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Fellowship of Friends Discussion, part 42 July 26, 2008

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

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

The largest meeting point for former and current members of the Fellowship of Friends is the Greater Fellowship, you can sign up 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).

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Comments

1. veramente - July 26, 2008

This is for you Sheik, a change of tone, a beautiful image.

Climbing the Mountain

I burned incense, swept the earth, and waited
for a poem to come…

Then I laughed, and climbed the mountain,
leaning on my staff.

How I’d love to be a master
of the blue sky’s art:

see how many sprigs of snow-white cloud
he’s brushed in so far today.

(Yuan Mei)

2. Mick Danger - July 26, 2008

Dear Hearts, Gentle People, the Tough and the Beautiful:

“All that is destined to take place is unavoidable, yet the resultant effects can be modified in two different ways according to circumstances. The modification of the effects of a destined plan can either affect the intensity, scope, shape or size of the chain of events, or bring about a considerable change in the factor of time. In either case, the effects can be modified as much in relation to me and those closely connected with me as to the world at large. For example, the world can absorb fully a simultaneous spiritual and material shock either by a modification in the quality and quantity of events or by a considerable change in the time factor. If the time limit remains unchanged, then in order to enable the world fully to absorb the shock of shocks, the chain of events may be modified both in degree and kind. But if the time limit is changed considerably, the events will take place without any modification whatsoever.”

I hope this explains the past, present & future.

3. Mick Danger - July 26, 2008

“My name, it means nothing,
My age, even less.” – Bob Dylan

4. nigel harris price - July 26, 2008

2 Mick Danger
‘Gordon Bennett!’ – that was obtuse!…..Nigel.

5. Mick Danger - July 26, 2008

41/307 Traveller
A true classic consigliere.
When the going gets tough,
I want you on my side.

6. whalerider - July 26, 2008

In case you missed it, here’s the paypal link again to the ‘thank you sheik’ fund:

http://fellowshipoffriends.wordpress.com/2008/05/01/moving-to-a-new-blog/

Page down, it’s over on the right hand margin. Give what you can.

Jeeze, everyone ought to donate at least once.

7. Just Another Voice Out Here - July 27, 2008

336 sheik

I’ll send you an email.

8. Pavel - July 27, 2008

Newly moderated comments in part 41: 325 and 334

Sorry for the late moderation.

Just the Facts: Funny you should ask, I haven’t seen the Monochromatic Knight in a year and a half, will see him very soon in person. He is doing his own thing, with considerable success, some of his postings on Animam Recro reflect his current aims and interests.

9. Pavel - July 27, 2008

Veramente: Thank you. Great choice.

10. X-ray - July 27, 2008

Dear Sheik,
Thank you for all your efforts and the integrity with which you kept this blog running.
This blog have helped many people and those who still “in” – are most likely hopeless.
The awareness in people created by the blog will progress either way. The chain reaction has begun and nothing can stop it now.
I thank you and I wish you all the best in your Life!

with respect…

11. nigel harris price - July 27, 2008

As to 10 – likewise Sheik……………..and, despite my slight lack of personal funds at present, I hope within the week to send you a donation. with thanks…..Nigel.

12. nigel harris price - July 27, 2008

P.S. (and I am sure a few others will want to know) can you post again the details of how to ‘send’ donations – it was put late in 41 but cannot find it now…..Nigel.

13. nigel harris price - July 27, 2008

Oops!…..Found it on Whalerider (6)….. thanks…..Nigel.

14. nigel harris price - July 27, 2008

What with Sheik ‘coming out’ (Pavel?), there seems to be a trend (as also with others) of becoming more personal about experiences on the blog. I actually think this is healthy and perhaps denotes the wish for our own little ‘circle of friends’, who not only want to share what they think about the FOF, REB etc., but also give accounts of their own paths towards a sense of self-worth, betterment and development. I feel this can only make us stronger AND will encourage present FOF members to be less ‘groupie’ about their membership (and, therefore, less defensive) and maybe help them with their personal aims. I think Gurdjieff stated, and Collin reiterated, that you cannot ‘mimic’ aims. Wanting to be a member of the FOF, for its own sake, is, IMO, a path that leads to nothing in terms of self-development. Can we all remember whatwe came to the ‘doorstep of Real Knowledge’ for?…..Nigel.

15. nigel harris price - July 27, 2008

14 (The Church Triumphant), second last line, should read ‘what we’. Sorry…..Nigel.

16. nigel harris price - July 27, 2008

Since Sunday is my only day-off and, therefore, a chance to blog a little more than is usual during the week, I thought you might like to know that, during my last spell in the ‘asylum’, I ‘set upon’ the Bible that my godfather had given me for my 1st birthday (King James Authorised Version) and tore out what I considered to be the un-emotional and un-workable stuff to leave me with what I felt was ‘worthy’ of keeping. This left a little of the Old Testament, all the Psalms and most of the New Testament (including Revelations – seems to be a bit of a ‘bad-trip’ book, that one – similar in content to some of the Byron, Coleridge and Shelley writings). Hope no-one on the blog takes this as an offence and being blasphemous…..Nigel.

17. lauralupa - July 27, 2008

Pavel 8
Dear Sheik,
I went to Animam Recro to see what the Monochromatic Knight was up to, and found this video on Scientology’s recruiting and mind control techniques which may be of interest to former and present members of our much less successfull little cult. What vulnerable beings we humans are!
From reports by recent departees, it’s quite evident that Robert has been upgrading his own brainwashing toolkit in many ways, from the introduction of the sequence to the new very rigid form of meetings and dinners, and all the new limitations on bodily expression.
All this is designed to turn flexible, autonomous, lively human beings into highly controllable, unfeeling, reliable and dependent automatons that may be financially milked, sexually exploited, and if needed discarded with ease. I would define this a subtle form of crime against humanity, surely not as blatant as torture and genocide, but nevertheless…

“The Rome Statute Explanatory Memorandum states that crimes against humanity “are particularly odious offences in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority.”

18. nigel harris price - July 27, 2008

17 lauralupa
Dear Laura, I remember seeing the complete program on British TV (I actually think it was a British production because I recognised Dermut Managhan, the broadcaster). It was one of those ‘get-inside’ stories, that did not take what the Scientologists had to say for themselves at face value, but actually took hidden cameras into situations that showed the coercive techniques they use and how angry they become when confronted with the truth, as presented to them ‘after the event’. And I hold every word you have to say about how it may relate to the FOF, past and present (especially present), as you say it – The Truth. I am sure, as it has been expressed before, that REB is ‘upping the ante’, in hope that as many as possible (both in the cult, at present, and those who may be attracted to joing it in the ‘new’ form) will fall for his falsehoods. By the way, is this sequence thing his own invention? – a kind of meditative technique? – I don’t really see the point of Tantric Nothingness Trying To Be Present!…..Nigel.

19. Mick Danger - July 27, 2008

Correction to 3 – Words & Music by Bob Dylan
Oh my name it is nothin’
My age it means less
The Country I come from
is called the Midwest
I’s taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

Oh the Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I’s made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side.

Oh the First World Way, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don’t count the dead
When God’s on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens the fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I’ve learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It’s them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on our side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we’re forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When’s God’s on your side.

In a many dark hour
I’ve been thinkin’ about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

(Last verse for Shiek)

So now as I’m leavin’
I’m weary as Hell
The confusion I’s feelin’
Ain’t no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God’s on our side
He’ll stop the next war.

20. nigel harris price - July 27, 2008

I turned on the computer to read Mick’s post, then just after, turned on my TV and Leslie Garrett, the wonderful, anthem singing soprano, was leading a male voice choir in the ‘world rugby anthem’:-

“Its’ the world in union, the world as one;
As we climb to reach our destiny
A new age has begun”
(tune: I vow to thee my country)

I say – let’s work for it (serendipity has a way of telling us things)Nigel.

21. nigel harris price - July 27, 2008

20
Actually, the original tune is ‘Jupiter’ from Holst’s ‘The Planets’….Nigel

22. arthur - July 27, 2008

test

23. elena - July 27, 2008

Thanks for your post Laura.

17″From reports by recent departees, it’s quite evident that Robert has been upgrading his own brainwashing toolkit in many ways, from the introduction of the sequence to the new very rigid form of meetings and dinners, and all the new limitations on bodily expression.
All this is designed to turn flexible, autonomous, lively human beings into highly controllable, unfeeling, reliable and dependent automatons that may be financially milked, sexually exploited, and if needed discarded with ease. I would define this as a subtle form of crime against humanity, surely not as blatant as torture and genocide, but nevertheless…”

It is a subtle form of crime but a crime nevertheless. Definitely not as blatant as torture and genocide but a more psycho-spiritual kind of crime in which physical force is not even necessary. So glad you’re seeing. The amazing aspect of it all is in finally understanding the power of the community over the individual. In our case, the Cult overrode our principles using our principles. Even more interesting it overrode our connections with the “human” convincing us that they were not worthy of the divine and with it brought us down to an infra-human condition, which is where we find the crime against humanity an accurate appreciation. All of Mr. Haven’s writings are about this separation from the human which he labeled the machine and made a machine of it, totally deforming and misinterpreting the System. It is all upside down and backwards to consciousness. In a conscious process it would have connected the divine to the human and dignified life. Instead of separating from it we would have found meaning and purpose in it, which we can continue to do where ever we are. In a conscious life the physical is spiritualized and the spiritual materialized practically. It is very easy to observe this in the amount of care, tenderness, love any one person can invoke from within himself or herself while dealing with the rest of the world. Tenderness or care with children is an expression of spirituality manifesting in the physical world, whether an individual is conscious of it or not. Respect amongst adults is an aspect of love. In our time, respect is subject to class, nationality or race and other separating instinctive conditions within groups of people who are still identified with belonging to a group rather than to the human community. Care for things and the physical world at large is another form of spiritualization of the physical. We are doing so much damage to Nature because we are so disconnected from everything including our own bodies.

It is not surprising that the things missing in the Fellowship of Friends are precisely: love, tenderness, respect, dignity, pride, joy, compassion, care, communication, humility or any other positive emotion because nothing spiritual has been materializing in that Cult for over twenty five years at least. On the contrary, coldness, despitefulness, deception, betrayal, abandonment, abuse of power, privileges and all forms of negative emotions creeping out of uncontrolled greed are what manifest so blatantly in each of its members no matter how silky they think they look. Just the clothing reveals their greed. I was there, just as identified as the rest with it all, and fortunately it made me sick. How much longer are you going to take to realize how sick you all are?

The phenomenon within the Fellowship in which a uniform of refined clothing separates people from the rest of the world and the Fellowship from the rest of nature as much as Fellowship members from each other and their friends, families and other human beings is the buffer that is covering the suffering that these people are enduring. It is both a buffer and a reproductive mechanism of the same process just as excessive eating is a buffer to experiencing the world more vividly. They are desperately trying to look perfect and be perfect to cover the inability they have to deal with the world on its own terms and although this is simply an illusion, an imagination, the longer they are inside, the weaker they become and the illusion becomes their reality. This does not mean that they cannot hold jobs and behave as regular people behave; it means that although they may live their lives like other people in regular society, they no longer do it for their own well being but against it, like a cancer, it just reverses the process. As they say, the Fellowship is indeed not a Community. It is a Cult. The argument that it is a School and member’s behavior is expected to be like those in any School, does not work when confronted with the fact that in any regular school if the Teacher went after such a huge number of students sexually, he would be put in jail. Why do the analogies work in some areas for the members but not in so many others? Those others finally represent the great buffer in which they claim that they “ARE NOT WILLING TO GO THERE”?
The vineyard is dying because it has no life in it.

Here is another aspect of that same thing that you posted Laura. Those inside have come to think that because it is dressed in silk and gold it is legal and legitimate but it is equally corrupt. Maybe they’ll get a few years less in jail for dressing the boys in expensive underwear but I doubt it’ll take a substantial amount of time off a serious sentence. Also I doubt the inner circle people can say they were obeying orders in a state of war. They’ll just have to admit they got as corrupt and greedy as Mr. Burton himself.

This is from Interpol.

Trafficking in human beings
INTERPOL aims to end the abuse and exploitation of human beings for financial gain. Women from developing countries and young children all over the world are especially vulnerable to trafficking, smuggling or sexual exploitation.

Trafficking in women for sexual exploitation is a multi-billion-dollar business which involves citizens of most countries and helps sustain organized crime. A violation of human rights, it destroys the lives of its victims.

Human trafficking is distinct from people smuggling in that it involves the exploitation of the migrant, often for purposes of forced labor and prostitution.

People smuggling implies the procurement, for financial or material gain, of the illegal entry into a state of which that person is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident. Criminal networks which smuggle and traffic in human beings for financial gain increasingly control the flow of migrants across borders.

Child sexual exploitation on the Internet ranges from posed photos to visual recordings of brutal sexual crimes. One of INTERPOL’s main tools for helping police fight this type of crime is the INTERPOL Child Abuse Image Database (ICAID).

Created in 2001, it contains hundreds of thousands of images of child sexual abuse submitted by member countries, thereby facilitating the sharing of images and information to assist law enforcement agencies with the identification of new victims.

24. elena - July 28, 2008

Went picketing with Ames who wore tuxedo with bow and the nice waist aparel! He looked gorgeous and the effect was obviously beyond the expectations. Bravo Ames! Thank you for coming!

Lots of cars and people.

A friend mentioned that many people came to journey forth on the fence and were sucked in by the place again because prices and demands had been lowered. Truly amazing and quite scary but it is a wonderful thing to know that at least people are not being killed, well, at least physically. I guess the fact that the only thing that counts about them being their money or their body, is perceived as if they were being truly valued…. but when people don’t value themselves more than that, what could we expect? We too were there blindly valueing Robert and the Fellowship as if we owed it our lives….only because it had stripped us of our lives and we were so naked. “More silk please, more silk, so that we can cover our shame!”.

It really is an amazing phenomenon, is it not dears?

25. veronicapoe - July 28, 2008

Ha ha ha — “We do not have a monopoly on tuxedos”!

26. nigel harris price - July 28, 2008

24 Elena
It just shows to what length false pesronality will go (both on the part of REB, hard-corers and on-the-fencers) to not allow itself to be shown for what it is – A BIG, FAT NOTHING!…..Nigel.

27. You-me-us-they - July 28, 2008

Elena and Ames,

What were the “bords messages” this time?

28. innernaut - July 28, 2008

Arthur!

29. arthur - July 28, 2008

Hello innernaut,

I was released about five days ago from a nursing home after a month relearning how to walk again. “Terror of the situation” that was it.

Glad to hear from you.

30. lauralupa - July 28, 2008

arthur, so nice to hear from you! what happened?

31. ton - July 28, 2008

laura 17 thanks for the scientology link…
it made me wonder what the situation would be if the followship were more “successful” at recruiting “high profile personalities” ?
whatever the case, here’s to the demise of the fraud being perpetrated on the unsuspecting…

i heard a long time ago that bob dylan attended a “prospective student meeting” in L.A…. anyone else hear of this?

thanks mick for the dylan… a great song.

arthur,
fellow apostate, good to hear you are well.

32. nigel harris price - July 28, 2008

Hi Arthur, nice to have you back and hope that you are recovering well. Weren’t you the blogger who said “I wonder where nigel harris price is?”?. Well I’m still here and hoping to be strength for others as we continue in our life’s journey and our sharing with our posts. Do please continue contibuting, if you can…..Nigel.

33. arthur - July 29, 2008

Hi Nigel, Lauralupa and ton,

I think I misspoke about the terror of the situation. I think the “terror of the situation” was actually a month before the nursing home experience.

I was rushed to the emergency room with collapsed lungs. I was then rushed into ICU and placed on a ventalator (?) for five days. A lung specialist said I was heading South fast.

Anyway, after the ventalator I was placed on a “bi-pap” or “bi-pet” (another forced air apparatus) for nine more days.

The trauma and terror left me immobile hence on to the nursing home for further treatment and rehab.

I’m at home and I have nurses coming over three times a week.
They do lessen the anxiety. And, I have plenty of awe for the noble art of the healing professions.

Man o’live what a trip.

34. veramente - July 29, 2008

Hello Arthur,

what a ride! I am glad you are OK.
Let the nurses pamper you while you continue heal, take it easy, be your best friend.

I posted this blessing a few blog pages ago, here it is for you now:

Beannacht / Blessing
by John O’Donohue

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

35. elena - July 29, 2008

Arthur,
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. So good to know that someone is still alive enough to appreciate it and yet distant enough to say so. What a treat!

I just heard that the case has been dismissed so I don’t have to go to Court on the 8th. Too bad, it was a good third force to pull things together but on the other hand it is a relief from the tension. Now I can work at my ease.

One of the areas it got me working was selecting the blog into areas of concern. There are so many aspects to our experience and each one has written something of tremendous insight into particular situations. Looking at them, I much enjoyed the close ups that Somebody does on Fellowship life. I began dividing them into areas that seemed relevant and so far came up with:
process of adapting or being programmed
counterattacks
effects of the Cult
No individual expression
Not knowing the facts
Girard, Dorian and Asaf
Robert’s lifestyle

and that was only from page 41. There are some exquisite posts by so many here looking into one or another aspect, it is worth putting a book together. If I’m ever done choosing material I’ll let you know in case anyone would object to my using their posts. I wouldn’t like to use anything against anyone’s will. We’d probably be the only interested in such a publication but for me at least it would be invaluable. At last we hear our selves.

36. Josiane - July 29, 2008

Hello everyone,
I am one of these « silent » blog watchers and have been since mid 2007. I left the organization last February after 31 years. The reason for being silent is that we (I extrapolate to include others) are not quite sure what’s going on at first and therefore the prudent thing to do is to absorb information and become better educated about what is presented before coming out. Rest assured, however, that the blog has had a great influence in drawing people out of FoF since its inception. I am a living example of that. However, the seeds of departure where already in me so what the blog really did was to give me the final push. Unless one already has doubts, not much can be done to convince a person their view of the world is….(fill in the dots).

You might find the rest of this post interesting when it comes to Mr. Burton’s state of health, both physically and mentally, from what an Ayurvedic practitioner had to say about imbalances, Ayurveda being India’s 5000 years-old holistic system of medicine. My question to her was : Would having too much sex weaken ojas ? (ojas being described in Ayurveda as one of the « subtle » energies that circulate in the body ; the other two being prana and tejas.) (Also, the term « pitta » refers to the Ayurvedic way of defining constitutions, similar to the seven body types, Pitta being the closest to a Martial body type.)

Here is her reply :

« Sometimes it’s difficult to tell where the imbalance started- if someone has another imbalance that causes them to desire sex regularly or if the excessive sexual activity caused an imbalance. Either way, you’re right, it will cause a loss of ojas. Worse, it is depleting the body of the material needed to create new ojas, so it eventually will make someone more susceptible to disease. This will manifest as instability in the immune system and in the mind eventually. Excessive sex is very heating and the person may start to exhibit signs of pitta imbalance- general heat that can lead to intensity or anger, and susceptibility to infections.

Sexual addiction is often linked to manic-depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and/or a narcissistic personality, so a distortion of reality definitely could be happening. The further out of balance someone becomes, the harder it is for them to see reality clearly, there is often some form of delusion- even a fairly balanced person may experience irrational behavior when placed under a lot of stress when their ojas is weakened. Following this line of thought, someone could become a rapist if they believe that the other person desires them or that they have a right to having sex with that person (or whatever else forms in their mind).

I am always very cautious of spiritual teachers who perform questionable actions. While no one is perfect, I generally expect some level of personal responsibility from spiritual teachers- and it sounds like this person could be taking advantage of people by using personal magnetism for seduction, and the same magnetism to attract them to the spiritual teachings.

This person may truly believe that they are helping others spiritually and sexually, but that is most likely just another reflection of their own distorted reality. I’ve known someone who I believe exhibits compulsive sexual behavior and he truly believes that he’s not hurting any of the women he sleeps with when he doesn’t continue the relationship- I’ve seen how deluded and narcissistic he can be, and how it has worsened over the years as the imbalance has gotten deeper.

I hope that this has helped some- I would say that however this situation is manifesting in your life or the people around you to use caution in interacting with this person. Ultimately, this person has a deep lesson to learn in this lifetime and underneath it all is someone who wants to experience love and is afraid of intimacy. It sounds like they really could use some help from a professional psychologist, but they have to discover that themselves too. »

37. veramente - July 29, 2008

Heard there was a recent robbery at Apollo, anyone knows the details?

38. Ames Gilbert - July 29, 2008

Here is a great PBS (Public Broadcasting Service in the U.S.A.) interview in 2004 with a person who has been in advertising for his entire adult career. He talks about the similarities between brands and cults, the good and the bad, and how marketers use this knowledge of human psychology. There is a brief mention of the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Earl Burton as an example.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/persuaders/interviews/atkin.html

39. Rear View Mirror - July 29, 2008

36. veramente “Heard there was a recent robbery at Apollo, anyone knows the details?”

Someone made a “teaching payment.”

Although that’s a bit like leaving your front door wide open as you go to work in the morning.

Ames, that’s an amazing interview. Thanks for sharing. We thought the FOF was different.

40. Rear View Mirror - July 29, 2008

Veramente, sorry for the flippant response. Actually, it’s interesting news.

By the way. News. That’s the one thing to keep in mind regarding the blog. Yes, everything has already been said. So why do we waste our time here saying the same thing over and over again?

The problem with that thinking is that there will be new information, new events, and more “news” in the coming months and years, assuming the FOF survives for years. And when the news breaks, I’m sure the FOF won’t be having “town hall” meetings for open discussions. There will always be something new and fresh to say here. A new perspective. A new “angle” on the subject. A new way of seeing and understanding the truth. And it turn, a new way to see something about ourselves, and how we joined a cult.

Funny. Even years later, some of us can “buffer” that fact. I still do.

41. Rear View Mirror - July 29, 2008

Idea… Leave the stage for others occasionally. Isn’t it odd and beautiful how silence attracts sound?

42. James Mclemore - July 29, 2008

34. veramente

I somehow missed it the first time around. Thank you for the reposting of the blessing. It worked a bit like a salve around a rawness somewhere inside.

43. James Mclemore - July 29, 2008

Walter –

It is nice to hear your voice.

44. brucelevy - July 29, 2008

37. Ames Gilbert

Good one. Thanks.

45. Ellen - July 29, 2008

37. Ames Gilbert

Ditto, as with many others. Nice article. I sometimes reflect on how the label “cult” creates a (negative) internal impression and the term “school” a positive one.

“Cult” brings up conceptual images of brainwashing, imitative mindless behaviour and tight defensive boundaries, whereas “school” brings up sattvic type images of nobility, harmony, balance and above all, learning. Both phenomenon were possible to experience within the Fellowship of Friends. And the need to exist within a larger community is a totally healthy and human urge, call it a family, call it a group, call it a cult, call it a school. Maybe the psychological term “collective ego” is neutral enough?

Perhaps the divergence between a group’s unifying interests and the creative expression of the same defines the level of hypocrisy and/or cognitive dissonance inherent in any particular one? Specifically, spiritual communities that do not have built in methods for transforming the inevitable human weaknesses of its leaders invariably retreat into defensive resistance, forcing transformation upon its members and not the source. In the Fellowship, the surface acceptance of Robert’s behaviour forces his personal hypocrisy upon his students and totally ignores the more profound issue of his own spiritual bankruptcy. (A bankruptcy most likely caused by his drilling more deeply into hundreds of young men instead of himself.) So, members keep trying to transform their “teacher” ignorantly remaining ignorant of the true aim of their own spiritual work.

I like this passage from Eckhardt Tolle. It has been posted already a few times, but nevertheless bears repeating:
*******************************************************************
THE COLLECTIVE EGO

How hard is it to live with yourself? One of the ways in which the ego attempts to escape the unsatisfactoriness of personal selfhood is to enlarge and strengthen its sense of self by identifying with a group—a nation, political party, corporation, institution, sect, club, gang, football team.

In some cases the personal ego seems to dissolve completely as someone dedicates his or her life to working selflessly for the greater good of the collective without demanding personal rewards, recognition, or aggrandizement. What a relief to be freed of the dreadful burden of personal self. The members of the collective feel happy and fulfilled, no matter how hard they work, how many sacrifices they make. They appear to have gone beyond ego. The question is: Have they truly become free, or has the ego simply shifted from the personal to the collective?

A collective ego manifests the same characteristics as the personal ego, such as the need for conflict and enemies, the need for more, the need to be right against others who are wrong, and so on. Sooner or later, the collective will come into conflict with other collectives, because it unconsciously seeks conflict and it needs opposition to define its boundary and thus its identity. Its members will then experience the suffering that inevitably comes in the wake of any ego-motivated action. At that point, they may wake up and realize that their collective has a strong element of insanity.

It can be painful at first to suddenly wake up and realize that the collective you had identified with and worked for is actually insane. Some people at that point become cynical or bitter and henceforth deny all values, all worth. This means that they quickly adopted another belief system when the previous one was recognized as illusory and therefore collapsed. They didn’t face the death of their ego but ran way and reincarnated into a new one.

A collective ego is usually more unconscious than the individuals that make up that ego. For example, crowds (which are temporary collective egoic entities) are capable of committing atrocities that the individual away from the crowd would not be. Nations not infrequently engage in behavior that would be immediately recognizable as psychopathic in an individual.

46. Across the River - July 29, 2008

Arthur, I hope your recovery is sure and steady and you can stay home. Hospitals and nursing homes? Rather not. Best wishes.

34
veramente
I also missed that the first time. A beautiful blessing, thank you.

36
veramente
I understand there are several bits of recent activity including money stolen from Apollo d’Oro, a laptop stolen from one of the offices and signs of attempted break-ins at other offices.

37
Ames
The article was interesting in several regards. “As our society becomes more consumerist, so are the ways that we make meaning and create identity.” It seems cult branding occurs in politics, too. I thought of the manner in which many project their hopes onto presidential candidate Barack Obama, whose excellent public speaking skills seem to generate that **neural impulse** that has created almost a cult following.

I wondered if Douglas Atkin connected to the Fellowship in particular because he met someone closely associated.

47. Associated Press - July 29, 2008

Private inurement.

According to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service:

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

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

You know all those palm trees and olive trees (and other agricultural or material assets (furnishings, cars, clothing, jewelry, art, antiques, services, etc., etc., etc.) that may have appeared outside of the Fellowship of Friends property, possibly on private property, as example, or in private possession, may fall under ‘private inurement’ or ‘private benefit.’ If they are gifts from FoF, or ‘fair market value’ is not paid for them, or distribution of these assets are disproportionate to special parties, or do not serve the above 501(c)(3) organization exempt purposes, they could be, ‘potentially, grounds for loss of tax-exempt status.’

But, perhaps, those disenfranchised boys (in the private entourage (read: harem/sex slaves)) from the gutters of the underdeveloped world ‘must be recognized objects of charity.’

‘There must be feeling amongst the membership that the people who run the cult feel as committed to them as they are committed to the cult. If there’s any inequality in that sense of responsibility, the cult will break apart, often violently. For example, in one cult I investigated called the Fellowship of Friends in California, a classic cult based on the teachings of [Peter] Ouspensky, people gave up their whole lives and lived in a commune to follow [Robert Earl] Burton. Burton was then accused of molesting some of his followers and embezzling money. The moment that was discovered, that lack of trust was revealed, that lack of commitment was exposed, the cult began to disintegrate.’ Interview Douglas Atkin, Feb. 2, 2004, posted Nov. 9, 2004, on pbs.org Frontline pages. (Link appeared above.)

– – – – – –

‘Sooner or later, the collective will come into conflict with other collectives, because it unconsciously seeks conflict and it needs opposition to define its boundary and thus its identity. Its members will then experience the suffering that inevitably comes in the wake of any ego-motivated action. At that point, they may wake up and realize that their collective has a strong element of insanity.’ (Eckhardt Tolle) One reason FoF could not sustain its position, legally, against the picketing. [Makes you wonder who has the feature of lunatic, doesn’t it?]

48. Rear View Mirror - July 29, 2008

Across the River 45: “It seems cult branding occurs in politics, too.”

Yes, it does. If Obama is actually elected, which is still very iffy at this point even though he’s leading in most polls, then the comparison might be more interesting. Right now, the current administration is a far better comparison in my opinion.

The control of the information being released to the media — and by the media — is the most pertinent comparison to what happens in a cult. For example, today there are several open criticisms of America’s decision to invade Iraq 5 years ago. However, at the time, there was a widespread acceptance of going to war, and anyone who offered dissent was labeled as unpatriotic, and so on, so very few people in the media offered dissent.

Of course, anyone within the FOF who questions Burton’s motives obviously “lacks valuation” and is probably “losing the school” and is “not working hard enough on themselves,” and so on. It’s the party line.

In some posts here on the blog, I sense an unquestioned premise that people within the FOF “just wouldn’t hear it” if information were presented to them. I disagree. The information is very cleverly obstructed or distorted or downplayed. And I personally believe that a majority of the people in the FOF still haven’t tuned into the blog for more than a few minutes. Were someone within the FOF to step forward and talk to people at length about what is happening, and present things in very formal way — i.e., hold several meetings in very public locations with many “students” around — it would have a profound effect on the opinions and attitudes of those in the FOF. Of course, that person would be “removed.” And they’d be removed precisely because they’d have a profound effect on the opinions and attitudes of those in the FOF.

If you’re going to start a cult, the first thing you do is control the information.

49. Rear View Mirror - July 29, 2008

“removed from the FOF” just to clarify what that expression means.

Ellen, thanks for Tolle quote. By the way, about this section… “A collective ego manifests the same characteristics as the personal ego, such as the need for conflict and enemies, the need for more, the need to be right against others who are wrong, and so on…”

I think this is partly what Walter T. was referring to on a previous page in reference to the blog, which does become rather caustic at times — from my own writings included. There’s a type of collective ego here as well, although I think. We’re each trying in our own way to make it something much more sane than what we experienced in the FOF, but it’s here.

50. Mick Danger - July 29, 2008

35 Case Dismissed
“Napalm in the Morning – Smells like Victory.”
Apocalypse Now more than ever.

51. Traveler - July 29, 2008

Rear View Mirror says: In some posts here on the blog, I sense an unquestioned premise that people within the FOF “just wouldn’t hear it” if information were presented to them. I disagree. The information is very cleverly obstructed or distorted or downplayed. And I personally believe that a majority of the people in the FOF still haven’t tuned into the blog for more than a few minutes. Were someone within the FOF to step forward and talk to people at length about what is happening, and present things in very formal way — i.e., hold several meetings in very public locations with many “students” around — it would have a profound effect on the opinions and attitudes of those in the FOF.

Very interesting, thanks for that! I wonder though. If many people in the FOF would hear dissent only when it became the next fashionable thing, has any essential change happened in them? It seems the question is big beyond how much time I want to give it right now, but I would like to hear more thoughts on this if someone else has already done the thinking. Do I want to influence members to make them change their opinions to be more in line with mine, because I know what’s good for them, or do I wish for them to think for themselves and decide independently, regardless of where that brings them at this point in time – and how are these two perspectives related? Many sub-questions…

52. arthur - July 29, 2008

Nigel,

I’ve always enjoyed your musings. And, you are a “healer” too!
At least to me.

Veramente,

Much love back to you.

Elena,

You are a blessing to humanity.

Across the river,

Thanks for your thoughts.

Ames,

Your balls are real compared to my decorations.

A documentary and book about the Fellowship of Friends. Perfect! And, there are plenty of genius here and the Greater Fellowship that could do it. Maybe Lauralupa by herself. That’s how much respect I have for her.

53. lauralupa - July 29, 2008

Many thanks for the article, Ames. That info, in addition to the Scientology video and a documentary I saw last night about the GDR doping program, stimulated a series of ruminations about the pervasiveness and mechanisms of cultish mentality that I hope to dwelve into in future postings.

I wanted to start with a few considerations on the recent “teachings” of Robert and company. I do agree with what has been said here about the craziness of recent FoF interpretations of every possibile artifact in history as symbolic of the “Sequence”. Still, there seems to be a method to this madness.

Possibly because he has always been somewhat aware of his lacking credentials, experience and knowledge as a fourth way teacher, since the beginning Robert has linked the uniqueness of the FoF brand to the very elusive and alluring idea of having a special connection to “C influence”. He probably realized very early on that most people were willing to close a critical eye to the incompleteness and dubious effectivity of his practical teachings once they were hooked onto the hope that they were actually personally working with “the gods”. To bring this idea more down to earth he gave us a list of beings that were working with us, and possibly the fact that he was so specific about it was taken as proof by many followers that he was indeed part of some grand celestial scheme. Not every guru has the nerve to enroll on his team Marcus Aurelius, Bach, Leonardo da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Jesus and Shakespeare. Never mind that they are dead, they are the cream of the crop. On the basis of his presupposed special connection to these and other angels he went on to elevate himself higher and higher, and with the help of his blind followers developed the personality cult that we are all familiar with.

But what the FoF lacked for many years was a unique, easily marketable awakening tool, like the special mantras of Hare Krishnas, TM and Soka Gakkai, the psychological techniques of Scientology or the physical exercises of Tensegrity and Falun Gong. Since Robert is not the creative type, he enlisted the help of his mini-me Asaf to come up with something, and out came the somewhat obscure and obtuse “Sequence”. Since then, at least from what I have gathered on these pages, what passes for teaching inside the Fellowship is basically a constant, repetitive, shameless marketing of this one product sold as a solution to all evils of the mind and the Best Ever Gods-Approved Divine Tool to reach Paradise, Divine Presence, Enlightenment, Eternity and Whatnot. The marketing strategy is centered around two core themes:

– the uniqueness of the sequence
– the universal value of the sequence

IMO it’s quite a feat to be able to pull together these two very different marketing ideas. Usually, people are drawn to something either because everyone else is using it (the drink for a new generation) or because only a select few are (custom made especially for you). The great ploy was to find traces of the Sequence in every time and every place, conveniently validating its essential importance and universality, but NEVER IN THE PRESENT. Cave painters knew it, minor Renaissance artists knew it, humble Greek potters knew it, but lo and behold, nowadays only Robert Burton and his select circe of friends hold the keys to the all-powerful Sequence. Marvellous, isn’t it?
Of course, with a very tiny effort of the god-given faculty of critical thought one could say, hey wait a minute, didn’t you just come up with this shit? How come it keeps popping up in the past if it hadn’t yet been invented?
But as we well know faith moves mountains and immobilizes intelligence…

BTW, isn’t the following something that could be said just as appropriately about the Fellowship cult?

“Scientology promotes selfish attitude and appeals heavily to the innate ego. As human beings we are naturally self absorbed and our basic instincts are centralized around survival. The Church of Scientology takes advantage of this ancient characteristic to lure potential followers. The official website of Scientology portrays a heightened image of man; that “his capabilities are unlimited and those capabilities can be realized.” This is a deliberate device to convince people that they are somehow destined for a higher plain of enlightenment, and that this religion is their ultimate path. The website proceeds to boast an extensive knowledge of our “unlimited” capabilities, as not only is one “able to solve his own problems, accomplish his goals and gain lasting happiness,” but we can “achieve new, higher states of awareness and ability.” Scientologists seek power over their “capabilities” so that they can gain control over matter, energy, space, time, thoughts, form, and life. This extensive list of incentives is merely jargon that creates a heightened sense of oneself. It conveys the view that Scientologists are in contact with untapped powers only available because of their faith; that they posses new ethereal abilities exclusive to their religion.

Scientology is an organization with the pervasive purpose to proliferate capital and avenues for its hastened acquisition. This is implicated by various well obtained feats. The single greatest achievement for the Church of Scientology was the acquisition of tax exempt status in 1993. After a strenuous legal battle, in which all energy was funneled towards wealth rather than Scientollogical wisdom, the “church” emerged as victors. All funds are exclusively their own and can thus proliferate neglect of unwanted influences. This is a trait of many well established religions; however others do not arouse such suspicion simply because they prospered before tax exempt status was implicated, whereas Scientology only came to concrete fruition once its financial bases were covered. The profile for the Church of Scientology can thus be attributed to being more like an opportunistic enterprise rather than a guild for self enlightenment.

The perfection of this corporation is its ability to veil its true purposes. The invention of a pseudo-religious group provides the perfect guise for the proliferation of funds and simultaneously contributes to the cause directly. This is hidden securely by the development of Scientology the religion. The ingrained appeals to our ego that are interwoven into essential ideals, remove the focus from the implications of their actions. The official website of the Church of Scientology states that, “other efforts of man have been surpassed’, that the “combined truths of fifty thousand years of thinking men…have made for this success.” This statement is a device to contextualize the significance of Scientology and thus amplify its importance to the individual. The site also portrays “The Aims of Scientology” from Hubbard himself. It states that Scientologists desire, “a civilization…where man is free to reach greater heights,” and to “seek evolution to higher states of being for the individual and for society.” This is a terrible irony, as they pretend to encourage a connection with surreal phenomenon, such as eternal spirits, and yet they secretly seek gain in the most material way available to man.

Scientology is a pseudo-religious organization that has an astute understanding of the flaws and futilities of human nature. Its principles are masterfully woven to entrap the individual’s innate emotions and desires, such as a justification for their inadequacies or a reason for their inability to reach the ever-elusive full potential. Its ideals are sewn with the seed of irony, and the bizarre revelations that envelop its historic truths mock the trust followers express. Its hypocrisy and nature of moral degradation also diminish social perception of all religions, especially those that are innocent of repugnant motives. Thus it is a maligned presence in our society; the rotting fruit at the core of our collective desire for progression. Scientology should not be accepted, nor tolerated, if we wish to pursue positive development.”

From
http://hubpages.com/hub/Scientology—The-Study-of-Truth

54. lauralupa - July 29, 2008

hey arthur, what happened to you was very very scary!
with oodles of love and good wishes

May you never lay your head down,
without a hand to hold.
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

Just like im greeting some brother of mine,
you know that I love you true.
You never talk ‘n’ judge me behind my back
and I know that there’s thoes that do.

Oh please wont ya please wont ya bear it in mind
love is a lesson to learn in our time.
And please wont ya please wont ya bear it in mind for me?

May your never lay your head down,
without a hand to hold.
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

You’re just like a vry close sister to me
and you know that I love you true.
You hold no blame to stab me in my back
and I know that there some that do.

Oh please wont ya please wont ya bear it in mind
love is a lesson to learn in our time.
And please wont ya please wont ya bear it in mind for me?

May you never lay your head down,
without a hand to hold.
May you never make your bed out in the cold.

Just like Im greeting some brother of mine
you know that I love you true.
You never talk ‘n’ judge me behind my back
and I know that there’s thoes that do.

Oh please wont ya please wont ya bear it in mind
love is a lesson to learn in our time.
And please wont ya please wont ya bear it in mind for me?

May you never lose your temper,
if you get in a bar room fight.
May you never lose your woman overnignt.

May you never lay your head now,
without a hand to hold.
May you never make your bed out in the cold

55. Rear View Mirror - July 29, 2008

Traveler 50: “Do I want to influence members to make them change their opinions to be more in line with mine, because I know what’s good for them,…”

LOL. Yes, my thoughts EXACTLY.
Thanks, Traveler.

Cheers,
Rvm

56. Rear View Mirror - July 29, 2008

Traveler,
People sometimes don’t ‘hear’ information because they receive a preponderance of disinformation. Of course, none of the following will happen, but think of this example: What if the above posts by Ames and Associated Press were printed and hung in huge posters at several locations at “Apollo” and at “teaching houses” around the globe? And left there for weeks? What if talks were given by cult experts every few days? People’s thinking would begin to change.

It’s stimulus-response thinking. And when there’s no stimulus, there’s no response. That’s one reason, as you say, it’s not “fashionable” to hear dissent in the FOF… mainly because dissent doesn’t last very long, is not very persistent, and therefore it doesn’t leave much of an impression.

You wrote: “do I wish for them to think for themselves and decide independently,…”

Of course. But do we? Does anyone? Those are two other questions.

It’s very difficult for us stimulus-response humans to think independently when everyone and everything is telling us, “We must go to war. We must go to war. We must invade Iraq. We must invade Poland. We must stay in the FOF. We must not question. We must obey.”

And by the way, “obey” is a very prominent word in Ouspensky’s ‘Notes on the Decision to Work.” Whatever we may think about the man, he certainly had us primed and ready for the FOF experience…

“Think very seriously,” he wrote. “Are you really ready and willing to obey, and do you fully understand the necessity for it? There is no going back… Understanding of the necessity for obeying rules and direct instructions must be based on the realization of your mechanicalness and your helplessness… You can see, if you are sincere with yourself, all the blunders and the mistakes which you made when you tried to act by yourself. You cannot think rightly. You cannot feel rightly. You need constant help. And you can have it. But you must pay for it–at least, by not arguing.”

57. Traveler - July 29, 2008

OMG. This is from the Notes on the Decision to Work. To think how highly I esteemed that particular passage, how essential it was to my Work, how I would look down on those who did not take it seriously enough and with sufficient valuation, and how much I WANTED to follow. Mind-blowing.

58. Opus111 - July 29, 2008

I found the interview of Atkin quite interesting and revealing of the FOF cult phenomenon, at least for me.

REB may have innate qualities that made him a natural at manufacturing a cult brand. There were many aspects, features to that brand – intentionality and refinement come to mind- but REB own narcissistic, obsessive nature provided the necessary reinforcements for its proliferation and relative success. The creation of centers for instance, while not original in itself, created the tools for diffusion and marketing of the brand. The excruciating attention to details in preparing events, mostly dining events, provided that dazzle and buzz, albeit ephemeral, that keep people going. You package the whole thing in a rather complex and sophisticated system of ideas (rather irrelevant to REB, or so it seems), et voila, you have got yourself a pretty good scam, with plenty access to money, luxuries and sex, along with the fantasies it provides.

A lot of current members do acknowledge in some ways the brand (as in refinement and intentionality for instance), and in fact are very attached to that lifestyle, to the concept of “FOF family” or “Fellowship of Friends”, but in the process unknowingly have pushed further and further in the recess of their conscience the reality of coercion, corruption, fabrications, etc… let alone the dismissal of 4th way ideas that brought them here. They have replaced the enlightened ideals and ideas of their youth with the cold comfort and grim reality of a self-serving religion.

In a way, much like the supposedly cultivated and self-aware clientele of a Mac cafe (in Atkin interview) who know they are only using a box of electronics, still frown at the PC intruders, so do FOF members scowl at critics of their cult who dare question its validity and show its rot, not because it is not true, but because it is their brand, their family.

59. jack - July 29, 2008

Hi all. The best to you ! Particularly Arthur.
The video below although a bit dated is still relevant to the Fellowship experience.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=+captive+minds&sitesearch=#

Jx

60. brucelevy - July 29, 2008

57. Opus111

For me the “brand” was already there before I met the FOF and RB. Many people were attracted to the “4th way” as a brand through the series of books, and it only took the existence of an apparent channel that reflected the brand to attract people to something they were innately drawn to aside from RB and his delusions.
As far as I’m concerned RB bastardized the brand beyond recognition, where it is now simply the cult of utter stupidity, greed and obliviousness.

61. brucelevy - July 29, 2008

RB is the equivalent of “knock offs” of Nike or Gucci. It falls apart with little strain on the material.

62. arthur - July 29, 2008

brucelevy 59 and 60,

AMEN!!

63. Opus111 - July 29, 2008

Bruce 59/60:

True. You know how some people will casually say about an object: “I could never live without it”, obviously exaggerating the importance the object has in their existence and knowing perfectly well they would survive just fine without it. Similarly, a lot of current (long time) members say: ” I could not never leave the FOF”, implying some sort of physical attachment to FOF and perhaps imminent death or other catastrophe if they were to leave. That being said, many testimonials here have revealed it is often difficult to overcome the grief and sense of loss after leaving.

I just think current times are different. The virtual and actual communities of ex and non members seem healthy and are supportive, and as Atkin says, the crap that REB is trying to perpetuate does not fly very far before it gets caught in the world wide web.

64. My4Bits - July 29, 2008

Robert Burton does not produce consciousness; he consumes it.

65. Rear View Mirror - July 29, 2008

56. Traveler: “OMG. This is from the Notes on the Decision to Work. To think how highly I esteemed that particular passage, how essential it was to my Work, how I would look down on those who did not take it seriously enough and with sufficient valuation, and how much I WANTED to follow. Mind-blowing.”

Yes, my sentiments as well. I hadn’t read the passage for years. Apparently, I was vulnerable to such unchallenged premises — that we are weak and helpless, that we need to obey, and so forth.

“You cannot think rightly. You cannot feel rightly. You need constant help.” We were bombarded by these ideas in the FOF.

Reminding ourselves that sometimes we do need help — or even that we often need help — is wise for all of us. But there’s very little sound reasoning or “understanding” in Ouspensky’s unchallenged premise that “you cannot think rightly” and that “you cannot feel rightly”. Cannot is a strong word. And if I cannot, the hidden premise is that there is someone out there for me who can think rightly, and who can feel rightly.

Although….. since I cannot think rightly and feel rightly, it’s a little scary isn’t it? How am I to truly recognize someone who does if I don’t have the same in myself?

Yes, very mind blowing that I bought into these ideas.

66. Rear View Mirror - July 29, 2008

Arthur (29 and 33), best wishes, and welcome back.

67. Yesri Baba - July 29, 2008

52

Laura, you wrote-

“The great ploy was to find traces of the Sequence in every time and every place, conveniently validating its essential importance and universality, but NEVER IN THE PRESENT.”

Check this out-

“The Great Traditions hold that involution and evolution take place across three great arcs: the lifetime of the Kosmos, our own lifetimes, and indeed, with our every breath. Ken Wilber’s latest thinking on structure-stages and state-stages provides a fascinating glimpse into not only our lives’ trajectories through these stages, but also into the microgeny (moment-to-moment unfolding of a sequence) of our experience as human beings. In this week’s featured audio, he shares his thoughts with Gabriel Nossovitch, from the “Myth of the Given” conference call.

Essentially, says Ken, we begin every moment in a state of nondual Suchness. But if we have yet to stabilize that state into a state-stage, that state will be pre-conscious to us, and we will undergo the first contraction, into the causal realm of the Witness and all that is witnessed. If we have yet to stabilize that state, we will contract into the subtle realm of the soul. And if we have yet to stabilize that state, we will contract into the gross realm of the ego and our conventional self. So with every moment, we “fall down the stairs,” cascading down from suchness until the point of our state realization. Here, we recognize ourselves, in a dynamic similar to what the Tibetan Book of the Dead teaches about the Bardo and our experience after death. And this world (and with it, all “lower” worlds) arises in our experience.”

68. nigel harris price - July 29, 2008

Dear Arthur
I think I am a healer in as much as I try to be a positive influence in my work, with my friends and the community. I think we all know we are getting older (and I am over the 50 mark) and the physicality of it sets in. Since I have started my teaching business in silversmithing and jewellery, my aim is to leave a legacy of good work to and with my students and, hopefully, to hand the studio and tools over to a younger ‘follower’, when I pass over. Do you have any similar desires?………….Nigel

69. Joe Average - July 29, 2008

56. Traveler
64. Rear View Mirror

I remember at the end of a FOF center (it is deprogramming just to spell it the US way) dinner long ago someone read the “Notes on the Decision to Work”. As it was being read, Michael S-vick started, in a very low voice at first but building to a crescendo, to imitate the sound of a large plane flying low overhead. Initially people seemed to shrug off this markedly unFOFish behavior as just an idiosyncrasy, but eventually someone had the courage to ask him why he did that. He laughed and said “a B-52 loaded with Feminine Dominance dropping a load on us.”
I was able then to understand the remark and find it hilarious and simultaneously to totally accept Ouspensky’s bullshit.
From Orwell’s “1984” (roughly from memory)
“It goes without saying that the members of the Inner Party were the most artful and subtle practitioners of Doublethink.”
My ability to occasionally recognize the absurdities and manipulation in “The System” and Burton’s psychotic chicken gumbo sauce overlying it and yet still be certain of its higher purpose was classic doublethink and put me in the inner circus. Movement within the hierarchy usually depended on the amount of absurdity/criminality one could recognize or even actively create while still maintaining the delusion.

70. Joe Average - July 29, 2008

56. Traveler
64. Rear View Mirror

I remember at the end of a FOF center (it is deprogramming just to spell it the US way) dinner long ago someone read the “Notes on the Decision to Work”. As it was being read, Michael S-vick started, in a very low voice at first but building to a crescendo, to imitate the sound of a large plane flying low overhead. Initially people seemed to shrug off this markedly unFOFish behavior as just an idiosyncrasy, but eventually someone had the courage to ask him why he did that. He laughed and said “a B-52 loaded with Feminine Dominance dropping a load on us.”
I was able then to understand the remark and find it hilarious and simultaneously to totally accept Ouspensky’s bullshit.
From Orwell’s “1984” (roughly from memory)
“It goes without saying that the members of the Inner Party were the most artful and subtle practitioners of Doublethink.”
My ability to occasionally recognize the absurdities and manipulation in “The System” and Burton’s psychotic chicken gumbo sauce overlying it and yet still be certain of its higher purpose was classic doublethink and put me in the inner circus. Movement within the hierarchy usually depended on the amount of absurdity/criminality one could recognize or even actively create while still maintaining the delusion.

