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Fellowship of Friends Discussion, part 41 July 19, 2008

Posted by Pavel in Uncategorized.

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 to the Greater Fellowship community 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. (ie. if you are new to the discussion, your comment will appear about 1 day after it has been posted, any subsequent comments will appear instantaneously).


1. ton - July 19, 2008

immersion from birth in the ‘judeo-christian’ cultural soup makes the individual easily susceptible to ‘memes’ like these… it’s a ‘blue-print’ of the behavior involved in the messianic / flock relationship / complex:

start your day with a verse from “the good book.”

2. Mick Danger - July 19, 2008

Trespassing ain’t no big crime and I’m not afraid of going back to jail.
Much of the property is unfenced, unposted & unpatrolled.
It’s a good time for special agents to pay a visit.
In fact, I’m sure we’re all invited.

3. We Were There - July 19, 2008

The Sacramento Bee hasn’t picked up on the Appeal-Democrat articles; does anyone have a contact at the Bee to send the links (http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/signs_66449___article.html/ and http://www.appeal-democrat.com/news/move_66452___article.html/ordered_protester.html) to?

4. Mick Danger - July 19, 2008

“Had Jesus not raised the dead, had he not performed miracles,
he would not have been crucified, and he wanted to be crucified.
He performed the miracles to make certain of being crucified.
John the Baptist was a wonderful being. He gave his neck;
he was the Master of Jesus. You have read how the disciples
of John found fault with Jesus’ disciples for living in comfort and
having good food, when they had nothing of the kind.
I will tell you how history repeats itself.
Jesus got himself crucified.”

5. James Mclemore - July 19, 2008

Can you tell me appromimately how many posts this blog has had since its beginning? I know I could go back and count, but I thought you might have that info without having to do that.

6. nigel harris price - July 19, 2008

Re: your Whitman quote – Exeter is a city – the second-largest (and the capital) in the south-west of England county of Devon (from the Gaelic, Deffon, meaning ‘divine’). I have found robust love here – AGAPE – and consider myself enlightened in the most natural way – in other words – ‘clued in’ about what goes on (fancy a Solar Essence reaching age 51 and having a ‘street-wise education’)…..Any ideas, you guys?…..Nigel.

7. aline - July 19, 2008

Helena, you’re really brave,
Ames, you are indeed a true gentleman

8. ouspensky question - July 19, 2008

Thank you Elena and Aimes. If former students want to have situation to be present joining our brave friends is good situation for that. Can be peaseful and emotional way of being first force in healing. Easy to regret afterwards not taking this chance to put concience into action.

9. nigel harris price - July 19, 2008

Don’t get this mispelt post (7)?…..Nigel.

10. whalerider - July 19, 2008

Thank you, Ames. You’re a stand up guy.

11. elena - July 19, 2008

Mick Danger, post 2.

As much as I know we have a right to speak, I wish you would refrain from becoming that threatning to the Fellowship in a physical context. Above anyone else, you are putting me in danger because someone like you inside will react with equal disposition and I will be targeted as the one who is responsible. The many ex-members living around the Fellowship would also not be in any way helped with such measures, it is one of the reasons they are so afraid to picket or confront the Fellowship more seriously, which is totally understandable.

This is not about violence in any of its forms or violations of any law. I would much appreciate it if everyone here set a motion to ban any post that affirms such a posibility. If this happens more than three times I will no longer participate here. Thanks Sheik for your reference to this success. I do not expect you to control all posts before they appear but if you wish my participation here, I would ask you to retrieve such posts as soon as you see them. We can help you spot them. Even extremists from within the Fellowship can send such posts to invalidate this forum and our possibilities of continuing to help people transition from extreme dellusion to common sense understanding, would fail. I regret to have to impose this measure on you or anyone here but I am not willing to deal with any kind of violence against anyone else as much as I am willing to deal with it if I cannot avoid it on myself. I am extremely grateful to all in the Fellowship who have not entered such disposition against me or the blog.

The weapons that were mentioned before did not help me in court and no reference to violence will help anyone anywhere. It is the covert violence the fellowship imposes on its members what we are trying to deal with and expressing overt violence will not make us any better than them.

Thank you Aline, O.Question and all of you for your mentioning this event. Without all of you here and the time we’ve spent digesting what happened to us, it would not have been possible for me to stand up in court and expose the Fellowship of Friend’s Cult.

It is difficult to control the things that newspapers say and the way things get reinterpreted and changed out of context but I am nevertheless very grateful to Mr. McCarthy for the time and interest he put into this matter and to the Appeal Democrat for publishing his articles.

One of the reasons the judge did not agree to the Fellowship’s requests was because they presented a document filled with inacuracies such as my picketing more days than I did or not following deputy orders and stating that I had caused tremendous fear to the members or that I was physically threatning. Their lawyer seemed as appalled as the judge and everyone else when he heard the things that actually happen inside this sick and corrupt Cult.

Thank you so very much Ames for your kind report!

12. 'I see' said the blind man - July 19, 2008

It feels great to do something real. Thank you for being an ice breaker and hope others navigate the channel you have opened with you. Funny how in the Fellowship we would do all sorts of whacky things; heavy third-line work octaves, having long ‘dumb’ conversations with students about how wonderful the school is, bookmarking etc. One huge benefit to belonging to an organization such as the Fellowship of Friends is that by giving up your will and putting yourself under the will of the teacher you gain the power to do things. This is not uniqe to the FOF, it is a major reason for belonging to a group (think mormons, Nazis, Yoga people, Alchoholics Anonymous etc.)
Leaving the Fellowship carries a price. You have to grow your own back bone and cannot rely on ‘the will of the teacher’ to get you out of bed in the morning. Having your own spine means that you walk upright like a human. Thank you for the inspiration Elena and Aimes.

13. paulshabram - July 19, 2008

10 elena
I very much agree with elena’s non-violence stance, including even posts along those lines. I hope others can get involved TOGETHER. This would afford a much greater impact. Kindness an loving responses. Think Gandhi. Please don’t let your emotions get out of control. They may try to elicit that. At the very least, violations will get the FOF the permanent stay away order. The court watches both sides.

Thanks elena, for your leadership and courage.
Ames,it sounds like elena need to have her energy protected. We only briefly crossed path, I remember Nancy. I applaud your support. You have obvious leader qualities that could serve to amplify elena’s success. I suggest creating a group on GF to provide a place for organization. This may not be good venue for that.


14. 'I see' said the blind man - July 19, 2008

Fellowship critic to continue picketing

July 19, 2008 12:01:00 AM
By Ryan McCarthy/Appeal-Democrat

A former Fellowship of Friends member, who says the group is a cult led by a man who presents himself as a goddess in a male body, plans to picket again today near the entrance to its Oregon House headquarters.

“It is a bubble where no one gets to know what is really happening,” Clara Elena Haven said in court Friday.

She left the Fellowship in 2007 after 17 years.

Yuba County Superior Court Judge James Curry issued a temporary order that puts no restraints on the signs she can carry but requires Haven to stay 50 yards from the Fellowship entrance.

“The court felt that was the appropriate distance,” said Marysville attorney Richard Thomas, who represented the Fellowship.

No such limit was in place before, although Haven said she was already about 25 yards away. Haven said she doesn’t mind moving that same distance. Curry set an Aug. 8 hearing on a permanent injunction requested by the Fellowship.

The Fellowship sought the court hearing over issues that included Haven picketing this month with signs asking “How many more boys, Dear?” at its property.

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 group said in court papers.

Haven, 49, said in court that Fellowship founder Robert Burton uses the term “Dear” rather than people’s names when addressing members.

Burton, 68, is always surrounded by about a half-dozen young men, Haven said.

Fellowship representatives did not return calls Friday seeking comment.

The Fellowship began in 1970, according to its Web site, which 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.

Nevada County resident Ames Gilbert, 57, a Fellowship member from 1978 to 1994, was at the court to support Haven.

Gilbert said during a break in the court hearing that the group considered people outside the Fellowship “sleeping machines” and classified them with the numbers 1 through 3. Jesus Christ was considered an 8 by the group.

“The last claim I heard from Burton is that he is a 7.3,” Gilbert said. “That was in 1994.”

Haven said classifications continue.

“If you’re not a member, you’re one of the 6 billion dead people,” she said of how the Fellowship sees nonmembers as “asleep.”

Two major lawsuits, the first dating back to 1984, have been filed by former members, alleging sexual misconduct by the group. A 1984 lawsuit was settled four years later for more than $500,000, according to a court filing by former member Troy Buzbee, who filed his own lawsuit in Yuba County Superior Court in 1996.

Buzbee’s suit, later settled for undisclosed terms, alleged Burton used Buzbee, “among hundreds of other young men, for the partial gratification of his satyriasis, an uncontrollable compulsion to engage in sexual conduct with scores, if not hundreds of men.”

The suit quoted Burton as saying, “My sexuality is on the level of super-sex.”

At the time, Fellowship representatives publicly denied the suit’s allegations.

Haven said that she’ll continue picketing to question current Fellowship members and said that her presence near the entrance shouldn’t pose a problem.

“One person standing on the side presents no threat to anyone,” Haven said.

She said that members “become very dependent on the people inside.”

“When you leave, you have nothing,” Haven said.

Picketing is “a wonderful tool to confront people,” she said. “It helps people realize they are not in a closed bubble that cannot be touched.”

The Fellowship in court documents said it’s preparing for its biggest annual festival at its Oregon House headquarters.

The “Going Forth By Day” event began Friday and brings Fellowship members from around the world, including Europe, Asia, South America and Mexico, according to court documents filed by the group.

Contact Appeal reporter Ryan McCarthy at 749-4707 or rmccarthy@appeal-democrat.com

15. MG - July 19, 2008

Wow has this blog been incredible to read. Found you through a link on Appeal-Democrat.

So many things right now running through my inquisitve mind right now, but at the front of all of that is a concern I’ve always had about 3 friends of mine who in the 80’s were members of the FoF’s.

They were amazing, brilliant ,gifted young women. They carried themselves in public as if they were old souls living in young bodies. I won’t give full names but hopefully there is someone who frequents this blog who will recognize the names. Ivy D. Julie C ( I had such a crush on her ) and Saron R. If they are married by now of course the last names have changed.

For as unique as they appeared on the surface I could sense each was being stifled, hampered or impaired. I sensed all that talent was being controled. Their behavior suggested a free spirit but as I got to know them they were far from free. They seemed forced to be profound in an almost exhaustive manner. They were intrigued by me and my carefree manner as much as I was intrigued by their behavior. I sensed I was dish they weren’t suppose to fully partake in and delighted in gathering information from my young mind. I loved the mechanics of our relationship.

Julie once introduced me to a male friend of hers. The guy was no more then maybe 16 or 17 ( we were all pretty much that age give or take one or two years ) and he played the piano remarkbly. Just like the girls on the surface he seemed so unique but talking to him he seemed so tortured. Poor guy. I want to call him Brian but I just can’t remember his name for sure.

I always wondered what happened to him as well. He made a cute pass at me during our conversation but told him for as flattering as it was I wasn’t gay. He looked destroyed and I almost felt compelled to kiss the poor kid on the cheek for comfort. hahaha!

So do these names sound familiar to anyone? Did they remain in FOF’s or did they make it out and dare to sore on their own?

I’m saddened by what I’ve read in the papers and my heart goes out to all those involved. Your stories need to be told. Theraputic for you and red flags for anyone who is pulled towards getting involved in such a sad situation. It would be useless for someone like me to try and post words to empower anyone to get out of that situation. I have never lived that life nor desire to do so. BUT, I can encourage those that has mustered the courage to speak out to continue to do so with no shame. I don’t really know about all this profound intellectual quest for enlightenment and if it’s really necessary but I do embrace Karma.

Mr. Burtons day of judgement is coming. Although nothing is absolute I believe those that have willingly hurt another living being will carry that turmoil and torture they placed on that beautiful soul for enternity. A living breathing eternal hell.

16. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 20, 2008

3 and 15 are newly moderated.

Elena and Paulshabram: I am not so sure about the violence ban, next we can ban people talking about drugs, sex, or start our own version of a no-swearing exercise. Censorship is always the last resort.

If some idiots want to speak macho, let them. It does not reflect on you, it does not reflect on all former members, if it reflects on the blog and the discussion, fine. I think that everyone is responsible for themselves and it’s silly to pretend otherwise.

While I understand Elena’s position, I do not feel it right to impose any further rules than the ones already in effect.

Having said that, I personally do not like this new twist to the discussion either, it is rather strange (and rather telling of the poster’s personality) to speak of guns or illegal entry. It is utterly unnecessary.

I would much appreciate it if everyone here set a motion to ban any post that affirms such a posibility. If this happens more than three times I will no longer participate here.

Elena, no games please.

James: I would say that there are roughly 500 posts per 1 discussion (at start there were about 600-800, now just over 300). That would make it roughly 20,000 posts.

17. brucelevy - July 20, 2008

15. MG

In the last year and a half I’ve seen all three. They all seemed fine. They’ve got their journey and they seemed to be pursuing it in their own ways. I wouldn’t worry about them. I don’t know where they are right now but they occasionally pass through my life,

18. elena - July 20, 2008

Medium size palm containers have been placed everywhere close to the gatehouse making it impossible to park.

The judge was exceedingly clear that the restriction to picket fifty yards away from the entrance was only for me and only to appease Mr. Mearns, meaning anyone else can picket twenty five yards away.
He explicitly expressed that he was giving no restrictions to any of the signs or to the freedom of expression.

Since I cannot be so close it would be very good if others were willing to be there. The local ex-members are concerned with retaliation no matter how much they agree with the picketing and some don’t.

Because I can be only on regent way or only on rices crossing, it would be good if someone else could cover the other one with their own sign.

All is well, happy journey forth by day to us all, in and out. We are one, there is no wall between us, we just need to make that clear.
If some feel inclined to participate not so much in the picketing but in an affirmation of life with beautiful colors and signs it would be very positive and allow us all to relax. More time, more effort perhaps, but the aim is to reconnect as many members to the outside world with as much lovingness as possible. If it were not so beautiful out here, where the community one belongs to is the whole of the human community with its different cultures and nationalities, then I would not be so insistent about this.

One of the issues about not feeling threatened physically is that people must be human enough to be able to sit at a negotiating table without feeling physically threatened by the other. It is extremely unsettling to feel physically threatened with the possibility of any kind of violence, no matter how clear it is that the body is just a passage. Protecting it is an acknowledgment of the RIght to Live and honoring its dignity. The body is the tool of the soul with which we can further our being during each lifetime, it is the most precious and sacred tool, even if just a tool. Every time we meet we are confronted with the simple miracle of being alive. When we understand the meaning of such miracle, there will be no need for private property because we shall share everything for the well being of each one of us.

Private property is the expression of fear for the body’s well being. When we trust each other enough to know that we will not hurt each other physically but will always WORK on finding solutions, there will no longer be the need for private property. The illusions that separate us: class, race, nationality will all be replaced with the human consciousness that embraces our differences with joy and respect, with appreciation for the variables. But the class variable will disappear and the basic human needs of physical well being of every individual will try to be met by everyone. The history of the past century and the struggle that both America and Russia have brought the human consciousness, cannot lead anywhere less. From one angle it is, from America; a life with dignity for each individual and from Russia; a life of dignity for everyone. No matter the difficulties, that was the essence of their struggle. Human consciousness must integrate both if we are to move on beyond the differences. What matters today is not where we are from but how human can we be and with how much dignity can we treat the Earth that hosts our passage through life.

When we eat, it is a gift that connects us with the solar system, the first and third line of the instinctive center if we acknowledge the act with gratitude. There is enough food for every one, we just need to not be selfish about it. Life need be accompanied with love, they are one and the same. We live in a sacred world, that is what it means to live with dignity. We could not be more beautiful, nor more graceful. Nothing but our acknowledgement of such reality is missing.

The Fellowship of Friends seriously attempted that but it failed in the fact that dignity cannot be accomplished by forcing beauty upon abuse. If we can brush of the abuses, the beauty will still be there. It is the only thing that is there after everything else is gone, both in individuals and nations. The human being rests beneath both and it is the same in each one of us. May the joy of living accompany every day of our lives.

19. elena - July 20, 2008

I appreciate and understand your answer Sheik but it is no game, that is my limit, not yours, so I’ll quit, you don’t have to. Two of such violent impositions in this blog will be enough for me to find the blog not a place where I wish to belong to. But I thoroughly respect your position, it is, after all, your toy.

20. MG - July 20, 2008

Thanks for the info Bruce. Julie as Juliete was so appropriate at the time in my eye’s and heart 🙂 I sincerely wish them all joy and happiness.

21. elena - July 20, 2008

P.S. If I had no limits I would have never left the Fellowship. I’m just not willing to wait another seventeen years to know them.

If I quit, I’ll still thank you for the time it lasted.

22. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 20, 2008


You might want to go here:
Greater Fellowship website:
A social networking website for former FoF members, some current FoF members, children of FoF members (former or current), and their friends. Prior involvement with FoF is not required. You may find your friends you wrote of there.

Good luck and thanks for posting to the blog.

23. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

Elena 11, 18 and 19
I, for one, appreciate your reasons for moving away from the blog. Violence, in any form, receives the same in return and achieves no lasting results for Good. I would like to keep in contact with you by email and still have some things to air-mail you (articles in printed form). Maybe others would, too…..Nigel.

24. Wouldnt You Like To Know - July 20, 2008

3. We Were There – July 19, 2008:

Todd Milbourn
The Sacramento Bee
(916) 321-1063

Although it has been posted here on the blog that the above person has gone abroad (and possibly has left the Bee), someone is likely taking over that work load. Todd was investigating FoF extensively in preparation for a story. He specialised in non-profit organisation corruption.

If that does not work, try other persons or departments at the Bee.

25. whalerider - July 20, 2008

I remember a story a former cult member told me about revisiting the property with another ex-FOFer long after they had both left the FOF late one night about 10 years ago. I believe they entered through the garden. When cars on the property would go by they would shield their eyes from the headlights, smile, and wave. Nobody noticed who they were or seemed to care, and of course, they had the ‘act’ down pat. They walked right up to the Lincoln Lodge without a problem, which was open and nobody was around. They made a pot of fresh coffee, sat out on the deck, and drank coffee under the stars. After about an hour, they left without any hassle whatsoever. One of them kept the cup as a souvenir.

To me it felt like the story of two Vietnam vets who were POWs during the war returning to their prison camp in North Vietnam for some healing.

Once the FOF is closed down, it would be nice if the property were converted into a public park or something, so that people like me who were raped several times by Robert Burton might visit and make peace with themselves and the landscape.

26. paulshabram - July 20, 2008

16 Sheik
“Elena and Paulshabram: I am not so sure about the violence ban, next we can ban people talking about drugs, sex, or start our own version of a no-swearing exercise. Censorship is always the last resort.”

I do not support censorship. I support self control.
Sorry if I was misleading. I do know that for myself the opinion of others helps when I am starting to roll down a path that may lead to a unwanted result.

I have been in situations where everything and everybody got out of control. Some of the worst examples of that was when I was in the FOF. The path gets razor thin. We have all revealed ourselves to be susceptible to suggestion. Why go there?

Every day I ask myself “why am I posting on this blog?” I left this group behind 30 years ago. Or so I thought. I left very dear friends behind and they have suffered while I have not. I can’t give the time back or undo the damage, but these friends are here on this blog. Some post and some do not, but they are intent on helping others. I am far enough away to not be able to participate in person, but I would like to be helpful, and at the very least, support my friends.

Someone posted something like the “stages of grief” a few pages back. What seems to have happened here is all those stages manifest simultaneously on the blog. I guess one could say it’s all healthy. But it does seem that for what ever reason, genuine concern, revenge, rage, loneliness, need for attention, etc. The attenuation of the abuse, and the revelation of deception is common. That has become a common aim… amongst friends. Part healing for friends, part self healing, part doing what seems right. I realize it is not your aim nor the aim of all bloggers, but you clearly are a friend.

I would hate to see the progress here diminished, or even reversed, because things got out of control. And I would definitely not want to see anyone hurt in any way.

27. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

25 and 26 – Good, sensible blogs…..Nigel.

28. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

And 25 – “Once the FOF IS closed down” – forward thinking!…..Nigel.

29. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 20, 2008

455 ton

There are several images here that seem appropriate (numbers 4,5 and 11, at least):


30. lauralupa - July 20, 2008

Happy Going Forth By Day To All On Both Sides Of The Great Imaginary Divide And To Those Standing In The Middle Of It

I swear I know your face,
I wish I knew your name
I wish I could take you by the hand
If I could name it
If I could just explain it
If I could only help you,
Help you understand

I can see that you’re hurting
Weighed down like a beast of burden
About to break your back.
God only knows that you’re human
So what are they trying to do then
Believe me, they don’t understand
That you have the weight of the world today
It’s on your back
A heavy load like that is gonna hold you back
It’s gonna drag you down
You know it just can’t last, just can’t
You know it just can’t last

They thought they could use you
Push you down and abuse you
And what’s so sad is you’ve decided to hide
All your feelings
Got more pain than you can deal with
But ask yourself how can this last

I know you have the weight of the world today
It’s on your back
A heavy load like that is gonna hold you back
It’s gonna drag you down
You know it just can’t last, just can’t
You know it just can’t last

and thanks Elena and Ames for pinching the bubble


31. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

I had been wondering to get a copy of this beautiful passage – Desiderata – meaning ‘desired things’, by Max Ehrmann and found it on Google. Dedicated to Elena (and Ames):-

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let not this blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams; it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.


32. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

Thought while you guys in CA were tucked up in bed that I would compose my part of the petition for Susan Zannos. And, since we seem to be encountering a Kairos Time on the blog, thought I might also post it here as a’prompt’ for others to come out ‘of the woodwork’………………………….




I believe that I (Nigel Harris Price) have grounds for litigation again the Fellowship of Friends, an alleged ‘church’, whose base is in Oregon House, California – those grounds being UNDUE DEMAND, both in financial terms and in terms of the work I was asked to carry out relating to my abilities as a craftsman. Below is a brief history of what was asked of me, during my time in California.

I visited California in December 1981, with the aim of spending some time at ‘Renaissance’ (as the property of the Fellowship was then called) and then looking for work as a trainee silversmith in the state. In January 1982, I was offered work by Porter Blanchard Silversmiths in Calabasas (outside Los Angeles) and had to go to Tijuana, Mexico, to have my passport stamped with an H-1 visa. My starting salary was $7.00 an hour and was never raised during the entire 2 and ½ years I was employed. The financial demand by the Fellowship was approximately $4,800 per year, so you can see that the Fellowship was actually taking at least 1/3 of my gross earnings, causing me to have to take out loans with banks (a situation which never improved and, in fact, worsened, up until the time when I left California, in June 1989, under emotional distress). I had no help with legal costs from the Fellowship, as other non-USA members had done, when trying to get visas and, eventually, ‘green cards’ and had to rely on my own, or family funds, to struggle through, although, as I mentioned before, I never got out of debt during the entire 7 years I was in California (working, I may add, full time as well as putting in extra hours to try to make money). I had several employers, who either promised (but did not follow up) to get my ‘green card’, or who were not bothered about the legalities, being able to give me a low salary, as a non-USA worker. Even when I had my own business for just over 2 years, from 1987 to 1989, I earned a net income of roughly $18,000 per year (hardly likely to retrieve the debts I had accumulated). In June 1989, due to what I have now found out to be a bi-polar affective disorder, brought on by stressful situations – and I do believe being $30,000 in debt and sleeping on the workshop floor for a year was stressful – I made a very serious suicide attempt, an overdose and lacerating my wrists, but was saved by a member of the Fellowship, with whom I was very close, and whom I would admire, whether or not she were in the Fellowship.

As regards my craft work, mentioned above, I was asked to make a ‘communion set’ for the Fellowship in the summer of 1984, being given the money for only the silver materials by donations from Fellowship members and donating all my time in making something which I would now regard as a ‘chef d’oeuvre’, worth 10’s of 1000’s of $$’s. I also had the honour, in September of 1987, of being the Official Silversmith for the Visit of Pope John Paul II to San Francisco for the Celebration of Holy Mass at Candlestick Park. I would humbly say that no-one else could have coordinated the project, given the time restrictions and the level of work that had to be carried out. I feel it was something in my Fate and also in the Fate of the Roman Catholic Church in California that the work was achieved, despite my illegal status, brought on by incompetent lawyers and unscrupulous employers.

It has taken me many years since returning to the UK and having psychiatric help to gain stability, emotionally and in my employment. I wish my story to be added to those who have already written to Susan Zannos and would be willing to appear in court in California, to testify against the Fellowship.


Nigel Harris Price BA Hons, Cert Ed, MIfL.

33. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

William Shakespeare
Sonnet 116

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring barque,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.”

34. ton - July 20, 2008

speaking personally, i hope that you will withdraw your threats to “quit the blog” and instead continue to stand firmly against whatever you might view as intolerable posts from others. you can’t control everything, certainly you can’t control what others think or say but you may be able to change a few minds here… of course if you quit blogging then that possibility no longer exists. i see the blog as a tool — at least potentially…. as a tool it’s something to be worked with. i’m all for having fun here but doesn’t thinking of the blog strictly as a ‘toy’ diminish it’s potential? keep us up on the picketing, be safe… are you getting any more support out there on the front lines?

and all,
in an effort to bring wider attention to the situation, i’ve emailed a link for the appeal-democrat article to marshall kilduff, an editor at the sf chronicle who covered the jonestown tragedy… if anyone else wants to ‘needle’ marshall, here’s his address… maybe if enough ‘noise’ is generated in his office he’ll get on the story.


35. ton - July 20, 2008


haven’t seen the movie, but i can recommend the book:


36. Mick Danger - July 20, 2008

OK so trespassing is not a good idea.
How about a concession stand?
“I came for the T-shirt and all I got was a lousy blowjob?”

37. Mick Danger - July 20, 2008

In my own defense I would like to point out that we were all invited to return a few pages back with no stated restrictions or conditions as to time & place.
If you’r invited, you ain’t trespassing.

38. snorer - July 20, 2008

Good Question:

“adopting their cause, their counter-religion of we-are-already-alright-as-we-are”

not already,after,graduating from and leaving the FOFF(sorry a F to many).

39. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 20, 2008

Paul: Exactly. If this blog is is to provide a stage for people to make the next step, or figure out something that would take infinitely longer on their own, angry and threatening posts may be a necessity. It is much better if they are informed by the listeners how those posts appear to them – ie. the guns may have shown that the poster had an issue with fear that he was not dealing with very healthily, trespassing is an example of boyish machismo, etc.

Elena: So the blog is my toy, hmm, why do you always go on the offensive when something displeases you? And yes, whether knowingly or unknowingly, you are being very manipulative and coercive by giving ultimatums and trying to sway the general opinion, it’s not a healthy habit, as your time in the FOF may have shown you. I respect you greatly for being who you are and doing what you do, but I do not particularly like this side of you.

Aggression against aggression breeds more aggression, right?

40. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 20, 2008

Elena: And if you think that I get a kick or an ego-boost from taking the responsibility that’s been given to me here and play little Greg-like games with the audience, then I really do not know what to reply to that. (Except that that belief tells you more about yourself than it does about me).

41. Ellen - July 20, 2008

Paul #26,

Shiek #39,
As usual, I respect your judgement.

Calm down. Ultimatims don’t help anyone, especially You. Violence is never the answer whether it is physical, verbal or psychological.

When a Zen master was asked how to control a horse, he replied, give it a large pasture. It’s own good nature will rise with time and the lack of artificial control.

42. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

I like this Zen master! I wish they would apply this to me when I become hypo-manic, trying to cope with my life – instead of ‘zapping’ me with a 6-month section and keeping me in the ‘asylum’ – that just makes matters worse, when there are some ‘hard-core’ cases in there…..Nigel.

43. Mick Danger - July 20, 2008

Anyway, they’ve now made one of the two classic blunders:
One is to never start an insurgent war in the middle east; and,
the second is not to hide behind potted plants.

44. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

43 Mick Danger
I like your sense of humour, but I actually got back on the blog while I was doing some housework and remembered this quote from Rodney Collin: “How can we say we are continuing to evolve, when we cannot forgive the annoying inconsistencies of our fellows?” (something like that – I don’t actually have a copy of Conscious Harmony in the house) I hope this quote heals present ‘wounds’ and helps for more healthy blogging…..Nigel

45. Mick Danger - July 20, 2008

“Do you know how St. Francis of Assisi loved Jesus and became one with him? He loved him as Jesus ought to be loved; but in Francis’s group there was one who was a glutton. Juniper loved Francis most, though he did not sit in meditation or think of anything. He gave more trouble to Francis than anyone, yet he loved Francis dearly. When we love from the bottom of our hearts we give all our good and bad, even our troubles; the lover gives everything and demands nothing.”

46. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

Mick – you’ve ennobled my number – thanks…..Nigel

47. paulshabram - July 20, 2008

42 Nigel
Wouldn’t be great to just be able to go to a bigger pasture!

As an aside (don’t really wan to divert the discussion), when I was working as a lowly aide in the psyche unit I noticed that attending to the patients healthy parts seemed to to help tremendously. It may be that all it takes is to take the edge off. So perhaps lay out a pre-set plan rest, healthy eating, bathing, warmth, support friends, and reminders that these things are not a waste of time considering how far you get set back during an episode. Once you find yourself beginning to ramp up, go to your plan to reduce the damaging physical impact that only makes things worse. I know this helps for depression, grief, etc.
It’s not a bad idea for anyone preparing to leave the FOF either.

48. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

47 Dear Paul
I think these things are really worth discussing at any time. We all had/have/will have periods of extreme elation and/or grief and only we can cope with the control, no matter how much help we may find in the ‘psychommunity’ or within our circle of friends and family. This particular time I came out of the ‘asylum’ and wrote up (as recommended) a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (it’s a wrap – get it?!). For me, elation brings many insights (as I suppose consciousness would – the ‘knowing who you are and what you represent’ – REB quote) but has its price – lack of practicality in everyday life. Clinical depression, on the other hand, brings torment and physical inertia (and perhaps, at deeper levels, thoughts of ‘ending it all’). However, we must all slog through our lives at times although, at other times, everything seems to ‘breeze along’. I actually share the opinion with other bi-polar ‘sufferers’, that I would not be without the condition, as it connects me with my emotional nature and onwards to my connection with my fellow humans….Nigel.

49. Yesri Baba - July 20, 2008

Speaking of suprasex- Whoooaaaa Baby…!


50. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

To paraphrase W B Yeats – ‘Through experience, the Soul realises it is self-affrighting, self-delighting’. I believe, in these times when our conscience is challenged (and all of us have different roles to play through here), we must all exercise self-control, as a level of our growing consciousness. For me, growing beyond the buffers that had been put in me through parental and educational control and also by the FOF, I am not afraid of authorities, the police and the ‘psychocommunity specialists’. My three features of, mainly, vanity but also fear and naivete have been grown out of by learning through experiences and not being subject to what people think I ought to be doing. There are others on this blog who are not that far along with the struggle with features (mainly power and fear, I feel) and deserve to be treated in the way they ask to be, so that the healing and their personal aims are experienced. Thanks to you all…..Nigel.

51. elena - July 20, 2008

Thanks Mick (36) for retrieving that line of thought, at least you seemed to understand the point.

Sheik, this is certainly your toy and it was you who called it a game. This is no game, I am no longer a child and when the Fellowship starts using courts as a stage the invitation to violence by anyone here does not help me. After all I have posted about fifty percent or more than anyone else.

Stating one’s limits is not being manipulative or coercive. I have not been aggressive even when I say this is your toy. It is so much your toy that you can say that there are no limits to what can be said here but when Greg insults people including you, you throw him out. You throw him out even when he is no longer insulting as this last time simply because you are the one who can decide on that here right? You are simply saying you will close the door on him forever because you have the power to do so. Now people are beginning to say that they’ll use guns against the Fellowship and tresspass their property and you don’t find that serious enough to ban it? After all this is a blog where words are not taken seriously, anyone can say anything and it seems to have no power, it is precisely because people live without understanding the power of their feelings, thoughts, words and actions that we allow so much abuse to run over us.

As most other people here have done in the past, you are not even considerate enough to address the reasons I have given for not condescending to any violence. You pinpoint a manipulative and coercive side without being willing to even acknowledge the side that affirms that I will not indulge into such actions or words because there is no dignity or respect in them and without that we can have no human dialogue. If what you wish here is to continue stimulating inhuman dialogues like they do in the Fellowship of Friends and so many other places in this world, you can, but don’t tell me I am being coercive and manipulative because I won’t.

I am very glad we can understand each other and check each other out. It is something that needed to happen and it had been too delayed. You may be the owner of this blog but if you think freedom is having no limits, this is not where I wish to belong.

In a world in which we are brought up having to say yes to everything others want, “being” begins when we can start saying No, no matter the consequences.

