jump to navigation

Fellowship of Friends Discussion, part 40 July 10, 2008

Posted by Pavel in Uncategorized.
trackback

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.

Advertisements

Comments

1. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 10, 2008

Ames, I have just re-read your comment, thank you.

2. paulshabram - July 10, 2008

311 Thanks Sheik,
BTW it’s shabram not sabraham (a common error).

3. elena - July 10, 2008

Moonlight,

Sitting back and hoping I’ll do something about it is unfortunately, not good enough. It is not that I need help as much as that the issues that are being discussed here need people willing to stand up for them, not just lonely heroes or heroines. We were all there, we all know what is happening, we all need to take a stand and stop the things that we don’t agree with, here or there.

Saying yes is a beautiful thing, we said yes to the Fellowship for thirty six year wishing nothing but respect and consciousness to develop. Not only infra-sex is what has developed, but infra-human. It is time to say No. Here or there.

If the semen, the babies and Dorothy after a year of not having been bathed do not stink enough, what is wrong with our noses?

How indoctrinated are we all still that we still cannot say, NO MORE, We won’t have it simply because other people will continue to get conned just as we did.

4. brucelevy - July 11, 2008

3. elena

I think we can help create the potential environment for the “no more”, but the membership (by diminishing enough) or an outside agency (govt. etc) are the only ones who can really say “no more” and have it have any effect. We’re not in, so we can’t push our FOF decisions on them. They are a separate entity that legally we have no power to shut down. But we can put out enough information for either the law or the membership so that step might be reached. It’s not really our place until they are deemed illegal or sexually exploitative.

5. brucelevy - July 11, 2008

“It’s not really our place until they are deemed illegal or sexually exploitative.”

And even then it’s not “our place” to shut them down. But maybe that’s what you meant.

6. elena - July 11, 2008

Yes, that is what I mean, that if we don’t scream loud enough neither those inside nor those outside will hear it. For that the amount of people willing to sign petitions, work on documentaries and everything else that anyone can think of matters.

Keeping silent will not help. If we can agree to a few basic principles like, no physical damage or violence to anyone inside but every step to make the Fellowship be controlled and checked consistently by authorities for very long periods of time like all cults should be so that basic human rights are not violated, then we can move forward as a group and make a difference.

If constitutional rights had not been violated so blatantly, they could not have brainwashed us so easily. If the many that left twenty years ago had picketed every month, hundreds of us would not have stayed so long.

We can help stop this abuses. Maybe it won’t change the world but it’ll change our lives and many other lives.

The few of us that are very clear about the need to control the Fellowship’s abuses in a definite way need to organize ourselves in an association with the aim to do that. There are enough people. Many people like to be active. Many of us here are already very active. I do not wish to be anything but someone who participates and supports this process. I will be in the States at times and out of the states very often but I will help as much as I can. Please consider this motion deeply and if someone can help us organize a site that we can meet privately, that would help. Traveler perhaps?

It is no time for leaders and hierarchic structures that ruin our ability to participate, it is time for each one of us to assume responsibility for the world we wish to live in.

I know of a few people willing to participate in such a process. I hope those reading this seriously consider it. It is not about money, not even time, it is about your presence supporting the motions that you are willing to support or not. Either way, your participation is welcome.

7. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 11, 2008

6 elena

“If constitutional rights had not been violated so blatantly, they could not have brainwashed us so easily.”

If only it were true. The world is full of people being brainwashed very easily without their constitutional rights being violated. People are eager to be influenced.

You are worried about the constitutional rights you had that you believe were violated when you were a member of the Felatio of Friends, but I have read your previous posts describing those “rights” and they don’t have a lot to do with the U.S. constitution. However, current members do have constitutional rights, such as freedom of religion, freedom of association, and a right to privacy. There are a very large number of religions and other organizations that have a right to follow practices you may be completely convinced are immoral and destructive.

“It is time for each one of us to assume responsibility for the world we wish to live in.”

Yes. And it also is time for each one of us to realize that we don’t have the right to force other people to make the world into the one we want to live in, or to force other people to live in the world we think they ought to live in.

You have every right to protest, at least to the extent the law allows. And you have the right to try to change those laws if you find them too restrictive. You have every right to say what you consider the truth on this blog, or anywhere else. Send out a press release, call the authorities, make a documentary, do an interpretive dance. I’m all for activism. But you are sounding fanatical. Most, if not all, fanaticism is well-intentioned. It’s still fanaticism, and it still results in more suffering.

Why not just speak the truth, and let other people figure it out for themselves? Why not demonstrate, by your own example, what is possible beyond the FOF–it’s far more powerful and effective than “screaming.”

I’m not defending anything about the organization, let alone RB, who’s a scumbag. But I don’t think your attitude or methods are productive.

8. whalerider - July 11, 2008

“There are a very large number of religions and other organizations that have a right to follow practices you may be completely convinced are immoral and destructive.”

Excuse me, no leader of any religion or ‘other’ organization has the right practice sex with minors, including members or clergy of the almighty catholic church, or anyone else for that matter. Robert Burton and the like are not above the law.

9. brucelevy - July 11, 2008

8. whalerider

That’s true. But until authorities have the necessary evidence (actual evidence) in their eyes the FOF has to be seen as any other religious institution. What we know doesn’t really even register on their screens, so far, or it hasn’t been made public yet. The priests in the Catholic churches were just priests until there was enough evidence.

10. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 11, 2008

8 whalerider

I wasn’t implying that Elena’s view that the FOF is immoral (not in Granny’s sense, but in G.’s) and destructive is incorrect–I more or less agree with her that it is–or that everything that goes on in the FOF is legal–I doubt that it is (although as far as your example in concerned, I haven’t heard anyone allege that RB still indulges himself with minors). That’s all beside my point, which is that snarling denunciations in high dudgeon, with confused legal generalizations and lurid images, while understandable as an emotional reaction to an offensive situation, is both hypocritical and not only unproductive, but counterproductive. If you read my posts you’ll find many statements of how unacceptable I consider the FOF status quo to be for various reasons, but if your stated goal is to change that status quo it ain’t gonna happen by running around demonstrating that you’ve got snakes in your head.

11. Traveler - July 11, 2008

Dear Elena, I’d like to respond to your post 40/6, since you mention me by name and suggest my participation in the ideas you are developing.
I have been reading the blog fairly regularly from March 1 last year, when whoever it was informed all current members of its existence. At the point that you had just left the Fellowship, I read and was inspired by your very first post, which I felt reached into the crux of the problem and clearly exposed the falsity and pretense of the “barbies under the palmtrees” as you called them, revealing a “school of love” that was deeply lacking in that very quality, a setup for the gratification of one man’s desires and a community of fear and blind conformity. I have read many, but not all, of your subsequent posts, and my understanding of what you have been saying is that you originally came to the Fellowship looking for a supportive spiritual community of mutually acknowledging individuals, and have been deeply disappointed, because despite all your efforts it did not turn out to be what you had wanted it to be. You have a passion and a devotion and a powerful longing for sharing, love and genuine community, and for seventeen years of your life, you were putting most of that intensity and energy into supporting the organization with all you had, believing that it was for the common good and in service of a greater ideal. You were even asked to leave your daughter behind, and how painful that must have been! But even so, at the time you decided it was the better thing to do – and now your own actions may seem foolish to you in retrospect and you may be regretting severely that you could have allowed yourself to be so misled and blinded by something that has proven to be so corrupt. While you were a member, you tried your best to contribute what was meaningful and important to you, but you were mostly told to keep quiet and not given a chance to develop. When you stood up for what really mattered to you, genuine human compassion and kindness, you were waved away with abstract philosophical notions and given no concrete support. The school as a whole and especially the teacher consistently failed to reflect what you most truly honored and valued, and this was a cause of great inner conflict and pain. You married the man who was regarded by the body of the school as the second most “conscious” being and someone to revere, yet you know how he was privately, and how much he, too, suffered from being emotionally clenched, gripped by addiction, and dominated by the need to control every aspect of his life. I imagine this must have been pretty miserable for you to endure day by day, and so you finally found the courage to speak out and leave the situation, which of course only unleashed the flood of years of unexpressed pain and resentment.
The intensity that is you comes through both in your positive as well as your negative feelings, and although you have been finding some healing, joy, and simplicity in your life since leaving, there are still vast amounts of anger, hurt, disgust and bitterness staying with you. It seems that you are really suffering from all this pain that has been following you around for so long, and that you are hoping to find some peace and relief in the chance of externally ending the charade of the Fellowship, demonstrating to others that they do not have to be trapped by the institution like you have been, so that they might not have to sink into delusion.
Does that describe your feelings to some extent?
I don’t have much to say in terms of forming an association against the Fellowship and acting to formally end its operations. A few pages back (p.38/51) I explained that I lacked a strong moral feeling about what should or should not be happening in Oregon House. If some feel that trying to formally end or hinder the FOF is what they wish to do, or that it would help them or someone else, then they are the ones who will be involved with it. Elena, I will not do you the disservice of expressing more opinions about what you need to be doing. That is not my place, and I would not want to take that responsibility away from you. All I can give you is a heartfelt wish that you discover what you are looking for. And I send you my love.

12. paulshabram - July 11, 2008

DISCLAIMER: I’m not a lawyer.

California Civil Code
“52.4. (a) Any person who has been subjected to gender violence may
bring a civil action for damages against any responsible party. The
plaintiff may seek actual damages, compensatory damages, punitive
damages, injunctive relief, any combination of those, or any other
appropriate relief. A prevailing plaintiff may also be awarded
attorney’s fees and costs.
(b) An action brought pursuant to this section shall be commenced
within three years of the act, or if the victim was a minor when the
act occurred, within eight years after the date the plaintiff attains
the age of majority or within three years after the date the
plaintiff discovers or reasonably should have discovered the
psychological injury or illness occurring after the age of majority
that was caused by the act, whichever date occurs later.
(c) For purposes of this section, “gender violence,” is a form of
sex discrimination and means any of the following:
(1) One or more acts that would constitute a criminal offense
under state law that has as an element the use, attempted use, or
threatened use of physical force against the person or property of
another, committed at least in PART, BASED ON THE GENDER OF THE VICTIM, whether or not those acts have resulted in criminal
complaints, charges, prosecution, or conviction.
(2) A physical intrusion or physical invasion of a sexual nature
under COERCIVE CONDITIONS, whether or not those acts have resulted in
criminal complaints, charges, prosecution, or conviction.
(d) Notwithstanding any other laws that may establish the
liability of an employer for the acts of an employee, this section
does not establish any civil liability of a person because of his or
her status as an employer, unless the employer personally committed
an act of gender violence.” [CAPITALS ARE MINE FOR HIGHLIGHTING]

Note that under similar circumstances a couple in Georgia filed a lawsuit for:
“The archbishop, his brother and the church are being sued by former church employee Mona Brewer, who says Earl Paulk manipulated her into an affair from 1989 to 2003 by telling her it was her only path to salvation.” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21888916/)

But the outcome was surprising:

“A Superior Court judge has ordered a couple and their attorney suing Bishop Earl Paulk to pay more than $1 million in legal fees and court costs from a dismissed case.” (http://www.religionnewsblog.com/20782/earl-paulk-9)
One of the issues leading to this debacle was the statute of limitations in effect at the time of the abuse, and a lack of willing witnesses. The judge was pissed so he slapped the plaintiffs with the bill. Lesson, don’t go there without a good pile of evidence and witnesses. Paulk did plead guilty of perjury for lying during the trial and was fined $1000.

The statute of limitations for “Gender Violence”, which I believe fits the described behavior, is 3 years for an adult or 8 years after a minor reaches the “age of majority” which is 26 years old.

I haven’t had a chance to look into whether Gender Violence shows up in criminal tort, but I suspect it does.

For all you FOF spy lurkers out there, California law seems to also hold you personally liable if you knew, or should have reasonably known about, or participated in, acts of Gender Violence.

So if any of you have come out of the FOF recently and were coerced within the last three years into a sex act based on your gender that was against your wishes, there may be a precedent for filing a lawsuit for gender violence. You might want to act now if you can muster the resources. Because similar lawsuits have been successful in the past, you may be able to get a law firm to invest in an action. This is particularly true if many individuals join together. Expect to settle.

It has also been alleged in this blog that visa’s etc. have been arranged/falsified etc. that bring eastern european men to RB’s bedroom and effectively indenture them on the property, this probably meets the definition of “human trafficking” which has both civil and criminal implications. Any evidence that can show this should be forwarded to local and federal law enforcement.

13. Ellen - July 11, 2008

Traveler,

Excellent post.
This blog currently seems to move like a hockey puck between two individual poles, that of Vinnie and Elena. That’s fine. Its a Blog. There is a lot of good stuff that happens anyway.
****************************************************************
It is my firm understanding/belief (because that was my path and the path of many others, too) that long term FoF students can only find their way out of the organization through being open to new spiritual ideas. The ideas of Advaita Vedanta (particularly Nisargadatta, “I Am That”) have been very helpful to me because of their direct purity and transcendent truth. Many ideas and practices – especially that of Self Remembering – are understood and incorporated into a much greater, simpler, yet realizable whole. Remembering your Self is different than Realizing the Self. Reading such material creates the Fourth State. Vinnie, it is possible, and for you, too. i.e. it is not just a book. Are you hungry for Truth?

What’s hard is that you (current student) think you already understand all this stuff. In the Fellowship, we had great meetings/events with wonderful Sufi quotations, or Buddhist, or the Philokalia, or the Fourth Way, or etc… So you think that you know those systems, but do you, do you really? Everything that was quoted, was quoted out of context and from “safe” masters that have the dust of centuries falling upon their sublime words. Have you tried to find out for yourself? Who are the Realized spiritual masters of the 20th century? Or even the 21st? (I’m not going to give you a list, because you need to figure it out for yourself)

If Robert Burton is a Realized Master, then his teaching will surely resonate with what other Masters say, too. Remember, “All Schools are the same School”. Esoterically, all teachings point to the same truth, right? A little cross-referencing couldn’t hurt anybody. Besides, who’s going to “wake up”? You or him? If you look around and find the message to be the same, then good luck to you, stay in the Fellowship to your heart’s content.

All we can do on this blog is create enough curiosity for an individual person to begin to think and feel for themselves. Do you really, really want to awaken to your own true nature? In this lifetime? Did you think that this was possible when you joined the Fellowship? Then you need to be ready to let go of many imaginary structures. Structures of your own creation, so you are the only one to release them, too.

Good luck….

14. lauralupa - July 11, 2008

I would like to thank everyone for their contributions. And Elena, thanks for the photograph, it was actually a very kind one.

“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.”

Paulshabram, thanks for that.

I agree with Ellen that for many, looking for new spiritual teachings and organizations to replace the FoF is a necessary step to gather the strenght to leave, or to find one’s bearings right after leaving. We were so deeply brainwashed with the idea that we could not evolve on our own. I remember that one of the first things I did when I returned to Italy was to look up the phone number of the local Zen center. I ended up not calling, but just having it in my address book made me feel safer! I also remember my initial deep mistrust in “life”, and the fear evoked by the assumption that I would get lost and become more mechanical without some form of external support.

So, although I now agree with whalerider’s advice of looking no further than your own bathroom mirror to find your living teacher and just let your conscience be your guide, I feel that it’s not a viable option for many fence-sitters and recent departees.

Many months ago I half-jokingly posted a link to Sarlo’s guru ratings, a website which contains listings of hundreds of assorted teachers and gurus worldwide. SInce vinnie has been asking for such info, and since current FoF members stuck in their little pond (or mudhole) really have no idea of the wealth of spiritual activity going on in the world at large, here it goes again (and yes, REB aka the Teacher is there too, under miscellaneous). Enjoy!

http://www.globalserve.net/~sarlo/Ratings.htm

15. Vinnie the fish - July 11, 2008

Thanks Laura. I consider it worthwhile to have like-minded associates or friends to help with an aim, whatever it is.

Elena, have you considered printing a leaflet that you could hand out to people at the gatehouse? You could put the blog address etc on it.
Make it brief though if you can! 😉

16. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 11, 2008

Paulshabram: Apologies for misspelling your name.

17. Mick Danger - July 11, 2008

Have No Fear: Divine Law Governs All.
(Actually, I take that back, some of you should be afraid).

18. ton - July 11, 2008

elena, all,
there once was a woman (dorota star) who owned property just on the edge of fellowship land. she was at some point ostracized by the organization and asked to leave, apparently for fucking one of robert burton’s boy toys. she literally spent years struggling to hold onto her land which the fellowship was trying to get, she would periodically stage one woman protests there at the edge of the property in an effort to bring attention to the ‘terror of the situation’ for those who were trapped inside the cult. she of course had a personal agenda (‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’) but along with personal issues, there was an intention to wake-up the sheep. at the time i was one of the sheep, being a ‘true-believer’ i didn’t get it… those who were similarly brainwashed didn’t get it either and all of us there on the ‘inside’ saw dorota’s ‘antics’ as some indication of ‘insanity’ — we sheep saw her activity as an attack and we responded defensively… mostly by making her the brunt of jokes.

i guess the point here (if there is one — thanks paul for that insight) has something to do with what JAVOH and others are saying… elena, i applaud your courage and i think activism is a necessary if difficult undertaking, but i wonder how effective certain types of demonstrations are…. it may be cathartic and exciting to the demonstrator(s) but if it’s done for the benefit of the ‘true-believers’ i have a feeling that it may just add fuel to their ‘certainty’ and give them a reason to rally ’round their cause. on the other hand if a demonstration brings broader attention from the surrounding community or if the story can make it into the newspaper then it might have some positive impact (?) have you emailed the story to marshall yet?

mkilduff@sfchronicle.com

i’m not a constitutional scholar by any stretch but if you want to take the violation of human rights as an approach to activism, you could print out all the pages from the blog to date and along with an explanation and your interpretation of the violation of rights, send it to your congressional representatives… just a thought.

15 vinnie
consider what vinnie is suggesting in #15 (handing out leaflets at the gatehouse) as intending to elicit a defensive and derisive response in the ‘true believers’ on the inside — whatever the intention i wouldn’t trust the shill… maybe the suggestion was made simply to take a jab at the length of elena’s posts…

ralphbarcode if you’re still there, i hope this doesn’t sound ‘hateful’ in anyway, believe me when i say that i wish only the best for vinnie and those still trapped by the fellowship of friends.

19. ton - July 11, 2008

on the lighter side… don’t forget to dance:

20. Mick Danger - July 11, 2008

19
Wonderful & Excellent Mr. Ton.

21. whalerider - July 11, 2008

Bruce and JAVOH:

It is precisely the moral ambiguity of bobby and the FOF situation that makes for a good documentary. If we don’t have enough evidence to win a case in a court of law, let’s broadcast the story in a fair and balanced way and let the court of public opinion decide. All we need to do is to tell the truth and change the frame.

Elena’s tactics are an intergral part of the story, although not tactics I would necessarily choose for myself. For the tower to fall, someone has to keep up the pressure until the tipping point is reached and momentum takes care of the rest….think: NEGATIVE CASH FLOW

My aim is to drain bobby’s victim pool and hold a big mirror up to those who still support the creep in the jeep, the northern Californian sex guru.

All those who can make it to OH on Sept 12-13, please email the Sheik:

recroanima@gmail.com

22. ton - July 11, 2008

15
“I consider it worthwhile to have like-minded associates or friends to help with an aim, whatever it is.”

re: the idea of false premises discussed earlier on:

yo vinnie,
Individuality is a prerequisite for effective functioning as a part or a ‘member’ of a collective endeavor. individuality implies that one has (you have) an identity, having an identity means that you identify with certain things, principles, activities, etc… but you who are in the fellowship of friends are ‘taught’ not to ‘identify’ on so many levels… maybe this is what gives you the illusion of feeling ‘above it all’ ? this ‘exercise’ as implemented in your little cult has the effect of robbing you of your identity, your individuality…. that seems a heavy price to pay in order to support your ‘teacher’s’ identifications and obsessions.
think about it.

apology–
ralphbarcode… or anyone else who finds the above ‘hateful’ — although i address this to vinnie, i hope you’ll recognize that it is the ideas and the thinking ‘behind’ vinnie which i ‘attack’ — being a ‘student,’ he / she or it should not be identified anyway… right?

23. ton - July 11, 2008

dancing with myself… just to connect the dots from a previous post:

vinnie, when you mentioned ‘like-minded associates’ it occurred to me that in your case and for others of ‘your ilk’– thinking in terms of ‘individuation’ may lead to a more productive state of being (?) don’t miss out…

here’s to keeping it light — more dancing…
the turning whirled, dharma and camera… beware of vertigo:

24. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 11, 2008
25. elena - July 11, 2008

Dear Traveler,

Frankly I was not even expecting you’d necessarily participate in something like this regularly, I was just hoping you would be willing to set up the site. Not that your presence would not honor such an association. I thank you for your post, no one has been kinder here. Unfortunately it blows my mind to realize that we, even the kindest, cannot go beyond the personalities involved into the issues involved. You treat this as though it were my issue and my story but it is not, I am, but a small aspect of it.
You are young enough for me to deeply understand your position and still thank you for your reply. You are young but there is nothing but promising aspects to your youth. Keep your steady growth and you should blossom beautifully.

Thank you Another Voice for your post, the idea that cults are violate civil rights is also being dealt in cases against scientology, I heard yesterday. There is more to law than lawlessness.

As I’ve tried to explain before, the fact that we were unable to communicate freely with each other within the institutionalized channels of the Fellowship of Friends is a major tool in undermining member’s integrity and self worth to the point that ulterior effects such as lack of self trust, depression, vulnerability will develop. The process of loosing self worth is accompanied with the process of developing increasing dependency on the Cult and Cult leader. The extreme expressions of idolatry present in the Fellowship of Friends today, are an aspect of the blindness with which members neglect to see that the whole community is directly or indirectly participating in inducing the boys to have sex with Robert Burton, the women to have abortions suggested by Robert Burton and everyone involved pay ludicrous amounts of money for the exclusive use of Robert Burton’s practices.

With all due respect for each person participating here, I have heard enough to understand more deeply than ever that the practices harming people inside the Fellowship need to be stopped. It is not about stopping Freedom of Religion, it is about controlling the abuse of power of the organization.

I am happy to not be able to force any one of you into participating in a more serious process of controlling the abuses the Fellowship of Friends carries out, I would not wish to mud my hands in any such practice of forcing anyone to do what they themselves have not chosen to do. We are fortunate to be able to understand that beyond the atrocities that have become “normal” in our times there is still absolute beauty in being alive, no matter what the outcome of one’s small enterprises happen to be.

I have already shared the best and the worst of me here and hope to overcome the need to verify repeatedly what I have already verified. The time for fighting with each other is over for me. We are each free to live by our own understanding.

Should anyone wish to pursue more focused action on the Fellowship of Friends, please contact me at ludoteka@succeed.net. It is good to know that we’ll be moving on with this for years to come, because this is a major aspect of our time as much as of our lives. It is not only about reducing the Fellowship’s abuses, I would also like to compile personal stories and eventually present us with a clearer picture of what happened in the Fellowship of Friends and each one of us. Hundreds of you are in a better position to do this than I am, I hope it gets done, no matter who does it.
If anyone of you decides to send me your story, I will send you a signed paper stating that I will not use your name anywhere without your signed approval, so that you can take legal action against me, were I to break that agreement.

In the meantime, journey forth by day will begin in a week. What was clear in the picketing last week is that many, many students still don’t even know that the blog exists. It had a clear impact on many a new face that I had never seen. Should you consider making yourself present in this occasion it would be a great shock for the members. My ability to impact them on my own is limited. The aim to simply push them gently to think about the deeper issues was successful. The courts and other legal measures will never be this gentle.

26. Rear View Mirror - July 11, 2008

The D.S. story is interesting. I recall hearing things about her house, and how she was just another “negative ex-student”, but I never witnessed her protesting. And I do wonder how I would have reacted if I had seen her.

But sometimes I think we complicate things. Information about the cult — partly from a growing number of former members in the area, and partly from a number of websites, including this one — is slowly eroding people’s usual certainty about participating in the FOF.

Robert Burton and the FOF have been using one of the oldest known propaganda techniques for the past 38 years — repetition. And more repetition.

Repetition is a tough thing for our brains to battle against. The more we hear something — for example, that Republicans are stronger on foreign policy — the more we begin to believe it as unassailable fact. And we begin looking for arguments to support that assertion even if there are many counter arguments that suggest otherwise.

It’s the same in the FOF. We had the ideas of “higher forces” and “food for the moon” and “higher school” drilled into our brains over and over — many of us for many years — and we began talking about these concepts as though they were facts.

Now the tables are turning.

We have the opportunity, thanks to the internet, and thanks to the proximity of larger numbers of friends who have escaped, to introduce the facts about this cult — again and again and again.

The process may be taking longer than we we’d want, but there is a difference now from 10, 20, and 30 years ago when someone expressed dissent. Today, the dissent is slightly closer to the walls of the compound, and quite a bit more persistent. It’s a much different time.

27. ton - July 11, 2008

RVM 26 thanks for the post. there seems to be a trend in today’s thinking that technology will either save us or destroy us. depends entirely on how it’s used, whether we use it as a tool or are used by it…. whatever the outcome, the potential offered by current technologies for open communication, definitely offers advantages not available back when i left the fellowship of friends…. or even as you say 10 years ago. (of course, the converse would be the example of government disinformation/propaganda being distributed via various media/technologies and used as a tool for ‘mind-control’ –(albeit on a larger scale than the case in point).

you say:
“The D.S. story is interesting. I recall hearing things about her house, and how she was just another “negative ex-student”, but I never witnessed her protesting.”

it was a long time ago, but i don’t think i’m making this up… while she still lived in her house, before she moved to marysville, on some mornings when a group of ‘us’ were tending the garden, she would stand in her yard and vocalize her protestations…. i don’t think she ever carried a sign but i could be wrong…. either way, if someone can corroborate or repudiate (?) and does anyone know what happened to ‘D’ ?
and yes, it is an interesting story (whalerider).

28. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 11, 2008

On DS: I remember something about her water being turned off. She shared a well with the FOF. Don’t know any other details though except I remember not having much compassion for her at the time. That certainly sticks in my memory. Not frozen just a little frost bitten.

29. Traveler - July 11, 2008

Dear Elena (40/25),

Thank you for the trust that you show me by suggesting that I could be this helpful to your endeavor. And I’m glad that you have received my words as kind. It sounds like you are doubtful that I might be able to fully comprehend what you are trying to achieve – and you indicate that this may be due to my relative youth, which I’m guessing in this case correlates with meaning a certain inexperience and lack of perspective? I understand from your reply that although you welcome kindness, you regard it as not sufficient to tackle what you present as the real problems that you want to address: problems that go beyond personal preferences and are pertinent to a human tragedy on a much bigger scale. I actually respect the realization that what is going on in the Fellowship of Friends, is about much more than a personal issue and one Elena’s story. If I’m understanding what drives you to picket the gatehouse, is that you actually care about the well-being of current members, and you would like to prevent as many people as possible from being harmed by allowing themselves to be controlled and manipulated, as you have once been controlled and manipulated. To protect these people from harm, you would like to achieve more official regulation in this area, and enforcement of certain rules about what religious organizations should and should not be allowed to do. I understand from what you’ve been saying that you believe these people deserve better things in their lives than to blindly follow a cult leader, and it would give you great pleasure if they saw that they were being exploited, and if you or someone else who shares your views were able to put some control on what is going on with RB and his circle. I wish to be more clear about what we are talking about, so I’d like to ask you if you could please let me know whether this is an accurate description of your aims? Thank you, Elena.

30. Rear View Mirror - July 11, 2008

Ton (27), Yes I definitely believe you regarding your story. I love these types of accounts because it helps us tie things together more, and better understand what happened to us, or is happening to us.

I don’t recall “buying into” the nonense I heard about her, but I do recall that I didn’t ask any questions whatsover, such as,”Why did she act that way? What type of experience did she have? Why did she leave?” and so on.

Same with others who left… “Why did they act that way? What type of experience did they have? Why did they leave?” I rarely asked.

Lack of curiosity was and is a part of the disease.

I know there’s a group of people who will never leave no matter what, but I have faith that there’s a large contingent still ‘in’ who have a lot more curiosity about these things than I did.

31. nigel harris price - July 11, 2008

Sorry I’ve been away a few days – something about Zone Alarm messing up Windows Internet Explorer, according to a national newspaper. I feel things are getting focussed about WHAT CAN BE DONE. Some left the FOF of their own accord (my story has been told) and some were ejected. Nevertheless, I think all on the blog feel that REB must be brought to account by legal means, because of his spiritual and sexual misconduct. I never had much contact with Burton or the core of those close to him, but know of my own thoughts on the matter, that the FOF is a vicious cult and that Burton may be charismatic, but is not conscious (as in Conscious Being). If we ‘go for the jugular’, all the rest of the scam will fall apart of its own accord (teacher in jail i.e. not teacher-no school)…..Nigel.

32. xeeena - July 11, 2008
33. ton - July 11, 2008

RVM 30
part of the reason for ignoring and lack of curiosity about why people left had — and i would guess still has to do with an active suppression of the reasons and facts surrounding an individual leaving the fellowship of friends.

many years ago, i wrote a letter to robert burton explaining why i left, i sent it to my then-wife (M) to pass on to robert burton…. i talked to M afterward who said he read it and his response to her was words to the effect: ” he doesn’t understand the system dear….” i would guess (again), that’s as far as any communication about my leaving went…. not that my leaving merited attention anyway, right ? i was “just another negative ex-student…”

but now i’m repeating myself, i wrote all of this back a year ago here on the blog. i wish i had a copy of the letter i sent to robert burton but alas…. as best as i can recollect at the moment, the letter contained reasons for leaving having to do with the lack of any semblance of democratic process and the obvious “injustice” of the hierarchical ‘power structure’ in place…. that all ‘fell on deaf ears’ of course…

34. elena - July 11, 2008

Dear Traveler,

It makes me so happy to hear some of the things I care about expressed in such a succinct and clear way, I should have hired you a year ago and avoided wasting people’s time with my long posts! It is delightful to see your amazing ability to express yourself.

I think I deeply understood your recent post in which you stated that you don’t feel particularly moral to act against the Fellowship so when I asked you if you could help getting a site together I was very aware about your feelings and did not expect you to join such a site as much as I hoped you would. From a previous offering by you last year, I knew you knew how to put such a site together but that is not a real issue for things to get done and if others are interested, someone else will do it.

It is in your moral condition where I see you cannot share my position with the same conviction. If you, who have been one of the most objective listeners here, cannot, I do not expect others to do so. Perhaps we just don’t like each other enough and even if we agree about everything we don’t want to work together. I’m willing to live with that. To me, liking each other is significant in first and second line of work and something we can always come to as we meet each other deeply, but when we approach third line of work, being civilized is what matters. A mature human being would not allow his/her likes or dislikes to stop him from doing what is right. For me, right, is to not allow the Fellowship of Friends Cult to continue unchecked and once checked, conditioned and supervised. I hope to stop thousands of people from knowing it ever existed. Each prospective student that does not join in the next twenty years is worth all the trouble.

The fact that you don’t feel ethically compelled to take more serious action against the Fellowship is where I see our differences. For me, at fifty, it is of enormous importance to take a stand on the life and the people I’ve shared it with but I do not judge you, who are much younger, for not being there. I trust that you will give your own fight when you find it worth it and I trust it will be a superb one! I cannot force you to have the ethical and moral conviction that I have today, and I am happy, very happy, not needing to force you or anyone else for that matter, to give this fight. Maybe it is only mine or you’ll just give it in a different way.

35. Vena - July 11, 2008

I don’t think Traveler’s age has anything to do with her position. She is one of the most intelligent, perceptive and articulate posters here. With all due respect Elena, it seems condescending to me to imply that once she is your age she may feel differently.
I respect what you are doing and I equally respect Traveler’s understanding.

36. Traveler - July 11, 2008

Dear Elena,

It’s with great pleasure that I read that you have felt I understood what you have been trying to say, and what you are trying to achieve. So we agree that we differ simply with respect to moral obligation: you feel morally bound to put an end to what is happening in the Fellowship, and I do not. I see that you’re feeling fairly alone and a little bit desperate in the struggle, when you observe that even someone who seems to understand what you want, does not follow you with concrete actions. You have a firm conviction that there is a right thing to do, which is to take serious action to supervise and restrict the activities in the Fellowship. You say that you think you have already understood deeply where I stand and what are my reasons for lack of motivation to support legal action and resort to official punitive channels, so if you are satisfied with what you have already deduced from what I have written, I will not add to my previous post on this topic. I am glad that you don’t feel obligated to judge me in my different attitude, although it’s a little sad or disappointing to see that you are apparently stopping your investigation of why it is so difficult to get support, at (in my opinion) so superficial a reason and conclusion as “perhaps we just don’t like each other enough”, or “you are much younger”, and leave it at that. I will think of you as you go stand by the gatehouse during Journey Forth, and wish you well.

37. elena - July 11, 2008

Traveler,

I’ve been alone for the past eighteen years and I am not complaining about it. How the Fellowship sculpted each one of us and conditioned us to take a certain gesture in relation to the life we’ve been living is particular to each one of us.
It made me distant from everyone who was in it. I never understood what others were doing in there and now that I’ve heard so many explain their reasons, I understand them even less. For so many it did not even matter whether Robert was conscious or not. For some, the fact that regular society was corrupt made corruption in the Fellowship O.K. For me it was a Conscious School and that was worth struggling for. As you’ve said, the deception is considerable.

I am not in an investigation to find out why you or others don’t support me. I am well aware of how intense I’ve come across throughout this first year out of the Fellowship. If you don’t forgive me I’ll still forgive myself. I am not concerned about you supporting me, welcome as that would be, what concerns me is why you don’t support stopping an institution that has abused us all and will abuse others if we do nothing about it. But my concern is not so strong that I would dislike you or judge you for it. Reality doesn’t admit such inconsistencies and emotional dependence on each other’s support goes only so far. Beyond it, is one’s self.

You seem to have something you wish to say, just say it. Since I don’t know what it is, it is difficult to ask for it.

Do not diminish me or your self by my references to your age, I could not have been more tender for I sincerely have enormous respect for you. The issue is not in your age, it is, I thought, in the fact that you do not feel morally compelled to take more serious action against the Fellowship’s so called “Freedom of Religion”. I don’t believe this Nation would call “that”, Freedom of Religion and I intend to ask it. Maybe it does.

