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Fellowship of Friends Discussion, part 39 July 4, 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. lauralupa - July 4, 2008

some thoughts on denial:

“When we are in denial, we avert our gaze, which is a reactive form of psychic blindness. When we get stuck in and embody the madness of denial, we become psychologically deaf, as we are not able to hear any “informing” influences from the outside world which reflect back to us our unconscious state. Falling into denial, we become psychologically deaf, dumb and blind. We see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.

When we are riddled by denial, we hold contradictory viewpoints simultaneously, while splitting off from the underlying contradiction, which is a self-induced, trance-like dissociated state, in which we have fixated our attention, restricted our own awareness and hypnotized ourselves. When groups of people (or a nation) collectively fall into a mass en-trance-ment together, they reinforce each other’s unconscious denial, which feeds the zombie-like madness of the group.

Once we fall into the state of denial, we become invested in not only keeping ourselves asleep but we also seek out others in the same state of denial with whom to join forces. Once our mass unconsciousness gains enough self-generating momentum, our denial has an inductive, magnetic effect of entraining others into a similar state of unconsciousness as our own. Our somnambulism has a bewitching effect on others, while at the same time their unconsciousness strengthens our denial, in a self-reinforcing web of mutual conditioning. Falling into and supporting each other’s collective denial, we become infected by, while concurrently infecting the field around us with a self-created, but very contagious, psychological “virus.”

This is an immaterial, psychic “bug” that insinuates itself into and operates through the psyche by distorting and manipulating our perceptions so as to feed itself, while at the same time veiling that it is doing this so as to keep itself invisible. Jung never tired of warning us that psychic epidemics such as this, which spread and replicate themselves through our unconscious blind spots, were the greatest danger facing humanity. In a crazy-making loop that both produces and is an expression of madness, the denial in the underlying field feeds our denial, while at the same time our denial feeds the denial in the underlying field.

When we live in the state of denial, we are investing all of our psychic energy into a lie to protect ourselves from the awful shock of stepping out of our denial and consciously experiencing both the lie that we have been living and the reality we have been avoiding. Once our denial becomes invested with enough energy, a counter-incentive to step out of our denial arises, as we become highly motivated in sustaining the lie that is fundamental to our denial, for the trauma of consciously realizing the perverse state we have fallen into is too much for us to bear. Once our denial solidifies its reign, it literally rules over us, as we become obedient to it, as if we are its slaves and it is our master. When we repress something from our consciousness, we unwittingly invest it with power over us. Once we become sufficiently corrupted by our denial, we become dedicated to preserving it at all costs. Once we become tied, attached and bound to our denial, our entire modus operandi is to do whatever it takes to continue the charade of hiding from ourselves.

At a certain point, we literally become taken over, as if possessed, by our compulsion to avoid relationship with ourselves. We are then not able to help ourselves from compulsively acting out our unconscious denial, a perverse state for which we are ultimately responsible. Being in the state of denial, we are not in our right mind, and we are not even home in our own bodies. In this state, we can be of no help to either ourselves or to others, as we ourselves are the ones increasingly in need of help. Having fallen into a truly pathological state, we have become addicted to our denial, which we then embody and act out in our lives, as our denial continually in-forms us. Once this pathological process develops a sufficient inner sovereignty, it “colonizes” our psyche and we fall into becoming an unwitting instrument for what is called “evil” to act itself out in our world.

We have then attained what political philosopher Hannah Arendt saw as the fundamental characteristic of evil: the incapacity for thought. When we are in denial, the primary thought we can’t think about is ourselves, which is to say we are incapable of self-reflection, as if we are not able to bend around backwards and see our reflection in the mirror of life. When we are in the state of denial, we are “not ourselves,” but rather, are “beside ourselves.” Instead of associating with all of our-selves, we imagine that we exist separately from the world out there, of which we are desperately afraid. This is an outer reflection of the inner process of being terrified of a part of ourselves, which is the dynamic which precipitated our denial in the first place.

As this inner pathological state takes us over, it develops a seemingly autonomous life of its own, animating and playing itself out in the most unconscious, and hence, destructive of ways, creating violence, abuse, and terror, whether it be within ourselves or in the outside world. Anyone who points out or reflects back the pathology is demonized, pathologized, criminalized, and seen as the enemy. People in denial react violently when they see someone who does not share their denial, as it secretly reminds them of how sick they are.

To step out of our denial is the scariest thing imaginable to the part of us that is in denial. To snap out of our denial is a form of “death,” as it is to “die” to the fantasy world in which we imagined we lived. This is why people will “defend” their denial to the point of death, often in the most aggressively “offensive” of ways. People in denial will actually create “explosions” in the outside world as distractions so as to protect themselves from inwardly “imploding” at the sight of themselves. People cherish their illusions, which they hold dear to themselves, as if their illusions are their most sacred possession. To be in denial is to live in an illusion, and the system which produced this pathological state is only too happy to configure itself to support the abuse by supplying all the evidence needed to strengthen the denial and confirm the illusion. Our denial allows the abuse to continue to be perpetrated and perpetuate itself, while at the same time the abuse facilitates our denial in a reciprocally co-arising, circular (as compared to linear) and self-generating feedback loop that is truly pathological. When we are in denial, the system which precipitated our denial gets dreamed up to collude with, nourish, nurture and justify our denial, creating a psychological black hole: a true dis-ease of the psyche, in which no light escapes or is emitted.

http://www.awakeninthedream.com/artis/denial the 51st state.html

2. Vinnie the fish - July 4, 2008

It is amazing how much people can assume they know about me and be so far from the truth. ‘Numb to the core’ haha 😀

So RVM, of course I could go through the negatives, why not?
Don’t assume things based on a LACK of evidence (my slow response). You are rather ingenuous (slimy) saying you ask these innocent questions to expose me though, justifying yourself like that to JAVOH. You can do what you want man, you don’t have to try so hard to ‘look good’ to anyone, that’s a loser’s game.

For me the worst thing is all the nonsense from the man himself, from the predictions of old to the latest bizarre interpretations of art and anything that can be counted. Delusional seems to be the right diagnosis. So for me the usefulness of meetings diminishes along with the opportunites for practical, intelligent and useful conversations, photographs, and exercises.

Also bad is the suffering so many ex-members have apparently gone through and still do. A lot of it I think is related to past self-deception about Robert (believing he’s ‘conscious’), believing what others say, doing what others say should be done, worshipping him, that sort of nonsense which could only come crashing down at some point in such people’s psychology, like a house of cards with nothing solid underneath. I’m grateful I have never been under any such delusions. And a lot of the suffering is caused directly by someone in absolute power who has all the weaknesses and more of other people.

But similar to that Castaneda article I sent, where someone said he probably believed his own hype, and was not just trying to deceive people, I have the same feeling about Robert. Apart from his erotic drinking habits, he seems genuinely focussed on what he does, and doesn’t seem to be just pretending.

These are the main negatives for me, but a balanced and objective appraisal looks at both sides.

So despite the strangeness of the leader, he has still somehow held together an international organisation of 2000 or so (or is that < 1000 now?) with a supposedly common aim of becoming more conscious and being more present, which are 2 simple aims that I consider important, not because of what anyone else said, but from my own experience of altered states.

In between the nonsense he has said a lot of useful things and has invented useful exercises, been the catalyst for creating Apollo, which is quite beautiful, and created conditions for a lot of past events and meetings that I often found uplifting.

Overall I have found it quite good, but I have never recommended it to anyone else and never would!

And yes of course it’s a cult, any organisation is a cult if it has idiots who are worshippers and believers swallowing every word some crack-pot leader says without any ‘critical faculty’. Maybe you were one of them. Glad you escaped, well done!

But what’s new? It was the same when I joined, except now it’s got all the counting HS. (thats horse shit Bruce). With any luck it might get back to a more practical form before I leave. Wouldn’t that be cool! Imagine meetings again with all you guys, talking about real things, your real experiences in trying to be more awake and present, exchanging tips with each other and helping each other understand this endless sea of atoms and space!

But hey you’d all be trying to interrupt Elena, so we’d need rules like no interrupting, and raising hands, and dressing nicely so Bruce doesn’t wear his Grateful Dead T-shirt to piss people off!

Ah WTF I might as well just stay in and wait for the man to move on and then you can all rejoin and we’ll make it practical like it used to be!

3. ton - July 4, 2008

this might relate to a ‘polygyny’ thread that’s been weaving through… the latest strand was warren jeffs… when reading here i’ve often thought that yes, robert burton is a certainly a ‘sociopath’…. and a ‘psychopath’ too.

“The relationship between psychopathy and sexual offending has been empirically established, but it is little understood. The author proposes nine explanations to provide a conceptual basis for this empirical relationship: (1) search polygyny, (2) callousness and a lack of empathy, (3) a lack of attachment or bonding, (4) sensation seeking as a product of chronic cortical underarousal, (5) grandiosity, (6) entitlement, (7) a predominance of part-object relations, (8) a high frequency of predatory violence, and (9) the leaving by consensual sex partners when the psychopathy is identified. These explanations, constructed from anthropological, psychobiological, attachment, psychoanalytic, and aggression research, find some direct and indirect empirical support in the extant literature. They contribute to understanding the “polymorphously perverse” sexuality of the psychopath.”

http://www.atypon-link.com/GPI/doi/abs/10.1521/bumc.66.3.273.23368

vinnie 2,

apparently this needs repetiton; you seem to take pride in the fact that you recognize the canker at the core of the fellowship of friends and yet still support it… i think i can speak for many of the people who post here in saying that when we recognized the psychopathy, we removed ourselves from a supporting role when we were able to. the cavalier attitude you have about it is a reflection of true callousness, you continue to feed a diseased entity with ‘dues,’ you’ve established some weird symbiosis where in a perverse way it lends support to the calluses and bunions on your own soul. vinnie, you’re not a ‘rebel,’ you’re a shill.

4. veramente - July 4, 2008

Vinnie, thank you for your long post.
I have some questions if you want to answer them:

Do you consider being present as an altered state?
What does it mean to you becoming more conscious?
and what do you think about love? (not romantic)

PS: I would not assume that the people posting here would want to recreate a post-fof group , I bet most of us do NOT want to join any group.
Free agents.

5. Vinnie the fish - July 4, 2008

Well Ton I don’t know what a shill is supposed to be, just another silly label? But I see it more like this: you and most others on the blog were in for a long time, well aware of Robert’s unusual way of life, unless you were deaf and blind, but only left when your thinking gradually changed sides from being a worshipper to an enemy, maybe through communicating with like-minded people. So your thinking follows the herd, whichever herd you happen to be influenced by most. I think for myself though, and weigh the pros and cons. It’s a purely personal choice. I don’t know when you left, but doesn’t it feel foolish or hypocritical to be so against something you were in for a long time?
I wonder if the most vehement were also vehemently anti ‘life-people’….?

6. ton - July 4, 2008

vinnie 5,

take from this what you are able:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shill

7. Vinnie the fish - July 4, 2008

4. veramente – July 4, 2008
“Vinnie, thank you for your long post.
I have some questions if you want to answer them:
Do you consider being present as an altered state?
What does it mean to you becoming more conscious?
and what do you think about love? (not romantic)”

Hi Vera, good questions!
Sure, being present is a state different to the usual one of being ‘in the head’ and identified, where not much of the present world penetrates. I used the word ‘altered’ so it would relate more to drug induced higher states that ‘higher’ which would just seem school-speak to many. So yes, being aware of the present has to be part of consciousness doesn’t it, ‘conscious’ means aware.
So becoming more conscious means becoming more aware of what really exists and less focussed on what does not exist in reality, like the past and imagined future. I’m not sure if consciousness increases over time, but I know it can increase in a moment.
Love? love? I’m not sure what romantic love means, sounds like some pastel coloured nuance of this primal force I feel inside to rip out my heart and give it to you in a bowl of my tears, if only we could experience our unity.

8. Joseph G - July 4, 2008

I heard there was some kind of confrontation outside the property entrance yesterday that involved law enforcement and Abraham G. Just a rumor. Anyone know more?

9. Rear View Mirror - July 4, 2008

Vinnie, that’s a poetic yet edgy description of romantic love. Right on.

Well, I did say I was interested in hearing what you think about the FOF and RB.

You wrote: “For me the worst thing is all the nonsense from the man himself, from the predictions of old to the latest bizarre interpretations of art and anything that can be counted. Delusional seems to be the right diagnosis. So for me the usefulness of meetings diminishes along with the opportunites for practical, intelligent and useful conversations, photographs, and exercises.”

I agree, except that you left out any references to his extremely frequent sexual encounters with his followers, which to me is maybe the worst thing.

“Also bad is the suffering so many ex-members have apparently gone through and still do.”

Very true. But current members have suffered, and are suffering, as well. They often justify staying because “suffering” is one of the points of remaining. If they have difficulty with Robert or other “students,” isn’t that what the gods had in mind for their evolution? That’s one of those hooks that makes it more challenging to leave. Maybe it’s “me.” Maybe I’m the one who’s not open-minded enough to take my clothes off for Robert. Maybe I’m the one who’s questioning the FOF too much. Maybe I should struggle with my ‘I’s so that I can see myself more clearly. etc. etc. So they stay.

The attitude that I recall about many of the staunchest supporters of RB was that any complaints about him and his behavior were often seen as fairly minor or insignificant, or “self pity” or “imaginary suffering” or (in Robert Burton’s own words ) their complaints were “non-events.” So although some people didn’t make the leap into justifying Burton’s behavior, they were very good at stating the opinion that he wasn’t doing that much harm, and that people were exaggerating.

Unfortunately, to some extent that would be me a few years ago. You’re “losing perspective” fellow student. Have some relativity.

You wrote: “These are the main negatives for me, but a balanced and objective appraisal looks at both sides.”

One problem is: Where is the “balanced and objective appraisal” you’re referring to within the Fellowship of Friends itself? Of course that there is no balanced and objective appraisal within the cult. Discussing “both sides” doesn’t happen in cults. Not even close.

There are “both sides” to many organizations. Large and small. Family unity is achieved. National pride. Large beautiful estates are built. Whole cities. String quartets playing, and large palaces for some people to enjoy. But behind the scenes, there is crime. Many of these organizations had or have apparently noble aims if you look at them in a certain way. But when you peel away the exterior, you find the ugly truth, and you see the amount of suffering the leader causes.

What’s even worse about the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton is that that the FOF and RB profess to be about “awakening” and “consciousness.” One of the most under-used words in the Fellowship of Friends (in addition to fellatio) is the word hypocrisy. A particularly malignant form of hypocrisy exists in the FOF. The FOF is supposedly about “finer energies,” but what Robert Burton is doing is extremely heavy and coarse in energy. Manipulation, deceit, lying, discouraging open discussion, and hiding secrets. Heavy. Coarse. Not “finer.” Not spiritual.

And you wrote that Burton has “been the catalyst for creating Apollo, which is quite beautiful,…”

Well, pockets of it are. But much of it is ostentatious, pretentious, and gaudy. And then you have the weeds and broken stones of the old winery. Not a beautiful building, and — by the way — it is THE most visible feature on the entire property.

You wrote: “Overall I have found it quite good, but I have never recommended it to anyone else and never would!”

—-
“quite good”?

—-

I do acknowledge that I’ve stated similar opinions about the FOF in the past. But this is simply denial (see Lauralupa’s post #1 above), and I have to agree with Ton’s comments:

“you seem to take pride in the fact that you recognize the canker at the core of the fellowship of friends and yet still support it…”

You are definitely not alone in that regard. There’s a large core group of people in the Fellowship of Friends who somehow believe that they are “strong” because they are not swayed by the ‘I’s that would take them “out of the school.” And they do take pride in that attitude. The more they hear about how evil RB is, and the more they “separate” from the so-called ‘I’s, and the more their egos are fed, and the more entangled in the mess they become.

But those so-called ‘I’s… Those are conscience.

10. Ill Never Tell - July 4, 2008

38/#296. meaghn – July 4, 2008:
‘Lisa Heyamoto and Todd Milbourn will be packing up their lives and moving to Prague.’

Maybe they are going to be the center directors of the Fellowship Prague Centre?

11. Yesri Baba - July 4, 2008

From post #1

We have then attained what political philosopher Hannah Arendt saw as the fundamental characteristic of evil: the incapacity for thought. When we are in denial, the primary thought we can’t think about is ourselves, which is to say we are incapable of self-reflection, as if we are not able to bend around backwards and see our reflection in the mirror of life. When we are in the state of denial, we are “not ourselves,” but rather, are “beside ourselves.” Instead of associating with all of our-selves, we imagine that we exist separately from the world out there, of which we are desperately afraid. This is an outer reflection of the inner process of being terrified of a part of ourselves, which is the dynamic which precipitated our denial in the first place.

——————————————————-

I can’t think of a better description of Robert Burton.

Curious to think that the running 2000 + or – people are the coagulation of his desperation and terror.

12. veramente - July 4, 2008

#7 Vinnie the fish
————-
The question about love and not the romantic one, to be clear;
I just meant to look into your heart to see what may come up.

13. veramente - July 5, 2008

Vinnie,
being present may be very simple and quite ordinary.
If you need to pay a nut case to continue develop your right to be human, you may be looking for some altered states in fact.
Being present, self remembering and consciousness are overrated.
In fact in the fof being present can be an escape to face real issues and like someone said here before it can be a kind of a magical thinking.

14. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 5, 2008

2 Vinnie

[I]t always takes place in the same way. The principal reason for it is that it is impossible to sit between two stools. And people usually think that they can sit between two stools, that is, that they can acquire the new and preserve the old; they do not think this consciously of course but it comes to the same thing.

“And what is it that they most of all desire to preserve? First the right to have their own valuation of ideas and of people, that is, that which is more harmful for them than anything else. They are fools and they already know it, that is to say, they realized it at one time. For this reason they came to learn. But they forget all about this the next moment; they are already bringing into the work their own paltry and subjective attitude; they begin to pass judgment on me and on everyone else as though they were able to pass judgment on anything. And this is immediately reflected in their attitude towards the ideas and towards what I say.

“Already ‘they accept one thing’ and ‘they do not accept another thing’; with one thing they agree, with another they disagree; they trust me in one thing, in another thing they do not trust me.

“And the most amusing part is that they imagine they are able ‘to work’ under such conditions, that is, without trusting me in everything and without accepting everything. In actual fact this is absolutely impossible. By not accepting something or mistrusting something they immediately invent something of their own in its place. ‘Gagging’ begins – new theories and new explanations which have nothing in common either with the work or with what I have said. Then they begin to find faults and inaccuracies in everything that I say or do and in everything that others say or do. From this moment I now begin to speak of things about which I have no knowledge and even of things of which I have no conception, but which they know and understand much better than I do; all the other members of the group are fools, idiots.

“And so on, and so on, like a barrel organ. When a man says something on these lines I already know all he will say later on. And you also will know by the consequences. And it is amusing that people can see this in relation to others. But when they themselves do crazy things they at once cease to see it in relation to themselves. This is a law. It is difficult to climb the hill but very easy to slide down it. They even feel no embarrassment in talking in such a manner either with me or with other people. And chiefly they think that this can be combined with some kind of ‘work.’ They do not even want to understand that when a man reaches this notch his little song has been sung….

“This is an exact example of how people do the very worst thing they possibly can for themselves when they depart from what is good in them.”

15. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 5, 2008

8 is newly moderated.

Vinnie: I forgot to congratulate you on your timing.

As for presence, well, if you don’t understand the concept already, if you don’t know where to go on your own (or to stop moving altogether), then you have been wasting time in the FoF (that is, in terms of you spending your time on developing the ‘ability’ to be present).

Fuck it, you are present right now. Happy? You can struggle against it all you like, pretending that there is work to be done to reach it. Good luck.

And when you get that, the next realization may be that there are these numerous issues and tendencies that do require work, change and attention, a lot of which you may have been conditioned to adopt while listening to someone else’s heart, not your own. The ability to live your life with compassion, kindness, as well as joy and playfulness is something that may require intensive internal clean-up.

16. You-me-us-they - July 5, 2008

Sheik,
You wrote:
The ability to live your life with compassion, kindness, as well as joy and playfulness is something that may require intensive internal clean-up.

This is very much what the new wave of “teachings/teachers” is about…
And, yes, to do more joy seems to be the next step!
Or do we still want to stick to Abraham teaching a bunch of desert people the 10 laws (which, BTW seems to come from the Egyptian Book Of The dead) ?

Keep walking, Rumi:
Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through distances.
That’s not for human beings. Move within,
but don’t move the way fear makes you move.

Love to you all.

17. brucelevy - July 5, 2008
18. Vinnie the Fish - July 5, 2008

Sheik: “The ability to live your life with compassion, kindness, as well as joy and playfulness is something that may require intensive internal clean-up.”

Funny you say that, it’s exactly how I live my life, and anyone who knows me would probably agree. Important tenets!

Not sure what you’re trying to say about timing and being present? It’s definitely not automatic, and I don’t consider it overrated as Vera says. If you aren’t fully present where are you? Nowhere. Any spiritual teacher from Jesus H Christ to Nisagarata, Krishnamurti and Avi Shakti or whatever would agree, it is the start and the end of the path. I know that myself from my own experience Sheik, not from anyone else’s HS (Heart of Someone else).

Vera: “I just meant to look into your heart to see what may come up.”
Well that was what came up, was it romantic?
What is love? The longing for union, like gravity, that crashes galaxies into each other, but it’s only real in people through attention in the present.

19. nigel harris price - July 5, 2008

18
Funny, Vinnie,
I am listening to Andrea Bocelli’s ‘Amore’ album right now!…..Nigel.

20. nigel harris price - July 5, 2008

I am very lucky in teaching, and making, things which bring people to the present through a craft-form. It is, actually, quite simply, hand-eye co-ordination and some of my (mainly lady) students find it therapy – leaving their high-powered jobs behind and doing something that brings them, at least, a little joy – making things in precious metals, either for themselves or family or friends. The metal is responsive, in an almost super-sexual way and I feel that is what makes my students continue to come week-after-week. I would like to hear about other bloggers ‘forms’ in which they experience the present in their lives…..Nigel.

21. veramente - July 5, 2008

18. Vinnie the Fish
Vera: “I just meant to look into your heart to see what may come up.”
Well that was what came up, was it romantic?
What is love? The longing for union, like gravity, that crashes galaxies into each other, but it’s only real in people through attention in the present.
—————————————-
Vinnie,
even the concept of love has been warped in the fof, an abstract ideal. Just wondering if you learned to idealize it.

who do you love?
how do you love? where do you love? when do you love?
inspired by Quicksilver Messenger Service

PS: Being present is really overrated in the fof, it has become the buffer # 1 to keep the conscience shut.

22. ton - July 5, 2008

8
“I heard there was some kind of confrontation outside the property entrance yesterday that involved law enforcement and Abraham G. Just a rumor. Anyone know more?”

elena,
if you’re lurking here please give an account of the picket…

23. nigel harris price - July 5, 2008

This is getting really interesting! I’d love to hear more – confrontation and being present and all…..Nigel.

24. elena - July 5, 2008

8 Joseph G. The picketing went very well, both thursday and friday. No body but R. laughed. Isn’t that a common way to buffer?

Hi Vinnie,

I have to admit, I do appreciate your presence here, slimy as fish are, but you do honor to your name and I respect that. While I agree with Bruce’s general appreciation, the fact that you at least talk, gives you a lot more credit than the rest inside who have probably chosen a slimy one like you to represent a position that is as widespread inside as outside.

Before we look at it, I want to thank you for the picture you took of the blog, it is one of the best ones yet. It both embarrased me and made me laugh but you captured that tendency that is so unnecessary when writing since we can’t even interrupt each other. Space is not the problem, it’s features. Mine as much as those of others.

I don’t really perceive you as sociopathic as Robert or Girard, but as a regular student who is sincerely working with what he can. I agree with almost everything you say, that is I understand it. Most of us have been there. Of course there is a degree of responsibility in paying the minimum but I give you all the credit for not looking for new students which is a completely different degree of responsibility. We all had the student and the member, the follower and the fanatic. There are hundreds like you who would not admit that by simply being there they set the ground for the blind followers and fanatics. That is the problem. That is what legitimizes the extreme behavior from Robert and others who suggest that dog behavior is appropriate before the teacher. What those like you don’t realize is that you have conformed to participate precisely like dogs or would you say these things to Robert?. That is, you patiently accept the:

Vinnie 2 “For me the worst thing is all the nonsense from the man himself, from the predictions of old to the latest bizarre interpretations of art and anything that can be counted. Delusional seems to be the right diagnosis”All that “nonsense” is ALL there is at Apollo. In centres it is not very different since they started having to read angles all throughout the meeting. READ. Good boys! Keep wagging your tail, dears and don’t forget to pay on time, awakening is expensive , even if tediously boring.

Vinnie 2 “Apart from his erotic drinking habits, he seems genuinely focussed on what he does, and doesn’t seem to be just pretending.”

I agree with you, he’s not pretending, nor is Girard. Hasnamusses or narcissistic sociopaths are very real. What you don’t understand is that they’ve only developed within themselves a small portion of the System. What became “organic” about the System in their lives was the idea of self remembering and the non expression of negative emotions with which they could control the whole Cult. They are extremely successful at remembering ONLY themselves and forgetting that anyone else counts. They do all the talking, all the decision making, all the direction and control. You are, like all the other followers, an accident in their lives, one that can be easily disposed of at the slightest sign of disapproval. You would of course not be as honest with Robert as you are about him here and that sole fact shows how separated you are within your self about the life you are trying to pursue.
Of course, I do not discard the fact that you, like others here have been “hired” to make all that corruption look like inoffensive “nonsense” so that the average follower feels comfortable in his own skin. That is were even the inoffensive followers start turning into hasnamusses. With one eye you pursue your own work and you shut the other to what is happening to people around you until Robert asks you to send your son to work at the galleria. Then you measure how healthy it is. What did it do to you when you were young? So many of you could tell us that story. Do that to whom ever you like, Robert dear, but not my son? Unless you’ve become a total psycopath and actually offer your son for the treatment but that will turn back on you before this lifetime is over, I can assure you of that. Just as much as the boys, the children, the women and the men who we did not protect will weigh on us all for the rest of our lives.

Vinnie 2”So becoming more conscious means becoming more aware of what really exists and less focused on what does not exist in reality, like the past and imagined future. I’m not sure if consciousness increases over time, but I know it can increase in a moment.”

It is precisely an issue of consciousness. For you, the justifications by which you remain in the Cult are your personal achievements. Vinnie: “I value my own experiences and understandings more than anyone else’s.” that is as far as your consciousness is willing to go. I grant you that. It is true that the “student” in all of us worked but no matter how much we worked personally all we could do with it was behave like dogs. I guess you think being able to go for a walk and take a pee is a good enough life even if you can’t even talk where life takes place.

The fact that you cannot move from your individual perspective to a human perspective reveals your state of consciousness. As the System states, you can only go so far with self remembering, then you must move into external consideration, if you are to move further. Which is the same as saying, you can only do so much first line which must then actualize itself in second line, I mean an open channel for freedom of communication, freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of participation, the individual and his community, his life, his environment not just as a servant within a hierarchy but as an equal amongst others. Every aspect of second line is determined by the hierarchic structure of the Fellowship. It has no institutionalized second line, just first: work on yourself and only yourself and third: work for the Arc, pay, work for free in as many octaves as you can, make effort for the God, the Gods, they’ll pay you eventually dear. It is truly fascinating how they managed to make it work so perfectly by simply not allowing the second line to develop legitimately. They leave the need for human contact as the personal clubs conditioned by the hierarchic positions of privileges within the Cult. The more you “bend” emotionally to those in power, the more “help” you get from them and your instinctive submission is guaranteed as well as the increasing emotional dependence. The fact that second line is not legitimized by “paying” people, that is recognizing their worth not only with vouchers or favors but a legitimate flow of solid participation and that the money is channeled out into Robert’s infinite personal favors in itself shows the vicious circle.

Payment is a form of legitimizing both people’s work and presence and encouraging their “self-worth” within the community that they belong to, but instead the Fellowship demanded it as a third line voluntary contribution that is never fully recognized as anything but the Cults own credit. This practice “defaces” the individuals who participate. They are one of the many no matter how valuable their contribution might be. The credit is only Robert’s. Thousands of students have left simply because they understood that no matter how much they worked, not even a ‘thank you’ would be granted to them. They were supposed to be working without expecting any rewards but it wasn’t rewards what students were working for, it was simple, genuine, human participation and the joy of doing so. The flow of gratitude within a community, the flow of acknowledgement from community to individual and back, which is what creates the impetus for CULTURE. The lack of it is what Cults develops. This was possible because it was structured by Girard’s own weaknesses and strengths. He gave up the money, the prestige, the comforts, the parents, the wives, the children, in short, he gave up the human and kept the SEX, the porn, the thrill of a world in which he could hold power to decide who stayed and who left, who talked, who begged, who failed, as long as he and Robert could survive at the head. They are still surviving and well, at the cost of everyone else, whether they know it or not.

There is past and future. No matter how much you deny your heritage and you probably don’t have children. You say proudly, I have no past, I am an orphan and have no offspring. I am all there is in life. As long as I can get away with my own little presence, everything rolls and rocks for me. But fortunately you are so unconvinced that you come and look at it in this forum to see how much it is worth, and it is worth very little if you really look at it.

Vinnie: “Love? love? I’m not sure what romantic love means, sounds like some pastel coloured nuance of this primal force I feel inside to rip out my heart and give it to you in a bowl of my tears, if only we could experience our unity.”

You obviously know that your love could be handed out in the bowl of your tears because a man without a past or a future has really nothing to offer the present; without parents or children, nothing to offer a woman; or a man, for that matter. The measure of consciousness that an individual can reach when he deeply takes into his being the fact that his children will survive him into a future that he does not belong to is an aspect of the mystery of life. An aspect of consciousness about the human process beyond the individual’s limitation. For those who neither have children and are unable to conceive of the human beyond themselves, there IS no future. Their perspective and consciousness stops within their individualism. And without parents, women or children, you actually have very little to offer yourself no matter how often you might get laid or get off watching porn. It’s all television, or a show in which you really don’t have to participate. What cults like regular societies want is that you work and pay, not participate. Isn’t this really what we are talking about? How much we can get away with not assuming life in its own terms and still getting away with pretending we have one? Is this not precisely what the Fellowship of Friend’s phenomenon is all about? But people don’t wish to understand that the fact that children and parents were denied from the individual’s life, made a whole group of people blind to the lives of everyone around them. No one was left with anything of enough dignity to protect within themselves or others. Indeed, put love in the bowl of your tears.

25. with malice tward none - July 6, 2008

Hey Elena,

Cute haircut! 🙂

26. Joseph G - July 6, 2008

24 Elena

“8 Joseph G. The picketing went very well, both thursday and friday. No body but R. laughed. Isn’t that a common way to buffer?”

Mostly curious if he also showed his teeth.

27. elena - July 6, 2008

Joseph G.

Thursday morning I was there with four signs that said:
How many more boys Dear?
Where did you leave the human?
Second line for idolatry? School for Cult?
For how long in denial?

I brought an old wooden ladder and hammered two of the signs and placed it on the side of the road, another one behind the car which I placed at the very corner turning towards regent way and I was holding one at different times.

