants. Then the FOF became my worst nightmare, especially with all the rhetoric Robert used about his followers being like his children. It makes me want to puke to think about it.

My father passed away in 1997, about 12 years after I left the cult. Thankfully by then I was no longer so indoctrinated about my ‘life family’ that I spent time with him before he passed over. We made our peace, I attended his funeral, and I am grateful for it. I highly recommend that for most everyone, no matter how painful it might seem.

When Robert dies, I would love nothing more than to piss on his grave. But then again, it seems he might have enjoyed that, except one day, he won’t be able to shower it off. That task will be left to his faithful followers.

257. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 18, 2008

254 elena

It seems you view the blog as your personal therapy space, in which you can sit in the middle of a circle of people and talk about yourself, your theories, your fears, your traumas, so the people in the circle can say “That’s right, Elena!” or “You go, girl!” or “Let ’em have it, Elena!” It’s all about Elena and her demons. I see little prospect of you working out those issues out this way, because you don’t really want to work them out. You want to talk about them and have people give you support. Forever.

You don’t really even listen to feedback unless it’s supportive. Your statement, “The fellowship never did to Americans what it did to people from other countries because Americans continued to be in their essence and the rest of us had to give it up” is nonsense, but instead of considering that maybe you’re talking out your ass, you rant more nonsense at me. Picketing at the gatehouse is ridiculous, but you like the idea of being nobly ridiculous, as long as you can get some attention.

Please tell me–am I the first person to tell you that your problems have less to do with the Fellowship of Friends, or Robert, or Gerard, and more to do with being self-absorbed and self-indulgent?

258. paulShabram - June 18, 2008

whalerider (256): “When Robert dies, I would love nothing more than to piss on his grave. But then again, it seems he might have enjoyed that, except one day, he won’t be able to shower it off. That task will be left to his faithful followers.”

I think this is the truth.

259. zannos - June 18, 2008

Correction: The funds for the lawyer were donated by someone who wishes to be completely anonymous. Apologies to Across the River (249) for my being so vague as to be considered the donor.

260. Across the River - June 18, 2008

Dear Elena,

I was not speaking to your act of picketing the FOF gate but to the larger question of victim psychology. (Maybe after the FOF lie you don’t want to consider ‘psychology’, and I’m not suggesting there were/are no victims.)

I find a line is crossed, though, when there is unwavering insistance that one is a victim or another is a victim. That looks suspiciously like a position that doesn’t allow change in oneself or others at the risk of losing a reference point or a sense of purpose. I know for a fact that some people use victimhood as currency in their lives, and I know that viewing another as a victim to suit ourself is a kind of psychic abuse.

Maybe I misunderstood you, but I heard you respond to Bruce (242) in the tone of someone scorned, a victim of neglect? That and post 245 had a similarly “colored lens” which led me to respond on my point.

I won’t say anymore about this but hope you’ll consider what I’ve observed and shared with you. We may agree or not, but I trust we’re at least trying to understand one another.

Cheryl posted to you in 252: “I hope you have some time and space to just be with your quiet, inner space that drives you forward with compassion, however that uniquely expresses itself for you.”

…..which sounds like a good wish for everybody.

261. lauralupa - June 18, 2008

Invisible Paths

None of the roads go where I’m going.
Promising paths lead nowhere.
They twist and turn,
And I arrive at my starting point
Again and again.
I strike out anew,
And now even my starting point is lost to me.
I see people walking, purposefully,
And I follow them.
They seem to know where they are going.
Are they lost too?
I cannot be sure.
They lead me to places,
But I do not feel at home there.
People look at me accusingly. I am unwelcome.
Nor do I feel at home on these endless paths.
Finally I stop.
There it is! A light!
I knew it. I knew it all along,
But the path is invisible.
I strike out through the darkness toward the soft glow of home.
The direction is clear but the light is distant.
An occasional glimmer illuminates my path for a second,
And then more darkness.
I feel my way through it,
Deep into unknown territory,
Leaving a new trail behind me.
I meet other wanderers and we share a fire
That promises of our destination.
We set off again, warm and purposeful.
The night is cold and dark and I am on my way.

from
http://www.realitysandwich.com/invisible_paths

262. elena - June 18, 2008

A Voice,

You only see what you can use against me about how I see the blog and it is a lot more beautiful than you are willing to look. I am not afraid of being Elena with my Gods and demons. I’ve made peace with my demons and that terrifies you. I’ve even made peace with you who have been biting at me for a year hoping I’ll stop exposing your beauty. Nothing is more terrifying than beauty to people like us, who’ve grown up in shame. You only see the horrors I expose, because you cannot recognize the beauty.

You judge me but you don’t ask me because you don’t want to know:
Your statement, “The fellowship never did to Americans what it did to people from other countries because Americans continued to be in their essence and the rest of us had to give it up” is nonsense” Nonsense? Whitman, Lincoln, who else? Who else did Robert use to legitimize the Cult as if they were his personal lovers? When did we ever get to see anyone from Russia or France or Italy stand up and talk about the beauty of his own culture and do it with pride and respect from the audience? Have you forgotten that we were taught to give up our identification with our family, friends, nation, humanity etc, etc, etc, learn English, speak only English and not your native language, give up your music and your culture because the whole world is sleep except me? Robert Burton? I am the only conscious being on planet earth? Humanity is sleep has been sleep and will always continue to be sleep?

Have you forgotten the angle from a young Mexican woman who said in the meeting, (when we could still talk about eight years ago), something like: “I have come to this School with all my love and surrender and am hoping to hear and share with you but it seems impossible to get across to you.” Perhaps A. Voice if you or all of you here were able to sincerely share with us what it meant for you to come to a Conscious School then you would understand what I am trying to share. Perhaps for you it was the idea that you would awaken and get out of this mess for ever and ever but for a few of us it was the possibility of living a conscious life with conscious people, looking after each others well being and doing so because we could live by the premise that the only thing that really needs to be protected in human beings is the divinity within them: their human dignity. When that is protected in children, they grow up healthy, giving, nurturing people. When that is protected in adults, their work is rich and nurturing for the community. When did we ever share who built the Academy or designed the Gardens, who built the winery or planted the vineyard? Karl Werner, yes, for whom Robert did not even inspire enough respect to get him to stop smoking! I mean, there have been people less stupid than me in the Fellowship of Friends. In fact everyone seems to have gotten away with a great deal more than I did because this muck that I’ve been sharing here for a year is what I got from it. I have nothing but seventeen years of unnecessary suffering to thank it for and I will do everything in my power to stop it from creating any more unnecessary suffering to anyone else. When did we ever get to see a new student being respected for simply being a human being who had just arrived with a handful of hope and beauty to the dream of his life? Her life? How many non Americans were able to share their spirit in meetings? Who else but Girard Haven, Steven D., Meredith D. Rowena T. Charles T. and a short lineage of American, Saturn mars-martials with a king of hearts centre of gravity even if you had to pump it into them with a toilet pump, were able to lecture us for years and years and years and more years about how to become conscious in Robert Burton’s divine and only conscious school on the planet? All this while they played out their own features and felt extremely comfortable being in the “right machinery” to dominate the lunar, venutian, jovial, bla, bla, bla, in a world so sophisticated that racism was no longer necessary because we were conscious enough to develop “TYPISM” “ Nothing personal dear, we are just born that way!” DIGNITY, dignity was pumped out of the Fellowship before it even begun. You have no idea the pleasure I feel when I hate this things with the whole of my guts. But you seem to have developed shame of your guts, you only use them to belittle me because they are so well developed. Might it be that Robert Burton brainwashed you enough that you think it is shameful to hate what is abhorrent? Or you Across the River? I mean, what is it in you that is so afraid of recognizing that the Fellowship of Friends is a fraud and beautifully disguises as a conscious school and a hell of a lot of people are being fooled by it? FOOLED, HURT, DAMAGED. Do you think that if the jews had been told that they were going to concentration camps instead of being relocated to farms, six billion of them would have gotten on those trains? What makes you think that everyone who gets in the Fellowship Conscious School train is not a victim of FRAUD. FRAUD, FRAUD, VICTIMS, YES, VICTIMS, Why are you so afraid of recognizing that you too were a victim and dealing with it, not hiding it under the carpet and pretending that the fucking idiots who got on those trains ought to know that they are responsible for their decisions? Is it because it is too painful to realize that that has been not only our social tragedy but our personal tragedy? That it is our human condition today? But how are we going to deal with it if we continue to buffer the facts? Deal with it. That means Stop it. Just as you would stop a negative emotion. This is CRIME, CRIME, CRIME, not just a little fart from Robert Burton that we can turn around and try not to smell.

Do you have so much difficulty with me because you are not willing to understand that I am not talking about hurting anyone in or outside the Fellowship but about stopping the damages it is causing and dealing with the ones it has already caused?

What I mean by that sentence A. Voice, is that Americans were not asked to give up their essence but on the contrary, to develop it fully on others. It was “natural” for them to feel they had the being, the position, the guts and the ideals to carry it out, and they were at home, had jobs, made money while the rest of us needed help to find any kind of basic security. We were in a vulnerable position from day one, instinctively and emotionally. Why do you think Robert is so eager to mess around with young Russians instead of others? Do you not realize that they are a hundred times more vulnerable than others? That after years of communism and corruption they are easile seduced by the baits the SCHOOL presents them with? Robert knows who he targets and how and everyone, including Americans are being used, but Americans are used in positions that feed their own imaginary picture and it seems you cannot grasp the extent to which very vulnerable people are used and abused. Tell me, the fourteen Colombians that joined all together last month, what do you think they are going to pay for? For how long will the fraud have an impact in their lives because we are being unable to tell them the things that happen here? They pay cents in dollars but it is money and effort and trust in their lives. The monthly average salary in Colombia is a hundred and fifty dollars, perhaps two hundred now, and they are asked to pay thirty dollars.

Across the River, my response to Bruce is no different to my response to all of you here. I have been here wishing to make friends with people who I have shared the experience of the Fellowship of Friends, wanting to be loved and accepted by you like any normal human being would like. This has not happened with you. I have received from the man in the post office more friendship and respect than I have received from Fellowship students and that is all right. He made every word I’ve written here worth the effort. If the cost of your friendship is to not dig down to the bones the horror of the Fellowship, I do not want your friendship. If in my digging I expose your own wounds, light up your fear and your antipathy, it is all right. You will one day understand that it is not you who I am against but the things we did to each other and allowed others to do to us and to continue to do to others. Those things must change, with or without your approval. I have exposed about my personal life a great deal of the horror that I’ve experienced, but I’ve not even begun to tell you about the beauties. You will not frame me as a sick lunatic as some of you and the Fellowship would love to, to take credibility away from me. If I do not have your love, you still have my respect and I am still much loved by my family and friends who I abandoned for many years to be with you. The process of recovering each other’s trust has taken time but it is happening and hopefully you will each go through a similar process in your lives. When one leaves and re-establishes the connections with the world outside, life and love become possible. Both were impossible in the Fellowship. I was very vulnerable a year ago and you could hurt me with your rejection but today it is an aspect of living the life I want to live and I am willing to pay the price.

The blog is all yours. No one is stopping you from using it, giving and receiving what you can and want, like life.

263. God Laughing - June 18, 2008

INNER LIZARD ANYONE?

Elena’s reactions to posted comments isn’t sensitivity; it is defensiveness. The two may feel identical to the person experiencing them, but actually they’re worlds apart. Sensitivity is born of careful attention. It involves looking closely, understanding deeply, and therefore not causing harm. Defensiveness, on the other hand, is the bastard child of shame. For people who have survived harshly judgmental environments, shame—the sick sense that they’re basically inadequate—dominates the psychological landscape. They’re sensitive the way a truckload of TNT is sensitive. Virtually any bump or jostle causes them to explode.

From the outside, defensive behavior is disproportionate, bizarre, often appalling. But from the perspective of the Highly Defensive Person their actions are justifiable—no, necessary!—self-protection.

The reason one can’t look to defensive people for top-quality relationships is that such relationships require two human beings. But defensive people don’t think like humans. They think like reptiles. Beneath the elaborate neural structures that mediate our subtle social interactions, we all possess what scientists call a reptilian brain. This ancient biological structure, which evolved in reptiles, isn’t capable of nuanced emotion or logical thought. Its primary driving force is fear. Two fears, to be specific.

The first worry of all reptile brains (including yours and mine) is “I don’t have enough!” Not enough love, money, food, credit, glory—the subject of our deprivation obsessions varies, but the theme “not enough” pounds away like a monotonous drumbeat. The only thing as loud to the reptile ear is its other major concern: “Someone’s out to get me!” An HDP perceives threat coming from lots of sources; one day the Enemy may be a coworker, the next a relative, the next an entire nation. But to the reptile brain, someone, somewhere, is always about to attack.

This makes evolutionary sense. Lizards live longer if they obsessively acquire more food, shelter, and mates, and if they expect predators to jump them at any moment. Sadly, however, reptiles are blind to nondefensive emotions; to the glow of love, the tickle of amusement. The only thing playing on their mental screens, all day every day, is The Lack and Attack Show. The same is true of HDPs. When humans are gripped by primal fear, they become their inner lizards—and HDPs are virtually always gripped by primal fear.

264. elena - June 18, 2008

God Laughing,

What is the difference between the theories you like to be sensitive to and Robert’s crocodile theory?
You learnt the lesson all too well dear and there’s not a jot of sensitivity in your post, the one about calling the newspapers was better.

265. God Laughing - June 18, 2008

See!

266. whalerider - June 18, 2008

Just Another Voice Out There:

You know, I have to agree with you that most talk therapy is just that: talking out of your ass….verbally shitting out all the poisonous malformed thoughts and toxic emotions that have been making you feel sick. When that drivel comes spewing out, it’s a real mess…it’s smelly, there seems to be no end to it, it runs down your legs, it spills on the floor, clogs up the toilet, you run out of toilet paper, your ass is raw, it hits the walls, it even splashes into the face of anyone close to you…even though they have shown up to help you. That’s why a therapist is trained to keep “professional distance” from their clients. If Elena’s process offends you, do what I have had to do, don’t step right in it anymore, hit the scroll button, step around her shit (not her) and wish her well on her healing path. Tell us something beautiful about your day instead. It really doesn’t matter who responds. That’s what unconditional love is all about. Often it’s one-sided.

God Laughing:

In talk therapy, sometimes it takes years for a person’s defensiveness to finally exhaust itself and only then can the deep healing can begin. It’s very difficult for anyone to be made aware of and learn to live with their contradictions. IMO, that’s what it means to be enlightened.

Shitting out that crap is a necessary part of the healing process, so it’s best to step back and get out of the line of fire, because the person doing the spewing is not going to discriminate where they shit or who they shit on. But it’s not a sign of sickness; it’s a sign of health.

If I were to give Elena any advice, dear, (which I can accept is likely to be thrown back in my face), it would be for her to go back to Columbia, be around family and friends who love her and don’t give a flying fuck about the FOF, stay out late singing, drinking, and playing guitar in the cool of the night, be a caretaker for her aging father to set an example for her children…and then once a week, picket the fucking hell out of the Columbian center in an effort to wake up the fourteen new followers who just joined the FOF cult. That’s exactly where she would do the most good and where she could make the front page of the newspaper. That’s how her creditability would be unquestioned, speaking in her native tongue, not ranting at the guard in the guardhouse in boonies of Oregon House.

267. We Were There - June 18, 2008

For me the principal reason for the existence of this blog – its aim – is to help current members of the Fellowship of Friends see their situation objectively.

While I am sympathetic to Elena’s pain, I believe her tirades (such as in 262) do not support the blog’s larger aim and probably tend to drive members away.

268. Opus111 - June 18, 2008

#262

I do not feel like a victim. I am not american. BUT I HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING!!

I am not so sure that the “american culture” (whatever that means) was favored over other cultures in the FOF (not to watch sports may be worse for some americans than for latinas to not be able to express themselves publicly). It seems to be whatever RB loopy idea was at the time (french, italian, russian…). That americans were often in position of power indicate perhaps more convenience issues than deliberate attempts at belittling one nationality over another. That being said, RB declined for a long time to travel to South America, under the pretense that it did not generate conscious beings, until he finally went to Buenos Aires, with the usual plentiful fund-raising, art collecting, apparel shopping and ballet worshipping.

As long as it generates money, perhaps we can put the issue of consciousness aside for a moment…

269. elena - June 18, 2008

Thanks Whalerider for your analysis of the situation, I think you can turn it around and look at yourselves and it would fit equally perfectly.

267 We were there, what pain are you talking about? You think standing up for dignity is painful? Well it isn’t. It is beautiful, I encourage you to try it. You could ask the Sheik to throw me out so that you protect the blog’s larger aim and whatever else it is you are trying to protect. Like Girard or the rest of enablers protecting their little world. Even that would not matter now so go ahead, do what you people learnt so well to do. How many years were you trained to do things like that? Or were you a victim and now want to play the victimizer?

“For me the principal reason for the existence of this blog – its aim – is to help current members of the Fellowship of Friends see their situation objectively.”

You’ve been here for long We were there, would you share your objective understanding of the Fellowship reality? How does it differ from mine? Is it really that different?

Is it not amazing what saying I am going to picket at the gatehouse can raise? People here have talked about revenge and I’ve stood against that but you will not look at what I am actually saying and you wont do so because ………..?

Thank you for expressing your fears. Please don’t worry, no one will die because one pickets the gatehouse, the Fellowship will live much longer if it doesn’t start hurting people who do not agree with it. If it hurts me, it will not live a year. If it doesn’t it might live five.

270. We Were There - June 18, 2008

Elena, let’s focus on helping current members of the Fellowship of Friends escape.

271. somebody - June 18, 2008

Elena, what are you exactly planning to do? What do you mean by picketing the gatehouse? Are you going to attack someone? Protest? Attract attention of the media? Of the students? Express how you feel about FOF? What if they invite you for a conversation – are you planning to negotiate? How? You might be disappointed to find out that many students are quite happy to be where they are and see things differently from the way you see them.

Much love…

272. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 18, 2008

266 Whalerider

I agree with some of what you say, but I feel some of it may be overgeneralized and out of context. “Talk therapy” and spewing on a blog have something in common, but they are not synonymous. For therapy, talk or otehrwise, to be effective, a person needs to have a therapeutic aim–he needs to want to change, and to make efforts to change. Expressing negativity may or may not be the evil we were told in the FOF that it was, but it isn’t inherently therapeutic, either. A person can easily go through life venting without changing one bit, at least not in any useful way. Expressing negativity is not necessarily a sign of sickness, but it isn’t necessarily a sign of health, either–especially when it’s accompanied by delusional thinking and is repeated over and over.

I don’t assume that Elena , or any of us, is in a therapeutic process. I assume we’re writing on a blog, and may, or may not, be using the blog in a therapeutic way, depending on the way we approach it. If you tell me something about myself that I find uncomfortable and I ignore it and prefer to rant about whatever irritates me at the moment, that’s not my idea of therapy. It’s perpetuating my misery by avoiding the truth. If I did that in a therapist’s office and she simply “distanced herself” and “scrolled down,” or gave me unqualified love by letting me rant ad nauseum without ever saying, “Excuse me, but let’s try to address the issue I raised,” I’d consider my time and money wasted. Or if I had money to burn and enjoyed having an audience and didn’t really care about chainging, I might find it money well spent.

But this blog isn’t a therapist’s office, and participants are not paying anyone to listen to them. Each of us has the right to speak up and offer their views on what the other writes. My view is that Elena uses the blog in large part to perpetuate her victim mentality. She may well want to change, and she may well be trying to change, but I don’t see that we help her, or ourselves, by accepting everything she says as valid, useful, or therapeutic, let alone consistent with our aims, which may be very different from hers. We Were There (267) says his/her aim is to use the blog to appeal to FOF members. Others may have a different aim. If those aims are not being served by Elena’s or anyone else’s posts, I see no reason why we should feel obligated to support them, even implicitly, at least in the absence of some consensus, which doesn’t exist in this case.

I see no useful purpose being served by any participant perpetually trying to steer attention to her own emotional problems.

273. lauralupa - June 18, 2008

in the field of the heart
for my entheogenic friends
http://entheogenic.podOmatic.com/entry/2008-06-07T12_53_13-07_00

274. elena - June 18, 2008

Somebody,

It seems to me that it is necessary to get out of the blog and act. Talking is tremendously healing but acting is even more. In the struggle to gain ground on what one really believes, when you move from talking to acting, then you’ve won a huge amount of ground, in your being and in your life.

I know what you are saying and yes, many people are very indoctrinated and happy about being in the Fellowship. They each have their story and their reasons which are in no way more valid than the story and the reasons others have to say that no matter how well and happy some are, people are getting hurt, have been getting hurt and will continue to get hurt by Robert and the Fellowship.

There are many people inside who are no longer students in any sense of the word but are happy to profit from the economic situation. They do not realize that while they profit from that, students around the world continue to join because the appearance of a School is still there. This is what the inner circle and Robert have been profiting from for years and years. No one inside ever spoke the truth of what was happening although many, many knew because it affected their personal interests. There is no dignity in that and I intend to stand outside the gatehouse with as many signs as I can afford which are not too many and speak out for conscience and dignity and integrity.

I hope to get some glass and put it on top of each pole so that a beautiful orange and blue and yellow is accompanied by the word dignity, integrity, conscience. Maybe I’ll just have to use coloured paper.

Freedom of spirit
Freedom of mind
Freedom of heart
Freedom of a body
No submission
Ever

Is how I feel but how much of it gets on a post, I’ll have to work on it and see where my strength can go.

I think we have learnt enough by now to practice standing up for what is, rather than judging and pinpointing at what is not. We’ve looked at what is not thoroughly on the blog, now I wish to stand up for what is. It is about human integrity, conscience and love and war when needed because being afraid of dying is worse than being afraid of living.

We know the bubble that most followers live in. They do not read the blog. They do not get together with ex-students. They are in the bubble and standing outside the gatehouse often enough with nothing but an affirmation of love and dignity will blow that bubble into a thousand pieces.

I will do it for myself because I realize that a great aspect of having been brainwashed into a particular behaviour has taken a year for me to even dare to say No with love. I use to do it with my children when I first joined the Fellowship, then I just said yes for too long. We were taught not to say No as if it were a negative emotion, but No to abuse is an affirmation. The abuse of power that the Fellowship continues to practice knowing how corrupt it is in its core continues to find new students and hurt old students. If I stand there it will make a difference. If many of us stand there it will make a greater difference.

I aim to start picketing by the end of next week, Saturday and Sunday for the meeting. The weekends are good because followers come to events but if I can, I will start picketing as often as I can for as long as I am here. I do need to leave in a few months, my father and surrogate (is that the word?) mother who is another man are very old and I wish to spend time with them. It would be good to be in contact with those of you who are still in and out to know when events take place so that I can stand outside. If they open the back gate as an alternative entrance then it would be good if a few of us can be on either entrance but even if they have to go to those lengths to avoid seeing us, it will be a success.

What the inner circle and Robert are betting themselves on is that this crisis will pass as others have passed and they will rebuild and continue with other new ignorant students as they did in the past. This is what I intend to stop. They will not rebuild, ever again, what they have had. They had beauty and love and courage and trust and people who believed in them and they will never ever have as much of that again if it can be helped.

I thank you for asking. I hope you find the courage and the joy to join me or do it on your own as often as possible so that it sinks deeply into those participating in the Cult, that they will need to find a better option to wake up, one in which human integrity is not hindered in each event.

275. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 18, 2008

This one’s for you Elena.

276. somebody - June 18, 2008

OK, you go girl. You may consider to put “No to abuse” on the sign. Sorry, I can’t join you for various reasons, but God bless you…

277. God Laughing - June 18, 2008

Lauralupa,

Will you post the Wim and Thomas letters?

278. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 19, 2008
279. lauralupa - June 19, 2008

June 12th, 1989

Dear
Out of respect and appreciation for our long friendship I write today to inform you of my recent actions.
In the final days of the month of May I posted a rather provocative letter to Robert asking him to apologize to me for seducing and molesting me as a new student.
I steted further that I would no longer stand as an accomplice to his crimes by remaining complacent and silent. I have seen too many young men abused by Robert under the banner of love and enlightenment. At the height of Robert’s abuse of me he persuaded me (at Clare Bra-fo-ds house in 1973) to give him a blow job as a necessary step to achieve awakening. During that time he praised me daily for my talents and my great desire to awaken. But all such praise stopped once I refused to enter a bed with him. I thought then that Robert’s love was only as great as my usefulness to him but I ignored the thought.
It has taken a great effort and many years for me to heal myself: to establish the proof within that a man’s worth to himself is greater than his usefulness to others. I don’t know if the Fellowship can heal itself of the same ills but I do know that it needs to. Someday members must face the truth about Robert. He is not all good and wise. Four to five hundred male students have been abused by Robert over the past twenty years. All have been led to believe that they would profit spiritually by succumbing to Robert’s advances. I have verified for myself that self remembering does not hinge on submitting one’s body to the desires of the teacher. I therefore cannot support attitudes and behavior in the Fellowship which justify such acts.
RObert has been teaching in a teapot rather than in the world, he has confined people with the fear of questioning; the fear of losing the school and the gods if they don’t see things his way. He has taught the opposite of tolerance and compassion. How much growth of the soul can be expected from so closed and restricted an environment? Everything that Robert says, all institutions in the form of the school which lead in the end to satisfying his personal desired must be questioned.
To survive in the school requires that a student choos either to observe Robert’s corruption and remain silent or to justify it. For those who choose to justify it, all undestranding of the system and self remembering must be made to support Robert’s bahavior. (Like Joann Kea-ey telling new students, and old, that Robert’s homosexuality is, “One of the school’s greatest blessings”.) For those who remain silent a right understanding can develop but little room has been made in the school for expressing such understanding. Most conflict between students arises between the differences of those two groups.
Generally Robert will give his time and attention only to those who provide him with either physical, financial or organizational support. Then those who believe that awakening depends on agreement with the teacher will do all they can to fulfill one or more of the three categories.
All this is not to say that Robert is without merit. I would not deny that he has taught me great things. It is the aggandizing of his faults along with his virtues that I object to . Idealistic and troubled young people are quite suggestive and very vulnerable. Robert has taken undue advantage of the young much too frequently while we older students just sat by and watched. In many ways we are as much to blame as he is for the permission of his vice. And certainly it must be clear that the greatness of the school has been reduced in proportion to our allowance of his vice.
So-in response to all this I stepped out in the open, stated in no uncertain terms what my point of view is and asked for an apology. Robert, with his customary response of calling such actions instinctive, promptly called and asked me to leave the school. And of course he offered me no apology. He did admit, years ago, to molesting me but now as it was then, he felt it was his right to do so.
I had hoped for an improvement in Robert’s attitude. (In many ways he is very insecure, this is why he is so afraid of a challenge.) But alas, he remains convinced in his own mind that he is the second christ; an incorruptible being free to do with us all as he pleases. I have not verified that he is the second christ and I doubt that he is. (C-influence may have set him up with that just like they did with the depression and how many other such things.) Personally I just can’t imagine Jesus asking his students to sleep with him, to erect his penis, to titillate his flesh. What then of his behavior if he is not the christ?
My desire to know the mysteries began long before I joined the Fellowship. My work in the school has enhanced that desire and I’ve even managed to raise the level of my consciousness. So I can’t complain on a personal level. Now I will work alone until such time as C-influence decides to give me company. And I don’t mind this, my delight in the present is wholly satisfying and it’s nice to be free of the need for outside approval.
One last thought-I will not close myself off from friends. Anytime that you wish to see, write or talk to me I will be pleased to hear from you.
With my deepest regards
I am, yours sincerely,

Thomas E

280. lauralupa - June 19, 2008

note: sorry for the typos (of course they are mine, not Thomas’).

281. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 19, 2008

278 is newly moderated.

282. Wouldnt You Like To Know - June 19, 2008

261. lauralupa – June 18, 2008
‘Invisible Paths’:

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot

——

elena: Do what you may and picket the gatehouse, if that is what you want. It is freedom of speech and is protected by the U.S. Constitution. ‘Speak out for conscience and dignity and integrity.’ But, I would look out for A.G., Esq., who will try to have you arrested. (I would join you if I could.) Make sure you are not on Fellowship (or other) private property. Make sure you do not prevent others from their freedoms. Yes, 4th of July weekend would be good.

——

275. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup:

Thanks!

‘And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light
that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow,
let it be.’

283. brucelevy - June 19, 2008

279. lauralupa

And that was 1989, written about the 70’s and 80’s, when RB was just a calculating liar, a creep and a tasteless queen. The farce has gone so way beyond Thomas’ complaints that it almost seems “quaint”, in the words of John Yoo.

284. God Laughing - June 19, 2008

Lauralupa THANK YOU
for the Thomas Easly letter

Elena, if you do the picketing
make sure you inform the following newspapers:

The Union
Appeal-Democrat
Sacramento B

A picture tells a1000 words

285. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 19, 2008

There is much ‘ego deflation’ that occurs as one leaves the Fellowship and goes back into the land of the ‘life people’.

286. 'I see' said the blind man - June 19, 2008

Elena,
If you picket the Pyle I suggest you discuss your aims with a couple of others and write things on the signs that are most likely to have the desired effect.
If you represent some strong ‘moral message’ of your own, it will not get across. You will not be heard. Best thing is to ask questions. If the press are going to be there have a couple of signs for them, so they can take a pic of you with the relevant one. Great way to stimulate a feature in the Sac Bee. It will give them the hook they need to hang the stuff already researched but in need of a newsworthy reason to take to press.

Here are some examples that you could consider.

“Is Robert’s addiction to sex, money and power out of control’
‘How do you know that this is a real school ? – THINK ABOUT IT”
‘Is separating from nonsense what the work has become for you?”
‘Is Robert really second only to Christ as the most evolved being in history?’
‘Are you happy? Balanced? More awake? Or just part of a Cult?’

For when the press come

‘False Prophet!’
‘Robert Burton is a sex addict’
“Is Robert really an immortal Godess trapped in a man’s body’
’60 blowjobs for his birthday – ASK ABOUT IT’

If the idea is to stimulate public controversy then you want to offer key words that can be picked up on. If you just express your moral indignation, no matter how just and well founded, it will be a waste and maybe even counter productive.
Check with the sheriff first. If you inform the sheriff’s office that you will be staging a peaceful demonstration in accordance with your constitutional rights, they might send a deputy to hang around and protect your rights to demonstrate.
You need to consider legal action against you. Great way to make it a news item, by the way. Think it is very unlikely that the FOF would sue you for defamation of character or libel as the burden of proof would be on them to prove that Robert Burton is not a sex addict, etc. You will want to make sure you are not removed for trespassing, riotous assembly, or something like that. Chances are the Yuba sheriff will be inclined to let you have your say as no one likes the FOF. Good idea to get more people there to support you.
Good luck.

287. lauralupa - June 19, 2008

Elena, I wish you good luck with this endeavour. Truly.
Please take good care of yourself while you are at it. Make sure to take the time to replenish your strenght, as I imagine that challenging on your own the stone-faced members can create a lot of tension and energy expense for you. I suggest you look out for nice things you can do for yourself in the area, like sweat lodges, hot baths, energy treatments, breathwork etcetera. We need you to stay strong and healthy, because we know you are not just a victim of the cult but someone who can sing to the blinded caged birds a song about the beauty of freedom.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1q6PKu3ufiY

288. ton - June 19, 2008

“The following memos are some of those known or believed to have been authored, in whole or in part, by John Yoo during his stint at the Office of Legal Counsel; some are still classified, and in some cases dates are approximate for that reason. (See Jan. 5, 2005 letter from Senator Patrick Leahy requesting some of these documents.)
–October 17, 2001 Memorandum for Alberto Gonzales and William J. Haynes, “Re: Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States” (signed by John Yoo and Robert Delahunty).
–December 28, 2001 Memorandum for William J. Haynes, “Re: Possible Habeas Jurisdiction Over Aliens Held in Guantanamo Bay” (signed by John Yoo and Patrick Philbin).
–January 9 (22?), 2002 memo for William J. Haynes, “Re: Application of Treaties and Laws to al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees” (signed by Jay S. Bybee).
–February 7, 2002 memo for Alberto Gonzales, “Re: Status of Taliban Forces Under Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949” (signed by Jay S. Bybee).
–February 26, 2002 memo for William J. Haynes, “Re: Potential Legal Constraints Applicable to Interrogations of Persons Captured by U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan” (signed by Jay S. Bybee).
–March 13, 2002 Memorandum for William J. Haynes, “Re: The President’s Power as Commander in Chief to Transfer Captured Terrorists to the Control and Custody of Foreign Nations” (signed by Jay S. Bybee).
–August 1, 2002 memo for Alberto R. Gonzales, “Re: Standards of Conduct for Interrogation Under 18 U.S.C. 2340-2340A” (signed by Jay S. Bybee) (the Bybee memo). (Link includes Aug. 1, 2002 cover letter summarizing memo.)
–March 14, 2003 memo for William J. Haynes II, “Re: Military Interrogation of Alien Unlawful Combatants Held Outside the United States” (signed by John C. Yoo).

Regarding torture of detainees
Main article: enhanced interrogation techniques
After he left the Department of Justice, it was revealed that Yoo authored memos, including co-authoring the Bybee memo defining torture and American habeas corpus obligations narrowly.[7][8] The memos, known today as the “torture memos,”[9][10] advocate enhanced interrogation techniques, while pointing out that refuting the Geneva Conventions would reduce the possibility indivuals face future prosecution under the US War Crimes Act of 1996 for actions taken in the War on Terror.[11] In addition, a new definition of torture was issued. Most actions that fall under the international definition do not fall within this new definition advocated by the U.S.[12] Several top military lawyers, including Alberto J. Mora, reported that policies allowing methods equivalent to torture were officially handed down from the highest levels of the administration, and led an effort within the Department of Defence to put a stop to those policies and instead mandate non-coercive interrogation standards.[13] Student protesters at Berkeley have demanded, to no avail, that he renounce the memos or resign his professorship.[14]”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Yoo

—————-
attach to email
Action Alert regarding New Articles of Impeachment
 just introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich
 and co-sponsored by Rep. Wexler

Congressman Dennis Kucinich Introduced
 35 Articles of Impeachment Against President Bush 
 on Monday Night

    1) Please read this message
     2) Please send an email to your congressperson asking them to support impeachment,
         and to co-sponsor House Resolution 1258. That’s the number for the 
         articles of impeachment this bill:
         http://capwiz.com/pdamerica/issues/alert/?alertid=11478806
    3) Please sign the petition to support Rep. Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment at:
         http://www.democrats.com/35-articles-of-impeachment
    4) Call your Congressperson asking them to support impeachment:
         Find the right phone number here: 
         http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml
        or use this switchboard number to get your Congressperson:
         202-225-3121
    5) Send an email to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, asking her to support 
         impeachment hearings:
         See the sample email at the end of this message, along with an email address for
         Speaker Pelosi
     6) Share this message with all your friends and networks
     7) Send letters to the editor in this regard

Message from Ramsey Clark
former US Attorney General
(bold & italics added for emphasis)

Impeachment is not a political question. Impeachment is a constitutional duty. It is the one power and highest duty the Constitution rests in the Congress to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States when the President, Vice President, and other civil officers of the United States commit treason, bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

 George Bush has deliberately, falsely and systematically mislead the Congress and the American people concerning the most criminal, costly and harmful acts of his administration, leading us to war, tragic loss of human life, the devastation of Iraq, military expenses reaching trillions of dollars, disruption of the economy that will take decades to overcome, a contemptuous assault on the Bill of Rights, an international humanitarian disaster, deliberate antagonism and provocation of nations and people, most once friendly, and an enlarging assault on the earth’s environment.

 On June 5, 2008, a long delayed five year U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence study and 170-page report unanimously found President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top officers had made false charges and systematically presented a more dire picture about Iraq than justified by intelligence provided only to them. The Committee included both Democrats and Republicans.
 Today President Bush is exerting all his power and influence to repeatedly urge Europe, Israel and others to support an attack on Iran which he intends to commence in the remaining months of the presidency. Iran is larger than Iraq and Afghanistan, has millions of people, richer by a multiple, unimpaired by recent war and will fight fiercely if attacked. He is negotiating a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq placing the U.S. on Iran’s border.

 The next several Presidents of the United States will spend their time in office miserably fighting wars started by Bush, as our economy is consumed in military spending.

 Impeachment, a Constitutional duty, is the only way to prevent George W. Bush and his cabal from vastly enlarging the disastrous wars he has already inflicted on the world and the American people. The House of Representatives must quickly consider Bills of Impeachment long overdue, and the Senate must prepare to sit in judgment of President Bush, Vice President Cheney other officers who are implicated.

 Ramsey Clark
 June 10, 2008

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Friends,
 In a brilliant and courageous speech on the House floor, Congressman Kucinich continued to show his integrity and stance in defense of our constitution.  On Monday night he introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush.  Each article was elucidated with stunning evidence of it’s validity.

 The full text of the articles is available at:http://chun.afterdowningstreet.org/amomentoftruth.pdf
Extensive documentation to accompany each article will be posted latertoday.  Watch these websites:http://kucinich.us http://democrats.com http://afterdowningstreet.org

Here is an index of article titles:

Article I Creating a Secret Propaganda Campaign to Manufacture a False Case for War Against Iraq

Article II Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression

Article III Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War

Article IV Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States

Article V Illegally Misspending Funds to Secretly Begin a War of Aggression

Article VI Invading Iraq in Violation of the Requirements of HJRes114

Article VII Invading Iraq Absent a Declaration of War.

Article VIII Invading Iraq, A Sovereign Nation, in Violation of the UN Charter

Article IX Failing to Provide Troops With Body Armor and Vehicle Armor

Article X Falsifying Accounts of US Troop Deaths and Injuries for Political Purposes

Article XI Establishment of Permanent U.S. Military Bases in Iraq

Article XII Initiating a War Against Iraq for Control of That Nation’s Natural Resources

Article XIIII Creating a Secret Task Force to Develop Energy and Military Policies With Respect to Iraq and Other Countries

Article XIV Misprision of a Felony, Misuse and Exposure of Classified Information And Obstruction of Justice in the Matter of Valerie Plame Wilson, Clandestine Agent of the Central Intelligence Agency

Article XV Providing Immunity from Prosecution for Criminal Contractors in Iraq

Article XVI Reckless Misspending and Waste of U.S. Tax Dollars in Connection With Iraq and US Contractors

Article XVII Illegal Detention: Detaining Indefinitely And Without Charge Persons Both U.S. Citizens and Foreign Captives

Article XVIII Torture: Secretly Authorizing, and Encouraging the Use of Torture Against Captives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Other Places, as a Matter of Official Policy

Article XIX Rendition: Kidnapping People and Taking Them Against Their Will to “Black Sites” Located in Other Nations, Including Nations Known to Practice Torture

Article XX Imprisoning Children

Article XXI Misleading Congress and the American People About Threats from Iran, and Supporting Terrorist Organizations Within Iran, With the Goal of Overthrowing the Iranian Government

Article XXII Creating Secret Laws

Article XXIII Violation of the Posse Comitatus Act

Article XXIV Spying on American Citizens, Without a Court-Ordered Warrant, in Violation of the Law and the Fourth Amendment

Article XXV Directing Telecommunications Companies to Create an Illegal and Unconstitutional Database of the Private Telephone Numbers and Emails of American Citizens 

Article XXVI Announcing the Intent to Violate Laws with Signing Statements

Article XXVII Failing to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas and Instructing Former Employees Not to Comply

Article XXVIII Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice

Article XXIX Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Article  XXX Misleading Congress and the American People in an Attempt to Destroy Medicare

Article  XXXI Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency

Article XXXII Misleading Congress and the American People, Systematically Undermining Efforts to Address Global Climate Change

Article XXXIII Repeatedly Ignored and Failed to Respond to High Level Intelligence Warnings of Planned Terrorist Attacks in the US, Prior to 911.
Article XXXIV Obstruction of the Investigation into the Attacks of September 11, 2001

Article XXXV Endangering the Health of 911 First Responders

 The full text of the articles is available at: http://chun.afterdowningstreet.org/amomentoftruth.pdf

ACTION:
 CALL AND WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN TODAY, ASKING FOR HIS/HER SUPPORT FOR
 THESE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT.

~~~~~~~~~~

Video of Dennis Kucinich delivering speech with his
 Articles of Impeachment to Congress:
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/34009
  
~~~~~~~~~~

Letter you can send to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi:

To:  info@speaker.gov
or from this site: : 

 Call for Impeachment by Rep. Kucinich

 Dear Speaker Pelosi:

 I support the impeachment of President Bush
 for his failure to faithfully execute the duties of President. He has operated outside the law.  He has failed to follow the law. 
 He has created a veil of secrecy in the Executive Branch. He has classified non- sensitive information, withheld information,  manipulated and distorted information, and silenced dissent. He has created secret agreements (like SPP) which subvert our laws,  bi-pass the powers of Congress and are contrary to the interests of the American people. This all sounds very much like impeachable behavior.

 Furthermore, he has secretly wire-tapped American citizens ignoring established law and regulations. This, alone, sounds like  impeachable behavior. Yet,it appears Congress  with Democratic leadership is allowing him to go unpunished and sweeping it under the rug. 

 While continually talking about “terrorism” he has done nothing to make our southern border secure allowing a continual flow of unknown and undocumented persons to enter our country daily. I personally believe he is deliberately leaving the “back door” open for SPP which is not upholding the best interests of our American citizens as he swore to do.

 He has demonstrated severe job incompetence in economic policy as well as showing favoritism toward the wealthy and business class. He has also favored globalism while ignoring the economic interests of United States citizens. He has not exercised the good faith of his oath to protect and defend our country in the economic arena.  Furthermore, in his secretive SPP meetings and agreements he has exceeded the bounds of his job description by entertaining plans for a new currency without consulting the American citizens or their elected representatives. That certainly sounds like impeachable behavior.

 He led our country to war under false pretenses (impeachable behavior). This war has economically benefited his associates and friends while devastating and crippling the country. (Personal gain for self or friends while serving in public office is a breach of trust.)

 Dennis Kucinich has introduced a bill to impeach President Bush. I urge you to support this bill.  President Bush has severely damaged  our country internally and internationally.
 He has exhibited impeachable behavior in so many categories that it is a CRIME to allow him to remain in office.  

 Just as he has damaged the country with his presidency, I feel personal damage.  His behavior has caused me to lose respect for the Executive Branch and the Office of President under the Bush Administration. I no longer feel the same pride in America.  He has used phony patriotism to distort and sully our values. He has made me more afraid of the enemy from within the government than the supposed terrorists.  I no longer feel safe in my privacy to use the phone without fear of the government recording my every word.  I say to others, “I can’t believe this is the United States of America.”  In fact, many of the policies now being instituted remind me of a beginning police state. I have heard of detention camps being set up within our own country and Black Water mercenary facilities being developed. I worry that Bush will institute Marshall Law or start a war with Iran or both as a way to hang on to his power and not vacate the office. I worry about the loss of our democracy as Bush has used his power to subvert the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I worry about the loss of my personal privacy as I learn that passports now carry RFID tracking chips as if we were common commodities to be tracked in our every move abroad.  If this concept gets instituted in the driver’s license/ID, we will indeed loose all  domestic privacy by Act of Congress and approved by the President. The Patriot Act seems the opposite of patriotic and Homeland Security conjures up images of a “motherland” in Nazi Germany.

 The Bush Administration has allowed the polluting of our air with chemtrails, the polluting of our food with dangerous genetically modified nanotechnology passed into approval with falsified research, and the polluting of our minds with lies and controlled news media. He has created new rules that allow torture of  
 “terrorists” which could be expanded under SB1959 to include ordinary citizens who dare to think or question.

 I personally feel that 911 was an arranged event to give a cause to go to war and also start dismantling our form of government.  It has taken me a while to reach this painful conclusion.       
 I believe the President has betrayed his oath of office and duty to the American people.

 Please support this bill for impeachment.  Please lend your support to Representative Kucinich.
 With passion-

 

**********************
 Larry Morningstar
 SocioPoliticalReport@gmail.com

 *:-.,_,.-:*’“’*:-.,_,.-:*’“’*:-.,_,.-:*’“’*:-.,_,.-:*’“’*:-.,_,.-:*

       “All truth passes through three stages.
        First, it is ridiculed.
        Second, it is violently opposed.
        Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

                     — Arthur Schopenhauer

 *:-.,_,.-:*’“’*:-.,_,.-:*’“’*:-.,_,.-:*’“’*:-.,_,.-:*’“’*:-.,_,.-:*
 

“No problem can be solved from the 
same consciousness that created it.”
– Albert Einstein

289. Ill Never Tell - June 19, 2008

elena: Take plenty of water, high energy food, sunblock & precautions, some as mentioned here already.

Maybe a prophylactic latex body suit would be necessary as there might be the discharge of dangerous body fluids at you. An ounce of disease prevention is worth a pound of cure.

290. lauralupa - June 19, 2008

“It’s the little things that matter”

…this is another one of the letters I was talking about, luckily for me Ames had already posted it on part 9. So here it goes again, for those who may have missed it before (and everyone else really; my jaw drops every time I read it!):

May 20, 2007 at 3:07 am
Some more history…
After Richard Buzbee (school name, Richard Laurel) distributed his letter telling of his sexual encounter with Burton and how he discovered his son Troy had been having sexual relationship with Burton (beginning when Troy was underage), Burton called quite a few students to ‘try to quell the flames’. Here is one of those conversation, verbatim.

Phone call from Robert Burton to James Battaglia, October 23, 1994

R. Hello James, how’s your liver? Are you feeling well?
J. I’m fine, Robert, and it was a kidney transplant that I had.
R. Yes, that’s right. Are you disturbed by this Richard Buzbee incident? I understand you left the meeting in protest.
J. Let me explain the scenario. I had been standing for an hour and you know my physical condition. It was two minutes to eight o’clock and there were about a hundred cars at the Town Hall. Why do you think I left?
R. To beat the traffic!
J. That’s right. If I was protesting this meeting, I’d do it verbally.
R. I don’t want the meeting to be an arena to discuss my sexual life and I allowed it to happen. C Influence wants me to be a homosexual and have sex with my students so that I may have humility. It’s a beautiful experience for myself and my students. I’m very loving and careful with them. The morality of the ark will not be based on Judeo-Christian principles.
J. What will it be based on?
R. I don’t know yet.
J. I’d like to ask you some questions concerning this matter about Richard. Are you open to that?
R. Yes.
J. Did Richard consent to having sex with you?
R. I’m over fifty and not a strong man. Richard lifted his buttocks up so that I could remove his pants. After we were through, he said that it was beautiful.
J. Had you had sex with him previously?
R. We had laid naked together in the other (Ethan’s) house and I fondled him. My students willingly have sex with me, I don’t force anyone.
J. I’ve talked with Richard myself and I feel that I have a good understanding of his experience.
R. Just remember I am a conscious being and Richard is an unconscious being. Richard is lying through his teeth, and he set me up. Richard is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and I fell for the setup.
J. I’m not conscious and I can’t verify if you are conscious. The system tells me that the lower cannot see the higher.
R. I am the brightest light in two thousand years.
J. I can’t verify that.
R. Have you verified C Influence?
J. Yes.
R. Well, the reason you’re able to do that is because I am a conscious being. Do you remember when I sent the car for you?
J. What do you mean?
R. I have to make about five hundred decisions a week. That I was able to send a car for you to pick you up at the hospital was an act of a conscious being. It’s the little things that matter.
R. Robert, I don’t see how that allows me to verify that you are conscious. Are acts of kindness an indicator of consciousness?
R. You don’t sound like you are coming from the king of hearts, more from your king of clubs.
J. I’m glad you brought up the king of clubs. It seems like you have a big identificiation with things pertaining to the king of clubs. What do you think is the right work of the king of clubs?
R. Gurdjieff says the king of clubs is the beast of the jungle, it protects the machine from harm. It lives in the jungle.
J. Then it seems to me a necessary part to recognize and understand. Yet you have an aversion to king of clubs things like holistic healing, hands-on healing, etcetera.
R. (vague response)
J. Robert, the only thing important to me is to keep my ears and eyes open and try to be in the moment. This moment. Talking to you is the most important thing happening. It helps me see the truth. That’s why I came to this school; I felt it was a bastion of truth. In time, though, I’ve found that most students don’t want to face the truth. Whenever I make an observation, the general response is that I’m being negative or that I’m losing the school. I see fear and feminine dominance as tools to keep students in control, I don’t have any fear of losing the school. I just need to be in the moment and if C Influence takes me out, so be it. Being in the moment is all that’s important to me.
R. That’s not enough.
J. What do you mean, not enough? That’s what you’ve been preaching all these years, self-remembering. What more is there?
R. You have to be concerned with your future.
J. What?!
R. You have to be concerned with YOUR future.
J. I’m concerned with the moment.
R. Remember when you were thrown out of the raft?
J. Yes.
R. C Influence can shake you out of the school just the same.
J. Robert, again let me say all I can do is keep my eyes and ears open and stay in the moment. That’s all that’s important to me. I don’t fear losing the school if I’m bounced out of it.
R. You have to be concerned about your future.
J. I’m only concerned with my present.
R. You have to be concerned about YOUR future (very strong emotional energy coming from Robert). Well, I’m glad that you’re o.k. about this incident. It’s fine to share this conversation with other students.
J. I won’t do that, Robert, because it would influence their thinking on this matter. I would encourage them to speak with Richard and you to form their own opinions. Are you open to them calling you?
R. Yes. Well, there’s a wedding here today and I have things to do.
J. Let’s keep the channels of communication open, Robert, and thanks for calling.
R. Goodbye, dear.

James followed up this conversation with a letter a few days later…

Dear Robert,
I appreciate you calling me and have taken time to digest the experience, and I’d like to offer you my perceptions.

My emotional center registered from your tone that you were very concerned with how I was dealing with what I’ll call the Richard Laurel incident. My action at the meeting of questioning Wayne’s angle and then leaving soon after was the catalyst for your call. I find it interesting that this was reported to you and that you acted so quickly on it. It verifies to me that you are quite active in the process of damage control over this incident with Richard and it makes me question why.

I made thorough notes of our conversation and thought about the emotional content of your voice during it. I feel that you put a lot of energy out to convince me that you are a conscious being, bordering on divinity. “The brightest light in two thousand years”, as you put it. The examples you gave to me for verification, such as my having verified C Influence because you are a conscious being and your sending me to a car to pick me up at the hospital did not penetrate as valid verifications of consciousness. I had verified C Influence before and after being in the Fellowship and I don’t see any connection with your theoretical consciousness. As to you sending a car for me and supplying rides to my doctor’s appointments at my request, I appreciate it greatly and that shows me that you were very considerate of my situation, yet I don’t know they constitute acts of consciousness. Yet I have a pretty good idea of what is not consciousness through self-observation and observing others.

As to our discussion of your sexual preferences and that C Influence wants you to be a homosexual and have sex with your students, this in unverifiable to me. Your sexuality is your business and is not a real issue with me. The issue with me and other students I’ve confided in is the possibility of you using your position as a means to gratify what appears to be a large sexual appetite. I’ve talked with students who have been your partner and their experiences have been as diverse as the individual. Some have said they were pursued quite vigorously until they succumbed, others felt it was a beautiful experience from which they gained tremendously, and others felt they were treated as an instinctive object for pleasure, then discarded. You said that your students willingly are with you and you do not influence them and t his my be true. You do hold a very influential position over many and I’m sure that you realize this does affect a person’s process in responding to you. Years of observation about the type of men you have in your entourage have shown me that they are predominantly very similar in their psychologies and appear to be particularly malleable.

My final concern is that over the years it appears you have many sexual partners and that precautions for sexually transmitted diseases are not taken. I feel this is not responsible action by all parties involved and can lead to dire consequences for you and many others. Have you ever had an AIDS test and have any of your consistent partners been tested? What do you feel is your responsibility and how do you deal with this issue?

My responses and statements to you appeared to make you more defensive of your position until you photographed my as being in the king of clubs rather than the king of hearts. This appears to be a standard response by you that one is becoming instinctive if your authority is questioned. The Fourth Way, as I understand it, is a process of questioning, observing, and verification. One that does not question is asleep, in my opinion. My questioning is a step in the process to find the truth, it does not come from disrespect or judgment.

At the start of our conversation you mentioned that you had just returned from staying at a hotel, I believe it was named after Muir, and that the address was 1998 and you made a reference to the numerical significance. At the teaching dinner I attended in September, you spent a considerable amount of time talking about interpreting license plate, place names and the like. Robert, what relevance does that have towards evolution and why is it such a common topic by you to students? I searched books by Ouspensky, Gurdjieff, Collins and Bennet and have not found any references to predictions. What does this information have to do with the Fourth Way and awakening? To me it appears to feed imagination. I may be wrong, so could you clarify your intent on speaking of these matters? I’d appreciate some relativity.

Robert, I feel the intention of your call was to assure me that everything is fine and as you put it, Richard was lying through his teeth, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, as you stated and you fell for his setup. I don’t know why you made a particularly strong effort to convince me. I’ve been told that one of your roles is to keep students asleep as well as awaken. If this was said by you I feel that you were trying to assure me that all is well and that it’s business as usual. And you realized that I wasn’t buying it. Thus your example of being knocked out of the school felt like a strong warning to me. As I said to you, I’ve never felt as committed to my work and to supporting students as I do now. All I can do is to try to be present to the moment, keep my eyes looking and my ears listening. Trust my conscience and I’ll be shown the truth. The future will unfold as it will and I will accept it as it happens, without fear.

Robert, I appreciate all the opportunities I’ve been given to self observe and try to develop will. For our efforts and all the efforts of all students who have built and are building Renaissance/Apollo I am forever grateful. I know of no other community where I have 1901 teachers and it is something I value highly. My observations to you come from a place of caring, support and concern for what we are building and I know that you can understand and appreciate that. Let’s keep the communications open. Thank you.

With love and friendship,
(signed) James Battaglia

On the 13th November, 1994, James received his reply. He was told to leave the Fellowship, along with five others, including myself.

Historical note: “Wayne” is Wayne Mott, onetime Burton’s personal secretary (can’t remember if he was so at the time). The meeting referred to was led by Steven Dambeck, with Wayne Mott, Gunter Weninger and a couple of others (can’t find my notes right now!) up on the podium. What was notable about this ‘public’ meeting is that these folks started by freely admitting having sexual relations with Burton, and each testified that the experience was helpful for their inner work. Steven then continued the meeting on the lines of morality (with special emphasis on the inapplicability of ‘life’ morality), and steered away from any concerns about abuse of power and so on (refused to accept such questions by asking for others that suited his agenda better). A couple of days later, I responded with a letter to him that photographed him for the sleight of hand and misdirection, which I may post later.

With love to all,
Ames

291. paulshabram - June 19, 2008

Lauralupa 289

You jaw drops, my stomach turns over.

Maybe Elena should print this out and hand it out while protesting. It might be good to have the blog url on the signs an remind people it’s here and they are welcome (if the doesn’t sheik mind).

Not to get anybody too worried, but I read in a previous post that preparations were made for 1998 and 2006. Those preparations included food… and WEAPONS. Does anyone have the details of what was acquired and stored? How many people were supposed to survive a nuclear holocaust and for how long. Were the preparations serious and complete?
Paul

292. brucelevy - June 19, 2008

290. paulshabram

Paul, you must remember how much RB liked seeing his pretty boys with either guns and/or motorcycles back then. He’s using the member’s money now for the really large dick symbols, like the David, or the actual dick on the ceiling. He always liked big things between the legs of the boys, especially when they went boom. He’s a Jungian nightmare. He’s a very shallow “flame” that casts no light.

293. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 19, 2008

I suppose if an adult is intent on doing something you might as well wish them well, but to me, telling an emotionally unstable woman with delusions of being the next Joan of Arc or Tianenman Square tank protester “You go, girl, and remember to bring plenty of water,” is a liitle too much like telling a six year old who’s about to run through six lanes of freeway traffic just to prove she can, “Good luck, sweetie, and look both ways!” But as RB said, maybe I’m just in the king of clubs instead of the king of hearts.

294. God Laughing - June 20, 2008

292

….I don’t know. It’s just a little shack surrounded by palm trees and golden angels on pedestals, on a country road, in the middle of nowhere.

295. paulshabram - June 20, 2008

Bruce,
What about this “actual dick on the ceiling”. Are you kidding me?

JAVOH 292
You have a good heart to worry so.

I don’t see that a judgement can be made about stability just on these entries, many of which are very coherent and often very insightful. IMO personality traits are amplified by the nature of the media (the blog). If you know her personally and think this is a bad idea then that’s a different story. The cautionary notes and advice has been good and I think are the most can be done other than go stand there with her (I’d like to do that myself, but I’m a long way away from Oregon House).

Elena tells us that she is a victim of a mother’s suicide. I have seen the life-long effect a suicide can have. It has a very wide circle of collateral damage. Her revelations on this ring true to me, but I don’t condone the use of her own thinly veiled considerations in that she is doing what I call “holding oneself hostage”. And there is no question she is doing it for attention.

Elena tell us that she is a victim of the FOF. There is no dispute
from me on that. She tells us that she is a victim of Gerard. A man who always struck me as having a deep cavernous void between his ears. Here I feel like she is as much a victim of herself as of Gerard precisely because that “deep cavernous void between his ears” begs the question, “what did you see in him that was so attractive?” Was it chemistry or was it the acquired power and access to a doting audience?

So we all know more than we ever wanted to know about Elena, and I agree it is because she skillfully directs every subject back to herself (it’s annoying to be sure). But emotionally unstable?

Jeanne d’Arc was far more delusional than she is.

Paul

296. brucelevy - June 20, 2008

294. paulshabram

If you go to the Greater Fellowship site there’s a detail of one of the paintings RB had done, using naked boy toys as models. It’s a foreshortened (like the Sistine Chapel) shot of one of the boys with a hardon pointing to the heavens. Don’t look at it too long unless you’ve swallowed poison and don’t have any ipecac handy.

297. paulshabram - June 20, 2008

OMG! It migh’vet worked better if he had it done on black velvet. Completely tasteless.

He’s sounding more like Caligula every day… Do you think Caligula is one of the 44??
Who are those 44 guys anyway is there a list somewhere? I never thought to ask RB to list them. Do you think he could?

298. elena - June 20, 2008

286 I see said the blind man

Goodness you’re still here, what fun, I always enjoyed your posts. Thank you for all your suggestions they sound so much more practical than mine. I was laughing in the car today thinking freedom of the body sounded like diarrhoea! It doesn’t say at all what I wish to mean!

I don’t have anyone else but you here to ask so if you have more suggestions please let me have them!

I’ve got the Sheriff. The newspapers… it seems absurd to have them come for one person, they’d be more difficult for me to deal with than the hard faces from my friends, because they are friends no matter how much we disagree.

Laura
Without you there, even though you probably “rightly” disappear at times, I would have gone a long time ago. The wonder is that we pull each other’s strings and tune ourselves. It’s all about harmony no matter how flat some of us might sound at times.
Much gratitude!

Another Voice and Whalerider,

I know I have offended you when I myself was vulnerable, please accept my sincere apologies. I’ve heard Delilah twice in the past two days and it is with much warmth that I remember it. So sorry that it got so bitter for you. I take back every word that has deeply offended you personally.

288. I’ll never tell, maybe I could use one of those diving suits with mask and harpoon and use the harpoon to shoot some signs on the trees!

Paul, I never quite know whether you are being friendly or not but I’ll assume it is friendly this time. I end up talking about myself because you end up asking me about myself no matter how many other things I offer for exploration. There is more curiosity about our private life than our understandings. I actually try to be very generous with my privacy so that many here can understand that we don’t need to hide or be ashamed of anything. We have all had pretty difficult lives, all made huge mistakes and as long as we can hold ourselves without shame now, then we can process the facts and understand their meaning.

You say: “Personality traits are amplified by the nature of the media (the blog)” and it is an interesting point. I agree with you, something happens that is not the same as when we talk privately. It is magic! From one angle, I think we get to feel the magic of being together and how many of us had ever tasted that? I hadn’t. Perhaps when we hang out with a family of sixteen children when I was seven. Never in the Fellowship.
And then there is something else that is beyond the personal. Like dreaming the world… sometimes a nightmare. But something moves beyond the personal for sure inside us all that connects us with the deepest inside and the highest outside. Also going down into the lowest in us but because it is so many of us they get balanced out and we can all move on if there isn’t too much judgement.

I have already answered your question about Girard at least twice. I’ll try to be short. I also saw what you saw but because I thought Robert was conscious Girard had to become what Robert said and that he needed a lot of love if that was going to happen. He seemed to be in a very difficult place at the time and no one would help what to me was a hero, no matter how ‘straight’ he was. He had held the school together while Robert talked with Leonardo and the rest! It is funny, isn’t it? So I thought I was Joan of Arc ready to help him and all the other students were just sleep and didn’t know where help was needed! Just like on the blog! If I don’t stop laughing I’ll have to stop writing. But one day I’ll tell you how pretty it was, like a fairy tale with an Emu who came out of nowhere at the same time. And then I thought that if I at least married him maybe they’d let me talk! As you can see I really needed to say something!

We met a few days ago and he is well. Obviously having to save the Cult from my prosecution and the blog is a hell of a good job again and he is much needed. If we had arranged it, it wouldn’t have worked so well! The months in Mexico must have helped some for he is more relaxed and healthy looking, with hair a bit longer and not the military cut. He asked me to understand that for him The Fellowship is a place of healing and regeneration and that we could not meet again because there is no point in discussing it.

I do not regret it Paul. Nor do I feel Girard’s victim. In the end we are just roles and life plays itself out in us. We are like onions that peel different layers in each relationship and we do each other a favour just being with each other. Girard’s limitations as a husband are for him to work out and so are my limitations as a wife. I was only beginning to become a woman in a deeper sense of the word. When he came to visit a few days ago it was quite shocking to see myself making the house beautiful for him. We come alive when there is that … love?

It may be difficult for many of you to conceive that innocent people joining the Fellowship deeply concern me. How much do other factors count? they count. It is not that I don’t understand that for men like Girard and many in the Fellowship, it is a tragedy to have the Fellowship close down and I sincerely do not wish to hurt anyone but I am also not willing to let them hurt other ignorant prospective students so that they continue to live comfortably. I understand that for many of you it is just that, solidarity with their needs but for me it is solidarity with the other’s needs. And I will never accept that life would not be more beautiful if they made it more decent, just that would be enough to make it worth it.

On another subject, I’m interested in exploring how it is that we jump from being orphans to being lesbians or being THAT STRAIGHT, to being porn addicts or from not having a father to being that gay. At what point does the process turn and channel itself into specific conditioning?

I suppose in my case, having been placed in a boarding school at the age of ten helped. There were only women and the sexuality was coming alive and they started to look interesting! But of course, not all women that go to boarding schools become lesbians.

There’s a link that I am looking for because when you look at Robert or Girard and how they divided into two people you can see the manifestations of very specific traits. It is very interesting because the degree of weirdness would allow us to understand a lot of how things are connected.

In my case it is also very weird but I don’t think I divided into two people as much as developed a bi-sexuality. There is no such a thing as it being “natural” in my case, no matter how natural it is in other homosexuals. The boarding school definitely helped but the need for a mother was there even before that. And now that there is less need for a mother there are still things left that got developed in the process. In a recent session with Unoanimo he had me paint my mother’s face and I drew her with big eyes. (It was a great exercise, please try to paint your loved ones) and then I realized I would fall in love with women’s eyes. My mother was of course beautiful and yes, that beauty remained in the picture. As if I had taken the beauty out of the body and tried to replace it. Certain ‘beauties’ trigger the process. I am awfully awkward as a woman for men because I’ve developed so much of my masculine side but I definitely find them much more pleasing sexually. That’s it, the emotional absence triggered a process of imagination around women in which no matter how poor the sexuality was the masculine side of me developed and tried to please them so that I could posses the pleasure of her beauty, the female beauty while men were so easily accessible that they represented no challenge. Because being a homosexual was something that involved a thousand times more suffering than anything I’ve experienced in the Fellowship, I wish to share this and discover it so that others in similar conditions can explore. I’ve never read books on it, perhaps I should but here is this, for whatever it’s worth. Healing from the insatiable pain of having not had a parent when it was needed will give us a great deal of understanding of Robert Burton and a thousand other people who still don’t understand how important it is for us to be there for the children.

In Robert’s insatiability with the boys there is a lot of that. And in Girard’s pornography there’s also a lot of that. But we all have similar areas only not as pronounced and very few of us were in a milieu that allowed them to reach the excesses that they managed in Robert and Girard precisely because of their position of power. That counts. The mind creates pictures, recreates pictures that the emotional centre did not fulfil. The pain in the heart causes the “imaginations” but the “imaginations” become so obsessive that real contact is lost and the initial need or picture is totally deformed. For one because the actual experience is not the real need any way and none of the boys are his father as none of the women were mine and none of Girard’s women are his mother either. The fact that the experience relieves the pain as it covers it, develops a huge series of other sufferings because the whole pattern of one’s sexuality gets involved. In Girard, the more porn he watches, the less real contact he can have with the woman in front of him and as Reich studied, this is true of all men who have not healthily developed sexually but he never understood, liked or talked about homosexuality and it was a void for me. But what is even more interesting is that in both Girard and Robert the lack of contact with the partner in front of them runs parallel with a lack of contact with human beings. They deformed human beings into packed representations of “dolls” and they themselves are dolls that dress up and undress the different uniforms all day. The imagination is so perverse that they have become convinced that as long as they are wearing the uniform and so are all the others, the event of reality takes place and they are alive in the dinner, the breakfast, the “show”. This deformity is obviously taking place for hundreds of other followers who have forgone “humanity” for the “club” in which we can all play out our imaginary picture of dressed up dolls. Frigid, a-sexual but dressed as if the boys were Robert’s young father and the rest of us, the world in which he would have wanted to live with him. Dolls for whom everything is “beautiful”. The palms, the fountains, the waltzes, the rose gardens. Dolls who don’t argue, demand, require. Dolls without needs. Winding dolls who go to work to keep up the dream.

In Girard’s pathology there’s a variation that I don’t yet grasp and Robert’s of course I am just beginning to grasp. Girard wishes a “perfect, organized world” and “organizes” it from morning to night. That is all that matters. He feels he is alive if he has to get somewhere on time. It doesn’t really matter where because once he is there what matters is where he must get to on time after that. How he gets there also matters. The ‘uniform’ must be impeccable. The car cleaned every weekend, the shoes polished, the hair, the tie, the jacket… no, the suit. I am not trying to make you laugh. It is quite tragic! I beg you forgive me my love but it is also very funny! Only that if I laugh too much I’ll start crying. Anyway, in the pathology, the imaginary picture is convinced that he is serving. He has given up his life to serve the students. Not on plates directly into Robert’s mouth, No, just in place directly in front of him so that he can talk and talk and talk, like me! My grandmother use to tell me, tell me who you’re going out with and I’ll tell you who you are! Talking has become one of the symptoms of Girard’s pathology. He craves those dinners in which students feed him well, give him wine and listen to him as if he’d disappear if they didn’t happen. And the secret during the event is to transform anything that might resemble “human” into “doll” talk so that nothing destroys the “organized world”. He is like a little boy playing with his tanks and soldiers and I love him no matter how crazy I know he is. But I am convinced the problem has acquired evil proportions. It is simply not healthy for anyone involved.

My pathology is even more difficult for me to pinpoint than theirs but you guys are a hell of a third force to at least try to be honest. In mine, what seems to matter is that you value me. That you find me worth your company. When this doesn’t happen my self worth is lost and I have to make up something even better to seduce you with. When I realize I am in that pattern and can stop being identified with it, then I can give without it mattering how much you value it or not because I value it. But who knows, it is difficult to see myself clearly. In my pathology, serving also seems to be an issue. I have never read novels. All my family did was read and they loved novels but when my mother shot herself I wanted to understand why people shot themselves not why they lived so I begun to study psychology when I was fourteen and a lot of esoteric literature; symbols, Mircea Eliade, Oswald Wirth and others. I don’t read novels and I have a very underdeveloped jack of hearts. Lately I am recovering it, my mother was the warmest, kindest person I’ve ever met and she was difficult with me, she had difficulty with me who/ because/ I was often sick. Basically I have a very underdeveloped emotional act. The warmth, the beauty, disappeared and I looked out into the world without being able to find it. So I fall in love with it when I see it but it is more and more rare. Falling in love does not seem all that attractive any more. The excesses of it do not seduce me but I am deeply eager to share my body, mind, heart and spirit and do enjoy it when you expose yours. Frankly I am no better than Girard or Robert in any way, surely they would say that they are enjoying life as much as I feel I am no matter the intrinsic difficulties but there’s a tremendous difference in where we are going.

This is the longest post I’ve written here. I am glad I’ve managed to bite into it, I’ve been wanting to get here for a year. I assume those of you who cannot value it, will not bother to read it and therefore not demand that I try to excuse myself. It is too late and my eyes are extremely tired to correct. Please make the necessary adjustments where needed.

299. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 20, 2008

288 has been newly moderated.

Ton: Have a look here:

http://uroboros.wordpress.com/2008/04/26/the-mosaic-effect-season-2episode-7-its-just-a-myth/

Listen to the podcast and tell me what you think. I think that it’s very relevant to this powerful truth dissemination need that for some reason is inherent to people of our kind.

300. somebody - June 20, 2008

298. Elena, your story about Gerard reminded me of this fairy tale by Andersen. Last chapter.

SEVENTH STORY. What Took Place in the Palace of the Snow Queen, and what Happened Afterward

The walls of the palace were of driving snow, and the windows and doors of cutting winds. There were more than a hundred halls there, according as the snow was driven by the winds. The largest was many miles in extent; all were lighted up by the powerful Aurora Borealis, and all were so large, so empty, so icy cold, and so resplendent! Mirth never reigned there; there was never even a little bear-ball, with the storm for music, while the polar bears went on their hindlegs and showed off their steps. Never a little tea-party of white young lady foxes; vast, cold, and empty were the halls of the Snow Queen. The northern-lights shone with such precision that one could tell exactly when they were at their highest or lowest degree of brightness. In the middle of the empty, endless hall of snow, was a frozen lake; it was cracked in a thousand pieces, but each piece was so like the other, that it seemed the work of a cunning artificer. In the middle of this lake sat the Snow Queen when she was at home; and then she said she was sitting in the Mirror of Understanding, and that this was the only one and the best thing in the world.

Little Kay was quite blue, yes nearly black with cold; but he did not observe it, for she had kissed away all feeling of cold from his body, and his heart was a lump of ice. He was dragging along some pointed flat pieces of ice, which he laid together in all possible ways, for he wanted to make something with them; just as we have little flat pieces of wood to make geometrical figures with, called the Chinese Puzzle. Kay made all sorts of figures, the most complicated, for it was an ice-puzzle for the understanding. In his eyes the figures were extraordinarily beautiful, and of the utmost importance; for the bit of glass which was in his eye caused this. He found whole figures which represented a written word; but he never could manage to represent just the word he wanted–that word was “eternity”; and the Snow Queen had said, “If you can discover that figure, you shall be your own master, and I will make you a present of the whole world and a pair of new skates.” But he could not find it out.

” am going now to warm lands,” said the Snow Queen. “I must have a look down into the black caldrons.” It was the volcanoes Vesuvius and Etna that she meant. “I will just give them a coating of white, for that is as it ought to be; besides, it is good for the oranges and the grapes.” And then away she flew, and Kay sat quite alone in the empty halls of ice that were miles long, and looked at the blocks of ice, and thought and thought till his skull was almost cracked. There he sat quite benumbed and motionless; one would have imagined he was frozen to death.

Suddenly little Gerda stepped through the great portal into the palace. The gate was formed of cutting winds; but Gerda repeated her evening prayer, and the winds were laid as though they slept; and the little maiden entered the vast, empty, cold halls. There she beheld Kay: she recognised him, flew to embrace him, and cried out, her arms firmly holding him the while, “Kay, sweet little Kay! Have I then found you at last?”

But he sat quite still, benumbed and cold. Then little Gerda shed burning tears; and they fell on his bosom, they penetrated to his heart, they thawed the lumps of ice, and consumed the splinters of the looking-glass; he looked at her, and she sang the hymn:

“The rose in the valley is blooming so sweet,
And angels descend there the children to greet.”

Hereupon Kay burst into tears; he wept so much that the splinter rolled out of his eye, and he recognised her, and shouted, “Gerda, sweet little Gerda! Where have you been so long? And where have I been?” He looked round him. “How cold it is here!” said he. “How empty and cold!” And he held fast by Gerda, who laughed and wept for joy. It was so beautiful, that even the blocks of ice danced about for joy; and when they were tired and laid themselves down, they formed exactly the letters which the Snow Queen had told him to find out; so now he was his own master, and he would have the whole world and a pair of new skates into the bargain.

Gerda kissed his cheeks, and they grew quite blooming; she kissed his eyes, and they shone like her own; she kissed his hands and feet, and he was again well and merry. The Snow Queen might come back as soon as she liked; there stood his discharge written in resplendent masses of ice.

They took each other by the hand, and wandered forth out of the large hall; they talked of their old grandmother, and of the roses upon the roof; and wherever they went, the winds ceased raging, and the sun burst forth. And when they reached the bush with the red berries, they found the Reindeer waiting for them. He had brought another, a young one, with him, whose udder was filled with milk, which he gave to the little ones, and kissed their lips. They then carried Kay and Gerda–first to the Finland woman, where they warmed themselves in the warm room, and learned what they were to do on their journey home; and they went to the Lapland woman, who made some new clothes for them and repaired their sledges…

301. God Laughing - June 20, 2008

For Elena

As soon as Wolf began to feel
That he would like a decent meal,
He went and knocked on Grandma’s door.
When Grandma opened it, she saw
The sharp white teeth, the horrid grin,
And Wolfie said, “May I come in?”
Poor Grandmamma was terrified,
“He’s going to eat me up!” she cried.

And she was absolutely right.
He ate her up in one big bite.
But Grandmamma was small and tough,
And Wolfie wailed, “That’s not enough!
I haven’t yet begun to feel
That I have had a decent meal!”
He ran around the kitchen yelping,
“I’ve got to have a second helping!”
Then added with a frightful leer,
“I’m therefore going to wait right here
Till Little Miss Red Riding Hood
Comes home from walking in the wood.”
He quickly put on Grandma’s clothes,
(Of course he hadn’t eaten those).
He dressed himself in coat and hat.
He put on shoes, and after that
He even brushed and curled his hair,
Then sat himself in Grandma’s chair.
In came the little girl in red.
She stopped. She stared. And then she said,

“What great big ears you have, Grandma.”
“All the better to hear you with,” the Wolf replied.
“What great big eyes you have, Grandma.”
said Little Red Riding Hood.
“All the better to see you with,” the Wolf replied.

He sat there watching her and smiled.
He thought, I’m going to eat this child.
Compared with her old Grandmamma
She’s going to taste like caviar.

Then Little Red Riding Hood said, “But Grandma,
what a lovely great big furry coat you have on.”

“That’s wrong!” cried Wolf. “Have you forgot
To tell me what BIG TEETH I’ve got?
Ah well, no matter what you say,
I’m going to eat you anyway.”
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature’s head
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
A few weeks later, in the wood,
I came across Miss Riding Hood.
But what a change! No cloak of red,
No silly hood upon her head.
She said, “Hello, and do please note
My lovely furry wolfskin coat.”

Roald Dahl

302. somebody - June 20, 2008

Robert Burton on Influence C:

We have the living Influence C. There is no way without them.

By giving us the sequence, Influence C are demanding everything from us. In this way only can we be worthy of receiving it.

Life is clever for A influence, and schools are clever for Influence C.

Because of Influence C, we can use our physical body to produce presence. There is not a chance without them.

Having a direct connection with Influence C is more important than any other event, including possibly facing the Last Judgment.

Very a few people are touched by Influence C in their lives.

Like any other school, we are at the mercy of Influence C, and we are grateful for it.

The longer one works with Influence C, the more patience is required. Certain directions the school is taking, and certain aspects of the form, can only be comprehended on a larger scale.

C Influence wants me to be a homosexual and have sex with my students so that I may have humility. It’s a beautiful experience for myself and my students. I’m very loving and careful with them. The morality of the ark will not be based on Judeo-Christian principles.

When I leave you, one thing you will have to ask yourselves repeatedly is: “What do Influence C want in this area?” It is not so much a question of what one wants, but of what Influence C wish.

We have contacted higher school, whose abode is outside of the solar system and galaxy. Is that not something?

303. whalerider - June 20, 2008

Elena:
Thanks for the apology, it means a lot to me and I do forgive you.

I hope you will take my suggestions to heart when you protest and resist using the so-called “work” language when and if you encounter FOF cult followers.

According to George Lakoff, here’s how you succeed in freeing people whose minds are mired in dogmatic thought processes:

“If you keep using their language and their framing and just argue against it, you lose because you are reinforcing their frame. The truth alone will not set anyone free. Just speaking truth to power doesn’t work. You need to frame the truths effectively from your perspective. You need to speak from your moral perspective at all times. Be proactive, not reactive. Play offense, not defense. Don’t just say what you believe. Use your frames, not their frames. Use them because they fit the values you believe in.

Show character and dignity. Avoid a shouting match. You win a victory when the discourse turns civil. They win when they get you to shout. (That’s why I won’t be joining you.) Be calm. Calmness is a sign that you know what you are talking about. Be good humored. A good natured sense of humor shows that you are comfortable with yourself. Hold your ground. Always be on the offensive, never go on the defensive. Never act like a victim. Avoid the language of weakness. You voice should be steady. You body and voice should convey passionate conviction without losing control. By the way you conduct yourself, show strength, calmness and control; an ability to reason; a sense of realism, and a sense of being an equal not superior. Don’t expect to convert the staunch supporters, (i.e., the ones on salary-address for the ones making donations). Don’t just negate the other person’s claims; reframe. You cannot win just by stating the true facts and showing that they contradict your opponent’s claims. FRAMES TRUMP FACTS. Their frames will stay and your facts will bounce off. Always reframe. If you remember nothing else about framing, remember this: Once your frame is accepted into the discourse, everything you say is just common sense. Why? Because that’s what common sense is: reasoning within a commonplace accepted frame. Never answer a question framed in your opponent’s point of view. Always reframe the question to fit into your values and frames. This may make you uncomfortable, since normal discourse styles require you directly answer questions posed. That is a trap. Practice changing frames. Tell a story. Find stories where your frame is built into the story. Again, use frames you really believe in, based on values you really hold.”

Good luck. I still think you’d be more effective in your homeland. Remember, even though Jeanne d’Arc had an army to back her up she lost the battle, but won the hearts and minds of the people. She stood for something….moral values.

304. paulshabram - June 20, 2008

Elena 298

Elena,
The ambiguity about being friendly or not is 100% intentional. If you don’t know, you have to think harder.

You seemed like you wanted that button pressed. I thought about for good a week or so then pressed it. You delivered. Very good stuff, much better.

I take aim at the raw nerve, but I know the lighting bolt must pass through the heart. It shocks me as well to release it.

I’ll tell you about what I have come to feel about the act of suicide. I have come to the conclusion that in most cases it is one of the most selfish and self centered acts imaginable. And I am talking about adult self-murder, not self sacrifice. That is it so makes it possible to release the living victims of self-murder from a living Hell.

Paul

305. ton - June 20, 2008

sheik, the alchemically brain damaged site is on my list of bookmarks (thanks to laura for tuning me into it) but i hadn’t heard this particular podcast until you posted it at around 299… thank you for that, it is an especially germane topic on so many levels. i’ll get back to you with more detail of my own impressions (i want to listen to it again first) but i would be interested in and appreciate reading your (and other people’s) take on it.

briefly and generally, an important bit is the whole question of freedom, what does that really mean for the individual given our matrix of ‘social conditioning’ ? it might be argued that the individual is de facto the product of her imagination…. but the impact of ‘the collective’ upon the individual imagination goes mostly unnoticed… where is the freedom in this?
the issue needs to be pointed at otherwise we can’t help but to remain ‘asleep’ to it… thanks sheik

306. elena - June 20, 2008

Ton, thank you very much for that post.

Somebody, it is good for us to start seeing how there’s not that much distance between fairy tales and reality.

301 Laughing,
what a great story, I always liked Dahl. Yes, women can no longer be eaten as easily as the wolves would like! But the table is set for us to dine together if we are smart enough!

Whalerider: “Avoid a shouting match. You win a victory when the discourse turns civil. They win when they get you to shout. (That’s why I won’t be joining you.)”

That is not why you are not joining me, I have already won that battle with you here in the past four days. Everything you are suggesting I do, I am already doing. The System language is not the Fellowship language. They talk about rhino poo and dog behaviour and we understand each other better if we want to share a language that we’ve been working on for years. The baby Whalerider, the baby is what you need to save or you go down with them and drown. The System is just the babies clothing but babies feel better if they are not naked. I am very happy that you’ve accepted my apology. I continue to appreciate your posts.

Paul: 304 “I’ll tell you about what I have come to feel about the act of suicide. I have come to the conclusion that in most cases it is one of the most selfish and self centered acts imaginable. And I am talking about adult self-murder, not self sacrifice. That is it so makes it possible to release the living victims of self-murder from a living Hell.”

The ambiguity with friendship is intentional and you make it harder for what? Love does not need such constraints. I do not try to make anything harder for you because the easier it is, the better. We have enough difficulties to intentionally make up more. As a friend said to me recently, be sceptical and I agree, we need healthy scepticism but also unwavering trust on what is beautiful within each one of us.

I do not know about every case of suicide but the few people I know who have tried to commit suicide which are eight including myself with two of us who did not succeed and six that did, I cannot agree with your statement without many reservations.

In my personal case it was learnt behaviour. My brother and sister have not tried to commit suicide. My sister has been an alcoholic for years and my brother’s emotional centre stopped growing up after my mother died at the age of fourteen, he can still not talk about it. What got imprinted in me from my mother was that she had no tolerance for suffering for too long and exploded, exploded herself. She did not have a feature of dramatism, (to be kinder with those of us with that feature, for lunatic is a word that people tend to much misunderstand) like I do, she had a feature of vanity and she was more beautiful than she was vain. What I have come to understand is that there is not much difference between committing suicide or killing somebody else in terms of the act itself but they are two totally different processes. They are both social phenomenon. A particular situation rises to a point in which one of the people involved gets overcharged and says, this is the only way I can deal with this. So the tragedy explodes on everybody and we have time to learn the lesson if we look at it straight in the face which is what most people are constantly avoiding about everything that happens in our lives so the tragedies just repeat themselves over and over again.

In all things we would have to look at the three aspects of the situation: the personal story, the social milieu and the human-divine perspective of the individual in question. Then we would have better chances of understanding the play.

Within the personal story, in my case, it is very clear to me that my rejection of life simply turned around and hit me. People express negative emotions long enough and they develop a personality of its own that just turns around against themselves. It is the same with any habit: Porn, sex, abuse, sooner or later it turns around on the people dealing with it. Work on one’s self is precisely the recovery of the lost ground.

In my social milieu, the people around me were not able to help me, we were all pretty much in the same place. And my perspective on life was on the one side deeply mystical and on the other hopelessly agnostic. All that changed a hundred and eighty degrees when I survived.

Having said all this I would have to go back and agree with you that it is a selfish act in as much as the person involved is so desperately unable to make contact with the world outside that s/he looses a sense of both herself and life. This is why people in such a condition need an enormous amount of help. The other one I know who survived, H. I think has managed to not repeat it because she too has found enough well being within herself to cope with the deep end. The last one, Eileen, unfortunately I was unable to help because my strength was barely enough to help myself but I will never make that mistake again.

Basically what we are talking about which is a subject that would require more than a post, for me, is that the more alienated an individual becomes to his entourage, the more depressed s/he will become. If the human perspective is hopeless, it will influence the social contact practically and the interactions between people will tend to be increasingly negative, lonelier and depressed leaving the individual with very few alternatives. If the human perspective is mobile, detached on the personal level and very hopeful for the work in process, then the social interactions are spontaneous and fulfilling.

If we look at it in a wider context, if the sense of the sacred in life is vibrant in the individual or the community, work and camaraderie flow in the social milieu and sympathy and optimism flow from the individual.

What causes more individual tragedies is the loss of the sacred in life because the interactions between people lose the human meaning and become a purely instinctive interaction of personal interests and not the well being of everyone involved. Trust, joy and camaraderie disappear. Culture does not develop but Cults flourish unrestrained. In other nations with different history, like Sweden, maybe cults don’t develop but the rate of suicide is appallingly high although they have instinctive well being.

We are in the deep end of our time and if it is so tremendously difficult for an individual to recover from manic depression, it can give us a hint into the difficulties we are facing to overcome the general hopelessness. As an individual, the only thing I know that helped me was to look at the bull straight in the face and let the imaginary suffering attack for as long as it wanted until I realized it doesn’t kill anyone. I mean the negativity towards life is mostly unnecessary suffering. It will not kill us if we are ready to move out of its way but if we buffer the fact that it is there, it will tear us apart. We not only need to deal with the bull individually but socially. All the Bushes as much as the Roberts and for that we need to develop trust on ourselves as much as on each other. Each individual must act on his own, but we must all act or we’ll just continue to collect heroes and tragedies.

307. ton - June 20, 2008

elena many thanks for your continuing presence here… your post reminded me of this… have you read jerry mander? his book ‘in the absence of the sacred’ is recommended… and sheik it also relates tangentially to the podcast and a previous thread here regarding drugs /genetic engineering and some of the info / thinking / ‘memes’ over at the BLTC site…

“The belief that technology is neutral is only one aspect of what Mander calls “the pro-technology paradigm” — “a system of perceptions that make us blind and passive when it comes to technology.” It’s a cultural mindset that has emerged over time as we’ve become more and more accustomed to living with technology. It’s also a product of the optimistic, even utopian, claims that invariably accompany the introduction of new technology. Another factor contributing to our passivity in the face of technology, Mander contends, is the habit of evaluating it in strictly personal terms. By stressing the benefits of technology in our personal lives — the machine vacuums our carpets, the television keeps us informed, the car gets us around, the computer allows us to work from home, etc. — we make little attempt to understand its larger societal and ecological consequences.”

http://www.scottlondon.com/reviews/mander.html

308. paulshabram - June 20, 2008

Elena 306
“The ambiguity with friendship is intentional … ”

Because I don’t want you to just react as you have done.

“I do not try to make anything harder for you because the easier it is, the better.”

But you do make it harder with your long posts and serpentine weaving of the discussion back to yourself. To get at the value I almost have to draw arrows between distant parts to get at the real gold:

“I do not know about every case of suicide but the few people I know who have tried to commit suicide which are eight including myself with two of us who did not succeed and six that did, I cannot agree with your statement without many reservations…
… Having said all this I would have to go back and agree with you that it is a selfish act in as much as the person involved is so desperately unable to make contact with the world outside that s/he looses a sense of both herself and life.”

In between you fall into what looks like justification for suicide:
“In my personal case it was learnt behavior…” Followed by a thought process that seems to come to the same point of view as what I am saying except you excuse your mother instead of forgiving her.
Connecting these thoughts you find the first conundrum that faces someone trying to help a suicidal person:

“In my social milieu, the people around me were not able to help me, we were all pretty much in the same place….
…This is why people in such a condition need an enormous amount of help.”

No one can ever really give help if the intended recipient’s universe has collapsed on themselves. BANG!
Paul

309. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 20, 2008

298 elena

“I know I have offended you when I myself was vulnerable, please accept my sincere apologies.”

I appreciate your apology, Elena, but I assure you that nothing you have said on this blog has offended me. I do view your insistance on making this blog about yourself and your emotional issues to be a sort of obsessive emotional masturbation, which remind me of Someone We Know. But I also see that others have far more appreciation that I do for your contributions.

And so we come full circle.

310. elena - June 21, 2008

Ton,

Thanks for the sunshine on the role of technology. I did not understand where it fitted but yes, it is clear how it too has helped us disassociate from ourselves. No wonder the alienation has taken so much ground. I’ll have better internet next week so I’ll be able to look at the sites you’re offering but also hope to get away from the computer for longer periods.

308. paulshabram – June 20, 2008

Hi Paul,

You belong to a tradition in which people disconnect themselves from what they are saying and feel comfortable with that. It is very strong in our societies because we are in fact more and more disconnected inwardly. The intellectual centre runs on its own wheel while the emotional centre runs in a different one and so does the life of the individuals involved. There is usually little harmony between the intellectual life and the emotional life and people simply divide into personalities.

You think you are criticizing me for going back on myself but you compliment me in as much as if I cannot refer what I am saying to my experience then I don’t really know what I am talking about. After only a year of leaving the Fellowship I am sorting out what I have understood and a lot of that has been accompanied by my different emotional states. I am not a winner of the kind you like but I am winning the battle I want.

Your point of view of suicide is no different to the position most people had in relation to Dorothy, Heather and Eileen. You treat yourself as a man of thought, a good householder and a man of reasons but you fail to conceive of the possibility of helping people who are in a difficult situation because according to you they are already hopeless: “No one can ever really give help if the intended recipient’s universe has collapsed on themselves. BANG!” No one’s universe has totally collapsed unless they are already dead. There is always hope as long as they are alive and that is what you have lost: hope and trust.

This is how most people justify tragedies. They try to think that they couldn’t really avoid them and reinforce within themselves the pattern that is not willing to assume responsibility. Only children and old people can do that amongst us.

In the question at hand, the Fellowship of Friends Cult, it is obvious that that is not the case. If the people who left twenty years ago had seriously helped the people that were joining then, many more people would not have been hurt. If those of us who understand that today, act seriously against the Fellowship, many people will leave, many will not join and everyone will have to look for a better solution for their lives than ripping others off.

It does not matter to me whether you understand or not my relationship to my mother’s suicide. I do not need to forgive her in front of you, where is your being that you would even conceive of such a thing? I not only excuse her and myself and every other human being who has committed suicide as a solution to his own suffering. When it comes to that, no one really needs to be excused, only a mentality like yours would think that a situation like that can be explained only by selfishness or that they need justifications. It is the living who need to justify themselves. When people reach that point in which other people’s suffering is merely due to their selfishness, there is no longer compassion. I have lived in the compassionless world of the Fellowship of Friends for eighteen years so you do not surprise me at all. I hope you one day find enough kindness from other people to not judge your suffering as selfishness and have to buffer it rather than transform it.

When you joined this discussion I thought you were someone who might help us see things differently but I was mistaken. You are another one who needs to get close to “winners” because you label people who are suffering: losers. You, like Robert and the rest of the people in the Fellowship who thought Dorothy should die three years before she did, (because no one was willing to help her) run away from suffering convinced that that will make you “the winners”. Or who would not help H. because she was simply “crazy”. With that you take the possibility of developing compassion away from your life and as long as you never have to deal with your own suffering, you might well get away with it and die without having developed the possibility of ever helping any body else or experiencing gratitude for having being helped.

I thank you for your perspective on this subject but I decline to assume any of it in my being except the fact that the situation is a lot more hopeless than I would have liked. If you ever need help please do not hesitate to contact me in Colombia. I will do everything I can to help you get out of here. My number will be on the greater Fellowship as long as it exists.

Whalerider.

I do not know what manual you use to understand history but it is obviously not the same one I am using. Allow me to share mine. I understand the English people were sent out of France, what makes you think that she lost?

“When one looks deeply into the period, that strange threshold from the Middle Ages into the Renaissance, one begins to feel that Joan was the instrument for presenting something very extraordinary indeed – the idea that an individual human being, having complete faith in her own conscience, in higher direction, in God, could be used to redeem a situation which had gone radically wrong. Somebody had to show that individual conscience is higher than all temporal authority, before the Renaissance could begin. She did it.” Rodney Collin

Any comparison any of you make between Joan of Arc and me is far from ridiculing me, in fact, if I died today, I would be happy to have accomplished at least that. Our situation is not the same as it was then. The individual has lived. We are strong individuals but without conscience or consciousness. What we need now is community for the individual to survive and develop. Other wise, we’ll go back to the dark ages. I have the hope that at least some of you who have gone through the Fellowship experience can share that. Some, is enough.

———–
Most of what I’ve said here has been simply an exercise in understanding and organizing the experiences and knowledge that I have lived through. Most of the knowledge, I owe to my Teachers: Reich and Ouspensky, Gurdjieff, Colin and Steiner; most of the experiences I owe to you and people like you and the inspirations I present I owe to the Hierarchy, to which we all belong. Nothing belongs to me except the joys and the suffering and I am proud to own both.

I am very sorry that I have so abused your space and time to make sense of my life, may my gratitude compensate the discomfort that I have submitted you to.

311. veronicapoe - June 21, 2008

Some people are more open about their process, some people less. The blog is “about” whatever people make it about. Elena emerged from a thought-reform environment and is making sense of what happened to her and everyone else. Those who are interested are free to read and those who are not are free to skip. She deserves no criticism for sharing her process, including her reactivity. Ultimately, aren’t we here to help one another?

312. elena - June 21, 2008

I don’t think so Veronicapoe, I think we are here to see whose ego is larger and they are all so big we just can’t fit.

Another Voice. Deeply grateful for your contribution and Paul Shabram, I thank you again for yours. You are the living image of my own husband.

313. Yesri Baba - June 21, 2008

pfffft

314. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 21, 2008

Elena: If you emotionally detach yourself, re-read veronicapoe’s post 311 and your reaction to it on 312, then you will get what people are trying to point out to you.

Ton: I think that the main point in that podcast for me was that revealing truthful information does not necessarily have a positive effect, or an effect of any substance. The first example used, that of the wide-spread knowledge of the corruption and dirt that’s associated with the American government, and the apathy that people adopt in reaction, is especially profound.

I find it interesting that for so many people, including myself, the process of self-investigation (and the results of) is linked to a much more powerful and insightful picture of the whole – that is, you are finding out about yourself, at the same time you are finding out about the world in general. Whether this can go the other way I do not know – whether through informing people of the whole, they start working and identifying themselves. It seems to me that it does not work this way, or that it works very slowly (eg. advertising and marketing took about 60 years to produce this era of mass-consumerism and there are still huge pockets of resistance and a general air of dissatisfaction).

The only difficulty with this process of ‘truth coming out in and out’ is that a lot of people, including myself, go through a period of believing (as a result of understanding ‘better’ and finding out more about the whole) that everything is terrible, corrupt, and evil, from which a very strong and long period of depression usually ensues. The belief that everything is huge but inherently evil or negative is a hard one to stand against or with (unless you have a very powerful super-hero complex and feed of the belief that you are fighting the righteous war). Only when this belief gets re-labeled as ‘it appears to me’ that things are such as such, as opposed to ‘things are such and such’, only then is it possible to realize that the whole time it was your own lens, your own reality tunnel, your own self-produced TV channel, that you were watching, not necessarily the whole as it is.

I guess it’s the same with the Fellowship of Friends, even though I have no experiential understanding of this. My biggest problem with the Fellowship of Friends would be that it doesn’t seem to be capable of teaching people how to be present (which is the only role for it, no?). And there are so many other sources (not that there is any need for sources when all you need to do is pay attention) to ‘mindfulness’, ‘presence’, or ‘awareness’. Presence is here, now, in everyone. It doesn’t need to be taught, it’s already there, it just needs your attention to show its ugly little horns.

To give some sense of completion to this rambling post and to reveal the most important point for me from all of this (and an essential one for me as my partner does not share my spiritually minded chaotic world and self-view) is that people come to their answers when it suits them – revealing a piece of (profound) truth or what appears to us/you/me to be truth, without the building blocks already there for the truth to settle on, can cause all sorts of mayhem and confusion. Also, going too deep into these issues seems to have negative effects on normal day-to-day life, the guy who writes on Alchemically Braindamaged is a beautiful example, when at the end of the podcast he says that to be him is to ‘find it hard to keep a job’.

315. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 21, 2008

Time to move on.

NEW DISCUSSION BOARD

Enjoy.


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