38. ton - July 12, 2008

if i may interject an observation into the ‘hockey’ game being played between elena and ‘traveler’ — elena you write to traveler:

“Do not diminish me or your self by my references to your age,,,,”

elena, i’ve been following the posts here and correct me if i’m wrong but you were the first to make reference or imply the difference in age between yourself and traveler… and it seemed (to me at least) to be an attempt on your part to ‘diminish’ traveler’s input here… with all due respect of course…

39. elena - July 12, 2008

Ton, you’re right. I believe if Traveler were older she would feel morally and ethically compelled to act more seriously to stop the Fellowship’s abuses as I do. I sincerely believe she is so mature at the age she is, that by the time she is fifty, she will not be have any doubts about what is ethically or morally correct in whatever struggle she wishes to take upon herself. In the meantime, it is absolutely clear to me that she has enough integrity to do what she well pleases without the slightest pressure and I don’t think I have placed any pressure on her to act differently.

40. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 12, 2008

25,29, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38

..so after a brief break while Elena was picketing, the blog has yet again become about Elena and her neuroses, her trip, her endless defensiveness.

If you don’t agree with her in any way, she will find some way to let you know that she she considers you to somehow lack integrity or maturity or moral sensibility or insight. She will say, repeatedly, that doesn’t care what you think, while making it obvious that she cares about little else. She will tie herself to the stake, douse herself with gasoline and light the match while telling you that you, or RB, or Gerard, or who-knows-who is to blame. And she wonders why no one wants to go out and play with her.

41. Across the River - July 12, 2008

and yet another comment from the peanut gallery re Traveler and Elena . . .

I see you, Elena very reasonably answering Traveler’s post and expressing your genuine confusion about your different understandings. The age comment may or may not have been intentionally meant to diminish Traveler’s position, but IMO there’s a question of manipulation from both sides.

If your point, Traveler, was to give empathy to Elena, good for you, but I also felt there was a question/comment/point intended that was hidden within your words and we still haven’t discovered what that is.

You both already seem to agree to disagree, so what’s this all about anyway?

Very curious.

I hope at the very least your exchanges won’t become the material for a popularity contest.

42. elena - July 12, 2008

The age comment is nothing but that. I do not expect a twenty or thirty year old woman to assume a position such as i’ve taken. I could not have done it at that age. There is not more to it than that. It was Traveler who said, sometime ago that she was not clear about having a moral position on the Fellowship and I find that perfectly alright at that age.

“A mature human being would not allow his/her likes or dislikes to stop him from doing what is right. For me, right, is to not allow the Fellowship of Friends Cult to continue unchecked and once checked, conditioned and supervised. I hope to stop thousands of people from knowing it ever existed. Each prospective student that does not join in the next twenty years is worth all the trouble.”

That is the only issue that I am concerned with here.

Please realize that my post to you traveler is not only to you but to all of us here:

“I am happy to not be able to force any one of you into participating in a more serious process of controlling the abuses the Fellowship of Friends carries out, I would not wish to mud my hands in any such practice of forcing anyone to do what they themselves have not chosen to do. We are fortunate to be able to understand that beyond the atrocities that have become “normal” in our times there is still absolute beauty in being alive, no matter what the outcome of one’s small enterprises happen to be.”

43. Rear View Mirror - July 12, 2008

I’m not sure if many of you had a similar experience with the Fellowship of Friends, but my experience was that Robert Burton and the rest of the FOF cult taught me some good things, but it also taught me some very bad things.

And mostly very bad things, and mostly without me realizing it.

One of the “bad things” to which I refer means being taught that something can’t be done And being taught this over and over, over a period of many years.

Here’s the FOF form of being taught that you “cannot” …

• You cannot do.
• When you say that you cannot do, you will pretend that you are saying something completely different, and change the subject. But you are still uttering the words, “you cannot do.”
• You cannot say that you can do. And if you do say it, you quickly catch yourself.
• You cannot listen to someone who says that he or she can do.
• You cannot escape from the fact that you cannot do.
• You cannot do anything or change your life in any way — unless you pay us money.
• You cannot be limitless. You are limited. Yes I know the essence of the soul is limitlessness and freedom, and the FOF cult claims to foster the development of the soul, but we want you to believe that you cannot be limitless. You are limited.
• You cannot object, and you cannot argue.
• You cannot experience real and lasting change, unless of course you struggle through several theoretical lifetimes, and then you can experience real and lasting change.
• You cannot do anything on your own.
• You cannot help people “in life.”
• You cannot help the world or your nearest neighbors.
• You cannot help yourself without the help of the Fellowship of Friends.
• You cannot leave the Fellowship of Friends and still be connected to “something higher,” to the gods, the angels, to higher forces, or to anything spiritual.
• You cannot know yourself without the help of others in the FOF.
• You cannot be safe without the Fellowship of Friends.
• You cannot be “real” or create anything “real” without the Fellowship of Friends.
• Your life cannot have meaning without the Fellowship of Friends.
• You cannot say no to “your teacher.”
• You cannot say yes to someone who says no to “your teacher.”
• You cannot challenge “your teacher.”
• You cannot question whether he is “your teacher.”
• You cannot challenge the Fellowship of Friends or Robert Burton, and you cannot express dissent in any way.
• You cannot dispute the value of the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton’s so-called “teaching.”

“Cannot” is the motto of the FOF… Simply put: You cannot. And one of the reasons for this motto is that it keeps you there. Because if you cannot, then you had better stay.

Leaving the FOF — and even thinking about leaving the FOF — was a dramatic break in the clouds for me. The healing process, for me, has meant reconnecting with that part of me that simply says, “Yes, I can.”

I wrote extensively on the previous page about the idea of kindness. Whatever the confusion and occasional misunderstandings that may exist between us here, I sense a genuine exchange of kindness between people. Not always, and that’s definitely not always true about me, but it’s there, and it’s there as you will rarely see in the Fellowship of Friends.

And when I say “kindness,” I don’t mean “niceness.” Not sweet words. Not trying to be liked. Not wanting everything to be fine and comfortable and cozy and harmonious, and definitely not displaying it for others to see it like some sort of pretension of modesty or self-remembering.

But I mean a bold type of kindness. A kindness that is strong and free and filled with an uninhibited sort of love.

——

Finally, a very important thing that you “cannot do” when you leave the Fellowship of Friends cult, is “transform your suffering.”

I “bought’ quite a lot of the nonsense in the Fellowship of Friends, but I never quite bought that idea… that “transformation of suffering” is somehow confined to Little Ole Fellowship of Friends Cult.

And everywhere else, vacuum and despair.

Imagine if we believed that. Imagine if we believed the world view of the FOF:

Then men and women could not go to war and watch friends die in battle, and return to write books that send chills up our spines and resonate straight to our souls. Men and women could not inspire change in their communities following years of watching their friends suffer because of injustices. Men and women could not create inspiring works of art after years of their own experiences with real suffering.

No, only in the FOF is that possible. Without the Fellowship of Friends… there is no transformation. No inspiration. No love. No meaning to life.

So to find meaning in your life, you write those checks and wash those pots, and nod approvingly. Or you shake your head, and pretend that you don’t approve, but inside you approve, each and every time you write that check.

Welcome to the world of the Fellowship of Friends.

44. Traveler - July 12, 2008

Across the River (40/41) says: The age comment may or may not have been intentionally meant to diminish Traveler’s position, but IMO there’s a question of manipulation from both sides. If your point, Traveler, was to give empathy to Elena, good for you, but I also felt there was a question/comment/point intended that was hidden within your words and we still haven’t discovered what that is.

Thanks Across the River. I was also beginning to wonder where I was trying to go with this. I suppose I wanted to see if I could talk to Elena in a way that would, for a change, not involve outrage, dismissal, uncalled for advice and blanket labeling, and just see where that might take us. From Elena’s feedback, I learned that she was happy to see that it’s possible to state her views concisely, and happy with her moral outlook and the way she saw things, and pretty clear about what was right and what was wrong. At that point, it seemed there was nothing more for me to say to her, and I had learned something about Elena, and about myself and my expectation of being understood. If you perceive hidden manipulation by me, please let me know more (privately if you wish), because manipulation is a topic that I’m extremely interested in and would love to explore any of my own blind spots more deeply.

45. paulshabram - July 12, 2008

43 RVM
A sonnet

The premise is wrong, while the truth is redacted
The evidence is missing, the conclusions absurd
Spontaneity is practiced, while living is acted
And the Search wanders aimless by a Vision now blurred

The arts are well hidden by a veil of conceit
His depth superficial, his concerns insincere
And Knowledge is drawn from a well of deceit
And lives run to ruin without shedding a tear

No path to enlightenment here will be found
No friendships in the Friends can dare be allowed
While fellowship in the Fellowship grows underground
And happiness not suffered by an insufferable crowd

And now your good heart may by your own choices riven
Can be reassembled to whole by what you’ve forgiven

46. Another Name - July 12, 2008

30 I know there’s a group of people who will never leave no matter what, but I have faith that there’s a large contingent still ‘in’ who have a lot more curiosity about these things than I did.

I have thought this of many and many have left that I did not expect….really in my understanding/ experience we can not know.

Everybody that does what he/she does from the heart will make a difference….do not forget people are still leaving, digging a tunnel, questioning….Time, time, time

And about Vinnie, he lives in OH and is course in his approach to women for my taste. He could be……. who cares…..

We have a choice to skip his emails, simple.

One of my favorite local people in OH has an expression:

Did you see their lips move…. they were lying.
Words come after our perceptions and are a way of trying to express ourselves. It is surely not the real thing for me.
How people behave and what their actions look like are these actions congruent with their words……

Across the river I loved your question, one day we will talk about it. My advice keep connecting with people…people, cause one day they might be in and the next day out….

We never know and many need healing, in and out.

Good day to you all.

47. Another Name - July 12, 2008

IMO it is helpful to correspond with Elena privately. Explore how to reach her heart. She has incredible thoughts and working by email might help both of the parties, as it takes time to reach the heart, to get pain and our own issues in the day light. To grieve, give it a new place in our lives and to be able to move on again and address new issues and horizon.

Life is a path, a process, enjoy.

As I said before: Words can easily cover up our feelings. And addressing our feelings, the solar plexus and anxiety can be a uncovering of our conscience.

48. Across the River - July 12, 2008

Hi Traveler,

Maybe your “expectation of being understood” is a key…..I don’t know. I did feel encouraged to hear Elena express that “the time for fighting with each other is over for me. We are each free to live by our own understanding”.

Of course our own understanding is relative to what? I think Elena’s responses point to her respect for your right to live by your own understanding even though she cannot agree with it. I think we know her understanding is that those still in the Fellowship are **not** free and her expectation is that you and all of us who know the sordid story should be willing to respond.

I thought your empathy was very perceptive. Elena has been clear that she’s on this path with or without the support of others, and she won’t be distracted. She did ask for your help in formulating the question implicit in your posts.

One that comes to mind is: are you willing to accept a simpler love that can breathe like the tides and has no cause?

49. lauralupa - July 12, 2008

paul, thanks for the sonnet.

And now, for something completely different.
This offering is not about the FoF per se, but hopefully may be food for further thoughts. One of the unfortunate by-products of being holed up in the artificial environment of a self-referential and paranoid pseudo-community out in the boonies is detachment from the world at large and ignorance about it.

So I think it’s healthy to be informed and reminded of just how massive the impending changes in our societies might be, and of some of the possible positive steps that we may individually and collectively take. It has been mentioned here before, but IMO one of the weirdest examples of the FoF reason/belief disconnect and magical thinking is Robert’s insistence on predictions pf gloom and doom while nothing is done on a practical level to prepare for the aftermath except maybe stashing away a few bags of rice.

The childish fantasy that “the gods will take care of all that” is one of many “happy ending” fairy tales sold by RB to his followers, along with the scary ones about the big bad lower self and soul hungry moon.

But people, really, some rough awakenings may be lurking in the near future besides finding out that your beloved teacher is the real ogre in the tale. Maybe investing your savings in something different than Robert’s cashmere underwear might be a reasonable idea…

This article originally appeared in Conscious Choice magazine.

A few years ago, while working with shamans in the Amazon jungle of Brazil, I channeled a prophetic voice that announced itself as Quetzalcoatl, the Mesoamerican deity. The voice insisted a great karmic reckoning was on its way. These days, I often feel more like Chicken Little, seeking to warn people the sky above them is starting to fall. The more I explore what the near future may bring, the more I feel like running for cover.
Dmitry Orlov’s Reinventing Collapse argues the United States is headed for an imminent economic meltdown that will be as devastating as the fall of the USSR in the 1990s: “Try to form a picture in your mind: it is a superpower, it is huge, it is powerful, and it is going to come crashing down,” he writes. “You or me trying to do something about it would have the same effect as you or me wriggling our toes at a tsunami.” According to Orlov, an engineer and peak oil theorist, the causes of this crash include ideological gridlock, the entrenched corruption of our corporate state, the massive debt piled on by heedless U.S. policies and our utter dependence on a rapidly diminishing supply of fossil fuels.
Predicting mass bankruptcy, hyperinflation and resource shortages, Orlov recommends stockpiling items that can be bartered on the black market, such as razors, condoms and liquor, strengthening local communities and learning how to grow your own food. “For most people in the U.S., rich or poor, life without money is unthinkable,” he notes. “They may want to give this problem some thought, ahead of time.”
The most penetrating inquiries into our immediate future seem to be coming from small press writers such as Orlov. His book is published by New Society Press, which specializes in studies of our unfolding debacle and pragmatic tactics for dealing with its unavoidable fallout. Another meta-perspective is provided by Alexis Zeigler’s Culture Change: Civil Liberty, Peak Oil, and the End of Empire (Ecodem Press). Zeigler’s bracing little screed explores the connection between biofuel production and world hunger and argues that ecological crisis will lead to increased authoritarianism in the short term.
While Zeigler describes the dangers ahead, he is more optimistic than Orlov in that he sees the possibility of a mass activation of social awareness and a shift to more sustainable patterns. “The solution to changing the Western lifestyle is the simple impossible act of creating social networks that build social support outside of the mainstream in the context of a truly sustainable society,” he writes. Both writers foresee the necessity of adapting communal lifestyles to stretch increasingly scarce resources. Interestingly, Orlov proposes the friendly American mentality is much better suited for communal life than the surlier Russian psychology.
I tend to agree with these authors that the next few years are going to see extraordinary and even unprecedented hardships as many negative factors combine in unexpected ways to amplify each other. In the U.S., as the going gets rough, there is certainly the potential for a further degeneration into a hyper-controlled, security state. The horrific development of “disaster capitalism” based on Milton Friedman’s economic doctrine is well-documented in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine. The last decades have seen a massive transfer of assets from the poor and middle class to the wealthy elite, who are now contracting with private security firms to guard and rescue them in the event of social or ecological catastrophe.
At the same time, there are many positive developments that could counteract the doom-and-gloom. The increasing ease with which groups of people, ranging from small communities to massive crowds, can self-organize and mobilize through the Internet, using new Web 2.0 tools, is viewed as a revolutionary development in Clay Shirky’s Here Comes Everybody. My hypothesis, shared by many, is that there is also a change happening in human consciousness, with increasing numbers of people recognizing psychic capabilities and undergoing initiations that lead to mystical insights, compassionate openings and awareness of deeper levels of unity. It is interesting that our new media technologies amplify our awareness of interconnectivity, a once rarefied spiritual insight that is now becoming apparent to many people.
The material crisis we face is an expression of a spiritual crisis that requires a deep transformation of values and habits. As our current civilization melts down around us, my personal hope is that those people who have initiated themselves through spiritual practices — whether yoga, meditation, shamanism, martial arts or other disciplines — will step forward as leaders, helping the multitudes who have not been prepared for such a shift. A prudent course of action in the near-term might involve a process of self-education and study in sustainable techniques, securing access to clean water and locally grown food, exploring “off the grid” tools and alternative energy sources, while deepening one’s spiritual practice in preparation for greater changes ahead.
As Charles Darwin wrote, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most adaptive to change.” As the pace of change increases rapidly, we have a great opportunity to practice non-attachment, to pare down to essentials and to learn by doing. Rather than ignoring our intuition and remaining complacent, it would be best to face the future and make substantive changes in our lifestyles and expectations right now, while encouraging our friends and communities to do the same.

Daniel Pinhbeck

50. lauralupa - July 12, 2008

Across the river

“One that comes to mind is: are you willing to accept a simpler love that can breathe like the tides and has no cause?”

simply and beautifully espressed, thanks

51. lauralupa - July 12, 2008

expressed

52. Ellen - July 12, 2008

Hey all with good internet connections.
Here is a 1992 interview with Leonard Cohen.
The introduction is in Nederlands (Dutch) but the rest English.
Bugger on, and enjoy.
http://www.klara.be/cm/klara/2.878/1.30805

53. lauralupa - July 12, 2008

And of course, the author of 49 would be Daniel Pinchbeck. Sorry for the typos.

54. Traveler - July 12, 2008

Hi Across the River, thanks for pointing out Elena’s words to the effect that she is willing to live and let me live, even if we disagree about some things. In my understanding, she has respect for me personally in other regards, so she is willing to give me some benefit of the doubt, and it may have been reassuring, contradiction-relieving and sense-making to her yesterday to conclude that I am simply still on my way towards the moral stance that she holds. That being said, your own observation of her point of view is a contradictory one, both “her respect for your right to live” and “her expectation is that you and all of us… should be willing to respond”. Which is not to say that both cannot be true. I think humans are quite good at finding ways to exist with conflicting opinions at the same time. At different points, we are able to see different things, and I don’t want to pin down Elena or anybody as being this or that label. Thank you Another Name for touching the need to connect and take time. I’m a little uncomfortable discussing Elena in the third person here, but at this point I also don’t feel that I am able to speak directly to her, so I will just stop now.

55. Mick Danger - July 12, 2008

“The result of present suffering will be freedom and happiness.
It is only after experinecing bondage and misery that the true
value of freedom and happiness is really appreciated.” MSI 1932

56. Mick Danger - July 12, 2008

I blame lauralupa for the typo. (should be experiencing).

57. nigel harris price - July 12, 2008

To Elena, mostly.
I am not sure how I can be of any support to bloggers wanting to see the anti-FOF and anti-REB situation brought to a final conclusion. One, because of my physical lack of proximity to California and two, because I have resolved my own distaste at what the FOF ‘took’ from me and now stand firm in my commitment to my craftform – both teaching it and fabricating for people. All I can do for Elena is give an account of my time in the FOF and my interractions with ‘high-ups’ and those with some form of ‘role’. Hopefully she will use it in her lawsuit that she has in mind but, even if I were called to the witness stand for that, I would have to be given the airfare and somewhere to stay during its course. Any ideas?…..Nigel.

58. Joe Average - July 12, 2008

Ellen 52 – I get “Excuus, dit fragment is enkel in Belgie beschikbaar.”
If you’ve a way to capture the video, maybe you could post it on GF?
be donk mich.

59. Yesri Baba - July 12, 2008

“One that comes to mind is: are you willing to accept a simpler love that can breathe like the tides and has no cause?”

————————

40 paages blabin aboot luv an finly somone haz cum up wis a haff wey desent definision.

(jus mi opinin o course)

60. Yesri Baba - July 12, 2008

Sory, I ment : corse

61. elena - July 12, 2008

Nigel,
If battles were won with love, I would have already won this one with yours!

Keep freeing yourself from all pressure, even to help!

62. Ellen - July 12, 2008

Sorry guys about the video.
I’ll see if there is a way to post for viewing.
L.C. is currently on tour here in Europe.
We saw him the other evening.
An impressive human being, musician and poet.
Expressed a lot of (essentially spiritual) understandings that would resonate very well for many of the folks here.

63. Across the River - July 12, 2008

54
Hey Traveler and Elena,

The third person thing is awkward for sure but I wanted to respond out loud here to you, T. Sorry Elena for that form! One of the things found in your exchanges (and my own daily life) is the complicated effect that our expectations create.

49
lauralupa

Thanks for that. It’s become more evident in the last few years that pooling resources will be the way to survive. I’ve observed how immigrant families in the US are not only able to survive but also build wealth out of seemingly nothing, just by coming together.

In the more general population, not necessarily those accessing new age sensibilities, IMO one of the biggest threats here in the US is the inherent sense of independence when it comes to finances, housing, space, and all. Personal debt has become seriously unmanageable in pursuit of this independence and is probably the single most cause of emotional and psychological breakdown. To many it’s a sign of failure to face the loss of this lifestyle, so they battle on, unreceptive to a new model. It will be a hard fall down.

64. Renald - July 12, 2008

Across the River – July 12, 2008 ·63

Here is imo a simple yet interesting article on that complicated effect that our expectations create. It is the main reason I have refrained from joining in on the latest controversy re. the picketing by Elena.
This article may demonstrate a mostly different perspective. Often if I have given myself a day or so before sending in my gut feeling, I find that it would have been too slanted and even include lies . Anyways here goes. Cheers!

Chief Joseph Newsletter:
Sentinels of the Sky
Conversations with Chief Joseph & John Cali
ISSN: 1539-431X
July 8, 2008

Expectations

When you visualize something you want, how high — or low — do you set your expectations? If you’re like I was most of my life, you settle for the lower end of the spectrum.

John Cali
There are many possible reasons we’re willing to settle for less instead of more. For example, we don’t feel deserving. Or we don’t believe the Universe is abundant. Or we believe everything we read in the mainstream news media. Or, for a zillion other reasons, we don’t believe we can have what we want in this life.

Therefore, we set our expectations low. We work hard. Then we usually reap what we’ve sown — results that match our expectations.

But the opposite of that also works because the Law of Attraction is flawless, and you always get what you focus on and expect. Always.

Here’s Chief Joseph.

Chief Joseph

Friends, we do not know where, on your physical paths, you went astray into believing you are far less than we know you are. If you could see yourselves with our eyes, you would be inundated with joy — that indescribable joy you knew before you incarnated, and the joy to which you will surely return when you leave your physical bodies.

We’ve said this many times over the years, but it bears repeating:

All of you — no exceptions — are gods and goddesses in physical form.

The problem is many of you have identified your being by who you are in the particular body you now occupy.

But that body, wondrous thing that it is, is still such a small, infinitesimal part of who you really are. An important part, yes. Otherwise you could not navigate through your physical experiences. Nonetheless, still a small part.

Your higher selves, or souls, see you as we see you — bright, beautiful beings. Struggling sometimes, yes. Courageous always, yes.

Do you know how much courage it took for you (the Greater You) to incarnate into a physical body once again? If you did you would gain a far greater appreciation of your human selves. You would gain a far greater appreciation of the miraculous workings of your physical bodies. You would gain a far greater appreciation of the endless power you have to create lives of joy and abundance while you still occupy your physical bodies.

Your higher selves, your souls, decided to play the game of physical life again because they thought there would be some fun here. Games, after all, are all about having fun. You knew that as little children. You were far wiser then than most of you are now.

It’s not that you’re not innately wise — you’ve just forgotten your own wisdom and power.

When you begin to get more glimpses of that wisdom and power — that is our goal here today, to help you do that — then you will never again set low expectations for yourselves.

You deserve everything you’ve ever wanted. The Universe has noted your every wish, from the moment you were born into this physical lifetime. The only reason you haven’t gotten what you want is because you haven’t allowed it to come to you.

Set your expectations high always. You don’t have to work hard to manifest your desires. Work easy, knowing and trusting the Universe will deliver to you what you’ve asked. Maybe not in the specific form you’ve imagined. But, if not, then something far better and higher.

All is well, friends. Trust your own innate goodness and deservingness. We do. God does. The Universe does.

See yourselves as we see you, with great love.

65. steve lang - July 13, 2008

The town of Paradise California, about 100 miles from Oregon House has been on fire for almost a week. Robert always liked to refer to the town of Paradise- as if its proximity was just one more indicator that the FOF was a result of C-Influence. I wonder how he’s been interpreting the fires?

66. Ill Never Tell - July 13, 2008

65. steve lang – July 13, 2008:

‘The town of Paradise California, about 100 miles from Oregon House has been on fire for almost a week. Robert always liked to refer to the town of Paradise- as if its proximity was just one more indicator that the FOF was a result of C-Influence. I wonder how he’s been interpreting the fires?’

vvvv?

Apollo is so close to Paradise that you can see sparks. (A play on the words of the illustrious master: ‘Reno is so close to Hell that you can see Sparks’ (as in Sparks, Nevada). Or, in other words, Apollo ain’t nowhere near Paradise. In fact it is very far from it. So far that the sparks of Hell can be seen – especially if traveling in the direction of Paradise. Or, maybe what is seen as Paradise is an illusion, a mirage, a light show, of the sparks of Hell.

And, BTW, the fires are/were burning east of Paradise in a community called Concow. This is where the worst property damage has been done, not to mention the square miles burned. Try and Google map Concow, CA. to see where it is. It is situated directly between Oregon House and Paradise, CA. So, is that C-Influence? Go figure! Burn baby, burn!

What is the opposite of Concow? Procow. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Or, in other words, why deliver on consciousness when life is so great fooling those idiot consciousness seekers? That’s what you call Hell on Earth.

67. Yesri Baba - July 13, 2008

68. lauralupa - July 13, 2008

Hi Ellen, thanks for the info. Mr. Cohen has a good fan base on this blog, and I’m one of them. Unfortunately, I checked the ticket prices for his Italian concerts and they start at 170 euros… too much for my pockets right now… maybe another time, or another lifetime

Speaking of poets and musicians, last night I watched the new documentary about Patti Smith, the inspiring “Dream of Life”. Your comments about mr. Cohen could be applied verbatim to this great woman. Highly recommended, especially to Elena!

http://www.dreamoflifethemovie.com/

69. Across the River - July 13, 2008

64
Hi Renald,

I’ve heard alot about the law of attraction and to me it seems useful to a point, particularly as a tool for rewiring energy fields.

But beyond that, I wonder if working with expectations of any kind “gets in the way of getting out of the way”. It seems to me that all things possible are already possible. Maybe we’re taking about the same thing 😀

There always seems to be plenty of material in this area to observe and explore.

70. ton - July 13, 2008

another nonsequitor —
for folks interested in ‘conspiracy theory’ here’s an interesting hodge-podge of truths and half-truths

http://wideeyecinema.com/?p=281

71. ton - July 13, 2008

ps for previous post:
faint of heart
shouldn’t hit
the play button.

72. nigel harris price - July 13, 2008

Hi Elena
I have made it an aim tonight to start on my ‘history within the FOF’, despite feeling ‘low’ in being – either something physical or maybe the effect of the extra anti-psychotic drug I have to take, having just been in the local ‘asylum’. Anyway, I am going to my GP on Tuesday morning to discuss the problem. I don’t think my history should be long and drawn-out, but just have pertinent events and encounters with ‘other students’. These may bolster your own feelings about how you should address your efforts…..Nigel.

73. lostandfound - July 13, 2008

I am writing to inform those who contribute to the blog, as well as those who simply read the blog without contributing any postings, that should you wish to rejoin the Fellowship, you will be warmly received as if you never have left. (Ala our dear friend, Loretta.)

The being and essence of the School is at an all-time high, and the Teaching has never been clearer.

To those who contribute to the blog and who have no thoughts at all of rejoining, please be aware that when your postings are steeped in judgment or condemnation of one another, you are doing a great disservice to your Higher Selves, to the person you are attacking and to the standards of the blog itself.

If you wish to talk about rejoining or simply wish to vent in a more personal and intimate setting, please feel free to write me directly at:

lostandfound@cheerful.com

74. ton - July 13, 2008

nigel, thought you might appreciate the poetry. this reminded me of a prior thread relating to gnosis…. also threads regarding the “middleman” the sad case here of robert burton and other petty charlatans of this ilk.

here’s to “fresh air and sunshine:”

“The ancient Poets animated all sensible objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & numerous senses could perceive. And particularly they studied the genius of each city & country, placing it under its mental deity; Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav’d the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects: thus began Priesthood; Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales. And at length they pronounc’d that the Gods had order’d such things.
Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast.”

billy blake

75. nigel harris price - July 13, 2008

Yes Ton
My quote was from Whitman “Soon there will be no more priests”. and by ‘billy’ did you mean William (probably – sounds like him!)

Hey! and by the way have you noticed that you can still buy things from the 44 in shops (yea REB – where is your inside line?)…..Nigel.

76. ton - July 13, 2008

ya nigel, the quote is from william… i feel familiar enough to call him billy — familiar in the familial sense…. i hope that doesn’t come off as too grandiose…. but i don’t think he would mind…. it’s meant with all due respect.
didn’t get your “44 in shops” reference but i’ll admit, after all these years i still see “44’s.” for a period after the fellowship of friends i continued to ‘use’ sightings of the # ’44’ as a ‘conscious shock’ — a reminder of ‘higher forces.’ that was a long time ago for me…. but it’s true “old habits die hard.”

the video above might be considered by some to be ‘twee’ or otherwise ‘a little gay’ but it seemed to fit the post so i paste it anyway risking perception and whatever because music is a blessing, it comes in many forms shared by all.

77. Yesri Baba - July 13, 2008

73 ton

“till a system was formed, which some took advantage of & enslav’d the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects: thus began Priesthood; Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales. And at length they pronounc’d that the Gods had order’d such things.
Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast.”

billy blake

——————

And in that way we make a ‘hell’ of ‘heaven’ and a ‘satan’ of ‘god’.

Grandiose? I think not. I was thinking of you as the ‘mystic’ sort just a few days ago.

78. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 14, 2008

73 is newly moderated.

Lost & Found: Welcome and who are you? What position are you in that you offer a service to those wishing to ‘speak more privately’? Since you wrote in the tone of ‘someone who can be trusted’, it would be even more trustworthy if you told us who you are and why you are offering such a service, right?

please be aware that when your postings are steeped in judgment or condemnation of one another, you are doing a great disservice to your Higher Selves, to the person you are attacking and to the standards of the blog itself.

That is a judgment, errrm, yeah… You are judging and condemning those who judge and condemn. A bit of a conundrum.

And surely, release and acceptance are valid forms of transformation, far better than silence or repression. Pretending that something isn’t there doesn’t make it disappear, however much you may try to convince yourself otherwise. Not so far ago Elena spoke of feeling very self-conscious while she was in the FOF because she was forced to repress what was labeled as ‘negativity’, have others suffered (do others suffer) from this? I am not articulate enough to take this point to its conclusion but others have done so in the previous page of the discussion.

79. veronicapoe - July 14, 2008

Lostandfound,

Is there a fee to rejoin, or is it free? Do teaching payments recommence at the level which applied at the time of leaving,or does one start from the very beginning, in essence “going to the back of the line”? What is the monthly fee which must be paid by rejoining students? Is a fee waiver available for those willing to provide sexual services to the Teacher?

80. brucelevy - July 14, 2008

73

Unbelievable. Where do I sign.

81. We Were There - July 14, 2008

Lostandfound,

‘please feel free to write me…’

Who are you?

82. veramente - July 14, 2008

73 lostandfound

The being and essence of the School is at an all-time high, and the Teaching has never been clearer.
—————————-
You are spam, if not, you are higly delusional.

83. GoodQuestion - July 14, 2008

78. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion:

“Since you wrote in the tone of ’someone who can be trusted’, it would be even more trustworthy if you told us who you are and why you are offering such a service, right?”

Sheik, why not tell us exactly who you are first? Then perhaps demand the identity of others.

Clearly you are trying hard to fit in with the out-of-the-FOF crowd, enthusiastically adopting their cause, their counter-religion of we-are-already-alright-as-we-are and otherwise showing an embarrassingly solicitous level of empathy, but you really are annoyingly eager to be welcomed into the weird ex-cult mentality.

84. BetterQuestion - July 14, 2008

78. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion

“Since you wrote in the tone of ’someone who can be trusted’, it would be even more trustworthy if you told us who you are and why you are offering such a service, right?”

Sheik, why not tell us exactly who you are first? Then perhaps demand the identity of others.

Clearly you are trying hard to fit in with the out-of-the-FOF crowd, enthusiastically adopting their cause, their counter-religion of we-are-already-alright-as-we-are and otherwise showing an embarrassingly solicitous level of empathy, but you really are annoyingly eager to be welcomed into the weird ex-cult mentality.

85. paulshabram - July 14, 2008

I would recommend against using the link in 73. You may be tagging you email for attack.

86. paulshabram - July 14, 2008

73 lostandfound

Have you verified Influence C? Please tell us about it.

87. Rear View Mirror - July 14, 2008

73 Lost: “you will be warmly received as if you never have left.”

Thanks, this is great! We’re already in the process of organizing film crews and numerous interviews with each and every one of our fellow cult members.

Since we’ll be “warmly received,” I can envision booths being set up at meetings and dinners — one at the Lodge, one at the Academy, one at the Town Hall (old names) and so on — where numerous representatives will provide a broad range of printed information about the FOF, about cults in general, and how to escape from them, and heal from their harmful effects. Of course, we’ll be setting up meetings and open discussions where all viewpoints are welcome.

Thanks for heads-up.

88. Rear View Mirror - July 14, 2008

By the way, there’s no way of knowing who “Lost” is, unless they come out and tell us directly. Someone posted a satire here months ago, suggesting that the FOF had changed its policy to welcome open discussion, etc. But I agree about using caution with the email address.

Actually, you know what… Here are my terms. I’ll come back for one year if 1) I don’t pay a dime, and 2) I am not prevented from talking to anyone in the cult and discussing any topic.

Imagine many of us doing that… would not be good for The Burton Agenda.

89. Yesri Baba - July 14, 2008

73 Shithead

To those who contribute to the blog and who have no thoughts at all of rejoining, please be aware that when your postings are steeped in judgment or condemnation of one another, you are doing a great disservice to your Higher Selves, to the person you are attacking and to the standards of the blog itself.

I don’t have a ‘higher self’ so fuck you.

(could someone send me a copy of the blog standards, I seem to have misplaced mine)

—————————

The being and essence of the School is at an all-time high, and the Teaching has never been clearer.

This is true. Your cult is leading it’s members in the exact opposite direction of realization. It is at an all time high and has never been clearer.

90. brucelevy - July 14, 2008

73

What can one say to that. They live in another dimension (actually dementia).

91. lauralupa - July 14, 2008

Hi ton, thanks for the Blake quote. Excellent timing for me.
In the Patti Smith documentary she talks about how much she was inspired by him, along with other poets like Walt Whitman and Rimbaud. And I was thinking along the lines of Nigel’s “have you noticed that you can still buy things from the 44 in shops”, which I understood to mean that the FoF has no inside connection to those philosophers, poets and mystics (the 44 angels), but that they are in fact easily accessible and comprehensible by everyone.
It’s such a shame the way RB aggrandizes himself appropriating and misusing the words of these great human beings. Just think about Leonardo being his best buddy…

Anyway, the worst part for me is that besides a few oft repeated poems and quotes, in the FoF we never dwelved deeply into these poetic works, especially the ones of Blake, which are very profound and radical, and most of which require much more than a casual glance to be undertood. We took Robert’s superficial approach as the norm, which helped us to blindly accept the 44’s presupposed sanctioning of the FoF, while in fact their words speak very different truths, and they would have recoiled in horror at such prospect.