The Sheriff came shortly after, told me to move the ladder a few meters and left. Came back shortly after and asked me what the signs said. I explained. He said he had been called many times and that they were saying the signs were defamatory but he did not find them defamatory so I could stay. Then another policeman came in the car with lights on top. He said I could not put any signs on the road, that the roads were the counties and the land, private property so unless I had a friend to put them I had to take away. So I asked what was the public space and the first Sheriff said, from gutter to gutter. So I asked if I put the signs on myself and walk from gutter to gutter can I do so? And the new policeman said yes. They talked with four men from the property for a long time. The President of the FOF, Mr. Mearns, Wayne M. Abraham I couldn’t see, and others who had driven down. Steven D. had driven by and told me I could not sit in the bus stop, it was his property and had called the Sheriff again. Many of the ladies in the ranks drove by. Many members. I drank too much water and my kidneys started hurting badly, I had to leave after three hours. I’ve heard kidneys don’t hurt but mine hurt badly since the surgery.

On Friday, they had parked two cars where I had parked the day before and brought another big trailer and put it on the right side so I parked right next to the gatehouse so that members could see the signs as they turned which I planted inside the car’s trunk with big wooden poles. Mr. Mearns drove down and told me that was Fellowship property and he’d call the Sheriff. The Sheriff took about forty five minutes to get there. I was standing in front of the gatehouse, in the corner with two signs so that I could meet those coming from regent and those from rices crossing and tried to talk to the Sheriff as he arrived but he told me to stay where I was, parked in the side next to the gatehouse, spoke with Mr. Mearns, looked at where my car was parked and explained to Mr. Mearns that I was using the same principle the other three cars were using and he could not ask me to move and that it was freedom of speech, independence day. He walked over to me and told me I was O.K. and left, so I drove my car a little closer to the edge of the turn next to the gatehouse and stayed there for about two hours.

I went again at four thirty on Friday, there was a toast at five thirty and a reception. Hundreds of students drove by. One screamed at me that they weren’t boys, that they were men and that he was one of them. Others looked much concerned. R. laughed. I guess she wasn’t doing the exercise!
Good for her. Many smiled, waved. I made one bad mistake because a lady stopped the traffic coming out of Apollo, asked me what that was all about and I thought she was making fun of me so I said, if you don’t know, Idon’t either. She looked frustrated and said sorry so I understood she was that oblivious of the blog, the boys, everything. I am very sorry with you, whoever you are.

Wayne M. came and took pictures of the signs and me after they realized they couldn’t accomplish anything with the Sheriff. I suppose they’ll sue me eventually. Who knows.

This afternoon someone in a white car with a red line in the front did as though they were going to run me over as I walked alone down the street. They changed their mind. I didn’t move. Just threatening fortunately.

The confrontation was obviously bringing them “down to earth”. I hope some of you in the vicinity feel inspired to do it every so often so that those on the fence can happily fall out knowing life is in the Public Square of towns and cities, were all people can fit.

I will go again and again, for as long as I can. You could come with your own signs and say what you think is worth saying.

28. Renald - July 6, 2008

I happened to catch this post and think/feel/sense it is worth repeating, so yes it is.

Thanks, Lauralupe, for the Carlin passage. ditto Renald.

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.

29. Joseph G - July 6, 2008

26 Elena

Thank you.

30. veronicapoe - July 6, 2008

Bravo!

31. brucelevy - July 6, 2008

You got astral balls Elena.

ltu

32. James Mclemore - July 6, 2008

Elena: No matter what the outcome or results of your actions, either for you or for the FOF, I sincerely salute you.

Renald: Thank you for reposting, and Traveler: Thank you.

The situation described, mirrors very closely the one I presently find myself in. One of the delusions I carried into the situation was a picture of myself as being a patient person.
“As the Sheik says, ‘these people point you to all those things you would rather not see’.”
I found out quickly that my most precious buttons got pushed (which was essentially an evocation of my own pain body) and I would become lost again and again in the situation. Just recently I have been trying to simply be there without that ‘investment’ in the outcome, and with a suspension of judgement. (It became easier to suspend judgement when I realized that judging is not so much something we ‘should’ not do, but learned that it is simply something which I am obviously in no position to do. We know so little about anything.)
It has been almost a year and I am just beginning to try and learn how to just be there, and to try to help them with simple everyday things, and to try and use this mirror that has been given me.

33. William - July 6, 2008

#26 Elena,

You have already documented your own experience in this email. That’s good. Next time have your own video camera to document any threats or harrassment. Fortunately, the police came out so they will have their own reports exonerating you and proving you did nothing illegal (can you get a copy of the police report?). Keep a record of everything that happens, and try to have witnesses around.

34. William - July 6, 2008

And get the message to the media that the FOF tried to suppress free speech on Independence Day.

35. steve lang - July 6, 2008

Elena-

Congratulations! How interesting that Wayne Mo** would bring a camera to document what was sanctioned by the authorities as legal freedom of speech. That other brainwashed follower, Steven “Olive Oil” Damb*** was sounds equally over-protective in his reaction to your presence.

Speaking of olive oil, I don’t know how it is now, but when Steven first opened his oil business, he was using unpaid help (I was one of them) to pick his harvest from the trees that were located on Fellowship property. How did he manage to use Fellowship property to make a private profit?

36. lauralupa - July 6, 2008

Elena – thanks! blessings to you

I was dreaming in my dreaming
Of an aspect bright and fair
And my sleeping it was broken
But my dream it lingered near
In the form of shining valleys
Where the pure air recognized
And my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry
That the people have the power
To redeem the work of fools
Upon the meek the graces shower
It’s decreed the people rule

The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power

Vengeful aspects became suspect
And bending low as if to hear
And the armies ceased advancing
Because the people had their ear
And the shepherds and the soldiers
Lay beneath the stars
Exchanging visions
And laying arms
To waste in the dust
In the form of shining valleys
Where the pure air recognized
And my senses newly opened
I awakened to the cry

The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power

Where there were deserts
I saw fountains
Like cream the waters rise
And we strolled there together
With none to laugh or criticize
And the leopard
And the lamb
Lay together truly bound
I was hoping in my hoping
To recall what I had found
I was dreaming in my dreaming
God knows a purer view
As I surrender to my sleeping
I commit my dream to you

The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power
The people have the power

The power to dream to rule
To wrestle the world from fools
It’s decreed the people rule
It’s decreed the people rule
Listen. I believe everything we dream
Can come to pass through our union
We can turn the world around
We can turn the earth’s revolution

We have the power
People have the power

Patti Smith

37. lauralupa - July 6, 2008

and this one’s for the FoF authoritarian supercreeps that want to shut you up

38. Vinnie the Fish - July 6, 2008

Very cool Elena, not many people would be able to do that alone, admirable! You’re either mental or one strong lil babe. (who was the ‘R’ who laughed? a SHE you said.)

Vera: “even the concept of love has been warped in the fof, an abstract ideal. Just wondering if you learned to idealize it. who do you love? how do you love? where do you love? when do you love? inspired by Quicksilver Messenger Service PS: Being present is really overrated in the fof, it has become the buffer # 1 to keep the conscience shut.”

Not sure what ‘idealize love’ means, but it’s a real thing fo me (ultimately the only real thing), but I learned a lot about it from being in the FOF, that it can be experienced more with the level of presence (lack of identification), and it can flow through attention, with other beings, even strangers. I love many people and (thank Yahweh) many love me. 😉
So the only ‘when’ is ‘when I am receptive to it’.
Just saw a quote on TV ‘The best things in life aren’t things’.

Just from the exercise of looking in another’s eyes when you ‘toast’ you can learn a lot about love, if the heart is able to be a little open, but not from words, from being and doing.

How do I love? Superbly! 😉

39. Richard M. - July 6, 2008

32. steve lang

Steven “Olive Oil” Dumb*ck is smarter than he looks.

40. William - July 6, 2008

26.

What does “white car with red line in the front” mean? Can you describe more precisely – for example, the car’s make? Do you remember anything on the license plate? Can anyone identify this car?

It’s not a big deal, but you do want to document harrassment.

41. lauralupa - July 6, 2008

Vinnie 35

Hi Vin, I have two more questions for you:

What do you expect to learn about love from a cult leader whose principal activity consists in sexually exploiting his followers?

What lessons do you think one learns about love when the persons who used to give you “love energy” while toasting and looking into your eyes stop talking to you because you stopped making teaching payments?

42. jack - July 6, 2008

Elena.
Well done and thank you for doing what I wish I could do alongside of you.
all the best
stay well
Jack xxx

43. ton - July 6, 2008

vinnie, in 35 you write:

“Not sure what ‘idealize love’ means, but it’s a real thing fo me (ultimately the only real thing), but I learned a lot about it from being in the FOF”

of course the lessons of ‘love’ are part of life and living as we know it (and by ‘life’ i don’t mean it in the pejorative sense ala fellowship-think). these lessons didn’t start with the fellowship of friends… as for this warm-blooded, air-breathing existence, the lessons of love started at your mamma’s teat… and just as you started learning the lessons of love and living before your involvement with the fellowship of friends, the lessons continue sans the fellowship of friends… but i understand, since “being in the FOF” is part of your life-experience – and apparently continues to be – it is your frame of reference… ‘to each his own…’ this does not imply that you wouldn’t also learn “a lot about it” (love) if “being in the FOF” were removed from the equation… that is, if you’d never encountered and got tangled up in the fellowship of friends in the first place, or if you chose to close that episode in your life.

you also write:
“Just from the exercise of looking in another’s eyes when you ‘toast’ you can learn a lot about love, if the heart is able to be a little open, but not from words, from being and doing.”

vinnie, this might seem a rhetorical question to some but i’ll ask you anyway: in order to do something that comes quite naturally, why do you need ‘an exercise’ ? and especially from a source (‘the teacher’) which (whom) as you’ve indicated previously, you already consider to be of, shall we say, ‘dubious character’ ?!

i’ll say it again, your statements here make you a shill…
and yes vinnie, words do have meaning.

elena,
thanks to you for not only ‘talking the talk.’

‘A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong
gives it a superficial appearance of being right,
and raises a formidable outcry in defence of custom’
(Thomas Paine ‘Common Sense’)

44. Not Belinda - July 6, 2008

Well done Elena. My thoughts were with you from the North of England – I have only just started reading the blog … left 27 years ago afterbeing asked to direct the Copenhagen Centre … chose not to … met RB many times and lost many friends … Again, well done for doing what you had to do – even if only one student leaves because of your actions, you will have made a difference xxx

45. elena - July 6, 2008

Thank you for all the positive posts. They are surprising and welcome.

Bruce, it is not balls, it is teats and I’m very proud of them small as they are. All I need is to have such big balls that I have to become gay to be with a man!

ltytoo!

46. dandelion - July 6, 2008

over the last few months a group of FOFers would meet in groups to meditate in silence together – the need for some basic esoteric practice after bucket loads of the sequence, was very clear. It didn’t seem contradictory because it was initiated by Mih•i who himself was inspired by the practice of zazen and
Buddhist tradition. For many it seemed like there might bethe possibility of change from within without having to leave- clearly a mistake . When more than 30 people showed up for these practices RB clamped down and told M to keep the numbers no more than 6. Every morning at the townhall, they would meet and meditate together.but again it was too popular for RB and got completely axes. Steven spineless Dumfu*ck called the list of people reported to have OMG sat in silence together.The message was from RB that it was a mistaken path! Priceless! Silent practice apparently is not the way to presence! Thousands of years of spiritual insight across the board were all mistaken! Well I commend Miha• for trying to find fresh air in that stagnant mire. I also hope that this obvious inanity and paranoia and dominating controlling fascist regime to which silence is a threat will shake a few more souls loose as a result of this obvious crap.

47. dandelion - July 6, 2008

few typos ! Oh well- I need some practice!

48. nigel harris price - July 6, 2008

A thought on self-remembering, as it is for me now – remembering that I have a commitment to others’ creative growth, by what I teach. (i.e. not giving up on them, no matter how long it takes them to reach a level of their own achievement)…..Nigel.

49. dandelion - July 6, 2008

Also just as whole Adyashanti ‘virus’ initiated the exodus of many- so will the current David Hawkins surge do the same. Perfect!

50. ouspensky question - July 6, 2008

Elena,
Thank you for demonstration. You make questions come out. The best thing is to open subject of Robert behaviour to questions from inside.

51. Vinnie the Fish - July 6, 2008

Elena you’re so sexy talking about balls all the time!

Stupid questions Laura, why do you live in wherever you live when your prime minister is so corrupt!?

52. elena - July 6, 2008

It’s not balls Vinnie, it’s ballroom dancing!

Many people driving to the meeting this morning. Two more signs, one said: “Life” 4th Way the other one said: Fem. Dom. brackets: Family, friends, life Cult Dominance:brakets: Robert, Robert, Robert.

Steven D. came again and told me the video camera was in his property. I placed it next to the public pole, the yuba foothills sign, the yard sale ad and the traffic sign. He was angry. My legs were shaky! Another guy took pictures of it and the other signs.

Some locals stopped and asked me if I was against the Fellowship. I said yes, they said, that is brave and put their thumbs up. Yesterday too. Blair stopped at the gatehouse for a while, spoke with the gatekeeper, then he met me at the Oregon House Store and asked me if I still had the house here.

There’s the journey forth by day from July 18th to 27th, they say the aim is to have as many followers as possible come to the events. It would be good if others joined the picketing. Please consider it. Maybe a big one that weekend?

53. elena - July 6, 2008

And Vinnie, he might be very corrupt but I bet she’s not voting for him like you are.

You say Robert is such a model of focus but has he ever given you the time for anything else that wasn’t rubbing his ballroom dancing? When did he ever have five minutes for a student without the agenda of making thousands of dollars for it? It’ll be so good to see you in Court Robert Burton, so very good to see you all in court. Where did you ever get the idea that such a tramp without a commitment to anything in life but his own profit can be a model for anything? And the rest of the inner circle in there is no different to him, they are there for their own profit taking advantage of people who have a lot less opportunities than they have. You should be ashamed of yourselves and you will be. Your coolness will turn gray as soon as the pressure gets to you too. All the pressure thousands of students have suffered from you.

54. dandelion - July 6, 2008

Elena
I think its absolutely brilliant what your doing- might I suggest more direct messages on your signs? One of the biggest coverups by thevFOF was the purchasing of fake Italian passports for 3 Russians in a Naples train station by Judith Grace- cost thousands of $$$. Maybe someone can suggest the appropriate slogan?
per

55. dandelion - July 6, 2008

Also just one of Roberts velvet suits cost$20,000 and he bought at least 4 …
slogan anyone?

56. 'I see' said the blind man - July 6, 2008

Elena,
Well done!! Heard from people currently still in that it made an impression seeing you there. You have to be prepared for some intimidation. The people who want to keep the FOF membership isolated and ignorant are threatened and they will try to stop you.
I can’t see any possibility of the FOF proceeding against you for defamation. They would have to openly disprove your allegations, which so far have not been very strong anyway.
Brilliant if you are there during the journey forth week. How about a sign ‘ Where does all the money go? – ASK’ and ‘Is Robert a sexual predator?’ and ‘Ignoring questions = consciousness?’
I really hope some people join you. You are to be applauded. I am sure that if you keep it up there will be some press interest and that will give them the context in which to write about the FOF. Headliners such as ‘Ex-member pickets Church property’. Can’t think of a better way to stimulate openness in the FOF. You will be helping members be more aware of their situation.
Go for it Elena.

57. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 6, 2008

Elena’s picketing may create more blogging and more people curious about the blog so a suggestion would be that maybe others might try and become a little more than just observers.

58. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 6, 2008

Elena, your methods are not something I embrace, however I hope that it makes a difference to some fence sitters and others. However like others I do applaud your efforts and your courage to stand by your convictions!

59. lauralupa - July 6, 2008

47 vinnie
now, that was a slimy answer. BTW, I didn’t wote for him and wouldn’t mind moving to another country these days. But that’s totally besides the point. You actively choose and support your own corrupt leader.

60. veramente - July 6, 2008

Elena, you got courage! : )
Keep activist, pacifist and safe. I hope some of the US residents nearby will join you.

61. veramente - July 6, 2008

47 Vinnie
Stupid questions Laura, why do you live in wherever you live when your prime minister is so corrupt!?
____________________

Vinnie,
how old are you?

62. veramente - July 6, 2008

Actually I do not need to know.

63. veronicapoe - July 6, 2008

Once upon a time, Steven D. was genuinely shocked that some students were violating the no-sex-outside-of-marriage exercise.

64. lauralupa - July 6, 2008

Yes, it would be great if some of the local ex-members came to hang around and show some support, it would be great for Elena, especially when the FoF machos come back to harass her, and also
make the message much more powerful.
And someone should photograph Steven DumbHack for being negative and identified and send him home to work some more on his sequences…

65. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 6, 2008

[audio src="http://www.probablefuture.com/mysteriesofthemind.mp3" /]

Anyone interested this may need a download for Windows Media Player.

66. Richard M. - July 6, 2008

32. steve lange

“Speaking of olive oil, I don’t know how it is now, but when Steven first opened his oil business, he was using unpaid help (I was one of them) to pick his harvest from the trees that were located on Fellowship property. How did he manage to use Fellowship property to make a private profit?”

Here is an interesting quote from the Apollo Olive Oil web site (capital letters added by me for emphasis):

“Steven planted HIS first 600 olive trees in 1979, on steep slopes adjacent to HIS fruit orchard. And, after traveling extensively through the Mediterranean during the 1980’s, he knew he wanted to make olive oil”

So every FOF member who contributed their personal time laboring in the orchard/olive grove at Apollo since 1979, thinking they were working for THEIR church’s orchard and olive grove, were apparently working free for Mr. Dumb**k and HIS for-profit olive oil company. Guess who paid for his extensive travel through the Mediterranean during the 1980s. This certainly poses legal and, at least, ethical questions about personal inurement from a non-profit organization.

By the way, if any olive oilers are reading this, the use of “1980’s” in your text is a grammatical error.

67. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 6, 2008

Vinnie: I would prefer if you reacted to my comment about your immaculate timing, rather than revealing that you still do not understand what it means to be present.

As for saying anything about ‘timing and present’ – what did I say, except that you are present right now. It’s not an ability, it can’t be
trained or harnessed. If you think otherwise (or believe it to be an altered or higher state) then we are talking about different things.

As for ‘being present’, what exactly is it the beginning of and what exactly is it the end of? If your reply is something vague such as the path, or the journey of self-discovery, please be more specific again.

There sure are a lot of things beyond and apart from ‘being present’. I would recommend a book called ‘Toward a psychology of awakening’ by John Welwood, if you have the experiential basis to understand what he is talking about, it is the shit.

68. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 6, 2008

25, 33, 34, 40, 44, 46, 47, 49, 50, 54 and 55 are newly moderated.

Dandelion: Sitting in silence sounds like a good practice. You don’t really need much external support for it. If you are interested, check out:

http://www.interactivebuddha.com/mctb.shtml

Elena: How does it feel?

69. veramente - July 6, 2008

Richard M. # 66

“Steven planted HIS first 600 olive trees in 1979, on steep slopes adjacent to HIS fruit orchard. And, after traveling extensively through the Mediterranean during the 1980’s, he knew he wanted to make olive oil”
————–
This “official” info from the website seems inflated: 1979? by HIS fruit orchard?

70. veramente - July 6, 2008

Dandelion, keep blowing the seeds of information!
: )

71. steve lang - July 7, 2008

It seems to me that those die-hards that are staying in the FOF for life will look at situations such as Elena’s picketing and declare her to be “identified” and “asleep”. Then they will think that this new “persecution” of our “beloved school” can only mean that we are truly are a real school.

I have a question; is why does Robert Burton discard his male sexual victims on such a regular basis? When I lived in Oregon House for a year and a half I saw him with perhaps 3 different male harems. A lot of times there were the same main 2 or 3 guys, but there would always be 3 or 4 new young ones. He does like them young! Can anyone even estimate how many men he’s been with?

72. Rear View Mirror - July 7, 2008

Elena: Those be super-celestial actions.

I was imagining today one of those small airplanes with a trailing banner flying circles over “Apollo” during one of the FOF fund-raising festivities:

FOFDISCUSSION . WORDPRESS . COM

and another plane with…

“Discuss the Fellowship Openly and Freely”

73. elena - July 7, 2008

Thank you all for your very positive response to this action. It could not be more surprising and welcome. I thought you were mostly against it.

Belinda, Dandelion, glad you are here. Do tell us your stories. It is actually what we most enjoy in this camp fire! Not the fighting, but the people who simply reveal our humanity. Please be encouraged. You don’t need to write well to say the truth and it is always as rewarding for the giver.

Ouspensky Question, did the Cult Dominance: Robert, Robert, Robert sign fit your suggestion? If you have any in mind please tell us, any of you. I don’t guarantee that I will use them all because I must be able to respond for them but I can certainly try. That is the problem with Dandelion’s issues on passport’s and suits but if you tell us more verifiable aspects and things they will eventually belong here enough for me to trust that I can use them. All these stories must come out so that we are all more clear about why we this is happening. Each one has his own experience but the common ground is huge.

Laura, that song IS the song this is all about. You do have a talent, thank you for using it; we’ve got to get this right or we’ll never forgive ourselves. Life can’t get this crooked without everyone doing something about it.

Steve, Richard, James, Ton, Jack, Vinnie, Joseph, Veronicapoe, I am deeply grateful for your words.

William, the press is not easy to contact. Sacramento Bee must have been scared off, somehow. Todd does not seem to be able to make a follow up. Any other channels anyone? All those are good and the more they deny, the more they’ll be necessary options but the picketing is actually more consequent with us and the people inside. There are still strong connections and it is not about hurting them it is about helping them, we must be clear about that. The impersonality of press, courts and all that is necessary but coming to the door and knocking is more human, please bear that in mind, and don’t let me ever forget it, even when they frighten me. Come and knock at the door with me without shame and all the love. Love is the only thing that does miracles! With love we’ll get most of them out and the really hard, tough ones, might not be able to rebuild after that, that is what is important. If we stop, they will rebuild with ignorant, innocent people who we can’t get to. I guess the press would help for that.

William, the white car was an older car and it had a red line in the front where the radiator usually is, below it. It put me in a third state immediately because as soon he saw me he just directed it straight at me, I just looked at it, not at the driver or the plate number but I would recognize it if I saw it again. It was all very fast to think about those details. I guess the instinctive center just kept an eye on the car hoping it could jump out at the last minute but the driver turned it away after seeing no reaction and before it was too close to the edge where I was. Of course, it would have been dangerous for him or her too.

Sheik, have I already answered your question about How does it feel? Besides scary and tiring, it just feels right. And it was wonderful to look at the faces of the people I am trying to communicate with. We looked at each other and there is really nothing but concern from both sides, many weren’t judging me, I wasn’t judging them, we are just temporarily standing on different sides. We need to deal with this and deep down they also know it. They’ll be even happier than us when it is all over. If we could really provide jobs and practical help, that would accelerate the process. The more they oppose it the more damages will come, if they could only take it into themselves and resolve it decently, even Robert could be helped.

The real trouble are not even those that need the Fellowship instinctively. The real obstacle is in those who have become addicted to the Fellowship flare. Whose feature has become intertwined with its feature. Who get a kick out of feeling that they have power over so many people. Who think that their vanity or their fear, their dominance or their lunatic, their non-existence or their naivete belongs to it. As long as they cannot transform their own connection to it, they will be unable to leave it. Healing their own vision of humanity and themselves will allow them to understand where the Fellowship of Friend’s Cult, as a second line solution to life was not only not a solution but an abhorrent mistake that we still have time not to die with. Just correcting that mistake will be enough of a solution for a lifetime. If the majority of us understand what we are doing, we’ll be much better off to start anew.

74. elena - July 7, 2008

Seeing man and RVM, I meant to thank you also, your signs are so good, would you remind me what post were the first ones you gave us? I would like to use them, when I’m ready and if I ever am.

There is no fun in doing this, it is just necessary but when it’s over, it’ll be worth it.

75. Associated Press - July 7, 2008

35. steve lang – July 6, 2008:

‘How did he [Steven D*mb*ck] manage to use Fellowship property to make a private profit?’

Answer:
Private inurement.

According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service:

‘Churches and religious organizations, like all exempt organizations under IRC [Internal Revenue Code] 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.’

[Steven D*mb*ck possibly is, or possibly was, a minister of the Fellowship of Friends church. Steven D*mb*ck possibly was the recipient of the gift of real property from the assets of the Fellowship of Friends church. That would be the property where his home now stands. Steven D*mb*ck, according to Elena in her recent account above, possibly claims to own property that belongs to an homeowners’ association and is owned as ‘community property.’ Steven D*mb*ck possibly is, or possibly was, the recipient of favourable, no-bid, business arrangements with the Fellowship of Friends church (likely directed by the head hauncho himself). The Ap*ll* Ol*v* O*l company may be likewise favourably treated. Benefits may extend beyond just the olives – i.e. to other agricultural areas and materials. Steven D*mb*ck possibly is ‘person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization.’ The practices of Steven D*mb*ck and Ap*ll* Ol*v* O*l may be worthy of investigation for exploitation of workers (both legal and illegal workers, as well as possibly using Fellowship of Friends’ religious workers for the benefit of these private interests; both in the past and possibly now.]

‘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.’

[Perhaps Steven D*mb*ck is a charity case. But to single one out in that manner may constitute ‘private benefit.’ And, likely, ‘substantial’ at that.]

– – – – – –

To all:

The lessons of love taught by the Fellowship of Friends are primarily ‘tough love.’ That is what abusers primarily understand and that is why they deliver it upon others.

76. paulshabram - July 7, 2008

Elena,
“Love is the only thing that does miracles! With love we’ll get most of them out and the really hard, tough ones, might not be able to rebuild after that, that is what is important.”

The concern for what you are doing (IMO), sometimes poorly presented, was concern for you, your state, and your safety. Of secondary concern was that the effort would backfire. The reaction you have evoked proves that some of us were giving the FOF heavies more credit than they deserve. The statement you make above is strong evidence of your state and your strength.

I would like to offer a little more advice: The FOF cannot control all of it’s members all the time. Please increase your precautions for your safety. I would further suggest that you make your visits at less predictable times and days.

Good luck.

77. Across the River - July 7, 2008

elena (and all),

I hope in the end there will be a residual value to others from your efforts, Elena. The report I’ve heard is that the largest response so far from those passing past your picket line has been compassion for you, so maybe it’s useful to address this also on the blog.

Maybe it’s good to provide a situation that allows members to exercise compassion, and maybe that in itself will cause some to look deeper, but I don’t believe that’s the purpose of giving those entering and leaving the Fellowship property your protest. Dismissive responses will be spun to keep you and your message at a distance, and I believe it’s far-fetched to expect the miracle of love to be realized through your protest. If something from your action can resonate after they’ve passed by, though, what might it be?

The best hope might be this website. For all its low points along the way, this is still a healing and informative place for those who have travelled beyond the Fellowship, so I hope one of your picket signs will simply be a referral to this website. Maybe the surprise factor of your protest will get some to overcome the other spin about the blog’s ‘negativity’ so they can finally take an honest look for themselves and slowly start de-programming.

Elena, please take care for your safety during these days; it’s hard to know how reactive some people might be to your public exposure of the Fellowship underbelly. I’m glad the Sheriff has reinforced your position. I wish you well.

78. ton - July 7, 2008

elena 73 “the press is not easy to contact. Sacramento Bee must have been scared off, somehow. Todd does not seem to be able to make a follow up. Any other channels anyone?”

below is an email address for marshall kilduff… in order to give some background info i include the letter i sent to him. my letter was sent about a month ago and i have not (yet) received a response… but maybe if he gets more mail from concerned individuals here at the blog, he’ll decide that there is a story ‘worthy’ of his attention (?)

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

mkilduff@sfchronicle.com

79. Not Belinda - July 7, 2008

Elena and others, It takes time to read and absorb all the informaton on this blog … It brings back so many memories of my time in the school- and also, yes some of us are not as good with words. Girard and Barbara were my Centre Direcors at Hall Farm – so I dont even know when that relationshp ended and you came in.

Maybe there is some positive input I can give – especially in verifying that Influence C remains with you after leaving the school … I’ll work on it.

In the meantime, stay safe and well. p.s. I am Linda (Not Belinda because RB changed it to that, as with many other Lindas)

80. ton - July 7, 2008

i’ll state it a little differently — to anyone and all who read this: stop sitting on your thumbs and start tapping your keyboards, it will only take a few minutes and ‘stuffing the ballot box’ at the chronicle might draw some attention, it doesn’t hurt to try… it might help if someone in the area with a digital camera would get their ass to the next picket line and attach photos in their mail to Marshall…

mkilduff@sfchronicle.com

81. Mick Danger - July 7, 2008

31/45
“When they want a broad with balls, they call on me.”
-Bette Davis, American Actress

82. Mick Danger - July 7, 2008

Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness – Happy Birthday USA
“[You will eventually] realize that neither cults, creeds, dogmas, religious ceremonies, lectures, and sermons, on the one hand,
nor, on the other hand, ardent seeking for material welfare or
physical pleasures, can ever bring about real happiness –
but that only selfless love and universal brotherhood can do it.”
M.S. Irani (1932)

83. Vinnie the fish - July 7, 2008

Hi Sheik,

What is your mysterious talk about timing? please reveal…

“…rather than revealing that you still do not understand what it means to be present. As for saying anything about ‘timing and present’ – what did I say, except that you are present right now. It’s not an ability, it can’t be trained or harnessed. If you think otherwise (or believe it to be an altered or higher state) then we are talking about different things.”

About presence, it’s nothing to argue about. I know you’ve only been to the prospective meetings (did you go to all?) so maybe you don’t know the full spiel about ‘states’. But one of the basic ideas that we were supposed to verify in the old days (not sure how these meetings go now though) is that there are several different states or levels of consciousness or awareness – sleep (1st state), awake (2nd) and more awake (3rd). The important thing is to recognise that there are varying degrees of consciousness in the normal waking state.

Just because a person’s eyes are open does not mean he is aware and present. He could be deep in imagination, lost in an ‘internal dialogue’ as Castaneda called it. You can see this in yourself or in other people. Ouspensky said he saw one day that people were the walking dead along a street in Russia, sleep walkers. I’ve also seen this very clearly, but it’s not something to argue about. I’m sure a lot of the folk on this list have also seen it.

So various levels of state (or consciousness) can be experienced, and any aim to be in a higher state of awareness or enlightenment has to include the present – to be more aware and awake and conscious in this moment – to feel and sense more, to be not identified and in imagination, to be internally quiet so the thoughts and feelings flow in natural accordance with the sense impressions.

So what I meant that it starts and ends with presence is that an effort to become more conscious must surely start with being more awake and alert and present? And when it is fully realised, the effort will end with being more fully awake, alert and vitally present. Where else could it be? Where else can the Buddha be?

It is easy and fatuous to say that it is already here, we are already present, there’s nothing to do or try or aim for, everybody is Buddha and blah blah blah… but if you can simply verify the varying degrees of consciousness in yourself at different moments, you might acknowledge that 1. there may be specific internal obstacles to being more conscious, 2. there may be external influences that are conducive to being more conscious, and 3. you might even make aims to work towards consciousness.

I hope that is more clear, I’m not just parroting bullshit, so let me know precisely what is unclear if anything seems erroneous in your mind.

It’s easy to rubbish what you don’t understand so I appreciate your genuine interest. Anyone aspiring to spiritual awakening or enlightenment or whatnot has to first observe and make the basic distinctions between the states of consciousness that he is buried inside every day.