As I said, if any form of physical violence is expressed here against the Fellowship of Friends Cult, I will be honored to leave this forum. And still I thank you for owning this wonderful toy that has allowed me to scream for a year since you cannot hear when I whisper.

52. Yesri Baba - July 20, 2008

35 ton

From what I can remember the movie barely scratched the surface. Kind of turned it into a boxing movie. It’s been a while though.

53. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

51 Elena
You may like to know that on a crest behind the residing judge in British lawcourts is the French phrase – Dieu et mon droit (God and my right). I kept looking at it when I was hauled into the magistrates court in Exeter, after a night in the cells, screaming my head off. I was charged with criminal damage for ‘trashing’ my (then) psychiatrist’s car in the asylum car-park, but let go with a conditional discharge (of course I meant to do it but, hey, I’m mentally ill, right?!). This is what I mean about the ‘no fear’ part of my psyche. Lawyers who oppose us when (and I mean WHEN!) we get REB in court will get a sound verbal tirade from me because I will go beyond that legalise ‘crap’ and being asked, or being commanded to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a question. Let’s go plain Anglo-Saxon there and then. Actually, you may like to know that the Magna Carta (which King John was forced to sign) states: “To no man will we sell, deny or delay the right of justice”. Hope THAT gets to Burty-pants!

54. Another Name - July 20, 2008

Dear friends and Nigel

When I searched the Defensive Personality disorder I came upon a book of Martha Beck Following your North Star. In this book Martha describes how she almost signed in for psychiatric treatment as she was diagnosed with bipolar. She started to write down which days she was in her high and lows and discovered that she was in her highs when she was true to her self and did what her essential self needed. She was in her lows when he did things for her social self, things which took her a lot of energy. Very interesting and I would say worth reading her book: Follow your North Star. A book that deals with how to take better care of your self from your soul perspective. Very useful for many of us including people who are still in.

Enjoy and Love your self, forgive yourself, you are part of this world

55. unoanimo - July 20, 2008

Dedicated & To a Fellowship of Friends’ member who I met at the side of John G’s bedside recently…

I remember our talk at the Oregon House Grocery store too, how you told me about your difficulties of working in “Life” for that “brief time” and with those “Life-people” and how stressful it was to take all their sleep “in”… Additionally, how “hard enough it was to work at the Collin Office, anyways…”

(Things will change, the Collin Office will be closing and relocating by the end of December.)

Here’s the rub ~

When our hearts get a knock, there’s something that’s gotten inside them and who holds the lock-less doorknobs tight; you remember this game, yes?

As children we learned it, turn the doorknob to where its latch stays open, lean against it, hold the knob dead-tight and wait for the person to stop struggling to try and open themselves into your new, pretend-guarded-my space, then, suddenly, you quick-open the door and say ‘Boo! I got you!’ Do we have each other, really? How many people can truly fit inside a jouster’s suit of armor?

We can do this ‘doorknob game’ to ourselves everyday, it’s just unnoticeable, now that certain ‘real friends’ on the other side of the door left these sorts of mind-games a long time ago… And our commonsense became structured into commotion.

I never had to think in order to maintain the Best-friend I had as a child; my essential soul equipment took care of itself by way of feelings and results… And, do you remember those phone calls, where a friend would just ring to say, ‘Hey, do you want to…?’ With no any-thing attached to it, other than pure inner self enjoyment and celebration of the fact that we could do such things as human being incarnates? Not that we (made) each other happy, we (were) happy with one another silently, intuitively.

Now, we, if we’re lucky, can be caught by ourselves playing with that little round mirror, hanging above the door-trim like mistletoe as the game’s Boo-receiver, though this ‘thing’ doesn’t allow you to kiss yourself… It’s reserved only for kicking and screaming… No graduation from Narcissus’s plight allowed… (Yet)

Yes, “life people are difficult” because life is difficult for the difficult, cult person… Perhaps the only ‘things’ (sorry Whalerider, sometimes ‘things’ is all there is…) that keep people thinking the Fellowship of Friends is a higher and different difficulty are the religious hopes and pain-relief-illusions that they’ve been taught to be in control of by holding certain aphrodisiacs to calm the contradictions, inner hypocrisies and pangs of conscience…

Plus those held cult-manipulated tools of such exercises as
Mannerism-photographing ~ IMO, the psychic ability to outline another with your subconscious expectation-silhouette of yourself or having an exact opposite expectation of another so to self-medicate what you actually are yourself and worse for it than they, for being able to perceive them as your twin “who should know better” than to be what you already are)…

And intellectual exercises taught to us to cover our feelings with self-flattery (or denial) or playing the affirmative to another’s weakness with the hope for a future out come that simply evolves into better tires for the Wheel of Reoccurring Affirmative Exercises to support a family who adopts only, those orphans within all of us, who can be taught how to abort their inner-child pregnancies for a cause that allows no graduation, no births, while under the influence of expectation and trauma-identity-entitlements, i.e., kudos for pain sediment calming…

We’ve all been put through this to some extent and maybe we can continue to support living the path and not staring at that one stepping stone who always seems to be a bit askew due to that damned mole (or gopher)…

For me, whoever is difficult ‘in Life’ is also reflecting who/what’s difficult inside me, my inner-life, there’s no division… It’s not the trouble in this world, its the Trouble-maker within.

While we were taught by the Fellowship of Friends to think from both hemispheres at once (divided attention), without conscious empathy, conscience and the freedom for healthy autonomous living amongst each other, it’s simply more division x2 (x3 if your trauma-reaction believes what another’s says about you) and keeps the original division-trauma inside you doubly fresh and over fed, irritable and fearful of being a family member amongst billions who know not where they came from or where they’re going, which is pretty scary at times, though, at least real…

BTW, who told you (us) that conscientiously considering others (externally) was reserved for those who reserve the right (internally) to not consciously consider you and your feelings, instead, giving you a photograph and more ‘self-family-album’ work to do? How many memos have you now collected that say ‘Love, Robert’ and not ‘Love, Your Conscience’?

When feelings and pure, untrained essence get involved in the Fellowship of Friends’ contradictory practices and hypocrisies, there’s always a button that gets pushed, a whispering beneath the whisperer’s usual secrets, a cult-protocol for taking care of this ‘denying force’ by denying some more, your heart that is, by the tools of a religious expectation in a better tomorrow or place, threat of god-punishment and exile to the moon, trauma-role-playing (which feeds the believability in these superstitions) and Superstition itself as the Queen of the Damned…

We all had or have this Archetype in us; I thought though that ‘she’ was originally meant to stay inside our peripheral vision (?) That button also resides in us, when we threaten to retreat in peace in protest concerning a charge of war, because inside, they’re both going in the exact same direction, on the defense…

What are we protecting by being defensive and giving ultimatums, except a certain something that’s pulling our external expectation-strings or the inner-puppet-master not wishing to be seen by the puppets; a spirit disconnect on the inside? Or could it be that our soul is a type of embryo in this body-womb-story? The space that exists to be freely defined as creating the division is You (?)

This method of ‘Keeping the sheep for a household not their Own’ used by the Fellowship of Friends has been adopted from older church systems who learned it via whatever system was suppressing themselves innerly, so, not being able to work with it, they simply turned themselves outwards and made a mockery of their pain by being painful and expectant of others, IMO. Though the mocking, to me, is subconscious and a condition mostly, not a judgment or calling out of someone who is really going about trying to make my day worse (or the world’s) knowingly with real purpose.

So, these feelings; yes, there were some disturbances at the Gate House recently, some ‘Signs of the Times’… Look again my friend, at what our ‘real family’ did/does with feelings in general and with your feelings too… (Is there such a thing as general when speaking of feelings?)

Feelings stood out there and simply wanted to express something; just like you want to know ‘really’ how it is that Robert Burton does what he does (in your name) without a likewise conscience you seem to nearly possess or at least want to a little bit and yet bring something around to write that darned, nagging check each month (?)

Isn’t the check hope for yourself, an investment, though spent for what then? If you’re investing in hope for yourself, your soul’s evolution, then, is what the Fellowship of Friends is doing with your money what you’d do as a child after saving up your first stash of cash from vacuuming the house each week for a month? Or have you been taught ‘Not to Look’ and let someone else manage your form of Government to arrive as a Heaven someday?

Or could it be that Robert Burton is a symbol of something unresolved inside yourself that you’re denying understanding and forgiveness towards? Is he really an angel, or (your angel of hope) that he’ll be delivered to a better place and be redeemed by your investment? Is his possible redemption the beginning of yours or a circumstance of possibilities that keep on going till…? Has the hope of gaining yourself out of the mire been turned into hope for the maintaining of another’s hope for you, his hope, C-Influence’s hope in stuffing your butterfly wings back inside a little cocoon for Next Time?

I remember, it was a 110 camera or a metal detector that I first bought with my savings, no joke; one to find the gold and another to gather photos of my friends and time… Who gave us the real personal proof we’d found gold in those hills? Who has hold of the gold leafed objects found and by whose metal detector, yours? I got rid of that 110 most likely for a 35mm and still have that metal detector in storage (available, almost for free)… The ‘gold’ for me were in my friendships and its difficult to separate them from the family-identity, yet, eventually it has to happen, with or without you, it will… Time guarantees this.

Isn’t that what you came to the school for in the first place, to achieve conscious autonomy by way of exercising your One-conscience up against the divisions found within you? Where did it happen that the Earth was blamed or resented for its divisions and not seen as a You, your own businesses within? After all, beauty’s in the eye of the Beholder and if the world’s an Us & Them scenario, then its because my glasses are labeled as such… At least that’s what I found out for myself.

How has that really turned out? How have these divisions become exclusive and ‘important denying force for your evolution’ that never seem to be supported by the Fellowship of Friends in going away, so to achieve that self-governing ‘body’ (conscious reconciliation?)? Were our divisions only being catered to and called ‘Ok’ since we were said to be “Not awakening this lifetime Dear…” anyways?

Isn’t the supporting of someone and a ‘family’ who is already, in symbol (without using your feelings), what you think you want to be like or in (via principle only) just promising you freedom from the outside in? Who can keep this promise really, except yourself for you?

IMO, a physical proximity that simply plays out a momentary satisfaction of inner-self-calming, the feeling gotten and thought to equal my antonymous inner freedom by being able to have got those outer stuffs, eventually digs its own grave and makes a diving pool out of it while I’m naive enough to play such ironic games…

What has the Fellowship of Friends done with our investment in conscious feelings? Well, where “life people” used to park to wait for their children to be dropped off by the school bus and where feelings could once stand and be themselves, the Fellowship of Friends has filled that SPACE with Robert Burton’s palm trees and posted No Trespassing Signs on both private properties flanking the Gate House entrance…

So, here you have it my friend: two categories of affirmative signage for our soul’s evolution into feeling an essential sort of Conscious-conscience-path …

1) Feelings that spark Conscience and considerations for fundamental conscious change.
2) Un-irrigated palm trees bound in black containers and flanked by No Trespassing Signs.

I ask, what is it in any one of us that can put up these ‘No Trespassing Signs’ on our bedroom doors and still play doorknob games with The Friend? Where did the courage to join a ‘New Family’ turn back into old family values, those same rules and oppressions that drove us into ourselves, almost deep enough not to search for another surrogate-government than our own awaiting, that one who ‘looked’ to be on the positive end of the same candle burning at both ends, i.e., the Fellowship of Friends vs or equaling the dysfunctional families we’ve got within?

Being in the Fellowship of Friends is being in yourself; it’s a journey and I am not condemning it, simply hailing you a little bit about the heart-fact that the Crow’s Nest is not where actual crows see from BTW.

Go deeper; your trauma is reacting to this entire Earth-circumstance and it’s all yours, a mirrored from the inside, hollow crystal ball and while something’s shaking you, the snow’s only for your entertainment, not theirs… The traumas we carry; it’s not about their symbols and personal choice groups or labels…

We’ve all played the part of being the only bird who’s a Bird-watcher in a forest watching what we thought as different than what we’ve all got already inside, lots of nest building-want and no eggs for fear of foxes and blue jays…

Yes, every once in awhile fate balls up our personal choices and tosses them into the trash, this is why chickens lay more than one egg in a lifetime and how the sun doesn’t collapse into a trillion shards of undecipherable golden messages when we fail utterly at something…

I would ask you this my friend ~ Was there a time when you sat in your bedroom, with the door and windows wide open and simply saw from the inside of a vacuum-like space, no air, no personal atmospheres or aspiring affirmations or downward regrets, rather, from your existence as One Presence inside a very personal and sacred-holy-circumstance?

From that place, who said ‘Let’s…’ first or ‘Why?’ ? Who started making plans to fill the vacuum with stuff that’s not really about you? Was it those who were already full? Yes, partly, I think so; that we’re possessed by echos and lots of shiny antiques with others’ fingerprints on them and to mention, that armor we’ve forged to fight the fight from the outside out, rather than from the inside to get more in, so to be truly on the outside and love from that place that knows no difference eventually in the two rumored to be at war with one another…

Do you hear it? The gentle tapping at the door? Is it The Friend or the mirror-mistletoe blowing in the breeze that’s on the Other Side, bumping against the oak veneer? What will you do? Will you risk opening the door? Ok, you’ll try it… Wait, the doorknob doesn’t turn and you’re thrown back upon your meditation cushion by a new visitor who yells ‘Boo! I am You!’

Hey, wait a minute, this is a new game and you’ve become what you’ve been waiting for all this time… Now, can you really wrestle with this New Visitor or will you allow the thought ‘Rude-awakening’ of your conscience to harvest you again as Grain for Another Day?

Love to you and enjoy the poetry; it’s all that I do not recall ever wanting and everything we can do to be ourselves a ‘We’.


56. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

54 Another Name – thanks for that – I will look up the recommended book and, yes, I do feel better in my highs and also super-efficient but also OMNIPOTENT (like I can take on the whole world!). But I actually came on the blog at this stage of my evening (nearly 9pm) to quote from Shakespeare’s Henry V “When fear and lenity (read goodness) play for a kingdom, the gentlest gamester is the surest winner”…….Let us take care of one other in these “difficult and dangerous times” (‘Chess’ – Tim Rice)

57. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 20, 2008

My two cents on social and psycho-social disorders: Check out the Polyvagal Technique. A technique that works with the social nervous system developed by Stephen Porges recently and having incredible success with autism and other psychological disorders by manipulation of the 10th cranial nerve.


58. rock that boat - July 20, 2008

David and Goliath

Elena and the FOF

In Michaelangelo’s David a solitary hero
confronts a much stronger adversary and, against impossible odds,
achieves victory.

BRAVO Elena!

59. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

55 Unoanimo
I have waited so long to hear something so beautifully put (here on the blog). Thank you so much…..Nigel.

60. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

57 Wakeuplittlesuzywakeup

I think Porges is almost there, although he mixes up the endocrinal reactive systems, as far as I can understand it…..Nigel

61. brucelevy - July 20, 2008

Craziness abounds today.

62. nigel harris price - July 20, 2008

60 brucelevy
Join in and be helpful, otherwise, be quiet, to put it mildly…..Nigel.

63. You-me-us-they - July 20, 2008

Welcome back here Unoanimo!

64. rock that boat - July 20, 2008

Master of the written word

How sad that FOF has prevented its brightest and most curious
members to help create a Brave New World.
How sad that FOF has ensured that the Dark Ages will remain darker for much longer.

Coleridge says: A great mind is androgynous
In each of us 2 powers preside, one male, one female.
it is when fusion between the two takes place
that the mind is fully fertilised and uses all its faculties.

FOF has cast a spell to interfere with the reality perception
of the one entranced.

Your bedside friend lost trust in her/his intuition
our ‘god’ given saving grace that enables us to travel the road less
taken, travel towards the unknown region.

65. brucelevy - July 20, 2008

61. nigel harris price

I’ll say what I damn well please.

66. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 20, 2008

61 nigel harris price

Oh, good heavens–of all people to lecture someone else about limiting his posts to what’s “helpful.”

67. brucelevy - July 20, 2008

If we’re back to the fucking Nigel/Elena therapy hour, and it’s all right there in front of us, some of us are going to call it the way we see it. If you have a problem with it, well, then you have a problem with it. Try a chill pill.

68. ton - July 20, 2008

37 Mc Danger… that’s a good one!
“How about a concession stand? I came for the T-shirt and all I got was a lousy blowjob?”

you’d think it would be a good bj with all the practice “it’s” had.

52 baba… thanks — i won’t add it to the netflix list. THE POWER OF ONE was a good read if you have time for a novel.

57 good link, thanks for that.

uno it’s good to read your words here again… i always enjoy your posts. so poignant, so pointed and yet still leaving so much open for interpretation.


69. paulshabram - July 20, 2008

Unoamino 55
Feel better now?

I think there is an opportunity here to go back to the subject of what underpins staying with the FOF (other than the financially entrapped).

I believe the question has to come back to “Is the FOF a conscious “school”, and is RB a conscious being? And to support that “Are there really 44 (plus a few more) conscious beings acting as “Angels”? We all must of thought this was true, or at least considered the probability as high in order to stay. What, specifically, was so convincing?

Nobody came out and proclaimed RB “man number 5, 6, 7, (7.3?). RB has done that himself ex parte using the “Influence C” as the proof. Yet nobody has yet to own up to having verified “C-Influence”.

And BTW what’s in it for the 44 (and a whole lot more)? Weird porno? What?

70. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 20, 2008

Hi Nigel: Could you please go onto the GF site and email me what you think about Porges and the endocrine system. I am very interested in this right now. Thanks.

71. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 20, 2008

For me, the ability to be emotionally intimate with one another is a big one for people. Little did I know when I joined the FOF that I would become worse at it as the years went on. And now many years later I see how this very thing still haunts me. I am getting better at it however, although it is not something even considered a weakness in the FOF and having non-intimate sex on a regular basis surely makes it worse.

72. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 20, 2008

67 paulshabram

Paul, I’m still confused about why you pose the question in terms of concepts that themselves may reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of reality, e.g., that there exists such a thing as a “conscious being,” although you’ve said you don’t accept that paradigm. I’m not implying that “we’re all conscious” or “consciousness is an illusion,” just that the quantum model of “conscious being”/”not conscious being” may be a con (or at least “formatory” and used by some people as a con). I don’t question that some people may be more conscious more of the time than others (if we assume that time exists on some level), but the Big Bang theory of consciousness may well be a childish fairy tale, notwithstanding Meher Baba, Ramana Maharshi, etc. and the assumption that one minute they were just like you and me, and the next minute, aware of themselves as God Incarnate. I’ve always assumed RB was implying as much when he referred to himself as a “7.3,” and was suggesting that anyone who took that as fact deserved what they got.

73. Across the River - July 20, 2008

Nigel, thank you for your recent posts which I feel have added much truth to the discussions.

Elena, your solitary picketing effort has resulted in a broader exposure to the FOF than anyone might have imagined, so the end result of your effort is a triumph to us all. If you need someone to stand in court with you again to protect your right to express yourself as you see fit, email me privately (with a little notice) and I can be there.

Your physical safety in this endeavor has always been a concern for me, but the posts re guns (39/126,127,128,130,131) and trespassing (41/2,36,37) are mostly juvenile. It takes a stretch of imagination to consider them threatening. I don’t understand how you can practically stand them next to Greg’s vitriolic posts which are clearly and solely aimed at destroying free speech on the blog by driving people away. Having knowledge of all these posts, and referring to your appreciation of limits, I disagree with your assessment and the impression it gives someone unfamiliar with Greg’s destructive rants.

I add my voice to ‘ton’s post 34 about keeping your voice here. Your words sounded as though it was your wish to see the blog reformed around the considerations of your picketing activities and that seems to have forced an unfortunate stand-off between you and our host.
I think all of us here want to deter any posts that can become fodder for the FOF or any sidelined weirdos, and would speak out against such expressions, but I would expect you, of all people, to first of all embrace freedom of speech.

I see such a contradiction in this and wonder if you could explain in a different way what you were asking for. Free speech requires alot of hard work and uncertainty. The reality of that principle will always extend beyond our personal comfort zone. You have set in motion something requiring an immediate response from the FOF, and, frankly, nobody knows what that might be next, but censorship is surely a backward path on both sides.

Maybe you’ve reconsidered your position. I’m very interested in your response.

Another thank you, Ames, for being in court to support Elena. Ongoing thanks, Sheik, for hosting and thanks to all here who share their best.

74. Cake please - July 20, 2008

Reef Knot

In the kitchen
kettle on, pots and pots of tea
am I pulling rank on you
just based on numbers?

pouring out advice to you,
as if there was a hope in hell
I could ever follow any of it

but you know I can’t

we are so connected
a million obvious reasons why
a million oblivious reasons why not
but in the end it is none of these, is it?

you see me, and I see you
I feel you and you feel me
you know too much about the thing I think is me
and I know too much about the thing you think is you

once opened, can the heart ever be closed?

It hurts to see you twisting your self up so
it is painful to see curl up and coil against your self

me saying,
no future. no past
just now, just now, just now

and you saying
hey! what do you call that thing
you are currently doing with your heart

well, all I can say is
that would be a reef knot


moving the heart from left to right

75. nigel harris price - July 21, 2008

As to 64 and 65, is this not just what we were expecting as a response and underpinning just what we were saying? Think about it, you two! For Suzy (68), I have just got up at 1.30am (GMT) to take some water because of my extra Lithium Cabonate (Priadel) chill-pill (OK Bruce, are you satisfied?) and decided to see what was being posted – will get back to you in about 5 hours about my thoughts on Porges theory and the endocrine system. Yours…..Nigel.

76. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 21, 2008

73 nigel

“As to 64 and 65, is this not just what we were expecting as a response and underpinning just what we were saying? Think about it, you two!”


Nigel, I have no idea what you’re trying to say. Can you please translate? And who is “we”?

77. Associated Press - July 21, 2008

Dear Elena, (and all),

There is an issue here on the blog that you raise about advocating violence. In particular, you mention the post(s) about the use of firearms against the Fellowship of Friends and/or its member(s). Perhaps your memory is faulty because there was no such thing stated. What was stated was that a poster suggested that you consider DEFENDING YOURSELF AGAINST UNDUE VIOLENCE FROM MEMBER(S) OF THE FELLOWSHIP OF FRIENDS who, as you posted, threatened you with bodily harm with their car(s) by driving them directly at you.

The suggestion was for you to get a gun and/or a permit for a gun. Also suggested, that it would be justifiable use of like force should a person encounter it from someone. Furthermore, as I believe it still is a rule with the Fellowship of Friends, that anyone acting violently would no longer be a member. So, anyone that has acted violently towards you, or anyone else, is all the same as not being a member anymore. The post(s) also said, if such circumstances arose, that a warning shot be fired first before firing at the violent actor.

Additionally, there was posting that stated that it was not necessary to take such action(s), but, the mere putting it into print on the blog and having people read it was sufficient deterrence in that people will think carefully before they attempt to use their car(s) as an instrument of deadly force against you, or anyone else. (A person acting in that manner can be charged with attempted murder. And, if they did it purposefully, perhaps ‘depraved indifference’ could be added to the charge(s). Other possible dimensions to the charge(s) could include: a ‘hate crime.’ As in FoF dogma/thinking, all ‘Life People’ are a special class subject to derogatory treatment. (I could just see a jury of mixed people, both in and out of FoF, having deliberations over the subject of ‘Life People.’ Vivid imagination! Especially, if the ‘Life Person’ is actually dead, in a murder case.))

Typically, there is a progression of activity that has many steps before actual violence might take place. One of those steps is that people communicate in a reasoned fashion. One of those possible steps is to communicate the idea: ‘Those who live by the sword are highly likely to die by the sword.’ And, another: ‘The pen is mightier than the sword.’ That’s one of the reasons why human beings were given the ability to communicate with each other; to avoid unnecessary violence/loss of life.

I hope this summary helps put to bed the subject of violence as discussed here on the blog. lately.

[Gee, what phase of the moon is it? Are there meteor showers or something? How about: the air is almost impossible to breathe at times? Or, it’s got to be 110′ out here.]

78. paulshabram - July 21, 2008

Delicious, Cake!

Ahhh. I think I finally see the confusion, I hope.

I hope you understand that these questions are really aimed at the current members that are listening here. In order for me to come to the exact same place you are speaking from I had to break the circular thinking about the FOF and RB. I don’t think the question of relative consciousness has to be answered to break the cycle. It is not necessary to debunk what you might call the Quantum Model of Consciousness (great analogy BTW). I am not sure it helps to just say “there is no such thing.” I think it’s outside the “reality” of a cult member. A lot of family and friends said as much to me while I was in, but the circular thinking was strengthened not weakened because of this.
The cult experience is like a merry-go round, lots of angular momentum while going nowhere. Meanwhile, much energy is wasted and the closer you get to the center, the more people are ground up in the gears. We talked many times here about how it got started and what keeps it going. Structurally, however, the weak link is located within the circle. Pull these pins out and the thing falls apart. At least it was that way for me.
The FOF was supposed to be “verification” based when I was in. It was explained that a C influence school required verification. The verification did not go deep enough. If it had it would be at the level you are pointing at. In reality it was faith based and disguised, so the circle was formed at the “is RB conscious” level. Ironically, there is now no attempt to hide the faith requirement, and that is defined by the system as a “B” influence school. The system destroys itself.

79. whalerider - July 21, 2008

“We” would be the summation of our many splintered selves and personalities. We all have them, including you and me, and Mr. Price is no exception. People who are too one-sided are frankly IMO, boring and don’t appear so enlightened.

In the underpinnings of our minds as well as on this blog there lurks a critical voice that leaps to the forefront and makes an assessment of something or someone. And thank God for that ability. We need it to survive. We also all need positive reinforcement as an underpinning to survive, too, and some more than others. Nigel makes no secret of the challenges he faces in moderating his mood and thinking. He has to resort to meds for help and that indicates a serious condition.

Nigel is checking in here for a chat and a pat. Are his needs no different from our own? I think of him as an intellectual jazz player who has his own riff, and like it or not, we are part of his support network because he identifes with being an ex-cult member like the majority of us here. It wouldn’t hurt to humor him a little.

And even though she’s a total pain in the ass, one day we’ll all thank Elena, too, for being such a royal pain the in FOF’s rear end. I mean, she now has to remove herself 50 feet from the sphincter…sorry, gate house…of the FOF. It’s for her own protection…I wouldn’t recommend going anywhere near that sphincter without latex gloves and a face mask anyway. You don’t know what has gone on in there.

Hmmm…Gee, I wonder how many times someone has even had some kind of sex in that guardhouse late at night?

C’mon, ‘fess up, you guys…

80. nigel harris price - July 21, 2008

74 Just another voice
I think whalerider (in 76) sums up what I mean about being ‘helpful’ and understands what someone described my condition as ‘most of the time Nigel is OK, but, now and again, the cheese slips off his cracker’. What I also mean about contributing in a broad sense is that destructive blogs indicate a destructive personality, which also has the potential to destroy the being of the person who posts that blog. Whalerider knows that I have grown ‘because of, and not despite, the denying force’ of my serious mental disorder – I would have it no other way – it is part of me. And – yes – I want all who post here to feel they are growing, not just firing missiles with the aim of hurting others…..Nigel.

81. elena - July 21, 2008

Across the River,

If you are really interested the answer is already in post 18. Feeling physically threatened myself has been enough to understand that that is not something I wish to impose to anyone in the Fellowship or share a space where this is viable.

It is easy for those who are not exposing themselves as others are to be too lax with their words. I am extremely grateful to Mick for retrieving that line of thought rather than insisting on it, as I’ll never tell also did. If nothing is said, the tendency would be to increase rather than decrease that kind of statements.

Thank you for your offer to come to court, there is another hearing on the 8th of August if you wish to be there with the aim of stopping me from harassing them permanently, that is, on the blog and picketing.

82. nigel harris price - July 21, 2008

78 Elena
Hope you are ready for 8 August – glad to hear, also, that the blog is having some impact on the FOF ‘persona’. Can you clue me in? – Am I correct that the First Amendment of the United States of America is the Right of Freedom of Speech?…..Nigel.

83. whalerider - July 21, 2008

We have a lot in common…we both worked in a psych unit and we both love cake. You can tell she bakes love into her cakes because we all love her right back. And then out of the blue, she bakes another one. I savor each bite. Is there anyone on the blog who doesn’t love cake?

Man, you can hold your breath for a long time! Welcome back to the fresh air here, or maybe for you this is the underwater dive? I know how much you love the ocean.

Things are not what they seem, as Will Strunk would say. I am glad to have provided you with that hallmark moment mid-sentence in your museful rif.

84. nigel harris price - July 21, 2008

71 Across the River
I posted this part of ‘The Prayer’ (first sung by C Dion and A Bocelli) before, but it fits well here again:-

“I pray you be our eyes, and watch us where we go;
And help us to be wise, in times when we don’t know;
Let this be our prayer; when we lose our way;
Guide us to a place, help us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.”

I’ve got the Katherine Jenkins version (cos I’m Welsh)…..Nigel.

85. MdM - July 21, 2008

Dear Elena,
I could probably write you a private e-mail, but I rather take this opportunity to publicly discuss with you, even at the risk to be torn into pieces by opposing voices.
I really thought that what you were doing was great, great for YOU, from the point of view of giving yourself the freedom and confidence to stand for what you believe, speak your mind openly and challenge your own fears.
You were already doing that by writing your posts without hiding behind an anonymous name, something most of us would not dare to do.
Good for you.
And you know, after I’ve seen you picketing under the blistering sun, with your yellow straw hat and your almost unreadable signs, I honestly cheered for you, I thought it must have been such a liberating, almost therapeutic experience for you.

Now I’m a bit perplexed by the effect that your actions might have on those ‘still students’ who I truly hope to see one day ‘emancipated’.
I know, as you know, as we all know, how one’s mind thinks and processes an event like this from the “inside” world.
In my opinion what you are doing is not really encouraging for those who are still frightened at the idea of coming out, it’s actually reinforcing their unfounded belief and fear about what happens when one leaves.
It is not helping them to find reassurance and confidence in their free will, it’s probably making them more contrived and insecure.

What I’m saying is that although I think I know what you are trying to state through your actions, I don’t think that your message is effectively conveyed, or that it’s properly reaching those who you are probably targeting in the first place.

Perhaps there are other constructive ways which, even though will still create resistance from the fundamentalists, will also help the doubtful to counterbalance their fear with the constructive experience of an ‘outsider’.
Do I have suggestions?
Not really, and I would normally be inclined to support any form of controversy or remonstration, but I don’t see what the outcome could possibly be in these circumstances.
I don’t even believe that this is as ‘non violent’ as you defined it, because AS WE HAVE ALL EXPERIENCED, violence doesn’t need to be strictly corporeal, as much as a rape doesn’t need to be perpetrated aggressively.

I just hate to see your good intention and a possibility for real communication disrupted by poor means to carry it through.


86. whalerider - July 21, 2008

I am going to ask you not to take what people say here about you so personally. Who cares what people say? It’s a free country, last I checked. If you are just being yourself here, then you have to accept that not everyone will like you. That’s the PRICE of being free of trying to please everyone.

What someone writes here doesn’t have the power to destroy the being of anyone. Your being runs deeper. We are not at war here, either. It’s just that some of us here spent time in New York City.

Be the guy in the Matrix who can dodge bullets. Neo really believes in himself.

Now shouldn’t you be in bed?

87. Ames Gilbert - July 21, 2008

Sunday July 20 8 p.m.
I’ve just got back from picketing the Pyle with Elena. There was a ‘meeting’—the mind gently boggles…
It was actually quite fun. I had two (four sides) front-and-back signs hanging from a pole, so I could get them high and over the row of pots with palms. One side had, “No consciousness without conscience”, and, “Don’t buffer your conscience”. The other side had, “Mislaid your common sense?” and, “YOU are responsible”. Nothing defamatory there, and in fact IMHO a great deal compared to the mostly fluffy nonsense peddled within the gates.

The gate-keeper, a Dutch guy that I knew all those years ago (Henrik?), a leather worker, came out with his video camera, took some pictures, told us to stay 50 yards away. I reminded him that the injunction did not apply to me.

Saw some old faces, some new faces, dressed ‘to the nines’. Some people returned my wave as they drove by (thanks!) and some stared stonily ahead. One blew kisses (triple thanks!). Some seemed to have a sense of humor, others none. Some seemed to have some self-confidence, Burton’s ‘boys’ (I can pick them out a mile away, and Elena confirmed) were among the aloof, and even arrogant, but most projected fear, Pretty much the way it was in my time, really. One of Burton’s ‘boys’ and his girl came walking down the road, obviously late; all the wheels were taken, I guess. He looked Russian, small, neat, good-looking in that boyish way, impeccably groomed, a very expensive suit, trying to take long steps and be very present at the same time. His girl was the regulation 1 1-2 yards behind on his right, looked a decent sort—as most followers do. Sigh! That’s one reason why I stayed so long, the very decent people…
When I walked back beside the lake back to my car, a couple of people stopped to offer a lift (thanks again!), but I waved them on.