In my Blakean year I was so disposed
Toward a mission yet unclear Advancing pole by pole

Fortune breathed into my ear Mouthed a simple ode
One road is paved in gold One road is just a road

In my Blakean year Such a woeful schism
The pain of our existence Was not as I envisioned

Boots that trudged from track to track Worn down to the sole
One road is paved in gold One road is just a road

Boots that tramped from track to track Worn down to the sole
One road was paved in gold One road was just a road

In my Blakean year Temptation but a hiss
Just a shallow spear Robed in cowardice

Brace yourself for bitter flack For a life sublime
A labyrinth of riches Never shall unwind
The threads that bind the pilgrim’s sack Are stitched into the Blakean back

So throw off your stupid cloak Embrace all that you fear
For joy shall conquer all despair In my Blakean year

Patty Smith, My Blakean year

92. lauralupa - July 14, 2008

lostandfound, about rejoining…
“Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum”
Seneca

but hey, thanks for jumpstarting the blog yet again…
there’s nothing better than this kind of posts to get the adrenals going

93. nigel harris price - July 14, 2008

76 ton
I meant that artwork, poetry, writings and music by those 44 beings ‘revered’ by the FOF can still be found in shops. But, yes, there are still #44 shocks – my latest being the address of my mental health advocacy, Rethink – 44 Westexe, Tiverton Devon. Both ways, it makes you think…..Nigel.

94. ton - July 14, 2008

73
lostandfound sighting on the utube…

you are like a bad joke.

95. Mick Danger - July 14, 2008

Dear Hearts, Gentle People & our special friends,
the so-called “Idiots”:
“If on the other hand, led by your ignorance,
you persist in going your own way,
none can stop you in your choice of progress;
for that too is progress which, however slow and painful,
eventually is bound to make you realize that which can be known now.
Be honest with yourself.
One may fool the world and one’s neighbors,
but one can never escape from the knowledge of the omniscient – such is the Divine Law.”

96. Rear View Mirror - July 14, 2008

Mick (93). What do you think about the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton? Honestly, I can’t tell because I don’t recall reading your viewpoint on the topic. My apologies if I missed one of your posts.

97. Rear View Mirror - July 14, 2008

Words. “Essence,” “being,” and “high” are all words used in post 73.

But what do those words actually mean? We used them so often in the Fellowship of Friends that they began to lose their meaning, assuming they had true meaning in the FOF in the first place.

The word “acceptance” was another word thrown around quite often in the FOF. Words, especially in cults, and especially in the FOF, are part of the repetition that I referred to an earlier post. They create an almost hypnotic effect when used repetitively, and this repetition is part of the propaganda.

One escape from this is to seek different words to describe the same thing. It helps us understand the idea more clearly, and sometimes it helps us to see that the idea itself is merely a mirage or a deception. Take the word “buy” for example. It’s no surprise that advertisers never use the word “spend” when they ask you to “buy” their products. But by using the word “spend,” we already have a clearer idea what the word “buy” actually means.

The idea of acceptance is an apparently noble idea, but it begins to lose its meaning when used repetitively and thoughtlessly as it’s used in the FOF — just as words such as “essence” and “being” and “high” are used repetitively and thoughtlessly. And not only do words begin to lose their meaning when they are used too often and too automatically, but they also have hypnotic effects. They lull people. And people find it more difficult to place their feet squarely on the ground and see the most obvious things when words are used this way (myself included).

We were told in the FOF that using the “work language” helped us communicate with each other more clearly… But did it really? Or was that yet another one of those myths?

Yes, it was yet another one of those myths.

For the term “acceptance,” try the words “openness,” or “receptivity,” or “trust,” or “open-mindedness,” or “non-resistance.” All have a different hue to them, and they each help us to see that “acceptance” has nothing to do with passivity and compliance.

Buy, buy, buy…

Regarding the FOF mantra and theme song, “You cannot,” I think Renald’s post 64 relates to this — as he suggests that our high expectations and low expectations tend to create the results in our lives. We lower expectations for ourselves and fall into a state of “acceptance.” If we envision an abundant universe, we attract abundance into our lives. But the FOF inhibits any growth in this direction, and even seems to marvel that “the gods” must want us to struggle and stumble, rather than succeed.

Whatever “acceptance” actually means, it never meant that we don’t keep our feet on the ground, that we stop taking action, that we stop thinking critically, and that we stop questioning.

98. lauralupa - July 14, 2008

And BTW, speaking of language, what does it mean that the School’s essence is “at an all-time high”? Never heard that one before and it doesn’t make any sense.
Yes RVM, they unfortunately seem to have lost grasp of meaningful language. Or possibly they just “got high”.

99. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 14, 2008

83 & 84: What do you want to know about me? For obvious reasons I will not reveal my name but otherwise I am fairly ‘eager’ to tell you more about myself. All you need to do is ask.

As to the difference between me and Lost & Found, I do not offer a private service to anyone, I communicate openly here, my position in these matters has been fairly well documented in the past year of me ‘running’ this discussion.

As for ‘fitting in with the crowd’, funny you mention that, because I feel that I do fit in, since my and other posters’ interests are very similar (not talking of the interest in damaging the FOF, I do not necessarily share that one, but I find that idiocy is sometimes best revealed and talked about, a feeling that you no doubt share). I think that I equally well fit in with the current members who have chosen to communicate here, most probably I have had more dialogues with current members than with former ones. I am very deeply interested and involved in the matters that are discussed here (that, to the surprise of some current members, go far far beyond the FOF).

As for linking my beliefs to those of the former members, to think that former members are the only ones who have the right to agree with the ideas of other spiritual or psychological teachings than those of the FOF, is highly moronic. Non-duality (which I believe is the example you were speaking of) is kind of a big thing, which is why I assume that so many former members found themselves there rather than anywhere else. Ultimately, people find themselves through themselves, not through schools or teachings. It doesn’t work any other way – no-one can ‘find you’ for you. By speaking of ‘being found’ you get pretty close to the matter actually.

I am not oblivious to how I have been reacted to in the past two weeks (from the initial fairly friendly response from Vinnie, to the condescending tone of the same, to you). I understand that ‘you’ may find opposition stressful but there is nothing to fear. Some people fuel my wish to discuss, especially people like Greg, Vinnie (numerous others before) and the openly honest, kind and cheerful tone of the Lost & Found.

Surely, as a life person and a non-member I do not deserve as much attention as has been given to me by the recent ‘new’ posters.

Sadly, a lot of the points that I make are never responded to by the original posters, it would be pleasant if Lost & Found told me what he/she thought in response to my response at 78. Surely, it was a far worse question than yours, but it still deserves a better response than none. You have undoubtedly proven that I am worthy of a response, I humbly ask for the response to be more to the point.

100. brucelevy - July 14, 2008

83 & 84
And who the fuck are you to ask anyone here to justify what they say and think. Who are you to say what the aim of the blog is?

Go fuck yourself six ways to Sunday, and take your beneficent offer, sit on it and rotate you weaselly, cowardly little jerk.

You don’t have to guess who’s talking here, huh brave one.

101. veramente - July 14, 2008

83/84 Goodquestion/Betterquestion

“Since you wrote in the tone of ’someone who can be trusted’, it would be even more trustworthy if you told us who you are and why you are offering such a service, right?”

Sheik, why not tell us exactly who you are first? Then perhaps demand the identity of others.

Clearly you are trying hard to fit in with the out-of-the-FOF crowd, enthusiastically adopting their cause, their counter-religion of we-are-already-alright-as-we-are and otherwise showing an embarrassingly solicitous level of empathy, but you really are annoyingly eager to be welcomed into the weird ex-cult mentality.
——————————————
You are really annoyed, are you?
Your higher self does not know what to make out of this blog; too close to the truth, to your own very fabricated existence which now seems to be threatened by this open discussion.
Why not try to be clever and still hold to your own beliefs, this is what is learned in the FOF, especially from some of the higher ups.

PS: btw: you do agree the fof is a cult.

102. Mick Danger - July 14, 2008

96-RVMirror
“It” seems to me to be evermore perverse & corrupt;
perhaps irretrievably so.

103. wingsspread - July 14, 2008

83/84
“Clearly you are trying hard to fit in with the out-of-the-FOF crowd, enthusiastically adopting their cause, their counter-religion of we-are-already-alright-as-we-are and otherwise showing an embarrassingly solicitous level of empathy, but you really are annoyingly eager to be welcomed into the weird ex-cult mentality.

This sounds like Greg.

104. Renald - July 14, 2008

Hi Across 69
re.
But beyond that, I wonder if working with expectations of any kind “gets in the way of getting out of the way”. It seems to me that all things possible are already possible. Maybe we’re taking about the same thing

It seems to be the stumbling block to understanding here has more to do with the idea of ‘working’ than with the idea of ‘ expectations’.

Or it is also possible that the idea of ‘ expectations’ offers two quite different definitions. What I mean here is that when I truly expect something whether it is positive or negative, the idea of working does not have space to enter. It is a done deal, I am sure of it. Sometimes we say I am positive it will work out. I don’t need to argue with myself or dig around in my usual negative style to figure out what might go wrong. “But that’s not logical! ” To that voice I say, “How do you know? Have you ever tried it?” I have certainly tried the resistance route long enough to know that this approach always, yes ALWAYS, always produces a reality filled with my worst fears. On the other hand, the odd time that I was hoodwinked into a naive attitude due to someone’s clever manipulation, very surprisingly attracted positive results in spite of my silliness.

We could enter into another hall at this moment, the one called ” I don’t feel good about expressing negative stuff re. the Fellowship of Friends when I damn well know that I spent some extremely happy times there and learned to use and apply some very valuable tools or ideas, all of which I feel heartfelt gratitude for.” Yeah, a long name, I know. Maybe someone can help me out there with a shorter one. Dissonance ? Thanks! It sounds a little technical, but if that’s the best you can do, fine!

On the other hand I also know for sure that together with all the good stuff came one hell of a pile of crap that I also stepped in and the stink is still stuck to me. Well at least I got out before the rhinoceros started to do its doodoo. All kidding aside, it appears from reading the Blog that there were many piles that I never attracted into my reality. Some it seems that I could have quite easily, knowing myself. (at least in part). Why? Well I just was busy with the stuff that I was interested in MORE. Right. It seems that my good luck turned out to be mathematical. There on the scale my expectations, maybe also called “convictions”, simply outweighed all the other stuff. “You mean that you think YOU create your reality? Are you nuts?”

Are you still there?
Okay!

So let’s go back to the beginning of this post. We were looking at the idea of work. Working with expectations. Well I never worked with anything when it came to expecting the good stuff, it just followed a natural course and popped up as expected. (which for clarity did not involve the slightest doubt.) Doubt according to what I was taught is a negative emotion. Hummm! (no pun intended) Could that be why the good stuff happened with so little effort? Lack of doubt to work against ! THE WORK !

Well no one in the Fellowship of Friends had a clue about how to “do” that exept to say “separate!”, at least as far as I heard and I almost never missed meetings or friday night parties at the Academy and I’m talking about over ten years here.

I was too busy having fun to become concerned about my mental health both before and after leaving. My body and mind, from my point of view (key) are doing fine and I see no reason why that should not continue.

Disclaimer 1. I recommend my approach but in no way would encourage anyone to practice it within any Fellowship organization.
My reasoning here is that too many other people have been and are being hurt in the ones I know about.

Disclaimer 2. It is absolutely necessary to be aware of as many possibilities as possible in order to make a proper choice. For example, if all your high school friends enlisted in the military to fight the evil enemy, and all your family expected you to follow them, and briefly the endoctrination went on and on and this was in your mind the only possibility, what would your reality attract? On the other hand if you were rebellious by nature (read essence) and also curious enough to search for alternative information, you might encounter other possibilities and that could influence your choice, and that choice would carry with it a dose of expectations, positive or negative. If in my mind there exists any place for work, it is there in the education process as regards what exists out there in the universe that I might enjoy more than what I now do, and since that is what I expect, that is what I will find.

Ok so maybe this does not exactly fit in with disclaimers. Either way it was fun “working” with it.

Life is supposed to be fun. Cheers to all!

105. lauralupa - July 14, 2008

103 wingsspread, my greg detector started beeping too

106. veronicapoe - July 14, 2008

The being and essence of the School is at an all-time high, and the Teaching has never been clearer.

The sweet, sweet smell of fundamentalist certainty. Like pot at a rock concert.

107. Renald - July 14, 2008

Sorry, I forgot to put quotation marks on the first paragraph to indicate that this was from the post number 69 by Across the River.

108. brucelevy - July 14, 2008

105. lauralupa

wow, mine too.

109. Renald - July 14, 2008

That’s the power of the smell of bacon and eggs cooking. It must have registered some expectation of enjoyment.

110. We Were There - July 14, 2008

Speaking of cosmic influence, anyone notice how closely the meltdown of the Fellowship of Friends is tracking the meltdown in world stock and real estate markets?

And despite Lostandfound’s suggestion ‘… The being and essence of the School is at an all-time high, and the Teaching has never been clearer…’ a depression must be descending on Oregon House for those who realize ‘they are going nowhere – and don’t know where to go…’

111. Kid Shelleen - July 14, 2008

“I was going to post the true meaning of life in all of its rich, multi-faceted detail…but then I got high.” — Benny Lava

112. veramente - July 14, 2008

103. wingsspread
This sounds like Greg.
—–
that would be perverse!

113. Rear View Mirror - July 14, 2008

102. Mick Danger: “’It’ seems to me to be evermore perverse & corrupt; perhaps irretrievably so.”

Yes, thanks for responding. Another similar viewpoint is that it’s always been perverse and corrupt, but it’s becoming evermore clear to those within the group, and those who have left. And it may also be getting worse.

114. ton - July 14, 2008

83 & 84
“….but you really are annoyingly eager to be welcomed into the weird ex-cult mentality.”

talk about a “weird ex-cult mentality” — if it this is greg (again) his persistence / subterfuge are ridiculous… as for what motivates him: he might have better luck starting his very own cult if he posts an ad on ‘craigslist’.

laura 98 — that’s a good one!

115. GoodQuestion - July 14, 2008

99. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion

“As to the difference between me and Lost & Found, I do not offer a private service to anyone…”

You make an arbitrary distinction between offering a public service for the ex-FOFers and a private one, exactly what is the real difference and why would public disclosure of an identity be more of an assurance of trustworthiness in one case rather than the other?

The fact is you simply reacted emotionally and defensively as if you too had been a member of this cult when you saw that someone had posted a statement defending it, you are gradually succumbing to an ex-FOF Stockholm syndrome. The steady diet of irrationally projected anger toward the indifferent enemy by inarticulate and undisciplined lunatics is significantly influencing you and now you too begin to spend your days grumbling and arguing against a silent evil that you only came in contact with for a few minutes. Shiek, isn’t there something better you could be investing your time in rather than becoming one of the incoherent babblers here? These other posting denizens have at least some reason for their obsession, they spent time lost in the we-are-the-only-hope-at-end-of-world trance and finally came out of it only to become as mad a hornets trapped in a paper bag. Rather than securing a transformation of their bad luck they sit around the front porch of your blog trying desperately and unsuccessfully to come up with new insults for their old tormentor, imagining all the while that their own gibberish and the copyright violations they copiously repost here is in any fashion convincing others to leave the hypnotic deluded security of the FOF. Shiek, I submit to the reasoning of your higher self that there has to be a more rewarding hobby than becoming in incrementing stages one of the hysterical and unintelligently ineffectual picketers reacting on the pages of this blog.

116. BetterQuestion - July 14, 2008

99. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion

“As to the difference between me and Lost & Found, I do not offer a private service to anyone…”

You make an arbitrary distinction between offering a public service for the ex-FOFers and a private one, exactly what is the real difference and why would public disclosure of an identity be more of an assurance of trustworthiness in one case rather than the other?

The fact is you simply reacted emotionally and defensively as if you too had been a member of this cult when you saw that someone had posted a statement defending it, you are gradually succumbing to an ex-FOF Stockholm syndrome. The steady diet of irrationally projected anger toward the indifferent enemy by inarticulate and undisciplined lunatics is significantly influencing you and now you to begin to spend your days grumbling and arguing against a silent evil that you only came in contact with for a few minutes. Shiek, isn’t there something better you could be investing your time in rather than becoming one of the incoherent babblers here? These other posting denizens have at least some reason for their obsession, they spent time lost in the we-are-the-only-hope-at-end-of-world trance and finally came out of it only to become as mad a hornets trapped in a paper bag. Rather than securing a transformation of their bad luck they sit around the front porch of your blog trying desperately and unsuccessfully to come up with new insults for their old tormentor, imagining all the while that their own gibberish and the copyright violations they copiously repost here is in any fashion convincing others to leave the hypnotic deluded security of the FOF. Shiek, I submit to the reasoning of your higher self that there has to be a more rewarding hobby than becoming in incrementing stages one of the hysterical and unintelligently ineffectual picketers reacting on the pages of this blog.

117. brucelevy - July 14, 2008

I guess Greg’s back with his shit. Pretty pathetic.

118. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 14, 2008

#99 ‘Ultimately, people find themselves through themselves, not through schools or teachings.’ Well put Shiek!

#115: You might want to spend some time with the less fortunate in this world. Your lack of empathy here is grandiose; something I saw a lot of while in the Fellowship.

119. lauralupa - July 14, 2008

wingsspread, bruce
High five!
Oh yeah, we’re soooo desperate here, sitting around the porch and shooting the breeze…

120. snorer - July 14, 2008

Ton,Whalerider Etc…

How is the video/documentary going?
I live in London and would like to get involved.
cheers

121. ton - July 14, 2008

116
from your use of the phrase, it seems you don’t understand “stockholm syndrome.”

re: ‘concern’ for the sheik… “an embarrassingly solicitous level of empathy…”

duplicitous and embarassing.

it seems that greg has been sniffed-out again, (all that’s missing is the crappy utube videos). greg have you given thought to another ‘project’ ? in your own words: ‘isn’t there something better you could be investing your time in rather than becoming one of the incoherent babblers?”

thanks sheik and ‘babblers’ for keeping things going here… keep it up.

122. wingsspread - July 14, 2008

Lauralupa – Ohhh yeah. I was pretty sure, but 116 clinches it. Poor guy, one does have to feel sorry for him.

123. wingsspread - July 14, 2008

BUT… we’re deviating again. So easy.

124. ton - July 14, 2008

deviating from what?
(the image of a ‘rugby match’ seems apropos).

speaking of ‘deviation,’ another link to pop-culture:

125. Rear View Mirror - July 14, 2008

Well, if it’s Gr., then I’m sure he’s a bit annoyed with some of our posts that question the validity of the theories of the Fourth Way. Or maybe he just likes trying to mess with us a bit… who knows.

Anyway, I think there’s been a false dichotomy constructed here at times… as though there’s a choice between, “No effort, just relax and don’t worry,” and, “No, there must be effort. How do you grow spiritually, etc., without effort?”

Personally, I’m not sure it’s a choice between one or the other, and I don’t think the non-dualists (for example) are saying that it’s a choice between effort or no effort, as though one suggests wisdom, and the other doesn’t.

Because maybe both are true. Just as breathing is not always inhaling, but also exhaling.

But at some point, maybe we do have choices to make. For example: Is it a universe with shortages, and one where we are separate from nature and from others (by being more awake, more disciplined, more German, more American, more white, more wealthy, more whatever)? Or is it a universe of abundance, where we are connected with others, and connected with Nature, and where we are aware of that connection, and where we connect to “something higher” that way?

One of the myths in the FOF is the myth of “verification.” We talked as though there were mathematical and scientific formulas to prove the Fourth Way. Egads, we even claimed to “verify” what Robert Burton had to say, and “verify” that he is “our teacher” whatever that might mean. But talking about it that way (as though we have verified and proven it) and supporting it with reality and truth — and understanding — are very different.

There are many interesting things about the deck of playing cards, the enneagram, and the ideas behind the Ray of Creation… But what have we really “verified” about these theories? What do we really know?

Honestly now.

Using the word “verification” repeatedly in a book, or at a meeting, or at a dinner, doesn’t make it so. The word is a word is a word, repeated and repeated and repeated, until we begin to believe ourselves repeating it.

A sense of mystery about the universe and our place within it is partly what helps us to be receptive and open to what happens in our lives… When we repeatedly pretend that we have it all figured out… that’s where the delusion sets in. That is what prevents us from connecting to “something higher” and to our “possibilities”.

126. wingsspread - July 14, 2008

RVM 124 – lots of good stuff there.

“Personally, I’m not sure it’s a choice between one or the other, and I don’t think the non-dualists (for example) are saying that it’s a choice between effort or no effort, as though one suggests wisdom, and the other doesn’t.”
and later
“But at some point, maybe we do have choices to make.”

It seems to me that we have choices to make every day of our lives, and when we imagine that we have made a choice permanently (taken the “true path”), we find ourselves in the land of illusion. Which is more or less what you say in your last paragraph. I think that there is no such thing as “verification” in the realm of the spiritual – or at least one’s “verifications” should change daily, however minutely, in a healthy soul.

127. ton - July 14, 2008

or is it a ‘scrum’?

thanks rvm

128. ton - July 14, 2008

125
what constitutes “a healthy soul” as you put it ?

129. brucelevy - July 14, 2008

125 Wingspred

bares reposting:

“It seems to me that we have choices to make every day of our lives, and when we imagine that we have made a choice permanently (taken the “true path”), we find ourselves in the land of illusion”.

130. brucelevy - July 14, 2008

in a healthy soul.

One who can move with the flow that they find themselves in.

131. brucelevy - July 14, 2008

Re 129

assuming one’s not insane.

132. wingsspread - July 14, 2008

a healthy soul – one that keeps the windows open.

133. ton - July 14, 2008

127 “what constitutes ‘a healthy soul’ ?”

128 -131 thanks bruce and wingspread .it may have been a ‘rhetorical question’ but it’s something worth examinining…

and all,
sorry if i repeat myself with the link below…
(warning to ‘current students’ who may be lurking — click at your own risk, this may ‘blow your mind’).

to all the ‘head-bangers’ in the audience,
click-on-it and enjoy again:

134. Yesri Baba - July 14, 2008

116 BetterQuestion

your sanity Greggy.

135. GoodQuestion - July 14, 2008

Speaking of sanity “The Documentary,” can I just suggest that for the sake of dramatic effect and anonymity that everyone appearing in it wear a Groucho Marx disguise – those plastic nose and eyeglasses?

http://www.fotosearch.com/SBY834/200424561-001/

136. ton - July 14, 2008

yesri 133 you always seem to bring out the best in greg…

137. ton - July 14, 2008

135
for the sake of less misunderstanding —
re: my previous post, should read:
“in reference to 134 / greg…
yesri 133,
you always bring out the best in greg.”

138. paulshabram - July 14, 2008

134 GoodQuestion

Which way is up to you ?
What is “Higher” and why o you think so?
What’s the point of reference for these evaluations.
What makes a superior being superior?

139. lostandfound - July 14, 2008

In the Sheik’s defense, I was quite impressed that he posted my initial submission without any hesitancy. “Quite a good chap,” as they would say across the pond.

And, we are all entitled to a nom de plume.

lostandfound@cheerful.com

140. ton - July 14, 2008

138…
and with a flourish,
s/he/it
disappears into the blogosphere…..

141. paulshabram - July 14, 2008

l&f 73 and 138

What do you mean by “Higher Selves”?

Ad i am a little confused by “The being and essence of the School is at an all-time high, and the Teaching has never been clearer.” maybe you could explain.

142. brucelevy - July 14, 2008

138. lostandfound – July 14, 2008

In the Sheik’s defense, I was quite impressed that he posted my initial submission without any hesitancy. “Quite a good chap,” as they would say across the pond.

Jesus fucking Christ.

143. paulshabram - July 14, 2008

Bruce 141
I must ‘photograph’ your blasphemy of “Jesus fucking Christ”. I am offended deeply.

It should have been “Jesus fucking H. Christ”.

144. elena - July 14, 2008

Interesting we are having a few more members participate just when the blog stats have gone up to seven hundred or more hits a day. May I suggest they are meant to detract from deeper dialogue? If we have any students looking at it for the first time, they will soon bore off and leave with the same conclusion that “life” isn’t worth living outside of the Fellowship and a lot of effort would have gone down the drain easily.

If some here would tell their stories we would all listen, even if they were positive about the Fellowship. Why doesn’t lost and found and the other guy tell their real stories instead of just messing up and trying cheap propaganda?

Why do members do not stand up for them selves and the School they believe in, write about it and attract people to join again?

I do not believe there is one member able to be honest here. They all settle for “NOT going there,” that is, not going anywhere where they’ve lost track of themselves and their integrity. If they tried to write sincerely, they would meet with too many contradictions and they know it.

145. nigel harris price - July 14, 2008

I have been ‘mulling’ over this post all day since Elena left an email early this morning (GMT). But she asked me then to do it, and has asked us all, quite neutrally to do so, so here it is –

Hi Elena, here we go –
I joined the London Center of the Fellowship in January of 1978, the third student to join there, as far as I can remember. The country house about twenty miles from London (Luxford House) helped with the ‘king of hearts’ effect that was produced by means of the students’ presence. I had no problem with the fine dining (because my mother came from a refined family) and inspirational art that was revered, being at Art School at that time myself, but was worried about my ability to keep up with the payments (when I told my mother I had joined the FOF, she used the phrase “Don’t’ drift!” – she knew that an art-school training required more-than-usual commitment on the part of the student at that school). I saw many students join from in and around London, who quite soon had the chance to visit ‘Renaissance’, as it was then called. There was one student who, on looking back on it now, was a definite target for REB’s sexual leanings, and was shipped over to the property during the summer vacation from his law-college. Laura Christiensen and Peter Bishop were the center directors at that time and were married in the summer of that year. Although I was quite good at the exercises, I had great trouble with inner-considering. I was only 21 when I joined and had no great experience with adults other than my parents, who were quite strict – actually no great experience with life, period.

My continuation at art college ended with my graduation in July 1979 and I moved to the Hall Farm and did gardening and odd jobs whilst waiting for a lady from the Graduates’ Apprentice Scheme to find me workshop experience. Either she was inefficient at her job or maybe it was the silver crisis looming, but nothing materialised with the Scheme and I was ‘forced’ to move into central London during the cold, wet January of 1980, to look for a workshop myself. I had a few interviews, but was experiencing the first bouts of my ‘lows’ of bi-polar affective disorder due to the fact that I was faced with the impossibility of making enough money for rent and food, let alone teaching payments which had just doubled in December. I ‘folded’ emotionally and had to be rescued by my family from a student’s house and taken back to Farnham in Surrey, where my family doctor prescribed me Valium (which I hated!). The doctor was very kind otherwise and managed to link me up with a silversmith (who had been in the army previously) and I used to go there most afternoons. I tried telephoning Girard at the Farm about what was happening and he said “Doctors want to keep you asleep – you just have to leave your parents if you want to continue with your evolution”. It took me three months to finally get back to the FOF, leaving the family home while my mother and father were away on holiday. My aim was to do gardening and handiwork again (seven days a week, if necessary) to save up enough money to go to California and seek work in a workshop there. Needless to say, my mother would telephone at intervals (usually at the full-moon) to try to convince me of the error of my ways.

I did not tell my parents that I was going to California and got on the plane in December 1981 and spent Christmas and New Years at Renaissance. The thing that most impressed me was the way the older ladies in the Fellowship would use feminine dominance to make people (myself included) feel stupid and insignificant. And I saw more people than I had expected to see driving flashy cars. Having spent a month at Renaissance, I moved back to the Marin Center and began looking around for precious metal jobs in California. I found one in Calabasas (outside Los Angeles, but on the route 101) and we had to go through the legal proceedings for getting an H-1 visa and then would go on to getting my green card. I signed the financial agreement with the lawyer, not knowing that he was very much incompetent and the employer unscrupulous with regard to its employees (paying them as little as they could get away with – I was paid $7.00 and not given a pay rise during the time I was there). I spent 2 and ½ years at Porter Blanchard Silversmiths (my parents had visited once – I suppose to check on my well-being – and I was warned about going to my brother’s wedding in England after Ann Sherbourne had been ‘captured’ and deprogrammed) and then found a job opportunity in Palo Alto. This employer said he would get my green card for me but did nothing, as I found out when he dismissed me a year after hiring me. I was staying at the home of C. and M. Pat**** during this period and noticed that C. had become much more confident in her ‘being’ and had developed a ‘smarty-pants’ attitude to how she viewed life (she even used the phrase “oh well, life goes on”, when Myles left the school after I came back to the UK). With me, after this point, I developed a ‘nose to the grindstone’ attitude to my aim and felt that I would eventually have my own business and make more money, as well as getting married to someone ‘normal’ (if you know what I mean). When this second unscrupulous employer dismissed me, I found an employer in San Francisco, who did not care about the green card and just wanted someone to manage his craft gallery – again, low wages. However I did have many nice commissions and one which led, when I started my own workshop in 1987 in Sausalito, to the Papal Commission. However, with all the costs and debts and employees (2 of them) that I had accrued over 7 years, as well as ‘teaching payments’ I became clinically depressed in June of 1989 and on the 11th of the month (the last day I would financially be in the FOF – symbolic, when you consider that if you ‘leave the school’ you are destined to ‘eternal destruction’) made a serious suicide attempt. However, Cynthia Patrick, at the crucial point, called Frank Annis, who called me and the paramedics were summoned. The whole affair was emotionally and physically messy and my parents were brought over to take me back to the UK. Cynthia called me in hospital and said that Girard had invited me to Renaissance to ‘recover’ – brilliant plan, considering that the financial people and the hospital would be hounding me for payment. Jonathan Craig said I could go down to Los Angeles to stay with them until I felt better. In actual fact, I stayed depressed for 3 and ½ years when I returned to the UK.

That is the history of my time in the FOF and I can only say it has been the last few years that I have found stability. There are a few encounters with Girard that stick in my memory – when I was trying to find my way into a workshop in late 1979 and my being was crumbling, I asked him what I should do and he got irritated that I could foresee no clear direction; when I would make meals or play the piano in concerts he would never thank me or congratulate my performance; whenever I would offer an angle from my own experience, he would sniff and turn his back (as perhaps REB would). One student, when I said something like “It depends what you call a good job”, replied with “that is a B influence view”. She was one of those ‘corporate vixens’ and I came across many female students with that role in California. And to end it all, I could never understand how there were so many computer people, headhunters and medical people (the gold alchemy in American medicine promotes high salaries) in the FOF. It seemed like students were talking about essence as a hobby or lifestyle.

Tell me if you want more…..Nigel.

146. snorer - July 14, 2008

120. snorer – July 14, 2008

Ton,Whalerider Etc…

How is the video/documentary going?
I live in London and would like to get involved.
cheers

147. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 14, 2008

120 is newly moderated.

Lost & Found: Still no dialogue from you.

Good/Better Question: Will get back to you, too tired (I like the Groucho Marx disguise idea).

It’s quite a big jump from Vinnie to these two. And where is Vinnie?

Elena: If some here would tell their stories we would all listen, even if they were positive about the Fellowship. Why doesn’t lost and found and the other guy tell their real stories instead of just messing up and trying cheap propaganda?

They have their aims and are going for them with as much ability as they possess. I don’t think that it’s Lost & Found’s aim to enter the discussion and communicate with anyone here ((s)he stated his/her aims quite openly, sensible communication would undermine them). As for the ‘cheap propaganda’, it’s not half bad. It’s been played out very well.

Nigel: Thank you for sharing.

148. elena - July 15, 2008

Thanks Nigel for your story. It seems clear that the Fellowship not only did not help you in any way with difficulties you had when you joined, it much worsened your condition. It is good to see that you are being able to look at it more clearly.

When you name people, would you try to say half their name so that there are no repercussions for them from the blog? Those who know them will recognize them, those who don’t, don’t need to. Thanks. Maybe the Sheik would be willing to cut those surnames short if the threat is that serious to people.

Speaking with an older student recently, she was telling me about the Sanders time and how she and others just buffered it and didn’t want to go there, most not even knowing Robert was gay at the time. She remarked that it hurt so badly because Robert realized that he could get away with it paying people off. Makes sense.

It seems the situations after that simply confirm it and now they are just waiting for the crisis to recede so that they can rebuild.
Another ex-member told me members of her family still in the Fellowship are there because of the money. Although they don’t get a lot, they make a living from it but they no longer believe in any of it. While they do this, people with much less opportunities in other countries, pay convinced they are paying for a legitimate School. What profits a few, damages many, for many years.

Another ex-member told me about how he’s been working for almost thirty years giving most of what he made to the Fellowship. There was never any money extra but to pay the Fellowship donations or pay for participating in events. He finally understood it doesn’t work although he much profited during the first ten years.

Heard that members in centers are being suggested that they open influence b events and then channel members in.

Heard that members had been threatened with legal prosecution if they were caught giving information about internal events.

Heard that many ex-members who do not read and do not want to read the blog are willing to sign the petition of which they did not even know one existed. Jack, do we still have time? I think I can find some more signatures.

Jack, by the time I was ready to send the twenty dollars I read here that someone had paid but if they are still expected, I would be happy to send them.

While the blog seems to serve a purpose, there is increasing need for a site that the Fellowship cannot access. Many people don’t participate here simply because it is this public but would if they knew the Fellowship could not access it. Developing this site will eventually happen. I would like a neutral place like the Sheik’s mediation but I doubt you would be able or willing to verify members and non-members identity as well as others so it doesn’t sound like that would be a viable solution. Another one will come.

149. GoodQuestion - July 15, 2008

The self-torture of identification is the only justice a human machine can ever expect. The rule of justice is exclusively internal; it emerges from the effort to consume and then rise above all resentment and indignation purely for the sake of witnessing a minute free of the minds’ relentless harassment.

150. brucelevy - July 15, 2008

149. GoodQuestion

…the non self aware automaton regurgitated once more to no one in particular except it’s mindless, narcissistic self.

151. snorer - July 15, 2008

Sorry Sheik for my ignorance,but what does ‘Newly moderated’ mean?
Thanks

152. elena - July 15, 2008

Bruce,

Well, the latest trend is mindlessness, so the less they think, the more in, they are. They have to train themselves to think that thinking is of no use, but after training themselves to not do exercise, which depresses them, not feel emotions for people who get hurt, not be concerned about the pile loads of food that gets thrown out at the galleria because Robert is in a rush to get some more semen for dessert, why would it surprise one that they now have to train themselves to think that thinking is an obstacle?

Good dog lost and Found, good boy, jump, jump, questionable question , keep wagging your tail.

153. veronicapoe - July 15, 2008

what was that great quote from Hannah Arendt about not thinking, Yesri?

154. veramente - July 15, 2008

148 Helena
Heard that members had been threatened with legal prosecution if they were caught giving information about internal events.
———————-
Do you know more about this? were all members threatened with legal prosecution or just a few? is that an AG signature or someone like him…

155. lostandfound - July 15, 2008

Dear Sheik

As my initial post stated: I would be delighted with dialogues, as long as they are one on one. All questions or topics that are free of sarcasm and vulgarity are most welcomed.