Every ex-student on this list would know from experience about degrees of presence, but you are at a disadvantage. So yes we are talking about different things: for you it means the body is here sitting in a chair. But when you read ‘being present’ or ‘presence’ it refers to a state of non-attachment that contains objective awareness (to some degree) of the present environment, internal and external, which awareness is usually absent but can be here now.

OK now that’s been finally clarified after 20 million words, let’s start this blog again OK!!

84. ton - July 7, 2008

vinnie around 83… personally, i want to say thanks for your continuing interest here… and congratulations, based on what i read in this post, you can now start your very own cult….
do us a favor luv, cut and paste a copy of your 83,
sign it “vinnie the fish, a current member of the fellowship of friends” and email to:

mkilduff@sfchronicle.com

85. lauralupa - July 7, 2008

Vinnie, is there any hope you will actually use your intelligence to answer my questions or are you going to stick to the lame excuse that they are stupid because they come from a land ruled by Berlusconi?

86. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 7, 2008

Vinnie the Fish: Look at those teeth come out. Where is that kind, compassionate, joyous and fun-loving fish now? Were you present when you were writing that reply?

As for timing, you appeared (and took the conversation in a particular direction) right when the focus was at making the documentary, this change in focus has happened here many times before.

As for my prospective meeting, the full account of it can be found at the beginning of this discussion. I am very aware of the theory, from more sources than just the FoF. I believe that I understand the theory fairly well, I did not misunderstand your meaning of the term ‘being awake’ as you so forcefully implied. I was merely pointing out that a slight change of focus may be necessary.

Now, as for explaining myself better, once you come to the conclusion that ‘being awake’ is not a state, it becomes something that you can’t fail to experience all the time – that is what I meant by you being present, you are, you may just not be aware of it, then you struggle to regain something that you already have. It’s kind of a failed quest. It’s not an ability that you develop, it’s something that you focus on – it’s to do with attention rather than practice or training.

There are really interesting accounts of ‘presence’ everywhere, sure, it’s really thoughtful of you to name so many. I gave you just one name and one book, but it could be very useful, as it covers both the ‘unfinished psychological business’ of spiritual seekers (and spiritual communities), spiritual bypassing, links between psychology and spirituality, and hey, presence (in great detail).

OK now that’s been finally clarified after 20 million words, let’s start this blog again OK!!

What exactly did you clarify?

87. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 7, 2008

#83: Vinnie the Fish:

Upon reading this entry it has all the flavor of someone stuck in the Fellowship and the mindset that there is nowhere else that you can learn how to be present but by being a student of the FOF. This saddens me but I am very familiar with the psychology. Vinnie, this is a big lie you are telling yourself which I hope you will figure out for yourself sooner rather than later.

88. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 7, 2008

38/291. 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.

Could it be the pain body? What do you think/feel?

89. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 7, 2008

#83: BTW, if you really like the Fourth Way ‘format’ Eckhart Tolle has a very similar one and it’s free. Just download the New Earth or read the book for under $20. It makes sense that REB does not want people to read or watch Eckhart Tolle. He’s done a lot better job explaining self remembering and how to experience the present moment, and all for under twenty bucks!

And when you’re done with that you can find many other paths that teach presence . Vinnie, bottom line is you’re the one missing out. And the sad thing is many people in the Fellowship have not a clue that they are the ones that have turned into the ‘life people’ by remaining inside the walls of the FOF.

Unless you’re worried your C-Influence Network won’t follow.

90. brucelevy - July 7, 2008

88. Wouldnt You Like To Know

As I mentioned before, the FOF didn’t make Vinnie into Vinnie. He came as Vinnie, feeds as Vinnie, and will leave and continue to feed as Vinnie. RB didn’t make him a sociopath. His sociopathy is his personal gift to the FOF, to add to the shit pile.
People should remember, quite afew who join are already totally fucked up, and the sickness is what attracts certain types. The FOF only helps reinforce their false sense of them being “normal”, when they’re anything but. The FOF has attracted sociopaths from the beginning. The rest of us are “fodder” for the “feeders” while we’re there.

91. elena - July 7, 2008

Thanks Paul, Suzy, With malice towards no one and Veramente. Sorry Richard for naming you, guess I’m tired, but thank you for your other posts too.
Thanks Across the River. There was no compassion but I grant you that some may put up the being sorry for me to diminish me. Why would you allow susceptibility for such poor side? Interestingly enough, the very gay men who have much profited from Robert’s life and who get a little taste of their own of the boys were seriously angry with me and one actually honked and passed very fast and close to me, the second time he passed. Others tried to ignore the signs and me the second time. Others looked deeply into my eyes and we made contact. Some stopped and congratulated me. Others stopped and expressed their respect.
Also Across the River, no one will hurt me without the approval of the inner circle. Anyone doing such a lowly thing would be looking for a quick change in hierarchic position. But nothing will hurt the Fellowship as much as hurting me. If they have any intelligence left, they would try to avoid that. Still, knowing these things I hardly got any sleep from the tension. Some one in the inner circle walked by this road yesterday clearly checking out where I live. This is the last house and they had not come before so I it’s probably the right guess.
Picketing is only part of this very long process that we are in. It is very good because it will give the members time to process where they really are. Once this puppy gets out of our hands no one knows the damages that it will cause and it may won’t be pretty to look at the fate it attracts to many inside. I do not wish anyone any harm but if there are still so many willing to continue to find new members all over the world that will support them knowing all that we know and that they also know, they will be held responsible and that is not in my hands. People’s will drives them to their fate.
Were there anyone sensible enough inside, they would understand that there is a need for dialogue between students and ex-students. Letting things run their course will attract the law of accident to the Fellowship. The more being they have, the less personal damages will come to them. It is not anyone in particular that I am against, it is the Cult that I will continue to fight because it has done TOO MUCH HARM.
As for ex-students, it would be very good for us to understand where we really are. The blog has revealed that there are enough of us that do not agree with everything that is happening in the Cult. My personal long term aim is to add our experience towards a legal reform on what is and is not permitted in Cults and I do not expect you to join me in that concern as much as I would be happy to join you in it. The fact that this same phenomenon is happening in so many other Cults is revolting. Those children in that other cult, yuk! and knowing the process in which all that can take place so easily, must be of some use.
This morning I’ve been thinking we need to ask and answer some questions for our selves, here are some of them. At this point I think it would be very helpful if we state in a clear and concise way where the problems are so that members can look at them. A questionnaire like this signed by many students each in its own realm would allow members to understand and see for themselves where they are also suffering the same conditions. We’ll probably have to divide this questionnaire in sections later on. Once we get into answering the questions we will have to ask people to give more credible names so that members don’t use it to legitimize the practices. That can be handled. Please add as many questions as you think pertinent, when we feel comfortable with them we might each attempt to give our answers and find where we coincide. Eventually we can each give a personal account to the answers. If you have questions to add, please copy the questions and add yours at the top until we feel there are enough. Please feel free to reformulate the questions if you can do it better. This is a first fast attempt, I will continue to work on it when I am less tired.

Many of these answers should be kept in the greater fellowship and records of them made so that one day, someone can tell the story.

Are you a member of the Fellowship of Friends?
Are you an ex-member?
For how many years were you a member?
When did you leave?
Can you give half of your legitmate name?
If not, why not? Those who cannot give half of their legitimate name would have to be discarded from the answers unless they have already been participating on the blog and their nick name is accepted. Basically, members posing as ex-members saying it was all fine and beautiful would not be allowed for the sake of credibility.
According to you:
Is the Fellowship of Friends is a Cult?
Is Robert Burton is a Conscious being?
Are there special privileges of a few in the Fellowship of Friends?
Are the boys more privileged than any one else and more harmed too?
Does the Fellowship of Friends community induce young men to have sex with Robert Burton?
Does Robert Burton present the practice of having sex with him as an act that will help the candidate awaken?
Do you consider your self a homosexual? Have you had sex with Robert Burton?
Do you consider yourself a heterosexual? Have you had sex with Robert Burton?
For how long were you sexually serving Robert Burton?
Over the years have you felt you were set up to do so?
Do you feel you were:
a. Invited?
b. Used?
c. Abused?

d. Raped?
e. All of the above?
f. Other? (explain)
What did you get in return?
a. Money
b. presents
c. favors
d. houses
e. property
f. car
g. trips? How many?
h. Clothes?
If you would add an estimate of the money these amounted to it would give us an idea of how much student money is spent on Robert’s boys.
This questionnaire would disclose a great many things.
How much did you pay in the Fellowship of Friends? Low Estimate, try not to exaggerate.
How much volunteer work did you do?
Were you ever helped economically?
Were you helped emotionally by the inner circle representatives?
Were you helped directly by Robert Burton?
Do you think the Fellowship of Friends is a highly hierarchic institution?
Do you think men have more privileges than women?
Do you think having more close contact with the Teacher in symposiums, wine cellars, trips, etc is a more privileged position for men than women?
Do you think women are
a. mildly
b. violently
undermined in the Fellowship of Friends by the Feminine Dominance ideology which states that any “nomal” values in an average society is something no one wants to be submitted to?
Do you think the ideas behind Feminine Dominance allowed Robert to override member’s sense of values?
Did Robert Burton abuse his power when marriages were dismantled so that he could have personal use of the man involved?
Did Robert Burton abuse power when he tried to have students sign a legal paper on behalf of the Fellowship in their death bed? (Kiran?) Do you know of others?

Do you think the conditions for children in the Fellowship of Friends affect the life of the children positively?
a. Not being able to play inside the Fellowship where their parents invest all their effort, energy, money and love?
b. Being allowed to participate in extremely limited situations?

If you have been a Fellowship child,
Was the experience positive to you?
Were you neglected emotionally?
Intellectually?
Physically?
Do you think your parents invested too much of their lives in the Fellowship of Friends and not enough on your or your families development?
Did your parents talk to you about Fellowship ideology?
Did you think the world would end in 1998 as Robert predicted?
Did you suffer with those ideas?
Were you happy in the Lewis Carroll School?
How was that experience?
Have you been married to one of Robert’s boys?
How often did your husband have to be with him?
How often could he be with you?
Did you feel that your husband undermined your marriage highly influenced by the idea that having to invest himself in his family, you or your children was “Feminine Dominance”?
Do you think the Fellowship experience has alienated you from your family?
Did you reduce the contact with your family once you became a member?
Did you embrace the ideology that families are biological accidents in your life to any extent?
Did you embrace the ideology that life people are sleep? Dead? (As Vinnie clearly expresses in his last post?)
Do you think Robert Burton selected ideas like this one from the System to alienate students from their families and society so that they would become more dependent on him as a guide, and the Fellowship, the Arc in which to invest themselves?
Do you think Robert Burton reduced the Fourth Way System to two basic ideas: self remembering and the non expression of negative emotions plus a lot of ideology that separated people from LIFE, to develop a Cult instead of a School?

92. ton - July 7, 2008

if you want to ‘go pro’ and are thinking about ‘broadcast quality’ you cam spend a ‘shitload’ of money…. but for the purpose of ‘readable’ information gathering, you don’t have to throw 6 or 7 thousand dollars into a camera… ‘imo’ people get hung up on spending a lot of money for ‘qualities’ and ‘features’ they don’t necessarily need. several years ago i bought a ‘respectable’ (new) panasonic ‘3ccd digital video camera’ for under 2000 $… it works great with my ‘imac.’ ‘they’ continue to develop new technologies…. ‘latest/greatest’ for picture quality is ‘high def’ — i like it for some things, on the other hand, i’ve talked to videographers who prefer a more ‘forgiving’ and ‘filmic’ format… do some research, shop around — maybe someone posting here knows specs and can make a recommendation? the important thing is to get something that is compatible with your computer so that you can view, edit and ‘post’ (or otherwise ‘produce’) the information you are collecting with the camera. it may take some ‘homework’ — there’s plenty of info and places to buy online.

i don’t intend to come off as ‘mysterious’ but you’ll find answers to your more personal questions on the blog… it’s all there.

bruce, for some reason laura nyro reminded me of this…

93. brucelevy - July 7, 2008

91 Elena

In reference to the above, and the cars that are semi threatening…

There are, and have always been a few mindless thugs and assholes firmly entrenched in the FOF, usually on salary. Remember, to these people their “cars” are their extensions for their little peepees. and even littler minds, and complete absence of conscience. Just like crack heads. Do not expect them, in an emotional moment (theirs) to question whether they should wait for approval from higher up to threaten you with a vehicle. After all, you pose a threat to their very livelihood (if you call that living).

ltu

94. brucelevy - July 7, 2008

92. ton

And, to some extent, the message is of equal importance to the medium (type of camera). It doesn’t need to project on to a 70mm screen. Just youtube and local media. In this case, I think content is king.

95. brucelevy - July 7, 2008

One possible sign:

Free to discuss…the “family” secrets
https://fofdiscussion.wordpress.com
Tune In…

96. Vena - July 7, 2008

Elena,
First of all congratulations for your courage. I would like to suggest that you try and get the license plate numbers of the cars that are threatening you and give this information to the sheriff.
Good luck.

97. Mick Danger - July 7, 2008

Threatening someone with a moving vehicle may be a form of assault – possibly “with a deadly weapon”. (Cops can fire on vehicles that are threatening them). I’m not a lawyer but maybe someone on the blog is – please advise. Write down license plates and file a complaint.

98. brucelevy - July 7, 2008

96 & 97

Yes, by all means. Metaphorically… smack those fuckers.

99. ton - July 7, 2008

bruce 94 — ya, i agree. in this case, under these circumstances, content ‘trumps’ medium. 95 — as for that ‘mysterious’ non-sequitor in my previous post: “you’ll find answers to your more personal questions on the blog… it’s all there.” (of course it depends on the question….) that was a ‘brain-fart’ on my part… i copied and pasted something intended for email and accidently posted it here…. nevertheless, there is truth in the ‘family secrets’ interpretation.

100. paulshabram - July 7, 2008

What is the “Sequence” and why has it evolved as a technique RB is obsessed with?

On this blog I have heard many references and some descriptive language about the “Sequence”, and the practice of “seeing” messages from the gods in numbers and coincidences, the “six stools” and odd interpretations of art etc. The key description of “Keying” is that it is bewildering. Some of these practices are not new.

What is this all about?

I would like to connect these questions with a more general question that has been asked many times in this blog before: “Why do apparently intelligent people get entrapped in the FOF or other cults?” We have addressed this last question in many different ways and I believe that, to some extent or another, the explanations given are all true, even if they appear contradictory. But the “Sequence” stuff was setting an alarm off in me. There is a mechanism at work here. It is my hope that a discussion will take place about this that is illuminating.

A couple of weeks ago another blogger mentioned “autosuggestion” a technique I played with a lot before joining the FOF some 36 years ago. This triggered a connection. I remember a discussion about a hypnosis technique that could work for people that possess resistance for susceptibility to suggestion and hypnosis. That technique is called the “Confusion Technique”. With the confusion technique, one can render another person susceptible to suggestion by creating confusion and non-resolvable contradictions in the targets mind. I believe much of RB’s methods, including the use of the Fourth Way, utilizes a subtle form of this method. It’s been there all along; his natural sociopathic mind tests various manifestations of the same thing. The best ones get rewarded so they evolve. I am now of the opinion that even “Self Remembering” and “Being Present” can, IN THE WRONG ENVIRONMENT, cause an individual to prepare themselves to be controlled. The statement made by RB years ago was “confusion is a higher state”. IS IT NOW!?

Below I have pasted an excerpt from a link I will put in the next post (so this one doesn’t get “moderated”).

“Confusion techniques are techniques that disrupt the regular pattern of a person’s conscious processing strategy, thereby enabling the development of hypnotic processes. In the therapeutic context, confusion techniques utilize whatever the client is doing to inhibit hypnosis or other therapeutic developments as the basis for inducing those developments. More precisely put, is that such hypnotic techniques are naturalistic communications which disrupt rigid mentally set patterns.

Confusion techniques are based on the following assumptions:
1. There are many automatic and predictable patterns in a person’s behavioral processes, such as the handshake;

2. Disruption of any of these patterns creates a state of uncertainty dominated by undifferentiated arousal (e.g. confusion);

3. Most people strongly dislike the state of uncertainty, and are hence extremely motivated to avoid them;

4. The arousal will increase unless the person can attribute it to something (“this happened because …”);

5. As uncertainty increases, so does the motivation to reduce it;

6. The person who is highly uncertain will typically accept the first viable way by which the uncertainty can be reduced (e.g. suggestions to drop into hypnosis).”

How the Confusion Technique” was discovered:

‘”The birth of Milton H. Erickson’s Confusion Technique: Milton Erickson’s Collected Papers-Volume I-pg. 259

” One windy day as I was on my way to attend that first formal seminar on hypnosis conducted by Clark Hull in 1923 , a man came rushing around the corner of a building and bumped hard against me as I stood bracing myself against the wind. Before he could recover his poise to speak to me, I glanced elaborately at my watch and courteously, as if he had inquired the time of day, I stated “It’s exactly 10 minutes of two,” although it was actually closer to 4:00pm, and I walked on. About a half a block away I turned and saw him still looking at me, undoubtedly still puzzled and bewildered by my remark.”

“I continued on my way to the laboratory and began to puzzle over the total situation and to recall various times I had made similar remarks to my classmates, and acquaintances and the resulting confusion, bewilderment, and feeling of mental eagerness on their part for some comprehensible understanding. Particularly did I recall the occasion on which my physics laboratory mate had told his friends that he intended to do the second (and interesting) part of a coming experiment. I learned of this, and when we collected our experimental material and apparatus and were dividing it up into two separate piles, I told him at the crucial moment quietly but with great intensity, “THAT SPARROW REALLY FLEW TO THE RIGHT, THEN SUDDENLY FLEW LEFT, AND THEN UP, AND I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT.” While he stared blankly at me, I took the equipment for the second part of the experiment and set busily to work with the equipment for the first part of the experiment. Not until the experiment was nearly completed did he break the customary silence that characterized our working together. He asked, “How come I’m doing this part? I wanted to do that part.” To this I replied simply, “It just seemed to work out naturally this way.”’

101. paulshabram - July 7, 2008
102. elena - July 7, 2008

Regarding a film, if you’re still inside and took some footage of all those awful events, lines, all that fake mannerism, the men, the women, disguised in their own imaginary picture trying to be less than they are to fit those impossible paradigms raised by Robert in which human is not good enough, you would get the best footage of the film. They will immediately ban anyone with a camera at this point so hide it in the trees!

Thanks Bruce. I’ll keep it in mind.
Thanks Ton, definitely a professional camera would be my choice for the other documentary. For youtube, others might be enough.

103. brucelevy - July 7, 2008

100

Yeah, confusion technique. If you’ve ever seen stage hypnotists perform the impossible…instantaneous hypnotic induction, it’s using that technique. I’ve seen it done with a couple different methods. It’s very interesting. With some salient implications.

104. paulshabram - July 7, 2008

From above:
“the Confusion Technique is a play on words or communication of some sort that introduces progressively an element of confusion into the question of what is meant, thereby leading to an inhibition of response called for but not allowed to be manifested and hence to an accumulating need to respond”. “The culmination occurs in a final suggestion permitting a ready and easy response satisfying to the subject, and validated by each subject’s own, though perhaps unrecognized on a conscious level, of experiential learnings”.

105. brucelevy - July 7, 2008

100. paulshabram – July 7, 2008

What is the “Sequence” and why has it evolved as a technique RB is obsessed with?

Maybe RB’s thirst to try to create something real, from HIM, like a cul-de-sac leading to a dead end leading to a cliff. My God, he’s such a wanker.

106. paulshabram - July 7, 2008

105
An alternate definition of “Cliff”:

A place that Lemmings jump off of.

107. veronicapoe - July 7, 2008

Interesting that the handshake is mentioned in the passage you quoted respecting “Confusion Technique.” It was part of the arsenal of recruitment techniques employed in the Fellowship to “administer a shock to [the] false personality” of the prospective student by deliberately refusing to take the hand of the prospective student when proffered for a handshake. This technique was employed, as I later learned after falling for it, at R.’s express direction.

108. Yesri Baba - July 7, 2008

“Just because a person’s eyes are open does not mean he is aware and present. He could be deep in imagination, lost in an ‘internal dialogue’ as Castaneda called it. You can see this in yourself or in other people. Ouspensky said he saw one day that people were the walking dead along a street in Russia, sleep walkers. I’ve also seen this very clearly, but it’s not something to argue about. I’m sure a lot of the folk on this list have also seen it.”

Bullshit Vinnie. Pure, unadulterated bullshit.
Is that how Walt Whitman experiened ‘awakening’?

You ARE parroting bullshit. You just don’t know it.
What you wrote is the ‘con’. The ‘sequence’, the emotional ‘refinement’, ‘C-influence’, prophecy, alcohol and sexual addiction are all misdirections for the ‘con’.

It is all a clever guise for sensual and ‘egoic’ expansion or to put it simply in your ‘language’ you are mistaking ‘consciousness’ for ‘functions’.

You will never, ever, ever in a quadtrazillion years be more ‘awake’ than you are right now in this very moment that you are reading this.

It is ironic that someone who has never spent a day in the FOF or paid a dime to it understands the nature of ‘reality’ better than you do.

Having read the Sheik’s response and understanding what both of you wrote I believe this is the case- “…a slight change of focus may be necessary.”

Good luck on your move to a ‘simple feeling of being’ or woe to you on your quest for ‘presence’ power.

109. Vinnie the Fish - July 7, 2008

Wow what a school of piranha you lot are!

“You will never, ever, ever in a quadtrazillion years be more ‘awake’ than you are right now in this very moment that you are reading this.” yesri baba

Great quote, sums up the level of understanding here. Good luck to you.

110. vinnie the fish - July 7, 2008

I suppose it’s my mistake writing with the assumption that people here were some sort of seekers or spiritually inclined, I didn’t realise that is not the case at all. I wonder why you would join something like the FOF, maybe for a sense of belonging to a group that you couldn’t get in normal life? It seems a lot have spent a lot of time in therapy? Learning the labels like ‘sociopath’ and ‘narcissist’ to fling around instead of communicating simply?

Amazing some of you can’t understand the most basic observation, that you can be more or less aware in a moment. If your eyes are shut and your ears are plugged you are less aware of the environment, so simple and undeniable. And if your thoughts are too noisy you don’t hear another person speaking. Isn’t that an occasional experience for anyone? Consciousness is so pure and simple, it doesn’t need any psychological jargon.

Sheik pays for this blog by the way, everyone pays somehow for knowledge. Better if people talk something useful than whining bitterness.

111. paulshabram - July 7, 2008

Vinny The Fish 83

“… but if you can simply verify the varying degrees of consciousness in yourself at different moments, you might acknowledge that 1. there may be specific internal obstacles to being more conscious, 2. there may be external influences that are conducive to being more conscious, and 3. you might even make aims to work towards consciousness.”

Vinny, I have verified the above and I acknowledge everything you wrote in this quote. Speaking simply, however, why do we want to “make aims to work towards consciousness”? What does this really accomplish?

“Ouspensky said he saw one day that people were the walking dead along a street in Russia, sleep walkers. I’ve also seen this very clearly, but it’s not something to argue about. I’m sure a lot of the folk on this list have also seen it.”
It’s true I have felt way this as well, but is it really like that? I remember going through a difficult explanation with someone who looked like “there was nothing there”. But I was wrong. When I was finished, not only was she there, she was way ahead and profoundly so. I let my judgmental thoughts take command of my judgment.

Shouldn’t the “Observer” be non-judgmental? Ouspensky didn’t know if those people were “dead”, asleep, or “fully awake” and neither do you.

112. ton - July 7, 2008

110 vinnie this quote taken from your post is a good example of
‘projection’ — if you’ll excuse the ‘jargon.’ (a suggestion — research jung and post your findings on the blog). in your post you said: “I wonder why you would join something like the FOF, maybe for a sense of belonging to a group that you couldn’t get in normal life?”

what you dismiss as “psychological jargon” is something you do not understand… how old did you say you were? nevermind. ‘speaking’ of ‘bad trance’ see the quote below…

Paul 100 i want to respond to your post later…. it reminded me of ‘neuro-linguistic-programming’ (to use the ‘jargon’). deals with the power of the spoken and unspoken word, ‘implanting’ ideas… ‘framing’ or structuring suggestion and the whole notion of ‘hypnosis.’ it’s something i’ve been interested in for a number of years now… will post something more later, but for now and regarding ‘cognitive dissonance’ (or confusion) as a tool for mind control:

“Richard Bandler (a computer scientist) and John Grinder (an associate professor in linguistics) developed NLP in the 1970’s. NLP was created after they spent time studying and modelling therapists who were considered to be extremely effective at getting good results. One of these therapists, was the Psychiatrist Milton Erickson. He was also an extremely talented hypnotherapist. Erikson’s style of indirect hypnotic suggestion and skilled use of ambigous and vague language patterns, has become known as Ericksonian hypnosis.

Since NLP was developed after modelling Erickson, many NLP techniques involve Ericksonian hypnotic approaches. Like more traditional hypnotherapy, NLP works with the unconscious part of the mind in order to find solutions to problems. NLP therapists are also trained in using Milton Model language patterns in order to induce light trance states in clients. This is very useful at getting a problem moving when a person is stuck in a bad trance. Other hypnotic techniques that are common to NLP include metaphorical story telling and utilising the client’s imagination in order to bring about a highly focused state of attention during change techniques – a trance state.

How do NLP and Hypnotherapy Differ? You will find that they are more similar then they are different. During hypnotherapy you are much more likely to be seated in a comfy chair, perhaps reclining with your eyes closed! During NLP you often get more involved with the techniques on a practical level, so you may be standing, or be required to do or say certain things related to overcoming your problem. You may still get to close you eyes and you will certainly get to use your imagination. NLP techniques utilise hypnotic elements but usually in a more subtle way, the NLP therapist will empower you to draw on resources you already have in order to bring about new options in thinking.

113. Rear View Mirror - July 8, 2008

Amazing. The poster calling himself Vinnie (110) is here defending a man who likes to manipulate his cult followers into sexual relations… hundreds and hundreds of times over a period of many years. Lies, deceit, obfuscation, and manipulation are the “essence” of this cult; and yet Vinnie is defending it?

To borrow from a recent comment by one of the U.S. presidential candidates, I doubt that anyone here will be lectured about not being “seekers or spiritually inclined.”

And… I still find it interesting how he shows up here (and others) whenever the topics become uncomfortable for Burton, the FOF, Apollo Olive Oil, etc.

114. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 8, 2008

109, 110 Vinnie

Yes, that line from Yesri strikes me as absurd as well, in its attempt to declare an absolute truth for everyone, and also because in my experience it’s just not true. And I also don’t disagree with some of the basic principles you’ve regurgitated from Ouspensky. But I also think you’re missing something, Vinnie.

How seriously, if at all, have you asked yourself why so many people have come through the FOF, including many who have spent decades trying as hard as they can to do what they’ve been taught, and have so little to show for it? You can tell yourself “Well, I don’t know about you, JAVOH, but I have plenty to show for it. I’m more present more often.” But be honest with yourself. If you’ve been doing the FOF thing for a long time, you must be disappointed, or else your hopes and expectations were minimal to begin with. The highest school on earth, led by the highest being since Jesus, and after 38 years all it has to show for itself is a handful of gaudy buildings and its dwindling membership sipping wine while they try to be present and look into each other’s eyes? Are you so sure that’s all there is? If you don’t feel you’re qualified to “see the higher” in KY Jellyman, is Gerard your idea of proof of the FOF’s methods’ value? Is that what you aspire to? Do you really believe that you can just separate RB’s personal behavior from the value of his teaching? Can you really take RB’s “keying” or the “Sequence” seriously? Are you now paying the FOF just to see how much progress you can make while disregarding more and more of what the highest being since Jesus teaches? Just because many teachers are deeply flawed human beings doesn’t mean the FOF teaching is all you need to know and practice.

You speak of the fundamentals of being present, but while Gurdjieff and Ouspensky may have understood much more than was written in a few books, what’s in the books, and what’s been taught in the FOF, is very elementary and incomplete when it comes to being present–just keep trying to be present and the rest will take care of itself. Does it really? Admit it, if you can–it doesn’t work very well. Are you content to spend decades at it and find yourself lying on your deathbed and telling yourself that you’re ready to die because you can be present for thirty seconds at a time? I wasn’t. If you want to speak of people keeping their ears and eyes shut, spend a few hours reading Mahamudra, by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, and then consider who’s keeping who’s eyes shut. If you’re as clever as I think you are, I’ll bet you a nickel you’ll be saying “I can’t believe no one in the FOF–let alone ‘The Teacher’–knows any of this stuff.”

115. Yesri Baba - July 8, 2008

“Ouspensky said he saw one day that people were the walking dead along a street in Russia, sleep walkers. I’ve also seen this very clearly, but it’s not something to argue about. I’m sure a lot of the folk on this list have also seen it.”
It’s true I have felt way this as well, but is it really like that? I remember going through a difficult explanation with someone who looked like “there was nothing there”. But I was wrong. When I was finished, not only was she there, she was way ahead and profoundly so. I let my judgmental thoughts take command of my judgment.

———————————————————

She must have been very patient Paul.

116. veramente - July 8, 2008

Vinnie,
you said:

“About presence, it’s nothing to argue about. I know you’ve only been to the prospective meetings (did you go to all?) so maybe you don’t know the full spiel about ’states’. But one of the basic ideas that we were supposed to verify in the old days (not sure how these meetings go now though) is that there are several different states or levels of consciousness or awareness – sleep (1st state), awake (2nd) and more awake (3rd). The important thing is to recognise that there are varying degrees of consciousness in the normal waking state.” …etc…
—-
Vinnie, what you say reminds me of the old days when I had a formula for awakening but I was not going anywhere except against myself.

117. paulshabram - July 8, 2008

115 She must have been very patient Paul.

Yes siree and a lot smarter.

118. elena - July 8, 2008

What is clear after picketing and a year of this blog is that the whole story must be told. Everyone involved must know everything that happened. If that need were not there, people who left twenty years ago would not be lingering around here. A great deal of it is still hidden. For example, no one has stated on this blog that particular women were asked to give up their children. That was the real beginning of this horror story. It must be known because it was those same women that then kept quiet for years and years. There is no blame to these women, but they must come to understand what happened to them and how they then reflected their suffering into what they thought they could demand from other members. The Fellowship of Friends that I know is a creepy place in which too many stories are kept silent so that the show can go on. They are dying in their silence and are letting others die in it. Spiritually, emotionally and intelectually. The show must end because these people intend to submit new members to the same losses they went through. They expect new students to give up the same things they gave up to belong to the inner circle. Not the same children but the same dignity, the same feeling of integrity, the same humanity. They made a terrible mistake when they allowed Robert to talk them into such things and they continue to talk younger members into similar things. They froze emotionally and these “silence of the lambs” that characterizes the Fellowship is its most deadly weapon. Please help yourself and talk. Your suffering is our suffering. We have lived with it, shared it for years, that is why there is no joy in the Fellowship; just duty. You inside, must free yourselves and stop submitting others to the neglect that you have been submitted, year after year, by Robert and by others in his circle. You are hurting young people with your practices like you were hurt when you were young. Every single play I lived in the Fellowship with Dorothy, Heather, Girard, Eileen, and each one of you is the story of neglect and lack of simple human love for each other. You had no love for Girard but you didn’t have any love for your old people, or your young people or yourselves either, just circles of idolatry from your immediate followers for cheap emotionality. Made up behavior. There is no reason for that, you are worth more than that. I’m talking about you older students hiding in positions of power. Girard’s younger followers are a different story, they are starving for recognition and they get some of it from him, but there is no healthy dialogue, just more and more dogma. Why are you and we out here allowing a whole new generation of people fall into this horror? What for? How much unnecessary suffering is necessary for people to deal with real suffering and stop buffering it? Buffering it and making others go through similar experiences so that your own play looks legitimate, will not only not heal your play, but prolong it and make it worse for the rest of the people involved for years and years.
All those of you hanging from the branches need to look at the trunk to understand the rigidity of Fellowship life, the sickness within it. The few healthy people inside, and there are a few, are not enough to counteract Robert and the rest of the inner circle, or the structure of behavior. You support it without healing it, it will make you become like them as you close your eyes to the men that are brought in and all the people that are not helped. You young people are pawns in a deadly game but you, like many of us, think you are heroes that can heal it. You can’t heal it because you’re sucking on crime.