It’s something I might do every now and then. It stirred things up, was quite different, and I saw how much more confident, alive and luminous I have become since leaving. Maybe some seeds were sown, and maybe some will germinate in due course. I encourage others to do this at least once if they can!

88. Yesri Baba - July 21, 2008


You wrote on 40 #266

“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.”

It made me think of this exchange between Ken Wilber and Carolyn Myss connecting on a phone interview titled:

Selling Water by the River: Part 1 If It’s Not Funny I Don’t Need It

KW: Why can’t we get time zones right? I guess we’re living in eternity right?
CM:Well alright, you like that answer? I’ll go with that one Ken. I like it. That makes me sound very good.
KW: It’s that or organic brain damage.
CW: Ok, we can go that route too.

I guess we just don’t know.

“We are all practicing dream-like practice to realize dream-like enlightenment.”
Lama Surya Das

89. whalerider - July 21, 2008

Thanks Ames. You’re the man. I am proud of you.

God, I sure pity those Russian boys…and their girls.

90. rock that boat - July 21, 2008

85. Ames Gilbert
I’ve just got back from picketing the Pyle with Elena.


91. Mishaba7 - July 21, 2008

I am amazed at the reaction that a little picketing received from the fof. To haul Elena into court over such a trifling event must mean that the fof is concerned about the response of the members. If all were well in the naked emperor’s house of cards, a lone picket would be easily ignored. What would happen if TWO persons picketed, or THREE, or if every person emotionally damaged, destroyed, disgusted, bankrupted, spiritually corrupted, familially alienated, life interupted by rb picketed on the same day, at the same time, why that would be a movement. We could condense the most egregious wrong perpetrated by the fof/rb to us onto posters and stand among the potted palms in nonviolent protest.

Poster Ideas:
All I asked was, “Who owns the vineyard?”
The fof took my inheritance and won’t give it back.
The fof destroyed my family.
I was raped at the Renaissance.
I had an abortion for consciousness.
Stella and Harold Wirk were right.
If a wine wins prizes,does it excuse the corrupt winemaster?
The fof is a pyramid scheme
I became a talking robot at Apollo.
I wish I had listened to Samuel Sanders
Hey, let’s look up the definition of cult.
I left my dysfunctional family to embrace a dysfunctional cult.
(of course, all poster comments can be done with “it” replacing “I”)

Elena, give us a date to join you.

92. rock that boat - July 21, 2008

85 Ames

Saw some old faces, some new faces, dressed ‘to the nines’. Some people returned my wave as they drove by (thanks!) and some stared stonily ahead. One blew kisses (triple thanks!). Some seemed to have a sense of humor, others none. Some seemed to have some self-confidence, Burton’s ‘boys’ (I can pick them out a mile away, and Elena confirmed) were among the aloof, and even arrogant, but most projected fear

Fear is the cheapest room in the house
I would like to see you
living in better conditions


93. nigel harris price - July 21, 2008

82 whalerider
You’re right. I’ve only spent 2 days in New York city but found that New Yorkers were prouder of being New Yorkers than Californians were of being Californians – not being so ‘laid back’ is what I mean….
Nigel. P.S. And you made the suggestions humorous, this way!

94. Across the River - July 21, 2008


I believe nobody here would stand by for violent threats posted through this blog. Set your own limits wherever you wish, but asking that others be censored to mold the blog to your own design is a little bit of tyranny.

Maybe at another time you’ll answer my question about this contradiction in the value you seem to otherwise hold for freedom of expression. It’s not to say there are no limits, but IMO we are far from the need for a police state, with all considerations for your own and others’ safety.

Meanwhile…more information please about the time/place on August 8th, and I hope you’re resting well tonight.


Thank you. These words reminded me somehow of the hymn “Nearer My God To Thee” which I find really beautiful. Not something I often have a reason to share!


The gate-keeper’s name is Hein. Thanks for sharing. Maybe some with eyes to see could appreciate your confidence and vitality.

95. nigel harris price - July 21, 2008

Apologies to all who may have been affected on Sunday afternoon/evening by my Martial-defensive tactics. It is just that I do not like what I call ‘niggling’ about others’ contributions, without making a solid contribution oneself…..Nigel.

96. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 21, 2008

58, 64, 84, 89, 90 and 91 are newly moderated.

Elena: That really saddens me. I can assure you that while running this blog has some benefits for me, my shiny toy is primarily a shit-load of work (such as taking time to communicate this to you only so that you attack me again, wishing to hurt).

This is the last time I will repeat this. Greg was banned because unless he is given a firm no, he tests the boundaries of how far he can push people, he has done a number of things (including spamming the blog and intentionally trying to unmask people) to damage a number of people. He is not coming back because he does not change (I have been informed of his behaviour on other sites, on different occassions, by different people; and really, he does not change). If he comes again, he will be banned and his posts deleted.

The only thing of importance for me in the running of this blog, is the lack of harm imposed on others. If someone attempts to injure someone else in a serious manner, I will react. Childish pranks and misplaced comments do not fit this category. Greg’s behaviour did.

Numerous people over the past year have asked for the banning of this or other person (you, my dear Elena, most decidedly included), or for the imposition of this or that rule. My response has always been a ‘no’.

As for myself, I am here because the blog would not run without me (or someone doing what I do). If I could have this automated, I would, it would save me a lot of effort, time and energy.

The reason I keep this place going is because it provides a service that I consider valuable to others, before myself.

And I genuinely find it most disturbing that in response to anything you perceive to be a criticism (or even disagreeing with your chosen course of action) you react with attacking any weakness that you perceive in your enemy (and I have, for some strange reason, become your enemy, haven’t I?).

97. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 21, 2008

Elena: I think that I now know why you felt the way you did, it was because I called your behaviour a game, wasn’t it? And for you, it’s everything but, it’s very serious.

I made the mistake of believing that you were aware of the manipulative and coercive nature of your post (which is how it appeared to me), while you were simply doing what felt ‘right’.

I think that calling your behaviour a game was as painful for you, as it was for me to have my endeavours here likened to playing with a toy.

I apologize, I did not mean to insult or belittle you.

98. Mick Danger - July 21, 2008

Ever hear of civil disobedience?
There was this old hippie guy – Henry David Thoreau.
He said this about Ames:
“That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.”

99. Mick Danger - July 21, 2008

30 – Thanks Natalie – The Voice of an Angel.
“Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,
To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.” – William Congreve

100. akakaka - July 21, 2008

Hello all, been away for a long time and there’s too much to really catch up with, but this page has been very interesting! Wow. First Sheik, I think what you have done with this blog has been an act of pure selfless community service.

I have an idea about an alternative to picketing. How about a lemonade stand? “FREE ICE COLD LEMONADE” reads the sign and if anyone stops then you could try to engage them one on one. It might just be odd enough to bypass some folks’ fear.

101. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 21, 2008

Nigel: Check GF messages. Thanks.

102. elena - July 21, 2008

I accept your apology with much gratitude. Please also accept mine, if I’ve wounded you.

Across the River,
Freedom of Speech is not Freedom to abuse. Threatening someone physically in words or actions is an abuse.

rock the boat (58) Thanks for the joy, it lightens things up!

Everything you say in your post is so accurate and your poster ideas so much to the point it would be wonderful if you would bring them to the gatehouse. J.F by Day finishes on the 28th, so any time before that would be a good time. Friday, Saturday, Sunday or during the week. The impact of many people picketing would be enough to overrun the ‘lunatic’ buffer and start considering things more seriously. I hope others listen to you. Thank you so very much for your clearness.

Yours is the most human voice that I’ve heard here in a long, long time. You have no idea how deeply it pleases me.

I agree with you, for me personally it has been wonderful to get all this out of my system and stop feeling that the Fellowship owes me anything or I owe it anything.

I also understand your concern about picketing not being as gentle as shaking a hand and that it will make some of the members more fanatic than relaxed. I am afraid that that is the price I am willing to pay while I bet on the possibility of less fanatic members to consider the issues more seriously and deeply. It is very difficult to see the human implications of what is happening inside when they are totally disguised with that much silk and perfume.

I do not expect members to start leaving today because of this months picketing but if non-members can do this at least once a month, they’ll harvest every member that is discontent and no one is really well in the Fellowship of Friends except the fanatics that are “delighted” by “decree”.

I insist in the fact that the process of reincorporating one’s self to “Life” is beautiful and rewarding. Being a cancerigenous cell in a tumor is not nearly as fun as being a cell in a healthy body. I do not consider myself any different to a social doctor trying to get rid of a tumor in a lunatic that doesn’t know he has it. Most would let the lunatic die and to hell with the cancer but for the doctor the decree is to save life. The use of force is not the same as the use of violence, just as firmness has nothing to do with aggression.

It would be wonderful if while some of us take care of cutting through the skin and reaching for the cancer, others would prepare the healing ointments and clean cloths for the recovery.

As I’ve been saying for quite a while, ex-members who seriously care about members, ought to organize themselves in an association willing to assume help to those who leave and need it which are, ironically enough, the most fanatic.

In my humble opinion what a member needs after leaving and to be able to leave is: at least a year of rest to simply be and feel himself with himself or herself. Recovering one’s SELF takes time and it is precisely the SELF what has been lost to Robert. If ex-members could organize themselves and offer anything they have to members leaving and someone could be actually contacted by this person, verified and considered for the different help available, that would be the real beginning of human for us.

For me, the best treatment for an ex-member would be to go where s/he grew up for at least six months and recover silk threads of their essence. This is a magical process; no one can do it for one but one’s self reconnecting with one’s self. Maybe there are ex-members living where a member leaving needs to come and they can host them for a short time. That generosity is in itself an aspect of the trust in life that a fanatic member needs to recover.

Alternatively, some members may have properties that a member could use. If someone were willing to start organizing such resources for members, you could offer my place in the Caribbean coast for fifteen dollars a day to pay the caretakers there to serve them and help them. This is not as ideal as going where the person grew up but just being able to rest for a long time without having any contact, conditions, and obligations is a tremendously healing process that allows a member to recover track of whom s/he is and where he really wants to go. I am willing to offer this service even to members that then decide they wish to go back to the Fellowship. Sad as that would be, it is not about forcing people into living a certain life but in giving them the opportunity to consider other possibilities than that of the Fellowship: One in which they can include themselves.

Besides a place to rest for some time I would also be willing to pay a monthly amount to such Association that could oscillate between ten to a hundred dollars depending on my circumstances for the next three years.

If we can trust someone to keep transparent records of money and services to particular members who might consider such help and option, perhaps many of you would be willing to participate. If you would like to let me know privately about your opinions on this idea you can contact me at ludoteka@succeed.net or in the Greater Fellowship.

One of the beauties of the Fellowship was the possibility to travel to center houses for little money. This can still be done amongst ex-members who would be willing. There are many areas that can be profited from our FOF experience without having to lose ourselves in the madness of Robert’s greed.

103. Mick Danger - July 21, 2008

There’s been some good programming on VH1 on “The Who”.

“If I told you what it takes
To reach the Highest High
You’d laugh and say
‘Nothing’s that simple’
But you’ve been told many times before
Messiah’s pointing to the door
And no one’s had the guts to leave the temple.

I’m free, I’m free
And Freedom tastes of Reality
And I’m waiting for you to follow me.” – Pete Townshend

104. Opus111 - July 21, 2008

Elena #100:

Those are good suggestions. In fact, quite a few ex-members are doing just that. That is how GF started, and it has been very helpful to people who want to re-connect, to secure their decisions and to exchange freely. There are ex-members in Oregon House who mix in a few willing members to largely ex-members small dinners, with good success, at least in showing that decency, warmth and intellectual honesty do exist outside the FOF. We now know these qualities struggle and often shrivel inside the FOF.

105. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 21, 2008


106. Yesri Baba - July 21, 2008

Hey, does anyone have more insights on the numerical grading system?

At 7 is it smoke and lightning like 6 or is it more rarified, say like angel farts and glitter?

Is it a steady grade or is it more like the Richter Scale? Are you ten times more awake at 7 than 6 or just a few watts?

With a ‘super-effort’ can you go from 6.3 to 6.7 or do you have to touch all the bases?

Was Ramana, like say, a 7.6 and Meher Baba 7.7 or vice-versa?

confused and curious.

107. ton - July 21, 2008

104 yesri…. yet another example of ‘spiritual materialism’ and an attempt to describe the ‘observable’ in terms of measurement and quantity — similar to but maybe more absurd than notions about measuring i.q. is it rene decartes who’s “credited” by history with introducing this type of thinking?

103 wuls

as an ‘erstwhile’ and somewhat freelance bodyworker, the ‘porges’ link was of interest and i would comment…. but since you specify another, enjoy this instead:

108. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 21, 2008

#105 ton: I am in the process of learning this technique so if you would like info on it go to GF and I’ll send you stuff but just so I don’t take up too much time on this here, Stanley Rosenberg Institute in Denmark uses the polyvagal technique in their craniosacral work. MEOW! loved that video!

109. brucelevy - July 21, 2008

104. Yesri Baba

It’s a logarithmic progression, and yes it’s angel farts and glitter, and edible underwear.

110. Ames Gilbert - July 21, 2008

Elena recently asked for the quote from Girard Haven’s book, “Creating a Soul”, page 576. Here it is; it is followed by some commentary by me!
“In particular, if he [Robert Earl Burton] knows what he is doing and we don’t, we have no basis for judging or doubting him. Instead, we simply have to trust him, as a child trusts his parents, or dog trusts its master. If he asks us to do things which seem to have no connection to awakening–or even to be ‘wrong’–we have no choice but to do them anyway.”

Girard spends 575 pages leading up to the first “if”, and obviously is preparing the reader to form the correct conclusion, “in this school, there is no question of ‘if’!
Girard Haven has put himself in a very tight corner, hasn’t he? So when Burton dispenses wisdom such as these words passed on via Peter Bishop in 1994, “Conscience is a collection of subjective ‘I’s. If a student accumulates too much material there, he should leave the school”, the proper response is, redouble efforts to ignore, bypass or squash conscience. Banish those inconvenient truths! Efforts, more efforts, super–efforts, whole lifetimes of efforts, dig the hole deeper, deeper, maybe heaven is in China!

So, what is wrong with the following picture?

An ‘intellectually–centered’ ‘man’ called Girard beats his body (a beautiful Gift of Gifts, whose misfortune is to ‘belong’ to an unloving tyrant) to rags, because that is easier than trying to critically verify what he is being told. This adored, admired, almost worshipped ‘conscious’ being, the fruit of 38 years of existence by the Fellowship of Friends, prostrates his Self to another who claims he is the intermediary between Girard and what he most desires. Or, rather, believes that he desires.

This ‘great intellectual’ aspires to elevate his own being, in his own words, to the level of a dog, so debased is his reasoning, his arc towards individuation, his trust in his own Self, in his own capacities, his own divine spark. This poor creature would rather torture himself and those around him for months, years and decades on end, than ask himself some hard questions and hear some hard truths, and act on them. This ‘man’ has never asked himself why he has the capacity to imagine, to create, why he has negative parts of centers, why he has the capacity for simple joy or pleasure; rather, he only curses all these as the equivalent of snares, traps, ‘tools of the devil’.

This ‘man’, when confronted with his shadow, the dark parts within him, rather than meet this most essential part of himself, evades the responsibility and the opportunity by trying to drown the messages in a sea of self–inflicted pain and misery. This ‘man’ with the ‘highly–trained intellect’, an example to so many, has actually trained himself to seek the less lively, the more static, the more predictable, the more death–like, in preference to the joy, the adventure, the necessary accompanying risks, contrasts, uncertainty and even hazard, of life on its own terms.

It seems to me that this is the life and being of the most conditioned and beaten, abject slave, far worse than that of the dog implied in the analogy his ‘great intellect’ has offered up. In fact, Girard debases the dog, because firstly, it never had the potential he had, and secondly, because in contrast to him, the average dog lives the life of a dog fully and completely and joyfully and presently with every particle of it’s being, and so is completely fulfilled.

Girard’s motto seems to be, “It is easier to make more efforts than to question and verify what Burton tells me”. Ironic, because though his reputation is for making those splendid efforts, his actions actually are a result of extreme laziness and cowardice. The tragedy is compounded when the subject of the efforts rises from core misunderstandings or dogma. And the reputedly ‘great intellect’ has been subsumed to the service of justification and hagiography of a charlatan, rather than exploration and making connections, or even questioning the results of the kinds of efforts he is making. Another talent buried in the ground, with consequences the parable clearly points out.

111. paulshabram - July 21, 2008

This question occurred to me (probably obvious to others). Do you think RB is drinking so many male ejaculations because he believes it’s some sort of “fountain of consciousness juice.”

I have no objection to homosexual relationships, but this seems to be extremely deviant. Truley a “Damaged Machine”. The consumption of spermatozoa in this manner almost approaches cannibalism.

112. paulshabram - July 21, 2008


113. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 21, 2008

‘In particular, if he [Robert Earl Burton] knows what he is doing and we don’t, we have no basis for judging or doubting him. Instead, we simply have to trust him, as a child trusts his parents, or dog trusts its master. If he asks us to do things which seem to have no connection to awakening–or even to be ‘wrong’–we have no choice but to do them anyway’

Well with that in place anything goes doesn’t it! YIKES!

114. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 21, 2008

I’m glad I wore my super comfy bug-eyed green froggy headgear today for protection.

115. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 21, 2008

See even steadfast seriously minded people like me have senses of humor, albeit a little strange I admit.

116. brucelevy - July 21, 2008

109. paulshabram

I don’t think he’s into his stuff for metaphysical or Hermetic reasons, though he has claimed that in so many words.

I think he’s a sex addict, topped by being a sociopath, with a side order of no conscience in any way shape or form, garnished with disdain for his own followers, all paid for with the money of the people he inwardly despises.

117. brucelevy - July 21, 2008

109. paulshabram

Not forgetting to mention greed and gluttony, which pervades every aspect of his life: boys, toys, dicks, cloths, food, cars,glitter, attention, adoration etc., but in no area is it more obvious than his pathological need for the essence of those who would never, without coercion offer him that. It’s control also, that’s a big one.

118. nigel harris price - July 21, 2008

104 Yesri Baba
To quote the 1960’s British ‘cult’ TV series, ‘The Prisoner’ – “I am not a number, I am a free man!”

119. nigel harris price - July 21, 2008

Strange question, maybe, but how many of us ex-members of the FOF joined with the actual aim of awakening, and pursued that aim thoughout there time in the FOF, rather than settling for the form and posing that seemed to be what was required of members (things have been mentioned, such as staring into each others’ eyes while sipping on an expensive Merlot). I always found R Collin the third force of understanding methods to this aim, with the first force being Gurdjieff’s teachings and Ouspensky’s receiving and expounding it, as he had discovered ‘facts’. Collin actually said “We must allow Divine Madness to take hold of us now, before Hell freezes over”. If I have suffered from a madness (or as the mediacl profession would like to name it, a psychosis) and had it accentuated by my time in the FOF and now do not have the buffers (other than my ‘meds’) to keep it at arm’s length, I am pleased to live with it. I know I have realised higher states and altered consciousness that give great insight to my role in the world and my place in my community and life-work (or should I say life’s work?) and believe that REB is nothing than a charismatic charlatan and GH a system-analyst for the FOF who manages a vacant form…..Nigel.

120. paulshabram - July 21, 2008

Nigel 116
“All you need is Love, Love. Love is all you need.”

121. Across the River - July 22, 2008

More info regarding “the little petition that could”

I’m sorry to say I made a mistake earlier on when the last payment was arranged for Ford Greene. His rate is $250 per hour rather than $150 but I gave the wrong information, so we’re short $100.

I realized my mistake and called him today. He’s heard about the goings-on at the Pyle. I told him about Elena’s court hearing and the Appeal-Democrat’s articles and reader comments that reference the blog and wikispace. He’s as pleased as the rest of us about the exposure.

I apologize for causing this slowdown for the petition. Hopefully we can still get it posted for signing without much further delay and make use of the energy that has been created by the FOFs response to the picketing.

Looking for one, two (or several) pledges to equal $100.

Ford Greene CSB 107601
711 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
San Anselmo, CA 94960-1949

If anyone wants to pledge anonymously, that’s fine, too, and we’ll trust Ford to ‘say when’.

Again, my apologies.

122. X-ray - July 22, 2008

119. Across the River

I’ll send him $100 tomorrow.

123. Across the River - July 22, 2008

Coming through once again. Thanks X-ray.

124. paulshabram - July 22, 2008

Nigel 117,

I think most us joined with that aim. I stayed with it even after the FOF.
Getting out was difficult, but I got out because of that aim. The years have gone by and slowly I came to understand that all of life was my teacher and my school. Pain, pleasure, suffering, sorrow, joy, positive and negative are strangely all part of happiness. It does not escape me, however, that there are people that experience the worst that humanity has to offer. I am grateful I am not one of these true victims.
Every moment is a new awakening, and it’s blogging here that has really helped me get my head around this.
“Teachers” and “schools” are shortcuts that often end up taking you the long way around. I am convinced now that to get anywhere you must escape the “shortcuts”.

125. James Mclemore - July 22, 2008

69. paulshabram
“I believe the question has to come back to “Is the FOF a conscious “school”, and is RB a conscious being? And to support that “Are there really 44 (plus a few more) conscious beings acting as “Angels”? We all must of thought this was true, or at least considered the probability as high in order to stay. What, specifically, was so convincing?”

From the beginning, from the first time I saw Robert Burton (it was in 1974 and I thought he looked like a real estate salesman), parts of me thought he was making shit up. The 44, and the Union76 gas stations were difficult for me. I don’t blame anyone, but when I looked around, the people I was already beginning to really like a lot, looked to me, to be more accepting of these things. And from some who were sincerely trying to use the fourth way system, I would get ‘angles’ to not worry about what I could not verify and just return to trying to divide attention and remember myself. There was so much I did not like about the fellowship of friends. The Meissen china and all of the finery seemed pretentious, and being a ‘drop-out’ sort of personality, materialistic.
And then I stayed there for 5 years.
What the fuck was it?
I think I was needy, and as others have said, there is something about the already established patterns from our family of origen. I think I wanted a family, and a majority of the people that I met upon joining and soon thereafter, seemed like some of the loveliest and most intelligent people I had ever met. I did learn things about myself. And of course, it was not long before I was helping give prospective student meetings and welcoming and endoctrinating brand new people into the family.
And Paul S, I think you are correct. I think even though I had doubts about RB, it still turned into something faith based (without me knowing it, of course) that led me to staying as long as I did. I probably did develop a bit of faith in Robert, but I also think I had some weird sort of faith in those people around me (like childhood?), and then being true to my already established patterns, went back and forth between thinking I was something special, and thinking I was just deficient, and not making enough efforts, and not disciplined enough.
I wonder sometimes if it is partly because of the misguided ideas of self-observation and self remembering, that forced me inside of myself in a manner that produced more contraction instead of less, so that I was able to continue the same old dance, with just a different mask and costume. I just played make-believe ‘esoteric student’ for a while.

126. nigel harris price - July 22, 2008

122 Pasulshabram
You are becoming one of my favourite bloggers. So much stirkes true…..Nigel.

127. nigel harris price - July 22, 2008

108 Ames Gilbert
And I remember the ‘Fellowship Forum’, during my latter years in the FOF, which seemed to be ‘hogged’ when GH would write innane drivel about any subject he thought mattered to him, taking up two or three pages of the Forum with formatory ramblings and hardly ever ‘reaching the point’ he was trying to make. Awakened beings have more economical ways to develop means of awakening in others. For me it is often just a casual phrase, glance, nod or wink of affirmation…..Nigel.

128. nigel harris price - July 22, 2008

P.S. to 125
Doesn’t even steward have to fail to produce a fully awakened conscious being? I have seen no sign of this in GH, as I knew him or even with REB, the little I have known of him. Their roles seem to have been a matter of entering into the flow of ‘school’ (cannot think of a better word, since I actually mean the form of a ‘school’) and going from success to success, never having been reduced to the ‘meagerness’ of ‘Pure Essence’, but developing more and more ‘powerful personalities’ within the FOF. I remember when I started developing my ‘warrior tactics’ for manoeuvering around my ‘own world’ – stay small, tactical and versatile…..Nigel.

129. Mick Danger - July 22, 2008

You Idiots (104 & 107), it’s a simple chronological progression
based on the fact that “My God’s better than your God”.
Now! More omnipresent, More omniscient
& More omnipotent than ever.
(Scoff – you probably don’t even have a God)

130. whalerider - July 22, 2008

I fear that REB claims to be a man number 7.3 so that when he finally passes over, his ardent followers will claim he made it to man number 8. Thus, in the minds of his followers, he will reside high up on the unreachable pedestal that the narcissist requires to compensate for their inner vacuum.

There is but one God, the All and the Everything.

131. innernaut - July 22, 2008

108 Ames Gilbert

“This ‘man’, when confronted with his shadow, the dark parts within him, rather than meet this most essential part of himself, evades the responsibility and the opportunity by trying to drown the messages in a sea of self–inflicted pain and misery.”

Nicely put. In fact, everything you said reflects my own understanding these days — a hard-won understanding that came from my own life experiences, and not from books and other people’s “angles.” The thing is, I believe that Girard’s predicament is the logical and inevitable outcome of following the 4th Way. I arrived at the same point he did while in the FOF — joyless, self-punishing, miserable. If you work with the ideas sincerely, I don’t see any other possible result.

For one thing, it is hard to have any self-respect or confidence or any other attitude associated with normal, healthy living, when you are constantly told you are an idiot, a fool, a sleeping machine, your “centers” are unbalanced, and all the other negative imagery we were assailed with. Then you are told “you cannot do,” which reinforces the helpless, self-doubting way of thinking most of us arrived with — the very thing that made us so susceptible to manipulation.

I worked sincerely with the ideas for years, and instead of becoming more awake and more “balanced,” I became more unbalanced, more closed-off and twisted inside, constantly knotted up with self-loathing and self-inflicted misery. I thought any feelings of happiness or joy meant I wasn’t working on myself, wasn’t making efforts, so I would banish those positive feelings and punish myself in one way or another. When I think now that while I was denying myself even the simplest pleasure while Robert Burton was indulging his every whim, that just blows my mind.

Nowadays, when I hear bloggers using the System Language, it sounds to me no different than Tom Cruise going on in Scientology-speak. Centers and octaves, thetans and whatever — it’s all the same con, just a different package. I submit that observation for what it’s worth.

Girard’s viewpoint is not much different than the Puritans. I always thought there was a strong puritanical element to the FOF, but when I tried to bring this up, I would get shot down every time. I also tried to talk to other students about how I felt I was making efforts out of fear or guilt, but I could never get a single person to even acknowledge that they knew what I was talking about. They would look at me like a dog (!) that doesn’t understand, when they cock their head to the side. I got frustrated and quit trying to talk logically about it, and not too long after, I left the FOF, and began the long work of healing.

I understand that many people are frightened at the thought of truly abandoning the system — there were a lot of bogeymen planted in our minds about people who do that. But freedom from the Fellowship is only the first step. The 4th Way is messed up, and the people who pursue it most sincerely — GH and the only person to be banned from the blog — are ample evidence that it doesn’t lead anywhere good. Example: after decades of “working on yourself,” you’d think someone would have gotten somewhere regarding the expression of negative emotions. Apparently GH is extremely negative, hitting himself and screaming on a regular basis. As Ames mentioned, you have to look at results — are these what you would hope to achieve by working on yourself?

Ames also brought up the idea that GH has buried his talent. But that is the norm in the FOF. People are doing amazing things in the world RIGHT NOW, not back in the 18th century — things in science, music, literature — but we were taught to diminish and ignore “life people’s” achievements. Looking at how paltry most of our achievements actually were as students, how we discarded our talents and stopped pursuing any real achievement, it just seems kind of sick now. But that is another eventuality of the system, and not just the FOF — thinking we are special, and others aren’t. We are Men Number 4 — at least 1 better than others! The level of self-deceit required to maintain that attitude is mind-boggling.

The idea of false premises has been brought up, and I propose that most if not all of the 4th way is based on false premises. I’ve said this before, I know, but I want to encourage people to take the next step. When you stop seeing life in 4th way categories, it becomes much happier, richer, and more fulfilling, though not necessarily any easier. But at least it’s true.

132. Mick Danger - July 22, 2008

104, 107 & 128
Of course you know that this means war.

133. Vena - July 22, 2008

Hello Innernaut.

Your post reminded me of the time a few years ago that I tried to point out to a student that there were many spiritual people in the world now and some amazing teachers that were offering the essential ideas in great clarity and for free. I was trying to make him understand that we were not the only ones on the planet interested in awakening. He had just made one of the usual Fellowship comments about how lucky we (the FOF) are not to be among the sleeping hordes who have no interest or understanding in awakening. When I ponted this out, even using some examples, he said, “Well that is not what Robert tells us and I intend to allign my thinking with his.”

134. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 22, 2008

94 and 100 are newly moderated.

Elena: Thank you for the apology. You have the uncanny ability of identifying people’s weak spots, for this I thank you also.

135. Mick Danger - July 22, 2008

I think we already decided:
No Guns, No Trespassing
No Electric Kool-Aid

136. Kid Shelleen - July 22, 2008

Innernaut @ 131

My sentiments exactly.

I’ve it said before and I’ll say it again, G.I. Gurdjieff was the L. Ron Hubbard of his time. He understood people’s weaknesses, their unanswered needs, their vulnerability, their gullibility, etc. He collected their projections; became the Father, the mentor, the omniscient potentate, the Eastern mystic, the spiritual enigma. So he shook folks down for cash and property and lived a life-style far and above what he would have as an Armenian rug trader in a communist-controlled Caucus Moutains.

137. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 22, 2008

#133: “Well that is not what Robert tells us and I intend to allign my thinking with his.”

I will continue to keep my eyes open but my ears remain protected. Meow.

138. Vena - July 22, 2008

“allign” should be “align”

139. Ames Gilbert - July 22, 2008

Vena (#41-133 or thereabouts,
I totally agree; there are so many sources of wisdom, everywhere, and every when. I see my ‘work’ as trying to become more sensitive and aware in every way, to ‘whatever comes up’. The play of light on a leaf, somebody’s words, some internal connection made, whatever. For example, yesterday I glanced through AARP magazine (yes, I’m that age) and came across an interview with Martin Sheen, who embraced Catholicism again after a major health and mental crisis.
Q. “A lot of people would love to have the faith you have, but they don’t have that real dramatic crisis that leads you to say, ‘Wait a minute—I’m really off the track here. I’m leading a kind of empty existence.’”
A. “If you have an awareness that your life is not full and that you are not yourself, that is the beginning, I think, of the journey towards spirituality. I don’t have a clue what God is; I really don’t. I would never, ever try and tell anyone what to look for. The only thing I would say is: the journey to spirituality is the journey to your own humanity. The more human you are, I think, the more godlike you are. And that is the genius of God.”

For me, that was just one of yesterday’s gifts, among so many, and I am thankful.

140. elena - July 22, 2008

Opus 111(104),
Glad to hear you think so. Any effort being made to help those coming out is a great help for those offering as much as for those receiving it because getting ourselves back into a fairly decent human condition will take a long time after being submitted to so much infra-human lack of contact.

I’d be happy to work with you in formalizing some kind of site that would allow us to make this a more solid enterprise if you’re at all interested.

There are many issues being raised at the moment than can simply not be this public so I’ve set up a group called solutionsandsolintuitions@……..

Should anyone wish to join please contact me at ludoteka@succeed.net and I’ll let you know the conditions.

Thanks Sheik for the compliment and all here for keeping this site alive.

So glad you’re back here Unoanimo.

141. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 22, 2008

#139: As one can see spirituality is in life, not out of life. Jesus said: ‘for those who have the eyes to see and the ears to here’. It’s everywhere not just behind a gate surrounded by palm trees and people who think they are the ‘chosen’ ones.

142. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 22, 2008

Elena #140: ‘getting ourselves back into a fairly decent human condition will take a long time after being submitted to so much infra-human lack of contact ‘.

This is what I was speaking about in my blog about learning how to become emotionally intimate and emotionally healthy again. It does in fact become worse after all those years of non-intimacy. And yes, for someone who was ‘in’ for so many years it was one of the deepest, heartfelt areas of sadness within me when I began to realize how I’d neglected something so necessary to spiritual growth and drowned it out with lots of fine wine. (I know I’m probably not alone here).

143. elena - July 22, 2008

Thanks Ames for your post on Girard. Now that Dorian and Asaf have been confirmed by Robert as the next two conscious beings the Fellowship of Friends Cult will produce, in the Sunday meeting, it is clear how he seduces fairly talented men into becoming addicted to power within the Cult. The temptation was too great for Girard to resist and is obviously too much for Dorian or Asaf. Fortunately Miles was willing to give it up when he smelt enough of the corruption behind it.

For a long time the process of developing the necessary profile to adapt to this role has shaped these two men who started as normal young men and were slowly placed in a position in which looking down at others became their hallmark. That sense of superiority, of being different and better because they had been chosen by Robert while at the same time distributing favors to those who played along with them and secretely despising the few that did not buy it for a second until they get the chance to throw those who question them or make them uncomfortable out, one way or another, no matter the excuse. Have they already began the act of looking at the watch while they talk to no matter who to let you know that you do not deserve their time? That is, their presence? That you aren’t worth their presence because they have something more important to do for Robert? The Arc? The Gods? Have they received a private car and the adequate wardrobe to represent the role and do they get ties every three months so that they can remember who is the master around their collar? Have they managed to get their wives to sit in the front row at meetings with Robert or do their women still pay them with sex for these favors?

The most dangerous aspect of the Fellowship Cult is that those who remain are the ones who have known for one week, one year, ten years or thirty years what is really happening inside and they have been willing to condone it and present a blind eye. One day they’ll remain blind to such a terrible tragedy that they’ll never be able to forgive themselves for not having left when the window opened for them to do so. One does not have to be a prophet to predict that blind people walking madly towards the precipice will sooner or later fall off the cliff. Hopefully we’ll get there before that happens!

144. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 22, 2008

For those within the palm lined gate and fences, replace those immature and damaging aspects of photographing one another with kindness to yourself and others. That’s the first step in opening up your heart again.

145. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 22, 2008

Sex can be an area of dysfunction for many people because the ability to be intimate is based on trust. Since most of us came to the FOF with trust issues when many of us realized what was going on and left we were left with many raw emotional wounds and many had to start all over again with yet an even larger layer of trust issues.

And what is going on with REB and some FOF members can be devastating to these people for many years. It’s not that it’s illegal, it’s that it has the capacity to ruin ones emotional life for many years and with this realization alone can anger one to the core.

I am healing. I am still in recovery. I am trying to love myself and getting better at it every day.

146. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 22, 2008

RB describes his crystallization:

I remember when I was with Special
Forces. Seems a thousand centuries
ago. We went into a camp to
inoculate some children. We’d
left the camp after we had
inoculated the children for polio.
And this old man came running after
us, and he was crying. He couldn’t
say. We went back there, and they
had come and hacked off every
inoculated arm. They they were
in a pile. A pile of little arms.
And, I remember, I cried, I wept
like some grandmother. I wanted
to tear my teeth out. I didn’t
know what I wanted to do. And I
want to remember it. I never want
to forget it. I never want to
forget it. And then I realized,
like I was shot, like I was shot
with a diamond bullet through my
forehead. And I thought, My God,
the genius of that! The genius.
The will to do that. Perfect,
genuine, complete, crystalline,
pure. And then I realized, they
were stronger than we. Because
they could stand it. These were
not monsters. These were men,
trained cadres. These men who
fought with their hearts, who have
families, who have children, who
are filled with love…that they
had the strength, the strength to
do that. If I had ten divisions
of those men, then our troubles
here would be over very quickly.
You have to have men who are moral,
and at the same time, who are able
to utilize their primordial
instincts to kill without feeling,
without passion. Without judgment.
Without Judgment. Because it’s
judgment that defeats us.

(Col. Kurtz, in Apocalypse Now)

147. morgan le faye - July 22, 2008

Some picket slogans come to mind…
*The longer you stay, the more to regret.
*A pleasant life is not a justification
*Intentional ignorance is NOT a virtue
*Your friends are outside the prison waiting for you…
*Never too late to leave.
*Remember why you joined…You won’t find Truth here
*Your efforts, your loyalty, your dedication are wasted here
*Your old friends care that YOU are being exploited & degraded

148. Across the River - July 22, 2008

Thank you all for the excellent posts.


You describe so well the isolating nature of this system and how we finally have to remove ourselves from it to regain what is true, and then the abundance of truth available. When you describe the lack of achievement within the Fellowship in relation to the rest of the world, I couldn’t agree more, but of course it takes some relativity to see that.

I know it wasn’t the same for everyone, but one thing I found useful for myself and many others in the FOF was how the striving for something higher allowed a certain determination and fearlessness when it came to pursuing new adventures in career, travel, relationships, etc. We gained confidence in the support of one another (and, well, Influence C, you know). We have learned since then that our possibilities are always supported or limited by many factors, but in our greener years it was the insular ideas of the FOF that first supported some of us in this way.

I mention this because it seems to be one large factor that keeps many good people fearfully bound to the current FOF.

149. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 22, 2008

143 elena

Since you’re one of those who knew what was going on for many years before you left, I hope you can some day forgive yourself for not leaving sooner.

“That sense of superiority…” –>”Hopefully we’ll get there before that happens!”

150. elena - July 22, 2008

You’re wrong Another Voice, I knew nothing until I understood how infra-human it all was. Then it was transparent like water but that happened when Girard told the members not to look at themselves on the blog and the suffering they had caused to so many people.

151. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 22, 2008

149 elena

If I’m mistaken, please pardon me, but it’s very difficult to imagine. You joined years after Samuel Sanders’ suit, and the resulting departure of dozens, if not hundreds of members because of RB’s sexual behavior. This was also several years before the Troy Buzbee suit, when dozens, if not hundreds of other students left for similar reasons. You knew nothing of this? And this was also before RB’s behavior gradually became more and more overt, unlike in the ’70’s when secrecy was firmly enforced. By the time you left after seventeen years, for anyone who spent any time around Isis or RB to be ignorant of the basic facts would have required an extraordinary insistence on ignoring the evidence of her eyes and ears. If that was the case for you, how do you explain it? Were much more concerned about how the Fellowship was affecting you (such as by not letting you sit at the front of the meetings) than how it was affecting the hundreds of guys who were getting sucked under your nose?

If you want to make amends for your wilful ignoring of others’ pain for all those years, please do. If you want to help other lost souls, please help them. But start by losing the hypocrisy, the self-righteousness, the indignation. Then you may understand better the concern expressed in MdM’s spot-on comments in post 85, to which you responded by saying they “pleased” you, but you really don’t care if your actions drive members further into the fold.

152. elena - July 22, 2008

Again you are totally wrong Mr. Another Voice.

I did not leave at Isis for many years but visited for one or two months when I was lucky. I did not connect with many people because I had small children and children weren’t welcome so we remained pretty much isolated for too long. Then with Girard it was even more difficult to get to know what happened to others but I saw what happened to him and that was enough.

153. elena - July 22, 2008

I meant: I did not live at Isis…..

154. nigel harris price - July 22, 2008

Something about man-numbers. There never was anything such as Man # 7.3 in what was described in the ‘system’. I really think REB is nothing but an abhorrent carcass of quasi-bestiality. Reality of a human comes screaming through the cosmological unconsciousness to ‘become human’. I know that this is the Greek idea, but it seems to fit. I think if one is to be a Man # anything from 1,2,3 to 8, then it is already determined and the human comes to that point, at a certain point, in their lifetime. This being said, I would really like to stand up against REB and GH and anyone else of ‘note’ in the FOF in court to see what is truth and what is artifice…..Nigel.

155. nigel harris price - July 22, 2008

I am watching ‘March of the Penguins’, narrated by that wonderful black actor, Morgan Freeman, and am reminded of Buddha’s words, “Show compassion to all sentient beings”…..Nigel.

156. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 22, 2008

153 nigel

Where did Gurdjieff speak of a man no. 8?

157. nigel harris price - July 22, 2008

155 Just Another Voice Out There
Comparing Christ, as a man #8, to a potato, in terms of level of being. Look it up in ‘In Search of the Miraculous@…..Nigel.

158. nigel harris price - July 22, 2008

@ should be’…..Nigel.

159. nigel harris price - July 22, 2008

You and I joined the FOF with the same craft discipline. You went to Renaissance and married and did what was asked of you ‘on salary’. For me, the craft was a matter of ‘life-or-death’ and I pursued it as best I could, despite the impossibility of making enough money to survive and make ‘teaching payments’. Maybe I have something to offer you – I don’t know – but by all means ask…..Nigel.

160. Yesri Baba - July 23, 2008

You mean at 8 you have the level of being of a potato?.
Shit, now I’m really confused.
It does kind of explain RB as 7.3 though

161. Opus111 - July 23, 2008

Elena 151

When was the first time you heard Robert Burton was an homosexual who likes to have sex with his disciples?

Just curious…

162. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 23, 2008

156 nigel
159 yesri

I do remember number 8 being used in reference to Jesus, but only in that context, which suggests Gurdjieff was not above inventing numbers when he felt like it.

163. steve lang - July 23, 2008

Just Another Voice-

As far as questioning anyone about staying in the FOF after finding out about Robert’s sexual habits, I didn’t know shit for 13 years and I did live there for 18 months. Everybody keeps a tight lid on the details of Roberts sexual appetite. No one was willing to touch the subject 🙂

I left the FOF after reading all the details on this blog. I still didn’t believe it so I asked some people who worked at Robert’s house who saw things with their own eyes and they confirmed the “rumors” I had been reading about. If Robert is so god-like, why does he need sex at all? Shouldn’t he be able to transcend sexual needs? Why can’t he just go masturbate for god’s sake??

164. X-ray - July 23, 2008

121 Across the River
The money has been sent today.

143 Elena
“Now that Dorian and Asaf have been confirmed by Robert as the next two conscious beings…”

Interesting, an asshole and a smartass? Quite a couple, is it not, dears?

165. snorer - July 23, 2008

Can anyone please tell me who are Dorian e Asaf ? I left 1998 and never heard about them. I often see their names mentioned …

166. snorer - July 23, 2008

i meant: who dorian e asaf are?

167. snorer - July 23, 2008

hope I got it right now.

168. nigel harris price - July 23, 2008

159 Yesri Baba
No, mate! Christ is supposed to be a #8 and a potato has a vastly lower level of being. There was a ‘,’ – sorry about the confusion. And I seem to remember in the same context (i.e. the same passage in ‘Search’) something said about what eats what in the cosmos. I suggest going to your library, to clarify…..Nigel.

169. nigel harris price - July 23, 2008

164,165,166 Snorer
I don’d give a ‘rodent’s posterior’ about whom Robert refers to as being the next conscious beings. Let’s devastate the whole bunch of them – REB, GH and Dorian and Asaf – in court and see what’s what…..Nigel.

170. Across the River - July 23, 2008

Very good, X-ray. That deserves a little “toot-toot”.

171. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 23, 2008

162 steve lang

I’ve got no reason to doubt what you say, Steve, and I don’t. It’s very surprising, since I heard rumors even when I joined in a distant city decades ago, and that was before any of the mass departures that were precipitated by the lawsuits, in the mid-80’s and again in the mid-90’s. Had you never even heard of the Sanders or Buzbee controversies?

My point to Elena isn’t that she should be ashamed of herself for not leaving the Fellowship sooner, but that she presents her message in a way that reeks of aggressive self-righteousness and, IMO, is likely to have the opposite effect from what she seems to want. Who the ef is Elena to be lecturing anyone on how to live their life, or calling other bloggers on this site cowards or immature if they don’t care to drop what they’re doing and picket in Oregon House, CA? Not all of us can afford to–or can offer the use of our hammock in the Caribbean so that former members can chill out for a year–and there are other ways to help confused members. Such as by letting them know that not all former members are unable or unwilling to get over their anger, bitterness, and victimhood.

I’m no apologist for RB or his behavior. I consider it completely indefensible abuse, and consider him a sociopath. But your last three sentences puzzle me. Do you believe sex of any sort is incompatible with consciousness or conscience, or implies a lack of some degree of understanding or realization? Do you see people of the highest level of realization, whatever that may mean, as “free” of the “burden” of sexuality? Why not ask “Why can’t he just have a mature, mutually respectful sexual relationship with another person, male or female, for god’s sake?”

172. steve lang - July 23, 2008

Just Another Voice-

I was just being flippant when I asked those 3 rhetorical questions about Robert and sex. I agree; “Why can’t he just have a mature, mutually respectful sexual relationship with another person, male or female” is a good question, but anyone I knew that would speak about it used to say that Robert is beyond Judaeo-Christian morals and his status makes him exempt from what someone might consider “mature and mutually respectful”.

Yes, I heard rumors about Robert’s sexual preferences when I joined in NY City, but that was also a time when it was “suggested” that a “new student” not even visit the property until you were in the “school” for one year. All information seemed to be on an as-needed basis and people just did not want to talk about Robert’s sex life. I heard about the law suits, but everyone said Robert was never found guilty of committing any crime and it was summarily dismissed and swept back under the carpet!

As far as Elena, it’s really none of my business what your attitude is towards her, but as the kids here in L.A. would say; “it sounds like you’re trippin’ dude” 🙂

173. Joe Average - July 23, 2008

Snorer 164, re Dorian and Asaf

You left just as they joined. Dorian joined in Bucharest in 97 at the age of eighteen. Asaf joined in Israel at about the same time and age.

Both made their way to tuttiputtiville, CA quickly – within 1, 1.5 years and, as handsome young men, produced a predictable salivary response in His Nibs and soon were part of the harem. Asaf, apart from being charming, possessed of a clear, loud voice and impeccably neat, turned out to have a phenomenal memory for texts, quotes especially. His passion for reading the Torah while traveling on the Viagra Express got RB interested in interpreting the Old Testament. The shift away from a pseudo-fourth way group to the roller coaster of “esoteric traditions” moving from the ancient Hebrews through Egypt etc. culminating in the sublime objective art of bison defecating in semaphore just for us 40,000 years ago had its roots there. At about the same time, RB came out of retirement as an active teacher and discovered he could make some nice untraceable tax free petty cash by making people pay for his company at dinners, receptions, meetings etc., but quickly discovered he just did not have the chops for it anymore. After saying little more than “the gods wish us to be together” and “ask the waiter if this is real maple syrup” between 1980 and 2000, he needed help and developed an almost telepathic connection with Asaf. At events, RB would blather on a bit in generalities, then turn to Asaf to cue him for any quotes, analysis of “shocks” etc., initially with questions like “What did I say about such and such dear?”, but later, a single look sufficed to have Mr. Peabody Braverman declaim the proper quote or toothy wisdom in a very clear and audible voice. The form of having no questions, but merely a parade of quotations and/or images followed with RB’s interpretations, often supplied by Asaf, became standard. No more pesky questions from uppity Russians.

During the same period, Dorian worked his way up the hierarchy to become, together with Mihai, also from Bucharest, one of the most powerful poobahs of Potterville. The fellowship council and other senior statesmen of the inner circus who were used to having a little influence with RB found that they needed to go through Dorian and Mihai for nearly everything concerning the day to day management of Apollo/Isis and the operations of the FOF in general. By 2006, the meeting form of paying to stand (or sit if you were rich and/or influential) in a catatonic state while selective, mistranslated, out of context or even entirely fabricated quotes were read and duly spun into total gibberish had become so routine and accepted that RB started letting first Asaf, and then Dorian and Mihai lead fund-raising meetings and dinners while he traveled.

One can only guess why Mihai was not admitted into that celestial group of conscious beans-to-be along with Donald McD-nald, Miles B, Girard, James Tynd-le, Asaf and Dorian. Perhaps as revenge for starting the popular mediation meetings that RB quashed.

174. Joe Average - July 23, 2008

Snorer 164, re Dorian and Asaf

You left just as they joined. Dorian joined in Bucharest in 97 at the age of eighteen. Asaf joined in Israel at about the same time and age.

Both made their way to tuttiputtiville, CA quickly – within 1, 1.5 years and, as handsome young men, produced a predictable salivary response in His Nibs and soon were part of the harem. Asaf, apart from being charming, possessed of a clear, loud voice and impeccably neat, turned out to have a phenomenal memory for texts, quotes especially. His passion for reading the Torah while traveling on the Viagra Express got RB interested in interpreting the Old Testament. The shift away from a pseudo-fourth way group to the roller coaster of “esoteric traditions” moving from the ancient Hebrews through Egypt etc. culminating in the sublime objective art of bison defecating in semaphore just for us 40,000 years ago had its roots there. At about the same time, RB came out of retirement as an active teacher and discovered he could make some nice untraceable tax free petty cash by making people pay for his company at dinners, receptions, meetings etc., but quickly discovered he just did not have the chops for it anymore. After saying little more than “the gods wish us to be together” and “ask the waiter if this is real maple syrup” between 1980 and 2000, he needed help and developed an almost telepathic connection with Asaf. At events, RB would blather on a bit in generalities, then turn to Asaf to cue him for any quotes, analysis of “shocks” etc., initially with questions like “What did I say about such and such dear?”, but later, a single look sufficed to have Mr. Peabody Braverman declaim the proper quote or toothy wisdom in a very clear and audible voice. The form of having no questions, but merely a parade of quotations and/or images followed with RB’s interpretations, often supplied by Asaf, became standard. No more pesky questions from uppity Russians.

During the same period, Dorian worked his way up the hierarchy to become, together with Mihai, also from Bucharest, one of the most powerful poobahs of Potterville. The fellowship council and other senior statesmen of the inner circus who were used to having a little influence with RB found that they needed to go through Dorian and Mihai for nearly everything concerning the day to day management of Apollo/Isis and the operations of the FOF in general. By 2006, the meeting form of paying to stand (or sit if you were rich and/or influential) in a catatonic state while selective, mistranslated, out of context or even entirely fabricated quotes were read and duly spun into total gibberish had become so routine and accepted that RB started letting first Asaf, and then Dorian and Mihai lead fund-raising meetings and dinners while he traveled.

One can only guess why Mihai was not admitted into that celestial group of conscious beans-to-be along with Donald McD-nald, Miles B, Girard, James Tynd-le, Asaf and Dorian. Perhaps as revenge for starting the popular mediation meetings that RB quashed.

175. Vena - July 23, 2008

Joe Average:

Excellent description of the last few years. The absurdity of the whole thing is really beyond belief.

176. Traveler - July 23, 2008

I am curious to know what exactly was said at that Sunday meeting that led Elena to describe it as “now that Dorian and Asaf have been confirmed by Robert as the next two conscious beings”.

Can anyone be more specific what this is all about?

177. Vena - July 23, 2008

Joe Average:

Oh, by the way, you left out the sex for vouchers scheme that was dreamed up and operated in the Galleria by Mihai and Dorian when Robert was away.

178. Vena - July 23, 2008


When Asaf found out that his girlfriend was participating in the sex for vouchers orgies he blew the whistle on all of them.

179. snorer - July 23, 2008

Hey Joe,thanks.

Sex for vouchers…I’m glad I lost the school before this retarded shit started.

180. Yesri Baba - July 23, 2008

172 JA

Joey, you crack me up.

Your post is another fine example of how the vain and power grubbing minions prop up the heart of darkness.

181. Yesri Baba - July 23, 2008

From Wiki-

Motifs and themes
He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision—he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath—”The horror! The horror!”
T. S. Eliot’s use of a quotation from The Heart of Darkness—”Mistah Kurtz, he dead”—as an epigraph to the original manuscript of his poem, The Hollow Men, contrasted its dark horror with the presumed “light of civilization,” and suggested the ambiguity of both the dark motives of civilization and the freedom of barbarism, as well as the “spiritual darkness” of several characters in Heart of Darkness. This sense of darkness also lends itself to a related theme of obscurity—again, in various senses, reflecting the ambiguities in the work. Moral issues are not clear-cut; that which ought to be (in various senses) on the side of “light” is in fact mired in darkness, and vice versa.

Africa was known as “The Dark Continent” in the Victorian Era with all the negative attributes of darkness attributed to Africans by the English. One of the possible influences for the Kurtz character was Henry Morton Stanley of “Dr. Livingstone, I presume” fame, as he was a principal explorer of “The Dark Heart of Africa”, particularly the Congo. Stanley was infamous in Africa for horrific violence and yet he was honoured by a knighthood. However, an agent Conrad himself encountered when travelling in the Congo, named Georges-Antoine Klein (Klein means ‘small’ in German, as Kurtz is ‘short’) could have possibly served as an actual model for the Kurtz that appears in Heart of Darkness. Klein died aboard Conrad’s steamer and was interred along the Congo, much like Kurtz in the novel.[1] Among the people Conrad may have encountered on his journey was a trader called Leon Rom, who was later named chief of the Stanley Falls Station. In 1895 a British traveller reported that Rom had decorated his flower-bed with the skulls of some twenty-one victims of his displeasure, including women and children, resembling the posts of Kurtz´s Station.[2]

[edit] Motifs
In the novel, Conrad uses the river as the vehicle for Marlow to journey further into the “heart of darkness.” The descriptions of the river, particularly its depiction as a snake, reveal its symbolic qualities. The river “resembl[es] an immense snake uncoiled” and “it fascinates [Marlow] as a snake would a bird.” Not only is Marlow captivated by the river, representing as it does the jungle itself, but its association with a snake gives this “fascination of the abomination” its metaphorical characteristics. The statement that “the snake had charmed me” alludes to both the idea of snake charmer and the snake in the story of Genesis. While typically, a snake charmer would charm the snake, in this case, Marlow is charmed by the snake, a reversal which puts the power in the hands of the river, and thus the jungle wilderness. Furthermore, the allusion to the snake of temptation from the story of Adam and Eve demonstrates how the wilderness itself contains the knowledge of good and evil, and upon entering that wilderness Marlow will be able to see, or at least explore, the characteristics of humanity as well as good and evil.

Throughout the novel Conrad dramatizes a tension in Marlow between the restraint of civilization and the savagery of barbarism. The darkness and amorality which Kurtz exemplifies is argued to be the reality of the human condition, upon which illusory moral structures are draped by civilization. Marlow’s confrontation with Kurtz presents him with a ‘choice of nightmares’ – to commit himself to the savagery of the human condition, or to the lie and veneer of civilized restraint. Though Marlow ‘cannot abide a lie’ and subsequently cannot perceive civilization as anything but a veneer hiding the savage reality of the human condition, he is also horrified by the darkness of Kurtz he sees in his own heart. After emerging from this experience, his Buddha-like pose aboard the Nellie symbolizes a suspension between this choice of nightmares.

[edit] Themes
The major purpose and theme of Conrad’s novella is the exploration of the degradation of human morality through Marlow’s symbolic journey towards the “heart of darkness.” As Marlow “penetrate[s] deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness,” and further and further into the African wilderness, he probes further into the human subconscious and psyche, represented by the jungle. Marlow’s experiences in the jungle, and the episodes of barbarism, depict what happens when man crosses the line of civility and gives in to his baser instincts, such as violence. This theme of atavism, or the reversion to more primal or ancestral behaviors and instincts, is featured prominently in the novella.

The reversal of the black and white imagery is also a major theme in the novel. Conrad challenges typical literary associations when he associates “black” with “good” and “white” with “bad” or “evil.” The associations of black with good, or at least not with with more moral ambiguity than is typically seen, appear throughout the novel, especially in reference to the African natives and their actions. However, the most prominent example of the white/bad association occurs at the beginning of the novella. When Marlow sets out for Europe to receive his work assignment, he remarks that “I arrived in a city that always makes me think of a whited sepulchre.” A sepulchre, or a type of tomb or container for human remains, obviously has bad or morbid connotations. This city, which contains the “Company’s offices,” can be surmised as a city in Belgium, with which Marlow has notably bad and death-like associations. The synthesis of “whited” and “sepulchre” demonstrates the reversal of black and white connotations that Conrad employes, and uses here to reveal his dislike of the Belgian companies that operated in the Congo where Marlow is sent. Furthermore, Marlow’s symbolic journey can be interpreted with the Sigmund Freud’s “psychic apparatus” that involves the id, ego, and super-ego. Most importantly, the id, or the part of the psyche that deals with one’s subconscious instincts and basic drives, appears as part of the major theme, where Conrad explores what happens when the id is unleashed.

To emphasize the theme of darkness within all of mankind, Marlow’s narration takes place on a yawl in the Thames tidal estuary. Early in the novella, Marlow recounts how London, the largest, most populous and wealthiest city in the world at the time, was itself a “dark” place in Roman times. The idea that the Romans, at one time, conquered the “savage” Britons parallels Conrad’s current tale of the Belgians conquering the “savage” Africans. The theme of darkness lurking beneath the surface of even “civilized” persons appears prominently, and is further explored through the character of Kurtz and through Marlow’s passing sense of understanding with the Africans.

The Roi des Belges, the ship Conrad used to travel up the CongoThemes developed in the novella’s later scenes include the naïveté of Europeans—particularly women—regarding the various forms of darkness in the Congo; the British traders and Belgian colonialists’ abuse of the natives; and man’s potential for duplicity. The symbolic levels of the book expand on all of these in terms of a struggle between good and evil (light and darkness), not so much between people as within every major character’s soul.

[edit] Historical context
The novel is largely autobiographical, based upon Joseph Conrad’s six-month journey up the Congo River where he took command of a steamboat in 1890 after the death of its captain. At the time, the river was called the Congo, and the country was the Congo Free State. The area Conrad refers to as the Company Station was an actual location called Matadi, a location two-hundred miles up river from the mouth of the Congo. The Central Station was a location called Kinshasa, and both these locations marked a stretch of river impassable by steamboat, upon which Marlow takes a “two-hundred mile tramp.” [3]

The Company was in reality the Anglo-Belgium India-Rubber Company formed by King Leopold II of Belgium charged with running the country of the Congo Free State in 1885. The Congo Free State was voted into existence by the Berlin Conference (1884), which Conrad refers to sarcastically in his novella as “the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs.”[3]

Leopold II declared the Congo Free State his personal property in 1892, legally permitting the Belgians to take what rubber they wished from the area without having to trade with the African natives. [3] This caused a rise in atrocities perpetrated by the Belgian traders.

The Congo Free State was taken out of the personal property of the king and made a regular colony of Belgium, called Belgian Congo, in 1908, after the extent of atrocities committed there became generally known in the West, partially through Conrad’s novel.

182. Ellen - July 23, 2008

Nigel, this one’s for you, other psychological professionals out there and any curious bozos:
Check out the DVD “Beautiful Dreamers”. A film about the relationship between Walt Whitman and R.M.Bucke, manager of an asylum for the mentally ill and author of “Cosmic Consciousness”. Film was released in 1992 but can be found on both Amazons (US and UK). Be sure to check specs for your appropriate Region.

183. lauralupa - July 23, 2008

Some of the amazing things that can happen when a narcissistic psychopath is given the power to rule what was supposed to be a democratic country…

Berlusconi’s immunity law passed
Wednesday, 23 July 2008 11:13
The Italian parliament has approved a law giving Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi immunity from prosecution.

The controversial law makes it impossible to prosecute the Italian Prime Minister during his term in office.

Despite protests from the weakened centre-left opposition, the senate gave final approval for legislation halting criminal trials against Italy’s top four elected officials, including Mr Berlusconi, while they are in office.

Critics say the measure was tailor-made for the 71-year-old, who has faced numerous corruption charges, including a high-profile graft case against him and British lawyer David Mills in Milan.

Mr Berlusconi has dismissed the court cases describing them as harassment by politically-biased prosecutors and judges.

‘Citizens have the right to know if their prime minister is or isn’t a criminal,’ said centre-left lawmaker Antonio Di Pietro, a former anti-graft magistrate.

However, allies say the measure will allow Italy’s top officials, also including the president and heads of both chambers of parliament, to govern without legal distraction.

Mr Berlusconi, elected to a third term as Prime Minister in April with a strong parliamentary majority, says politically motivated prosecutors have been out to get him since he entered politics 14 years ago.

He counts 2,500 hearings, 587 visits by the police and €174m in legal fees. The media tycoon has won all of the cases against him so far, either by outright acquittal or because time had run out under Italy’s statute of limitations.

184. veronicapoe - July 23, 2008

This morning’s laugh (the laughing will begin when you get to the chorus):


185. veramente - July 23, 2008

I am back from a trip and am grateful to see Elena got some results from picketing, bravo Elena and you too Ames. : )
I hope the momentum builds up, and btw is the blog on Appeal Democrat on the article still worth to drop in a comment?
Thank you also Sheik for being you and hosting us here.

186. somebody - July 23, 2008

173. Joe Average
I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Thanks, Joe.

187. Mick Danger - July 23, 2008

Third Eye here, just doing my job.
The perimeter is surprisingly easy to penetrate, especially at night;
and the inhabitants are not surprisingly easy to fool.

188. elena - July 23, 2008

Deep gratitude Steve.

Thanks Joe for such a clear order in presenting that story. It helps me reconstruct the process.

I’ve been asked to state here that I’m participating in the Appeal Democrat blog….. so very happy to be truly back in Life.

189. Renald - July 23, 2008

It wasn`t unusual to get the Apollo news from outlying center students. We were often the last to know.
When one is brainwashed into only looking in one direction, most everything goes by without notice.

At the same time, when one is looking for certain types of verifications, they appear. I have what I believe to be incredible memories of such events, and I know for a fact that just one of those is enough to convince many followers to disregard a whole lot of what would normally be regarded as evidence of major fraud. So what some are trying to say here is logical but does not apply since what we have on one side are thoughts and on the other “real“ experience. It really is a strange world we live in.

Imo when we are all able to see the big picture we will all be showing our teeth in hysterical laughter. Cheers to all of us!

190. elena - July 23, 2008

After reading the following it is good to know that the fellowship Cult has not reached this level of horror but leading to it when Mr. Burton asked a member to have his son work at the galleria but the member not only did not accept but soon left.

This piece is also good to realize how necessary it is to set the foundations for a legal control of all cults which abuse many constitutional rights protected with Freedom of Religion.

Taken from The state and Cults on the internet:

The caller told authorities that her 50-year-old husband would force himself on her sexually, beat her, punch her in the chest and choke her. He once broke several of her ribs, she complained. And while he beat her, one of his six other wives would hold her baby.

That did not come as a shock to Flora Jessop, a former child bride who was returned to the sect when she ran away.

“I spent three years in solitary confinement with them trying to beat Satan out of me because I stood up against God’s commandments,” Jessop told “Good Morning America.”

” I know first-hand that what this little girl is saying is the absolute truth, that she is in imminent danger. They do lock you up. They beat you. They whip you. They brutalize you and they psychologically destroy you. Most of the children would not be able to withstand the psychological torture that they put you through.”

191. Mick Danger - July 23, 2008

173 – Hey Joe, where you going…? Thanks for the intel.
Remember the “Way-Back” Machine?
“Gee, Mr. Peabody, You sure are smart!
No, Sherman, I just have better writers than you.”

192. Walter Tanner - July 23, 2008

I really enjoy keeping up with the karmic battles being waged up in the Sierra foothills and through the blogosphere. Thanks everybody for participating.

A few “memes” I’ve noticed popping up: first is the “purity of consciousness” thing, the idea (perpetrated by every authoritarian religion and religious leader) that the spiritual path is one away from sex, greed, and other corporeal desires. This translates here as the claim that Robert’s sexual practices prove he is not enlightened. On the contrary, Robert’s sexual transgressions firmly place him in a pantheon of spiritual teachers who fucked, drank, smoked or shot-up their way to their deaths without giving a damn for what folks thought of them. See Jeffery Kripal’s “Kali’s Child” (Ramakrishna: there was a perv who liked little boy’s penises!) or “Roads of Excess, Palaces of Wisdom” for rigorously defended arguments that “enlightenment” does not equal “consensual morality.” Ken Wilbur also has correct things to say about the relationship between morality and the fruit of spiritual practice (that they are basically different paths).

So on one side you’ve got committed Fellowship members, seeking some sort of spiritual accomplishment, and on the other brave moralists attempting to shine light into the authoritarian and exploitive practices of Robert Burton. Interestingly, both sides are empowered by the first amendment to the U.S. constitution, that ensures religious freedom along with the right to free speech and assembly. What a country!

O Pickateers, I really admire what you’re doing, but I also hold that current members of the FoF have the right to be in the FoF. If the rhetorical atmosphere of the blog was different we could talk about how in the process of exploring one’s psyche one can experiment with will, and in authoritarian religious traditions (which is almost all of them) one way to experiment is to “give up one’s will” to the teacher. Nearly all monastic traditions require “obedience” as the first or one of the first vows. Those who continue to rail against Robert Burton as a religious fake, or fail to understand why people would stay in the Fellowship, only show their ignorance of religion and the purposes of religious practice.

Now you can make the argument, as old as Hume, that all this is nonsense or just intellectual cover for exploitation. I’d absolutely agree, and also defend the right of anyone to engage in it.

I also feel that the blog needs to be regularly leavened by posts that speak positively about the Fellowship experience. I got a hell of a lot from my 7 years and $25,000, not the least of which is the opportunity to participate in this forum. I won’t bore you with details, but I had a blast, and came out a better person.

Just for the record,


P.S. I still see the word “rape” used to describe actions by Robert Burton. It is a serious charge, since rape is so clearly defined in the criminal code that to use the term flippantly would be slanderous. Really, let us not give the FoF lawyers any ammunition: so Whalerider, you do understand that “rape” in the commonwealth of California means that you clearly communicated, through voice or physical force, that you did not want to engage in sex, or that you were unable to give consent due to mental incapacitation.

193. innernaut - July 23, 2008

Walter Tanner

“…or that you were unable to give consent due to mental incapacitation.”

I think that is arguably the position of an indoctrinated cult member under the sway of an idolized and idealized authoritarian leader. In other words, I think that could be a persuasive legal argument.

194. Ames Gilbert - July 23, 2008

So Asaf and Dorian have been anointed as future ‘conscious beings’.
By coincidence, apparently at just the time I was waving my little signs outside the gate positing that conscience comes before consciousness.
How ironic.
The whole thing is completely self-referential, as many previous posts have pointed out. Burton claims “consciousness”, this qualifies him to receive adoration and obedience, which confirms his “consciousness” so he can then anoint others as “conscious”. Like Napoleon crowning himself Emperor…
Other themes are, the drawing together of the followship (think of the drama and excitement at the meeting) when the master hands out kibbles, a flurry of determination to make fresh efforts by those who ‘lost out’, the adjustments within the group to the new status as the pecking order is re-arranged. Those closest to the lucky two will congratulate themselves, those further away will try to get themselves into Asaf’s and Dorian’s good graces.

Reviewing the dreadful history of Burton’s previous appointments (just off the top of my head; readers, please add or correct as you see fit), I can recall at least the following; Donald Mc D., Miles B., Girard H., James T-B. All gone, except for Girard, the only one (to my knowledge) who affirmed his consciousness—and look how he’s turned out. The others were too modest or valued truth too much. Really bad guesses, Burton, you charlatan!

So we can see here quite clearly the role of Burton the Intermediary. No way forward except through him, and yet his track record is pathetic, even with the supposed help of 44 angels, cave artists of antiquity, and so on.

I have to feel sorry for the Asaf and Dorian. They have “a tough row to hoe”. If I understand it rightly, they were not told that they are conscious now, but will become so in the future. So, they have swords hanging over their heads. Expectations of performance from the laity, expectations of conformity to his management style from Burton. Expectations of massive change within themselves, culminating with fireworks, earthquakes, thunderclaps, rending of temple curtains and whatever else Burton claimed after he “crystallized”. They will accumulate lots of fair weather friends, the norm in the Fellowship of Conditional Friends, true, but with special extra cling that comes from the halo effect. They will attract lots of people eager to please, such as power and sex groupies, and lots of people eager for favors. Among the people eager to please, some will prove useful, and they will become the first flunkies, molding themselves into professional ‘yes-men’, and absorbing some of the radiance. In turn, the enablers will come to control access, and be able to attract favors of their own. Etc., etc.

Sound familiar? Of course it does, it is a spin-off of Burton’ style of management. As I’ve mentioned before (#8-401), it is inevitable, because Burton only allows managers to arise who conform to his style, support his vision, keep him comfortable, and enter his fantasy. And those in his hierarchy (in this case, “consciousness”), having been carefully vetted, have only his management style to learn from; Burton is their teacher in all things. So the ‘lucky’ duo are already prisoners of their expectations and the expectations of others, really no more than very well groomed slaves, exactly the way Burton likes it (of course, Burton is too obtuse to realize that he himself is as firmly held by the behavior and expectations of his followers, by his addictions, greed and hubris, as any slave). So Asaf and Dorian have a future to look forward to of being corrupt ‘mini-Burtons’. Woe unto them! It has to be that way, because the alternative would be individuation, and there is no room for that, since it would mean (among other things) that they would have to leave.

195. paulshabram - July 23, 2008

The definition of Rape notwithstanding…

Definition – Noun
: the use of express or implied threats of violence or reprisal (as discharge from employment) or other intimidating behavior that puts a person in immediate fear of the consequences in order to compel that person to act against his or her will”

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
(b) An action brought pursuant to this section shall be commenced
within three years of the act, or if the victim was a minor …
(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 …
(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.”

196. Just the Facts Ma'am - July 23, 2008

176. Vena – July 23, 2008

Joe Average:

Oh, by the way, you left out the sex for vouchers scheme that was dreamed up and operated in the Galleria by Mihai and Dorian when Robert was away.

177. Vena – July 23, 2008


When Asaf found out that his girlfriend was participating in the sex for vouchers orgies he blew the whistle on all of them.

– – – – – –


You left out the part about how the male perpetrators (power mongers) of this Galleria Orgies Octave were velvet glove treated as reprimand while the female victims were given leaves-of-absence from the church and made to flee their residences in Oregon House.

Just so people know what this was about: The male sex partners to the leader of the Fellowship of Friends (FoF) began to use some of the same tactics they learned from the leader’s behavior to enlist female sex partners to have orgies in the leader’s bedroom at the Galleria, home to the leader and central religious practice property in FoF, while the leader was traveling. This is how: FoF developed a means of exchange to induce volunteers to perform all manner of activities necessary to the leader’s desires. This was a voucher system which was the equivalent of a private currency system. So, volunteers were not really volunteers, they were paid with vouchers. (They were supposed to be religious workers.) These vouchers were redeemable only by using them to pay for access to the religious practices of the organization that were conducted and directed by the leader. The vouchers could be offered for anything from having sex with the leader to working as a gardener to serving at fine dining experiences, etc. Needless to say, there was a whole gray and black market for these vouchers that could not be prevented. The very people who had control over the system used the system to persuade their women targets to participate in the sex orgies in return for the vouchers that could be used to attend the religious practice of the organization. Other people had to pay hard earned dollars to attend. (A much better way to get sex than some of the ways that, say, the fundamentalist Latter Day Saints (fLDS) use: violence and subjugation – just violence and subjugation on a whole different level – covert and subtle.)

These very perpetrators were pronounced by the leader to be the successors to the FoF legacy some time in the future, if not immediately. They lived very privileged lives in the FoF community. Some came from Romania where they grew up, no doubt, under communist dictatorship (read: sociopathic society); likely a life of adversity. They were coddled by the leader and polished and refined to make silk purses out of sows’ ears – just like the leader himself. Unusual arrangements were made for some of them to get religious visas or green (greed) cards or fake marriages. Housing, transportation, clothing, etc, was arranged for them. Assets of the organization were put at their disposal. No one had access to the leader for communications except through these people. Communications became one-way dictatorship where what the leader wanted was conveyed to these intermediaries and thence to the individual members, or the whole body of FoF, as the intermediaries saw fit, or not. The leader then became untouchable – so much like a mafia organization or criminal enterprise. The official governing bodies of the organization, the hired (highered) privileged staff and the board (bored) of directors (for appearances purposes) were straw dogs at best and were powerless to do anything about the velvet revolution. All were subjugated.

So, the sin was not in the emulation of the clever methods of the leader or the actions themselves. (The leader likely was pleased as kool-aid to see how well they learned and adapted.) The sin was that they got caught and exposed which made for poor appearances of things. Take my word for it, the above is not the only examples of the type of corruption that goes on in and around this organization known as the Fellowship of Friends in Oregon House, California, and at many other places in the world that it has centers, conducts business, or the leader travels to.

197. Across the River - July 23, 2008

Walter, with all due respect, your post IMO reflects an understanding that was digested long ago. With all that intellectual consideration having perculated, for me the plain knowledge of simple personal responsibility (karma if you will) started to resonate above all else, and my heart opened to reconnect me at the starting point of being human.

You remind me of Vinnie, who imagines himself clever beyond typecasting, and confident that all the “others” are beneath his grand overview.

I came out of the FOF a better person too, for having sorted out the stuff of your post and acknowledging that we can learn from all things. It was and is a misguided notion that truth is a product of anything in itself, and much transformation occurred to move the Fellowship experience into personal knowledge.

But most interestingly, your post seems to point to Robert as a legitimate spiritual leader.

Rhetoric aside, is that how you still see it?

198. Across the River - July 23, 2008


“just the facts” for all to see – thanks.

199. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 23, 2008

191 walter tanner

Thanks, Walter, for taking time away from your other pursuits to check in and help all of us from wandering too far off track. What would we do without you! You mean RB isn’t the first “spiritual teacher” to have engaged in questionable sex? Wow! Wait ’till the others hear this!

I’m not encouraging anyone to sling the term “rape” around, but IMO, for the Fellowship to sue someone who’d personally experienced sex with RB for libel or slander because he’d used that term would be exponentially more stupid than calling attention to Elena’s picketing by seeking a court order. Yes, it would be inconvenient to be run through the litigation mill, but the defendant would have an opportunity to describe in lurid detail everything that actually happened, and it would be up to the jury to decide whether that constituted “rape.” That’s why the Sanders and Buzbee suits never went to trial. I think articles about Mr. KY Jellyface’s “rape” trial would find their way beyond the Appeal Democrat. And if the defendant didn’t have much money (since defamation isn’t a criminal charge), I don’t see much upside for the Fellowship in a “victory.”

200. Rear View Mirror - July 23, 2008

Walter: “I won’t bore you with details, but I had a blast, and came out a better person.”

I guess you never got the memo… Former cult members are destined to be food for the moon.

Walter, whatever supposedly tempered viewpoint you may choose to convey about the FOF cult, no logic or reason can argue that the FOF experience was sane or productive in any way. The people here (in what you call “blogosphere”) spent years hearing the propaganda within the group that countered any notion that Burton’s practices were damaging or destructive, or even criminal. And this propaganda — even though you seem to imply that you weren’t fooled by it — was very effective in keeping people from opening their eyes and leaving the group.

Are you more of the same?

201. Rear View Mirror - July 23, 2008

Anyway, what I do sense about you Walter — from reading several of your posts — is that there’s something in your ego that won’t stand for certain criticisms of the FOF, because somehow it criticizes what you are and what you’ve become. But in many ways that’s true for all of us.

When we express our dissent and criticize the FOF, we are criticizing a part of ourselves. There’s no way around that. Or maybe there is… Maybe one way around it is to refrain from the criticism and suggest that other criticisms are simply not reasonable.

202. James Mclemore - July 23, 2008

Mr Tanner:
All around the edges of your post there is a sort of overspray of intellectual vanity and spiritual materialism. At least within myself and others close to me, there always seems to be some sort of fear behind those things. Do some of the things written on this blog make you a bit nervous somewhere inside? Perhaps there is a picture of yourself that feels endangered and your vanity is a protective device to keep it at bay.
As Across the River said,
“You remind me of Vinnie, who imagines himself clever beyond typecasting, and confident that all the “others” are beneath his grand overview.”

203. ton - July 23, 2008

173 thanks for a great post joe

195 just the facts, thanks for filling in the blanks on the “voucher system.”

191 walter tanner

i’m happy for you — you feel like you “got something” out of the time and money you spent in the followship and thanks for your rational,”fair and balanced” assessment. personally, i refuse to support (rationalize) what i feel is a “criminal enterprise” — i put it in quotation marks here because the charge may not stand up in a court of law…. i would argue that robert burton commits a type of “spiritual rape” and it’s not restricted to the “sodomites” in the cult. you refer to the physical sexual act and the age of individuals involved, personally i think there’s a lot more to it. it’s probably good legal advice you gave to the whale rider but i’m no lawyer…. all “legalese” aside, a question arises — do you think that the excesses and the seeming ability to satisfy those excesses (as in the case of a robert burton) is some indication of what you and the “noted authors” call “enlightenment” ?

i have to “hang up” now, by the sounds of it,the predicted “apocalyptic” thunderstorm has arrived over philadelphia pa…. don’t want to surge… tap at you later,
all the best to all

204. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 23, 2008

147 is newly moderated.

I have decided to pass the moderation on to someone else. Ames Gilbert is the first one who comes to my mind, as I think that he would be more than capable of leaving things with some degree of neutrality, as well as not giving in to bullying behaviour.

Ames, I do not know whether you would be willing to undertake in this (it does take some time, not much, but some) but please get back to me on this.

If there is anyone else who thinks they could do it, please post here (not by e-mail).

205. nigel harris price - July 23, 2008

Isn’t the answer to get REB and perhaps GH in court to watch their acts and not be bought out by a settlement out of court – “The offer likes him not” (Henry V)…..Nigel.

206. nigel harris price - July 23, 2008

Rodney Collin – “The (magic?) of the 4th Way is that it should be realised in LIfe” (Theory of Conscious Harmony). Perhaps some of us forgot to apply the principles of the ‘system’ to what we had to do ‘in Life’? Tell me what you think…..Nigel.

207. nigel harris price - July 23, 2008

Re ‘Beautiful Dreamers’ – I will probably buy it, when I have some extra in my bank account, off Amazon. But I just noticed the sub-title – “Those who love will prove to be invincible” (Walt Whitman).

208. somebody - July 23, 2008

192 Walt Tanner

Gurdjieff indicated that there are fake schools where the teacher either:
▪ May be genuinely mistaken and think that he knows something, when in reality he knows nothing.
▪ May believe another man, who in his turn may be mistaken.
▪ May deceive consciously.

“It is impossible to recognize a wrong way without knowing the right way. This means that it is no use troubling oneself how to recognize a wrong way. One must think of how to find the right way.” Gurdjieff also noted that there are groups of people who believe they follow his knowledge, but they focus only on one or a few aspects of his teachings, and thus obtain negative or wrong results.

209. God Laughing - July 23, 2008


What you are describing is the main reason why I left!
Asaf, Dorian & Mihai, to weird for words, total creeps in charge!
A bunch of arrogant, vain, sleazy slimy guys running the show, and… on my money!
While I was forking out $500+ per month, plus fall and spring each $750, my bills were piling up with dim looking prospects of ever getting a better car, a much needed dentist /doctor visit, a trip abroad or a good old wardrobe upgrade, etc.
Holy moly, I finally saw the light!

And then the Gods smiled….
Asaf got kicked out of the USA for bigamy
Bob’s little helper /Bob’s brain, stranded abroad
Asaf hailed as the new Girard, Miles whatever
With Dorian and Mihai struggling to fill his shoes

Man, what a novel!

210. veramente - July 23, 2008

204 Sheik
I have decided to pass the moderation on to someone else. Ames Gilbert is the first one who comes to my mind, as I think that he would be more than capable of leaving things with some degree of neutrality, as well as not giving in to bullying behaviour.
Dear Sheik , you have done a wonderful job IMO.
I would still hope that even if you give the moderation up to another person you would remain as our main host.
I think Ames is great, and so would be Laura if she wanted or had time to do it.
But by putting in charge an ex fof member may result in a complete polarization of the blog and a place were fof current members would feel unwelcome to comment here.
Would also a moderator get to know our personal email or the IP number/address?
This is what comes to mind at the moment.

211. Daily Cardiac - July 23, 2008


By far the most mentioned topic on the blog is the one regarding Robert Burton’s alleged sexual liaisons with FOF members. This is the main issue that former members use to imply Robert Burton is a charlatan and the FoF, a cult.

I would like to say two things regarding this topic: One – In my opinion Robert’s private lifestyle is not the main reason people become disenchanted with, or leave, the FoF and, Two – Robert’s private lifestyle does not even play a significant role in people becoming disenchanted with, or leaving, the FoF. The main reason for that is more deeply seated and completely independent from the above mentioned area in my opinion.

Man has lying in his DNA. It’s not an individual trait. All men lie. Everyone reading this has been lied to by others and has lied to others. Men are more apt to lie when “something is on the line”, or “at stake.” This “something at stake” can be real, imagined, dreaded or hoped for. There are millions of court cases around the world each year where two different parties tell two completely different versions of events. In many of those cases both parties believe they are telling the complete truth, yet that would not seem to be possible.

This brings us to the fact that whoever has the capability to lie to others (all of us) has the equal capability of lying to themselves. Lying to oneself is at the core of self-delusion. The main reason we lie to ourselves, in my opinion, is because knowing a particular truth may be unflattering or detrimental in some way and we are unwilling or unable to deal with it fully. Or conversely, that a “wished for reality” is so attractive that we are willing to imagine it is an actual reality, or will soon be one. To leave a school of awakening does not carry good connotations. To leave a cult does.

The main, perhaps the only, reason people reject Robert Burton as a teacher and leave the FoF is because they no longer connect with or buy into the work principles put forward by Robert and the FoF. At least that’s my assessment. This fact, however, is also evident through numerous postings on this blog from page one until now.

All of the main 4th way tenets have been dismissed on the blog by former members. Just recently someone said that “being present is overrated”, a notion that others echoed their approval of. Another individual recently wrote a long list of maladies endured because of embracing for years the principle that “man cannot do.”- a principle which I and many other members find to be both a positive and a liberating reality when taken in a correct symbolic context and not literally, as the blogger seemed to understand it..

Some of the other main principles of the FoF which have been dismissed or devalued on the blog are, “the non-expression of negativity”, “the transformation of suffering”, “the existence of different states of waking consciousness” (most commonly known as the first, second and third states), “the existence of a lower self / machine / enemy within” (whose only goal is to undermine our spiritual work), that “imagination is the number one obstacle to presence”, “the possibility of verifying Influence C, verifying consciousness in another, or verifying that a school is real”.

Also dismissed or devalued are the principles that “the play is written”, that “Influence C is omnipotent and all encompassing”, that “man (while occupying the second state of consciousness) is subjective by nature yet takes himself to be objective.”

These are things that immediately come to mind but there are probably others I missed as an infrequent visitor to the blog. Obviously, these are all principles the FoF was founded upon, and if one rejects them one naturally has rejected the School and the Teacher.

My point is this: would someone who embraces these principles and is being nourished by them on an ongoing basis simultaneously reject and discard everything, the principles, the school, because of claims that the Teacher is having sex with other members? That seems unlikely but if it’s true it’s not the most intelligent reaction. Actions like that give rise to sayings like “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water”, or “don’t cut off your nose to spite your face”

On the contrary, if the principles were working for someone, producing positive results, it would just as likely cause them to re-evaluate any negative attitudes they might have about a teacher having sex with a member.

My belief is that the desire to leave the FoF first of all begins internally, in the form of a general disillusionment with what one thought awakening meant or entailed, and then an external reason to leave is attached to that disillusionment.

I also believe that, this being the case, Robert could conduct himself like an altar boy and it would not change anything; some other reason would be found to complete the act of leaving if someone wanted to go. I knew someone who left because Robert stopped leading meetings and the average student could only dine with him once year or so. This person thought a conscious teacher should be more accessible. It’s years later and Robert is leading three meetings a week, as well as teaching dinners and breakfasts and other informal events; usually as many as 8 or 9 events a week.

But I do believe the majority of former students are sincere in the sense that they themselves truly believe the reasons they formulate for leaving.

It’s very interesting that there is no mention of sex in the direct teachings of the founders of three of the world’s most enduring religions. To my knowledge neither Christ, Buddha nor Muhammad said one word instructing their followers, or posterity, on the role sex plays in spiritual evolution. What can we draw from this omission? If indeed these are three of history’s most enlightened beings we can rule out forgetfulness or lack of focus. I would also rule out inner considering or being under the grips of feminine dominance, and conclude that what they included in their teachings were the most relevant issues to awakening; things like love, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance of one’s play, not judging one’s fellow men.

However, things were said in those teachings cautioning disciples about “false prophets” so they could have easily said “if a teacher wants sex with you beware”, but they did not make mention of it.
I would further deduce that by omitting the topic of sex from their direct teachings they were really saying that the indulgence in or abstinence from it was irrelevant to awakening. Further regarding the issue of sex with disciples; Robert, as a rule, does not have any contact with non-students as all his time is given to the FoF, so if he has sex it would be, in all likelihood, with those close to him, i.e. disciples.

Here are some accounts found online from the life of the Prophet Muhammad. None of these words can be proven or disproven. We can only say they are “alleged” to have happened:

“Muhammad had sex with just about anyone he pleased, thanks to Allah’s remarkable interest in his personal sex life.

Muhammad was married to eleven women at one time, relegating them to either consecutive days or (according to some accounts) all in one night. He married a 9-year-old girl and even his adopted son’s wife. On top of that Muhammad had a multitude of slave girls and concubines with whom he had sex – sometimes on the very days in which they had watched their husbands and fathers die at the hands of his own armies.

So, by any realistic measure, the creator of the world’s most sexually restrictive religion was also one of the most sexually indulgent characters in history.

Muhammad’s sexual antics are an embarrassment to those Muslims who are aware of them. This is particularly so for their prophet’s marriage to Aisha when she was 9-years-old. The thought of a 52-year-old man sleeping and bathing with a young girl is intensely unpleasant and it reflects the disgusting character of a sexual glutton rather than a holy man. Critics even allege that Muhammad was a pedophile.

SOME MUSLIMS RESPOND BY DENYING THE HADITH ITSELF, WHICH IS A MISTAKE (my emphasis). The accounts of Muhammad sleeping with a 9-year-old are no less reliable than those on which the five pillars of Islam are based. They have been an accepted part of tradition and did not become controversial until social mores began to change in the modern age.

The charge of pedophilia may or may not be true, depending on how it is defined. Technically, Muhammad did have a sexual relationship with a child, but Aisha was also the youngest of his twelve wives. Zaynab was in her 30’s when she attracted the unquenchable lust of the prophet. We don’t know the age of Muhammad’s sex slaves. They may or may not have been as young as Aisha, but there is no point in speculating.

Another strong piece of evidence against Muhammad being a pedophile is that, according to the same Hadith, he waited from the time Aisha was six (when the marriage ceremony took place) until she turned nine to consummate the relationship. Although the text doesn’t say why, in all probability it was because he was waiting for her to begin menstrual cycles – thus entering into “womanhood.” It is unlikely that a pedophile would be concerned about this.”

212. steve lang - July 24, 2008

#147- morgan le faye

I like your choice of picket slogans.

#192 -Walter, my buddy; I now see why you never returned my call to join me in picketing this week in Oregon House.

Sheik #204- I think Ames is a good choice. I think there are lots of good choices, but if nobody else steps up, I’ll do it. This blog needs to stay alive. If it’s a money issue with you, maybe we can all make a donation. This blog is what opened my eyes to everything that’s wrong with the FOF. I already knew what I thought was “right” about that place. I feel I made the right choice by leaving.

213. Yesri Baba - July 24, 2008


Now you can make the argument, as old as Hume, that all this is nonsense or just intellectual cover for exploitation. I’d absolutely agree, and also defend the right of anyone to engage in it.

I also feel that the blog needs to be regularly leavened by posts that speak positively about the Fellowship experience. I got a hell of a lot from my 7 years and $25,000, not the least of which is the opportunity to participate in this forum. I won’t bore you with details, but I had a blast, and came out a better person.

You must have been one monumental asshole before you joined.

Hope you got a couple more billion stashed away.

214. somebody - July 24, 2008

Since the students do not speak a human language anymore, I am practicing their language so, I can engage in a conversation with them. I think with these guidelines one can be pretty safe. 🙂

Good evening, dears.
Let’s try to pass through the narrow gates together!
How do you work with the lower self trying to lure you away during the sequence? I find it incredibly hard!
Our sequential child needs food! Let us eat, drink and be merry.
Unless the steward is combusted, there is no hope in completing the sequence.
How many sequences can you complete during one day?
The successful sequence is too difficult!
Isn’t it wonderful to help each other to support four wordless breaths?
It is all depend on what you put in your vase.
What do we do with the dead steward after it completes the sequence?

p.s. one more idea for a slogan:

215. Yesri Baba - July 24, 2008

One thing is bugging me from reading the posts about people who were supposedly going to have an intergalactic laserium light show go off at some point and then left the fof. I know mr jellyface came up with retarded reasons why he was mistaken such as : I thought I saw ‘higher centers’ in his eyes but it was really sex energy in the k of clubs, or the devil made em do it.

I joined in the 70’s before too many people had defected (to my knowledge). I never really questioned the slow slide from the 4th way to card tricks to fairy phantoms running the show but, I put my sandwiches together butter side out. IT WAS THE 70’s! They still carved the news into stone tablets! There were only three stations on the T.V.!

Doesn’t the passage of time mean anything? It has been 28 years and people are still falling for the same lame ass bullshit: You are going to become the next conscious being. Holy jesus h fucking christ!

216. Ames Gilbert - July 24, 2008

Sheik (#41-204), you do me much honor, but I won’t do it.
A very important reason for the success of this blog, the way I see it, is that you never had anything to do with the Fellowship of Friends before you started. I think you’ve handled the moderation impeccably while still allowing yourself to express a point of view. I also think any moderator should be anonymous; I’m not. Lastly, I live in the country at the end of a 33k dial up internet service strung on miles of telephone poles. That makes things slow—and vulnerable. The summer before last, for example, we had a power blow-up that took out 200 computers (including mine) and took 3 weeks to repair. And we have several days-long outages each winter.
Would a break from these responsibilities help, or must this be permanent?
Many, many thanks for your service to this particular community so far!

217. veronicapoe - July 24, 2008

Just to second Ames’ kudos to you, Sheik, you have done a wonderful job. One of the accidental strengths that made this ongoing dialogue possible is that you didn’t fall for the con. I respect that this circumstance could well absorb many valuable hours of your life which ought be devoted to things other than the matters discussed here. But I feel that you have offered a rare combination of compassion, evenhandedness, and detachment in the best sense of the word. Let me say, simply, thank you.

218. brucelevy - July 24, 2008

219. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 24, 2008

#217: Made me cry. Thanks.

220. I'll never tell - July 24, 2008

131. innernaut – July 22, 2008

‘Example: after decades of “working on yourself,” you’d think someone would have gotten somewhere regarding the [non-]expression of negative emotions. Apparently GH is extremely negative, hitting himself and screaming on a regular basis. As Ames mentioned, you have to look at results — are these what you would hope to achieve by working on yourself?’

Best examples of success with the FoF model of the 4th Way are found in the thousands of people who have walked away from it. These many finally made the right decision: to take responsibility for their own work – what ever that might be.

221. James Mclemore - July 24, 2008

Sheik – I am sort of a latecomer to this blog, but would like to ditto what others have said. I hope you are able to stay right where you are. Your compassion shines through. Thank you.
217. brucelevy
Thanks Bruce – wonderful story
From a talk by Trungpa on ‘spiritual materialism’ I read this morning. I thought of the fof and RB and his ‘sequence’. (there appear to be a couple of typos-but I pasted it as I found it)

“Ego is able to convert everything to its own use, even
spirituality. For example, if you have learned of a particularly
beneficial meditation technique of spiritual practice, then ego’s
attitude is, first to regard it as an object of fascination and,
second to examine it. Finally, since ego is seeming solid and
cannot really absorb anything, it can only mimic. Thus ego tries to
examine and imitate the practice of meditation and the meditative
way of life. When we have learned all the tricks and answers of the
spiritual game, we automatically try to imitate spirituality, since
real involvement would require the complete elimination of ego, and
actually the last thing we want to do is to give up the ego
completely. However, we cannot experience that which we are trying
to imitate; we can only find some area within the bounds of ego that
seems to be the same thing. Ego translates everything in terms of
its own state of health, its own inherent qualities. It feels a
sense of great accomplishment and excitement at have been able to
create such a pattern. At last it has created a tangible
accomplishment, a confirmation of its own individuality.

If we become successful at maintaining our
self-consciousness through spiritual techniques, then genuine
spiritual development is highly unlikely. Our mental habits become
so strong as to be hard to penetrate. We may even go so far as to
achieve the totally demonic state of complete “Egohood.” “

222. whalerider - July 24, 2008

You have lots of helpful experience dealing with the borderline personality style, don’t you? You are a perfect fit. We need you, and you should be paid for your services, after all, in this world, time is money.

I am going to send you $100 today. I suggest everyone else (including you, Walter) chip in what they can to signal to you that we value your time and energy.

I know what elena said about the blog being “your toy” hurt your feelings. I cringed when I read it. That’s just penis envy…thank God, remember it drives her to carry around a ‘pole’ with a sign, alone in part because I am too ashamed to do so.

Understandably, you have emotional attachments to your work that can make you sensitive. (I vote we all refrain from personal attacks on our host and show the sheik some respect.)

If you really enjoy the music, it’s hard to remain a wallflower and dancing is nice. I have greatly appreciated you have been sharing yourself on the blog much more lately, too, which also means that when you join the dance, expect that someone may step on your toes.

Personally, if I were you, I’d be quite proud of this creation and want to keep nuturing it along. The blog is not your toy, it is your child. Believe me, sometimes what children say can be very hurtful and poignant. Mine say stuff that goes straight to my heart, and we were all kids once. As a parent, you learn to turn the other cheek and be patient and compassionate. We learn from our children. Still, we love you and we need you to love us and keep our little family arrangement the way it is. How can we work this out?


BTW, I finally had lunch yesterday with my friend with the camera. He’s onboard for September. He has a keen interest in cults. I have known him for 20 years, and I never once told him about what I endured in the FOF. It was a somber and emotional experience sharing with an ‘outsider’ something of which I have been so ashamed. I was moved in that telling him something so private made us feel closer.

Next I’m going to book the place. We’ll be there Friday night, and all day Saturday and into Saturday night with cameras rolling. So anyone who wants to drive in for the day, or come out of the OH woods to give a testimonial, please email the sheik at recroanima@gmail.com and he will let me know. And then drop a dime in the Sheik’s slot today.


223. whalerider - July 24, 2008

BTW, where is the paypal link these days?

224. Wildz - July 24, 2008

I had the same question.

225. God Laughing - July 24, 2008

I like to chip in!
How do I do that?
Whalerider can you post the Paypal thing?

226. Vena - July 24, 2008

I heartily agree with the posts commending your temperate and fairhanded moderation. It wouldn’t work so well with anyone else. Please stay and thank you for everything.

227. ton - July 24, 2008

i agree with other posters who bring up the importance of neutrality for a moderator — you do a great service to all who post here, as well as lurkers and the fence-sitters to come. if it’s a money issue, i’ll “kick-in” to support continuation of your role as moderator. i’ll admit i’ve done some playing here and had my share of fun but i strongly disagree with the opinion that the blog is “your toy” and imho statements to that effect were intended to insult you…. i hope you survive another “pissing contest” and that
you’ll reconsider.

228. brucelevy - July 24, 2008

sheik, not having you in this role would be a significant loss to the blog. And I can’t thank you enough.

229. Mick Danger - July 24, 2008

Inna S. on the GF site declared her freedom 7/23/08.
I wonder where she got the idea she was in a cult.
There is but one Shiek.

230. whalerider - July 24, 2008

I found the paypal link on this page on the right hand side under the blog hits and sent him 50 Pounds, which equals $101.

Thanks, Sheik

here’s the link:

231. Walter Tanner - July 24, 2008

Across The River says:

“But most interestingly, your post seems to point to Robert as a legitimate spiritual leader. Rhetoric aside, is that how you still see it?”

That’s EXACTLY how I see it. Is Pope Ratzinger a legitimate spiritual leader? He led the inquisition against Latin American liberation theologians and is directly responsible for moving several priests, including bishops and cardinals, out of the jurisdiction of the United States to avoid facing trial for their sex crimes.

How about Ramakrishna? Loved the little boys.

Alan Watts? Fucked every groupie he could and drank himself to death.

Shall I mention Mr. G.?

Chongyam Trungpa infected followers with the HIV virus!

Mother Teresa? Read Christopher Hitchen’s “Missionary Position,” she was a monster. http://www.slate.com/id/2090083/

The Dalai Lama? He just wants his kingdom and authority back, and is pretty explicit about it!

The only point I’m trying to make here is that you must separate your moral sense from your spiritual sense. One of the best commentators on all this is Charles Manson, in some of his writings–and they are all available on the web–he uses Advaita Vedanta to justify his actions.

Through psycho-spiritual transformational work, it is very easy to attain a state where one can be quite helpful to others seeking the same transformation (i.e., a legitimate spiritual teacher) while still beating the kids, etc. I would think that veterans of the Fourth Way would most surely be able to see this, and yet this myth that consciousness-expansion = increased morality continues.

Rear View Mirror Says:

“The people here spent years hearing the propaganda within the group that countered any notion that Burton’s practices were damaging or destructive, or even criminal. And this propaganda — even though you seem to imply that you weren’t fooled by it — was very effective in keeping people from opening their eyes and leaving the group.

Are you more of the same?”

RVM, let me re-write what you said, making it more general:

“People [who seek spiritual instruction] spend years [practicing the rituals and dogma of their tradition] within the group that counters any notion that [the tradition’s leader or authorities] were damaging or destructive, or even criminal. And this [religious practice] — even though you seem to imply that you weren’t fooled by it — was very effective in keeping people from opening their eyes and leaving the group.

Are you more of the same?”

What you call propaganda, many sincere spiritual seekers call their “religious practice.” Whether FoF, Catholic Church, Mormons, or Advaitists, I guess I’m more of the same, like the founders of this country, who said people can practice whatever religion they want.

I’ve digested the fact of my complicity with Robert Burton. That, as much as the years in the FoF, made me who I am today. But the level of invective here is so high that I feel it necessary to point out that the FoF is no worse than the leading world religions that coerce billions around the globe. Scale and Relativity, is I think the terminology.

ton says:

“do you think that the excesses and the seeming ability to satisfy those excesses (as in the case of a robert burton) is some indication of what you and the “noted authors” call “enlightenment”?”