I have no interest in promoting dialogue on the blog with those who find it impossible, and even ‘terrorfying’ that the consistent aim of the School, that of promoting presence, is flourishing.

The unity of most previous Teachings has been brought to light, and harmony is in the air.

Presence abounds within the Fellowship. It is here for the taking; both for those within the FOF, as well as for those is need of a little third force to return.

lostandfound@cheerful.com

156. paulshabram - July 15, 2008

155 “As my initial post stated: I would be delighted with dialogues, as long as they are one on one.”

Why one on one? Especially if “harmony is in the air”.

I would be happy to have a civil discussion with you here on this blog and I swear I will not swear. I do not wish to communicate with you using an email address from an @cheerful.com domain because it has been used for phishing and spam. But if your message is truly from a higher mind, your discussion with me will help you accomplish your goal.

“Presence abounds within the Fellowship. It is here for the taking; both for those within the FOF, as well as for those is need of a little third force to return.”

How is this so? Isn’t Presence an individual result? Why do think presence is exclusive to FOF? You seem to misunderstand the meaning of these words, and that throws your authenticity into question. Teach me.

157. Ames Gilbert - July 15, 2008

To Lostandfound (#40-273 or thereabouts)…
Hmm.
Let’s see: You think it is a good idea for me to:
• throw away my hard–earned graduation diploma and come back to kindergarten. Yes, the diploma I had to seize because your ‘school’ has no graduation, only offering lifetimes of slavery to Burton’s delusions.
• rejoin a group of sycophants who relish their absolute dependence on the charlatan Burton.
• sever my connection with the godhead within so said charlatan can impose his worldview and act as self–anointed interpreter and intermediary.
• support and integrate Burton’s fantasy, now even more devolved, convoluted, debased and corrupt than when I left in 1994
• put myself again under the sway of the ‘yes-men’, power-gatherers, idolators and fabulists that comprise the ‘leadership’ of the Followship.

Not incidentally, Lostandfound, you have revealed yourself to be:
• a gossip (“a la Loretta”, whoever she is). Do you suppose that dropping her name will influence someone to rejoin?
• a fraud. Said Loretta has magically become transformed from an outcast into a ‘dear friend’ by the act of rejoining. Your conditionality of friendship makes you an untrustworthy fraud by any measure. I pity you, Loretta, and the rest that the quality of friendship within the ‘Fellowship of Friends’ is so corrupted.
• a liar; even if ‘the being and essence of the School’, whatever they may be, could be measured, you offer no proof, so any claims you make are lies by omission or comission.
• not just a liar, but a delusional liar. There is overwhelming evidence, on and off this blog, and from my own experiences and those of many others, that the ‘Teaching’ is Burton’s personal religion, founded by him and changed by whim to gratify his host of immediate, insatiable lusts. I would be lying myself if I made any claims about your knowledge or verifications of ‘Higher Selves’. But, I would not be at all surprised if even that partial (in all senses of the word) knowledge was not also twisted, manipulated and corrupted, as mine was.

On the other hand, you and Burton are also aspects of the creator, and are invited to the dance. Fortunately, no one is obliged to dance with you, though a few who have not developed sufficient discrimination choose to do so. And, at some level beyond the material, beyond ethics, even monsters are sublime.

To anyone thinking of rejoining, look to your conscience. To Loretta (if you indeed exist), I advise the same. And to anyone within, quit running and start listening when you accidentally trip over your conscience; it was put there to be your guide. Burton’s claim that your conscience is just a “collection of I’s which you should disregard” is one of his biggest lies.

158. whalerider - July 15, 2008

lostandfound@cheerful.com:

My friend, presence abounds everywhere. It’s free…and it’s everywhere for the taking….for anyone…anytime…any place. (It used to be love…)

The FOF doesn’t hold the patent on presence, as you say the idea of being present abounds in many other previous teachings. How can any one person take all the credit for that?

A person sees what they want to see. Robert looks at the world and sees sleep. (Hmmm..) Then he looks at his followers and sees “the act of being present” because make no mistake, he also sees dollar signs and dinner (among other things vulgar), and has ever since day one of his career. Goodness, he had sex with his very first student!

BTW, harmony is in the air, so is ozone. Feel the heat?

Got Harmony?

If I were you, I’d be working on harmonious development of all your centers, including the negative halves. Otherwise, without developed negative halves you are inevitably destined to forfeit your conscience in order to conform to the cult’s groupthink or eaten alive as the case may be. Then again, if you were de-programmed, what would you do with yourself? Could you possibly stand being present while nobody noticed?

BTW, I went to “cheerful.com”. It’s a dead end.

So what’s your third force?

159. Yesri Baba - July 15, 2008

153 veronicapoe

LOL

I don’t remember the quote but I remember the name. Perhaps it was Ton or Laura that posted it.

However, if you would like examples of the subject I would suggest revisiting any of my previous posts (if you can stomach it).

160. Richard M. - July 15, 2008

149. GoodQuestion – July 15, 2008

The self-torture of maintaining blind-faith loyalty to the false prophet, Bobby Robert, to the point of oblivion is the only justice an aging FOF member can ever expect. The rule of justice is exclusively internal; it emerges from the effort to be consumed and then rise above all resentment and indignation purely for the sake of witnessing a minute free of Bobby’s relentless harassment for more semen.

161. Across the River - July 15, 2008

104
Renald

I enjoyed the humor in your post! It seems to me we’re talking about the same thing when I refer to getting out of the way. The “working with” I meant was intentional use of visualization to attract specific results according to our own expectations.

My experience too has been (and continues to be) that it’s necessary to free myself from worry, negative expectations, and all that other sludge, but I think alot, and that can lead me into trouble!

There have been a few experiences in my life when I have escaped dire consequences that in “all probability” should have been visited upon me, and I’ve always been pretty clear that I was invisible to those negative forces. Of course it sounds magical, but I really have no doubt that I was protected and marvelled in it at the time and still do now, with an even broader understanding of the law of attraction.

Appreciate the reminder to have more fun and that’s another good reason to get out of the way. Best to you 🙂

145
nigel

Thank you for your story. Well told, with a resonating finish…..”It seemed like students were talking about essence as a hobby or lifestyle.”

73
lostandfound

found = amazing grace, understanding, opened eyes, revelation, ah-ha!, OMG, personal statement, honesty, renewal, integrity, freedom, restoration, courage, gratefulness.

Anyone who was “in”, then “out”, then “in again” is 3-ways lost.

Lost, lost, lost.

But you can’t hear it.

162. lauralupa - July 15, 2008

I was asked to post this letter a while ago. I finally got around to transcribing it. The author has requested to remain anonymous.

“Dear friend,

In an attempt to prevent me from talking to others about my experiences with him, Robert has forbidden me to come to Renaissance (or Apollo). I write this letter for those who are interested.

When I came to Renaissance in the spring of 1986 I had been in the school one year. In the center I had been told numerous stories by the center directors as to how a great, almost saintly person the Teacher was. Having come to the Fellowship needy of emotional and spiritual support I was willing to believe these reports at face value.

After a few weeks of living at Renaissance, following a heavy drinking “sympsium”, Robert took me inside one of the Academy rooms and wanted to have sex with me. When I told him that I did not want this because I had no homosexual feelings, nor did I want to see myself assume those practices, Robert dismissed my arguments by saying that I should externally consider him as my teacher. Partly out of fear of this “all-powerful” being, partly not to want to feel guilty or judged, but largely because of the energy with which Robert approached me, I was left with the feeling that I had no choice. While Robert went about his business of trying to stimulate an orgasm from me, which he was going to receive orally, I pointed out to him that I was covering my face with my hands out of shame. Robert retorted that this was a good opportunity to work for me.

That was the beginning of my functioning as a sexual servant which lasted for several years. In order to bear my plight I kept on telling myself that it was my play to transform this kind of suffering and that learning selfless servitude might eventually benefit my soul. I also tried to stimulate in me the belief that since Robert was conscious, being in his presence had to basically be a good thing. Robert tried to assure me that what was going on between us was the wish of C-influence, and that the worst thing I could do was resist their plans. During the time that I lived at the Academy, Robert had sex with a large number of men, usually several on one day. He would explain his attraction to men not as homosexuality but as the result of his being an angel and a cosmos above men, just like men’s attraction to women stemmed, he would add, from men being a cosmos above women.

It was when I eventually met a woman (soon to become my wife) who cared enough to point out to me that it was up to me to take responsibility for my life, that I found the third force needed to let Robert know that I did not want to continue serving him in this fashion. He got very upset over this and from one day to another what he had called “love” turned into hostility, resentment, and a total ignoring of us as his students. It was here that it became really clear to me that I had never been a “friend” or a “student”, but had been used for one sole purpose: Robert’s sexual gratification. There had been no love, let alone conscious love.

In the five years that followed we have never been allowed to have dinner with our “Teacher”, nor were we given consideration when we asked for help during great medical expenses while working on salary at Renaissance. During this period Robert did, however, call me numerous times on the phone asking me if I would again “come into his mouth” (his words), for which he would, among other things, offer to pay for my voice lessons, knowing these were important to me and that I had a hard time finding funding for them. Needless to say, at this point I never as much responded to his requests or “offers”.

Much effort has been directed towards covering up information such as which is disclosed in this letter. A large number of men has undergone similar or worse treatment from Robert (ever since the school was founded, I have been given to understand). Most of them have left the school, others are either too embarassed to admit what happened to them or too confused to recognize it for what it is. There has been a collective buffering among Fellowhip members as regards Robert’s practices. How can people who take pride in having evolved levels of being tolerate this? I am convinced that many of the prevailing attitudes in the Fellowship are based on religious faith, such as those regarding unverifiable issues like Robert’s consciousness; the Fellowship being an ark for a new civilization; the division of humanity into “students” and “life people”, and the alleged spiritual superiority of Fellowship members over non-members.

I hope that you will have the courage to challenge your attitudes and see them for what they are. For the the sake of your evolution.
Your friend,

received at Oregon House 11/8/94

163. lauralupa - July 15, 2008

veronicapoe, I believe the quote you were looking for comes from the post on denial at 39#1

“We have then attained what political philosopher Hannah Arendt saw as the fundamental characteristic of evil: the incapacity for thought.”

Expanding the subject:

Eichmann and the ‘Banality of Evil’
Published in the same year as On Revolution, Arendt’s book about the Eichmann trial presents both a continuity with her previous works, but also a change in emphasis that would continue to the end of her life. This work marks a shift in her concerns from the nature of political action, to a concern with the faculties that underpin it – the interrelated activities of thinking and judging.

She controversially uses the phrase ‘the banality of evil’ to characterize Eichmann’s actions as a member of the Nazi regime, in particular his role as chief architect and executioner of Hitler’s genocidal ‘final solution’ (Endlosung) for the ‘Jewish problem’. Her characterization of these actions, so obscene in their nature and consequences, as ‘banal’ is not meant to position them as workaday. Rather it is meant to contest the prevalent depictions of the Nazi’s inexplicable atrocities as having emanated from a malevolent will to do evil, a delight in murder. As far as Arendt could discern, Eichmann came to his willing involvement with the program of genocide through a failure or absence of the faculties of sound thinking and judgement. From Eichmann’s trial in Jerusalem (where he had been brought after Israeli agents found him in hiding in Argentina), Arendt concluded that far from exhibiting a malevolent hatred of Jews which could have accounted psychologically for his participation in the Holocaust, Eichmann was an utterly innocuous individual. He operated unthinkingly, following orders, efficiently carrying them out, with no consideration of their effects upon those he targeted. The human dimension of these activities were not entertained, so the extermination of the Jews became indistinguishable from any other bureaucratically assigned and discharged responsibility for Eichmann and his cohorts.

Arendt concluded that Eichmann was constitutively incapable of exercising the kind of judgement that would have made his victims’ suffering real or apparent for him. It was not the presence of hatred that enabled Eichmann to perpetrate the genocide, but the absence of the imaginative capacities that would have made the human and moral dimensions of his activities tangible for him. Eichmann failed to exercise his capacity of thinking, of having an internal dialogue with himself, which would have permitted self-awareness of the evil nature of his deeds. This amounted to a failure to use self-reflection as a basis for judgement, the faculty that would have required Eichmann to exercise his imagination so as to contemplate the nature of his deeds from the experiential standpoint of his victims. This connection between the complicity with political evil and the failure of thinking and judgement inspired the last phase of Arendt’s work, which sought to explicate the nature of these faculties and their constitutive role for politically and morally responsible choices.

from: http://www.iep.utm.edu/a/arendt.htm#H6

164. nigel harris price - July 15, 2008

Thanks for your (name suggestions and) prompt – SEE! – the truth will out (162). I am sure that you, more than I (who, to some extent, has ‘gone beyond’) saw the usefulness in full expose-type blogs. Let’s keep going and batter down the doors!…..Nigel.

165. nigel harris price - July 15, 2008

Sorry, I meant to address 163 to Elena, who asked me to post my FOF history…..Nigel.

166. ton - July 15, 2008

120. snorer – July 14, 2008

“Ton,Whalerider Etc…

How is the video/documentary going?
I live in London and would like to get involved.”
cheers

snorer, what’s your story?

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

163 is newly moderated.

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

Newly moderated comments are comments that have been approved (either coming from new participants or because particular posts were stopped by a spam filter).

Lost & Found: from my response to you (78):

please be aware that when your postings are steeped in judgment or condemnation of one another, you are doing a great disservice to your Higher Selves, to the person you are attacking and to the standards of the blog itself.

That is a judgment. You are judging and condemning those who judge and condemn. Why is this not a disservice to your Higher Self, to the people you are ‘attacking’ and to the standards of the blog?

And surely, release and acceptance are valid forms of transformation, far better than silence or repression. Pretending that something (negativity) isn’t there doesn’t make it disappear, repressing negativity twists the personality around until it becomes almost impossible to even notice that something is there, not expressing it is far away from (radically) accepting it, working with it and transforming it. What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe that through ‘being present’ it is possible to transform, or permanently overcome the conditioned personality? Don’t you think that Robert Burton is an example of spiritual bypassing, where spiritual discovery or insight (which he may or may not have) do not touch on the deficiencies of the conditioned personality and result in ‘twisted’, ‘perverse’, or ‘conflicting’ actions?

Good/Better Question: You are Greg, aren’t you?

You make an arbitrary distinction between offering a public service for the ex-FOFers and a private one, exactly what is the real difference and why would public disclosure of an identity be more of an assurance of trustworthiness in one case rather than the other?

I did not ask for public disclosure, I was merely curious what position Lost & Found had in the FOF hierarchy, or whether he has been asked to post what he posted. I think that the answer is fairly obvious, but it would have been pleasant to hear the answer from Lost & Found.

The fact is you simply reacted emotionally and defensively

Is that a fact? I happen to think that I reacted rationally – check the reposting of my questions above.

as if you too had been a member of this cult when you saw that someone had posted a statement defending it,

Lost & Found did not post a statement defending the FOF, (s)he posted an advert. A defense of the FOF would IMHO involve a different approach than the one adopted by him/her.

you are gradually succumbing to an ex-FOF Stockholm syndrome.

That’s an interesting diagnosis.

The steady diet of irrationally projected anger toward the indifferent enemy by inarticulate and undisciplined lunatics

That is fairly judgmental, condemning and condescending of your former friends/acquaintances, right? Are they really inarticulate and undisciplined? Who do you judge them against?

Also, the anger that you speak of, I find that the anger is very often fueled by the ‘indifferent enemy’, perhaps ‘the enemy’ is not so indifferent after all? If you go to the very beginning of the discussion (where it used to receive 2,000 hits a day) you will find that it is not indifferent at all. The same applies to the little war on wikipedia and others. Look and see what happens with the documentary.

is significantly influencing you and now you to begin to spend your days grumbling and arguing against a silent evil that you only came in contact with for a few minutes.

I do not really perceive the FOF to be evil (or as a threat to me or anyone else), evil is a human quality. There are many things ‘wrong’ (how can i/you/anyone know for sure? – reality tunnels, remember?) with the world, but it is not my choice to stand heroically against them all.

I do not argue against the FOF in any other way than the theoretical (ie. part 39 of the discussion, several thoughts on why the FOF does not promote graduation, why it has a limited understanding of ‘presence’ and why it suffers from a collective version of spiritual bypassing, as well as spiritual arrogance and ignorance (ie. the way that other teachings are treated)).

168. Yesri Baba - July 15, 2008

This is the paragraph I had copied VP. Thanks Laura.

“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.”

169. Mick Danger - July 15, 2008

Since when are there fucking “rules-of-engagement” for the Blog?
How do you dialogue with “crazy”?

170. Vinnie the fish - July 15, 2008

147. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion – July 14, 2008
It’s quite a big jump from Vinnie to these two. And where is Vinnie?

Hi Sheik, been busy, still alive. 🙂
What’s your story, have you been through the usual mill of groups and religions?

171. brucelevy - July 15, 2008

Distraction and obfuscation…that’s all they have.

172. Ellen - July 15, 2008

#162 Lauralupa
Thanks for contributing that piece.
For those who have ears, let them hear.
For those who have hearts, let them feel.
For those who have minds, let them think.

Sheik #167
Over time, I have been impressed with the way you have handled yourself on this blog. What began as a bit of a “lark” with your first posting way back when has turned churned up some heavy-duty buffering – and continues to do so. Your curiosity and neutrality to the issues at hand as well as to the posters has been essential even if at this point your reservations regarding the validity of the Fellowship as a spiritual organization may seem to be weighted with doubt.

#155 Lost and Found
Glad to hear that Presence abounds within the Fellowship!
Actually, I have no doubts about that.

Just wondering what you make of Gurdjieff’s statement that Higher Centers are already present and fully developed in man?
What do you think it might indicate about what a person’s spiritual “work” might be? Work hard at creating something that already exists? Or work hard at diminishing whatever stands in the way of letting that eternal light shine?

And if you tend to side with the latter, as I do, then naturally guidance from Someone who has fully diminished or dissolved the control that his or her personal ego has over that already-existing-Higher-Self would be of great value. Given the kind of evidence that has surfaced on this blog – and most likely in your own experience of Robert too, if you were able to admit it to yourself – it’s pretty clear that Robert’s intentions have a great deal of his own personal agenda mixed into it, though he dresses it in other colors. It took me 26 years to fully admit it to myself. How long will it take you?

173. veronicapoe - July 15, 2008

I think Lostandfound is Linda. Such a waste. It’s so sad.

174. GoodQuestion - July 15, 2008

167. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion

“Good/Better Question: You are Greg, aren’t you?”

I would reply, but my last two posts failed to appear for some reason.

175. Vinnie the fish - July 15, 2008

Hi Ellen are you Ellen T or Ellen E?
(If you don’t mind.)

176. brucelevy - July 15, 2008

175. Vinnie the fish

Why not be the gentleman and reveal yourself first?

177. aline - July 15, 2008

Lost and Found

or

Lust and funds ???

178. brucelevy - July 15, 2008

It’s pretty informative that in all the time the blog’s been up, other than N*** Sp******, there hasn’t been ONE of the FOF pussy shills with the balls to identify themselves. A few have asked for poster’s identities, but none other than the one was willing to back their shit with their identity. The FOF has their sheep so trained and cowed that they’re unanimously afraid of the repercussions. Fear, intimidation, retribution, guilt shame…all the signs of a real “school”. You people are really fucked.

179. GoodQuestion - July 15, 2008

173. veronicapoe

“I think Lostandfound is Linda. Such a waste. It’s so sad.”

I doubt anyone higher up in the FOF is reading this mess, most of the ex-FOFers aren’t even reading it anymore. The enterprise of habitually posting has gotten down to the hardcore obsessive types and most of those really have nothing to say, they merely repeat the usual derogatory sentiments with no new insight. There are few relatively normal people busy doing normal things in the world that want to mix their well considered thoughts in with those contributors that are obviously not mentally stable, fond of them as everyone might be. If there are 700 hits per day then it because some here are hitting the refresh button on their browser compulsively. People like Linda likely do not feel drawn to read what the skeleton crew of noncreative thinkers operating at this location has to say about the man she believes to be the saving light of her higher world.

Why do people still in the Fellowship of Friends feel a sense of security there? The primary motivator is likely the many years long process of what they believe is a verification of Robert Burton as a higher source of wisdom. It begins with not feeling like you yourself are enough, it begins with a deep-seated sense of not really knowing, of not really understanding, and wanting to have real knowledge of yourself and everything else. Then, years ago, they meet with a man that literally treats each of them and their insecurities like a child. Suddenly you’ve found your cosmic daddy. But Burton is not formatory, he treats his followers like children some of the time and then rewards them with being talked to like an adult part of the time, so that the follower is always off balance, begging for minutes of being recognized as a near equal to the most conscious man alive. Weak people usually become mesmerized by someone that seems absolutely sure of himself, someone so solidly packed into his own self-worth that it is impossible to see through to all the self-doubts and unsure hesitations that ordinary people always exhibit. Burton is someone that always seems to know what is going on and why it is going on, he always explains how supernatural powers are on his side, he has no doubts about the fact that he is the center of everything significant in the world and there are always certain kinds of unbalanced characters that will find that unflinching self-confidence irresistibly appealing and believable because they can’t imagine how such self-assuredness is possible due to their own permanent sense of inferiority. The only time they get to feel superior to anyone is when their teacher tells them that they are worthwhile and that they are far superior to the rest of the world due to their connection to him. Of course those of us no longer under the particular variety of mental defects that make that dynamic possible simply laugh at the situation, but those still there have no idea why we are laughing and actually think we have lost our higher perceptions.

180. Mick Danger - July 15, 2008

Yesiree Baba – I thought you signed up for W.G.W.D.
You’re not wishing hard enough.

181. brucelevy - July 15, 2008

178. GoodQuestion

“I doubt anyone higher up in the FOF is reading this mess, most of the ex-FOFers aren’t even reading it anymore.”

Of course unless you’ve interviewed “most of the ex-FOFers”, and they would, hypothetically, find YOU the person to confess their present inner truths, I’d have to assume that most of what you’ve stated here you’ve generously pulled out of your ass.

Greg, you are a jerk, and not even one to be pitied.

182. veronicapoe - July 15, 2008

If the blog is causing the hemorrhaging of membership and money, you bet your sweet bippie it’s being followed.

183. ton - July 15, 2008

178
“….they merely repeat the usual derogatory sentiments with no new insight. There are few relatively normal people busy doing normal things in the world that want to mix their well considered thoughts in with those contributors that are obviously not mentally stable…”

whoever you may be thanks for posting your ‘usual derogatory sentiments.’

you seem to consider yourself to be a paragon of ‘mental health’ and a fount of penetrating and astounding ‘insight’ — so what keeps you coming back here mixing with the mentally unstable? don’t you have ‘normal things’ you should be doing?

184. GoodQuestion - July 15, 2008

181. veronicapoe – July 15, 2008

“If the blog is causing the hemorrhaging of membership and money, you bet your sweet bippie it’s being followed.”

Certainly someone has been assigned the “blog octave,” someone is watching and saving all the pages in case there is some actionable utterance that lawyers can use to obtain a restraining order with a long list of names on it, but Linda and others at the top are certainly not posting here asking that ex-students return to the fold. “Older students” are likely not taking in the negative impression of brilliant commentators calling people jerks. You have to remember that the FOF has a pretty full agenda of activities to occupy its membership and peeking into the blog is probably considered beneath the inflated dignity of anyone of inflated significance, not that I ever noticed Linda masquerading as someone other than a fairly unassuming person. Others may have another experience, but she seemed to me to be unusually unpretentious by FOF standards.

I doubt the blog caused the exodus of students that just occurred and is now in the trickle phase, what caused it was a natural interval in a descending octave and the blog was simply a point of emotional expression of a phenomenon that is in fact too primal to be directly understood in all its ramifications by minds thinking at the usual level of non-intensity. On the surface it seems that Burton cooked up a level of teaching that was so unsophisticated and formatory that twenty five percent of the Fellowship’s life force dissipated due to seeing through what up until now was compelling enough to keep the reasonable mind at bay. The object lesson associated with this occurrence is that not every esoteric salesman has the intelligence required to invent his own religion, obviously Burton is not destined to be the originator of the legendary Paleolithic Doctrine.

185. Ames Gilbert - July 15, 2008

Behind Lostandfound’s propaganda pieces, delivered in the familiar condescending monotone FoFspeak, lies the urgent message; “We need money, and quick”. My guess is that Burton’s gigantic expenses remain at best constant (despite rapidly diminishing ‘donations’), and more probably are expanding, if my experience in the Fellowship of Friends is anything to go by. During my time, Burton consistently rebuffed pleas for fiscal prudence during the periodic crises by actually making greater demands. This was duly explained as ‘working against the machine’ if the demands for cash were made to individuals, ‘the workings of higher mind’, or ‘crazy wisdom’ in conversations amongst the laity, or ‘C-Influence requests…”, if demands were made to a particular group or center.

In my presence, Burton justified his life as a pampered multi-millionaire as necessary because (and I quote) “I bear incredible burdens”, or “I bear the sufferings of all my students”, or, “I work day and night for my students”, or, “I make so many decisions each day for my students”. A typical oblique reference was, “Christ suffered so much; I am second only to Christ”, allowing the spectator to infer how much suffering Bobby Boy must be enduring, and hence how relatively little payments his followers made—nothing could be too much. The context? The arrival of some more furniture in the worst of taste, or another statue, or the unveiling of another alteration to his residence.

Apart from the living expenses necessary for his luxurious and grandiose lifestyle, Burton, acting in his capacity of both customer and pimp, pays out large sums in money and kind to those young men who prostitute themselves, and to his co-pimps. He spends large sums to acquire the objects of his whimsies of the moment (in that he is a true pornographer—he wishes to possess everything of beauty that he beholds, never mind his utter lack of taste). It is hard to imagine that he has learnt any restraint since I last saw him.

So I’d say again, the underlying message from the minions is, “We need money, and quick”, with the subtext, “We don’t care how we get it, steal, beg or lie, just get it!”

186. Across the River - July 15, 2008

A quick add-on to post 161 to Renald re law of attraction, etc…it’s certainly not to imply that we can fully know things like “being invisible to negative forces” and most importantly that when bad things befall us we have neccesarily attracted them. Didn’t want to leave this unstated, for what it’s worth.

Also to Elena and all: I spoke to Jack who can’t easily post right now. The petition has not yet been set up for signing but will be in the near future. You will know here and on wikifof where and when to go for signing.

187. elena - July 15, 2008

Veramente,
Apparently an e-mail was sent out to evereyone quite a while ago informing them of the measure.

Listening to a program on MPR this morning about a book called The Darker Side by Jane Mayor on how “the war on terror turned into a war against American Ideals”, the author mentioned how the American Army has been using a technique of submitting American soldiers to forms of torture so that if they are ever submitted to it they can deal with it. She said it was a technique used by communist U.S.S.R. to get false confessions from the prisoners. She mentioned that more than physical torture, it is “psychological destruction.”

“If you submit people to severe isolation they become very dependent on thier captors because they become so desperate for any kind of human bond”

The lack of “institutionalized” second line of work as a legitimate expression of “life” within the Fellowship of Friends; the lack of self expression which isolates people within the Fellowship; the mental and emotional disconnectedness of members to their direct reality are all forms of isolation that have induced members into the extreme forms of idolatry that are common in the Fellowship.

It is interesting that what members have become hooked on, besides idolatry for Robert Burton and other members equally isolated, is the form of an ideal living environment in which “difficulties” are perceived as “obstacles” not to be talked about and if people do mention them, then they are labeled with “identification” and “negative emotions”

It is also interesting that the tone of Robert’s presentations have for many years now, clearly shifted into the attack on the “lower self”, “the king of Clubs,” with a strong religious taste which has definite parallels to the abstract war on terror that is turning against American Ideals.

188. elena - July 15, 2008

Thanks Laura for posting that letter; it is always good to be reminded why those practices must be stopped. Thank you for the other good posts.

189. Renald - July 15, 2008

RE.
185. Across the River – July 15, 2008
“ A quick add-on to post 161 to Renald re law of attraction, etc…it’s certainly not to imply that we can fully know things like “being invisible to negative forces” and most importantly that when bad things befall us we have neccesarily attracted them. Didn’t want to leave this unstated, for what it’s worth.“

What are `negative forces` supposed to be ?

and most importantly that when “bad things befall us, we have absolutely attracted them, whether or not we care to investigate the matter. I do agree that there are cases, especially when dealing with young children, where it is virtually impossible to prove to any satisfaction the argument pro or con unless one can give any credence or value to evidence beyond earthly life. Imo, since I do consider this type of evidence value, it is only because the pattern it totally the same as the other cases from later experiences.

Personally I have gone through a lot more of the negative stuff than I can even share on these pages as well as a similar amount of the opposite thereof. In all of those experiences, having looked back in my memory banks at most of my sixty plus years, the culprit thoughts, feelings, sensations, beliefs, addictions, all demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt, that what I write about this is from never-failing causes which I chose for the sake of brevity as the law of attraction as taught by Esther and Jerry Hicks. I don`t mean that some kind of general cause could be imagined, I mean that the causes were very specific and after some study and recollection (self-remembering maybe) there could be only one answer. Yes!

My interest here isn`t to convince anyone of anything, not even the very few who have identified themselves and who I may even have met, and those are very few. I am telling my story because doing so is enjoyable. I enjoyed learning about gardening and like our daughter Sara Joy, I like to plant seeds and appreciate seeing if they grow. Whether or not they do thrive later on is not important. There is something to doing what is fun, which is my newish aim of mt life.
Of course that does not mean that negative stuff doesn`t make an appearance. Negative stuff is essential. How else could expansion occur if not for the kick in the ass from unwanted crap ?

Cheers !

190. paulshabram - July 15, 2008

Ames 184
I was digging around in previous pages to look for patterns to match with lostandfound and the coincidental appearance of Goodquestion/Betterquestion. There is a pattern.

First I was unable to locate a post from “Greg”, but the style message, themes, order of statements, appearing to argue one side then the other, matches “HardTruth” to a “T”. At the same time there were the similar posts to lostandfound.
Second, there is a consistency between the lostandfound posts and previous posts supposedly from FOF insiders. Besides the message, the invitation to respond to an e-mail address is most striking. An example is shown here with all the characteritics:

“HigherM Says:
April 22, 2007 at 4:50 am
Dear Sheik,
I suspect that you are only publishing 1% of the letters that you receive in praise of the FoF. I hope that you will at least begin to re-balance your blog by publishing this.
——————————————
As an advanced member of the FoF i must redress the balance that the weaker people who use your site have created.

The problem with so MANY small thinkers who write to you is that quite simply, they do NOT understand the FACT that Robert IS AN ANGEL and therefore far removed from the silly ideas of ‘good’/’bad”right’/’wrong’ ‘truth’/’lie.’

Robert simply can do no wrong. It was many years ago that Robert ‘opened’ me, both physically and spiritually. YES, he has enabled me to build my soul and truly appreciate how dead are the poor lost souls around me. How the rest of the world outside The Fellowship is a nightmare full of dreaming people living in their imagination.

If Robert called me to turn myself inside out and follow him into the fiery furnace I would gladly follow, knowing that he could save me.

SO MUCH complaining about sexual encounters! I was happy to share my body with Robert. Fourteen years ago he gave me his higher love, causing me to awaken with his beautiful conscious energy, just as I now share myself with the many women who are grateful for my spiritual fluid, my divine energy to help them awaken, divinity created by Roberts own divine energy still inside me. His golden fuel for eternity inside my soul.

Robert guides us to live with delightful presence. How can all those life people complain? They know NOTHING!

YES Robert shows us sexual and other excess but, ‘THE ROAD OF EXCESS LEADS TO THE PALACE OF WISDOM!’ An angel CANNOT spread disease.

Every day as I cycle to work, in and out of the zombies, past all those dead faces and eyes living in their imagination, 99.9% of the population just bags of bones that jostle around this ant hill of London, soulless people as in all the other cities around the globe, I give thanks! I sing a hymn of light for the Crouch End Teaching House and all the other Teaching Houses that ROBERT has founded around the globe.

Praise the Gods! Thank God for Robert!
If you care enough to repent your negativity, then email me and i will reply, once only, to help you back onto the true path, the path that leads to salvation of the soul,away from the bag of bones that is you! You have your chance, be strong!

highercourbet@yahoo.co.uk

Ames, I’m very skeptical that this is an FOF insider of any consequence, I think it’s just someone jerking our chains. Does this really sound like a current FOFer? The question is not rhetorical. It’s been a while for me and I’m really wondering.

191. Rear View Mirror - July 15, 2008

The following is one of those words that you rarely if ever hear in the Fellowship of Friends…

accountability

ac·count·abil·i·ty
\ə-ˌkau̇n-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē\

Function: noun
Date: 1794

: the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions

192. Rear View Mirror - July 15, 2008

And here’s another word that you rarely if ever hear in the Fellowship of Friends…

accountable

ac·count·able
\ə-ˈkau̇n-tə-bəl\

Function: adjective
Date: 14th century

1 : subject to giving an account : answerable 2 : capable of being accounted for : explainable

193. paulshabram - July 15, 2008

(39) 83 vinnie the fish
“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.”

4/2707 post HigherM
“Every day as I cycle to work, in and out of the zombies, past all those dead faces and eyes living in their imagination, 99.9% of the population just bags of bones that jostle around this ant hill of London, soulless people as in all the other cities around the globe, I give thanks!”

(155) lostandfound
“I have no interest in promoting dialogue on the blog with those who find it impossible, and even ‘terrorfying’ that the consistent aim of the School, that of promoting presence, is flourishing.”

Wizard of Oz
“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…”

194. GoodQuestion - July 16, 2008

27. elena – July 6, 2008

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, I don’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.

52. elena – July 6, 2008

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?

************

So, here we have a “conscious school,” a “school of love,” that is administered by a man number 7 and yet when an unexpected shock appears on their doorstep they behave hostilely and suspiciously just like everyday “life people.” Here senior members of the “conscious teaching” fall asleep into their respective power features and try to intimidate and threaten this person that has been sent there by higher forces to create the kind of friction needed to awaken into presence. Do they appreciate the efforts of the gods? No not at all. Do they offer her water and other refreshments? No, they try to frighten her by asking about her house, meaning we could sue you and take your home. These are not awakened people, the Fellowship of Friends are life people.

195. sharon - July 16, 2008

paulshabram 189
I missed that post. But it sounds like either
a) an ex-student satirizing current Bob’s Boys,
b) a current student on his way out, as in a), or
c) a current student (BB or not) being sarcastic or intentionally extreme to imply that the accusations against them are absurd.

I’m pretty sure it is not a sincere post from a current student.