119. Yesri Baba - July 8, 2008

114 JAVOH

I’m quite confused. In a post a ways back you said you ‘experienced’ a ‘higher state’ and you realised that you had always been in that ‘state’.

How do you suppose that it is only retroactive. How can it not be right now and always.

Maybe you can diffuse my confusion.

120. Rear View Mirror - July 8, 2008

Countless meetings on the topic of “acts” in the Fellowship of Friends — as though it were the Voice of Objectivity Itself that discussed this idea in relation to individuals, or in relation to the lowly “life people.” Everyone talks / talked about acts and how they take us from the present, lead us to imagination, and prevent us from observing ourselves and remembering ourselves, and prevent us from awakening.

Was there ever a meeting that discussed the idea that the entire Fellowship of Friends… is an act? That Robert Burton’s entire teaching is an act? That it’s a marketing tool, a political strategy, simply an attempt to hook people and persuade people

Just an act.

———

The following is part commentary and part rambling prose or poem…

But whatever it is, I’d like to know… Was the topic of “kindness” ever a meeting topic?

Not kindness to reach one’s objectives. Not “kindness” to get what we want out of people for our “aims.” Not “external consideration.”

But just plain kindness.

Or do we talk about kindness as feminine dominance, mechanical goodness, and a passive feature. That nothing could get done with it. No bridges built. No wars fought. No leadership.

But kindness, which by the way is one of the noble and wise traits of the King of Hearts — if the King of Hearts exists at all — is masculine just as it is feminine. There is nothing that shows leadership, strength, and love more than kindness. There is power in it to heal, and to change things, and to help others see that anything is possible for those who believe in themselves, and for those who choose to believe that the universe is a good place. And that our lives have meaning, and that it is just as much “imagination” to imagine a bad thing as it is “imagination” to imagine a good one. And that we can choose to imagine something good, and to actualize it. To make it real. To touch the heavens that way. And truly to do while keeping our feet firmly planted on the earth.

Imagine leaving the Fellowship behind. Imagine, as someone said above, that the angels are with you. Here, there, in, out, wherever you are. Imagine that you are safe. And that you are strong beyond imagination.

Someone once wrote:

“Imagination is a powerful thing. Imagine something can’t be done; and it won’t be done. Imagine something can be done, and it will be done.”

Someone tell me who said this, and why he didn’t say it more often. Was it because it reminded people that they can imagine a beautiful, creative, and productive life away from the Fellowship?

That is kindness. To help people believe in themselves. To see that they have strength and can create something beautiful and meaningful in their lives. And not only to believe it, to know it, and see that it will be.

121. paulshabram - July 8, 2008

112 Ton

If you have fooled with this stuff I wonder if you get to the same place as I do:

When I was a teenager one of my older brothers was performing magic shows which included “mind reading” etc. A younger brother and I started messing with self hypnosis to numb parts of our hands, legs or arms so we could stick needles through them. It was great fun to freak people out. I used it every night so I could sleep only four hours and not feel tired. i was always struck by the amount of energy I had to expend to “relax”. I never got into drugs mostly because I really came to value my natural awareness, and I could produce euphoria etc. by hypnosis (except it was completely controllable). It was a more practical psychedelic experience and it was both legal and free.

The FOF experience, began with a “shock” administered, similar to what veronicapoe (107) recounts, ostensibly to produce the “Third State”. Even though I was familiar with stage magic and hypnosis, including the “confusion technique”, I didn’t recognize this parlor trick until now. Is that because I’m stupid? Is it because it was so sincerely performed? Was it so effective that it has taken this blog and 36 years to wear off? All of the above I suspect.

The effort of being “present” is so very much like the preparation for self hypnosis. Guess what!

There is no question that experiencing “higher states” comes with adrenaline rush, endorphins release, and a host of other biophysical responses. Why are these states “higher”? Are they really increased awareness or are they really focused awareness? They feel spiritual, but are they really? Internally generated “peyote” maybe?

All of us here practiced Self Remembering, self observation, etc. I suspect we all induced what we called “Higher Centers”. But were we more aware in these states of anything outside ourselves and our immediate surroundings? Did we feel awareness the suffering, the joy, the sorrow, the pain, the pleasure, the hope, or the hopelessness of six billion other people? Of anyone or anything except ourselves. Is this really a “higher” state?

Why do we seek enlightenment? Is it to feel superior? To be chosen by the gods? To make ourselves feel better than we already feel? Why? … You may ask “Why ask Why?” Because we are complete idiots if we don’t.

122. vinnie the fish - July 8, 2008

Rear View Mirror – ‘But just plain kindness.’
I once read a review of a prospective meeting, a bit like Sheik’s original, that described the members as having a ‘kinder than thou’ attitude. Was fairly apt I thought, and good reminder to just be true to yourself.

Sorry to jump to conclusions you’re obviously not all complete materialists after leaving.

Paul, my point of wanting to being more conscious is to be more happy, peaceful and understanding basically (apart from the slight off chance that it might be necessary to create a soul (who knows?)).
And yes you’re right the observer is non-judgemental and objective in some states I reckon.

123. lauralupa - July 8, 2008

paulsabraham 100

What you wrote reminds me of something I posted a number of pages back. Since you are familiar with hypnotic techniques I’d love to know what you think of it:

The following was originally posted by Mi ritorni in mente on the Italian blog. Since I am not familiar with hypnosis I hope I didn’t stray too far when translating the various phases.

“I extracted from the transcript of Troy Buzbee’s lawsuit the sequence of phrases used by Robert Burton to convince young Troy to have sex with him. While reading, one has to keep in mind the very strong devotion – we can call it veneration – that the Fellowship of Friends promotes in its adepts, even more so in someone as young as Troy (who was 17 at the time).

“I am an angel in a man’s body” – Robert states his divine nature to reinforce it.

“Influence C wishes you to be close with me” – Divine command.

“Your soul is not your body” – dissociation and disorientation.

“The angels wish for you to be with me” – Divine command.

“The angels want you to disrobe” – Divine command, repetition.

“I am an angel, a goddess in a man’s body.” – Reinforces, repetition.

“I promise you I am an angel in a man’s body.” – Reinforces, repetition.

“You have to remember that I did not write the play about Robert Burton.” – dissociation

(kiss on the forehead, the seat of the soul) – how does Troy feel?

“Separate from your body and just let go” – Divine will speaks to you and directly instructs you.

“Your body will soon decay while your soul is immortal” – induction of hypnotic state.

“I will talk to you after you die using the same (soft) voice I use in this moment” – hypnotic trance.

I believe that Robert Burton is a talented hypnotists, and that his form of abuse is not simple. I was particularly impressed by the last sentence: “I will talk to you after you die using the same (soft) voice I use now ” and I almost see him, as he says this.
He is lying, just as he does in other moments and situations, but this is not just any lie. He is pulling a man (and a very young one) into a super-human situation, he is making him believe to be with God, with a fatherly and benevolent superhuman entity that will remain next to his soul even after physical death. I can see him, and beyond his angelic appearance I see a reptile, that has captured its prey. I believe that Robert Burton is a hypnotizer, a black magician. I am sincerely sorry that he has managed to drag so many beautiful persons in an objective web of complicity for his sordid actions. I ask myself if and when Robert Burton will be stopped.”

The scene is creepy beyond words… Grazie Mi ritorni in mente!
An interesting excerpt on the subject of hypnosis as used in Scientology:

http://www.religio.de/atack/impla.html

124. lauralupa - July 8, 2008

and here is the lawsuit’s transcript section in full:

Commencing in December 1986, Burton, would have “teaching dinners” during which he would ply Troy with alcoholic beverages. After one particular such meal in December 1986, Burton instructed Troy to come to Burton’s room and to shut and lock the door. Burton told Troy that
Burton was “an angel in a man’s body”, and the gods wished for Troy to be close to Burton. Defendant Burton then held in an embrace.
Defendant Burton said, “influence C wishes you to be close with me. “He repeatedly assured Troy that his “soul was not (his) body, and that the angels wished for (Troy) to be with (Burton).” Burton explicitly told Troy that the “angels” wanted Troy to disrobe, and the “angels” wanted Troy to submit to Burton’s sexual advances because Burton himself was an “angel”, a goddess in a man’s body.”
Burton said to Troy, “I promise you I am an angel in a man’s body.” “You have to remember that I did not write the play about Robert Burton.” Burton would kiss Troy on the forehead which he said represented the seat of the soul and then instruct Troy to “separate” from his body and just “let go”. Burton reminded Troy that Troy’s body would soon decay while his soul was immortal.
Burton told Troy that he would talk to him after he died using the same soft voice he used at the time. Burton explained that for him the interaction with Troy went beyond conventional sex and into “supersex”, which was a method characterological evolution.
Defendant Burton stated, “My sexuality is on the level of Super-Sex.” From December ‘86–April ‘94, Troy submitted to Burton’s demands, which were: Drop out of college, provide Burton with sexual favors and provide hour long massages after Burton had been sexually serviced.

from:
http://fellowshipoffriends.wikispaces.com/buzbee

125. lauralupa - July 8, 2008

the love guru alright

126. Ill Never Tell - July 8, 2008

Elena,

You might consider getting a firearm, assuming you have not one already, with all the appropriate wait period and licensing, and carry it in a non-concealed fashion. If asked, it is for personal protection, as you have been threatened with serious bodily injury by a deadly weapon. An automobile is a deadly weapon when used to threaten bodily injury upon a person. That type of action, initiated by the perpetrator first, justifies an equal and similar action by the one threatened. That is, and I am not a lawyer, you could really be justified in shooting, with intent to kill, such a person threatening you with their deadly weapon.

That should create a third state in one of those dingbats that try to use the car they are driving in a threatening manner. I suggest you fire one warning shot, intentionally missing their person, first, before you shoot them. Many people know that you have vision problems, so they can expect you to be a loose cannon.

Eventually, when word gets around about this, your mere presence would be enough to put them in a feminine dominance stupor.

Make sure that you only use the weapon in a defensive manner and
when provoked by deadly force being brought upon you.

127. brucelevy - July 8, 2008

126. Ill Never Tell
While you may be right according to the letter of the law (and you might not be), let’s not get crazy.

128. Draco - July 8, 2008

126. Firearms. Yuk, very bad advice, INT, and you’ve now given the FOF an excuse to treat Elena’s protests more seriously. There are no firearms at the gatehouse, but possibly at the Galleria, and they have a crossbow for shooting deer.

129. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 8, 2008

I’ll Never Tell: Strange advice, how do you think that a firearm will make Elena more safe?

Vinnie: How much you changed from that first post days ago to the ones today – your tone, level of defensiveness and aggression. What do you think about the importance of consistency? Do you think that you may be undermining your own cause?

Paul, my point of wanting to being more conscious is to be more happy, peaceful and understanding basically (apart from the slight off chance that it might be necessary to create a soul (who knows?)).

Wheew, heavy unloading right there. Happiness is elusive (is it not just a state?), peacefulness is something that requires more work than ‘being present’ (the kind of work I was talking about before, really, read that book) and understanding? Understanding of what? Understanding of whether you require to create a soul for yourself to survive your own death? I wonder what kind of experiential basis you have for this claim.

What kind of effect do you think telling someone that they are food for the moon has, what kind of reason may there be for saying this to someone?

As for meditation, the form of meditation which you mentioned (which I presume you have no working experience of) is nothing less and nothing more than concentration practice, it will mean that you can use yourself, as well as your focus and attention, more effectively. You can for example use this more acute power of concentration to identify which facets of your character prevent you from being fully happy, peaceful and understanding. If your eyes and ears are shut, you are more aware of the internal environment because there are less areas of focus for you to be sidetracked by.

You know, there is a reason why all these techniques are being practiced. How will you know ‘what gets the job done’ until you try it yourself?

Amazing some of you can’t understand the most basic observation, that you can be more or less aware in a moment. If your eyes are shut and your ears are plugged you are less aware of the environment, so simple and undeniable. And if your thoughts are too noisy you don’t hear another person speaking. Isn’t that an occasional experience for anyone? Consciousness is so pure and simple, it doesn’t need any psychological jargon.

You are making the same mistake you made with me, everyone understands the basic observation (yet it is not only an observation, it is also a judgment of an observation) but they communicate on a level that you don’t ‘get’ because you may lack the experiential, theoretical, or intellectual understanding. Maybe, you are just not paying attention. I am not purposefully trying to be condescending or pushing your buttons, this really is how you come across.

There are many ideas here that I find incredibly interesting – such as the discussion about hypnosis and NLP, as it is revolving around the possibility of ‘higher states’ not being higher at all, rather them being a reaction of the body and mind to a particular stimulus. If this is true, by ‘being present’ as the FoF understands it, you are not outgrowing the conditioned organism at all.

130. Ill Never Tell - July 8, 2008

Hey folks. I am not really into this firearms thing. Nor am I serious in my recommendation(s) to Elena. But, now that it has been said, readers of this blog now will not know just how much of this advice was, or was not, acted upon by her, or anyone else that has been, or might be, threatened with bodily harm by the Fellowship of Friends and/or its members, in the manner Elena described, or in many other manners that they certainly could use to intimidate people. It’s called the ‘walk softly but carry a big stick doctrine.’

Like I said earlier:
Eventually, when word gets around about this, your mere presence would be enough to put them in a feminine dominance stupor.

The Fellowship of Friends, contrary to the image they would like to portray in regards to non-violence, is really a very violent crowd, and a very insidious type of violence of an emotional, psychological, spiritual, sexual, etc., nature – just implement it in a gentle fashion, dears. Possibly even more harmful than a gun shot wound. Nobody should be naive about the FoF hidden agenda and its on-going use of weapons (and they have them). There are real body guards to protect you-know-who; and they’re packin’.

131. Mick Danger - July 8, 2008

Guns generally create more problems than they solve.
That’s why I only have three.
Maybe bandoleers would be more fashionable.

132. nigel harris price - July 8, 2008

Seem to be two aspects of thought going on in the blog at the moment – the reaction to Elena’s picketing and how Higher States can be achieved and their worthiness to the Individual and the World in which He/She comes into contact. As to Elena – you are taking a huge but positive risk with your actions – just keep ‘pounding on the door’ and go for that lawsuit against REB and the FOF. Yes, Higher States are worth achieving and show the Absolute Necessity to ’embrace the moment’. When I go into ‘states of hypo-mania’ and beyond, I experience all the chemical reactions that Paulsabraham described in a previous blog and the meaningfulness of ‘la condition humaine’. Higher States and being in the moment come in waves (from about mid-thirties age – mine came at age 33, on All Hallows’ Eve/All Souls’ Day and fully matured into what I could make useful to all those with whom I come into contact about two months’ back – mid-May 2008) and the value of them is that you produce something that is resolute and unafraid of death and, in that way, can make a decision’ at that point. Whitman said something like “The merest blade of grass shows that there is really no death or, that if there were, it would lead forth into new life”. Nigel.

133. elena - July 8, 2008

No firearms.
As I’ve said consistently here, I am not after hurting anyone personally but about stopping the harm that is being done by the Fellowship.
Here is a portion of the questions I would like to carry out. It seems to me that the blog, useful as it has been and will continue to be, is not enough. At this point it seems we need to get enough data about the Fellowship that will put in one document the real damages. We have no precise figures of the losses in all areas.

There are hundreds of people here whose story has not been told. You are no longer in the Fellowship of Friends. Your story matters.

Please use the following questions and the ones on post 39/91 to help you define the area of your story. Ask other questions that you find more relevant and tell us about your process.

Even if the questions seem obvious and stupid to some of us, they are not even considered by present members. They will make a difference.

134. Vinnie the fish - July 8, 2008

Sheik, I haven’t changed since my first post on his blog ages ago, especially not since last week! You read into typed words such things as aggression, defensiveness etc. I don’t have a cause so there is nothing to undermine. It’s just a sometimes interesting discussion for me, but more often useless waffle.

You assume and presume too much that is not real. I would never say ‘food for the moon’, how ridiculous you would suggest that. Try to focus and be precise, my words are mine, no-one else’s.

I’m glad you acknowledge the existence of ‘different states of awareness’ or ‘consciousness’ now, that is some progress.
(Thanks Paul for shepherding the flock in the direction of truth).

Now the next simple questions to address are whether some states are ‘higher’ or ‘better’ than others, and whether it is worthwhile to try to be in such states more, or to pooh-pooh the whole area and just read books about it and throw around big words to sound clever.

135. veramente - July 8, 2008

INT, Elena, everyone,
it’s good to stay focused, but I am weary about talking about guns and violence.
Yes, the fof has a very insidious type of violence, I agree, but we do not want to escalate this thing while Elena goes out there alone with signs.

I am sure AG is reading, Steven Dam..k and his Apollo Olive oil co, are reading and a host of other people. BTW, read and digest!

136. elena - July 8, 2008

Personal Questions:

If you didn’t have to give your name, would you answer this questionnaire?
A name is required eventually for the purpose of research and credibility but if it were guaranteed in writing to you that your name will never be exposed would you be willing to give it at some later point? Either way, your story is valuable, it will help us all understand what happened.

What is your relation to the FOF?

What dates did you join and leave the FOF?

When did you leave?

While in the Fellowship,
How many times have you married?

How many children have you had?

Did you work on salary? For how long? Monthly payment?

If you worked on salary, what was your job?

Did you volunteer? For how long? Monthly payment?

If you had a job out of the Fellowship, what was your monthly donation and extras?

Please give a rough amount of the total of your payments to the FOF. (Please try to not exaggerate.)

Questions about the Fellowship of Friends Cult.

When you joined the Fellowship did you think it was a School of Consciousness?

Did you think a Conscious being was leading it?

What expectations did you have?

What did you hope it would give you?

Had you studied the Fourth Way System?

What attracted you to stay after the prospective meetings?

What exercises did you find useful?

For how long did the Fellowship help you personally?

Would you say that the idea that California would fall and there would be a World War in 2006, “hook” you to stay in the Fellowship, just in case?

Were you valued by the people around you?

Were you helped in different ways?

Were you able to return your experiences and personal work to the community?

Did these change over time?
In what year?

Does the Fellowship function with the idea that you must work on yourself and only yourself?

Do you think the System is only about first line of work?

Why do you think the Fellowship developed only first and third line of work?

Did you think Robert’s behavior was special?

Did you spend time with him?

Did he direct your work?

Was he elusive?

Did you feel he was honest?

Would you have wanted him to work closely with you?

Would you say he valued you as a human being?

Would you say he gave you what you were paying for?

Would you say he is a “loving” person?

A “lovable” person?

If he wasn’t the kind of teacher you would have liked him to be what did you tell yourself?

That he was too busy to pay attention to you?

That you should not be expecting a conscious being to give you attention?

That you had to separate from the ‘I’s that wanted more attention?

That you were not good enough to deserve his attention?

Did you write letters to him?

Did you receive considerate answers?

Did you feel he cared about your questions?

Many of the questions here seem futile for ex-members but it would be good for members to consider them. It’s a work in progress that will get properly refined. Your input is welcome.

Questions on Women
Do you think women are
a. mildly
b. violently
undermined in the Fellowship of Friends by the Feminine Dominance ideology which states that any “nomal” values in an average society are not to be submitted to?

Were you ever asked to give up your children?

When did you find out that some women had given up their children in the Fellowship?

Were your children allowed to develop freely inside Isis, Renaissance?

Did you feel your children were in your way to participate in Fellowship life?

Did you find it ‘normal’ to have to leave your children behind to participate in the School that you supported, worked in voluntarily or on salary, loved?

How did you work with the idea of feminine dominance?
Was your husband influenced by this idea to avoid commitments to the marriage and family?

Do you think your husband developed healthily under Robert Burton’s influence?

How did you work with the idea of families being biological accidents?

Did you share Robert’s predictions with your children?

Did you speak to them about the ideas current in the Fellowship?

Did you think non-members were sleep? Dead?

Did you transmit those feelings and attitudes to your children?

Looking back, could you share how this has affected them over time?

Did your children love the Fellowship of Friends?

Have you been married to one of Robert’s boys?

How often did your husband have to be with him?
How often could he be with you?

Questions on men
Are there special privileges of a few in the Fellowship of Friends?
Are the boys more privileged than any one else and more harmed too?

Does the Fellowship of Friends community induce young men to have sex with Robert Burton?

Does Robert Burton present the practice of having sex with him as an act that will help the candidate awaken?

Do you consider yourself a homosexual? Have you had sex with Robert Burton?

Do you consider yourself a heterosexual? Have you had sex with Robert Burton?

For how long were you sexually serving Robert Burton?

Over the years, have you felt you were set up to do so?
Do you feel you were:
a. Invited?
b. Used?
c. Abused?
d. Raped?
e. All of the above?
f. Other? (explain)
What did you get in return?
a. Money
b. presents
c. favors
d. houses
e. property
f. car
g. trips? How many?
h. Clothes?

Did you feel comfortable having Robert Burton decide every aspect of the community you belonged to?

How did you relate to Robert’s boys if you weren’t one of them?
Did you wonder why Robert had not shown interest for you?

How was your masculinity affected by having to behave like a “king of hearts” at all times?

Would you say the exercise to not express negative emotions diminish your ability to protest what you did not agree with?

Questions on children
Do you think the conditions for children in the Fellowship of Friends affect the life of the children positively?
a. Not being able to play inside the Fellowship where their parents invest all their effort, energy, money and love?
b. Being allowed to participate in extremely limited and controlled situations?

If you have been a Fellowship child,
Was the experience positive to you?

Were you neglected emotionally?
Intellectually?
Physically?
by the community?

Do you think your parents invested too much of their lives in the Fellowship of Friends and not enough on your or your families development?

Did your parents talk to you about Fellowship ideology?

Did you think the world would end in 1998 as Robert predicted?

Did you suffer with those ideas?

Did you study in the Lewis Carrol School?

How was that experience?

Other things you’d like to tell?

137. lauralupa - July 8, 2008

vinnie, speaking of pooh-poohing whole areas, I am still waiting for your answers darling…

138. nigel harris price - July 8, 2008

Dear Elena
Not having a ‘political’ connection to, or ‘special role’ within the FOF whilst a member, I feel I cannot answer your questionnaire within the limitation of questions on offer. However, developing an Essence Artform and still working on it now, despite an awkward interval of 14 years (since being released from the FOF and then coming to teaching my Craftform), when very little artistic manifested from my Being, because of my dealing with my bi-polar disorder, I will be able to give you a brief history of my experience within the FOF by ordinary mail. Please await that, as I am quite busy with my teaching business right now…..Nigel.

139. Vinnie the fish - July 8, 2008

Laura honey I need very clear and specific questions please, think to yourself is A connected to B in the real world before you ask or it will not make sense in my perfectly clear and objective mentation. 🙂

140. Rear View Mirror - July 8, 2008

Vinnie, it’s interesting that you jumped on that idea of “kindness.” It gets to the heart of the matter with the FOF, doesn’t it? So you needed to respond.

There’s actually a certain pride in not being kind in the FOF, because it imitates Robert Burton. Your description of being “kinder than thou” is not what I’m referring to, and you know that, I don’t recall ever hearing that expression — although I do recall that people in the FOF had “more valuation than thou” attitudes all of the time.

What I describe is a genuine caring for other individuals, which may be entirely invisible or visible… But whether visible or invisible, it might involve pausing for a moment and thinking…

“Maybe inviting this young man into my bedroom and having sex with him is not a good idea for his well being. He’s vulnerable and I’m taking advantage of him.”

That would be kindness… for Burton to not use his power over people to manipulate them. The kindness that I’m referring to questions yourself enough to be able to question your own motives and to recognize when you are hurting someone. That’s all.

You seem to create a choice with your comments… We are either true our to ourselves or we are kind? That’s where our world views diverge pretty dramatically, because I see them as being one and the same. And I definitely don’t see Burton being “true to himself” by having sex with his followers. It’s almost amazing to me that anyone would think otherwise… that he’s someone “manifesting his essence” or some other such idiocy.

Obviously, these are difficult topics to talk about: love, and kindness, and having a feeling of benevolence for our fellow humans. But when we stray so far from those basic human traits as we do in the FOF, it’s always good to point out the obvious… that there something intrinsically inhumane there. And that this attitude about the world leads to suffering for others.

So THAT is what you’re supporting by taking your “FOF role” here on the blog. And for what?

So when you walk into a room, you can “have more valuation than thou”?

141. Rear View Mirror - July 8, 2008

By the way, one of the reasons that we don’t usually talk about kindness is that we all know that we have our own moments when we lack it. So it’s tough to point the finger at another when we’ve had our own moments… moments when we laughed at a mean-spirited joke, or said some hurtful words, or cut into line at the store, and so on. So calling Burton “unkind” seems a bit understating it.

But what I’m pointing out here is how the topic has somehow escaped the gazillion meetings over the years, and that our attitude about it is that kindness is a weakness.

If we open our eyes a bit and see that kindness is actually a key human trait — one that does help us to “be true to ourselves” and to be ourselves, then we see why it’s a topic that’s avoided in the FOF.

Burton discourages any focus on acts of kindness (unless they promote the FOF agenda in some way) because if we started thinking about the value of kindness, we’d not only question some of our own actions (which, by the way, is a part of self-observation), we’d also question the actions and motives of Robert Burton. And we’d question the wisdom of remaining in his cult.

So, the message in the FOF: Whatever you do, don’t talk about kindness and its power to heal and its power to lead you and others away from destruction and harm. Because that will lead you away from the Fellowship of Friends, and away from Robert Burton.

142. brucelevy - July 8, 2008

139. Vinnie the fish

There’s the narcissistic slime ball I remember.

143. paulshabram - July 8, 2008

Vinne the fish

“entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem”

– William of Occam

Modern day translation:

“If it looks like it, smells like it, tastes like it, you’d better not step in it.”

144. Vena - July 8, 2008

Robert Burton was afraid of anything kind or altruistic unless he or someone that he favored because of their usefulness was the direct recepient. He was so threatened by anyone who stood out as an example of selfless compassion and kindness that he even banished Mother Theresa, Ghandi, and Ette Hillesum (“An Interrupted Life”) to the moon. There was the danger that if his followers looked too long at examples such as these the great chasm separating him from these truly noble people would be screamingly obvious.

145. Yesri Baba - July 8, 2008

142 bruce

Next time you see me slap me as hard as you can for addressing that fucking moron.

146. brucelevy - July 8, 2008

145. Yesri Baba

Sorry, you’re too big. You might forget you asked for it.

147. Bares Reposting - July 8, 2008

vinnie the fish:

What did the fish say when it was asked, ‘How do you like the water?’ Fish said, ‘What water?’ Lesson:
When you are in it, you cannot see it.

Buddhist? approach: I looked around me in the world and thought, ‘How asleep the masses of humanity are!’ Then I had an awakening experience and then realized that everyone else was awake and it was I who had been asleep.

This is a good attitude to have, even when you are not having that ‘awakening experience,’ because you will treat other people in a different manner when it may be possible that they are all awake and you are asleep.

So, vinnie, how’s the water?
. . . . . .

148. Yesri Baba - July 8, 2008

129 Sheik

“You are making the same mistake you made with me, everyone understands the basic observation (yet it is not only an observation, it is also a judgment of an observation) but they communicate on a level that you don’t ‘get’ because you may lack the experiential, theoretical, or intellectual understanding. Maybe, you are just not paying attention. I am not purposefully trying to be condescending or pushing your buttons, this really is how you come across.

There are many ideas here that I find incredibly interesting – such as the discussion about hypnosis and NLP, as it is revolving around the possibility of ‘higher states’ not being higher at all, rather them being a reaction of the body and mind to a particular stimulus. If this is true, by ‘being present’ as the FoF understands it, you are not outgrowing the conditioned organism at all.”

————-

Vinnie is locked into the con of the FOF and it’s twisted version of the 4th way (an ok system). It seems he will continue on in his ignorance and inflation until something ‘pops’ him. For now it is enough that he sits on high where all can see him for a good chuckle.

149. Rear View Mirror - July 8, 2008

145. Yesri Baba – July 8, 2008
“Bruce… Next time you see me slap me as hard as you can for addressing that fucking moron.”

Me too. But I’m glad the guy is exposed a bit more on this page. Obviously he’s not a sincere contributor here. He’s just here to keep an eye on things and to distract people from any uncomfortable topics. It’s fairly obvious that some of the more loyal followers — people who won’t be polluted by critical thinking about Robert Burton and the FOF — take turns in doing this on the blog.
——-

Vena:
http://prayerfoundation.org/mother_teresa_do_it_anyway.htm

The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith

1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.
3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.
6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.
10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

150. lauralupa - July 8, 2008

yes, I think I am done with vinnie too. again.

151. Yesri Baba - July 8, 2008

121 Paulshabram

Why do we seek enlightenment? Is it to feel superior? To be chosen by the gods? To make ourselves feel better than we already feel? Why? … You may ask “Why ask Why?” Because we are complete idiots if we don’t.
—————

Excellent question which goes right to the heart of the problem.

IMO it is for power and control. Power and control over ourselves and others. Behind that impulse for power and control lies fear the mother of the ‘beast’.

Somehow we threw ourselves out into the world and then forgot we did it. Then we became terrified of ourselves and seek to get power over it and control it so it will not scare us anymore. All this occurs on an unconscious level. Until we realise this we are prey to those who know this and would manipulate us to their own ends.

The search for ‘enlightenment’ is a fool’s game.

152. brucelevy - July 8, 2008

151. Yesri Baba

“The search for ‘enlightenment’ is a fool’s game.”

I agree, but in the Tarot sense of “the Fool”.

153. lauralupa - July 8, 2008

when my children were little we listened a lot to a tape of funny folk song by Pete Seeger. For some reason this one has been playing in my mind since yesterday:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-379402970825875565&q=follish+frog&ei=AM5zSPqKIJKW2QL2tuy_Cw

154. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 8, 2008

119 Yesri Baba

Yesri, the distinction I’m making is between knowing that something is true, and having the immediate perception of that truth right now. Words are clumsy tools in this area. I know that there is tremendous, unspeakable suffering in the world, but I’m not often in touch with that realization on an emotional level. I know that there is an omnipotent force that is purely benevolent, because I’ve experienced that truth, yet I can’t maintain that realization every minute of every day. I know, because I’ve experienced it, that when a person connects with that truth, it is experienced as retroactive and all previous ignorance seems not to exist, and never to have existed. But I don’t experience my daily life that way. Gurdjieff said everyone has fully functioning higher centers, but people don’t connect with them. That’s just just another verbal formulation for the same fact. So levels of consciousness, along with the existence of time, may ultimately be an illusion, but knowing that only goes so far. That’s why I can’t buy into the fashion of declaring everyone to be already “enlightened” or “present.” That assertion has been made for many centuries by people who ought to know, but those same people followed up by trying to teach others how to experience the truth of that fact. As a rationale for stopping all forms of effort, I consider it a cop-out.