Yes. “Enlightenment,” as much as it can be a beautiful, fulfilling and consciousness-expanding experience for the person manifesting it, also frees one from consensual morality, and that, without a strong enough will, almost always leads to depravity. Plus an “enlightened being” gets this composure and bearing that other seekers recognize and yada yada yada we all know the psychology of guru-chela relationships.

somebody says:

“Gurdjieff indicated that there are fake schools where the teacher either:
▪ May be genuinely mistaken and think that he knows something, when in reality he knows nothing.
▪ May believe another man, who in his turn may be mistaken.
▪ May deceive consciously.”

Right. And Gurdjieff said this so that people around him would work with him, pay him, honor him and not O. or someone else. It is another dangerous meme called “spiritual scarcity,” this idea that there is a “secret knowledge” or select group who can deliver you to paradise. From Moses and Jesus to Burton, et al., they all say it, but it is pure bullshit.

The most earth-shaking, transformative “photograph” I received my many years in Oregon House came from my “life” barber. I realized then that no one man, woman or organization has a monopoly or even corner on spiritual wisdom. Talk to your kids, but listen to them as adults. Carefully watch how your dog’s mannerisms change depending on your mood. Notice what your houseplants are doing. “Enlightenment” is waking up to a fully alive universe that is as interested in your path as you are. Gurdjieff told me in a vision once: “Don’t try to see the world, try to be the world.”

Steve: all this output is really a consequence of your phone call. I needed to lay out why I didn’t feel right about picketing (although I would love to sneak onto the property and pick some roses). — I need to respect people’s religious choices. Calling their religion a criminal activity doesn’t do that. The signs that Elena and Ames used were very compassionate and the “right triad” I felt. But my fear was that some of the more partisan opponents could show up with dumb signs and aggressive invective that would just feed the “us-vs.-them” FoF mentality.

I need to reiterate how ecstatic I am that people are picketing — it is awesome and may well lead to an exodus, I wish it was happening with other religious organizations. Make sure when picketing to hand-out/show the URL of the blog!

I’ve completely disregarded all the posts that, instead of engaging my arguments, seeks to unpack my psychology or diagnose my many psycho-spiritual maladies. For people who claim to have deconstructed the guru’s bag of tricks, several of you engage in that very strategy (199, 200, 202). Alan Watts calls it “One-Upsmanship,” and in his speech shows how the training of Freudian psychoanalysists, like the behavior of gurus, is always an attempt to “one-up” the analysand or chela. It is a sophisticated way to avoid actually thinking about things and engaging an argument, but it is still cheap.

The posters who merely responded with ad hominem bile…absolutely expected and I wear their attacks as a testament to my successful one-upsmanship!

Sheik: I agree with Ames that your neutrality is a serious benefit that no one else here could contribute. But if your tired of the labor, maybe its time to permanently close the comments, ‘cause for chrissakes we all just keep making the same arguments, round-and-round. I’ve been saying what I’ve been saying since Part 10 or 11 or wherever I first posted….but the site should remain up, and we can come up with money to make that possible if needed.

232. brucelevy - July 24, 2008

228. Walter Tanner

Unbelievably greasy. I’m speechless.

233. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - July 24, 2008

#228 Walter Tanner said: ‘Yes. “Enlightenment,” as much as it can be a beautiful, fulfilling and consciousness-expanding experience for the person manifesting it, also frees one from consensual morality, and that, without a strong enough will, almost always leads to depravity.’

In fact, it is just the opposite in a person ‘truly’ enlightened, which embraces conscience. Dig a little deeper. They do exist but typically aren’t out in the spotlight.

234. ton - July 24, 2008

228 walter tanner writes:
“The only point I’m trying to make here is that you must separate your moral sense from your spiritual sense. One of the best commentators on all this is Charles Manson….”

you’re taking advice from who?! you really are clueless.

is this mr. tanner another shill for the followship or what?

235. brucelevy - July 24, 2008

231. ton

“is this mr. tanner another shill for the followship or what”?

I think it’s more that he’s a legend in his own mind. Vanity run amok. As mentioned above, very similar to Vinnie.

236. Mick Danger - July 24, 2008

So, you’re admitting that Grampa Bobby is a sexual deviant?
You might know about that, but you do not and cannot know about any of the other personages you mention.
OK, now there are three great blunders.

237. Rear View Mirror - July 24, 2008

Walter wrote: “I’ve digested the fact of my complicity with Robert Burton. That, as much as the years in the FoF, made me who I am today. But the level of invective here is so high that I feel it necessary to point out that the FoF is no worse than the leading world religions that coerce billions around the globe. Scale and Relativity, is I think the terminology.”

Burton’s is behavior is more pernicious than the activities in many other religious organizations around the globe, and maybe not as pernicious as certain others. In my opinion, that viewpoint shows some “scale and relativity.” When you group them all together as though they are all the same, as you seem to be implying above, that’s lacking in “relativity” and perspective in my opinion.

You seem to imply that we haven’t recognized the comparison here, but this blog discusses at length that same propaganda in other religions, cults, spiritual practices, and governments. Those comparisons with the FOF are effective in helping us understand what the FOF cult is about and why it hooked us — and why we allowed ourselves to fall into it. The FOF claims to be ABOVE those other religions, cults, governments, and so forth. A lot of what this blog “is about” is pointing out that it isn’t above those things — that it involves the same lies and secrecies as many of the more well-know cults in the world. Many of us have left the FOF and improved the quality of our lives (both spiritually and in other ways) because we recognized that. We recognized that the FOF was no different than a lot of the nonsense and destructiveness you see in other so-called religious organizations. We believed it was different. When we realized it wasn’t different, we left.

Walter, you later wrote: “for chrissakes we all just keep making the same arguments, round-and-round.”

Each and every day the FOF argues that you and I and all of our friends, Walter, are doomed if we do not join their cult, and remain in their cult. That same argument by Robert Burton keeps going round and round. And round.

238. veronicapoe - July 24, 2008

I don’t find Walter Tanner’s comments to warrant invective, they are thought provoking. That is a separate issue from whether or not I agree with them. Let me inquire whether, prior to 1978 (when The Fellowship of Friends Inc. amended its articles of incorporation to provide that its primary purpose was as a religion), any member of the organization understood that he or she was practicing a religion? Or whether any member was advised, at the time of the change, that he or she now belonged to a religion? Or whether anyone joining within the past thirty years was advised, prior to making his or her first teaching payment, that The Fellowship of Friends Inc. was a corporation the primary purpose of which was as a religion? Seems to me I was told that the Fellowship had incorporated as a church “for tax reasons.”

239. veronicapoe - July 24, 2008

At least the Church of Scientology calls itself a church.

240. whalerider - July 24, 2008

Walter Tanner:

“I’ve completely disregarded all the posts that, instead of engaging my arguments…”

That’s quite a statement to make to a group of your peers, Walter.

Shall we disregard you in return like how the FOF handles its collateral damage?

I guess the FOF did make you who or what you are today.

A man hears what he wants to hear, then buffers the rest.

241. veronicapoe - July 24, 2008

Interesting that “The Canons of the Fellowship of Friends” — Canons being a core declaration of beliefs at the center of a religion — were adopted in a secret manner and never published openly to the membership.

At issue, I think, is the bona fides of any social organization claiming the status of “religion.” That the Government accords such organizations the benefit of the doubt assures religious freedom; but it also leaves a “no man’s land” where bona fides will be found among the membership, but only because they have been deliberately misled.

242. veronicapoe - July 24, 2008

I do think the invective, Walter, arises in reaction to a perceived insensitivity. You speak with erudition, but if you are a compassionate fellow, and I assume on some level you are, you do not show it when you write.

243. brucelevy - July 24, 2008

235. veronicapoe

” I don’t find Walter Tanner’s comments to warrant invective, they are thought provoking”.

It depends on whose thoughts they are provoking, and to what end, and depth. I see them as the typical egocentric (sometimes even sociopathic) apologist’s arguments. I think it’s more invective provoking than thought provoking. The idea that enlightenment or spiritual development has nothing to do with, or leaves behind “morality” is a sociopath’s excuse and justification for the world revolving around them. I think that at a certain point local morality gives way to a more pervasive truth, or higher morality that would be shared regardless of the path used to get there.
To not feel the connection with one’s species on a “natural ” moral ground is to be isolated in one’s own self love.

I find Walter’s present and past arguments here indicative of one who sees themselves as the opposite of what they really are. Glorifying a horrifying lack of connection, empathy, compassion and other traits that appear to me, presently, as what would be natural to a morality developed from actual inner work.

I think Walter sees himself as deserving a little coterie of satellites to move around and massage his inflated ego. Like most mini-gurus.

244. Renald - July 24, 2008

We do what we do because it is the next logical step. All of us.
That includes what we say.
That includes changing our minds.
That includes our mistakes.
That includes getting addicted to stuff.
That even includes exclusion.
That includes loving.
That includes getting and electing to stay sick.
That includes deciding to heal and getting well.
That includes getting upset.
That includes all and everything one can think of.
That includes the absolute.

All is truly well. Adios Sheik! Cheers!

245. Mick Danger - July 24, 2008

The plea to “permanently close the comments”
is a sycophant’s give away.
Don’t cry cause you’re an idiot, you’ve got a lot of other reasons to be sorry for yourself.

246. Across the River - July 24, 2008


I can appreciate separating the message from the messenger and agree we might otherwise be mired in moral or other judgements rather than fully open to spiritual explorations. I also appreciate there’s a kind of madness when our spirit is unfettered, and I understand what you said about lack of will leading to depravity.

Recently the distinction between spirit and soul was suggested to me, and truthfully I had never considered that they weren’t one in the same. Maybe the freedom our spirit chases is not related to the peace our soul yearns for, and we continue to become whole by giving each their due.

Anyway, I’m pleased to know you support an exodus from the Fellowship. As impressive as his orchestration of the Fellowship has been, I cannot agree that Robert has ever been a legitimite teacher. It’s not far-fetched to mention Charles Manson, either, to compare the materialist and egoist satisfaction they both sought by manipulating susceptible “seekers”.

247. somebody - July 24, 2008

228 Walter Tanner

And why, may I ask, did you leave the school? If you respect Robert and trust him as your teacher and a spiritual leader, why not re-join?

To me he is a liar. And the idea about “effective religious practice” is an illusion and a lie.

Robert said:)

As a school we do not invent words and concepts. To my knowledge, they have all been used before. Ibn Arabi said: “There is no innovation in my teaching.” There is no innovation in my sequential teaching. You invite trouble if you try to put your signature on this precious teaching.

248. Renald - July 24, 2008

Here is a bit which well exemplifies what I was trying to say in 241.
It is from Chief Joseph and imo shows how opposite actions can be the next logical step. It maybe does not make it the best choice from another`s perspective, but never-the-less it is the only one possible from their point of view. I also thought the title“Jumping Fences“ appropriate.


I hope the link works. If not I can try something else. John Cali has some great newsletters which one can subscribe to, free of charge as well. Cheers!

249. Across the River - July 24, 2008

Dear Sheik,

You have become a steady friend by providing this place. We have known it can’t go on forever.

I don’t know who could replace you and hold the standard so high, so I also hope you will reconsider staying at the helm for another round or two.

Any terms?

250. Ames Gilbert - July 24, 2008

Continuing the chit-chat with Walter Tanner:
Without going deeply into the nature of consciousness, for the purpose of this discussion…
It seems possible there might be ‘consciousness for psychopaths’, that is consciousness without first establishing a relationship with conscience. In a way, anybody who hasn’t yet recognized their conscience is a sort of psychopath; that’s most of us. And in fact, society has to protect itself from these folks and their behaviors by inventing morality. Wiseacring right along, I’d say that if someone has recognized their conscience to a degree that they constantly refer to it, defer to it, and rely on it to be their guide, then they are no longer subject to morality. I’d also agree that because conscience is quite different from morality, and because morality is subjective (changes with times, conditions, and circumstances of society), that an impartial observer could easily see a disconnect between behavior based on morality and that based on conscience. Which could easily mean that a moral person or society could see a conscientious behavior as immoral.

To me, the difference between a regular psychopath and a conscious psychopath would only be one of power; neither has a conscience or can ever acquire one. Actually, psychopaths have an inherent ‘advantage’ (maybe perceived as power by a weak person) because they are able to ignore conventions and morality; this gives them considerable advantages in their dealings with folks who are so encumbered. IMO, the difference between a ‘conscious psychopath’ and a conscious person whose conscience first awakened is that while the former would use it for his own aggrandizement, the latter would put any additional power to service. What form that might take specifically, I can’t tell you, but it would be where ego works in its right place.

I believe that another person cannot tell my state of consciousness per se, nor can I tell for another. That’s why I willingly grant you any claims you make about yours. But, I believe that the sum of our behaviors, our deeds, do reflect the internal world, especially over time. Those like Ramakrishna or Burton, who use their power to get little (or not so little) boys to continually feed their penises to them seem damaged (and I class someone without operating conscience as damaged, however they might class themselves). Whatever their level of consciousness is doesn’t matter, because it is of no service to the boys, and may sometimes do great harm. Burton might claim he is helping release a young man from Judeo-Christian morality, or whatever, but it is a beyond-amazing coincidence that he has performed this noble service so many times and that it happens to be so satisfying and necessary to him; once would probably suffice, wouldn’t you think? And even if it was initially a self-sacrifice for Burton, it is more than probable that ‘sacrificing himself’ so many times has become an obsession, that is, Burton has become a prisoner to the behavior. So, could one be an addict and conscious? Probably, but what would he be teaching? He can only teach from his being. And in this case, by definition, he could not teach the meaning of “enough”, could he? A teacher who says, “Do what I say, not what I do” is not such a useful teacher, I’d say. What do you think?

No, for me, the simpler explanation is more likely. Burton has overwhelming power because of his position, as perceived by himself and granted by his followers, and ruthlessly uses it to advance his agenda, that being to satisfy his appetites, psychological and physical, without limits. And we have just seen, his managers, his reflections, images-of-him-in-training, have already demonstrated their corrupted being—and have been blessed by him.

Finally, to answer another question you seem to be asking. Ramakrishna was addicted to penises; does this invalidate his other teachings? My answer; I’d say that if Ramakrishna, or Charles Manson, was damaged, that makes all their teachings not necessarily ‘wrong’ (whatever that is), but suspect. Now, if one was especially discriminating, I guess one could ‘tiptoe through the wreckage’ and pick up some gems. Why bother, unless there is no alternative? If one is discriminating, there are plenty of less glamorous and more accessible teachers around; one might be the waitress in the cafe, another your neighbor, another your ghastly boss, another the fox feeding her cubs, another… the knowingness within.

251. xeeena - July 24, 2008

The paypal button is not currently showing up on my computer.

252. veronicapoe - July 24, 2008


In a way, anybody who hasn’t yet recognized their conscience is a sort of psychopath; that’s most of us. . . . if someone has recognized their conscience to a degree that they constantly refer to it, defer to it, and rely on it to be their guide, then they are no longer subject to morality.

I disagree. I think most people are in touch with their consciences and refer to them frequently. I do. It doesn’t make special. It makes me ordinary.

Morality is normative. Conscience is individual. We act in relation to social norms. Social norms, moral standards, don’t go away if we contravene them. Even if we contravene them, if we are ordinary people, those norms continue to act on us, and there is a tension between our actions and the social norms. We live with the tension in our psyches.

253. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 24, 2008

I’m not very sure what “conscience” amounts to beyond doing unto others as we would have them do unto us (except to the extent tastes may differ, such as between Burton and his, um, members). If a person is not in touch with the impulse to do so, what, exactly, is the point and purpose of “consciousness”? To “understand”? Understand what? “We cannot know because we don’t understand.” Nah–love thy neighbor as thyself. As Hillel said, that’s the whole Bible in a nutshell, and all the rest is commentary. No need to make it so complicated. Worshipping “consciousness” as though it is something entirely different from love is an adolescent cop-out.

254. brucelevy - July 24, 2008

249. veronicapoe

I don’t know. I think maybe conscience, or access to conscience (for those who have one) is a continuum. What I may deem correct or acceptable action, thought or behavior today I may not see the same way a few years from now. I don’t think conscience is relative, but our living through it, or will to act through it is relative.

255. paulshabram - July 24, 2008

On the discussion sparked by Walter:

There is a legal concept (sorry can’t remember the latin phrase) that allows for the separation of the alleged complaint from the personalty of the alleged perpetrator. It is a useful concept when forced to try to make an “objective judgment”. It is non sequitur to apply this to separating spirituality from morality. Our morality is what makes us human.
The lack of a moral foundation is “moral insanity”, the very definition of sociopathic behavior. It is a lack of morality that renders a person inhuman.

“The only point I’m trying to make here is that you must separate your moral sense from your spiritual sense.” -Why should we do that?
It was my moral sense that powered my arms and legs to swim to from the deep and dark depths of FOF. When I broke the surface, I breathed a familiar breathe of clean moral air.

If the suggestion that conscious acts are not necessarily spiritual acts, then I would agree. Ted Bundy was certainly conscious of murdering his victims. However, such recognition is obvious to those who are not ‘blessed” with being a sociopath.

Of course… immoral acts are committed by “spiritual leaders” all the time, but when the immoral act employs the spiritual argument, the spirituality and the validity of the leader is utterly lost. The concept of “ex opere operantis”, (the validity of spiritual acts depend upon the validity of the person performing the act) is a useful concept.

I question the validity of the 4th Way, as I do the validity of any “system”. They are merely thought models and are inevitably wrong to some degree.

Do I agree that the FOF has a legal right to call itself a religion, and the FOF has become entirely faith based. Religious freedom, however, does not exempt individuals or organization from the consequences of illegal and immoral acts, particularly if they cause harm.

256. steve lang - July 24, 2008


To get to paypal, use the link that whalerider posted in #227

257. whalerider - July 24, 2008

“We live with the tension in our psyches.”

….hence, if we disobey our conscience for long enough and the inner conflict and resulting tension becomes overwhelming, humans will compensate with a diversionary neurosis…“a functional disorder in which feelings of anxiety, obsessional thoughts, compulsive acts, and physical complaints without objective evidence of disease, in various degrees and patterns, dominate the personality.”

How many sequences have you done today?

258. Richard M. - July 24, 2008

235. veronicapoe
Seems to me I was told that the Fellowship had incorporated as a church “for tax reasons.”
It was pretty common knowledge among insiders during my time in FOF, that “church” centers were usually opened and maintained in cities around the world where Burton liked to visit, eat, shop, and spend lots of cash. If the church “pastor” spent time in those cities, his expenses could be legally payed for by the “church” as long as he met with a few of the members of that “congregation”usually at meals or while shopping. Visits to places without centers or where he had no church business, such as buying for the “impression octave,” say Palm Springs, had to be payed for out of his “personal” funds. This explains why he would sometimes stay at a Motel 6 or other cheap hotel in those cities, while he usually stayed at one of the best hotels while visiting a center. Detailed notes of who attended the meals and a few teaching quotes by Bob had to be noted in a travel diary by the secretary as proof that church work had occurred. These notes were transcribed and submitted to the Collins office for filing in case of an IRS audit. In fact I recently found a travel diary from my 1983 employment.
Here are 2 sample entries:
4/22/83 Phoenix [center] Lunch, Arizona Biltmore. Shopped for table. Dinner, Gold Room, Arizona Biltmore with Clyde A.
4/23/83 Blythe [on road from Phoenix to LA] lunch at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Here is a good quote right from the horses mouth:

4/23/83 “I have been spending much time lately waiting. I am waiting for 1984. I have been waiting for a long time, but it is quite near now. I feel like I am waiting for an earthquake”

He was, of course, referring to 2 his since failed prophesies:
1984= Worldwide economic depression.
1998= California falling into the sea.

It would be interesting to chart the location of centers over the history of the FOF in relationship to Burton’s shopping habits at the time. Fine press books/NY, London. Meissen Porcelain/Germany. Old Master Paintings/Italy. Chinese Furniture/Taipai. Hong Kong.

259. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 24, 2008

255 Richard M

Yeah, well, Ramakrishna liked to buy Meissen porcelain, too.

260. brucelevy - July 24, 2008

Therefore, if you like Meissen you like boys.

261. Yesri Baba - July 25, 2008

192 Walter Tanner

Oops. I misunderstood this-

“Now you can make the argument, as old as Hume, that all this is nonsense or just intellectual cover for exploitation. I’d absolutely agree, and also defend the right of anyone to engage in it.”

When I first read this I thought you meant you would defend the right of anyone (say for example RB) to engage in exploitation. I see now in reading it with a little more attention (not believing anyone would say that) that you would defend the right of anyone to make a nonsensical argument.

My bad, sorry.

262. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 25, 2008

Although what Ramakrishna did or didn’t do is pretty much beside the point, his alleged sexual perversity was based primarily on one book, Kali’s Child, by Jeffrey Kripal. A rebuttal (by a Ramakrishna disciple) may be found at http://www.infinityfoundation.com/mandala/s_rv/s_rv_tyaga_kali1_frameset.htm. It can be seen as an apologist’s attempt at justification, or as valid debunking of a misguided interpretation of Ramakrishna’s life.

263. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

259. Just Another Voice Out Here

And so, what’s your point?

264. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

259. Just Another Voice Out Here

Is it that Walter’s post “can be seen as an apologist’s attempt at justification, or as valid debunking of a misguided interpretation of RB’s life.

265. Richard M. - July 25, 2008

256. Just Another Voice Out Here

Maybe so, but did Ramakrishna like to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken in the middle of the Mojave desert?

266. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 25, 2008

261 brucelevy

No. I suppose Walter’s post can be seen that way. I’m not sure it’s either one. I see Walter as a painfully vain poseur who tries to make himself happier by periodically trying to persuade a bunch of bloggers he’s got the inside scoop on whatever, and belittling the hapless confusion of us mere mortals. I offered the link just as information for anyone who may be wondering if Ramakrishna was really a pervert.

267. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

Gottcha. Sorry.

268. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

Every scam has it’s apologists at every point along the way.

269. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

I’ve yet to see a spiritual leader who doesn’t succumb to the power, greed and adulation. It’s guru syndrome, and as far as I can see, eventually it’s 100% fatal. If you can see someone’s “work” you can be pretty sure they’re full of shit, or at least half filled on their way to being topped off.

I’ve come to see them (the “teachers”, good and bad) as no more than phone booths along the way of life. You pick up the phone, call information, see if there’s anything you need to know, hang up and continue on. The amazing thing is these phone booths think they are the “way”. And all their little phone booth maintenance people think “oh yeah, they ARE the way, I know, look how I turned out”. They’re gophers and sheep, without a lick of sense.

270. James Mclemore - July 25, 2008

I think I just realized I don’t care about learning if Ramakrishna was a pervert or if Trungpa infected people with HIV. It IS sad if people were hurt by them. I have, however, taken things home and used them after reading some of their words. I am quite sure I learned things about myself during my years in the fof, although it was probably in spite of Robert and his methods, and thanks to some of the people I met.

I think we have to make our own maps for the most part. I really liked what bruce said,

“You pick up the phone, call information, see if there’s anything you need to know, hang up and continue on.”

Alan Watts, Krishnamurti, my daughter, Ouspensky, Ellen T, Whitman, Yesri baba, Trungpa, Cake Please, Tolle, Adyashanti, unoanimo,Gurdjieff, paulshabram, Nisargadatta,Jesus, brucelevy, the I Ching, and lauralupa. I have learned things from all these sources, and I don’t know any of them (except my daughter), and most of them I have no idea, nor do I care, exactly how they live, or lived their lives. It seems no different than enjoying or having been elevated by a piece of music without ever knowing who composed or played it, much less anything about those musician’s personal lives.

To compare Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends with any other religion or any other cult (unless it is used to demonstrate something about how cults work), while interesting, seems like it is beside the point, and only serves to somehow dilute the bare facts about the fof’s existence and practices. I think that morality has little to do with anything, except as paul said, “when the immoral act employs the spiritual argument”. I personally do not hear a moral tone in very many posts.
I suppose if I don’t care if Ramakrishna was a pervert, I don’t really care whether Robert Burton is a pervert or not either. However, in his case we do know that people have been hurt by his actions, and I think we are fairly certain that the closed system of thinking used in the fof, does not bring good results for the people who are involved. With the exception of ‘the esoteric sheik of inner confusion’ (may his name be blessed), we have all been there.
We have ‘verified’ it was not a useful place for us to be. Seems like what the blog does, in its roller coaster fashion, is simply to expose Robert Burton for who he really is, and expose the rampant weaknesses in his ‘so-called system or teaching’. (And I guess, the bloggers try to have some fun and share ideas, and some music and stories while waiting for the next one of those phone booths.)

271. moonchild - July 25, 2008

anyone see Agnes of God? The young girl had been so hurt as a child that she needed to stay in a nunnery. Her crimes could not be tried in the real world. Some have need of a school. A place to hide perhaps. If the head of it is having weird sex, it does not matter because the haven (no pun intended) makes them feel safe allows for them to breathe. i know it sounds odd. but we may need to leave those in peace. and let them live quietly. R’s sexuality is no secret. Spending as well. Those who remain in – make the choice – if you feel there is someone in particular that suffers from staying in the school, contact them and gently show them that there is a way out.

otherwise leave those that need the feelings of safety or retreat to be where they are. respectfully, moonchild

272. moonchild - July 25, 2008

ps. also those that might have studied the holocaust – it is interesting to think about this sense of “the other” – annihilating the fof might be yet another form of “genocide” eliminating a culture with whom you take offense. it seems or is corrupt, and therefore you feel justified in destroying it. or darfur, or tutsi and hutu – the information is out and available. let everyone choose for themselves. else we replace one bully for another.

can we not all join hands and jump into the holy fire?

273. Ellen - July 25, 2008


My two cents, please stay, your intelligent and as-neutral-as possible moderation is helpful to us all. If you are feeling that the constraints of this medium are taking too large a toll on your life, then continue to think about other alternatives and discuss them here.

But I think your wish to get out stems from the sometimes nasty recent exchange with Elena. All I can say about that is that when the voices in your head are screaming that you need to get out of a psychologically unpleasant situation, then just try to relax and find out “who” is speaking. When you can fully accept everything that is happening, then your own insight will inform you with your own truth. (This is not intended as any kind of method to be used to justify remaining in an abusive situation. Rather even that, by fully accepting all aspects of a situation, reveals the doorway out.)

Just think, this blog began about two years ago? It has helped approximately 500 (or more?) people to leave the Fellowship of Friends and countless others to heal old, scabbed over psychological wounds, while still more remain on the runways?. My guess is that such a forum will continue to be useful for as long as Robert Burton remains alive and the Fellowship continues to try to offer itself as a viable spiritual path – and even then – a few years after that.

So, be realistic and also accept what fate has offered to you: staying or going or something in between?

274. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 25, 2008

211, 220 and 224 are newly moderated.

Thank you all for the donations.

As for me leaving the blog, Elena made me question what reason I had for continuing to moderate the blog. I do not feel that the blog is my toy, I know that it’s not, but the blog takes a lot of my energy, of which I have less to spare as time goes by and the world gets more chaotic. I find the blog to be a valuable service, which is why I never considered shutting it, I would like it to continue being an information highway that people can connect to in order to find new things and communicate about ideas that may be difficult to communicate elsewhere. That is real change.

I do not enjoy the side of the blog that seeks to demolish the Fellowship of Friends. Aggression does not warrant aggression. Moonchild is way off mark with his/her silly metaphors, yet the point is kind of there (and I have felt this for a while).

No one wants to bring down the Fellowship of Friends, right? We want to help people. We want to help people realize that they have more options than they think. There is a big fucking difference between working with or working against systems and organizations and helping living, breathing people.

The other reason why I feel like leaving is that my energy is currently spread quite wide. I don’t feel much good going on in London and things are getting worse, I have been in some fucking bad situations in the past two days and I am still shaken to the core. I sensed this around Christmas time last year, which broke though my laziness and finally got me to take my practice seriously. I am not so sure anymore that working on myself is going to be enough or quick enough. I am planning to start taking things outward, I would eventually like to get into consulting (which I can’t currently afford), but some work in the community will start things moving. In relation to all these other things and the general direction that the global society is heading in (into a wall), the Fellowship of Friends is a much lesser concern.

There are lots of things to stand against.

I don’t really know how to see myself in relation to the blog anymore, taking my role here as a job may be one possibility. But I also think that Steve would make a really good moderator. I am soon going on a short holiday back to Prague and leaving the madness here in London should help me put things into perspective and make up my mind. I will keep on moderating the forum until I do so.

275. nigel harris price - July 25, 2008

274 Skeik
Sorry if I have been one of those ‘aggressors’ towards the FOF. Actually it is not them, as people, I am against. Much has been posted recently about REB and GH misleading people in the FOF – people who would otherwise not be blinded by an organisation with a ‘rotten core’. I am for those who want to make their way in ‘life’, whether they need, initially, at least, a crutch, but I would dearly like to see REB and GH stood up in court to answer all the allegations about discrepancies and fraud. I feel this will give present members of the FOF a choice about what recent bloggers have been describing as following their conscience or sense of moral responsibility. By the way, if you are in London, as you state, would you like to meet over the Christmas holiday period? I can get up to London by train from Exeter, where I live, in less than 4 hours, I think…..Nigel.

276. nigel harris price - July 25, 2008

By the way, working on oneself is not just done in a vacuum, or in a meditative way. Sooner or later one has to immerse one’s complete being, however tender it may feel at first, in the life around one. This being said, I myself would hate to live in London (large and dirty!) and value the fact that my apartment block is on the fringes of Exeter and that I get to work in a studio complex of a converted farm out in the Devon countryside. Would you like some j.peg images?…..Nigel.

277. Traveler - July 25, 2008

Sheik says: “No one wants to bring down the Fellowship of Friends, right? We want to help people. We want to help people realize that they have more options than they think. There is a big fucking difference between working with or working against systems and organizations and helping living, breathing people.”

I just wanted to repeat that because I think it merits repeating. Not everyone may agree with it, but I think it’s worth contemplating for another moment.

Your actions, Sheik, have been invaluable to me, and the mere fact that you exist somewhere and happened to live your life the way you did has touched so many. I am happy that you have been around to see how many people you have touched and how open channels help things move along. And ultimately, I also realize that it is not about you, or me, and that no one is in control. I cannot demand that this go in a certain direction with a definite goal, that it must be one thing or another, that it be so limited. Life is bigger than that. As I see it, fundamentally everyone is responsible just for themselves. We may offer ourselves as we are and be available to others, but can no more sensibly aim to alter their lives as a wave on the east bank of a river can want to change the course of a wave in the middle of the stream. I am glad to see that you, Sheik, are choosing to pursue your own path, and investigating your options. For all that we all have been here over the past year and a half, I thank you. Namaste.

278. Mick Danger - July 25, 2008

An ordinary man uses phone booths to change into Superman.
Dr. Who and Harry Potter have also used phone booths to their advantage.

279. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 25, 2008

Nigel: I work in a bar, I immerse myself in life on a daily basis. My practice is nowadays primarily martial arts based, along with some insight meditation. I do not spend my days sitting in deep contemplation, waking up every now and then to check how the blog is doing.

What I was saying is that there is too much going on, not that life is difficult. I went though the ‘life is difficult, let’s stay at home’ phase quite a while ago. As for London, I have lived here for a while, the changes I was speaking of have been increasing in speed. The economic situation, the oil shortage (which will only get worse) and the food situation (which, I am sure is tangible wherever you may happen to live) will soon push things beyond breaking point, that’s all.

You are incredibly quick to jump to conclusions and give advice based on incorrect assumptions.

280. morgan le faye - July 25, 2008

Can anyone give me the email address of the reporter named Ryan who is considering writing an article on the FOF? I saw this contact mentioned somewhere and cannot recall where.

281. Traveler - July 25, 2008

It’s on the Greater Fellowship, discussion forums, front page.

282. Kid Shelleen - July 25, 2008

“You are the Crown of Creation
You are the Crown of Creation
and you’ve got no place to go.

Soon you’ll attain the stability you strive for
in the only way that it’s granted
in a place among the fossils of our time.

In loyalty to their kind
they cannot tolerate our minds.
In loyalty to our kind
we cannot tolerate their obstruction.

Life is Change
How it differs from the rocks
I’ve seen their ways too often for my liking
New worlds to gain
My life is to survive
and be alive
for you.”

Crown of Creation – The Jefferson Aiplane

Ken Kesey once said that that was the problem with being a super-hero: What to do between phone booths?

283. lauralupa - July 25, 2008

Hi to all… just caught up with the blog and wanted to quickly mention 3 things:

– sheik, enormous gratitude and best wishes to you on whatever path of action you choose

– post 211 by Daily Cardiac seems to have quietly appeared after moderation and many must have missed it; I personally don’t have time right now but think it needs to be answered

– speaking of phone booths, don’t forget the Matrix! (and of course, Bill and Ted’s excellent adventures…)

284. waskathleenw - July 25, 2008


Everything Traveler said in 277.

I hope you’ll find a way to put up with us a bit longer, but it’s understandable if you don’t. Thank you for everything.

If you do decide to move on and we keep this going somehow, maybe you’ll drop in now and then and tell us what you’re doing.

285. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

211. Daily Cardiac

Your reduction of posted objections to “having sex with students” is as blind, stupid and self aggrandizing as it can get. The rest of your horse shit, for me, isn’t worth addressing. If it was just “having sex with students” we probably wouldn’t be here.
I would also guess, by your excrement, that you are one of “threatened” position in the FOF, if and when the FOF is more exposed and diminished by exposure, and either a woman or one of devious personal egocentricity, and/or sexuality, addiction to power and position, or all. But whatever blows your skirt up. I wish for you that you are able to stay where you are for the rest of your shameful life.

286. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

211. Daily Cardiac

And glaringly missing from your screed is any consideration, acknowledgment, empathy or compassion for the exploited, misled and spiritually tortured souls that have passed through your school of higher development. You and your argument are perfect examples of the sickness pervasive in the mechanization of a deranged organism, led by a sick, festering pustule in flowered cloths and twinkling jewelry feeding on members like Ugolino’s gnawing of Ruggieri’s head, or Saturn consuming his children.
There’s a ring in hell where you and RB can spend eternity consuming each other’s genitalia and counting your money.

287. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

Then again, you could also just be Greg.

288. somebody - July 25, 2008

211 Daily Cardiac
271 moonchild

A real school or a place to hide is not so safe when it is based on the lie.

Here some material for washing brain. Caution, might have side effects!

“A painting by Fra Angelico in the Prado Museum, Madrid, depicts The Expulsion from the Garden and The Annunciation. At the top left the third eye is issuing a sequence, the Ten Commandments are being delivered. Adam and Eve were expelled from the garden, having failed to sustain the four wordless breaths. However this time they will have a successful sequence. The starry ceiling may represent the sequence passing through the journey into the underworld, like Amduat.

An illustration from twelfth-century Latin manuscript, Hortus Deliciarum, depicts two angels holding the devil in chains. A chain of six links, representing a sincere sequence, binds the feet of the lower self. The angels hold the first four links of the chain around his hands with four fingers each. To the left are six more links, suggesting the idea of six and four. It is a marvelous school image.

A painting by Duccio di Buoninsegna depicts The Raising of Lazarus. Lazarus being raised from the dead signifies an “I” that did not act, however Jesus – the steward – makes it act.

A wall painting from the Tomb of Ramses V and VI depicts a mummy with six gates. Milarepa said, “There are six ways” – the sequence – “that lead to liberation” – the four wordless breaths. This image reveals that the Egyptian mummy represents the nine of hearts completing the sequence. In fact, some of the Egyptian mummies have nine hearts on them.

A marvelous miniature depicts the Nativity. I expect to find this symbol in the prehistoric images – a six pointed star with four rays – a wonderfully simple representation of six and four. One ray is coming down and touching the sequential child on the nose – long BE. The window with tree panels represents the three BE’s, while the crosshatching represents the control of the passions. It is in blue and gold. It is a wonderful image and very direct.

A detail of sixteen-century Italian painting in the Metropolitan Museum depicts four women in a bath. The hexagonal bath represents the sequence. Within it, the four women in white, representing the four wordless breaths, are rejecting the lower self. They are portrayed as women because it is the nine of hearts who support the four wordless breaths. As a school we do not invent words and concepts.

A painting by Sandro Boticelli in the Uffizi depicts the Adoration of the Magi. The figure on the far right with red hair as a self-portrait of Boticelli. He represents the steward, who has combusted. His hands are not shown. However, behind him is the message – the four arches of the bridge, representing the four wordless breaths. Having heard of Leonardo’s famous painting, Boticelli also depicted an aqueduct with four divisions. Rembrandt made the four wordless breaths difficult to detect in his works as well.

A painting by Dosso Dossi in the Getty Museum depicts the Allegory of Fortune. It is a marvelous, large painting. At first we could not detect the four wordless breaths, but finally we found them right in the middle of the painting – the woman’s four fingers holding the cornucopia, a symbol of the Tree of Life producing abundant fruit.

It is amazing, is it not? The message never changes. Only this message validates a school.”

289. paulshabram - July 25, 2008

288 Somebody
“Stand not amazed!!” RUN

290. whalerider - July 25, 2008

daily cardiac:

“One – In my opinion Robert’s private lifestyle is not the main reason people become disenchanted with, or leave, the FoF and, Two – Robert’s private lifestyle does not even play a significant role in people becoming disenchanted with, or leaving, the FoF.”

In my case, you are wrong. In fact, those are the very reasons why I left the FOF. And is lifestyle is anything but private when he shares it with his followers. Goodness, he flaunts his lifestyle! And don’t give me that feminine dominance crap, that’s just a projection and buffer for Robert’s own dominance.

“On the contrary, if the principles were working for someone, producing positive results, it would just as likely cause them to re-evaluate any negative attitudes they might have about a teacher having sex with a member.”

OK, how about having sex with hundreds of members, who wouldn’t willingly choose homosexual sex but do so in hopes of being deemed the next conscious being by the earl of hurl?

According to Gurdjieff, Christ practiced cannibalism in order to appear to his disciples after he died, which G claimed was the esoteric meaning of the heavenly host. Now there’s a spin on Robert’s diet.

And the life expectancy during Mohammad’s day was what, 30?

All gurus are human. So are you. All of us have equal access to the divine. Some narcissists attempt to sell their own access to others who have core self-esteem issues, and that’s where the corruption begins.

The point that you have missed is that you are already have a spirit guide within. Once you have incorporated the work ideas, the rest is up to you. Let your conscience be your guide.

Sheik: Think globally, act locally. As Gandhi says, “be the changes you want to see in the world.” Then you will change the world.

291. nigel harris price - July 25, 2008

279 sheik
I am Martial, by body-type, mainly, but I do not go for martial-arts. I am involved in craft and the healing, therapeutic and self-enhancing qualities it brings. Sorry if I did not appear to not address your questions. I stand by what I posted and hope you can embrace it…..Nigel.

292. nigel harris price - July 25, 2008

290 Whalerider
I don’t exactly thank you for support, but you see what I mean if you scroll back through the blog. And I hope Sheik can handle it…..Nigel.

293. paulshabram - July 25, 2008

Daily Cardiac 211

Bruce has rather forcefully addressed the premise you base your argument on. That is that RB’s is “allegedly” “having sex with students” is not a good reason to leave the FOF. First of all to those harmed it is no allegation, it is fact. Second, “having sex with students” is not what is being objected to. You premise is false and your argument is therefore fallacious.

It is the coercion and the use of the “teaching” to satisfy what is clearly a depraved and abnormal obsession. “Robert’s private lifestyle does not even play a significant role in people becoming disenchanted with, or leaving, the FoF. The main reason for that is more deeply seated and completely independent from the above mentioned area in my opinion.” Do you think that using 60+ heterosexual men, largely by coercion, in a single day for loveless sex is an acceptable “private lifestyle”? Do you think that if it was discovered that RB was molesting your children, you would still find his “teachings” useful? RB finds them useful.

Robert has compared himself to Christ, Buddha, etc., but please present here a single quote, action, or teaching of Robert’s that provides anything profound (or that even makes sense for that matter).

I agree that to leave a cult is better than staying, the best “connotations” would have been to never have joined IMO.

“To leave a school of awakening does not carry good connotations.” Why is that? Here you have bought into something that surely leads to the sinister.

“Another individual recently wrote a long list of maladies endured because of embracing for years the principle that “man cannot do.”- a principle which I and many other members find to be both a positive and a liberating reality when taken in a correct symbolic context and not literally, as the blogger seemed to understand it.”

Maybe the FOF has deviated from the original context of “man cannot do”, but it was surely meant literally. An WHY do you it that liberating, so you can slip the surly bonds of responsibility?

I suggest to you to Question the Premise.

Please continue blogging.

294. whalerider - July 25, 2008

Hey Nigel:

Life is hard to handle sometimes, so are avocado seeds. If you grasp it too hard, it slips right out of your hand. The best way to hold an avocado seed is in an open palm.

I’ll be thinking about you today. I’ll be on the look out for something having to do with silver…then I’ll post later to you what I see.

295. elena - July 25, 2008

211 Daily Cardiac,

Much enjoyed your post, thank you very much for sharing it, it has some great points.

I’d agree with you that the problem as you imply is not the sex in itself and in that there are too many other inconsistencies in the Fellowship of Friend’s Cult for them to not have been often the cause for people to leave.

Mr. Burton’s sexuality is no different to the standard sexuality amongst similar gay men in our age and time. What makes Mr. Burton’s sexuality a threat to the community he lives in and society at large is the position of power that he abuses without restrains, protected with Freedom of Religion and the blind idolatry of the members.

It is not that Mr. Burton’s sexuality is different to other homosexual men’s sexuality in our times, it is that other homosexuals do not have a large number of people who have been isolated from the rest of the world to manipulate, exploit and organize in perfectly infra-human conditions in which:
1. women are ostracized, specially if they are his “boy’s” wives
2. men are conditioned to adopt feminine characteristics loosing the ability to respond for their community or families
3. constitutional rights of both men and women within the Cult are blatantly violated:
1. To not lose the right to participate in one’s community without a hearing
(Being asked to leave without other member’s knowledge.
2. Not to be injured or abused. (This is a constitutional right)
Individuals are injured and abused by the practices they indulge in which
disconnect them from their reality and place them in a world of imagination designed and arranged by the Cult leader and his inner circle assistants such as Influence A is your lower self pulling you away from the School of Consciousness, which thoroughly betrays Fourth Way Ideology in which spiritual development is to be achieved through standard conditions within regular society.
Families are injured and abused.
The men involved with Robert are injured and abused as many posts here have proven.
Children are harmed because they cannot freely participate in the life of the community and are consistently separated from their parents.
Old people are harmed because they are asked to not come to events when they get too old for Mr. Burton’s aberration for only “the young and beautiful” and when they are “discarded” after thirty years of participation when they get sick, old and without family because the Cult has separated them from their family.
Members who work excessively are harmed trying to participate and be accepted in an impossible standard that is never reached.

3. To Communicate with the World (THIS IS A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT)
It is violated in Mr. Burton’s Cult with the tasks and suggestions he imposes such as:
Don’t listen to the radio
Don’t watch television
Don’t read newspapers
Don’t communicate with ex-members
Non members are the six billion dead people on the planet
Non members are sleep
We are luckier than “life”
“Life” people are Influence A
Families are biological accidents

4. To express or publish one’s opinions or those of others

The freedom to express one’s self is the language of the Spirit. If you cannot express yourself your wings are cut off and you cannot evolve. In the process of development a human being must be able to express himself so that the community around him/her can help the direction of his/her flight. Without this dialogue, neither the individual nor the community can develop. On the contrary it involutes and what we are witnessing in Cults is a retrograde process for all of mankind that MUST BE STOPPED.

Freedom of expression is violated by the Fellowship of Friends Cult in all of its theories and practices.
No one can express anything but what Mr. Burton allows and dictates, at every single event of the Cult. Theater, music and every single line that is presented in any event was TOTALLY AND ABSOLUTELY controlled by Mr. Burton or Mr. Haven for the five last years I was in this Cult. No one can express or chose what to do or say within this Cult. It is a totalitarian authoritarian society designed to manipulate every aspect of its member’s lives. The people in control of these Cult have lost control of themselves and have become addicted to the power to manipulate other people’s lives and to making money out of it.

5. To Practice One’s Religion
The Fellowship of Friend’s presented itself as a Fourth Way School was with a Conscious being at its head practicing. It has lied and betrayed each one of its members for it is a long, long time since it has been practicing or transmitting Fourth Way practices or ideologies. It is a Cult and therefore a FRAUD.
6. To enjoy privacy on all matters in which the right of others are not violated.

Families do not enjoy privacy when Mr. Burton asks the parents to give up their children to abortion or adoption
Families do not enjoy privacy when Mr. Burton sends women away and indulges in sex with their husbands through nothing but manipulation and abuse of power.
Individuals do not enjoy privacy when Mr. Burton imposes practices in how the individual is to live his personal functions and imposes a control on his/her physical activities, instinctive needs, emotional feelings and thoughts. Everything is controlled by Mr. Burton in the member’s life which inevitable results in absolute delusion and dependence on Mr. Burton and the Cult with blind idolatry.

The Constitution of the United States is being violated in the Fellowship of Friends in each and all of its practices. The Constitution has been designed to protect and preserve the well being of the people. There is no well being in the Fellowship of Friend’s Cult but people who live in imagination, lies, and subjugation.

No Cult, nor any other institution can be allowed to violate so many Constitutional Rights protected by Freedom of Religion.

Freedom of Religion is not Freedom to Abuse. Freedom of Religion is Freedom to develop one’s spiritual life for the well being of one’s self as much as the community one belongs to. If any harm comes to others in the development of one’s spiritual life, then Freedom of Religion is no longer being practiced. No individual or institution can disconnect himself or herself from humanity without becoming a cancer, that is, a retrograde process against both, the individual in question and the community he or she belongs to. Integrity of the individual cannot be upheld without human integrity. Anyone pretending to disconnect himself from the human process and condition and the well being of the people in his or her community is lying and abusing his power. Those who do it in the Fellowship of Friends are doing it because they are already in positions of power such as Girard Haven and all the other people legally representing the Fellowship of Friends as much as those, economically or EMOTIONALLY dependent on the Cult for the development of their life. These people are living at the cost of other people’s well being and they spiritually sucking on people’s good faith and trust while they rip them off economically.

I do not believe this is what the American Constitution stands up for when it holds to Freedom of Religion. Go heal your selves and stop sucking other people’s spiritual energy, do something decent with yourselves. Find a job, a wife or a husband, rebuild your lives and stop feeding Mr. Burton’s dick so that he is willing to play the goddess in a males body and the ineffable conscious being abusing member’s good faith and trust in you. You’re sick as hell and corrupt as the devil. Freedom of Religion is not assuming the personification of the devil and that is what you have all done. Being in there was psychological torture from beginning to end and I swear to God you will pay for it, not with your lives who I will always respect and protect but with your Cult who I will help pull down string by string because THERE IS NOTHING CONSTITUTIONAL ABOUT YOUR EXISTENCE. You’re a fraud from head to toe.

296. elena - July 25, 2008

morgan le faye 280

Contact Appeal reporter Ryan McCarthy at 530 749-4707 or rmccarthy@appeal-democrat.com

This appears at the end of Mr. McCarthy’s article on the Appeal Democrat. He is very interested in interviewing as many members as non members as he possibly can, please do contact him.

297. elena - July 25, 2008

Sheik, thank you for sharing aspects of your life with us, the gesture is much appreciated.

As you can see by post 295 I am one who does not think Cults who abuse power under freedom of religion are legal so I’m certainly one to want them closed but if you wish to ban me from this discussion so that it fits your line of thinking I would not mind leaving.

If that is not the case, like others I have no problem in paying a definite amount every month or once a year. I personally think that we could give it a price, pay well for your services, divide it into the many of us who are willing to pay and go ahead with it. Where I am not comfortable is in giving blind sums of money like we did in the Fellowship. I would be very happy to pay for this service, how much does it cost if it were very well payed? With the many of us, no matter how well you got payed, it would not be an excess to anyone of us.

Glad to hear you’re taking a vacation. Hopefully you’ll be willing to reassume the job when you come back. We are all changing here including you and that is beautiful even if not as swift as we’d like it.

Whatever your decision I thank you deeply for supporting us throughout this year. I do not think this is your toy in a totally pejorative way. I think it is your toy as something you enjoy doing for people, your work, the way you communicate with the world and animamrecro seems much more than this blog. In the best sense of the term, your toy as something that delights you even if it requires work. We are all both playing and working here for the world we wish to live in.

298. Walter Tanner - July 25, 2008

Yesri Baba says:

“When I first read this I thought you meant you would defend the right of anyone (say for example RB) to engage in exploitation. I see now in reading it with a little more attention (not believing anyone would say that) that you would defend the right of anyone to make a nonsensical argument.”

Right on, Yesri, that is what almost all religious talk is: “nonsensical arguments.” And I do, with my commitment to the principles of the first amendment, strongly defend the right of people to make, believe in, and also dispute, those arguments.

Do any of you really think that if you “brought down” Robert Burton, his followers would suddenly awaken to how they’ve been taken? It shows a stunning ignorance of the history of religion and religious belief. Yikes, if some of your dreams came true (RB in court or jail, for example) don’t you see that it would only strengthen his followers’ commitment and defense of him?

I’m trying to insure that Robert Burton, upon his death, does not become some damn martyr or spiritual paragon. Those of you hurling invective at him and his students, creating “friction” for him and the Fellowship, are only feeding a future myth, and in your mad projections are ennobling the mad fag of the Academy.

The way you guys tear apart every student who comes through here, sure it shows how tough you are and how you’re now free from the authoritarian impulses that brought you to the Fellowship, but can you see that it is not working? You feed their delusion that they are better than you, that they have this highway to salvation through R.E.B. I agree that their arguments are mostly ill-formed, inconsistent or illogical, but you need to engage people at the point that brought them to the FoF, whether for self-realization, heightened consciousness, or whatever. Impugning their motives and their teacher, no matter how right you are, will only drive them further into REB’s fold.

Someone implied I was a shill for the FoF. If I was a guru, I’d be sure to hire a number of people to vigorously malign me in the press and on the web and in front of my students, to demonstrate the “trials” of my greatness and mission here in World 96.

Just Another Voice Out There, thanks for the link, there’s a lot more criticism of Kripal out there if you’re looking. He really stepped on some corns! The defenses fall apart, however, on one point that Kripal discovered in his research: All the “nasty bits” of Ramakrishna’s diaries were edited out by later scribes. That’s why the monk in your link makes such a point of the “tradition,” because in the “tradition,” and the books they use, there is no evidence of Ramakrishna’s peccadilloes (All the English translations use the these redacted versions).

Kripal has actually engaged many pandits on their home turf in India. Now Hinduism has thousands of years of a scholarly debating tradition, and he just went in there with his notes and used their own Pali dictionaries to support what he said. Some old monk would say “well it doesn’t really mean that, the dictionary leaves out some metaphorical meanings,” and Kripal would say “then why was it redacted, and not just translated as you say it should be,” and therefore demonstrate the hypocrisy and inconsistency of their position.

If you keep looking for articles denouncing Kripal’s findings, you’ll soon come across arguments that are very familiar here: “OK, maybe he did touch children’s penises, but he was an avatar, and from his higher consciousness could see the best for those children was to be loved, etc., yada, yada, yada.” Defense rests.

And yo, Sheik, keep well, I’ve got a colleague who is studying self-realization groups and charismatic leaders for her dissertation, I turned her on to the blog as it is such a complete encyclical of all the different ways people “get out” from a cult. I don’t know if she’ll be able to use it in her research (she’s a little more focused on the charismatic-leader angle, and except for the first students very few of us knew of RB while joining) but I think the blog is very important for us to understand how/why these things happen.

And, oh, as a Gen-Xer continually railing against the cultural hegemony of the baby boomers, I always love to plug the Beats, the true cause of the 60’s:

Who monopolised immortality?
Who monopolised cosmic consciousness?
Who monopolised Love Sex and Dream? …
Who took from you what is yours?
Now will they give it back?
Did they ever give anything away for nothing?
Did they ever give any more than they had to give?
Did they not always take back what they gave when possible and it always was?

– William Burroughs, from “Nova Express”


299. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 25, 2008

274 sheik

Thanks. I happen to agree with your perspective, if I understand it correctly, about the direction of society, the impact of petroleum and food prices, and the relative importance of the Fellowship of Friends.

295 elena

This is a good example of lunatic, and of creating the opposite of what seems to be intended. Your hysterical attempts to shove your opinions down peoples’ throats are creating Burton defenders and, very possibly, destroying the blog. (I suspect there will be many others who will disagree.) It also reveals an insistant, and almost complete, ignorance of the U.S. Constitution. Where on earth did you get this obsession with these imaginary “constitutional rights”? Screaming false statements in capital letters will not make them true. Go on Wikipedia and read the damn thing.

300. Vena - July 25, 2008

#211 Daily Cardiac:
This is the kind of reasoning that allows many people to stay. At first glance it sounds good and it is not full of fundamentalist vitriol but it is the same old desparate attempt to avoid the truth.

301. veramente - July 25, 2008

I hope that going to Prague will be a refreshing trip for your heart, mind and body. I cannot imagine what happened to you the last two days that makes you feel shaken to the core as you said, however I am sending you positive thoughts.
BTW, in which martial arts are you into? just curious.

302. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 25, 2008

298 walter tanner

Thanks for the additional info about Ramakrishna, Walter (and for the tone of your post). I’ve never been that into Ramakrishna, and I also don’t have a problem assuming he may well have been a bit (or more) of a perv. If so, I wouldn’t defend it or try to interpret it as something “spiritual,” but would view it as a flaw in his character. Doing something to another that may harm him simply to gain physical pleasure strikes me as wrong, unskillful, fucked up, end of story.

As someone else posted recently, that a teacher may be flawed doesn’t make the teachings wrong, but does make them suspect–but I think we should view all teachings with something like suspicion. I think it’s very possible for a person to pass through the Fellowship and gain a lot. I feel that I did. I also have to give RB some sort of credit for at least facilitating the transmission of some information, and some experiences, that have been useful to me. I nevertheless think he’s a sociopath and criminal. Such things aren’t black or white. In his case I feel the benefits of his “work” for the world are greatly outweighed by the negative impacts, because he’s caused a lot of harm, and because his teaching, which at best was never more than a mumbling about being present, is now completely ridiculous (“Only this message validates a school”–I love it.) He will not leave a legacy that, on the whole, is positive, but will disappear in the mists along with other charlatans, leaving a scattering of those who were able to take something worthwhile for themselves.

There have been other teachers who have been flawed but had much more to give, and therefore left much more behind. Ramakrishna may be one, I don’t know. I’ve always been impressed by the positive impacts that Neem Karoli Baba (“Maharaj Ji”) had in the West, primarily through Ram Dass, Dan Goleman, Surya Das, and others less well known who went on to become excellent teachers of meditation and make great contributions. Yet there have been credible statements that he fondled a female disciple or two.

303. unoanimo - July 25, 2008

Hello Bruce ~

About the Walter T. Cardiac (arrest) ~

I’m not sure if there was ever a time for you when such ‘externally defining-defending’ ideas issued outwards from you concerning others that your lifestyle was involved with and later were found to be very only-Autobiographical in a subconscious way and not about them (?): though when I read Cardiac’s and Walter’s posts I found nothing in them about the Fellowship of Friends or Robert Burton…

I did see allot about themselves as playing the role of ‘a Robert’ and ‘a School’ and also how that ‘School’ has been mistakenly ‘thought of’ as a mirror that the Inner-Alice cannot walk through, yet she can and does every day, just to remind the Cheshire Cat that she’s still got the knack for self-reflection… Where are their Alice’s and C.C.’s? Right here, in this space called ‘Us’, I hope we can be fair to both sides of the coin and its third ‘side’, its edge, where it can stand, showing both all at once (?)

What I discovered recently was that I used to defend affirmative signs/totems (both the destructive ones, so to seem to be a ‘right nurse’ to them & healing ones that were capable of destroying ‘the bad’ in a name scribbled from ‘Good’ boredom or on a quest for the expression of insatiable-complacency) because there’s a movement in/by the methods of such believing in the outside world that eventually leads to all of that falling at your feet and showing itself as utterly useless so far as a real beginning is concerned, IMO…

(Yes, ‘beginning’ is a relative word, I’m referring to a point where I found that ‘what was & is’ doesn’t work anymore, i.e., the point of Heart-abandonment-rock-bottom…)

It’s to such a place that I sense all those saying such things (and with such zest) about outward signs and people, like Walter and Cardiac, are moving towards; to lay down inside their own shadows and become more familiar with that manta ray-hammock and not The One they’re accustomed to judge or use when its owner is on vacation, that’s hanging in their neighbor’s yard and visible when only minding Over The Fence…

Zest is good… And chlorine kills everything in the water, except the water…

Walter, I remember meeting you about six months ago; thank you for your smile and greeting: I wish you great healing, as, this is the original theme of this blog, yes?

Can we share the vision with our fellow brother or sister when that virus Hypocrisy leaks out, while being compassionate towards the infected? I suppose it’s really oftentimes about how our ailment (or another’s) approaches the healer and whether that healer is actually looking for sick people for companionship and not necessarily to bring his or her profession into fruition (?)

304. elena - July 25, 2008

299 Just Another Voice,

All these rights appear under Natural Constitutional Rights. Why don’t you use your name and I’ll sue you for calling me a lunatic you coward.

So easy to say things when you can’t even stand up for your name.

305. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 25, 2008

304 elena

How silly. Now you want to sue someone for expressing the opinion that your blog post demonstrates a feature. You’re quite a warrior for constitutional rights!

306. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

304 elena

You’ve stated many times that your feature is lunatic. Why would you object to observations of it’s manifestations. It’s a rhetorical question.

307. Traveler - July 25, 2008

Hi Daily Cardiac (211) (great nickname 🙂 ), thanks for your intriguing post. It touches some interesting points for me and I would like to play with it a bit, and see where it leads. I would also like to focus on some propositions that I see you using as a basis of your reasoning, and question them some more.

By far the most mentioned topic on the blog is the one regarding Robert Burton’s alleged sexual liaisons with FOF members.
Assuming that you are or were a member of the FOF, I’m puzzled by your use of the word “alleged”. It would indicate that you have no first-hand experience with having sex with Burton, which I can believe, since I don’t either – but then it would also indicate that, having read numerous testimonies on this blog, you are willing to at least allow the possibility that posters here are not telling the truth about their own and their friends’ sexual contact with Burton, and perhaps you are willing to believe that the blog is a large-scale conspiracy by unknown persons wishing to smear Mr Burton’s reputation, rather than scores of people from different countries around the world and different time-periods with the Fellowship reporting their personal experience. Further, you would have to be dismissing at least two lawsuits, at least one of which publicly states that Mr Burton himself admits to having sexual relations with his followers, and you would have to maintain your doubtful attitude in the face of most FOF members speaking of “Robert and his boys” as if it were common knowledge that he is having sex with them. But to continue to say “alleged” when you have not experienced it yourself, means you are able to maintain your skepticism against all odds and exhibit a remarkable degree of desire to view things objectively and unwillingness to accept anything without sufficient proof. I applaud this quality and hope you can hold on to it at any FOF meetings you may go to.
So let’s assume for the sake of the argument that “sex” is in fact “by far the most mentioned topic” on the blog. It does not seem so to me, but it appears that this is what draws your attention most, or you would not have mentioned it.

You say: One – In my opinion Robert’s private lifestyle is not the main reason people become disenchanted with, or leave, the FoF and, Two – Robert’s private lifestyle does not even play a significant role in people becoming disenchanted with, or leaving, the FoF. […] The main, perhaps the only, reason people reject Robert Burton as a teacher and leave the FoF is because they no longer connect with or buy into the work principles put forward by Robert and the FoF. […] Obviously, these are all principles the FoF was founded upon, and if one rejects them one naturally has rejected the School and the Teacher. […] My point is this: would someone who embraces these principles and is being nourished by them on an ongoing basis simultaneously reject and discard everything, the principles, the school, because of claims that the Teacher is having sex with other members? […] On the contrary, if the principles were working for someone, producing positive results, it would just as likely cause them to re-evaluate any negative attitudes they might have about a teacher having sex with a member.
Just to be clear, by “private lifestyle” you are presumably not including spending members’ church contributions to support Mr Burton’s very expensive tastes in “A-influence” goods and services, and the expenses of constant travel for him and his “entourage” of young men – since we are only talking about SEX now, right? So, by “private lifestyle”, I will assume you mean “allegedly” over the years selecting and grooming dozens, hundreds by some accounts, of young mostly heterosexual men, and offering them gifts and benefits with a view to having them sexually service him, feeling entitled to such services and instructing the conflicted men that they are doing this for their own good and that they should feel privileged? I will further assume that by “private lifestyle” you mean “allegedly” having regular or daily sexual séances with groups of these men either sequentially (no pun intended) or simultaneously, including the controversial urination and defecation on his body, and fellatios before each meeting?
If we now agree on what “private lifestyle” means, I would suggest that it’s probably inaccurate to make such a sweeping statement, that you know what is true about “people” and why “people” leave. I think what you are saying is partially true, but it’s much more complex than that. I don’t feel qualified to discuss people for whom the sex thing really does play a major role in leaving, who leave because they have felt used and exploited and humiliated and depersonalized by submitting to Mr Burton. Allegedly, right? If you can entertain the idea for a minute that such people in fact exist. But in addition to all of those, I think there are indeed some people who have very strong so-called Judeo-Christian programming that Mr Burton is “trying” to work against, and can be quite shocked when they even discover that he has sex with men, much more so about the types of sexual activities he engages in. And they might leave the FOF over the form of Mr Burton’s sexuality. In my view, to leave because this kind of sex is “immoral” and does not conform to some prescribed standard of normality, is a very superficial reason to abandon the FOF. Personally, I would want to dig much deeper. Is there anything about the way Mr Burton relates to his sexual partners that disturbs you? Why does it disturb you? Are you afraid to think about it? Why?
I agree that, for me at least, it was not Mr Burton’s sexual conduct that pushed me out of the FOF. Because, as you very correctly observe, as long as the ideas and work principles that the FOF was founded upon, are believed in and considered worthwhile, you re-evaluate, or downplay, any doubts or misgiving about the church founder having sex with numerous followers. That is exactly what I saw happening in myself and in others, for many years! We didn’t care to consider something unpleasant, because that would threaten our comfortable setup that we had made for ourselves in the FOF, wanting to trust that we had found the real thing, wanting to have safety and security, and if we doubted the Teacher, we would jeopardize the freedom we had found within the confines of the FOF. As long as you want to believe, you will find a way to justify your institution. We have all done it. What I am trying to say is, that it’s possible to dislike Mr Burton’s sexual conduct for reasons other than Judeo-Christian morality, or any other morality of other religious authorities that you describe extensively in your post as having had different views on sexuality. It is possible to just not CARE any more about the “norm” that some spiritual authority would like you to believe is “correct”. When the disillusionment finally came for me, it was much bigger than his “personal lifestyle”. You are right, the whole construct of the fourth way and striving to become a conscious being, collapsed. Then, Mr Burton’s “personal lifestyle” was seen in a much broader context, as simply a manifestation of one very confused and sick and compulsive individual, who I had nothing to learn from, and who I did not wish to emulate. Then, leaving was not a choice, it was a necessity.

You say: My belief is that the desire to leave the FoF first of all begins internally, in the form of a general disillusionment with what one thought awakening meant or entailed, and then an external reason to leave is attached to that disillusionment. I also believe that, this being the case, Robert could conduct himself like an altar boy and it would not change anything; some other reason would be found to complete the act of leaving if someone wanted to go. […] But I do believe the majority of former students are sincere in the sense that they themselves truly believe the reasons they formulate for leaving.

I think the first part of your statement is very true, for me. But I did not have to excuse my departure after the fact by claiming that it was “because of” this or that facet of the Fellowship. That would be much too simplistic. I think that “attaching an external reason” to leaving is done very often WITHIN the Fellowship, by remaining members, who will say things like “they became negative about the sex”, “they didn’t like the way Robert used the money”, suggesting that such banal causes could explain why somebody chose to leave, and evoking disbelief in their listeners, how could such a good person that we used to know, succumb to such silly deviations from the right path. Perhaps even if departing members try to explain their departure to current members who have not undergone such disillusionment, all that a current member will be able to hear is some “negativity” about “Robert’s behavior”. I am saying that from inside the institution, with the institutional mindset in place, it is near impossible to GRASP why people would leave, and it must seem like ex-members were just “looking for reasons” because they wanted to get out. But from the outside perspective, for most of the departees that I’ve spoken with, it was not nearly so one-sided.

In addition, I would like to offer a related observation. You say that people get disillusioned, leave, and then an external reason is attached to their leaving. I, however, see that same but reverse process occurring within the Fellowship of Friends. People get enchanted: they may have had a spiritual understanding or experience of deeper truth. They are perhaps confused, and something in them needs someone to give them an explanation and meaning for what they have experienced. So they join the FOF and keep finding reasons for staying. The reasons may in the end have nothing more to do with what they originally came searching for – truth – but they can’t see that. On the one hand, they may have had or still be having genuine understandings and insights, but for some bizarre reason, they are conditioned to believe that whatever they have experienced, must be molded and made to fit inside of FOF dogma and explainable with its concepts. I think that causes suffering for many people, and can be resolved by learning to trust yourself again.

308. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

307. Traveler

All good points.

303. unoanimo

I agree to the point that magnanimity is a right of each of us to express for other’s opinions and declarations. But I am under no obligation to express it to people that other people think it should be expressed for and to. I find, personally, find Cardiac’s and Walters statements to be specious, suspect and self serving. There are plenty of people here who are ready to bestow the benefit of the doubt as to their motivation, and that’s fine. But that’s other people’s option, not something I feel required to do if I don’t feel it.
Of course, I could just keep my mouth shut. You know how silence has served us in the past. But that’s probably not going to happen.

309. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

Daily Cardiac

These are the same arguments espoused about 20 pages back, under a different name, so I’ll have to assume you’ve reappeared under another name to have the same conversation.

310. brucelevy - July 25, 2008

309. brucelevy

right down to all the “alleged” references.

311. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 25, 2008

211 Daily Cardiac
307 Traveler

Any generalization about why “people” join or leave the Fellowship is inevitably going to flirt with “lying,” since we can’t know much about why anyone else does what they do–it’s hard enough to really understand why we do what we do ourselves. If someone else explains his motives to us, that may provide a clue, but even then we have to filter it through our sense of how much the other is telling the whole truth, willingly or not. Our scattered, third-person observations of others when they join or leave aren’t very good evidence.

So when we make sweeping generalizations about things we cannot know, we are saying more about ourselves and our own agendas than about the “people” we purport to be describing.

Cardiac, you said:

“My belief is that the desire to leave the FoF first of all begins internally, in the form of a general disillusionment with what one thought awakening meant or entailed, and then an external reason to leave is attached to that disillusionment.”

As someone who presumably hasn’t left, how could you possibly know? I know you said “I believe,” but it’s speculative at very best.

I can tell you that in my case, I was personally familiar with RB’s sexual predation, lived with him, and even decades ago, I knew based on personal observation and personal discussions with those involved that it concerned dozens of my friends and acquaintances, so the assumption that there have been hundreds is a very solid one. And yes, the sex was not the single, overwhelming reason for my own decision to leave. For better or worse, had I been convinced that the Fellowship offered a uniquely powerful means to facilitate awakening in me, I admit I’d have at least been tempted to stay–in fact, I did stay for as long as I thought so. I don’t know that I’d defend that, but it’s true.

But I eventually realized it wasn’t a powerful means to facilitate awakening, let alone unique. I pursued awakening before I met the Fellowship, during my tenure, and have continued ever since. I was familar with organized groups and teachers and teachings before and after the Fellowship. My views of what awakening means have certainly evolved over these decades, and I hope they continue to evolve as I continue to work. I knew that the Fellowship’s teachings even then, when they were more or less coherent, were at best useful but limited. (I say “at best” because they do have some value in their pure form, when not distorted by the motives of fallible individuals, or the by forms and structures of an institution created by fallible individuals, or diluted with RB’s bankrupt additions.) A person who is really familiar with other traditions–has studied the visuddhimagga, as just one example–can only pity someone who is convinced that “the System” provides a complete conceptual construct.

But reading the transcripts of RB’s teachings today makes much of this academic. If a person cannot see that RB is truly mentally incompetent, cannot see that RB is making no sense at all, and is either delusional or making things up with the most cynical of intent, then such a person is in a very bad way. Trying to debate, let alone justify, staying in the Fellowship to follow such a “teaching” is really pointless.

312. Traveler - July 25, 2008

There is no Conscious Being
There is no Conscious School
There is no Wordless Breaths
There is no Cult
There is no Fourth Way
There is no Attaining Enlightenment
There is no Advaita
There is no Aim of the Blog
There is no Justice
Just sitting here eating these raspberries

313. paulshabram - July 25, 2008

Cardiac, Walter
Please keep posting.

Please keep calling it as you see it.

314. Rear View Mirror - July 25, 2008

““My belief is that the desire to leave the FoF first of all begins internally, in the form of a general disillusionment with what one thought awakening meant or entailed, and then an external reason to leave is attached to that disillusionment.”

This is a good example of the FOF propaganda. If you want to appear to be someone who thinks along the party line and applies no critical thinking to the FOF, simply state the above in front of some other followers.

By the way, the desire to leave the FOF definitely “begins internally.” It begins with sound thinking; healthy attitudes about yourself and the people and world around you; a sense of well-being and self-empowerment; a reconnection with conscience; a reconnection with the community outside the FOF; and in finding new ways of seeing yourself, your soul, spirituality, and the mysteries of why all of us are here.

315. God Laughing - July 25, 2008

Somebody 288

Thank you for your notes.
Phew, RB is still as mad as a hatter!

What freaks me out, annoys me, disgusts me!!
is how RB grabs everything great and beautiful
and distorts it, then re-create it as his own!

He steals, copies, swipes and dreams up stuff
to keep the show going and the coffers filled.

Coffers filled by the little people!

316. somebody - July 25, 2008

Traveler said “from inside the institution, with the institutional mindset in place, it is near impossible to GRASP why people would leave, and it must seem like ex-members were just “looking for reasons” because they wanted to get out.”

Here are a few explanations by “prominent” students I heard on why “people” left (lost the school):
– could not find a job because of the tramp
– lost his mind
– was always crazy
– wife/husband took him/her out
– always leaves everything including jobs and relationships
– identified with her children
– identified with the relationship
– got sick
– burned out because did not rest enough
– got a good job and identified with A influence
– lost connection with friends because stopped participating to the events and working on 3d line
– started a business and his lower self took him out
– listened to his I’s
– got B-influence virus
– became greedy
– became too instinctive
– used FOF for the Green Card and left as soon as he got it
– was never really serious about the Work
– could not give up smoking
– too much false personality
– did not do sequences

And every one sighs… and a long silence. How sad 😦

317. Richard M. - July 25, 2008

Recent posts and the Sheik’s revelations of his wish to move on from moderating this Blog started me thinking about how current FOF members would react to the blog’s demise.

Since I started participating in the blog over a year ago, I have witnessed many old friends leave FOF and I have reconnected with a few in a very real way.
This has been pretty amazing.

Now I am wondering if the bog has become a bit of a security blanket for those current members still on the fence about leaving.Those who silently follow the blog, read the personal accounts of posters and quietly gasp at the stories of selfish and sometimes depraved behavior of their teacher and yet continue to write their donation checks every month, or work as serfs on salary. They recognize the names and voices of old friends departed and hear sympathetic and supportive ideas for assisting those who wish to leave. Perhaps they feel secretly comforted, believing there will be a support system for them on “the outside” if and when they decide to leave or the FOF falls apart .

Maybe if this blog was suddenly gone, with only the archive of past postings available, those members will finally realize that they are alone with themselves in reaching the decision to leave. Does the blog give them a vicarious connection to post-FOF living—what they perceive as positive as well as negative? This may not apply to those who decline to shun ex-members, but I would guess many hard-core shunners sneak peaks at the blog and it is their only exposure to the minds and hearts of those on the outside.

I wonder how many of the naive young men damaged by Burton’s sexual gluttony, read accounts of other’s experiences here and say to themselves silently— “Yeah, that cock-sucker used me like a toy also and discarded me like a used condom afterwards. Yes, this happened to me too!”— and then continue in FOF because they also read extreme and sarcastic posts that reinforce, in their hypnotized minds, the FOF dogma that those who leave descend into a bitter, negative world of no hope. I wonder….

Of course, there are members of FOF inner circle who would love to see the blog gone. I believe that these vain and calculating agents of Burton may be beyond redemption and should remain inside their remote bubble-world. (You know who you are.)

I had to dig way back, but I found a post I made in April 2007 in response to one of Howard Carter’s (Nick Spa_ld_ng?) idiotic posts. It may seem cold to many, but I still feel it has some truth.

364. Howard Carter Says:
April 7, 2007 at 9:29 am

To: Half Life, 5/332

You said: “It feels like the life is being sucked out from what seemed to have been a vibrant, creative, hopeful, spiritual community.”

Many, myself uncluded, feel the school has never been more vibrant, creative, hopeful or spiritual. Does that make us “deluded”, merely because we live a different reality than yours? Which sacred book is it written in that says your reality is objective truth and mine, or A friend’s, is delusional?

I’m curious about you desire to “storm the Bastille”. What manner of weaponry does one use when the gate keepers are angels?

385. dick moron Says:
April 8, 2007 at 9:41 am

To: Howard Carter/364

“Storming the Bastille” is indeed a good analogy to YOUR situation. The Bastille, a prison, symbolized the moral failings and social abuses of the 18th century ruling French aristocracy.
The “storming” symbolized the common folk overpowering the authority of the fat, grotesque ruling class of Louis XVI and his court. Then again, it was a prison, so many bad criminals and lunatics were feed and released onto the streets of Paris.
The way I see it, it’s far better to leave the lunatics and criminals in the prison. Anyone with a conscience and a small amount of courage, can simply walk away from the FOF. There are no walls. Take your time, get your house in order and leave when it is practical. There is no Bastille except for the weak. Look around you. Do you see bars and walls, or wide open vistas.


Comments, attacks, sarcasm and other points of view are welcome and expected.

You have made an amazing contribution to this little sphere of current and former FOF members who have read and posted to your blog. It is now quite an archive of facts, opinions and lunatic ravings concerning Robert Burton and his current circus freak show. I’m not sure how much more can be written that is not already here in past postings. We all know what Jesus said: “Those who have ears to hear…..”
Thank you.

If you need to move on and leave this behind, by all means do it. Do whatever you need to nourish your body heart and soul. A new forum will appear if there is someone willing to start one. I can’t foresee most of the voices here going silent for very long.

318. paulshabram - July 25, 2008

316, 288 Somebody

I’ve seen this stuff before and it still floors me. I’ve read post 288 over and over. It gets worse every time. I thought I would make fun of the Robert quotes using Dr. Suess or comic strip illustrations, but I just couldn’t come up with anything as silly as the original.

Just four turdless farts away.

Thanks for these posts.

319. elena - July 26, 2008

Having a feature of drama has nothing to do with being a lunatic. The first one means that one is not willing to take too much bullshit from anyone and the second one is an insult, and I won’t take any more insults from anyone as easily as I use to.

320. Yesri Baba - July 26, 2008

“My belief is that the desire to leave the FoF first of all begins internally, in the form of a general disillusionment with what one thought awakening meant or entailed, and then an external reason to leave is attached to that disillusionment.”


I never desired to leave the Fellowship. I was kicked out. When I found out what awakening was my desire was to see everyone out of the Fellowship.

There is only yummm.

321. somebody - July 26, 2008

Paul, I posted an illustration on 4 wordless breaths this morning, but it did not appear for some reason
I will try again

322. elena - July 26, 2008

In fact, now that we are on the subject, if you put one and one together you realize that in the Fellowship anyone who questioned the status quo was a king of clubs, a mercury or a lunatic. All that discrimination was meant to subdue the person into king of hearts behavior or blindly saying yes to the whole set up. If that’s what you expect me to do again here, you’re wasting your time just like they wasted it.

323. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 26, 2008

319 elena

What causes a person to invent her own “feature” (e.g., “drama”) so that, instead of having a chief weakness, she instead has a “chief strength” (“my feature is that I don’t accept bullshit”)?

324. somebody - July 26, 2008

Combusted Steward and Steward dying because he completed the sequence

325. somebody - July 26, 2008

4 wordless breaths

326. paulshabram - July 26, 2008

Somebody or somebody
Can you give a good description of the Sequence? How would it be explained to a new member.

327. elena - July 26, 2008

That’s right Another Voice, overreacting to situations is a form of dramatization that is extremely useful in certain circumstances, like in emergency rooms. While some people think it is not worth running because the patient is already half dead, people like me think it is worth doing so because he’s still half alive. In relation to the Fellowship people who don’t act or people who take twenty years to act are the ones that puzzle me. I much prefer to be too fast than too slow but fast or slow, I’m glad so many people are finally acting.

In case you don’t understand where features come from they are simply a form of protecting one’s self that developed in childhood. In my case, my mother shot herself when I was around nine and for me critical situations are perceived more critical than for others because I know where they might lead. Now that I’m getting to know it, it is not something I don’t appreciate or judge negatively like the Fellowship labeled us with. I’m not telling you this with the hope of eliciting any compassion from you, it is clear to me that you don’t happen to have developed such a thing yet. You probably have a feature of vanity because your pattern is that you wait for someone else to criticize me to do it yourself twice as strongly and when there are a few you growl like a lion. But you’re really hiding behind the others. This also is not to judge you but to let you know that you’re not invisible and maybe because seeing yourself a little clearer will help you find out how you were hurt so badly that you have to walk around putting others down to keep yourself up. Then maybe one day you might be able to hear something from me that is not threatning to your imaginary picture but rather invites you to share.

I much thank you for your keeping me alive because the more you come after me, the more I work against the Fellowship. That is the target, not you, but you think it is me, how much do they pay you?

328. Joe Average - July 26, 2008

325. paulshabram This April 2007 post describes some of the “new forms”
311. inner piece Says:
April 17th, 2007 at 6:48 pm
So, the question doesn’t seem to come up – what is the teaching today in the FoF and who is doing it (whatever it is).
For those of you Bloggers just arriving and catching up, the NEW form and teaching of the newly morphed FOF looks something like this:
• abandoned 4th way ideas to be a replaced by a kind of mind incantation called the sequence, a series of 6 thoughts eg: be, hold , move, back, be, hold. You are supposed to do this the minute you are even remotely in the moment, which nicely takes you right out of the moment, because you just entered your head to incant the sequence. At the end of this you take 4 breaths and start again.( I don’t know if the breaths are more of a gasp or just normal breathing- which if you didn’t breath, you would be gasping for air anyway.)
• All kinds of symbols from Egyptian times, going back to Prehistoric with a sprinkling of more current 5-11th century visual art interpreted by Robert. These interpretations are greatly (if not entirely) worked out by about 100 people who are researching art books, history, writing etc to see if anything looks interesting and they can contribute to the great things that are being revealed. Really important and interesting stuff is brought to light like: two prehistoric cult figurines , one with a long penis and one with short penis mean Long Be and Short Be in the sequence, or a cave painting depicting a mammoth having a good dump, showing 6 poo droppings (probably 3-4 other poo droppings are illegible due to time eradicating them) means a ‘weak sequence’ (meaning the mammoth did not incant the sequence with any real feeling).
• Asaf, a young attractive, sparkling , sweet, recently arrived (last 3 years) Israeli student with incredible RAM does a good deal of the teaching these days. He was nicely segued into the forefront by Robert.(I guess Roberts energy is giving out- after all it takes a lot of energy to keep working on his ‘night moves’).
• Most students find the shift to Asaf just fine. After all if you are following a cult leader, one is a good as the next. As long as there is a leader who has some charisma . Asaf co-ordinates most of the ‘material’ coming in from the 100+ researchers and puts it into a format so at least it follows some general thought process. Conferring with Robert before every meeting/dinner etc they come up with the teaching for that day. Most of it is interpretations that go nowhere, mean nothing, and can’t even give you a state these days, unless you decide somewhere along the line that this has been given to you to separate from and to work with. The best you can get out of a meeting is either “some pissed off” or to trigger some positive peptides which will give you a mild buzz of ‘euphoric floating off’ much like some tortured prisoners experience when the pain gets beyond the bearable stag. Either way, you get a ‘state’.
• Lunches, dinners, events on the property with other students are beautifully dressed events with wine and music. Conversations can’t go anywhere, because they are broken up every 4-8 minutes with some sweet, smiling believer announcing the ‘opportunity’ for another event that will only cost you $125 or if you want to sit with the main man at the table $250- 350. Asaf does most of the talking anyway at these events, but, hey, you might absorb some of those ‘higher energies’ from the main man by just sitting there and incanting the sequence.
• Any reading, or checking out things for yourself are done in secret. You do not discuss any of what you are up to when you are not on the property with anyone unless it is one of your best friends (but then you never know for sure if they will turn you in or not). It is a bit like going down to SoHo for a good night on the town when the wife goes over to her sisters. You can keep doing whatever it is that feeds your spiritual yearning, but just don’t get caught- or there will be an instant divorce.
• If you really start suffering in your confusion, you are encouraged to do some ‘third line work’ to help bridge your ‘interval’. This can take any form – from washing pots or dishes, serving RB his next dinner, fund raising for RB, cleaning the gardens around the Academy. Just keep busy- it will help you stop from looking inside or thinking about ‘what the hell is going on ?’.
• If you leave the FoF, well, according to the main man, you are dammed for eternity and go to the end of the queue to feed the moon. And , oh, for those staying, do not talk to those who have left- you might catch a virus- and boy , then you never know what might happen to you.
and this from June 2007 also describes it and the allure of the “esoteric”
1. on 06 Jun 2007 at 7:58 pm71 Traveler
What is it about humans that causes us to go totally loopy when we hear someone cry “mystery”?
Why are half of the documentaries you’ve ever seen on various Discovery-type channels titled “The Secrets of Deep Sea” and “The Mysteries of Ancient India” and “Hidden Treasures of Japan”? Or “Finally, the secret of successful dieting revealed!” Why does J.K. Rowling write a children’s book about a secret school where special powers are taught to young wizards who are inherently different from the rest of the people on Earth (“muggles”) and makes 4 billion dollars? Why do people get so excited over “illuminati” and conspiracy theories, secret societies? Why does a film called “The Secret” (to be outdone by “The Secret behind the Secret”), claiming that ancient secret teachers were keepers of secret knowledge that has been hidden in order to be preserved, and it has traveled through centuries to finally reach you, and promises to give you control of the events of your life – you can get anything you desire if you only focus on thinking and feeling positive – why does that become an international best-seller and the hottest thing in contemporary “spirituality”? Why do people become devoted to a Robert Burton who claims to be the only one on Earth with a special connection to mysterious higher forces, which include ancient authorities who support him (according to himself), and reveals hidden knowledge that has been kept secret for 30,000 years and is only now understood correctly for the first time, by him and his disciples, and who promises you can achieve control of your lower self and thereby save yourself from extinction?
A common theme running through esotericism is a small exclusive group of illuminati, in possession of a secret knowledge that gives them a decisive advantage over the rest of the uninitiated masses. This knowledge must be carefully guarded from being revealed to the unworthy. It cannot be understood by everybody, and is not readily apparent to anybody. It requires difficult payment and prolonged efforts to be accessible and attained. The possession of this knowledge makes people powerful and elevated above others. They hold out the promise that you will finally understand what life’s all about, what’s going on with the universe, and then you will be safe/saved. Finally, you’ve gotten hold of this one thing that you had always needed, that had always been missing, so that now, NOW you will be able to live correctly at last!

Today it’s called the Sequence:
A group of invisible highly evolved beings called Influence C exclusively transmits ancient esoteric knowledge to Robert. The aim is to use the Sequence to become a conscious being, just like eminent people in the past, such as Lincoln, Plato, Shakespeare and Buddha. The Sequence has been around for 30.000 years but has been kept hidden and not available to people at large. It has always been kept by the select few. Now it is being revealed to us for the first time in history. Traditions have called it so many different things. But every tradition, every religion, every philosophy, every school of the past tells us the same thing – they all understood the Sequence. By using it, we achieve prolonged presence, which is the hidden meaning of life on Earth. You should make a habit of it, remember to use it every day, live it, but it should never be a chore. Choose your thoughts carefully. You must control your imagination and not allow any negative thoughts to enter, because that’s when you lose. Also, intellectual understanding is not enough – you must find ways to make this emotional, because only the right emotion carries enough power to engage presence. When you’re negative, don’t express that emotion, find reasons to not express it, adopt a positive attitude about the school, don’t allow any I’s unrelated to promoting presence. When you become intentional and on fire for what you want, your higher centers will ignite and you will enter prolonged presence. It is a six-step process: Be, Hold, Look, Back, Look, Be. After the last step, you let go and enjoy the fruits of your efforts: prolonged presence. The Sequence is indisputable objective truth. Once you accept it, it is life-transforming. If you don’t understand it, it doesn’t mean you should reject it. If you feel it’s not working, or you are not getting results, you must be making the wrong efforts and you need to keep practicing and learning how to apply it. Don’t get frustrated, disappointed or doubtful; this will only drag you deeper into negativity. Choose your attitude intentionally and replace those negative feelings with unwavering trust. You can’t get anything out of the school if you focus on doubt and negativity instead of on the possibilities and wonderful opportunities. After all, R. W. Emerson said: “That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character.”

Today it’s called the Secret:
A group of invisible highly evolved beings called Abraham exclusively transmits ancient esoteric knowledge to Esther. The aim is to use the Secret to become a joyous being, just like eminent people in the past, such as Lincoln, Plato, Shakespeare and Buddha. The Secret has been around for 2.000 years but has been kept hidden and not available to people at large. It has always been kept by the select few. Now it is being revealed to us for the first time in history. Traditions have called it so many different things. But every tradition, every religion, every philosophy, every avatar, every great leader of the past tells us the same thing – they all understood the Secret. By using it, we achieve anything we want, which is the hidden meaning of life on Earth. You should make a habit of it, remember to use it every day, live it, but it should never be a chore. Choose your thoughts carefully. You must control your random thoughts and not allow any negative thoughts to enter, because that’s when you lose. Also, intellectual understanding is not enough – you must find ways to make this emotional, because only the right feeling carries enough power to manifest what you want. When you’re feeling down, change your emotion, think of something beautiful, then dwell on it, block everything out but that thought. When you become intentional and on fire for what you want, the universe will deliver all you want around you. It is a three-step process: Ask, Believe, Receive. After the last step, you let go and enjoy the fruits of your efforts: your new car. The Secret is an objective universal law, it works for everybody, all the time. Once you accept it, it is life-transforming. If you don’t understand it, it doesn’t mean you should reject it. If you feel it’s not working, or you are not getting results, you must be wrongly focusing on what’s lacking, and you must learn how to apply it better. Don’t get frustrated, disappointed or doubtful, because the universe will just respond and manifest failure. Choose your attitude intentionally and replace those negative feelings with unwavering faith. You won’t get results if you keep focusing on what is not there instead of already feeling good. After all, R. W. Emerson said: “The Secret is the answer to all that has been, all that is, and all that will ever be.”

Take your pick: which do you want to believe? Do we find one more believable than the other? More noble? The same arguments can be used to support any end. In what ways is wanting to get presence and immortality different from wanting to get a million dollars and a soul-mate?
The same fundamental need for “special” in us morphs into different external forms. Should we prefer one form over the other? If yes, why?

329. whalerider - July 26, 2008

Decoding FOFspeak:

The four mindless breaths
The four spineless breaths
The four toothless breaths
The four ruthless breaths
The four painless breaths
The four brainless breaths

The four senseless breaths


Hey Nigel:
It was interesting thinking about you and being on the lookout for silver today. The word ‘silver’ never popped out at me, although on my bus ride home after work I saw lots of silver cars and shiny chrome. I made my eyes focus only on the color silver and my eyes began scanning around like that old eye exercise we used to do to bring you into the moment…But I would only let my eye settle on something silver colored, which I would look at until the bus moved on and then I’d jump onto something else silver or shiny and watch it go by. (It was like walking fast down a busy sidewalk and focusing your eyes only on the spaces between people instead of the people, ever do that?) I found that the technique put me into a bit of a pleasant, relaxing little trance…with about 163 wordless breaths! Why stop at four?

330. Rear View Mirror - July 26, 2008

317. Richard M.
Your comments about the blog ring true to me. Maybe it’s time. I’m curious what others think, but I think your points are valid.

If Sheik bows out and closes one last page to comments, I’m sure all of us can find other ways to communicate on these topics. What’s more, it will give us (including those still “in”) an excuse to review a lot of the past material that’s been posted here, and reflect upon it.

Walter T., I’ve spent a lot of time in the last couple of days thinking about your comments. I don’t agree with many of them, but I do find your comments thought provocative as V. said, and as you suggested… perhaps we are going a bit in circles here. Or, let me state it differently… I sense that “I’m” going in circles at this point. 😉 Because it could be that others have many chapters more to write on these pages, but I’m just not finding that in myself.

The main message or thought that I have for anyone — anyone — in the FOF who might be reading this: Try to question the unchallenged premise that the wonderful things you’ve experienced in the FOF can only be found in the FOF. It’s possible to think differently. Imagine a world and a universe that is rich and rewarding and filled with friends and spiritual guidance — and you just may find it.

331. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 26, 2008

329 Rear View Mirror

I think anyone in the Fellowship who can read and has the slightest bit of curiosity has read the blog, and will make of it whatever they’re going to make of it. The seed has been planted. Pouring more and more water on it won’t make it grow any faster. Those who contribute have said what they have to say, many times over. So now it’s just a question of attachment and entertainment. Establishing a site that preserves what has been said–or maybe better, the best of what’s been said–that’s easily accessible seems like a good idea.

332. Yesri Baba - July 26, 2008


Thanks for reposting that from Traveler. I missed it the first time around (it must have been hidden from me).

It seems that mystery thing is one of the key set ups of the con.
-What a magical mystery it was that we ‘found’ a ‘school’.-
-No one leaves the ‘school’ they mysteriously ‘lose’ it-
-Robert Burtons behavior is not what it seems, it is driven by mysterious motives.-
-The grand daddy of them all, the mysterious C-influence.-

This list could certainly be much longer.

The mystery to me is how we miss the unbelievably obvious.
Perhaps this missing the unbelievably obvious and this fascination with mystery are connected. Perhaps it is the great projection.

333. nigel harris price - July 26, 2008

294+ Whalerider
About something silver – silver, as a metal, is very reflective, and, as such, is associated since ancient times with the moon. I find it a beautiful metal with which to work (almost as nice as 18kt gold – bloody expensive these days, gold!) and, in my own way, see my work with it as a relationship (I have had nothing really lasting with a woman since I was released from the FOF in 1989, although I must say I have many wonderful ‘ladyfriends’). I did try, once, to write a poem about working with silver – one phrase I remember I used was ‘arching to be forged’ (I suppose I thought it was my experience in ‘supra-sex’ – with children of the soul, as Rodney Collin called works of art). I have posted the passage below, but, just in case you missed it:-

CYRIL STANLEY SMITH (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

….the role of technology in altering human affairs has been consistently neglected….The record of man’s technological achievements is written not in words but hidden in objects, and because the record is hard to identify, it has not always been preserved.

A purposeful, utilitarian mind is indispensable in developing an abstract idea to the point of social importance, but the discovery of something new requires the sensibility and curiosity of the artist.

The history of metals in the hands of man encompasses fire and pain, frustration and triumph. It is the history of curious, creative man sweating and struggling through thousands of years over materials so mysterious that their craft was held in superstitious awe.

Thus, Biringuccio continued: “He who wishes to practice this art must not be of a weak nature, either from age or constitution, but must be strong, young and vigorous….nor do I doubt that whoever considers this art well will fail to recognize a certain brutishness in it, for the founder is always like a chimney sweep, covered with charcoal and distasteful sooty smoke….to this is added the fact that for this work a violent and continuous straining of all a man’s strength is required which brings great harm to his body and holds many definite dangers to his life. In addition, this art holds the mind of the artificer in suspense and fear regarding its outcome and keeps his spirit distorted and almost continuously anxious….But, with all this, it is a profitable and skillful art and in large part beautiful”.

All the best with your quest…..Nigel.

334. Just the Facts Ma'am - July 26, 2008

231. Walter Tanner – July 24, 2008, you wrote:

‘What you call propaganda, many sincere spiritual seekers call their “religious practice.” Whether FoF, Catholic Church, Mormons, or Advaitists, I guess I’m more of the same, like the founders of this country, who said people can practice whatever religion they want.’

People do not have the liberty to ‘practice whatever religion they want.’ That is not what the ‘founders of this country’ wrote/intended in the U.S. Constitution.

From Wikipedia:

‘”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

In 1879, the [U.S.] Supreme Court was first called to interpret the extent of the free exercise clause in Reynolds v. United States, as related to the prosecution of polygamy under federal law. The Supreme Court upheld the conviction, deciding that to do otherwise would provide constitutional protection for a gamut of religious beliefs, including those as extreme as human sacrifice. The Court said, “Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious beliefs and opinions, they may with practices.”‘

If a religious practice included murder of people, you can be sure that it would not be permitted. But, let’s experiment and try it out. Walter, you have the choice to test it. Start your own religion and have that as one of the sacred religious rites. You can be the first to be murdered as your sacrifice to your religion. Or, you get to murder someone as the first martyr of your religion. Then, certainly in the latter case, you can stick around to witness the consequences of claiming it was a religious act.
[No persons, real or imaginary, were intended to be hurt by the above thought process.]

211. Daily Cardiac – July 23, 2008, you said, in part:

[About other major teachings:] ‘conclude that what they included in their teachings were the most relevant issues to awakening; things like love, compassion, forgiveness, acceptance of one’s play, not judging one’s fellow men.’

These are precisely the things that the Fellowship of Friends is lacking that gives rise to the 15,000+ people to leave. Add to that the fact that the leader is an abuser, subtle or otherwise, of people both in private and in public relations that has spilled over into various aspects of the organization; including the rampant imitation of their teacher’s behavior by countless current members (and some former ones that now regret their actions, having got a conscience.)

Just think/feel what FoF would be like were there 20,000 members worldwide doing:

One of the early tenets of the FoF: ‘Be the words.’

But instead the practice IS: Super-celestial thoughts; subterranean actions.

Dear Sheik,

Thank you. Your contribution has been profound. Please continue. At least stay until we close page 44. It should be a C Influence play. BTW, what became of your partner, the Monochromatic Knight?

335. nigel harris price - July 26, 2008

296 Elena
I have sent a copy of my part of Susan Zannos’s petition to both Ryan McCarthy of the Appeal Democrat and Marshall Kilduff of the San Francisco Chronicle (that newspaper followed the ‘Pope contract’ in 1987). I will send you a copy.

On the subject of your defending your ‘stand’ on the blog, try to remember Christ’s words (written here in full) – “Love thine enemies, for it that way, you will be pouring coals upon their heads” (As far as I could determine from my religious friend who used this passage, it meant, that by loving your enemies, you would be ‘melting their false personalities’). Hope this helps in your marvellous work…..Nigel.

336. nigel harris price - July 26, 2008

302 Just Another Voice Out There
About your question to Sheik about his martial arts preference – I don’t actually have a ‘personal take’ on what I got into when I left the FOF, other than wondering why I was still ‘allowed to be alive’ follwing my unsuccessful suicide attempt. I knew my state was fluctuating but basically I wanted to be happy – by taking walks in the glorious Devon countryside, chatting with people I met in pubs and going to ‘The Bookshop’ in nearby Exmouth to look for ‘stimulating’ literature. One book I did find (and here I get around to the start of this post) was “The Book of Five Rings’ by the illustrious Samurai-Mystic, Miyamoto Musashi. Unfortunately, there was two much wayward interpretation of the teaching into ‘how one could kick corporate ass’, but I do recommend the book, as it describes the fundamentals of the book’s terminology in description of Samurai work-on-oneself. Enjoy, if you read it…..Nigel.

337. nigel harris price - July 26, 2008

Just as a general post, hopefully addressing those of (last night’s) posts, I have been told many times, and experienced the closeness of the phrase – “Life is a risk; my God, you could die!”. As a Solar Essence (not necessarily physically noticeable, but the inner child is still naive, although having gained some sort of ‘street-wise-education’) I am annoyed about getting old – experiencing the onset of spondolitis (arthritis of the spine) as well as the over-tiredness with my anti-psychotic ‘meds’.

But I think what I wanted to say, was to repeat something that Gurdjieff stated in ‘Search’ – “Suffering should only be for a limited time, for otherwise it starts to produce wrong results”. For me, when, as in the last few days, I have been putting in 12 hour days in the workshop and lose the ‘thread of joy’ that is at the basis of my chosen ‘living’, I kick back, relax with friends, do something else (like housework, or go through my paperwork) and wait until the ‘mood-to-continue’ arises again. I think that those who continue in the FOF under the illusion that only perpetual suffering (transformed or otherwise) can produce ‘something higher’ have every chance of damaging their essence – there are bloggers who say that is what happened to them, personally, or give accounts of others to whom that has happened. What do others think?…..Nigel.

338. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 26, 2008

Nigel: For me it’s not about being happy, that’s easy. For me it’s about finding balance and standing up for the right thing (which kind of logically follows from finding your balance), not to mention not getting caught up in my own reality tunnels.

All I wanted to say to you is that shooting from the hip is less accurate than taking the time to aim.

Elena: I don’t even know how to reply to your posts anymore. I think that what you write (and how you write it) leaves little need to reply.

Just Another Voice out There: Yeah, it’s a scary beginning of what will probably be a very bumpy ride. How did you come to share this perspective?

Veramente: I train in Bujinkan Budo Taijitsu. The past two days turned into three days, the heat has been making people go crazy and their (as well as mine) personalities become more pronounced – lots of aggression all around me and me being subjected to a conflict of one sort or another day after day. I am not yet very good at dealing with conflicts and aggression in the real world, it’s a strange school of sorts. Ultimately good for me (it’s a boundary I have almost forgotten about) but difficult at the same time.

Traveler: As I see it, fundamentally everyone is responsible just for themselves. We may offer ourselves as we are and be available to others, but can no more sensibly aim to alter their lives as a wave on the east bank of a river can want to change the course of a wave in the middle of the stream.


339. the Esoteric Sheik of Inner Confusion - July 26, 2008

Moving to:


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