196. God Laughing - July 16, 2008

LOST AND FOUND?

Repairing the Soul
When a person finally breaks from a cultic relationship, it is the soul, then, that is most in need of repair. When you discover one day that your guru is a fraud, that the ” miraclesî are no more than magic tricks, that the group’s victories and accomplishments are fabrications of an internal public relations system, that your holy teacher is breaking his avowed celibacy with every young disciple, that the group’s connections to people of import are nonexistent when awarenesses such as these come upon you, you are faced with what many have called a “spiritual rape.î Whether your cultic experience was religious or secular, the realization of such enormous loss and betrayal tends to cause considerable pain. As a result, afterwards, many people are prone to reject all forms of belief. In some cases, it may take years to overcome the disillusionment, and learn not only to trust in your inner self but also to believe in something again.
There is also a related difficulty: that persistent nagging feeling that you have made a mistake in leaving the groups perhaps the teachings are true and the leader is right; perhaps it is you who failed. Because cults are so clever at manipulating certain emotions and events in particular, wonder, awe, transcendence, and mystery (this is sometimes called “mystical manipulation”) and because of the human desire to believe, a former cult member may grasp at some way to go on believing even after leaving the group

197. God Laughing - July 16, 2008

Oh…that was from Janja Lalich

198. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 16, 2008

Lost & Found: You haven’t replied to a single one of my questions (what else constitutes a 1 on 1 dialogue)?

Better Question: I am not stopping any comments (they appear in real-time). You have also not answered any of my questions or replied to any of the things I attempted to communicate.

If you are Greg (and it’s becoming fairly evident, right?) then you are still banned and will be out of this blog fairly soon. Despite what you may perceive as being ‘good behaviour’ for me (ie. attacking the FOF as well as everyone else) I do not judge or value you based on your current target of abuse. Neither do I care whether a poster attacks or defends the FOF. Can’t you just let go and stop this was against the world? It will get you nowhere and it will not grant you the praise that you deep down so desperately crave.

Also, why am I so important to you? What do I signify?

Ellen: Thank you.

Vinnie: I am a pretty regular spirituality and self-improvement geek (which I guess encompasses a fairly large spectrum of activity). I have done a lot of living (which, for me, is the ‘beginning and end’ that you spoke of earlier), some self-work, as well as some semi-guided work, never a part of anything (you already know some of my interests from my writing and some of the others are easily deductible). Not that interested in groups or religions, more interested in people. And utterly terrified of dogma, rules and idiocy (other than self-inflicted).

199. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 16, 2008

Ellen: I have no doubts that the FOF is a spiritual organization, from what I have heard it just doesn’t deliver what it promises. It has an aim but the aim seems to be a bit misguided as no-one is able to get ‘there’. Some of the ‘techniques’, rules and the leadership structure are also questionable.

If spiritual organizations were to be measured on the scale of delivering what they promise, it probably wouldn’t do very well. But you never know, in 20 lives you may just get a toe in the door.

As for delivering a full programme of self-growth, self-exploration, transformation and transcendence (ie. delivering the aims of psychology, spirituality and life), it also seems to fall short.

But, we all need interests, interest groups, like-minded people and other things to be geeky about. Religion is the religion of the masses, right?

Also, a lot of very interesting people have been through the doors, a lot of people that I find more in common than with most (which says nothing of their achievement as human beings, rather it talks of shared interests), hence my time spent here.

200. elena - July 16, 2008

Good Question,

Unfortunately I cannot agree with your use of my post to compare students to life people as if there were something wrong with that. At this point we are too far ahead to still fall into such language. Strange that some even behave like dogs and tell others to behave like dogs, that is, trained beings doing what Robert says in every aspect of their lives living nothing for themselves to decide on, but life people in a pejorative context is not something I can share.

You do sound like Greg and brilliant as you’ve been at times, please don’t use me to shield your presence here with such references to life people.

We’ve much worn out the whole subject and it is difficult to see light in the horizon when the perspective is that there is no other perspective than to stay where we are, that is, crystallize in our positions. I am not willing to do that. I would rather call it a loss and accept the failure and move on to where life is still full of perspectives.

201. Joe Average - July 16, 2008

193. paulshabram
Yes, it is a black satire and would be more funny were not for the underhanded character assassination in implying M.Courb-t as the author. He confirmed to me in writing he was not shortly after this was first posted.

202. Joe Average - July 16, 2008

that’s 190 paulshabram

203. ton - July 16, 2008

194 half truth or whoever you are… re: your post to elena —
an observation… and i don’t know how to ‘let you down gently’ so here it is; based on your language and the ‘categories’ you use, you’re still in the grips of fellowship of friends ‘conditioning.’ it takes a while for the effects of brainwashing to fade…. the first step is to see it in yourself and to recognize it for what it is…. you can rationalize anything… but don’t kid yourself, calling it a ‘work’ language that only a select few understand is part of the ruse.

204. GoodQuestion - July 16, 2008

198. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion – July 16, 2008

“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.”

“If you are Greg (and it’s becoming fairly evident, right?)”

I’m not going to bother quoting at least half a dozen posts that have tried to unmask me and or used personal attacks and at least one that employed excessively abusive language, but let’s just say that your rules seem to be enforced shall we say whimsically at best?

205. lostandfound - July 16, 2008

Dear Sheik

I would wish to respond to your questions. However, I would do so without denigrating the standards which I have reiterated in previous postings.

The benefits of openly addressing the blog would be as fruitful as their addressing me.

Simply stated, this blog is an ideal vehicle to discretely connect to those who may still be questioning their reasons for departure, and who may wish an opportunity to anonymously correspond their doubts and/or questions.

(BTW, I just re-read one of your personal posts of the day, and I can see where you and I have our misunderstanding: In the lower 48, ‘one on one’ implies tete-a-tete, tea for two, just me and you, sans audience.)

Lastly, and this is not intended to sting, (re post #198) you are not “important to me.” We do not know one another. Thus, neither of us are of much, if any, significance to the other.

I simply admired your openness to post all (or most) postings that you receive. My messages are directed to you out of respect.
(In fact, having never been a member, you may actually be the most objective contributor to the blog…at least more objective than I.)

lostandfound@cheerful.com

p.s. I have no words that will serve to allay the fears of those who think that writing me would expose them to spam, viruses, the FBI, the FOF police, or Interpol. What I can say is that I have no reason to do so.

206. lostandfound - July 16, 2008

Dear Sheik

I do not know how a smiley face appeared in my post. The actual sentence should be (re post # 198.)

I was not trying to diss you. If you can remove it prior to posting, it would be appreciated. If not, at least this note will explain it.)

207. Ames Gilbert - July 16, 2008

Paulshabram (#40-190 or therebouts),
Thanks for pointing out that Lostandfound might not actually be an ‘insider’. You may well be right. Unfortunately, it takes a heavy hand like HigherM’s to absolutely convince someone like me of ironic or satirical intent. The milder forms I take on their face value, just in case.
To answer your specific question, it sounds possible that a current FoFer would have these thoughts in this vein. I’d say it was rather less likely that he/she would actually bother to post such on the blog, particularly if they were a ‘big fish’ in the mud puddle. But my responses were based on the ‘you never know’ principle, and the thought that some reminders might be useful, just in case.

For all the folks who wonder if posting is worth it, or who feel that this is merely a waste of time by losers, here is some information. When I wrote and circulated the articles and letters around the time I left in 1994, more than forty people took the time to tell me that they had found them useful in helping them to leave. Two took the trouble to tell me that my efforts helped them to stay. Of those that left, one rejoined later, but has since left again. I’m proud of those efforts.
Seven people have communicated privately in the last year to tell me that they have found my blog posts useful in helping them to leave. Again, that makes the efforts worthwhile from my point of view. I hope that in both periods, the thoughts were useful to a larger number than told me. I’d say it would be unhealthy if a blog actually precipitated a decision, but healthy if it helped coalesce some thoughts, aided digestion of experiences, or just provided encouragement. Also, it seems just as useful if there is a delayed reaction; as Renald said above, the planting of a seed may be sufficient unto itself.

And then there are the very valuable effects of clearing up my own thinking, learning from others, and forming the rather loose but nevertheless actual new community.

Thanks again, Sheik, for helping shake things up!

208. paulshabram - July 16, 2008

lostandfound 205

“Simply stated, this blog is an ideal vehicle to discretely connect to those who may still be questioning their reasons for departure, and who may wish an opportunity to anonymously correspond their doubts and/or questions.”

And you are the Savior? But didn’t RB say the left-or-soon-to leave-to-be food-for-the-moon cannot be saved?

209. paulshabram - July 16, 2008

Ames 207
Joe Average 201
Sheik

What Joe says,
“Yes, it is a black satire and would be more funny were not for the underhanded character assassination in implying M.Courb-t as the author. He confirmed to me in writing he was not shortly after this was first posted”
IMO is not satire but pure malicious intent.

Joe, was M.Courb-t posting at the time (April 2007)? How would HigherM know who M.Courb-t was?

Shiek
Note that lostandfound (205) answered a question you put to BeterQuestion:

“Lastly, and this is not intended to sting, (re post #19 you are not “important to me.” We do not know one another. Thus, neither of us are of much, if any, significance to the other.

OOPS!

210. paulshabram - July 16, 2008

Enough of this obscuration! Back to the question at hand.

RB claimed he was a product of Alex Horn’s “school” but was apparently kicked out for “pestering young men”. Alex claimed he had been a student of Pentland and Bennett but was neither.

RB started the FOF with claims he was a “man number 5” and has upped the ante since then. He bolstered his claim by pointing to “C-Influence” and the 44 conscious beings (Angels).

RB’s line to a “conscious school” is broken. So what is left to empower the claim of being “the second most important being to Jesus..” is the claim of Influence C.

So I would like to repeat a couple of questions:

1. Since there are 44 “Angels” who do you think they are and is there a list?
When I was there in the “inner circle” I heard RB talk about many historical figures: “Leonardo Da Vinci, J.S. Bach, William Blake, William Shakespeare, Goethe, Abraham Lincoln, Socrates, Plato, Whitman, Ouspensky, Gurdjieff come to mind. Can we make a list and see if they add up to 44?

2. has anyone truly verified C-Influence? How?

211. Renald - July 16, 2008

RE.

“195. sharon – July 16, 2008
paulshabram 189
I missed that post. But it sounds like either
a) an ex-student satirizing current Bob’s Boys,
b) a current student on his way out, as in a), or
c) a current student (BB or not) being sarcastic or intentionally extreme to imply that the accusations against them are absurd. “

“I’m pretty sure it is not a sincere post from a current student.“

I wouldn`t be so sure, Sharon. Marty on one hand has a sense of humour, but it is as dry as the Sahara. He also keeps his cards very close to his chest. If he did write it it either was under a stronger than usual form of duress or he was drunk. The former would be of someone not to happy about the threats and getting ready to jump the fence or if drunk, well it could amount to the same.

On the other hand it might be a sincere post from someone who has totally lost contact with reality. That one reminds me of a story.
The guy had just jumped off a plane and finds his parachute doesn`t work. On the way down he sees an angel sitting on a cloud. So he yells out to the angel,“What should I do?“ The angel replies, “Don`t worry about it! It won`t be long now.“

I like Marty a lot, so I hope he is okay, relatively speaking, and not experiencing the above last scenario. If it is, well Marty, say hi to Catherine M. for me and a hug for you both.

Putting his name at the bottom of the post and then supposedly denying that it was him, though, requires a certain flair and intelligence, kind of a double negative trick, a decent poker play, and so that leaves me unsure of what to think, probabilities wise.
I`ll check my hand. There still remains the possibilty that an old co-student with a grudge is taking a cheap shot at him. Woe unto him/her if that`s the case.

212. Ellen - July 16, 2008

#175 Vinnie:

What does it matter who I am?
Ellen X,Y,Z?
Are my words more credible if you can put a face to a blog name?

Indeed, if you are truly curious, I posted the my last initial in my final post as Bass Ackwards a few months ago. If you are truly curious, go back and dig.

213. More history needed? - July 16, 2008

Why Greg?

Does Greg know Loretta?

She she is one of the few that rejoined. It must be an insider…
That is my take on

I would like to know the numbers of rejoiners. Any numbers avaiable?

214. lauralupa - July 16, 2008

I really like this image of planting seeds. Possibly because I have been gardening a lot these days, and also because it’s a very important concept in Buddhist philosophy. And also. like Renald says, simply because it’s fun.

Ames, you definitely have been a big and very helpful influence for me in 1994. As you can see, some of the materials you gave me then have now been reposted on this blog, hopefully helping to further raise awareness of Robert’s abuses. We never know how far the results of our actions will spread in time and space and how many persons they will affect.
Thanks for reminding us.

215. lauralupa - July 16, 2008

213 MHN

Just to clarify: it was lostandfound that mentioned Loretta. We don’t know who lostandfound is except that most likely it’s someone in the FoF (veronicapoe guessed it might be Linda).

GoodQuestion/BetterQuestion is the person we assume to be Greg (hi again, Greg!)

As to Vinnie’s identity, there have been all kinds of suggestions and wild guesses; he is a shill, she is a woman, he is a man and lives in Oregon House, he is in the London center, he was here at the beginning under a different name… personally I have decided to take him at face value and just respond to his words and questions as I see fit without bothering about his identity.
But that’s just me.

And someone please correct me if I got some of the info wrong!

216. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 16, 2008

177 is newly moderated.

Lost & Found: That is an answer (of sorts). And you do matter to me as any other human being would, perhaps that is a difference between my ‘mentality’ and the one that you propose for others to adopt.

Greg: You have been banned for about 3 months, right? I am not a big fan of the unmasking process (and would prefer for people not to attempt to unmask others) but you do not belong here for the reasons stated before.

The ‘no names’ rule still applies so please try to stick with it everyone, I see no reason to hurt anyone who may or may not be posting here.

Sadly enough, Greg has forced us to treat him differently but that doesn’t mean that others should be treated in the same way.

217. Just the Facts Ma'am - July 16, 2008

One or two old timers, like Loretta or Philip McG, may have rejoined, temporarily; while at the same time droves are departing like lemmings into the ‘C.’ (Into the real ‘C.’) Loose lips sink ships; Fellowships. (On that great ‘C.’) Better to keep your mouths shut, as you have been so well programmed/instructed to do in FoF, than to speak here and prove your real intelligence and being. This does not change the fact that ten times, or more, have left the Fellowship of Friends than remain there. 15,000:1500!

Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss’d
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
Are scatter’d, and their mouths are stopt with Dust.

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out of the same Door as in I went.

Omar Khayyám

218. ton - July 16, 2008

207
ames
thank you for the words of encouragement here. i don’t like to think in terms of ‘winners and losers’ but in this case there’s little question of who the ‘losers’ are…. those who are still brainwashed by the cult, forsaking their own potential by continuing to support the corruption of the canker that is at the center of the organization are the real losers. it’s a sad state of affairs so i’ll temper this with a degree of compassion, for those who are deeply brainwashed are not only ‘asleep’ to their own possibilities but may also be living in a state of denial regarding the depravity and criminal activity of their ‘teacher.’ (having lived through this state i know that ‘waking-up’ to the ‘terror-of-the-situation’ required time and courage to act on the realization). on the other-hand, those who know of the activities of this petty sociopath and yet continue their support of the organization are worse than ‘losers’ they are themselves criminals — such is the case of a ‘vinnie’ and others of this ilk. the ‘winners’ — if such a term can be used in this sad situation — are those who are able to escape.

here’s to ‘virtual’ community if not ‘actual community.’

219. paulshabram - July 16, 2008

213 More history needed

“Loreta” (with 1 t) was mentioned in a series of posts in the same time frame as the HighM post.

I agree that it is not a good idea to seek out real identities of those that wish to remain anonymous. I think, however, the discussion would benefit from a serious and civil discussion with a current member. Neither the HigherM nor the lostandfound posts sound like a FOF person to me. Even after 29 years post FOF, the language of someone that was/is a member is recognizable to me; even those that joined in this century.

220. ton - July 16, 2008

paul,
i’ve been mulling over the question you’ve raised a few times here regarding the process by which ‘seemingly otherwise intelligent people’ are lured into participation and support of an organization such as the fellowship of friends. i think it’s an important question that requires some self-reflection and with that, a couple of things come to mind…. at the risk of raising the ire of the readers here i’ll play ‘devil’s advocate’ and ask a question — are we as ‘intelligent’ as we would like to think ? and what constitutes intelligence ? doing research post fellowship of friends revealed that the con perpetrated / perpetuated by that organization is admittedly very ‘clever’ but it is in fact ‘garden variety’ (common) it’s a type of ‘confidence game’ that is cloaked in a particular (‘4th way’) disguise that preys upon people whose main ‘weakness’ is a questioning soul and a degree of receptivity (read: ‘open to suggestion’).

the point here is that the same sort of con is played out in a multitude of forms and a range of ‘scales’ in human society — ‘we’ here are not unique in this respect although the particulars of the situation might lead us to think otherwise. anyone with ‘half-a-brain’ questions things in life — does that constitute ‘intelligence’ ? maybe of a sort, but in this case the con takes advantage of people who are asking particular types of questions and who in their search for answers, project their hope/need for an answer onto a ‘vehicle’ outside of the self, as in this case an organization and an outer ‘teacher’ — the former takes advantage of the healthy human need and desire for community and the latter plays on subconscious infantile needs for approval and direction from a parental figure… (this is/has been a frequent thread here on the blog).

there’s a writer in the field of education named howard gardner who writes about different ‘learning styles’ — he identifies 8 or 9 different ‘types’ of intelligence…. ‘multiple intelligences’ is the term he’s coined… one of the categories he talks about is ‘experiential intelligence’ which has more to do with an ability to deal with ‘novel situations’ — i like to think that ‘the school of hard-knocks’ has increased my own i.q. in this regard…. but then i’m still learning. i think one aspect of intelligence is curiosity about the world around us and a degree of ‘openness’ or receptivity and i would venture to say that these aspects of ‘intelligence’ are not lacking in those individuals who were/are seeking answers to some of the mysteries of life… but there are different approaches to gaining the answers and ‘we’ here seem to have taken somewhat a similar approach…. the ‘answers’ provided in the case of the fellowship of friends were for most, probably not what we were looking for or expecting, and probably had very little to do with the questions we asked…. nevertheless, again playing ‘devil’s advocate’ — speaking for myself, lessons were learned from the experience.

221. Mick Danger - July 16, 2008

It’s obvious that some of you well-intentioned people are being manipulated.

222. whalerider - July 16, 2008

lostandfound:

“We do not know one another. Thus, neither of us are of much, if any, significance to the other.”

Are these the thoughts of a person with a functioning higher self or the underpinnings of the narcissism and lack of conscience that runs so deep within the FOF? Are other people insignificant just because they are unknown to you?

223. lostandfound - July 16, 2008

Critique accepted, sheik.

It was the wrong use of words.

Thank you.

lostandfound@cheerful.com

224. paulshabram - July 16, 2008

ton (219)
Although it is not often recognized but “I.Q. is not a measure of intelligence on a linear scale, but rather a tool to determine if a person is impaired (i.e. retarded). When I use “intelligent” I mean some someone who is functioning normally. Outside of that, I have a hard time seeing people as “less” or “more” intelligent than I.

One of the positive take aways for me from the “work” was the analogy of the deck of cards which correlates with many modern descriptions of how there are different forms of intelligence. It’s a model that rings somewhat true. I do not think it is limited to the way it is used in the FOF or by R. Colin. I view it more as the most visible part of a fractal. Even the most simple organism is incredibly complicated. If one keeps categorizing intelligence I think the number of categories would exceed the human population of the earth by many orders of magnitude.

So my answer to your question “— are we as ‘intelligent’ as we would like to think ?” is NO, but we are intelligent enough. The corollary “— are we as ‘stupid’ as we would like to think ?” has the same answer, and yet we are stupid enough.

225. lauralupa - July 16, 2008

Yes whalerider,
quite right, other people are thought of as insignificant in FoFthink. These quotes from Vinnie show that unfortunately in his mind you are one of those insignificant others:

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

“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?”

BTW, he also said:

“I would never treat anyone differently because they are in or not in the school, my conscience would not let me!”

but then:

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

and:

“Hey its fun swearing outside the FOF isnt it! Can really letcha hair down! yo motherfuckers!”

“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.”

Now imagine Vinnie speaking in that tone to fellow FoF members!
But he is convicted that:

“I’m not the ‘good student’ some of you probably pretended to be. I’m glad I’ve never pretended though.”

So maybe he does, I give him the benefit of the doubt.
He is also convinced that:

“Conscience means MY conscience, not judging others.”

but then:

“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.”

Anyway, Vinnie, I hope you don’t feel bad about my use of your quotes. Nothing personal, I am just taking your words at face value, and trying to point out some of the dissonant thought patterns that, although you don’t lack intelligence, tend to diminish your thinking and feeling abilities. Hey, it happened to the best of us. Just remember, as you rightfully said:

“I could learn anything from anyone if I am open to it.”

226. ton - July 16, 2008

paul 223 and to whom it may concern,
it seems i have a lot more questions than answers these days… thanks for your responses. i don’t know if it is ‘the’ answer but it is a good response to the topic of ‘intelligence.’ as a teacher of so-called ‘special needs’ students with varying types and degrees of ‘mental retardation’ i can readily admit, the kids are in many ways ‘smarter’ than their teacher… not to draw unfair comparisons. you make an excellent point that every one and everything has their/it’s own innate ‘intelligence’ — otherwise it is the ‘functional’ component that makes the difference. at least in the case of mental retardation, ‘functionality’ has a lot to do with integration and the ability to ‘put the pieces together’ (not so very different from so-called ‘normal’ folk after all…. it’s a matter of ‘degree’).

the question remains: how do otherwise ‘intelligent’ (‘normally functioning’) people get involved with an organization like the fellowship of friends? putting aside the easy adage or cliches’ “you live and you learn” (not that it’s not true), but what are some of the ‘mechanisms’ at work that lead to an individual’s involvement with an organization like the fellowship of friends? one idea that’s discussed here is the cult’s use of ‘false premises.’ on the other-hand, what about ‘false assumptions’ on the part of the ‘student’ ? maybe just another rhetorical question (?) whatever the case, here’s to keeping the drum beating.

227. elena - July 16, 2008

Paulshabram 209,
If you’re talking about Martin C. who worked in the Vinyard, that post does not sound like him. He was married to my duaghter and he never liked Robert and his practices. He is, like many others in the Cult, he was still a member because he thinks he thought he could still “awaken” with Robert’s excercises.

Vinnie: “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?”

Lost and Found: “Lastly, and this is not intended to sting, (re post #19 you are not “important to me.” We do not know one another. Thus, neither of us are of much, if any, significance to the other.”

This attitude from both Vinnie and Lost and Found is characteristic of the Fellowship Way of Life. Little groups are formed and within the little group people have their “clan” outside of which, people don’t matter. The “groups” characterized themselves for being mostly the group of Americans, Russians, Italians, Latins, and specific nationalities that mixed mostly conditioned by mixed marriages. “These going back to essence was reassuring for the essence of the different nationalities getting together and they were most pronounced depending on who’s vanity Robert was trying to inflate.

The fact that the Cult does not provide for any instance in which members share their experiences WITHIN the Cult itself, alienates members from members. Outside the small clan, people don’t matter. Gossip and judgment are abundant. The practice that anyone can be thrown out without the knowledge of all the members, also leads to this alienation from other members. Members are “passer bys” that do not matter for the inner circle who knows that they cannot admit more members in the inner circle because money is too short even for them.What they want is not permanent members trying to shift the order in which they are replaced but members who simply send money without demanding anything back. “The School is a third force” “you’re here to work on yourself and only yourself” are meant to justify the status quo in which the newcomers are mostly left in the “outer circle”. People in centers are ideal because they do this. As long as they can keep centers making money for Isis, they can continue to run The Cult.

The older inner circle members are being displaced by younger members probably because the older ones were becoming a pain in the ass to Robert who had to support them and at the same time give them something to do. The job is make money, make it credible, that is don’t wine, look beautiful and happy so that joining members believe the story and very few are able to do that. Guinever, Girard, Karen J. and many others including Collin L. who already left were all uncomfortable with many of Robert’s dispositions but what is really happening to them is that they have nowhere else to go. It is hard to keep dignity when you’re a totally dependent partner, either emotionally or economically. Then they become blind fanatics to justify their actions logically. In a recent e-mail from Girard, he states that the School is not only a School of healing but a School of regeneration. Lost and Found’s tone is proper of the blind fanatic that thinks that s/he can come here and talk about the beauties of the Fellowship without ever addressing the myriad statements against it. Ignoring and being indifferent are the main negative emotions involved in this pattern of buffering the main issues. The attitude of “I won’t go there” or hide my head like the ostrich when it gets questionable will not help them avoid responsibility in the long run.

At Isis, the ideal members are well to do people who click into the cult convinced that Robert values their participation as human beings or more conscious beings but the only thing he really cares about is the money they are providing him with. Allison F. is the most pathetic example of the way he used her and she allowed him to use her convinced that it was for anything but her money. They never even allowed her to lead one meeting as if there was nothing of value that she could have ever shared with the rest of us. They are still in a very different situation to other members because the need for human bondage between the teacher, the inner circle and them is satisfied to a certain extent although if they were to dig anywhere deeper than provide money, the door would slam against them. When it slams, they think they have made a mistake, they blame themselves and become even more dependent to the cult. They blame themselves telling themselves that they wanted some recognition from Robert or the rest of us, which is totally human, but they label it as “greed” or “vanity” and cannot, as most of us couldn’t for years and years, connect with the simple human being inside of them that acknowledges the rest of the people that they live with as the community they wish to love and be loved by, care and be cared by, acknowledge and be acknowledged by. They have come to the point in which human emotions are to be ignored, judged and eliminated. It is the perfect mechanism to keep members paying for ever while convinced they are awakening because they still have so much of their humanity to eliminate.

It would be interesting to explore the process that a human being must take to admit that s/he has been conned because that first step is the most difficult one. To admit that one’s most pure love towards Robert, awakening, A School, Influence C and Conscious life were used and abused by the Fellowship of Friend’s Cult. The “real suffering” that has to be dealt with in this process has to do with “understanding the human condition” in a big scale, but members opt to live in unnecessary suffering indefinitely rather than assume themselves and the problems they are facing as long as they do not have a developed enough I, that can stand up for him or herself and not simply depend on Robert’s authority and the mass behavior of the Cult.

228. Joe Average - July 16, 2008

209. paulshabram
211. Renald

Paul – MC was not, as far as I know, posting or even reading the blog at that time. Whoever posted that clearly knew MC (where he lived, his biking etc.) and had a major ax to grind with him. Apart from the shiv to MC, the post was spooky in that much of it felt like the kind of warped delusions bobby’s boys actually develop but rarely express.

Ron, I agee his humor is saharan and can be self-deprecatory, but I have a hard time imagining him writing that, drunk or not.

210. paulshabram
Yes the list of 44 was formalized at some point after you left, perhaps to end speculation on just who was floating around Oregon House putting 44’s on license plates and making sure unmarried members were not banging anyone but RB. RB began deemphasizing the list when he began drawing in new “conscious beings” from Rumi to Imhotop to Thag, the artist of the bison poop cave drawing. I don’t have a list handy. Any archivists out there who would like to post the list?

Girard once collected all the exercises he knew of into one formal list (early 80’s, I think) and distributed it to various people. If anyone has that list, it would also be entertaining and enlightening.
The list was quickly suppressed and RB was quoted as saying that Girard “set the school back 5 years” by making the list. He was usually embarrassed when old crap was brought up, because he knew it was all a sham, but true believers accepted everything from the “no leather wallets” of the first years to the more recent “never show your teeth” exercises as manna from heaven.

229. Traveler - July 16, 2008
230. veronicapoe - July 16, 2008

Overview of Fellowship Exercises, July 26, 1980, by Harold Wirk:

http://www.archive.org/details/TheEsotericHistoryArchive_362

231. ton - July 16, 2008

227-229 joe, traveller, veronicapoe,
thanks to the archivists for keepin’ it real.

229 veronicapoe, i was finally able to load a full sized image….
the “smoking exercise ” appears to depict stella sneaking a smoke…. as ‘they’ say, ‘it’s a classic.’ in terms of the documentary (whalerider), ‘one’ might imagine the cartoon images here as a visual piece of the ‘puzzle’ in putting the story into another form.
a ‘legal’ question: because the image is on the web, is it considered ‘public domain’ ? and would there be restrictions on the it’s for other purposes?

thank you for the richess of the link.

232. ton - July 16, 2008

230
sorry, should read “restrictions on the image….?”
or words to that effect

233. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 16, 2008

Good Question and Better Question are banned, as far as I am concerned, Greg waited for a month (at the beginning repeatedly attempting to sneak back in) and then returned with the same show, which for me does not constitute a reason for his return.

Any future Greg’s identities will be banned and all of his prior posts will be deleted upon finding out his identity.

I hope that Lost & Found isn’t another one of Greg’s puppet shows, luckily Greg has the tendency (or an unstoppable urge) to reveal himself in one way or another.

234. nigel harris price - July 16, 2008

227 Elena
Just scrolling back up after a few days away from blogging and found your beautifully written post. If you keep it up in this way, you will attract more ‘real people’ of like-mindedness and we will be working towards the ‘final showdown’ (i.e. in court). I am going to work next on my part of a petition to send to Susan Zannos quite soon. You may also like to know that I have already begun work on a little book, to be titled “The Years Between”, about my experience in the mental-health maze. That should be out by Christmas. Now back to back-scrolling…..Nigel.

235. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 16, 2008

Looking at my spam filter settings, it is astounding to see just how many identities and IP addresses Greg has used, astounding.

236. nigel harris price - July 16, 2008

When I got out of the clutches of the FOF financial/social nightmare in 1989, a student (still in) wrote to me about how he liked to play chess with his son and other FOF members. It led me to search around for significance, and I found it, in the beautiful ‘rock musical’, CHESS, by Tim Rice and the two males from Abba. One passage particularly sticks in my memory – “I opened doors, they walked right through them; called me their friends, I hardly knew them”. Yes – I was a member for 11 years, but went beyond the form, by producing something for myself out of the financial suffering and other hardships. I never wanted a ‘politically’ significant role in the FOF, being content with dealing with life and growing beyond my features of 1) vanity 2) fear and 3) naivete. To use Whitman’s words “I and this mystery, here we stand”…..Nigel.

P.S. Ton – I did some special needs teaching, too; well worth it!

237. ton - July 16, 2008

235 sheik,
i think it was lostandfound who most recently brought up the topic of ‘standards’ on the blog (?) i haven’t been here from the beginning like yourself and others therefore i ask the following questions with all due respect: please understand that posts from ‘greg’ predate my arrival here and i admit to not back-reading the blog thoroughly enough, that’s my fault…. but i wonder if you might take a moment to explain about the banning of ‘greg’ again? is the banning based on the expectation that he will (or has) returned to ‘intolerable’ postings ? the posts, to me, seem innocuous enough…. they even add another element to the blog. if i understand your post correctly, i ESPECIALLY wonder about editing out his posts leading up to ‘expulsion.’ is there a democratic process going on here ? is it ‘unilateral’ based on your sense of how things are going? are people emailing you privately? i’m not trying to defend ‘greg’ i think he can be a real asshole, but then he probably feels the same way about me and a lot of others here…. (that is if he has feelings…. just kidding ‘halftruth, i know you do). shiek, i’m just wondering what the process is ?
with all due respect.

236 thanks nigel, i love my work and i know you do too…

all the best to all

238. paulshabram - July 16, 2008

From 228 Traveler’s pointer (wikispace):

“Hans Christian Andersen
Fra Angelico
Aristotle
Meher Baba
Johann Sebastian Bach
William Blake
Buddha
Lewis Carroll
Miguel Cervantes
Geoffrey Chaucer
Rodney Collin
Dante Alighieri
Elizabeth I
Epictetus
Ezekiel
Benjamin Franklin
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Georg Ivanovich Gurdjieff
Hafis
Homer
Horace
Jesus Christ
Joseph, son of Jacob
Omar Khayyam
Lao Tse
Leonardo da Vinci
Abraham Lincoln
Marcus Aurelius
John Milton
Michel de Montaigne
Moses
Peter Ouspensky
Paul (the apostle)
Peter (the apostle)
Francesco Petrarca
Plato
Rembrandt van Rijn
Rainer Maria Rilke
William Shakespeare
Socrates
Solon
Virgil
Antonio Vivaldi
Walt Whitman”

But Joe Average confirms my suspicion that there are now more that 44.

239. brucelevy - July 16, 2008

237. ton

If you follow the several different threads that culminate in G’s banning, and you read the last two or three posts from him right before he’s banned, I think you’ll find it’s self evident. He starts out with excellent thought-rich posts and ultimately ends with bat-shit crazy, vindictive, nasty, vitriol laced rants.

240. brucelevy - July 16, 2008

Including calling the women, and a few men “stupid cunts” who “should shut the fuck up”. For me, it wasn’t worth the trade off.

241. Yesri Baba - July 16, 2008

229 Traveler

I have news for them. Mr Simpson is alive and feeling fine. DOH!

242. Yesri Baba - July 16, 2008

235 esoic

Any way to tiangulate and see if he might be lostandfound also?

243. Yesri Baba - July 17, 2008

Sorry sheik. I posted 242 before reading your post at 233. I guess suspicious minds think alike.

244. Yesri Baba - July 17, 2008

237 ton

I don’t know where they are on the blog or if someone can direct you to them but Greggy has posted a few of THE most vile and hurtful posts of this whole enterprise.

The first few were directed at ‘A Former Student’ who has had interactions with him on other sites. ‘A Former Student’ foretold what was going to happen to a astounding degree of accuracy and said that Greggy has been banned from every 4th way site they both had been on. (I am repeating this information from memory and that last part about other sites is heresay. Keep that in mind.)

The second person was ‘Innernaut’ who apparantly was a ‘friend’ of Greggy’s in the fellowship. It was the most hurtful, disgusting, vile, heartless spewing of hate and venom ever to occur on this blog. As hurtful towards ‘Innernaut’ as words can be.

Greggy comes back and paints a few more portraits of the shadows on his cave walls, behaves somewhat human for a time, until he picks out another victim and it is on again.

He is one sick puppy.

Trust me, many of us voiced the exact sentiments you did in 237

245. rubstrol - July 17, 2008

Ton

my story is this:
Joined in Sao Paulo in 1992 moved to London shortly after,stayed for 5 years and left.
Nowadays I still live in London,married with a baby and a mortgage.
I have a HD camera(consumer) and a Mac pro with Final Cut.At the moment due to health problems I’m staying a lot at home(catching up with the blog)and could be of utility for this video/documentary project.Tell me what you think.Cheers

246. Jim Bremer - July 17, 2008

Where’s Harold Wirk? I’d dearly love to see him, And others from the ranch circa 1977…Amsterdam and New Orleans Centers, too. What
a joy to find this connection. James Bremer here. Anybody remember
me? I’m in New Orleans workworkworkin’, hurt and healing. I see this is not exactly a reunion format but Who’s moved on?????? There is a stunningly beautiful tapestry of possibilities ahead. Call me.