155. ralphbarcode - July 8, 2008

#14 JAVOH

“And what is it that they most of all desire to preserve? First the right to have their own valuation of ideas and of people, that is, that which is more harmful for them than anything else. They are fools and they already know it, that is to say, they realized it at one time. For this reason they came to learn. But they forget all about this the next moment; they are already bringing into the work their own paltry and subjective attitude; they begin to pass judgment on me and on everyone else as though they were able to pass judgment on anything. And this is immediately reflected in their attitude towards the ideas and towards what I say….”

I have been thinking about this quote since you posted it. If any one part of the canon of 4th Way literature can pinpoint the thing that entrapped me, both in The System and the FOF, it’s this. Looking at it now, after several decades, I find it hard to believe that it once controlled me so powerfully. The part about “his little song is sung” made me a prisoner of the system, because it evoked fear in me so strongly. I was once caught up in the cult of personality surrounding G and O, but now this passage fills me with revulsion. The person saying these things comes off to me as both a master manipulator and a pretty repellant person.

Remember, G himself started out as a career hypnotist. That cannot be understated.

In this passage, he shows off many unpleasant traits, but ones that are appealing to our worst parts. For example, he sets himself up as all-knowing — when he says “When a man says something on these lines I already know all he will say later on.” This bogus wise man stance is very seductive. G also repeatedly says, “It is very amusing…” when referring to something the person is doing that is clearly not amusing at all. It is hurting him, or offending him, or questioning his authority, but it is not amusing. This sarcastic, insincere statement is very dishonest and kind of disgusting, and certainly does not represent any kind of behavior I would want to emulate, yet something in me did, at one time, when this passage held sway over me.

Looking at this passage now, from one man to another — as opposed to one “man number 4” to a much higher “man number whatever” — I see someone who is weaving a spell based on a number of false premises, like “This is a law. It is difficult to climb the hill but very easy to slide down it.” This “law” is completely imaginary. It appears to be true if you believe there is a “hill,” but it ceases to exist when you stop looking at life that way.

That is the core deception behind the 4th way. It fills your head with false premises. Once you see things in the 4th way, you “verify” it everywhere. But that is no way to verify something. It is quite unscientific. If you are given information and told, “this is true, you just haven’t verified it yet,” you will commence to believe you are verifying it. We see what we want to see.

This is related to what Vinnie was saying. In speaking about different states of consciousness and how they have degrees, he said, “this is obvious, you only have to look and see it.” But having purged myself of the 4th way dogma, it is not at all obvious to me. It is just another false premise. If you look for sleeping, dead people, you will see them. If you adopt the attitude that you really don’t know what the hell is going on (the closest thing to the truth I have found), you will see a lot more interesting stuff.

As for kindness, there is an inherent attitude in the 4th way that objectifies other people and leads very naturally into seeing them as “life people.” G was always referring to people as fools and idiots, dying like dogs, and so on. Of course you start behaving like a sociopath, whether you started out that way or not. I remember people in the FOF bragging about how they deceived and took advantage of others, then when I questioned them about it, they said “They’re just life people.” G refers to people as dogs, why not treat them like that? There’s an ugly core of superiority, power and deception in the 4th way. The FOF is just a logical extension, as was Alex Horn’s abusive, violent “school.”

There may be a few useful ideas in the 4th way, but as an overall “system” that requires diligent effort to produce higher consciousness and maybe even a soul, it is just another elaborate con. I mean, look at the results. Where are the “conscious beings” that all this work has produced? Gurdjieff? Ouspensky? Burton? Please.

By their fruits you will know them, and they’re all pretty rotten as far as I can see.

156. Vinnie the Fish - July 8, 2008

It’s OK Bruce I’ll gladly slap you and Yesri if you address me, your comments are useless anyway, just calling names, same as ever. narcissistic, sociopath, blah blah. same old empty crap.
Tired and cynical, humourless and grumpy old men. 🙂

Now Laura what was your question darling?
Don’t be upset with trifles. Something useful about states?

Vena, kindness is not the same as being yourself. Being yourself is acting in accordance with your conscience, which may not appear kind to others. Kindness can be just a nice act, trying to look good, which was the point of that observation of someone at a prospective meeting.

Paul what’s your Latin about? Don’t step in what?

157. Vinnie the Fish - July 8, 2008

Can’t argue with any of that Ralph.
It’s a telling point that out of thousands of people who have been though the FOF, you couldn’t say any are especially enlightened beings.
Except me maybe. (joke bruce)
I could point to a few aholes though for sure!

158. Rear View Mirror - July 8, 2008

“Being yourself is acting in accordance with your conscience.”

It’s always interesting to be lectured on conscience by someone who apparently lacks one.

So “being youself” would involve manipulating numerous cult followers into having sex with you, and for “being yourself” is supporting that person by engaging in obfuscation and misdirection on a blog?

That is the one of a few important question you haven’t answered, Vinnie. You see nothing wrong with Burton’s sexual activities with his followers? Don’t you think being cool with his behavior… shows a lack of conscience?

Or is the word “your” the key word here? In other words, “your” conscience is clear. If others are hurt, you must believe, it is for the supposed higher good.

159. Another Name - July 8, 2008

Dear Whaleridder

Late entry: hope it is still usefull.

Agnes Deen Community center. $100.00 a day including a great kitchen.
Lake Francis resort $ 75.00 dollar for a cabin sleeps eight and space enough to camp out.

Let see if a documentairy / movie will follow …..

160. Rear View Mirror - July 8, 2008

Ralph (155), thank you for sharing your thoughts. Beautifully expressed.

161. paulshabram - July 8, 2008

VInnie 156

“Paul what’s your Latin about?”
Occam’s razor. It translates: “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity”

After eliminating all unnecessary assumptions and postulates, the theory that is the simplest is usually true.

“Don’t step in what?”
A pile of shit.

162. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 8, 2008

155 ralphbarcode

I don’t know that I’m prepared to condemn the Fourth Way per se, but I do think it is a sophisticated con game. I think it’s a tool that can be wielded for good or for evil depending on the person swinging it. It’s possible to trick people into doing something in their own best interests, and of course, also to get them to suck your dick. One of the key hooks is the premise that the Fourth Way is all about “verification.” It appeals to the intellectual vanity of someone who imagines himself to be just a little bit more clever than the next person–“I’m no gullible, religious, group-thinking, pray-to-Jesus dope, I’m a member of a secret brotherhood that takes nothing on faith, but insists on verifying everything. Can’t pull the wool over this person’s eyes! No, siree!” Once the person swallows that hook, he’s now free to imagine himself “verifying” the most ridiculous fantasies, about being in the highest school on earth, about being in the one and only “ark” that will survive “thermonuclear warfare,” about some guy of very modest intelligence who smears his face with KY Jelly being a goddess in a man’s body, about Benjamin Franklin creating “shocks” for him by manipulating license plate numbers, and on to some painter planting clues to the Sequence in his paintings in between drunken binges at the corner tavern. Is there any member of the Catholic Church that is more gullible than a Fellowship member who actually believes what RB says?

I also agree that Gurdjieff’s abusiveness, while it may or may not have been well-intended and used with scalpel-like precision in his own group, it has been seized upon by every little twit to justify his desire to treat others badly while telling himself this very quality demonstrates how highly evolved he really is. I remember when RB used to visit an elderly art dealer in SF who thought very highly of RB, who treated the man very well, flattered him, etc. RB would persuade the man to give him good deals on pieces, and then snicker about him behind his back. (After the man died, RB remarked that the man’s possession of a moon gate (one of those round openings in a Chinese garden) indicated his destiny.

163. Rear View Mirror - July 8, 2008

Just Another Voice Out Here (162): Thanks to you as well.

This page is one of my favorite on the blog. So many of the posts expose the b.s. so well. Informative, articulate, enlightening, and to the point. Thanks again to all.

164. brucelevy - July 8, 2008

It’s amazing to me that so many of us don’t remember these reappearing assholes enough where we have to go through the same shit to arrive at the same place over and over. On the other hand it’s better for the new people to see it themselves, and to see that I, and a few others aren’t just ranting and raving based on the fact that they are still “in”. There are quite a few “in” people I would personally love to hear from on the blog. But I won’t hold my breath.

165. nigel harris price - July 8, 2008

Maybe an answer to all those bickering about states and groups – abandon The System, as you were taught it by REB and the FOF, and develop one that works for you in your own Compassionate Role with those people – all those people – you come into contact in Life..Nigel.

166. nigel harris price - July 8, 2008

157
How would YOU recognise an Enlightened Being from your viewpoint, Vinnie, when you are not allowed out of your goldfish bowl?……Nigel.

167. brucelevy - July 8, 2008

165. nigel harris price

For me, abandoning the system means once one uses it to get from A to B, or D to E, it’s served it’s usefulness and one takes what one’s earned and moves on to broader views. To find another “system”, for me, would be to mark time, or even step backwards. That doesn’t mean one doesn’t continue to collect useful techniques and methods to continue one’s journey with, until they too can be dropped. A system is just a step. Just as “teachers” serve as a step. And like stop signs, the teacher’s themselves are usually pretty anchored where they are. That’s why they eventually turn into assholes themselves. Listen to a message, but never trust a “teacher” once you’ve learned and experienced the dynamic of cultism and it’s implications.

168. nigel harris price - July 8, 2008

167
Bruce, I agree with you in a way, but I did say – IN LIFE i.e. keep things practical…..Nigel.

169. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 9, 2008

Vinnie: That was a nice chat, I think I made my point. And your tone did change quite drastically depending on how you wanted to come across, how strong your emotions were when you were reacting, etc. The fact that you can’t see that persuades me even further of the fleetingness of the presence that you have so painstakingly acquired.

Good night, Vinnie, maybe we will have more to say to each other as the current changes. Or maybe I’ll again attempt to sound clever at your expense (as you so rightfully believe).

I have a feeling though that you will simply have to have the last word, so I leave the stage, all for you.

170. veramente - July 9, 2008

I 162. Just Another Voice Out Here
… remember when RB used to visit an elderly art dealer in SF who thought very highly of RB, who treated the man very well, flattered him, etc. RB would persuade the man to give him good deals on pieces, and then snicker about him behind his back. (After the man died, RB remarked that the man’s possession of a moon gate (one of those round openings in a Chinese garden) indicated his destiny….
————
RB: a scumbag dressed like a fruitcake and quite full of shit.

171. Vena - July 9, 2008

Vinnie #156:

“Vena, kindness is not the same as being yourself. Being yourself is acting in accordance with your conscience, which may not appear kind to others. Kindness can be just a nice act, trying to look good, which was the point of that observation of someone at a prospective meeting.”
__________________________________________________________

Nobody said that kindness was being yourself. That’s a strange and illogical idea as is equating conscience with “being yourself.”
And surely no one was imaging that kindness is pretending. Your effort to distort, deflect and diminish ideas that make you uncomfortable is sad. It isn’t working and you probably even know it yourself. You display the familiar pitiful desperation that most FOF members have when trying to convince themselves and others of the validity of their affiliation with Robert Burton and the Fellowship. I’m not judging you. I feel sorry for you but I recognize the faulty thinking and hope that eventually you will also.

172. Yesri Baba - July 9, 2008

152 Brucelevy

I only have a rough idea of the Tarot ‘fool’.

To me the term ‘fool’ is how I feel when I see what’s going on. When I see that the whole struggle , the whole ‘search’ is all going on inside me. All the obstacles, all the bindings, all of everything is dreamt up by me. It always has been. I have never been more or less ‘awake’ or ‘enlightened’ than I am right now. I just think so sometimes. That is my experience. I only assume it is so for others.

———————-
154 JAVOH

Thanks for that. I was only suggesting a view from a different direction.

“That assertion has been made for many centuries by people who ought to know…” wassup with that?

YOU ought to know.

“As a rationale for stopping all forms of effort, I consider it a cop-out.”

Wow, I don’t think I ever implied that anywhere on this blog but if I did Bruce can slap me twice.

173. Richard M. - July 9, 2008

162. Just Another Voice Out Here
“… remember when RB used to visit an elderly art dealer in SF who thought very highly of RB, who treated the man very well, flattered him, etc. RB would persuade the man to give him good deals on pieces, and then snicker about him behind his back. (After the man died, RB remarked that the man’s possession of a moon gate (one of those round openings in a Chinese garden) indicated his destiny….”

This sounds like Frederick F. of Sausalito. I am pretty sure he had the last laugh at “Buy High” Burton. Most of the old male antique dealers seemed to admire Burton because of the never-ending variety of highly-groomed and seemingly docile young men in his entourage. And, they usually shared the same tacky roccoco taste in art and antiques.

Does anyone know the story about the Taiwanese woman who tried to swindle the FOF out of Ming furniture collection? I have heard only vague accounts.

174. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 9, 2008

173 Richard, I think you’re right. I remember standing out front of the shop with RB after he believed he’d just hustled a great deal on a massive granite table of some sort, waiting for a truck to pick it up from the sidewalk, and RB giggled and said something like “typical Fellowship scam job.”

172 Yesri Baba

“As a rationale for stopping all forms of effort, I consider it a cop-out.”

Wow, I don’t think I ever implied that anywhere on this blog but if I did Bruce can slap me twice.
______________________________________________________________

There’s a major industry of “neoadvaitists” who seem to have patented this line, that effort is for suckers, since how could we not be present all the time? For many people, I believe it’s an attempt to philosophize away some inconvenient truths. Instead of trying to develop their attention, they spend the energy furiously trying to persuade people that it’s all an illusion anyway, so just relax. It can’t be decided through debate, but at the end of the day, it’s empty calories.

175. whalerider - July 9, 2008

another name:

Agnes Deen Community center. $100.00 a day including a great kitchen.

Lake Francis resort $ 75.00 dollar for a cabin sleeps eight and space enough to camp out.

Thanks for that! Which is closer to the property or more accessable? Parking would be an issue. The Lake Francis resort sounds perfect, a homey background would be prefered. Can you post the phone numbers for both or addresses so I can google them? I’ll make the calls and book the space. Hopefully we can put the word out to the FOF camp and get someone willing to go to bat for bobby on tape.

I now have a conflict with the Aug 9-10 date, so that’s a no go for me.

So I am looking at booking Friday and Saturday night on the weekend of September 12-13 for the video taping of some home movies about your experiences in the FOF….your chance to tell the truth.

Anyone game? Email the sheik to sign up. I’ll need at least five people willing to do this with me. Ten would be better. I have a good friend who is a professional videographer with an awesome camera. Anyone willing to post an announcement on the GF site? It’s OK to list the sheik’s email.

If Elena is willing, let’s use her questionaire, although I might edit it down a bit. Hopefully she will still be there in Sept. still doing the picketing. I’d love to get some footage of that.

Sheik’s email: recroanima@gmail.com

176. paulshabram - July 9, 2008

Yesri

“The search for ‘enlightenment’ is a fool’s game.”

I appreciate you getting my point. I think the statement above is not what you meant to say. I think you mean that searching for enlightenment according as defined by someone else, for example, a “teacher” using a “system, is a fools game. The search is in our nature, and “the search is on”.

What I’m trying to get at here is that cult members have made life changing decisions based on a false frame of reference. Now I don’t think that we were all hypnotized to join or keep paying, but I do think that methods used for hypnosis were applied to “suspend disbelief”. The rest was up to us.

JAVOH 174

The questions I have asked are not to convince anyone to stop seeking enlightenment. In fact we may have an advantage in that we now know what not to do. These questions are for those silent ones listening.

177. paulshabram - July 9, 2008

Bruce, Yesri, Lauralupa and others,

We need Vinnie the fish to post here. As far as I can tell he may be the only one in the FOF that is doing so. Honestly, I’m not sure Vinnie is the real deal, but I think he does a good job of making your points all by himself. I don’t think the “Tough Love” works on him at all, but it may scare others off. Think about it, that may be his intention.

I know you’d like to give REB a barbed wire enema, but he would only enjoy it.

178. veramente - July 9, 2008

177. paulshabram

I know you’d like to give REB a barbed wire enema, but he would only enjoy it.
—————
the best one yet.

I would also suggest to put him on a plain tofu diet and having him wear birkenstocks. (cannot resist)

179. paulshabram - July 9, 2008

lauralupa 123

I think it’s a fair analysis.

It is dogma that one cannot be hypnotized to do something that is against one will, like a heterosexual performing a homosexual act. For that it takes “brainwashing”. Suggestions, like getting someone to eat an onion while thinking it’s an apple, takes place in a trance state. Brainwashing or thought control, I believe, takes place in in some kind of sub-trance when a persons perceptions of what’s real can be replaced by different “realities” ( as in “false memory syndrome” as you link points out). I think this is very different than acting on a suggestion given during hypnosis. When I think about this the path out of the FOF fits the model of reality replacement. When I left, it was briefly Dante’s Inferno; I had to abandon my “reality” and abandon all hope.

180. paulshabram - July 9, 2008

lauralupa 123

I posted this back in 37 and made a joke of it, but actually it is no joke. You were the only one to respond:

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

This RB act is burnt into my memory and still evokes responses that are undoubtably the result of mind control. Each time I do this the responses diminish. It evoke demons within me that I have learned to embrace as a part of me. I accept them with love and they evaporate because they were created as enemies of compassion and love. They are like vampires that cannot stand the light of day.

181. Yesri Baba - July 9, 2008

176 Paulshabram

“The search for ‘enlightenment’ is a fool’s game.”

I appreciate you getting my point. I think the statement above is not what you meant to say.

——————-
I fear 99% of what I say is not what I meant to say, or rather, what I meant to be heard.

” The search is on”

Yeah, me looking for me… where to start….?

182. lauralupa - July 9, 2008

Paulshabram 177

You are right, in principle. Unfortunately, as Bruce points out, we have been through a similar loop with vinnie before, we have already seen him dancing and prancing and skirting around all the real issues, and I for one am tired of his puerile mind games right now. But hey, if anyone else wants to play…

Just in case, I am reposting my original questions from post #41:

What do you expect to learn about love from a cult leader whose principal activity consists in sexually exploiting his followers?

What lessons do you think one learns about love when the persons who used to give you “love energy” while toasting and looking into your eyes stop talking to you because you stopped making teaching payments?

Do you think there is any chance that I will get a straight answer? I doubt it, since one of the side effects of being trapped in a cult is the inability to think straight.

Thanks for your answer to my #123. I have been wondering about the amazing effectiveness of Robert’s seduction techniques, since they seem to work with a very high percentage of people. I doubt we will ever know the exact percentage of his male followers who have been sexually abused, but my impression is that it’s staggeringly high. IMO it would be useful, especially for the victims, to have a comprehensive understanding of the psychological factors involved, and the “Confusion Technique” you mentioned seems an interesting clue.

Another aspect that’s worth exploring is the reticence of many of the abused subjects to come forward with their stories, which may be a result of shame combined with male programming. I think if the victims would have been women there would be a lot more emotional accounts. Whalerider’s story made an incredible impression on many because I think he was the first to have the courage to vividly and emotionally describe in detail what happened and what he felt like in the hands of the beast.
But many of the victims are still in and still in denial about what happened/happens to them…

183. Ellen - July 9, 2008

#155 Ralph Barcode

Thanks for that summation. It describes the Fellowship/Fourth Way conundrum very well: self hypnosis (based upon Gurdjieffian/Fourth Way concepts) which sets onesself up for massive self doubt. Really no way out of that until your own heart demands it or new higher concepts enter your field of perception or both.

I returned recently from a week’s holiday with a mixture of current and recent Fellowship departees. We were 5 (out) to 7 (in). In the recent departees (myself included) – and a few upcoming ones – there was a noticeable element of recovery from the massive self doubt required to remain a member of the Fellowship of Friends for any length of time.

In fact it takes years of self observation, observation of what really happens in the Fellowship (the actions, not the words), plus some openminded external research to finally realize the scam.

If I think of my various Friends who may have naively driven by Elena at the gate house last week in Oregon House and imagined themselves to be more awake than her, I cringe. On the one hand there are a number who seem to be ignorant of the scope and breadth of RB’s actions. On the other hand there are those who hear about the actions but since they imagine the Fellowship to be a School and Robert to be a Conscious Being, cannot see things for what they also are: a Cult run by a Sociopath. And then there are those who see but don’t yet know what to do about it. So there is a veil there, a rather impenetrable one that is only pierced when an individual is truly ready for it.

Additionally, there are a few who have had a certain kind of spiritual frontal lobotomy which hinders their ability to ever be able to see: their “sacrifice to the Gods” that no True Teacher would ever request. And that’s the way it is.

Who will allow this veil to be self-pierced when their livelihood, house, spouse, family, friends and neighbors all continue going in the opposite direction, still calling it enlightenment? Strange to see that we all, each in our own way, resist the truth of a simultaneous-pure-seeing: of our own intelligence and our own ignorance. A certain kind of enlightenment that some have been paying 20-30 years to experience? The Fellowship is a Koan, solved by jumping to another level, but jumping nevertheless.

How bizarre, how bizarre.
Ignorance is bliss. Bliss, yet another form of sleep.

184. ton - July 9, 2008

catching up with my reading here… great stuff! thanks to all,
including you vinnie.

elena 118

“…. A great deal of it is still hidden. For example, no one has stated on this blog that particular women were asked to give up their children. That was the real beginning of this horror story. It must be known because it was those same women that then kept quiet for years and years.”

i don’t know about it being ‘the real beginning of this horror story’ but it is certainly one of the horrible aspects….

i hope this doesn’t come off as too ‘self-referential’ — soon after i started posting here about a year ago, i told the story of how my wife (m) was coerced into having an abortion…. i think that counts as a ‘particular woman’ giving up her child… i was too deeply ‘indoctrinated’ (brainwashed) to realize the implications at the time but now i can say that the abortion was a blood-sacrifice of my child too… (whether we realize it or not, men also suffer in this regard). in my original post i said, that event and my part in it is for me personally THE single most damning thing i participated in during my stint with the fellowship of friends.

bruce was familiar with the situation and we had a brief exchange about it here, otherwise, like everything else on the blog the topic was covered over by the ensuing ‘conversation’ — but it’s all there if you care to scroll back…. and there may be other similar sorts of ‘horror stories’ here too but i wouldn’t know since i haven’t thoroughly read blog pages from the beginning (?)

imagine peas

185. Another Name - July 9, 2008

Dear Whalerider

I will send all the info to Janna and to the sheik regarding more info.

OK

186. Vinnie the fish - July 9, 2008

158. Rear View Mirror
“So “being youself” would involve manipulating numerous cult followers into having sex with you, and for “being yourself” is supporting that person by engaging in obfuscation and misdirection on a blog?
That is the one of a few important question you haven’t answered, Vinnie. You see nothing wrong with Burton’s sexual activities with his followers? Don’t you think being cool with his behavior… shows a lack of conscience?”

Thanks for your questions RVM.
I don’t manipulate followers into having sex do I? Conscience means MY conscience, not judging others. I never said RB has a conscience did I? If he has one it might be very atrophied.
I’m not here to judge other people, they will pay for what they do as we all will. From my direct experience with his ‘boys’ they gain from the relationship. Some like Whalerider have apparently felt manipulated into doing things they regret, but I don’t know him, so am I supposed to crucify someone for that?

182. lauralupa
“What lessons do you think one learns about love when the persons who used to give you “love energy” while toasting and looking into your eyes stop talking to you because you stopped making teaching payments?”

Thanks for the questions Laura. Sorry I said they were stupid questions before. I meant they don’t make sense.

I would never treat anyone differently because they are in or not in the school, my conscience would not let me! And what you describe has not happened to me.
But apart from that, this ‘love energy’ you mention can be experienced in a moment in the eyes of another, but it doesn’t transform that person’s whole internal world of rubbish beliefs and programming. Can you understand that? People are complex organisms with many ‘i’s’ as you might have heard before. So I’m not sure what you’re saying, maybe that people “shouldn’t” cut you off like that when they have looked at you with love in the past, or the converse that they shouldn’t have looked at you with love when they were going to cut you off in later years. Whichever.. it doesn’t make sense, doesn’t relate to real world events.

” What do you expect to learn about love from a cult leader whose principal activity consists in sexually exploiting his followers?”
Umm… nothing. I think I know more about love than he does. Did I say I expect to learn about love from Robert?!
Another crooked kind of question. But I could learn anything from anyone if I am open to it. I learned something yesterday from a little girl. Do you know why rabbits dig so many holes? To hide Easter eggs. 🙂

Any other questions? It’s good for clarifying thought. Try to make them very clear, so the 2 parts are actually related to each other.

187. ton - July 9, 2008

vinnie the shill 186
“I don’t manipulate followers into having sex do I? Conscience means MY conscience, not judging others. I never said RB has a conscience did I? If he has one it might be very atrophied.”

earth to vinnie… by continuing to support the con, you help perpetuate the manipulation. i guess your glib attitude is an attempt to feel and appear to be ‘above it all’ or somehow ‘superior’ and more ‘evolved’ — i’ve got news for you, you’re not. you and the dues paying members are part of the problem and the reason why it still persists…. wake up dude! a person (such as yourself) who appears to realize the abuses and yet continues with their support, is MORE culpable than the sheep who may not have a clue or insight into the depravity… you know what vinnie, here’s a clue for you, you need your ‘judgment’ in order to have a functioning conscience… part of the brainwash you’ve been subjected to is the silly notion of ‘not judging others’ — consider this: it may be you with the ‘atrophied’ conscience… (i hear it’s contagious).

188. ralphbarcode - July 9, 2008

You guys are awfully hard on Vinnie. I’m surprised he keeps coming back. If a person is fully vested in the 4th way (which I no longer am, obviously), then I can certainly see how they could remain in the FOF if they felt they were benefitting from it. As has been noted, it is a very self-centered system. All I knew about Robert was that he was gay, which didn’t bother me. But I remember thinking that I didn’t care if he was truly evil, as long as I was getting what I wanted out of the FOF. That is not something I’m proud of, and i don’t know if I would have kept that attitude up if I knew the full extent of what was going on, but it is a logical consequence of the system as a whole — it doesn’t just accept selfishness, it says it’s a requirement — fix yourself before you can help others. I think it’s BS now, but I believed it then, and I believe Vinnie is sincere in his way. Give him a break.

You hit on many good points Ellen. Self-doubt is probably the one thing we all had in common that made up susceptible to accept that someone else could know better what we need than we do ourselves — a basic tenet. It was a revelation when, many years later, I realized what a lie this was.

JAVOH — I know nothing of “advaitists,” but I may have come to some similar conclusions by what you say. The “incovenient truths” you speak of may not be truths at all. Or that’s the way I see things. I made many efforts for many years, and then I made no efforts for many years. There was no difference in my general state of consciousness. But there was a difference — making no efforts, I’m much happier and more relaxed, and far less susceptible to other people taking spiritual advantage of me. Have you ever gone a significant period of time without making efforts? There is no other way to tell if your inconvenient truths are really true — at least that is my experience.

189. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

182. lauralupa

RB and seduction

Many are seduced, and confusion is a significant part. But a significant number are merely bought, and are simply whores.

190. somebody - July 9, 2008

Vinnie, I have a question to you.
First of all I really appreciate that you are here and you don’t get offended by mean remarks.

You wrote in #2 something I found very interesting:

“For me the worst thing is all the nonsense from the man himself, from the predictions of old to the latest bizarre interpretations of art and anything that can be counted. Delusional seems to be the right diagnosis. So for me THE USEFULNESS OF MEETINGS DIMINISHES along with the opportunities for practical, intelligent and useful conversations, photographs, and exercises.
….

So despite the strangeness of the leader, he has still somehow held together an international organization of 2000 or so (or is that < 1000 now?) with a supposedly common aim of becoming more conscious and being more present, which are 2 simple aims that I consider important, not because of what anyone else said, but from my own experience of altered states.
….

In between the nonsense he has said a lot of useful things and has invented useful exercises, been the catalyst for creating Apollo, which is quite beautiful, and created conditions for a lot of past events and MEETINGS THAT I OFTEN FOUND UPLIFTING.”

***
I think this is the very core of the thinking and reasoning that makes people stay in FOF. It is like 3 different people in one. One is saying: Robert is delusional. Second: But! He held FOF together for 30 years and he helps us to be present and conscious. Third says: And besides he says a lot of useful things, yes, I like the meetings!

One has to study careful those meetings in order to see how much of it is useful.
The quotations are useful – uplifting, the images are useful – inspiring! But what Robert is making out of this “material” is not only less useful, I think it is dangerous, harmful for the souls and minds of the people.

It is very very sad to see how people with good intentions, ready to work on themselves and to make big sacrifices for “the cause” and big efforts naively put themselves on the plate of this monster-vampire, who eats and swallows everything: their minds, sperm, money, lives – anything.

I started to doubt if those higher states we are all suckers for and paying a lot for – are really that high. I think it is an indoctrination and this is why it sells.

If you listen carefully what Robert is teaching about “the lower self” and not apply it as he suggests to the sequence, but to see that it is a perfect description of himself. The Evil is not “in our head” it is in our teacher! Our Evil teacher is trying to un-do all the wisdom of the past and makes a nut of our brains. Is this a higher state? Uplifting, isn’t it?

Take for example the first quote from the meeting about the lower self. “The lower self will make a show of tameness, submissiveness, humility, and compliance with what is good, while secretly contradicting this. Beware of what it may get up to later on!” (Al-Jilani)

Robert comments: “If the lower self is submissive during the sequence, be aware of what it might do later on – attempt to break the four wordless breaths.” (Oooo! Scary! Robert himself attempted to break the meetings with the whole hour of the wordless breaths)

Or this one from Upanishads:
“Brahman cannot be realilzed by those who are subject to greed, fear, and anger. Brahman cannot be realized by those who are subject to pride of name and fame or to the vanity of scolarship. Brahman cannot be realized by those who are enmeshed in lifes’ duality”

RB’s comment “The sate we are in – presence – cannot be realized if we are enmeshed in imagination”

Or this one! From Husayan ar-Razi:
“When I see a seeker indulging in luxury, I know nothing will come come of him.”

RB’s comment: “As steward indulging in imagination”

It is like a tap-dance of the lower self caught in the light.

191. Mick Danger - July 9, 2008

188
Since when does the blog “give breaks” to idiots?
On the other hand, opposition has its place,
and the blog will not eat “slim balls.”

192. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

191. Mick Danger

“slim balls.”

Are those dietetic slime balls?

193. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

It’s hard to believe the contingent here ready to encourage and accept the bullshit from Vinnie. You obviously haven’t been away from “the farm” long enough.

194. ralphbarcode - July 9, 2008

191

I’ve liked much of what you’ve had to say, Mick, but I’m not with you on this one. I think we all forget too quickly that if the blog had been around 2, 5, 10 or 20 years ago, we would have been posting things very similar to Vinnie, if we had the balls to post at all (I wouldn’t have — too much of a good student). At least he’s not completely indoctrinated, like a N*ck Sp*ulding. I was certainly an “idiot” once, and probably a “slim ball” as well. I am appalled at some of the things I said and did while thinking I was making efforts to awaken. If one of our goals is to help people out of the FOF, then we need to think about our methods. Verbally assaulting and insulting them is probably not going to make them see the light.

As for those quotes, it’s amazing that RB has the gumption to talk about “indulging in luxury.” Brazen.

195. Mick Danger - July 9, 2008

Yes, you’re right, I meant “Slime Balls”.
Blog not too fond of jerk-offs either.

196. ralphbarcode - July 9, 2008

Bruce, I never lived at “The Farm,” and I’ve been gone 20 years. The feeding frenzy around Vinnie is like a bunch of ex-smokers going off on someone with a cigarette. How would you want to be treated by someone talking to you at your most indoctrinated?

There was a time when I literally would have given my life for what I believed awakening to be. I can’t even imagine what I would have written coming from that place. No, I can imagine, it’s just too painful to dwell on for long. I would have spewed a bunch of robotic dogma, convinced I was speaking from true personality for the benefit of some benighted life people, or, worse, the lost souls of ex-students. And nothing anybody could have said would make me think I might be wrong.

197. Mick Danger - July 9, 2008

194
Sorry Ralph – our postings got crossed, that last comment is most definitely not directed at you.

198. ralphbarcode - July 9, 2008

“Blog not too fond of jerk-offs either.”

Ah, do I detect the lynch mob moseying my way? Lovely.

199. ralphbarcode - July 9, 2008

Roger that.

200. ralphbarcode - July 9, 2008

I mean, Roger, Mick.

201. elena - July 9, 2008

Good talk Somebody, Ralphbarcode, and all the rest of you, including Vinnie. It is wonderful to see you revealing your selves.

Vinnie, just your presence there makes all the horrible things possible. That is how significant presence is. But you could be standing up for what you really want: people doing the work and not being in idolatry towards Robert who is, like the rest of the inner circle, taking advantage of ignorant seekers.

202. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

196. ralphbarcode

That’s horse shit. There’s a vast difference between the usual people presently trapped, or not ready to make a decision one way or the other, or people who joined for what appeared to be a good reason, and dangerous jerkoffs like Vinnie. I think seeing them under the same umbrella is a pretty good sign that discrimination has left the building. Vinnie is of the same cloth as RB. It’s similar to giving RB the benefit of the doubt until one can only say baaaahhhh, baaaahhh.

203. Vinnie the fish - July 9, 2008

190. somebody – July 9, 2008
“Vinnie, I have a question to you.”
Interesting post thanks Somebody, I read it all but didnt get to ‘the question’. What was it? 😀 You got sidetracked I guess.

201 Elena, I’m not standing up for anything or being idolatry to Robert! How could you deduce that? It’s just an occasionally interesting discussion, I have no other agenda than discussing truly from my heart. Get it? It seems surprisingly offensive to a choice few to say things how I see them.

I wonder what the stats are on ex-students:
A. those who lose all desire or respect for ‘spiritual’ aspirations
B. those who continue to seek but lose faith in all ‘teachers’
C. those who seek/find a new teacher
D. those who become bitter and twisted (maybe a subset of A)

Most are probably A and B?

Has anyone on here found any worthwhile teacher (who’s a non-sex-deviant), apart from those mentioned before like Nisagaratta and Adi Shanti or whatever his name is? Live ones preferably.

204. Vinnie the fish - July 9, 2008

202. brucelevy – July 9, 2008
“That’s horse shit. ”

You stole my expression Bruce. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so.. well.. thanks..Respect.

205. somebody - July 9, 2008

Sorry, Vinnie, you are right, I did not ask the question.
Here are a few questions:

– Do you see that you contradict yourself about the usefulness of the meetings?
– Do you think that since you don’t have a better choice for the teacher it is OK to follow a delusional, perverted, LYING, corrupt teacher?
– Do you think you can evolve within FOF just staying far from the center and being “your own person” if the head of this school is a rootless sociopath?
– Don’t you think that you are wasting your time, money and maybe an opportunity of finding something better later on?
– Isn’t it better to be completely alone than with a group of delusional, confused, dysfunctional people?

Talking to you is like talking to at least 20 friends who are “in”…

206. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

I have a “question”, what the fuck is with all the “questions”. What kind of answers do you expect. Do you think they’ll deviate from what Vinnie’s already answered honestly, if not vapidly? Do you think he’s going to say, “hey wait, good question, I guess I’ll have to reevaluate my cosmology”.

207. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

Re: 206

as in intellectual (and ineffectual) masturbation.

208. Rear View Mirror - July 9, 2008

About some of the posters who occasionally show up here on the blog when the topics become uncomfortable for the FOF… They have the following “role” in being here…

obfuscation
transitive verb1 a: darken b: to make obscure 2: confuse intransitive verb: to be evasive, unclear, or confusing

What’s needed to expose the truth about the FOF is just the opposite — a discussion filled with clarity, openness, and directness. That’s the last thing that Robert Burton wants. In fact, the last thing he wants is ANY type of discussion about it.

There’s been a recurring objection on the blog that people aren’t speaking in friendly enough terms to those who are participating in the obfuscation. Hmm.

Well, I would have absolutely no objections if Robert Burton and all of his followers in the Fellowship of Friends truly started participating in this blog. No holds barred. Everyone in “the school” is encouraged to read the blog, and contribute to it.

Question is… Why wouldn’t Robert Burton want that?

We all know the answer to that. Very simply, Burton does not want the truth to be revealed. Think about that. What a bizarre attitude for a “conscious being” to have about the truth.

209. veramente - July 9, 2008

Vinnie, I doubt you are a “student”.
There is no much I can do to prove you are a real fof, if you are then I am sorry for you. If you are not…still sorry!

Let’s not feed the fish for a while.

210. Richard M. - July 9, 2008

203. Vinnie the fish

I wonder what the stats are on ex-students:
A. those who lose all desire or respect for ’spiritual’ aspirations
B. those who continue to seek but lose faith in all ‘teachers’
C. those who seek/find a new teacher
D. those who become bitter and twisted (maybe a subset of A

How clever. A bit more generous “judgement” of former students than the standard: “food for the moon”.
Now there are FOUR possibilities for ex-members!!!!
Please Circle the letter next to the stereotype that best describes YOU!

The work of higher mind???

211. Rear View Mirror - July 9, 2008

Bruce: The questions expose the guy for what he is, although I sense that you had him figured out a long time ago. His standard operating procedure here is evasion and obfuscation and distraction from the important topics. I don’t think anyone believes he’ll reevaluate any of his attitudes.

But yeah, the discussion will inevitably go in circles with him, which is what he wants. But in the meantime, it does reveal something interesting about Burton — the fact that he feels these people are necessary on the blog means he’s very uncomfortable with it. And what makes him most uncomfortable is that his current membership might tune in.

And start thinking.

212. somebody - July 9, 2008

Brucelevy 206, 207

If the blog can’t handle one current student what’s the use of the blog? Why do we keep promoting the blog and then give them a hard time? I don’t expect the answers, I hope that questions can provoke thoughts and eventually – yes, lead to reevaluation of the “cosmology” as you put it. Vinnie is thinking, why would he be still here otherwise? Why are you still here?

213. paulshabram - July 9, 2008

Bruce 206

“I have a “question”, what the fuck is with all the “questions”. What kind of answers do you expect. Do you think they’ll deviate from what Vinnie’s already answered honestly, if not vapidly? Do you think he’s going to say, “hey wait, good question, I guess I’ll have to reevaluate my cosmology”.

Here’s an example of asking the fish a question and getting an answer that we can use:

Vinnie (38) “Just from the exercise of looking in another’s eyes when you ‘toast’ you can learn a lot about love, if the heart is able to be a little open, but not from words, from being and doing.”

The exercise of looking in another’s eyes when you toast…

Look into my eyes… You are beginning to feel light but your arms are becoming heavy. Open your heart. A sense of well being and happiness is flowing into you…

Vinnie 122 “Paul, my point of wanting to being more conscious is to be more happy, peaceful and understanding basically (apart from the slight off chance that it might be necessary to create a soul (who knows?)).”

…Now complete the Sequence and count the stools around this rhinoceros…Hasn’t your understanding increased? “WQe are getting close…Isn’t it wonderful?” You can fashion your own soul, and from anything, even rhino shit.

I think compassion is the higher road here. Even for those that are incapable of it themselves, or incapacitated by programming.

Vinnie my scaly friend: I am struck by the contrast of two contemporary events. One was Pope John Paul, nearing death, going to his would be killer, face to face, and forgiving him. The other is REB sucking 60 or so cocks in a day (on his BD that really isn’t his BD). Which do you think is a better example of “humanity”.

Vinnie your:
“A. those who lose all desire or respect for ’spiritual’ aspirations
B. those who continue to seek but lose faith in all ‘teachers’
C. those who seek/find a new teacher
D. those who become bitter and twisted (maybe a subset of A)” may more accurately describe current FOF members than ex-members.

214. Rear View Mirror - July 9, 2008

somebody,
I don’t think “Vinnie the Fish” is here to have a thoughtful discussion. He’s here in an attempt to distract us and steer us away from uncomfortable topics, and his goal is to degrade the discussion. In my opinion, that’s not working, but that’s his motivation for being here.

There are very few “current members” of the FOF who show up on the blog to have thoughtful discussions about it. First of all, they are discouraged from participating in it, because Burton doesn’t want them to. They will learn too much about him and the FOF by being here. Those who do show up here rarely address some of the key issues. For example, how many of them pose the questions, “I wonder if this is a serious ethical problem that Robert Burton is having sex with many of his followers. I wonder if this behavior reveals his insincerity, his lack of honesty, and a complete lack of concern for the well-being of his followers. I wonder if this reveals that the FOF is a scam.”

These are very key points repeatedly discussed on the blog. But Vinnie, Howard Carter, and team never address these points directly and honestly. They change the subject. They dismiss these issues as being irrelevant, unimportant, or insignificant.

If a number of current FOF followers were to show up here and begin discussing the above more thoughtfully, then I’d be impressed.

But if they did so in larger numbers, the FOF would not last much longer.

215. Ames Gilbert - July 9, 2008

Studying myself over the years, I’ve found that self-protection (‘self-calming’) is the major priority of the organism, both physically and psychologically.
I intellectually support the idea of learning from my experiences, but how often does this actually occur? For this to happen, at some level I have to see this trait must for what it is and set it aside, even if temporarily. Taking the risks of opening myself up to learning from my mistakes runs counter to self-protection, and so is rare. First, it requires will. Secondly it requires honesty. Thirdly, it requires as ruthless self-analysis as one can muster. And finally, for there to be any progress (however you define or measure this), there has to be will-to-action, a decision to move, marshalling of resources, and actual movement—the first step. That is, one has to see the results, and then act on them in some way, to actually learn and benefit from the experience.
And so it is with organizations. In any organization (such as the Fellowship of Friends), how does the process of learning manifest? First, the leaders set the example; if the leader personally is not interested in learning from mistakes, or does not believe he is making a mistake, then this affects all subordinates down the line. This is especially dangerous for hierarchical organizations, because that kind will automatically cut off all signals from below that things are not right, that policies are not being implemented, or that energies are not flowing according to expectations. Who will dare challenge the Maximum Leader or Beloved Teacher under these circumstances? The safest way is to conform to the priorities of the leader; the best way to gain favor is to assist in the cover-ups, to expand the comfort zone, and to recruit more followers to the common fantasy.

In the tiny pond of the Fellowship, where every aspect of the life of subordinates is open to random scrutiny both by the leader and fellow followers, the pressure to conform is intense. We have seen lots of evidence brought forward in this blog, references to research on authoritarian power structures and on conformity by followers, that shows that any single person’s psychology is shockingly malleable, Vinnie’s protests not withstanding. It turns out that when we are invited to join a group, our world-view is capable of rapid change; we welcome the feeling of belonging when we join a group (any group), and hasten to adapt. But when questioning our circumstances, or leaving a group, the reverse is true, because we are so rarely take inventory, see our mistakes, and try to learn from them.

Burton’s reckless behavior (sexual, financial, and psychological) is condoned, sanctioned and excused at every level of the organization itself and in the in psychologies of the followers because self-protection is the primary goal. To see things as they actually are means stepping outside this mutually agreed safe haven, and that is traumatic; impossible for the organization, and risky for any follower. I mean, the Fellowship of Friends was set up to produce seven ‘conscious’ people, to be an ark of civilization as the world crumbles around it, to transmit the knowledge of the system into the future, and so on and on. Not one of those objectives has been achieved, despite the efforts and sacrifices of many thousands of people and over a hundred million dollars over forty years. Talk about never learning from mistakes! Yet, it can all be rationalized as an ongoing miracle and undoubted success by Burton and the Vinnies because a few moments of ‘higher states’ have been produced, or because Burton the Maximum Parrot has memorized some salient quotes from the workbooks, and repeats them when needed to lull the followers again.

Another point I’d like to make is; that when there is a culture that prevents review and learning from mistakes, risks increase. For example, when Burton has unprotected sex with his followers, he literally gambles with their lives. He started by raping his victims one at a time, in secret. Acquiescence, whether because of shame or guilt or threat, condoned further abuse and increased the risks as the number of partners grew. When the information became general, most followers ‘stepped up to the plate’ and provided plenty of explanations and excuses. Burton’s behavior became more risky; there was no relevant feedback, and so no reality check. Any possibility of Burton admitting a mistake (and of course, learning from such) became less and less as his ambition and daring grew, and the cover ups became more entrenched. Now it is not even seen as rape, and the victims actually help recruit and encourage other victims! And onlookers absorb these behaviors and normalize them.

This goes further. A rational being would think it hardly possible that any leader would risk the existence of the organization to protect himself, yet this is exactly what happens in many organizations, and has happened with the Fellowship. Burton’s behavior is actually leading to the demise of the organization, the very source of his power, grandiosity and pleasure. He is even sacrificing the mirrors to his vanity, his most entrenched followers, the very supporters of his worldview and self-esteem, the enablers of his fantasy.
The same applies to our internal psychology; the longer we put off looking at ourselves honestly, the harder it is to learn from our mistakes; the more investment we make in a particular worldview, the more inflexible we become, as we seek to protect that investment. Our internal justifications become stronger, and as they become stronger, the risks likewise increase as we separate ourselves more from the truths of our situation; we become capable of completely ruining our lives and those of whom we profess to love in order to defend our fantasies.

216. Kid Shelleen - July 9, 2008

Vinnie @ 186:

“Any other questions? It’s good for clarifying thought. Try to make them very clear, so the 2 parts are actually related to each other.”

The teacher hath spoken.

217. somebody - July 9, 2008

I don’t know, may be he is here to distract from the “uncomfortable topics” may be to find an alternative to FOF’s life s tile, where he is basically stuck. He brings the most discomfort to the discussion with his honesty. Even Howard Carter or L..da Tu…o if challenged by the discussion will come up with the same ideas as Vinnie. This is what you get if you are lucky to discuss anything at all with the current students and this is how it starts. And we were there too!
Didn’t we stop talking to a friend when he/she left? Didn’t we change the subject when a student would ask a difficult question? Didn’t we “photographed” the king of clubs and negativity instead of listening to the fair concerns of our friends?

What I observe among the students is that there is a lot of confusion, discomfort and even despair, because the old buffers are not holding stuff together anymore. Thanks to the blog! And yes, students read, even though they know it is a bad black blog, but they do read it. Their friends read it and when it gets hot people talk. They ask exactly these questions: “I wonder if this is a serious ethical problem that Robert Burton is having sex with many of his followers. I wonder if this behavior reveals his insincerity, his lack of honesty, and a complete lack of concern for the well-being of his followers. I wonder if this reveals that the FOF is a scam.” Thanks for nailing it. But the reason they are still there is that their answers are similar to the answers of Vinnie. I tell you exactly the answers: “Ethical problems is a formatory thinking. Insincerity does not proof that he is not a conscious being. Intentional insincerity. His concern for the well-being of his followers are that they are present and not their “lower selves”. Etc., etc.

You see, this is where people need help the most. But if we start screaming – You’re fools! You’re idiots! Selfish lunatics! How is that going to help?

218. elena - July 9, 2008

Rear View Mirror,

I agree with you:

“I don’t think “Vinnie the Fish” is here to have a thoughtful discussion. He’s here in an attempt to distract us and steer us away from uncomfortable topics, and his goal is to degrade the discussion. In my opinion, that’s not working, but that’s his motivation for being here.”

If anyone of us knew about professional techniques to deal with “blogs” in certain directions we would probably recognize Vinie’s techinique, easily.

He avoids too many issues but in dismissing them he manages to degrade them, he exposes the values of the Fellowship to most people so that they feel comfortable in them and that they are not being opposed. He is as slimy as his name and he’s good at it.

His different appearances on the blog show he is also learning how to deal with it, like us and he is getting good at it, like us.

He handles a middle ground in which it is difficult for anyone to disagree with unless one is very clear about the issues. For example, the concept of meetings being O.K. Yes, meetings would be O.K. if it were not for the fact that it is the only arena in which Fellowship students get together and only listen. If there were other instances in which students participated, discussed, argued, then one meeting in which one person talks would not be so damaging. But one only meeting in which only one person or two talk for over five years is a CULT, CULT, CULT.

It is not what is said what is so dangerous, it is what is done and not done. Not the fact that one man speaks, but that ONLY ONE MAN SPEAKS, not the fact that one man is benefitted but that ONLY ONE MAN IS BENEFITTED and in the long run he is loosing his soul just like everybody else in there.

You’re not worth arguing with Vinnie, it is not that you don’t understand, it is that you don’t want to understand and when people get there other solutions find their way, like legal action, picketing, direct confrontation on legal grounds. Then we’ll see how slimy you can skip the rope, that is you, the Fellowship of Friends, who you are representing.

219. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

212 Somebody

“Vinnie is thinking, why would he be still here otherwise? ”

I think that’s self evident.

220. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

212. somebody – July 9, 2008

Brucelevy 206, 207

If the blog can’t handle one current student what’s the use of the blog?

I think you are extrapolating way too far. I’m speaking about Vinnie, not “one current student.”

But, hey, knock yourself out..

221. Rear View Mirror - July 9, 2008

Ames (215). Bares Reposting, please keep that one on your list.

somebody, I hope you’re right that many people in the FOF are tuning in to the blog, and I especially hope they’re reading posts like 215. If yes, it’s a very good sign. And I hope they do contribute, as everyone reading the blog will welcome them here, and they will definitely add value to the discussion.

Blunt disagreements will happen. But we’ll all be better for it.

But there should be a sign on every page of the blog, for those who believe they’re entering anything similar to an FOF meeting:

Caution: Thinking Zone

and feeling zone too.

222. ton - July 9, 2008

bruce 206 re: vinnie,
‘…Do you think he’s going to say, “hey wait, good question, I guess I’ll have to reevaluate my cosmology”.’

to all — an opinion
it’s apparent that vinnie has an agenda and it has nothing to do with reevaluation… it’s all about reinforcing ‘the party line’ and diversion (obfuscation was the term used here). to argue valid points with him, or attempting to point out the error in his thinking in effect supports his presence here. the question is how much support do we care to give… and to what end? since he’s been popping up here i’ve thought of him as a fence-sitter who in his own backass way is looking for a way out… if that were the case then he should by all means be given support even if it means ‘tough love’ in uncompromising language… but i see now that he’s not sincerely seeking answers to the obvious contradictions he’s chosen to live with… and if it’s true that he’s simply a shill and he has no intent or interest in reevaluation and change, then it would probably be best to just ignore him until he goes away.

223. lauralupa - July 9, 2008

Sheik, it would be interesting to know if more people have been tuning into the blog since Elena’s picketing started. Can you please give us an update?
And if it’s true that FoF people are reading, it might be a good idea to repost some of the more relevant stories and info that is now buried in the back pages. Here is a description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder from http://samvak.tripod.com/dialogues.html

“Pathological narcissism involves an impaired, dysfunctional, immature (True) Self coupled with a compensatory fiction (the False Self). The sick narcissist’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem derive entirely from audience feedback. The narcissist has no self-esteem or self-worth of his own (no such ego functions). In the absence of observers, the narcissist shrivels to non-existence and feels dead. Hence the narcissist’s preying habits in his constant pursuit of Narcissistic Supply. Pathological narcissism is an addictive behavior. …

Narcissists are aided, abetted and facilitated by four types of people and institutions: the adulators, the blissfully ignorant, the self-deceiving and those deceived by the narcissist. (oh look, four stereotypes here too!)
The adulators are fully aware of the nefarious and damaging aspects of the narcissist’s behaviour but believe that they are more than balanced by the benefits – to themselves, to their collective, or to society at large. They engage in an explicit trade-off between some of their principles and values – and their personal profit, or the greater good.
They seek to help the narcissist, promote his agenda, shield him from harm, connect him with like-minded people, do his chores for him and, in general, create the conditions and the environment for his success. This kind of alliance is especially prevalent in political parties, the government, multinational, religious organizations and other hierarchical collectives.
The blissfully ignorant are simply unaware of the “bad sides” of the narcissist- and make sure they remain so. They look the other way, or pretend that the narcissist’s behavior is normative, or turn a blind eye to his egregious misbehaviour. They are classic deniers of reality. Some of them maintain a generally rosy outlook premised on the inbred benevolence of Mankind. Others simply cannot tolerate dissonance and discord. They prefer to live in a fantastic world where everything is harmonious and smooth and evil is banished. They react with rage to any information to the contrary and block it out instantly. This type of denial is well evidenced in dysfunctional families.
The self-deceivers are fully aware of the narcissist’s transgressions and malice, his indifference, exploitativeness, lack of empathy, and rampant grandiosity – but they prefer to displace the causes, or the effects of such misconduct. They attribute it to externalities (”a rough patch”), or judge it to be temporary. They even go as far as accusing the victim for the narcissist’s lapses, or for defending themselves (”She provoked him”).
In a feat of cognitive dissonance, they deny any connection between the acts of the narcissist and their consequences (”His wife abandoned him because she was promiscuous, not because of anything he did to her”). They are swayed by the narcissist’s undeniable charm, intelligence, or attractiveness. But the narcissist needs not invest resources in converting them to his cause – he does not deceive them. They are self-propelled into the abyss that is narcissism. The inverted narcissist, for instance, is a self-deceiver.
The deceived are people – or institutions, or collectives – deliberately taken for a premeditated ride by the narcissist. He feeds them false information, manipulates their judgement, proffers plausible scenarios to account for his indiscretions, soils the opposition, charms them, appeals to their reason, or to their emotions, and promises the Moon.
Again, the narcissist’s incontrovertible powers of persuasion and his impressive personality play a part in this predatory ritual. The deceived are especially hard to deprogram. They are often themselves encumbered with narcissistic traits and find it impossible to admit a mistake, or to atone.
They are likely to stay on with the narcissist to his – and their – bitter end.

Regrettably, the narcissist rarely pays the price for his offenses. His victims pick up the tab. …
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) IV-TR uses this language to describe the malignant narcissist:
“An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts.”
So, what matters is that these characteristics, often found in healthy people, appear jointly and not separately or intermittently and that they are all-pervasive (invade, penetrate, and mould every aspect, nook, and cranny of the personality):
That grandiose fantasies are abundantly discernible;
That grandiose (often ridiculous) behaviors are present;
That there is an over-riding need for admiration and adulation or attention (”narcissistic supply”);
That the person lacks empathy (regards other people as two dimensional cartoon figures and abstractions, unable to “stand in their shoes”);
That these traits and behaviors begin, at the latest, in early adolescence;
That the narcissistic behaviors pervade all the social and emotional interactions of the narcissist.
Some narcissists are ostentatiously generous – they donate to charity, lavish gifts on their closest, abundantly provide for their nearest and dearest, and, in general, are open-handed and unstintingly benevolent. How can this be reconciled with the pronounced lack of empathy and with the pernicious self-preoccupation that is so typical of narcissists?
The act of giving enhances the narcissist’s sense of omnipotence, his fantastic grandiosity, and the contempt he holds for others. It is easy to feel superior to the supplicating recipients of one’s largesse. Narcissistic altruism is about exerting control and maintaining it by fostering dependence in the beneficiaries.
But narcissists give for other reasons as well.
The narcissist flaunts his charitable nature as a bait. He impresses others with his selflessness and kindness and thus lures them into his lair, entraps them, and manipulates and brainwashes them into subservient compliance and obsequious collaboration. People are attracted to the narcissist’s larger than life posture – only to discover his true personality traits when it is far too late. “Give a little to take a lot” is the narcissist’s creed. …

If a narcissist is doing something that puts him or her in the limelight, and benefits others, then how can we fault them? Narcissists can project images of being the best friend, lover, worker, boss, parent and we accept it hook line and sinker. Is there a litmus test for telling if a gift is a poisoned apple? NPD’s are so good at dissimilating their real motives for being nice. In polite societies, good manners can hide hideous crimes. A sweet smile can hide a cold heart. Take the case of the serial killer Ted Bundy. Ted Bundy was a mild mannered “nice boy” who captured the attention of young women by appealing to their better natures; he would fake an injury to get them to help him to his car where he would knock them out with the same crutch he used to seduce them into believing he was a nice person. …

Most abusers master the art of deception. People often find themselves involved with a abuser (emotionally, in business, or otherwise) before they have a chance to discover his real nature. When the abuser reveals his true colors, it is usually far too late. His victims are unable to separate from him. They are frustrated by this acquired helplessness and angry that they failed to see through the abuser earlier on.
But abusers do emit subtle, almost subliminal, signals in his body language even in a first or casual encounter. These are:
“Haughty” body language – The abuser adopts a physical posture which implies and exudes an air of superiority, seniority, hidden powers, mysteriousness, amused indifference, etc. Though the abuser usually maintains sustained and piercing eye contact, he often refrains from physical proximity (he maintains his personal territory).
The abuser takes part in social interactions – even mere banter – condescendingly, from a position of supremacy and faux “magnanimity and largesse”. But even when he feigns gregariousness, he rarely mingles socially and prefers to remain the “observer”, or the “lone wolf”. … Entitlement markers – The abuser immediately asks for “special treatment” of some kind. Not to wait his turn, to have a longer or a shorter therapeutic session, to talk directly to authority figures (and not to their assistants or secretaries), to be granted special payment terms, to enjoy custom tailored arrangements. This tallies well with the abuser’s alloplastic defenses – his tendency to shift responsibility to others, or to the world at large, for his needs, failures, behavior, choices, and mishaps (”look what you made me do!”). ….

In general, the abuser always prefers show-off to substance. One of the most effective methods of exposing a abuser is by trying to delve deeper. The abuser is shallow, a pond pretending to be an ocean. He likes to think of himself as a Renaissance man, a Jack of all trades, or a genius. Abusers never admit to ignorance or to failure in any field – yet, typically, they are ignorant and losers. It is surprisingly easy to penetrate the gloss and the veneer of the abuser’s self-proclaimed omniscience, success, wealth, and omnipotence. …

The abuser’s biography sounds unusually rich and complex. His achievements – incommensurate with his age, education, or renown. Yet, his actual condition is evidently and demonstrably incompatible with his claims. Very often, the abuser’s lies or fantasies are easily discernible. He always name-drops and appropriates other people’s experiences and accomplishments as his own. … In general, the abuser is very impatient, easily bored, with strong attention deficits – unless and until he is the topic of discussion. One can dissect all aspects of the intimate life of a abuser, providing the discourse is not “emotionally tinted”. If asked to relate directly to his emotions, the abuser intellectualizes, rationalizes, speaks about himself in the third person and in a detached “scientific” tone or composes a narrative with a fictitious character in it, suspiciously autobiographical. …

The abuser is dead serious about himself. He may possess a fabulous sense of humor, scathing and cynical, but rarely is he self-deprecating. The abuser regards himself as being on a constant mission, whose importance is cosmic and whose consequences are global. … Finally, abusers are sometimes sadistic and have inappropriate affect. In other words, they find the obnoxious, the heinous, and the shocking – funny or even gratifying. They are sexually sado-masochistic or deviant. They like to taunt, to torment, and to hurt people’s feelings (”humorously” or with bruising “honesty”).
While some abusers are “stable” and “conventional” – others are antisocial and their impulse control is flawed. These are very reckless (self-destructive and self-defeating) and just plain destructive: workaholism, alcoholism, drug abuse, pathological gambling, compulsory shopping, or reckless driving.
Yet, these – the lack of empathy, the aloofness, the disdain, the sense of entitlement, the restricted application of humor, the unequal treatment, the sadism, and the paranoia – do not render the abuser a social misfit. This is because the abuser mistreats only his closest – spouse, children, or (much more rarely) colleagues, friends, neighbours. To the rest of the world, he appears to be a composed, rational, and functioning person. Abusers are very adept at casting a veil of secrecy – often with the active aid of their victims – over their dysfunction and misbehavior.”

224. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

222. ton

I don’t know how far back you went when reading the blog ton, but Vinnie has appeared several times in the past, to play the exact same role he’s playing now. NOTHING has changed. People who think they can save him, reason with him, make him delve deeper into himself…also have their heads up their asses, but maybe not as deeply as his is. Does this sound cruel (that’s rhetorical)? I state it the way I see it. One can only save one’s self, all the other stuff is “material” if one wishes to use it. That’s as far as it goes.

225. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

222. ton

I wasn’t really addressing that to you. I know you well enough to know that you’re not hear because of a savior complex.

226. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

here

227. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

One useful aspect of the blog is, that in the face of all the information that is NOT discussed in the FOF but is discussed here, some who are truly trying to make heads or tails of their situation will eventually have to question their own reticence about leaving, and how entrenched they are in obvious bull shit, and how that relates to the idea of conscience. Because conscience, in the FOF is purely theory when one is in a pervasive environment of oppression, exploitation, crime and flaming queen extravagance at the cost of it’s flock of sheep.

228. somebody - July 9, 2008

Living with contradictions is within the FOF frame (separating from the I’s)
Ignoring concerns and problems are within the FOF frame (not listening to the lower self)

Conformity – yes! Because how can you question an absolute power – an immortal conscious being who has a special connection with the gods? This is why people value the FOF – because they are paying for the ‘friction from C influence’ which helps them to develop their astral body. This can justify anything!

All you need is love – of your cult leader.

Sometimes I think that there is no way to bring those folks back to their senses.

229. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 9, 2008

Any attempt to persuade Vinnie or any other member of anything about the FOF is completely pointless. If you have dealt with enough people who are mentally ill, it eventually becomes obvious that in many cases they are simply not capable of seeing things in a way that makes any sense to you, and so trying to communicate in a way that seems at all rational has little or no value. That’s why we consider them mentally ill. Sure, in their own minds their perspective makes sense to them, and we can assume that on some philosophical level it’s all “real,” or “none of it’s real,” but that’s not of much use if the aim is to cause the person to see things more the way you do, or even to have a meaningful discussion. They cannot do it. Where you see a brown chair, they see a red chair–or a red refrigerator, or maybe nothing at all. You can’t discuss with such a person anything that depends on the mutual agreement that there’s a brown chair. And it’s not going to be the case that the difference in perspective is limited to just that one piece of furniture.

The same is true between any two people, it’s just a matter of degree.

Anyone who can watch the performance at a meeting these days (based on my viewing a video of one a few months ago), or just reads RB’s current “teaching,” and doesn’t conclude that he’s truly insane is himself so far from being able to see things in a rational, realistic manner that real communication about any of these issues is not possible. In the same way, anyone who is reasonably well informed about RB’s sexual behavior over the years and either sees nothing about it that is troubling, or feels it’s not his business because he himself isn’t engaging in RB’s behavior, or believes there’s nothing questionable about paying RB money that supports the continuation of such behavior, or feels RB is still a worthwhile teacher despite the behavior (not to mention the rest of the “teaching”), is seeing a red refrigerator where I see a brown chair. There’s nothing to discuss at least until the person says “You know, I’ve heard there’s a brown chair around here somewhere, but I don’t see one–can you help me find it?” It’s just like when we discovered the Fellowship and tried to persuade our mother or best friend that it was the coolest thing–and objectively true!–and they had that glazed or quizzical or scornful or pitying look.

230. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

227. somebody

“Sometimes I think that there is no way to bring those folks back to their senses.”

It does seem that way sometimes, but at one time we were them. Although the outrageousness was profoundly less than it is now. I guess the “frog in water that approaches boiling” is the simplest analogy. One can hope, sans stupidity.

231. Another Name - July 9, 2008

Dear Vinnie 203

The teacher is in front of me
When I look through my eyes
When I take a deep breath
There, now, here.

Distracted for so many years
Now, now, now
Reborn, Breathing
Through life
So simple
Step by step
Breathe by breathe.
Hope you will see, hear and feel it too
One day

Good night.

232. waskathleenw - July 9, 2008

When Vinnie first began posting on the blog, he presented himself as a potential student, gathering information as part of the decision about whether to join the FoF.

He was outed pretty quickly, but I don’t recall him ever actually copping to the original misrepresentation. He just went away for a little while.

233. Rear View Mirror - July 9, 2008

Ton (222), I tend to agree.

I still find the words attributed to Burton about the “shadow figure” in the painting — calling it a “spy” and attributing to it the features of the “lower self” — as some of most ironic words on the blog.

The FOF is all about being stealth and secretive and disingenuous, much like a spy or a mole would be. Talking directly and being forthright about these topics runs counter to the agenda. A few days ago, I sensed this same vibe coming from Vinnie — he would never quite tell us what he thought about the issues, but would step in from time to time to distract us from some interesting posts. So that was partly the reason for my direct questions to him. I was wondering, “What exactly does this person think about these topics? And will he/she ever address the issues in a thoughtful way?”

I think it would be a good thing for anyone participating here to at least try to recognize the sincerity or insincerity of posters as early as possible. And if insincere, make note of that, and — I agree — just ignore them, or as much as you can anyway.

But either way, I think it’s all a good outcome. The discussion reveals something about the FOF, even if they do distract us occasionally. There’s a lot of money at stake, and an entire way of life (Robert Burton’s way of life, in particular), and people will show up here from time to time with the intent to distract things away from the pertinent information that’s being shared here. Not to hammer home my point too often, but I can’t say it enough… The last thing Robert Burton wants is for a beloved “member” of his cult to read post #215 by Ames.

So, if you happen to be a current member of the Fellowship of Friends, and you just opened these pages for the first time, I suggest you read #215 above. Or if you want to sleep comfortably, don’t read it.

Anyway, yes, learning to recognize a shill as early as possible, and minimizing any discussion with them, is not a bad idea. But unfortunately for the Burton agenda, the scroll bar always allows us readers to find posts like the above post by Ames, and one-liners from Bruce that cut to the chase and tell it all in a few words.

234. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

223. lauralupa

Very good and important post. Thanks.

235. Vinnie the Fish - July 9, 2008

205. somebody – July 9, 2008
Sorry, Vinnie, you are right, I did not ask the question.

Yep right again!
Hey thanks for the questions Somebody.
Good questions! I’ll have to re-evaluate my cosmology!
Let me think about them some more.
By the way, who was that better teacher you were recommending, I’m interested.
Is it Guru Bruce? or Baba Yesri?

236. paulshabram - July 9, 2008

Somebody 217

“What I observe among the students is that there is a lot of confusion, discomfort and even despair, because the old buffers are not holding stuff together anymore. Thanks to the blog! And yes, students read, even though they know it is a bad black blog, but they do read it. Their friends read it and when it gets hot people talk.”

How do you know this?

237. somebody - July 9, 2008

236.
I talk to people.

238. ton - July 9, 2008

RVM 233,

bruce 224 “One can only save one’s self, all the other stuff is “material” if one wishes to use it. That’s as far as it goes.”

i gave vinnie the “benefit of the doubt” (or is it ‘a doubt’ ?)… i had hope for vinnie… but then i’ve played the fool before… still, the shill sometimes presents ‘material’ that can serve as a sort of ‘foil’ for exposing cult-think.

RVM 233,

bruce 224 “One can only save one’s self, all the other stuff is “material” if one wishes to use it. That’s as far as it goes.”

i gave vinnie the “benefit of the doubt” (or is it ‘a doubt’ ?)… i had hope for vinnie… but then i’ve played the fool before…
still, the shill sometimes presents ‘material’ that can serve as a sort of ‘foil’ for exposing cult-think…. thanks laura 223

239. ton - July 9, 2008

sorry for the fuck-up… not sure how that happened…
i guess it must have been doubly important.
:`)

240. Vinnie the Fish - July 9, 2008

232. waskathleenw – July 9, 2008
“When Vinnie first began posting on the blog, he presented himself as a potential student, gathering information as part of the decision about whether to join the FoF.'”

What cowshit Kathleen, where did you get that stupid idea from? Show one post that implies that, liar, every page is online, so do it! I’ll give you $100 if you can. Hey its fun swearing outside the FOF isnt it! Can really letcha hair down! yo motherfuckers!

I can tell you truly I’ve got no hidden agendas, no horse, cow or bull shit within 50 yards of me. Speak to the points I made and ask sensible questions if you have any or shut the fuck up.

Laura that narcissist spiel bejeezus what a load of crap. Is that a new Body Type? Are u saying that describes me, RB or what? You dont even know me girl so wtf you on about? You lot are so far off the mark it’s a joke.

Elena’s the only one with any balls. 🙂 OK small but cute. Oh no that was your something else wasnt it..?

241. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 9, 2008

223 is newly moderated.

Lauralupa: there have been more viewers, it’s on average 700 hits per day (that includes people who come to the blog more than once in a day, so it doesn’t mean 700 people).

As for Vinnie, I agree with the thought that Vinnie is useful in establishing several crucial points that would be harder to prove without a dialogue. It’s simply easier to communicate with him so that he reveals what needs to be said and shown (hence the questions). I don’t think that anyone is trying to make him see the light, that’s for him to do, but he is bringing more light to the room, whether he wants it or not.

As for the discussion on different teachings and non-dualism vs. dualism, I guess that any spiritual doctrine or teaching has some lesson to teach and some aim that it’s trying to reach. The non-dualistic approach to presence seems to make more sense, maybe others disagree. Different people, different ways, different aims, different results.

The point I was trying to make about the FOF is that they have a very well articulated aim but fail to produce results. Identical (perhaps differently worded) aims have been met by other teachings (where graduation most decidedly occurs and is the aim rather than the struggle towards it).

As scary as the fact that the FOF does not produce anything other than ‘the struggle’ is the fact that it does not have any other aims. There is a lot more that interests me than fucking around with alternate states of consciousness, however fun that may be.

And equally scary is the approach that they seem to have towards other teachings – that is, taking other teachings, finding parts that fit in with the FOF dogma and using them to strengthen the dogma (look here, this agrees with my reality tunnel). Wouldn’t it be far more sensible to take other teachings on their value alone, look at what they try to bring to the table and take what they have to offer without the FOF/Fourth Way spin?

Vinnie: You can be your own teacher, (you have already implied that that is the case), then it becomes a case of fishing around to find what fits you best, working with it, getting some experiential results and moving from there. When the movement stops, an exchange of water (or the whole aquarium) may bring something new and exciting. Or to paraphrase Bruce, once you have reached B, or C, look for something that will take you to D. Then it becomes a question of aims (and will) rather than ‘the struggle’.

242. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

240. Vinnie the Fish

Ahh, the Vinnie that I remember.

“I can tell you truly I’ve got no hidden agendas, no horse, cow or bull shit within 50 yards of me.”

Right, and your honesty and ability at self introspection is also legendary.

“Speak to the points I made and ask sensible questions if you have any or shut the fuck up. ”

You mean according to you, you weaselly, narcissistic little shit. Channeling Greg are you, you balless wonder.

“Laura that narcissist spiel bejeezus what a load of crap.”

Spoken like the true sociopath you are.

243. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

So we don’t have to go through this shit again in two ore three months, please, everybody, remember this self absorbed little jerkoff.

244. waskathleenw - July 9, 2008

240. Vinnie the Fish – July 9, 2008

232. waskathleenw – July 9, 2008
“When Vinnie first began posting on the blog, he presented himself as a potential student, gathering information as part of the decision about whether to join the FoF.’”

What cowshit Kathleen, where did you get that stupid idea from?

—————

Vinnie, you sound sure. It’s certainly possible that I’ve confused you with someone else. Do you remember around or about which page you joined? Or about when?

I’m leaving town first thing in the morning and won’t have computer access until after the weekend, but I’ll poke around and see what I can find after I get back. If I have, indeed, confused you with someone else, I will apologize, I do apologize.

245. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

It’s interesting that when clinical descriptions of Narcissism or sociopaths are cited the sociopaths and narcissists always rebut with “shut the fuck up”. It’s a pretty good sign that it touches home pretty deeply, even though these “types” refuse to even acknowledge the existence of such. That’s why clinicians almost invariable say it’s impossible to treat. In their world “it” does not exist, so “it” can’t possibly apply to them. These are virtual automatons driven solely by their own designs without regard for others.

246. lauralupa - July 9, 2008

that Vinnie could think that the NPD post was about him truly left me puzzled. Does he really think that this blog now is all about him? Maybe the self-deceivers part could apply…

247. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

For early Vinnie, try page 10.

248. brucelevy - July 9, 2008

246. lauralupa

How could he not think it was about him. It is about him. Though you may not have written it about him.

249. Yesri Baba - July 9, 2008

224 Brucelevy

Ohhhh, that explains it. I was wondering what that smell was.

250. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

249. Yesri Baba

I’ll never use that image again.

251. paulshabram - July 10, 2008

243
Bruce,
I don’t know man. I felt like the Shiek, myself, and others had the fish on the line. Then you guys started whacking at him with your oars.

There are a few that think they can “save” Vinnie, but I think most have a clear picture and are not forgetting. Maybe Somebody, using his/her conections, can tell us if FOF lurkers believe his line. If they do I’ll bow to your better judgement and pick up my oar. But anyone, real, fictitious, shill, sincere, devious, whatever, that tries to argue from the inside FOFis necessarily bound within a rigid frame-of-reference that collapses with reason, logic, and evidence. In order for Vinnie to save face, he abandons the FOF line, starts being really negative, condescending, and abusive. So he can’t argue the line effectively. This is puts the line into sharp contrast with reality and reveals all those things that squirm in the muck of the FOF. That is the real value of engaging with the fish entity or anyone like him. Maybe I’m a little over-confident, but I have no fear of this bottom feeding creature. He doesn’t piss me off either because I don’t think he’s real and I doubt he is effective.

If you really can’t stand to have the guy here, maybe Somebody can find out who he is and feed the info back to the Mothership (note that some of the words he uses are spelled using the British spelling). If he is real, “poof” he’ll be gone, if he keeps showing up, we’ll know for sure he’s a shill. We already know he’s a wanker.

I anyone listening inside the FOF wants to post and not be lambasted, please do so. Just make it clear that you are seeking the truth.

252. Rear View Mirror - July 10, 2008

247. brucelevy: “For early Vinnie, try page 10.”

I tried it. Here’s page 10:

http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2007/05/22/the-fellowship-of-friends-discussion-part-10/

The only comment I have is that we’re getting a glimpse into the mind of someone with an enormous amount of hate. Someone explain to me the “Divine Presence” in that and I will gladly return to the Fellowship on bended knee, to paraphrase an old friend of ours.

253. somebody - July 10, 2008

I am getting tired of talking ABOUT Vinnie, I rather talk TO him. I am still hoping to hear his answers.

I don’t know guys, why you are not getting his sense of humor. Do we always need “whacking” someone?

254. moonchild - July 10, 2008

would love to redirect the focus here

doesn’t sound much like love to me.

Elena where are you? Can’t you do something about these guys?

if help is what you are offering, i think you might try another approach.

255. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

251. paulshabram

I don’t mind that he’s here at all. I’m just pointing out what I see when I see it. But I hear you, and agree with much of it. I recognize his right to be here as much as mine, until and if he gets crazy like Greg did. But I don’t have to like or encourage the little prick. I suspect he, or other surrogates will make their appearance when they feel they’re needed here by some members of the FOF. They like to have their remoras sucking around the belly of the beast.

256. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

253. somebody

“I rather talk TO him. I am still hoping to hear his answers.

I don’t know guys, why you are not getting his sense of humor. Do we always need “whacking” someone?”

You must be his straight man. Aren’t his answers adequate enough so far, for you. He’s been pretty clear. I’m beginning to think you’re another shill.

257. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

You know, like “good jerk, bad jerk”.

258. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

253. somebody

On second thought, I don’t think so. You’re just doin your thing.

259. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

253

“I don’t know guys, why you are not getting his sense of humor.”

I love humor. This isn’t humor. It’s perverse.

“Do we always need “whacking” someone?”

Not at all, only when someone warrants whacking.

See, it’s questions of yours like these that makes me think there’s something just a bit off about you.

260. whalerider - July 10, 2008

vinnie the fish or any other fish reading this:

Care to be video taped expressing your views about Robert Burton and your involvement in the FOF either Friday September 12 or Saturday September 13?

sign up here: recroanima@gmail.com

I hope you can make it.

You ask for a contemporary, living teacher? Look no further than your own bathroom mirror. Let your conscience be your guide! But you have to close your eyes to see him (or her) and listen with your third ear. If you can accept that, then you are truely enlightened and you will have arrived at the present as a fully developed human being. Do not fall for anything less than that.

Become a virtuoso mystic!

By projecting your inner guide outward onto a cult leader who claims to be more exalted than you, you have rendered your own inner guide powerless.

261. waskathleenw - July 10, 2008

247. brucelevy – July 9, 2008

For early Vinnie, try page 10.
—————-

Thanks Bruce.

Vinnie, I apologize. I did have you confused with someone else. In the first Vinnie post I could locate, he acknowledges his FoF membership.

Any lying that occurred was unintentional — it was the result of middle-aged brain rot that had me very sure I remembered who said such and such, and my error was in not checking my “facts” before posting.

Stepping back and admiring it. Carry on.

262. paulshabram - July 10, 2008

OK Bruce, (254) It was starting to stink like fish anyway.

263. wingsspread - July 10, 2008

Bruce – just because ‘somebody’ does not agree with you does not make him/her a shill, or off in some way. If I remember his/her identity correctly, ‘somebody’ is not a native English speaker. Don’t be so self absorbed that you imagine your opinions or observations to be the whole truth. I had enough of the suppression of dissent in the FoF, and it is painful to see it expressed here.

264. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

262. wingsspread

Really? Well, personally I don’t find (paraphrasing) if you can’t ask questions according to how I think they should be asked, then “shut the fuck up”.

That’s humor? That’s a real knee slapper.

And I’m sorry it’s painful for you to see it expressed here. I imagine you left your balls in the FOF for your final payment.

Finding the humor in Vinnie’s posts…There’s not even room to consider that a possibility. I don’t think of myself as infallible, I have many vices, faults, weaknesses. But generally, I know an asshole pretty quickly. And not only do I think you’re one. But I think I know exactly who you are. You’re greasy tone is very familiar.

So kiss my ass.

265. Rear View Mirror - July 10, 2008

Wingspread: Yeah, I can see why you’re standing up for “somebody.” That’s cool. But… Actually, what I see here is dissent, not suppression of dissent. People can respond, state their opinions, ignore dissent, respond to dissent, scroll down, scroll up, go back to Page 10 of the blog, and so on. And none of this, NONE of this, was something we could do in the Fellowship. Egads, imagine Bruce or ‘somebody’ having this discussion at “the Lodge.” I love it. It’s not always harmonious, but I do love it. I also don’t think somebody is a shill, and I’m not sure Bruce said that exactly. Bruce, my apologies if my summary is way off, but what I like about Bruce is that he tolerates no insincerity about this topic — and the “topic” is Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends. So if anyone strays from sincerity, or stands up for someone who strays from sincerity, he’s on it. Damn, I’m glad he’s here. I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad all of you are here.

266. Across the River - July 10, 2008

183 Ellen
229 JAVOH

I’m interested in hearing how others experience their friendships with those who are still “in”. Even though people can continue to support Robert in varying degrees, isn’t a **yes** or **no** pretty black and white when it comes down to it?

There are several people I’m fond of who are still in, including one very good friend, but I can’t deny the awkward strain of this chasm between us. My FOF experience has been distilled and added to the whole cloth of my life. This just doesn’t match well with someone who still agrees to **yes** at this point in the FOF story.

Glibly or **earnestly** dancing around this chasm can’t be sustained forever. Aside from supporting the creepiness of Robert, what is there in common with someone who insists on holding on to this formulated world, no matter whether it’s for material, social or so-called spiritual gain?

Too much lying at this juncture, IMO. For me it’s hard to remain genuinely connected when respect is lost, even though behind the weakness, vanity, foolishness, fear, willfulness, confusion, etc is someone I can see and value.

267. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

264. Rear View Mirror

Actually I’m torn between thinking somebody is a shill, and somebody is just a person who recently left and is still internally “close” to it. Some of somebodies posts are relatively magnanimous, but others give me a weird feeling. I’m open to the possibility that somebody is trying to be honest, but something still feels shill-like. I just don’t trust somebody. Call me crazy. It almost feels like somebody was part of the hierarchical continuum and part of theor work is trying to come to terms with their complicity. But I could be 390 degrees off. But these days, I don’t discount my intuitive feelings. But they are sometimes wrong.

268. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

262. wingsspread

And now that you’re out of the FOF, you can use YOUR REAL NAME.

269. Ames Gilbert - July 10, 2008

With reference to Esoteric Sheik’s message for Vinnie (#39-242 or thereabouts)…
Dave Tate, a Canadian champion body builder, said the following:
“I know I don’t know anything. While I may think I do from time to time, I don’t. The only thing I really, truly know, is how to test what I’m doing. I know how to quantify it. Be it training, nutrition, and business, whatever. I know how to quantify it. I go into everything thinking I don’t know a thing. Then I start talking to people who claim to know, and I’ll implement what they say. And then I’ll test it. I’ll have indicators I measure to tell me if it’s going in the direction I want, so I can tell if it’s working.
And because I don’t know anything, because I don’t allow myself to make intellectual decisions, if those indicators don’t go the way I want them to, I change things! I try to remind myself that I don’t know anything, I try to stay detached enough to view things objectively. If you don’t do that, you’ll never change things, even when they’re not working. You just get stuck in, “It’s gonna work, it’s gonna work, it’s gonna work.’ And it’s not.”

Another way of putting this is: we start off ignorant. But, we’ve been given some tools. The first and most important is common sense, the sense common to all centers. We may seek guidance—so we don’t have to re-invent the wheel—or not. But we can start with something reasonable. We know enough to set a goal and some parameters. Then we can measure and see if it worked. If so, then keep on going. If things are not working, then change things. So it’s always based on personal results. Not those established by others, or according to the claims made by others. If the results are poor, you’re doing the wrong things, whatever your (always temporary) teacher or friends say.

This is using the scientific method within one’s inner world. Because Vinnie is using always-inadequate words to describe his internal world, it doesn’t seem valid to argue with him that he is not getting results; he may very well be getting the results he wants. He claims he is, and good luck to him. But I do say to each of us, that if one is not using the equivalent of Dave Tate’s methodology above, then one is almost surely going to be wasting a lot of time, repeating, back pedaling, floundering. Efforts may become random thrashing about, all heat and no light. The limited value of a teacher, in my opinion, is at the beginning of any set of experiments, setting up some parameters; you might possibly save some time. After that, you must be on your own, because your particular possibilities and adventures are unique; you have your own lessons to learn, in your own good time, and in the order that suits you. And I’d go on to say; if the teacher’s ego and needs are more than modest, the payment to him more than nominal, then go find another. If the price the teacher demands (in any terms, psychic or material) is damaging your well-being or health and interfering with the experiments you wish to make and the lessons you need to learn, then it is too great. What is too great? Common sense will tell you.

What would I advise, if asked? I’d say that if you feel the strong urge to explore within, but you can’t decide on any particular area or direction, you could do worse than trying to find out what makes you happy. Do the experiments to find out what makes you more or less happy, methodically, scientifically. When you’ve learned enough, I bet you’ll know where to go from there.

270. wingsspread - July 10, 2008

Well, actually, Bruce, you’ve met me, I think, once, so I don’t think my “tone” could be familiar. And if you thought I ever had any balls to leave, your guessing is pretty wild. But I’m glad that you admit that you can be wrong – though I guess 390 degrees equals 30 degrees?

RVM – I think somebody was pretty courageously expressing dissent against the general viewpoint against Vinnie (whom I find pretty creepy myself). I just don’t see Bruce as infallible in his intuitions, and I think he’s really off here. Though, I admit, he’s been right on the money sometimes.

271. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

I’ll self flagellate. Just cause I like it.

272. Rear View Mirror - July 10, 2008

Bruce, honestly, I’ve had similar thoughts. I think where the intuition comes in is when a poster doesn’t exactly state their thoughts and feelings directly and unequivocally. If we’re left guessing what they really think, then it’s reasonably left to our interpretation and guesswork what someone is thinking. And our gut feeling is that something is not right.

Sure, there are nuances with this topic.

But the best advice I can give is that if any of us misinterpret, misunderstand, or misconstrue what anyone is saying here, the “message” window is right there. Type, and let us know. Tell us what YOU think. Don’t leave it to our imagination.

But, as Paul wrote above, and this is one of my favorite lines in the entire blog… “Just make it clear that you are seeking the truth.”

Because, as he implies, there are definitely posters here who aren’t seeking the truth. In fact, I’d go a step further and say they’re trying to hide it.

273. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

268, 271

Thank you.

274. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 10, 2008

265

I try to avoid being absolutist about it, but ultimately I tend to agree with you. I don’t have any friends who are in, not because I refuse to, but because it’s been a long time. If I ran into someone I once knew, or just somehow met a member, and he or she was friendly, I would certainly be friendly also, and we could have some sort of relationship. But sooner or later these issues come up. If the person at least acknowledged that the issues I’ve raised are very problematic, and didn’t try too hard to justify what I feel is unjustifiable but admitted a current inability to cope with the situation, I could certainly understand that. Haven’t many (or all) of us hesitated, sometimes for far too long, taking actions we have a pretty good idea we ought to take? Different people take different amounts of time to process information. It doesn’t make someone evil to be unable, for a time, to do something even if he knows it’s the right thing to do. But if the person says “Yeah, well, I figure what RB does is his own business,” or “Hey, he’s conscious, so he must be doing the higher right,” or “Yeah, well, he just may be on to something when he says [insert any of the various idiocies being passed off as “teachings” or “keys”], or even “I’ve been trying to process all of this for the past twenty years,” then I can still be friendly, but would know that there’s something about this person that fundamentally stands in the way of my ability to respect them or even communicate with them on a deep level. I might try to address my perspective directly, and if they were stuck in their view, I’d move on. Life’s too short.

275. Rear View Mirror - July 10, 2008

Ames: quoting Dave Tate: “You just get stuck in, “It’s gonna work, it’s gonna work, it’s gonna work.’ And it’s not.”

The late actor Jack Lemmon was interviewed on a television program about 10 years ago. The interviewer asked him what his least favorite “word” in the English was. He replied, “It’ll work.”

276. Rear View Mirror - July 10, 2008

Across the River. I have never read so closely every word of the blog as I have on this page. I feel like I’m reading a poem, and then going back to it later and discovering something in the third stanza that escaped me yesterday. Thanks for your post. Thanks everyone. I’ll keep reading. And it makes me wonder what I’ve missed on the previous pages.

277. Joe Average - July 10, 2008

When Vinnie started posting, his style, background, choice of vocabulary etc. all struck me as extremely similar to “Master of Bullshit”, who threw around a lot of smarmy condescension alternating with blasts of pure hate for the first two pages of the blog before outing himself as Benj-min Newl-nd (London center) in a “farewell to the blog” note.
I could be mistaken of course, but the style, attitude and approach are extremely similar with the exception that, with each return of Vinnie to these pages, he is a little more conciliatory. Yes, Vinnie, I am sure you are pleased to be “mistaken” for him – “splendid chap, but no, that is not me”. Spare us.

Bruce, you are getting a little paranoid about “Somebody”. She is no shill, merely somebody who still has a lot of contacts “inside” and who is trying to sort out all the conflicting emotions that creates. I agree with “wingspead”. Not everyone who disagrees with you is your enemy or is “somehow off”. That way lies madness. Wingspread was talking about “somebody”, not Vinnie, so your attempted “shut the fuck up” quote was misplaced. Assuming he/she “left your balls in the FOF for your final payment” is just random, thoughtless ugliness.

There is no reason for people seemingly as secure in the face of contradictory evidence as Vinnie is to be shills simply for that reason. A friend of mine, currently a member, could easily have written similar sentiments. He is neither stupid, nor naive. He has little respect for Burton or for most FOF members. Throughout his “FOF career”, he has consistently been a voice of dissent, even open sarcasm about the absurdities and lies that make up so much of the FOF structure and dynamic. He is, however, totally convinced that C-Influence has chosen him to be a part of the FOF and so he is. He sees himself as a gods-appointed free agent, doing their will. Nothing Burton or any member does is of any relevance at all. In the face of such religious absolutism, logic and evidence are pointless.

More to the point is why anyone with that attitude/worldview would bother posting here? He does mostly meet with a hostile reception. Is posting here sheer macho bravura or masochism? The claim that “the discussions are interesting to me” is hardly credible. I dislike overly quick assertions of FOF conspiracies, but the earlier patterns of posters like “Howard Carter” and “Fatboy” certainly indicate it, and the claim from “My 2/4 bits” of having taken part in FOF strategy meetings where exactly this tactic of obfuscation and defusing were openly advocated and planned confirms at least such an intent.

Sincerely posting to this blog is taking a step toward the door. There are only so many such steps you can take before you go out that door. I was also accused of being a shill after my first posting here. I only had four toes out the door at that point (the 4 wordless breaths, of course), and it seemed my condemnation of the FOF was not yet unambiguous enough for my accuser. But it was impossible to stay in that confused place, seeing more of the truth but still clinging to self-calming rationalizations. Sooner or later you either go through the door or you shut it and run back. The FOF is a religion, and sincere and open questioning has always been the death of formal religion.
There are many FOF members who are implacably secure in their beliefs and sense of superiority, but I don’t think they are bothering to post so persistently to what they see, either literally or figuratively as a moon-queue snacks trolley. Those that do have a (barely) concealed agenda.

278. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

276. Joe Average

“Bruce, you are getting a little paranoid about “Somebody”. She is no shill, merely somebody who still has a lot of contacts “inside” and who is trying to sort out all the conflicting emotions that creates.”

Yes, if you read my post I think I admitted that was one possibility. I don’t want to crush someone’s progression. So please accept my apologies somebody/

279. brucelevy - July 10, 2008

276. Joe Average

And thanks for the rest of the post.

280. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 10, 2008

276 Joe Average

“I only had four toes out the door at that point (the 4 wordless breaths, of course)”

Wish I’d said that.

281. Yesri Baba - July 10, 2008

Looking at this passage now, from one man to another — as opposed to one “man number 4″ to a much higher “man number whatever” — I see someone who is weaving a spell based on a number of false premises, like “This is a law. It is difficult to climb the hill but very easy to slide down it.” This “law” is completely imaginary. It appears to be true if you believe there is a “hill,” but it ceases to exist when you stop looking at life that way.

That is the core deception behind the 4th way. It fills your head with false premises. Once you see things in the 4th way, you “verify” it everywhere. But that is no way to verify something. It is quite unscientific. If you are given information and told, “this is true, you just haven’t verified it yet,” you will commence to believe you are verifying it. We see what we want to see.

This is related to what Vinnie was saying. In speaking about different states of consciousness and how they have degrees, he said, “this is obvious, you only have to look and see it.” But having purged myself of the 4th way dogma, it is not at all obvious to me. It is just another false premise. If you look for sleeping, dead people, you will see them. If you adopt the attitude that you really don’t know what the hell is going on (the closest thing to the truth I have found), you will see a lot more interesting stuff.

—————————

This passage from Ralphsbarcode has clawed at my brain several times.

These ‘spiritual’ premises that are bantered about, where did they come from?

How many came from mis-translation or misunderstanding or some charlatans bullshit?

It’s your world. Take it back

282. Bares Reposting - July 10, 2008

28/170 Associated Press
on January 11, 2008 at 10:44 am

on January 10, 2008 at 5:09 am
~ 109 Nuthead

For the last couple of months I’ve been seeing a therapist who has been helping me reintegrate the parts of my being that were cut off by my time in the FoF.

She lent me a book called The Erotic Mind, by Jack Morin, from which: “Erotic conflicts during childhood and adolescence can split our lustful from our tender feelings”.

In fact my sex life was normal till I joined the FoF. I don’t see any great problems stemming from my childhood. But in the FoF I walked straight into the “sex exercise”: you shouldn’t have sex until you’re married. Although I was 30 years old, in some ways I was still a child, at least in relation to the FoF: naive, innocent, trusting. All my natural instincts of common sense and self preservation were put on hold in the belief that this was the Way to become enlightened.

So my lustful feelings were split from my tender feelings. Sex became associated with transgression. It was only exciting if there was a forbidden aspect. I could “love” my fellow students, but “infra sex” was verboten.

How much more extreme was this for those heterosexual males who were induced to have sex with their lovely (male) teacher, and for those lusty girls who had sex with their teacher’s pets and were banished if discovered?

Why do FoF students now seem weak and half human? What sense do we get of the being of Psychic and Fat Boy from their writings?

The good news: recovery is possible!

~~~~~~

Nuthead, you hit the nut right on the head. (Or, is that: you hit the head right on the nut as in: The leader is found out and is caught by the… you get the picture, I trust. Or, maybe: the head that the Head gets is only for nuts.) One of the illustrious conscious beings of the Fourth Way tradition said, and I am paraphrasing here, that nothing negative should enter into sex. Yes, sex, by itself, is a beautiful and a neutral or a positive thing. Usually it is a consequence of love. However, in the Fellowship of Friends, it is full of negativity, which I will enumerate upon more later. And, that is why, on this most basic level, or heightened level, or both at the same time, the Fellowship of Friends is most decidedly not a Fourth Way school and never was, for the most part. It fails this premise. It is a sex cult developed by a sexually deviant narcissistic personality disordered megalomaniac for his own avaricious purposes. The Teacher also fails the penultimate test of almost any and all spiritual traditions and aspirants: the sex test – the most enticing and most difficult allurements of the body that must be governed in order to attain the realms that higher hydrogens connote – spiritual awakening.

The whole idea behind getting people (heterosexual men) to have sex with the Teacher, who are disinclined to have such relations, is a negatively motivated event. It is about the perpetrator proving their potent virility (read: omniscience), sexual prowess, power, dominance, and physical plus emotional manipulation, over the maximum number of persons who do not wish to do it – exercising the Work idea of: doing-what-the-machine-does-not-wish-to-do – to one of its most extreme and ultimate applications, for very wrong reasons – satisfying some sicko’s pleasure. The other aspects of, say, having an ‘endless fountain of immortal drink, pouring unto us from heaven’s brink’ (as the Mount Carmel Journals set into print) as an euphemism for drinking the sperm of a never ending source of male sexual partners to perform fellatio upon – is just another negatively motivated event of imagining that this substance, when acquired in this manner, will produce immortality for one; specifically the Teacher. (Kind of like worker bees feeding royal jelly to the queen bee.) But there is another negatively motivated aspect to this Fellowship of Friends (via Robert Earl Burton) established ‘religious practice.’

Normal human sexual behaviour, as mentioned above, is usually a consequence of love. The more rarefied substances, read: hydrogens, that circulate in those conditions, establish a certain positive emotional state in the participants. There are very specific hormones, read: hydrogens, that develop. These substances create a bonding for those willing parties. Can you, the ones persuaded to have sex with Robert against your will, honestly say that it was pleasurable, a positive experience and led to the type of positive emotional bonding that such acts are intended to have? Was there love present in a mutually reciprocal fashion where the synergy of the situation was additive or multiplicative (arithmetically or geometrically) rather than subtractive or divisive? Or, in simple terms, were all involved developing more conscious love possibilities, individually and as a group, from the experience? Was spiritual progress being made for people? Speak honestly, please, and post it here on the blog.

You see, once you can establish a negative responsive mechanism to the production of these bonding hydrogens, rather than a positive one, you open the door to psychoses, criminality, dysfunctional relationships and a loss of access to conscience. This is not evolution; it is de-evolution. The exact opposite aim of the Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution!

I could tell you how there once was a ’sex exercise,’ where sex before marriage was forbidden for fellowship members, all the while, the Teacher was having his sexual appetites satisfied at a time he was claiming to be celibate. I could tell you about many specific instances of how people were seduced into the above scenarios (doing what you do not wish to do – sexually) by cunning, deception, and not-so-innocent playfulnesses. I could tell you about the occasion(s) of how the feudal king demanded his ‘privilege’ of requiring a bridegroom to have sex with him after the wedding but prior to the bridegroom consummating his marriage with his wife – done just for the ’satisfying some sicko’s pleasure.’ I could tell you about how: sleeping in their innocence many an unsuspecting heterosexual male fellowship member was raped by that same feudal king. I could tell you about the many women adversely treated in their fellowship membership because they got into the all male harem and had sex with the boy toys.

And, thus that serpent stung them, rankly abused them, with witchcraft of his wit, and poured ‘juice of cursed hebenon. . . the leperous distilment; whose effect holds such an enmity with blood of man that swift as quicksilver it courses through the natural gates and alleys of the body, and with a sudden vigour doth posset and curd, like eager droppings into milk, the thin and wholesome blood. . . and a most instant tetter bark’d about, most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust, all [their] smooth bod[ies].’ This makes you wonder, then, why there is something rotten in Oregon House/Fellowship of Friends, does it not? Foul deeds will rise, though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.

[Words of Shakespeare liberally used in last paragraph.]

– – – – – –

Hey, don’t let that fish get you deviated. To become a fish is to ‘de-evolve.’ The exact opposite aim of the Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution! Which way do you want to go?

283. Bares Reposting - July 10, 2008

My last post was in answer to:

208. Rear View Mirror – July 9, 2008

‘Burton does not want the truth to be revealed’

and

215. Ames Gilbert – July 9, 2008

‘To see things as they actually are’
. . . . . .

284. lauralupa - July 10, 2008

Bares reposting, thanks for reposting.
Here is another one of my favorites from the vaults:

1-60 No person Says: February 9, 2007 at 5:55 am

When I recently got kicked out as a part of a “B-influence virus”, I wrote this “good bye” letter and sent it to some friends. Someone suggested that I post it here. These are the facts, as close as I could remember. Draw your own conclusions. Open your eyes and ears. And please do yourself a favor and do go see John Wheeler and Adyashanti. As it’s been said: “Hey, you never know!” Miracles DO happen. Give it a try.
What happened (just in case you would like to know) is that about 2 months ago I was reading a text on a website, something called “pointers” by a guy called John Wheeler. (www.thenaturalstate.org). In a way it was nothing new, all the stuff we, students, “know”. And somehow suddenly it very clearly occurred to me that the “person” I took myself to be all my life – was not real. It was a striking understanding, dawning experience, an actual seeing that there is truly no “me” in the present moment, that this “person” and all it’s past story – is a mental image, mind construction, imagination! There was no “me” to be found in the present… Not now, not ever. It was almost scary, yet – truly observable in the moment. “I” never lived, never was, she is a picture, a story, she exists in the mind only… And what is ever here, truly watching this – is silent consciousness behind the eyes…With no face, no age, no story, no borders and no opinion… It was actually truly seen, for the first time in my life. And then things changed. At first I haven’t noticed much except for a strange new sense of ease or relaxation. And then in about a week to my amazement I realized that all judgment was gone, all negativity and even small irritations were gone by itself, boredom and impatience was gone, insecurity, fear and imagination about the future was gone… Something truly changed, with the disappearance of a sense of “me” a lot of selfish negative stuff was just simply gone… Usual things were happening, but without a personal vulnerable feeling inside, as if they were happening not to “me”. What was left – was clear, impersonal, bright sense of now, of effortlessly being where you are, very engaging, colorful, flavorful, almost childish, playful and kind of loving, compassionate sense of being. Life is seen as a wonderful movie or a play, full of beauty and fun. This deep joyful sense of being has not ever disappeared or stopped for a minute. For 2 months now. It’s not really a “state” happening to a “me” – which comes and goes as we all know. It’s rather a radical shift in identity. I am not this little imaginary person full of problems and suffering, as was taken for granted and believed for so long – I am actually this big presence, this seeing, this knowing, awareness looking through the eyes… The little character is watched and lived by it…
Certainly, I wanted to share this beautiful realization with my dear students-friends, since it was the most amazing thing ever happen. I was excited to share, since the understanding was so simple and possible! I wrote some letters, describing the experience, not comparing it to anything in the School and not going against anything. During recent visit to Isis I shared this positive experience with some of my friends, and had a great time re-discovering all the beauty around me, and not feeling any judgment to anyone or anything. Old accounts seem to have mysteriously disappeared.
But some friends somehow got either upset or offended by this sharing, took it very personally and defensively and secretly reported to the Council.
Kevin then called me and asked a number of strange questions, such as why am I actively going against Robert, why am I scheduling dinners with friends on meeting nights, etc. – all not true and largely distorted. I didn’t feel much negativity against Robert or anyone, wasn’t comparing or provoking, and certainly was not trying to battle anything – so I told Kevin about my real experience, and he thought at the moment that it was interesting and true. He said that he needs to think about it and will call back.
Next day he called and said that they decided with Girard that this approach is naive and not right, because it doesn’t fight the Adversary, the devil, lower self. He asked if I see the Adversary. I said that I truly don’t. (May be Gurdjieff was right when he said that there is no conscious evil. May be it Adversary is given existence through the mind. Is lower self REAL? Is “me”, or machine real? Are the I’s real? So why even bother to battle the unreal… -but I didn’t say any of this in our talk, these are just present thoughts happening now).
Kevin then asked if I practice the Sequence. I honestly answered that there seem to be no need anymore, since there seem to be no problem to be where I am and simply enjoy the beautiful presence…
He said I should choose methods of work on myself. I again said very politely that there are no methods used anymore, because there seem to be no need to use methods… No negativity to battle, no identification. There was just simply being where I am, kind of effortlessly… I don’t know why. I said – Kevin, isn’t our mutual aim to be present to our lives? To be free of negativity and judgment? Why are all these questions? Aren’t we together in this? Isn’t that is why we joined the School?
He said – May be it is an aim for an individual. But as a School it’s different. We have to follow the methods given to us by the Teacher and do what he says – use Sequence and fight the Adversary. He asked me then to choose my Teacher. I was surprised and asked – between whom and whom do you want me to choose? I am not following any additional teachers. (Does reading a text means betrayal? This is a little too controlling…)
I also said that it appears that the very belief in “person” and “choices” is gone, things just happen in a play, and consciousness is aware of it. I said that if he wants a choice to be made, why don’t he then chose for me, to the best of everybody.
He replied then that they have already chosen and decided for me, and the decision is that I should leave the School. He noted that since I haven’t actually done anything wrong, am not negative but on the contrary seem to be very positive, and also haven’t committed any crime against the School – they may review it all in few months and may be consider taking me back.
I certainly accepted this decision, although it seem a bit contradictory, since there was no clear reason stated, but it is what it is, and here we are! Our life is so full of contradictions, which makes it a truly great movie! The most amazing contradiction is that the very “person” who wants to wake up – is not real. We take ourselves to be a wrong thing, a mental image. And what is real – is always awake, and always been, quietly watching the play through our eyes.
I wish you too discover this, wish it from the bottom of my heart! Don’t trust ANYONE (myself included) – trust your heart only. Too many confused lying people around… Some even teach! Trust your heart. See the truth of who you are for yourself.
Please stay in touch if you wish,
Warm hug to all

285. ton - July 10, 2008

233
“I think it would be a good thing for anyone participating here to at least try to recognize the sincerity or insincerity of posters as early as possible. And if insincere, make note of that, and — I agree — just ignore them, or as much as you can anyway. But either way, I think it’s all a good outcome. The discussion reveals something about the FOF, even if they do distract us occasionally.”

RV good advice…. please excuse the indulgence but i really feel a need to respond to the shill again… i hope for ‘a good outcome.’

240 vinnie “Hey its fun swearing outside the FOF isnt it!”

thanks for another example and indication of the ‘mind-control’ exercised in your cult; restricting freedom of expression goes hand-in-hand with restriction of free-thinking.

and:
“You dont even know me girl so wtf you on about? You lot are so far off the mark it’s a joke.”

vinnie by your words here we know you very well or at least well enough… it seems to me that some of us here may know you better than you know yourself.

253
“I am getting tired of talking ABOUT Vinnie, I rather talk TO him. I am still hoping to hear his answers.”

i too would rather talk TO him but apparently he doesn’t care to get the message so what are we left with but to talk ABOUT him… or not.

“I don’t know guys, why you are not getting his sense of humor.”

as for the ‘humor’ of vinnie, i agree he is a ‘funny’ guy but not in the humorous sense.

215, 268
thank you ames for your thought-filled posts… good stuff!
it seems that ‘common sense’ is in some respects a misnomer…. it may be more uncommon than common. imo we may start out life with a measure of it, but it tends to diminish in the process of conforming to the social environment we grow up in…. in this case, the true common sense of the individual is replaced or displaced by the ‘common sense’ of the collective… which in many respects is not very sensible at all. i think as ‘seekers’ at some level we realize the situation and when an individual’s common sense gets lost or buried too deeply to recognize it in the self, we begin looking ‘outside’ as it were, for some direction back to our own compass (and of course it was here all-the-while)… the likes of a fellowship of friends experience is a case wherein common sense is abandoned or forgotten or ignored by the members…. i think true ‘common sense’ can be recovered or uncovered again and this process has something to do with the development of a sort of ‘wisdom’ that comes only with learning life-lessons…. of course there are some people who never learn the necessary lessons and some people don’t really care to grow up… the example of the mentality in the fellowship is clear…. it goes something like this: mamma/daddy ‘teacher’ knows best and we don’t have make our own choices, we don’t have to rely on our own thinking and on our own individual common sense.

‘A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong
gives it a superficial appearance of being right,
and raises a formidable outcry in defence of custom’
Thomas Paine ‘Common Sense’

286. ton - July 10, 2008

sheik this is a second attempt to post…

233
“I think it would be a good thing for anyone participating here to at least try to recognize the sincerity or insincerity of posters as early as possible. And if insincere, make note of that, and — I agree — just ignore them, or as much as you can anyway. But either way, I think it’s all a good outcome. The discussion reveals something about the FOF, even if they do distract us occasionally.”

RV good advice…. please excuse the indulgence but i really feel a need to respond to the shill again… i hope for ‘a good outcome.’

240 vinnie “Hey its fun swearing outside the FOF isnt it!”

thanks for another example and indication of the ‘mind-control’ exercised in your cult; restricting freedom of expression goes hand-in-hand with restriction of free-thinking.

and:
“You dont even know me girl so wtf you on about? You lot are so far off the mark it’s a joke.”

vinnie by your words here we know you very well or at least well enough…
it seems to me that some of us here may know you better than you know yourself.

253
“I am getting tired of talking ABOUT Vinnie, I rather talk TO him. I am still hoping to hear his answers.”

i too would rather talk TO him but apparently he doesn’t care to get the message so what are we left with but to talk ABOUT him… or not.

“I don’t know guys, why you are not getting his sense of humor.”

as for the ‘humor’ of vinnie, i agree he is a ‘funny’ guy but not in the humorous sense.

215, 268
thank you ames for your thought-filled posts… good stuff!
it seems that ‘common sense’ is in some respects a misnomer…. it may be more uncommon than common. imo we may start out life with a measure of it, but it tends to diminish in the process of conforming to the social environment we grow up in…. in this case, the true common sense of the individual is replaced or displaced by the ‘common sense’ of the collective… which in many respects is not very sensible at all. i think as ‘seekers’ at some level we realize the situation and when an individual’s common sense gets lost or buried too deeply to recognize it in the self, we begin looking ‘outside’ as it were, for some direction back to our own compass (and of course it was here all-the-while)… the likes of a fellowship of friends experience is a case wherein common sense is abandoned or forgotten or ignored by the members…. i think true ‘common sense’ can be recovered or uncovered again and this process has something to do with the development of a sort of ‘wisdom’ that comes only with learning life-lessons…. of course there are some people who never learn the necessary lessons and some people don’t really care to grow up… the example of the mentality in the fellowship is clear…. it goes something like this: mamma/daddy ‘teacher’ knows best and we don’t have make our own choices, we don’t have to rely on our own thinking and on our own individual common sense.

‘A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong
gives it a superficial appearance of being right,
and raises a formidable outcry in defence of custom’
Thomas Paine ‘Common Sense’

287. Ill Never Tell - July 10, 2008

217. somebody – July 9, 2008

‘Didn’t we stop talking to a friend when he/she left? Didn’t we change the subject when a student would ask a difficult question? Didn’t we “photographed” the king of clubs and negativity instead of listening to the fair concerns of our friends?’

Didn’t happen with this old timer – maintained free thinking/feeling while in – therefore ostracised from inner circle. But what the heck, I’m now out in the Oort cloud of the outer circle. (Oort cloud: that’s where the comets come from. Consider me a trans-Neptunian object. A trans-Neptunian object (TNO) is any object in the solar system that orbits the sun at a greater distance, on average, than Neptune. Way out there, baaaabaay!)

288. Ill Never Tell - July 10, 2008

ostracised; is that anything like circumcised? Yeouch! cir (as in, circle), cum (as in, you guessed it), sized (as in, booby likes ’em big sized)?

289. ralphbarcode - July 10, 2008

Yesri Baba — Thanks. I thought about that passage for a number of days before I wrote that. There is so much in G’s words that pushes all the wrong buttons in me. I started out sincere, wanting the adventure of higher states. But it all went so wrong, so quickly.

As for Vinnie, I was just asking that he be treated like a human being. He’s right about one thing — you don’t know him. I think it’s kind of disgusting to see all these wonderful, free-thinking ex-students jump on the hateful bandwagon because Bruce has decided he’s scum. At some point someone said that the blog has a clique comprising certain people. I don’t know about that, but it’s close. There is definitely a herd mentality that gives certain people free reign to unload in the most hateful way on someone that a certain majority has deemed unworthy. Then if you disagree, you’re lumped in with the offender — “look, there’s another one! Everybody grab a rock!” Certainly undermines the position that being an ex-student represents a more evolved point of view.

As for those of you who find Bruce’s brand of “honesty” so charming, just wait until it is directed at you. One wrong word, and you could be next. Wingspread and Somebody adopted incorrect attitudes, and the ire immediately turned their way. Me, I prefer my sheriff, judge and jury to be a little less quick on the trigger.

The little group of rock hurlers is getting dangerously close to Greg territory in the attacks on Vinnie and anyone so foolish as to try to point out he should be treated with a little respect. But because he’s a scumbag, no one is in danger of being banned, I guess. So here, let me be the first to whack Vinnie’s head on the side of the boat! Yee-haw!

In reality, I’ve tipped my hand, and won’t be back. The dissonance between the thoughtful, articulate posts and the redneck spewing hate (often by the same people) has become too jarring.

290. lauralupa - July 10, 2008

Dear Ralph,
I personally don’t think that anyone on this blog hates vinnie. IMO most of the stronger reactions result from the frustration evoked in many of us by his intellectual insincerity. And IMO Bruce is quick on the trigger, but generally just as quick to apologize and admit his mistakes.

If you really think there is a clique, “certain people” and a “certain majority” I think it would be good if you could be more clear and specific: name names, quote passages and then we can have an open discussion about it. Who are the rock hurlers who are getting dangerously close to Greg territory? I’d really like to know, because maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention.

Basically I am not trying to say that you are wrong in addressing your concerns, but by making general and vague accusation you only undermine the value of the blog without really making a contribution towards addressing its problems and dissolving the dissonance you perceive.

And that, BTW, is a great unintended gift to those FoF members who won’t seriously look at the truths here presented because bloggers are just “too negative”.

291. Vinnie the fish - July 10, 2008

281. lauralupa – July 10, 2008
Here is another one of my favorites from the vaults:
1-60 No person Says: February 9, 2007 at 5:55 am
When I recently got kicked out as a part of a “B…..

Who was that from Laura, amazing. Who is No person?
Sounds like the state I want to be in more.

292. Rear View Mirror - July 10, 2008

I dream’d in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth;
I dream’d that was the new City of Friends;
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love—it led the rest;
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.

-Walt Whitman

293. lauralupa - July 10, 2008

I don’t know the real name, vinnie, but if as you said your “point of wanting to being more conscious is to be more happy, peaceful and understanding”, this posts clearly shows that the “School” has very different aims for you. And quite likely, if you do happen to become more happy, peaceful and understanding they will get upset and kick you out.

294. somebody - July 10, 2008

Thanks Joe. I did not realize that my identity is so obvious to many of you. That could compromise my aim to help my friends who are still in to wake up to a reality. I was trying to find an anti-poison that could provoke thoughts and un-do the magic of indoctrination for those who are deeply confused and brainwashed. But I see now that the aim of the blog is different than mine, it is more for healing those who are already out.

295. elena - July 10, 2008

Hi Ralph,

So true and yet
What is gained from renouncing to your own space?
Hurt?
So we are just jerks and you might as well not be here?
But everywhere we attract similar plays and avoiding them is not going to change them,
Just a pause from the next round and the same unresolved situation is presented.
How glad I would be to meet you to the door and let you go with a farewell
but as soon as you step out you are inside the house of your own.

I could not have more sympathy for your resentment and wingspread was also hit hard unnecessarily, please accept also my apologies, but do we kill each other because we hurt each other? Isn’t leaving a form of dying and killing the others? Or at least does it not have the same result? No communication?

I thoroughly agree with you, all the things you describe are facts. It is not easy to have a human conversation here. A feature comes out and screams louder than the rest and hurts others, many or a few. And there is the group behavior that you mention but leaving, will that really help you or us?

I am sorry I did not support you more strongly. When I wrote somebody’s and your talk were good, it should have been clearer, stated the verbal abuses but I was afraid, it’s been hard enough without getting Bruce to lash out at me. Being ignored is no better than being insulted.

Since I’ve been where you are a few times, you’re going through the sad phase. Fortunately that one will pass too and we learn something about being human while it lasts: One both connects deeper to one’s own understanding and separates from the wish to be approved by the group.
It is an essence longing to be loved by the group, but it is the spirit what can see beyond the group’s limitations and re-member to the human behind it and your self. The confrontation is the sieve that allows what you are really standing for to surface.

Observing your play, I saw how easy it is to dismiss the fact that someone is being lashed out at and do nothing about it. How difficult it is to feel the ‘victim’s’ pain and stand up for him. The offenses are perceived as ‘just words’, and diminished when they are not directed at one and someone inside of one expects the victim to have enough being to not let the absurdities and abuses destroy him. Unfortunately, they have been harmful enough that you want to leave.

You have seen these same things been done to others maybe a hundred times and you have not been able to stand up against them. I beg you reconsider your decision to leave and have greater tolerance for yourself and the rest of us. Your position was of the greatest value here, I am very sorry you want to give it up.

Laura, I don’t think there is a need to go into those details that you are asking for. If you’re really asking for a photograph allow me to offer one. There is the group behavior Ralph mentions and you are one who stands in the centre like the pole of a sew-saw. You’ve been keeping the balance for over a year and what is admirable is that you’re both here and there and what is painful is that you’re neither here nor there and what is beautiful is that you are still yourself enough to question yourself. I have enormous respect for your ability.

Ralph, it is very interesting to play the diva. Whenever one’s feature goes into excess one plays the diva and anyone who talks long enough can see it. It’s like the worm gets out begging for others to cut it short. A most healthy process! Since it’s the rejection that one is most identified with, it is very easy to think that the positive aspects that one is presenting are not being valued but that also is not the case. Nevertheless the process certainly takes an aspect of walking through a fire in which what people are eager to see is what in you will not burn. Once they find it, they will recognize it in themselves and stop setting you on fire or at least it will no longer burn you. If one ever understood the principle of “feminine dominance” in its proper context, one would be able to see this more clearly. Since that label is so abhorrent to me coming from Robert, I should rename it into something more like “the law of gravity”.

Again, I beg you be more tolerant with yourself and others here. It is true that we are a “crowd”, a “mob”, but we haven’t paid thousands of years of our lives put together to not learn something from it. Why would you expect people who were denied the right to talk for years to be anything but a mob when they finally get the chance to talk? Many of us are just beginning to find out who we are, what we sound like and like an orchestra before a concert, we are far from being tuned. Most of us here, have not even started talking and many like you, leave as soon as they burn once. How will we ever recover The Community if we are too afraid to burn in it and still give light?

296. veramente - July 10, 2008

285. ralphbarcode

I understand where you are coming from, but I wonder if you have personally tried to talk to Vinnie.

297. Rear View Mirror - July 10, 2008

somebody (290), I didn’t understand everything you wrote in that post. But I think your use of the word “anti-poison” was perfect, because there are many types of “thought viruses” in the FOF, and these viruses are carried with us even after leaving. And many of them are carried into the blog — by many of us here, myself included. And maybe even today unfortunately. But often these thought viruses take the form of simple conclusions that we all make (or made) that are based on unchallenged premises (e.g., as described in Yesri Baba’s post 279).

Joe Average, you wrote: “A friend of mine, currently a member, could easily have written similar sentiments [referring to Vinnie’s comments]. He is neither stupid, nor naive. He has little respect for Burton or for most FOF members. Throughout his “FOF career”, he has consistently been a voice of dissent, even open sarcasm about the absurdities and lies that make up so much of the FOF structure and dynamic. He is, however, totally convinced that C-Influence has chosen him to be a part of the FOF and so he is. He sees himself as a gods-appointed free agent, doing their will. Nothing Burton or any member does is of any relevance at all. In the face of such religious absolutism, logic and evidence are pointless.”

I appreciated your points, and particularly agree with your last sentence, that logic and evidence are pointless with the person you describe. But — speaking for myself — I was definitely both stupid AND naive to be a member of the Fellowship, and I think this was a key realization for me that helped me to leave.

As long as I believe there’s something wise and intelligent in my decision to join and to stay, it’s a type of thought virus that I’m infected with. I don’t know about the friend of yours that you refer to, but I have to believe that this is true for many people who remain in the FOF. Sorry Sheik, but I have my doubts that it’s a “cult for intellectuals.”

Intellectuals think.

somebody, the medicine is sometimes delivered in doses that are a bit too heavy. And definitely any person who offers that medicine, myself included, would benefit by paying attention to that. And not simply unload for the sake of unloading.

Still, I think the following is one of the biggest thought viruses in the FOF, and it’s one that stays with us even after leaving:

We look for the positive in our experience. We look for the intelligence in it. We look for justifications. We look for the beauty and wisdom in it.

The “anti-poison” in this case is to ponder: Hmm. Maybe I’m not being smart here. Maybe this is not wise. Maybe there is no justification for it. Maybe there is nothing good here. Maybe it is not so beautiful and wonderful after all.

When someone can enter here on the blog, and reflect on that possibility, and convey that in so many words, there’s healing in that. A lot of the dissent here is about recognizing false premises — which can also be described as types of thought viruses — and pointing them out when someone carries them into the blog. In my opinion, that’s healthy dissent. Not always pleasant, like most medicines, but it is healthy.

298. elena - July 10, 2008

287 Vinnie the Fish,

You’re expressing indifference and irony. There is no beauty in your scales, they are dry and rotting in deadly water.

299. paulshabram - July 10, 2008

290 Somebody

The “aim” of the blog is aimless. It’s like a scrum with players pushing in all directions. It seems, sometimes, like it’s going nowhere, but the opposite is true. The scrum effect empowers the the no so powerful, who by adding a little push moves the who;e thing in a new direction… one of your choice.

You yourself have said that there are many who are still in that are listening here. SPEAK HERE. Push it where you want it to go. There can be more than one aim and more than one direction. The blog can amplify your signal.

300. Living the Questions - July 10, 2008

For Vinnie…

I searched for my Self
until I grew weary,

but no one, I know now,
reaches the hidden knowledge
by means of effort.

Then, absorbed in “Thou art This,”
I found the place of Wine.

There all the jars are filled,
but no one is left to drink.

Lal Ded

301. steve lang - July 10, 2008

The Fellowship, if you all recall, has as its charter; ” The school’s purpose is to raise the level of consiousness in its participants”.
Could there be a bigger scam? This allows the FOF to claim success for results that can’t be seen, measured, verified or understood.

The term that has been used by Rear View Mirror; “thought viruses”,
I think is pretty accurate.

302. God Laughing - July 10, 2008

Vinnie the fish is a SHE.
Disguised as an innocent but as fake as can be!
a.k.a. Howard Carter-ish. V appears
at strange moments, disrupts the flow of
a good discussion, remember the Castaneda detour,
My guess: V is Linda T, formerly Kaplan, or Rowena T
both have excellent writing skills, like game playing, and they finally can swear!
With this in mind V has no power, unless we allow her to have it.

303. Mick Danger - July 10, 2008

297 God
No sympathy for the devil.
I think it is of great benefit to confront hyprocrisy, dishonesty and obfuscation in no uncertain terms (Thanx Bro). Damn the sensitivity, full speed ahead.

304. Vinnie the Fish - July 10, 2008

289. lauralupa – July 10, 2008
And quite likely, if you do happen to become more happy, peaceful and understanding they will get upset and kick you out.

Yes it’s quite possible, I’m not the ‘good student’ some of you probably pretended to be. 😉
I’m glad I’ve never pretended though.

305. Vinnie the Fish - July 10, 2008

297. God Laughing – July 10, 2008
“Vinnie … has excellent writing skills…”
Hey thanks dude! respect!
I have excellent filtering skills too, I absorb the positive and discard the useless, an essential skill on the wise man’s path through life’s labyrinth.

306. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 10, 2008

299 El Pescado: Good student or not, when you continually use the system as your frame of reference when you think about something it’s a form of self inflicted brainwashing. What used to be thinking out of the box impodes on itself. Many people who have left the Fellowship understand this and try to reinvent themselves by using creative forms of thought and therefore re-establishing themselves in the world ‘outside of the Fellowship’. Whether you are aware of it or not you are in a thought box that with very limited understanding.
And the only way to verify this is to step outside of it and see for yourself.

307. Yesri Baba - July 10, 2008

285 Ralphbarcode

It will be a loss. You seem like one level headed cookie. My red neck and everything under the first few layers of skin will miss out on your insights.

308. elena - July 10, 2008

Vinnie “I have excellent filtering skills too, I absorb the positive and discard the useless, an essential skill on the wise man’s path through life’s labyrinth.”

That is just your imaginary picture, you don’t absorb, you freeze. There is no mobility in your being. You’ve crystallized.

No, you were never a good student nor are you a decent human being. You think taking advantage of all situations no matter how much others suffer is the wise man’s pill. One of your many weaknesses, like for the rest in the Fellowship is indifference. You ignore what is going on around you but that in the long run translates into sexual frigidity. Then you feel even more sorry for yourself, more dependent of the surrounding bubble, more depressed and hopelessly lost. Then you become a victimizer or a victim. Those like you become inner circle favorites or fifth class losers. The ones that end up committing suicide and everybody had already forgotten they existed long before that. Nobody ever existed in the Fellowship of Friends. You’re all mute and blind and deaf but convinced that as long as you smile and keep a positive attitude the stench of the semen will not pour out of the galleria into your beings. The stench of all the babies that have been aborted on Robert’s behalf. The stench of Dorothy rotting in her unchanged clothes after a year of not being bathed.

It stinks around you, no wonder you call yourself: THE FISH

309. elena - July 10, 2008

Ralph,

It is very good to understand that being human to one another is something worth developing but it is also of equal importance to know when to say no to someone who is taking advantage of your principles to undermine them. Vinnie is that sly, but not the sly man who transforms suffering, the sly man who buffers it and allows it to continue unperturbed like all those still in the Fellowship.

As harsh as Bruce can be, he senses that a lot faster than anyone else here. I thank you both for being part of this public square.

310. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 10, 2008

308 elena

Vinnie’s #240 displays his/her/its level pretty well. I can think of people more worthy of efforts to “enlighten” them, and more interested in being “enlightened,” and I hope you can, too.

In any case, do you really think telling someone–anyone–that he isn’t a decent human being, is deaf, dumb, and blind, and is surrounded by stench, and predicting he will become sexually frigid, hopeless, and will ultimately kill himself, is likely to bring him around to your way of seeing things?

Do you really think that anyone even wants to live in the nightmare that appears to be your way of viewing things when you express yourself in that way?

311. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 10, 2008

254, 280, 283, 285 and 300 are newly moderated.

I agree with those of you who said that this page has been one of the best so far. The first half has been the most informative and thought-provoking (at least for me) and the dissent found in the second half seems to be bringing some deep-rooted issues to the surface, it’s good for them to come out. Dissent is not necessarily bad, it just shows which places hurt the most. And with raising intensity of dissent, Vinnie slowly disappears, bringing more light to the room once again. Keep it up Vinnie.

Paulsabraham and Joe Average pretty much summed up everything that needed to be said in terms of what has been going on in here for the past days, I think that nobody will be able to articulate it any better. And things in general seem to be going in a good direction – the discussion is more alive than it has been in ages (in various shapes and hues), there are things happening on many fronts and people are genuinely active, it’s quite beautiful.

312. elena - July 10, 2008

Another Voice,

Do you think I expect people who have been living that way for thirty five years to have enough sensibility left to hear it? Why do you think I am so clear that the Fellowship needs to be stopped if not because they neither see, nor hear, nor want to talk about what is going on inside?

Thank you for your very polite tone.

313. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 10, 2008

Moving to the next one:

NEW DISCUSSION


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