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Fellowship of Friends Discussion, part 38 June 21, 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.

Participants require 1 moderated comment before they can start communicating in real-time.

Comments

1. veronicapoe - June 21, 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. veronicapoe - June 21, 2008

311/veronicapoe
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
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.

314/Sheik
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.

Sheik, I think you missed the intentionally ironical flavor of Elena’s post.

Even so, you point out to her her own reactivity, which I suspect she “gets.”

What many people don’t “get” about their own reactivity (I speak for myself only here) is that it says “I am enmeshed,” that is, other people determine my emotional life. It need not be so. Other people will always affect my emotional life, but they need not determine it.

I loved God Laughing’s extremely insightful post about judgmental environs, reactivity and the limbic brain. Thank you.

3. ton - June 21, 2008

elena 310
“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.”

it sounds like you do understand, at least you give a pertinent interpretation… as you said before: “it’s good to get out” (or words to that effect). as for “fitting” i had no intention of getting in the middle of what you, paul et el, are carrying on about. just to clarify, this quote from you is what triggered a memory of the book by jerry mander i referred to earlier:

“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.”
****************************************************************
i’ve always thought that books can be like friends — of course the interactive quality which usually occurs among friends is more or less absent in the reading of a book… i say ‘more or less’ because with ‘critical’ reading or even reading of great fantasy there is conjured a process in the reader which might be thought of as ‘interactive’ on some level… maybe more like inner-activity… but with reading, the flow of information is ‘one way.’ now we have all of this wonderful technology ‘at our disposal,’ with the computer / internet we’re able to actively exchange ideas and feelings… it’s very different than reading a book of course… the flow of information is not limited to a ‘one way street’ — at least ideally… but it doesn’t always work that way, the ‘egos’ (and all that implies) can form obstacles to understanding, ‘perspective empathy’ can get pushed aside in the rush to get one’s own point of view across, interpretation can get in the way of the intended message…. it’s not so very different from a ‘normal’ conversation afterall… but we do tend to write things here that would not come up in ‘normal’ conversations, especially not in conversation with relative strangers as many of us here are… this level of interactivity and anonymity can be a ‘double edged sword’ as it’s said… and so on and on… this is not intended as an endorsement of onanism but beware, spending too much time on this ‘infernal’ machine can lead to that condition in a variety of forms…

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture, just get people to stop reading them.”
—Ray Bradbury

sheik, thanks…
this one’s for you:

‘a tournament of lies’
right?
right.

4. ton - June 21, 2008

should read:
“et al”
and etc.
http://www.doyletics.com/art/htrabart.htm

5. elena - June 21, 2008

Ton,
I hear you. The price is high but I’m willing to pay it. Hopefully we’ll all move a little.

I would appreciate hearing your perception of the post on Robert, Girard and myself.
You can leave me out if you wish or send me a personal e-mail if you like but I’m interested in hearing what you saw in relation to Robert and Girard. For me it is the most humanly close I’ve ever come to understanding them and the value is in realizing the deep pain in which they also are. What I am interested in is trying to understand how the process developed from the child to the form of the Fellowship in as much as it is the form what shows the intent it is trying to achieve. To recapitulate a little: he is definitely trying to make his ideal world and he found an army to help him. What does this ideal world really tell us about his inner development beyond the fact that he is a sociopath? How did the idea of the “doll” world that he made up and we played in fit in your perceptions? Perhaps I’m trying to go from the imaginary picture he had of himself to the imaginary world he created with it and how each one of us fit ours to his. I think if we can see it for what it is, then it’ll be easier to deal with it.

Would much appreciate it if you give it a glance not necessarily immediately but as we move along.

On your take on how we use this media to communicate and what we communicate in it about the world and our personal self I also hear you. I guess I am seriously convinced that the traditional approach that western culture has taken to intellectually dissect subjects disconnected from our immediate personal reality is not convincing to me. Anyone can talk wonders but we see the inconsistencies in the form, in the tone, in the approach. The more we clarify where we actually are, the easier it’ll be to conceive where we need to get. Scholars love to keep that “professional approach” so that their inner world is not touched or revealed but I am as interested in our inner world as in the world in which we live. This is just the beginning and I am falling at each step but I’ll learn to walk it because it is the road I’m on.

Thank you Sheik, hopefully I’ll get to see it sooner than later. If it is so clear to you, maybe you could give me more hints. Of course, you’ve been here for more than a year and have risked that much when the weight is that unbalanced so I’ll take it with the same precaution that you give it.

6. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 21, 2008

5 elena

More hints:

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.

7. ton - June 21, 2008

JAVOH 6 re: ‘God Laughing’ and the ‘inner lizard’
google david icke

8. veronicapoe - June 21, 2008

he is definitely trying to make his ideal world and he found an army to help him. What does this ideal world really tell us about his inner development. . . How did the idea of the “doll” world that he made up and we played in fit in your perceptions?

The illusion is that we can escape our problems, our internal turmoil, by fleeing “into the present moment.” It is defense against feeling uncertain and vulnerable. Really, it is defense against thinking or feeling anything deeply. Accomplishing by dint of will the task defined by another defends against the reality that ultimately we are tasked to live according to our own lights.

9. ton - June 21, 2008

elena… 5
there is a saying in my country: “i wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole.” (maybe paul, et al, will bite? :~)
a ‘wise woman’ once pointed out that while the obvious ‘archetypal gesture’ of the male is ‘penetration’ the corresponding ‘active’ female gesture is one of engulfing, surrounding, and thereby assimilating…. reminds me of a line from a song: “watch out boys, she’ll chew you up.” don’t get me wrong, i do value what you have to say and the strength and courage of your voice here… i think you have a brilliant mind and i might otherwise be flattered by this request coming from such a ‘beautiful mind’ — but i will not go there with you. as ‘delicately’ as possible, i would suggest to you that you may be over-analizing (pun intended) especially when it comes to girard. in time you may begin to think of ‘him’ as an image and less as an ‘omage’ (sp?) to your own greatness. once upon a time i fell in with the utopian islanders who approached “philosophy lightly”… time changes perspective, you will see. i hope you can open the site below and get a chuckle out of it… but as an intro i’ll quote you again:

elena 310
“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?”

an interpolation of yesri’s 313 “pffft”
here’s to fun…

10. elena - June 21, 2008

Another Voice,

Deeply grateful for your contribution. You may be right in your assessment of my state but your approach lacks serious caring. Your comparison of me and a reptile is short of inhuman. You and I have been struggling for long and this is not just happening out of nowhere. I have much attacked men here and your getting back at me in this way is not surprising. Does it hurt? yes, it hurts so we are all a little hurt now. Where do we go from here? Are we going to talk or are you going to concentrate on humiliating me endlessly with these theories that fit your pain? You are the winners if that is what you call winning. I will leave the public square for your full enjoyment if that is what you really want.

I suppose I’ll settle for the comfort that reptiles and birds have the same origin, that scales become feathers and that we will eventually manage to fly.

In the meantime, I thank you grately for your contribution, I hope we find other roads to explore.

11. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 21, 2008

10 elena

Note that my post #6 was a repost from God Laughing. Mr. Laughing and I aren’t the only ones who’ve made similar assessments–several other people here have tried to offer you similar observations. Your response each time is pretty much the same: You thank us profusely, while at the same time you lash out by accusing us of being unkind, of expressing our own pain at your expense, and of declaring that we believe this or feel that. Then, as quickly as possible, you start writing another very long post about Elena and how much she cares for the tragic Gerard, Elena and her tragic childhood, Elena and her theories of history, Elena and Joan of Arc–you get the picture.

How about this: Forget for one moment about my pain and my flaws. No need to “buffer” by “thanking” me. Consider for just one moment that you’re creating your own pain by continuously weaving reality into a tapestry entitled Elena the Martyr. Consider–just consider–waiting two days before reacting to my post, or to anyone else’s posts, or before writing another post that’s essentially about Elena. Not because I want you to, but because you might see something about yourself. You’ll never know until you try. You’ll have the rest of your life to perpetuate your pain, if that’s what you want to do.

12. Yesri Baba - June 21, 2008

A warning to anyone thinking of joining the FOF!…:

Look at the boooones!!!

Funniest movie ever IMO.

13. Yesri Baba - June 21, 2008

RB’s teaching on the sequence ‘phase deux’.

14. elena - June 21, 2008

Veronicapoe, that was too philosophical for my reptile brain, would you elaborate if you can?

Ton, I suppose I’m on the right track if it terrifies you so much to go there. If you who have some sympathy are not willing to go there no wonder few have done so for the course of a year and prefer to diminish me with personal attacks. I see. Thank you for being honest. That is the dialogue I’ve been trying to have and now I understand why it has been impossible.

I don’t think I can use Girard as an image of my self. If having a great mind means teaching thousands of people to behave like dogs, I hope I never acquire one. Time does change the perspective but unfortunately it has gotten darker over the year. His answer was simply a way of avoiding conversation because he knows that if he talks he’ll lose the Fellowship. He also doesn’t want to go there. That’s too bad.

Your archetypal gesture of males and females brings me to something I’ve been wanting to share for days. It’s long so I’ll post it in a series. The aim is to share tools that will allow those of us who recently left, reorganize our intellectual perspective with right foundations. I think this geometric approach can help. Drawing geometrical figures in itself seems to have a wonderfully grounding effect.

Introduction to Sacred Geometry.

Sacred Geometry builds an essential bridge between the left-brain, rational sciences such as math, physics, biology, chemistry, genetics, astronomy, economics, and the right-brain intuitive fields of inquiry like numerology, metaphysics, psychology, philosophy, astrology and ecology.

It is the awareness and fostering of these connections between spirit and soul, between function and meaning, between form and intention, that enables us to appreciate and more deeply care for ourselves, each other, our Universe and everything in it, from the tiniest atoms to the most expansive galaxies and everything in between. The “sacredness” of geometry lies in the relatedness we share, the interconnection of any structure we can imagine to any other through the common thread of the fundamental geometrical nature of existence, and in the mathematical perfection woven throughout the tapestry of life in countless variation on recurring geometric themes.

15. ton - June 22, 2008

yesri,
forgotten how hilarious this movie is — the killer-rabbit scene is classic… “i warned you… just a harmless little bunny isn’t it?…” priceless!

16. elena - June 22, 2008

Another voice, I already answered your post in Tons. You, like him but with a lot less sympathy and like most other people here have not been willing to address the things I’ve been presenting independent of my pain or not. I have a hundred times presented things as subjects of discussion not as subjects of my martyrdom.

You change them because it fits you well to not address them and so we’ve arrived at this dead end. You don’t buy my theories but I don’t buy yours either. And you have as little warmth as Girard and all of Robert’s enablers in your approach so I’ll continue to think that you are just as sick.

You are protecting a whole world of understanding and seeing and I am out of it, hero or not, Joan of Arc or not and not suffering nearly as much as you’d like to believe. it is over whether you like it or not. You can keep cheering at yourselves in your winner’s world but you are as alone as I am. Your blah, blah, blah but “let it be” towards the Fellowship is just that, blah, blah, blah because what you really want is to grow your ego pretending that you care for people inside and giving pretty little angles here about it, but you’re not willing to move a finger to shake it down to the ground. You are protecting your vision of the world in guaranteeing that it can continue to rip people off without anyone doing anything about it. So be it. Go find somebody else that will play the victim you think I am because I won’t give in to your picture, ever.

17. brucelevy - June 22, 2008

I think it’s unfortunate (for all) that this has recently, and again, turned into the “Elena” forum.

18. elena - June 22, 2008

Don’t worry Bruce, I’m out, it’s all yours.

19. veronicapoe - June 22, 2008

The reptile/defensiveness post from God Laughing was plagiarized from an article by Martha Beck which appeared in Oprah! Magazine. Do a Google search for “Highly Defensive Person” and Lizard. It was still insightful.

20. lauralupa - June 22, 2008

veronicapoe 19
yes, I found the reptile/defensiveness post quite insightful too. Not to mention that it totally nailed my sister-in-law, whose behaviour has always been a major source of drama in my extended family. I have been trying to understand the mechanisms that move that woman to great heights of unpleasantness for years, and the “Highly Defensive Person” description was enlightening. In the sense that my brain is quite happy when it finds a fitting intellectual description of a process it’s been observing.
But how does one deal with such people and situations effectively? It seems that using what we may consider constructive criticism towards an highly defensive person just triggers the release of more fear and defensiveness. Diplomacy may help to create a temporary channel of communication, but as soon as any new situations arise one is faced with the same automatic attack reactions over and over and over. It seems that for most everybody the solution ends up being simple: avoiding contact as much as possible. I would love to think that there are ways to help, but how can one do so if the person is totally unaware of her own self deception?

PS Elena, please don’t take this post personally, it’s not about you. I have been struggling with this family issue for years and some of the main problems in my life right now really have to do with such a Highly Defensive Person’s behaviour.

PPS of course, we all have some of the reptilian in us, and also of the birds and the bees and the trees

21. lauralupa - June 22, 2008

Thanks veronicapoe for the Google tip. I should have read the article before writing my post! I had been instinctively “Going turtle” already, so I guess I’ll try to become a Crocodile Hunter…

all is well

http://www.oprah.com/spiritself/omag/ss_omag_200705_mbeck.jhtml

22. Traveler - June 22, 2008

Laura, re: highly defensive persons – I know what you are talking about. You ask yourself “how does one deal with such people” – and I question that question. How do I imagine “dealing with” such a person? To me, “dealing with” is always about creating a desired effect – and my ways of going about that are getting more refined over the years (moving from screaming and overt insults towards diplomacy and subtle persuasion). Throughout, the desire remains to change that person and enlighten and help them so that they would be able to see things more like I see them, and act in a way that is more acceptable to me. I question that desire.
“We are third force blind” ~Someone or other in a 4th way cult once upon a time

23. whalerider - June 23, 2008

Traveler, Laura:

By far the most defensive personality style:

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

HDP=BPD

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

Whalerider: My partner used to suffer from that one. Check out Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (or Marsha Linehan), wikipedia would be a nice start.

Elena: Maybe not doing, as opposed to doing (inaction instead of action) would be a good course of action. That is, doing the opposite (or not doing at all) of what you compulsively feel you want/should/need to do. You seem to be a very active person, what’s hiding underneath?

As for the blog becoming Elena’s private party, well, it isn’t as far as I can see. It was fine to talk about entheogens, it was fine to listen to UnoAnimo, is it not just fine to listen to Elena for a while? One of you said earlier that the blog is what we make it, well, let’s have it that way.

Ton: I would like to visit your private galaxy, I like it more and more as time goes by.

25. lauralupa - June 23, 2008

Traveler, whalerider, thanks for the input.
In fact, Traveler, you are quite right: the motivation behind my question was of a purely selfish and practical nature, we might call it “instinctive”. The presence of a highly defensive personality within a family evokes a fair amount of tension and fear in all its members (in this particular case the personality has also been described as borderline). When faced with such intensive negativity, generally the other members get very uncomfortable, then depending on their character they either become too scared to speak their mind or get mad and start yelling in return. (A similar situation happened here on the blog in relation with Greg).
Having witnessed these apparently unchangeable patterns for a number of years, the motivation behind my question was basically frustration. And in my attitude there is definitely an element of wanting to change the person and affect the outcome.
It’s a bit like a pacifist’s dilemma when his country is under attack: what is the right course of action under threatening circumstances? How much should one yield in an oppressive situation? Is passivity (my automatic reaction in these scenarios) really the best I can do?

26. Traveler - June 23, 2008

Laura: when you ask “is this the best I can do”, do I understand correctly that you are disappointed with your own ability to respond to them, because you are hoping for a more mutually supportive relationship?
Capitulation was a solution for me. But I mean complete capitulation in the face of intense negativity. In the sense of even giving up the need to fight, defend, oppose, instruct, even giving up the interpretation of being threatened and antagonized. Not “how much should I yield”, but stepping out of the frame of “protecting vs. yielding” altogether. Rethinking what the relationship is. And somehow magically, not protecting myself did not get me run over. Every shield is penetrable, but they cannot fight you when you turn into air.
Even so, in the long run I do take care of myself in a physical sense, and I choose to remove myself from the circumstances, and not be around such people, simply because I don’t particularly enjoy them. That what I do is because I independently choose to do so, rather than in reaction to what they “did to me”. But this topic is very interesting to me, and that kind of situation is still a source of learning.

27. paulshabram - June 23, 2008

Traveler 26
This is an interesting line for me as well. I suspect we are all have interactions with both highly defensive people and borderlines (I don’t they are the same thing although I believe a hyper defensive personality is probably a borderline personality). I don’t know the answer either.

I don’t think your solution is particularly practical or constructive. Especially if one has to work or live with the HDP. I’ve tried the path you have taken and only ended up feeling like I allowed my self to be victimized. “Dealing” with an HPD isn’t always just trying get your way, sometimes is self preservation, and for me, more often protection for those around me.

22 “Throughout, the desire remains to change that person and enlighten and help them so that they would be able to see things more like I see them, and act in a way that is more acceptable to me. I question that desire.”

While the conclusion may be correct I think the premise is wrong.

Paul

28. Traveler - June 23, 2008

Paul 27: In my particular situation, I have the luxury of removing myself from the circumstances and not having to deal with this on a daily basis. I realize this is not always possible, and someone else’s approach might be different if they are forced to be in constant close contact with such a person. What would be practical and constructive in that situation? I don’t know, I guess it depends on what your aim is. My aim is to be at peace – and capitulating – not having anything to defend – allows me to be at peace. I want to stress though that the capitulation I’m talking about is internal: an inner attitude of non-resistance. Physical self-preservation is of course necessary, if it should come to that. What I’m saying is that such a person really constantly pushes my limits and challenges me to question what it is I am psychologically trying to defend, and why.
When you say that my conclusion may be correct but the premise is wrong, I’m interested if you can explain what do you see is my premise? I’d also appreciate it, if you don’t mind, if you could say more about what was the path you took that left you feeling victimized. I’m puzzled, because what I’m thinking of, has so far been the only approach that has NOT left me feeling victimized. Thanks.

29. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 23, 2008

23, 25, 26

My experience with a borderline eventually led me to conclude, as Traveler says, to remove myself from the circumstances, and to examine why I waited so long. In the literature there’s a personality known as the “non-borderline,” the person who is in the relationship with the borderline. The “non” often has certain personality characteristics that make it more likely the non will get into, or stay in, a relationship with a borderline. There’s a book called, I think, Walking on Eggshells–the title describes what it feels like being around such a person. Reacting negatively and defensively is the tip of the iceberg.

Capitulation does avoid arguments and conflict, which rarely accomplish anything, but on the other hand, I don’t think it’s possible to maintain a relationship that way that I would find satisfying. Reaching or helping such a person is notoriously difficult, because they really can’t see that they need help–it’s always the other person who needs help. Eventually the non discovers that, to have a life, he/she will have to set very firm boundaries, or leave.

30. God Laughing - June 23, 2008

Veronicapoe

Plagiarized? Well that was not my intention.
I picked up a magazine at the dentist
and thoroughly enjoyed the article.
It reminded me of Elena.

Earlier on I had spoken to some friends
and asked them why they were not writing on-or reading
the blog anymore, they basically said they were fed up with Helena’s space taking.

Since I felt similar and miss the variety of people’s postings
I googled the article and posted it.
I did not even think about who wrote it
The message just hit home.

…..Whilst hoping that E would get the message and stop taking so much space

Alas!

31. Traveler - June 23, 2008

Just another voice says: “Capitulation does avoid arguments and conflict, which rarely accomplish anything, but on the other hand, I don’t think it’s possible to maintain a relationship that way that I would find satisfying.”

Exactly. I had to give up the romantic notion that a reciprocal and satisfying relationship was an option to work towards. As long as I wanted to have that, I suffered.

32. You-me-us-they - June 23, 2008

On reactivity/defensiveness and so on…

A day, a flower ended up in a trash-can because the receiver could not accept the gift (loaded with all kind of complicated and bizarre implications) I heard myself saying:
I am done with the drama !

And so it was…

Soon after, to someone (related, but else) disagreeing with my new position and showing me an agitated mother finger, I said:
I am not here to please your need for drama !

And so it was …

I feel, this works only when you genuinely find yourself “done with the drama”.
It is not indifference nor rejection, rather absence of need or wish to participate to it, in any possible way.
Perhaps this is what acceptance is…

It could be discribed as creation of space.

You, once for all, self-disappear from the drama stage !

When it feels like there is courage involved (the pulling of the ropes of some tendencies well built inside) it feels great to remember the taste of freedom which came with this shift of position…
When affirmation or better say re-affirmation time comes, this very taste of freedom dissolves any concept of “effort”.
You just run for the treat…which, and this is BIG, is not only for you but for all!

It was special to write this…
Thank you!

33. brucelevy - June 23, 2008

Personally, my main concern is trying to maintain some relative credibility of the blog. We all have our demons, but it’s important, sometimes, to recognize a greater purpose, like this blog.

34. brucelevy - June 23, 2008

Personally, my main concern is trying to maintain some relative credibility of the blog. We all have our demons, but it’s important, sometimes, to recognize a greater purpose, like this blog.

35. ton - June 23, 2008

elena 14… “I suppose I’m on the right track if it terrifies you so much to go there. If you who have some sympathy are not willing to go there no wonder few have done so for the course of a year and prefer to diminish me with personal attacks.”

let me say that “terror” has nothing to do with why i will not “go there” with you. in my humble opinion, YOU ARE “on the right track” and i am in agreement with the sheik, there’s room here for “all and everything…” sheik says: “As for the blog becoming Elena’s private party, well, it isn’t as far as I can see. It was fine to talk about entheogens, it was fine to listen to UnoAnimo, is it not just fine to listen to Elena for a while?”

based on my understanding of your story you are a recent “graduate” of the fellowship of friends… “graduation” from that dis-eased entity is an indication (to me) that YOU ARE “on the right track.” many of us here have been out for many years… we all know it takes a long, long time to process the experience… “god knows,” after 24 years i am still processing (if there is such a thing as “karma / reincarnation / multiple lifetimes” processing probably started prior to this life and will extend into the next and the next, etc. personally, i think this blog would be a poorer place without the riches of your contribution… but as you already know, ‘tough love’ can be expected in the process… my hope is that it will not ‘scare’ you away.

36. Across the River - June 23, 2008

Besides the desire of wishing those in our world to act in ways acceptable to us, I think the desire to enlighten or change the person with a Highly Defensive Disorder can be a generous impulse that comes from the hope of seeing them free of an obviously blurry lens that isolates and limits their experiences.

What’s interesting for me is the question around choice – when is someone holding tight to their defensive behavior because it works to give them power. Do others’ expectations that they can heal become a threat to the comfort of their world, in which they are the centerpoint? When is defensive behavior no longer expressed out of confusion but rather as a practiced response that manipulates others.

For me, those are the questions, because my response needs guidance. It has to be a judgement call, I suppose. Turning into air is often my response to manipulation also, but that would be a cruel response to someone genuinely in need of tolerance and loving compassion.

The problem seems to be epidemic in our time. A very good book for insight into “woundology” is an older work by Dr. Caroline Myss called “Why People Don’t Heal And How They Can”. Who doesn’t have this issue in their life!

37. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 23, 2008

34. brucelevy – June 23, 2008
‘Personally, my main concern is trying to maintain some relative credibility of the blog. We all have our demons, but it’s important, sometimes, to recognize a greater purpose, like this blog’

I couldn’t agree more. I don’t really enjoy trying to figure out the psychological and emotional problems of Elena. I don’t believe she asked anyone for that but certainly has attracted it. She seems to have enough trouble trying to use English to express herself which I believe causes lots of misunderstandings on both sides.

38. Traveler - June 23, 2008

Hi Across the River, I can’t seem to get off this topic of relationships with highly defensive people because it is so pertinent for me. I tend to question everything these days, and that includes common morality. So I question the impulse that wants to help enlighten others (and this is relevant to the Elena and FOF discussions also). I can understand that you feel someone else is suffering because of the way they perceive things, and that they would be much better off if they were free of their beliefs. You call this a “generous” impulse. Some Buddhists say they want to help all beings to stop suffering, and that sounds very noble and selfless and praiseworthy and moral. But like I said to you the other day, I don’t consider myself particularly moral at this point 🙂 What happens when everybody stops suffering? When we have taken all their pain away and we are all free and happy? Then what? Why do I want that, and what do I think that will give me?
Does that sound like a stupid question? But has it ever been asked?
I am not so much questioning the particular form our external actions take, as the motivation for those actions. Am I invested in achieving a particular end result?

39. lauralupa - June 23, 2008

wow, thanks for all the interesting takes on defensive behavior (behaviour?). I see some truth in all of your stances, and personally I am still quite confused, on a theoretical level. I will have to let it stew for a while.

These days I mostly look at relationships as energy exchanges, and one thing that frightens me about highly negative interactions between people is the amount of vital energy that usually gets wasted in the process. I see this in others and myself. I do sometimes manage to get through bursts of negativity unaffected (and a little sense of humor here helps a lot), and when I do I congratulate myself as if a myracle had happened, since I well know the days of carrying around my drained body after being beaten to the ground by some uncautiously unleashed electrical storm. And this affects the other person also in a negative, unhealthy way. They may feel relieved for a moment, but IMO the negativity they express tends to increase their self-loathing. It’s a vicious circle.

A lot of my personal work on energy seems at bottom a self-taught lesson in emotional survival. These days I don’t see myself as a victim because I am taking responsibility for the life situations I find myself in, and the proof that I am making some progress in dealing with the unpleasant manifestations of my fellow humans lies in the fact that in time depleting interactions have lessened and my energy and stability have consequently improved. Still, I feel I am just a beginner. I have a long way to go and so much to learn about the art of healing myself and others, which on a deep level I would really love to be able to do…

40. lauralupa - June 23, 2008

Traveler 38
“Some Buddhists say they want to help all beings to stop suffering, and that sounds very noble and selfless and praiseworthy and moral. But like I said to you the other day, I don’t consider myself particularly moral at this point.”

I hear what you are saying, but the deeper teaching behind the Buddhist idea of helping all beings lies in the realization of interdependence. Once you realize how interdependent everyone and everything is, IMO you feel compelled to try and align your actions with that knowledge. Because you are, indeed, invested.

41. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 24, 2008

Here’s a self-analytical quiz that looks at what we bring to relationships with people who may have “borderline personality disorder.” I think it’s revealing regardless of how healthy we feel our relationships may be.

http://www.bpd411.org/nonassessment.html

42. Traveler - June 24, 2008

Laura, ‘One City’ & interdependence. Sure, that makes sense. I think there is no way that you cannot bring your own being to bear on the external world, and express your abundance through your own actions and words. You simply are moved to act in harmony with who you are and be engaged with your environment and things inevitably start to change around you. There is a paradoxical place from which you know that everything is just fine the way it is, but at the same time you are still positively inspired to extend an open, helping hand: not because you have to and because it would be the good and moral thing to do, but simply because – why not. This, IMO, is different from being righteously indignant over injustices that you feel should not exist and that you must eradicate, or being on a mission to save someone from themselves for their own good, or rallying against some perceived evil dark forces you are in conflict with because of your own unhealed pain.
Compassion has been discussed at length on this blog, and I think among us we have many slightly different understandings of what that word means. My own understanding of it has changed over time, and I still see a lot of potential for deepening it.

43. veronicapoe - June 24, 2008

God Laughing
I honor your intention. Better to cite to one’s sources than to be silent and receive credit for the work of others.

In a way this subject, a painful one, is about boundaries. Do we know where others’ end and ours begin? Being in a cult means acquiescing to having someone fuck with our boundaries, on the pretext of helping us to discover what those boundaries are. If we don’t know what our boundaries are, I suspect it’s because of deficient or distorted mirroring while growing up.

If I am accustomed to accommodating myself out of existence because I had to do so often while growing up, it can seem normal to have to accommodate the bizarritudes of another’s limbic misfirings. Especially when that other is someone we really love.

44. Across the River - June 24, 2008

38
Hey Traveler,

Except as an experiential experiment, I can’t find a reason to withhold a helping hand when my best understanding shows that the effort might simply make life better for another. It’s action on a micro-scale but connects to the interdependency Lauralupa addresses, and as you say, why not? For me it doesn’t really even talk to the macro-scale of ending the world’s suffering.

Of course my understanding can be always be challenged 😉 but what else can I (we) work with? I guess if I’m to look at whether or not I’m invested in achieving a particular end result, what comes to mind is the desire to be engaged in the real questions and uncompromised experience of life, because at that level I also feel like a beginner. Helping others get there helps me, as well. I believe most of us have a lot of stuff in the way.

When the demands of another person, subtle or overt, are in conflict with this desire and communication isn’t possible, turning into air (love that phrase) seems the “right thing” to do, just practically. No fault in that, IMO.

I’m interested in how you don’t consider yourself particularly moral these days and also in the questions about what an end to all suffering would mean, which seems so purely theoretical that I wonder if there’s another question there.

45. paulshabram - June 24, 2008

Traveler
Honestly, I don’t remember what my thought was when I (citing for you veronicapoe) paraphrased Heisenberg’s comment in his Uncertainty Relations: “It’s not the conclusion that’s wrong, but the premise”. This is a statement that I find to be very useful when faced with an argument that seems to make sense, but doesn’t really.
Subsequently, I have read your follow on posts and kind of get what you are saying, sort of.

Coincidently, while I was reading the thread and writing my post I found my self on the receiving end of just such a highly defensive response to my objections to a behavior that was causing me and others harm. And I can’t just walk away. Although I really like the person I am in a position where I have to “deal with it”.

I guess in my view if you are being forced to capitulate (even internally) and withdrawing is your only way out, you are still being victimized.

You ask about my experiences with the capitulation method. In every case the more I gave in the stronger the reaction next time. It was is if I was being trained to capitulate and the other person was being trained to behave badly and respond more and more defensively. It seemed like a kind of emotional extortion that kept getting worse.

What I do now, while it isn’t fun, seems to avoid this. It requires a significant amount of emotional separation. It’s a new method for me so the jury is still out: I look for some other concession to give, but I define the “boundaries” (a la vernicapoe)
and I don’t let them be crossed. I take direct aim at the behavior and call it as I see it. This seems to work for highly defensive people that are NOT sociopathic (sometimes it’s just a bad habit). Borderlines take their business elsewhere. The initial reaction is a little like the “Tasmanian Devil”, but the next time the behavior is greatly reduced or never happens again. But if you get a maniacal smile instead of the Tasmanian Devil, you’re probably “dealing” with a sociopath. LOOK-THE-HELL-OUT and GET OUT NOW!.

46. Yesri Baba - June 24, 2008

“It’s not the conclusion that is wrong, but the premise”

What every ADP (any defensive person) needs to learn.

47. nigel harris price - June 24, 2008

I wondered when it would be the time for me to quit the blog – and it would be when it was no longer the aim of bloggers to see REB in court and subsequently prison for his misdealings, but to carry on blogging for the sake of it – that time is now. Elena – I think the sooner you leave Oregon House for a job with a little joy at the core of it, even voluntarily to begin with, it will go well with you. To conclude:-

“There will soon be no more priests. Their work is done. They may wait awhile..perhaps a generation or two..dropping off by degrees. A superior breed shall take their place….the gangs of kosmos and prophets en masse shall take their place. A new order shall arise and they shall be the priests of man, and every man shall be his own priest. The churches built under their umbrage shall be the churches of men and women. Through the divinity of themselves shall be the kosmos and the new breed of poets be interpreters of men and women and of all events and things. They shall find their inspiration in real objects today, symptoms of the past and future….They shall not deign to defend immortality or God or the perfection of things or liberty or the exquisite beauty and reality of the soul. They shall rise in America and be responded to from the remainder of the earth.” (Walt Whitman)

48. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 24, 2008

I am always fascinated by the blog coming around to something that has been a huge part of my life. The BPD disorder dilemma is an interesting one, I went through it myself, when I ‘entered’ relationship with my partner (almost 3 years ago now). She was already in her second year of therapy and she suffered from violent rages, self-hate, she just stopped self-harming,… Obviously I ended up being on the receiving end from time to time and sure, I suffered some losses, my confidence went really low, I had a year during which my character got a lot of holes blown into it, a lot of work came afterwards to put everything together and get some emotional balance. I was very far from being thick-skinned to begin with, but there was no lasting damage.

I think that BPDs are generally very good at finding weakness – they do not create new issues for those around them, instead they point out all those things that you would rather not see. It’s painful but it can be very therapeutic if you have the time, patience and balance to see what’s true and what’s not. Intelligence is equally necessary, BPDs usually are incredibly articulate and intelligent, arguing against them is initially a lost battle as they confuse and confound better than a lawyer with 20 years of practice. With time and patience (and some presence), arguments become more even-sided and less emotional.

Taking the focus away from myself, the most important fact about BPD is that it is curable. My partner successfully recovered from BPD (that is, she is a completely different person now who still has many issues to work on, but she doesn’t meet the criteria of BPD), not to mention that she has a stable job, a beautiful personality, as well as probably the best emotional balance she has ever had. There are a couple of things that seem to have been omitted in the discussion so far.

Well, the most important thing is that BPDs can’t do it alone because they don’t know what it is that they should be doing. Exiting a relationship with a BPD may be a very good course of action if you can’t handle it, but it does not help the BPD in any way, shape or form.

I remember reading something written By Marsha Linehan where she noted that possibly the most important factor in the recovery of BPDs is the environment – loving and supporting relationships (not necessarily partnerships) were found to be the probable factor distinguishing people who recovered from those who didn’t. So, if you walk away, you are saving yourself from some serious pain, but you are not helping the BPD.

I think that my partner is very aware of the people who have made it possible for her to work on herself, who have given her the time, space and incentive. From seeing some other people who used to receive therapy from the same source as my partner, I think that it’s pretty much a fact that the environment determines the speed (if not the success) of recovery.

The real issue is what to do when you decide to stay, the book that’s been mentioned earlier, Walking on Eggshells, is a great manual, as well as an uplifter, to helping people figure out what course of action is most profitable to both.

I guess that it’s possible to be blown away by a BPD so that there is very little left of you, but if it is so easy, there was very little there to begin with. It depends on how brave you decide to be and how many ‘losses’ you are ready to receive.

The second (and IMHO the most important) factor is the wish of the BPD to get him/herself sorted. If that’s not there, no amount of therapy or self-healing is going to do the trick, not to mention help coming from the environment. But thinking about it, most people want things to get better, it’s just a matter of making them aware that it really is possible, then they usually find the tools themselves.

This leaves me with probably the last thing I wanted to mention. When communicating with BPDs (or people who are highly defensive), presence is usually what can make the difference – I mentioned earlier that initially arguing with my partner was a lost battle, while later I learnt how to make things more even-sided. By being more present while communicating (and not giving in to the sway of the emotional currents) it is much easier to identify what doesn’t fit, what doesn’t make sense, etc. Not only did this make it easier to sort things out in my own head, it also made it possible to point these things out to my partner, who may or may not have been willing to listen.

As to presence and the BPDs, one of the integral parts of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (a therapy system designed to treat BPD), is mindfulness, as taken from zen buddhism. Mindfulness is just a different label of the same phenomenon that may be called presence, and is in fact just a simple experiencing of the now as it is, rather than as we want/need/wish it to be. It is also a practice in concentration. Since this is usually the most difficult practice for the BPDs (in my opinion also the most most beneficial), it almost seems that this may be one of the sources of the problem – incredibly strong minds and emotional states that prevent people from experiencing things fully.

49. lauralupa - June 24, 2008

“I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium. Digital and smoke free. A diversified multi-cultural, post-modern deconstruction that is anatomically and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been up linked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech low-life. A cutting edge, state-of-the-art bi-coastal multi-tasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond!

I’m new wave, but I’m old school and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice activated and bio-degradable. I interface with my database, my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive and from time to time I’m radioactive.

Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, ridin the wave, dodgin the bullet and pushin the envelope. I’m on-point, on-task, on-message and off drugs. I’ve got no need for coke and speed. I’ve got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in-the-moment, on-the-edge, over-the-top and under-the-radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb. A top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps and run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing big-foot, slam-dunk rainmaker with a pro-active outreach. A raging workaholic. A working rageaholic. Out of rehab and in denial!

I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up, you can’t dumb me down because I’m tireless and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta-blockers.

I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion-forward. Up-front, down-home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-sized, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready and built-to-last! I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk head case pretty maturely post-traumatic and I’ve got a love-child that sends me hate mail.

But, I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing– a supportive, bonding, nurturing primary care-giver. My output is down, but my income is up. I took a short position on the long bond and my revenue stream has its own cash-flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds and I watch trash sports! I’m gender specific, capital intensive, user-friendly and lactose intolerant.

I like rough sex. I like tough love. I use the “F” word in my emails and the software on my hard-drive is hardcore–no soft – potential abuse -.

I bought a microwave at a mini-mall; I bought a mini-van at a mega-store. I eat fast-food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically- formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-washed, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed and, I have an unlimited broadband capacity.

I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal. Lean and mean! Cocked, locked and ready-to-rock. Rough, tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide. I’ve got glide in my stride. Drivin and movin, sailin and spinin, jiving and groovin, wailin and winnin. I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hangin in, there ain’t no doubt and I’m hangin tough, over and out !”

George Carlin, Life is Worth Losing. R.I.P.

50. zannos - June 24, 2008

Just finished taking an Ethics 101 course at the local Philosophy Department (in the process of looking for an antidote to years of mindless acquiescence to Fellowship doctrine). The current thread on the blog seems to be grappling with all of the major ethical positions and dilemmas humankind has ever produced–and I am no closer to figuring out what a correct position might be than I ever was. Quite likely that was why the Fellowship was attractive. Just let “Robert says” make the decisions.
Thanks, Lauralupe, for the Carlin passage.

51. Traveler - June 24, 2008

Good morning people with and without various degrees of personality disorders… This topic inspires me to dig into it some more.
Across the River (44): I’m totally with you about offering a helping hand on a micro scale from your best understanding, just because it’s practical. Isn’t that what we all do, act from our best understanding of what is good and useful? I guess I don’t quite get all of what you’re saying, sorry – but let me know if you wish to discuss it any more and I can send you an email.
Re: “I’m interested in how you don’t consider yourself particularly moral these days” – well, for example, I can’t find any place in myself that could exclaim with you that what RB is doing is “just not right”, or that wants to see him “punished and brought to justice”, with any conviction. I may think that RB is wildly deluded and has little real self-knowledge, I may think that his actions indicate very selfish and ignorant motivations. But I don’t have any strong feelings about what “should” and “should not” be happening in Oregon House – which is what I understand morality to be all about. If I can make information available and shed light on the situation from my perspective for anyone who wants to hear, I will – and I have, as you know; but I don’t see it as a battle with any result in mind, and I don’t see it as my role to universally enforce my views. (And I’m not saying that you do, either.) I would by my nature not make a very good policeman. But somebody else always would – and that’s fine with me.
Re: “the questions about what an end to all suffering would mean, which seems so purely theoretical that I wonder if there’s another question there.” Yes, I was not really asking what an end to all suffering would mean, that IS theoretical. I was trying to push to an extreme the everyday need to help others be free of their suffering, so that it might be easier to ask the question “why do I want that”? That’s another way I don’t consider myself moral: I don’t necessarily think that it’s always required to try to take people’s suffering away and “save” them. Philosophically, I’m much more concerned with what motivates us to do things, than with what we end up doing externally. E.g. I see a bum begging and I give him the rest of my lunch. I can do it from a sense of guilt, or a sense of pride, or a sense of joy. (And they are all equally valid experiences.)
Paul (45) and Sheik (48): I have all respect for your situations where you cannot and/or do not want to walk away from a highly defensive person. Sheik, I admire your commitment to stay with your partner and help her get through her issues. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that the person has to WISH to have themselves sorted. In my case, I’m exposed to someone who more closely fits what they call PPD and OCPD than BPD, but in any event a person who constantly feels they are under attack and persecuted. This means they are literally unable to see that there is anything skewed in their cognition and actually believe that their view of things is the only possible and correct one. Now if I approach this person with a view to help and change them and help them see how wrong they are, they will most certainly react and feel even more threatened. So I think it’s very wise what Sheik suggests – to be present with them. Being present requires me to accept them on their own terms, to give them their space and communicate without judgment. Being present does not have the agenda to help them or change them. And from this place, they may or may not eventually change and see more, but if I am truly just present and accepting to them, I am not invested in preferring one result over another. From this perspective, being around such a person brings a certain joy – because it constantly pushes the envelope of how much I can give up my own expectations and fears. As the Sheik says, these people point you to all those things you would rather not see. So in my case, I am no longer hoping for a loving, harmonious, reciprocal relationship with this person; but when I do enter communication with them, I do so with an intent and awareness that I am going to be shown a lot of unpleasant and unexamined aspects of myself. And I do actually want that, so it’s kind of good to have this person still in my life.
This is what I call capitulate, Paul: is to change the relationship towards the person, step completely out of the frame of giving in vs. fighting back. I see that you view capitulation as yielding, and I can understand how that would simply feed the other person’s manifestations. And then we end up being pulled into a game that we don’t even want to be part of. You obviously have a very specific situation that you are having to deal with. I think boundaries are a very useful area to study here, and I have been working on that too. Knowing what I want and need, and not feeling responsible for the other person, because only they are really responsible for themselves.

52. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 24, 2008

#48: Another useful tool for people suffering from these mental illnesses and delusions is something called cognitive behavioral therapy; a therapy that treats ‘in the moment’ extreme behavior by providing people the tools necessary to observe themselves in order to shine a light on the behavior rather than to search or reach into the past to find reasons for it.

Rather than quoting anything, anyone interested can just Google it and there’s plenty of informationt. It was quite helpful to my son a few years ago who was suffering with bouts of depression.

53. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 24, 2008

Okay I decided to google is myself and found a short definition.

CBT is based on the Cognitive Model of Emotional Response.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts
cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel / act better even if the situation does not change.

54. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 24, 2008

Or, if you’re not worried about cults and gurus being around every bend and under every rock, read The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

55. Rear View Mirror - June 24, 2008

Some of the recent comments here about defensive people and judgmental people and how they interact, remind me of a line from the film, The Italian Job:

“I trust everyone. It’s the devil inside them I don’t trust.”

Sure reminds me of the fof.

And all of this relates not just to Borderline Personalty Disorder, but also to Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Multiple Personality Disorder, and many more. And all of these “disorders” interact with each other creating a huge amount of suffering that disallows us from enjoying our lives and disallows us from helping those near us to enjoy theirs — which, by the way, starts by us enjoying ours.

Whatever your “disorder” may be (unfortunately we all have one or two disorders, at least to some extent), the cure is to see how our actions and reactions are rooted in our egos. It ranges from, “Damn it why do you hate me?!” –to– “What a hoot when I get a reaction out of that person. I knew they were idiots!” Both are the ego.

The converse to the above movie line is: “I’ve learned not to trust people. But it’s the angel inside of people that I do trust.”

Somewhere in all of this we find something deep inside of us and we learn to trust it. And we find something deep inside others and learn to trust that. In that world — there is something real, and there is love. Whether or not that shows itself in others — that’s something we have no control over. We can try to find it in ourselves, though, year by year, day by day, moment by moment. And then disorders yield to order, and disease yields to ease, and dysfunction yields to function, and insanity yields to sanity.

Ok…. So, we’re defensive because we place way too much of our Self Value in the opinions of others. And for that reason, it’s often difficult to simply leave. Meanwnile, we judge because we place too much of our Self Value in the comparison to others. And for that reason, it’s often difficult to leave.

In many cases, and here’s where it’s about the fof especially — the cure amounts to leaving.

Not out of spite, or hatred, or aggressiveness, or being completely fed up. But out of love, or at least as much love as we can muster.

There’s sanity in leaving when we leave that way. Sometimes, though, it’s just plain sane to leave, however we leave. And ultimately, the leaving is not so much a departure, as it is an arrival. Invite the others along. It’s their choice whether they follow.

Assorted ramblings in the middle of a work day.

56. Across the River - June 24, 2008

It seems to me that within all the therapies and strategies used to inform us and improve the quality of life, the importance of choice can’t be emphasized enough. For much of humanity busy with simply staying alive this isn’t an issue, or is only a budding issue, but for those of us with so many options, it might be good to always remember we are rarely without the power of choice.

In other words, when we “have to finish the food on our plate because children in Africa are starving”, we are not the victims.

57. Rear View Mirror - June 25, 2008

So, there’s both active abuse and passive abuse. And their’s offensive abuse and defensive abuse. In both cases, it takes more of a change inside of us than a change outside of us to extricate ourselves from the abuse, or to stop doing the abusing; but in many cases, the inner change accompanies a realization that an outer or outward change is needed.

So yes, ATR (56), although I’m not sure I understand the context of what you describe, or what you’re trying to express, but that’s where the choice comes in — we can walk away from an abusive comment, we can try to diffuse the situation as often as possible when someone reacts defensively, or we can confront people with their “problem” (e.g., the “art of photography”, or the “art” of trying to change behavior in others that we find annoying).

But ultimately the choice we have — when we are not imprisoned or incapacitated in some way — is to leave a situation that is unhealthy for us… whether it’s a religious organization, a cult, a relationship, a friendship, a brother, a sister, a mother, a father, or a sales department in a major corporation with an overbearing asshole for a boss — we have the choice to leave. We can leave blogs, too.

What often complicates this is that our emotions get involved. We become confused by that. We want to stick it out, because we’ve had such wonderful times with that person, or with those people, and they mean so much to us.

So, there’s the key, and this is partly what solves the dilemma and the confusion about whether we should leave or not…

If they really do mean so much to us, and if we really do care for them, and if we really do love them, are we really helping them by “enabling” their actions and reactions toward us? Just a question we all ask ourselves. Is this too much work, and not enough nature and ease. Or is it dis-ease?

I think generally we know the answer. We know when there’s something that crosses that threshold of abuse and unhealthiness, and that the best way to find ‘ease’ from the ‘disease’ is through our departure. Not exactly that simple — with emotions being as complex as they are. But ultimately that may be the choice that leads to healing.

One of the most thrown-around comments in the FOF was that “everyone is replaceable.”

No, they are not quite replaceable.

When they’re gone, they’re gone. And they’re gone for good. And each time someone leaves, the FOF experiences a loss — not the other way around. If the FOF knew this, maybe it would achieve a little of that spirit embodied in the beautiful passage by Walt Whitman that Nigel shared with us above.

58. elena - June 25, 2008

I have presented the general public of the cities around the Fellowship of Friends with the following document. It is not about me but it is about my younger daughter to a great extent who I have done enormous damage by being in the Fellowship and I will not allow anyone else to go through that. It is not about me or even us. When has a role ever mattered more than a play, a man more than a cause, a soldier more than a war? Real warriors die and are immediately replaced by other real warriors who know what they are dying for. To die for the living is not death but a passage into a better world. Should I die for this cause, it’ll be a worthwhile death, should I live for it, it shall be a happier life. Try to be serious with your lives. Nothing else is worth your effort.

I shall no longer defend myself here. We are free people, all of us. No justifications are necessary. I wish you all good luck.

Public Awareness: Awareness of Human Values.
“Act” on demanding that Cults “uphold” Civil rights

What allows the FEllOWSHIP OF FRIEND’S CULT, based in Oregon House, CA, to use and abuse its members without their having any legal protection? The Fellowship of Friend’s Cult, claims to not be a community but a School of Consciousness with a “Jesus” as its leader or the equivalent “man number eight”. It is not a community given that members work for the benefit of only one man: Robert Burton. In this Cult, anyone can be thrown out any time, without the members being informed of the reasons, so for over thirty five years we have lived without knowing the real stories behind the people who have left or being asked to leave. On a recent blog on the internet many of these appalling stories have surfaced, you can check them out for yourself if you google, Fellowship of Friends discussion. After seventeen years in the Cult and having been married to the second man in command who has specifically written that the followers must behave like dogs before the Divine Conscious being, I am standing against this Cult’s freedom because it is driving its members into very dangerous situations of human indignity. The following are just a few of the Civil Rights that this Cult is violating and submitting its members to. All the statements I am presenting are true to my knowledge because of direct contact with the events or presented to me by members in different occasions.
Constitutional Rights: Natural Rights: On Personal Security and Personal Liberty
1) -Not to be killed- The FOF Cult has killed no known person but there have been unchecked suicides of some of its members or its member’s children. This must be investigated and avoided. They have been dismissed saying they were just “deranged” people. Hundreds of members have been asked to leave without the knowledge of other members, resulting in a ‘psychological disappearance’ that has become “normal” in a Cult in which anyone can be discarded no matter how much they’ve paid or how many years they’ve supported what they thought was a School of Conscious Development.
2) -Not to be injured or abused-
a. “FAMILIES ARE BIOLOGICAL ACCIDENTS WITHOUT MEANING” is one of the main indoctrinating theories current in the Cult. Women were asked to give up children for many years and many were given for adoption or aborted. This policy later changed. Influenced by this ideology I left my daughter when she was eleven years old. It is the greatest mistake I have ever made. The damages this has caused are irreparable. I have seen members suggest to parents that they leave their children as if they were suggesting where to buy bread.
b. Young heterosexual men are presented with the picture that to have sex with the Divine Conscious Being, Robert Burton, is the path to enlightenment. Apparently he thrills on “submitting them” although they may not be homosexually inclined and protects himself from contracting the AIDS virus with this practice. In exchange for good clothes, trips around the world and privileges within the Cult, men are induced to act against their own well being to satisfy Mr. Burton’s insatiable sexual appetite. It has been reported that amongst other things, being “peed on” is an aspect of his sexual practices. Orgies are common within the walls of the Galleria, Mr. Burton’s residence, where images of some of his naked followers are painted on the ceiling with full erections. It is said that he has reached such a level of sociopath narcissistic behaviour that he has to have sex with as many men as he can submit, literally feeding on semen and discarding them from the Cult or his entourage as soon as they deny to provide him with sexual services. Young men are chosen to come from other countries, knowing they are more vulnerable in the U.S., picked by the directors of centres or specific emissaries for the task, given “religious visas” and placed in the “Teacher’s” residence for his personal service. A case of a minor against Mr. Burton was resolved out of court and since then, many of the men have been just over eighteen years old. Men who left twenty years ago are still trying to come to terms with this experience but it continues to happen without control.
c. Women are treated as third class citizens within the Cult and men have special privileges but no one but Robert Burton can decide on everything that happens inside. Money is lavishly spent on his personal agenda while members in need are abandoned to their situation, which they must “transform” quietly as “inner work.” Any protest is looked at as a “negative emotion” which is banned and punished with having to leave the Cult no matter how many years the person has been paying to support it.
d. “EFFORT, MORE EFFORT” has driven participants to extreme cases of chronic fatigue, strokes and severe depression without the Cult responding for them after the damages. Members are known to suffer of
Alcoholism and an abundant use of both Viagra and Prozac is widely accepted as a physical condition, and
not perceived as and aspect of the psychological effects of life in the Cult.
e. People are divided into “Types” by birth and some “types” are better than others receiving more privileges than others discriminating indiscriminately.
7) -To communicate with the world- Non-members of the Cult are labelled: “the six billion dead, or sleep people on the planet” No contact is encouraged. “Do not read newspapers or watch television” is an ongoing exercise given by Mr. Burton. “Families are biological accidents without meaning” inducing the participants into a life fully dependant on the Cult so that no money is diverted from it.
8) -To express or publish one’s opinions or those of others- a. Throughout the seventeen years I was in the Cult, only a few of the inner circle members were allowed to speak in strictly controlled meetings. Then, only quotations selected by Robert Burton could be read in most events directed to inflicting fear in its participants and idolatry for Mr. Burton. I was given the task to not talk for two years after asking a question.
9) -To practice one’s religion- For over thirty years the FOF Cult presented itself as a Fourth Way School, working with the “System”, which is a traditional path of development without separating one’s self from society but is really a dangerously closed door Cult where the indoctrination is geared towards a commitment to Mr. Burton’s lifestyle. Thousands of people, (over sixteen thousand from all over the world) have been members of the Cult in its over thirty-five years of unchecked existence. The only religion practiced in the FOF is blind idolatry for Robert Burton, who followers perceive as a “God”. Money is made with people having to pay 10% of their income as a non negotiable “donation”, plus equally non-negotiable seasonal “donations” and every event is charged extra. An average dinner with the Cult leader, cost from $150 dollars to $350. And they are held two or three times a week, plus lunches, teas and breakfasts. Many people are involved in the non-tax privileges of the Cult.
11) -To enjoy privacy on all matters in which the rights of others are not violated- Many civil rights are being violated in the Fellowship of Friend’s Cult and many other Cults. It is time that the public looks into it because this privacy is allowing violations of people’s Civil rights not only against their own well being but the well being of their families, who they abandon; their friends, who they also abandon and the rest of the world who they look at as valueless “dead people on the planet.” What can we expect of children growing up learning these things?
Non-natural rights of personhood, created by social contract. 6) Not to have one’s natural rights individually disabled except through due process of law.
Civil rights supported by the Constitution are being disabled in Cults without due process of law.
Constitutional duties of citizens under U.S. or State jurisdiction:(1) To preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. (2) To help enforce laws and practices that are constitutional and applied within their proper jurisdiction and according to their intent, and to resist those which are not.
It is a duty to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and under the protection of Freedom of Religion, Cults like the Fellowship of Friends are violating civil rights without the slightest control and with the members going totally unprotected for years until deeply serious tragedies occur. The members are brought to such vulnerable conditions that they cannot help the tragedy from occurring as we witnessed with Jamestown and the mass suicide of its members. Situations of prolonged suffering that finally result in uncontrollable tragedies are not healthy in any society.