247. Jim Bremer - July 17, 2008

Oh yeah, (504)416-4832

248. paulshabram - July 17, 2008

elena 227
Good post (IMO).

“It would be interesting to explore the process that a human being must take to admit that s/he has been conned because that first step is the most difficult one… ”

I think this would be a very good path to take here.

249. paulshabram - July 17, 2008

ton 226
Sorry, I got off on a tangent about intelligence.

Your original invitation to discuss was perhaps more about the somewhat humiliating realization that we were conned… by RB, the FOF at large, the 4th way itself, and mostly by ourselves.

By analogy, I think there is a reason that the “shell game” still works after, perhaps, millennia. For me I think there are two overriding mechanisms:
First, I am susceptible to the con because I do not think to con others and I forget to suspect and question. The particular weakness is trusting at face value and not questioning the premise. Without questioning the premise, I am easily taken in by the evidence leading to the conclusion that the con artist is pushing… I am trying to look now at the premise to see if it is really an unsupportable assumption… There are two basic assumptions the FOF con artist wants the victim to accept. One is that RB is “conscious” and one is that he is supported by “Angels”. The “Angels” assumption is harder to accept and acts as a diversion from the real question, “Is RB a conscious being?” Since our peers, wishing to not be left out, and also into the conning cycle, seemed to verify “C-Influence”, the “is RB a Conscious being” defaults to an assumed premise with no possibility to verify in the affirmative. We were left only with the possibility to verify that he is not, which we did not do until we took the decision to leave.

Second, with the FOF and other situations I have subjected myself to, I become the con artist conning myself. Having finished the sale, I tried to sell others, thus perpetuated the con.

Neither one of these make me feel very intelligent. The latter is the most humiliating.

These were really hard lessons for an arrogant guy like me to learn. I’m still learning.

250. Rear View Mirror - July 17, 2008

245 and 227. Paul and Elena.

I was just getting ready to post some thoughts that have been on my mind for a while, and then I see your posts.

One of the things I’ve learned in recent years is the value of coming into contact with that part within myself that radiates love, forgiveness, encouragement, and kindness; and that recognizes the universe as being an abundant place, and filled with this same love. I’m learning more and more, and still learning, that this is a key in simply learning to enjoy my life, appreciate others, and do something productive, creative, and worthwhile with my time.

So…

In my opinion, one of the reasons that it’s difficult to see we are being conned is that — in order to see that in someone else — we’re afraid that we’ll need to let go of the above attitudes toward the world before we can see it. We sense that we need to let go of our positive view of the world and the universe, before we can make the leap and think the worst of someone — and finally acknowledge to ourselves, “Yes, this person who I trusted so well, has conned me.”

The solution?

In my opinion, the solution is in changing our relationship to what love, forgiveness, encouragement, and kindness actually mean. Maybe love is not something we “do” to anyone, and maybe forgiveness is not something we “extend” to anyone, and maybe kindness is not an act that we deliver for someone, and maybe encouragement is more something we do for ourselves while hoping that someone will join us. Maybe all of this — forgiveness, kindness, encouragement, and love — are qualities that radiate from ourselves.

The point is, when we can get there and focus on being those things rather than delivering them to someone, we can more easily recognize evil in the world, and not be quite as vulnerable to it, but also keep those qualities in ourselves that are so important to living well, feeling good, and contributing something special to our community, and to the people in our lives.

One of my perceptions about the FOF — about RB, and the people within the FOF — is that the FOF does not foster an attitude where people within it are receptive to love, forgiveness, encouragement, and kindness. They are not easily inspired by anything new. They are not open to new ideas or new ways of looking at the world. They are taught to see weakness in others, not strengths.

But when you get to a point where you just try to be, and seek people who are receptive to your “being” and who are also trying to be, then it’s easier to do so without being naive and vulnerable. And when you radiate love, without necessarily expecting people to be receptive to it, somehow it’s easier to see the con long before it reaches you.

Anyway, just some ramblings. I feel very strongly that we can oppose without hatred, see without being cynical, change things without hurting anyone, and inspire without being naive. I know in my heart that many people currently in the FOF can be open to love and encouragement, and can be receptive to new ideas, and inspired by a new sense of meaning in their lives.

And leaving the FOF behind is a major part of that. There is no other exit.

However, it is entirely up to you. Will you join us? It’s entirely your choice my friend.

251. James Mclemore - July 17, 2008

ton & all

“the question remains: how do otherwise ‘intelligent’ (’normally functioning’ people get involved with an organization like the fellowship of friends?”

It seems like we got involved because we were innocent and naive. Our intentions were fine. As you said once, you had seen a glimpse of something and were looking for ways to get there on a more permanant basis. We were wide open and not too hard to con, and as Paul S said, we unfortunately perpetuated it. We still thought the answers lay outside of us. Maybe the question is more, why do people stay.

In the situation I have been living in (which I have been helped with lately by a number of posts), I have often been at a loss as to how to help another person, while at the same time not drown in the situation

When my usual approaches produce no or bad results, there appears to be nothing I can do on this level. It feels like I have to make some sort of quantum leap or shift in order to move or at least create the space where movement can occur.
With the person I am living with there are a number of elements going on. There are both physical and emotional problems, and there is a deep sense of victimhood, with the accompanying fears that go with that. When I think I am trying a simple, straightforward and reasonable approach, I am often amazed and stunned by what I encounter. (I,of course, bring baggage to these encounters also.

It seems that maybe it is the same with trying to dialog with some of those who come here to the blog (Vinnie for example) and it seems the same in the effort to hopefully have fof members hear some of the blogs’ different and quite amazing voices, if they are reading. RB has created a far reaching and insidious paranoia. It is, of course, unrecognized as such by the members. Someone before said that the name of the school was a joke. It does seem like a joke, a bad one. While friendships might be made, there can be no real fellowship there. They cannot possibly trust one another in that environment. I suspect even in the most intimate of relationships, the cult has created walls that people are deeply afraid to even look behind, much less tear down. People are afraid to voice their deepest fears and their concerns. They might be reported to those Bruce calls the flying monkeys. They will probably just be told that they are not doing the sequence enough. And, because of what they have been fed, they are already uncertain where their fears and concerns are coming from. From the cult’s point of view they could only come from one place – that dreaded ‘lower self’, the boogie man who will take them away from their only chance to awaken. They have been conned out of trusting their own conscience, and so they are certainly frightened of trusting those who are supposedly emotionally close to them. It is no wonder that they might not trust the bloggers here. There have been some superb posts lately, but I suspect they fall on deaf ears, except for those who have finally gathered up enough courage to at least begin climbing that fence that some may be sitting on.

I am not sure what that quantum leap would mean in this situation. In my own personal adventure it seems to take the appearance of trying to have no reference points whatsoever, and as traveler mentioned, no ideas about what would be good for the other person, or even what would be good for me. I am left with what we all, already know. Just to try to let everything go, see what’s left, and just be here. I wonder if what might be attractive to the fof membership and is possibly having an effect on them, is not so much ‘what’ is said, but the directness and honesty and emotional content as people respond to each other, and to the strange visitors. Honesty and directness are probably not something you find much within the fof. Here on the blog however, it seems like those things just keep growing, at least imo.

I have really looked forward lately to reading what is being written here. There is an amazing amount of experience and info being shared, and some wonderful links. I hope you all keep doing what you are doing.

252. lostandfound - July 17, 2008

LOSTANDFOUND

Dear Sheik

Just a brief update to state that the blog you are hosting has enabled two people to connect with me, thus far.

Again, I thank you for your openness in allowing this opportunity to be offered.to those who are still sitting on the fence.

While I will be keeping the email address/url’s of all correspondence confidential, I may, every now and then with your permission, post their comments/questions, along with my responses should this new format start to blossom..

I will stay in touch.

With gratitude.

lostandfound@cheerful.com

253. Rear View Mirror - July 17, 2008

😉

254. Just the Facts Ma'am - July 17, 2008

the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion failed to indicate that this posting was moderated as a first time posting at around 40/217, so I am reposting it (Smiley face error fixed, I hope.):

One or two old timers, like Loretta or Philip McG, may have rejoined, temporarily; while at the same time droves are departing like lemmings into the ‘C.’ (Into the real ‘C.’ )’) Loose lips sink ships; Fellowships. (On that great ‘C.’ )’) Better to keep your mouths shut, as you have been so well programmed/instructed to do in FoF, than to speak here and prove your real intelligence and being. This does not change the fact that ten times, or more, have left the Fellowship of Friends than remain there. 15,000:1500!

Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss’d
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are thrust
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Words to Scorn
Are scatter’d, and their mouths are stopt with Dust.

Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out of the same Door as in I went.

Omar Khayyám

255. Yesri Baba - July 17, 2008

Greg the Bunny

256. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 17, 2008

246 paulshabram

Where and how did you come to the conclusion that there exists such a thing as a “conscious being”?

257. Yesri Baba - July 17, 2008

Lostandfound- bringin em back in….

258. Yesri Baba - July 17, 2008

Robert Burton confronting his minions for snickering at his ‘special friend’

259. lauralupa - July 17, 2008

Although the term was coined by Richard Dawkins back in 1976, I have only recently become familiar with the concept of “memes”. The meme of dangerous memes might be useful as yet another conceptual way to approach the interesting problem of “whatever happened to us” and what mechanisms keep members from seeing the con.

“Meme” is a word coined in purposeful analogy to “gene” by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. To understand memes, you must have a good understanding of the modern concepts of evolution, and this is a good source. In the last chapter of Dawkin’s book memes were defined as replicating information patterns that use minds to get themselves copied much as a virus uses cells to get itself copied. (Dawkins credits several others for developing the concepts, especially the anthropologist F.T. Cloak.) Like genes, memes are pure information, whether the sequence is coded in DNA, printed on paper, or written on magnetic tape.

Humans are not the only creatures that pass memes about. Birds can learn variations of songs. The songs of whales are also replicating information patterns that fit the model of a meme. So is the termite-catching technique that chimps pass from generation to generation.

Meme is similar to “idea”, but not all ideas are memes. A passing idea which you do not communicate to others, or one which fails to take root in others, falls short of being a meme. The important part of the “meme about memes” is that memes are subject to adaptive evolutionary forces very similar to those that select for genes. That is, their variation is subject to selection in the environment provided by human minds, communication channels, and the vast collection of cooperating and competing memes that make up human culture. The analogy is remarkably close. For example, genes in cold viruses that cause sneezes by irritating noses spread themselves by this route to new hosts and become more common in the gene pool of a cold virus. Memes cause those they have successfully infected to spread the meme by both direct methods (proselytizing) and indirect methods (such as writing). Such memes become more common in the culture pool.

The entire topic would be academic except that there are two levels of evolution (genes and memes) involved and the memetic level is only loosely coupled to the genetic. Memes which override genetic survival, such as those which induce young Lebanese Shiites to blow themselves “into the next world” from the front seat of a truck loaded with high explosives, or induce untrained Iranians to volunteer to charge Iraqi machine guns, or the WWII Kamikaze “social movement” in Japan are all too well known. I have proposed the term “memeoid” for people whose behavior is so strongly influenced by a replicating information pattern (meme) that their survival becomes inconsequential in their own minds.

For a vivid example we can hark back a few years ago to the Reverend Jim Jones and the People’s Temple incident, where 912 people, including Jones, died of complications – poison and gunshot wounds – induced by an information disease. The Children’s Crusades of the middle ages were larger and more lethal; only two of 20,000 returned from one crusade. The mass suicide in the first century by the Jews at Masada is a clear example of information patterns in people’s minds having more influence over their behavior than fear of death.

A more seductive example of a social movement set off by a lethal meme comes from South Africa. In the 1850’s, a meme (originally derived from a dream) led to a great sacrifice by the Xhosa people during which they killed their cattle, burned their grain, and refrained from planting in the belief that doing so would cause their ancestors to come back from the dead and expel the whites. At least 20,000 and perhaps as many as 60,000 people starved when the predicted millennium of plenty failed to arrive. Known as the Cattle Killing, it was not a unique response for a primitive society being displaced by a more technically advanced one.

Memes that bring about suicidal behavior are, at least, self-limiting. Those which induce one group of people to kill another are much worse, and the social movements they induce are often much larger. The scope of the social movement known as the Inquisition is seldom mentioned in history textbooks, but:

“The number of victims claimed by the witch-hunts, which lasted for three hundred years, is reckoned by historians to be between five and six million people; it therefore caused more deaths than all the wars waged over the period… “It is only when one takes into account the brutal, pitiless expression of mass mania, and that a belief in the devil, his traffic with witches and warlocks, was constantly being fanned anew by the Church…that it is possible to gain any measure of understanding…”

The depredations and brutality of the Inquisition were typical of deadly memes stemming from religions or closely related social movements, such as Marxist-Leninist communism. In the last decade the people of Kampuchea were infested with an anti-intellectual agrarian utopian meme clearly mutated (in the minds of Pol Pot and his close associates) from the communist meme. They were Eric Hoffer’s “True Believers” of the most extreme stripe. The resulting social movement was a massive self-genocide. Over one-third of the population of Kampuchea, including almost all of the city dwellers and the educated, died before the Vietnamese (embarrassed by news stories of rivers clogged with bodies) invaded and put a stop to the killing. Many more would have died had the social movement run its course without interference. Kampuchea will take decades to recover.

History classes have made us more aware of the genocidal depredations resulting from the “master race” meme that was part of the Nazi meme complex. Considered from the viewpoint of memes, Hitler was less a prime mover than a willing victim of this particularly nasty and pervasive variety of information disease. Had plague struck Germany in the ’30s instead of Nazism, we would have understood it in terms of susceptibility, vectors and disease organisms. What did happen any soon be modeled and understood in terms of the social and economic disruptions of the time increasing the number of people susceptible to fanatic beliefs, just as poor diet is known to increase the number of those susceptible to tuberculosis. Communication in the form of personal contact, the written word, radio, and amplified voices are substitutes for disease vectors. A pool of “sub-memes”, many of them ancient myth, contributed to the syncretic Nazi meme in much the same way mobile genes contribute to the virulence of the influenza viruses.

A fascinating footnote to the horrors of the German experience with Nazism happened in 1969 when Ron Jones, a teacher in Palo Alto, exposed a high school history class to an intensive, five-day experience with the ideas that made up the Nazi meme. The experience of that week was originally published as “Take as Directed” in the CoEvolution Quarterly (CQ #9, p.152), and a few years ago was made into a TV movie, The Wave. Over four days, Jones introduced and drilled his students in concepts of Strength through Discipline, Community, Action, and Pride. (The fifth day was devoted to showing them how easily they had started to slip into the abyss.) The enthusiasm which most of the class adopted the memes and spread them to their friends, swelling a 40 student class to 200 in five days, made it one of the most frightening events the teacher had ever experienced. Given the track record of the Nazi meme, the mini-social movement his experiment set off is no more surprising in retrospect than the medical effects would have been if the teacher had sprayed smallpox virus on the class.

An empirical characteristic of large, long-lived religious movements or related social movements (at least in the West) is a scripture or body of written material. This may function to standardize the meme involved or at least slow its evolution as the number of people infected with it grows. From Scientology right back to the Hindu Vedas, I can think of no counterexamples. Social movements involving more than a few thousand people or lasting more than a few years may have been rare before writing came along.

I have noticed several features of social movements derived from dangerous memes. One is self-isolation of the infected group, or at least of new recruits, from the rest of society. This need not be an “intelligent” action taken by the “leaders”. There may be no more thought involved than the evolution of white moths into dark ones in grimy industrial England. The “fanatic cult” memes which incorporate isolation are the ones we observe; those which do not incorporate isolation are like the light moths, gone and not observable.

In the case of the Soviet Union, the communist meme survives in a society largely isolated from the rest of the world. In recent years the isolation may have resulted from reasoned considerations about the fragility of the communist meme in open competition with other memes. A more parsimonious view would note that without originally having a strong isolation component, the communist meme would have had no more social influence in the USSR than it has had in, say, France.

Isolation makes possible exposure to single meme (or meme set) many times a day for months or years without much contact with other memes. Exclusive exposure to one meme (also known as brainwashing) induces a “dependent mental state” in some people.

Thankfully, most of us have not experienced the dependent mental state firsthand, but we have all seen such people in the news programs boarding buses for the front in Iran, or been harassed by them in airports, or had them knock on our doors and try to infect us. It is clear that people who suffer from extreme cases of “information disease” have lost much of their ability to take care of themselves or their children. Truly dedicated people often fail to replace themselves, since too much of their life energies are channeled into propagating the infecting meme. One example comes from the largest sub-division of Christianity, where celibacy among its most dedicated has long been institutionalized. The Rajneesh cult practiced the opposite of celibacy, but discouraged births to the point of sterilizing the barely pubescent female children of its resident members.

What we believe in depends, at least in part, on what we are exposed to and the order in which we are exposed. Gazzaniga argues that we slowly evolved the ability to form beliefs because the ability provides a major advantage in surviving. Being able to infer, that is to form new beliefs, and to learn, in the sense of acquiring such beliefs from others, was a major advance over learning by trial and error. Being able to pass the rare new ways of our ancestors found for chipping rock or making pots from person to person and generation to generation was vital in allowing humans to spread over the Earth.

But as this ability became the norm, communicating human minds formed a “primal soup” in which a new kind of non-biological evolution, that of replicating information patterns or memes, could get started. A wide variety of competing memes has evolved in the intervening seventy thousand years or so. It should not be surprising that the survivors of this process, like astrology or religions, are so effective at inducing their hosts to spread and defend them. It is also plausible that in the tens of millennia since memetic evolution became a major factor there has been biological co-evolution. The parts of our brains that hold our belief systems have probably undergone biological adaption to be better at detecting dangerous memes and more skeptical about memes that result in death and seriously interfere with reproductive success.

This type of co-evolution is known as an “arms race” to biologists. One such biological arms race has resulted in almost perfect egg mimicry by the cuckoo and in correspondingly sharp visual discrimination in the birds it parasitizes. By analogy, while we get better at spotting dangerous memes, the memes may be evolving to be more effective at infecting us. Advancing technology (which itself is an improving collection of memes) changes the environmental conditions where memes survive or fail as well. The modern telephone system and the tape cassette player were major factors in the takeover of Iran. It has been argued that the rise of the Nazis depended strongly on radio reaching a previously unexposed and unsophisticated population.

I have picked dangerous examples for vivid illustrations and to point out that memes have a life of their own. The ones that kill their hosts make this hard to ignore. However, most memes, like most microorganisms, are either helpful or at least harmless. Some memes may even provide a certain amount of defense from the very harmful ones. It is the natural progression of parasites to become helpful symbiotes, and the first such behavior that emerges in a proto-symbiote is for it to start protecting its host from other parasites. I have come to appreciate the common religions in this light. Even if they were harmful when they started, the ones that survive over generations evolve and do not cause too much damage to their hosts. Calvin (who had dozens of people executed over theological disputes) would hardly recognize Presbyterians three hundred years later. Contrariwise, the Shaker meme is now confined to books, and the Shakers are gone. It is clearly safer to believe in a well-aged religion than to be susceptible to a potentially fatal cult.

If anything, i would think that understanding the memetic nature of religions and related movements like communism would defuse the emotional connections and substitute something closer to dispassionate understanding of the parasitic-to-symbiotic memes behind such social movements. It has had that effect on me. Even the most gruesome features of communism are what they are simply because those features were (and are) necessary for the meme to exist in a world of competing memes. Isolation, for example, is a common feature of virtually all successful religious-type memes while they are in the cult stage. Anyone who has studied history knows that suppression of competitive memes by the power of the state is a common experience once a meme of this class has infected the leaders or they have been replaced by those infected. And if the Christian religion was a mainstay of the aristocracy, serving to keep the peasants in place, Soviet Communism is no less supportive of its own hereditary elite. As a successful and persistent meme, that has appeal even to people who know the realities of its practice. It commands a certain grudging respect.

From a meme’s viewpoint, tolerance of other memes is not a virtue. It is, in fact, a fatal characteristic for a particular meme, as memes inducing intolerance to other memes would soon displace it. On the other hand, a meta-meme of limited toleration, or even cooperation among memes, is possible. The Western meta-meme of tolerance seems to have emerged from an ecosystem of memes in much the same way that cooperative behavior has been modeled as emerging from an ecosystem of individuals. In the area of meme tolerance the Western world may be unique. We think of censorship as evil; where but in an advanced ecosystem of memes could such a strange idea have emerged?

If most conflict in the world is an indirect effect of memes, memetics holds as much potential for reducing human misery as the germ theory of disease. Just being able to model the interactions among the Soviets, the West, and the Islamic groups may make the world a safer place. Widespread understanding of hard-to-avoid human susceptibilities and an ecosystem-like model of replicating information patterns that have no short-term interest in their host (and indeed no consciousness at all) may lead to the development of meme evaluating “mental health practices” just as knowledge of disease has changed our behavior in regard to drinking ditchwater.

If this article has succeed in infecting you with the meme-about-memes, perhaps it will help you be more responsible about the memes you spread and less likely to be infected with a meme that will harm you or those around you.”

http://www.nancho.net/memes/infoviru.html

260. Ellen - July 17, 2008

247. Rear View Mirror
Nice post.
248. James Mc Lemore
Ditto.

I think discovering that the essential nature of the universe is living, loving, being (Being, Consciousness, Bliss or Sat, Chit, Ananda, or World Three, or God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, etc…) cancels all external searching – or at least highly changes the nature of the guidance sought. I would guess that most current (FoF) students might truly think that such substance is what they are nurturing in themselves and each other? “In my best moments” it is how I experience Self Remembering, and the Fellowship in its time created many conditions for the flowering of such recognitions.

– YET –

In order to continue to experience such conditions, I had to turn a blind eye to Robert’s increasingly less hidden behaviour, or find a different label for it or both. I had to believe that my essential nature was mechanical rather than divine. Binding myself to an institution or a Teacher that claimed individual ownership of this particular (universal) substance was a form of madness. I was mad. And deeply misguided. As any current member reading this also is.

Rhetorically speaking, why do you think Gurdjieff went to all the trouble to explain the Ray of Creation if he didn’t think it had some value as a way for Westerners to understand their own intrinsic spark of divinity? No one can give something to you that you already possess, and no one can ever take it away. Someone might be able to help you shovel off a few layers of intervening, acumulated dirt, but first check the cleanliness of the guide. Being is known in actions not words.

Yes, even “Love” is just a four letter word.

261. Ellen - July 17, 2008

unintentional smiley, probably related to the character map of a smiley and a closing parentheses?

262. James Mclemore - July 17, 2008

256. lauralupa

6 am here in South Carolina. Couldn’t sleep. Just finished your post.
Fascinating. Thank you.

263. snorer - July 17, 2008

Ton

my story is this:
Joined in Sao Paulo in 1992 moved to London shortly after,stayed for 5 years and left.
Nowadays I still live in London,married with a baby and a mortgage.
I have a HD camera(consumer) and a Mac pro with Final Cut.At the moment due to health problems I’m staying a lot at home(catching up with the blog)and could be of utility for this video/documentary project.Tell me what you think.Cheers

264. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 17, 2008

245, 246 and 247 are newly moderated.

Rubstrol/Snorer: The difficulty with changing your nick is that you will, once again, have to get 1 comment moderated before you can start posting in real-time.

Lost & Found: Congratulations, if you want to blow your trumpet, feel free to be our guest (why ask anyone’s permission? – you know the 2 rules – no unmasking, no excessive abuse).

Ton: There was no pressure, it’s my decision. Greg was banned a long time ago for excessive abuse of a number of people, as well as deliberate attempts to unmask those who were still unnamed (who subsequently left and didn’t return). His hate streak repeated 2 or 3 times and it came to a point where I felt that there was no other option. I am not deleting any of his previous comments, but will delete any of his future comments after his identity is revealed. This is a deterrent rather than a punishment.

265. ton - July 17, 2008

snorer 263
the equipment you describe sounds similar to what i’m using… although it may or may not be considered ‘broadcast quality’ (depending on purposes and ‘venue’), imo it’s perfectly viable for the purposes of information gathering and editing into a presentable form. a suggestion i posted previously is one possible approach to making the documentary: since many of the folks who are reading and posting here live in ‘disparate’ geographic locations, those with the necessary recording/editing equipment could contact potential ‘interviewees’ in their locale. after gathering the information and at some point in the future, the information can be pooled for a final compilation / editing process. i’ve said before that my computer skills are not what i would like them to be at this point, but i can imagine that there is a way to do the information sharing and compilation on line via the internet. (maybe you know more about it than i ?). whatever the case, based on my reading here, whalerider, RVM, Another Voice seem to be spearheading efforts to gather interviews on the west coast of n.a. other than offering up the occasional idea for the documentary here on the blog, i’m ‘out of the loop.’ you might try contacting whalerider directly, i think he left his email address on the previous page or maybe he will repost it ? i think the sheik is on your side of ‘the pond’ (?) and i know he’s expressed an interest in the project but i don’t know how involved he is…. maybe he’ll grace us with an update…. or you could try contacting him directly.

“i’m sure it wouldn’t interest anybody outside of a small circle of friends…”

whatever the outcome of the proposed project, i wish you well.

266. paulshabram - July 17, 2008

256 JOVOH
“Where and how did you come to the conclusion that there exists such a thing as a “conscious being”?”

I have not. That has been part of my theme here. I see no evidence to make that conclusion. That is a premise that we assumed and could not verify.

I have had some amazing experiences, but I cannot say that these are anything but what everyone else experiences. Nor can I say that the sensations or feelings I have had are anything more than biochemical responses.

267. Rear View Mirror - July 17, 2008

Ellen 260. beautifully expressed.

One other comment about kindness, which I can’t emphasize enough: Kindness is NOT synonymous with “niceness” or “being nice” — or “being sweet,” or deferential, or compliant to others no matter what they do to us, and no matter what they do to those around us.

Kindness is a strength — just as courage is a strength.

We often justify acts of unkindness to others by explaining to others and to ourselves that kindness is a weakness, and that someone who is unkind is simply “being themselves” and “not under feminine dominance” (a key Burton meme) and other such nonsense. Yet, in reality, acts of kindness are strong and powerful, and are essential for conveying true leadership.

While love, forgiveness, encouragement, and kindness are often considered feminine traits, they are also masculine traits. And more accurately, they are neither feminine nor masculine, but instead transcend those concepts. In fact, maybe what we’re talking about is the King of Hearts.

The KING of hearts, which, by all accounts, would see the destructiveness and the crime in taking advantage of people for one’s own personal pleasures.

268. sharon - July 17, 2008

Jim Bremer 246

Try the Greater Fellowship of Friends website – network of mostly former FoF members, some current-but-open members. A few forum discussions, a bunch of photos, lots of old friends reconnecting.
http://greaterfellowship.ning.com/

269. Renald - July 17, 2008

Re. paulshabram 266

“I have had some amazing experiences, but…“
I have had some amazing experiences, and

“but I cannot say that these are anything but what everyone else experiences.“
and everyone else can experience them.

“Nor can I say that the sensations or feelings I have had are anything more than biochemical responses.“
And I can say that the sensations, feelings, and thoughts I have had are accompanied by biochemical responses.

Further I can also say that when these biochemical responses are repeated sufficiently, they become habitual, that is whatever took place consciously and unconsciously repeats itself in order to satisy the addiction in the moment.

Since everything involves changes, even the likes and dislikes, it is only a matter of exchanging these to the newly liked in the same way as the old. Where the difficulty can come in is where one still has the addiction to resistance thoughts, feelings or sensations. That too will pass. Cheers !

`

270. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 17, 2008

#250 ‘One of my perceptions about the FOF — about RB, and the people within the FOF — is that the FOF does not foster an attitude where people within it are receptive to love, forgiveness, encouragement, and kindness. They are not easily inspired by anything new. They are not open to new ideas or new ways of looking at the world. They are taught to see weakness in others, not strengths’

Yes, and isn’t ones receptability to these things at very core of any spiritual practice? And once the heart cracks open and allows one to see what is really happening within the FOF people have no choice but to leave.

271. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 17, 2008

I’ve noticed those smiley faces come at appropriate moments, just like when you’re talking on a cellphone in a moment of time that seems sooo important and suddenly your call gets dropped. Hmm. Opportunities abound!

272. Mick Danger - July 17, 2008

266 – Here’s another clue for you all, the walrus was Paul.
“You have this idea of yourself as body; you feel happy, depressed,hungry. You, you, you – this you think to be yourself;
but behind this you, there is something that cannot be got rid of,
even if the body is not there. If both your hands or legs were cut off, you would still exist as you. That means that you are not this body.
In sound sleep, you are unconscious of your body, but you still exist; so you are not your body. Who then is this you? This is your innermost Self. We must find, in our own self, this important ‘I’.”

273. Mick Danger - July 17, 2008

So now we understand that we don’t understand.

274. lostandfound - July 17, 2008

In response to the friend who asked how past Teachings are presently seen to be in harmony with one another, this quote from Rumi may help.

Rumi: “In the time of Moses and Jesus and the other prophets the Koran existed… but it was not in Arabic.”

Each Teaching utilized a different literary or structural form to promote identical Wisdom.

Abu Bakr: A spiritual warrior has no outside enemies.

Jesus: Thine enemies shall be of thine own household..

From the Sphinx to the Gothic Cathedrals.

From the Book of the Dead to Alice in Wonderland.

To the friend who asked how to verify Higher Mind or a Conscious Mind, my understanding is that it would take a mind at a much higher level to see the harmony within All and Everything.

Please continue corresponding..

lostandfound@cheerful.com

275. Rear View Mirror - July 17, 2008

Earth to “lostandfound.” (274) You speak in circles, with vague references to vague concepts with vague meanings, and with vague (if any) connection to what we’re discussing here.

You make no substantial comments and offer no response to anything being discussed here about Robert Burton and his questionable ethics of manipulating hundreds of his followers into having sex with him over a period of many years. Apparently, you’re not concerned that he’s harming people? It’s better to “buffer” it and pretend that it doesn’t exist?

Is your goal simply to distract people from everything that Robert Burton is doing? You know, you could be completely sincere and actually believe the fluff that you’re entering in the “message” box on this page, but to me you come across as some sort of PR shill who hopes to turn the conversation away from the most pertinent and uncomfortable facts about the Fellowship of Friends.

Or maybe more importantly: Maybe you are you trying to distract yourself from the facts?

Reciting Rumi and Christ and so on to distract people from the truth rather than convey it… Very very weird.

276. elena - July 17, 2008

Veronicapoe, I’ve been notified by Fellowship lawyers to appear in Court tomorrow in Marysville at 8.30 am and would appreciate it if I could ask you a few questions but have lost your e-mail. Would you please send me yours to ludoteka@succeed.net?

The technique lost and found is using here is a very clear one of not answering to any of the issues but affirming the Fellowship as if they were not accountable. Since very few people are willing to hold them accountable they are regaining a great deal of ground.

277. Rear View Mirror - July 17, 2008

WULSWU (270): “Isn’t ones receptability to these things at the very core of any spiritual practice?”

Yes! At times, we saw the Fellowship of Friends as being slightly “off” or “misguided.” And reluctantly we realized it’s much worse than that. It’s very far off, and it’s very misguided.

When an organization’s main energies are directed at concealing the truth and deceiving its participants, we can find all sorts of words to describe that… But the word “spiritual” is not one of them.

278. James Mclemore - July 17, 2008

274. lostandfound

“In response to the friend who asked how past Teachings are presently seen to be in harmony with one another,”

Since you made no references to a previous post, I am unsure what ‘teachings’ you are speaking of, or why you capitalized that word. I do not think that people here have difficulty in drawing parallels or seeing the harmony with a variety of teachings or information from the past or present. Those that contain the thread that lead to the heart and to ourselves can be recognized and made use of.
If you are speaking about Robert Burtons old and new ‘so-called teachings’, it is ever more obvious that they never were and never will be connected to any true thread. It seems apparent that there were errors and delusions and deceit at their inception and they have only grown worse.

279. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 17, 2008

I would also add to my statement about the condition of man and his inability to have an open heart is not just within the confines of the FOF. It’s just that when you are inside the walls of the FOF your padding becomes thicker and harder to open.

280. Mick Danger - July 17, 2008

276 – Elena
Sounds like a dirty trick – The “fellowship lawyers” have no right to compel you to meet with them. (A court order does, however).
You have a right to not talk to them bastards; anything you do say can be used against you.

281. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 17, 2008

Elena: I would suggest you get yourself an attorney or someone to represent you.

282. brucelevy - July 17, 2008

276 – Elena

Unless you’ve been served a court order tell him to go fuck himself.

283. Ollie - July 17, 2008

fof membership numbers:

July 17, 2008: 1,737
August 17, 2007: 1,949

284. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 17, 2008

To add to my 279 blog: And what has been as misbehaving, acting inappropriately or expressing downright anger on this blog is actually a healthier place to be emotionally and closer to ones true spirit than hiding under those pads.

285. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 17, 2008

Sorry, what has been ‘seen’ as misbehaving, etc. Argh!

286. Rear View Mirror - July 17, 2008

Ollie (283): What is the source of those numbers? And can you trust that source?

The downward trend is interesting, and (who knows) maybe the numbers are accurate. However, I’m skeptical of any exact numbers. The FOF is definitely motivated to manipulate or exaggerate the size of the organization — or understate the decrease in size — as part of a public relations effort. It’s in their best interest to present the facade that everything is fine.

———
Wakuplittlesuzywakeup: “I would also add to my statement about the condition of man and his inability to have an open heart is not just within the confines of the FOF. It’s just that when you are inside the walls of the FOF your padding becomes thicker and harder to open.”

Part of that is that there’s an enormous amount of hypocrisy in the FOF. Pretending one thing (benevolence and spirituality), and being another (fear of anyone who offers dissent).

As Associated Press wrote a while back: “Bottom line: super-celestial thoughts; subterranean actions.”

287. elena - July 17, 2008

Bruce, I’ve been notified to appear in court so I think I have to be there.

288. brucelevy - July 17, 2008

287. elena

In that case it would be good to have an attorney accompany you. You need to have your rights protected, and there should be someone there on your side to guide you.

289. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 17, 2008

287 elena

“Notified” with a subpoena issued by the court? Anything else is legally meaningless. Also, courts do not usually summon people out of the blue. Were you arrested? If not, it’s hard to imagine what basis the court would have to subpoena you. As others have said, get an attorney (try Legal Aid if you can’t afford to pay one).