71. somebody - July 29, 2008

More brainwashing

– “You will see them all in yourself – Moses, Jesus, Abraham, Noah, Adam, Eve, Satan, Gabriel, Elijah. You will see them within yourself” (Shams of Tabriz). Here Shams names eight conscious beings, and Satan. You will see the eight conscious beings within yourself in the four wordless breaths, and you will also see Satan – the lower self – trying to block presence.

– This unforgettable image portrays Christ with a square halo. It also shows the moon reflected in his left eye, and a six-pointed star shining in his right eye, signifying the steward supporting the four wordless breaths.

– Shakespeare said, “But wherefore do not a mightier way/Make war upon this bloody tyrant, Time?” – why do you not make a sequential war upon this bloody tyrant – the lower self? “Call Christ to mind” – intone the sequence.

– “Everyone has a Jesus within him, waiting to be born.” (Jalaluddin Rumi) Everyone has a sequence within him, waiting for Be to be called upon and to act.

– A fifteen-century Persian miniature depicts Jonah emerging from the mouth of the whale. The archangel Gabriel is bringing Jonah the garment of virtues – the sequence – to free him from the intestinal lower self. Gabriel, with six feathers in his right wing, represents short Be. He touches the spine of the whale with his four toes.

– A gold and silver Chimu bowl from Moche, Peru, represents the nine of hearts, with a large opening to support the four wordless breaths. The silver side of the bowl represents the sequence in the second state of consciousness, while the gold side represents the four wordless breaths of presence. It is a unique object in schools.

72. Yesri Baba - July 30, 2008

“Heard there was a recent robbery at Apollo, anyone knows the details?”

Someone made a “teaching payment”.

BWAAAAHAHAHAHA!!!

73. Rear View Mirror - July 30, 2008

Someone got it!

… or were you laughing “at” me… 😀

74. elena - July 30, 2008

Arthur,
That’s a beautiful thing to say and just as beautiful to hear. Thank you. They are hard words to live up to and sometimes we’ve all been more like a curse than a blessing but it is a good thing to keep trying to live up to them.

Traveler, I would like to attempt a conversation around your question. “If many people in the FOF would hear dissent only when it became the next fashionable thing, has any essential change happened in them?”
When things become “fashionable” they have gone through their own process. As Ton said some time ago in a quote, paraphrasing: “when we first hear something we reject it, then we fight it then it becomes common knowledge” but the process for a thing to become common knowledge is precisely the necessary struggle to sift it through our limitations and then, consciousness is raised. We could say that we have all been in the fellowship simply because we did not have the consciousness to be anywhere else and some of us left it when we were able to raise our consciousness above it. Once consciousness becomes common knowledge then laws establish boundaries that do not allow for the phenomenon to repeat itself. Slavery would be one example. When Cults are banned, then spiritual slavery will be another. Cults may prove to be the last stage of Totalitarism or remnants of Dictatorships in the human process.

What seems to bother you is precisely that statement or position in which someone could say, “This is more conscious than that”. You’re right Traveler. To be able to say that, the person has to have a system of beliefs that allows h/im/er to say it. For me personally, as you well know, a Cult that separates its members from their families, friends and humanity is less conscious than people who do not make these separations. Any form of separation between one’s self and the World at large is an aspect of our unconsciousness. Few members leave with the consciousness or realization that they are hurt in their integrity by the practices and ideology within the Cult. Mostly people cannot bear one or another aspect and finally quit or are thrown out for not submitting to the practices but most are not aware of the fact that they preserved enough integrity to not submit totally to anyone or anything which is nothing but slavery, physical or spiritual. In the Fellowship, it is justified with the idea that the disciple must give his will up to his teacher’s. In a different context, giving one’s will up to one’s Teacher means opening one’s trust, but if one trusts, blindly giving up one’s common sense about the most elementary facts, then one’s surrender is simply an aspect of one’s level of being. Fanatics lose themselves in idolatry, they can never develop and in the long run, thwart the leader’s possibilities if he is still identified with his own ego.

“It seems the question is big beyond how much time I want to give it right now, but I would like to hear more thoughts on this if someone else has already done the thinking. Do I want to influence members to make them change their opinions to be more in line with mine, because I know what’s good for them, or do I wish for them to think for themselves and decide independently, regardless of where that brings them at this point in time – and how are these two perspectives related? Many sub-questions”

“influence members to make them CHANGE their opinion to be more in line with mine”

That is a very interesting way to put it.
“Mine” is a limitation to consciousness. Consciousness is expansive and it is not “mine”. It is every human being’s.
“make them” is forcing a situation. Forcing is violence. Situations often force us into consciousness but consciousness cannot force itself on us.
“Influence” is the result of communicating. We influence each other by simply listening to each other with consideration. Our consciousness expands whether we agree with each other or not because light is put in areas that we did not conceive of.
“Change” in consciousness is the natural result of sharing amongst individuals. It is a form of love that increases everyone’s level of being. Communication or sharing are aspects of love. Love is the only thing that changes people’s level of being whether it is in the love they establish with the world through their work, the love they develop in their marriages or in the society they belong to. Consciousness is the connectedness of all things in the Universe, love is what makes these connections possible. Conscious beings are like electricians trying to connect cables of light. Each human being is a cable but most treat ourselves as if we were snakes. We are in fact always connected with the world outside. Only in our unconsciousness we use our will to disconnect from the world outside through the myriad “programs”, “ideologies” or “educations” that our identifications with class, nationality or race produce. We spend our lives actively trying to deny our integrity, especially in Cults. The fact that those inside the Fellowship are separated from the rest of humanity, is simply, extremely dangerous for their evolution. It matters to me. It matters more than our separation from nature and its destruction or many social struggles in different nations perhaps because Cults are intentionally acting against consciousness by trying to separate their members from the rest of humanity, while other struggles are trying to raise it, preserving its integrity. Even AA groups have a much higher degree of consciousness than the Fellowship of Friend’s Cult.

If we can simply keep in our perspective of the world the things that separate and the things that unite, we’ll already be in a better track to understand what is more or less conscious, more or less connected, has more or less integrity in its conception. We can apply that to our movements as much as our thoughts. Our acts as much as our feelings. In every act we express more or less love, more or less connectedness.

75. Joe Average - July 30, 2008

58. jack Thanks for the link. It is very appropriate. Seeing the extreme methods used by the groups portrayed there
in a warped way almost makes me admire the relatively subtle methods RB and his inheritors used. Almost. They are old-school cults. Scientology was perhaps the genesis of new-school cults. Carlos Castaneda (Tensegrity), Werner Erhardt (EST), and Alex Horn all learned on L. Ron Hubbard’s knee before going off a-culting on their own. Even compared to them, the FOF was fairly restrained. The kind of direct physical violence and threats of violence against members, former members and other detractors that was a feature of the other cults was rarely, if ever, a facet of the FOF experience.

76. Rear View Mirror - July 30, 2008

Joe Average, thanks for sharing that great story, and for your comments: “Movement within the hierarchy usually depended on the amount of absurdity/criminality one could recognize or even actively create while still maintaining the delusion.”

There’s a type of machismo related to this… The attitude is that I see what RB is doing and what he’s up to, but I am not one of the weak ones. I am strong and undeterred and honorable and loyal to what I believe to be a higher calling. If I see something unsavory, I don’t get queasy like a girl. If someone is hurt along the way, I can’t speak to that. It is out of my hands. I have no choice. I am strong.

But that person does have a choice. I always thought there was more strength and honor in learning to recognize the truth, and trying to live by it, and in following conscience despite the odds being difficult. To me, that is strength. Taking the viewpoint that people are hopelessly doomed and weak and “asleep.” — that is weakness, and just plain stupidity on my part when I believed it.

The six steps of the “sequence” — shocking news break — are not something new after all. The six steps were cleverly crafted by Burton from Day 1, or maybe Day 2 or 3.

Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey.

(See Notes on the Decision to Work — 55.)

77. veronicapoe - July 30, 2008

“We note with pride that one man remains beyond all criticism, and that is the Fuhrer. This is because everyone senses and knows: he is always right, and he will always be right. The National Socialism of all of us is anchored in uncritical loyalty, in a surrender to the Fuhrer that does not ask about the why in individual cases, in the silent execution of his orders. We believe that the Fuhrer is obeying a higher call to shape German history. There can be no criticism of this belief.”

Rudolf Hess

78. Rear View Mirror - July 30, 2008

Yes.

79. Rear View Mirror - July 30, 2008

“This is because everyone senses and knows…”

Say it often enough, and we begin to believe. Everyone knows. Everyone knows who is important and smart and strong. Those who are weak and stupid do not know. And we even begin to believe that our belief is not a belief, but actually a fact or a “verification.” And of course, it is obvious to those who are strong. Everyone senses and knows. Uncritical loyalty. Surrender. No criticism. Always right. Silent execution.

80. Traveler - July 30, 2008

Hi Elena, thank you for offering to attempt a conversation (73) around this topic that is obviously important to me and you and many of us on this blog. I appreciate the even tone and composure that I sense from your last letter – that makes it easy for me to connect and respond.

So let me see first if I understand what you are saying, and please let me know if I’m misinterpreting or mishearing any of what you have said: A society grows and matures, and its laws and regulations are a reflection of the general level of consciousness of the people that make up that society. You envision a society that will have evolved to a degree where it will ban cults. You seem to be saying that you have understood me to dismiss any notion that one type of social organization could be more conscious than another. In other words, that I take every manifestation of human existence as equally conscious. You want to make it clear that you consider the divisiveness of a cult less conscious than other forms of human communities that don’t create so much separation. You are concerned that people in cults do not realize the full extent of their physical or spiritual slavery.

You then focus on my question: “Do I want to influence members to make them change their opinions to be more in line with mine, because I know what’s good for them, or do I wish for them to think for themselves and decide independently, regardless of where that brings them at this point in time – and how are these two perspectives related?”

You are saying, “consciousness is every human being’s” – implying a universal consciousness, and that you feel your consciousness is more expanded now than when you were in the FOF. You say “situations often force us into consciousness but consciousness cannot force itself on us”. You say that influence and change come when we share and listen to each other and consider questions we did not conceive of, which leads to expanding consciousness. And that love is the only thing that changes people’s level of being. You say we all have the capacity to connect and spread this love, and, as I interpret it, it is saddening or disheartening for you to see people cut themselves off from their full potential and pretend to be separate. You are very concerned that this is dangerous to their evolution, and you see Cults as intentionally opposing consciousness. You believe it would be helpful to all of us to be aware of those things that unite, as distinct from those things that separate, and then we would more likely be guided towards what you value, more love and connectedness.

There are many things in what I hear you saying that I happen to agree with. I do see cults as a remnant of a much older, simpler and more “primitive” human way of being together, and if what I have said in the past has led you to believe that I consider cults just as advanced and free as any other social institution, it means I did not make myself understood well. I would agree that people in a cultist mindset are not conscious of the degree of their spiritual slavery, and I also feel much more free, loving and happier since changing my outlook on life. My experience has also been that we influence each other in everything we do, and that love, rather than ideas, is that which has true transformative power.

There are also several points in which my thinking differs from yours, and I can offer them here for you to consider and explore, if you would like to continue this conversation.

Although I would tend to agree that the laws of a society are a reflection of its general level of advancement, I would question correlating advancement with how many things a society bans (i.e. “banning cults would be more advanced/conscious”, is what I understood you to say). My personal view, which is of course open to dispute, is that the more “taboos” and prohibitions a society maintains, the more it is gripped by fear and lack of freedom. If it is within human ability to not live in cults, true advancement to me would mean a society where cults don’t need to be banned because it would simply never occur to people to adopt a cultist mindset. To me, banning the external form of cults may stop people from joining an officially recognized tax-exempt institution, but if there is a need for them in the society, cults will simply go underground (and possibly increase the feeling of specialness). Cults exist because people are ignorant enough to NEED them, and banning cults seems like treating symptoms rather than the cause. Does that make sense, or would you like me to explain more?

Could you please explain more about this statement: “Situations often force us into consciousness but consciousness cannot force itself on us”, and maybe give some examples? I sense there is some truth being expressed, but I am not quite certain that I know for sure what you wanted to say.

It is also sad for me to see people, some of whom I have been close to, go on inside the FOF, because I recognize that much more is possible, and because I imagine to some extent that, since leaving made me happier, it might also make them happier. I have not been afraid to express my opinions to any member directly, when the situation arises, and I have done my share of spreading information. However, I don’t have thoughts about telling them that the FOF is dangerous for them, and wanting to see them leave as my aim – maybe that’s because I know how I once was myself, and how ineffectual it was to try to convince me before it was my time. I do not want to be just another authority, like RB, telling them what is best for their evolution. I feel deeply that everyone must come to their own understanding, from within, at their own time, and the best I can do is to simply be available to them, my hand open – not pushing, not pulling, not adversarial, not accusing, not ridiculing, not condemning, not dismissing, but just being an example simply by living my life the way I want to live it, and encouraging and supporting their own thinking faculty as it shows itself.

I will stop here as I think this is already quite enough to discuss for a start.

81. paulshabram - July 30, 2008

Traveler 79

“My personal view, which is of course open to dispute, is that the more “taboos” and prohibitions a society maintains, the more it is gripped by fear and lack of freedom.”

I agree with this view. It seems that a more highly evolved society would not have a need for taboos and prohibitions, or laws for that matter. We humans, unfortunately (or fortunately), are so evolved as to assemble such a utopia. Complete freedom would somehow be able to accommodate evil as well as good. I think this is possible only with a great deal more space in which to live.

“Do I want to influence members to make them change their opinions to be more in line with mine, because I know what’s good for them, or do I wish for them to think for themselves and decide independently, regardless of where that brings them at this point in time – and how are these two perspectives related?”

I believe these are the same.

You state “I don’t have thoughts about telling them that the FOF is dangerous for them, and wanting to see them leave as my aim”

I do not believe you when you make this statement. Precisely because I agree with your approach:

“I feel deeply that everyone must come to their own understanding, from within, at their own time, and the best I can do is to simply be available to them, my hand open – not pushing, not pulling, not adversarial, not accusing, not ridiculing, not condemning, not dismissing, but just being an example simply by living my life the way I want to live it, and encouraging and supporting their own thinking faculty as it shows itself.”

But you know, as we all know, that the “free will” has no place in the FOF. Your aim is then freedom of will for those that are not free. Therefore your aim is to see them leave… The FOF can never exist as a viable environment for freedom of will; it would no longer be the FOF.

82. paulshabram - July 30, 2008

correction:
We humans, unfortunately (or fortunately), are NOT so evolved as to assemble such a utopia.

83. Traveler - July 30, 2008

Hi Paul, just one aspect of your reply to me (80) that seems to invite clarification:
Paul says: “You state “I don’t have thoughts about telling them that the FOF is dangerous for them, and wanting to see them leave as my aim”
I do not believe you when you make this statement. Precisely because I agree with your approach:
“I feel deeply that everyone must come to their own understanding, from within, at their own time, …”
But you know, as we all know, that the “free will” has no place in the FOF. Your aim is then freedom of will for those that are not free. Therefore your aim is to see them leave…

From what you are saying, it seems to me that you interpret “my aim” as the same thing as “what I would ideally wish for people”?
What I would ideally wish for people is that they might think for themselves, trust themselves, be free of constraints, rules, fear, need to please and appease. Their leaving or not leaving is not the main focus of what I wish for them, although I believe they would be much more likely to leave if the above were true.
What I actually do in interaction with members is that I try to allow their point of view. If they hear from me or someone else that FOF is “dangerous for their evolution”, I do not see that as helpful to their potential inner transformation. If I would like them to think for themselves and be free, it seems counterproductive to serve them opinions on a platter. It is for them to decide whether the FOF is dangerous.
As for what my aim is, as in, “what do I concretely want to happen”, I can’t really say that I have one. There is suffering in the world. I find not-suffering more enjoyable, but feel no ambition or responsibility that I should make sure it goes all away.
Does that give you a different perspective on what was said?

84. Richard M. - July 30, 2008

76. veronicapoe – July 30, 2008

“We note with pride that one man remains beyond all criticism, and that is the Fuhrer. This is because everyone senses and knows: he is always right, and he will always be right. The National Socialism of all of us is anchored in uncritical loyalty, in a surrender to the Fuhrer that does not ask about the why in individual cases, in the silent execution of his orders. We believe that the Fuhrer is obeying a higher call to shape German history. There can be no criticism of this belief.”

Rudolf Hess
__________________________________________
For those not up on their WWII history:
This quote is from the same Herr Hess, Hitler’s personal secretary and No. 3 in the Nazi Inner circle, who, apparently came to his senses and literally bailed-out on his dear Fuhrer, parachuting from an airplane and landing in England, where he sat out the end of WWII in prison. Hitler’s explanation to his followers was that Hess had gone insane. Sounds familiar….

85. Ellen - July 30, 2008

Hi All –

And those quiet ones listening here, too.

In case it is helpful for anyone here, I suggest trying to look at what “being present” means to you – in your own experience. In the English language, the terms consciousness and awareness are mostly used synonomously, however each word really does have a separate nuance, doesn’t it? Look and see.

Fully realized beings tend to speak about their experience-understanding in terms of awareness, a unitive awareness without borders, etc…
******while*****
Spiritual teachers may teach various techniques for presence in consciousness, personal, individual, separate, etc…

To my mind the difference is both subtle and huge and one that, until recently, I had never thought of before. Ideally, personal-presence-consciousness can lead to non personal awareness, however that is not always the case (most often it is not). Probably the difference is already about extremely subtle levels, which is also why it may be difficult to discuss? Words themselves are all on the same level, this vibrating electronic keyboard, fingers pointing at moons…

And you, current member of the Fellowship reading this, think, and inquire within, what do these terms mean to you and what does your teacher teach you? Are you being guided towards a release of your own ego restrictions into (an already existing) living awareness by someone who selflessly exists in that space, too? Or do you sense any kind of remaining hidden agenda in his personal consciousness? Do these 42 pages of comments testify to the inclusive awareness of a man without a shadow? Or rather to a mutant ninja turtle of consciousness?

Look. See. Inquire within, as that is the only place for you to discover what you need to know.

Awareness is here. Give it recognition.

86. Yesri Baba - July 30, 2008

72 RVM

I thought it was hilarious when I first read it and thought it a good time to repost it after that flurry of crap ‘somebody’ posted from the ‘Teacher’…..BWAAAAHAHAHAHA!

87. Across the River - July 30, 2008

There are current members who still believe devotion to Robert is what personally connects them to celestial influence, and most likely they will suffer when their psychological tapestry unravels. Hopefully there will be someone there to help them when that happens.

Others live on the fence, feeling too clever to buy it outright, their conscience somewhat conflicted, but too attached to trust the calling of their very own life-force. They’re in limbo.

Then, what about those whose new **truth** is that the Fellowship lifestyle is what matters most, and the bottom-line is protecting it. For them it’s not so hard to keep lesser concerns at a distance, because together with others like them they neatly share a group mind that neatly frees them from personal responsibility.

As far as I’m concerned these **member types** are very different, and personally I’m only interested in the first two because connection may still be possible.

88. Bares Reposting - July 30, 2008

‘There must be feeling amongst the membership that the people who run the cult feel as committed to them as they are committed to the cult. If there’s any inequality in that sense of responsibility, the cult will break apart, often violently. For example, in one cult I investigated called the Fellowship of Friends in California, a classic cult based on the teachings of [Peter] Ouspensky, people gave up their whole lives and lived in a commune to follow [Robert Earl] Burton. Burton was then accused of molesting some of his followers and embezzling money. The moment that was discovered, that lack of trust was revealed, that lack of commitment was exposed, the cult began to disintegrate.’

Yeah, (sarcastically), I guess the leaving FoF and the FoF disintegration was/is/will be all about the sex issue (per Walter T. – shows you what’s on his mind) and little or nothing to do with the violation of trust issue.

# # # # # #

52. lauralupa – July 29, 2008

In as few words as possible: hub bub, bub!

# # # # # #

68. Joe Average – July 29, 2008
69. Joe Average – July 29, 2008

That sure looks like ‘Doublethink’ to me.

# # # # # #

75. Rear View Mirror – July 30, 2008:
‘Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey.’

Did you really mean:
Oh! Be; why?
Oh! Be; why?
Oh! Be; why?
Oh! Be; why?
Oh! Be; why?
Oh! Be; why?

89. jack - July 30, 2008

Or…….

Oh,be,Oh,be, Oh,be!
Obey! Oh,be, Ok!
Obey, Oh,be, O,why?
Obey, Oh,be, be,coz!
Oh, be, One,
Can no be.

Sorry !!!
( May the farce be with you! )
Do not allow yourself to be seduced by the dark side Luke Skywalker.
Jx

90. arthur - July 30, 2008

nigel (67),

The passing on of one’s work, I believe is on the order of admiration and necessary. As an example, we have a master potter and saddle maker. When their “helpers” produce their own work it reflects on their “teacher”. As in, “where did you learn how to do such a piece of art”? “Nigel taught me”. And, they in turn pass it on to the next generation. I also believe there is healing and healers in the “arts and crafts”.

As for me, my only desire is to pay attention to my breathing. As the motto of the Lung Association states, “without breath nothing else matters”.

91. ton - July 30, 2008

73 elena “Communication or sharing are aspects of love….”
75 rvm ‘Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey. Obey.’

this reminded me of something i heard on the radio a while back…. one of the interviewees stated:

“listening is an act of love…”

there is no real listening going on in the followship…. the dictatorial nature (no pun intended) and existing power structure does not allow for listening and any claim that it is a “school of love” is completely fraudulent… how can anyone confuse robert burton’s form of satyriasis with love? it’s a school of selfishness, “profound” only in how deeply misguided are it’s adherents. that people are still buying into it is astonishing.

http://www.democracynow.org/2007/12/3/listening_is_an_act_of_love

92. Vena - July 30, 2008

About the thefts – I did hear that there have been numerous thefts and acts of vandalism. The cash registers from Apollo d’Oro were stolen, taken to the winery and smashed, the Lewis Carroll School has been broken into and computers taken and money has been taken from purses. I believe there have been other incidents as well and they may be on the increase.

93. paulshabram - July 30, 2008

Traveler 82
No you are clear. I am the one not being clear. I really think your approach is backed by a very good understanding of people and the situation. That you can have conversations in-vivo speaks volumes. The more the conversation moves to a “normal” one the better. I don’t want to talk you out of the position you have staked.

“There is suffering in the world. I find not-suffering more enjoyable, but feel no ambition or responsibility that I should make sure it goes all away.” Is this cold or compassionate?

94. Rear View Mirror - July 30, 2008

Vena, thanks for sharing that news. It’s easy to imagine what the “spin” might be on these thefts. Imo, keeping a critical eye on this is a good idea — i.e., watching what Burton and others say about it (if anything), and watching what actions they take (if any). The timing is interesting, given the recent protests and the news articles. It definitely gives Burton a chance to claim a “persecuted FOF,” and turn people’s attention away from the serious violations of trust occurring in his cult, and the many other issues mentioned in this blog and on other websites. I’ll be curious to see what happens next, if anything.

Just my two cents worth. Everyone have a great day. 😉

95. We Were There - July 30, 2008

90. ton

‘there is no real listening going on in the followship….’

“The Followship of Friends” – I like it!

96. lauralupa - July 30, 2008

RVM 54
“Think very seriously,” he wrote. “Are you really ready and willing to obey, and do you fully understand the necessity for it? There is no going back… Understanding of the necessity for obeying rules and direct instructions must be based on the realization of your mechanicalness and your helplessness… You can see, if you are sincere with yourself, all the blunders and the mistakes which you made when you tried to act by yourself. You cannot think rightly. You cannot feel rightly. You need constant help. And you can have it. But you must pay for it–at least, by not arguing.”

Now that’s what I would call a series of dangerous memes! It would be interesting to do a serious study of Fourth Way books by various authors, and explore all the ideas that can be easily employed by ill-willing individuals to create cohercive and cultish environments. Also, how these ideas were passed on and in different ways modified and corrupted as they moved from Gurdjieff to his various followers and on to their followers. In the meanwhile, still playing with the memes idea (meme?), I found this on religion and faith:

Memes – the skeptic’s dissection of religion

Among many anthropologists, sociologists and philosophers, it has recently become fashionable to dismiss all religions as memes – parasitic mental processes which propagate in the same manner as chain letters [Dawkins 1989, Dennett 1995]. In this view, religious belief is a self-perpetuating delusion. A meme (rhymes with ‘dream’) may be defined as any self-referential belief system which contains within itself the instructions for its own propagation. Memes are often described as the cultural equivalents of computer viruses.

A meme carries exactly the same fear-driven psychological motivation as a chain letter – “If you propagate me then something nice will happen, if not then something horrible will happen”. In order to justify themselves against attack by reason, memes place absolute reliance on faith, which is seen as being superior to reason. They also contain self-referential or circular claims to the truth such as “This meme says it is the divine truth. Since it is the divine truth whatever its says must be true. Therefore it must be divine truth because it says so and all competing memes must be the work of the Devil”.

These two types of self-referential statement “propagate me” and “I am the only truth” provide the driving force for memes to invade the minds of their hosts. In addition, many memes contain the instructions “Help people who believe in this meme, attack people who do not”. These commands being the ultimate cause of all religious hatred, wars, pogroms and persecutions throughout the centuries.

The general defining features of all memes can thus be seen to be self-referential ‘closed-loop’ type of circular statements, and a strong tendency towards hatred and intolerance.

The science of the study of memes, their internal structures and modes of propagation is known as memetics (by analogy to genetics – how biological entities propagate themselves).

More detailed analysis will usually show the following features:
Like a virus such as rabies a successful meme must perform two actions:

– Overpower the resistance of its host.
– Bring about the conditions for its spread.

To establish itself in the mind of its host it will use some or all of the following mechanisms:

[1] Promise heaven for belief. This may involve frustrating the host’s normal sexual urges and redirecting them into sexual fantasies of the hereafter.

[2] Threaten eternal punishment in hell for disbelief.

[3] Boost the believers’ egos by telling them they are ‘chosen’ or superior to believers in false memes.

[4] Disable the faculties of disbelief (‘immune response’) by claiming that faith is superior to reason.

[5] Establish itself as the One True Meme, usually by some sort of holy book containing a circular self-referential argument such as:

X is the one true meme. We know X is the one true meme because The Source of Universal Truth has approved X. We know The Source of Universal Truth has approved X, because X contains statements which say so. We know what X says is true because X is the one true meme.

Once it has parasitised the mind of its host, a meme needs to propagate itself. A successful meme will contain instructions for some or all of the following:

[6] Holy war – convert or kill all unbelievers.

[7] Intimidation and terrorism – threaten and discriminate against unbelievers.

[8] Enforced social isolation or even death to apostates. (An apostate is a host which has cured itself of a meme-infection. It is especially dangerous to the meme because it might pass on meme-resistance to others).

[9] Fecundism – encourage true believers to breed faster than believers in false memes.

[10] Censorship – prevent rival memes from reaching potential hosts (a theological doctrine known as ‘Error has no rights’) and forbid rational analysis of the meme itself.

[11] Disinformation – spread lies about rival memes.

from
http://kwelos.tripod.com/memes.htm

97. elena - July 30, 2008

Hi Traveler,

Thanks for your accurate interpretation of what I said but for these areas.
T. “You seem to be saying that you have understood me to dismiss any notion that one type of social organization could be more conscious than another. In other words, that I take every manifestation of human existence as equally conscious.”

I didn’t say or imply that, there’s a misunderstanding here. I’m glad that you understood the position though.

T.“Although I would tend to agree that the laws of a society are a reflection of its general level of advancement, I would question correlating advancement with how many things a society bans (i.e. “banning cults would be more advanced/conscious”, is what I understood you to say).”

I’m not looking for all cults to be banned or freedom of religion to be abolished but for laws to be passed that will not allow institutions to fall below freedoms already acquired because it places people below them selves to a point in which they become slaves. I thoroughly agree with the rest of your position, especially the one that would rather cults were not needed and didn’t show up. I guess the difference is that when they show up and fall into infra-human behavior I have no qualms in fining them or banning them, just as I would not stop myself from forbidding a child to hurt somebody else.

T.“Could you please explain more about this statement: “Situations often force us into consciousness but consciousness cannot force itself on us”, and maybe give some examples? I sense there is some truth being expressed, but I am not quite certain that I know for sure what you wanted to say.”

It is not rare for consciousness to press itself on us when we are put under pressure or shocked by a tragedy. Such experiences often seem to be necessary checks on our conscience that result in the expansion of consciousness. You ask for examples. In observing our selves it is not difficult to come to those checks whenever we are being first force in no matter what enterprise. Sooner or later the experience tends to reveal one’s own limitations and the possibility to grow actualizes itself. It is when there are no longer any checks that crystallization can take place either because no checks are necessary or because they have been banned. If the Fellowship had not banned any checks on Robert, he would not have become as corrupt as he has, so quickly nor would have so many of the other members and the group at large. When the dialogue within the community ceases to exist, that is, when there is no second line, the forms of the group crystallize and a descending octave or retrograde process or simply degenaration takes place.

The idea that consciousness cannot impose itself on us has to do with its nature. Meher Baba put it beautifully in a text in which he said something like God was shy and he would not show its self to us unless we were passive enough. It takes great amount of work to be passive enough as you and so many here probably know.

T” However, I don’t have thoughts about telling them that the FOF is dangerous for them, and wanting to see them leave as my aim – maybe that’s because I know how I once was myself, and how ineffectual it was to try to convince me before it was my time. I do not want to be just another authority, like RB, telling them what is best for their evolution. I feel deeply that everyone must come to their own understanding, from within, at their own time, and the best I can do is to simply be available to them, my hand open – not pushing, not pulling, not adversarial, not accusing, not ridiculing, not condemning, not dismissing, but just being an example simply by living my life the way I want to live it, and encouraging and supporting their own thinking faculty as it shows itself.”

I guess these are the things you are willing to recognize about what I am doing. I do not deny that I’ve done and overdone many of these things. Still, I’m not afraid of standing outside the bubble and trying to pinch it as hard as I can. While you think it is enough for you to be available to a few friends, I think the disease is too widespread to treat it with band aids. It is bleeding to death and the difference in our techniques is related to the difference in our perception of the maladie. There is a story in which Rumi beats the hell out of a man who has swallowed a snake until the snake leaves him. This is the story I believe we are in. I am not ashamed of the stick. In fact, I’m convinced too many members and exmembers are still deeply indoctrinated in trying to be in the king of hearts to deal with the pigs eating the crops. ‘It is wrong work of centers’. Some people are too scared of the pigs, some can’t be bothered with them and others just can’t let the pigs do whatever they like uncontrolled. Just different relativities and consciousnesses. You are concerned about the few people you know who are your friends, I am concerned about people I’ve never met who will be submitted like we all were.

I do not think I am better than you because my position in relation to the Fellowship is to me, more conscious and responsible than yours, more dangerous and difficult. In relation to many other aspects of our lives, I am sure you could teach me a hundred lessons worth learning. This is important for us to understand. We are equal in the worth of our being. Our disagreements are important and necessary. I learn to refine my approach even if I maintain my direction, you learn what you learn. As long as there is dialogue there is life and growth, that is, Culture. It is when it becomes stagnant like the Fellowship that it needs to be cleaned out because everyone that comes close to it, is poisoned. Would you let desperate people drink from a poisoned lake without trying to stop them in every possible way? Flushing out the lake, were it possible?

Love grows with our struggles even though there seems to be so little love in your tone. I am glad you have not been hurt enough to scream, I hope it always remains that way for you.

Greetings Ton, good to see glimpses of you out there and the many others posts too.

98. Ill Never Tell - July 30, 2008

88. jack – July 30, 2008:

May the fours* be with you.

* Fours, as in men number 4 or those on the 4th way.

99. Traveler - July 30, 2008

Paul (92): There is suffering in the world. I find not-suffering more enjoyable, but feel no ambition or responsibility that I should make sure it goes all away. Is this cold or compassionate?

Thank you! That’s a very good question and something vaguely along those lines is also what I asked myself after I posted it and re-read it. And I want to work with it and investigate it more.

What I sense from the question “is this cold or compassionate” is that you value an attitude towards people where one is warm and considerate to them and helps them when one can, rather than ignoring those in need and only caring about oneself. You also may be a bit surprised that the way I expressed myself perhaps conveys an attitude that seems to be somewhat in contradiction to what is normally considered “compassion”.

The underlying questions I sense here are “What is compassion?” and “What is help?” Maybe also “What is responsibility?”

I don’t want to answer these questions, but rather leave them open for us to explore.

I will try to express what is true for me at the moment. In this period, I am not telling myself that “compassionate” is the right or better thing to be, and then trying to get closer to that ideal. So I’m actually letting myself be guided by whatever I want. In a way, everything I do is for myself, and because it pleases me.

If there are people who are suffering to any extent, and they are open to stepping out of that, and there is something in the way I am or can do that enables them to make steps toward greater freedom, I am tremendously motivated to live through that with them, and it brings me immense pleasure to see us grow together and expand. This is something I want.

At the same time, I don’t feel it’s my job to end anyone’s suffering. I do not think that (psychologically) “making people better” is something that is in my power to do. I seriously do not believe that anything I say can be heard if the other person is not already telling themselves the same thing at some level, if they do not already see it that way themselves.

Ton (90) quoted someone who said “listening is an act of love”. I believe there is an intense absence of listening in the Fellowship, an absence that goes unrecognized because listening was so thoroughly missing from our lives that it would not even occur to many people to look in that direction, not expecting that anything could be there. Fellowship members are being told what to think, and are being filled with information, beliefs and opinions. We can add more rules and opinions to the ones they already have. Or we can investigate how they might be able to start listening to themselves. It can come as a shock and surprise, to be listened to, to be trusted. I know.

100. elena - July 30, 2008

Traveler,
correction:
You are concerned about the few people you know who are your friends, I am concerned about THEM as much as people I’ve never met who will be submitted like we all were.

I don’t mind if my husband falls off the pulpit as long as he’s stopped from damaging so many other people’s lives in a big or small extent and to be even more clear, as long as he, Robert and the rest of enablers are stopped from damaging their own. I guess there are different levels of caring and for me freedom is not freedom to hurt. There is enough suffering without people imposing it on others unchecked.
Listening to your answer to Paul, you seem to be clear about the process of destruction being a legitimate process to which I would agree. I am clear that what is ocurring in there is a process of crime not just of destruction. Taking care of it is for me the responsibility of anyone conscious enough of that fact, other wise they are enablers in a less direct degree but equally allowing for it to continue unchecked no matter the subtlety of the excuse.

As I told Mr. McCarthy, the journalist from the Appeal Democrat, I will only put so much energy into acting against the Fellowship. Once I’ve done all I can, it will be enough for me. The outcome of that does not reduce me or inflate me even if it makes me happier or sad.

101. ton - July 30, 2008

traveller 97
thanks for the posts and thanks for fleshing out the fact that there is an absence of listening and trust in the followship. the whole arrangement is based on lies and deception, this eliminates trust from the “get-go.” truth and responsibility of individuality/individuation begins with trusting (listening to) “oneself.” in the followship this type of self-trust is abdicated and replaced by the insane “system” being fabricated by deranged or at least sociopathic individuals…. counting turds, toes?!

you also write: “I don’t feel it’s my job to end anyone’s suffering.”

we have to admit that suffering is an aspect of life on the planet, and i think we can agree that life would be better without it….(?) it’s not in anyone’s “job description” to end anyone’s (or “any thing’s”) suffering, even and including one’s own. i think that it is conscience which recognizes and reacts/responds (at least internally) in a sympathetic way to suffering. when conscience is stirred by suffering (in whatever form) one may in some cases have the freedom to act, to attempt to do something or not… in the sense that action in this case is a choice, you’re right, it’s not a job. if i get what you are saying i agree that an individual has responsibility first to oneself…. maybe in some cases that’s enough….

102. nigel harris price - July 30, 2008

89 Arthur
Sometimes , I think the only thing is to keep going…..Nigel.

103. paulshabram - July 30, 2008

Traveler 97
I am always impressed by your thinking. It’s like taking a refreshing drink that both leaves one satisfied and looking forward to the next sip.

“I seriously do not believe that anything I say can be heard if the other person is not already telling themselves the same thing at some level, if they do not already see it that way themselves.”

I have made similar statements here in this blog, although not quite as strong or self deprecating. What I have learned is that even if someone hears but isn’t “listening” there still is an impact. Small or large that impact will matter even it simply generates a minute hesitation. It will continue to produce that hesitation, and it may do so at a crucial moment. If you don’t express your views because of the above belief, you create a self fulfilling prophecy. I think it’s well worth the investment in electrons.

What you have to say is often of very high impact.

104. Yesri Baba - July 31, 2008

101 Paulshabram

I agree. I owe people living and dead who had the courage and made the effort to tell me things even when I didn’t want to listen and didn’t agree or wasn’t able to understand at one time. It takes years and years sometimes for the truth to bore down through a thick skulled knuckelhead.

105. Mishaba7 - July 31, 2008

16 Nigel Harris Price
Thomas Jefferson also removed parts of the Bible, leaving only what he believed Jesus said in his version. The Jefferson Bible is available on the Monticello site online if you’re interested.

Poem found on GF website:

The Layers

How shall the heart be reconciled
to its feast of losses?
In a rising wind
the manic dust of my friends,
those who fell along the way,
bitterly stings my face.
Yet I turn, I turn,
exulting somewhat ,
with my will intact to go
wherever I need to go
and every stone on the road
precious to me.
Stanley Kunitz

106. paulshabram - July 31, 2008

Traveler 97
Dear Traveler,
What you said was:
“What I sense from the question “is this cold or compassionate” is that you value an attitude towards people where one is warm and considerate to them and helps them when one can, rather than ignoring those in need and only caring about oneself. You also may be a bit surprised that the way I expressed myself perhaps conveys an attitude that seems to be somewhat in contradiction to what is normally considered “compassion”.

The underlying questions I sense here are “What is compassion?” and “What is help?” Maybe also “What is responsibility?””

Unless you are a sociopath, or are still under the influence of “R” Influence, you know the answer to these questions. It is rationalizing and semi-hypnotic conditioning that throws these things into question. Now I know that there are situations where not “helping” is the best kind of assistance. That form of “passive” help, I am certain, does not include withholding love and compassion. Nor does it preclude forgiveness, really an arrow at both ends.

We are all at different stages of processing our FOF experience as well as our having left experience. I think that sincere forgiveness, regardless of the offense, is the final stage of letting go of the losses incurred while in the FOF, to some extent undoing damage. It is possible even to forgive RB. By Forgiving I do not mean justifying, pardoning, or lessening of accountability. I mean being able to move beyond allowing the past to cause any more suffering. In some cases that may require an positive action, like Elena’s picketing. In others it may involve as you say:
“The best I can do is to simply be available to them, my hand open – not pushing, not pulling, not adversarial, not accusing, not ridiculing, not condemning, not dismissing, but just being an example simply by living my life the way I want to live it, and encouraging and supporting their own thinking faculty as it shows itself.”

107. nigel harris price - July 31, 2008

103 Mishaba7
Thanks for that lovely poem…..Nigel.

108. Traveler - July 31, 2008

Wow, so many messages to look at… I won’t have time to be as specific as I would like to be with each of them, I’m just thinking of a more general reply.

Paul, I’d like you to know that I was sincere and not academic in asking “what is help” and “what is compassion”. I think it’s an important issue and it’s not always obvious and clear to me that A means B. I’m sure you did not mean to call me a sociopath and that the comparison was probably meant to shake me out of a passive stupor. You don’t know how many electrons I’ve indeed invested over the past year and a half, in how many ways, and how much time I have spent talking with people, precisely because I do care. I’ve been anything but silent for lack of motivation, and I’m sharing here and elsewhere because I’m bursting with the need for expression. At the same time, I realize that whether my understanding reaches another person, and has an impact – however nice that would be – is not in my hands. In that sense, I’m doing it for myself, and mostly so that I can hear myself. All of you and the blog were tremendously helpful to me in my process of leaving – because I was also dying to hear those sentiments expressed. So maybe something I’m understanding about help now as I write this is that it’s a two-way street, a cooperative venture. It’s not something I can do FOR another person. I cannot reverse-brainwash someone.

About forgiveness, I agree with Paul that this is an important part of the process of leaving the FOF. Personally I don’t have a grudge against RB. I have not been close enough to him, like some others have, to be that affected. That does not mean I approve or like his actions. But if there is any healing and letting go to do for me, it is with myself and those closest to me, that we held each other in captivity for so long. That we enabled each other. I think we were all ignorant and blind, and just doing our best under the circumstances. So I would add to your statement Paul: “It is possible even to forgive ourselves.”

Our processes have different expressions and I welcome Elena’s picketing as transformative and necessary for herself, although I would not join her because I don’t share what I understand to be her reasons for doing it, nor do I think it is a particularly effective way of getting the message across to members. But I recognize that really deeply she and I want the same thing: we would enjoy seeing people free and connected and able to live their individual lives with integrity. She goes about it in the way that is suited to her, and I in mine, and I can’t claim that one is universally better than another. We each play our part, and if one current student is moved by seeing one of Elena’s signs, and starts to question his devotion, I will be happy for him.

Elena, I’m not sure what you mean by “process of destruction” and “process of crime”. I just hear that you think it would be irresponsible to allow the FOF to continue unchecked, and so you want to do all you can to take care of that. I want to say that I admire your strength, drive and determination. I truly do think of you with warmth and goodwill when I hear that you were picketing or that you have gone to court. So when I hear you say that there is “so little love in my tone”, and that I’m effectively a RB “enabler”, and that I think it’s “enough to be available to a few friends”, I guess I’m a bit hurt and concerned that we are not really on the same page. I don’t know if you know that I am doing all that I can to make information available to more than “a few friends”, and that you are not alone in “pinching the bubble”. There are other people who are contributing to spreading cult awareness, Elena, even if they do not follow your methods. You are not alone. Are you willing to consider that?

I’ve been wondering where it is that I’m trying to go with posts on this topic, and I have to say once again, that I’m doing this for myself, because it’s really helping me to get more clear on where I stand, what my values are, and also what others are expressing, because I have to pay more attention to a post if I want to respond to it. That clarity and understanding is so important to me. And more, I really want us to be able to communicate better, like Elena says, “as long as there is dialogue there is life and growth” – and Paul also mentioned something about “approaching normal conversation”. What I want for myself in this, is to be able to be respectful first towards myself and then towards those I come in contact with. I’m hopeful that we can learn from each other: each of your statements allows me to see some of my own expression in a slightly new light, and reevaluate it. I will use that as the working definition of “help”, then. Thank you all.

109. Serah - July 31, 2008

Hi,

My brother is a member in the FOF for I think 11 or 12 years.

Since that time he became a very fine man. During those years he went to college, graduated, has a descent job and he became a very gentle person as if something has purified him.

I have been reading here quite a bit and I cannot deny or approve the the enormous amount of accusing messages against Robert Burton and the FOF,.

But I do see that the FOF has done good for my brother.

Also I wasn’t able to find defending messages by FOF members (maybe one) and I think that’s quite odd.

I asked my brother about this and he said that there is a very big gap between what people write here and the real meaning of his membership in the FOF and that he has no interest whatsoever in getting into any discussions here. He said that this is probably true for other members and that’s why the do not respond. I asked him about the conducts of Robert Burton and he said that there are open issues in relation to his private life, but he said that for him Robert is a true spiritual instructor and the FOF is a very good place to be in.

I am not interested in any secret mystical cults. I accept my life as they are. Still I must say it is remarkable that FOF members do not participate in this place and face these accusations. There must be something in that fact. As I can see, people are using nicknames here so the explanation cannot be fear of being punished. It must but something else, but I cannot say I know what it is.

Serah

110. Pavel - July 31, 2008

36, 96 and 109 are newly moderated.

111. Mick Danger - July 31, 2008

109 – Very Cute “a descent job”.
Going down shouldn’t be a job, it should be a pleasure.

112. veronicapoe - July 31, 2008

Hello Serah,
If you would like to have a respectful, private conversation about the subjects you have discussed in your post, feel free to write to me at veronicapoe@gmail.com. I may be able to shed some light on the subject.

113. Vena - July 31, 2008

Josiane:
Thanks for your post and for the information from the Ayurvedic consultant. It was encouraging to hear of your process and the contribution made by the blog.

114. arthur - July 31, 2008

Josiane (36),

31 years by my calculation is 1977. The same year I joined. Gerard Haven gave me the boot in 1979 and thanks to Pavel and the blog, I can now thank Haven for the booting.

I developed a lung disease about 15 years ago. Since I had no medical Insurance I began researching and self-medicating.
First with Ephedra and a black market inhaler. They worked until Ephedra was banned because of misuse.

I also took a year course in Ayurveda still trying to self-medicate. Eventually a severe episode sent me to the hospital and then to a VA Clinic for my medications.

I believe that Robert E. Burton and his inner circle would benefit from a round of “Pancha Karma”, vomiting and enemas
to start with.

Then again it might be too late.

115. Ellen - July 31, 2008

#36 Hello Josie,
Welcome and thanks for your informative post.
#96 Lauralupa
I liked reading about the memes information when you posted it before. Nice to reiterate it.
Generally, Traveler and PaulShabram,
Thanks for treating us all to such a fine and meaty discussion. I enjoy reading both of your posts. Morality in action has to be in the moment, doesn’t it?
#109 Serah,
Welcome. When I began posting here more than a year ago, I was a dedicated but troubled member of the Fellowship. The information on the blog confirmed my worst suspicions. However, the Fellowship is/was an environment which I dearly loved for many years and I always tried to give it my best. Even here on this blog, I continue to try to do that. So, you won’t (yet) find me throwing mudballs just for the hell of it.

I try to avoid moral criticism here not only because moral codes of behaviour are subjective but far more importantly because Robert’s callous indifference to hurting people is either too invisible or too well explained away as “not being identified”. Besides, as long as current students are getting something from his teaching, they do not require him to behave “formatorily”. So morality as an discussion point for firmly entrenched current members of the Fellowship is a non-starter.

Realizing the larger problem of Robert Burton as a spiritual teacher “of some level of energy”, who is misdirecting numerous people down a dead end illusory path is much harder to see but nevertheless possible. That the Fellowship as a “school of conscious” for beginners has a lot to offer, I think is true. Many of the posters here were in the Fellowship for 10, 20, or 30 years. Much was gained. If you want to experience an environment dedicated to being present to “higer hydrogens”, the Fellowship is great. But what is the cost? And I don’t mean monetarily. Because the dead bodies of those who saw the personal hypocrisy of the man at the top were and are regularly swept under the persian carpets. This blog is the smell of 30 years of rotting corpses. Sorry if you don’t think it smells very good. Don’t read. But this 42 page shadow belongs to Robert Burton and his need to buffer his own lower self.

Purely spiritually speaking, a “school of consciousness” that considers its borders firmly necessary and irrevocable is spiritually ignorant of the true nature of both awakening and awareness. Period. But I beg you not to believe me, but rather find out for yourself. Read. Investigate. Look. Feel. Live. Find out what current masters of different paths have to say about enlightenment or realization.

Maybe, one day, you will be able to show your brother a thing or two?

116. Traveler - July 31, 2008

I just had another related thought to the several posts that have been questioning who is it possible to help (I think Across the River and others). I’ll reframe that a bit and say, who is likely to hear sense in what ex-members are saying. I’m reminded of the movie Truman Show, where people tried to parachute into the set to let Truman know that he was in a movie. I see Elena with her signs at the gate house as a kind of parachuter into the bubble-world. But Truman also spent his entire life burning with the desire to find out what was beyond the confines of his little island. The most devoted inner-circle members are, in my estimation, couched in their bubble, and parachutes are just a curious new impression to have no thoughts about while they sip cappuccinos from fine porcelain cups. Those who can hear are fence-sitters, and I guess I do feel some responsibility to be available to them, and am very interested in what goes on with them, because I identify with them and in their escaping, re-live my own story and my own enjoyment of discovering a greater freedom. I don’t have an ambition to reach further into the bowels of the FOF – but I suspect there are those inside who are fence-peekers, and they will be looking at the fence-sitters, and then there are those who are wall-flowers, and they will be looking at the fence-peekers, and so on. We depend on each other, and I am happy with my own small place in the scheme of things, and don’t feel responsible to single-handedly or quickly bring about radical change. And if there are those who do want to reach right in and rip the Fellowship’s heart out, that is just as well with me, and if they succeed, that will have its own set of consequences, and we will deal with them if they arise.

117. Rear View Mirror - July 31, 2008

Serah (109), Have we met?

Some people seem to do well in the FOF. I was one of them for many years.