As you can see by the years I was in the Cult, once inside it is very difficult to leave. There are still over fifteen hundred members unable to consider their situation with relativity, amongst other reasons because they are given the task to not speak with non-members or ex-members. The members perceive the most inhuman situations as “normal”. Help is needed to break the bubble in which these people have been living for too long. I shall be “picketing” the gatehouse of the Fellowship of Friend’s Headquarters on Rices Crossing Rd., Oregon House, CA (also known as the Renaissance Vineyard to which it is closely associated,) throughout the months of July and August, in protest for the lack of dignity and loss of human values to which this Cult has driven its members. Should you wish to support or express your support, please contact me, Elena Haven at ludoteka@succeed.net. Thank you for taking the time to listen.

End of Document

59. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 25, 2008

58

“To die for the living is not death but a passage into a better world. Should I die for this cause, it’ll be a worthwhile death, should I live for it, it shall be a happier life.”

——————————————————–

From Caroline Myss, Sacred Contracts:

“The Martyr archetype is well known in two arenas: as a classic political or religious figure, and in the self-help world of contemporary psychology. Within the self-help field, the shadow Martyr is viewed as a person who has learned to utilize a combination of service and suffering for others as the primary means of controlling and manipulating her environment. Ironically, in the social and political world, the Martyr is often highly respected for having the courage to represent a cause, even if it requires dying for that cause for the sake of others. Suffering so that others might be redeemed, whether that redemption takes a spiritual or political form, is among the most sacred of human acts. While people recognize this archetype in others, particularly when they are directly influenced by the individual sporting this pattern, they often cannot see it in themselves.”

“The negative traits of the Victim are self-evident. But when properly recognized, it can be a tremendous aid in letting us know when we are in danger of letting ourselves be victimized, often through passivity but also through rash or inappropriate actions. It can also help us to see our own tendency to victimize others for personal gain. In its shadow aspect, the Victim shows us that we may like to play the Victim at times because of the positive feedback we get in the form of sympathy or pity. Our goal is always to learn how to recognize these inappropriate attitudes in ourselves and others, and to act accordingly.”

60. zannos - June 25, 2008

Well, she’s back. But it sure was nice while it lasted.

61. Bares Reposting - June 25, 2008

Elena: Go for it!

Consider the advice from prior postings:

~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~

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.

~~~~~~

Consider my avatar of the sun-bathed body of the little girl having her bathing suit pulled down by a puppy dog baring her untanned underside while palm tree sways in the background. Be prepared to be embarrassed (em – bare – assed) by your experience and TAKE THE SUNBLOCK! And a few ‘get out of jail free’ cards from your real world Monopoly game – whatever that might be. Good luck!

62. Across the River - June 25, 2008

57
Rear View Mirror

My meaning of choice is super elementary and my post didn’t refer to any particular context. It just seems to me that while all the refinements that come from studying psychology et al. can guide us, sometimes at the core it’s simply about deciding what we want to align our lives with and what doesn’t fit for us. Abuse aside, it’s simply not all compatible. We are rich with choices, beyond any measure on earth, and sometimes I feel really intolerant toward the intellectual nit-picking and angst that seems to obscure that elementary fact, (so I keep banging on this same drum).

Often I’ve thought that the best therapy for many people would be to airlift them into a remote village to live and work for awhile with simple people who are pleased to be alive as they go about meeting the simple necessities of daily life. Healing has to come in a way similar to that, from the inside out, as you said.

49
lauralupa
Thanks for the tribute to that observant man.

58
elena
I know you’re doing what you think you must, and I wish you well.

63. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 25, 2008

“To die for the living is not death but a passage into a better world. Should I die for this cause, it’ll be a worthwhile death, should I live for it, it shall be a happier life.”

——————————-

“‘Tis a far, far better thing I that do than I have ever done. It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

64. Ill Never Tell - June 25, 2008

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.’

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, opening paragraph

65. Vena - June 25, 2008

I feel concerned when I hear Elena encouraged to picket the gatehouse. I seriously doubt that it will have any effect other than to make Elena look like a fool.

66. lauralupa - June 25, 2008

Vena 65
Events may prove me wrong, as they often do, and I am open to discussion, but here is my present take on what you say.
I basically agree with Across the River: in picketing the FOF Elena is acting out a deep need that she obviously has a strong impetus to confront. We can look at this need in a thousand different ways, from glorifying it, like Nigel does, to deeply questioning it, as many others have done, including all shades of projections in between. Still, since she feels she is doing what she must, I personally don’t think that she can be stopped, or that there is much sense in trying to stop her.

So what else is there for the rest of us to do but wish her well, besides joining her if so inclined? By going at it alone she may indeed appear like a fool to most people, but by actually trying to put into practice what she feels is right and what she has been writing about for over a year, she may be gaining something internally more important. At the very least I expect her to gain some new insights out of this experience.

I have personally tried to warn Elena about identifying to deeply with a Joan of Arc type martyr archetype months ago (it was a very brief exchange, and the tone of her answer made me desist). IMO she is not quite ready to work with that. And unfortunately in the meanwhile, even though she has given so much of herself to this blog and written a number of beautiful and insightful posts, she has also managed to antagonize most everyone here. She obviously cannot see why this is happening, since I assume it would require a self awareness and objectivity too difficult to achieve at present. Nothing strange about this, really. All us humans are highly defensive beings who thrive on some level of self blindness . But the process Elena finds herself in is quite emotionally intense. Further critiques IMO will not change her course of action but only exacerbate her feelings of bitterness and frustration. I feel the best I can do at present is make her feel a bit less isolated, and give her a few tips that hopefully may help along the way.

I would especially like to know what veronicapoe thinks about this.

67. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 25, 2008

I used to have a tendency within myself to become a ‘Carrie Nation’. When I left the Fellowship the desire to ‘help everyone’ was really strong and it was a process for me to play out some of this desire in order to realize that in some cases I was actually causing the opposite reaction. Elena needs to ‘verify’ this herself so if picketing does it, so be it. I don’t think it will create much more than an irritant for most because I truly believe that for each person the time to exit the Fellowship comes from within them and all the stomping up and down, arguing, screaming, whatever, won’t help. I did it all!

68. Vena - June 25, 2008

Thanks lauralupa and little suzy for your thoughtful responses. I agree that there is no point in trying to stop her from picketing the gatehouse but I was concerned that she was being encouraged to do this without any thought for the consequences to her or the “cause”. As a result of the incessant and vehement outpourings over the last year Elena has a certain reputation among those who are still in as well as many who are out. So, in addition to strengthening her sense of martyrdom she may also weaken whatever credibility she may have left. I have some concern for her well being and I would not like to see her hurt any more.

69. ton - June 25, 2008

sannos around 60… that remark doesn’t bare reposting, but i will say that it strikes me as mean-spirited. some have expressed unapologetic disdain, many have put on aires of ‘objectivity’ cloaked in the garb of ‘armchair psychology’ and a few here seem to express heart-felt concern. whatever the case may be… in the past and speaking personally, when i’ve had something to say ABOUT someone here, i say it TO her… what is behind the tendency here for people to talk ‘about’ (as in ‘around’) an individual as if they are not in the room? is it intended to exclude the individual? is it an attempt to give the impression of ‘objectivity’ ? if we’re ‘objectifying’ an individual the question is, how cold and condescending can we get? i’m not sure what the intended effect is but i wonder what the actual effect on the individual may be?

70. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 25, 2008

69 ton

(From a sometimes disdainful armchair psychologist):

I’ve directed virtually all of my comments about Elena directly to her, whenever it seemed reasonable. If I had the option, I’d speak to her and her alone about those issues. Some of my comments have been kind in tone (they did start out that way), others less so, but they all were intended to offer her some insight. Others have done the same. No matter what the tone, I’ve received defensive, accusing non sequiturs that led to the discussions about highly defensive people, etc. In the mean time, the flow of discussion about anything other than Elena’s personal concerns becomes difficult, like having a baby with a tantrum in the middle of the living room floor while you’re trying to have a conversation. If anything, Elena seems to have taken the comments as a challenge to crank it up another notch. After a while, frustration takes hold. Is that “noble”? Probably not, but it’s no less human than whatever Elena is experiencing. But you know, I’m not in a competition to demonstrate how evolved I am, particularly in the eyes of other bloggers. Personally, while I thought Laura’s last comment was measured and intelligent and compassionate, as usual, I’m not all that impressed by the insistance on treating Elena like a colicky baby to be indulged and soothed. Sometimes people need to be told they’re being disruptive or self-indulgent or foolish, and sometimes an individual needs to say so regardless of whether it’s helpful to the other person.

71. lauralupa - June 25, 2008

ton 69
Thanks for your questioning, I think you are quite right in pointing these attitudes out. In fact I had some misgivings about writing about Elena in the third person in my previous post, although in this case I thought it appropriate since I was trying to explain my view to the other posters. Please Elena accept my apologies if reading it made you feel objectified.

I agree it’s very weird and unpleasant to be on the receiving end of such apparently casual remarks and often cold psychological characterizations. I guess we all carry inside us vestiges of our dabbling in the ancient art of photographs, but maybe need to learn to soften the focus a bit. Just a little more love?

BTW Elena, it’s summer, don’t forget to dance!

72. veronicapoe - June 25, 2008

lauralupa–

I think anyone who has something to say here on any relevant subject should be free to say it. Even if other people find it irritating or disagree with it. Those other people should be free to criticize what the first one says. As long as we treat each other decently we should feel free to disagree passionately.

If E. wants to launch a public protest and it is helpful to her process, sure, why not. So long as she pickets in a place where it’s legal to do so (I don’t know if the road in front of the gate house qualifies), why shouldn’t she?

73. ton - June 25, 2008

re-membering now where i landed directly upon leaving the fellowship… it was early spring of ’84, the keristan islands in ‘the haight’ (i don’t intend to make the blog about me, bear with me, i hope there is a point to this)… i didn’t stay long. at their community meetings, members sat in a circle of about 30 people, the process usually included a recognized form of interaction called by them ‘gestapo gestalt’ wherein an individual is singled-out ‘spontaneously’ by the group for a period of more or less intense examination… (i think of it now as the ‘peeling the onion’). thanks to laura for the suggestion and metaphor — or is it a similie? — there is something to be said for ‘soft focus’

http://www.kerista.com/index.html

74. God Laughing - June 25, 2008

I sighed with relief, then smiled
after reading the Zannos comment.
“hey” I thought “there’s somebody else who’s on my wavelength.”

when people are on the same wavelength,
it is easy for them to understand and agree with each other.

I guess my self, Zannos, Just another voice and some more
receive a lot of static interference when E is broadcasting

75. paulshabram - June 25, 2008

About Elena and To Elena,

I have to agree with most of what’s been said here of late. For a practical approach veronicapoe’s (72) take is appealing to me. The quality of the blog goes up and down, but it’s the best (and I hope does the most good) when there is a rocking good debate. IMO it would be good if debates were on point wrt the FOF, and particularly on how to get out of the FOF.

I still read every word that anyone writes, so to me the long posts are daunting. That’s my choice. I like the way Elena writes, however, when anybody starts a paragraph with “Steiner” “Gurdjieff”, “Ouspensky” or some other presumed authority on enlightenment, it becomes a forced march. Still I find good stuff there, so I read it anyway. My chief objection to Elena’s recent posts is that she seemed to characterize suicide as a viable way out, (suicide as viable is a dangerous oxymoron). I still remember how it felt to leave, to step through the void, through utter hopelessness, how ever brief.

Personally, I hope Elena gets what she needs from picketing. I have my concerns about it, but I have to admire her for doing it. Just reminding a few FOFers that there is a choice is a huge accomplishment. If she can coax just one person out it would be beyond words. If she has to psych herself up through heroic imagery, how is that different from, for e.g., how an athlete prepares for competition.

I just wish it was better planned, positive, and on a grand scale. Imagine a the effect of a thousand exFOFs smiling and walking together on the road, no threat, showing current members that it’s OK to be out and free. Robert’s fall from grace, becoming a degenerate human being, has to be well known within the FOF. This blog has done much to highlight that. I am hoping that all that’s needed for the next tranche of exiting friends is to see that it’s safe to go.

76. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 25, 2008

72
“If E. wants to launch a public protest and it is helpful to her process, sure, why not. So long as she pickets in a place where it’s legal to do so (I don’t know if the road in front of the gate house qualifies), why shouldn’t she?”

75
“I just wish it was better planned, positive, and on a grand scale.”

On “why shouldn’t she,” one perspective is that there’s more at stake than Elena’s freedom to express herself however she sees fit. Obviously she can picket if she feels like it, and maybe it will be cathartic for her, or cause her to feel “good about herself.” But how effective will it be in serving any purpose other than Elena’s own purpose? Not at all, I think. If the purpose is to move a member further towards leaving, I think it’s counterproductive to have someone who can easily be dismissed as emotionally unbalanced standing at the gate with a picket sign. It makes it that much easier for a member to say “So this is what happens to people who leave–they become negative, irrational, impulsive, and self-aggrandizing. Maybe I’ll stay.” If the purpose is to draw wider attention to the evils of the Fellowship, I doubt there’s a lot of useful media potential in “lone disgruntled former member protests Fellowship,” or “former member arrested for disturbing the peace (or trespassing) outside group’s compound.” Anyone who’s participated in political or social activism knows that, to be effective, activities need to be planned and carried out with discipline, and with an appropriate method and message and messenger, or they’re worse than useless.

77. paulshabram - June 25, 2008

76
‘It makes it that much easier for a member to say “So this is what happens to people who leave–they become negative, irrational, impulsive, and self-aggrandizing. Maybe I’ll stay.”’

That’s a damned good argument. I’m pretty conflicted on this subject now.

But I don’t entirely agree with the argument that there’s not ‘a lot of useful media potential in “lone disgruntled former member protests Fellowship,” or “former member arrested for disturbing the peace (or trespassing) outside group’s compound.”’ If the media attention happens (I doubt it will), it will blow right past Elena because, although they may come to the same conclusions that you do, they will still fine a great commercially viable story. Pulitzers have been won for as much.

78. paulshabram - June 25, 2008

76 fine = find

79. paulshabram - June 25, 2008

78
76 =77
better stop correcting now!?

80. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 25, 2008

77 paulshabram

There’s definitely a good story there. And getting the right media coverage tends not to just happen–it takes skill and time and effort to pitch the right story to the right reporter.

81. ton - June 25, 2008

some, at least those who seem to rely on publicity for their ‘living,’ might contend that ‘even negative’ publicity is still publicity.

82. paulshabram - June 25, 2008

80
I guess that goes back to:

“I just wish it was better planned, positive, and on a grand scale.”

83. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 26, 2008

81 ton

Celebrities make money just by being in the public eye. What’s true for Paris Hilton isn’t necessarily true for this kind of story, where we would like a reporter to investigate, say certain things, and not say others. But I agree with Paul that most likely there would be no media at all–Elena picketing just isn’t newsworthy beyond Oregon House. A couple of hundred people picketing and camping out for weeks might be different.

84. My4bits - June 26, 2008

Having once worked at the Pyle/Gatehouse, I can speak to the issues of property line, and acceptable locations for protest.

Fellowship property begins at the start of the paved driveway entrance in front of the Gatehouse. Anyone who enters this driveway area, and refuses to leave when asked, can be arrested.

Rice’s Crossing Road itself is under the jurisdiction of the California Highway Patrol, and is therefore subject to laws this agency can enforce. (Primarily, that the free passage of traffic on the road not be obstructed, or potential hazards to passing traffic created.)

Therefore, a protester will find herself either under the public law of the CHP, or the private property law of the Fellowship. The local Sheriff’s Department can (and mostly likely will) be called to mediate issues of “gray area.”

Practically speaking, one can legally stand on the edge of Rice’s Crossing Road, and outside the driveway entrance, until the CHP determines that you are obstructing traffic or creating a hazard, at which time they can ask you to please move on.

85. Associated Press - June 26, 2008

Todd Milbourn
Reporter
The Sacramento Bee
(916) 321-1063
tmilbourn@sacbee.com

86. ton - June 26, 2008

bears reposting?
here is the address of an editor at the sf chronicle who covered the peoples temple story…

mkilduff@sfchronicle.com

way back when, long before the blog i thought a compilation of video interviews with former and current students could be an interesting project… (?)

veronicapoe, i’m still looking for that section of tape you asked about… there’s a lot of material to go through and i’m organizing and editing in the process so it may take a while to locate it.

87. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 26, 2008

84 is newly moderated.

88. veronicapoe - June 26, 2008

‘ton,

It could be worse. You could be dealing with a pile of betamax tapes, 5-1/4-inch floppies, or 8-track cartridges….

89. Another Name - June 26, 2008

Scannning the last 100 entries I would like to share some observations.

About “helping” to leave students:
The payers (innies) now will be the non payers (outies). It is a matter of time. Many people are helping this process just because they are what they are and being around in OH (which is part of “doing” of the economy) is part of the process for people to be able to leave. The internet is a big support in being able to leave the fellowship of friends. The economy is supportive.
Robert is a big factor in leaving. The more lies the more people will leave. Just a matter of time. The light is on, the time is changing. Picketing or not…..
On another note: Would it be nice when we can be most true to ourselves and act from that part….Trust the angel in us and forgot oppositional behavior? Many entries have a tendency for oppositional thinking and I do not see any use in that except to induce discussion…struggle, discrepantie. Not my need, nor choice.
I prefer to be loving in

stead of being right.
I prefer to be loving instead of being right

All is well, all is well….time is a factor.

Big hug for all of you

Enjoy your day

90. lauralupa - June 26, 2008

ton 73
how counterculture! that must have been quite a change after all the FoF stiffness…
interesting to realise though, once again, that besides all the differences in behaviours and beliefs, the basic mechanisms of cultish environments remain the same. Following are some quotes from the kerista website:

“Of all the complex issues I have attempted to sort out in the past year since the commune split up, none stands out so prominently as that of people taking personal responsibility for their lives . . . and the consequences of not doing so.”
“Jud’s forceful personal style of conversation and confrontation became the model for how Keristans related to each other and outsiders; only the most courageous Keristans dared to openly disagree with Jud.”
“Every ex-Keristan I have talked with remembers numerous instances of going along with the prevailing group sentiment on an issue rather than take a contrary stand, or, worse still, without even bothering to really think the issue through independently. Often the matters were relatively inconsequential, but there were also many which were not that had major effects on the lives and minds of other people.”
“We found, among other things, that there were many more nice, “cool” people out there than we had let ourselves believe in our cultish, we’re-better-than-everyone else mindset; also, that we actually did have the skills and abilities to succeed in the world as individuals.”
“In any event, for better or worse, all of us who were once Keristans must now face the world more directly and make it or break it on our own steam. It’s scary and liberating at the same time.”

A final thought and my hope for the future of the FoF cult:
“What kicked off the break-up of the Kerista Commune was really pretty straightforward. Bottom line, some of us decided it was time to make Jud answerable to the same standards everyone else was expected to live by – and play as an equal.”

91. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 26, 2008

Conformity, Minority and Majority Influence

interesting video of Asch’s famous experiment showing that people will deny their own eyes to avoid disagreeing with the group

http://aqabpsychology.co.uk/?q=node/12

92. sharon - June 26, 2008

Re Lauralupa 90
The more I read and think about it all, the more I see that we in the cult of the FoF are/were no better/worse or more/less damaging than any other of the millions of cults out there (I’m not talking about the sexual abuse, but the thought patterning). We are certainly not special or unusual. Laura’s quotes could have come from people leaving jobs working for a major corporation, the army, family, political parties, churches…. we humans are horribly cultish, and it holds us back in just about every facet of life “on planet earth” as a human. We all waste our lives “going along with the prevailing group sentiment”.

93. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 26, 2008

IMHO I believe that humans have a strong desire to be needed, cared for and loved, and will go with the status quo flow or conform to get just that; even if it means to go against what they know in their hearts to be unhealthy. Peer pressure is not just experienced by teenagers.

94. whalerider - June 26, 2008

Thanks Sheik for sharing your personal account dealing with BPD. My heart goes out to you. I totally agree with you about the Zen approach, one has to completely empty oneself of anything to “hook” onto; people dealing with BPD are experts at finding the weaknesses of others since they are so painfully aware of their own. In social situations, they feel compelled to even the playing field by revealing the weaknesses of others. They also preemptively reject at the slightest sign of rejection. Pure presence is all they can handle (and so desperately need) from others because they were neglected in their childhood.

BTW, we all have personality “traits and styles”, personality disorders are on whole other level. I introduced the topic of BPD for some perspective in dealing with defensive people. There is no need to re-invent the wheel.

I am not so sure about “Gestapo” Gestalt, regular old Gestalt therapy is frickin’ awesome. I find it particularly useful in working with dreams. I would describe it as putting the onion back together and making it whole. You don’t need a group process to do it.

Protesting and petitioning to bring the cult to a close is working from the outside in. This will weaken the body politic. In doing so, one could even make a name for oneself. My interest lies in working from the inside out.

95. Across the River - June 26, 2008

94 whalerider

So follow your interest. For many of us it’s not an either/or process, and taking an active stand against the FOF is an effort generated from the inside out. The most important factor is to “one’s self be true” in the methods used *and choices made 🙂 * to cleanse our insides after the FOF experience.

96. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 26, 2008

94 Whalerider: ‘There is no need to reinvent the wheel’.

What? I thought that’s what we do all the time here. Bark! Bark!

97. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 26, 2008

94, 95

I sometimes wonder why no one has yet appeared who has concluded that the Fellowship is corrupt, or is harming people, and therefore intends to leave, and has taken the step before leaving of trying to document the goings-on from within, or draw outside attention to it, such as was recently the case with the Texas Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

98. ton - June 26, 2008

94 whalerider “I am not so sure about “Gestapo” Gestalt, regular old Gestalt therapy is frickin’ awesome…. and etc.”

glib.

thanks to laura for drawing some pith and pertinent remarks from the kerista link.

99. somebody - June 26, 2008

97 “Why no one has yet appeared who has concluded that the Fellowship is corrupt, or is harming people, and therefore intends to leave, and has taken the step before leaving of trying to document the goings-on from within, or draw outside attention to it.”

The ‘goings-on’ are tricky. The outsider when goes inside first might not notice anything wrong. He’ll see smiling people, friends having a good time in elegant rose garden with fountains. When he enters the garden his desire to investigate, fight or rescue anyone – might even disappear.
If he is lucky he might avoid weird people and weird conversations for a long time. But sooner or later he will hear about the “Work” – people share sincerely their struggle with lower-self and practice of prolonged presence. Which sounds just fine. What he will experience quite soon is a lot of sex energy. And with a little bit of alcohol he may fall in love and have his wings grow. It takes a while to get to know the “inside” situation. If he gets Robert’s attention, it might be too late…

I see a few kinds of students:
• hard-core inner circle-old students, who have a “role” and work for Robert in one way on another; they live by the rules as sacred, meaning, putting the first bite aside everyday except Sunday, cover their teeth when smile, doing the sequence of coarse, and struggle with their lower-self on a daily basis;
• oldies-but-goodies – old students who were preparing to the 1998 and 2006 and still kind of hope it is going to happen just later, and therefore hang around, or just don’t care, not so much participating in a new teaching, not going to the meetings etc. and plus take the rules ‘relatively’ and not ‘formatorly’. Those who were Robert’s lovers in the past are still devoted to him and absolutely believe that he is a conscious being no matter what, and feel that the day was not wasted if he says ‘hi’ to them or wave… what can I say? Love…
• students from 3d world countries who see Robert as a king and quite happy being in his court even as prostitutes.

So, talking about corruption, it is not just that clear. I think the core of the corruption is that one man calls himself a divine being and claims a monopoly on divine influence and does whatever he wants under those claims. Take that out of FOF and – there will be no FOF. But how do you do something like that?

100. God Laughing - June 26, 2008

Somebody

I think the core of the corruption is that one man calls himself a divine being and claims a monopoly on divine influence and does whatever he wants under those claims. Take that out of FOF and there will be no FOF. But how do you do something like that?

What is needed is a whistle blower. A person who publicly reports illegal activities, such as male prostitution, misuse of “church donation funds” green card and religious visa scams, etc. To late for most of us, but recent de-parties, someone like T_na B, could do a great deal of damage to the FOF.

101. whalerider - June 26, 2008

What action or “psych-op” could a person take to provoke bobby and the hard-core FOFers to respond from the inside out that would publicly expose the fact that they are not a church or a religon?

religon:
“…a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

102. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 26, 2008

99, 100

Somebody, I really enjoyed the phrase about those who “feel that the day was not wasted if he says ‘hi’ to them.” Nicely put.

But I was specifically wondering about those who don’t fit your descriptions, and are definitely on their way out. Surely there must be someone who’s tired of coming in grandpa’s mouth who want to, as Mr. Laughing puts it, blow the whistle, instead of being blown. I know it’s not as easy as it seems in the movies, but it could be done. The raid on the Texas cult a couple of months ago started with a phone call.

103. ton - June 27, 2008

102 funny puns… some action (as in activity) is required in order to change the situation, ignoring it doesn’t seem to make it go away.
——

looking for a book intended to a friend, it opened to this page… i only post it here because it read / sounded downright ‘gurdjieffian’
and also seems to relate somewhat to a thread here — namely: “maybe you want to each him… maybe he can’t be taught.”

(whalerider, one ‘good quote’ desesrves another :~)

“sg: mechanical

cm: yes that’s what man is. man is this mechanical creature who sees himself at the apex of evolution and who defines everything in terms of psychology and economics and a few other privileged categories of the enlightenment of humanism. but we’re not limited to that. we merely have to point of aboriginal
people who engage the world in profoundly different and rich ways. we have this potential to relate to each other so richly and wildly and poetically and really that’s that environmentalists and artists should be talking about — enriching ourselves. our lives aren’t enriched by nuclear power plants

sg: how do you teach that to george bush?

cm: i don’t know. that’s not my role in things. maybe you want to teach him. maybe he can’t be taught.

sg: but what does that say about human consciousness… that which you’re saying is so clear to you and me, can’t be seen by so many people and isn’t understood by them?…. and on and on etc.”

excerpted from: CONVERSATIONS before the end of time
suzy gablik talking to chrisopher manes, page 100.

104. ton - June 27, 2008

sorry so sloppy…
“maybe you want to teach him…”

105. somebody - June 27, 2008

102

FOF does not have anything as ‘juicy’ as pregnant teens. What can a student, an adult man, tell on the phone? report an abuse? I don’t know the facts about illegal activities, if someone knows them, it could help. Hopefully the petition will serve this purpose.

But in relation to the current students, I think those who are ‘tired of coming in grandpa’s mouth’ have already left. Nobody is holding the gun to those who are still ‘working hard’. They’re paying for their after-life insurance.

I think at this point nothing RB is doing will disappoint his followers. I mean NOTHING. Gods make him do it, and the Gods talking to him because he is conscious. Nobody can argue with that, because the lower can’t see the higher. And why the Gods are making him do crazy things? To wake them up, of coarse! So simple…

The only thing media can do at this point is to expose their foolishness, which could perhaps sober them a little, but they are not even watching TV or reading the newspapers. I hope they are at least reading the blog in the weak moment when the lower-self gets out of control 😉

106. ton - June 27, 2008

105
“I think at this point nothing RB is doing will disappoint his followers. I mean NOTHING. Gods make him do it, and the Gods talking to him because he is conscious. Nobody can argue with that, because the lower can’t see the higher. And why the Gods are making him do crazy things? To wake them up, of coarse! So simple…”

speaking generally, for one reason or another people do not seem inclined to recognize or realize their direct and personal connection to ‘god’ or ‘the gods’ or ‘higher forces’ or ‘c influence’… whatever the terminology… for some reason, be it ignorance, laziness, or fear, whatever the reason… so they seek out a ‘mediator.’ the charlatan of every stripe relies on this ‘feature’ for his trade in manipulating human souls. when those unfortunates who are still stuck in the web of a ‘character’ such as a robert burton, realize that he is actually the impediment to their own personal / direct access to ‘higher forces’ and ‘the gods’ — then, as it’s said, “the jig is over.”

107. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 27, 2008

106

I’ve always thought that one of the three key hooks — the Holy Trinity — used by RB to keep members making those payments indefinitely is the term “C Influence” or “the gods” as being somehow different from the experience of “God,” and that membership and subservience to RB personally are prerequisites for contact with these faeries. (The other two are the ideas that a person needs a “school,” and of course there’s only one of those around, and a “conscious teacher,” and — surprise — only one of those, too.) As seen in the telephone conversation with RB quoted here a few days ago, he routinely plays the trump card “Have you verified C Influence?” as the way to intimidate people into declaring their loyalty to RB’s world view, and therefore his authority. No one wants to respond “Well, gee whiz, no, um, I guess I haven’t” (let alone “the fuck you talking about, KY Jellyman?”).

108. paulshabram - June 27, 2008

So… How did any of you verify C-Influence?

109. whalerider - June 27, 2008

Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations

“Church”. Certain characteristics are generally attributed to churches.
These attributes of a church have been developed by the IRS and
by court decisions. They include: distinct legal existence; recognized
creed and form of worship; definite and distinct ecclesiastical
government; formal code of doctrine and discipline; distinct religious
history; membership not associated with any other church or
denomination; organization of ordained ministers; ordained ministers
selected after completing prescribed courses of study; literature
of its own; established places of worship; regular congregations;
regular religious services; Sunday schools for the religious
instruction of the young; schools for the preparation of its ministers.

The IRS generally uses a combination of these characteristics,
together with other facts and circumstances, to determine whether
an organization is considered a church for federal tax purposes.
The IRS makes no attempt to evaluate the content of whatever
doctrine a particular organization claims is religious, provided the
particular beliefs of the organization are truly and sincerely held by
those professing them and the practices and rites associated with
the organization’s belief or creed are not illegal or contrary to
clearly defined public policy.

Jeopardizing Tax-Exempt Status

All IRC section 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches
and religious organizations, must abide by certain rules:
■ their net earnings may not inure to any private
shareholder or individual,
■ they must not provide a substantial benefit to private
interests,
■ they must not devote a substantial part of their
activities to attempting to influence legislation,
■ they must not participate in, or intervene in, any
political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to)
any candidate for public office, and
■ the organization’s purposes and activities may not
be illegal or violate fundamental public policy.

Churches and religious organizations, like all exempt
organizations under IRC section 501(c)(3), are prohibited
from engaging in activities that result in inurement of
the church’s or organization’s income or assets to insiders
(i.e., persons having a personal and private interest in the
activities of the organization). Insiders could include the
minister, church board members, officers, and in certain
circumstances, employees. Examples of prohibited inurement
include the payment of dividends, the payment of
unreasonable compensation to insiders, and transferring
property to insiders for less than fair market value. The
prohibition against inurement to insiders is absolute;
therefore, any amount of inurement is, potentially,
grounds for loss of tax-exempt status.

An IRC section 501(c)(3) organization’s activities must
be directed exclusively toward charitable, educational,
religious, or other exempt purposes. Such an organization’s
activities may not serve the private interests of any
individual or organization. Rather, beneficiaries of an
organization’s activities must be recognized objects of
charity (such as the poor or the distressed) or the community
at large (for example, through the conduct of
religious services or the promotion of religion). Private
benefit is different from inurement to insiders. Private
benefit may occur even if the persons benefited are not
insiders. Also, private benefit must be substantial in
order to jeopardize tax-exempt status.

http://www.irs.gov/charities/churches/index.html

110. Yesri Baba - June 27, 2008

108 Paul

Silly, we all did it the same way. That it is why it is such a universal con.
IMO ‘c-influence’, ‘higher forces’ etc. are another phony graft onto unconscious Judeo-Christian superstitions to milk peoples deepest hopes and fears to the max.
As for the ‘Really Big Kahuna’,well, we spend almost all of our time and resourses unverifying that.

111. paulshabram - June 27, 2008

110
Nosri. My question(s) more precisely: “What event caused you to verify C-Influence? Or did you just accept the premise?”

The telephone conversation with RB a few posts back reveals that RB views “have you verified C-Influence?” as a fundamental bludgeon for imposing his “godessness”. The person recording the telephone conversation actually claims to have “verified C-Influence”. How? What license plate or announcement, or road sign served that purpose?

112. Associated Press - June 27, 2008

Concerning cult think/behaviour patterning and:
“We all waste our lives ‘going along with the prevailing group sentiment.'”
And, why ‘whistle blower’ is hard to find (or is that: to blow your whistle it must be hard – there’s more than one meaning in that):

From Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

“Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger (or at least risk) in which the hostage has been placed. The syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg, Stockholm, Sweden, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28 in 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their victimizers, and even defended their captors after they were freed from their six-day ordeal. The term Stockholm Syndrome was coined by the criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, who assisted the police during the robbery, and referred to the syndrome in a news broadcast. . .

Millionaire heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. After two months in captivity, she actively took part in a robbery they were orchestrating. Her unsuccessful legal defense was that she suffered from Stockholm syndrome and was coerced into aiding the SLA. She was convicted and imprisoned for her actions in the robbery, though her sentence was commuted in February 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, and she received a Presidential pardon from Bill Clinton. . .

Elizabeth Smart, a 14 year old girl, was kidnapped from her home in Salt Lake City in June 2002 by two members of a fundamentalist polygamist sect, the homeless preacher Brian David “Emmanuel” Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee. At first Smart was kept tethered to a tree in a wooded canyon, dressed in white robes, and confined to a twenty-foot long trough with a lean-to over it, but after two months, the couple was able to take the girl with them to restaurants and other public places, her face veiled, and she no longer tried to escape. The trio travelled to San Diego, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, with Smart claiming to be the couple’s daughter, but they eventually returned to Utah. By this time, Smart had become so attached to her captors that when she was finally approached by Utah law enforcement officials, who had been searching for her for nine months, she told them that she was 18 years old and Mitchell’s polygamous wife. Only when she was shown a picture of herself as she had looked before her abduction did she admit that she was, in fact, Elizabeth Smart. . .

Yvonne Ridley Captured by the Taliban while disguised in a burqa and held captive for 11 days. ‘I was horrible to my captors. I spat at them and was rude and refused to eat. It wasn’t until I was freed that I became interested in Islam.’ She converted to Islam in the summer of 2003, stating that her new faith has helped put behind her three broken marriages and a reputation as the ‘Patsy Stone of Fleet Street.’ BBC News has written that ‘It has been suggested that [Ridley] is a victim of Stockholm syndrome, in which hostages take the side of the hostage-takers.’ Ridley rejects this, however, saying ‘that at no time did anyone try to brainwash her.’ In 2004, she described her journey of faith for the BBC’s religion site. . .”

[Notice that some of the best examples given, anecdotally, are women – supports one possibility that battered spouse syndrome is a close cousin. But also, notice that the process requires the subservience (submission) of the individual to an abuser or an abusive situation. We all should know how to recognize the main abuser for who they are – and that is usually the leader of the criminal enterprise. The rest of the abusers are all just in the ranks of the pecking order from the top down to the lowly outer circle.]

113. Associated Press - June 27, 2008

Concerning cult think/behaviour patterning and:
“We all waste our lives ‘going along with the prevailing group sentiment.'”
And, why ‘whistle blower’ is hard to find (or is that: to blow your whistle it must be hard – there’s more than one meaning in that):

From Wikipedia:

“Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger (or at least risk) in which the hostage has been placed. The syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg, Stockholm, Sweden, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28 in 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their victimizers, and even defended their captors after they were freed from their six-day ordeal. The term Stockholm Syndrome was coined by the criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, who assisted the police during the robbery, and referred to the syndrome in a news broadcast. . .

Millionaire heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army. After two months in captivity, she actively took part in a robbery they were orchestrating. Her unsuccessful legal defense was that she suffered from Stockholm syndrome and was coerced into aiding the SLA. She was convicted and imprisoned for her actions in the robbery, though her sentence was commuted in February 1979 by President Jimmy Carter, and she received a Presidential pardon from Bill Clinton. . .

Elizabeth Smart, a 14 year old girl, was kidnapped from her home in Salt Lake City in June 2002 by two members of a fundamentalist polygamist sect, the homeless preacher Brian David “Emmanuel” Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee. At first Smart was kept tethered to a tree in a wooded canyon, dressed in white robes, and confined to a twenty-foot long trough with a lean-to over it, but after two months, the couple was able to take the girl with them to restaurants and other public places, her face veiled, and she no longer tried to escape. The trio travelled to San Diego, California and Las Vegas, Nevada, with Smart claiming to be the couple’s daughter, but they eventually returned to Utah. By this time, Smart had become so attached to her captors that when she was finally approached by Utah law enforcement officials, who had been searching for her for nine months, she told them that she was 18 years old and Mitchell’s polygamous wife. Only when she was shown a picture of herself as she had looked before her abduction did she admit that she was, in fact, Elizabeth Smart. . .

Yvonne Ridley Captured by the Taliban while disguised in a burqa and held captive for 11 days. ‘I was horrible to my captors. I spat at them and was rude and refused to eat. It wasn’t until I was freed that I became interested in Islam.’ She converted to Islam in the summer of 2003, stating that her new faith has helped put behind her three broken marriages and a reputation as the ‘Patsy Stone of Fleet Street.’ BBC News has written that ‘It has been suggested that [Ridley] is a victim of Stockholm syndrome, in which hostages take the side of the hostage-takers.’ Ridley rejects this, however, saying ‘that at no time did anyone try to brainwash her.’ In 2004, she described her journey of faith for the BBC’s religion site. . .”

[Notice that some of the best examples given, anecdotally, are women – supports one possibility that battered spouse syndrome is a close cousin. But also, notice that the process requires the subservience (submission) of the individual to an abuser or an abusive situation. We all should know how to recognize the main abuser for who they are – and that is usually the leader of the criminal enterprise. The rest of the abusers are all just in the ranks of the pecking order from the top down to the lowly outer circle.]

114. ton - June 27, 2008

108
“How did any of you verify C-Influence?”

we probably each had our own interpretation of what that meant… i think the more or less ‘universal sense’ that there exists some directing intelligence greater than the sum of the parts — call it what you will, ‘god, the gods, c-influence, higher forces, the absolute, the really big kahuna…’ etc, etc… this ‘universal sense’ we humans seem to have that there is a ‘higher power’ means that ‘we’ tend to be open and susceptible to suggestion when it comes to finding answers relating to the ‘felt presence’ of that mysterious something that is greater than the individual and indeed greater than the sum of the parts.

while i was brainwashed by fellowship of friends dogma, my own interpretation of verifying ‘c-influence’ had a everything to do with ‘suggestion’ beginning with suggestion from the top of the pyramid, the suggestions were of course reinforced as they filtered from the top into the rest of the organization… then it became ‘auto suggestion’ and i would look for clues to support the suggestion… the ‘clues’ were often occurrences usually ‘in the moment’ and outside of myself, that is in the environment, ‘meaningful coincidences’ that seemed somehow to correspond with my thought-stream. with the subject of ‘thought-stream’ we come back around to the brainwashing, the suggestion and auto-suggestion that was occurring, informed the thought process, this formed a self-reinforcing feedback loop… kind of like the blinders put on a horse to keep them going in one direction. paul i don’t know that this answers the question, but thanks for asking, it is thought provoking to consider… i have to wonder what exactly was being ‘verified’ in this case and under the circumstances.

yesri, 110
“As for the ‘Really Big Kahuna’,well, we spend almost all of our time and resourses unverifying that.”

right on target, the disinclination in people (speaking generally), the constant distraction and even the seeming need for distraction from realizing personal contact with the ‘really big kahuna’ and hence the ensuing dependence on a mediator, or a ‘middleman’ in the form of a ‘church’ or ‘cult’ or ‘guru’ or… what is that about? the ‘really big kahuna’ is ‘hiding in plain sight,’ so close that we don’t see… what was it gurdjieff said about the best place to hide something? there’s an aphorism or metaphor — or is it a similie…? that seems to fit: the fishes swim in the ocean but do not taste the salt… or words to that effect.

115. Mick Danger - June 27, 2008

Brilliant! Grandpa Bobby Jellyman. I love it.
This streak of creative insight is already yielding results.

116. Kid Shelleen - June 27, 2008

The entire time I was in, I worked with C influence as a theory. I kept my eyes, ears, mind and heart open to all the synchronistic events that happened to me. With a different frame of reference, I would have come to different conclusions as to what, precisely, was happening, but as I had (and was paying dearly for) the FoF frame of reference, how could I not, at least grudgingly, acknowledge that I had verification of something “other.” Of course, I am cursed with the Believer gene; just like Mulder’s poster said, “I want to believe.” Luckily, or sadly, depending on your point of view, I also possess a truly resilient strain of cynicism as well. So, I would witness something that could possibly be attributed to the workings of higher forces and then ask myself, how can I really know? It seemed to me at the time that the answer for the true student was to believe, not to question. Questioning undermined your verifications. Certainly something, not of my own volition, was influencing my life.

The turning point came for me, and I have mentioned this before on this blog, when I started thinking of myself as C influence. I read Rodney Collin’s theory that if we do become concious, we not only influence our present and future, but we could effect our past as well. I started working with the idea that if a conscious me exists in the future, that conscious me would be sending help back to the unconscious me sitting here in this chair, hence, I am my own C influence. Seemed plausible at the time, and I still think there is some sort of truth hidden in it. I’m still trying to figure out the riddle. For me, now, large ideas like this which bubble up from the sub-conscious are worth spending time with, even if they only turn out to be a part of my own personal mythology and not a universal truth.

So, that’s my c influence story and I’m sticking with it.

117. ton - June 27, 2008

i’m skeptical of the ‘proof’ here but it’s still an interesting concept…
“the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious,
it’s the source of all true science.”

118. somebody - June 27, 2008

This is what the students brains are being daily washed with. Check out the latest update.

From THOUGHTS FROM THE TEACHER, “Weekly Notes”
Apollo, June 18, 2008

When a student is chewing food, try not to use that as an opportunity to speak. One’s own lower self will attempt to destroy presence in oneself as well as in others.

It often happens in relationships that one’s nine of clubs seeks the other’s nine of clubs, adding weakness to weakness, and feeding each other – two nine of clubs against one nine of hearts.

One has to be trained by Influence C and the school to see the lower self. Otherwise, it will succeed in its attempt to appear as the third eye.

The history of art is the history of the sequential message.

Many ancient school had nothing but the message. We are surrounded by an incredible amount of information and impressions.

[After photographing a student for holding a cup without using the handle:] It is a second-to-second struggle – a little more effort, a little more presence, a little closer to Influence C.

In life there is no one to envy – just a few to help.

Omens are a way that Influence C communicate with me, and a way that they foretell the future. It is a divine, irrational process designed to keep the lower self at a distance. Its imaginary picture of awakening is a very controlled and rigorous process, but in reality there is considerable chaos.

A student very sweetly said that I am the only hope, but that is not entirely true. I know that after I go, things will continue in a beautiful way. It will not be easy, but there are many wonderful students who will continue, and the opportunity will still be there.

119. sharon - June 27, 2008

Paul – I never did “verify c-influence”. I guess I was innoculated against it when I went through an ephemeral born-again-Christian experience at the age of 12 – it didn’t last long, did not produce any miracles, and I never could really believe in my own participation in crowd emotion again. The supposed lack of belief required for a 4th way school was one really big attraction to the FoF. It took me a while to figure out that Robert was not teaching the 4th way (I was very much a 4th way neophyte) and by then I was trapped and entrenched by other considerations of community.

The continued adherence to belief in some personified form of c-influence, or whatever you want to call it, in ex-FoF members of whatever duration of time in or out is still alienating for me. This belief is usually accompanied by comments of admiration for or joy in synchronicity (“isn’t it wonderful?!!”).

I don’t buy it. Sometimes I think I’m the only one for whom miracles do not happen, but, oh well, they just don’t. Life is whatever it is, and guess what? I don’t know a thing about what or why. I think most folks really are In Search of the Miraculous, and I guess I’m not. Which is not to imply that life need be flat – the strength or inspiration comes from within, not from some external higher force, and that’s good enough, in fact it is all that I can honestly claim.

120. Rear View Mirror - June 27, 2008

117: “Omens are a way that Influence C communicate with me, and a way that they foretell the future.”

LOL. Robert, I wouldn’t go there. Sort of calls to mind 1984, 1998, and 2006. It’s hard to believe you have such a short memory.

“It is a divine, irrational process designed to keep the lower self at a distance. Its imaginary picture of awakening is a very controlled and rigorous process, but in reality there is considerable chaos.”

Chaos is so right. And “irrational” is so right. Read all of the above while keeping in mind that this man manipulates and coerces his followers into having sex with him. And that he turns many lives upside down trying to come to grips with that experience.

What I’ve been realizing after several years away from this organization is that at some point I needed to take just a simple step. I wasn’t able to leave at first because I complicated things. All I needed to do was think about it very simply: Robert Burton invites his followers into his bedroom, and they take their clothes off, and he convinces them to have sex with him. And a few seconds later, he is the humbled guru walking into the academy to “teach.” And by all accounts on this blog, he’s done this hundreds and hundreds of times.

That is The Teacher.

121. Rear View Mirror - June 27, 2008

Sharon (118), I’ve been meeting numerous atheists, agnostics, and secular humanists in recent years. And “secular humanist” is one way that I could describe myself. Another definition I use for myself is someone who is spiritual but not religious. And even before the FOF, I thought about “angels” and higher beings, as it’s obviously not an idea invented by rb.

But what I’ve realized about atheists (and one very famous one was the recently deceased George Carlin), is that if there is a spiritual world, they may be much closer to it than any of us. “Us” meaning the self-proclaimed Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and so on.

Your average atheist, whatever he or she might be, is not delusional about God and the afterlife. They realize how little they know.

One of the most beautiful themes that I’ve appreciated in this blog is the recurring idea, or the realization, that we know nothing about what happens to us when we die.

It’s this insistence that we “know” that leads down the path of justification for some of the most inhumane acts toward our fellow humans… whether it’s starting a cult and using that to lure unsuspecting followers into sexual relations, or whether it’s starting a war for the sake of national unity and pride and power (or other hidden and ritualistic ideas in the guise of nationalism). It starts from that idea that WE have it all figured out. And that you don’t.

I recall many conversations with fellow followers in the FOF where we talked about this same thing — how little we actually knew and understood, and how little we actually had “verified” — whatever that word “verified” actually meant, because no one really discussed that in detail. Ironically, some of those same people are still in the FOF. But if they could really start thinking about that idea a little more closely, they would have no choice but to leave. Because everything, everything, in the FOF is based on the premise that we know. Questioning that premise, it all crumbles very quickly.

122. somebody - June 27, 2008

Hello, C Influence?

Remember, Robert never toasts to C Influence because they send shocks after that to help to awaken? Scary shocks – cancers, accidents, deaths of children and spouses. It is kind of a paradox: students want to be closer to C Influence, they scared to be without them, and they are horrified of them. The only person who seems not to be troubled by C Influence too much is Robert. That must be because he is awake already. His shocks are gentle reminders, like those disgusting chewing students, or fools, who can’t hold their cup by the handle (goodness!)

123. Yesri Baba - June 27, 2008

115

“The turning point came for me, and I have mentioned this before on this blog, when I started thinking of myself as C influence.”
———————————————-

BLASFEEMER! BLASFEEMER! BURN HIM! BOOOURN HIM!

124. sharon - June 27, 2008

RVM (120) brings to my mind the community of silence. We are at a potager lunch/dinner/after concert/etc and the topic comes up of c-influence. I say quietly “You know, I don’t think that I could honestly say that I’ve ever verified c-influence, or that I even know what it is.” And the others freeze, and tell me that I need to “be around the Galleria more often”. Or maybe they nod thoughtfully, but change the subject. Or even casually agree, but don’t take the conversation any further, certainly not down the road of what that might imply to one’s relationship to being a student of RB, or of membership in a community that bases itself upon verification of c-influence.

Now, over the past year or so, I hear of former students who were always able to have meaningful conversations with other students about this, and I am somewhat bemused – was I just so much more afraid than they were?

Re humanism or agnosticism (I’m not confident enough to call myself an atheist), recently asked about my “spiritual life” nowadays, I replied that my work is just about trying to be the best person I can be – more generous, more kind, more connected to others and more open. Nothing to do with higher/lower, god, etc. – not very “spiritual”. But more honest.

125. Vena - June 27, 2008

It is puzzling that no one has ever had the courage to point out to him that none of his predictions have ever come true. He knows they haven’t come true and the followers know they haven’t come true. It is an embarassing fact that everyone agrees to ignore. I think I once asked someone close to him if the fact that none of the predictions ever occurred made him question his claim/belief that he was connected to the Gods. The student looked shocked as if I had made a blasphemous comment. It is all very very strange.

126. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 27, 2008

Sharon 123: ‘I replied that my work is just about trying to be the best person I can be – more generous, more kind, more connected to others and more open. Nothing to do with higher/lower, god, etc. – not very “spiritual”. But more honest.’

To me this is at the very core of what it means to be ‘spiritual’.

127. God Laughing - June 27, 2008

At a dinner years ago a student said she had never experienced
C influence, RB told her it was because she was not individual enough.

This was in the clone-days. Ferragamo shoes for the ladies/cameos and lace blouses, Gucci loafers for the guys,

Sheep galore so to speak!

Conscious:
Aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.

Fully aware of or sensitive to something

Aware of what one is doing

Aware of oneself

Deliberate; intentional

Mentally perceptive or alert; awake

Capable of thought, will, or perception

There is more chance to attract the miraculous when
the above is applied

But this goes for everyone on the planet
Not by the mercy of RB and FOF!

But it sells as C-influenceworks as a sales tool, creates dependance, instills fear and it’s the hook that catches the fish

128. paulshabram - June 27, 2008

113 ton
“…then it became ‘auto suggestion’ and i would look for clues to support the suggestion…”

You have hit upon the very trail I’ve been following for the last few days. I think it gets at the mechanism by which good, intelligent, and even self confident people get entrapped by a cult. Unfortunately I have not completely formulated it and am unprepared to express it. Since you have gone there first maybe you will follow the thread. I need to do some research.

Another trail in the C-Influence question is the Fate vs. Effort paradox:
If our lives are predetermined, what is the point of making an effort to improve, evolve, change?

If change was not possible, there would be no evolution. That means there would be no hope. Therefore, the ability to make change leads to Hope, but the fact that things are changeable means that there must be uncertainty. Yet uncertainty sends some into Fear instead of Hope. My position is that uncertainty leads to Hope because it allows for Change, and evolution is not possible without change. To simplify the equation, uncertainty enables evolution. The C-Influence promulgated by Robert can only be a force against change, hope, and evolution. For me, it’s a damn good thing C-Influence does not exist.

Paul

129. somebody - June 27, 2008

124

Sometimes when you mention that the predictions did not come true, students reply, that the stock market prediction actually DID come true but LATER. So, just wait and see. Plus Robert himself said that predictions is not an exact science. Whatever that means.
And of coarse C Influence double-crossed him if you still in doubt. And if you STILL thinking about it, it means that your lower self is getting stronger and you better start doing the sequence before you lost the school for a negative imagination.. Whoaaa..

130. Mick Danger - June 27, 2008

Not to put too fine a point on the head of a pin but:
Atheism denies the existence of God (they “know” that there is no God); Agnosticism says that the existence of God cannot be known (they “know” that God cannot be known).
Do you deny your own existence?
The existence of anything belies the existence of everything.
It is of course not incumbent on God to prove “His” existence to anyone or anything. In fact this point cannot be proven one way or the other by an outside source, but you can verify it for yourself if you should happen to have the question.

131. ton - June 27, 2008

paul 127

“Autosuggestion is differentiated from brainwashing in that the suggestions given during the sessions originate with the individual, rather than originating with suggestions from others…. and etc.”

maybe it was because of my youth and inexperience at the time, but based on my experience, i might argue that autosuggestion and brainwashing work very effectively together, especially when an individual is immersed and sequestered in ‘relative’ isolation as was the case while living at ‘the ranch,’ where ‘suggestions from others’ and especially from ‘the teacher’ form the psycho-emotional and social matrix of the environment.

there has been a lot of research on the topic… it’s an important and fertile area for investigation, very pertinent to ongoing discussions…

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

132. sharon - June 27, 2008

Yes, Mick, that’s why I said I’m not confident enough to call myself an atheist (I deleted my original ‘arrogant’ enough, and replaced it with ‘confident)’. And I think that an agnostic does not “know” that God cannot be known – they merely know they themselves do not or cannot know.

Verify it for yourself? How do you know you are not just fooling yourself? Though it may not matter, if such self-fooling/belief gives one a basis for meaning in one’s life – all I can say is that it never worked for me.

133. Ames Gilbert - June 27, 2008

Re. blasphemy. It was a big break-through when I took to heart and started studying the implications of what Gurdjieff meant when he said that the creator entered his creation. What did that mean? Though slowly, my thoughts led inevitably to the conclusion, everything is the creator (whatever that is), and on to “I am That”. Another implication is that there can be no external god. Another is that anyone who puts himself between me and the godhead within must necessarily be a charlatan and a thief; there can be no need for an interpreter if I am That. And another implication is that, of course I had to abandon the system, as soon as I realized that I am That; not volitionally, but as naturally as a snake sheds its skin.

The very idea that I am That is blasphemy to almost all religions because of these implications, and historically punishable by death. So many interpreters and gurus and other middlemen out of a job! So much income and influence lost, so much power decentralized!

No, the true blasphemy is the preaching that we are not good enough, that we must pay for our existence with punishment and pain, that we are not naturally entitled to enjoy the miracles of our lives and ourselves and each other, that this world must be made a vale of tears in order to gain entrance to some theoretical (always future!) heaven or to avoid a theoretical hell.

True blasphemy is Burton disempowering his gullible and naive followers and accumulating that power to himself; proclaiming special authority and insights; using his followers’ fears and weaknesses against themselves, demanding that they in turn blaspheme by giving up their gifts and potentials so he can indulge his immediate, insatiable gratifications.

134. Traveler - June 27, 2008

Re: atheism, agnosticism…

From Wikipedia:

Theological noncognitivism is the argument that religious language, and specifically words like “God” (capitalized), are not cognitively meaningful. Some theological noncognitivists assert that to be an atheist is to give credence to the concept of God because it assumes that there actually is something understandable to not believe in. This can be confusing because of the widespread belief in God and the common use of the series of letters G-o-d as if it is already understood that it has some cognitively understandable meaning. From this view atheists have made the mistaken assumption that the concept of God actually contains an expressible or thinkable proposition. However this depends on the specific definition of God being used.

135. ton - June 27, 2008

nigel 47
“I wondered when it would be the time for me to quit the blog – and it would be when it was no longer the aim of bloggers to see REB in court and subsequently prison for his misdealings, but to carry on blogging for the sake of it – that time is now….”

i like to think there is more to the blogging and the ‘enterprise’ called ‘the greater fellowhip,’ than bringing robert burton to ‘justice’ — although that may well be a byproduct.

mick 114
“Brilliant! Grandpa Bobby Jellyman. I love it.
This streak of creative insight is already yielding results.”

i got a kick out of that too, thanks JAVOH. and thanks mick for putting a finer point on the difference between atheism and agnosticism… then there’s gnosis to consider…
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosis

132 ames
good to ‘hear’ your ‘voice’ here, well ‘said.’

136. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 27, 2008

120

I don’t know if I ever heard anyone mention their “verifications” of “C Influence” without my vanity meter going off the charts. It was the way to establish one’s spiritual credentials, and how easy–all you had to do was say it. Like many members, I went through a period of noticing synchronistic events that I interpreted as personal messages. It was my ego saying “Aren’t I special and evolved? God speaks directly to me!” That’s not to say there’s no other way to view synchronicity, but that was the way many people appeared to approach it in the Fellowship, since that’s what they were taught by RB, who not only finds it mighty convenient to be C Influence’s representative on earth, but has always known that the easiest way to control someone is through fear (of C Influence’s retribution) and vanity (you, too, can have a direct connection, as long as you stay current with those payments).

127

I believe most, if not all, of the concepts RB introduced into the Fellowship, such as C Influence (in the way he presents it), ladders, lifetimes, the “nine of hearts” vs. the “nine of clubs,” his predictions, crystalizations, etc., were specifically and intentionally designed as control mechanisms, and nothing more. They have no other real value, especially beyond the concepts that can be found in the simplest pamphlet on any religion, if a person wants to use them. Even after all this time, there’s a reluctance to conclude that it’s all been a con, since there are so many productive tidbits that can be found in the Fellowship (or at least, once upon a time there were). There’s an urge to believe there must be more to it. If nothing else, our vanity really doesn’t like to admit we were conned. But a con it was, and is, no less than the Christian fundamentalists who go on TV and tell people that Christ wants them to send money. Just a little bit–at this point, a very little bit–more sophisticated.

132

Interesting to me that Jesus was initially criticized as blasphemous because he presumed to embody God, whereas I imagine he was really just trying to say that everyone embodies God. Later, when Christianity took over the power, anyone who thought Jesus didn’t embody God, or that anyone other than Jesus embodies God, was considered blasphemous. It’s all about control.

118

on “miracles”:

Wittgenstein’s Tractatus: “It is not how things are in the world that is mystical, but that it exists.”

Castaneda’s Journey to Ixtlan: “For me the world is weird because it is stupendous, awesome, mysterious, unfathomable; my interest has been to convince you that you must assume responsibility for being here, in this marvelous world, in this marvelous desert, in this marvelous time. I wanted to convince you that you must learn to make every act count, since you are going to be here for only a short while; in fact, too short for witnessing all the marvels of it.”

137. somebody - June 27, 2008

From the meeting:
“A painting by Peter Paul Rubens in the National Gallery, Washington, D.C., depicts Daniel in the Lion’s Den [1614-16]. Normally, a pride of lions has seven male and two female lions, but here Rubens reversed it and shows two male and seven female lions, pointing to the idea of seventy-two – the control of the passions. Daniel has successfully completed his sequence, having laid his combusted garment aside, with the blue sky above him. The lion next to him is poised to break the four wordless breaths should Daniel stumble into imagination while trying to support the Lord. His ten fingers held together in prayer represent the Ten Commandments.”

First of all, a pride of lions has seven females and two males, second, at the Rubens’ painting it’s shown 2 female and 7 male lions. What is it – a senior moment? Goodness… Third, how does this reverse show the idea of 72? Even if it means the control of passions….

138. Across the River - June 27, 2008

Part of my leaving felt a little bit like receiving a grace. By finding resignation in the fact that I might not be able to know all things, I was able to know that Robert could not be a real teacher.

Just the pure scale of what we worked with in the FOF was blinding. I’m still thrilled to contemplate things on that scale, but SO happy to have my feet on the ground. The best of all worlds.

Excellent posts…now we’re talking! I’ll earmark this section for future reference as a go-to page for anyone asking about the blog.

Very happy to be here with you all.

139. God Laughing - June 27, 2008

Somebody

Thanks for the Rubens image.
Yep, definitely 7 boys and 2 girls.

ROBERT BURTON MEETING:Rubens reversed it and shows two male and seven female lions, pointing to the idea of seventy-two – the control of the passions. Daniel has successfully completed his sequence, having laid his combusted garment aside, with the blue sky above him. The lion next to him is poised to break the four wordless breaths should Daniel stumble into imagination while trying to support the Lord. His ten fingers held together in prayer represent the Ten Commandments.”

Senior moment? Dementia more likely!

140. vinnie the fish - June 27, 2008

135 – Casteneda – was he a fake? His stories about Don Juan I mean.

141. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 27, 2008

139 Vinnie

Who knows? Some of his later books seem completely bogus to me, but if he says something insightful, I’ll take it for what it’s worth.

142. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 27, 2008

138: ‘ROBERT BURTON MEETING:Rubens reversed it and shows two male and seven female lions, pointing to the idea of seventy-two – the control of the passions. Daniel has successfully completed his sequence, having laid his combusted garment aside, with the blue sky above him. The lion next to him is poised to break the four wordless breaths should Daniel stumble into imagination while trying to support the Lord. His ten fingers held together in prayer represent the Ten Commandments.”

Senior moment? Dementia more likely!’

I would rather liken it to Robert becoming as master at the art of embellishment or ‘he knows how to tell whoppers!’ Fun to have at a party!

143. Yesri Baba - June 28, 2008

The Really Big Kahuna.

You can besis but you can’t gnosis.

144. somebody - June 28, 2008

“Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”

145. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 28, 2008

136

So which of the Ten Commandments is RB now serious about?

146. somebody - June 28, 2008

“A pastel by Edgar Degas in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, depicts Dancers, Pink and Green [1890]. I believe the figure hidden behind the column with his stomach protruding is the greatest image os the lower self in all school. The dances represent the sequence. The two dancers in the back, who are difficult to see, represent Be and Hold. The four other dancers to the left on the column, represent Theme, Back, Theme, and long Be, while the seventh dancer to the right of the column, showing four fingers outside of time, represent seventh heaven. She is, nevertheless, aware of the lower self, who is trying to block the Tenth Commandment, but is failing. This is proof that Degas not only had the sequence, but gave us the most chilling image of the stealth behavior of the lower self – the master spy. The lower self is listening right now in all of us. I was doing a sequence the other day, and when I made it through Back, the lower self was disturbed, because he knew that he had lost that round.”

147. somebody - June 28, 2008

A Roman intaglio in the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, depicts a hand with four fingers pinching an ear [200-250 AD]. The hand resembles a tree trunk – the shape of an oval, like card twenty-one. Inscribed in Latin is the word, “Remember,” which, in English, has eight letters. REMEMBER. Make sure that the sequence is acting. Make sure that you are supporting the four wordless breaths.”

George W Bush supporting four wordless breaths:

148. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 28, 2008

127

Paul, Ramana Maharshi’s take on free will: “All the actions that the body is to perform are already decided upon at the time it comes into existence: the only freedom one has is whether or not to identify oneself with the body.”

149. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 28, 2008

From a Google search:

The Lost Sequence

I plugged 0 into the polyomial to get 4, and then I plugged in 1 to get 12, etc. I got the following infinite sequence of numbers:

4 12 35 89 213 511 1194 2622 5346 10150 18093 … (goes on forever)

Not too interesting, eh? Then I wrote out the differences of succeeding numbers in the sequence. For example, 12 – 4 = 8, 35 – 12 = 23, 89 – 35 = 54, etc.

8 23 54 124 298 683 1428 2624 4804 7943 … (goes on forever)

I kept doing this process. The third sequence began 23 – 8 = 15, 54 – 23 = 31, etc. When you keep going, something completely unexpected happens! Here – I’ve done the work for you:

SEQUENCE 1: 4 12 35 89 213 511 1194 2622 5346 10150 18093 … (goes on forever)
SEQUENCE 2: 8 23 54 124 298 683 1428 2624 4804 7943 12458… (goes on forever)
SEQUENCE 3: 15 31 70 174 385 745 1296 2080 3139 4515 6250… (goes on forever)
SEQUENCE 4: 16 39 104 211 360 551 784 1059 1376 1735 … (goes on forever)
SEQUENCE 5: 23 65 107 149 191 233 275 317 359 … (goes on forever)
SEQUENCE 6: 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42… (goes on forever)
SEQUENCE 7: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (goes on forever)
SEQUENCE 8: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (goes on forever)
SEQUENCE 9: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (goes on forever)
SEQUENCE 10: 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 (goes on forever)
And it stays at zero forever. The sequence destroys itself.

Is this what happens when you do too many?

150. paulshabram - June 28, 2008

147 JOVOH

Who is dong the deciding? If I am just a marionette, who is the puppeteer? Maybe it’s me.

The truth that I believe anyone rational would agree on is that the past has gone by (by definition) and that the future isn’t here yet (also by definition).

Where you have come to depends partially on where you have been. But where you have been done does not depend on where you are, the past has no dependency on the future at all. So I do not agree with Rodney Colin’s nonsense that you can alter the past. We can only alter our perception of the past, and we do that all the time. (If we eat a hotdog with mustard in Chicago, then later devour a hotdog with mustard in New York, our perception of Chicago hotdogs are inexorably altered).

Where you will be in the future moments depends first and foremost on whether there is a future for you. While you have lived your life, you have always lived your whole life and are always at the very end of it. IF there is another moment for you, you can change your trajectory toward the future by a series of changes in the only intersection with you and space-time, that is in the present moment and in the spot where you are. You don’t need to “Self Remember” or “Be Present”, because you already ARE present.

151. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 28, 2008

149

It sounds like you’re assuming the reality of time, and cause and effect. Those are certainly real on one level, but I think they’re only relatively real–they seem that way in our ordinary state. I see things as appearing to follow other things, and therefore appearing to have a cause and effect relationship, but I suspect that’s ultimately an illusion.

I don’t know about altering the past, since again, that assumes there really is a past, present and future and that everything doesn’t exist simultaneously, but I’ve experienced “higher states” in which it seemed as real as anything I’ve experienced–more real than most–that the state was retroactive, and that in fact I’d always been in that state.

152. Yesri Baba - June 28, 2008

“I don’t know about altering the past, since again, that assumes there really is a past, present and future and that everything doesn’t exist simultaneously, but I’ve experienced “higher states” in which it seemed as real as anything I’ve experienced–more real than most–that the state was retroactive, and that in fact I’d always been in that state.”

——————————————————

Wooooweeee, that is a can of worms I would just love to jump on with my super duper Popiel power can opener/slicer dicer even though I know only worms are in there.

I would leave out the word simultaneously. No, on second thought I would move it in front of retroactive.

153. Wouldnt You Like To Know - June 28, 2008

Interesting thread on awareness of time. Most people, I think, in the world see time from the point of view that the future is out ahead of us from the stand point of the present. That puts the past behind us. This is at least from a spacial type relationship orientation. But there are some people on the planet that do not see it that way. There are those that have their whole society, thinking and language constructed differently. For instance, I have heard, but cannot support with specific examples or citations, that certain indigenous peoples, like certain Native American Nations, do not have past, present, future in thought and language. Everything is happening in the NOW! Others, reportedly, see the past out in front of them – after all you can see what is past – and the future is behind them – because you cannot see the future. Their thought and language is based around this different orientation. So, how one approaches the fourth dimension may, evidently, be relative. Then there are the orientations to time that, say in ancient India philosophies, has radically different scale concepts compared to our western views. The Chinese civilisation, given its longevity, too, sees the world rather differently. From the Fourth Way, and the authors there, you find that there is different time in different centers. From modern science you may find that time can be warped and changed by various forces, such as very strong gravity. Or, traveling near the speed of light, time may progress at a different rate. The Earth, viewed from a certain vantage point, could be seen as moving, along with our solar system, and the spiral arm of the Milky Way Galaxy, where it resides, at a speed that approaches light speed. So, why do we not experience existence as timeless and moving at light speed – or as an eternal ever-present flash of light going nowhere but the right here and now? Hmmm?

154. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 28, 2008

113 is newly moderated.

155. You-me-us-they - June 28, 2008

On Past, Present and Futur:
“Keep walking though there is no place to get to…”
Rumi

We would agree that when Past or Futur manifest
in our field of awareness, they become Present.

Memory (so dear to Petrarca, Proust…) is the present of the past.
Creativity/imagination is the present of the furtur.

Keep walking…

Gratitude.

156. ton - June 28, 2008

yesri 142
“The Really Big Kahuna. You can besis but you can’t gnosis.”

not to offer an ‘opposite angle’ (tongue in cheek), but maybe you can’t fully ‘besis’ without ‘gnosis.’ and here we go with another installment of ‘how many angels can we fit on the head of a pin?’ i get the point (no pun intended) we may never be able to truly figure it all out, not with the ‘big-head thinking-brain’ and especially when it comes to figuring out ‘the really big kahuna.’ as one philosopher put it: ” ‘reality’ may be stranger than we are able to imagine…” or words to that effect… of course that doesn’t keep us from trying, and speculation is endlessly fascinating… but as for ‘figuring IT out’ — your point is well taken… if there is a way, it seems to me that it must involve more than a single organ, that being the ‘big-head thinking-brain’ which we seem to rely on so much for our peculiar kind of ‘knowing’ — maybe we don’t have to rely on that singular organ so much for ‘gnoing’ — or maybe we rely on the ‘thinking brain’ too much and it becomes another obstacle to ‘gnoing’ (?) there is something to be said for ‘knowing’ but that’s not to confuse it with ‘gnosis’ which seems to me to have as much or more to do with being (‘besis’ as you put it).

there’s an old saying in my country: ‘seeing is believing’ but we know and can understand that often our eyes ‘deceive’ us… we all have natural / physical ‘blind spots,’ which (physically) manifest around the periphery, and of course there’s the natural limitation of the human senses in general, sight included…. and then of course there are the things we leave ‘out of the picture’ for ‘subconscious reasons’ we ‘choose’ not to look at many things that are hiding at the end of our nose. it might be said that ‘knowing is believing’ but this concept has holes in it too, for example when believing gets confused with and substitutes for and usurps knowing… of course this has been an extensive topic of discussion here on the blog so i won’t rehash it, but suffice it to say ‘belief’ has it’s own special type of limitations… where does that leave us? and what does keeping ‘an open mind’ have to do with it?

157. brucelevy - June 28, 2008

156 Ton

“and then of course there are the things we leave ‘out of the picture’ for ’subconscious reasons’ we ‘choose’ not to look at many things that are hiding at the end of our nose. it might be said that ‘knowing is believing’ but this concept has holes in it too, for example when believing gets confused with and substitutes for and usurps knowing”

This reminds me of something I’ve been occasionally thinking about recently, and might be a bit of a diversion, but…

Over the past few years I had run into several “students” who were struggling with the “school”, or the “leaving or staying thing”. I observed that many of them felt the need to explain, or justify, or give the benefit of the doubt to and within the FOF. i realized that it took some time and space to see that giving “reasons” to the FOF for one’s leaving was really just a continuation of the whole “ethic” the FOF contrived to promote with it’s intrinsic guilt and doubt (the exact opposite of what a “real” school would encourage, IMO). I eventually found that most of the time, for one’s “self” it’s better to decide and act without explaining or justifying, because the act justifying or explaining is really just a bed-wetter way of apologizing for something one hasn’t done in the first place.
One owes explanations to one’s self, not the organism that breeds guilt, shame, fear and helplessness. This is exactly what the FOF depends on to keep people quiet and in their place.
When I heard explanations for “not quite leaving yet”, or “not sure enough yet” it repulsed me because I saw where this self doubt came from. Certainly not from he “proof” that the FOF is actually what it says it is, or that RB says he is.
It’s like the most prominent feature of the FOF is that it successfully emasculates the men, and empties the women.

158. Vena - June 28, 2008

Good points Bruce. Another apologetic excuse for staying is, “I am in the school for myself. I don’t know or care what Robert is doing.” This explanation is just a feeble attempt to stop discussion as well as thought.

159. zannos - June 28, 2008

So why have I had clear experiences of remembering the future?
Usually this experiences takes the form of emotionally and psychologically–sometimes even physically–responding to events that haven’t happened yet. Frequently this includes recognizing places or objects or people that are going to be a significant part of my life but aren’t yet, and recognizing them even though there is no logical reason to believe the future familiarity will happen.
This doesn’t seem to me to be so much a matter of states as it is a matter of the nature of reality, and an indication that I have an extremely unreliable understanding of what “reality” might be.

160. Yesri Baba - June 28, 2008

156 Ton

Yeah, but I couldn’t fit all that nuance into a silly pun.

It is also why I thought the paragraph of JAVOH was a can of worms When someone says what he said:”.. and that in fact I had always been in that state.” my brain just wants to jump all over it because, to me, it contains the key to everything, but again, for me, it seems there is nothing that can be said about it to illuminate it any further.

It seems to me that keeping an open mind is the best I have to offer myself.

161. Yesri Baba - June 28, 2008

159 Zannos

That has happened to me too. Kind of weird from an ordinary view.

What was that Lewis Carroll said? “Not much of a memory that only goes backwards.”

162. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 28, 2008

#151 “I don’t know about altering the past, since again, that assumes there really is a past, present and future and that everything doesn’t exist simultaneously, but I’ve experienced “higher states” in which it seemed as real as anything I’ve experienced–more real than most–that the state was retroactive, and that in fact I’d always been in that state.”

Actually so have I and it seemed more like it was a parallel place (or existing out of time) rather than a past event.

163. a former student - June 28, 2008

I looked at post #58 by Elena. What a waste of energy. I wrote, probably a year ago, that if present or former members hired a lawyer, which I believe Elena can afford, and sued for fraud on the basis of not being told that the Fellowship was not a “4th way school” but a religion, they could do severe damage to the FOF’s ability to continue. Elena, is just the most visible amongst the many whiners about the FOF who have not done so. That it was a very good and possible suggestion is shown by how quickly the FOF changed its website and marketing to come into compliance with laws regulating religious groups.

The idea of having a protest on Rice’s crossing road is a good one but given the general apathy by former members in the area an unlikely possibility. Today with cell phones it is possible to block access in and out of whatever the property is currently being called by a small group who simply walk down the center of the road, ideally when REB is returning from some expensive trip and there is a celebration of some kind (like JULY 4th). That the local former members are having a pot luck and other wise doing nothing along these lines indicates The same sheep like behavior that caused so many to remain in the cult as long as they did. Unfortunately those former members who have the most ability to organize such activities are often themselves former members of the criminal inner circle that supported REB’s lies and have no great desire to make amends or balance accounts.
This is indicated by the extreme lack of input to the blog by those who were close to REB or the inner circle.

You want an issue to take down REB try this ” Is cock sucking a religious act?” such as “holy communion” to be given a tax exemption.
The IRS makes no attempt to evaluate the content of whatever
doctrine a particular organization claims is religious, provided the
particular beliefs of the organization are truly and sincerely held by
those professing them and the practices and rites associated with
the organization’s belief or creed are not illegal or contrary to
clearly defined public policy.
If there are actual witnesses who will testify or write out affidavits it would create an undefendable situation because it would get public attention and with the issue of gay marriage as controversial as it is feed right into this ongoing debate of gay rights.
It is even possible to make it central to a civil suit for a refund of donations by claiming that it was practiced in secret as a rite of the “inner circle” and that you were never asked to approve of it as church policy.

164. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 28, 2008

On the experience of states being retroactive, this is as close as I’ve seen it described in literature:

from The Great Divorce, by C.S. Lewis:

‘Son,’ he said, ‘ye cannot in your present state understand eternity: when Anodos looked through the door of the Timeless he brought no message back. But ye can get some likeness of it if ye say that both good and evil, when they are full grown, become retrospective. Not only this valley but all of their earthly past will have become Heaven to those who are saved. Not only the twilight in that town, but all their life on Earth, too, will then be seen by the damned to have been Hell. That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say “Let me have but this and I’ll take the consequences”: little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. The good man’s past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man’s past already conforms to his sorrows and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why, at the end of all things, the Blessed will say “We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven,” and the Lost, “We were always in Hell,” and both will speak truly.’

165. whalerider - June 28, 2008

Hindsight is always 20/20. We create the future we want for ourselves or we allow someone else to do it for us and take all the credit.

Welcome back former student.

I have been giving the FOF dilemma some serious thought on how to provoke an unchurch-like response from Oregon House to publicly expose the fraud.

IMO the next step beyond a newspaper article, petitioning and protesting is to do a documentary film about Mr. Burton and the Fellowship of Friends. We have the people, we have the stories on this glorious blog, we have old and new photos, all we need is a narrator and start rolling…Got a camera?

166. ton - June 29, 2008

whalerider 165
“…all we need is a narrator and start rolling…Got a camera?”

i’m pretty sure a narrator is not all we need… but ok, i’ll bite.
the narrator should have an accent, someone who speaks ‘proper british english’ — give a ‘tone’ of ‘credibility’ BBC-like… an engaging, enquiring ‘type’ — female, ‘photogenic,’ someone who has not been in the fellowship (unbiased) but understands the situation, has an objective perspective and is sympathetic toward our purpose the intention to ‘shed light’ on the darkness. there’s plenty of material, historical/archival sorts of things, current perspectives and ‘testimonies’… but i would love to corner this rat in a public place, with a small crew and some prepared and ‘pointed’ questions for the narrator to ask, shoot the situation paparazzi-like.

just a thought.

and ya, i have cameras…

167. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 29, 2008

The documentary is an amazing idea – I can assure you that it would give you more exposure than anything else. People are hungry for scandal and cults are not too old a spectacle. It would probably also speak to the spiritually minded people of which there are so many.

Once made, unless you decide to make profit out of it, it could very easily be circulated through the internet, a website could be set up, offering the sale of it on DVD.

Instant exposure, lots of public interest, not to mention interesting information (I would watch it).

You would need a lot more than photos and a commentary – preferably someone who isn’t associated with the organization interviewing former and current members, trying to enter the organization, footage of meetings, coverage of scandals, stories about those who were hurt, as well as those who may have benefited, etc.

But in my opinion the best idea so far. Do it.

168. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 29, 2008

Ton: ‘and is sympathetic toward our purpose the intention to ’shed light’ on the darkness’

I don’t like the tone of that as much. Not a good starting point.

169. ton - June 29, 2008

have to excuse me for an attempt to wax poetic… maybe you could phrase it differently? or maybe you have another idea about the intention/purpose…. thanks for the input.

170. veronicapoe - June 29, 2008

Bored with The Sequence? Try this instead:

171. ton - June 29, 2008

yesri 160 thanks for keeping it light in here with “a silly pun” — in spite of what the sheik may think, we need more light :~)

the part of ‘steven’ the ‘funny irishman’ might be viewed as an attempt to depict ‘gnosis.’ now listen to this:

“the lord tells me he can get me out of this mess but he’s pretty sure you’re fucked… ha ha ha.”

the line here refers to ‘The Almighty’ but doubts ‘His’ — ‘omnipotence’ — this brings up the questions surrounding to concepts of “freewill” “fate” and “determinism.”

172. veronicapoe - June 29, 2008

Let’s try again:

173. whalerider - June 29, 2008

Who here is expecting some “higher authority” to intervene on our behalf and stop the insanity? Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. Meanwhile, Robert has only gotten worse over the years; I only heard about Troy recently from this blog and it disgusts me that I was a part of this corrupt organization even for just six years! I am ashamed to tell anyone about it.

We obviously have many talented writers here and loads of material right at our fingertips. Shall we start by breaking the film down into scenes and delegate the writing or just begin by filming a few testimonials? Heck, let’s make the petition the prologue! IT’S SO FRICKIN’ EASY TO MAKE A FILM THESE DAYS!!!! We can start with just the 3 minute trailer on post it on youtube. Why not open with shots of the decaying vineyard?

How about any proceeds from the film could be diverted to a class action lawsuit to formally revoke the corporate charter of the Fellowship of Friends, Inc. and disband the Church of Robert Burton?

Working titles:

Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion (My personal fave)

Fellowship of Fiends

See Influence?

The Rise and Fall of Robert Earl Burton and The Fellowship of Friends

Organ House

School’s Out

Penises to Paradise

Prey For Me

Apollo Unzipped: The Truth Behind the Fellowship of Friends

Rapevine

Any other suggestions? Shall we vote on a title?

174. Rear View Mirror - June 29, 2008

Sheik (167): “Do it.”

Maybe the most succinct opinion written in the last 38 pages. AND it’s even shorter than the Nike campaign of “JUST do it.” Not bad.

And not out of the realm of possibility.

And it’ll be a documentary with pretty music. Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven sonatas. Re-enactments. Interviews. First-hand accounts. Waltzes. Extravagent dinners. The sound of heavy equipment creating a vineyard. The reality of secretive sex. Followers deceived. Predictions failed.

Build it, and they will come.

—–

By the way, Burton’s prediction for 1984. It did not “happen a few years later” as someone suggested further up the page.

He predicted not just a stock market crash BUT ALSO… a depression from 1984 to 1987. AND the fall of California in 1998. AND nuclear war in 2006.

Someone please explain how that is an enlightened being.

I’m still waiting.

And I’m still waiting how it’s an enlightened being who would exploit and manipulate his followers… into having sex.

One by one by one.

Hundreds.

Over a period of nearly four decades.

Someone please step forward and explain how that is the work of the angels.

175. ton - June 29, 2008

173

oh, i see…
this
is going
nowhere.

afterall,
‘life is a mighty joke’

right?

176. Rear View Mirror - June 29, 2008

Whalerider: Many, many videos are not out the realm of possibility.

177. Associated Press - June 29, 2008

This subject, about a docudrama featuring the FoF, has been discussed on the blog before. One person said that there was one being worked on as an independent film project that would help fulfill their graduate degree requirements. It was going to be a sequel of sorts in the manner similar to the ‘Hand of God’ film that appeared on PBS.

Hand of God was documenting the sexual scandal in the American Catholic Church which centered around the many families in the Boston area that were engulfed in it for at least on generation. That scandal has bankrupted many churches or archdioceses. So when the resources had to be cut back and churches closed, the very families that had been abused had their heirloom churches, often built meticulously by immigrant families with old world craft, deconsecrated in a retaliatory fashion – adding further grief to an already beleaguered people. Sad story. It showed unbelievable actual scenes of church officials behaving in the most callous arrogance. (Kind of like the way RB (and company) treats people that he does not like/enjoy or won’t have sex with him or the women that interfere with his harem by having relationships with the inner circle boys or are just lowly peons* (or is that lowly pee ons).)

*pe·on: (one meaning according to Merriam-Webster dictionary) a person held in compulsory servitude to a master for the working out of an indebtedness. [Which is like everyone in the FoF, unless you have money, money, money. And, even then, all owe everything to RB. Makes you wonder what you owe to C Influence? Or, what’s left over to give to C Influence when RB is done with your life and your disposable.]

The one on FoF was going to be called ‘Hand of God 2.’ The immense archives of video produced by the FoF was going to be a rich resource. Copyright was going to be avoided by the ‘Fair Use Doctrine,’ where small portions would be used to illustrate considerable independently shot video of just those sorts of things recently mentioned. The ultimate purpose was going to be revealing how FoF is not a church, nor a charitable institution, what becomes of the money and property, how it is an abusive human rights violator, and, of course, the sex scandal international male prostitution slave trade side of things.

Then there was also mentioned something about a book or video, or both, called ‘The Darker Side of the Light’ that was going to be about the corruption that lies beyond many of the, so called, new age spiritual organizations. The FoF was only going to be one among many portrayed.

Bottom line: super-celestial thoughts, subterranean actions.

178. Rear View Mirror - June 29, 2008

Anyway, what will come of it, who knows. But the idea won’t go away anytime soon. The subject matter is there for a good documentary, a good book, and several good articles.

Some of the shills on the fof wikipedia discussion page last year suggested that no one would care about any of these issues, with the exception of family members and close friends.

Hmm. You can go ahead and believe that. I’m not so sure.

179. Rear View Mirror - June 29, 2008

“Bottom line: super-celestial thoughts, subterranean actions.”

Well, true… until they become actions. We’ll see.

180. whalerider - June 29, 2008

Sure, ton, life is a mighty joke. You can watch a bird doing a dance and die laughing or not…It’s your call. Guess who’s laughing all the way to the bank?

181. Associated Press - June 29, 2008

Sorry, last post:
‘your disposable’ should be ‘you’re disposable’

182. Associated Press - June 29, 2008

Sorry, ooops again:
‘corruption that lies beyond many’ should be ‘corruption that lies behind many’ There is much corruption in that behind area.

183. Ill Never Tell - June 29, 2008

~173. whalerider:
How about:
Fellatioship of Friends

~174. Rear View Mirror:
You mean:
Build it, and they will cum.

Is this going to be a B grade (as in B Influence) sex movie? Homer Simpson would know.

184. ton - June 29, 2008

Lots of good ideas here, but there’s more to it than ideas — or for that matter, a narrator.

177 thanks AP for some background on the subject.
where do thoughts come from? and who may ‘lay claim’ to them?

whaler rider 165 it seems evident that an idea claimed or treated as “one’s own” is in most cases based on erroneous assumptions.

when i first started posting here (a year ago at the end of this august), i intimated that i had studied film making in college and based on this experience, suggested the idea of a documentary-style ‘film’ (video) about the fellowship experience, which at the time ‘fell on deaf ears’ — laura and veronicapoe were the only posters here who contacted me by email to show some support for notion… thank you both again for that. now the idea has resurfaced again and seems to be getting more of a ‘buzz’ — especially since it seems ‘the sheik’ is throwing in now… thanks sheik, this is at least some incentive / encouragement to keep the thread going…. and so this:

173
” IT’S SO FRICKIN’ EASY TO MAKE A FILM THESE DAYS!!!!”

whalerider,
have you ever made ‘a film?’

185. Rear View Mirror - June 29, 2008

“super-celestial thoughts, subterranean actions.”

Just dawned on me (being a bit slow) that this is themotto of Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends.

It goes from:

“To thine own self be true…”

-to-

“Take your clothes off, dear.”

Can’t get much more subterranean than that.

———–
“You mean: Build it, and they will cum.”

Lol. Yes.

186. Rear View Mirror - June 29, 2008

173
” IT’S SO FRICKIN’ EASY TO MAKE A FILM THESE DAYS!!!!”

whalerider,
have you ever made ‘a film?’

———–

Well, relatively speaking, it actually is much easier than it used to be.

Just as it’s a lot easier to type a few keys on your keyboard and send some thoughts around the world to whoever wants to read them.

It’s a different world. Now, WE may not find it easy to make a movie. But every movie started with an idea. And some movies get started with many people questioning the idea, but the movie is made anyway.

187. Rear View Mirror - June 29, 2008

Actually, ton, I see the intent behind your question a little better after reading your entire post (which is always a good thing to do before you respond to someone). Well, maybe you planted a seed a few months ago.

188. ton - June 29, 2008

‘rear view’

178
“Anyway, what will come of it, who knows. But the idea won’t go away anytime soon. The subject matter is there for a good documentary, a good book, and several good articles.”

and 186
“But every movie started with an idea.”

ideas are the easy part… what are your ideas?
and what about “will” ?
real “will” being the effort to “realize” a notion by extending it into action (beyond tapping on a keyboard), that is, taking an idea out of the “ivory castle” of this blogosphere and making it “real”
?

189. paulshabram - June 29, 2008

159 zannos

Unfortunately, it has been shown recently that there is a definite biochemical source for the feeling of deja vu. The feeling is convincingly strong, but most probably not really caused by having “remembered” the future.

The mind, however (IMO), is quite capable of calculating even distant events that will probably happen, and these experiences can also be very strong. An analogy is: You climb a hill that has a railroad track that partially circumnavigates the base. You see two trains on the track moving at a high rate of speed in opposite directions. The engineers can’t see each other’s train, so they can’t calculate the most probably future, but you can. Still the collision is not inevitable, you don’t really know the future. Nor do you know if you will witness it.

190. Rear View Mirror - June 29, 2008

Hey Ton,
Actually, I did describe a little about what I envisioned for a movie above.

Extending anything into action starts with an idea. Often what prevents an idea from extending into action is the notion that it’s a bad idea, or that it’s impossible, or unlikely.

What I find particularly interesting about the blog is that it’s really not the best avenue for “discussion,” and that there’s a lot of potential for misunderstanding partly because of that — and that just like the fof, we pretend that we understand each other sometimes.

I like the idea — that’s all. I don’t recall you talking about the idea last year, maybe because I wasn’t reading the blog at the time. But I like the idea, and I’m sure your mention of it planted a seed in someone’s mind that may have contributed to the idea resurfacing here. I would be interested in watching anyone’s film on the topic, including yours if you made one.

Whether any of it ever materializes, and becomes ‘real’ as you describe, I don’t pretend to know right now.

I do know the movie already exists, and that many movies do, much like that sculpture hiding in the marble. Whether anyone carves it or not, I don’t know.

191. Bares Reposting - June 29, 2008

Original FoF Blog 5/#47:
Wouldn’t You Like To Know Says:
March 30th, 2007 at 3:44 pm

Re: Traveler 5#36:

Re: ‘dream that someone made a documentary about the Fellowship’:

This is in progress with a tentative title:
‘Hand of God 2′
See ‘Hand of God’ Frontline PBS Independent Film info:
‘A moving, and frankly told story of a family’s confrontation with the church that betrayed them, and how they survived it all with their humanity and humor intact.’:
[Copy and paste these links
and add the http:// – too many functional links will sequester a post]
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/handofgod/
http://www.handofgodfilm.com/
This ‘Hand of God’ film is about sexual abuse in the American Catholic Church that is so revealing and similar to FOF story. Main difference is the scale, time frame and type of religious organization. After such an exposé, FOF will be very different place, if exists at all.

This could be called ‘independent study’ or ‘graduate school;’ leads to PhD.

Once, FOF/RB was more Zen-like in flavour and direct, but. obfuscation of the Truth was more prophetable. The further you go with FOF/RB, after a certain period of introduction and to a certain point in time (different for different people), the less ‘attainment’ you get; the law of diminishing returns applies. The aim becomes getting you stuck for life; a bit like Catholic Church’s ‘reward is in the afterlife’ in that regard. That is why FOF/RB has had to morph the ideology – to keep it going – even more effective than Catholic Church that has less possibility of change to form. Good example is continuous name change of property headquarters. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (Other metaphor could have been used but this was more poetic.)

Re: ‘Now [I] see where that brought me I can no longer stay because they so rarely play my station.’:
What’s your station? ‘Turn on, tune in, drop out.’

Wouldn’t You Like To Know

192. Bares Reposting - June 29, 2008

That’s weird, those incomplete links go auto completed. That wasn’t what I typed.

Anyway, it came through.

Quote from:
http://www.handofgodfilm.com/

‘Hand of God is like a symphony that builds through a leisurely first movement, quietly foreshadows a coming tempest, then unleashes itself. And when that tempest comes, it is a fine and glorious example of speaking truth to power. Hand of God is exceptional documentary work.
Michael Moore, The Missoulian

193. nigel harris price - June 29, 2008

“This is the day the Lord hath made; let us be thankful therefore.”

I walked into Exeter City Center this morning (Sunday) and visited our beautiful Norman Cathedral. Afterwards I was walking back behind the Tesco Supermarket, when I came across a Warburton’s bread delivery truck in front of a Wiseman’s milk delivery truck. So here I am back on the blog again and seeing this wonderful idea of a documentary film UNFOLDING (and count me in on the idea that Burton, along with just about every Guru would claim that the Awakened State is indescribable, is TRASH!). I am proof that by being released from the FOF and agressing myself into that Godlike State through a severe mental illness (see Google: ‘bi-polar affective disorder – artists’) and becoming a Professional Craft Teacher that I am accountable to the public.

A certain interpretive difference
Awaits the twice-born.
Whitman’s heaven and hell
Give way to the first’s glory.

Litter picking/placing and decoding
Delights self and humanity.
From former form absorbed,transposed
And Earth’s imperfection more than satisfies.

Nothing goes away;
Neither poverty, hardship nor necessity.
All hangs ,deliberately placed
By angels beyond the screen.

The sun’s crime overcome,
He returns from sweeping the universe
To its limit in crashing waves,
That tell of the new Eternity.

(nhp)

194. nigel harris price - June 29, 2008

I liked the reference to C S Lewis in 164. I always appreciated ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ as being more beneficial to watch (when given the choice one Easter at Hall Farm – the old London Center) over ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Apart from Haven'(t)-a-Clue thinking Lewis Carroll was more ‘interesting’ he actually threatened to turn off the TV if we did not change the channel from ‘Narnia’ to ‘Alice’.

In actual fact, the blog gets more interesting from then on, with the idea of a video documentary sounding like it could be the necessary BLOCKBUSTER to demolish ‘la puissance de Burton’. and then I will step in (or off the plane, for the lawsuit, or both!):-

“He is the answerer,
What can be answered he answers, and what cannot be
answered he shows how it cannot be answered.” (Walt Whitman – ‘Song of the Answerer’)

195. Rear View Mirror - June 29, 2008

About the idea of a documentary, I like the idea of it, but I also understand any impulses of restraint that people might have about it. I think that’s probably partly where Ton is coming from, and I respect that.

On another topic…

Further up the page, people were writing a bit about the so-called verification of higher beings — what Burton and the FOF have referred to as angels, gods, higher forces, and “influence c”.

None of you asked, but I do have some more opinions on the topic, because I think it gets to the heart of the matter with the Fellowship of Friends:

While it may be natural and healthy to believe in the possibility of an afterlife, and to imagine the existence of a special someone who watches over us and guides us, this is truly something we cannot “know.” When we begin to pretend that we do “know” that this guidance exists, and that we have “verified” it (without really applying any strict criteria for what “verification” actually means), it opens the door to delusions. And these delusions can have negative effects on our own lives and the lives of people around us.

One of those “effects” is the inhumane treatment of those around us, or the apathy toward them when they suffer.

I believe there can be something noble, enlightening, and inspiring when we seek strength in the idea of an afterlife, or in God, or in angels — but where we begin to “go south” is when we lose a sense of mystery about these things; when we begin to believe that we have it all figured out.

So, here’s what I wrote about atheists:

(121): “But what I’ve realized about atheists (and one very famous one was the recently deceased George Carlin), is that if there is a spiritual world, they may be much closer to it than any of us. “Us” meaning the self-proclaimed Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and so on.

“Your average atheist, whatever he or she might be, is not delusional about God and the afterlife. They realize how little they know.

“One of the most beautiful themes that I’ve appreciated in this blog is the recurring idea, or the realization, that we know nothing about what happens to us when we die.”

Mick Danger (130) later wrote:

“Not to put too fine a point on the head of a pin but: Atheism denies the existence of God (they “know” that there is no God); Agnosticism says that the existence of God cannot be known (they “know” that God cannot be known).”

Mick, the above is not strictly true about all atheists and agnostics (see the definition below). But what I hear you saying in the above post is that many self-proclaimed atheists and agnostics have a belief system as well, and that they pretend or profess to “know” just as much as Fellowship of Friends followers pretend or profess to “know.”

I completely agree with that. Very good points.

What I’m trying to say, however (“trying” is the operative word), is that WHATEVER your belief system or religion might be, there’s a certain point where it begins to cross a line into delusion — and when that delusion takes hold, we begin to justify all sorts of actions that cause harm to our fellow humans.

That would be Robert Burton. In some ways, that may also be “us” as well… members of the Fellowship of Friends, and former members of the Fellowship of Friends. But most definitely, that would be Robert Burton — the founder of the Fellowship of Friends, who has absolutely no qualms to hurt thousands of people as long as it fulfills his earthly desires. My point? He reached that sociopathic and psychotic territory because he believes that he “knows.” He is certain that he “knows.” And long, long ago, he lost a sense of mystery about the world — that is, if he ever had one.

If there actually is such a thing as the “King of Hearts,” it begins right there… with a sense of mystery and awe about the world and our existence in it. And realizing how little we know.

—–

The wikipedia definition for atheism:

“Atheism, as an explicit position, can be either the affirmation of the nonexistence of gods, or the rejection of theism. It is also defined more broadly as synonymous with any form of nontheism, including the simple absence of belief in deities…

“Many self-described atheists are skeptical of all supernatural beings and cite a lack of empirical evidence for the existence of deities. Others argue for atheism on philosophical, social or historical grounds. Although many self-described atheists tend toward secular philosophies such as humanism and naturalism, there is no one ideology or set of behaviors to which all atheists adhere.”

196. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - June 29, 2008

Ton: I was merely worried about the ‘someone friendly to our course’ part. That part I didn’t like.

As for the documentary itself I can envision two different formats:

1) Series of interviews done in order to discredit the FoF.

This format would attract very little attention in my opinion and would not necessarily have the kind of effect that was desired, ie. it would not be watched by many people, it would be only interesting to the former members, while alienating current members even more. Since no one would want to watch it, no one would be dissuaded from entering such (or a similar) group.

2) A real documentary, in a mixture of formats (interviews, as well as some investigative journalism) done by someone outside the organization.

This format would make it to (inter)national TV, IMHO, it would probably get funding if given over to a channel like Channel 4 in Britain, and would most definitely be successful even if made privately and was only distributed over the internet.

As for looking for names (or even naming it after my nick), well, please don’t.

But yeah, all you need is one person to step up, say it’s their project and start. I don’t know how much I would be able to help but I would do everything that I have the time and resources for. It’s a great idea, do it and don’t intellectualize it.

197. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 29, 2008

‘While it may be natural and healthy to believe in the possibility of an afterlife, and to imagine the existence of a special someone who watches over us and guides us, this is truly something we cannot “know.” When we begin to pretend that we do “know” that this guidance exists, and that we have “verified” it (without really applying any strict criteria for what “verification” actually means), it opens the door to delusions. And these delusions can have negative effects on our own lives and the lives of people around us.

One of those “effects” is the inhumane treatment of those around us, or the apathy toward them when they suffer.’

I don’t really think that the two ideas necessarily go together. Many people have had experiences and the idea of verification is truly personal when it comes to spiritual understanding as there are so many different paths and experiences to choose from.

But when the belief in something higher is used and expressed by someone who is ruled by their own personal agenda and is teaching that to followers one can see how the ideas can become warped and misinterpreted and can in turn create that very thing in the followers.

In my opinion, there are many spiritual paths but spending 20 plus years with such an individual can create very negative results in followers merely by being within the influence of such a person and the love of mankind (all mankind, not just students), empathy and compassion towards others, do not thrive in such an environment.

198. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 29, 2008

Sorry I was answering post #195 in my #197 which answer starts in paragraph 3. Some of these can be confusing so I thought I’d clear that up.

199. zannos - June 29, 2008

I just received the following letter from the IRS, and hope those of you with specific experiences with money in the Fellowship will follow up on it: [Jones is the name I use in the official world of taxes and employment and so forth]

“Dear Ms. Jones
Thank you for the information you submitted regarding the Fellowship of Friends. The Internal Revenue Code includes taxpayer privacy provisions, which were enacted by Congress to protect the privacy of tax returns and the tax return information of all taxpayers. Accordingly, we cannot disclose what action, if any, the IRS has taken or may take with respect to the information you have provided us.

The IRS maintains an ongoing examination program to ensure that tax-exempt organizations continue to meet the legal requirements for tax exemption, and that they otherwise comply with applicable tax laws. The information you submitted will be considered in this program.

If, at a later date, you have additional information that you believe is relevant to this matter, or that you wish to bring to the attention of the IRS, please feel free to send it to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
EO Classification, MS4910 DAL
1100 Commerce St.
Dallas, TX 75242

We appreciate your concern in bringing this matter to our attention. If you have any questions concerning this letter, please calll me at the number shown.

Sincerely,
Joseph Belpulsi
Exempt Organizations Specialist

Contact Person/Badge Number
Joseph Belpulsi/11-01708
Contact Telephone Number:
(718) 488-2325”

The letter that I sent to sundry tax offices state and national, and to which Mr. Belpulsi is responding, cast as large a net as I could piece together. I just recounted everything I could remember about the way money is collected in the Fellowship, and I’m sure I left stuff out since the primary focus of the Fellowship is extracting every possible penny from its members, whether by payments and donations, by auctions and lotteries, by dinners and breakfasts and teas and lunches and meetings, by lovely little cards with checks and personal messages of adoration–well, there’s a lot to try to remember.

I do not, of course, know much about tax laws, but the areas that seem that they might be interesting to the IRS have to do with “inurement,” which is evidently using organizational funds for the benefit of a favored few. Those members of Robert’s inner circle who have been granted land and houses, for example, would quite likely qualify (A.G.’s mansion on the hill that was formerly Fellowship property? Some of the homes on Cambridge Circle?). Then there is the matter of employees of RVW and of the Fellowhip receiving large salaries on paper–and presumably on their tax returns–but a pittance in actual wages. I have heard, for example, that Girard gets about 80K on paper, more like 30K in actual yearly pay. Then there is the matter of money coming in from foreign centers in packets in the bottom of traveler’s suitcases–is it declared? Are auction funds declared in the same amounts as are announced to members? Money collected for “teaching events?”

At any rate, since we have attracted Mr. Belpulsi’s attention, I hope we can keep it. Whether or not the IRS could actually shut the Fellowship down, there’s a likelihood they could cause some discomfort. I hope anyone with specific insights and experiences will share them with Mr. Belpulsi–or at least give him a call to see what is pertinent.

200. zannos - June 29, 2008

Where do those odd smiling face icons come from? Anyway, the phone number for Belpulsi is (718 ) 488-2325

And: Paul 189

Nope. Neither of the experiences you are talking about are related to the experiences I was trying to talk about. The deja vu sensation is something entirely different, as is even subconscious extrapolation from the known.

201. Just Another Voice Out Here - June 29, 2008

200 zannos

One of my favorites:

“The Bus Story” on the second page of the newsletter at this link:

http://www.nkbashram.org/newsletters/SummerNewsletter2006.pdf

The person referred to as “Danny” (in the photo, he’s the guy on the far right in the first row in front of the bus), is Daniel Goleman, who had already gotten his Ph. D. at Harvard and went on to write Emotional Intelligence and many other books.

202. brucelevy - June 29, 2008

203. whalerider - June 30, 2008

ton:
I am sorry I missed your earlier post about your filmmaking experience. If you’ve got a camera, we’ve got a story. We can talk about my resume in private. The blog is a wealth of material. Just the story alone of ex-followers working toward shutting the FOF down is a great angle, never mind the interpretation of yak poop on a cave wall, sex with a minor, squandered vineyard, and the failed predictions of a man claiming to be the second coming.

Is a documentary film on the Fellatio of Friends something you would be willing and able to undertake? Otherwise, I can start putting the word out and there is always craigslist. Shall we chat through back channels?

204. Rear View Mirror - June 30, 2008

WULSWU: “I don’t really think that the two ideas necessarily go together. Many people have had experiences and the idea of verification is truly personal when it comes to spiritual understanding as there are so many different paths and experiences to choose from.”

Yes, agree. The “knowing” that I’m referring to is when the ego gets involved with it. That, too, is something we each have to answer for ourselves… When does it become more about our ego than about spiritual understanding? My take on the FOF is that it is ALL about the ego, and that’s why it became what it became. And yes, I’m referring to me, you, and all others who participated in the cult, and particularly to the person who created it. And to some degree it applies to all of us here, now, writing our words on the blog. There are egos here as well, and that includes me as well. All of us.

I find it laughable that Burton continues to talk about the “lower self,” which some of us might equate to the ego. His ego is monstrous.

And then he talks about the shadow figure or “spy” in the painting mentioned above and how it symbolizes the lower self. Also laughable. Because nothing is more stealth than what he has done, and is doing, with the FOF.

205. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 30, 2008

‘I find it laughable that Burton continues to talk about the “lower self,” which some of us might equate to the ego. His ego is monstrous.’

Isn’t it interesting that most of what he talks about is the higher self and yet mostly what manifests is his lower self. He knows the words but he doesn’t know how to BE the words.

206. veronicapoe - June 30, 2008

Bruce, I saw that link a few days ago. I laughed so hard tears streamed down my face!

207. veronicapoe - June 30, 2008

JAVOH,

I and at least one other ex- spoke with “Danny” about the FOF more than twenty years ago. His books are definitely good, worthwhile reads.

208. Ill Never Tell - June 30, 2008

~199. zannos:

Forensic Accountancy where are you?

One of the things that is very likely to happen in an organisation like FoF is cooked books or double ledger-book accounting. That is a situation where a set of accounting is kept specifically to meet the requirements of the agencies that require it, but is not necessarily what is really going on. There is a second, or additional, ‘ledger’ or accounting done elsewhere. The Fellowship of Friends is master at the game of putting on the show that people want to see. Or, manipulating around terms and conditions.

One example is how the Workmen’s Compensation Insurance premium expense was dealt with. It cost too much. At first FoF did one of the more normal things in keeping with established principles. They started a worker safety and education program that would help lower the injuries and workdays-lost numbers. This helps minimize people getting hurt and also earns points for having the program and therefore lower insurance cost. But it probably did not work too well, as there is a lot of dangerous things going on – like getting a body part caught in a zipper. You get what I mean, it is not a very standard type of work environment – injuries likely mounted nonetheless. (Other mounting occurred, too. It is ‘hard’ to explain an injured penis under most job description categories.) FoF was paying some of the highest rates for Workmen’s Compensation in the state, I think it was. Some employers force employees into not declaring or claiming injuries and staying on the job injured, even if idle – using clandestine medical help – so the numbers do not show up. [There was just an expose about this in the chicken processing industry on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. The injury losses virtually disappeared from sight in a few years, without any explainable cause, while work conditions declined. The injuries kept happening and got worse. The current governmental organizations actually supported the lax record keeping. Injured parties were the poor, immigrant and illegal immigrant populations that would not complain because they were just glad to have a job; until they were expendable.] FoF decided to get creative. Make almost all the people working for FoF volunteer religious workers on stipend – not employees, then voila, no employees being injured, no sick days, minimal Workmen’s Compensation Insurance premium expense because only key individuals in cushy jobs were covered. Survival of the organisation and maximizing cash in RB pockets in paramount. Uh, we take care of our own, don’t we; until they were expendable.

Another example is how FoF amasses wealth. All sorts of members are coerced (read: undue influenced) into making donations for, or buying gifts of, various property; real property (land and houses), art, antiques, books, jewelry, cars, RV’s, mobile homes. decor, stocks/bonds, services, business expenses, etc., etc., etc. This is done in a manner designed to maximize donation value for the donor. The FoF then turns around and sells the valuable to maximize the cash flow in the organisation. Often the sale is to the very person who donated it, or others, with the intent to donate it back again some time later. Quid pro quo and ipso facto kiddo!

Here is an example: Donations are requested, beyond teaching payments (or what used to be called that, it may have changed), specifically for meissen china (donation for the starving mice in china). Once bought, the china is used extensively for fundraising dinners until RB tires of it and others have seen it too much. The china is then distributed to centers worldwide but the centers are asked to buy the china again by making donations for property FoF already owns. (Now bought twice.) The centers use the china for a few years when the same sets are requested back to Oregon House and new sets of people are asked to buy them once again by making more donations. (Now bought three times.) Then the china is put up for auction and sold to private members to use and enjoy. (Now bought four times and still under control of FoF/RB.) Years later, RB requests that the private party sell this resource, because it is not on the ark anymore (or some such thing), and give all or part of the proceeds to FoF. These new cash resources are then used for some other vehicle to do the same type of process over and over. This sort of thing would certainly give one a deja vu experience as the same china keeps coming around and around. So round and round we go, where it stops, nobody knows! It’s a shell game for wealth building. I cannot count how many imaginary projects that donations were requested for that never actually came to fruition – they were bogus. And, then there are the estates that were donated with the express purpose of specific use, satisfying a person’s last will and testament, that were not used for said purpose and diverted, or perverted, to whatever RB wanted.

Joseph Belpulsi, are you watching/reading?

~205. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup:

‘Isn’t it interesting that most of what he talks about is the higher self and yet mostly what manifests is his lower self. He knows the words but he doesn’t know how to BE the words.’

Bottom line: super-celestial thoughts, subterranean actions.

209. Vena - June 30, 2008

And what about the lover (Italian I think) Robert coveted who had a wife and family – I was told that center funds were used to support the wife and children so that the young man could stop work and travel with him.

210. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - June 30, 2008

It’s not surpising RB has great marketing skills. All these years with other people’s money at his disposal and at his beckoning call.

211. James Mclemore - June 30, 2008

202. brucelevy –

Thanks Bruce.

212. Across the River - June 30, 2008

Ton and all,

Just a little comment from the peanut gallery on the documentary discussion.

Even though it’s our very own special little cult, the Fellowship is a TYPICAL cult. Using the FOF story as only one example in a bigger story on the psychological complexities of cult behavior might be effective. No reason not to name a few cults along the journey, but the interest is in the phenomenon of otherwise sane people giving themselves over to the mesmerizing qualities of a self-proclaimed god, then coming to their senses and exploring “what happened”. IMO the particulars of our cult are more a curiosity that would enliven the piece. The substantive point is the common experience shared by anyone passing through a cult of this ilk.

213. Across the River - June 30, 2008

It wouldn’t have to be all about the Fellowship to serve the purpose of exposing the Fellowship.

214. Another Name - June 30, 2008

Dear Ton and Whalerider.

Is it easy to make a movie…much easier then 10-20 years ago…
It is still work. It can be done.
I think it is a good idea…on the other hand…the fellowship is slowly crumbling, slowly …time will do the job. Beside two students who rejoined that I know of I do not think many are joining. Some people are still o the propylia despite that they already left. Slowly but surely.
Do what you can in the moment and be true to yourself and do not avoid students. They eventually need you or others to make the step easier.

I see possibilities of a movie although it might take time, energy and money. Hey what is new?

215. Rear View Mirror - June 30, 2008

206. veronicapoe: “Bruce, I saw that link a few days ago. I laughed so hard tears streamed down my face!”

Me too (referring to Bruce’s 202).

By the way, another comment from the “peanut gallery”… If the documentary ever does become a reality, I can imagine it making people laugh as well as think. Maybe not quite like Bruce’s 202.

But (just for one example) think about the “it” exercise. And then imagine a reenactment of a dinner for eight at a nice restaurant, and the reactions of the waiters and waitresses. Or the goings-on at Tent City, and so on. Photos, interviews, films, reenactments, statistics on cult membership throughout the U.S. and the world, and some historical factoids and tidbits.

I completely agree with Across the River who wrote, “Using the FOF story as only one example in a bigger story on the psychological complexities of cult behavior might be effective.”

Tying it in with society as a whole is something that would extend its appeal beyond YouTube. Although if it did get posted even on YouTube, that would be outstanding.

Ah, but I hear some of you have the experience and know-how shaking your heads thinking, “Easy to talk about.” 😉 So true, but just dreaming a bit this morning. Maybe someone (or we?) can turn the super-celestial thoughts into actions. Maybe?

And by the way. To dream. That is something we lost when we stepped through the doors of the FOF. To dream and to imagine and to envision — all the beginnings of very good things. Being inspired, or being “in spirit” — that’s something that became a thing of the past when I started writing those checks, and when I became indoctrinated in the Fellowship of Friends. Our dreams were kept in check, and funneled toward a single, hidden, sinister agenda of one very sick man.

216. Wikifof - June 30, 2008

Anybody who’s now fired up and has enough energy to make a whole documentary about the FOF, wanna start with a little website?

http://fellowshipoffriends.wikispaces.com/History

217. nigel harris price - June 30, 2008

199, 200 – zannos
Dear Susan,
I think I sent some of my printed material (as I had promised I would send) to the wrong address for you (2420, not 2520, Madera Circle # 106). Is the USA Postal Service in the habit of intelligently redirecting mail to the correct recipient, since I have not had it returned to me in Exeter, UK. If it has NOT been received, perhaps you could contact me, since I feel it is worthwhile reading, including the magazine article about what makes a true ‘business leader’. There is one little sending which is not ‘really important’, other than it illustrates the fact that the Angelic Beings are working with other than REB. My mental health advocacy service, ‘Rethink’, has the street address – 44 Westexe, Tiverton, Devon. I sent a brochure about it, which is self-explanatory. Otherwise, I hope to get my own petition/version of the FOF story to you within the next month or so……Nigel.

218. Across the River - June 30, 2008

216

Oh yeah…..I had the same thought regarding “the little petition that could”, but a movie is more sexy than wikispaces and an on-line petition.

Basically one person keeps wikifof alive, two and a half keep the petition effort moving. If a documentary is ever completed, in the end it most probably will be the result of one person’s initiative and perseverance, (with the bonus factor that that it could make money).

Don’t feel like a chump! Maybe wikifof and the petition could be listed in the credits 😀

219. ton - June 30, 2008

RVM 195 & etc. sheik, whalerider, river, another name, wiki, and anyone else…

“About the idea of a documentary, I like the idea of it, but I also understand any impulses of restraint that people might have about it. I think that’s probably partly where Ton is coming from, and I respect that.”

re: some of my own comments from ‘the peanut gallery’ : ya rear view, what you refer to here as ‘impulses of restraint’ shouldn’t be misconstrued, there is no intention or attempt to douse the idea, i think it’s a great idea with so much potential and possibility… my point is simply that there are many practical considerations involved in the actual doing of the thing… and yes i know that it starts with ideas, i know, and ya i know that shooting and editing on the computer is much more accessible and in that sense “easier” than exposing, chemically developing, physically cutting and splicing together actual pieces of film in a way that tells a coherrent story — i’ve done it that way too… believe me, i’m encouraged by the ‘buzz’ here about it… all i’m saying is, even with the modern technology that makes it “so frickin’ easy to make a film these days” — i’m not sure that anything is easy… there is a lot to it especially to do it well, it takes a lot of actual time, (and we know that time = $), it takes the efforts of more than one individual — it’s not like “i’m going to make a movie for you…” it has to come from an overall involvement and responsibility from willing participants, with commitment, perseverance, patience, persistence, the ability for organization, energy, the list goes on… who has the “time,” the resources and resourcefulness for this? I have to ask myself this question. and the second question would be — still in the realm of ‘ideas’ — what ‘concrete’ steps do you propose? and what are you willing /able to do in order to realize (make real) your own proposal?

220. Vinnie the Fish - June 30, 2008
221. lauralupa - June 30, 2008

Just tossing in an idea: I can possibly do some shooting with a friend’s help here in Italy. Some old teaching houses locations are quite beautiful, they could make nice visual additions… Also, it would be fun to call the Milan teaching house and ask if we can arrange an interview with Asaf, not that I think he would take the offer… but it could stir things up a bit in these lazy Mediterranean summer days.

Anyway, thanks for keepin’ the drum beating

222. ton - June 30, 2008

bruce 202 i’ve always loved this spastic joe cocker performance…. now “i’m lovin’ it” even more… “probiotics changed the way i feel… i got somebody’s savior on the way…” priceless stuff!

223. Rear View Mirror - June 30, 2008

Ton, thanks for the comments. That definitely helps keep “our” feet on the ground. (I use the word “our” loosely here, because as you say, I’m not sure when I’d have time to help and be a part of it, if it ever gets going.)

——

Vinnie,
You show up on the blog at interesting moments. I haven’t kept track of everything written here, so the answer to this question may be more obvious to other readers… But what’s your view of the FOF? What do you think of it?

Cheers,
RVM

224. brucelevy - June 30, 2008

220. Vinnie the Fish

Good article. Thanks.

225. veramente - July 1, 2008

208 I’ll Never Tell:

…So round and round we go, where it stops, nobody knows! It’s a shell game for wealth building. I cannot count how many imaginary projects that donations were requested for that never actually came to fruition – they were bogus. And, then there are the estates that were donated with the express purpose of specific use, satisfying a person’s last will and testament, that were not used for said purpose and diverted, or perverted, to whatever RB wanted.
——————————————-
I wonder who has helped and continues helping RB with these kind of tricks with money and assets.
I do not believe he has thought about this all alone, too much work for a man with higher occupations, he must have had some il-legal counseling?

226. brucelevy - July 1, 2008

224. veramente

AG !?

227. brucelevy - July 1, 2008

Guru Pitka sez:

Does it hurt when you do that ? Don’t do that.

228. whalerider - July 1, 2008

ton and anyone else with any balls left:

You still haven’t answered my question, are you in or out?

If you are really interested in making a documentary we have the ability through this and the ‘other’ blog to organize another Greater FOF shin dig get-together in OH like we did last year, and instead of sitting around like a bunch of old farts in sun hats shooting the shit, we can shoot some life stories and testimonials over a wild, wonderful, week-end, complete with a pot-luck picnic!

Fuck the IRS. They’re dicks. We have all the wiki-history we need about Bobby for the narration, all we need are the live stories. Isn’t there a hall or something we can rent for cheap? We’re talking out in the boonies here, right, not at the Hilton. Or we can do it outside on friendly ground. And it’s legal. We could even interview the Sheriff….or why not let him sit in on a few shots and get an ear full. That will have the FOFers shitting in their pants!

Maybe we can invite a few brave souls from their side to chime in or not…which is all the better if they refuse to be interviewed. THAT speaks volumes. Gee, maybe even Walter Tanner will grace us with an appearance! (No offense, Walt.) I mean, protesting the gatehouse may be cathartic and everything, but hey, all the protesting in the world hasn’t stopped the war in Iraq either. Film rocks the world! And ya, it’s sexier, too.

While we’re there, let’s get some establishing shots of the property, a close-up of the David’s little weenie, the wilting vines, the decaying Karl Werner statue, and whatever else we can get our hands on and voila….we’re off and running to the editing booth. It is as simple as that. How about a shot of Elena waving around her protest sign too, so she can have her fifteen minutes of fame?

ton, if you (or anyone else) have the camera and the expertise as you claim, I’ll spring for your airfare. Or fuck it, I’ll hire a film student with a camera….the real kind of student, who wants to graduate into the real world. Have you ever shot a documentary? If you haven’t, I know people who have or I’ll put the word out.

Sheik, we can all paypal you $50 each, you can fly out and have your say on film. Care to join us? I would wager there are quite a few of us who would like to personally thank you for saving their frickin’ LIVES through this blog, my fine feathered friend, big time. You’d be quite the celeb. You could probably even get laid, too. Hell, I’d even give you blowjob if you showed up, c-influence or not. (Which means I’ll have to show up too with my sorry ass.)

Seriously, whadda ya say?

How about taking a weekend off late July or August? Just not Labor Day weekend, I’ll be at Burning Man.

229. Associated Press - July 1, 2008

From:
~199. zannos – June 29, 2008:

‘I do not, of course, know much about tax laws, but the areas that seem that they might be interesting to the IRS have to do with “inurement,” which is evidently using organizational funds for the benefit of a favored few. Those members of Robert’s inner circle who have been granted land and houses, for example, would quite likely qualify (A.G.’s mansion on the hill that was formerly Fellowship property? Some of the homes on Cambridge Circle?). Then there is the matter of employees of RVW and of the Fellowhip receiving large salaries on paper–and presumably on their tax returns–but a pittance in actual wages. I have heard, for example, that Girard gets about 80K on paper, more like 30K in actual yearly pay. Then there is the matter of money coming in from foreign centers in packets in the bottom of traveler’s suitcases–is it declared? Are auction funds declared in the same amounts as are announced to members? Money collected for “teaching events?”’
* * * * * *
~224. veramente – July 1, 2008:

‘I wonder who has helped and continues helping RB with these kind of tricks with money and assets.
I do not believe he has thought about this all alone, too much work for a man with higher occupations, he must have had some il-legal counseling?’
* * * * * *

veramente, above, where it says, ‘Those members of Robert’s inner circle who have been granted land and houses, for example, would quite likely qualify (A.G.’s mansion on the hill that was formerly Fellowship property? Some of the homes on Cambridge Circle?).’ – answers your question to some degree; especially the A.G. part – as Bruce has already indicated. Also, a Hasnamuss is a very clever person and regularly thinks and acts like a desperate person.

Who do you think tells FoF whether any particular action is or is not legal or advisable? Who do you think impressed upon the fellatio fiend to leave under aged persons alone – post Troy? (Remember the lesson of Troy from ancient Greece? Beware Greeks baring gifts. Trojan horse. Secret attack. ‘Back door’ politics. ‘Behind’ closed doors.) Make sure they meet (their meat) is not jail bait. It is O.K. if they look like boys/under aged, as long as they are of age.

230. veramente - July 1, 2008

224. veramente

a retoric question but worth to explore with some research. Thank you for the comments Bruce and AP (# 228).
AG may not be the only one involved as we may guess.
There is also the whole cult structure, it is/was quite a perfect brain washing machine although with a few leaks.
It must have been a slow process to devise methods to recruit and keep members. I do not think there are guidebooks for such a thing.
The sad and sobering fact is that at one point or another we were part of this mechanism and we helped it grow.

I’ll say it a million times or more: glad to be out!
The whole experience as absurd as it was has been a great lesson.
I am glad to be here with this blog community to sort things out.
We may rant and rave, discuss, remember etc., but we are healing and becoming more fully responsible and aware. Thank you all.

231. Mick Danger - July 1, 2008

161 Thanks for the reminder Baba – “Lewis Carroll Defense”:
‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,
‘it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’
‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master –
that’s all.’

232. ralphbarcode - July 1, 2008

Regarding the IRS — rumor has it that during a recent probe into the FOF by the IRS, the IRS was represented by one of their staff attorneys — who is also a FOF member. That little conflict of interest would probably raise a few eyebrows.

233. ton - July 1, 2008

whalerider, 227 with all due respect, i admire your spirit and enthusiasm but save the ‘machismo’ (‘cheezy’ challenges) and save the airfare too… call me old fashioned but i prefer driving… and thanks for NOT offering the b.j. to me.

a few thoughts about your 227 and the idea of a ‘film’ — i don’t have anything to prove to you or anyone else here but i would like to respond to your post: i’ve said among other things on the blog, that i’ve been a photographer all my life, i studied at college level with the intention of learning about film-making. that was back-in-the-day when i thought that ‘real film-making’ was actually done by exposing sensitized celluloid /polyester strips of film with perforations along the edge(s) to light, then chemically processing, physically cutting and pasting the pieces back together in an order such that when the images are projected, the viewer might somehow relate. my interest back then was not with the documentary style, i made a few ‘art films.’ that was a long time ago by now… since then i’ve purchased a couple of small ‘hi-res’ video cameras and an apple computer, i’ve got box loads of ‘footage’ and yes, some things intended for a documentary style ‘film’ although it’s not in any coherent, ‘presentable’ form. i even have some tapes with ‘ex-members’ — these are my friends and as such the topic of the fellowship of friends is not a focus, it’s something we have in common but we’ve moved on from the fellowship experience in our friendship… that’s not to say it doesn’t come up occasionally in conversation….

i’m not entirely up-to-date or ‘tech-savvy’ i’m still learning and have no formal training in the latest technology… i’m self-teaching, i can’t devote a lot of time or money to the process so it is ongoing… you might be better off hiring a bright young film student who is up on the latest technique, or even a local videography company since you seem to have money you’re willing to throw around… you’re right, i’m probably making the project more difficult than it needs to be.

234. elena - July 1, 2008

To those that do not care for my participation here, please continue not to care. This is the public square and I will use it with the same freedom that any one of you can use it. I will do so because I believe that what I have to say will help people understand what happened and how to avoid it as much as what you have to say. Since the majority of you are not interested, I speak then, to the general public and the few who’ve expressed some interest.

Ton 35 “… but as you already know, ‘tough love’ can be expected in the process… my hope is that it will not ’scare’ you away.”
Being scared away is not the problem, it’s that it stops being inspiring when there is no love. The only good thing about the pressure is that it squeezes the real motives behind the actions and that helps.

What I continue to think about is the fact that it is precisely because basic freedoms are tampered with that the Cult can make of its participants extremely vulnerable and highly dependent people.

Constitutional rights:
1. Not to be killed.
2. Not to be injured of abused
7) -To communicate with the world-
8) -To express or publish one’s opinions or those of others-
9) -To practice one’s religion-
11) -To enjoy privacy on all matters in which the rights of others are not violated-

1. Not to be killed. – Although the Fellowship does not kill people physically it kills them psychologically by using the power to make anyone leave no matter how much of themselves they’ve invested. It is precisely the fact that anyone can be discarded that makes it so difficult for people to let go after having invested thousands of dollars, thousands of hours, efforts, thoughts, emotions. After having invested so much “life”. It is “life” what is lost to it.
2. Not to be injured or abused.
What did the most damage was that genuine positive emotions were “dismantled” from people’s lives.
Peaceful
Loving
Glad
Playful
Interested
Serene
Relaxed
Fulfilled
Warm
Eager
Curious
Helpful
Alive
Grateful
Confident
Touched
Proud
Satisfied
Enriched
Refreshed
Friendly
Happy
Energetic
Encouraged
Trusting (These from the non violent communication list)
Humble
Compassionate
Dignified
Courageous

“Families are biological accidents without meaning” allows for husbands to be used without concern for the marriages.
For the children to be aborted or given for adoption or not given birth to.
It promotes not communicating with parents, brothers or sisters and children, aunts, uncles and cousins. “Family”.
(Questions to explore later: What happens to essence when an individual is stripped from his family “womb”? How does that whole layer of personality develop without it? What happens to essence when a man allows for another man to rape his marriage? What happens to the woman?)
(Had society already mined the family?)
By “family”, a certain mode of communication is established in which much joy of sharing is developed without an agenda. When there is no time for that joy what do people do? Work, work, work? Is that why there were so many workaholics? “Effort, more effort”? Was the philosophy behind this that people were to be ‘useful’ and if there wasn’t an agenda, an aim, to whatever people were doing, they labeled themselves as useless? How could they leave any room for gratitude if they thought they were the one’s that had to provide for everything that happened? Busy, busy, busy, but no time to be.)

If you are stripped from your family connections, if nothing that ever happened to you as a child matters overnight because you join a cult, what happens to your I? Your sense of who you are? Your parents might not have been the best parents but if you cut them out of the picture, does that make you feel any more dignity?

Dignity is the main quality of ‘I’. When it is abused, the individual’s integrity is subverted.

How did the Fellowship jump from not being identified with one’s life to being disconnected to it? No family, no dead human beings on the planet, no second line, no joy, just third line and work?

When people disconnect themselves from their parents, they are severing the possibility of understanding the Time they are being born in, the resolved and unresolved issues their parents granted them with and the possibility of developing compassion for both themselves and their parents and previous generations. Instead of standing up for what they receive, they put it aside and neglect to deal with what they got. A whole generation is wasted but worse than wasted, the unresolved issues take a life of their own. Is that what Cults are? People who aborted their lives to adopt a new life in which everything looked prettier?

That’s enough for today. Thank you Sheik for the space.

235. ton - July 1, 2008

233 elena,
how goes it with the picket?

236. Joe Average - July 1, 2008

Material for the proposed documentary: a brief video commentary on the experience of rejoining the FOF, set in the “Court of the Caravans”

237. elena - July 1, 2008

Ton,
I’m ready for the Fourth of July.

238. ton - July 1, 2008

236 elena,
“I’m ready for the Fourth of July.”

i can’t be there then… that’s this week already!
but might i suggest that some interested individual with a camera could be there…

whalerider,
as well as time in an editing suite, you can rent a camera… you might care to look into it ?

all the best to all!

239. nigel harris price - July 1, 2008

Just watching (before ‘beddy-bys’, for me in the UK) a documentary on Werner Herzog, the brilliant, Bavarian-born film-maker. Maybe all the documentary on the FOF (and may I add, anti-REB note) needs is a man with the correct centre of gravity and some ‘vision’, using the artistic sense of the word. Don’t ‘smaltz’ and stay ‘raw’, so that it leads to greater emphasis on the outcome!…..Nigel.

240. God Laughing - July 1, 2008

ELENA says:To those that do not care for my participation here, please continue not to care. This is the public square and I will use it with the same freedom that any one of you can use it.

Absolutely. But it is an Art to not just react.
This is for you from “I heard God Laughing” by Hafiz

A day of Silence
can be a pilgrimage in itself.

A day of Silence
can help you listen
to the Soul play
its marvelous lute and drum.

Is not most talking
a crazed defense of a crumbling fort?

I thought we came here
to surrender in Silence,

To yield to Light and Happiness,
to Dance within
in celebration of Love’s Victory!

241. elena - July 1, 2008

Ton, I think you’re unloading too much on Whalerider! Don’t worry Whalerider, you don’t need to come for a few signs and me. I have a small camera and if you want it one day you can have the tape.

Ton, you might know how to contact someone I need, could I ask you privately? If you send me an email to ludoteka@succeed.net that would help.

242. ton - July 1, 2008

239 thank you god for hafiz.

238 nigel, thanks to you and sweet dreams.

‘imo’ werner herzog is one of THE GREAT film makers…. recommended are — AGUIRE, FITZCARALDO, MY BEST FIEND, GRIZZLY MAN, RESCUE DAWN, INCIDENT at LOCH NESS, WHERE THE GREEN ANTS DREAM… and anything by or about herzog, etc.

whalerider; how it goes ‘on set’ sometimes:

243. ton - July 1, 2008

and a follow up to the previous post:

244. veronicapoe - July 2, 2008

don’ forget WERNER HERZOG EATS HIS SHOE

245. Ill Never Tell - July 2, 2008

Pffffffttttt!

246. veronicapoe - July 2, 2008

Actually, that might have been Les Blank….

247. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 2, 2008

233 elena

Thank you for your post, repeating much of what you said in your #58. Maybe now people will leave the Fellowship. If not, maybe they will after they see you standing with your sign.

Speaking of which, I was in a store a couple of days ago and saw a can of Joan of Arc brand kidney beans. I’ve never seen or heard of Joan of Arc beans before–do you think it was C Influence that put them there?

248. elena - July 2, 2008

Ton, got the number, no need to insist.

Another Voice, thank you for your opinion

249. Yesri Baba - July 2, 2008

246 javoh

ARE YOU SHITTING ME!?
That’s how I verified C-influence.

I was wandering around the grocery store wondering about the 100 year war. It seemed to me that a war would be the last thing you would want to ’round off’ considering all the death and destruction. A full presentation to posterity should be paramount.
While vexed and perplexed with this sloppy accounting I was also tasked with finding ingredients for that evenings dinner salad.

Just then as both these conundrums were held simultaneously in my mentation I saw a can of Joan of Arc kidney beans illuminated by a beam of golden light (there was a dove above where the light originated. Heaven knows how it got into Raley’s)

All my questions were answered. It was kidney and garbanzo beans for the salad.
The missing 16 years was a message- 4×4 wordless breaths of the sequence and 1+6 = Man #7 Our Divine Teacher (rounded off).

It is so easy to answer these hard questions when you get the keys and learn how to think.

Thank you C-influence for the salad selection. Oh yeah, and thank you for verifying yourself to me and that the sequence is as old (and valuable) as dirt.

250. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 2, 2008

221 is newly moderated.

251. nigel harris price - July 2, 2008

249 – Yesri Baba
I think the phrase ‘psychadelic’ means ‘the mind in the moment’ which is where it all happens. I never heard of this ‘sequence’ rubbish before. All these digits to stick up wherever!…..Nigel.

252. Kid Shelleen - July 2, 2008

Actually, Werner Herzog might be just the right guy to do a documentary on the FoF. In recent years, most of his films have been documentaries. I believe that he is probably one of the few filmakers currently working who might see that this story of a small, isolated cell of American cult mentality reflects a bigger story of human behavior. And keeping in mind The Bobber’s tremendous ego, I could picture Werner, in the right circumstances, getting an interview and a tour of the property.

So, anybody got his number?

253. Kid Shelleen - July 2, 2008

“Speaking of which, I was in a store a couple of days ago and saw a can of Joan of Arc brand kidney beans. I’ve never seen or heard of Joan of Arc beans before–do you think it was C Influence that put them there?”

Only if the stock boy’s name was Cameron!!

254. lauralupa - July 2, 2008

Vinnie 220
thanks for the Castaneda article, it was entertaining and disturbing. As Snowball would say, “another one bites the dust”.

“He regularly told us he was our only hope,” Jennings said. “We were all supposed to go together, ‘make the leap,’ whatever that meant.” What did Jennings think it meant? “I didn’t know fully,” he said. “He’d describe it in different ways. So would the witches. It seemed to be what they were living for, something we were being promised.”

compare with:

“A student very sweetly said that I am the only hope, but that is not entirely true. I know that after I go, things will continue in a beautiful way. It will not be easy, but there are many wonderful students who will continue, and the opportunity will still be there.”

“hopefully” FOF followers will realize that true hope resides in letting go of the illusion they are living in and the false promise they have been living for. The fearful “only hope” mentality has the potential of turning cults into deadly affairs, as illustrated by the Castaneda mess.

Kid Shelleen 252
Ah, that would be fantastic!
Well, why not? Stranger things have happened…
And speaking of the bigger story, I am including a link to an article entitled “Breaking the vow of silence”. Here is an excerpt:

“Once a sufficient number of people in the congregation snapped out of their spell and saw the rabbi’s madness, which they were only able to do if they themselves had stepped into sanity, they were able to collectively act and remove the rabbi from his position of power. Just like a dream, an inner change in the consciousness of the congregation become reflected in the outer world, as their inner realization was creatively expressed in their outer situation by skillful action. The fundamental change originated from an inner transformation, which was then acted upon, and given shape and form in the outside world. Incarnating our inner realization in the outside world is the very act which in turn further stimulates our inner realization, which then makes us more able to effect change in the outside world, ad infinitum. This is a positive, “creative” feedback loop in which, instead of continuing to unconsciously destroy each other, our world, and ourselves, we can connect with and empower each other through the open-heart of lucid awareness and consciously create the world in which we want to live.

It is important to emphasize: It is not enough just to see what is going on and do nothing. The outer world becomes the medium or canvas, so to speak, in which we actualize and make real our inner realization, as the two, the inner and the outer, are recognized to be interconnected reflex-ions of each other and inseparable aspects of a greater whole. We deepen our inner realization by expressing it in the outer world. Reciprocally, we change the outer world by deepening our inner realization.”

http://www.awakeninthedream.com/artis/BREAKING THE VOW OF SILENCE.htm

255. lauralupa - July 2, 2008

that didn’t seem to work. try this:

http://www.awakeninthedream.com/breaking.html

256. Vinnie the fish - July 2, 2008

“223. Rear View Mirror Vinnie,
You show up on the blog at interesting moments. I haven’t kept track of everything written here, so the answer to this question may be more obvious to other readers… But what’s your view of the FOF? What do you think of it?”

Hi RVM, good open question. Some readers might assume they know my opinions but don’t. I don’t really have opinions, I just have my experience, but the FOF as an organization, on the plus side, has been a fairly remarkable influence for me in many ways. I could elaborate or be more specific if you like, but it might end up unreadably long like an Elena message.

257. Mick Danger - July 2, 2008

Vinnie we hardly knew ye.
Unfortunately FoF Organization cannot be separated from Grampa Bobby Jellyman. Would that it could. Anyway we’re making an effort, hope you join us.

258. whalerider - July 2, 2008

Just a quick note:

We don’t need to appeal to any higher authority like c-influence, the 44 angels, the IRS, the INS, the police, or Werner Herzog to help us put a stop to the abuse and madness.

We are the authority. We were there. And we need to all be together on this to effectively challenge the status quo. Individual protests only strengthen the staus quo.

I am visualizing a gathering place, a camera, and a chair, not some raving lunatic in the rainforest.

Someone off camera asks a few questions: (Here’s a start)

Can you talk about your experience as a member of the Fellowship of Friends?

Do you think Robert Burton is the second coming of Christ?

Do you believe, based on your experience, that Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends acts in the best interest of its members?

Has Robert Burton asked you to have sex with him? And if so, what did he say?

What positive outcomes have you experienced in your life based on your involvement with the Fellowship of Freinds and/or your contact with Robert Burton?

259. elena - July 2, 2008

Vinnie, are you using me to buffer the question? It’s a cheap strategy but cheap is easier isn’t it?

260. Kid Shelleen - July 2, 2008

Wasn’t positing Werner Herzog as a higher authority of anything, I was merely speculating that if one were serious about a REAL documentary about the FoF, he might be the documentarian with a quirky enough sensibility to actually become interested in the subject and actually make a film about it. And if Herzog did make it, people would watch it and discuss it. I don’t think the same can be said about a disgruntled ex-student’s home movies.

Let me ask the question: Wouldn’t you want a documentary about the FoF to be (hate to use this expression) fair and balanced? Despite what we believe about the organization, wouldn’t it make it’s point more effectively if the viewer were given the facts as everyone involved on both sides sees them and then they could decide for themselves which group has the more compelling and believable case? Rather than a string of bitter tirades, wouldn’t it be great if our stories could be inter-cut with scenes of FoF higher-ups espousing their truly heartfelt beliefs?

Ever see the Vietnam documentary “Hearts And Minds?” One of the most effective scenes in that movie is a scene of a mother hysterically crying at her dead baby’s grave, while Gen. Westmoreland’s voice-over, taken from one of his Pentagon speeches, tells us how the Asian does not value life as we here in the West do. That is the kind of moment that moves people to action.

261. Joe Average - July 2, 2008

Hearts and Minds

262. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 2, 2008

#256 I could elaborate or be more specific if you like, but it might end up unreadably long like an Elena message.

There goes Vinnie fishing again.

263. sharon - July 2, 2008

Go ahead and elaborate and be more specific, Vinnie. Our attention spans are not all that short.

264. somebody - July 2, 2008

This is how the “Inside the Cult” movie came about according to the ex-members:

“The producer of the film found out about Strong City through a journalist that had written an article online. They contacted Wayne and wanted to tell his story….. He wanted publicity so “every eye shall see him” so he could feel more like God. He consented, and they spent 3 weeks there. It kinda backfired…. I think that Ben caught more on Camera than they wanted. The look on his face when it came to how many times he consummated with his daughter-in-law…. Oops…. Sorry Jeff I guess you said she wasn’t your wife.”

265. Vena - July 2, 2008

“Despite what we believe about the organization, wouldn’t it make it’s point more effectively if the viewer were given the facts as everyone involved on both sides sees them and then they could decide for themselves which group has the more compelling and believable case? Rather than a string of bitter tirades, wouldn’t it be great if our stories could be inter-cut with scenes of FoF higher-ups espousing their truly heartfelt beliefs? ”
_________________________________________________________

I saw a documentary several years ago about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that interviewed individuals from both sides in a very unbiased way. It was very powerful and one came away with a feeling of deep compassion for both sides as well as a sense of the seemingly unresolveable tragedy of the situation.

266. Kid Shelleen - July 2, 2008

Joe Average,

Thanks for the clip. Mis-remembered it a bit, but I think I hit the high points. And, even though I know I’m being manipulated by the film-maker, I bawl my eyes out when I see that piece.

267. whalerider - July 2, 2008

Unlike the Israeli/Palestinian conflict involving one large group of people dominating the lives of another smaller group, the FOF situation of a smaller group dominating a larger one could be resolved and the hostages set free, once those followers held in mental bondage start thinking for themselves and outside the box.

Kid, you are right, we can be manipulated, one way or the other. That’s exactly the point. I am glad you said that.

Thanks Somebody. That’s all it takes to start a film project, a stroy and a Producer: someone to put it all together. Let’s produce it ourselves.

Sure, I am visualizing people on both sides talking about (among other topics) their attitudes about sex with a cult leader who operates in a predatory manner, the many failed predictions, unfinished projects, lives altered, far fetched interpretations of cave and other art, idolatry of art, the auctions, the jewelry, the Troy matter, the Brian S. matter, maybe some family reactions to members still in, the selling of the ‘divine present’ and the unhealthy demonizing of the ‘lower self’, you know, just the bigger picture.

People watching can draw their own conclusions.

Unless anyone else knows a cameraperson willing to do the recording (yes, digital format compatible for the internet), I am willing to take on the task of finding one. I don’t know enough about cameras to do it myself.

It has been many years since I have been to OH. Does anyone know of a large meeting hall in the OH or Nevada City area that we can rent for a weekend to set this up? Give me the details and I will contact them and post what I learn. Since ton saved me some money by declining my offer to fly him out, if there is enough interest, I will cover the cost of the hall rental, and we can pass the hat for the cameraman or something like that. We’ll deal with the editing phase when it’s in the can.

We’ve all slept on the floors of cult houses, right? So we can bring our mats and sleeping bags and all stay at the hall (one with a kitchen would be grand) or even bring tents to camp out in on friendly soil nearby. Shooting inside would be better than in a less controled environment outdoors. With lights, we can film all night if we have to.

I have no intention of inciting others to show up at the guardhouse with picket signs to possibly face arrest. IMO most followers will just blow that off anyway. I’d rather the debate happen on our chosen turf, not theirs. For me, it’s a question of empowerment.

If followers could only see themselves as we do….isn’t that why we joined anyway…to see ourselves more ‘objectively’?

268. ton - July 2, 2008

260 kid
“And if Herzog did make it, people would watch it and discuss it. I don’t think the same can be said about a disgruntled ex-student’s home movies. Let me ask the question: Wouldn’t you want a documentary about the FoF to be (hate to use this expression) fair and balanced?” and etc.

i couldn’t agree with you more. it might be a ‘just a little’ grandiose to think that herzog would be interested in the project… but hey, stranger things have happened. after you find out how to contact him the next trick is presenting the idea in such a way that you don’t come off sounding like some kind of ‘kook.’ how is that supposed to go?

ya i saw hearts and minds when it came out in ’74 — these many years later the scene referred to is still etched in memory.

269. lauralupa - July 2, 2008

speaking of etched in memory…

270. lauralupa - July 2, 2008

the song remains the same
“keep sweet dear children”

271. ton - July 2, 2008

260 kid
on the other hand… it’s almost certainly not ‘realistic’ that someone of the ‘stature’ of ‘a herzog’ would take the project… sans an ‘objective’ observer and someone with that sort of credibility factor… another approach / starting place might be, as you put it, “a disgruntled ex-student’s home movies.” something like 269 and 270… “throw it up” on the ‘utbube’ and it might at least put the story in a more generally accessible, concise form than is the blog…

whalerider 267
i hate this phrase but i have to ‘say’ it: ‘go for it!’ any thing is possible. one approach as laura hinted at just up the page a bit, is for those interested individuals, to get a camera that interfaces with a computer, collect taped information / interviews / that might be available in their locale and then to compile / edit at a later time… it’s probably possible to do this all “online” but like i said previously, i personally lack that expertise…

all the best

ps

saw a documentary about sally last night… the images she produces and her ‘process’ are amazing…

http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/4aa/4aa339.htm

272. Skeptical Optimist - July 3, 2008

People watching can draw their own conclusions.

… and you know there will be some people who come to the conclusion, “Hey, that looks like a groovy place, where do I sign up?”

273. veramente - July 3, 2008

256 Vinnie the fish
….Some readers might assume they know my opinions but don’t. I don’t really have opinions, I just have my experience, but the FOF as an organization, on the plus side, has been a fairly remarkable influence for me in many ways. I could elaborate or be more specific if you like, but it might end up unreadably long like an Elena message.

————

Vinnie, I am very interested to hear about your experience in the fof, and how it has been a remarkable influence for you minus the opinions you claim not to have. Perhaps you have been distant enough from the burner (rb) to have had some interesting psychological and emotional times, so you are not hurt too much.
In a way I sense a lack of a deep commitment from you with regards to the fof, like you are watching some kind of movie in which you choose to be sometimes the actor or the observer as long as you feel free. Kind of cool like your fish nature. : ) Splash!

274. paulshabram - July 3, 2008

whalerider and ton

Another approach could be to interview ex-members and/or family members and close with with a question “What would you like to say to… [friend, son, daughter, spouse, etc.]?” This would highlight the inhumanity of separation from loved ones. It is an approach that comes from a positive hope and sends an emotional message that may penetrate the hearts of even those that are not involved: particularly those that are thinking of joining. This could help show unsuspecting people of the cost. A title could be “Letters from Life”.

275. brucelevy - July 3, 2008

270. lauralupa

Same fucking wanker, different face.

276. whalerider - July 3, 2008

“Perhaps you have been distant enough from the burner (rb)….”

Goodness, that sizzles.

Kid:
You know, you have the right idea! Brilliant. No big production company hooblah…just a bunch of us ex-followers sitting around, talking about their lives, making some “home movies”…

Yes, we ought to make our own little movies in a nice, respectable friendly home…forget the hall, just like in the piece on the ex-mormons…one to one…on private property…. anyone wants to show up and have their say on digital video (sorry, ton, I’ve been calling it ‘film’), you are invited to come, we’ll be there, you can line up TBA.

We’ll ask you a few questions, you can spill the beans, and take as long as you like, within reason. Hey, someone ought to record the truth for posterity, don’t you think? If you already have a DV camera, go ahead, the law informs us that it’s OK, you CAN do this at home…

Just tell the truth about what happened to you and how you feel about it now.

Later we can link up all the short takes to the wiki site and post them on Youtube.

So, anybody had enough? Right, ton, as you say, life is a joke. Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. Isn’t that what rb does?

Please put the word out and email the sheik if you’re in. He’ll forward the info to me, we can start a list, in say, half hour slots.

Those of you who submited their story for the petition, would you be willing to read your statement in front of a camera and post it on Youtube?

How does four weeks from now sound for a get-together, early August say the weeked of the 9th and 10th as the moon waxes or maybe mid-September 13th 14th for the full moon? Indicate which weekend you’d be available and we’ll go from there. Let’s not live in silent shame any longer. What is currently going on in OH is appalling. This is an idea whose time has come.

We’ll need at least a good sized living room at a friendly house plus enough space to park lots of cars. Or I’m OK with a friendly gathering at a VFW or Rotary Club hall idea, too, as long as somebody can provide some comfortable chairs to sit in as people talk about their friendly and not so friendly experiences in the FOF.

The guy I was thinking of with a camera just had a second child with his girlfriend two days ago, and so after a few of weeks staying home changing diapers, he might just be ready for a little weekend getaway with his camera, short and sweet, if not, I’ll find someone else. I’ll keep you posted.

With digital video you can request to be in shadow or choose to have your face obscured if you like… or you can go au naturale and just tell it like it is, baby. You will have many divine moments captured on video for yours to keep, I promise.

There is no need for embellishments..the truth will make you shine.

277. Rear View Mirror - July 3, 2008

Me: “Vinnie… What’s your view of the FOF? What do you think of it?”

Vinnie: “Hi RVM, good open question. Some readers might assume they know my opinions but don’t. I don’t really have opinions, I just have my experience, but the FOF as an organization, on the plus side, has been a fairly remarkable influence for me in many ways.”

Actually, I thought it wasn’t really an open question, but a direct question. “Remarkable influence on me” is something I would completely agree with for myself, although remarkable influence in both a positive AND negative way. By far, it was more of a negative influence.

Follow-up questions: Do you have any doubts about the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton? Or do you support him and the FOF entirely?

278. Mick Danger - July 3, 2008

269/270 lauralupa
Of course some of us could be agents-of-the-devil.
Seems like I’ve sold my soul to the company store before.
That’s why I really resent it when some rockstar sells out;
I’ve got nothing to sell out.

279. ralphbarcode - July 3, 2008

I believe Ni*k Spaul*ing is/was a cameraman. Maybe he’d do it.

280. nigel harris price - July 3, 2008

I didn’t think mentioning Werner Herzog would cause such a stir. Is N Spaulding still in the FOF? He seemed to be one of those who always got ‘mollycoddled’ with an ‘on the property’ job when he lost or left his ‘life jobs’. I think if you keep searching for someone by blogging about a suitable cameraperson, one will turn up. I had some experience of using a digicamcorder whilst doing some teaching practice way back in 1992 and have the right centre of gravity (8 of Hearts), which gets those ‘framings’ and ‘perspectives’ correct. However, I live in the UK right now and would have to put my jewellery teaching on hold for as long as the shoot takes (plus I do not have the spare cash for the airfare!). Keep blogging for someone…..Nigel.

281. nigel harris price - July 3, 2008

Just as an addendum – you would want to get as ‘near the core’ of the FOF scam as possible, by finding people near to Burton or even getting shots of Burton himself. Some of the documentaries in the UK which uncover business scams etc. are really good at ‘going after’ perpetrators of ‘bad-doings’ if you get a chance to see them on USA television (some of the scams are international by nature)…..Nigel.

282. elena - July 3, 2008

As for the present
What could there be of the present without the past and the future?
Only the youth would expect to stand on their own without parents or children
And state with as much vanity as ignorance, that only they count.

Suspended in the present
We hanged without rope
Or chair. Like ghosts.

Like in the bath-houses of the Nazis,
We were asked to leave our clothes at the entrance
So that no sign of our past could be recognized.

The fibres of silken memories
That hold the connection between family and nation
Were not allowed
And the face of a man without life
Was put in their place,
to last, to lust

No past, no children, no future
But teens who’s childlike bodies had not yet disappeared and
whose manhood had not yet appeared.

Only a few years without children were enough to wipe out the future
for the whole of a lifetime.
No community can stand without them
They tune the heart
like birds tune the day in their morning song.
The hearts conform, the mind, deforms.

So what was left?
A theatre without a play
A concert without a song
A dance without the music
A people without a life.
Dead.
Dead
Dead.

283. Vinnie the fish - July 3, 2008

275. RVM: “Follow-up questions: Do you have any doubts about the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton? Or do you support him and the FOF entirely?”

Strange questions, way out of my reality. What sort of lunatic would only see black or white? OK maybe I know a few. Of course there are positives and negatives, but for me it has been a more positive and useful experience than the opposite, but I am not a worshipper like some, I value my own experiences and understandings more than anyone else’s.

To ‘support him and the FOF entirely’ – would that mean to deny events happened? My only ‘support’ is the minimum payment, does that classify as ‘entire’?

284. Vinnie the fish - July 3, 2008

Cheerful little poem thanks Elena, it could become a nursery rhyme.

285. elena - July 3, 2008

What would you expect after such training Vinnie? But it’s the one you like to pay for, “entirely” the minimum payment is enough to say “I am backing this up. Keep the dead alive!”

286. Rear View Mirror - July 3, 2008

VTF: Not strange questions, but actually fairly basic questions. Donating money is support. So although your views may be nuanced, you either pay or you don’t — very black and white. It’s denial — the same denial we all had when we were followers of Burton.

“What sort of lunatic would only see black or white?”

Remember: Robert Burton sees it as very black and white. You either pay or you don’t pay. If you don’t, you leave and you are damned for eternity, or at least “go to the back of the line.” If you do, you have the good graces of the gods.

Anyway, I just asked because I see very little acknowledgment from you regarding all of the concerns mentioned throughout the blog, and your presence here seems to be more about obfuscation then enlightening us with any new information about Burton or the FOF. Apparently, you’re not worried about the “inappropriateness” of a self-described “teacher” or spiritual leader manipulating his followers for sex? Not concerned that he uses fear of hell and fear of earthquakes and nuclear war to manipulate his followers into remaining in the group? Not concerned that all of the FOF is based on numerous lies and deceit?

I know you didn’t ask, but my opinion is that you are the member of a cult. And so was I. I know for me, it was very difficult to acknowledge this while I was still a part of the cult. So I do understand at least a small part of where you’re coming from. But I’d enjoy hearing exactly what it is you consider to be a “negative” about the FOF, and how that negative doesn’t outweigh what you consider to be positives.

287. Rear View Mirror - July 3, 2008

http://www.cultclinic.org/qa2.html

From the above link:

An estimated 5 to 7 million Americans have been involved in cults, or cult-like groups.

The total number of these groups ranges from 3,000 to 5,000. It is hard to get a precise number as cults change their names, splinter off into other groups, or shut down in one area only to open back up in another.

There are approximately 180,000 new cult recruits every year.

Do people ever get out of cults?

Yes. Of the numbers of people who get involved, more people leave than stay. Most leave on their own, yet there are a number who need the help of family, friends, and specialists to help them exit.

Our counseling service can help people explore options when loved ones have been unable to leave the group on their own.

For further information regarding the prevalence of cults, see the organizations and websites listed in our resources secrtion.

How has the cult phenomenon changed over time?

While many people are under the impression that cults have diminished, or even disappeared, they are actually just as prevalent as they were decades ago. They have become more sophisticated, and have taken on names, which mimic those of established groups. Some have also become quite litigious, and have therefore had great success in keeping their critics quiet and limiting public access to information about them.

Cults no longer focus solely on the young and searching. They have expanded their recruitment efforts to include adults and senior citizens. With the latter, they can bring in more money by preying on issues around mid-life crises, and fears about aging (promising health, financial security for yourself and future generations, and even immortality).

Some smaller cult groups have gone national, and international, while others have been disbanded. A number of cult groups have now been around long enough to have a new generation of cultists born into them.

Many cults change their names in response to public education and exposure of their true agendas. They retain the same basic philosophy as before, yet are able to continue undetected.

A number of cultic groups do work within the community to establish a respectable name. Their work is sometimes even publicly recognized by community leaders.

Cults may have originally started as groups that had integrity and a respectable cause yet have become became cultic as the leader designed his or her, role to be more controlling and manipulative.

288. Rear View Mirror - July 3, 2008

Regarding a documentary (or documentaries) about the Fellowship of Friends, the following became a topic of discussion on the blog a few weeks ago:

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/inside-a-cult-3401
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6509120662881681478

Although an FOF documentary (or documentaries) might be very different, the above shows how powerful films can be to open our eyes.

289. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 3, 2008

284 RVM

Asking a member of a cult to critique it is, IMHO, a waste of time. They can’t, by definition. When they become able to see the cult and their relationship to it well enough to speak meaningfully and objectively about it, they have left the cult, and the payments start to seem ridiculous and they stop making them. Sure, it’s a little frustrating to see Vinnie swimming around the edges, wanting to participate but not really being able to, like a fish that’s hungry for the bait but has something inside that keeps saying “don’t go there!” “One bite and it’s over!” And it’s true–one bite and you’re out of the Garden of Eden, the land of the Lotus Eaters. The red pill, or the blue pill.

280 elena

Your self pity and bitterness have helped me take more responsibility for my own role. Thank you.

290. Rear View Mirror - July 3, 2008

JAVOH — You’re probably missing my point. My goal is not to try to change Vinnie.

The fact that Vinnie can’t critique the FOF, or at least do so honestly and directly, is the point of asking him. And no, I don’t find anything “frustrating” about him as you suggest. I’m not trying to change his thinking; but I’m interested in exposing his thinking. Whether he changes it or not, is entirely up to him, and I’m certainly not expecting it.

I’m asking him questions so that others who read here can have a better idea what he’s about, why he’s here, and what’s he up to. And any lack of response to a direct question about the FOF does expose him. So far, his answers are at best “disingenuous.”

291. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 3, 2008

Vinnie the fish is numb to the core and cannot be expected to feel anything one way or another. This does not necessarily mean in a place of third (neutralising) force. The self-calming programming of the Fellowship of Friends has him hypnotised – cognizant of his surrounds but frozen in a space-time warp. Many are cold but a few are frozen. Very much like a deer frozen like a statue when a predator is near or caught in the headlights. He cannot think, emote or move on his own accord.

292. brucelevy - July 3, 2008

288. Wouldnt You Like To Know

I’ll have to disagree. I vividly remember his past appearances here. I think he is less “hypnotized”, but more “at home” in an environment that praises and rewards sociopathy. He came to the FOF with an inherent “bent” towards exploitation, power and misogyny. There have been quite a few past “members” that were, for a time, at home in a environment where the head misogynist can only help add to the sociopath’s palette of manipulative tools. Some even left and subsequently started their own mini-cults.
Vinnie has in the past often praised his own level of understanding and glorified his ability to separate himself both from the rest of humanity, and the usual FOF members, except where it served his purpose. He has also repeatedly refused to either except facts as facts or has insisted much of it was exaggerated.
I disagree from the point of view that he is an example of the self denying masses that makes up most of the FOF. I feel he came as a sociopath, and he’ll leave as a sociopath. No offense Vinnie.

293. brucelevy - July 3, 2008

A sociopath is just one small subset of the type of people who are attracted to an abomination like the FOF. They make up a small, but dangerous group of parasites that feed on the people and the available examples of misogyny.

No, Vinnie, I know you’d tend to take the above, in your universe, as a compliment, but to a relatively normal person it wouldn’t be.

294. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 3, 2008

287 RVM

I didn’t miss your point, I was just trying in my own way to make it.

295. veronicapoe - July 4, 2008

> Many are cold but a few are frozen.

Now that’s funny.

296. meaghn - July 4, 2008

The Sacramento News and Review reports today that SacBee writers Lisa Heyamoto and Todd Milbourn will be packing up their lives and moving to Prague. The pair claims that they are following their desires to live in Europe. More Press gossip at http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/Content?oid=690217

Wasn’t Todd the reporter who gather some information from Fellowship of Friends and this blog?

297. nigel harris price - July 4, 2008

285
As to this idea of ‘selling’ immortality – life by its very nature is eternal and cannot be sold. Many fundamentalist Christian groups, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses, tell you that by joining their group, they can lead you to immortality, but that’s just a joke since you have it already. The only reason for awakening in your life is to have choice at death…..Nigel.

298. brucelevy - July 4, 2008

293. nigel harris price

“The only reason for awakening in your life is to have choice at death”.

And you know this how?

“they can lead you to immortality, but that’s just a joke since you have it already”

And you know this how?

If, however you meant these things as your understanding, or guess, at this present time in your life, then I have no questions.

299. Yesri Baba - July 4, 2008

292 veronicapoe

Good ear.

300. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 4, 2008

272, 274, 288 and 296 are newly moderated.

Skeptical Optimist: … and you know there will be some people who come to the conclusion, “Hey, that looks like a groovy place, where do I sign up?”

If you want to be taken seriously, you will have to step above producing propaganda. If the underlying concern is to dissuade people from even considering to join such an organization, what does that say about you? That you know better? That you are willing to manipulate others because you know better than them? How is that different from the campaign of FOF, eg. ‘we know better how to make you better, join us, we have the answers’.

How about just tell the story, be as close to the core of the thing as you can get, without muddling the truth and see where that leads.

301. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 4, 2008

Whalerider: Not interested in fame but will help if something needs doing, contact me through e-mail.

Ton: Please take part in this project, I have a feeling that your input may be most valuable.

302. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 4, 2008

Right, moving on.

NEW DISCUSSION


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