290. nigel harris price - July 17, 2008

274 Aku Kabar and Jesus Christ – If you are in the FOF, then the enemies are also in the FOF – get it?…..Nigel.

291. nigel harris price - July 17, 2008

There was this enormous full moon, unshrouded by clouds, when I caught the last A bus home, from town this evening. Needless to say, much is flying about on this blog, but Elena needs support, because of wht she has attracted. Elena, be bold and be yourself – it is the only way through any ‘scary’ situation. Love…..Nigel.

292. paulshabram - July 17, 2008

274 lostandfound
“To the friend who asked how to verify Higher Mind or a Conscious Mind, my understanding is that it would take a mind at a much higher level to see the harmony within All and Everything.”

Are you having trouble in this regard, or are you at a “much higher level”?

293. paulshabram - July 17, 2008

elena
I have confidence in your strength. I’ve seen it here, but get some legal assistance.

Kindest Regards,
Paul

294. Yesri Baba - July 17, 2008

regnad kcin, private eye- Hot on the trail of his suspect.

295. Yesri Baba - July 17, 2008

Sorry, that was supposed to be ‘kcim’

296. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 17, 2008

Elena: At least you can know (for sure) that what you are doing is making someone nervous.

I think that their (FOF) actions will serve them badly once again, who wants to study in an organization that hounds anyone protesting against them? You have to be pretty fucked up (ie. Scientology) to witness your group using such tactics to quench any discontent and not feel at least embarrassed. It’s really petty and quite sad.

I think that any belief in the possibility of the FOF being a righteous, kind, loving, or compassionate community goes out of the window. I know that this goes against the general trend of my thoughts on this matter, but really, this is sad and pretty eye-opening.

297. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

Elena

Maybe just to get a head start, if it’s not too long, you might want to post here the gist of the notice to appear so whatever lawyers are reading the blog might tell you whether it’s actually valid, or a way to manipulate you into a corner.

298. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

Fellowship lawyers have in the past used threat and intimidation. I was around to see some of the letters. As the recipient of the letters knew from the start, the threats were baseless except to intimidate. Several suits have been thrown out as basically frivolous.

You know what you have when you have a lawyer buried up to his neck in sand……. Not enough sand.

You know why sharks don’t attack lawyers…..professional courtesy.

299. sharon - July 18, 2008

I wonder if it is possible that they are trying to get some sort of injunction to bar Elena from picketing near the property, and if she does not show up, she loses her chance to tell her side of the story.

300. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

They can’t stop her from picketing, as the cop said. They may be able to get her to keep a certain distance, but they can’t keep her off the road to the FOF completely.

301. elena - July 18, 2008

289. Just Another Voice Out Here – July 17, 2008
287 elena

This does not affect me a sixteenth of what your posts against me have hurt. I do not believe in your sincerity or your kindness after the extreme viciousness with which you’ve expressed yourself towards me. Why are you repeating this double role but suddenly apparently on my side? You do not fool me, you have an agenda no matter how much you might be fooling others.

Not you or any one of you has shown specific instances of disagreement on the issues I have presented, the most you’ve been willing to come to is to personal attacks. If the worst you can say about me is that I react and am defensive, does it surprise you that I would be like that after the Fellowship?

To the rest of you who are concerned about this situation, I am deeply grateful. The Fellowship cannot hurt me more than it has already hurt me. That is the bottom-line. This is not about money, it is about decency, simple human decency. They will stop humiliating people for the joy of it, they will think before they move a finger against anyone else, they will look after their acts before they do them, they will remember that they are not immune to legal standards and they will come down from that cloud in which they have stood for years fraudulently ripping people off, inducing young men to have sex with Robert and destroying children’s lives and families by inducing parents to leave them because they are “biological”.

None of what people call the positive aspects of the Fellowship, can counteract the damages it has caused in people’s lives. Those of you who were not deeply harmed were still ripped off economically, morally used to stand up for its practices, intellectually trained like a dog to avoid looking at the harm it has done to many and those still inside have been made emotional slaves of a deeply deranged man and institution.

The infra-human practices of the Fellowship will continue to reproduce themselves over and over again if they are not stopped. I may not be able to stop them but I’ll be a huge pebble in their shoe until the end of time. For how long will you walk when you are already so bent and corrupt?

This procedure is meant to stop the picketing which is so effective because it is more real than words. I invite each one of you to picket the Fellowship as often as you can using the right of freedom of expression with every human guarantee and as a counteract to the multiple abuses to their so called freedom of religion. When you regain full sense of yourselves, you will not be afraid to stand up for the life that you are willing to die for. Then, you’ll be truly alive.

302. elena - July 18, 2008

Would someone have Girard’s quote on dog behavior available? I would much appreciate it if you could re-post it here.

303. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 18, 2008

“If the worst you can say about me is that I react and am defensive, does it surprise you that I would be like that after the Fellowship?”
—————————————————–
I don’t know about “the worst.” It’s not a question of that. I think you’re delusional and deeply disturbed, and yes, I’ve long ago grown sick of your self-absorbed, victimized whining, now accompanied by self-righteous condemnation of everyone who has better things to do that stand at the Fellowship gate making a fool of themselves. Nor do I believe for a moment that the Fellowship was responsible for much of your current emotional state. You pretty obviously had some serious issues before you joined the Fellowship, and you’ve been willing to admit it many times elsewhere on this blog, but I know, you’ve finally found an audience, so you’ll keep milking it. As for my motives in suggesting you get legal advice, if you feel that advice is supect, by all means ignore it, go into court and let ’em have it. Whatever.

304. elena - July 18, 2008

Another Voice
Good to hear your real agenda.
You have consistently attacked me personally to diminish the validity of my actions and picketing has been one of the most effective acts against the Fellowship so far. You’ve been protecting them for a long time and anyone who carefully reads your posts would be able to see the fine line.

Even this post is not nearly as vicious as you’ve been before, still pretending to do something for me and being in the middle of that fine line, so that you can keep many in the belief that you are not really in an agenda for the Fellowship.

This audience has a mind of its own and will hopefully not allow the likes of you and lost and found and the Vinnies to milk it into condescending with the Fellowship and hopefully someone will not be afraid to picket during Journey forth by day. It’ll be a sad victory for the Fellowship if they don’t, but I have done all I can and whatever the outcome, it is not I who’ll be diminished.

305. paulshabram - July 18, 2008

294 Yesri
.ynnuf yrev tub ,revelc yreV

306. paulshabram - July 18, 2008

272, 273 Mick
I don’t understand.

Who are you quoting, by the way?

307. paulshabram - July 18, 2008

RVM 250
James 251
Lauralupa 259

Posts I will remember. Thanks.

308. paulshabram - July 18, 2008

278 James

lostandfound (possible FOFbot) wants readers to believe that it is communicating with ex-FOFers via direct email. It’s “responses” to these “private communications” are posted here. Why? If it has established a “one on one” conversation, why would it need to post here? To induce a herd mentality behavior from the conflicted perhaps? It will not communicate directly here.

There is the sickly-sweet smell of poison in these posts.

309. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 18, 2008

304 elena

My “real agenda” is to call it as I see it, Elena. If you imagine I’m “in an agenda for the Fellowship,” and that my posts somehow prove it, you’re just demonstrating your paranoid, “anyone who criticizes me is Satan’s minion” mentality. And, sadly, if you imagine your picketing is “effective” you are, again, delusional. If you find it cathartic, great, but I’ve yet to see anyone post here saying your behavior helped them leave. But none of that makes me happy to see you shoot yourself in the foot in court.

308 paulshabram

I agree with you–lostandfound is obviously playing a game, pretending that there exist people yearning to rejoin the Fellowship and that he or she has been helping them recover their evolutionary possibilities. Silly.

310. Yesri Baba - July 18, 2008

305 paulshabram

Are you familiar with the ‘Firesign Theater’ skit?

311. Yesri Baba - July 18, 2008

306 paulshabram

In a related vein to Mick’s 272:

“A lot of people think that when they find their true self they are going to see something or have an experience or see some object or lights will go off.
But this thing, this awareness, doesn’t have a beginning or end and that’s one of the real necessities- to be able to push back far enough to get that- in a sense you experientially get that it’s not an experience and that’s the last experience you will ever have.”

Ken Wilber

(keep your cookies down Traveler) 😉

312. Joe Average - July 18, 2008

310 – If not this

might help. The title of the album it is taken from seems like a good question for
Lost and Found/Psychic/AG

“How Can You Be in Two Places at Once, When You’re Not Anywhere at All?”

313. Across the River - July 18, 2008

299
sharon

That’s probably it – the Fellowship seeking a court order against further **defamation** and they’ve notified Elena of the time/date of the hearing.

Elena, it’s incredibly short notice and that’s obviously intentional. If you go to the hearing, I hope you’ll make sure that everyone in the courtroom knows that answers to the mysterious nature of the Fellowship organization can be found on-line at:

fofdiscussion.wordpress.com
fellowshipoffriends.wikispaces.com

Please keep us informed.

314. Bares Reposting - July 18, 2008

246. Jim Bremer – July 17, 2008:

Harold Wirk has been invited here and to the Greater Fellowship social networking website, as far as I know. The latter, the GF site, would be your ‘reunion format.’ Follow Sharon’s link.

– – – – – –

248. paulshabram – July 17, 2008:

elena 227
Good post (IMO).

“It would be interesting to explore the process that a human being must take to admit that s/he has been conned because that first step is the most difficult one… ”

I think this would be a very good path to take here.

– – – –

Kübler-Ross* model; Five Stages of Grief:

1. Denial:
Example – “I feel fine.”; “This can’t be happening.”

2. Anger:
Example – “Why me? It’s not fair!” “NO! NO! How can you accept this!”

3. Bargaining:
Example – “Just let me live to see my children graduate.”;
“I’ll do anything, can’t you stretch it out? A few more years.”

4. Depression:
Example – “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?”;
“I’m going to die . . . What’s the point?”

5. Acceptance:
Example – “It’s going to be OK.”;
“I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare for it.”

* From “On Death and Dying” by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1969)

Get beyond these stages and then you’re free from FoF.
Help your self and move on!

[There are likely some other stages, too; like where is the ‘blame stage?’

We’ve been here before:

3/#110: Wondering Who’s Watching Says:
March 15th, 2007 at 11:44 am

‘This blog has become one major ‘Photograph’ (read: revelation of the truth) and, therefore, one major headache, for FOF. (Any student in FOF ought to know what the usual initial responce is to a photograph.)

Please consider this:
The seven stages of death and dying:
(Not necessarily in this order – not necessarily from Egyptian Book of the Dead.)

* Shock or Disbelief

* Denial
On being told that one is dying, there is an initial reaction of shock. The patient may appear dazed at first and may then refuse to believe the diagnosis or deny that anything is wrong. Some patients never pass beyond this stage and may go from doctor to doctor until they find one who supports their position.

* Anger
Patients become frustrated, irritable and angry that they are sick. A common response is, ‘Why me?’ They may become angry at God, their fate, a friend, or a family member. The anger may be displaced onto the hospital staff or the doctors who are blamed for the illness.

* Guilt
We all should know what that’s about.

* Bargaining
The patient may attempt to negotiate with physicians, friends or even God, that in return for a cure, the person will fulfill one or many promises, such as giving to charity or reaffirm an earlier faith in God.

* Depression
The patient shows clinical signs of depression – withdrawal, psychomotor retardation, sleep disturbances, hopelessness and possibly suicidal ideation. The depression may be a reaction to the effects of the illness on his or her life or it may be in anticipation of the approaching death.

* Acceptance and Hope
The patient realizes that death is inevitable and accepts the universality of the experience. Under ideal circumstances, the patient is courageous and is able to talk about his or her death as he or she faces the unknown. People with strong religious beliefs and those who are convinced of a life after death can find comfort in these beliefs (Zisook & Downs, 1989).

Eventually it is accepted that the circumstance(s) is/are good idea, we are glad we came up with them in first place, we did it on purpose so that we’d have something to transform, and/or we are better off because of it, etc.

Lov’n it, one moment at a time,
Wondering Who’s Watching’

3/#111: Esoteric Sheik Says:
March 15th, 2007 at 12:11 pm:

‘Wondering Who’s Watching (110): Thank you for posting the seven stages of death and dying, I believe that the relevance of those seven points is obvious.’

– – – – – –

283. Ollie – July 17, 2008:

‘fof membership numbers:
July 17, 2008: 1,737
August 17, 2007: 1,949’

– – – –

That would be about a 20 per month decline. The loss trend for close to a decade has been about 30 per month, consistently. So, not far off. It could be the figure, with some fudging by not removing the essentially departed from ‘the roster;’ and other ‘stop loss’ techniques. Also, the less that there are ‘in,’ the more difficult it will be for the trend to remain 30/month. This would be a mathematical necessity, especially when approaching zero. 2006 to 2007 was something like 2200 – 1949, which again would be 20/month. There are likely joiners somewhere to offset the losses. So, it is believable. But those numbers are not the whole story. Replacing high cash flow older members with newer impoverished members definitely has an amplified financial impact.
It’s really mostly about the money and probably always has been. The people are just as expendable as the money is. The difference being: 1) spend people, compared to: 2) spend money. Which is more important to FoF? The flow must go on!

– – – – – –

elena: I am not a lawyer. But here are my 2 cents worth. If you do not have a lawyer, when you make your appearance before the court, and it is highly advisable and recommended by the court that you need representation, the court may postpone actions until a date/time when you have had counsel. Court may even provide a court appointed attorney, if you cannot afford one. If this is some kind of TEMPORARY order of protection that FoF has sought to prevent you from harming them in some way, then that will stand temporarily until the grounds for the harm are examined in court, then the TEMPORARY protection order may be sustained, modified, or released – going forward. The court will be the arbiter as to whether there are grounds or not. The court will also preserve your constitutional rights. Be prepared to tell the court and your attorney about how you have been harmed and threatened with harm while exercising your constitutional rights.

Good Luck.

315. lauralupa - July 18, 2008

Nice article today on Reality Sandwich on self-control and self-creation. Here is an excerpt, but I’d like to recommend everyone intrigued by it to read the whole thing.

“Almost universally, the effort at self-control is a program of reward and punishment, incentive and threat. Experience tells us that it does not work. And the reason it does not work is that human beings are not meant to be slaves.
Think about it: How can you really control yourself? How can you control another person? How can you make someone do something she doesn’t want to do? How can you stop someone from doing what he wants to do? Well, on the crudest level, you could put a gun to his head. The regime of self-control, threat and incentive, is little different. It begins in childhood. What is the greatest fear of a small child, indeed of any young mammal? It is abandonment by the parent, a certain death sentence. Parental rejection (“you are a bad girl”) and conditional approval tap into this fear. As we grow older, we internalize them as shame and guilt on the one hand, and conditional self-love on the other. We use them for the same purposes for which parents and teachers used them: to control ourselves.
In other words, the methods most people use to control themselves draw on a primal threat to survival and leverage our deepest fear. We seek to enforce good behavior through the threat of self-rejection and the reward of self-acceptance. Because this program is in constant, relentless operation, we are subject to an omnipresent anxiety that is usually beneath conscious awareness. We notice it only in its absence – in those powerful moments when we experience the deep serenity, ease, and homecoming of All is Well. It is what a nursing baby feels, and we are meant, ideally, to feel it most of the time too, and not just in exceptional moments. It is meant to be the default state from which we sally forth into adventures of discovery, and not something we catch in rare glimpses and strive ever after to attain. We are meant to feel at home in the universe.

Have you ever thought about the term “higher” to mean good, and “lower” to mean bad? Humanity’s higher evolution, indeed. These connotations arose in the early agricultural civilizations, which began to associate divinity with the sky, in a separate realm from earth and nature. The earth became profane, unclean; thus the king’s feet were not allowed to touch the ground. To be ascendant, superior, was to rise above the earth, above nature, above the flesh. You see, our very vocabulary encodes prejudices of separation and opposition to nature. Higher and lower – is a piccolo superior to a bassoon? For that matter, what about the word “superior”? All it really means is “on top of.”
I have placed the regime of self-control in this larger context to give you an idea of how deeply revolutionary, both on a personal and civilizational level, it is to live in another way. By abandoning the practice of self-coercion, we repudiate humanity’s war against nature as well. We enter a new and unfamiliar territory of freedom and self-trust. For me, it was a tremendous relief to not have to be good anymore. I recovered the freedom of an animal, of a baby – to do what I want to do. Yet my behavior is different from that of an animal or a baby, because in fact, nature herself contains untapped programs for what we call our higher development.
Nature is not opposed to humanity’s higher evolution, and Mother Nature does want us to know the mystery of sacred sexuality, and indeed all else that is sacred. Even more: nature, in its incarnation as desire and pleasure, is the gateway to healing and the gateway to the sacred and the gateway to the fulfillment of human potential. It is not an adversary we must overcome, internally or externally; it is not the guardian of the higher estate we all sense, but the gateway.”

http://www.realitysandwich.com/the_miracle_selfcreation

316. Mick Danger - July 18, 2008

That’s “3rd Eye”, Dr. Baba.
Paul – You don’t understand what you don’t understand?
The official list:
Zoroaster
Rama
Krishna
Buddha
Jesus
Muhammad
Meher Baba
Next advent: Japan circa 2700 a.d.
(Join the Church of Jesus H.F. Christ)

317. Mick Danger - July 18, 2008

272 Addendum
Which is to say that if Grampa Bobby Jellyman were to amputate his genitalia he would still be a cocksucker.

318. Kid Shelleen - July 18, 2008

“To the friend who asked how to verify Higher Mind or a Conscious Mind, my understanding is that it would take a mind at a much higher level to see the harmony within All and Everything.” — Loston Found

So, your understanding is that one day in the future, not right here and now, with enough of the right kinds of efforts, you’ll be able to attain that higher level mind with which to see the harmony within all and everything?

Would you agree that that is a true statement of your understanding of the process and aim of your work?

319. Mick Danger - July 18, 2008

Disclaimer: Not intended to disparage fellatio

320. Kid Shelleen - July 18, 2008

“Where’s the fire, Danger?”

“In your eyes, Lieutenant.”

321. paulshabram - July 18, 2008

Mick 316
“Paul – You don’t understand what you don’t understand?”

Oh yes I do.

Yesri
305

You mean “Give me immortality, or give me death”?

322. Dream Catcher - July 18, 2008

READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Appeal Democrat, July 18, 2008

FELLOWSHIP OBJECTING TO SIGNS

The Fellowship of Friends is seeking a stay-away order for a woman the religious group identifies as a 49-year old former member who has had signs-with messages including “ How many more boys, Dear?” in front of the Fellowship headquarters in Oregon House.

Her sign referring to boys “implies harm or indecencies to minors,”
said the Fellowship. That “has not and does not occur on the Fellowship property.” the Fellowship said.

The request, scheduled to be heard today in Yuba County Superior Court, comes as the religious group says it’s preparing for it biggest annual festival, at its Oregon House headquarters.
The “Going Forth By Day” event begins today and is bringing Fellowship members from aound the world, including Europe, Asia, South America and Mexico, according to court documents filed by the religious group.

Oregon House, the foothils community in Yuba County, is world headquartes for more than 1,700 members, according tofellowship court documents.

The woman displayed her signs from the trunk of her car during the Fourth of July holiday at the Fellowship headquarters, according to the religious group.
Refering to the woman’s signs posted during the holiday events, the religious group said the day is the anniversary of the 1971 founding of the Fellowship retreat in Oregon House.

her signs violate the Yuba County sign ordinance, the religious group said. Robert Mearns, president of the Fellowsip of friends signed a court document filed Thursday that seeks the stay-away order. The request states that the order is sought for the
protection of all Fellowship members, including founder Robert Burton, 68. Mearns could not be reached for comment.

The Felowship Web site states that the group was founded in the Fouth Way tradition, also known as esoteric Christianity”

323. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 18, 2008

I would like to stress the need to omit people’s names. If you would like to name someone specifically, please do so in a way that will not be openly recognizable (ie. Richard. S. or R. Smith).

324. We Were There - July 18, 2008

Here’s the article – http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/signs_66449___article.html/fellowship_member.html

The online Appeal Democrat invites comments…

325. whalerider - July 18, 2008

Right now, by my calculation it is nearly 8:30 PST.

Have no fear, Elena, Allah will protect you in the den of lions, for you carry the Sword of Truth. It is His fire within you that has inspired you to martyrdom.

There is but one God.

326. Renald - July 18, 2008

Does anyone know if the Fellowship of Friends is still the biggest employer in Yuba County ??? Would that mean that they are also a major source of tax money? Just curious!

327. nigel harris price - July 18, 2008

To go with 325
Elena, I have been thinking about you whilst my Zone Alarm messing about with my Internet connection gets sorted out. Someone asked me recently how I managed to continue with my ‘artistic’ aim and have some success through life, when so many never make it. My answer was “Perseverance with a sincere heart”.Hope that helps. Nigel

328. paulshabram - July 18, 2008

326 Renald
I don’t know, but the tax exempt status allows them, I believe to avoid paying property taxes, in some cases they can avoid payroll taxes (which does not go to the county).

329. nigel harris price - July 18, 2008

To 322
Esoteric Christianity, my ass! If Christ were not now abstracted into his role as Light of the World (read Universe) and thus falling upon the goings-on of the world, he would be ‘thundering down’ on the FOF with the aim of complete dismantlement of it (robe and sandals, again – I don’t think so!)…..Nigel.

330. lostandfound - July 18, 2008

To Kid Shelleen re #318.

Both are true: In the here and now, as well as in the future.

Using the here and now serves to promote a stronger being
in the present as well as a stronger being in the future.

lostandfound@cheerful.com

331. somebody - July 18, 2008

On the page A6 in today’s Appeal-Democrat where the article about Fellowship continues there is another header APOLOGY FOR PENIS PRANKSTER. The article is about a guy who run across the stage of the high school in a full-length penis costume. Good costume to borrow for picketing the gate house!

332. nigel harris price - July 18, 2008

And repeating my 17 July post, in another way:-

“REALITY AND TRUTH – ASPECTS OF THE SAME GODHEAD”

The FOF is a fabrication – if it had any use it was, as Gurdjieff stated, a School would be, to serve as an artificial means to an end – consciousness in those who make use of the knowledge in the pursuit of THEIR OWN evolution. All of us who have passed through, and found our selfdom, beyond the restrictions of arbitrary rules and posing for the sake of being well-thought of by other members, know that the FOF is ‘on its last legs’ and the next year or so will show ‘the straw to break the camels’ back’…..Nigel.

(330 – Awakening in the Universe – numeralogically).

333. whalerider - July 18, 2008

And here’s the link for you to register with the Appeal Democrat and please leave a comment:)

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/share/users/register/?destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.appeal-democrat.com%2Fnews%2Fsigns_66449___article.html%2Ffellowship_member.html%23slComments

>>>>>>><<<<<<<>>>>>><<<<<<<<

Bear in mind that Elena’s efforts have lead to her messages on the signs being made public in the media, and the FOF’s response being made public, too. Thank you, Elena!

Now…is banning free speech sound to you like a church-like response? Would the Dali Lama or even the catholic church ask the court to ban or even curtail the freedom of speech of their detractors? I don’t think so. So who is more evolved? Who has something to hide?

“The Fellowship Web site states that the group was founded in the Fourth Way tradition, also known as esoteric Christianity.”

With Allah as my witness, the FOF is an evil organization run by a person mired in his lower self. It is a rape factory. Evolved people tend not to leave a trail of tears. Enough is enough.

Remember, there are more of us than there are of them. We must stick together and act as one. Otherwise, the FOF will pick us off individually. I don’t recommend any single assaults on the corporate FOF body. Corporations qualify under the DSM of Psychiatric mental illnesses as psychopaths and psychopathic behavior is very paranoid and defensive. Don’t go knocking on the Devil’s door by yourself, unless you want to become a martyr. It is said that Allah holds a special place in Paradise for martyrs…for myself, all I can verify is that they move to the head of the line.

It takes a village to contain a psychopath. (Thank Allah they are in the minority.) If the psychopath has taken over the village, then it takes a city to contain the village. We have the internet at our disposal, the world stage. Do not underestimate the power of the keystroke (and the camera). With enough surrounding pressure, the pimple will pop and the putrid puss will be dispelled. Then the healing can begin for the surrounding tissue as the swelling of their elitist egos is gradually reduced and they rejoin the rest of us in humanity.

334. whalerider - July 18, 2008

BeenThereToo

I kiss your feet. You are my hero! With your help posting the first comment on the Appeal Democrat website and providing the link to this blog, well Pal, you single handedly elevated the blog and all its participants up a few notches in world consciousness. Thank you with all my heart and soul.

335. God Laughing - July 18, 2008

322.
July 18, 2008
READ ALL ABOUT IT!

Appeal Democrat, July 18, 2008

FELLOWSHIP OBJECTING TO

Well done, Elena!
The power of ONE!

By taking legal action It feels that they just dug their own hole
and are about to fall into it!

A local OH friend just told me that all your picketing space
has been filled with potted palm trees.
In front of the bus stop and all along the road.

I hope the locals complain because that’s also
were they park to pick and drop of their kids!

336. veronicapoe - July 18, 2008

The next round of signs should say: Pop the pimple and expel the pus: Kick Out the Degenerate Founder

337. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

336. veronicapoe

Or

“Have fun at Apollo while your husband or son blows Robert”.

338. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

Texas Hill Rd is a long road. Elena, you should ask the court where you’d be permitted to stand with signs. Anywhere along the way to the property is going to receive the same exposure to visiting people. In fact more people would see them.
As for illegal signage, at least in Nevada City, it pertains to political signs… the “where” and the “size”. I don’t see how the FOF monkys can eliminate all of one’s rights to protest. We have that asshole southern Reverend and his pack picketing funerals.

339. whalerider - July 18, 2008

lostandfound:

“Using the here and now serves to promote a stronger being
in the present as well as a stronger being in the future”

…’using’ the here and now for what? To what end? To satisfy one’s base needs, so-called, ‘consciously’ or ‘by decree of c-influence’?

And is the present the servant of a stronger being as you suggest?

Or is one, in truth, a servant of the present?

Do not serve to promote your selfish being now or in the future. Serve love. Let love be your being. There was no love between REB and I.

First, do no harm.

340. ton - July 18, 2008

elena, the court action makes it obvious they are worried about pickets during the “go forth” assembly…. i hope others in the area can join you if you still plan on public demonstrations.

341. somebody - July 18, 2008

332 “FOF is ‘on its last legs’ and the next year or so will show ‘the straw to break the camels’ back’”

Let’s be realistic. Just look at this schedule for Journey Forth by Day and think about the amount of volunteers who are paying, flying from all over the world, serving, working to make it happen. Many students offer accommodation to visitors and were asked not to charge them for rent and INSTEAD give it to the FOF.

July 17
7:00PM Dining with Robert
July 18
8:30AM Breakfast with Robert
6:30PM Meeting
7:30 Reception
July 19
8:30AM Breakfast
11:30 Bazaar
7:15PM Concert
July 20
12:00 Lunch with Robert
6:30PM Meeting
7:20PM Reception
July 21
7:00PM Dinner with Robert
July 22
7:00PM Dinner with Robert
July 23
8:30AM Breakfast with Robert
6:30PM Meeting
7:30PM Reception
July 24
8:30AM Breakfast
6:30PM Dinner
July 25
8:30AM Breakfast
6:30 Meeting
7:30PM Reception
July 26
8:30AM Breakfast
7:30PM Reception
July 27
12:00 Lunch
6:30PM Meeting
7:30PM Reception
July 29
8:00PM Ballet
July 30
8:00PM Ballet

342. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 18, 2008

#331 Somebody: ‘On the page A6 in today’s Appeal-Democrat where the article about Fellowship continues there is another header APOLOGY FOR PENIS PRANKSTER. The article is about a guy who run across the stage of the high school in a full-length penis costume. Good costume to borrow for picketing the gate house!;

If I were still in the FOF I would consider this a ‘shock’ from you know who. Now I would call it synchroniciity.

343. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

What a stupid, arrogant mistake the flying monkeys made in their indignation. They exposed themselves to a far wider audience. The comments to the article are rolling in.

All you visiting members…as sincere as you may personally be, your husbands and sons are blowing and fist fucking your dear God on Earth on this, their biggest celebration of the year.

Unfuckingbelievable.

344. aline - July 18, 2008

#322. Dream Catcher

You forgot the end of the message:

Appeal Democrat, July 18, 2008
FELLOWSHIP OBJECTING TO SIGNS

Contact Appeal reporter Ryan McCarthy at 749-4707 or rmccarthy@appeal-democrat.com

345. Traveler - July 18, 2008

A pause for consideration of universal truths.

Do you all remember the quote so often used in the Fellowship, from Francis of Assisi: “What you are looking for is what is looking”?

I didn’t understand it those years ago, and I was puzzled by it. I don’t know how you all understood it, but the only explanation I was ever given was “of course you understand it”. Did any of you understand it back then, or did we just repeat it because it sounded cool and esoteric?

To me, as I understand this quotation now, it simply stops the whole enterprise of looking in its tracks. The need for a teacher, a school, an enlightenment… out the window.

Do you remember when “amended” quotes started coming from the mill of the Galleria some years ago? For example, we would receive a quote that was “by Aristotle and Robert”. Robert would change something in the original quote, so that it would match his understanding better. No one objected, it was for a higher purpose, and had double the authority.

Now, keeping Francis of Assisi in mind, I’m told that this was a recent daily card from Robert (July 16, 2008):

“What I am looking at is what I am looking for.” -Love, Robert

[long reflective pause]

Need I say more?

346. whalerider - July 18, 2008

somebody:

“Many students offer accommodation to visitors and were asked not to charge them for rent and INSTEAD give it to the FOF.”

You mean, many cult members are “asked” by the management of the FOF, inc. to provide overnight accommodations at their own expense to other visiting cult members for this planned event and then indeed collect fees for this service and then turn over the proceeds to the FOF, inc.???

Sounds pretty ‘fishy’ to me.

347. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

345. Traveler

“What I am looking at is what I am looking for.” -Love, Robert

You mean cock, right?

348. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

Only deaf, dumb, blind and stupid members , at this point, are able to avoid embarrassment.

Go Forth and donate your husbands and sons.

349. steve lang - July 18, 2008

How can we find out in advance where it is legal to walk and carry picket signs near the property? Does anyone know if it’s legal on Regent Way?

350. whalerider - July 18, 2008

traveler:

“….it simply stops the whole enterprise of looking in its tracks. The need for a teacher, a school, an enlightenment… out the window.”

Instead of out the window, how about projecting it into the bathroom mirror?

Eventually we all need to listen to our own inner teachers to be enlightened. Your life is your school.

Visit your local shaman today.

351. Traveler - July 18, 2008

Whalerider: Yeah, that’s kind of what I meant. 🙂
Glad you found the comment from 334 worthwhile too.

352. James Mclemore - July 18, 2008

330. lostandfound
“Using the here and now serves to promote a stronger being
in the present as well as a stronger being in the future.”

I think you are deluded. It does not appear that there is anyone to ‘use’ the here and now. That seems like an absurd idea that probably comes from a mistaken idea about what self-remembering is.

353. Mick Danger - July 18, 2008

Rice’s Crossing Road and Regent way are public right-of-ways 60 ft. in width (30 ft on both sides of the centerline). Vehicles and pedestrians (and protestors) have a right to use the roadways.
Yuba County Public Works Department has jurisdiction and should be interested if something is interferring with the public safety along this roadway (such as potted plants reducing site distance).

354. nigel harris price - July 18, 2008

341 Somebody
More of the same facade. All those idiots paying for anything other than that which is real…..Nigel.

355. somebody - July 18, 2008

346. I am not sure about this year, but last year this is exactly what it was.
Too bad you can’t see a cheesy promotional video of the Journey Fourth. “Prominent” students seating in their gold alchemy interiors in front of the fireplaces, saying how wonderful it is to be at Apollo. Working students saying “come to Journey fourth” in all languages. And Al…n promising how amazing it will be and they even might fall in love at Apollo. Al….n F..w went wild on the ideas how to make more money out of this event. The packages (passports) were around $700, plus people were to work on the octaves and not only dine. So, some students paid for the airplane tickets, for the package, worked for 2 weeks for free and participated to the events, which sometimes cost additional money (the package did not allowe you to go everywhere on the list). The accommodation was a part of the service – a host would provide bed & breakfast service, with no charge, but the guest would still pay the rent – to FOF though. Yeap.

356. ton - July 18, 2008

352 james
ya i would agree that lostandfound’s posts seem delusional…. another mistaken idea the poster has is this notion of “A conscious being” — “A” conscious being…. now there’s a ‘loaded’ meme. why think in these terms? the “quantification” of consciousness may be the psychological equivalent of a pre-coprenican model of the universe…. another example in a long history of western culture’s anthropocentrically induced myopia. if all of creation is thought of as imbued with ‘conscious being’ and individual beings are ‘conduits,’ then the idea of “quantifying” consciousness, as in “A” conscious being, becomes an absurd proposition, another false premise in the arsenal of the fellowship of friends. thinking in terms of “A” conscious being keeps the idea in a form that can be packaged, and even turned into a product as in the case with the fellowship and similar ‘ventures’ capitalizing on spiritual materialism.

357. nigel harris price - July 18, 2008

This is a brilliant full-moon! Is there something to be said for the space-station being up there in the night-sky next to it when you look heavenward? Something about human striving – technology feeding back into human charity? And so much good work being carried on that we hear of on the blog. Basically, the FOF needs a good ‘bollocking’ (to use a good old Anglo-Saxon phrase). Elena standing up for herself in court with the FOF lawyers should show something. The Truth cannot cannot hide behind Legalisms or Contortions of truth. I’m with you all…..Nigel.

358. Kid Shelleen - July 18, 2008

“To Kid Shelleen re #318.

Both are true: In the here and now, as well as in the future.

Using the here and now serves to promote a stronger being
in the present as well as a stronger being in the future.”

Technically, that was a yes or no question which should not have been answered with the old “both are true” line, however, let’s not belabor that point. I’ll take it that you do think that at some time in the future, with enough of the right kinds of efforts, you will have a higher mind capable of seeing the harmony within all and everything. True?

Would you define your understanding of the word stronger as you used it in your reply?

359. Kid Shelleen - July 18, 2008

“Do you all remember the quote so often used in the Fellowship, from Francis of Assisi: “What you are looking for is what is looking?”

Ah, St. Francis. My patron saint. The coolest, grooviest lover of Jesus of all time. Read Julian Greene’s “God’s Fool.”

Didn’t Robby once denigrate Francis by saying something like “if he had been more focused on the present and less on his love for Christ he would have received consciousness rather than the Stigmata.” I’m sure that is not the exact quote, but the sentiment was that Francis was a fool who believed strongly in the wrong things. Or, perhaps he believed in the right things, but worked in the wrong way. Take your pick, he obviously didn’t measure up in Bob’s mind.