In many cases, it’s because that person has sex with the leader, Robert Burton, and he provides favors for them in return. Or maybe that person looks the other way and doesn’t tell people about Burton’s behavior, so they gain favors from him in that way. They may be taken on travels to Italy, or receive financial help, and they feel part of a community in certain ways, and it’s something alluring because they had never experienced that. Burton calls himself a spiritual leader or “teacher”, and with that comes responsibilities. He ignores those responsibilities, and violates the trust of his followers.

See the big picture. Look at what your brother will become in the long run. Look at what he’s missing by being there. And consider the following: If he leaves the FOF or if he had never joined, his experiences can be even more enriching, and his personal growth can be even more profound.

That is one of the biggest memes of the Fellowship of Friends — that all of the positive and wonderful experiences you have there are really all that positive and wonderful. And if they are positive and wonderful (sometimes they are), the next meme is that you cannot experience them anywhere else.

Remember. “You Cannot” is the slogan of the Fellowship of Friends and Robert Burton.

From Peter Ouspensky’s Notes on the Decision to Work:

“Think very seriously,” he wrote. “Are you really ready and willing to obey, and do you fully understand the necessity for it? There is no going back… Understanding of the necessity for obeying rules and direct instructions must be based on the realization of your mechanicalness and your helplessness… You can see, if you are sincere with yourself, all the blunders and the mistakes which you made when you tried to act by yourself. You cannot think rightly. You cannot feel rightly. You need constant help. And you can have it. But you must pay for it–at least, by not arguing.”

118. innernaut - July 31, 2008

Re: Atkin interview.

I noticed this part didn’t get highlighted:

“But I unreservedly say that cults are a good thing; that the people who join them are normal, and they do so for very good reasons. Healthy societies need cults. Cults are, if you like, the spores of change in a society. Every major religion in the world was a cult at one time. Christianity was simply one of many mystery cults in [the] eastern Mediterranean 2,000 years ago. [The early Christians], like the Mormons and like many other classic cults, were persecuted and castigated for being too different from the established norms of society, yet it ended up becoming the norm of society. Cults are part of the renewal of culture in society.

We need cults, and the people who join them are very, very normal. My research and others’ show they tend to come from very stable backgrounds, [are] intellectually slightly higher than the average and have good educations. And they join for very good reasons. And the reasons they join cults — and cult brands, as I learned from my research — are universal reasons to do with the human condition. They join because they want to belong to something, and they want to make meaning. They want to have a reason for being. Those are two very, very simple reasons that all of us in the human race need to express.”

It was an interesting interview, aside from his very annoying tendency to say “at the end of the day” every other sentence. If you read it carefully, you will see the truth behind a very big illusion related to advertising and marketing, one that people persist in believing despite all the evidence to the contrary. There is an idea that there are some kind of experts or geniuses of human psychology sitting in rooms and creating ads that manipulate peoples’ subconscious and get them to buy things they don’t want or need. Atkins reveals the truth: that brands are chasing peoples’ behavior and trying to get in on fads and movements that consumers create, and not vice versa.

I’ve been a copywriter for over 20 years, working on the primary campaigns of some of the biggest brands in the world, and I can tell you there is no secret manipulation going on. The person that can invent that would be king of the world, and there isn’t any such person.

Marketers are forever trying to figure out why certain brands develop cult followings, like Macs, but when they try to duplicate the success of those brands, it sounds completely phony and forced. Despite what we were taught in the FOF, people aren’t stupid: they are very perceptive, especially when bullshit is concerned. Now, you may turn off your BS detector, as we did with the FOF/4th way, but that’s a different matter. Ever notice on Saturday Night Live when they try to force a catch-phrase on the world? You can see it a mile away, and it’s just embarrassing.

There are lots and lots of people in advertising trying to reduce a campaign’s effectiveness to some kind of quantifiable formula, and these people often make lots of money coming up with fancy sounding theories to explain consumer behavior. Marketers eat it up, but it rarely leads anywhere. If you’ve ever sat in on a focus group (a painful experience), then you know that just getting an honest response about why someone likes or dislikes a product or ad is nearly impossible. What you do get is an interesting study in human psychology and group dynamics. A leader of the group emerges and everyone else changes their opinions to fit into the prevailing attitude of the group. Of course there are one or two contrary people who disagree with the group, and that is predictable also. Another interesting phenomenon you’ll observe is that people are afraid to say they like something — it leaves them vulnerable to criticism. It is much more socially acceptable to criticize, because it makes you look smarter to find something wrong. We have a long-standing joke, that when we show a campaign to a group of clients, the underlings will all but say, “Can I be the first to say what I don’t like about it?”

Being hated is easy. Finding a way for consumers to like you is an eternal mystery, and why I continue to be employed and not replaced by a computer program.

Keep in mind that when that guy says he thinks cults are a good thing, that he is coming from the perspective of a marketer. Of course you want people developing a cult-like devotion to your product. There is no better way to sell something than through the persuasion of your customers. They sell it for you, and the advertising simply reinforces their happiness with their decision to love your product. It makes them feel they are in on the joke — and people love nothing so much as being one of the cool kids.

The fact that things are going this direction is shown by the job titles of marketers these days: What once was a “Brand Manager” has become a “Brand Evangelist.” Scary? I’ll let you decide.

119. Opus111 - July 31, 2008

Innernaut #118

I noticed that passage too. I actually noticed, when I first read it, that something in me felt reassured, if not flattered, that someone as successful and familiar with basic human psychology as Atkin is purported to be, would think that I am “very, very normal”, perhaps “above average intellectually” kind of person, and that joining the FOF was “useful” for me in some way, and that I did so for “very good reasons”.

It obviously seemed odd that he would say that, until I realized he probably studied cults in general, and FOF in particular, only to better understand how to conduct more successfully his business of marketing. He probably was not very interested in seeing the psychological downside to joining and staying in a cult, and ignored the real possibilities of abuse.

I wonder a bit about Serah’s brother. I hope he was older (than 18) when he went to college. Not many young guys escape “the eye of the master”. His vague responses about REB behaviour (“there are open issues in relation to his private life”) or his statement that there is “a big gap between what people write here and the real meaning of his membership” do not indicate a high level of comfort with his current choices. Granted, there is not enough to tell. I would agree with him that there is a huge gap between what one hoped to find in the FOF and its reality.

120. Rear View Mirror - July 31, 2008

Innernaut: “What once was a “Brand Manager” has become a “Brand Evangelist.” Scary? I’ll let you decide.”

Yes. Scary.

I don’t think the secret formula is very secret, though: Repetition.

And then repeat it again. Of course, as you say, how effective the repetition becomes is hard to know. But even the most idiotic claims can become “truth” to people if they are repeated often enough.

“Democrats are weak on national defense. Democrats are weak on foreign policy. Republicans are strong leaders and strong on defense. Democrats are weak on national defense. Democrats are weak on foreign policy. Republicans are strong leaders and strong on defense. Democrats are weak on national defense. Democrats are weak on foreign policy. Democrats are weak on national defense. Democrats are weak on foreign policy. Republicans are strong leaders and strong on defense. Democrats are weak on national defense. Democrats are weak on foreign policy.”

“Life people are food for the moon. Students are blessed. Life people are food for the moon. Students are blessed. Life people are food for the moon. Students are blessed. Life people are food for the moon. Students are blessed. Life people are food for the moon. Students are blessed.”

Just repeat it. Say something often enough, and especially when there is little dissent and opposing viewpoints, and we start believing it.

About cults being for intelligent people… Hmm. Wow. Well, maybe some cult members are intelligent in other areas of their lives… graduate degrees, good jobs, sophisticated conversationalists, and so on. But in that area — the area of being vulnerable to cult mentality — they are not intelligent.

121. paulshabram - July 31, 2008

Traveler 116
I had no intent of labeling you a sociopath.
To repeat what I said:

“Unless you are a sociopath, or are still under the influence of “R” Influence, you know the answer to these questions. It is rationalizing and semi-hypnotic conditioning that throws these things into question.”

What I am saying is that these values, compassion, helping, responsibility, forgiveness (and yes I was mainly talking about forgiving oneself) are not solely intellectual concepts. They are innate in the whole of a normal human. The intellectualizing of them can sterilize the “must” and stop the maturation to “wine”. This is what the FOF system does.

I had a revelation of sorts some years back that art was really the richest form to communicate the whole. I distinguish true art (paintings, words, films, objects, movements, etc.) from illustration in that a whole experience is invoked in me… intellectual thoughts, emotions, endorphin rushes, and most significantly, new understandings. From my own efforts, I have seen others experience this from work I’ve done, and what they describe is similar to what I was experiencing while executing the work, but also completely their own. Both the artist and the viewer communicated and gained. Contrast that to:

“A fifteen-century Persian miniature depicts Jonah emerging from the mouth of the whale. The archangel Gabriel is bringing Jonah the garment of virtues – the sequence – to free him from the intestinal lower self. Gabriel, with six feathers in his right wing, represents short Be. He touches the spine of the whale with his four toes.”

If I ever see this object, I hope I do not recognize this description. The cadence of it sounds like the nailing of the coffin lid. I do not want this type of MEME invading my experience of art.

Traveler, objectivity is a useful tool. It is not, IMO, the end-all be-all. I hear the use of it in the effort to assimilate your experiences.

Subjectivity is the wellspring of art.

122. elena - July 31, 2008

Josiane (36), Lauralupa (96) and Serah (109)

36 Josiane: “Ultimately, this person has a deep lesson to learn in this lifetime and underneath it all is someone who wants to experience love and is afraid of intimacy”.

Thanks for joining us Josiane and your insightful post. This sentence in particular draws my attention because I would recognize that same pattern about Mr. Haven. The human tragedy beneath the phenomenon is that these are people who have such little self confidence that they have to make up a role through which they can experience life. It does seem that we are all prompted to do this by society in having to assume a role that can justify our presence within it. “Study” “get a job” “do something with yourself” or you’re a worthless bum. In as much as we are identified with the society’s values we play along with the memes. These memes are installed by the people in power: educated, with money and power.
In work on one’s self, dealing with these identifications is part of the process because they are the main source of judgment; judgment, of separation from others, and separation from others the source of negative emotions towards the particular individuals within the game of power which itself is the struggle amongst the I of the different individuals ambitious to have it.

It is interesting that in the “Follow-sheep”, these sources of difference were erased. We were apparently not classified by education, class or nationality. This initially gave me tremendous hope and trust in the “School”. The Fellowship invented its own source of differences amongst us: Mr. Burton, the inner circle and the outer circle. The only one who mattered was Mr. Burton. The only ones who knew what mattered were the inner circle and the ones who did not matter were the outer circle.

Every human being in essence naturally knows that he belongs to the whole. Children feel “wholly” or “holly” or “one with the world” until that sense of integrity is gradually lost as we grow up in experiences that are not difficult to pinpoint when one remembers one’s childhood. From one angle, life itself is the struggle to return to the “whole”, the “cosmic” or “unity” and karma or one’s life, the process of doing so.

We generally recognize that when parents (“The Whole”) neglect the child, s/he will develop difficulties in all centers having intellectual, emotional, instinctive and even moving disorders. In the “neglect,” the child is separated from the Whole, s/he loses the sense of integrity and that will reflect itself in the way s/he later integrates or is unable to integrate with society or what becomes “The Whole” for the adult.

The “Whole” in the Follow-sheep was represented by the Ark or Humanity. We were better than others because we were willing to sacrifice our selves for its well being. We were more conscious because our aims and practices were (supposed to be) more noble and filled with effort. We had the Gods on our side because we were the inheritors of the esoteric tradition and carried their legacy. We were the last School on Planet Earth before the holocaust. We were human and Conscious and there was not limit to the sacrifices we had to be willing to make to protect humanity from total corruption and decadence. The nobility of these aims inspired most of us to work harder, do something for the Ark and ourselves, study, find a job, become “good householders”, decent, beautiful human beings.

(Serah, I hope these ideas help you clarify your brother’s process)

For as long as we were individually identified with these values we made efforts. The individuals progressed in the battle with their own impediments. The nobility of the cause overrun the particular limitations and the individual made personal progress.

The questions that need to be asked at this point are: How could individuals make progress without the community doing so? Why did growth, life and culture did not develop? At what point did the individual’s progress turn against itself, the community and society at large?

This is an exploration, not words written on stone; your angles are welcome. Traveler, maybe one day you’d help us put it in less words.

Individuals were able to continue their progress only in as much as they became incorporated in the Follow-sheep’s life, for some time, that is, until their work was confronted with Robert’s agenda. If they were willing to follow his agenda they were able to continue to develop within the Cult at the cost of their “Spirit” or “real I” or “destiny” or “their own source”. Basically if we look at the play of members we can understand what this means. Artists were stimulated to present art but not THEIR art, Robert’s Art, under Robert’s conditions and surveillance and they were not to be applauded. He even stole their applauses which is the way a human being tells the artist that he has met the point between the two worlds, spiritual and physical, by uniting his hands. In stealing their applauses, he robbed the individuals from the dialogue with the community and neither the community nor the artist could develop. This was just an aspect of the brutality with which the Follow-sheep killed the possibility for Culture; he stole the joy of being. For some, that brutality is more obvious in the fact that the artists were conditioned on what plays they could perform, what music they could play and never, ever, ever, were allowed to expand their own pure art from within his or her being because no one was good enough for anything but to copy others better than we were. No one but him was good enough and the rest of us gradually became an indistinct mass of “not good enough” men and women “number four”. Depression, alcoholism and other forms of illness that closely relate to self denial are rampant in the Follow-sheep.

The fact that he denied his approval to any personal initiative thwarted personal initiatives and people’s sense of worth gradually diminished becoming more and more dependent to his approval. The circle of dependency is in itself an interesting study because the more a person is rejected, “neglected” the more s/he thrives to reach acceptance until the conditioning is broken and s/he accepts him/her self regardless of how much rejection s/he is subjected to. Rejection or neglect creates Isolation, Isolation produces increasing emotional dependency on the perpetrators of the isolation. (Stockholm syndrome, “The darker side”: study of torture in American Military).
The more he rejected the more Godlike he was presented, justified by Girard with whatever was being presented as not in line with Influence C’s wishes or the individual being “unable to give up his own will to the teacher”, “his imaginary picture” or “false personality”. The “lower self” and “identification with results”, “the pursuit of A influence” on and on with his infinite justifications of the process in which people are dehumanized instead of enlightened with love, stimulated to create, make mistakes, improve and develop in an ongoing human dialogue within a healthy community.

As I understand, both Robert and Girard had considerably difficult upbringing. Of Robert it is said that he was abandoned by his father, lost jobs because he harassed children sexually and denied communication with his mother on her deathbed. Of Girard we know that he was usually in extreme fights with other children at School, became addicted to pornography, child pornography, hits himself, screams, bitches and fucks in private. Neither one of them value marriage or a stable relationship with a loved one, neither one of them is said to have a friend or friends. Neither one of them has TIME for any one individual because they are both too committed to giving their all and everything to the Ark, Conscious life, Influence C and the Follow-sheep. They present themselves as being “above the human” not needing or wanting emotional connections with others and needing sexuality only as a tool to get rid of their excessive divine energy! They are never identified with such a thing as love for another individual, only love for the School and Influence C.

In the meantime, they are the only ones with the power to decide, speak, control, use, teach, share, enlighten, chose, allow, reject, neglect, ban, think and BE. They are the ONLY Conscious beings of the Follow-sheep of Friends and have now been joined by Mr. Dorian and Mr. Asaf. God save us all!

They have placed themselves in the position of being the only providers of joy, light, beauty, enlightenment while the rest of the people in the Cult are dark, needy, depressed, unworthy, condemned to a little post where they can make crumbs of instinctive money where their own acceptance of the situation can condemn them to being judged as unworthy of anything better, like rats stealing from the community who have to do the job of saying it is all legitimate so that the crumbs they live on don’t stop coming in: The People on Salary with a little more or less money, a house they don’t own or finally managed to own after paying a life time to support the Ark of Humanity: Mr. Burton’s and Mr. Haven’s personal agenda as the only conscious beings on planet earth. And now TWO MORE. If the first two haven’t done enough damage, what can we expect from four of them?

Was giving up your children and your families worth it? Or do you now have to hide the fact that you did these things against yourselves and continue upholding this Cult as a legitimate school because you cannot bear the suffering? And because you cannot bear the suffering you are willing to have other people being raped and passed through the same mill of indignity that you were forced to put yourselves in? Because indignity has become the mode of life in an association of dehumanized people who the more they can deprive any individual from his or herself, the more legitimate you think the School is?

I remember Rowena exclaiming that the School was a true School because people like me would put up with being told I could not express myself for two years and hadn’t left. THAT IS EXACTLY THE MIND FRAME, the more the members are willing to accept being humiliated and defaced, dehumanized and neutralized, the more legitimate the School is. If ALL THESE ARE NOT CRIMES AGAINST HUMAN DIGNITY, TELL ME, WHAT THE FUCK ARE THEY? Sorry Josiane, Laura and Serah, this question is not for you but for all of us. For how long will we let it continue?

123. paulshabram - July 31, 2008

Serah 109

The fact that your brother is still talking to you means he is not completely indoctrinated. He will see in you the concerns and they will have an impact. For your sake and your brothers sake, hold onto this connection even if it means keeping silent on the FOF.

I saw the concern of my family, and it impacted me. I considered the request that Robert made of me to cut all ties. I held on to them and I am grateful for their patience.

What you see in you brother, the refinement, the calming, etc. would probably have happened even without the FOF. If it is not an act, it is your brother’s doing, not the FOF or Robert’s.

124. Ames Gilbert - July 31, 2008

Rather a long post, feel free to skip ahead!

So, after personal experience and much testimony and research, we have come to know what a cult is and how inseparable cults are from human experience—after all, the root of the word cult is culture! That is, almost any group has some aspects of a cult, from a tribe, to a military unit, to the local garden club, to a corporation, to a political group. We naturally join groups to solidify a sense of value, place and purpose. And we have learned to be leery of a particular kind, the top-down, authoritarian organization whose leader promises ‘enlightenment’ or ‘salvation’, who promises that if we join we will eventually attain the same degree of enlightenment or exalted level of wisdom, provided we agree to obey him without demur (in the case of Robert Burton, for many lifetimes!).
Which brings me to the question, “What would a ‘non-cult’ look like? How would a group of people, seeking spiritual growth or salvation, act to prevent the ‘downside’ aspects of a cult (such as authoritarian structures or accumulation of temporal power) occurring, if that were possible? What would be their premises? Would they approximate the following?
___________________________________________________

We are not going to spend a lot of time arguing over the nature of God. We are going to leave that to each individual to come to terms with and express in his or her own way. We will use the word “God” as a shorthand for each individual’s understanding.
At the very centre of our belief system lies the concept of the Inner Light. This principle states that in every human soul there is implanted a certain element of God’s own Spirit and divine energy. We could call this “that of God in everyone”, or for those with a Christian background, “the seed of Christ”, or “the seed of Light” (see John 1:9, “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world”).

We generally believe that first-hand knowledge of God is only possible through that which is experienced, or inwardly revealed to the individual human being. This means that we respect the inner obligations felt by each individual.

Broadly speaking, the concept of the Inner Light is twofold. Firstly, the Inner Light, if we learn to recognize it, discerns between good and evil. It reveals the presence of both in human beings, and through its guidance, offers the alternative of choice. Secondly, the Inner Light opens the unity of all human beings to our consciousness. We believe that the potential for good, as well as evil, are latent in everyone.

We acknowledge that there is “an ocean of darkness and death” over the world, but also that “an ocean of light and of love” flows over and through this ocean of darkness—both are necessary—revealing the infinite love of God, or the creator. We believe that the power of God is available in the nature of anyone who truly wants to do the will of God. To a great extent, we are the arbiters of our own destiny, having the power of choice. Salvation might be seen as our potential to realize ourselves as children of God.
We are trying to become more conscious and, in parallel, develop more awareness of our conscience. Sometimes we can become aware of something that has to be done as part of God’s ‘purpose’ on this earth. This type of direct experience of God is not unique to us. It is common to most religions. The only thing unusual about us is the way we try to support each other to act on such calls.

We consider that true religion cannot be learned from books or set prayers, words or rituals and other ‘empty forms’. We find no text or teaching infallible or final. We recognize that the common desire for an external authoritative standard is very strong. In religious controversies, every group tries to find support somewhere in the wording of scripture or a ‘teacher’ who has set himself up above others. We will try to not fall into the same habit, while also allowing for the possibility of contemporary revelation of God’s will. That is, we will not make any text the final test of right conduct and true doctrine. Divine revelation is not confined to the past. The same Holy Spirit which has inspired people in the past can inspire anyone, anywhere, today. We believe that the Inner Light provides everyone with access to spiritual truth for today.
In the same vein, creeds do not form the basis for association in our fellowship. We are aware of the limitations of words to express one’s deepest experiences. We also realize that words may suitably express the personal convictions of someone at one time, but that they will almost certainly be unsuitable for the same person later in life. It is even more difficult to define the religious conviction of a group of people. Words and phrases often lend themselves to very different interpretations.

The absence of creeds does not mean that we feel that it does not matter what a person believes. We recognize that personal beliefs vitally affect behavior. Some of us may have strong views, but we are quite clear that these views must be tested by the way in which they are expressed in action. We may have hesitations about the value of theology, fearing that it too easily leads to speculation and argument. But all would agree that humans, as rational beings, must think about the nature of their religious experiences. We encourage each other to seek for truth in all the opportunities that life presents to them, and to seek new light from whatever source it may arise. Our questing and open attitude to life contributes to the tolerance with which we approach people and problems of faith and conduct.

We believe that meditation or prayer and experiencing the love of God are of primary importance. This erases an artificial division between the secular and the religious, and makes all of our lives, when lived in the Spirit, sacramental. We reject traditional, outward ceremonies and sacraments without rejecting the spiritual reality they symbolize.

We do not consider a life after death as a reward for virtue, or as a compensation for the suffering in our lives on earth. The fear or threat of damnation does not induce us to live better lives. We think that whatever theoretically happens beyond death—if anything— is firmly rooted in the experience of this life. We believe that life is good, and that an essential clue to its real nature is to be glimpsed in the love that people have for one another.
There is always an element of mystery about love which people cannot fully penetrate, but we are convinced that it has a timeless quality. Love cannot be destroyed by death and cannot be limited by time and space. We try to live in a profound trust that God is love. We and all people respond to this love. We experience heaven here and now, and believe that whatever lies beyond death must be for our good, but are not dogmatic about possible experiences after death. Rather, we feel that it is more important to get on with living this life, and seek to improve the conditions of humanity in this world, than to engage in speculations about the next.
We ‘worship’ together when two or more people feel the need to be still together and seek God’s presence. This can happen anywhere and anytime. In attentive waiting together in silence, we perhaps find peace of mind and a renewed sense of purpose for living and joy in wonder at God’s creation.

We greatly value silence. In removing pressure and hurry, it helps us to be aware of the inner and deeper meaning of our individual and corporate lives. It enables un to begin to accept ourselves as we are and to find some release from fear, anxiety, emotional confusion and selfishness. This silence can become more than an absence of sound.

The silence is different from that experienced in traditional, solitary meditation, which normally takes place deep inside oneself, as a devotional exercise for one’s own spiritual development. The listening and waiting in a meeting for worship is a shared experience in which worshippers seek to meet God.
Worship entirely without words, but usually there will be some brief spoken contributions. People may speak of the life and teachings of Jesus, use words from other sources, or refer to events in daily life. We try to receive positively what is said and to look for the underlying truth, regardless of the words in which it is expressed.

Sometimes we may meet to conduct necessary business relating to our organization as a spiritual group. The aim of a meeting for business is to seek the will of God. It is not a matter of bowing to the will of the majority, so we don’t vote. It is an exercise of listening to God through what each person says. A temporary facilitator prepares an agenda and conducts the meeting, often with the help of an assistant. The facilitator discerns ‘the sense of the meeting’. If the facilitator feels that an item has been thoroughly considered, he or she drafts and offers a ‘minute’ to the meeting. This will encapsulate what has gone before and record any decision that has been arrived at. The minute must receive the assent, spoken or tacit, of the meeting. If the facilitator is not able to discern a clear sense of the meeting, no decision will be taken, and no minute will be made except to record that the meeting is not ready to proceed.

The facilitator might ask those attending to observe some general rules, such as: speak for a second time only after everyone has had a chance to speak once; speak from your own experience only; leave silence between speakers; everything said in the group is confidential to the group; do not comment directly on what others have said; listen with attention and do not lapse into discussion.
We try to live as witnesses to the living truth within the human heart as it is acted out in everyday life. It is not a form of words, but a mode of life based of the realization that there is “that of God in everyone”, that all human beings are equal, and that all life is interconnected. It is affirmative but may lead to action that runs counter to certain practices currently accepted in the society at large. We recognize, however, that individuals may interpret truths differently according to their own light, that indeed Truth is a complex concept. Sometimes the word is used for God, sometimes for the conviction that arises from worship, sometimes for the way of life. It is the obedience to truth as we understand it that may lead us to act in ways which others think odd and even provocative.

If God is directly accessible to all persons, regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, economic, social or educational position – if every person is held equal in God’s love and has equal potential to be a channel for the revelation of God’s Truth – then all persons are to be equally valued. There is that Seed, that Light – there is “that of God” in every person. For us this insight means equality of the sexes and of races, and the right to life of everyone. How can one kill another child of God, a potential channel of Truth, no matter how misguided he or she may seem at the moment? As equally beloved children of God, all human beings are brothers and sisters, one human family, no matter how great our differences of experience, of culture, of age, of understanding. Some of us have found that the Light may illuminate a gathered group as well as an individual heart and bind the group together in a community of faith, conscience and experience. Some of us see it as our task to build a broader community throughout our world, by seeing and affirming in each other the divine potential, the Seed, the Christ, the Light within. We must learn to deal with one another by affirming and nurturing the best we find in each other
We have observed that the world offers many distractions from the Truth, for example the untrammeled pursuit of wealth or power or pleasure. Truth is usually discovered in quiet, undistracted waiting for its leadings in the human heart, in the humble simplicity of spirit which acknowledges that ultimately God is in charge of our world, not we ourselves.

We seek, therefore, to focus our attention on what is essential and eternal, without distraction by the transitory or the trivial. Plain and honest speech is an expression of simplicity. Respect for God’s creation and, therefore, concern for the environment and the right use of the world’s resources is another obvious expression of our striving to become more aware. A growth economy based on extravagance, wastefulness and artificially stimulated wants is seen to be a fundamental violation of the basic ideas of simplicity.

Because we believe in the possibility of immediate and direct communion with God, we have felt no need of an elaborate ecclesiastical establishment, organization or authority. There is no need of intermediaries. In an important way, we assume in our individual lives the obligation of searching out and following the will of God as it applies us.

_________________________________________________

Anyone who has reached this far may have guessed that this is, with some adaptations, the philosophy of the Quakers. I should point out that there are many different ‘brands’ of Quakers; this is a composite of their commonalities, as I see them.

One great post from an early page in this blog, by someone who was never a member, pointed out that most people who joined the Fellowship had one big common liability. We hadn’t done our vital preparatory homework and research! His suggestion was that many of us would have saved ourselves a lot of grief if we had studied comparative religions, how they started, how they developed, and how they manifest today. I think that is one of the most important observations on the entire blog!

125. Mick Danger - July 31, 2008

109 Seems obviously contrived to me, complete with misspellings & poor grammer (the better to evoke sympathy).

126. Traveler - July 31, 2008

Paul, you have been out of the FOF much longer than me and I trust that you may be seeing things I am not yet able to see, that have had time to mature for you and fall into perspective. And I think I hear to some degree what you are saying, and experience it also, how pure objectivity can make things sterile and stiff, and basically takes the fun and play and unpredictability out of life. I would not want that. So I will keep your words close to my heart for a while, and see how they impact my daily life. Thank you.

127. Rear View Mirror - July 31, 2008

MD 125, about 109. Completely agree that it seems contrived.

Ames 124. About your observations regarding the wisdom of studying comparative religions…

In the FOF, we took pride in our supposed “verification” of ideas. But the “verification” of an idea requires an evaluation of the truth or accuracy of it. In the fof, we didn’t discuss the importance of evaluation. All we discussed was valuation.

For a group that prides itself in supposedly “verifying” ideas, not once did we spend the time truly EVALUATING the group of which we were a part.

Valuation was important. Evaluation was considered a bad attitude, or it was completely ignored and dismissed. We rarely if ever turned our critical eye toward the group itself — and in the process we deceived ourselves into believing that we were actually turning a critical eye toward ourselves. We never questioned the group. And when we did, we saw the absurdities — both in our own claims to having verified anything, and in the claims of the group itself.

128. Traveler - July 31, 2008

Elena: I’m having some doubts that what you say about Dorian and Asaf being proclaimed as the next conscious beings by Robert, is accurate, and I’m wary about spreading and repeating, repeating, repeating unverified statements until nobody knows where they originated, and they become accepted as truth. That is too scarily reminiscent of the Fellowship, and I’m hoping that ex-members could be more aware of such processes. Would you please explain in more detail what exactly you know about this, and from what kind of source? Thank you!

129. Ames Gilbert - July 31, 2008

Serah (#42-109 or thereabouts, your brother will continue to be happy—until he’s not. If you think he has ‘improved’ and he thinks he has ‘improved’, then it would not only be disrespectful to argue with you or him, but futile. One of the hallmarks of a well-adjusted member of the Fellowship is that he or she wholeheartedly dedicates the fruits of their own efforts to Burton. One of Burton’s claims is that no member can make progress without his intercession; he is vital to their progress.

At some point, your brother may reclaim the results of his efforts for his own. Before Burton subverted the philosophy of the Fourth Way, most members who made efforts understood that development of consciousness paralleled development of conscience; both went hand-in-hand. Now, Burton goes as far as to claim that “conscience is just a group of subjective ‘I’s; when a student accumulates too much, he should leave the school”. But, my personal experience is that if one does start to experience more flashes of consciousness, one will also develop flashes of conscience. And if one develops more conscience, then one is increasingly able to “put oneself in the shoes of others”. This means, among other things, development of empathy for another’s position or plight, seeing the interconnectedness of everything, and to some extent the possible results of one’s actions or inactions relative to others.

In his own good time, your brother may come to review his place in the Fellowship in the light of conscience. If he starts to ask questions, refer him to this blog; there are some good answers here to some of his questions. I wish him good fortune.

Finally, it appears that it is at least a strong suggestion, if not a task, for members to not read the blog. Your brother and many others choose to follow this. We know there is an official Fellowship of Friends ‘Reader of the Blog’, because the lawyer in Elena’s case produced printouts to try to prove that the blog advocated violence, and so on. On previous pages, a ‘high FoF muckety-muck’ came on board to chastise some members who were posting. That was necessary because, as you pointed out, most bloggers use screen names.

130. Ames Gilbert - July 31, 2008

Innernaut (#42-118, or thereabouts), you mention “turning off your BS meter”. You did it, I did it, we all must have done it somewhen. What is happening here? Is the desire to conform to the new group and be accepted by these new friends so strong that it overcomes common sense? Atkin mentioned those who knowingly and happily go along with the BS to (presumably) get a greater benefit than the cost. Is that the explanation? We seem be able to self-administer incredibly strong doses of rationalization when necessary.

RVM (#42-127 or thereabouts). What a great point about the difference between evaluation and valuation! It reinforces the idea that we brainwash ourselves. We seek out information or viewpoints that reinforce our present points of view. I can see it right now, running my eyes from post to post, here in ‘real time’; there is a rush of serotonin when something agrees with, comforts or supports me (your post, for example), and discomfort and an immediate judgment and ‘closing off’ when something disagrees. In fact, IMO, we are continual seekers of comfort and like to surround ourselves with others that reinforce that comfort. The makings of a new cult! The really interesting study for me is, what happens when something breaks through that zone from time to time? I know it is incredibly difficult to ‘change my mind’ about something, change an opinion. When it does happen on rare occasions, what exactly is happening? What are the conditions for change, can we create them for ourselves, and what provides the will?

131. paulshabram - July 31, 2008

Dr. Danger 127 and RVm 127 re 109

What if you are wrong? Why not take it at face value for now and let it play out?

132. ton - July 31, 2008

124 or thereabouts…. ames ya, i got the quaker vibe midway through your post… is this your own formulation based on experience or are you quoting another source ?

what was apparent from the beginning of this post is the gnostic strain, summed up nicely by this:

“We generally believe that first-hand knowledge of God is only possible through that which is experienced, or inwardly revealed to the individual human being. This means that we respect the inner obligations felt by each individual.”

but personally, and generally, it’s all a little too anthropocentric…. if the particular delusion of the human being as “the crown of creation” is true, then “we” really ought to know better than to be engaged in some of our current “antics” as a species. what western civ can learn from “indigenous” cultures is somehow to “coexist.” the alternative is self destructive.

speaking or writing of comparative religion, i couldn’t agree with you more, knowledge of which is basic…
as a “primer” i’m sure that you’ve already read the works of:

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

133. James Mclemore - July 31, 2008

109. Serah
“Still I must say it is remarkable that FOF members do not participate in this place and face these accusations. There must be something in that fact. As I can see, people are using nicknames here so the explanation cannot be fear of being punished. It must but something else, but I cannot say I know what it is”

First, I will say that the post sounded contrived to me also, but I agree with Paul S, to just let it be and see what plays out. The last part (above) however, I did think was intentionally provocative.

Personally I see nothing remarkable about people from the fof not participating here.
I suspect it is simply because there is nothing for them to say. There have been a couple of people (Bass Ackwards comes to mind), that have posted before leaving, but seemed to already have their exit mapped out, and stayed a while longer to possibly help a few more out with them. Other than that, there are the shills who come to try to defend the fof or just to try steer the blog into another direction. People who are entrenched may not read the blog. Those who do read it would not necessarily have anything to say. They are hopefully approaching, or in the middle of, a very real crossroads in their life. Hopefully they are just reading and digesting and coming across some of the gems, and will begin to navigate themselves away from the cul de sac and back out onto the open road.

134. innernaut - July 31, 2008

130 Ames Gilbert

“What is happening here? Is the desire to conform to the new group and be accepted by these new friends so strong that it overcomes common sense?”

Yes, I think that is a big part of it. Also, we were strongly admonished not to harbor any negative attitudes about the FOF, Robert, the System, everything. I mistook the enormous effort it took to squash my own critical thinking for “work on myself,” work on false personality, the king of clubs, etc. One doesn’t simply turn off the BS detector. It requires an intense, sustained effort to keep it off. I found that misguided endeavor to be dangerous to my mental and physical health. Repression is an ugly thing.

135. sharon - July 31, 2008

Sherah – “Still I must say it is remarkable that FOF members do not participate in this place and face these accusations.” – not really remarkable – there are many members who will secretly disobey the dictum to “not participate in the blog” as far as to read it, but are unwilling or afraid to go so far as to engage in posting to it. For one thing, to defend the Fellowship of Friends or RB would force them to actually put into writing some things that must appear contradictory or absurd even to them.

When still a member for the last 15 years or so of my tenure, I avoided discussion of the FoF with non-members, because I could not stomach the lies I would have to tell to defend it, and I could not explain to them why I would stay and still keep any sense of self-esteem. Unfortunately, my parents and brothers are expert in “don’t ask”, so I was not forced to examine these issues – or perhaps it was actually fortunate, in that I was allowed to come to my point of breaking on my own.

136. elena - July 31, 2008

128 Traveler,

I already wrote too long a post today to ask for more time from any of you, so I’ll try to make this short.

What I perceive in your attitude about people suffering and letting them suffer is that if we place that suffering within the context of a healthy process of destruction like fires in a forest or experiences that positively change our level of being then we both agree that there is no reason to question the Fellowship down to the ground. It’s when we are clear that what is happening inside the Follow-sheep is a process of crime, that it becomes very difficult for me to accept that so many people are willing to let it continue without seriously trying to stop it. I know that they will rebuild it with new naïve people if we leave them alone. I cannot let that happen without doing everything I can to avoid it.

I am very glad I am not alone and that you have changed your tone from a professional dissection of my posts to a more human dialogue. I sincerely thank you and am glad to be on this road with you and others willing to move from our Follow-sheep bunkers.

On Dorian and Asaf, I would be very surprised if the information was given fraudulently by someone I consider a serious ex-member. If I remember correctly, we were at a lunch. Two other still members were there and they did not deny this statement that Dorian and Asaf had officially been confirmed as the next two conscious beings by Mr. Burton in the Sunday meeting. Someone remarked that Mihai had been left out because he still had a minute possesion of integrity. One of the members was bothered and exclaimed that he still had a lot.

137. Across the River - July 31, 2008

I’ve got that old feeling of running behind the blog! Amazingly good stuff this week.

Hi Traveler 🙂

What I’ve seen on the blog is how important it is to be able to express what we mean and value, and one of the saddest things for me has been the intimidation some have felt from being blasted for their viewpoint. Someone mentioned the risk of exchanging one bully for another. Finding a voice is important to me, but exploring our experiences and how they affect and change us is the point, IMO.

I wonder how many voices aren’t heard here because of the intimidation factor.

Thank you for your intellectual courage and your quiet, meaningful efforts to share what you know, beyond this blog. Maybe the most important thing I found personally in your recent posts was your description of acting in ways that please you. That seems as legitimate a measure as any to recognize our own way and begin to TRUST that it’s complete and true in this moment.

Like most of us I believed it was a sign of Robert’s higher level of being that he always lived so unapologetically free of **feminine dominance**. I had it figured out that the male students who were seduced by Robert and then spoke out against the seduction just didn’t understand how **the work** was arranged for each of us. Obviously their personal work was to discover why they said yes to Robert when they could have said no, and to tranform the experience into knowledge.

There are so many layers to the deception, but we weren’t born yesterday. We mastered detachment, and it still has a place in perceiving a larger dynamic at work. I didn’t yet understand Robert’s betrayal when I “knew “ his victims had to transform the experience to gain something. Now I understand the betrayal and still say with detachment that transforming it is the best way.

We know change is constant and we are changing. It pleases me that I can acknowledge an understanding that remains among the ruins while addressing the new understanding of my complicity. It pleases me that I can make amends by helping others realize the petition that will go public to expose Robert.

It pleases me to express myself here and mostly it pleases me to explore these changes.

Let’s please continue!

109
Serah

The Fellowship can provide the experience of living in service to something higher than oneself, so in that sense it brings a personal discovery that results in much gratitude. You have here the voices of people that have 10, 20, 30 years dedicated to this ideal, so they understand your brother. The Fellowship form brings out the best in him, but it is a false front. He faces the classic illusion of bewitchment parading as truth. I hope he will reach deeper within himself, touch his core, and not give it away to anyone.

138. Rear View Mirror - July 31, 2008

[regarding 109 from Serah] Paul wrote: “What if you are wrong? Why not take it at face value for now and let it play out?”

Paul,
We probably have a very different impression of Serah’s post, but I completely agree with you that my impression may be wrong. I’m not sure what you mean about letting it play out. Not respond? Don’t express that opinion?

My impression about it may not be correct, and that’s one of the reasons I used the word “seems.” But right now, the post still strikes me as being contrived and disingenuous. It’s my gut feeling about it. It’s my intuition.

By the way, the FOF did an excellent job of discouraging our intuition. There are many posts on previous pages that discuss this issue. With intuition, you can sense the insincerity and hypocrisy of the group, and you can sense that “perhaps I shouldn’t be here.” And rather than such a thought being characterized as a so-called “mi-fa” interval in an octave — maybe it was actually our intuion saying exactly that… “Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this. Maybe I shouldn’t be here.”

But we were taught that this is our “king of clubs.” This is an interval. Not to be trusted. When in fact our intuition was one of our dearest friends.

Amazing how one little comment from you evoked all of that. 😉 But I will listen to what you’re saying. Let’s see how it plays out then.

139. elena - July 31, 2008

Are we all suffering from Stockholm Syndrome?

Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser
By Joseph M. Carver, PhD

Mental Health Professional
Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Joe Carver’s Website

People are often amazed at their own psychological conditions and reactions. Those with depression are stunned when they remember they’ve thought of killing themselves. Patients recovering from severe psychiatric disturbances are often shocked as they remember their symptoms and behavior during the episode. A patient with Bipolar Disorder recently told me “I can’t believe I thought I could change the weather through mental telepathy!” A common reaction is “I can’t believe I did that!”

In clinical practice, some of the most surprised and shocked individuals are those who have been involved in controlling and abusive relationships. When the relationship ends, they offer comments such as “I know what he’s done to me, but I still love him”, “I don’t know why, but I want him back”, or “I know it sounds crazy, but I miss her”. Recently I’ve heard “This doesn’t make sense. He’s got a new girlfriend and he’s abusing her too…but I’m jealous!” Friends and relatives are even more amazed and shocked when they hear these comments or witness their loved one returning to an abusive relationship. While the situation doesn’t make sense from a social standpoint, does it make sense from a psychological viewpoint? The answer is – Yes!

On August 23rd, 1973 two machine-gun carrying criminals entered a bank in Stockholm, Sweden. Blasting their guns, one prison escapee named Jan-Erik Olsson announced to the terrified bank employees “The party has just begun!” The two bank robbers held four hostages, three women and one man, for the next 131 hours. The hostages were strapped with dynamite and held in a bank vault until finally rescued on August 28th.

After their rescue, the hostages exhibited a shocking attitude considering they were threatened, abused, and feared for their lives for over five days. In their media interviews, it was clear that they supported their captors and actually feared law enforcement personnel who came to their rescue. The hostages had begun to feel the captors were actually protecting them from the police. One woman later became engaged to one of the criminals and another developed a legal defense fund to aid in their criminal defense fees. Clearly, the hostages had “bonded” emotionally with their captors.

While the psychological condition in hostage situations became known as “Stockholm Syndrome” due to the publicity – the emotional “bonding” with captors was a familiar story in psychology. It had been recognized many years before and was found in studies of other hostage, prisoner, or abusive situations such as:

Abused Children
Battered/Abused Women
Prisoners of War
Cult Members
Incest Victims
Criminal Hostage Situations
Concentration Camp Prisoners
Controlling/Intimidating Relationships
In the final analysis, emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for victims of abuse and intimidation. The “Stockholm Syndrome” reaction in hostage and/or abuse situations is so well recognized at this time that police hostage negotiators no longer view it as unusual. In fact, it is often encouraged in crime situations as it improves the chances for survival of the hostages. On the down side, it also assures that the hostages experiencing “Stockholm Syndrome” will not be very cooperative during rescue or criminal prosecution. Local law enforcement personnel have long recognized this syndrome with battered women who fail to press charges, bail their battering husband/boyfriend out of jail, and even physically attack police officers when they arrive to rescue them from a violent assault.

Stockholm Syndrome (SS) can also be found in family, romantic, and interpersonal relationships. The abuser may be a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, father or mother, or any other role in which the abuser is in a position of control or authority.

It’s important to understand the components of Stockholm Syndrome as they relate to abusive and controlling relationships. Once the syndrome is understood, it’s easier to understand why victims support, love, and even defend their abusers and controllers.

Every syndrome has symptoms or behaviors and Stockholm Syndrome is no exception. While a clear-cut list has not been established due to varying opinions by researchers and experts, several of these features will be present:

Positive feelings by the victim toward the abuser/controller
Negative feelings by the victim toward family, friends, or authorities trying to rescue/support them or win their release
Support of the abuser’s reasons and behaviors
Positive feelings by the abuser toward the victim
Supportive behaviors by the victim, at times helping the abuser
Inability to engage in behaviors that may assist in their release or detachment
Stockholm Syndrome doesn’t occur in every hostage or abusive situation. In another bank robbery involving hostages, after terrorizing patrons and employees for many hours, a police sharpshooter shot and wounded the terrorizing bank robber. After he hit the floor, two women picked him up and physically held him up to the window for another shot. As you can see, the length of time one is exposed to abuse/control and other factors are certainly involved.

It has been found that four situations or conditions are present that serve as a foundation for the development of Stockholm Syndrome. These four situations can be found in hostage, severe abuse, and abusive relationships:

The presence of a perceived threat to one’s physical or psychological survival and the belief that the abuser would carry out the threat
The presence of a perceived small kindness from the abuser to the victim
Isolation from perspectives other than those of the abuser
The perceived inability to escape the situation
By considering each situation we can understand how Stockholm Syndrome develops in romantic relationships as well as criminal/hostage situations. Looking at each situation:

Perceived threat to one’s physical/psychological survival
The perception of threat can be formed by direct, indirect, or witnessed methods. Criminal or antisocial partners can directly threaten your life or the life of friends and family. Their history of violence leads us to believe that the captor/controller will carry out the threat in a direct manner if we fail to comply with their demands. The abuser assures us that only our cooperation keeps our loved ones safe.

Indirectly, the abuser/controller offers subtle threats that you will never leave them or have another partner, reminding you that people in the past have paid dearly for not following their wishes. Hints are often offered such as “I know people who can make others disappear”. Indirect threats also come from the stories told by the abuser or controller – how they obtained revenge on those who have crossed them in the past. These stories of revenge are told to remind the victim that revenge is possible if they leave.

Do ex-members living close to the Follow-sheep in Oregon House think they are afraid of revenges?

140. Rear View Mirror - August 1, 2008

Actually, I just read Innernaut’s most recent post (134 or thereabouts), and he write about this discouragement and repression of our intuition. It’s a major theme of the blog, and not articulated any better than right here, and worth reposting:

“I mistook the enormous effort it took to squash my own critical thinking for “work on myself,” work on false personality, the king of clubs, etc. One doesn’t simply turn off the BS detector. It requires an intense, sustained effort to keep it off. I found that misguided endeavor to be dangerous to my mental and physical health. Repression is an ugly thing.”

141. elena - August 1, 2008

Pavel, just sent a message twice thinking it hadn’t worked. Hope you can catch it. Thanks for your work. Elena

142. elena - August 1, 2008

Test

143. lostandfound - August 1, 2008

Greetings. The past two weeks have been filled with visitors and events.

The visitors brought and received very fine energy. It appears that this ‘bubble’ that members readily and contentedly live in is not going to burst in the foreseeable future.

I wish to thank those who wrote me in the past two weeks, and to publicly apologize for not responding to you individually until today.

However, there were numerous daily activities such as dinners with old friends, meetings with Robert, receptions, presentations on art and other Traditions, which left me with little time to respond.

Permit me to take a moment at this point in time an offer an abundance of congratulations and gratitude to everyone reading this blog who made Journey Forth and the Ballet so successful.

Lastly, while I do understand the need for the slings and arrows that you are throwing at REB, is it not a mystery that those who are able to accept REB as he is and for what he has given his students are still making a lovely profit?

It is fine to say that the members of the FOF are the ones who are blind. But to be blind and yet to still flourish and be nurtured as we are, makes it questionable as to who really is blind. (ala Serah’s brother.)

Keep those cards and letters coming, and I will do the same.

lostandfound@cheerful.com

144. Rear View Mirror - August 1, 2008

142. lostandfound.

You realize how creepy you sound, right?

——————
84. Richard M. – July 30, 2008

76. veronicapoe – July 30, 2008

“We note with pride that one man remains beyond all criticism, and that is the Fuhrer. This is because everyone senses and knows: he is always right, and he will always be right. The National Socialism of all of us is anchored in uncritical loyalty, in a surrender to the Fuhrer that does not ask about the why in individual cases, in the silent execution of his orders. We believe that the Fuhrer is obeying a higher call to shape German history. There can be no criticism of this belief.”

Rudolf Hess
__________________________________________
Richard M wrote:

“For those not up on their WWII history:
This quote is from the same Herr Hess, Hitler’s personal secretary and No. 3 in the Nazi Inner circle, who, apparently came to his senses and literally bailed-out on his dear Fuhrer, parachuting from an airplane and landing in England, where he sat out the end of WWII in prison. Hitler’s explanation to his followers was that Hess had gone insane. Sounds familiar…. “

145. veramente - August 1, 2008

142. lostandfound
Permit me to take a moment at this point in time an offer an abundance of congratulations and gratitude to everyone reading this blog who made Journey Forth and the Ballet so successful.

—————————–
What you say overall feels slimy, disgusting and darkly funny if you are playing a joke on us here. I get the feeling you are an impostor Mr. or Miss cheerful.

146. Daily Cardiac - August 1, 2008

To Traveler
41 – 307

Thanks for the moderate tone of your reply; you seem to be someone who is secure enough in your own skin that you don’t feel compelled to dismiss me, question my sanity, curse me out, or all of the above, simply because I am a member of FOF.

Of the hundreds of words I wrote in 41-211 you seemed “intrigued” with the word “alleged” more than all the others.

I see a little contradiction and a little side-stepping in your reply. First you say you are skeptical whether sex is the most discussed topic on the blog and you say it wasn’t the reason you left, but then you go on to invest a good chunk of your reply alluding to the topic of sex, specifically how I must be buffering the goings on because I used the term “alleged” in regard to the sex stories.

Once again I’ll try to make the point I thought I made. The sex stories, true or not, are not relevant to me; no part of the form of the FoF is relevant in comparison to what is given and received spiritually. I, and I assume many others, stay for the inner life. Ironically, I don’t think the claims of sex, of abuse, of misuse of money, whatever, by ex-members contributes much to those who leave. I think they leave because they didn’t feel they were improving inwardly. I say this in spite of people’s claims to the contrary. (See the section on lying to oneself in my post).

This is what I’ve come to: Men lie all the time. Not too long ago the school talked about false personality a lot. It is called “false” because it is based on a lie. Now that entity is referred to as the lower self. Some here may feel more comfortable with the word “ego.” Call it what you will, it is real and it is one of the chief obstacle to spiritual growth.

I understand Robert Burton is gay. I understand he is a sexually active individual and that his partners are FoF students. I think he would or has admitted to those things as you pointed out. What is “alleged” from my viewpoint are the claims of “innocent victims” strewn in his wake, the claims that people are being forced to do something against their free will. I’m with these potential “victims” day in and day out and I have not encountered anyone that fits the description of a victim. Maybe they are all Academy Award level actors and hide their pain well. Perhaps bloggers think that if the stories are true there should be many victims. I encounter many people like myself in the FoF; people who are exactly where they want to be. But to digress a moment I’d like to stay with the “alleged” theme.

If someone printed out all the posts on this blog related to RB’s private sex life and brought them to a judge with the intent to file charges the judge would have no choice but to show that individual the door. He would say “you need proof.” If someone accuses me of coming into their house and taking their TV set away, even if I not only did it, but unplugged it while they are watching a show, they still would need to prove it. No one will arrest me or charge me with anything until they can establish proof – an eye witness besides themselves, the TV in my possession, etc.

It’s called Due Process and it’s been adopted by most of the world’s democracies. Due Process does not exist on blogs.

Two points here are worth noting. 1) Robert Burton, like all citizens, is entitled to a private life. He does not forfeit his right to privacy just because someone believes he abused his power. And 2) proving RB had sex with a member or members does not prove abuse of power. That is much more difficult to prove, in many cases impossible to prove, as you would have to know a person’s thoughts in order to prove intent (not just Robert’s intent but the intent of the person he was reported to have had sex with.). Stating something happened is not proof it has happened. I saw a UFO yesterday, I’m sure of it.

Telling someone Influence C wanted them to have sex with him (if RB ever said that) does not prove sexual abuse, because that might be a true statement. You would first have to prove that the statement was not true, and who could disprove that statement? You would also possibly have to delve into the argument of proving the existence or non-existence of Influence C, as I see it. And people have been trying to prove or disprove the existence of “God” for as long as man has existed without any definitive success.

The bottom line is: To prove sexual abuse in Robert’s case one would first have to prove he is not conscious, as consciousness implies a direct link to the divine. And to prove he is not conscious one would be forced to prove the existence of consciousness as the Fourth Way describes it. Because if consciousness exists it’s within the realm of possibilities that he is telling the truth if he says, as people claim, that he is relaying Influence C’s wishes. If he is conscious he would only be doing his job as a teacher in relaying influence C’s wishes to a student.

So, getting back to allegations, if someone is a seeker of truth why would they settle for less proof than Due Process? Why would they not refer to these reports and claims as being alleged, which is what they are? Why would they assume anything said about RB is true just because it was stated? If I state my belief that RB is an enlightened individual would you also believe it simply because it was said? You would not in all likelihood.

Do you believe what was written about the Prophet Muhammad in the last part of 41-211? If you do believe those statements are true is it enough to cause you to re-evaluate your distrustful attitudes about Robert’s lifestyle? After all Muhammad is a Son of God equivalent and his actions in the area of sex appear to make RB seem like an Eagle Scout. If you don’t believe what’s written about the Prophet, why do you not believe it? It’s all composed of black pixels in white space, the same as the stories of Robert? Why believe one story and not another, one source and not another?

The reason is that you choose to believe the sex stories about RB because it fits into your personal agenda. We all have an agenda as someone correctly pointed out recently. Those who claim not to have one have the biggest ones. My agenda is to make it known that the FoF, with RB as its leader, has been a very positive force in my life and the lives of many of my friends and acquaintances. That is a reasonable agenda. If your agenda is to say the FoF did not live up to your expectations or that it was a negative influence on your life that also is a reasonable agenda.

If you say your agenda is to close down the FoF that is also a reasonable agenda.

But if you support untruths, half truths, truths by omission, or unsubstantiated claims, just to further along your agenda it is not reasonable and it is detrimental to you because you would have sold out an opportunity to arrive at the real truth in return for a supposed or wished for truth.

So, when someone assumes all the unsubstantiated sex stories are true they do so because they want them to be true, because that truth serves them better than another truth.

All the while an objective truth about RB/FoF does exist and some are closer to it and some are farther from it. As much as I or anyone else might praise the school or the teacher, their objective status is not elevated one iota. And as much as you or anyone else admonishes/diminishes them, their objective status is not decreased one iota. It is what it is, there to see for anyone able to rise up to the level of objective observer.

I brought up the sex in my last post merely to illustrate my only point; that most former students on this blog, by their own admission, dismiss the principles the FoF states are necessary for any work on oneself to be effective, and then turn around and blame the FoF because it did not deliver on its claims.

If an architect draws up plans for a house and the owner decides to change the size of the structural beams, he cannot blame the architect if the house caves in on him. He can only look to his own actions. If he does otherwise he does so at the price of giving up his own reasonableness.

People cannot (not unless they abandon all reason) take the FoF out of its rightful context and then judge it for being a fraud within their own imposed and arbitrary context.

The FoF only made one claim to you and to me; if we followed the principles laid out (I mentioned most of them in 41-211) we would be closer to our stated goals of wanting to be more awake and to know ourselves better.

That coincided with my wishes and was the reason I joined and all my other desires were subordinated to what the FoF said it could offer to help me realize my aim. All other things were considered distractions or diversions by me. Maybe that’s why I stayed and why it still works for me. I cannot worry about someone else’s inner work. I try to do my work and assume they do theirs. We are all adults and on our own throughout this singular journey. If another friend tells me they are struggling with something I’m happy to lend an ear, or give my opinions on how to solve it. That’s all I can do. No one can do another’s work for them.

When we joined the FoF it did not promise us we would like the teacher, or his methods, or his lifestyle. It did not claim we would be comfortable with or agreeable to everything we experienced; in fact it told us to prepare not to be comfortable or agreeable to everything and that if we were comfortable or agreeable it probably meant it was not a real school.

Traveler, if you can, please answer these questions honestly? What’s your relationship to the idea the “play is written”? Have you verified it? Have you tried to verify it? What does it imply? And if you believe it, who’s doing the writing? Have you verified Influence C?

If you did not verify these things while you were in the FoF then you had a conditional experience which was bound to eventually wind down because these are two cornerstones of esoteric work. You don’t have to take my word for it. These principles are mentioned in every esoteric tradition, albeit under different names/terminologies.

Even if all the sex stories are true (which I most seriously doubt) it would not invalidate RB as a conscious teacher and the FoF as a school in my opinion. It would most certainly suggest a different system of morals were involved from the very subjective and puritanical set of morals America was founded under. Now if someone cannot separate the subjective morality they were programmed under from birth, from real conscience/consciousness, then they are bound to reject anything outside of that morality.

Conscience and Consciousness contain all moralities.

In India at this very moment there are millions of girls who have been married since the age of 13. These girls had little say about who they married or when. It was all arranged by the parents or the groom. The men who marry these underage girls are rarely under 21 and are commonly much older than that.

If a parent in America would give their 13 year old female child to an adult man for marriage and sex the parents and the groom would be arrested and charged with statutory rape or contributing to the crime. These girls are clearly “innocent victims” of sexual abuse by many standards. There are actually man made laws in place in India to prohibit underage marriage. It is the ancient religious laws that are in favor of under aged marriages. By the way, India is one of the most spiritual countries in the world, if not the most spiritual, steeped in the esoteric traditions of Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims alike.

In truth Robert Burton is an abuser. What he abuses is the lower self, and he is relentless in that pursuit. This is why the FoF puts so much study into the lower self: because one needs to know it well before one can separate it from anything higher in us. When one begins the difficult task of separating from the machine/lower self one gets a sense of what is higher in us from what is lower, what is real from what is “learned” or mechanical. Then many things can come into a clearer light.

It is not my intention to defend the FoF; that’s not why I’m writing. It’s also not my intention to disrespect anyone else’s lifestyle or life choices. It is not my intention to recruit any former members back into the FoF. My feelings are it’s right for those who want to leave to do so, and equally right for those who want to stay to do so. There can be no better justice than that.

I am writing for the same reasons as you probably; to express my individual reality in as truthful a manner as possible. I believe that’s all anyone can do in this medium.

147. Traveler - August 1, 2008

Hello LostAndFound (142),
At first when I read your letter, I got a bit uncomfortable and maybe even embarrassed on your behalf. I was seeing several phrases that reminded me of what I have already judged to be a pretentious, patronizing, promotional and self-congratulatory style I was familiar with in the FOF, and I knew I did not want to have anything to do with that. It was kind of disgusting to me, to tell you the truth, and I saw myself looking down on it and thinking, no way, I am not touching that.
But when I stayed with your letter for a while and re-read it, the second time round it was actually kind of sad. Superficially I’m disgusted, but essentially I’m really sad and sorry that I’m not able to communicate with you in a way that would make it possible for you to see and understand a bit more of my perspective – at least not today. I’m writing this to you because it’s a process of discovery for me: I want to be clear with myself to not harbor any negative or judgmental feelings towards you, because experience tells me that doing so would be stopping short of the truth.
So even though right now we don’t have much common ground to stand on or use as a basis of dialog, I would like you to know that even though I am not choosing your lifestyle, I am not against you. I do believe that you are free to make your own life-choices, to use your own discernment to decide which direction to take. I trust that you are fully responsible for taking care of yourself, and I know that what you are choosing is because you only want the best possible fate for yourself and your friends. Robert Burton promises that you will have that with him in the Fellowship, and you have had your own positive experiences, so naturally you would want to hold on to the vessel that gives you so much hope, clear guidance and sense of belonging. Whatever happens with you in the future, I will be encouraged to think that sometimes you will remember what I suppose brought both you and me to the Fellowship in the first place: the need for truth and reality. Because that is what matters to me most, and that is what I have the most trust in.
With warm regards,
Traveler

148. Traveler - August 1, 2008

Daily Cardiac (145) : What fun! We get to play with ideas and logical reasoning 🙂 I will get back to your post, it’s more involved and it will take a while… Thanks for the reply. I also appreciate your moderate tone even if I disagree with many of the things you are saying. But at least we can converse!

149. nigel harris price - August 1, 2008

145 Daily Cardiac
One thing you may not know is that, officially, REB is not a private citizen, but as a leader of a so-called ‘church’, is as public as the governor of California. This means he cannot sue for libel, however outrageous the claims may be towards him. And ‘due process’ works both ways. In other words, bloggers have every right to have their stories told, just as much as FOFfers like yourself have a right to defend their reasons for being in the cult…..Nigel.

150. Rear View Mirror - August 1, 2008

Weird.

That’s the word that comes to mind tonight.

Of course, it’s the word that most often comes to mind when I think of the entire experience of the Fellowship of Friends. Just weird.

On a previous page of this blog, W.T. writes in and mentions Charles Manson in measured tones, as though that murderer’s viewpoint on spirituality is something worth contemplating and reflecting upon. Really over the top, but I noticed only one response by someone who hinted at the insanity of such a viewpoint.

“The only point I’m trying to make here is that you must separate your moral sense from your spiritual sense,” he wrote. “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.”

People, whatever measured tones you wish to use, whatever pretense of intellectual restraint, and whatever politeness, the Fellowship of Friends is a cult led by a very sick man named Robert Burton. He hurts people, and people allow themselves to be hurt by him. We’re here talking about that, because we can, and because it is something that has not been talked about nearly enough.

All of the debate about whether anyone should or should not care about these issues is really quite odd to me. In more than one post, there’s a suggestion that we shouldn’t even be having this discussion, and I even found myself buying into that idea. There’s been so much talk here questioning people’s motives and intent for talking about these topics — anywhere from “should we really try to change what others believe” to “there’s freedom of religion in this country” to “you can’t help someone who won’t help themselves” to “no one will hear it.”

Any time you communicate, whether it’s talking, or writing here, or giving an ‘angle’ at an FOF meeting, you communicate what is within yourself, and you offer a part of your self for those who are willing to hear it. Speaking your opinion does not imply that you disagree with freedom of religion, or that you are using the “wrong triad,” or that you are trying to shove your viewpoint down someone’s throat who doesn’t want to hear it. You speak your opinion and listen to other opinions because it may help each of us understand something about ourselves. And because you learn.

And because speaking your opinion and hearing the opinions of others is healthy and life giving, both to your soul and to your intellect, and to your community, and healthy for your relationships to others.

Open discussion.

It brings fresh air into the room, not just to “convince” anyone, but simply to bring the fresh air into the room. Whether anyone breathes that air is entirely up to them. But to suggest that this discussion is somehow misguided because it is direct and filled with critical thinking — that to me is just more of the same. More of the same. More of the same.

More of the same from Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends.

Open your eyes. You joined this group to seek the truth and to understand the truth about yourselves and your place on this earth. See the irony in that. See the irony in the fact that the truth is the last thing that Robert Burton wants you to know.

Keep talking. Keep disagreeing. Keep arguing. Shout if you have to. Do it with anger. Do it with love.

======

In my “opinion,” the following is one of the most powerful quotations presented here, and always worth reposting. Here, Hess captures a part of me that lingered there at Apollo and in the FOF.

Do you see it in yourself?

77. veronicapoe – July 30, 2008

“We note with pride that one man remains beyond all criticism, and that is the Fuhrer. This is because everyone senses and knows: he is always right, and he will always be right. The National Socialism of all of us is anchored in uncritical loyalty, in a surrender to the Fuhrer that does not ask about the why in individual cases, in the silent execution of his orders. We believe that the Fuhrer is obeying a higher call to shape German history. There can be no criticism of this belief.”

Rudolf Hess

151. lostandfound - August 1, 2008

Dear Traveler

Re # 146

This was a very well written and heartfelt posting. I thank you for the effort.

Please know that were I not receiving truth or reality I would have departed long ago.

And this is the enigma: How is it that there are approximately 1700 members currently experiencing higher states,and receiving very fine and unique knowledge. While at the same time, there were approximately 15,000 who have entered and left with a deep sense of fraudulence and regret?

This is a great Mystery.

For myself, the verifications continue that this is a real School of awakening. And this is why the School will continue: not because of one man, but because most members continue to receive spiritual nourishment and verifying their own growth in being and understanding.

Again, I thank you for the posting. It was thoughtful and void of cynicism and obscenities.

152. Rear View Mirror - August 1, 2008

Weird.

That’s the word that comes to mind tonight.

153. brucelevy - August 1, 2008

You know what’s bizarre? About twenty or thirty pages back there were two people here at the same time, exactly like Cardiac and lostandfound. Wasn’t it Howard Carter and someone else playing the same roles with the same bull shit?

Pardon the digression. Even if it’s the same shit, it’s still pretty mind boggling to hear these viewpoints. They don’t change. They can’t afford to let them change. Luckily they are a small minority in the over all picture.

154. brucelevy - August 1, 2008

I would think that more people in the FOF are conflicted and searching then share our friends views. I would hope so.

155. Yesri Baba - August 1, 2008

145

“I saw a UFO yesterday, I’m sure of it.”

You were dropped off by a UFO yesterday. A UFO from BULLSHIT MAJOR.

C-influence told me to tell you to go fuck yourself. Just doing my job.

156. Yesri Baba - August 1, 2008

150

Hey, moron, put a plug in it.

157. Yesri Baba - August 1, 2008

152 Bruce

You know, now that you mention it Daily Brainfartattack sounds just like that droid Howard Carter and Lostandfound sounds like the dweeb from page ten that did all the card tricks with Paola.

158. Renald - August 1, 2008

120. Rear View Mirror

After being the guest of RB for a third consecutive dinner in a row, my partner had the nerve to ask her “teacher” how he saw the idea of “being food for the moon”. Being ignored or otherwise being given the “deaf ear” to her question, she dared to repeat her question.

That was game, set and match. The next morning we received the message from one of the underlings that she needed to leave Oregon House and not speak to any members (students) for one year. Further without so much as an attempt at giving me an explanation, I was told I could leave with her if I so wished.

The above anectdote is not meant to invite comments nor restrict them in any way, but to attempt to paint a realistic picture of how one’s life proceeds from the inside of the Fellowship of Friends.

159. jack - August 1, 2008

Dear Lost and Found.
Just a couple of questions.
Why would an “awakened man” need to do such a sword swallowing act with so many pork swords?
Wouldn’t an “enlightened being” a “God man”, have access to a much more varied palette of possible means of working on diminishing the ” reptilian brain” of his “disciples”?
Why do you feel the need to defend him?
As you surely realize that is what you have been doing, justifying and defending him.
I don’t deny that It’s possible to make profit interacting with so many similarly concerned friends.
I contend that it happens wherever people get together for those reasons legitimately and that it would still happen in the absence of the present leadership also.
But your position is understandable, as the water generally gets warmer so slowly that before you know it you are boiled and not thinking of going anywhere.
All I can say to you is that many of my friends and myself included, were drawn there for noble reasons, left for noble reasons and now try to shine a light on what we have concluded is against the spirit of “the work” for noble reasons.
I wish that some new “third force” might penetrate your understanding.
But I realize that it would be almost like expecting a leopard to become a puma suddenly and miraculously.
So you are condemned to your role and I to mine.
It occurs that you might be an intellectual device sent by some sympathetic soul, devised to prompt us…….

—————————————
Across the River.
Have you heard anything from F.
Im anxious to install.
All the very best to all.
And good luck to those still in the ” FeelieShip of Friends”.
Because you’ll need it.
Jx

160. arthur - August 1, 2008

They say the Fellowship of Friends is based on the Fourth Way Knowledge brought forth to the West by G. I. Gurdjieff.

Personally, I can’t imagine Gurdjieff and the other major players sucking dicks as “Way” to enlightment.

Renald (157)

You and your partner’s experience with Robert E. Burton sounds like the Rudolf Hess quote.

161. Ellen - August 1, 2008

#142 & 150 Lost and Found

It is a mystery, I agree. It is possible to exerience some very fine higher states within the context of the Fellowship of Friends. And in my time, I’ve experienced a few nervous breakdowns over these very same questions, so I don’t respond lightly about it now.

If you were a Martian and were givem a piece of fool’s gold and told that it was real gold. Well, what would you think? Most likely you would take it on face value, wouldn’t you? You might read up on the characteristics of gold, compare it with what you had in your hand and consider yourself to be pretty lucky. That is until one day, seemingly by chance, you encounter an expert jeweler who shows you the real stuff. Amazing…but I thought…

#145 Daily Cardiac

You say “This is what I’ve come to: Men lie all the time. Not too long ago the school talked about false personality a lot. It is called “false” because it is based on a lie. Now that entity is referred to as the lower self. Some here may feel more comfortable with the word “ego.” Call it what you will, it is real and it is one of the chief obstacle to spiritual growth.”

Agreed. Let’s call it ego. Let’s agree that this ego-personality is formed in say the first year and one half to two two years of life. Can we do that? Because it is created within this lifetime, at least theoretically, it also can be dissolved, and in this lifetime, too. The conditions for that dissolution may be described as the various esoteric pathways of all religions. Still agreed?

Those pathways when composed of two or more people may inevitably become an even more crystallized egoic entity, we can call it School, or we can call it collective ego. Both may be true. OK?

But a teacher’s job on any one of those pathways is guiding any particular individual towards releasing the powerful control of the egoic personality over their own energetic life. That’s it. And if a collective entity is formed, the central aim remains, now compounded by two levels of ego both individual and collective. Within the collective however, certain psychologically expanding experiences are now available that to the lone individual that were not possible. Still agreed?

Nevertheless a teacher’s only true validating credentials in this most difficult and noble of travel-guidance-towards-liberation professions, is to be fully liberated himself/herself. A teacher, whose impurity of motive is now so fully documented in these 42 pages greatly reflects the schism of Robert Buron, the man. He may be able create higher states, and inspire others to experience previously unknown worlds in themselves, but if the guidance does not lead to a total release of the constrictions of the individual ego cramp, what can you say? Who’s to blame? The student? The teacher? The path? Still with me?

If you were to take a journey over dangerous territory and had a deep and sincere wish to reach the other shore, wouldn’t you choose your guide carefully? Many guides can take you into the woods and show you many marvellous things. They may ask, and you may give them your money, time, talents, sex and power in exchange for such guidance, but can you find a trustworthy guide whose purity of motive shows itself in action, through his (unprofessed) love and careful attention equally to your own as well as that of others’ progress? If these pages and your own experience cannot show you the dark, untrustworthy side of Robert Burton, then it is your fate to remain in the Fellowship of Friends until by luck or by chance some day you encounter some real gold.

And you must know that I wish you well.

162. lauralupa - August 1, 2008

ton 91
thanks for that link. I read the transcripts of the broadcast and was moved and inspired. Are you familiar with the British Up series? That’s another great effort at documenting the thoughts and stories of “common people”.
BTW, whalerider, have you been you getting some positive feedback on the documentary project?

http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19981025/REVIEWS08/401010370/1023

163. Mick Danger - August 1, 2008

Don’t Cross the Blog without a Paddle
I read (142) as pure farce and somewhat enjoyed it.
Life seems better when you’re easily amused and slow to wrath.

164. lostandfound - August 1, 2008

It must be obvious by now that my posting are not intended for the hardliners, either within or without the FOF; all of whom are beyond ‘conversion.’

As stated previously, this blog is an ideal place to allow those who are confused about their leaving the FOF, as well as those who are considering returning, to anonymously discuss their conflicts via correspondence.

And, I grateful to the Sheik for his open mindedness to allow these postings.

To those who have left and found a better way, I wish you success.

To those who have left and found a bitter way, I wish you a speedy recovery.

165. ton - August 1, 2008

ya laura i’m familiar with the “UP” series… highly recommended if others are not familiar. by the way, that Democracy Now link is a good one to bookmark if you haven’t already.

cardiac / lost and found
what can be said to someone who’s convinced that a lie is true ? do you suppose it makes any difference that you’ve spent a lot of time getting the pieces in your puzzle to fit together? you (“one”) can rationalize anything (your posts are an example) and so now you think you have it all figured out… but wait, there’s a fly in your ointment…. the followship is a scam based on lies, deception and a fairy’s tale about “conscious being.” you and others of your ilk believe this load of hogwash, adherents buy into it by internalizing false premises, assumptions and inferences, all amounting to nothing more than a personal house-of-cards. it’s a plaything, a group mind-fuck for a very very small (“select”) flock of brainwashed individuals. here’s a conundrum — when you’re brainwashed, you’re convinced that the “program” you’ve dialed into is “the truth” and so you can’t see the trap or the crap for what it is. it’s not an easy trap to escape but others have done so and you can too when you begin to wake-up… good luck with that, sincerely.

166. Man Number Zero - August 1, 2008

Daily Cardiac wrote, in post # 145:

“It’s called Due Process and it’s been adopted by most of the world’s democracies. Due Process does not exist on blogs.

Two points here are worth noting. 1) Robert Burton, like all citizens, is entitled to a private life. He does not forfeit his right to privacy just because someone believes he abused his power. And 2) proving RB had sex with a member or members does not prove abuse of power. That is much more difficult to prove, in many cases impossible to prove, as you would have to know a person’s thoughts in order to prove intent (not just Robert’s intent but the intent of the person he was reported to have had sex with.). Stating something happened is not proof it has happened. I saw a UFO yesterday, I’m sure of it.

Telling someone Influence C wanted them to have sex with him (if RB ever said that) does not prove sexual abuse, because that might be a true statement. You would first have to prove that the statement was not true, and who could disprove that statement? You would also possibly have to delve into the argument of proving the existence or non-existence of Influence C, as I see it. And people have been trying to prove or disprove the existence of “God” for as long as man has existed without any definitive success.”

That’s not the way Due Process works. As to your point 1, our society does hold culpable a priest who fucks his parishioners, or a doctor who fucks his patients, or a father who fucks his children. No valid consent can be given in these cases, even where the victims are adults, because of the inherent imbalance of power in the relationship. If Robert spent his weekends cruising Castro Street for sex with random strangers, I don’t suppose anyone on the blog would have any problem with that; the objection is not to gay sex, but to manipulative sex.

Your point 2 is, “Maybe it’s OK, because Influence C told him to do it.” The “God told me to do it” defense has been tried before — this is the FLDS excuse for fucking underage girls — but it never stands up in court. Even if Robert could persuade Leonardo da Vinci to appear on the witness stand and testify on his behalf, Leonardo would just get busted as an accessory. Courts have never found it necessary to pronounce on the existence or non-existence of God before dismissing defenses of this kind.

Isn’t it just the slightest bit strange that Influence C’s prescription for the spiritual development of any attractive young man coincides so nicely with what’s convenient for Robert’s sex life?

167. Rear View Mirror - August 1, 2008

152 and 153. brucelevy: “Even if it’s the same shit, it’s still pretty mind boggling to hear these viewpoints. They don’t change. They can’t afford to let them change. Luckily they are a small minority in the over all picture… I would think that more people in the FOF are conflicted and searching then share our friends views. I would hope so.”

I believe the same. We’ve been there, and have been conflicted ourselves. People tried to tell me. I didn’t listen at the time. But I remember and appreciate that they tried. It helped.
———

Mick Danger: “I read (142) as pure farce and somewhat enjoyed it.
Life seems better when you’re easily amused and slow to wrath.”

Good points. 142 may be farce, partly so they can be amused by our responses to it, and partly to make a point about how absurd some of these viewpoints are.

Maybe another way to look at it… You begin to see how bad something has gotten when it’s hard to detect whether it’s satire or reality. The first book written about the Fellowship may be noted for how much it makes people laugh and think at the same time. It may also be noted for how disturbing it is — a the FOF is yet another example of humans being easily deceived. Same with the first documentary about the FOF — if one is ever made.

———–
Renald (157), best wishes to you and your partner. It’s easy for me to say, but I’m glad she asked the question. She has more courage than I ever did when I was a member of the FOF. I wish I had done something similar. I wish we all had, and I hope many others follow her lead. Thanks for sharing with us what happened.

168. arthur - August 1, 2008

It is my opinion that Robert E. Burton is a mother-fucker. It was reported that he didnt visit his mother while she was sick nor attended her funeral.

It was also reported that he made an attempt to attend his mother’s funeral but changed his mind. This act in essence is spiritual in nature and simply means, “fuck you, mother”.

In Maurice Nicoll’s Psychological Commentaries, volume one he explaines the Fourth Way concept of how life becomes your teacher. No “Fellowship of Friends” needed. Page 270-273.
Robert L. Burton is a Fourth Way fake from beginning to end.

Rodney Collin in his book, “Theory of Celestial Influence” issues forth the idea that blood has mystical properties. That the ancient Hebrews knew it, that Christ never drank wine and wafers and it seems other cultures understood or misunderstood something about blood because of the sacrifices
of blood, virgins and all.

In New Mexico there is an Ayurvedic clinic that offers “blood letting”. Maybe Robert E. Burton needs to have a spiritual cleansing to rid himself of demons.

169. elena - August 1, 2008

Are we all suffering different degrees of Stockholm Syndrome, especially Lost and Found and Daily Cardiac?

Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser

By Joseph M. Carver, PhD

Mental Health Professional
Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Joe Carver’s Website

People are often amazed at their own psychological conditions and reactions. Those with depression are stunned when they remember they’ve thought of killing themselves. Patients recovering from severe psychiatric disturbances are often shocked as they remember their symptoms and behavior during the episode. A patient with Bipolar Disorder recently told me “I can’t believe I thought I could change the weather through mental telepathy!” A common reaction is “I can’t believe I did that!”
In clinical practice, some of the most surprised and shocked individuals are those who have been involved in controlling and abusive relationships. When the relationship ends, they offer comments such as “I know what he’s done to me, but I still love him”, “I don’t know why, but I want him back”, or “I know it sounds crazy, but I miss her”. Recently I’ve heard “This doesn’t make sense. He’s got a new girlfriend and he’s abusing her too…but I’m jealous!” Friends and relatives are even more amazed and shocked when they hear these comments or witness their loved one returning to an abusive relationship. While the situation doesn’t make sense from a social standpoint, does it make sense from a psychological viewpoint? The answer is – Yes!
On August 23rd, 1973 two machine-gun carrying criminals entered a bank in Stockholm, Sweden. Blasting their guns, one prison escapee named Jan-Erik Olsson announced to the terrified bank employees “The party has just begun!” The two bank robbers held four hostages, three women and one man, for the next 131 hours. The hostages were strapped with dynamite and held in a bank vault until finally rescued on August 28th.
After their rescue, the hostages exhibited a shocking attitude considering they were threatened, abused, and feared for their lives for over five days. In their media interviews, it was clear that they supported their captors and actually feared law enforcement personnel who came to their rescue. The hostages had begun to feel the captors were actually protecting them from the police. One woman later became engaged to one of the criminals and another developed a legal defense fund to aid in their criminal defense fees. Clearly, the hostages had “bonded” emotionally with their captors.
While the psychological condition in hostage situations became known as “Stockholm Syndrome” due to the publicity – the emotional “bonding” with captors was a familiar story in psychology. It had been recognized many years before and was found in studies of other hostage, prisoner, or abusive situations such as:
Abused Children
Battered/Abused Women
Prisoners of War
Cult Members
Incest Victims
Criminal Hostage Situations
Concentration Camp Prisoners
Controlling/Intimidating Relationships
In the final analysis, emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for victims of abuse and intimidation. The “Stockholm Syndrome” reaction in hostage and/or abuse situations is so well recognized at this time that police hostage negotiators no longer view it as unusual. In fact, it is often encouraged in crime situations as it improves the chances for survival of the hostages. On the down side, it also assures that the hostages experiencing “Stockholm Syndrome” will not be very cooperative during rescue or criminal prosecution. Local law enforcement personnel have long recognized this syndrome with battered women who fail to press charges, bail their battering husband/boyfriend out of jail, and even physically attack police officers when they arrive to rescue them from a violent assault.
Stockholm Syndrome (SS) can also be found in family, romantic, and interpersonal relationships. The abuser may be a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, father or mother, or any other role in which the abuser is in a position of control or authority.
It’s important to understand the components of Stockholm Syndrome as they relate to abusive and controlling relationships. Once the syndrome is understood, it’s easier to understand why victims support, love, and even defend their abusers and controllers.
Every syndrome has symptoms or behaviors and Stockholm Syndrome is no exception. While a clear-cut list has not been established due to varying opinions by researchers and experts, several of these features will be present:
Positive feelings by the victim toward the abuser/controller
Negative feelings by the victim toward family, friends, or authorities trying to rescue/support them or win their release
Support of the abuser’s reasons and behaviors
Positive feelings by the abuser toward the victim
Supportive behaviors by the victim, at times helping the abuser
Inability to engage in behaviors that may assist in their release or detachment
Stockholm Syndrome doesn’t occur in every hostage or abusive situation. In another bank robbery involving hostages, after terrorizing patrons and employees for many hours, a police sharpshooter shot and wounded the terrorizing bank robber. After he hit the floor, two women picked him up and physically held him up to the window for another shot. As you can see, the length of time one is exposed to abuse/control and other factors are certainly involved.
It has been found that four situations or conditions are present that serve as a foundation for the development of Stockholm Syndrome. These four situations can be found in hostage, severe abuse, and abusive relationships:
The presence of a perceived threat to one’s physical or psychological survival and the belief that the abuser would carry out the threat
The presence of a perceived small kindness from the abuser to the victim
Isolation from perspectives other than those of the abuser
The perceived inability to escape the situation
By considering each situation we can understand how Stockholm Syndrome develops in romantic relationships as well as criminal/hostage situations. Looking at each situation:
Perceived threat to one’s physical/psychological survival

The perception of threat can be formed by direct, indirect, or witnessed methods. Criminal or antisocial partners can directly threaten your life or the life of friends and family. Their history of violence leads us to believe that the captor/controller will carry out the threat in a direct manner if we fail to comply with their demands. The abuser assures us that only our cooperation keeps our loved ones safe.
Indirectly, the abuser/controller offers subtle threats that you will never leave them or have another partner, reminding you that people in the past have paid dearly for not following their wishes. Hints are often offered such as “I know people who can make others disappear”. Indirect threats also come from the stories told by the abuser or controller – how they obtained revenge on those who have crossed them in the past. These stories of revenge are told to remind the victim that revenge is possible if they leave.
Witnessing violence or aggression is also a perceived threat. Witnessing a violent temper directed at a television set, others on the highway, or a third party clearly sends us the message that we could be the next target for violence. Witnessing the thoughts and attitudes of the abuser/controller is threatening and intimidating, knowing that we will be the target of those thoughts in the future.

170. somebody - August 1, 2008

150. lostandfound
“How is it that there are approximately 1700 members currently experiencing higher states, and receiving very fine and unique knowledge. While at the same time, there were approximately 15,000 who have entered and left with a deep sense of fraudulence and regret?”

If there are 1700 members currently in the FOF it does not mean that all of them are experiencing higher states, receiving fine and unique knowledge, etc.

Many of them do not go to any events. Those who do go are not all the same either. Listen to some of the conversations AFTER the events and you might be surprised to find out that some people are mocking it, laughing about the absurdities they had to listen, or being angry. Fine and unique knowledge is BS.

Still, a few hundred members are probably very strongly wish to believe that they are experiencing higher states and receiving a unique knowledge. No mystery here – just fooling themselves.

171. Pavel - August 1, 2008

166 and 169 are newly moderated.

172. God Laughing - August 1, 2008

150

Lost and Found
I recognize that voice. It’s Karen John….

Well, if ever there was a person who gave up her Life
it’s Karen J, it’s a bit like becoming a nun, joining the monastery
the married to Christ -but-to-RB kind of thing

For all the KJ’s in the FOF it would be devastating to see the truth
of the situation, to accept what is so obvious to us,
to remove her self and to move on

Fear, age, out of touch with the world are all factors
But the longer they wait the harder it will get

I truly feel sorry for them

173. Ellen - August 1, 2008

#170 somebody
Good points.
What is happening in the moment is far different than struttin´ stats.

174. Ill Never Tell - August 1, 2008

161. Ellen – August 1, 2008:

What you describe, in more simplistic terms, goes like this:

Life is like a thorn in your side. A school, a teaching, a spiritual or religious path, the Work, represents the thorn one uses to remove the ‘thorn of life’ from your side. But, if you are not careful, you just might get two thorns caught in your side.

What more terrible result can one get from work on one’s self than to have and maintain your own ego (good student act, or whatever) plus to have and maintain the collective ego?

This above ‘thorn’ analogy was one positive angle given at an FOF meeting some 30 years ago by someone who is no longer an FoF member. In that sense, can something positive come from one’s experience of FoF? Why yes, one can leave, that’s positive. Positive like stopping beating your head against a brick wall.

175. innernaut - August 1, 2008

166 Man Number Zero

Excellent points. I found it interesting that Daily Cardiac’s method for exonerating Robert Burton was based on whether his conduct could technically be prosecuted in court (which you have cast doubt on). In other words, if legal loopholes could free him from prosecution, that somehow makes his behavior okay. That’s a pretty shaky foundation for trust in the so-called conscious being.

This from Daily Cardiac’s post stood out:

“The bottom line is: To prove sexual abuse in Robert’s case one would first have to prove he is not conscious”

Huh? I’m pretty sure judges find people guilty of sexual abuse every day without referring to consciousness. This kind of tortured logic is required, however, to continue to believe the fairy tales inherent in Robert Burton’s, um, unique new religion of the lower self and the sequins.

176. elena - August 1, 2008

Pavel, any idea why you’re suddenly needing to moderate my posts when so many have gone out from this computer without moderation? I tried to post five times yesterday but only the test ones went in. Just wondering, would appreciate to know. Thanks again, Elena.

177. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 1, 2008

151 lostandfound

“And this is the enigma: How is it that there are approximately 1700 members currently experiencing higher states,and receiving very fine and unique knowledge. While at the same time, there were approximately 15,000 who have entered and left with a deep sense of fraudulence and regret?”

This is not an “enigma.” It’s “formatory thinking” and it’s “lying.” No one can know how many other people are experiencing anything–only the person herself. That applies to the people who left, too. Based on their comments, there are plenty of former members who didn’t leave with a “deep sense of fraudulence and regret.” I didn’t leave with such a sense.

I left with a sense that RB was a person of very modest learning, with nothing to offer intellectually beyond quoting Ouspensky and the authors of the Harvard Classics, nothing to offer emotionally beyond a false modesty overlaying a very obvious and unapologetic lack of genuine affection for anyone who didn’t contribute to satisfying his various appetities.

I left with a sense that he had serious sexual hangups, and, much worse, had no interest at all in outgrowing them, or even in acknowledging that they were weaknesses rather than strengths, and a sense that such a person was of limited value to me.

I left with a sense that the members who were joining increasingly were naive people with a limited command of the English language. Make of that what you will.

I left with a sense that what may first have reflected my sincere interest in awakening was becoming little more than a crutch that allowed me to maintain a sense of being special, along with other ego-boosting illusions, while also allowing me to believe I was doing everything I could to awaken. But I knew better.

I left with a sense that the financial cost of participation was exhorbitant and out of all proportion to benefits offered, in a common-sense way, and it would only become more so.

I left with a disinclination to be a part of any group that prided itself on looking down on five billion people as worthless shit.

I left with a sense that the vanity of the group had crystalized, and that this vanity was contagious.

I left with a sense that I was bored with the routine of gatherings, arranging “biscuits” on pretty platters, bored with hearing the same recycled “angles,” bored with the strain of pretending that any of the activities were actually enjoyable.

I left with the sense that there was much more to maturity in any sense of the word than dressing up in grandpa’s clothes, overindulging in alcohol, and acting “intentional.”

I had no regrets, and as for fraudulent, well, if you believe RB sincerely believes that he is the highest being since Jesus, that the Fellowship is not only a “conscious school” but the only such thing on earth, that allowing him to suck your penis is the best possible choice you can make in your life, that God speaks directly to Robert Earl Burton and only to him, making him infallible, that artists throughout history and prehistory have transmitted their knowledge of the Sequence and the Four Wordless Breaths in their works, etc., then no, I would not call it fraudulent. Just delusional and pretty silly.

178. Richard M. - August 1, 2008

146. Daily Cardiac

Even if all the sex stories are true (which I most seriously doubt) it would not invalidate RB as a conscious teacher and the FoF as a school in my opinion. It would most certainly suggest a different system of morals were involved from the very subjective and puritanical set of morals America was founded under. Now if someone cannot separate the subjective morality they were programmed under from birth, from real conscience/consciousness, then they are bound to reject anything outside of that morality

—————————————————————-

Do you realize how truly absurd this statement is? In fact, the twisted rationalizations you have peppered throughout your post, left me in a jaw-dropping state of disbelief that anyone could be so desperate to hide from truth.

Here is a fact:
For a period of five months, while an employee of the Fellowship of Friends in the capacity of secretary to the head minister, Mr. Burton, I was regularly pressured to engage in sexual activities by him, which I started to refuse after initially submitting. After candid, seemingly rational discussions with Mr. Burton, where I explained why I did not wish to participate in sexual activities, I felt we had reached an understanding that I would not be a sex partner with him. I have never had any personal interest in homosexual relations. This was not part of the official job description. Later, while traveling with Burton, I had to once physically resist Burton’s aggressive advances. I have described this event in a previous post on this blog. A short time after this, I was transferred to a new job on construction of the Academy. While this was clearly sexual harassment by a church official for whom I was working, I did not file a civil suit against the Fellowship of Friends Church. I said nothing.
Why? Because I was brainwashed, like you, into rationalizing this behavior with the same intellectual justifications you use throughout your post. In fact I remained a member of the FOF for another 13 years and a personal friend of Burton.

I had or have no interest in legal or civil action, but I will defend the accounts I have made to no end.

When I left the FOF, the sexual habits of Burton was not the main reason. It was the result of 20 years of close observation of Burton’s insatiable greed and need for material possessions and sensual pleasures of the most basic human nature. I believed these selfish traits to be his core being. My conscience knew that these were not qualities of a conscious teacher or spiritually evolved being. I emerged from the opiate haze of blind faith masquerading as verification.

Yes, the play is written and you are living a reality of words, which do not amount to much in the end.
I wish you luck with your “individual reality”.

179. paulshabram - August 1, 2008

Cardiac 146
Don’t you find the concepts you presented as contradictory

“The bottom line is: To prove sexual abuse in Robert’s case one would first have to prove he is not conscious, as consciousness implies a direct link to the divine. And to prove he is not conscious one would be forced to prove the existence of consciousness as the Fourth Way describes it.”

AND

“Traveler, if you can, please answer these questions honestly? What’s your relationship to the idea the “play is written”? Have you verified it? Have you tried to verify it? What does it imply? And if you believe it, who’s doing the writing? Have you verified Influence C?

If you did not verify these things while you were in the FoF then you had a conditional experience which was bound to eventually wind down because these are two cornerstones of esoteric work.”

180. paulshabram - August 1, 2008

lostandfound 151 Cardiac 146
Please tell us how you verified C influence.

181. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 1, 2008

146 Daily Cardiac

D.C., certain things are really not susceptible to logical, rational explanation. In fact, the most important things are not. There is nothing logical or rational about your own interest in the Fellowship, and that’s just as it should be. So I think we should consider the value of trying to discuss such matters in an intellectual way, as though we were working through a mathematical proof.

But if you’re going to use that method, at least know what you’re talking about. When it comes to the law, you do not know what you’re talking about. If I see you steal my television, and there are no other witnesses and no other proof, and I can persuade a policeman that you stole my television, you will be arrested. And if the prosecutor finds my story compelling, she will charge you. And if I testify that I saw you steal my television and you testify that you did not, and the jury believes me and does not believe you, you will be convicted. It happens every day, thousands of times a day. Ask Abe Goldman–you’ll see.

Due process has nothing to do with needing evidence beyond the testimony of a witness, even if the only witness is the alleged victim. It has to do with such things as giving the accused a reasonable opportunity to defend herself. Sure, people may be falsely accused, and so very often additional evidence is demanded, but it’s not because it’s legally necessary, but because otherwise the jury isn’t persuaded in that particular case that the accuser is telling the truth.

The reason is that I choose to believe the sex stories about RB is not because “it fits into my personal agenda,” but because I personally experienced it, and because I know personally more than a couple of men who personally experienced it whose veracity I know I can trust.

The question I have for you, D.C., is why you go to such lengths to rationalize intellectually something that any mature individual knows has the stench of hypocrisy and sexual obsession. It’s one thing to say “I tend to think RB may have actually had hundreds of lovers among his heterosexual followers, and I think it’s possible this indicates he has serious problems in the area of sex, but on balance I feel I can still gain something out of the Fellowship experience.” It’s another to spin lengthy intellectual, legalistic arguments, based on completely inaccurate premises about the law, to try not only to defend your membership, but to undermine what I can assure you is quite true.

182. Bares Reposting - August 1, 2008

175. innernaut – August 1, 2008,
and anyone who reads:

All that glitters is not gold; sometimes it’s sequins (sequence).

FoF members: Put that in your alchemical pipe and smoke it with four wordless breaths.

183. Just the Facts Ma'am - August 1, 2008

Elena: One possibility as to why your posts may get moderated is that they are enormously long; much longer than many others. IMHO, by observation, it appears that other moderated posts, of people that post regularly unmoderatedly, is that they get moderated when a post is very long. Other flagging for moderation may take place when: 1) multiple postings occur too frequently in a short period of time, 2) posting contains more than one URL link, 3) certain words or phrases of a harmful nature are used. There may be others. I could be wrong on some of these and I am open to others’ observations and the Sheik’s or Pavel’s declarations. These are somewhat standard, and sometimes selectable, conditions for blogs, in order to help ‘keep the peace.’

184. brucelevy - August 1, 2008

174. Ill Never Tell

Brings back a memory of thirty odd years ago. Back then RB told me I was the thorn in his side.

185. brucelevy - August 1, 2008

175. innernaut

I was trying to hold back and let others ponce on Cardiac’s bs, but fuck it, he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about.

186. brucelevy - August 1, 2008

177. Just Another Voice Out Here

Beautiful.

187. Ill Never Tell - August 1, 2008

183. brucelevy – August 1, 2008:

174. Ill Never Tell

Brings back a memory of thirty odd years ago. Back then RB told me I was the thorn in his side.

– – – – – –

Thanks for your history input.

So, there you go, Bruce, you’re still a thorn in his side. He was telling you the truth and that is just another example of a positive thing from FoF and/or the Teacher.

[Makes me wonder how many ‘thorns in his side’ REB has? Or, is that ‘thorns in his mouth?’ Whatever!]

188. lostandfound - August 1, 2008

Re # 168 (Arthur)

I read your posting with compassion. If not going to the funeral was so upsetting, it is best that you left. Try to let this account go, as I am sure his mother did not mind that he was not there.

Re # 175 (paulsabram) on verifying C Influence.

Your question is very difficult to answer, as this type of verification cannot be explained to or by the mind. Like love, it is felt by one’s heart and not the intellect.

At the same time, if after a certain period of time one has not been able to verify C Influence, then there is no reason to remain in the FOF, as what you are seeking can be found almost anywhere these days.

Lastly, is it possible to receive an answer from many of the 1.1 billion catholics in the world as to why they know that the pope is infallible? In catholicism a cult?

Re #172 (god laughing)

Now you have me laughing.
Karen J. is a lovely person in her own right, and much too bright to correspond to the blog.

189. Richard M. - August 1, 2008

146. Daily cardiac
In truth Robert Burton is an abuser. What he abuses is the lower self, and he is relentless in that pursuit. This is why the FoF puts so much study into the lower self: because one needs to know it well before one can separate it from anything higher in us. When one begins the difficult task of separating from the machine/lower self one gets a sense of what is higher in us from what is lower, what is real from what is “learned” or mechanical. Then many things can come into a clearer light.
____________________________

You sure got this right. When that “clearer light” finally appears to you after years of studying and abusing your lower self, it may illuminate a void where your soul and conscience used to be.
All you will have is an intellectual belief system of what is higher and lower in yourself—in other words the duality, of right or wrong thinking that you question throughout your post.

“The meek shall inherit nothing”
—Frank Zappa

190. Richard M. - August 1, 2008

187. lostandfound

Re # 168 (Arthur)

Try to let this account go, as I am sure his mother did not mind that he was not there.
______________________________________

This has to be the most hilarious comment yet made to the Blog.
Yes, poor Velma Burton surely did not mind Bobby Robert skipping her funeral. Dead people are very forgiving.

191. sharon - August 1, 2008

187 “Your question is very difficult to answer, as this type of verification cannot be explained to or by the mind. Like love, it is felt by one’s heart and not the intellect.

At the same time, if after a certain period of time one has not been able to verify C Influence, then there is no reason to remain in the FOF, as what you are seeking can be found almost anywhere these days.

Lastly, is it possible to receive an answer from many of the 1.1 billion catholics in the world as to why they know that the pope is infallible? In catholicism a cult?”

So, because you believe (i.e. “feel it in your heart”), that is verification to you? You seem a bit gullible to me. But, who was it back a few pages said, “don’t try to take a man’s religion away from him”? It’s fine with me if you want to believe. It’s not especially fine with me to feel your condescension towards those who choose to act upon their own verifications of the many darker aspects of the Fellowship, also called “conscience”.

And, um…. yes, I think catholicism is a cult, to the extent that followers, e.g., feel that the pope is infallible, do not express dissent, and do not question dogma.

192. Across the River - August 1, 2008

146
Daily Cardiac

I would like to respond to your post. It is not easy to formulate into words what lies beyond our spiritual understandings and I appreciate your valient effort!

I just backspaced over my original words arguing your points with an agenda to assist fastforwarding you to a place of wonder where you will be astonished to see the nature of the “next step”.

There is no question that I and others here believe our assessments of the FOF operations are correct and that Robert is a magician rather than a spiritual leader.

I am glad that traveler and others will address the points you made and I hope you will not turn away from this blog for lack of meaningful exchange. But I find that I am slowly losing heart for continuing efforts to reach beyond this impasse with you and others within the Fellowship.

It is more likely that you will eventually come this way rather than those here going backwards. I would just ask you not to diminish or trivialize the process most of us went through to leave the Fellowship, since you cannot understand it.

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

143, 151
lostandfound

“Lastly, while I do understand the need for the slings and arrows that you are throwing at REB, is it not a mystery that those who are able to accept REB as he is and for what he has given his students are still making a lovely profit?”

“This is a great Mystery.”

No, lost and found, it is not a mystery. Forty-two pages of blog posts from knowledgeable sources contain clear and descriptive analysis of your mystery as applies to REB.

Trading a lovely profit for complicity is commonplace. It might be interesting to contemplate the plain question of what Robert Burton would be without you, if you can find a moment when you are not bedazzled.

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

159
jack

Still noble 😉
Nothing so far but I will email him for an update and let you know.

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

RVM
I appreciate your call for more fresh air on the blog with no apologies for critical thinking. The “More of the Same” thing might better reach inquiring (but temporarily conditioned) minds, though.

193. lostandfound - August 1, 2008

Re #189 (Richard M)

It is nice that you have not lost your sense of humor after all these years.

By the way, “Living people” are very forgiving, as well.

194. sharon - August 1, 2008

… more thoughts about catholicism…
however, most catholics do not segregate themselves from others to the extent that FoFfers do.

195. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 1, 2008

187 lostandfound

“is it possible to receive an answer from many of the 1.1 billion catholics in the world as to why they know that the pope is infallible? Is catholicism a cult?”

Bingo.

Use whatever word you want. Catholics have a pope, about whom Catholic doctrine says almost exactly what RB now says about himself. They have doctrines that defy any rational explanation or objective proof, but are defended to the death. The Fellowship has doctrines that defy any rational explanation or objective proof, but are defended (whether to the death remains to be seen) based either on claims of “verification” or that they are “theories,” with results that are indistinguishable from a Catholic’s faith. Catholics have saints as determined by church officials, and Fellowship members have members who “become conscious” and the gods, as determined by church officials. Fellowship members have The Sequence, Catholics have the Rosary. Catholics get excommunicated, Fellowship members “lose the school” and get “expunged.” Catholics insist they are the One True Church, Fellowship members have The Only Conscious School On Earth. Catholics tithe, Fellow members make teaching payments. Catholic priests sexually abuse young men, RB abuses young men. The Catholic church amassed a huge collection of artwork and riches, the Fellowship collects as much artwork and riches as it can afford. The Catholic church became corrupt and abusive, leading to the Reformation, the Fellowship …. time will tell.

Are they “cults”? Does it matter?

196. Ames Gilbert - August 1, 2008

Daily Cardiac (#42-146 or thereabouts),
I was in a meeting when Linda T. actually asked the members of the audience to raise their hands if they had verified C-Influence. About 95% raised their hands. I did not, and I looked around to note those others who did not, as well as noting those people I felt I could trust who did raise their hands.
At the time, watching Linda’s smirking face—and beady eyes looking hard around the room—I was very aware that another step had been taken down a dark path; the crazy was being normalized. And afterwards, it seemed to me, there was a great deal more freedom in using the term ‘C-Influence’ in conversations.

For several days after, I asked some of the people who had raised their hands (and whom I trusted not to blab to some ‘authority’ about my obvious concerns) what exactly did they mean when they raised their hands. Almost every one said they raised their hands because of peer pressure in that moment. I asked them what they understood about C-Influence. Every one replied in the standard (at that time) rote explanation, some variation along the lines that there were too many coincidences in their lives to ascribe to chance. I asked if they had come up with that for themselves. Here’s the kicker. Every one said they originally heard the explanation from an older student (a couple had heard directly from Burton). This is how the meme was spread, and a good example of the level of verification, and also a good example of the kind of self-referential or circular argument your posting is full of. Verification consisted of finding reasons for accepting the explanation at face value. One becomes aware of new coincidences by looking for them, and one assigns the unfortunate events or marvelous synchronicities that naturally happen in one’s life to the workings of C-Influence, so now one has verified C-Influence. Daily Cardiac, I put it to you that the same is true of your references to Burton’s consciousness, or that the ‘play is written’.

Note: Of the people I asked who had not raised their hands, most said they didn’t raise their hands because they felt manipulated, and that it was inappropriate, and one said that the whole subject was bullshit, the meeting was bullshit, and Linda was spouting bullshit! I’m glad that person felt comfortable confiding in me.

I was told many things when I joined the Fellowship. One was that C-Influence had arranged things so I could join. Another was that C-Influence actively helped advance the evolution of students in the school, mostly by arranging ‘shocks’, but also by speaking directly to Burton, who passed on the messages if appropriate. And I was told that one could verify C-Influence by paying special attention to the number of coincidences that occurred in my life. I was also primed by being told that the number and type of coincidences would be improbable, that if I paid attention and noted these coincidences, I would be able to see that there were far more than chance would produce. The trouble was, I found no more coincidences than before I joined. The number of coincidences before I joined, while I was a member, and after I left were and are about the same, and of the same quality.

I never found a single person who claimed to my face that they had ‘verified C-Influence’ for themselves in any other way than the above—except for Burton, who regaled us with references to actual conversations with Leonardo, and even claims of having Leonardo ‘jog his elbow’ while playing golf.

Why not let us know how you have verified C-Influence? Why not let us know how you have verified the play is written? And who writes it.

197. lostandfound - August 1, 2008

Re #194 (Just Another Voice….)

Update:

After unearthing and keying many of the magnificent Teachings of the past five thousand years or more, the idea that the FOF is the only conscious School on earth has not been part of our brainwashing for quite some time.

198. sharon - August 1, 2008

actually – the brainwashing is “the FOF is the only conscious School currently on earth” – but you know that.

199. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 1, 2008

196 lostandfound

Thanks for the clarification, but are you saying it is no longer church doctrine that the Fellowship at this time is The Only Conscious School On Earth, or that the doctrine does not consider the Fellowship to have been the only “conscious school” that ever existed? The latter has always been part of the doctrine.

As for “unearthed,” I’m not so sure. The existence of great teachings throughout history has been pretty well known for quite a while. RB seemed to have been very late to the game. It always amazed me how many Fellowship members were almost completely ignorant of Sufism, Buddhism, etc., and their overlap with “fourth way” principles, beyond mumbling something about “the way of the monk” or the “way of the fakir” or “esoteric Christianity,” because that’s what they read in books written sixty years ago. I know members are a lot more sophisticated now–they’re aware of these other traditions, but know that the Fellowship is, well, better.

200. paulshabram - August 1, 2008

RVM 138
“We probably have a very different impression of Serah’s post, but I completely agree with you that my impression may be wrong. I’m not sure what you mean about letting it play out. Not respond? Don’t express that opinion?”

Here’s my thought process as I read the Serah post [my thoughts in brackets]:
“Hi, [Sounds young]

My brother is a member in the FOF for I think 11 or 12 years. [Straight forward, heartbreaking]

Since that time he became a very fine man. During those years he went to college, graduated, has a descent job and he became a very gentle person as if something has purified him. [Probably true but not necessarily because of he FOF. Much of my own tempering has come with age. A nephew came to mind that became really refined, graceful, and sophisticated after working in a fine restaurant. There is no doubt the brother has a “good student act” and wishes to impress the sister. Part of the alternate reality of being in the FOF is that one thinks everyone is impressed by the act.]

I have been reading here quite a bit and I cannot deny or approve the the enormous amount of accusing messages against Robert Burton and the FOF,. [OOPS. Could be a fake post.]

But I do see that the FOF has done good for my brother.
[OK]
Also I wasn’t able to find defending messages by FOF members (maybe one) and I think that’s quite odd. [OOPS again! The phrase ”quite odd” sets the alarm off, but could be legit, could have gotten the FOF speak from the brother]

I asked my brother about this and he said that there is a very big gap between what people write here and the real meaning of his membership in the FOF and that he has no interest whatsoever in getting into any discussions here. He said that this is probably true for other members and that’s why the do not respond. [This sounds like what a “Good Student” would say and sounds like the post could be sincere.] I asked him about the conducts of Robert Burton and he said that there are open issues in relation to his private life, but he said that for him Robert is a true spiritual instructor and the FOF is a very good place to be in. [HMMM “there are open issues in relation to his private life” followed by the justifications. Could be the brother is being molested as there is not a defensive denial and the justification came after the “open issues”. Certainly the brother is aware of the conflict.]

I am not interested in any secret mystical cults. I accept my life as they are. Still I must say it is remarkable that FOF members do not participate in this place and face these accusations. There must be something in that fact. As I can see, people are using nicknames here so the explanation cannot be fear of being punished. It must but something else, but I cannot say I know what it is. [Used the word “remarkable” not as big a give away as “interesting”. Still could be a ruse.]

Serah” [Unusual name. What does it mean? Look it up on Wikipedia. From Old Testament. It denotes a “wise old woman”. HMMM.]

[Should I respond? If it’s real then Serah is asking for help. If I question the veracity and sincerity of the post and I’m wrong, wouldn’t that be devastating for a concerned sister. Wouldn’t that support the brother’s buffering of the criticism. This blog can be really rough sometimes. My family was concerned, asked questions, made comments. In the end that really helped. If it is a ruse, what does the ruse gain for the blogger? Not much. I have hand my hand bitten and my teeth kicked in more than once for falling for a feigned call for help. Could that happen here? Not really. Other bloggers will just think I’m an easy mark. So what? What’s the hurry? If it needs opposition, that will be revealed in a conversation. Let it play out. I think I will accept it as real and respond to it taking it at face value.]

RVM- I hope that helps.

201. Traveler - August 1, 2008

What leads me to doubt that Serah is giving completely factual information in his or her post, is among other things, this question: why would the sibling of a well-adjusted, refined, and excellently turned out young man be spending a long time researching and reading this blog “quite a bit” and finding out an “enormous amount” of accusations, before facing the brother to confirm or deny them? What would motivate this sibling to invest so much time in researching an organization his brother happens to belong to, if the sibling has seen only good things come of it? Is there a concern and a doubt there anyway?

202. Man Number Zero - August 1, 2008

Daily Cardiac, in Post 146 you seem to appeal to two inconsistent standards for moral judgement. You begin by justifying your interpretation of Due Process on the grounds that it has been adopted by most of the world’s democracies. But later in your long post you contrast American puritanical morality unfavorably with the ancient religious laws of India, which, you tell us, see nothing wrong in fucking children. So, what provides the basis for your own moral decisions? Are you A-OK with fucking children if Robert tells you that that’s what Influence C wants?

203. elena - August 1, 2008

Traveler 147

How beautifully human you stand in this post! Thank you.

166 Man Number Zero…zero seven!
Thank you for taking care of that.

158 Renald.
Thank you also for telling us this experience. There are a million such stories in the Follow-sheep tragedy and it is precisely the fact that there are so many of them over a period of thirty five years inflicted on over fifteen thousand members that the phenomenon rises from one individual’s damage to damages to the whole of a community. Many people were told they had twenty four hours to leave Oregon House and too many just left without telling the rest of us probably convinced that no one would support them. There was so little cohesion between us, all identified with trying to make ourselves worthy of Mr. Burton’s approval that we allowed every one else to be abused one way or another.

146. Daily cardiac
“In truth Robert Burton is an abuser. What he abuses is the lower self, and he is relentless in that pursuit. This is why the FoF puts so much study into the lower self: because one needs to know it well before one can separate it from anything higher in us. When one begins the difficult task of separating from the machine/lower self one gets a sense of what is higher in us from what is lower, what is real from what is “learned” or mechanical. Then many things can come into a clearer light.”

Thanks Richard for recovering this paragraph. It is revealing of the whole mind structure on which The Follow-sheeps stand. The division between higher and lower which seems so simple to grasp at first sight has been manipulated to the point to which the higher is Mr. Burton and the lower is simply, everyone else, meaning that they can all be ripped off, used sexually and abused socially. Because most members have bought into the ideology that reduces them psychologically to good for nothings that have to live on the petty salary that they get, good for nothings that they can’t remember themselves or hold presence for even one minute, they are willing to submit to the endless humiliations that the Fellowship imposes on the members.

Let’s see, we have:

The conscious beans who thrive on the human energy that feeds their insatiable divinity and who never have time for anyone for less than thousands a minute, because they are too busy with the Ark.

The inner circle divided into:
Those who have been working on salary for many years who have hardly a role of any stature since they were replaced by the new generation of enablers on salary. Many of these made the greatest sacrifices in time and effort, abandoned their families and children and have received some kind of retribution with land or property but are being asked to step aside and shut up. They are so invested in the Fellowship psychologically that they can’t get themselves to do anything for anyone else no matter how corrupt they know it is.
Those who have good, strong jobs in regular society, make excellent money and get their ass kissed by Robert as little as possible but are given the opportunity to express their loyalty, lead meetings, deploy power, get followers, travel to centers as traveling teachers, help with the Lewis Carroll and other minor institutions within the institution that give credibility to it all. People who are convinced that they are in a conscious school, working for a more conscious way of life but have never questioned why they are the ones that are supposed to supply the funds for any noble enterprise while Robert spends the great bulk of the money on trips, presents and wardrobe for the boys and statues of more naked boys for the garden of Eden. These are people who are not willing to accept the fact that they are paying for the role they are trying to execute of “nobly” helping in no matter what area. As long as they themselves can pay for their role without going into Robert’s pockets they are welcome to attempt any kind of altruistic enterprise and only as long as they are themselves willing to do it invisibly, that is, without they themselves becoming too good, too significant because if they do, the whole thing is stopped by Robert who cannot bear having anyone as “conscious” as he is, after all, he is THE ONLY CONSCIOUS BEING ON PLANET EARTH.
Then comes the intermediate circle:
The members in centers who send money and give a dam what happens in Oregon House, who is their teacher or what he does as long as they can keep being convinced that they are going to heaven because they are paying for it and doing what they can trying to practice the fourth way in life at least twice a week by separating from the boredom of reading sequences and keys.
The Artists who give it so much credibility because Robert paid a course for them to study and then had them work for years to pay for it, especially in Russia so that he could convince all those boys of his infinite kindness.
And the members at Apollo, Isis, who are also willing to pay with a blind eye, never go to meetings, hate the inner circle and are still convinced Mr. Burton is conscious enough to be a third force for them to make the effort to not scream too loud at the idiots on their road.
Then there is the outer circle.
All those idiots who come begging for a job on salary and can’t even speak English, willing to work their asses off because they are in America illegally and happy to still be evolving even if they have to pour down the Fellowship’s throat thirty years of their lives without ever being able to say mu or mooooh because they are not refined enough to represent the Consciousness of the Fellowship to all those people with money that might think it is not a good enough club to belong to.
And those other idiots who don’t give a dam if they ever say mu or mooh and are happy to work thirty years for the Fellowship while working outside because they are still making some kind of effort on themselves without ever even considering that other people exist and who are happy to leave one day when enough is enough and that’s it.
These are indeed the most wonderful supporters of the Fellowship who profits enormously from these followers who are happy to mind their own business while at the same time pay and never ask who was really their teacher or the other members in the Cult. They sincerely don’t care. Life is not about everyone’s well being, just their own is enough. They work hard to make it so and expect others to do the same. The fact that the conditions are not the same for everyone is simply not taken into account.
In this outer circle are also the boys who get paid a high salary only as long as they are willing to offer their services. When he tires of them they move to their respective position as illegal or less illegal members but who have absolutely no saying in the Cult. They are portrayed as whores who are willing to play the role happy to get the trips, the clothes and the opportunity to live at the galleria and have their food cooked for them and they are dismissed as whores if they ever complain about it. Perhaps that is why they are so afraid of telling their story. They know what most of the members really think about them.

Strangely enough, every one of these members believed at some point that they were joining a Conscious School with a Conscious teacher but every one of us was forced by our circumstances to adapt to a particular position within the play and our needs, desires and hopes were labeled as our lower self, our ambition and greed in pretending to be more than what we were or to participate more fully and humanly than we were allowed to. That position, our needs and convictions were used and abused by Robert and the Fellowship to get what it wanted from us: the money, the willingness to work and absolute silence. As long as you remain silent about your story, it will keep getting what it has always wanted to get from you: silent complicity so that it can go on practicing the same things on other equally naïve human beings.

204. paulshabram - August 1, 2008

187 lostandfound
Thank you for responding to my post. I read it with great compassion.
I grew up a Catholic and never thought nor knew anyone, especially priests, that thought the Pope was infallible. The doctrine of Papal Infallibility has been explained differently now because it is an embarrassment to the modern Catholic Church. I left the church (for the FOF) because I had come to believe it was a crock of shit. IMO the Catholic church is a religion, which means that once a upon a time it was a cult.

I read your comment about C-Influence with great interest and Compassion. It gets to the heart of the matter.
“Your question is very difficult to answer, as this type of verification cannot be explained to or by the mind. Like love, it is felt by one’s heart and not the intellect.”

But if poetry is art, the words can be used to help another feel in one’s heart. Isn’t that all we really have now of Shakespeare?
Doesn’t verification involve the whole of one’s being including the intellect? I fear you are right, this kind of verification cannot be explained. From my point of view, C-Influence cannot be verified at all short of a documented Angelic Visitation. And as D. Cardiac says, we cannot verify if someone is Conscious (as defined by the 4th Way). What can be verified is that the sole source of messages from C-Influence is NOT CONSCIOUS. This is easily verified by the inconsistencies between what he demands, and what he does, what he says about himself, and what you can observe, the love he professes, and the lack of love and compassion in his actions, the predictions he has made, and the actual outcomes, the quotes and interpretations he has made, and what the quotes actually say, the paintings actually show, what he proclaims, and the truth.

Dear lostandfound,
Why did C-Influence pick you. Is it a mystery? What does C-Influence gain by killing 6 billion people? Why does C-Influence need more “Conscious” Beings? Are they lonely? Do you really want to be one of these guys?

205. elena - August 1, 2008

Serah might be a stepping stone so that they can then justify showing up here and talking to the concerned sister in their king of hearts tone. Whatever the excuse, keep coming with your reasons because you better get working at them before you lose the whole of your flock.

206. Rear View Mirror - August 1, 2008

199, 200. Paul and Traveler. Thanks for your comments. Paul, yes, I see your points. Let’s see what happens.

By the way, has anyone gotten a bit of a laugh out of “Daily Card-iac’s” screen name? Whoever he/she is, I love the pun, and the obtuse reference to those pesky negative emotions on the blog. Sounds a bit like Burton’s corny humor…

Probably someone provides him with occasional updates from the blog, picking and choosing things that they believe he’ll find interesting — a little like a CEO receiving a report on the day’s negative news articles so that he’s aware of them.

“And dears, be sure to provide me the Daily Cardiac before I leave for my extremely expensive vacation to the south of France tomorrow with my entourage of pretty young men.”

Very cool… Maybe these very words are being printed with care on 100% cotton paper for Burton to read (because a normal 8-1/2 x 11 page just won’t do). And yes, he is very interested folks. Maybe once a week or so, or once a month, but he does want to know what people are saying about him.

So be sure to talk in quiet tones and don’t express any negativity if your goal is to get invited to New Year’s Eve dinner or jump on a plane with Bob to France tomorrow. Appear good.

207. nigel harris price - August 1, 2008

Things about C Influence Verification and Higher States on the blog today. Personally, I feel that C-Influence is working with me because I live a sincere life and verification from the fact that my 55 (transformation of suffering) bus to my workshop leaves from (as it is if I would send you a photographic image of the set-up) Stand 4-Stand 4 (showing the stand both ways i.e. stand with 44) to today’s reading a 44 on the receipt book on the reception desk at my antique dealer customer. I also went to a concert with my father, brother and step-mother and there was Vivaldi’s Autumn and Winter as well as Brandenburg Concerto #4 being played. I realised higher hydrogens and the need for attention, such as was experienced at FOF concerts. However, I do not see any need for lesser attention now I am on the blog and listening to Native American music on my CD player. Just the tone is different and does not involve mixing with the FOFfers to ‘sort out’ verification. I think I have blogged this quote from Isiah 40 before but here it is again:-

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fail.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Nigel.

208. nigel harris price - August 1, 2008

202 Elena
How about the Biblical passage – “You cannot serve both God and Mammon”?…..Nigel.

209. paulshabram - August 1, 2008

Nigel,
Haven’t you heard? The 44 is now more like 64. You must be at the wrong stop or on the wrong bus.

210. lostandfound - August 2, 2008

Re #25 (paslsabram)

Dear lostandfound,
Why did C-Influence pick you. Is it a mystery? What does C-Influence gain by killing 6 billion people? Why does C-Influence need more “Conscious” Beings? Are they lonely? Do you really want to be one of these guys?

Response:
I do not have a clue to any of your questions.

Sharon, I have not heard that statement of being the sole conscious teaching on earth in several years.

While this was a prevalent idea for a long time, it no longer makes an ounce of difference with the arrival of the sequence.

Lastly, why is it that if someone like Serah posts a positive thought about the FOF, she is accused by the blog’s inquisitors as to being an impostor.

You all don’t sound so insecure as to not allow for an apostate posting every now and then that commends the FOF.

211. elena - August 2, 2008

Rear View Mirror, I wish you were right about that but he’s too far gone to read or ask about the blog. If you can contradict that I’ll be very happy. They don’t read it, Girard doesn’t although Daily Cardiac is a good enough thinker that it makes me think, but I can pretty much assure that they leave this dirty job for specialized members who will not sucumb to its temptations. It wouldn’t surprise me if they hire someone to deal with it. A new salary position!

One of the reasons I don’t think he reads it is because it is “LIFE” and he cannot descend from heaven to deal with it, it is too “lowly” for him and his follow-sheep would share in his fears and disappointments. He cannot grant them such humanity!

They continue to think that the bubble is the forbidden city in its prime times and if they are lucky he’ll end up as its gardener and not a jail’s sleep walker.

212. sharon - August 2, 2008

L&F – perhaps you missed the key word – “current”.

213. sharon - August 2, 2008

L&F – just out of curiosity – what does “the arrival of the sequence” have to do with being (or not being) the current sole conscious teaching on earth? I seem to be missing a few steps in your thought process.
And if the FoF no longer takes the stance of being the only current conscious School on earth, why then would ex-members be considered to have lost it’s “sacred teaching”, and therefore their only chance of reaching the “Celestial City of Paradise” – words that I heard innumerable times at meetings – my last meeting was in 2006.

It sounds as though you are basically accepting that the FoF has become/always was a religion? You are happy to turn from the idea of a “Conscious 4th-way School” to this mish-mash of warmed up left-overs of religious feeling (I can’t really call it thought)?

214. paulshabram - August 2, 2008

lostandfound 209
“Response:
I do not have a clue to any of your questions.”

I realize that, and I see that you have made my point.

215. veronicapoe - August 2, 2008
216. elena - August 2, 2008

Velma Burton surely did not mind Bobby Robert skipping her funeral. Richard M. 189

When one thinks about it, it is perfectly coherent that Robert would give up his mother to be able to justify to the followers who gave up their children that it was worth doing it. This was not a little invention brought out of nowhere, it was the culminating gesture to finally implant Feminine Dominance as the magic wand that determined every aspect of life in the Followsheep of freaks.

It’s hard to see ourselves, It makes me want to throw up again.

217. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 2, 2008

209 lost andfound

” While this was a prevalent idea for a long time, it no longer makes an ounce of difference with the arrival of the sequence.”

__________________________________________________________

Hmmm. For 35 years RB taught that he was a man number 5, 6, 7, etc., that he had exclusive communication with “the gods” (they may have given others “shocks,” but they told him precisely what was what, such as that they wanted so-and-so to have sex with him), that the methods he taught were The Golden Thread that lead to The Celestial City, that the Fellowship would inherit the earth (and the collections at the Louvre and the Prado) and was entitled to it because it was The Only Conscious School On Earth, etc.

And then RB presented the Sequence, which had eluded him during those 35 years.

As the prosecutors on TV say, “Were you lying then, or are you lying now”?

218. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 2, 2008

209 lost andfound

” While this was a prevalent idea for a long time, it no longer makes an ounce of difference with the arrival of the sequence.”

__________________________________________________________

Or, as Scarlett O’Hara said in Gone With the Wind whenever she was presented with uncomfortable facts: “Oh, fiddle-dee-dee!”

Stuart Tarleton: Oh, isn’t it exciting, Scarlett? You know those fool Yanks may actually want a war?
Brent Tarleton: We’ll show ’em!
Scarlett: Fiddle-dee-dee. War, war, war; this war talk’s spoiling all the fun at every party this spring. I get so bored I could scream. Besides… there isn’t going to be any war.
Brent Tarleton: Not going to be any war?
Stuart Tarleton: Why, honey, of course there’s gonna be a war.
Scarlett: If either of you boys says “war” just once again, I’ll go in the house and slam the door.

219. arthur - August 2, 2008

I believe Robert E. Burton did’nt go see his Mom or attend her funeral because he was afraid she could see right through him.

Was’nt it Bobby who came out with the “angle” that all utterances beginning with”if” are based on lies?

Well, what IF Bobby did see his Mom on her death bed and was rebuked. What IF she said, “Bobby you have always been a cocksucker and a thief”.

I wonder how many of the 15,000 happy campers passing through Is’Is have turned their back on their mothers because of this Beelzebub loving jerk?

I wonder how many were given 24 hours to leave? Rejected because the Cocksucker and his henchmen decided they weren’t Fellowship Material?

I wonder how many of those suffered needlessly?

Bobby needs to invest in Casto District Bath House so that he can live out his life as C influence intended.

220. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 2, 2008

All this talk of “C-Influence.” Has anyone ever read in any book, or heard from any source other than RB, that there exists in the Fourth Way the concept of “C-Influence” meaning “disembodied spirits that communicate with the hoi polloi through synchronistic events or communicate directly with, and only with, someone who has labeled himself a conscious being”?

Don’t people find it embarassing to continue to repeat this idiocy? I mean, at least “God” has some cultural, historical and consensual resonance, whether one chooses to believe in the idea or not. But I cringe at the thought of any nonbrainwashed person overhearing discussion of “C-Influence.”

221. Deep Throat - August 2, 2008

Traveler, Robert did indeed recently announce at a meeting that Asaf and Dorian are to be the next conscious beings. Of course, telling you on the blog like this does not prove anything…

222. paulshabram - August 2, 2008

219 JAVOH
I think the basic “C-Influence” concept was Rodney Collin’s.
I found it very embarrassing.

223. brucelevy - August 2, 2008

215. elena

Re: RB’s mom

RB is such a pussy that he used to send students down to his mom’s to mow the lawn (until someone mowed naked) and clean around the house, and then he waits for her to die to both make a statement to his entourage and punish her. Sort of like a fucking 6 year old.

224. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 2, 2008

221 brucelevy

I’d love to know what happened to my buddy T—-r B—y, who was tossed out for mowing Mommy’s lawn naked.

220 paulshabram

You mean the same Rodney Collin who decided as a grown man that the Catholic church was the place to be. Hmmm.

225. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 2, 2008

220 paulshabram

I assume you mean it was Collin who came up with the concept of “C-Influence” as I described it and as practiced in the FOF, rather than the way Gurdjieff and Ouspensky described it in their writings. The two concepts have nothing in common.

226. Josiane - August 2, 2008

143. Lost and Found
“Permit me to take a moment at this point in time an offer an abundance of congratulations and gratitude to everyone reading this blog who made Journey Forth and the Ballet so successful.”

Success: an unexpected word when it comes to spiritual events, don’t you think? What was the success measures by?

227. Richard M. - August 2, 2008

192. lostandfound – August 1, 2008

Re #189 (Richard M)

It is nice that you have not lost your sense of humor after all these years.
——————–
Apparently you have not entirely lost yours either–whoever you are.

228. brucelevy - August 2, 2008

224. Josiane

“What was the success measures by?

Two words. One starts with M and ends with oney, and the other, of course, is dick.

229. Rear View Mirror - August 2, 2008

Hi Elena (210), Yes, I’m sure you’re right. He’s way too narcissistic, and he probably doesn’t want even his closest confidants to get any ideas that they’ll find something interesting here.

——
Just Another Voice (216): “As the prosecutors on TV say, “Were you lying then, or are you lying now”?”

You rock. Excellent points in 216. Really well said, and there is absolutely nothing that Lost and Found or Howard Carter or anyone can say about it. They ignore these types of convincing arguments, because they know even the question sheds enormous light on things — let alone the answer.

230. Vena - August 2, 2008

“Have you found Jesus?” Have you been saved?” Have you verified C Influence?” Same fundamentalist nonsense.

231. Rear View Mirror - August 2, 2008

Vena,
By the way, what’s with the use of the letters, A, B, and C?

Easily, the letters could have been reversed to be C, B, and A. Or they could have been High, Medium, and Low, or Gold, Silver, and Bronze, or Orange, Red, and Yellow. These ideas could have been described in dozens of different ways — AND you could have added more influences for good measure, upping the total to 4 or 5, or even 6, so that we had Influence F. And Bruce, you know what that one might signify.

What do any of us really know about these theories? What do we really understand about them? What in these ideas have we really verified or confirmed?

Keeping in mind that Burton’s idea of “C Influence” is completely different from what “G” and “O” had in mind — as mentioned in posts above — I sense that the use of letters was an attempt to attach some sort of logic to the idea, and make it seem more mathematical, and that using the letters made it a bit easier to “sell” to the intellectual crowd. Without the letters, it may have seemed a bit too nebulous to people.

You throw a diagram up on the chalkboard, and throw a bunch of numbers and letters into it, and there you have it — the appearance mathematical truth and esoteric knowledge.

Marketing.

The sad thing is that the notion of a higher power watching over us can be a beautiful idea when not used for creating fear and exerting control over people. But to attach some sort of mathematical certainty to it — in other words, using “3” letters, and attaching one particular letter to each… We were so completely delusional to believe this stuff and even worse to believe that we had verified it, confirmed it, and that we knew, and that we understood.

And worse yet, that we could teach others about it.

I still find some of the ideas that I learned in the FOF interesting, mostly the enneagram and the deck of playing cards. BUT……. What exactly do we really know about these things? We know something, but not nearly as much as we pretended to know. And the conclusions we drew from all of these ideas were often ridiculous.

Richard M. … Of course Lost and Found has a sense of humor, with the initials of LAF. (Dude, you can stop rolling your eyes now.)

232. lostandfound - August 2, 2008

Update:

By coincidence, someone recently mentioned that the birthday suit landscaper, T.B., was doing very well financially.

Permit one funny story:
Recently, a visitor from a foreign country was driving to Apollo, as she was was going to an event.

She saw someone on the road near the gatehouse dressed in a tuxedo. She was just about to pull her car over thinking that there was valet parking for the event.

It turned out that someone was picketing in a tux!

233. James Mclemore - August 2, 2008

JAVOH,paulshabram,Richard M,Ellen, Ames, and others

So many great posts, one after the other. It was a pleasure to read them.
I am still somewhat surprised that when the apologists come and give, what to them might honestly feel like, sound arguments or try to pose good questions, it reveals so much.
If I was sitting on a fence I would read this page over a few times.

234. ton - August 2, 2008

230 lostandfound…
that was fucking hilarious.

here’s one for you; since you’ve lost your head this is a clue to finding it:

235. ton - August 2, 2008

214 veronicapoe

“Most trolls believe, honestly, that they are in fact funny, anyone who does not agree with them is obviously either overly sensitive, has no life, no sense of humour, or is a combination of two or all of these. In many instances, one can see where a troll has in fact messed up but is too wrapped in his/her own little laugh to notice how much of a douche they have really been.

The term derives from “trolling”, a style of fishing which involves trailing bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. As a verb, “to troll” is probably a corruption of “trawl.” Troll is fine as a verb since trawling for comments and flames is innate troll behavior. A “Troll” is a mythical monster that lives under a bridge and surprises people who try and cross the bridge with some bizarre puzzle or challenge that they must complete before crossing. It has been suggested that people who lurk in groups and suddenly enter discussions with unwanted and provocative contributions inspire the same type of fear in law-abiding netizens. More rational people know that Trolls are, in fact, monsters who live under a bridge, probably in Utah, who flocked to the information superhighway after real superhighways were declared obsolete by Al Gore…. Attention whores are not trolls, just irl bimboes. “

236. paulshabram - August 2, 2008

231 James
Yes, it is revealing. When I see the posts my pulse quickens, but I read something like: 187 lostandfound
“Karen J. is a lovely person in her own right, and much too bright to correspond to the blog.”

Which means, of course that LAF doesn’t think he/she is very bright. It’s a real disappointment that it turned out to be true. I guess “C-Influence” shorted her/him on that account.

237. paulshabram - August 2, 2008

Rodney Collin
from http://www.bardic-press.com/rcollin/collinindex.htm

“A number of new Mexican pupils joined, among them a lady named Mema Dickens, who began channeling messages from Ouspensky. Collin took these seriously, and this opened up an unbridgeable gap between him and the majority of the other work groups. Collin wrote and published a number of small pamphlets, among them The Herald of Harmony, The Christian Mystery and The Pyramid of Fire. He converted to Roman Catholicism in 1955 and traveled in South America, Europe and Asia, looking for the traces of the Fourth Way, allowing himself to be guided by the messages he was receiving from Ouspensky. During this time he drove himself very hard physically, taking little rest. In early 1956 he collapsed, and seemed in retrospect to have suffered a heart attack after a marathon pilgrimage to a cathedral. In May he, his wife, John Grepe and Mema Dickens left to visit Rodney’s group in Peru. While the other party members were having a siesta he climbed to the top of a cathedral tower along with a beggar boy whom he was helping, suffered another heart attack, and fell out of the tower into the cathedral square, where he died.”

Thanks Bruce for the reminder.

238. paulshabram - August 2, 2008

232 ton
OMFG that is too sick and too funny.

239. paulshabram - August 2, 2008

JAVOH 222
Sorry, I meant Thanks to you for the reminder:

Rodney Collin’s The Herald of Harmony
“A poetic look at school and civilization from the beginning of time until the new civilization of which Collin felt he was a forerunner. Collin sees Gurdjieff and Ouspensky as two poles of a work designed by Higher Forces.”

240. Richard M. - August 2, 2008

230. lostandfound – August 2, 2008
Update:
By coincidence, someone recently mentioned that the birthday suit landscaper, T.B., was doing very well financially.
________________________________
Yes! Taylor started an exculsive “naked or speedo only gardening service for seniors” (female only) and now has franchises world wide. I happened to run into him will on holiday in Monico, last May.
——————————
Permit one funny story:
Recently, a visitor from a foreign country was driving to Apollo, as she was was going to an event.

She saw someone on the road near the gatehouse dressed in a tuxedo. She was just about to pull her car over thinking that there was valet parking for the event.

It turned out that someone was picketing in a tux!
________________________
Suprise! That was Taylor, promoting his new “tuxedo clad gardeners for seniors” (female and male) franchise, opening in the greater Oregon House area soon.
I hear he is doing very well financially.

241. Richard M. - August 2, 2008

187. lostandfound
Karen J. is a lovely person in her own right, and much too bright to correspond to the blog.
______________________________

Karen J. and Kevin B.
If you are the last FOF elders to leave the room. Please shut the door turn off the lights on your way out.

242. Ill Never Tell - August 2, 2008

‘And then RB presented the Sequence’
Sequins, dummy, not Sequence!
Sequins, like the glittery things attached to *Liberace’s clothing, or piano, that reflect the light and gets your attention.

* From Wikipedia (about Liberace):
‘Later, he would perform with an array of extravagant, custom-decorated pianos, some encrusted with sequins and mirrors.’

Liberace: Sequin Bow Tie in Silver (only $9.95):

Part of the latest outfit for men in Fellatioship of Friends.

243. William - August 2, 2008

Lost&Found,

I don’t want to get into the business of defending the Catholic Church (I would have time for little else), but it does seem to me when FOF members, and former FOF members, want to make an easy and ill-informed slam, they pick the Catholic Church as an object. That way they can feel virtuous, wise and superior without making an effort.

But the slams fall apart with a little examination.

187. Lostandfound: “Lastly, is it possible to receive an answer from many of the 1.1 billion catholics in the world as to why they know that the pope is infallible? In catholicism a cult?”

A quick google search will tell you that popes have to declare particular statements infallible, and they do so on very rare occasions, if it all during their tenure. It’s basically a statement that “the buck stops here,” “don’t argue with this one.” While you may or may not endorse the concept of papal infallibility, it is certainly not equivalent to saying that someone is “conscious,” and every action and statement they make bears study, if not imitation (that pretty much comes from Ouspensky’s “Notes on the Decision to Work,” but certainly has been reinforced and promoted in the FOF). In fact, the Church allows a lot of dissent, although it won’t necessarily agree to underwrite it. (There have, however, been noteworthy exceptions, where a lot of dissent has been allowed in Church-sponsored publications and organizations.) That’s another poignant difference with the FOF, which will allow no dissemination of any dissent at all.

In fact, it’s pretty hard to control 1.1 billion people. I would question whether you could ever have a “cult” of this size.

“Infallibility” certainly doesn’t mean that if the Pope says it’s going to rain today, you better bring your umbrella. And if it doesn’t appear to rain, after all, that’s because it is invisible rain, and you missed it. Or your being wasn’t high enough to “get it.”

That thinking is, in fact, reserved for the FOF. See earthquake, depression, and other predictions.

In #194, JAVOH makes the second usual comparison: “Catholic priests sexually abuse young men, RB abuses young men.” This is the usual justification for the FOF, as if one wrongdoing justifies another.

But this one won’t hold, either. The Church did not extol child abuse — though it certainly did do a lot to hide offending priests and keep from bringing them to justice (and protecting potential victims), to its eternal discredit.

The equivalent situation to the FOF would have to be the Pope promiscuously screwing young men, and then the whole Church twisting around to redefine “sin” to accommodate the Pope’s sexual proclivities — declaring that child abuse, promiscuity, and homosexuality are not sins in the pope’s case, because he is special.
And that you get “guru’s grace” if you do it with him.

In fact, I don’t know any “religion” that does this. Perhaps somewhere in there is a working definition of “cult.” A cult changes its rules and philosophy to accommodate the misbehavior of a leader.

Funnily enough, I remember overhearing a conversation between two students, snickering because Pope John Paul I, who had died unexpectedly, was actually caught in bed with a nun on the day of his death. I googled this too, when I got home. The gossip was entirely without basis — apparently rooted in the fact that the body was discovered the next morning by the nun who came to clean the room.

Very revealing that the students felt the need to repeat this without verification. Why did it make them feel so good? What did it justify? “That which is in a man’s heart he will see everywhere.”

I’ll say one thing FOF members needs to justify: The Catholic Church, for all its problems, crazinesses and excesses, has produced Francis of Assisi, John of the Cross, Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Fra Angelico, Teresa of Avila, Augustine, Bede, and Bernard of Clairvaux.

As has been demonstrated in 42 pages of this blog, the FOF has produced only buffering members, damaged machines and escapees, without a single, mitigating light to offset the darkness.

244. William - August 2, 2008

Oh. I forgot. By Robert’s own admission, the church produced 12 conscious beings in its first 30 years.

Or has he changed the story on that one, too? I can certainly understand why. The FOF’s been in existence for nearly 40.

“Was he lying then, or now?”

245. Ellen - August 2, 2008

Lostandfound and Daily Cardiac:

Addendum to post #161

In awakening, the fundamental illusion of (me) subject – (you) object is pierced and seen for the veil that it is. And really that is all awakening, realization, illumination is about. The piercing may bring many new feelings, “experiences”, and “states”, but fundamentally your guide, if you choose to have one, needs to have pierced that veil quite precisely, once and for all.

As Zen master, Yasutani Roshi said, “The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.”

So although many aspects of Robert Burton’s personal behaviour clearly illustrate that the subject-object illusion is alive and well in his little cosmos (thus he is not nearly as free as he claims to be), even more importantly, the Fellowship on the level of a collective “School” ego, reinforces the same illusion in its us-them structure. Students-Life, Students-Former Students, Higher Self-Lower Self, etc…

Think about it, what would the “School” be without such borders and divisions?

And if you could open your eyes just a wee bit, you might finally see, that Robert’s need to make Life, Former Students, and the Lower Self out as the Devil and the bad guy comes from his intense need to buffer his own Lower Self. Oops!

So, enjoy the waterfalls and sequence-based-clearings in the forest, but as they say in New England, “you can’t get theh from heah”. You might find yourself ocassionally turning into melted butter, like the four (!) tigers chasing their tails round a tree in “Black Sambo”, but like butter you will solidify once again.

Your dear realization of unity, which is already within your grasp, within anyone’s grasp really, cannot occur within such a restrictive dualistic environment as Robert Burton’s Fellowship of Friends. But I guess you think it can. Is that a mystery, too?

As ever, good luck to you…

246. Another Name - August 2, 2008

Dear Lost and found

When I hear you say: 1700 people in the fellowship of friends enjoying the conscious influence, I get concerned and worried. There are no 1700 people in the fellowship of friends. Look at your recent directory. 1550 are in the directory or around about. Probably 50 or more already left. Many people who are not paying are not being called anymore and can still visit the property. Many students in OH are not going to the meeting as it is not “feeding them spiritual”.
Many students in different centers are not meeting Robert or they are having their own “social club”. What about 1700 peoples are enjoying conscious influence?

When you share your truth with us and I read this I get nervous and realize you are basing your ideas on facts which are not correct. On how many more lies do you base your understanding? Your commitment to the fellowship of friends which I assume it is a School.
There are so many concept you base your trust in and deep in your heart, when you dare to sit still for half an hour you will realize that and it will be painful. Do you have the guts? Do you have the guts to listen to this feeling, so called conscience? Your conscience which has nothing to do with what you write here and use your brain?
Do you know?
Do you feel?
Do you dare to feel and listen to your conscience?

Dear Lost and found I really feel for you and I experienced what I experienced in my process of letting go of so many concepts and letting go of your so called School is very painful and even if you left and rejoined(?) you did not go to the deepest of deepest in your heart. Feel who you really are and what presence is when you breathe and there is no sound. Over and over again. It will take time to bare that silence when you get there, your Teacher is there …..I stop, words do not convey

I wish you courage and wisdom from your heart. You seem to have more then enough words. Good night, sleep well.

247. Another Name - August 2, 2008

Bares reposting FOR ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE THINKING INSTEAD ALLOWING THEIR FEELINGS AND CONSCIENCE TO ARISE.

36. Josiane – July 29, 2008
Hello everyone,
I am one of these « silent » blog watchers and have been since mid 2007. I left the organization last February after 31 years. The reason for being silent is that we (I extrapolate to include others) are not quite sure what’s going on at first and therefore the prudent thing to do is to absorb information and become better educated about what is presented before coming out. Rest assured, however, that the blog has had a great influence in drawing people out of FoF since its inception. I am a living example of that. However, the seeds of departure where already in me so what the blog really did was to give me the final push. Unless one already has doubts, not much can be done to convince a person their view of the world is….(fill in the dots).

You might find the rest of this post interesting when it comes to Mr. Burton’s state of health, both physically and mentally, from what an Ayurvedic practitioner had to say about imbalances, Ayurveda being India’s 5000 years-old holistic system of medicine. My question to her was : Would having too much sex weaken ojas ? (ojas being described in Ayurveda as one of the « subtle » energies that circulate in the body ; the other two being prana and tejas.) (Also, the term « pitta » refers to the Ayurvedic way of defining constitutions, similar to the seven body types, Pitta being the closest to a Martial body type.)

Here is her reply :

« Sometimes it’s difficult to tell where the imbalance started- if someone has another imbalance that causes them to desire sex regularly or if the excessive sexual activity caused an imbalance. Either way, you’re right, it will cause a loss of ojas. Worse, it is depleting the body of the material needed to create new ojas, so it eventually will make someone more susceptible to disease. This will manifest as instability in the immune system and in the mind eventually. Excessive sex is very heating and the person may start to exhibit signs of pitta imbalance- general heat that can lead to intensity or anger, and susceptibility to infections.

Sexual addiction is often linked to manic-depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and/or a narcissistic personality, so a distortion of reality definitely could be happening. The further out of balance someone becomes, the harder it is for them to see reality clearly, there is often some form of delusion- even a fairly balanced person may experience irrational behavior when placed under a lot of stress when their ojas is weakened. Following this line of thought, someone could become a rapist if they believe that the other person desires them or that they have a right to having sex with that person (or whatever else forms in their mind).

I am always very cautious of spiritual teachers who perform questionable actions. While no one is perfect, I generally expect some level of personal responsibility from spiritual teachers- and it sounds like this person could be taking advantage of people by using personal magnetism for seduction, and the same magnetism to attract them to the spiritual teachings.

This person may truly believe that they are helping others spiritually and sexually, but that is most likely just another reflection of their own distorted reality. I’ve known someone who I believe exhibits compulsive sexual behavior and he truly believes that he’s not hurting any of the women he sleeps with when he doesn’t continue the relationship- I’ve seen how deluded and narcissistic he can be, and how it has worsened over the years as the imbalance has gotten deeper.

I hope that this has helped some- I would say that however this situation is manifesting in your life or the people around you to use caution in interacting with this person. Ultimately, this person has a deep lesson to learn in this lifetime and underneath it all is someone who wants to experience love and is afraid of intimacy. It sounds like they really could use some help from a professional psychologist, but they have to discover that themselves too. »

248. arthur - August 2, 2008

Somewhere in the New Testament it states that Jesus the Christ (one of Bobby’s 44) underwent something that caused the VEIL to rend from pole to pole. The Moslem Sufi’s understand what that means.

Robert Burton of the Followship of Friends has never in 40 years experienced that degree of “enlightenment” even as a Man #7.3.

The only thing he’s ever rent is somebody’s butt or mind.

249. arthur - August 2, 2008

VEIL’S: From the book, “A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century”
Shaikh Ahmad Al-Alawi. By Martin Lings.

250. veramente - August 2, 2008

William 241

As has been demonstrated in 42 pages of this blog, the FOF has produced only buffering members, damaged machines and escapees, without a single, mitigating light to offset the darkness.

——————–
thank you William!
and this should not be taken as an insult to the current fof members, just plain facts.

251. whalerider - August 2, 2008

lost and found:

“…if after a certain period of time one has not been able to verify C Influence, then there is no reason to remain in the FOF…”

This is exactly the style of thinking that literally binds people to the FOF. Can’t YOU see the emperor’s new clothes? You make me want to puke.

As you can gather from Ames’ post, the opposite is true. People stay in the FOF because they have not verified their own inner spirit guide and are ‘taught’ to externalize their power. That’s what makes the FOF a cult.

One day, grasshopper, you will have to stand on your own feet…

and C through your own eyes.

252. Rear View Mirror - August 2, 2008

Ames 130 wrote:
“What a great point about the difference between evaluation and valuation! It reinforces the idea that we brainwash ourselves. We seek out information or viewpoints that reinforce our present points of view. I can see it right now, running my eyes from post to post, here in ‘real time’; there is a rush of serotonin when something agrees with, comforts or supports me (your post, for example), and discomfort and an immediate judgment and ‘closing off’ when something disagrees. In fact, IMO, we are continual seekers of comfort and like to surround ourselves with others that reinforce that comfort. The makings of a new cult! The really interesting study for me is, what happens when something breaks through that zone from time to time? I know it is incredibly difficult to ‘change my mind’ about something, change an opinion. When it does happen on rare occasions, what exactly is happening? What are the conditions for change, can we create them for ourselves, and what provides the will?”

Ames,
You and Ellen (and maybe others) wrote above about the development of a collective ego and the individual ego and how this relates to cults and other organizations.

The word “comfort” is interesting, because it brings to mind many of the ideas we learned in the FOF… that comfort was sleep-inducing, and that friction helped us to wake up if we adopted the right attitude about it. So, comfort, when someone agrees with us, and friction, when someone disagrees, can have two different effects. And I think that’s very true. And what you get when you have a group of people agreeing with each other and silently nodding when the party line is articulated, that is one of the more obvious qualities that you find in a cult.

Here’s a slightly different way to see it. I feel that comfort can be healthy and live-giving if it is not tied to the ego — whether it’s the individual ego or the collective ego of the group. If someone reinforces our sense of separateness from the rest of the world, our specialness, our uniqueness, or superiority over others, then that type of reinforcement comforts our ego. It makes us feel even more special, even more superior, and even more separate.

However, if someone agrees with us in a way that encourages our full participation in the world, that encourages us to see how we are connected to people, how enlightenment (whatever that may mean) is more of a silent sense of “coming back” to our inner source as opposed to separating ourselves from others, and that by finding what is true within us we actually connect to others — that’s a very different type of comfort. It helps us see that we are healthy, and strong, and that others have the same in the them. We see the dysfunction of the world, and we understand there is insanity within it, but we don’t try to separate ourselves from it.

I think, in the end, this is one of the reasons that some people feel the need to hurt others, because it is the ultimate act of separating themselves from others. Their ego is so strong that they have no choice. But who knows.

Thinking about the description by Ouspensky of looking out at the people in the city, and having a powerful sense that everyone was asleep. This was one of those comforting ideas that was presented by people on numerous occasions in the Fellowship of Friends, because it seemed to justify the need to remain in the cult and continue to be “separate” from those foolish sleeping people walking the city streets. “I sure as hell don’t want to be one of them.”

But here’s what I find odd about that. To me, whenever I’ve experienced ‘higher states’ — and by the way, I may have experienced them more often before joining the FOF as well as after leaving it — I’ve often had this sense that everyone in the room was in the same higher state, and a sense that it was obvious to all of us. There was no kumbaya moment, where we all looked at each other and held hands. But I knew that others in the room were aware of what I was sensing on some level — maybe not intellectually, but they sensed something as well. Maybe it was a sudden silence in the lecture, where the speaker stepped out of the room for a moment, and all of us could hear the sound of the birds, and feel the breeze coming through the window, and the sunlight was filtering in through the trees, and for just a moment, I felt a connectedness, not a separation.

The sleeping people on the street? What Ouspensky was experiencing may have been his own sleep. His own disconnectedness. His own sense of separateness from the world around him. That, too, is a good thing to see. But then ultimately, we may have to ask ourselves a question… Do we want to reconnect? Or would we prefer to remain separate? Do we see a horrible universe that we want to separate ourselves from, or a life-giving and wondrous universe that we want to remain connected to? Two very different world views. And maybe it’s a clear choice that each of us can make at some point.

On the one hand… Ray of Creation, Food for the Moon, Hell and Damnation, Eternal Recurrence, Fear and Dread, Foolish Life People, Foolish Former Students.

On the other hand… Something else more mysterious and beautiful.

“Which is more comforting to our egos?” That may be the question to ask.

253. Daily Cardiac - August 2, 2008

To: Ames

If no one had verified Influence C we would not be having this conversation, as there would be no FoF, no chronicle of higher worlds, no religion. I was agnostic when I found the work ideas, having rejected modern, watered down, religion as a pre-teen.

I verified Higher Worlds/Beings, what Ouspensky labeled “C Influence” soon after I joined the school, having had flashes prior. I verified them by trying to do the work principles, mostly the non-expression of Negativity, separating from the lower self through non-identification, trying to ward off imagination, trying to practice the school exercises. I think this is how the first people verified higher worlds. As far as I can see, there are no real short cuts.

You probably have not seen Linda since 1994. She smirks much less now that she did at the time of the meeting you described. Now she mostly smiles

254. whalerider - August 2, 2008

Daily Cardiac:

“I verified Higher Worlds/Beings, what Ouspensky labeled “C Influence” soon after I joined the school..I verified them…”

Grasshopper, l suggest you reread the workbooks. You are operating under an illusion. The influence of which you speak comes only from the lips of a living, breathing guru.

To thine own self be true.

255. Rear View Mirror - August 2, 2008

DC: “You probably have not seen Linda since 1994. She smirks much less now that she did at the time of the meeting you described. Now she mostly smiles”

Reminds me of the Stepford Wives.

Whalerider. Your response is one of the reasons why I like it that people step into the blog and recite the party line every now and then.

256. whalerider - August 2, 2008

It seems that Daily Cardiac didn’t actually read the label when they bought into the FOF cult. They just fell for the clever packaging.

257. Traveler - August 2, 2008

Rear View Mirror, I wish I had more time to spend with your post (250) and respond to it more fully, I can relate to a lot of what you are saying, perhaps most of all to the “higher states” part in connection with the absence of a “kumbaya moment” (love that :D). At this point in time I prefer not to use the phrase “higher states”, but if I get what you are saying, it is about a temporary break in the script that normally occupies all of your attention, and a sudden realization of: “Oh, hey, wait a minute – oh, yeah. This is all it.”

You ask: “Do we want to reconnect, or would we prefer to remain separate?” And you say that feeling the need to hurt others is the ultimate act of separating ourselves from others.

I have some intuitions about that, and of course it’s all mind-play and not something to be proven or disproven. But for whatever it’s worth, here’s how it feels to me. One way of looking at it:

Everything and everybody wants to reconnect, all the time. Being separate is pain and suffering. We live our lives desperate for something that’s missing, but we don’t know what it is. We join groups that tell us, do this and that, and you will get “it”, and we believe them for a time. There is a deep longing for union. And we believe ourselves to be separate and maybe think that sexual, physical union is the ultimate fulfillment of that. And it may be a taste of it. But the longing for connection and union enters so much more of life, enters everything we do. I read a story of a violent attack yesterday when a bus passenger in Canada seemingly for no reason stabbed the person sitting next to him and ended up cutting his head off. Was he deranged and a menace to society? From one perspective, yes. From another point of view, why would you want to hurt a person, or even enjoy seeing them hurting? Is it because you want to be more separate? I see it rather as a desperate, even if tragically misguided, attempt to not be so isolated, to reach out, touch, feel and connect. I would dare to speculate that even in Robert Burton there is this longing for connection and union, and maybe he uses sex, lots and lots of it, to fill that void that’s painful – because this is the best way to connect that he has discovered so far. Why do we get angry at each other here on the blog and tell each other how we should be and think, and hurl insults and accusations across the “great divide” of the line-in-the-sand FOF-membership? Is it because we want to hurt each other? Or perhaps because we are desperate to reach one another and connect?

258. paulshabram - August 2, 2008

William 241, 242
Outstanding posts!

259. Rear View Mirror - August 2, 2008

Traveler wrote: “Or perhaps because we are desperate to reach one another and connect?”

I wish I had time to put more thought into your response as well, but what you write is true. However, when we hurt someone, or try to hurt someone, maybe there is a desperate attempt to connect with them, but to do so in a way that allows us to remain separate from them as well, and keep our egos intact. A bit like the “having your cake and eating it too.” So maybe both are true.

By the way, regarding whalerider’s reference to pretty packaging vs. reading the ingredients label and truly understanding what you’re buying…

I’m sure it’s been said or implied many times, but just stating the obvious and asking rhetorically.. Why again does the FOF and Burton NEED to market the FOF like a product? It is supposedly the ‘highest school on earth’ and connected to the gods and so forth. Why would any sort of campaign of deception be needed?

Simply tell everyone the truth on the home page:
1) The leader has sex with his followers. If you are a semi-attractive and youthful man, be forewarned that you will be pressured to participate.
2) We charge a lot of money.
3) The ideas being studied by the group may change from year to year, or even month to month.
4) Our leader will occasionally make predictions of the future and call himself a prophet, but be aware that none of his predictions have come true.
5) You are entitled to leave the group, but we will suggest that you have lost all possibilities and will become food for the moon upon your death.

And so on.

Why lie about these things if the group is connected to “something higher”? Why not be forthcoming with people about all of the above? Maybe because they would not join?

Anyway, entering into the realm of the painfully obvious, but sometimes the obvious needs to be said.

260. paulshabram - August 2, 2008

RVM 250
I have many experiences in my lifetime where I was extremely aware. These states were extraordinary and induced by many different events, particularly “shocks”. With the “work” these came very often. But what were they? Was that truly a higher state because I was aware of myself and my surroundings? Like many I developed an “Observer”. I still call this up when it’s useful. But is this Higher mind?
I have concluded that these are mind tricks I have played on myself. The sensations are biochemical responses that are self induced, or situationally induced (as when I’ve been in danger or when I am in the presence of beauty).
Consciousness, by every description, esoteric or scientific is inclusive not exclusive. My most valued moments of expanded consciousness has been when when my awareness, perception, and understanding is harmonic with other people. So your post resonates with my understanding.

“There was no kumbaya moment, where we all looked at each other and held hands. But I knew that others in the room were aware of what I was sensing on some level — maybe not intellectually, but they sensed something as well. Maybe it was a sudden silence in the lecture, where the speaker stepped out of the room for a moment, and all of us could hear the sound of the birds, and feel the breeze coming through the window, and the sunlight was filtering in through the trees, and for just a moment, I felt a connectedness, not a separation.”

261. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 2, 2008

Rear View Mirror: #250:

‘However, if someone agrees with us in a way that encourages our full participation in the world, that encourages us to see how we are connected to people, how enlightenment (whatever that may mean) is more of a silent sense of “coming back” to our inner source as opposed to separating ourselves from others, and that by finding what is true within us we actually connect to others — that’s a very different type of comfort. It helps us see that we are healthy, and strong, and that others have the same in the them. We see the dysfunction of the world, and we understand there is insanity within it, but we don’t try to separate ourselves from it.’

It took a while after leaving the FOF to feel this way but I think these words kind of sum up why one needs to leave the FOF. There is no balance experienced in staying cooped up in the FOF and being entrained in sequence after sequence; only separateness, delusion and loneliness. It is a form of denial in experiencing true intimacy and based in fear.

262. lostandfound - August 2, 2008

It appears that between the new moon, the meteorites and the beginning of the dog days of August, the entertainment (other than Richard M.) and dogma that you provide has taken a turn for the worse.

You deserved better than just communicating with one another.

Alas, you have temporarily lost a most fitting correspondent who had the insights, the intelligence and the emotional tone to try to help you remove your hands from your eyes, ears and mouth.

We were doing so well for a while, and then just when a possible breakthrough was on the horizon, your lower selves took over and reduced many of you to a defensive and offensive “bunch of cards.”

As Brian Highland said so well in the summer of ’65: “see you in September.”

p.s. To those who are enjoying our interactions, please know that our private correspondence will still continue.

p.p.s. Pavel, thank you for your sense of fair play, and enjoy the rest of the summer. With the help of Providence, I will be back in a month or so.

263. brucelevy - August 2, 2008

260. lostandfound

I wish for you to be able, eventually, to see what an asshole you are. That’s my blessing for you.

264. nigel harris price - August 2, 2008

James Blunt ‘Back to Bedlam’ – “My life is brilliant; my life is pure: I saw an angel; of that I’m sure”. These talks of higher states lead me to believe that (as in a previous post by another blogger) that my bi-polar disorder is based on the fact that my mood swings are actually those swings between higher and lower states of consciousness. I know, for a fact, that when I am in a ‘low’ mood, I look upon the world judgementally and can only see things, people and events in a form of seperateness. I even judge myself! Yet, when those ‘high’ states come, all is bright and connected and I perceive that everyone has eternal possibilities. No elitist groups or sectarianism. I even feel like having to learn ‘alien’ languages to say things like ‘Shalom’ or ‘Salaam’ to Jews or Muslims, ‘Agape’, ‘Caritas’ and ‘Eros’ explanations to Latin Christians etc. etc. My state then is based on my self-perception, exactly as it is described in Work Language, of Essence and My Heritage, in the real sense of the word (i.e. that I am a Warrior Nobility Celtic Shaman Universalist). Argue, if you like, but I know it to be true, and have verified it…..Nigel.

265. elena - August 2, 2008

The Followsheep of Freaks,
The Phalluship of Creeps?

Are these the things you object to? Making fun of ourselves when we see the levels of degradation we managed to reach? It is hard to look at one’s self but it is harder to avoid looking and buffer reality, or at least that half of reality that we don’t want to look at. How could we not repeat the horror if we are not willing to recognize it for what it is? We are creatures of repetition and a whole new track needs to be set before we are able to slide down a different one.

It is worth observing that the whole phenomenon of the Fellowship is no different to the way a company in regular society functions with the particular difference that what the Fellowship was trading with was “consciousness”. It sold us grains of it by the milligram at the cost of our own.

It is worth looking at it mainly because it is an interesting study on how we function instinctively. Our relationship to the Consciousness the Fellowship and Robert were meant to spread out was treated with the same pattern we would have normally treated the distribution of cocaine in our times, water in a desert or food in Bangladesh. When you’ve been in any of these situations, you can feel the energy of the people that have the power over the object and how they use it against the people that want it and need it. The axioms around which the Fellowship functioned were “Everything must be paid for” and “Effort, more effort.” Those who didn’t have money, were expected to go on salary and pay with effort and cheap labor.

The physical world is the expression of the totality and our relationship to that totality expresses our level of consciousness. The instinctive center tends to claim pieces of that totality as its personal property simply because the individual human being today does not have the consciousness that the totality is enough for everyone and the issue is not in how much of it there is but how it is shared. We went around looking for something without the capacity to see that the whole was right in front of us while Robert and his enablers continued to convince us that only Robert had it.

When the ego is present, the individuals in a conversation are eager to claim the right to speak as if speech itself were a piece of bread that were going to finish. Then those in power say there is only so much time to speak only enough for Robert to do so. So much time, so much oil, so many people, so much money… we live in the illusion of quantity but what we are witnessing today is that the limitations are an illusion of our instinctive perception and are deployed by those in power to stay in power..

In the Fellowship, Robert was given the title of owner of consciousness who could sell it or give it away. He treated it no better than how they deal with cocaine today with a few enablers to help him sell it and a few whores in the back to party with it. Talking with a thirty year in the school ex-member, he mentioned how it was known that Robert and his boys would make fun of the members in their private encounters and that Mildred once found them making fun of her. Mildred, who left us a letter asking why we’d never developed second line and worked for the Fellowship three lifetimes in one, victim of her own idolatry and power. She knew it at the end and tried to warn us but we are hard to listen. At least she died free. Robert would use her letter to make us believe that it was our responsibility that second line was not being developed and not the fact that he banned any initiative that embraced it. He is a master at turning everything to his advantage, just like the devil is pictured.

Life happens not in matter but in our relationship to matter. Not in the food we eat but in our attitude towards it. Not in the people in front of us but in how we interact with them. Life is always in the process and never fixed. The instinctive center wants to hold on to the objects, the food, the body of the loved one but the illusion hits hard in the fact that life is never there. It is more in the air than on earth and we crawl rather than walk, kneel rather than stand.

Poor Mr. Burton knows enough to understand that balloons and pigeons are more important than jobs and houses to keep his flock but not enough to stay alive in front of any one of his sheep. He disappears in the costume and the wristwatch, terrified of his own being but the followers, who think Consciousness can be pinned by Versace, don’t bother to look beyond. One day they’ll touch his costume in one of the meetings and to their great astonishment it’ll fall right down to the floor; then they’ll realize it was only the illusion they had of him that was holding him up, like it happened to the rest of us or the lady who thought a tuxedo was waiting to lobby her into the galleria!

266. elena - August 2, 2008

P.S. When Robert dies, they’ll have him stuffed and disected like an animal but in puppet strings, sit him at the meeting and turn the t.v. on while they move him with his eye contact hipnotising the crowd and no one will notice the difference. They’ll still sat that they only get hight at the galleria. Who wouldn’t? After all, no one knows what he’s like in real life!

But the boys will laugh the hell out of themselves for as long as it lasts. They are already doing so because Robert is nothing but a puppet in the inner circles hands. His deal is: as long as you provide me with sex, you can have power and they love that power.

267. elena - August 2, 2008

Daily Cardiac, I don’t doubt you’ve verified higher states or influence C if that is what you wish to call it as I have. What we are saying here is that it is not the private property of Robert Burton or the Fellowship of Friends and that it is inside each one of you as much as each one of us and no one has to pay for it with money, services or sex. The Fellowship of Friends’s Cult makes you believe that you do have to but in its practices, it quickly reduces your possibilities of development because it does not give any of its members enough room to grow or confront his or her experiences. DOG-MA does not do it no matter how much you pay.

268. My4bits - August 2, 2008

As part of my ongoing process of “letting go,” I am intensively reviewing the wider implications of my time in the Fellowship. I was a member for over 25 years, and have been “out” for about one year.

The topic of the day is “complicity,” defined as “the state of being an accomplice; partnership or involvement in wrongdoing: complicity in a crime.”

I participated in hundreds of prospective student meetings, directed centers, and in other ways was “complicit” in influencing seekers to join and remain in the Fellowship, which I now see to be a corrupt and spiritually criminal enterprise.

So, I would appreciate opinions and advice, if the issue resonates with you.

Is complicity a non-issue, moving forward? As a well-meaning follower, do I get a “karmic pass” because my motives at the time were seemingly pure? Or, must I assume karmic responsibility?

Thanks.

269. elena - August 2, 2008

Robert replaced feminine dominance for Dog-ma. Students, the dogs, Robert the Ma, “keep sucking dears, it feels so good” and don’t forget to wiggle your tails while you’re at it.

270. elena - August 2, 2008

My4bits, since I’m already on a spree, let me just say, it feels better when you do something about it so that another person doesn’t spend his next twenty five years in it but I would not force your hand to move that knob even if they payed me.

271. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 2, 2008

#266: Is complicity a non-issue, moving forward? As a well-meaning follower, do I get a “karmic pass” because my motives at the time were seemingly pure? Or, must I assume karmic responsibility?

IMO, we are responsible for what we understand; not for what we don’t. It’s when clarity comes and we still don’t budge does our ‘karmic debt’ accrue and even the idea of ‘karmic debt’ is fear-based. To me karmic debt only means that by ignoring our ‘conscience’, we create more internal baggage to release so it becomes even more difficult to leave the ‘group think’.

That’s why I think it’s futile to try and talk people out of leaving the FOF when it’s really not clear to them they should do that. However, perhaps I can help someone through the process here by expressing what I have learned since I left.

272. arthur - August 2, 2008

When Jesus the Christ walked the dusty paths of the Middle-East squatting down now and then to finger an idea in the dust he did speak with a Bronx accent or Texas drawl.

He did not speak Romany, Latin, Greek nor any of the Romance languages. He did not speak Martin Luther German nor the current standard of grammer.

He spoke Aramaic. A Presbyterian church in San Antonio, Texas undertook the translation of the Lord’s Prayer from English to Aramaic so that their choir could sing it.

They were “shocked” in the process. They found out that in Aramaic Heaven does not mean Place but a state of mind.
Their belief system was turned upside down at least for a moment.

In my opinion Pontus Pilate had the best question of all time. ” What is the TRUTH”?

Is Robert Burton’s Paradise TRUTH? Does Robert Burton’s Church speak the TRUTH?

273. arthur - August 2, 2008

That should be, He did NOT speak with a Bronx accent or Texas drawl.

274. Rear View Mirror - August 2, 2008

About Lost 260, I can’t quite rule out that it’s satire. Imagine never having heard of the FOF. The posts are really pretty comical. Of course, the FOF is pretty comical at times. Or it could be that their online persona just loves the attention. But whatever they’re up to — maybe just trying to divert attention from the more interesting posts — I like the discussions that seem to grow out of it all.

Yes, Lost and Found, keep writing. But I never realized that “awakening” was so much about being creepy and just plain weird. Vincent Price should be reciting your posts for a Halloween Party.

275. Rear View Mirror - August 2, 2008

Paul, thank you, your post definitely resonated with me as well.

276. Daily Cardiac - August 2, 2008

To: WhaleRider – 252

Daily Cardiac:

I verified Higher Worlds/Beings, what Ouspensky labeled “C Influence” soon after I joined the school.

“Grasshopper, l suggest you reread the workbooks. You are operating under an illusion. The influence of which you speak comes only from the lips of a living, breathing guru.

To thine own self be true.”

WhaleRider,

Paerhaps you can tell me what workbooks you are speaking of and reference a paragraph that contradicts my statement.

277. My4bits - August 2, 2008

Elena, re: 266 and 268.

I share your impulse to “do something.” My orientation is more to “be something,” and in so doing, to serve as an agent of change.

I’ve offered to be interviewed by an Appeal-Democrat and SacBee reporter. I sent some money to the lawyer fund for the Petition. For a time, I posted actively on the blog.

I thought that the act of leaving itself would be my most powerful statement to those who remain. Predictably, this act created but a small, transient ripple on the pond of delusion.

278. My4bits - August 2, 2008

Wakeuplittlesuzywakeup, post 269

Thanks. I agree that my concern about “karmic debt” is fear-based.

Perhaps concern about complicity is a carry-over of a deeply-ingrained fear of leaving? Through fear, my psychic link to the Fellowship lives on.

Time to break this link.

279. Rear View Mirror - August 2, 2008

About Cardiac 274, I can’t quite rule out that it’s satire either.

Or just an impenetrable wall of delusion. But keep in mind Lost and Cardiac, we were there, too. We understand what it’s like to refuse to hear it. To just not listen. And to change the subject.

———–
266. My4bits. I really appreciate your post and will give it some more thought. What you describe about yourself definitely fits for me as well. My first thought is the following… Guilt was something we were taught in the FOF — even as Burton and others claimed that the FOF was NOT about teaching guilt.

Ironic.

I will speak for myself here. To anyone who finds their way out of the labyrinth, I would welcome you with open arms as a friend.

280. Daily Cardiac - August 2, 2008

Ellen – 160:

You Said: “Nevertheless a teacher’s only true validating credentials in this most difficult and noble of travel-guidance-towards-liberation professions, is to be fully liberated himself/herself.”

Ellen, what makes you assume REB is not liberated; because he does not fit the picture of a liberated man? How many liberated men in your life do you have to reference him with?

“A teacher, whose impurity of motive is now so fully documented in these 42 pages greatly reflect the schism of Robert Burton, the man. He may be able create higher states, and inspire others to experience previously unknown worlds in themselves, but if the guidance does not lead to a total release of the constrictions of the individual ego cramp, what can you say? Who’s to blame? The student? The teacher? The path? Still with me?”

Again: “He may be able create higher states, and inspire others to experience previously unknown worlds in themselves…”

As I understand it he would not be able to do this if he were not doing it himself. Essentially you are saying that for nearly 40 years RB has been talking about SR, giving astute observations about it, inspiring others to do it, yet not doing it himself? Ellen, this is highly unlikely.

The hardest thing about SR is not doing it but remembering to do it. You’re saying Robert consistently does the hard part “remembering to do it”, by always talking about it, but he fails to follow through himself and actually do it even though he implores his students to do it.

It’s obvious to me you have a strong picture of how an Enlightened Being should conduct himself in his everyday activities and Robert does not fit that picture. But instead of adjusting your picture, you’ve ruled out that he is Enlightened in spite of evidence to the contrary that you’ve cited.

Truth is not a popularity contest. I still think you are caught on the morality wheel. It’s understandable as it’s a difficult wheel to jump off of. Those making the statements on the 42 pages that have all rejected the FoF and Robert Burton; what would you expect them to say – RB is a great teacher, the FoF beyond any doubt is a real school, but the problem was in me?

I’ve talked to dozens of individuals who were in the process of leaving and only one did not blame the FoF. He said Self-Remembering was too strenuous for him and he just wanted to lead a “normal’ life. All others squarely placed the blame on the school/teacher.

And I think it’s a buffer to the fact that they could not or would not dedicate themselves to doing the inner work required. That was the reason I wrote the post you replied to, but you have not touched on that main point. Former students on this blog, by their own admission, don’t work with the main principles of the school. So, how could the school work for them long term? Take Robert out of the equation and it still would not work without practicing the principles.

Critical comments do not invalidate REB anymore than a Republican’s critical comments would invalidate the Democratic Party; it does mean that those individuals, for a myriad of reasons, did not accept his teachings.

As I mentioned previously, Robert has an objective worth and we will all know what that is eventually; if not in this life then for sure in the next life.

“If these pages and your own experience cannot show you the dark, untrustworthy side of Robert Burton, then it is your fate to remain in the Fellowship of Friends until by luck or by chance some day you encounter some real gold.”

This statement really gets to the crux of the issue. It seems that ex-students inevitably must validate their own experiences and decision to leave by invalidating current member’s experiences and decisions to stay. Why do you think they are mutually inclusive?

My reality is that I came by luck and I stay by my own valuation, and more luck. I’ve found real gold. Why can’t ex-members take that on face value? I think I know the answer, but I ask nevertheless.

To me it’s an aspect of vanity to think that if I didn’t find what I was looking for in Robert or FoF that means no one else will find it. Vanity sees its own logic and conclusions as infallible and all encompassing.

281. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 2, 2008

276 My4bits

Freedom begins with fully accepting responsibility. So you might ask yourself how well-intentioned you really were. If the answer is “completely,” there’s no karmic debt, so move on, and try not to accrue karma now, by seeing through the illusion that we are separate, we are ego, we are the body. If the answer is “mostly, but not entirely,” try to feel some remorse, forgive yourself, and move on, and try not to accrue karma now, by seeing through the illusion that we are separate, we are ego, we are the body.

282. paulshabram - August 2, 2008

Cardiac 274
P.D Ouspensky
The Psychology of Man’s Possible Evolution
Third lecture and Fifth Lecture

Ouspensky describes “C-Influence” that bears no resemblance to what you describe.

Further, Ouspensky has this to say:

“In modem thought people ignore the idea of being and
different levels of being. On the contrary, they believe that the more discrepancies and contradictions there are in
a man’s being, the more interesting and brilliant he can be. It is
generally, although tacitly, and not always even tacitly, admitted
that a man can be given to lying, he can be selfish, unreliable,
unreasonable, perverted, and yet be a great scientist or a great
philosopher or a great artist. Of course this is quite impossible.
This incompatibility of different features of one’s being, which is
generally regarded as originality, actually means weakness. One
cannot be a great thinker or a great artist with a perverted or an
inconsistent mind, just as one cannot be a prizefighter or a circus
athlete with consumption. The widespread acceptance of the idea
that inconsistency and amorality means originality is responsible
for the many scientific, artistic and religious fakes of our present
time and probably of all times.”

283. paulshabram - August 2, 2008

My4Bits

What ever complicity is yours, unfortunately, only you can know. The healing begins and may end with forgiveness, forgiving oneself however you can get there. I feel that taking responsibility is a good step in measuring complicity, but if you we intentionally complicit I really doubt you would have posed the question.

Make no mistake, moreover, that taking responsibility that is not yours is a form of self aggrandizement. It may be more illuminating and liberating to realize you were just plain duped nad made a fool.

284. Vena - August 2, 2008

Daily Cardiac:

“And I think it’s a buffer to the fact that they could not or would not dedicate themselves to doing the inner work required.”

This is the self comforting explanation current members have always given themselves when someone leaves. It is an assumption as you have no way of knowing the level of inner work that current or former members sustain. Did it ever occur to you that greater truth and understanding is possible outside the Fellowship? This attitude that Robert and the Fellowship is the only true way, an attitude identical with all radical, fundamentalist religions, keeps you and all those who hold to this way of thinking stuck. It is sad but you are certainly entitled to it just as the born again Christians and radical Muslims are entitled to their beliefs.

285. My4bits - August 2, 2008

re: Daily Cardiac, post 278.

You have a good intellect, and your arguments are eloquent. I feel, however, that you are missing something important, and that your words are essentially empty. Perhaps I can try to express this feeling in this way:

You have identified with a form (Robert Burton and the Fellowship of Friends). Later, you will understand that you are not this form, and you will go further. If you are lucky, you will reach your real source, beyond all intellectual conditioning.

Good luck.

286. You-me-us-they - August 2, 2008

Talking about “reality check”

The 4th Way
Verify, Verify, Verify

Daily Cardiac: “As I mentioned previously, Robert has an objective worth and we will all know what that is eventually; if not in this life then for sure in the next life.”

I guess some few things will never be for NOW.

287. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 2, 2008

#275: I thought that the act of leaving itself would be my most powerful statement to those who remain. Predictably, this act created but a small, transient ripple on the pond of delusion.

Ahh yes I remember that feeling! When I left I thought many would follow; that we were the beginning of the exodus and it just doesn’t happen that way. That was 14 years ago! And until we actually leave we have no idea how strong the status quo is within the FOF.

288. My4bits - August 2, 2008

Paulshabram, post 281:

Yep. I was a super-dupe and a mighty grand fool, which, I suppose, is a very self-aggrandizing way of putting it.

Thanks for your thoughtful and supportive words.

289. ton - August 2, 2008

278 cardiac… you’re a real card all right. i have to wonder what you think to accomplish here on the blog? is it “conversion” of “the fallen” or simply a forum for your own rationalizations?

“Vanity sees its own logic and conclusions as infallible and all encompassing.”

290. elena - August 2, 2008

Ton, they write to reassure the members that read but have no energy for more than a few posts, like lost and found and all the others have proven. They don’t realize that they don’t address most of the issues because their minds are already so damaged that they can’t even perceive them and that they go over the same points stating that awakening is about me, for me, and at my cost and fuck the rest of the members. That is what they call consciousness but it is Robert’s private property on greed.

Hey Daily Cardiac, are you trying to avoid the issues I and others here present you with, like all the other members of the Phalluship have done? Are they too difficult for you to deal with because you go around like a dog tied to a pole in your psychological world?

291. brucelevy - August 2, 2008

281. paulshabram

“I feel that taking responsibility is a good step in measuring complicity, but if you were intentionally complicit I really doubt you would have posed the question.”

Not necessarily. I can perceive a scenario where one came to the realization of the reality of what one was doing, at least by little pangs and whispers from whatever conscience existed, yet, for one’s own selfishness continued to play a role that borders on criminal, by commission or omission, until they decided it was time to move on. Why wouldn’t that person ask that question? One possibility is there will be a group of people who will cushion the reality, and sooth and pad one’s emergence from the cult, and make impossible the needed realization of the results of one’s complicity. If one is “out”, they’re much more likely to seek confirmation, support etc., and ask “that question”. But it’s a very slippery slope where certain kinds of support will only reinforce those things that allowed one to be complicit, and continue with an extreme degree of egocentricity and entitlement, which is so prized and used in the FOF. Like aiding and abetting the pimping for RB as an example. One possibility is there will be a group of people who will cushion the reality, and make impossible the needed realization of the results of one’s complicity.

292. Daily Cardiac - August 2, 2008

To Paul: 280

I wasn’t aware that I described Influence C in 274; I simply said I verified their existence. Maybe you have me confused with WhaleRider.

293. brucelevy - August 2, 2008

278 cardiac

As eloquent as as your arguments seems, these are delusional, circuitous arguments, coming from a place of moderate intelligence, but of virtually no conscience, heart or humanity. As eloquent as as your arguments seems, they are sociopathic in their blindness.
And I may seem to use “that word” too often here, but think for a minute who from the FOF has posted here, what they’ve said, their agenda and motivation. Another words, for some reason this blog attracts the sociopaths in the FOF like shit draws flies. While they are the more vocal members here, they are a tiny minority of the FOF membership, and are probably universally disliked by the rank and file, because their shit is so obvious. It’s damage control, but it’s actually very obvious horse shit. For me, engaging in a back and forth with these shills, one is giving them what they want. A spotlight for their sociopathy, vanity and inflated image of their worth to the FOF

294. Daily Cardiac - August 2, 2008

Elena,

I’m just recording my own understandings and experiences. I assume that’s what everyone is doing.

You’re right about fewer posts though; there are many more opponents here than suporters of FoF, so it’s not practical for a supporter to answer all the people who disagree with them.

Also what’s the point of going round and round with people; I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind. I can’t change their minds and they can’t change mine. Words trump words. Whoever wants the last word on anything I say it’s fine with me.

If we say truthfully what we feel and think that’s a big accomplishment.

295. Vena - August 3, 2008

Daily Cardiac:

Would you be willing to explain how you verified C Influence? I think several people have asked you and it would be very interesting to hear your experience. Thank you.

296. paulshabram - August 3, 2008

290 D. Cardiac
You wrote “I verified Higher Worlds/Beings, what Ouspensky labeled “C Influence” soon after I joined the school.”

Ouspensky does not describe C-Influence as “Higher Worlds/Beings”

297. Josiane - August 3, 2008

Here is a cute story about “verifying” C-Influence. When I was in Europe in the early ’90s, a troupe of eastern folk dancers and musicians came to town. With my ballet background I was so impressed with their performance I had an insight that, when I would eventually move to Renaissance (the name at the time) I would teach folk dance to the children there. Which I did for four years. When I asked Robert permission to teach these classes his reply was: ” Why would C Influence want folk dance in the ark?” Still, he allowed it because I told him the insight came from C Influence.

Reflecting on the experience, it must have been wishful thinking on my part that C Influence was behind me.

My current line of thought is: beware of “self-hypnosis”.

298. veronicapoe - August 3, 2008

My4bits–

Own up to what you did when you knew better, disavow what you did where you did so relying on lies others told you, and let the karma take care of itself.

299. whalerider - August 3, 2008

Daily Cardiac:

“Words trump words.”

No, grasshopper, experience trumps words.

It is not time for you to leave yet.

300. My4bits - August 3, 2008

Veronicapoe, post 296.

Hello again! You’ve been amazingly consistent in your thoughtful blog presence, and I thank you.

During the last decade of my membership, I became increasingly queasy about my role in facilitating the entry of new students into the Fellowship. My heart was no longer in it. In my mind, the “ship of fools” had already sailed. We/I had our play (of spiritual dysfunction) to deal with. How could I in good conscience encourage “innocents” to hop on board? In fact, I often discouraged prospective students from joining.

In conversations with prospective students, I recall sugar-coating aspects of the organization:

— Payment? 10% of monthly income. But I didn’t often explain in any detail how this 10% could eventually become 20%, 30%, and more.

— Yes, the teacher is a conscious being, whose spiritual lineage can be traced back (more or less) to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky.

— Seldom, if ever, did I explain that, in the Fellowship, work on one’s self is an enterprise of multiple lifetimes and, sorry to say, you may not get what you’re looking for in this one.

And on and on.

I frequently spoke in half-truths, adroitly attempting to cushion the blow of the reality of the situation, and in this respect, I am complicit.

301. brucelevy - August 3, 2008

298. My4bits

Were you a center director? In your position I assume you were aware of RB’s proclivities. Where were you on that spectrum that goes from “I don’t believe it” or “I don’t want to hear it” all the way to active facilitator?

302. My4bits - August 3, 2008

Brucelevy, post 299.

Hi, Bruce.

I was a center director on several occasions.

In 1982, I was told that RB was homosexual, but buffered this information rather completely. Later, and on into the 90’s, I was blithely unaware and uninformed of the details of his “private life.” By 2000, I still didn’t know many details, but I was beginning to feel uneasy and suspicious. It was not until 2006 and 2007 that I had the oh-my-god moment that started me packing my bags.

Mostly, I was in the “I don’t want to hear it” category. Or, maybe I just didn’t have the ears to hear… I was never an active facilitator, and I was never invited or allowed into his proximity. I was not in the loop, so to speak. Just a brainwashed soldier.

303. whalerider - August 3, 2008

Wow, my4bits, that’s a starling admission. It must feel good to come clean, so to speak.

You are one of those rare frogs that jump out of the pot as the FOF vomit factor gets gradually cranked up over the years. Thank Allah you listened to your inner spirit guide, disobeyed orders, and made the leap to your senses.

I’ll say it again: the FOF is a rape factory. You and I were a cog in that wheel.

304. veronicapoe - August 3, 2008

my4bits–

In my opinion, atonement begins with taking an unflinching look at “I don’t want to hear it” and identifying the factors, from the vastness of your life experience going all the way back to infancy, that allowed that attitude primacy in your psyche.

Then watch for those factors in the present.

When you (or your mate) catches you manifesting such an attitude (shuttering out something that, in good conscience, ought to be let in), open up that shutter and let in whatever it is. Doesn’t mean you have to act on it right away. Just let it in and let the information work on you. This, it seems to me, is one way of understanding “metanoia.”

305. My4bits - August 3, 2008

whalerider, post 301.

If you are who I think you are, we were friends way back when. I recall observing you once at a Galleria reception. You were standing alone, and seemed painfully conflicted. But this was not an uncommon observation at those receptions… Sorry I wasn’t there for you, bud.

306. James Mclemore - August 3, 2008

295. Josiane
“When I asked Robert permission to teach these classes his reply was: ” Why would C Influence want folk dance in the ark?” ”

What a strange, strange man. A man so isolated in a dream of his own making, that he cannot see the joyfullness of just common folks dancing, or perhaps singing.
It is sad what members of the fof miss from life because of the demented ideas and dreams of a sick and isolated and sad man. There is this aritificial and rarified environment that he thinks he has created, with its fine art and music and fountains and antique furniture and exercises that remove humor. The music and art are just fine for what they are, but in that idea of being separate and higher and better than, and removed from ‘life people’, they will miss so many of the wonderful little, and not so little joys that come from being alive, and from having a sense of humor.

307. paulshabram - August 3, 2008

Daily Cardiac

More from P.D. Ouspensky you might contemplate:

” At the same time it must be understood that any serious
irregularity or abnormality in the sex function makes self-
development and even self-study impossible.”

308. whalerider - August 3, 2008

my4bits:

“…starling admisson”? I meant you made a ‘startling’ admission on your part or maybe I meant you made a sterling admisson, too, as in ‘thoroughly excellent” or undoubtedly both…

BTW, thanks for that. You obviously have a high standard of human decency to have stood up for your conscience and made the move.

Hmmm…we called it something else way back when I was around, I guess it’s now known as the Galleria…defined as “a spacious passageway, court, or indoor mall, usually with a vaulted roof and lined with commercial establishments.”….otherwise known as a place where ‘things’ are for sale. Now that doesn’t sound like a church or a place of worship to me, how about you?

It is certainly painful for me even now to reflect on how I allowed myself to become a narcissistic object and sexual plaything of Robert Burton back then. Admittedly, I turned up the heat on myself. The situation I was in actually made me puke on several occasions. All the years you remained in the FOF, I remained in silent shame.

I appreciate that we can be here for each other now.

309. paulshabram - August 3, 2008

Bruce 291
“It’s damage control, but it’s actually very obvious horse shit. For me, engaging in a back and forth with these shills, one is giving them what they want. A spotlight for their sociopathy, vanity and inflated image of their worth to the FOF”

For me, engaging in a back and forth to put a “spotlight” on “their sociopathy, vanity and inflated image of their worth to the FOF” is exactly the reason to engage them in discussion.

I have no fear this engagement. The evidence I’ve gathered, both on and off the blog, suggests that there are Silent Watchers still in the FOF and yet still capable of some critical thought. The shills and the self appointed spokesmen speak from an impossible position of having to argue with themselves.

At the core of the belief system is that one must “verify” by pure faith. Cardiac’s own statement is a study in such a self contradiction:
“I verified Higher Worlds/Beings, what Ouspensky labeled “C Influence” soon after I joined the school, having had flashes prior. I verified them by trying to do the work principles, mostly the non-expression of Negativity, separating from the lower self through non-identification, trying to ward off imagination, trying to practice the school exercises. I think this is how the first people verified higher worlds. As far as I can see, there are no real short cuts.”

To break it down a little:

“I verified Higher Worlds/Beings, what Ouspensky labeled “C Influence” soon after I joined the school, having had flashes prior.”

Immediately followed by:

“I verified them by trying to do the work principles, mostly the non-expression of Negativity, separating from the lower self through non-identification, trying to ward off imagination, trying to practice the school exercises. I think this is how the first people verified higher worlds. As far as I can see, there are no real short cuts.”
Apparently D.C. was either a very fast and very good student who took some short cut he/she doesn’t believe in, or we are looking at a typical religious conversion of faith by someone that thinks very highly of itself.

310. brucelevy - August 3, 2008

307. paulshabram

I agree with your points. But, for me and some others here this exact conversation has occurred several times before, most likely with the same people using different names. But it was a while ago, so have at it. One can’t expose absurdity too often when it has the implications that this does.

311. nigel harris price - August 3, 2008

304 James Mclemore
I don’t need ‘fine things’ to have moments of presence. Yesterday (Saturday) I took a break from my workshop and gazed at the farmhouse wall – an old rustic building with withered ivy trails. Still remember it…..Nigel.

312. James Mclemore - August 3, 2008

302. veronicapoe
“In my opinion, atonement begins with taking an unflinching look at “I don’t want to hear it” and identifying the factors, from the vastness of your life experience going all the way back to infancy, that allowed that attitude primacy in your psyche.
Then watch for those factors in the present.”

Thank you for that. I tried using it this very evening in the middle of my madness. It had nothing to do with my experiences in the fof, but I used it on some very old dark-robed judges that still haunt me and attempt to find me guilty of something.

313. Daily Cardiac - August 3, 2008

To Paul:

Sorry I don’t see the link between C Influence and the Ouspensky quotes you are pointing out to me.

Regarding whether C Influence is synonymous with Higher Forces; I don’t have Ouspensky’s books in my possession, but the C in C Influence stands for Celestial Influence, which I think is higher than Terrestrial Influence (which is where we are)

314. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 3, 2008

311 D.C.

Any of us who have parented children through their teen years has experienced the frustration of hearing an adolescent speak in a barely tolerant tone, as though his parent had been born and raised on another planet and couldn’t possibly understand how insightful he is, towering in the confidence of his 16 years. He can’t understand that we’ve been there, and twenty or thirty or forty years more. We can talk until we’re blue in the face, but he thinks by definition he knows better. He may say things as ignorant as “the C in C Influence stands for Celestial Influence,” and may actually believe it’s true.
D.C., when I joined, and left, the FOF you may have been a child. You may not have been born yet. (I hope for your sake this is true, and that you’re not 50 or 60.) I saw things in the FOF you wouldn’t–in fact, clearly don’t–believe, because it’s beyond your current ability to comprehend. Sorry, but it’s true. Come back when you’re older.

315. whalerider - August 3, 2008

Daily Cardiac:

“…but the C in C Influence stands for Celestial Influence…”

Grasshopper, as I suspected, you misread the label. It’s simply named influence A, B, and C. You have projected a meaning onto the term that Ouspensky didn’t intend. He spoke of three influences in our lives, a, b, and c…not to be confused with the three lines of work, first, second and third…or the three forces, first, second, and third.

A for the hypnotic influence of life upon your psyche.

B for the indirect and synthesized influence (or footprint) upon your psyche of a virtuoso mystic who once walked the earth and may still.

C for the direct influence upon your psyche from the lips of your living guru (after they have observed you for a period of time) given specifically to you for the sole benefit of your conscious evolution.

All the other crap about higher forces directing the play is bullshit. The only one pulling your strings is Robert in his unquenchable thirst for semen.

316. paulshabram - August 3, 2008

311 Cardiac
I do appreciate your participation.

OK. So you don’t have Ouspensky (yet you quote him). Why did you ask for the references? Perhaps that is why you don’t see the link.

You wrote:
“but the C in C Influence stands for Celestial Influence, which I think is higher than Terrestrial Influence (which is where we are)”
Why do you think that Celestial is ‘higher’ than Terrestrial? After all, the Moon is Celestial and so is Terra.

A more general question to you is how could you have “verified” anything if you did so from untestable assumptions?

From assumptions like “there are conscious beings at a level I cannot understand, doing work I cannot comprehend” you build a universe by “verifying” that the FOF is a “C-Influence School” “RB is conscious, a man number [pick one], if I self remember and work diligently, I too might become conscious, that there are ‘Angels’ that are helping just us FOFers, and are going to destroy everybody else…” But if the premise is wrong, the conclusions are very likely wrong as well. What kind of verification is that?

317. nigel harris price - August 3, 2008

311 Daily Cardiac
Watch out for D-Influence – Divine Influence! In other words, you may get yourself and your FOF cohorts up against an Avatar (earthbound deity, not the spiritual guide, as in blog terms). Man #8 will beat down REB, man #7.3 and GH and the men and women #4, to put it in terms with which you can identify (and I mean THAT in ‘work terms’). I ain’t kidding, for I too, can verify my role!…..Nigel.

318. Traveler - August 3, 2008

Hi Daily Cardiac,

Getting back to your post (42/146) which invokes logic. I was actually a bit surprised and concerned when I heard some ex-members express a degree of agreement with your reasoning, and that makes it so much more vital for me that we examine it further together, go deeper than face value, because I’m seeing some obvious leaps of logic in the argumentation. I hope you will bear with me. It seems to me that you really do value objective and impartial assessment of things, and that it would please you to be able to objectively substantiate the merits of the Fellowship. So I’ll assume objectivity and reason to be our common ground.

Of the hundreds of words I wrote in 41-211 you seemed “intrigued” with the word “alleged” more than all the others. I see a little contradiction and a little side-stepping in your reply. First you say you are skeptical whether sex is the most discussed topic on the blog and you say it wasn’t the reason you left, but then you go on to invest a good chunk of your reply alluding to the topic of sex, specifically how I must be buffering the goings on because I used the term “alleged” in regard to the sex stories.

I think you are on to something; I think I pounced on your use of “allegedly” because it made it easy for me to make a point. So to retrace my steps; if I understand you correctly, you are saying that you are using “allegedly” merely because you are trying to say that it does not matter to you whether those stories are true or not, because the value of the FOF for you is elsewhere, and even if those stories are true, you are still receiving many spiritual benefits from your membership.

So can I ask you a few questions more directly then? These are questions that I wish I had asked myself while I was a member. I guess the sex thing really matters to me enough to spend this much time with it. I will truly appreciate your straightforward answers.

– When you hear people say that they have felt used or manipulated or treated as objects by Robert, do you ever feel the slightest bit uncomfortable?
– If you do ever feel uncomfortable, do you think there’s anything that would relieve the discomfort?
– If you don’t feel uncomfortable, what do you feel when you hear many people state that they have been manipulated or abused by Robert?
– Do you remember when you first found out that Robert was having sex with students? How long were you in the school? How did you find out? What did you think at the time?
– Did you as an older student ever feel ill-at-ease speaking to new or prospective students about Robert’s lifestyle? Did you ever speak to them in a way that attempted to ameliorate the impact of the rumors about Robert, did you ever censor yourself or withhold parts of information because you thought it would be bad for new students to hear? If yes, were you trying to prevent something?
– Were you ever in a situation where you could have said something that would reveal you were a member of the Fellowship of Friends, but you chose not to reveal that? If yes, what were you feeling?

Mind you, I’m not interested in whether any feelings belong to your lower or higher self. My interest is only if you can objectively observe and report what happens in the machine in these situations.

You say: What is “alleged” from my viewpoint are the claims of “innocent victims” strewn in his wake, the claims that people are being forced to do something against their free will. I’m with these potential “victims” day in and day out and I have not encountered anyone that fits the description of a victim.

So are you saying that you know Robert has sex with many male students, and that all the ones you have seen and had interactions with inside the Fellowship, seemed happy and content? Are you saying that those of Robert’s sex partners who have left the FOF, left only because they were spiritually discontented and not growing, and only later came up with an “explanation” that they left “because” they were being sexually manipulated by Robert?

Would you consider how the two might theoretically be related? Do you think it’s possible that in the history of the FOF, there were in fact some men who said yes to Robert not happily, but because they felt pressured to do so? Can you imagine how being in a sexual relationship that is not quite voluntary and consensual, could exist simultaneously with stunted spirituality? In your experience, do you think that it’s possible that some people just are not able to leave unpleasant relationships for a long time because they consider themselves unworthy, dependent, inferior, weak? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

I will not get into the legal details of due process, burden of evidence, private and public persons. Others know more about this and have already responded to you. But I would like to get back to this:

Telling someone Influence C wanted them to have sex with him (if RB ever said that) does not prove sexual abuse, because that might be a true statement. You would first have to prove that the statement was not true, and who could disprove that statement? You would also possibly have to delve into the argument of proving the existence or non-existence of Influence C, as I see it. And people have been trying to prove or disprove the existence of “God” for as long as man has existed without any definitive success.

Seriously, can you imagine courts really operating the way you are describing? I think someone already replied to you in a way that I thought was very much to the point: say that it was true that Influence C demanded Robert to have sex with someone. Even if Robert could get Leonardo to show up on the witness stand and testify for him, the court would just judge Leonardo as an accomplice.

There is a fundamental difference between religious beliefs and objectively verifiable statements, and they just do not mix and match. That’s where the whole “have you verified Influence C” debate enters the endless spin cycle. And from what I’ve observed within the Fellowship, there is very little awareness among members that an established distinction exists between what I will call religious thinking on the one hand and the scientific way of thinking on the other.

What I call religious is: a pronouncement of truth is made by an authority. Then people try to find ways to support that truth. This typically takes the form of social influence, more and more people declaring that something is true and that they sincerely and deeply believe it. (The recent description by someone of Linda K asking people to raise hands if they have verified Influence C comes to mind.) The idea it is in turn believed by more people and voila, a truth is born. Not an uncommon way of thinking even in this day and age. The point being, religious beliefs are inherently not testable and not verifiable, and therefore the terms “true” and “false” are actually completely irrelevant with regard to matters of belief. They do not even enter the picture. Nobody has yet been able to disprove the existence of Creator God, because it is inherently not possible to disprove God (or Gods, or Influence C), and it is equally impossible to prove God. “Daily Cardiac believes in Influence C.” That’s a verifiable hypothesis, and upon observation it would probably be validated with a high degree of likelihood. “44 invisible gods are directing the fate of Fellowship of Friends through communicating with Robert Burton”. There is no conceivable method for objectively proving or disproving such a statement. It is a matter of faith. If you are interested in more of this, try googling “invisible pink unicorn”.

So when you speak about “verifying” Influence C, I know you are not talking about verifying in a scientific sense. Am I correct to assume that you mean “verify” as an internal, personal experience of meaningfulness? I have heard different people make statements about verifying Influence C, and I know they have meant it with various degrees of abstraction. I will get to your question to me about it, and I would also really like to know what you mean by “verify” and “Influence C”. Do you mean literally that you felt Influence C the same way Robert seems to understand the idea, that e.g. Leonardo or Ouspensky visited you in your room and spoke to you? Or that you experienced natural laws suspended, and ascribed it to the work of Gods on an astral plane who work with the Fellowship of Friends? Or some special coincidences happened to you that were personally meaningful, and you ascribed it to some of the 44 administering a shock to you in order to make you more awake? Or just that you have felt there was a meaning and purpose to your existence on Earth, and that seemed to fit in general with the FOF belief in Influence C? I am really curious to know what “Influence C” and “verify” means to you, I think this is a basic question if we are going to discuss this topic. But of course please answer as much as you feel comfortable, I know this is a public forum that is often hostile to FOF members, and something like this can be very personal to share. I would be very grateful if you were willing to share it anonymously.

I will tell you what my relationship to the idea of C Influence has been. When I joined, I wanted to fit in, so I tried to believe in Influence C and see things in my life as the hand of Influence C. But I was uncomfortable talking about it at meetings and prospective meetings, because one of the fundamental principles of the fourth way was really valuable for me and one of the reasons I joined was because they told me that I would be required to verify everything, and I did not feel that Influence C as 44 angels or divine guidance transmitted through Robert was something that I had ever verified. So I was quite conflicted because on the one hand I was supposed to verify but on the other hand I felt a lot of pressure to conform already, I wanted to be a serious real student, and if I did not admit to having verified Influence C, I just would be “outer circle”, if I tried to ask questions like, you know, I haven’t really verified this, and how do you verify this, I was given circuitous answers such as, you have to verify this or it makes no sense to stay in the school (uh-oh, I don’t want to lose the school, yikes), or, of course you have verified it, you are just buffering. Well, I stopped asking at one point, and just buffered the subject. So if I understand correctly what you are asking, no, I never “verified” “Influence C”, in the sense that I never had a deep persuasion that my life was guided by higher beings because of my association with the Fellowship of Friends.

You say: Do you believe what was written about the Prophet Muhammad in the last part of 41-211? If you do believe those statements are true is it enough to cause you to re-evaluate your distrustful attitudes about Robert’s lifestyle? After all Muhammad is a Son of God equivalent and his actions in the area of sex appear to make RB seem like an Eagle Scout. If you don’t believe what’s written about the Prophet, why do you not believe it? It’s all composed of black pixels in white space, the same as the stories of Robert? Why believe one story and not another, one source and not another?

See Daily Cardiac, I don’t believe anything. I don’t believe what was written about Prophet Muhammad’s sexual appetites. Neither do I believe what is said about Robert Burton’s sexual habits.

In Muhammad’s case, I think what you say about him may as well have been true, but I just don’t care enough to investigate further. Why? Because Christian or Muslim sexual morality and their role models bear no relevance whatsoever to the way I want to live my life. So you may make a pretty good point that Muhammad was depraved by modern Anglo-Saxon standards. But my only reaction will be: So what? I see you are trying to prove that morality differs from place to place and time to time, but I say fuck morality, and fuck authority figures. (No, don’t go out and do it 🙂 As I tried to explain in my previous post, my dislike of Robert Burton’s behavior has nothing to do with a rulebook of “how many times, how many people, what gender, which orifices”. I see that as merely a convenient distraction. My dislike and disgust with his alleged behavior is rather based on a personally felt understanding of what human connection, love, respect and intimacy are about – and this is not it.

In Robert Burton’s case, I don’t “believe” all the stories that I’m hearing. I am making an educated guess that they are, to a large extent, accurate, based on the fact that so many people, over so many time periods and places, some of whom I know and trust personally, have reported them to me, and it would have to be one hell of a conspiracy to not be largely true. I’m making this guess just like we make educated guesses about almost everything in life that we don’t run through a court of law to test their veracity first, because common sense serves us just fine for the vast majority of things we need to do in life. I don’t have the illusion that I am in possession of any pure and unadulterated truth, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what goes on in Oregon House. Now if you or anybody can present compelling evidence to the contrary, I am willing to listen, and I may change my mind. Until then, I will draw my assumptions based on whatever rumors are available to me.

But believe it or not, the sex stories really were not why I left. I felt the FOF was stifling my spiritual growth and not nourishing me, and I wanted to move on. I am making no claims that I left because got disappointed over the abuse of sex, or the abuse of money, or the abuse of power, I am making no claims that Robert is to blame for my “failure” or that he was deceiving me. No. It’s not that the work was too difficult and I just couldn’t hack it any more – it was that I saw through it, saw it as a dead end and not a path to liberation. I simply realized that I had been deluding myself, and then there was no more reason to stay. I wonder if you heard what I just said?

This post is getting really long, so I will try to address some of the other questions you ask me really briefly. Like have I tried to verify that the “play is written”. That to me kind of fits in the same category as verifying Influence C. You start out with an assumption that something is true and then you collect evidence to support that a priori assumption. So I would not call that verification in the true sense. While I was in the FOF, there was a time when I was happy to find a relationship to this idea that was meaningful to me, but then I realized that different students heard those same words and interpreted them completely differently – and that puzzled me once again, and made me question whether we are really in the same school. You ask me “have you tried to verify it” – that is a very interesting question in my opinion. Have you ever considered it more deeply? What does trying to verify mean in the Fellowship? It means trying and trying until you can say with some conviction that it is true, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t the process of verification also imply that it is possible to verify that a central tenet of the Fellowship is NOT true? If you value objectivity, you might want to ask yourself. Have you met anyone in your tenure in the FOF who had ever verified that the play was NOT written? It was impossible, wasn’t it? You had either verified that it was true, or were still in the process of verifying that it was true. You really didn’t have a choice.

You say:

You don’t have to take my word for it. These principles are mentioned in every esoteric tradition, albeit under different names/terminologies.

As I mentioned previously, Robert has an objective worth and we will all know what that is eventually; if not in this life then for sure in the next life.

Remember above when I wrote about belief and how something becomes true not because of actual verification, but just because more and more people believe it?

So I have a very fundamental question for you: how do you know what to trust?

You say: I am writing for the same reasons as you probably; to express my individual reality in as truthful a manner as possible. I believe that’s all anyone can do in this medium.

Thank you for that. Amen.

319. Ellen - August 3, 2008

250, RVM
255, Traveler
258, RVM

I’m enjoying this thread on connectedness. For me it comes down to sensing who we as human beings truly are, which I think is an emotional kind of consciousness perception. In English, the word for that kind of perception is conscience, but since that label is so overworked here relative to the Fellowship, I think it is useful to try to find otherways to describe the perception.

If you take it to be fundamentally true that at bottom, man is a machine destined to feed the moon, whose innate nature is to be in imagination, then you proceed with a level of distrust about yourself and other people.

Conversely, if you take it to be fundamentally true that at bottom, man’s innate essential nature is living, loving, and divine, then you proceed with a level of trust about yourself and others.

A very limited, limiting and heavily bordered kind of spiritual community like the Fellowship assumes the former, whereas various other forms of open teachings allow for the goodness within each human being to rise spontaneously to the surface. What would you prefer?

As I mentioned last page, it was Zen master Shunryu Suziki of ZCSF who said “To give your sheep or cow a large, spacious meadow is the way to control him”.

320. Mick Danger - August 3, 2008

Dear Sirs & Madams (esp. Mr. Gilbert):
We have reviewed your posts and regret to inform you that an
“Equal Access God” has no marketability as a religious belief.
This is despite the fact that “God has no need of religion,
on the contrary religion needs God.”
I hear also that God has no need of money,
but have not verified that lofty ideal.

321. Ellen - August 3, 2008

#278 Daily Cardiac

Thanks for you nice response.

I agree, valuation, appreciation of Robert’s teaching is and must be entirely individual. So, of course, I honor yours. And even my own, which still is quite rich for the consciousness part of what I learned.

I consider Robert Burton to be fully dedicated to teaching and practicing self remembering. Actually, I consider him to possibly be crystallized in self remembering, I don’t really know. You might consider that to be good, but I currently understand self remembering to be only 50% of the way home (towards self realization). Self remembering is in consciousness as a personal witness, while self realization is about an entirely other level of pure awareness experienced through the loss of control of the person/ego/me. Again, to my perception, it is as though Robert has taken the goal posts for the goal and gotten stuck half way.

I can also tell you is that my eyes, mind and heart broke open when I began to encounter truly fully realized beings. Firstly, while still within the Fellowship, I encountered Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (who is deceased), in his book, “I Am That”. I travelled to JFBD last summer and attended a number of events. It was painfully clear to me (after reading and digesting Nisargadatta) that Robert did not understand these sublime quotations from the Sufis, Hindus, Buddhists, and Christian masters. It was embarrassing, it was painful, but totally clear – again, to me.

You ask how many liberated men have I encountered in my life?
Well, if we put the question of RB’s status to one side, I can tell you that witin the last year, I have had the chance to be with at least four living teachers.
#1 – Tony Parsons, a British teacher of non-duality. Last October, a day long workshop. My own reaction at the time was rather neutral, though it was possible to recognize various delightful awakened characteristics of his company.
#2 – Genpo Roshi, an American Zen master teaching out of Salt Lake, with a technique called Big Mind for integrating dualistic and non-dualistic voices. In January, a 9 day Zen retreat of Big Mind workshops, plus a few day long workshops since. A very profound experience.
#3 – Adyashanti, Bay Area American emerging from a Zen background teaching non-duality. In April, I had the luck to experience a 5 day retreat at Asilomar. Again, very profound.
#4 – Douwe Tiemersma, student of Nisargadatta teaching Advaita Vedanta in the Netherlands. Numerous weekends, satsangs and a 7 day retreat in June.

All of these teachers each and without exception displayed a great sense of humour and relaxed attentiveness to the present moment, courageously open to whatever might arise from the audience, matched with a non-formatory external consideration for all: shocking a person’s conceptual baggage was totally fine (and expected), but damaging a person’s essence was clearly unnecessary and verboten.

In addition, all four, each in their own way and language spoke about the perils of the ‘Guru syndrome’. How it is possible to have large spiritual openings yet still retain a trace of the ego, which then slowly becomes larger and larger and yet no longer visible – at least to the Teacher – who is after all, all powerful. That many powers become available which can easily be misused. Sex, power and money being the danger zones. It was for me quite healing as well as revelatory.

So, I can reverse the question to you?
How many realized masters have you encountered in your life?
Just one? Then you might want to do a little research?

322. Rear View Mirror - August 3, 2008

My4Bits (300) wrote: “…It was not until 2006 and 2007 that I had the oh-my-god moment that started me packing my bags.

“Mostly, I was in the “I don’t want to hear it” category. Or, maybe I just didn’t have the ears to hear… I was never an active facilitator, and I was never invited or allowed into his proximity. I was not in the loop, so to speak. Just a brainwashed soldier.”

——-

Partly what kept all of us brainwashed soldiers, bystanders, or facilitators was the lack of open discussion in the Fellowship of Friends. We were effectively taught to believe that any discussion about Burton was “gossip.” And when someone did say something to us, we often made negative assumptions about the messenger. That made it a bit challenging to change our thinking about Burton and the FOF. There tends to be very little critical thinking about any uncomfortable topic when there’s a lack of frank and open discussion about it.

Imagine how different things would be if conversations went something like this in, say, 1980:

Follower 1: “Did you hear? Robert is homosexual.”
Follower 2: “That’s cool. I respect that.”
Follower 1: “There’s more.”
Follower 2: “What?”
Follower 1: “There’s more to say about it.”
Follower 2: “More to say about what?”
Follower 1: “Well, supposedly he coerces people into having sex with him and tells them they’ll lose higher forces if they refuse.”
Follower 2: “That’s gossip.”
Follower 3: “It may be gossip — whatever that means — but it’s true. There’s one guy I know who is really fucked up and confused right now.”
Follower 2: “He’s identified.”
Follower 1: “Maybe, but I hear that Robert has been doing this for a long time, and that he’s been doing it with just about everyone he can.”
Follower 2: “What?”
Follower 1: “Look man, he’s not just a homosexual. He has a serious problem, and most of us are blatantly unaware of it.”

And so on…

The best cure for the lack of open discussion is open discussion. It sheds light on things.

323. nigel harris price - August 3, 2008

319 Ellen
Thank you for that post. Although I came out of the FOF ‘by accident’, as it seemed to me at the time, although KB, a student who still might still be within the FOF enclave, stated that “C-Influence had saved my life”, my way to further seeking was within the ‘normal’ education arena. I encountered a class in pre-school playgroup leadership, secondary-school Craft, Design and Technology teaching and, eventually, through a marvellous man, called Mike Higgins, at East Devon College in Tiverton, Devon, who was the Course Director for Adult Education, I was given the opportunity to become a fully qualified, and now, a flourishing, self-employed adult education teacher in my chosen field of jewellery and silversmithing. That craft had been my essence choice all along (since the age of 19, when I embarked on my degree course in Craft Design) and now I can fully appreciate how your ‘further’ teachers never attempted to damage or belittle essence. I remember how, after I had accomplished the Papal Silver Commission in 1987, Robert had me polish the Academy copper pots and the bases of the Baccarat crystal glasses. At the time I thought it was to reduce my chief feature of vanity, but now I look back, it was demeaning and servile work. I do not even think that Robert had much hand in the Fellowship Communion Set Commission, instigated by Walter S, in1984, which I thoroughly enjoyed making (pity I never got photographs of the set when finished). Now I realise that REB is a hollow, semi-awakened (i.e. still manifesting within the realm of his features), hardly helping others, inhuman ‘thing’. Thank the Angels that I was never taken within his sexual stronghold…..Nigel.

324. nigel harris price - August 3, 2008

The end of ‘Braveheart’ just came on my DVD player “…and won their freedom”. Was it not R. Collin who in ‘Theory of Conscious Harmony’ said that all work on oneself was about “producing free people” and that “a few must break through”? I have a question – “What do you think is happening now, on this blog, in relation to the second quote?” I also have a statement – “The Celts will take the lead in sving this planet”…..Nigel.

325. nigel harris price - August 3, 2008

Sorry “saving”…..Nigel.

326. Traveler - August 3, 2008

Dear Ellen,
You said: If you take it to be fundamentally true that at bottom, man is a machine destined to feed the moon, whose innate nature is to be in imagination, then you proceed with a level of distrust about yourself and other people.
Conversely, if you take it to be fundamentally true that at bottom, man’s innate essential nature is living, loving, and divine, then you proceed with a level of trust about yourself and others.
A very limited, limiting and heavily bordered kind of spiritual community like the Fellowship assumes the former, whereas various other forms of open teachings allow for the goodness within each human being to rise spontaneously to the surface. What would you prefer?

I see what you are saying that the distrustful way of being is that which Robert Burton’s teaching has promoted for you, and I would agree that my experience has been the same. However, I also would tend not to draw such strict dividing lines between this on the one hand as opposed to that on the other hand. I believe that even within the FoF, both can be found, even within one person. Just like I have objected to current members making claims about why “people” leave the Fellowship, I equally feel a distrust of statements that say “the Fellowship assumes X”. I know how painful and conflicting it can be to be in the FoF, and try hard and persistently to reconcile both views, feeling a loving essential nature arising and at the same time crushing it by thinking that it must somehow fit into and be explained by FoF dogma. And I know you can relate to this. I welcome knowing that the loving essential nature is and has always been there in Fellowship members, and I wish to focus on encouraging its appearance.

327. Renald - August 3, 2008

whalerider 306

“Hmmm…we called it something else way back when I was around, I guess it’s now known as the Galleria…defined as “a spacious passageway, court, or indoor mall, usually with a vaulted roof and lined with commercial establishments.”….otherwise known as a place where ‘things’ are for sale. Now that doesn’t sound like a church or a place of worship to me, how about you?“

Humphhh! Dear, it is time for a name change. Can you please make an effort to come up with a better one?

328. Renald - August 3, 2008

311. Daily Cardiac – August 3, 2008
“To Paul:

Sorry I don’t see the link between C Influence and the Ouspensky quotes you are pointing out to me.“

We already know you can`t see the link. If you did you wouldn`t have presented us with the opportunity of pointing it out to you once again. You are both the witness and the evidence. I suppose you will want to say that you don`t understand what I have just said either, but that is okay, all is well. Cheers!

329. Rear View Mirror - August 3, 2008

Traveler (324), the Fellowship, as an organization, does assume X.

The people within the organization are breathing, living beings who can choose to think freely and sometimes do, but it’s very difficult to break free from the X that you describe when there’s no open discussion. It’s hard to break free when there’s a tendency to think like the group that you’re a part of — what people often refer to as “group think.”

Do we, as former members who tune into the blog occasionally, still have aspects of that FOF ‘group think’ in our current attitudes? In my opinion, absolutely yes. I could easily fill a page on this blog with examples of it from previous pages and this page.

I still love Robert.
I got a lot of out of my time there.
There’s freedom of religion, and people are free to practice as they choose.
Please keep your posts polite.
The Fellowship is no worse than other religions and cults.
People have a right to think as they choose, so I won’t argue with them.

When you “feel a distrust of statements that say “the Fellowship assumes X,” think about how that thought may have grown out of the attitudes you learned in the FOF. I’ve seen it in myself, and continue to see it in myself.

I am moving slowly and gradually to the realization that I wasted my time in the Fellowship of Friends, and that I made a serious mistake by joining the organization. And it took me until just recently to call it what it is — a cult.

No longer do I waste my time debating within myself what cult means, or whether it’s good or bad or neutral to be a cult member, or whether it matters or whether it’s negativity or whether it’s an overemphasis on a word, and so on. It just is a cult — no gray area, no nuances, no excuses for it, and no “buts.”

And no more, “But I had such wonderful experiences there and made such wonderful friends.”

All of these attitudes are the exact attitudes expressed by other former members of many, many other cults — and some that have done even greater destruction than what Burton has done. It’s a continuation of the group think. And — I’ll just speak for myself here: My own resistance to criticisms about the FOF is an outgrowth of the “group think” that I still have not completely escaped after leaving the cult.’ It’s jarring sometimes. Truth is jarring sometimes.

And by the way, one of our sycophants on the blog recently used the word “regrets” or “regretful” to describe former members. The word regret sometimes has the emotional connotation of guilt and shame, and I assume the sycophant was using that word to paint a picture of former members who are weak and helpless.

But there’s an enormous difference between feeling “regret” and simply acknowledging a serious mistake from your past, and making it one of your life’s missions to learn from that mistake, to avoid a similar mistake in the future, and to make positive changes in your life based on that realization.

330. Rear View Mirror - August 3, 2008

whalerider 306

“I guess it’s now known as the Galleria…defined as “a spacious passageway, court, or indoor mall, usually with a vaulted roof and lined with commercial establishments.”….otherwise known as a place where ‘things’ are for sale. Now that doesn’t sound like a church or a place of worship to me, how about you?“

—-

I’m amazed that I never thought of this. It’s incredibly obvious.

And pretty weird, too.

331. My4bits - August 3, 2008

Traveler, post 316.

I so appreciate how you reliably “invoke logic” to carefully and fairly analyze statements.

The beauty and clarity of logic was never highly regarded in the Fellowship. I became mentally lazy.

Over decades, hearing hundreds of thousands of “angles,” often given in rapid succession with no commentary allowed, reading Journals, Daily Quotations, and other approved sources, I developed a simple intellectual circuitry (useful/not useful/just record) that helped me smooth the rough edges of cognitive dissonance and be “comfortable” in the midst of this information flow.

As a result, my intellectual acuity and ability to discriminate have certainly atrophied. Strange. I thought I was brilliant and oh-so-clever! Now, I’m recovering — having previously “lost my mind” — and am learning from your posts, dear Traveler.

332. Rear View Mirror - August 3, 2008

I’m learning from many, many posts, My4bits. Not just logic, but humor and bare truth sometimes, and sometimes it’s shot out of a cannon. It often isn’t pleasant or elegant. There’s something to learn from all of it. But I sense you are still clinging. We all did. We all do.

333. elena - August 3, 2008

292 Daily Cardiac. “If we say truthfully what we feel and think that’s a big accomplishment.”

Your tone is beautiful in this post, you sound real and not just someone they hired to throw things out. Thank you for being here and trying to share your understandings which have been those of many of us when we were in the Fellowship.

You say: “Also what’s the point of going round and round with people; I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind. I can’t change their minds and they can’t change mine. Words trump words. Whoever wants the last word on anything I say it’s fine with me.”

We’re changing each other’s mind whether we are trying or not, that is why Girard told you to simply not read the blog or Robert to not speak with ex-students. Because if you do, you’ll realize that you’re just as human as us, and we as you and the imaginary separation between us will not hold you in the Cult. There is no last word, the issue is not about speaking, it is about living and sharing, dialoguing and growing. Thinking for yourself helps you grow while doing only what Robert tells us, makes growth impossible.
It is fine to disagree and present your understanding, I highly respect your presence here even if most of what you’ve been presenting is a defense of Robert. It is so important to hear those things so that we understand how we got there.

My4bits,
“In 1982, I was told that RB was homosexual, but buffered this information rather completely.

Mostly, I was in the “I don’t want to hear it” category. Or, maybe I just didn’t have the ears to hear…”

In my experience I had rationalized Robert’s homosexuality thinking simply that it was his private life and even conscious beings had a right to a private life which I still think as accurate, but as somebody said here, if he were looking for boys out in Castro Street instead of using the legitimacy of what we believed was a conscious teacher and school to abuse his power and manipulate every single situation to his unlimited advantage, then no one would have a problem with it. Members were told to not care about their money because it was influence A only so that he could abuse it for his own influence A. That is the first crack in our common sense but what we’ll learn from it in the long run, is that consciousness must spread out into our practical lives to the last penny. The flaw is not in the system, it presented a good householder in this terms, it is in the Fellowship who separated the goodhouseholder, made of it a machine, and separated it from consciousness because both Robert and Girard separated themselves within. They could not handle their own sexuality and had to divide into divine beings and machines to rationalize it. They don’t even know how they are indoctrinating everyone to separate like they did, but it is clear when we study the theory and practices of the Fellowship.

Your recent posts are much appreciated. We are beginning to let our selves be heard, talk without having to scream and listen. In post 298 you tell us some great facts that we concealed from new members that could have helped them not to join. I doubt that you were as clear about them then. I wasn’t. I just kept paying blindly. So I don’t think that we were intentionally trying to rip people off, we just didn’t know enough facts to understand that it was a rip off. We were like the waiter that serves the dish without knowing the chef had spit on it.

The degree of responsibility that most of us bear is minimal in comparison to those who knew a lot more: The inner circle who had to deal with infinite complaints and rationalized them for themselves one way or another, justified them and found them permissible within the context of Mr. Burton’s feminine dominance and not going against it and him afraid of loosing the ridiculous little power that they had acquired after five years of washing dishes and kissing Robert’s ass. Those people too, believed in an Ark and washed all those dishes convinced that they were preserving culture for humanity. We are all human. But being human is not enough to preserve us from ourselves when our actions become infra-human and that is what has happened in the Fellowship. Were we conscious we would not need to stop each other but we are not. Just like parents have to tell a child to stop eating candy because it’ll make him sick.

Basically what Mr. Burton is saying is: this is a grinding mill that can extorsion anyone and continue to do so untouched. A whole generation of people has given their lives to Robert and the Fellowship and they are worth shit to him. Houses are being taken away from members that have worked for him for over twenty years not because they do not deserve those houses but because they are too much for him to be willing to give away now that he is under pressure. The older generation is too much of weight on his greed. The new genearation who thinks they are so pretty, intelligent and valuable human beings is allowing for this to happen essentially out of their own greed, ambitions and vanity and even five percent of conviction in Consciousness but they are already more corrupt than the first generation ever was, they have already stolen from Robert, used the galleria for their own private orgies and given privileges to the few that consent to their will which is as corrupt as Robert’s. Many of these young men have no respect for Robert and are simply taking advantage of a situation for their own benefit at the cost of people who innocently join. The Boys that are in charge make fun of Robert behind his back and of students just as much. There is a whole different status quo developing in this Cult that is a hundred percent more dangerous than it was with the older generation. The level of mind control has become excessive especially in the last four years and this is already what these young people are used to, in fact they are feeding Robert with the information and reaffirming the form.

Even if it were just ten dollars that someone in India had to spend to join, it is hard worked money that they are supplying and in those ten dollars is trust in each one of us who was there. Innocent human trust in the fact that if it is as corrupt as it is, someone would be doing something to tell them and stop it. How dangerous we are when we are not willing to do anything about it with myriad excuses on our responsibility, it shows how much we are still under “that is feminine dominance” influence. Would it not make most of you happy to know that someone’s ten dollars were not ripped off and someone’s deep trust was not violated? Trust and dignity are a million times more real and valuable than any bank’s jewels, why are we treating them as if they were rubbish that the Fellowship can continue to rip people off indefinitely? Trust, dignity and integrity, the right to not be harmed or abused, the right to live a decent life and share in the joy of one’s community are aspects of consciousness. Wasn’t consciousness what we came here for? Are we going to sweep it under the carpet now that we have the opportunity to live up to it?

Josiane, how lovely that you were able to teach folk dance. Never deny influence C’s influence on you, our verifications are precious and way above Robert or the Fellowship. We don’t have to throw out the beauty of our verifications when we live a Cult. Folk dance is a magical thing in the life of every culture and we’d all profit from dancing a great deal more of it. They are communal experiences in which the connection between the individuals is strengthened and they are massive producers of joy both for the individual as for the group. They are also rituals in which the dialogue between human and cosmic forces play out and actualize themselves.

Thank you for the long and rich posts. It is so good to hear you all talk.

334. Ellen - August 3, 2008

Traveler; 324
No need to be formatory, but make no mistake, the dominance feature controlling the game let’s it be known what he considers to be good action for one’s evolution. One can “disobey” and make a personal profit from the endeavour but no need to cover it with whipping cream.

335. brucelevy - August 3, 2008

331. elena

This is an embarrassingly “preachy” post. Personally, it’s almost unbearable, as is the freely and frequently used Royal “We”.

This is just one example:

“Your recent posts are much appreciated. We are beginning to let our selves be heard, talk without having to scream and listen. In post 298 you tell us some great facts that we concealed from new members that could have helped them not to join. I doubt that you were as clear about them then. I wasn’t. I just kept paying blindly. So I don’t think that we were intentionally trying to rip people off, we just didn’t know enough facts to understand that it was a rip off. We were like the waiter that serves the dish without knowing the chef had spit on it.”

336. Richard M. - August 3, 2008

331. elena
“The new generation who thinks they are so pretty, intelligent and valuable human beings is allowing for this to happen essentially out of their own greed, ambitions and vanity and even five percent of conviction in Consciousness but they are already more corrupt than the first generation ever was, they have already stolen from Robert, used the galleria for their own private orgies and given privileges to the few that consent to their will which is as corrupt as Robert’s. Many of these young men have no respect for Robert and are simply taking advantage of a situation for their own benefit at the cost of people who innocently join. The Boys that are in charge make fun of Robert behind his back and of students just as much.”
___________________________________________________

Elena you make a good point. But, this is nothing new. Perhaps the current generation is just more blatant in their attitudes and behavior.
I have many memories of Burton proclaiming one of his idiodic prediictions like (paraphrased here) “After California falls into the ocean and Europe is decimated by nuclear war, we will sail ships to Europe and bring art treaures back to Renaissance such as The Mona Lisa”. As soon as he left the room, chuckles and eye-rolling by those present let others know how they really felt about what the had just be so seriously said.

Also, I was once told this story by a member of the NY center: A certain newer student from SF, who was quite wealthy, was in NY for a business meeting with other Korean men and an older student in the center had arranged for the group to be entertained and driven around in a limousine. Part of the “entertainment” was to arrange for a high priced female prostitute to be waiting for Mr. K. at a hotel.
The student who told this story was the limousine driver. It turned out Mr. K. was not interested in the call girl, and since she had been paid for already, our portly student driver decided to not let the purchase go to waste. He was quite pleased with himself when he boastfully retold the story. I would guess that all this was paid for from some center “petty cash” box.

It’s the same REB formula: Take a naive young man, of working– or middle-class background and little experience of the world. Shower him with flattery and tell him he is on his 8th lifetime. Take him to top hotels, restaurants, art museums, opera, ballet, and Rodeo Drive shops in Beverly Hills to dress him up in fancy fag-rags. Try to get as much sex out of him before he realizes how fucked-up and unconscionable this really is. As Bruce has said, these young men fell into two basic categories. The naive, loyal student to the conscious teacher, and the whores. The whores tend to sick around a lot longer for obvious reasons. Sounds like the whores are running the show these days.

337. elena - August 3, 2008

Bruce, thanks for letting me know what your limit is. I find this paragraph not nearly as preachy as others in there, like: we don’t have to give up our verifications we leave the cult which mistakenly said, live the cult.

So we have different limits and disagree, haven’t we been doing that for quite a while? While the we I use may not apply to you, which I believe since you are such a special character on your own (and I mean that with great appreciation) I use it when I think it applies to some or many of us. I guess in the particular paragraph you chose, I really don’t think that we, my4bits and I were intentionally trying ro rip people off.

But I don’t wish to miss your point because of technicalities. The more I hear you the clearer it is that we have a different position about many things. While I personally stand with you in most of your stands, you have a black and white tendency that I don’t share and this is perhaps were you find me awfully preachy. O.K. I’m preachy. I wish I weren’t but if saying “trust and dignity are more real and valuable than jewels” is too preachy for you, I’m willing to live with that or the other one that was even worse, that “wasn’t consciousness what we came here for?” Am I understanding you well? Hopefully I’m not putting words in your mouth, I think I know what bothers you and I really am sorry, I would have loved to go and listen to music with you but we couldn’t do that either could we? Does it surprise you that we are in slightly different tracks? Or very different if you prefer?

I guess the bottomline for me is that nothing worthy is happening here if we can’t recover our sense of dignity in its full expression. Yes, they are difficult words to use and no one does them a favor if they sound preachy, but that is my limitation, not theirs. I can only forgive myself for being so awkward in the use of words and emotions that have for so long been out of our lives. Allow me to venture one more possibility. Even when I experienced compassion, dignity and humility in their full expression I was extremely disappointed that I would have to use those words to talk about them because the state had nothing to do with the words we’ve been programmed to understand by them. I take your photograph with the understanding that I simply not come even close to conveying my experience of them and feel content that you have not jumped earlier when I mention such a things, because I perhaps came closer. As I write about it, it becomes more clear that the difference in this case is that I am including other’s in it and that is unbearable to you. Granted. Could we talk about it? What are they to you? Trust, dignity, compassion? Integrity?

Anyway, after trying my best to understand what you mean, I would really appreciate it if you actually said what bothers you and not just left it to my interpretation of preachy. I still happen to have such a high respect on your directness and positions that I am sure I’d much profit from a whole film taken by you.

338. brucelevy - August 3, 2008

335. elena

Actually, I don’t object to any “thing” you said. It’s how you feel and think, and I accept it completely, as yours. The tone was what I found preachy. and at least for me, the tone puts a whole other layer of wall up that I have to overcome to find what you’re really saying.

The use of “we” in that post was irritating because you can’t speak for we authoritatively. It’s a lie, but not an intentional one. Your next post was completely different, and it was easy relaxing into it as I read.

That’s all I mean.

ltu

339. will coyote - August 3, 2008

Witness: the deputy steward is one that knows and feels. He says :I see it. That happened so and so.
Many years ago we ( also if you was not here is the same:we are connected) went in the streets to witness that we don’t want war; some years ago, may be some months ago we put in the books “segnalibro” to witness the opportunity to choose a real life. Now I think all people have to witnnes the new understanding of what is real life. The ways :we have to find the more useful ways. But I think when the big monster is ignorance, not knowing at all, beeing under a black magician spell, the loonely sheep have less power than many armonic sheep, better Human beeings. To witness is have coscience.
I am just come out from an other cult. Nothing so horrible like what is happening in FOF. But the fondamental flow (broken wheel) is that you give power (your life) to a Master and you don’t get back (in a reasonable time more life you die and the Master became a vampire. It is a law- (sorry for my english)

340. My4bits - August 3, 2008

Traveler, Paulshabram, RVM, and others.

I’m working through a symbolic “chain of 30 links” that invisibly binds me to the FoF experience. My topic for today is “authority.” Yesterday it was “complicity.” Each day in August, I will examine one “link” and then break it, ritually (magically). It’s pychotherapy on a budget, and for someone with time on his/her hands…

This morning, I Googled “personal authority,” and hit a website with an interpretation of a Buddhist sutra that addresses issues that are being discussed in various blog threads. I’m pasting it here for your perusal:

“The Kalama Sutra

The Kalama Sutra is the Buddha’s reply to a group of townspeople of Kalama. They asked Buddha who were they to believe of all the ascetics, sages, holy ones and teachers. They came through their town confusing them with their contradictory truths, teachings, beliefs, and one true way. The Buddha said:

• Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it,
• Nor traditions because they are old and have been handed down from generation to generation and in many locations,
• Nor in rumor because it has been spoken by many,
• Nor in writings by sages because sages wrote them,
• Nor in one’s own fancies, thinking that it is such an extraordinary thought, it must have been inspired by a god or higher power,
• Nor in inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption made by us,
• Nor in what seems to be of necessity by analogy,
• Nor in anything merely because it is based on the authority of our teachers, masters, and elders.

However, after thorough observation, investigation, analysis and reflection, when you find that anything agrees with reason and your experience, and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, and of the world at large, accept only that as true, and shape your life in accordance with it, and live up to it.

These words, the Buddha went on to say, must be applied to his own teachings.”

341. brucelevy - August 3, 2008

335. elena

Also, although I fail sometimes, I usually try to eliminate “black” and “white” first, as possibilities, as I’ve found one finds the truth much more often in “gray”.

342. Vinnie the Fish - August 3, 2008

Yes very true Buddha, I ‘believe’ nothing.

343. Rear View Mirror - August 3, 2008

My4bits, thanks for sharing that. We’re on the same wavelength.
———-
Bruce, very true about “gray,” and a good reminder for me as well.
———-
Always good to read your posts here, RM. I hope your middle initial is not Vincent or something (RVM), although I doubt anyone would confuse us for each other.
———–
Vinnie, 339. “Yes very true Buddha, I ‘believe’ nothing.”
That is my favorite post by you. Tells it all. I hope you keep it up, man.
———–

And I hope this doesn’t sound too preachy as well… Something I’m trying to wathc for in my own posts. But I found this post from an earlier page of the blog…

“This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire. But it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box. There is a great and perhaps decisive battle to be fought against ignorance, intolerance and indifference. This weapon of the blog could be useful.”

Actually, I replaced the word “television” in that last sentence with “the blog.”

And the post is actually from a 1958 speech by Edward R. Murrow, the late broadcaster on CBS.

I don’t see this as a weapon or decisive battle, though. We are not against. We are not for. But the blog is maybe a bit like turning some lights on — or opening the window to let fresh air into the room. Not a fight. I think when our friend coined the expression “Greater Fellowship”, that’s exactly what he meant. The Fellowship, plus all of those who have left. In a sense, we’re in it together, and we’re getting out of it together.

344. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 3, 2008

339 Vinnie

You believe that you believe nothing. A very unfortunate belief to have, and difficult to release..

345. Rear View Mirror - August 3, 2008

javoh. very good point.

It’s one thing to have a belief, and to call it a belief. But when I called my belief a verification, I was definitely stuck in the mud. It’s a big step to get past that and call it what it is… a belief. In a way, it’s the first step.

346. veronicapoe - August 4, 2008

my4bits:

A good read: Authority, by Richard Sennett. All his books are good.

347. elena - August 4, 2008

Bruce, you said ltu, do you really mean that? Can I really take it? It matters a lot!

One question. This really is not the first time that I am “preaching” or however you want to call it. Was this the first time you felt it that preachy or have you avoided mentioning it before? My “state” was definitely different in this one. A lot of what has been happening is that I and I think we, are bringing a lot of things down from the clouds into a more “reasoned” language and it is better to stay in the clouds and write poetry with them than to get preachy. So I’d appreciate knowing if I haven’t already answered my question.

348. brucelevy - August 4, 2008

344. elena

Of course I meant it, or I wouldn’t have said it. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to irritate each other occasionally.

No the post we’re talking about felt overly preachy to me in this particular instance. Don’t you notice a distinct difference in tone between that post and your followup post? I do. I have kept my mouth shut in the past at times with some of your posts, but that doesn’t really have any bearing here. It had too much of the feeling of someone “teaching” from the front of the room, with a line of people on both sides. That’s how it felt to me. I’ll gladly listen to what someone has to say, whether I agree or not, but I don’t like being preached at, especially if they want to be heard.

349. My4bits - August 4, 2008

Veronicapoe, post 343:

Thanks. I’ll check out Sennet’s books.

For the purposes of my daily ablution, I settled on this definition of “personal authority:”

Finding what is true for oneself, and living it in the world.

350. nigel harris price - August 4, 2008

Things flying around about the way people are posting and how there is a rift between FOF members and FOF ex-members. Might I suggest the following quotes:-

“Be yourself; above all, do not feign affection.” – Desiderata

“Just what you want to be, you will be in the end.” – ‘Days of Future Passed’, by the Moody Blues

“To your own self, you MUST come.” – ‘Theory of Conscious Harmony’, by Rodney Collin

Personally, I made way through the FOF maze, only in as much as I was living in ‘teaching houses’ but, because of my meagre income, only ever able to go to meetings half the time I was in California, and visiting Renaissance very infrequently. I never married and spent time with ‘life people’, who were connected with my profession. As Ouspensky said it: “What is wrong with so-called ‘life’ aims?” As I have posted before, I think anyone who joins a group, be it a cult like the FOF, or another type of ‘church’, or even an educational line or course of study, must have THEIR OWN aim in view…..Nigel.

351. Across the River - August 4, 2008

To All,

There’s a very simple thing I want to say here. The treasure that is found by choosing personal responsibility over anything else is the lesson of the Fellowship. It was and is a test of being, and it is a very long way around to discovering in what way that is true.

Where the current fads of the Fellowship are devised to imitate new levels of being, a genuine new level of consciousness is found in leaving behind what is false. Preying upon others cannot be consciousness. Period.

I’m enjoying the wonderful personal expressions posted here. Somehow I felt that among them I wanted to simply celebrate this found treasure that has changed us all. Whatever explorations, adventures, inquiries are undertaken from here, I have no doubt that I’ll be there with myself and it will be the same for you 🙂

352. nigel harris price - August 4, 2008

348 Across the River
That post was ‘a breath of fresh air’!…..Nigel.

353. Yesri Baba - August 4, 2008

278 Howard Carter

“As I mentioned previously, Robert has an objective worth and we will all know what that is eventually; if not in this life then for sure in the next life”

You’re such a tool. Does daddy Nicky know you are being bad again?

354. Wouldnt You Like To Know - August 4, 2008

316. Traveler – August 3, 2008:

Traveler, all your words and adroit debate in this post boils down to these 2 sentences:

‘I simply realized that I had been deluding myself, and then there was no more reason to stay. I wonder if you heard what I just said?’

Heard or not, the delusional will remain such and be incapable of being anything other than delusional until they cease to BE delusional. Now that is the sequence.

The “play is written” means, to the delusional, that they have written their own delusional play; self-fulfilling prophecy.

‘So I have a very fundamental question for you: how do you know what to trust?’

Very good question! How can a member of FoF know what to trust when FoF is significantly about VIOLATION of trust on a continuous, persistent and protracted basis?

– – – – – –

319. Ellen – August 3, 2008:

Well written. This writer would state the same with a completely different set of ‘encounter[ed] truly fully realized beings;’ wherein Robert Earl Burton measures up as, likely, no better than a fourth grade teacher – and even that is generous. This is based on 30+ years of full immersion (up close and personal) in FoF and 40+ years of deep spiritual pursuits.

One caveat, though, the level at which a teacher ‘appears to be,’ to the aspirant, is highly dependent on where the aspirant is at. Reason for many of the 15,000+ departed FoF members is that it takes time to realize where Robert Earl Burton is at. Having that realization necessitates the departure. Those who stay [in FoF] speak volumes for where they are at, and where they will stay. What a dead end to devote one’s life to? The jig is up!

– – – – – –

322. nigel harris price – August 3, 2008:

‘Was it not R. Collin who in ‘Theory of Conscious Harmony’ said that all work on oneself was about ‘producing free people’ and that ‘a few must break through?’ I have a question – ‘What do you think is happening now, on this blog, in relation to the second quote?”

Nige, (regardless of the accuracy of the quote; the idea is what counts) a few of those ‘15,000+ departed FoF members’ have broken through. And, that is what’s ‘happening now, on this blog’ and elsewhere on the planet. (Keep up the good work.)

They continue to proclaim the reality of their experience of coming through the breach, surviving, and what their spiritual perspective has become.

– – – – – –

Elena, your writings tend to be a bit tedious. Many have told me they skip over them entirely. Do you ever stop and read what you have written, as if you were reading it as a stranger to yourself, before you hit the ‘say it!’ button? I do not say this to silence you in any way, but rather, to draw your attention to your self; self examination, if you will.

– – – – – –

Perhaps Pavel does not know about our self imposed limit to the blog pages of approximately 300 posts before starting a new page?

Love to you all.

355. Ellen - August 4, 2008

My4Bits, #266 and others

I’ve had this question, too.

After I awoke to the “terror of the situation” (about six months before I officially left the Fellowship) I tried and continue to try to dedicate my heart to reducing ignorace where I can and when I can – in myself and others – as circumstances permit. It is a journey of a lifetime, but there is no better one.

If I live 26 more years, will the slate finally be cleaned?

I really don’t know.

356. nigel harris price - August 4, 2008

Wouldn’t You Like to Know
Thanks for using the ‘Nige’ shortening. Me mates daan thee local (pub) use it all the time and now it makes me feel ‘in with the in crowd’ as the song goes. I really feel I have made some ‘great friends in the quest for self-realization’ on this blog and hope that, I too, contribute something to the betterment and fulfillment of others well-being (and I don’t mind constructive criticism – I had to use the tool of ‘critical analysis’ [self-examination based on teaching methods as I found them and as my course tutors have pointed out to me] during my teacher training and they still ‘hold water’). I think if we all ‘reflect on our blog posts’ and consider the effect (based on ‘answers’) on others and how we might look at ourselves, based on our own and others’ posts, there will be even more ‘nourishment’ derived all round…..Nigel.

357. nigel harris price - August 4, 2008

To 353
P.S. Do you think REB uses critical analysis? Do you think he ever has during the 38 years of the FOF? It seems to me that the form of the ‘school’ has moved from one intellectual/emotional location to another with more and more material ‘stuff’ piled on it. Do you really think something like this can produce a ‘conscious being’ (i.e. someone who works from the ‘higher picture of things’ with a compassionate undrstanding of those with whom they work) and would that conscious being really want to stay within the ‘walls of doubt’ produced by the FOF? Let us know!…..Nigel.

358. Ellen - August 4, 2008

#339, Vinnie

Glad you are still hanging in there.
Also glad that you “believe” nothing.
**************
Whatever you can know with your mind is of the mind, not you; about yourself you can only say: ‘I am, I am aware, I like It’. (Nisargadatta)
**************

359. innernaut - August 4, 2008

278 Daily Cardiac

“I’ve talked to dozens of individuals who were in the process of leaving and only one did not blame the FoF. He said Self-Remembering was too strenuous for him and he just wanted to lead a “normal’ life. All others squarely placed the blame on the school/teacher.”

I think this is very sad. That is, it’s sad to think there are people who leave thinking they have done something wrong, or are weak in some way, rather than having the courage to cleanse their minds of the 4th way/FOF brainwashing and understand that what they were taught represents a false model of the world, and that the completely unnecessary efforts they made lead nowhere, or worse.

In order to believe that the teachings are presenting a true model of the universe, it requires turning off your critical thinking, and accepting a very shallow view of the world and human psychology that replaces true observation with a box of pigeonholes and labels that have little connection with reality.

However, it is impossible to argue these points with someone who is fully invested in the brainwashing. I remember exactly what it was like myself, and the smug certainty with which I dismissed the concerns and objections of others. Only now can I realize how ridiculous I appeared, and how utterly convinced I was that I was right.

360. innernaut - August 4, 2008

I have been following with interest the conversation about verifying C influence. One of the things I based my own supposed verification on was the so-called “shocks,” including seeing the number 44 everywhere, as Nigel frequently makes reference to.

I’m not an expert in statistics, but I know this much: we are bombarded with numbers every day in our society. Every time we see a string of numbers with a 4 in it, there is a 1 in 10 chance that the next number will also be a 4. 1 in 10 odds are very, very good. That is, it would be very strange NOT to see many 44s throughout one’s day. That is pretty slim evidence for claiming contact with “higher forces.” The fact that it took me 30 years to realize this obvious fact of statistics shows just how little I actually thought about these things when I was in the thick of it.

361. elena - August 4, 2008

351 Wouldn’t you like to know

A bit tedious? Just a bit? That’s not too bad after all I’ve written. Thanks.

That some people don’t read me at all and just skip my posts? Good for them, or we’ll end up in the Elena Cult or the Elena for the stake cult. What I wonder is, do they skip them because I am saying things that make them uncomfortable and they are not willing to talk about them? This seems an obvious possibility since the issues rarely get considered. Or they care so little about me that they don’t give a dam about establishing a dialogue? Or they don’t want to go there?

Let’s take you for instance. I don’t think we’ve had an actual conversation about anything I’ve said here before and all you can think of actually saying to me when you finally address me is: “you’re a bit tedious” “Not that I’m trying to silence you though” and I ask: what sort of dialogue is that? Are you trying to say its too long? Too insistent? Too dramatic? Tell me, is there anything of value? And if there is, do you think it would not be easier for me to take a comment like this if you at least try to validate some of my writings before you simply label them tedious?

I guess the point for me here is: are we expecting each other to be perfect? Conscious beings? Do most people here avoid to write because they are afraid to make fools of themselves? Be too tedious? Be rejected? As it is so common amongst any group of people? Do we think we just came out of a Conscious School and everyone here has to pretend they are conscious beings above every consequence of having been in a Cult for decades? Which brings me to what I really wanted to share today.

“For how long in denial?” Was one of the signs I took picketing and I thought it was the least important one but it keeps tediously hammering in my brain. I was with Girard last week and I was so amazingly happy and so terribly depressed after that I realized I was two people as definitely as him and that I could not expect to be anything but under the Stockholm syndrome.

This “winner” attitude that most people here are trying to hold and make us all hold seems to be an aspect of this psychological attitude of being in denial and presenting one’s self as if nothing wrong has happened here. “If you’re fucked up, you were fucked up before you even joined so deal with it, its your problem” and almost no one is able to conceive of the fact that they were brutally psychologically abused by the Fellowship. “We dressed so well. We went to those dinners served by Robert’s boys. We always looked pretty, drove shiny cars, walked in the rose garden” Where can you fit the “BRUTALLY”? You’re just exaggerating, too dramatically tedious! Would it click easier if I said, “We were beautifully abused, Robert is the master of deceit?” Would it make it easier for us to understand that we were simply abused and stop being in denial about it?

Is acknowledging that one has been abused so difficult because it imprints in one’s psychological frame that if anyone was able to do that to us, to you, to me, we, you and I are not worthy? And if those we placed so much value on could not value us, you or me, are you or I of any value?

Where, How, When can we recover our self value after an experience like this?

When someone is abused, some people around him or her are quickly trying to tell the person to get over it, don’t feel sorry for yourself, take responsibility for yourself and this is the case of a huge percentage of people here. I ask, how many here are buffering the suffering that comes with the deep realization that we have been conned, abused, ripped off, raped for over thirty five years? Does the fact that so many here are buffering this suffering make them adopt the position that they are not going to move a finger to stop the Fellowship because if they can bare the suffering, so can others that join? But are you really bearing the suffering or just buffering it? Buffering it so blatantly that you think the Fellowship of Friend’s Cult is really not as harmful as it is?

Over and over I meet ex-members who tell me: I worked hard for the Fellowship for twenty eight years and it was difficult to make all the payments that they expected from me, I was often short and yes, they hurt my family, my daughter hates them but I’m not going to do anything to stop it, maybe this was necessary, maybe people have to go through these things……..

So Wouldn’t you like to know, tell me, is this another of my tedious posts in which I cannot stop hammering the facts as I understand them that make people sick to their stomach at being confronted with a reality that is much more difficult to look at than they are willing to see? I suppose all I can say for myself is, you’ll all have to stop reading me before I stop saying these things because they are the things that matter to me and I do not intend to compromise to make the Fellowship any better than it is.

I am happier today than when I left last year but still far from happiness.
I am stronger physically than I was but still far from healthy
I hurt a lot less than I hurt when I left but the pain is far from leaving
Do I forgive us all for what we’ve done to each other?
Never if you intend to continue to let it happen. Never.
The only good thing about metanoia is understanding that after an experience like this one cannot let it repeat itself on anybody else. People do not understand the extent of the damage as long as they are buffering the damage. This is what people under the Stockholm syndrome do. This is what people on this blog have been trying to do. When we allow the suffering to sink in, we will be able to look at the Fellowship without taking out a hair of its horror and we can do that as long as we know that we’ll still stand as human beings after seeing it. It is the same process for an individual or a society. If the individual cannot stop acting criminally, we have a hasnamuss, if the society cannot be stopped to act criminally then many others get trapped in its wave. It continues to draw people into it. Consciousness means finding solutions, changing the course of one’s actions, stopping the expression of abuse in actual reality.

People are the channels on which good and evil manifest themselves. Each man and woman struggles with evil for the whole of humanity and most often both fails and succeeds and continues to try life after lifetime resolving for him self or her self until he or she become a channel that is clear of evil by his or her own will. Everyone is walking the path of his or her will. The only great thing about evil, is that it is very small when confronted with light. It is pathetic and terrible but it is nothing but our selves in our weakness. It is the problems that our forbearers were unable to solve and we are being asked to deal with as individuals and communities. We are not being asked to deal with fascism, but a minor form of it that expresses itself in Cults. We are not being asked to deal with physical slavery but spiritual slavery. If we cannot deal with it, our children, that is, the generation after us, will have to deal with it much weakened by our weakness. More or less light or darkness prevails in the world when people are happy to let darkness prevail because they themselves do not posses enough light to avoid it. Our lives are practical. Every generation is called upon to make the necessary changes, alter the forces, reform the laws and leave a better world for generations to come. We are being asked to deal with the Cult we created, paid for, supported and gave wings to and if we cannot deal with it, it will wash away hundreds of people and each one of us will have failed for many a lifetime to deal with our own creation. This is our community whether we like it or not. Avoiding to assume responsibility for it is like the dog hiding his tail between his legs and running. People who left twenty years ago are not circling around this blog like flies because they enjoy it, their soul knows it needs resolution and forces them to fly around it. There is a job to be done, no matter how tedious it looks.

My personal flaws do not alter the facts that I am exposing. I am in a process as much as anybody else here and if I were any better than I am, the Fellowship would not be the aim of my wrath.

362. paulshabram - August 4, 2008

357 Innernaut

I played with the statistics some, but realizing that all kinds of combinations could trigger a “shock” the probability of seeing, hearing, etc. in a short period is very high. It would be a shock if one didn’t see these.

It’s the same “keys under the lamp post” issue. The mind, in testing a “system” will tend to see only what it is looking for and reject the rest. The “shock” verification of C-Influence and “Keying” is clearly, in the work language, “In Imagination”.

363. innernaut - August 4, 2008

359 paul

Yes, you are right. Also, the fact that a word, numbers, or letters have a strong emotional connection tend to focus the mind on them. For example, the letters “LSD” jump off the page for me — I noticed this phenomenon long before I encountered the FOF or the 4th way. Is that a “shock” from “higher forces”? No, just a symbol with powerful personal connections.

364. paulshabram - August 4, 2008

358 elena

Here is my thought process (from self observation):

I see your post and the immediate reaction is “Oh, nice and short” or “Ugh, that’s a long post”. Then I read every word. Why do I read every word? First, because I know there will be at least something, if not the whole post, of “gem” quality. Second, because you took the time to write it and I respect that. And lastly, I may wish to push back on a line of thought I sense to be dangerous, as you are listened to and highly respected.

So why do I have the Ugh reaction? Because as an American, raised on television, I have been conditioned to the 30 second commercial or the 5 second sound bite. Your posts are from an older tradition. Any apprehension I feel when I see your name is because your posts often turn the discussion to being about you and your posts… like this one. Of course my reactions are more complex, but this what it is in a nutshell.

Paul

365. My4bits - August 4, 2008

Ellen, post 352:

I’ve been delighted to hear of your deepening interest in Advaita teachers, such as Nisargadatta. Such a breath of fresh air, eh?

I would not be surprised if, one day soon, you will realize that “the slate” is already clean. It is just a concept, as is your individuality. You are the deep, dark-blue, “no-slate state” in which there are millions of stars and planets! ;-))

(With credit to snippets from “Consciousness and the Absolute,” edited by Jean Dunn.)

366. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 4, 2008

362: My4bits:
‘I would not be surprised if, one day soon, you will realize that “the slate” is already clean. It is just a concept, as is your individuality. You are the deep, dark-blue, “no-slate state” in which there are millions of stars and planets! ;-))’

Nice way to acknowledge that truth. Thanks.

367. Yesri Baba - August 4, 2008

Innernaut and Paul

There is also a lot more in our awareness than we are conscious of. It is possible that when we have programmed ourselves with certain numbers or whatever the unconscious mind will direct our attention to those items and it will seem as if some mysterious force is doing it.

Daniel Goleman’s book “Vital Lies and Simple Truths” has some interesting stuff about this.

368. innernaut - August 4, 2008

364 Yesri

Yep, I’m sure that’s part of it. We are always so willing to give credit to some authority or entity outside ourselves, and minimize the power of our selves. Kinda why we were such suckers for a system whose premise is that we are worthless shit (fools, sleeping machines, die like a dog, etc).

369. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 4, 2008

357 innernaut

People have discussed and tried to explain synchronicity for decades (Carl Jung being perhaps the most notable), It can be a very interesting phenomenon when it happens, and I’m unwilling to come to any conclusions about it yet. But a few things are clear to me. First, seeing numbers by themselves barely qualifies as synchronistic. It’s a much more powerful and mysterious experience when two events occur simultaneously, and they seem to bear some relationship to one another. If I saw a “44” and, moments later, a sign that said “Burton was right!” that might give me pause. But I’ve seen many times that, after my attention has been drawn to something, I’ll notice it with surprising frequency. Sometimes after I learn a new word that I don’t remember ever haing heard before, all of sudden I’ll come across it three times over the next week. I don’t ascribe this to angels.

Second, noticing such “shocks” of whatever level of complexity is not uncommon in the general population. FOF members may subjectively experience it more frequently than they did before they joined the FOF, because their attention has been drawn to it–before, they had no reason to notice whether or not there was a 44 on the mailbox next door, or if they did, that it meant anything. But I’ve had much more interesting synchronistic experiences before and after the FOF, when as far as I know, Petrarch wasn’t working with me. In fact, I have a close friend who, for as long as I’ve known her (and, apparently, long before) has perceived the world in this manner, and she’d never heard of the Fellowship of Friends. Sometimes she sounds just like RB. In RB’s case, I would speculate that it’s related to his narcissism, in that he seems convinced beyond the need for evidence that he has a special pipeline to entities pulling the strings of destiny. In her case, I might attribute it to a state of hypervigilence prompted by a sense of anxiety that seeks reassurance and guidance.

In any case, in 1958, Klaus Conrad defined “apophenia” as the “unmotivated seeing of connections” accompanied by a “specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness.” In some cases, people experience this in relation to data that has been generated randomly–but of course, one may still be convinced that it wasn’t random no matter how it was generated, since if Queen Elizabeth wants to mess with the computer to give you a shock, she can do it.

370. My4bits - August 4, 2008

Thread #364, 365, 366:

I recall the dozens of vanity license plates that RB routinely displayed at the beginning of Sunday meetings. Cryptic messages from the gods, consciously interpreted for our illumination. Guess they don’t call them “vanity plates” for nothing.

371. paulshabram - August 4, 2008

366 JAVOH
Well, let’s hope your computer doesn’t give you a shock.

372. Ames Gilbert - August 4, 2008

My4Bits (# 42-368),
The use of vanity plates in meetings thing occurred after my time. Could you (or anyone else) give us examples, together with the interpretations that went with them? Where did the actual plates come from? Thanks.

There were some vehicle vanity plates in my time, such as “Oracle” on the Rolls, and various plates registered to followers’ private cars, but I don’t recall any being used as examples in meetings.

I think that Burton is mostly being superstitious when he makes his claims, rather than pointing out true synchronicity; the way I understand it, synchronicity is unique (the connection between the events) to a particular individual, not habitual or repeating. That is, being aware of the number 44 over and over again is not synchronicity at all, though it might indeed be useful as an ‘alarm’ for a while.

373. veronicapoe - August 4, 2008

> we were such suckers for a system whose premise is that we are
> worthless shit (fools, sleeping machines, die like a dog, etc).

Fascinating how supercilious contempt thus became integral to a so-called “spiritual” system…

374. Across the River - August 4, 2008

Dear Elena,

I want to read your posts to find the essence of each post because I value your mind, but often I scroll through them when they take the imperative tone that suggests others are lax in understanding or responding to the reality of the Fellowship. I’m sorry it’s so. For all the efforts you personally make in your own way to stop the crime behind the Fellowship, you are only one part of a larger effort being made on many fronts. It’s my own experience that your posts sometimes demand a disproportionate amount of space and energy that I’m not willing to give them once they become, in essence, a demand. For the purpose of this blog your point-of-view is equal to any other expressed here, no more or less. Unfortunately, I suppose there are those less forceful than you who might also have something to say to your posts but feel intimidated at the risk of incurring your wrath, should they not be in line with your thinking. I’m sorry to not hear what they have to say, as well.

I know that you want to be heard, and I want to listen, but when it becomes necessary to put a boundary between us, I will do it without apology.

375. Across the River - August 4, 2008

Elena, I neglected to sign off my post with love to you!

Love to you.

376. waskathleenw - August 4, 2008

364. Yesri Baba – August 4, 2008

Innernaut and Paul

There is also a lot more in our awareness than we are conscious of. It is possible that when we have programmed ourselves with certain numbers or whatever the unconscious mind will direct our attention to those items and it will seem as if some mysterious force is doing it.
____________________________________

When I was in the FoF, most of us seemed to have a rough time during new and full moon phases. People who practice earth religions (paganism, Wicca, etc.) believe that new and full moon phases bring beneficial things. Those people seem to have wonderful experiences during moon phases. Same moon as far as I can tell.

.

377. Opus 111 - August 4, 2008

Ames #369

I do not recall specific examples of license plates, but I am sure someone will.

What I found interesting was that, at the beginning, actual photographs someone had taken of a license plate (often one of the boys, they travel all the times) were shown and even passed along the rows of the audience. Later, this morphed into “license plates” shown on a big poster held up by another boy at the meetings and waved right, then left and center, then again right, left, center. The interesting thing was that it was no longer an actual photograph being reproduced and enlarged, but rather a photoshop template with the “new message”. Whether these “new messages” had ever been seen, let alone photographed, is anyone’s guess. I never bothered to verify on the DMV website that the plate indeed existed. The routine rapidly got old and stale, and replaced by art pictures meant to support the concepts of keys and sequence. Here it is for you, RB’s way, circa 2003

378. elena - August 4, 2008

Paul and Across the River,

Funny isn’t it? That you would both still say that this post 358 is about me or my posts. Well, if you read it carefully, you’ll know it isn’t even if I am strongly interwoven in it. It is an organic process and I suppose it is also the irony of destiny. So be it.

379. arthur - August 4, 2008

Is the Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Do octave real? Is it true that it takes effort to cross the Mi-Fa interval and more effort to cross the Ti-Do interval?

Is it true that the Do beginning the Fellowship of Friends began in 1970-1971? Is it true the Fellowship of Friends guided by Robert Burton failed the Ti-Do interval in 1977-1978?

That’s when the dick sucking became actively rumored among the in-crowd who kept it secret from the 12,000 others.

I came aboard in 1977 and booted in 1979. And, by then Sex was running rampant.

This was started in 1977 and finished in 1979. It’s dedicated to all the guru’s in the land especially the dick sucker and his crew.

“We don’t need no education
We don’t need no THOUGHT CONTROL
No dark sarcasm in the class (BED)room
TEACHER”S leave these kids alone
Hey! TEACHER’S! Leave those kids alone!

All in all it’s just another brick in the wall

All in all YOU’RE just another brick in the wall”

Pink Floyd, the WALL.

380. My4bits - August 4, 2008

Ames Gilbert, 369.

I haven’t been able to recall any of the specific vanity plates or interpretations, Ames. Hopefully, other bloggers will be able to provide some good examples.

To get the general idea, the plate “C HEART U” would mean “Influence C loves you.”

Occasionally, an actual photo of a car vanity plate was shown, but more often, the plate’s “message” would be Photoshop’d onto a blank California license plate, and then printed for display at a meeting.

RB and his boys would keep an eye out for these “messages from the gods” whenever they were traveling. Sometimes, students would offer up their own finds for interpretation.

The point was to identify an alphanumeric “shock” — which Influence C caused to be stamped onto vanity plates, and then miraculously to be injected into our play (e.g., while driving to Las Vegas…) — and which addressed in some way the teaching, school direction, or prophesies.

I always cringed during these vanity plate demonstrations, feeling rather embarrassed for RB, and of course, blatantly manipulated.

381. nigel harris price - August 4, 2008

On this ‘numbers’ thing – my application number for a Member of the Institute for Learning was 44166649. I interpreted it as “The Gods (or higher beings) are with ‘I am’, the Beast is near San Francisco (49th parallel)”. Just keep looking…..Nigel.

382. paulshabram - August 4, 2008

374. elena

Look, elena, I probably read it more carefully than you wrote it. Write whatever you want; I will read it no matter how long it is. Zoom around your keyboard like a scalded cat if you like. I’ll still read every word and take what I can from it.

383. Opus 111 - August 5, 2008

Nigel #378

“On this ‘numbers’ thing – my application number for a Member of the Institute for Learning was 44166649. I interpreted it as “The Gods (or higher beings) are with ‘I am’, the Beast is near San Francisco (49th parallel)”. Just keep looking…..Nigel.”

Nigel, you are making a REB-like mistake, or at least stretching things a little: the 49th North latitude defines the border between the US and Canada (at least West of Minneapolis). So it is a bit far from San Francisco, 900 miles or so. Like saying London is near Venice…

Let the numbers be numbers, take good care of yourself.

384. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 5, 2008

377 nigel

I suspect RB would be more likely to interpet it as that the San Francisco 49ers are the Antichrist.

385. Across the River - August 5, 2008

374
Dear Elena,

I read post 358 again and don’t see it differently. If you find nothing useful in my post to you, then so be it, as you say.

“What I wonder is, do they skip them because I am saying things that make them uncomfortable and they are not willing to talk about them? This seems an obvious possibility since the issues rarely get considered. Or they care so little about me that they don’t give a dam about establishing a dialogue? Or they don’t want to go there?”

“…..is this another of my tedious posts in which I cannot stop hammering the facts as I understand them that make people sick to their stomach at being confronted with a reality that is much more difficult to look at than they are willing to see?”

I think of establishing a dialogue as an exploration of meanings to benefit both parties and expand understanding, but it appears to me that you suppose you have everything figured out already, turning dialogue into monologue with no exchange possible or even welcome.

Love to you.

386. elena - August 5, 2008

Across the River,

We stand on different ground and that is O.K.
you’ve nothing to prove to me,
nor I to you.

We talk
sometimes like a river,
sometimes like a fire
but my words aren not meant to burn you.

If we didn’t understand each other today,
maybe we’ll understand each other tomorrow
time is on our side.

It does not matter if you hear me
or I hear you,
only if we hear
because sooner or later
it’ll be too clear for either one of us
to avoid it.

When my first child was born I understood every woman before me.

I do thank you for even trying to tell me things. That too is love. Sometimes we are too much in ourselves to take the food we’re being given but for the giver it is alright, the gift remains, both yours and mine.

Paul,
You’re bigger than words and remind us its not about them.
We’re so far apart any closeness would be more unbearable. The comfort of the computer, the distance that will hopefully allow us to buffer the impact makes it no less palatable and yet we yearn for each other’s hand and you offer it solidly.

Please forgive my ill manner in expressing frustration. Sometimes it is less easy.

387. Across the River - August 5, 2008

381
Dear Elena,

You say we stand on different ground, but I’m not sure how you mean that. There are many things on which you and I agree, I believe. The degree to which we can presume to act upon the lives of others without the risk of crippling them in the process is a question I would find worth discussing, among others. As I see it, we stand on different ground regarding the means, but not the end. Is that what you meant, as well?

388. whalerider - August 5, 2008

waskathleenw:
“People who practice earth religions (paganism, Wicca, etc.) believe that new and full moon phases bring beneficial things. Those people seem to have wonderful experiences during moon phases. Same moon as far as I can tell.”

Same moon, different cult.

Belief and expectation in both the operator and participant are the cornerstones of hypnosis and faith healing. We have Ben Franklin to thank for that insight. In his day, he traveled to Paris to debunk Anton Mesmer’s claim of possessing “animal magnetism”. For a time Mesmer had quite the cult following, too…

Daily Cardiac:
Have you started to read labels a little more closely now? BTW, IMO, Ouspensky would never have called any B Influence a “virus”. Isn’t it obvious why Robert’s lower self does?

389. nigel harris price - August 5, 2008

383 whalerider
“Whatever gets you through the night” (or day)…..Nigel.

390. Daily Cardiac - August 5, 2008

To Ellen 319:

Thank you for the reply. As regards your question; I did meet a man besides Robert who I felt was Enlightened. He also used the 4th way system and had a small group of followers. I spent the better part of a day with him and learned quite a lot. This encounter was after I met the FoF. I am still able to draw energy from it.

As for the men you mentioned I don’t know anything about three of them. I did see a video of one of Adyashanti’s meetings. I felt he was a sincere, unpretentious person. As a spiritual guide I don’t have anything positive to say about him.

He has a feel good message and is instructing people that there is no “enemy within”, no lower self, nothing to resist or struggle against. Because of this I felt he did more harm to people’s souls in one hour than Robert Burton has done in 38.5 years.

I’m not being facetious or saying this for effect or trying to show you up. It’s just a true and accurate expression of how I feel about it.

Take care.

391. paulshabram - August 5, 2008

381 elena,
“Please forgive my ill manner in expressing frustration.”

You did not offend me so there is hardly a reason for me to do so. I forgive and I understand.

392. waskathleenw - August 5, 2008

383. whalerider – August 5, 2008

Belief and expectation in both the operator and participant are the cornerstones of hypnosis and faith healing.

——————

Belief and expectation may be the cornerstones of how we experience most of our lives unless we’re paying really close attention. Even then . . .

393. Yesri Baba - August 5, 2008

“As for the men you mentioned I don’t know anything about three of them. I did see a video of one of Adyashanti’s meetings. I felt he was a sincere, unpretentious person. As a spiritual guide I don’t have anything positive to say about him.

He has a feel good message and is instructing people that there is no “enemy within”, no lower self, nothing to resist or struggle against. Because of this I felt he did more harm to people’s souls in one hour than Robert Burton has done in 38.5 years.”

———————-

Hey veronicapoe, is this what you meant by super sillyous contempt?

394. Yesri Baba - August 5, 2008

” I felt he was a sincere, unpretentious person. As a spiritual guide I don’t have anything positive to say about him.”

———————————–

Well folks, this just about says it all now doesn’t it.

395. Just Another Voice Out Here - August 5, 2008

389 Yesri Baba

Indeed. Sincere, unpretentious people are so…so…you know, useless. I prefer the pretentious liars as my teachers, don’t you?

396. Richard M. - August 5, 2008

85. Daily Cardiac
“I did see a video of one of Adyashanti’s meetings. I felt he was a sincere, unpretentious person. As a spiritual guide I don’t have anything positive to say about him.”

I have seen videos of Adyashanti as well, and could not make any judgment of him as a spiritual guide from them. I am not looking for a teacher, but dear friends I respect and value have had positive experiences with him. He has statsungs literally down the street from my home, so I may check him out.

Oh, not too long ago I viewed a short video of Robert Burton “teaching” that was about as spiritual as watching a video of apes picking lice off of each other just before farting and taking their mid-day naps.

397. Ellen - August 5, 2008

#362, My4Bits
#363, WULSWU

Thanks to you both.
Fundmentally, that is the essential ignorance I wish to diminish.
So, also, from that point of view, time is not really a factor.
But still, realizing it, thoroughly and clearly, once and for all, seems to take time – or preparation, which occurs in time?

Yes, I’m familiar with Jeanne Dunn. We have a number of the books that she edited for N.

398. Richard M. - August 5, 2008

Ellen,
How perfect to see your post 392 appear right after I posted 391.
To me that was true synchronicity!
Love to you and J.

399. Ellen - August 5, 2008

Thanks, R, I had the same feeling.
Big kisses to you both!

400. ton - August 5, 2008

385 cardiac
“I did meet a man besides Robert who I felt was Enlightened. He also used the 4th way system and had a small group of followers.”

i have a question for cardiac and others who are still searching for “enlightenment” — what is the criteria for an “enlightened” teacher? wherein lies the proof of “enlightenment?” is it a “feeling” you get, as cardiac alludes to? does it have something to do with your judgment of the group of “followers” who gather at the feet of the master? how does the “enlightened” teacher help or hinder the individual on their own path of self-realization?

(the questions come from my opinion that projecting the notion of “enlightenment” onto an outside authority figure can become an obstacle and a diversion away from the real source which is within each individual. i’ve been out of the “guru/chela” game of “enlightenment” for a long time so maybe i’m not particularly qualified to comment here but i’m hoping maybe others can “enlighten” me).

based on my time in the followship and for what it’s worth i’ll ask this: how can you call a teacher “enlightened” when he attempts to control students by confusing the form, i.e. the “school” with the intention of the individual student to “awaken” ? i think such a “teacher” has only his own interests in mind and binding the student to the form is a way to retard individual self-realization… it keeps the individual stupid in a “spiritual” sense and it’s a ploy to ensure the student forever remains a student in that context, you never reach the imagined “goal.”

cardiac, maybe it’s the “4th way” brand that you are hung-up on. sounds like a scam to me, but to each their own.

401. veronicapoe - August 5, 2008

Same moon, different cult. 😉

http://skepdic.com/fullmoon.html

402. nigel harris price - August 5, 2008

Dear ton 395
I think I would go along with you. I think someone described in an earlier post the ‘guru syndrome’. Who, other than a deranged maniac, would want followers? And, if they were sincere aspirants, would they not be able to operate with their growing conscience and autonomy, free to come and go out of the ‘elitist group syndrome’?

Actually, I got on the blog early for all you Californians, for whom it is still only morning. It is a little about what I feel bloggers are doing here – each one a ‘kernel of their own culture’ and carrying it forth into their everyday lives. From ‘Prologue’ by Dylan Marlais Thomas:-

“Cry, Multitudes of arks! Across
The water-lidded lands,
Mann’d with their loves they’ll move,
Like wooden islands hill to hill.
Huloo, mu prowed dove with a flute!
Ahoy, old sea-legged fox,
Tom tit and Dai mouse!
My ark sings in the sun
At God speeded summer’s end
And the flood flowers now.”

403. nigel harris price - August 5, 2008

‘mu’ should be ‘my’ (in last post…..Nigel.

404. veronicapoe - August 5, 2008

“I did see a video of one of Adyashanti’s meetings. I felt he was a sincere, unpretentious person. As a spiritual guide I don’t have anything positive to say about him.”

I guess pretentious liars are where the real meat is in the spiritual-teachers market. That’s it. I’m giving up trying to predict the behavior of markets.

405. whalerider - August 5, 2008

‘ton:
“i have a question for cardiac and others who are still searching for “enlightenment” — what is the criteria for an “enlightened” teacher?”

Excellent question! IMO an enlightened person is one who directs another to look within themselves for the voice of their own inner guide and to listen to their own conscience. Another words, one who nurtures spiritual independence in others and at the same time follows the golden rule in their daily actions, with the understanding that we are all interconnected.

Cardiac Arrest:

“He has a feel good message and is instructing people that there is no “enemy within”, no lower self, nothing to resist or struggle against. Because of this I felt he did more harm to people’s souls in one hour than Robert Burton has done in 38.5 years.”

Freud too, felt there was an enemy within that needs to be controlled at all cost, the id. Jung, on the other hand, felt differently. Freud died of cancer of the jaw. He became his own enemy and his id won.

Cardiac: if you partition any part of yourself as an ‘enemy’, you will form inside you what is known as a “schism”. This is unhealthy.

Do you know what Balkanization is?

“The term is also used to describe forms of disintegration, like the breakdown of cooperative arrangements due to the rise of independent competitive entities engaged in “beggar-thy-neighbor” bidding wars.”

“Beggar thy neighbor, or beggar-my-neighbor, policies are those that seek benefits for one country at the expense of others. Such policies attempt to remedy the economic problems in one country by means which tend to worsen the problems of other countries.”

Sound familiar? It’s a matter of scale.

By focusing your attention on the ‘enemy’ within you, your inner world is splintered, your inner guide is silenced, and you become subjugated by others whom you perceive as more enlightened than you.

This is not enlightenment, it is spiritual ignorance.

Grasshopper, the FOF is turning you into a beggar, not a saint.

406. nigel harris price - August 5, 2008

375 arthur
Also, Alice Cooper’s:-

“School’s out for summer;
School’s out forever;
School is blown to pieces”.

As you, and others, have probably guessed, I, also, feel there is no reality left in the FOF. Those who have gained something real for themselves and humanity have left. Some of them are blogging and, I would suspect, others are leading quiet, conscionable, lives without the need to express themselves here.

REB was ‘miffed’ that I ‘lost’ the FOF Old English silver set which the FOF had left with me in my workshop in Sausalito, when I was admitted to the Marin General Hospital Psychiatric Wing in June 1989. My guess is either my employee at the time or someone else broke into the workshop and purloined it with a view to selling it on. Either way, I am sure REB got his minions to claim off the FOF insurance policy. Anyway, there is now the New ‘Silver Magic’, as my course was named at East Devon College, where I taught for 5 years up until this summer…..Nigel.

407. innernaut - August 5, 2008

396 veronicapoe

408. innernaut - August 5, 2008

396 veronicapoe

Whoa, that was weird. Must be the moon phase.

Actually, what I meant to say was that I posted something on the misconceptions/imagination about the non-effects of the moon early on in the blog. I have also read research showing that the moon has no effect on human behavior, and that any perceived effects are likely projection and misperception. Again, we look for things that reinforce our beliefs. Hardly scientific, and completely ridiculous what I subjected myself to. Now that I pay no attention to the moon phases, I no longer suffer ill effects during the full or new moon. Think about it — 3 days before and after the full and new moon — that’s 14 days per month. So if you observe something funky in yourself, there’s a fifty-fifty chance it will fall during the moon. Outstanding odds.

409. Ames Gilbert - August 5, 2008

Daily Cardiac (#42-385, or thereabouts),
“Because of this I felt he did more harm to people’s souls in one hour than Robert Burton has done in 38.5 years”.
At least we are in agreement that Burton has harmed people’s souls for 38.5 years. That is progress. Now all we have to do is persuade you that you cannot possibly have determined that Adyashanti has done harm to people’s souls, and certainly not by watching a brief video of him talking. Any such claim must by any definition be a lie. You cannot possibly know.
That leaves the harm done by Burton, of which you do have knowledge. I willingly grant you that you have observed him closely over time, have determined what causes harm and does not cause harm (according to your own definition of ‘harm’), and that you speak from your own experience of Burton causing you and/or others harm.

410. innernaut - August 5, 2008

Daily Cardiac 385

As was mentioned, any system that divides you against yourself — the wholly fictional and imaginary “lower self” included — is dangerous and can potentially cause great harm. You are moving toward mental illness, not enlightenment or even healing. But it is a long road to undo the damage of seeing oneself and the world in false categories, and, sadly, you have yet to take the first step. Hopefully, in time you will. Unless you are content in your delusions. Then, as long as you aren’t hurting anybody, have at it.

411. Ames Gilbert - August 5, 2008

Daily Cardiac (#42-385, or thereabouts),
Seriously…
who set up the ‘enemy within’ paradigm for you? Why, Burton himself. How very convenient. And where did he get that from, I wonder? And this just happens to be very good for Burton and his gig, and very difficult for you and the other followers, not to mention keeping you too busy to wonder about other things. What other evidence do you have that the ‘lower self’ is lower, and what does ‘lower’ mean? The order of numerals on cards? This is nothing more or less than the Catholic meme of ‘original sin’. (Funny how Burton hasn’t managed to throw that off, whilst he has conveniently managed to throw off Judeo-Christian morality, whatever that is.) So the creator set up inbuilt, unavoidable and deadly flaws to ‘test’ the unfortunate victims of an experiment in sadism run amok. And to test what? Faith in the creator or appointed representatives, interpreters and intermediaries? This goes well with the ‘play is written’ meme, doesn’t it? The clockwork universe meme, every action pre-ordained, all apparent choices or freedom of action a cruel illusion. It also goes well with the “‘multiple lifetimes required to ‘awaken’” meme that keeps you perpetually in a state of terror, subservience, and enthrallment—which is just how Burton likes it.

Cardiac, no one here is claiming to know all the answers, but if you haven’t got some useful, actionable hints on how to tell the difference between transferred beliefs or propaganda, and true verification and the art thereof, you are being willfully obtuse.

412. brucelevy - August 5, 2008

Out of curiosity, do the posters that address Cardiac really expect or hope that he might step outside his imaginary kingdom because of your collective experience, logic and conscience? As I see it, it’s pissing into the wind. The gist of his views have not changed one iota through all his or her varied incarnations here. He/she is either a mechanized shill or a sociopath, both of which are deaf, dumb and blind to anything except the message they want to put out. I’m guessing most people here know a few candidates in the FOF who suit this role perfectly.

413. brucelevy - August 5, 2008

Engaging this “person” logically is an exercise in intellectual masturbation.

414. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 5, 2008

Meow

415. Mick Danger - August 5, 2008

RE: 408
“Just Beat It” – Michael Jackson
(Who reminds me of Grampa Bobby, only not as Bad).

416. paulshabram - August 5, 2008

407 Bruce
“Out of curiosity, do the posters that address Cardiac really expect or hope that he might step outside his imaginary kingdom because of your collective experience, logic and conscience?”

No. “C-Influence” is making ’em do it. The “play is written”. RESISTANCE IS FYOU-TILE.

408 And they like to watch.

417. elena - August 5, 2008

385 Daily Cardiac
“He has a feel good message and is instructing people that there is no “enemy within”, no lower self, nothing to resist or struggle against. Because of this I felt he did more harm to people’s souls in one hour than Robert Burton has done in 38.5 years.”

Interesting that the Fellowship seems to have run 38.5 years and your post is number 385. Thank you so very much for being here, I sincerely mean it.

When I read this passage from you, you reminded me of a little boy whose been told that the devil exists and is a little afraid and I felt like embracing you. You’re so right. Robert’s message is “feel bad” “there is an enemy within you: the king of clubs, the lower self and feminine dominance.” Do you not find these beautifully fit each other? Do you not see the underlying command? “As long as you don’t stop me from indulging in my lower self with your ridiculous feminine dominance, you are the best student I’ve got” “Stand there and let me show you the unlimited expressions of the king of clubs without your feminine dominance morality trying to stop me and you’ll verify that everything I say is true”
Who could deny it? Everybody has a lower self if they do similar things to Robert but he can get away with them because as a divine being he is no longer under these laws. So quickly get your passport to hell because you’re already in heaven, dears.

This is the whole point around which the Fellowship of Friends functions. It convinces its members that they have a lower self they need to struggle with, proceeds to weaken them systematically and then profits from their abnegation and commitment. Perhaps we agree in that it teaches you that you have a lower self but you don’t see how it systematically weakens you? They argue that it is a School and you’re not supposed to be the one speaking but even in Schools, students talk, give exams, are tested and corrected which doesn’t happen in the Fellowship. This lack of dialogue between you and Robert is simply a separation that leaves any practical work out. You are the lower self struggling and he is the divine being commanding. You have to imagine where he’s at and where you need to go. But the most important thing to realize in this area is that your wings have been cut off, that is, your freedom of expression and communication and most importantly, your own legitimacy within the Fellowship. Everything is legitimate within it, except the students who can be discarded NOW. They are passer bys who are supposed to stay forever without participating with anything but their money and effort. The abnegation that the members are reduced to, that is, this acceptance of their worthliness is the vicious circle that keeps them increasingly dependent to Robert and the form who are always static. They are the unreachable aim that never changes, around which you have to run around making more and more effort without ever being able to reach Robert’s emotional center that can grant you acknowledgement of your presence. I have not yet met one student close to Robert for thirty five or one year who could ever tell me that there was love in Robert. Speak with Edward S. and his wife, call Collin L., Speak with Guinever, look at what’s happened with Girard and tell yourself if you can recognize love in any one of these relationships. Favoritism so that he can get them to work for him? Yes. He granted them a few economic favors and some power but love? Love for you? Are you not someone that can be discarded tomorrow if you disagree like we all were? You cannot disagree because he is a divine being that knows better than you? Although he is a man highly determined by his homosexuality or as he would say if he were sincere, homosexuality became his strongest feature, do you still think he can know what is better for you who might not be a homosexual? What makes you think that Robert even knows what a heterosexual or a woman feels or is like when he has never ever been able to conceive them? As a homosexual in a very strange passage towards heterosexuality I can tell you that these conditions do not know each other. I would also say that no one is a homosexual as a fixed state. It is, like everthing else, a stage that can increase or decrease its particular characteristics. What we love or are identified with is the only real determining factor of our inner world and to be a homosexual or a porn addict one has to have created such a particular world of one’s own that the particular deformations that come with it are not a coincidence. The only thing that stops Robert from permanently using those satin purple shoes and a pink dress is that even he knows, he’d loose more money than he can afford.

This post is already so long and I’ve hardly started, I hope at least you read it and the rest rest.

I agree with you that there is both an animal and a divine nature in human beings, or an instinctive and higher being and yet I agree with adyashanti that there is no “enemy within”. What a beautiful way to put it! The System also says this same thing. Only Robert, the Catholic Church and other Cults interpret the texts stating that the lower self is real. If you study the System, you’ll find that it clearly affrims that there is no true source of negative emotions. That they are a “consequence,” “an armor” that can be worked with and that it is precisely because there is no real source of evil in a human being that his or her divinity can develop fully.

What developed in the Fellowship is far from this understanding and it is very easy to see why. Neither Robert nor Girard have ever been able to control themselves emotionally or sexually but they became intellectual masters at tapping people’s minds. Since they couldn’t actualize the process of self control, they had to justify themselves by stating that there is a lower and a higher self and they are simply severed from each other. They did not do this consciously, intentionally, it naturally developed because they needed to justify themselves to themselves. The rest of us went along with it. With this paradigm as a foundation they both continued to indulge in the expression of negative emotions towards the people closest to them, indulge in porn and at the same time present us with the Show of Robert’s divinity mostly through blind authority: He is a conscious being therefore you must obey or leave. In the meantime they both continued to live this separation between the machine and their divinity. Girard would state for over thirty years that he was not trying to fix the machine but become conscious. Then he would fix the machine which was of little importance. You did not need to work on the machine to remember yourself. Presence was something Robert and he had more than anybody else, they could remember themselves theoretically almost all the time while the rest of us had to click clickers all day to realize we didn’t even care to click the clicker once. That must have been the funniest most ridiculous time of this tragicomedy, when a genius here writes that play we’ll laugh our heads off and cry!

By stating that “work on the machine was not necessary to remember yourself”, the balancing of centers or its value, became obsolete. This is where the real practical indoctrination and weakning of students begins. Self remembering became the only impossible aim to work on while the centers were left to dry up in the horror of intellectual sequences repeated mechanically, emotional embraces without love and conditioned movements without soul all dressed up in silk. Everyone started looking and acting alike while at the same time knowing that nothing connected us and that we were all dispensable but Robert.

The best way to understand fully that the Fellowship of Friends is a sorrowful fraud is in its fixed perfection. Robert left nothing to freedom or mistakes and when no one can make a mistake, just like a child who were not allowed to fall, no one can learn to walk or develop. We grow more from knowing how to fall than from always standing.

The effects of such life are clear both in Robert and Girard. Neither one of them has anything besides the show. Neither one of them has a private life or a space of their own. Their connections with the world are marked by a cruel compass in which the watch is the only master. They have no time to live or be…..anything but victims of their own creation and students who swallowed it wholly, not even their own creation, but Girard’s and Robert’s. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show of the Fellowship of Friends, come and watch your selves die. A man must die before he can awaken”.

418. elena - August 5, 2008

Dear Across the River,

Yours is a very important question. Unlike in the Fellowship where nothing was important, almost everything is important and worth looking at.

AR: “The degree to which we can presume to act upon the lives of others without the risk of crippling them in the process is a question I would find worth discussing, among others. As I see it, we stand on different ground regarding the means, but not the end. Is that what you meant, as well?”

Our lives have been acted upon and abused systematically by the Fellowship of Friends for thirty eight years. When an individual does this to another individual he is taken to jail, to an asylum or to both. When a man fraudulently steals people’s money he is made to pay or taken to jail. The Fellowship of Friends presents itself as a conscious school and it is not. It states that there is a conscious man at its head and there is a depraved narcissistic sociopath or rather, two of them. The fact that these men did not consciously do these things to us does not mean they are not responsible for continuing to state that they are the leaders of a conscious school. The damages are multiple in terms of money, psychological and socail consequences. This is no longer the story of a few friends inside who we do not wish to harm with serious legal action, this is a social phenomenon in which innocent victims are being allowed to be abused because the thousand ex-members that know these things are happening are unwilling to put themselves in a situation in which they affirm the truth in a court of law that can stop it.

We stand on different ground because you treat this as if it were a domestic problem and I treat it as a problem for society and human beings at large. Being present to life and our time means to me that we make use of the tools of our time to stop these people who have gone beyond any legal or decent boundaries from hurting other people.

I’ve said we create an organization willing to help people who leave or are crashed in a process like this but you neither accept the process, nor the organization. You let it be so that it rebuilds itself with other naïve people like us. I do not understand your thinking or feeling but I respect it in your own ground that we can’t share.

Thank you for dialoguing.

419. ton - August 5, 2008

407, 408 bruce
i don’t expect the shill to change position or opinion, i argue against apologists and supporters of the followship on the chance that a lurker who is on the fence may see glimpses of light through the holes in the followship brainwash that’s being represented here by the likes of a daily cardiac, etc. that may be naive on my part and maybe this is a rationalization so that i can continue mentally masturbating here with a “reason” to “justify” it…. but i do think there are some issues raised by the shill-position, beyond this particular cult. for example the notion of “enlightenment;” this meme forms a sort of niche product in the marketplace, which some of the guests here continue to “seek” and “consume” post-followship….

although there is a conversation occurring here, the blog is not conversational in a conventional sense. generally there’s a lag time in response… an individual reads a post and after some internal processing, they might post a response…. it’s partly the solitary activity that contributes to mental masturbation…. all of that being said, i agree that anyone who tries to change the shill, is just pissing in the wind.

420. Opus 111 - August 5, 2008

I just noted in Elena’s third volume on “How the FOF tried and eventually failed to thwart the expression of myself” (just kidding):

“I would also say that no one is a homosexual as a fixed state. It is, like everthing else, a stage that can increase or decrease its particular characteristics. What we love or are identified with is the only real determining factor of our inner world and to be a homosexual or a porn addict one has to have created such a particular world of one’s own that the particular deformations that come with it are not a coincidence.”

I do not necessarily wish to open up this subject as it is not terribly relevant to REB behaviour (mainly one of abuse of power), but your point of view that homosexuality is an acquired, “curable” condition seems quite at odds with observations made outside the FOF by homosexuals and belongs with the opinions of deep-South, american evangelists.

421. veronicapoe - August 5, 2008

A shill is someone stationed in a crowd to promote something in particular. A shill a person with a mission. There is no dialogue with a shill: s/he has a job to do.

However, there may be dialogue with an apologist: the apologist may be wrong, but s/he comes from a spiritually honest place.

Shill or apologist?

422. elena - August 5, 2008

Pavel, Please change the page, the phone connection is too weak up here in Oregon House.

Thanks

423. Ames Gilbert - August 5, 2008

Ton (#42-414 or thereabouts), you fell for it. The one you think of as “Brucelevy” is actually just Linda T. letting off steam. The real Bruce would have used the words “fucking unbelievable” somewhere in the post.
Since Daily Cardiac is also a blog name used by Linda T., the two personalities are just talking to themselves, the true definition of masturbation. What she meant to say in her post was, “circle jerk”, another thing entirely, since exhibitionism is at least half the joy of that.

424. brucelevy - August 5, 2008

417. Ames Gilbert

You got me again.

425. paulshabram - August 5, 2008

Don’t be fooled, Linda T. is really ton, and brucelevy, and Ames Gilbert. I swear I’m not Linda T, I swear it on a stack of Daily Cards.

426. ton - August 5, 2008

paul, i’m not linda i’m you and you’re bruce….

417 “Ton (#42-414 or thereabouts), you fell for it…. etc.”

ames, as my grandma blanche used to say when she enjoyed a remark: that’s a good one! thought my naivete ended after the followship… but then i’m still hanging around the “greater fellowship” (albeit).

“the quality of mercy is not strained”

427. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 5, 2008

MEEOW!

428. ton - August 5, 2008

littlesuzy, what’s new?
you liked it the first time….

429. nigel harris price - August 5, 2008

When Ouspensky experienced ‘facts’, he said that, from then on, he ceased to experience ‘that fierce individualism with which he had normally viewed himself’. For me, as I teach, and in my life, I view myself as an individual, coming across the possibilities of individualism within others…..Nigel.

430. Rear View Mirror - August 6, 2008

Bruce,
You wrote: “Out of curiosity, do the posters that address Cardiac really expect or hope that he might step outside his imaginary kingdom because of your collective experience, logic and conscience? As I see it, it’s pissing into the wind. The gist of his views have not changed one iota through all his or her varied incarnations here. He/she is either a mechanized shill or a sociopath, both of which are deaf, dumb and blind to anything except the message they want to put out.”

In each incarnation, the fairly obvious goal is to dilute things, obfuscate, and distract. Never directly respond to anything credible and substantial that reveals uncomfortable truths about the FOF. Change the subject.

But I’m glad Ames pointed out Cardiac’s admission that Burton is doing “damage” to his followers. By making that statement, Cardiac revealed a bit more about his thinking than he wanted. Your classic slip of the keyboard.

431. Rear View Mirror - August 6, 2008

Bizarre website. Can’t tell if it’s an elaborate joke or if they’re serious. Probably both. Parts of it are thought out well, and other parts aren’t, but I thought some of you might find it interesting…

http://www.churchofreality.org

Here’s a page about a topic dear to our hearts:

http://www.churchofreality.org/wisdom/cults/

“Jeffrey Masson had this to say about phony gurus:

“Every guru claims to know something you cannot know by yourself or through ordinary channels. All gurus promise access to a hidden reality if only you will follow their teaching, accept their authority, hand your life over to them. Certain questions are off limits. There are things you cannot know about the guru and the guru’s personal life. Every doubt about the guru is a reflection of your own unworthiness, or the influence of an external evil force. The more obscure the action of the guru, the more likely it is to be right, to be cherished. Ultimately you cannot admire the guru, you must worship him. You must obey him, you must humble yourself, for the greater he is, the less you are — until you reach the inner circle and can start abusing other people the way your guru abused you. All this is in the very nature of being a guru.”

–My Father’s Guru, Jeffrey Masson, 1993, page 173.

432. Vena - August 6, 2008

Daily Cardiac sincerely believes what he/she is saying about Robert and the Fellowship and there is no point arguing with belief. Any other point of view just can’t be heard and there is certainly no point in hurling insults at him/her.

433. Rear View Mirror - August 6, 2008

Vena (425), I agree about insults, but I’m not seeing that in Bruce’s post. What I see in Bruce’s post are some fairly direct criticisms, and using the word “sociopath” or “mechanized shill” isn’t over the top in my opinion. There’s some fairly serious bullshitting going on here about a serious topic, and exposing Cardiac’s line of thinking for what it is can be useful for all of us — as Ames did when he pointed out Cardiac’s admission about Burton doing “damage” to his followers.

And with all due respect (we disagree on this one), there is no way for us to know whether or not this person “sincerely believes” everything that he/she is saying. I’m sure they believe a lot of it, but I strongly sense that a lot of it is disingenuous. You can sometimes have a meaningful dialogue with them, but only on topics of their choosing. If you stray off into what I would call “uncomfortable topics,” then they will ignore that, change the subject, and try to steer things away.

And that’s why I agree with Bruce that engaging in dialogue with these “incarnations” often gets you nowhere. But anyway, point taken about avoiding insults.

434. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 6, 2008

#422 Oh so sixties! Meow!

435. My4bits - August 6, 2008

Post 385 from Daily Cardiac, re: Adyashanti:

“He has a feel good message and is instructing people that there is no “enemy within”, no lower self, nothing to resist or struggle against. Because of this I felt he did more harm to people’s souls in one hour than Robert Burton has done in 38.5 years.”

To me, the most curious point in this post from DC is the strong emphasis on the absolute necessity of struggle with the “enemy within,” and that a teacher who does not delineate and actively support this dualistic struggle “does harm to people’s souls.”

I’m just flabbergasted when I try to think about DC’s statement, and get the distinct smell of rotting fish, and flash-backs to grotesque scenes in paintings by Hieronymus Bosch.

I recall someone in the Fellowship giving the angle at a meeting that if you engage in spiritual battle on the level of black and white chess pieces (i.e. in the formatory state of duality), you will always lose. In order to “win,” you must leave the board altogether (i.e. enter the state of non-duality).

436. My4bits - August 6, 2008

The link of the day in my “chain of 30 links” scenario was “The Path.”

I feel honored to be a peer with some of the finest seekers in the world. Yes, you!

Although my experience in the Fellowship did significantly warp the vector of my life and spiritual search, thankfully, it did not destroy it completely. I survived, as did you, and the journey continues. I continue with the knowledge that the Path (i.e. my Self) is the true Guru.

Perhaps I will have learned a major lesson in this lifetime: The pitfall of surrendering one’s will to a false prophet.

437. nigel harris price - August 6, 2008

429 My4bits
How about “Beware false PROFITS”?…..Nigel.

438. My4bits - August 6, 2008

Nigel, post 430.

Thank you, Nigel, for the scale and relativity.

439. Ellen - August 6, 2008

test.
All,
The shiek is on a well deserved vacation. This page will run. Also, my response post to DC is lost in space and must wait for mediation.

440. Ellen - August 6, 2008

Final attempt, then one last time. (Pavel, welcome back and can you please delete my previous attempts?)

385, Daily Cardiac

Thanks for your reply. I read it and found myself saying, “I get it.”

My guess is that, before you met either “teacher”, realized or not, the reality of the lower self as something to be surpassed or conquered was already ingrained in your conceptual mind. I see it as a classic case of deductive reasoning. Which is, that if you were already predisposed to believe in the Lower Self and struggle, C Influence, 44 conscious beings, sleeping machines, the Sequence, etc…, then, that is what you will see and experience. Who could ever talk you out of it? Not me, and I won’t even try.

Others here might – but we know it to be a futile exercise, don’t we? 😉

I understand your comments about Adyashanti, because from your viewpoint, his message is pablum, and B Influence. What kind of earthquake does it take for you to question your own belief system – one that you have given your lifetime to supporting? Can’t say.

But I would think you can follow logic well enough (because I think you are intelligent) to understand that “realization” or (egoic) “liberation” means freedom from all conceptual structures, even the ones that you like and the ones that you don’t like. And if your path itself contains some hidden assumptions that you “like”, how will you ever become free from them?

For some relativity on the Fourth Way, remember, Gurdjieff brought the system to the West in the early part of the 20th century. It was one attempt of a (middle) Easterner trying to bring ancient esoteric-psychological knowledge to the West. It’s success (for a variety of reasons) as a tradition remains to be seen, but let’s not ignore the more recent Westerners who have deeply immersed themselves in the teachings and traditions of the East – and realized the Self. Their understanding and guidance as Westerners can help 21st century Westerners to cut through the levels of psycholoogical confusion to arrive at a similar realization.

I know Robert likes to say, “All Schools are the same School”, or all teachings reveal the same truths. So why not explore that question using inductive rather than deductive reasoning? What is the central truth revealed by the various traditions? Explore and don’t impose an answer upon it. Let the answer arise from your own research. Why not?

I did a quick search this morning and found this link. A basic elucidation of the Fourth Way, an exposition I think you will mostly recognize.
http://www.mountainrunnerdoc.citymaker.com/articles/article/2291157/102818.htm

Containing this small quotation:
“With this language, almost theosophical in character, one can see the possible limit of Gurdjieff’s teachings in encompassing the higher non-dual philosophy.”

Did Gurdjieff teach non-dualistic realization?
Or did he teach dualistic remembrance?
In your own experience, what is the difference between consciousness and awareness?
Do they differ?
And how?

It may take a year or two os sincere personal research to at least see the tip of the iceberg and begin your recalibration.

Good Luck to you…

441. Across the River - August 6, 2008

Dear My4bits,

Glad you’re here, and your “chain of 30 links” is a brilliant way to give all these issues a nod in an organized way…..surely something worth sharing. In your own time I’m interested in hearing more about it.

***********
413
Dear Elena,

There’s a place for your type of activism and a place for the quiet discovery of personal empowerment. They may or may not be compatible at any given time I think many of the things you say must happen in “society and the world at large” represent your own idealized picture of the world, but meanwhile there are real and valued discoveries being made “closer to home” that call out to be recognized.

Do you imagine you are the only one who feels passionately opposed to the abuses of Robert and company?

It is absurd for you to suppose that someone’s level of understanding is based on how well they follow you.

***********
425
Thanks for that, Vena.

442. Pavel - August 6, 2008

Elena: Your posts are more prone to being caught in the moderation net because every time that one of your posts gets caught as potential spam, you attempt to modify it until it goes through. This marks your posts as more likely to be spam.

God Laughing: No names, please.

443. Pavel - August 6, 2008

183, 221, 339, 377, 383, 420, 431, 440 are newly moderated.

444. Pavel - August 6, 2008

The discussion has moved:

HERE


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