360. We Were There - July 18, 2008

‘How many more boys, Dear?’ implies harm or indecencies to minors?

Huh? The logic of Abraham at work!

The Fellowship of Friends needs an attorney who hasn’t drunk the Kool-aid (like the one who successfully fought the IRS suit in the early ’80s).

I predict the court will summarily throw this out – and then there will be another article in tomorrow’s paper further damaging what is left of the Fellowship of Friends’ local reputation.

361. ton - July 18, 2008

359 kid
“… he obviously didn’t measure up in Bob’s mind.”

the only measure that interests ‘conscious bob’
is penis dimension…

362. My4Bits - July 18, 2008

To Steve Lang, Post 349, regarding laws about picketing at OH:

To my understanding, you can picket on Rice’s Crossing Road. However, your actions will be restricted, as you are on a public roadway, which lies under the jurisdiction of the California Highway Patrol. If, during the picket, you create any obstacle or danger to the smooth flow of traffic, or if you block the entrances to other’s properties, CHP can respond and ask you to leave. If you refuse to leave, they can arrest you.

Everything other than the roadway is private property. If you trespass, and upon being asked refuse to leave, you can be arrested by the property owner (a “Citizen’s Arrest) or by the local Sheriff or Sheriff’s Deputy.

As far as I know, Elena didn’t trespass. From previous posts, it seems that the CHP and Sheriff actually offered her guidelines as to what was acceptable, and protected her right to protest.

The likely reason Elena was coerced by the FoF lawyer to appear in court was a claim of libel or slander of Robert Burton: “Libel and slander are legal claims for false statements of fact about a person that are printed, broadcast, spoken or otherwise communicated to others…”

363. My4Bits - July 18, 2008

To Steve Lang, Post 349, continuation…

In other words, you can protest on the roadway all you like, as long as you don’t piss off the CHP. If the Sheriff arrives, all they can do is make sure your own rights, and the rights of others, are not violated in the process. If angry, photo-snapping Fellowship students arrive, there is nothing they can do except watch and comment. In fact, if they exert undue pressure upon you or your demonstration, you can file charges against them for harrassment or assault.

Picketers can carry signs or hand out fliers, as long as they do not communicate information that could be construed as slanderous or libelous to the person of Robert Burton or other Fellowship poo-bahs. This still leaves the field wide open to a range of creative and meaningful slogans.

364. Just the Facts Ma'am - July 18, 2008

326. Renald – July 18, 2008:

‘Does anyone know if the Fellowship of Friends is still the biggest employer in Yuba County ??? Would that mean that they are also a major source of tax money? Just curious!’

Most people working for FoF are likely religious workers and therefore volunteers. This purported strategy was implemented to avoid workers’ compensation insurance premium costs. FoF had too high an injury rate leading to what might have been some of the highest insurance rates. Had to cut costs. Read below.

38/208. Ill Never Tell – June 30, 2008 said:

38/’~199. zannos:

Forensic Accountancy where are you?

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

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

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

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

[38/]~205. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup:

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

Bottom line: super-celestial thoughts, subterranean actions.’

365. Joe Average - July 18, 2008

359 kid

He also repeatedly dissed Rumi in earlier years, though now Rumi is his lead horse: “He did not make it because he was identified with consciousness”. For bobby, divinity is purely a competition sport.
aaaaaaaand coming around the bend it’s Socrates leading Aristotle by a nose, both leading Jesus by several lengths, Jesus’ running form hampered by that cross he’s dragging and far back in the field but gaining fast, it’s Hermann Hesse and Alan Watts but Oh no! they have become identified with their own words and have sat down on the side of the track to talk to each other. What a pity!

361 Ton

Bob’s main identification, all done up respectful like with classical musicians in tuxes and angelic choirs, jes like he like it.

360 WWT- If she had an attorney, she could make short work of them, but since she had less than a day’s notice, she probably did not have one. Any attorney would be good enough against a hack so incompetent his bar license was suspended in Illinois and California.

“He failed to competently represent several clients, did not keep clients reasonably informed about developments in their cases, misrepresented the status of matters to clients, improperly agreed to an aggregate settlement of the claims of multiple clients without their informed written consent, failed to render appropriate accountings of settlements to clients, and misappropriated and commingled client funds. As a result, he was suspended in California for one year, with the suspension stayed for all but the first six months, followed by a two-year probation subject to certain conditions. Illinois imposed reciprocal discipline and suspended him one year, with the suspension stayed for all but the first six months to be followed by a two-year period of probation subject to the conditions imposed by the State of California.”
from http://www.isba.org/Association/0012-15c.htm

366. Richard M. - July 18, 2008

So,”hear-no-evil” Abe G. is going to court in Marysville to argue that Elena’s sign referring to boys “implies harm or indecencies to minors.”

Good luck Abe! The definition of “boy” according to Webster’s dictionary: 1. a male child. 2. a young lad: youth. 3. a man; fellow: in familiar usage. 4. A MALE SERVANT: a patronizing term.

I think definitions 3 & 4. says it all.

The issue of protesting on a county road made me think of Cindy Sheehan and her anti-war group protesting on the road leading to George W.’s Crawford Texas ranch. The county passed an ordinance to make it illegal. A local land owner made his property along the road available for Sheehan to use as a base and there was nothing Bush or his cronies could do about that. There must be a land owner in OH along Rices Xing road that would allow signs to be placed on the edge of their property.

It’s also interesting to note that the term “bring the boys home” used by anti-war protesters, refers to soldiers, 18 years and older.
This is obviously an act of desperation by Abe, to appease the demands of Burton, who wants to collect as much coin as possible during his annual fund-raising drive. This kind of intimidation usually back-fires into the face of the bully.

367. My4Bits - July 18, 2008

To Steve Lang, Post 349, continuation…

I just read an earlier post on the Appeal-Democrat article. It states that Elena was charged with violating the “Yuba County sign ordinance” and that the Fellowship was seeking a “stay-away order” to keep her from picketing again.

It would behoove future picketers to check out the wording of this ordinance. There may be ways to picket and to avoid any violation. The point of contention could be something so minor as the size of the sign, how it is displayed — whether moving or static, hand-held or “planted.”

The Fellowship lawyers were clever in not charging Elena with libel or slander of Robert Burton. By citing the county ordinance, the charge can be filed on behalf of the entire Fellowship of Friends community, and not just one man. Hey, we’re just being good citizens!

Although I’ve had a lot to say on this topic, I’m not a legal expert.

368. lauralupa - July 18, 2008

Richard M.
A local land owner made his property along the road available for Sheehan to use as a base and there was nothing Bush or his cronies could do about that. There must be a land owner in OH along Rices Xing road that would allow signs to be placed on the edge of their property.

I was thinking along the same lines. More than one land owner would be even better…

369. somebody - July 18, 2008

How many more boys, Dear?
Page 1 of the blog:

“Inner circle facts Says:
March 1, 2007 at 8:25 am

Are you ready for some brutal facts?
Who would like to know how its really happening in his bad room? OK folks,fasten your sit belts,the Kansas going Bye Bye…
Did you know that usual orgies are formed from 4 to 6 student?.Usually two of them are SIMULTANEOUSLY entering Burton’s anus.Third person is laying on his back while Mr.Burton is providing him an oral sex while two from both sides are subject to the masturbation by MR.Burton with his two hands.
Some time there is one more student who’s role is to hold Burton’s testicles in his mouth during the whole time.Prior to all, by Burton’s request Viagra pills are shared and swallowed between all members of the orgy which are constantly provided by Mr.G.
Some time you can hear Burton’s words during the sexual activities “How incredible! We are getting closer,aren’t we?”
Some of them are asked to suck his nipples and his toes.All sperm gets swallowed by Mr.Burton at the end of the act.But that is not all yet.
There are two students who had the most terrifying and most humiliating role to play (in my opinion).They have to enter with their hands by their elbows into the Burton’s anus.(Looking for Consciousness perhaps)..both students are Russians.One of them had left the school and the other has been “shipped” back to Russia for disobedience.
And now get this:
Beside those depraved scenes there is another one which going to shake you all:
There is another act that Burton is preforming with a specific student of his own “inner circle”.This act of Humiliation is performed in his bath room while Burton is laying down and 3 students are urinating right on him!
And on the next morning,like nothing happened Mr.Burton is leading the meeting on Love?
How cynical indeed!”

370. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

367. lauralupa

Like a whole gauntlet of signs right up to the property.

It could be progressive. Order of signs:

1. Put that chastity belt on your husband.
2. Lock up your kids.
3. Hide your checkbook on “Not a Through Road” before proceeding.
4. Put your head down between your knees.
5. Kiss your ass, and your money, and your husband Goodbye.
6. You’ve been warned.
7. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

371. paulshabram - July 18, 2008

The reason for today’s court date is to keep elena from protesting TODAY during the time of the heaviest incoming traffic. The newspaper stories would not be the biggest concern because newspapers are banned.

FOF surely knows the case could not be won, and that may give elena grounds to get back her expenses, or more.

372. Associated Press - July 18, 2008

341. somebody – July 18, 2008 said:

‘Let’s be realistic. Just look at this schedule for Journey Forth by Day and think about the amount of volunteers who are paying, flying from all over the world, serving, working to make it happen.’

Your schedule does not show when the fellatio sessions are. But, at least you can tell when the fellatio sessions aren’t. Can it be assumed that the fellatio sessions occupy all of the time not defined in the schedule?

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

It appears that FoF has spawned a whole additional blog over there on the Appeal Democrat website with many non-FoF members posting.

‘This kind of intimidation usually back-fires into the face of the bully.’

It’s called walk softly but carry a big dick.

373. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

370. paulshabram

Scumbags on parade.

374. steve lang - July 18, 2008

For those of you familiar with “the sequence”, I was thinking a good picket sign might be: “Be-Hold-LEAVE-Back-LEAVE-Be”.

Any opinions?

375. paulshabram - July 18, 2008

373
Four Breathless Words:
“Turn Around, Go Home”

376. paulshabram - July 18, 2008

372 Bruce
If they got a Temporary Restraining Order the next tactic would be to ask for a delay so no picketing would occur during the banging Fourth sextravaganza.

377. ton - July 18, 2008

373 steve, sorry, not familiar with ‘the sequence.’
i like the idea of a sign with the website address… not so much for the sheep but maybe for a curious passer by or two….

362 my 4bits:
“The likely reason Elena was coerced by the FoF lawyer to appear in court was a claim of libel or slander of Robert Burton”

in this regard i agree with paul 370:
“The reason for today’s court date is to keep elena from protesting TODAY during the time of the heaviest incoming traffic.”

as for the ‘newspaper stories’ that is a concern of this, the greater fellowship… i.e. getting the story out there and exposing the situation to wider attention, shed more ‘light’ on it…. etc.

378. lauralupa - July 18, 2008

From http://www.appeal-democrat.com

First Amendment Quote of the Day

“The writer’s job is not to have opinions, but to tell the truth and refuse to be an accomplice of lies and misinformation.”

– Susan Sontag

please everybody register at the appeal-democrat website and leave a comment!

379. somebody - July 18, 2008

So far there is 0 comments on the Appeal Democrat website.

380. Just the Facts Ma'am - July 18, 2008

On Appeal Democrat website:

‘excultmember wrote:
For those not familiar with him, Robert Burton is a narcissistic psychopath whose main aim is having sex with as many heterosexual male members of his cult as he can get his hands on. And he justifies his deviant sexual behaviour by saying that it’s the will of the gods and that he is a goddess in a man’s body. A truly dangerous and deranged cult leader.
7/18/2008 1:06:16 PM’

Would that then mean that where the man has a mouth there is really the equivalent of a vagina and a womb? Good God, what is it giving birth to?

381. lauralupa - July 18, 2008

no, there’s at least 24. try again.

382. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

378. somebody

Incorrect, there are at least 23 comments since I was last there. Click the comment button on the article. For me they load automatically. It’s the 2nd most read and commented article up today.

383. lauralupa - July 18, 2008

my comment was directed at somebody

384. whalerider - July 18, 2008

somebody:

Here’s the article link again. Page down on the article. You will find already 3 pages of comments and counting….

Greg, go nuts, sick’em boy. Your audience awaits you at:)

http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/signs_66449___article.html/fellowship_member.html

Dude, someone should reference or even repost #368 in the Appeal Democrat of the inner circle facts and what goes on in the Fellatio of Friends when they are not fund raising. Can we legally post the Troy complaint in the comments, too?

385. ton - July 18, 2008

‘conscious bob’s’ new car:

386. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

Actually someone should post in the article comments the link to the ceiling painting of the “Student with hard dick”.

387. whalerider - July 18, 2008

I see it as “Cult member’s erect member” Circa Late Twentieth Century.

Gee, what will future onlookers think when they see that cave painting on the ceiling where the Northern Californain Sex Guru once lived? (Mike Meyers would have a field day.)

388. lostandfound - July 18, 2008

To Kid Shelleen re # 358

Thank you for your response.I would enjoy continuing our communication.

Should you also be inclined to do the same, kindly send me your email address, or write me directly at:
lostandfound@cheerful.com

The next ten days will be fairly hectic celebrating with friends from near and afar. Therefore, I will not have as much time to attend to my correspondence as I would like.

However, if you do, indeed, continue our correspondence, let me apologize in advance for any delay in my response back to you..

After reading the blog’s latest postings, it appears that we all have cause to celebrate today.

389. somebody - July 18, 2008

Apparently tomorrow there might be another article. Sombody is out there in Oregon House interviewing people.

390. whalerider - July 18, 2008

I have to admit, this is the first time I actually look forward with relish to Elena’s next post:)

It seems lostandfound is attempting to splinter off individuals in a predatory manner by providing its email address, same as Greg tried with his separate, ‘uncensored’ blog. Remember, we have to all stick together to defeat the lions. There are more of us than there are of them.

I recommend against contacting lostandfound@cheerful.com so we all keep the dialog out in the open sunshine.

391. My4Bits - July 18, 2008

Re: Yuba County Sign Ordinance and Picketing Restrictions

From the Appeal-Democrat article: “Referring to the woman’s signs posted during the holiday events, … her signs violate the Yuba County sign ordinance, the religious group said. Robert Mearns, president of the Fellowsip of friends signed a court document filed Thursday that seeks the stay-away order. The request states that the order is sought for the protection of all Fellowship members, including founder Robert Burton, 68.”

I researched the Yuba County Sign Ordinance, , and the only sections I could find that might apply are 12.90.075 (5) — signs that are a traffic hazard — or 12.90.085:

12.90.075 Removal of Illegal Nonconforming Signs: Any of the following nonconforming signs as described below are declared to be public nuisances and may be removed by the Planning or Building Director or his designated representative in accordance with the abatement procedure described in Chapter 7.36 of the Yuba County Ordinance.
(1) Abandoned signs (over 90 days).
(2) Destroyed signs (over 50% and the destruction is other than facial copy replacement).
(3) Flashing, rotating, or flying signs.
(4) Nonconforming temporary signs.
(5) Unsafe signs or any sign that is a traffic hazard.

12.90.085 Compliance with State and Federal Regulations. No sign shall be allowed to conflict with state or federal standards for regulation of signs along state or interstate highway. (#1027, #1438)

Sounds to me like a long-shot argument.

392. somebody - July 18, 2008

boss and the boys

393. Ill Never Tell - July 18, 2008

What’s that I hear? Is it the pitter-patter of podiatry as the penis panderers plod pensively about providing the predator potions for Pandora’s Box? Or, in other words, do you hear the scurry of the feet of the minions that serve the narcissistic supply of sexual partners to the main man’s mouth? Must be a magnificent menagerie of male members’ members.

394. My4Bits - July 18, 2008

Just a thought about those posting comments to the Appeal-Democrat website:

A newspaper, and its Internet website, are public domain. If you publish defamatory, libelous, or slanderous material in this domain, you may be making yourself fair game to be zapped with a lawsuit.

So, just stick to the facts, as any good lawyer would advise.

395. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

391. somebody

Correct, one can’t really all them “men” unless it’s prefaced with “anemic”, physically and spiritually.

396. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

393. My4Bits

So far I see only facts and links to facts and transcripts.

397. lauralupa - July 18, 2008

jeezy creepy… it looks like a mafia family reunion.
hopefully someone remembered to bring the cannoli!

398. lauralupa - July 18, 2008

that was for somebody again. man, you guys are fast tonight

399. paulshabram - July 18, 2008

390 My4bits
Unfortunately the attempt at a Stay-Order has already served it’s purpose.

400. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 18, 2008

Anybody notice the ’44’ in the URL for the Appeal Democrat article page?
URL:
http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/signs_66449___article.html/

Foreshortened:
…-demo…com/news/signs_66449…

401. My4Bits - July 18, 2008

Re: paulshabram, Post 398.

Would not the Stay-Order only apply to Elena?

402. brucelevy - July 18, 2008

32 comments, and counting.

403. Richard M. - July 18, 2008

398 paul

Members will be passing back and forth through the entrance to Apollo until the end of July. Today is only the beginning of Coming Forth by Day or whatever it’s called. I don’t think many visitors actually stay within the gates during visits, unless they are bunking at the Galleria with Wicked Uncle Ernie.
“You won’t shout as I fiddle about”
—Peter Townsend

404. lauralupa - July 18, 2008

ok, time for bed for me. I leave you all to keep it up with a good night song.
happy full moon, everyone!

…And no, youre not alone. No, my cousins, youre not alone.
Youre in our talons now, and were never letting go.
Youre in our headlights, frozen, and no, were not stopping.
You may not believe, but even we were scared at first.
It takes a lot of nerve to destroy this wondrous earth.
Were only human; this at least weve learned

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_RCFswPhyY0&feature=related

405. paulshabram - July 18, 2008

400 4bits
That would be my understanding, but the scare tactic would act as a deterrent.

I have only experience with a different type of TRO which was granted w/o a hearing. If they were successful in getting a TRO by delaying they could effectively bar elena for the entire drop-your-pants-and-leave-your wallet sexercise.

406. God Laughing - July 18, 2008

326. Renald – July 18, 2008
Does anyone know if the Fellowship of Friends is still the biggest employer in Yuba County ??? Would that mean that they are also a major source of tax money? Just curious!

Are you kidding!!!
Yuba-Sutter is spending a fortune on most salaries students.
Because there income is below minimum wage
they qualify for Medical aid and food stamps.

Many many students have free root canals, food stamps
hospital treatment etc.

407. veronicapoe - July 18, 2008

369/Bruce

“Arbeit Macht Frei”

408. Yesri Baba - July 19, 2008

July 17
7:00PM Dining with Robert
Blowjob
July 18
8:30AM Breakfast with Robert
Blowjob
6:30PM Meeting
Play hide the elbow
7:30 Reception
Rimjob and meathammer
July 19
8:30AM Breakfast
Blowjob
11:30 Bazaar
Bizarre hummer
7:15PM Concert
Play a skinflute
July 20
12:00 Lunch with Robert
Meatsickle
6:30PM Meeting
Blowjob
7:20PM Reception
For a 12″ wonderworm

July 21
7:00PM Dinner with Robert
Dinner with Willy
July 22
7:00PM Dinner with Robert
Dessert: Chocolate goose
July 23
8:30AM Breakfast with Robert
Blowjob
6:30PM Meeting
Blowjob
7:30PM Reception
Nibblin corn
July 24
8:30AM Breakfast
Smokin sausage
6:30PM Dinner
Pokin the angel

409. somebody - July 19, 2008

UPDATE: Fellowship protester ordered to move back

Judge rules signs OK but woman must be 50 yards from entrance
July 18, 2008 05:46:00 PM
By Ryan McCarthy/Appeal-Democrat
A former Fellowship of Friends member, who says the group headquartered in the Yuba County foothills is a cult led by a man who presents himself as a goddess in a male body, plans to picket again Saturday.

“It is a bubble where no one gets to know what is really happening,” Clara Elena Haven said in court of the Fellowship that she left in 2007 after 17 years as a member.

A Yuba County Superior Court judge’s temporary order today puts no restraints on the signs Haven can carry but requires her to stay 50 yards from the Fellowship entrance.

The Fellowship of Friends sought the court hearing over issues that included Haven picketing this month with signs asking “How many more boys, Dear?” at the entrance to the Fellowship property in the community of Oregon House. Her sign referring to boys “implies harm or indecencies to minors,” said the Fellowship. That “has not and does not occur on the Fellowship property,” the Fellowship said.

Haven, 49, said in court that Fellowship members uses the term “dear” rather than people’s names when addressing one another.

Founder Robert Burton, 68, is always surrounded by about a half-dozen young men, Haven said.

The Fellowship did not return calls today seeking comment on the court hearing and Haven’s assertions.

Marysville attorney Richard Thomas, who represented the Fellowship at the hearing, said after the decision requiring Haven to be 50 yards from the entrance that, “The court felt that is the appropriate distance.”

No such limit was in place before, although Haven said she was already about 25 yards away from the entrance and that she doesn’t mind moving back.

The Web site of the Fellowship, founded in 1971, states that the group was founded in the Fourth Way tradition, also known as “esoteric Christianity.” Its Yuba County property is world headquarters for more than 1,700 members, according to fellowship court documents.

410. snorer - July 19, 2008

Ton

Thanks for your advice regarding the video/documentary.
As I said at the moment I unable to do anything that involves getting out of bed but soon(I Hope)I’ll be available for some filming in London.
If other people want to get in touch with me ,we can exchange emails.

By the way,this Elena/Abraham/court thing seems a great opportunity
to get some footage.

411. Yesri Baba - July 19, 2008

399 wyltk

That’s funny I thought it was missing a 6.

412. My4Bits - July 19, 2008

The only former student I know of whose property borders Rice’s Crossing Road is R. Perla.

413. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 19, 2008

365 is newly moderated.

Interesting days.

As for Lost & Found, as far as I am concerned, he has revealed himself to be a harmless clown, I doubt that he is a member of the FOF at all.

If he is, he is an idiot as well as a clown.

414. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 19, 2008

Will be moving the discussion to part 41 tomorrow, too tired right now.

415. My4Bits - July 19, 2008

If Elena and others continue to organize during the Journey Forth by Day event, they might consider having a digital camera with them so they can capture photo evidence of any harassment. A cell phone with a digital photo feature would do the trick.

Another idea that may be a bit over the top is to carry a “wire” that can gather audio evidence of harassment.

These measures might intimidate the intimidators.

416. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 19, 2008

I think continually focusing on RB’s sexual behavior is a dead end unless someone actually wants to come forth and file a complaint as a minor. Coercion is a much better avenue. Many people were coerced into doing things they would not do under normal circumstances due to their belief in RB as a god, and following his advice, which was sometimes very poor advice. But being gay or having gay sex with adults in whatever form it takes is not against the law. It may be kinky but hey there are lots of people out there that enjoy kinky sex.

417. Ames Gilbert - July 19, 2008

I went down to the Marysville courthouse today to lend support to Elena. She is rather tired, and asked me to give you an update, so here goes.

Her case was the first on the calendar, at 8:30. For many reasons, there were delays, and things didn’t start until nearly midday.
While we were waiting, a reporter from the Appeal Democrat came up and asked if we had anything to do with the ‘Fellowship case’. He introduced himself as Ryan McCarthy, and said he had been in court the previous day, and entirely by accident found out about this case as he checked the court calendar.
He asked many questions in the long hours of waiting, and we readily answered, taking turns. As I mentioned, Elena is quite tired (she recently had a fairly serious operation) and her energy fluctuated up and down, but between us we managed to keep the reporter somewhat amused and amazed.

When it was time, the judge made sure that Elena had the same papers as the attorney representing the Fellowship of Friends. It turned out that she was missing the actual court documents presenting the points and articles, a recess was called so copies could be made and handed over. When we returned, the judge asked the Fofa (FoF attorney—in this case, not a member of the FoF but a hired gun who probably didn’t have much more time to prepare than Elena, which is to say, less than 24 hours) to make his case. A very convoluted mess with lots of citations from cases ranging from obscure sign ordinances to cases where free speech had been abridged for very narrow reasons, and even a totally ignorant non-legal mind like mine could see he was really stretching and obfuscating. A typical stretch was: Elena’s sign saying, “Where is the human?” was obviously claiming that the FoF was hiding dead bodies! Or the sign saying “How many more boys, dear?” was referring to illegal activities. Talk about a stretch! The judge thought so also, and told him he had some homework (he used those words) to do and gave him some specific questions to answer, research to be done over lunch. The Fofa, who had started off rather cocksure and full of himself, flushed prettily and agreed to comply. Elena then stated her case, which relied mainly on First Amendment principles and the fact that she had sought advice in advance, had complied with the requests of both the sheriff and CHP, and had gone to great lengths to obey the law. The judge kindly guided her if she strayed a little, and she spoke splendidly and clearly.

At lunch, the reporter got an A-D photographer in, and she got some shots of us standing outside the noble courthouse where justice is seen to be done, etc. And I took some shots of them—turn about is fair play! The Fofa’s dignity was plainly offended when I playfully asked him if I could take a souvenir photo of him, and he huffily refused.

When we came back, the Fofa produced his homework, stated his case again, and Elena got to say her piece. She has an excellent memory, and basically took apart his case point by point, speaking clearly and quietly. Every now and then the Fofa objected, but the judge over ruled him. I was getting a very good feeling about the judge, because when he asked questions, I could tell he had been studying the case, including the photographs taken by the FoF, and he asked excellent questions.

The judge asked some final questions, a final few words from each side, then summarized. Almost immediately he ruled that: Elena had to come no nearer than 50 yards from the gatehouse (the injunction asked for 300 yards), that what she was doing and saying was in no way illegal, but… that she had to work harder not to hurt the feelings of Mr. Mearns, the president of the FoF. She does not have to take into regard the feelings of any other FoF members, employees, or Robert Burton. This injunction to take effect immediately, and to last until a hearing asking for a permanent injunction on August 8th. And so the session closed at about 3:30. I’d been assuming it would be over by 10 a.m. at the latest!

Since Elena was already picketing at least 25 yards from the guardhouse, another 25 yards hardly signifies. I’d call it a great victory over the cowards and bullies; if the ‘gods’ are on the side of the FoF, they sure didn’t show up today! The FoF call for injunction claimed great suffering, emotional harm, defamation, interference with the practices of religion, interference with traffic, and all the highly exaggerated blah-blah-blah and legal blethering Abraham Goldman and all his associates as usual produce, and apart from addressing the needs of Mr Mearns alone, (because he had attested with his own signature that he suffered mightily), the rest of the claims were swept away. The judge specifically said that Robert Burton had no relief.

The impression I got from the reporter, Ryan McCarthy (530) 749-4707, is that the Appeal-Democrat newspaper is very interested in more stories. The next one will be about the court case today, and others will follow. Obviously he’d like the ratio of first-hand experiences to be high, and guesswork or second-hand accounts to be low; he’s after things folks will want to read about, and he’ll want facts. So, I invite people to step forward and introduce themselves to him. His e-mail is: rmcarthy (at) appealdemocrat (dot) com. He is courteous, positive, a good listener, and interested. And I’m sure he’d like to hear both sides of the story, so fire away, FoF members!

According to the FoF claims, today, July 17th is the start of “the most important religious celebrations of the year”. These will last the next five days, and people are coming from all over the world for “Journey Forth by Day” (whatever that is). An excellent time for the A-D to focus more closely on Burton and his followers.

I’m going to go down and record some of the picketing myself. I invite others.
Many, many thanks for your lead, Elena!!

418. Vena - July 19, 2008

Thank you Ames for supporting Elena and for the excellent description of what happened today.

419. brucelevy - July 19, 2008

407. veronicapoe

yup. Never again.

420. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 19, 2008

Ames: What a noble man you are. Always there to help the damsels in distress. Thanks for that.

421. brucelevy - July 19, 2008

Thanks Elena and Ames.

422. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 22: Robert Burton Raped My Soul.

423. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 23:
Arbeit Macht Frei.

424. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 24:
Ignorance Is Bliss.

425. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 25:
Malignant Narcissists Are Mentally Ill.

426. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 26:
The Fourth Way: The Way of the Catamite?

427. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 27:
Silence is complicity.

428. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 28:
Too Much Invested To Quit?

429. brucelevy - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 28:

“You can trust me with your husband/son dear”.

#29 “it’s the least you can do for your teacher dear”

#30 “let me drink from your cup”

#31 ” the only way for you to open your self to higher forces is for you to fistfuck me, trust me on this”

#32 “I’m the queen of the prom”

430. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 29:
Proud to be a life person.

431. nigel harris price - July 19, 2008

417
Elena has an excellent memory indicates that Elena has an excellent Essence. And God (or the Gods) does not break his Holy Laws (or their laws)…..Nigel.

432. brucelevy - July 19, 2008

#33

A sure way to create an astral (asshole?) body is to let this old repulsive queen degrade your body, mind and soul. Never mind your wife, she doesn’t understand.

433. brucelevy - July 19, 2008

please re-number slogans as appropriate. Sorry Veronicapoe.

434. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 30:
Robert Burton is a like a leech, except a leech has integrity.

435. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

They made him resign at Springhill Elementary School. You can too.

436. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 77:
The necessary precondition to making teaching payments is ignorance of what’s actually going on.

437. brucelevy - July 19, 2008

FOF, integrity is our middle name

first name….no

last name whatsoever

438. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 78:
Exploitation is incompatible with evolution.

439. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 79:
When someone leaves, ask them why, and really listen.

440. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 80:
If he really loved his students, would he discard them?

441. veronicapoe - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan no. 81:
Robertisunutterably strange, and it’s notbecause he’s an angel.

442. brucelevy - July 19, 2008

Journey Forth by Day, Bend over by night, Be broke by morning.

443. Renald - July 19, 2008

John Lennon lyrics – God

artist: John Lennon lyrics
title: God
albums: John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band, Imagine (Original Soundtrack), Anthology – Ascot (CD1), Acoustic

God is a Concept by which
we measure our pain
I’ll say it again
God is a Concept by which
we measure our pain
I don’t believe in magic
I don’t believe in I-ching
I don’t believe in Bible
I don’t believe in Tarot
I don’t believe in Hitler
I don’t believe in Jesus
I don’t believe in Kennedy
I don’t believe in Buddha
I don’t believe in Mantra
I don’t believe in Gita
I don’t believe in Yoga
I don’t believe in Kings
I don’t believe in Elvis
I don’t believe in Zimmerman
I don’t believe in Beatles
I just believe in me…and that reality

The dream is over
What can I say?
the Dream is Over
Yesterday
I was the Dreamweaver
But now I’m reborn
I was the Walrus
But now I’m John
and so dear friends
you’ll just have to carry on
The Dream is over

444. Renald - July 19, 2008

The Walt Whitman Archive
Published Works Manuscripts Biography & Correspondence Criticism Resources Pictures & Sound About the Archive
Home » Published Works » U. S. editions of Leaves of Grass » 1881-82 Edition

Leaves of Grass (1881-82)
contents | previous | next

“I DREAM’D IN A DREAM.
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.“

Well Friends, I too thought (believed) that city was inside those gates
at one time and it was a fine dream. The dream is over. This was not it. Sorry! There is a big difference between robust love and what exists there. Yet, it is ever so easy to hang on to that dream as if it has been realized, I know. It is all imagination of the worst type,

445. Joe Average - July 19, 2008

One of the comments on the “Signs” article in the Appeal-Democrat claims that a “Bob H-rdy” was/is a long-time FOFer and former publisher of the paper. Can anyone confirm this? Was he a FOFer before, during/after his FOF tenure?
Wow. Buy off angry-ex students and Yuba county officials, get your strategically placed IRS lawyer-member to call off the hounds there, and own the local media? This RB guy almost had his bases covered as much as Bush and Berlusconi.

446. ton - July 19, 2008

408 baba, now that’s laugh-out-loud funny.

365 joe, thanks for the zappa

416 wuls “continually focusing on RB’s sexual behavior is a dead end”

c’mon suzy it’s a joke, like the ‘man’ himself… i think it’s o.k. to ‘poke’ a little fun… no?

417 ames, thanks for the update and especially for supporting elena

447. sharon - July 19, 2008

joe average 445 – never heard of him. My tenure: 4/1982-12/2006, living in OH 1992-2003.

448. xeeena - July 19, 2008

I knew B-b Hardy around 1980. He was never in the Fellowship, unless he joined after I left in 1994. I really doubt it.

449. Yesri Baba - July 19, 2008

Nondefamatory protest slogan #82

Got
Jizz?

450. James Mclemore - July 19, 2008

I would venture to guess that how Robert Burton and his inner circle handle the present situation with Elena, and try to keep the slimy underbelly of the beast from showing, is going to have an effect on those people who may be on a fence and on those even approaching that fence. So far, it appears they are shooting close to their own feet, and opening their own can of worms all by themselves. Some of the followers are going to have to wonder about the discrepancy between the picture they have been fed with all of its gardens and statues and finery and higher energies and C influence, and the way their dear organization is reacting to one woman at the entrance with some signs. If I was a student I would have to wonder what it was Robert and his lieutenants were so afraid of, and what is there to hide. And certainly C Influence would protect them, wouldn’t They.

If it is true that the truth needs no defense, then wouldn’t you think that something must be terribly wrong.

451. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 19, 2008

#445: I worked as Bob Hardie’s secretary for 4 years in the 80s. He was the publisher of the Appeal Democrat. His wife’s family owned the Appeal Democrat along with many other papers, including The Register in Santa Ana. They lived in Browns Valley. Bob Hardie loved to hear about the all the goings on in the Fellowship and attended many dinners with RB and MB, and many other events. I helped him coordinate these events during the time I was there and attended most of them. Bob Hardie passed away recently. He was never in the Fellowship.

452. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 19, 2008

And to continue my 451: ‘Goings on did not include gossip about REB or anybody else; just inquiry regarding the winery and all the events. He loved the FOF and all the people in there and enjoyed being a part of it when he could.

453. lauralupa - July 19, 2008

one more idea… how about ex-students still in the area carrying bumper stickers on their cars with the address of the blog or some of the excellent slogans just presented?
You may easily have them printed locally or we can set up a shop at
http://www.cafepress.com/
and any sales profits could go towards a legal expenses fund…

454. lauralupa - July 19, 2008

There is a certain irony in all of this…

it looks like this is going to be our very own version of “Going Forth By Day”

BTW, the first video in the A-D local news today is titled “Smoke smothers area”

need I say more?

455. ton - July 19, 2008

449 baba

Nondefamatory protest slogan #82

Got
Jizz?

a picket sign for the slogan: photo-shop a picture of ‘conscious bob’ with a ‘milk’ mustache…

456. lauralupa - July 19, 2008

ton 455

same pic, different slogan:

Wash that mouth out with soap!

457. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 19, 2008

Elena: Great work in fighting (and winning) against a whole organization.

Ames: You are a true gentleman.

New Discussion:

HERE


Sorry comments are closed for this entry

%d bloggers like this: