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Fellowship Of Friends Discussion, Part 46 August 18, 2008

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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. nigel harris price - August 18, 2008

Wonder how many of the three marriages to GH were politically motivated? Just a thought for discussion…..Nigel.

2. Richard M. - August 18, 2008

#299
I am always trying to find/create harmony in a situation and it seemed like there was a lot of name calling going on a couple of days ago.
___________________

I have a tendency to this as well, but more so in real emotional situations, with my family or close friends. On the blog, most posters choose to remain anonymous, and most do not know each other very well if at all.
In the FOF I felt forced to accept all members as friends and family, when in fact, many were assholes I would never choose to be in the same room with, let alone share a home with. But I smiled and hugged everyone like a trusted relation. I was stabbed in the back more than once.

I think we all know who our real friends and family are. There is no real need to pretend anymore here on the blog. At least that’s my conviction.

I hope this doesn’t sound too unfriendly. Do I know you?

3. My4bits - August 18, 2008

veramente, post 274, page 45

Yes, RB did exploit our willingness to sacrifice and suffer for a higher cause. It is a complex topic, which I also am trying to understand.

If you want to explore in more depth, I’ve just finished a book that was recommended to me by veronicapoe: It’s called “The Guru Papers, Masks of Authoritarian Power,” by Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad, and is available on amazon.com.

It’s full of eye-popping insights.

4. arthur - August 18, 2008

Wakeuplittlesuzywakeup (302),

Just my opinion but the Movie “Dalai Lama renaissance” a ‘gathering’ sounds a lot like the gathering of ‘rishis and sages’ that started Ayurveda Medicine. Maybe some “medicine” will come out of this modern gathering.

I still lean toward there was “plant chewing” before there was the written word or meditation about one thing or another. Again, just my present opinion.

5. ton - August 18, 2008

WULS thank you for the cmn link and the richard moss spiel from the prior page, he’s right on, on so many levels…. chirp! (i “say” that in spite of my tendency to distrust people who are in the business of selling “wisdom”).

among many other things, he talks about fear and the basic human need to feel “safe” which can lead to narrow-mindedness and narcissism as opposed to a more “global” consciousness. an example of fear uses as a tool of mind-control in a cult like the followship, plays on the judeo/christian “meme” of an all-seeing, all-knowing, vengeful / punishing god and the concomitant threat of “eternal damnation” for “corporeal transgressions” or otherwise going against “doctrine.” in the case of the followship, the worst that can happen to the “student” is to “lose” the “school” — you go to the moon, right? …. right…. what a joke, sounds like a line from the jackie gleason show… the best and one of the most freeing (albeit one of the most difficult) things of my life was escape from the cult.

arthur… i agree with your remarks and opinion re: “plant chewing.”
thanks

“enlightenment is in a context….”

etc

6. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 18, 2008

#4: Arthur: Remember, I said I was surprised at the ending. I’d urge you to see it.

7. My4bits - August 18, 2008

veramente, post 274, page 45

I might add that the FoF contains a number of mechanisms designed to lower personal boundaries, and to keep them lowered. This, so that the sacrifices (to RB) can flow freely. I seriously doubt that he cares a whit about whether or not his students actually manage to transform their suffering, or develop their souls. The authoritarian structure acts to keep its followers in complete submission, and loving it. The other part of the equation is, of course, why we felt the need to submit, and did so, thereby enabling the exploitation.

8. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 18, 2008

#4: A little clue: Some of the scenes are spiritual leaders in their ‘worst’ behavior. It was humbling to many who went.

9. ton - August 18, 2008

4 bits, i’ve appreciated your posts…. what link-in-the-chain are we on today? keep us up, might be “useful” here.

around 7
“The authoritarian structure acts to keep its followers in complete submission and loving it….. The other part of the equation is, of course, why we felt the need to submit, and did so, thereby enabling the exploitation.

i don’t know about “loving it” when the situation/environment so restricts the individual that it’s all “one” knows. maybe that’s just me… a part of the allure in “joining” the followship included my imagination of a cloistered / meditative life…. i wanted to remove myself from life, that appears now to be an attempt to “escape” the realities of “life” and living. as it turned out, i escaped into a trap appealing to and preying upon human “weaknesses” — one weakness being fear. people feel “safe and secure” in the cult, right?… daddy/mommy/teacher tells us a bed-time-story and generally directs our life… all the while surrounded by surrogate / “spiritual” brothers and sisters….. idyllic, or at least familiar (as in familial)…. cultural “memes” condition an individual to “seek” a “solution” to human fear of the unknown in certain ways…. another example is the judeo/chritian model of an omniscient god and a representative of the same here on earth…
sound FAMILIAR?

re: submission and exploitation, the issue of culpability is huge and is an important part of “the equation” and ongoing discussion here…. thanks

around 8
WULS
thanks for the movie recommendation, sounds good…. i’ll look fer it.

10. Rear View Mirror - August 18, 2008

299. Can’t we all get along? wrote:

“Rear View Mirror and Richard M, I agree with you both regarding the lack of tolerance in the FOF.

“I think my initial statement was generated from the side of me that has what the FOF calls “mechanical goodness”. I am always trying to find/create harmony in a situation and it seemed like there was a lot of name calling going on a couple of days ago.

“I might be a new contributor here, but I’ve been reading the blog for a while and consider it to be a very useful environment for sharing ideas and sorting out all my years of indoctrination and blind obedience in the FOF.”
————

Yes, and on another related topic…

About the idea of “mechanical goodness,” it’s interesting (to me) that I applied this idea when it was convenient, and didn’t apply it when it might have been more applicable.

For example:

• Someone suggests that RB is causing serious harm. Response: That’s mechanical goodness.
• Someone scolds a person for being negative when they criticize something about RB. Response: That’s OK; scolding that person is a “photograph” and is not mechanical goodness.

Anyway, it’s another subtle way that group think “manifests.”

(Another way that group think “manifests” is through the over-use of “work words” such as “manifest” and “word word.”)

11. Rear View Mirror - August 18, 2008

These little winks sometimes show up unintentionally when placing a parenthesis at the end of a sentence, but not always inappropriately.

Meanwhile, I don’t know what I meant by “word word”. Maybe it’s a new part of the sequence. who knows.

12. Rear View Mirror - August 19, 2008

To Can’t we all get along,
About creating harmony in 299, I forgot to mention… Nice post, you helped bring some here.

13. sharon - August 19, 2008

I assumed you meant “work word”.

14. Across the River - August 19, 2008

If anyone has ever googled for more information on the supposed “multiple” lawsuits against the Fellowship and/or Robert, the lack of information available is amazing. There is information on the lawsuits we’re familiar with (Buzbee, Sanders), but not a word on any others against FOF/RB.

There is some information on two lawsuits instigated by the FOF for libel against Stella Wirk & Thomas Easley and the L.A. Times (& 2 others).

So, ARE there multiple lawsuits on record against the Fellowship? Either there are only two, or this information is well-hidden.

15. arthur - August 19, 2008

Wakeuplittlesuzywakeup,

If the movie comes my way, I’ll go see it.

16. unoanimo - August 19, 2008

Across the River ~

Find an attorney that has access to the service called Lexis-Nexis; therein you shall see the grasshopper’s Grasshopper.

ton ~

Where do you live on the East Coast; I may be visiting there soon (?)

Whalerider ~

The sweating you experience is ‘rain’: the best of my wishes go to you towards this storm cloud. IMO, there’s is such a thing as a reverse-rain-dance: its ritual is on the horizon rolling a second sun cloaked with the Echo’s fingerprints and a migrating swarm of finch.

17. unoanimo - August 19, 2008

L.t.y.a.

18. arthur - August 19, 2008

Lauralupa,

Besides being easely duped and spooked, I’m also not computer literate.

So here goes:

http://www.nationalgeographics.com/adventure/603/features/peru.html

It scared the bejesus out of me. And, it reminded me of someone on the blog who is always “mad”.

Then again, I’m easely spooked.

19. arthur - August 19, 2008

Lauralupa,

“National Geographics and Peruvian Shamanic adventure”. And, the last thing should be /peru.html

20. My4bits - August 19, 2008

ton, post 9:

Thanks for your comment, ton.

I resumed posting to the blog when I started this “30 links” ritual, and probably will stop posting when it’s over. (It will be time to move on.) The blog is proving to be an invaluable tool in this process, as it lets me externalize and receive feedback. Thanks to all!

Today is Day 19 of 30, and the topic is “social life.” It’s about my circle of friends and acquaintances, now that I’ve left: Who I invite to my home or who invites me to theirs, who I ‘hang out’ with, and so on. It’s about the difficulty of making new friends, the weighing of pros and cons of spending time almost exclusively with FoF “veterans,” and it’s about being socially open, positive, and healthy now that I’m out here in “life.”

For those who left the Fellowship in the last year or two, this topic is likely relevant. In the course of time, the necessary re-structuring of personality occurs and a new social life gradually emerges from within the traditional contexts of jobs, family, schools, community, and so on. But it definitely takes time. A long time.

Having been out for one year, being single, and way over 50 years old, I can report that during these 12 months I have made one (1) real friend who has no prior connection to the Fellowship. And even then, I still feel like a clam peering out of a half-open shell…

Out in the wide, wide world I am socially dysfunctional. I attribute this fact to my many years in the FoF, which caused certain “muscles” and attitudes essential for fluid social adaptability to atrophy. And yes, I was no doubt socially dysfunctional long before I left the Fellowship. But now, it’s painfully obvious, and this disability threatens my very survival.

One reason for the “chain of 30 links” ritual is to help me “magically” open myself up to a new social paradigm — free from the FoF, free from those who still live under the shadow of the FoF, and open to all. Whether I will be able to accomplish this is, at this point, seriously in question.

21. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 19, 2008

#20 My4Bits: Having been out for one year, being single, and way over 50 years old, I can report that during these 12 months I have made one (1) real friend who has no prior connection to the Fellowship. And even then, I still feel like a clam peering out of a half-open shell…

Out in the wide, wide world I am socially dysfunctional. I attribute this fact to my many years in the FoF, which caused certain “muscles” and attitudes essential for fluid social adaptability to atrophy. And yes, I was no doubt socially dysfunctional long before I left the Fellowship. But now, it’s painfully obvious, and this disability threatens my very survival.

Boy can I relate to this. It took me a lot longer than that to connect to a ‘real’ friend outside the FOF I didn’t consider myself lacking social skills with ‘life’ when I left. I feel your pain and emphathize.

22. My4bits - August 19, 2008

wakeuplittlesuzywakeup, post 21:

Kiss.

23. steve lang - August 19, 2008

#20 My4bits-

As far as getting adjusted socially, give it some time. Start doing things that you like to do and you’ll find people that enjoy the same things. You’ll strike up conversations and things lead to things.

I have a friend here in the LA area that left the fof about a year ago. We hang out every couple of weeks or so. Well, you’d think he was the mayor of his town! I went to a restaurant with him a few weeks ago and no less than 6 people came by our table to say hello to him. Just a bunch locals that he’s made friends with. It was quite nice.

24. My4bits - August 19, 2008

steve lang, post 23:

Thanks, Steve. And thanks, too, for taking on the job of blog moderator. (I guess you’re that Steve.)

Time… yes, time.

And things do lead to things… That’s what a social network is all about, isn’t it?

25. nigel harris price - August 19, 2008

To My4bits, wakeuplittlesuzywakeup and steve lang

“The friends thou hast, AND THEIR AFFECTION TRIED, grapple them to thee with hoops of steel” (William Shakespeare). I have been ‘out’ for 19 years and had to go through some ‘fair-weather’ friendships, those who only wanted to take advantage of my disorder and the need for my emotional centre to communicate. Now, I have a wondeful social network – people I CAN RELY ON…..Nigel.

26. veronicapoe - August 19, 2008

Reading the New York Times Sunday Style Magazine yesterday, I discover, on page 266, that Jacopo del Sellaio’s painting, “Cupid and Psyche” is in the Manhattan collection of wealthy collector Hester Diamond, where it it is displayed opposite a painting called “The Circumcision” and with some jazzy furniture. Aren’t we all glad we sacrificed the sweat of our brow for this result?

27. Across the River - August 19, 2008

16 unoanimo

Thanks for the lead…..still wondering why the information isn’t more out there.

19 arthur

Wow – amazing that the writer could express this so well. It seems an experience well-beyond words.

28. My4bits - August 19, 2008

nigel harris price, post 25:

My god, 19 years… What is it that keeps you here, Nigel?

Could it be “Schadenfreude” (taking delight in the suffering of others)?

Don’t you see that it is time for you to stand on your own two feet, embrace your friends, now ‘tried and true,’ accept and delight in your life as it is, and move on?

For your sake, I hope I never see another post from you here on this blog. So, get on with it, dear Nigel! Cheerio!

LoL.

29. Ellen - August 19, 2008

Arthur, Lauralupa, Unoanimo
Thanks for the ongoing ayahuasca thread.
I just read Arthur’s #18 National Geographic link (which had a typo in it).
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/0603/features/peru.html
Well recommended article.
********************************************************
Daily Cardiac (as I presume you are at least still listening),
You say pg 44 #271:
“If I could only leave only one sentence for the blog it would be:
No one can awaken (become enlightened) on their own terms.”
Agreed, absolutely. No problem.
(And James McLemore pg 45 #5 also responded well to that comment of yours.)

Still, you might learn a few things about the “lower self” by reading that article.
Fundamental point, no fear.
Fundamental point, surrender to the path/tool.
Fundamental point, surrender also to the light and not the darkness – within.
And finally it is all You.
But you sure as hell need a trustworthy guide.
And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, this blog is not about sex, money, or power abuse, per se. It is about the abuse of trust, pure and simple.

Even Girard could admit to me, in our last face to face, eye to eye conversation, that Robert was not completely trustworthy. So if instead you fully, deeply, and completely trust Influencec C, do you imagine “them” to be “out there”?

30. WonderingWhosWatching - August 19, 2008

45/173. nigel harris price – August 16, 2008:

‘(real men do not have stylists! – Come on ladies, LAUGH AT THAT ONE)’

. . . . . .

In FoF speak: ‘Real men do not eat quiche, they eat negative emotions.’

– – – – – –

45/225. Daily Lobotomy – August 17, 2008:

‘168 WonderWhosWatching

How many ‘Hail Marys’ did you say you did?

Are you trying to confuse me, Wonder? You know I said I did SEQUENCES until I was dizzy and had to lie down, then I tried to do them lying down, and that lead to all that trouble when I wasn’t able to “be of service” to my beloved RED.

So take it easy on me.

Love to ya!’

. . . . . .

Love that Daily Lobo,

So, no ‘Hail Marys.’ How about ‘Our Fathers;’ did any of those? Perhaps you did sequins by mistake? Maybe it was the birdless wreaths?

– – – – – –

45/285. lauralupa – August 18, 2008:

‘sounds vaguely familiar, does it not?’

. . . . . .

Sounds too vaguely familiar, like FoF speak worded that way. Can’t you just say, ‘Doesn’t it sound vaguely familiar.’? Or, do you really prefer: ‘You can just say, ‘sounds vaguely familiar, does it not?’, can you not?

– – – – – –

45/302. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup – August 18, 2008:

‘I urge people to go see it. I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.’

. . . . . .

Thanks for the tip and ‘heads up,’ Suzy!

If the outcome is any different than, to quote Gurdjieff, ‘If things could be different than they are, they would be.’ Then it might be interesting to see other perspectives.

– – – – – –

46/1. nigel harris price – August 18, 2008:

‘Wonder how many of the three marriages to GH were. . .’

. . . . . .

GH has 4 marriages that I know about: Ain’t MissBeHaven, Denise, Cynthia, Elena. FoF promotes marital fidelity, does it not?’ (There goes that FoF speak, again.) Isn’t there a ‘three strikes’ law?

– – – – – –

46/5. ton – August 18, 2008:

‘you go to the moon, right? …. right…. what a joke, sounds like a line from the jackie gleason show…’

. . . . . .

Right, very funny:

What was that jellybean count? 4444?

Most of the time it was: ‘Pow! Right in the kisser!’
Very rarely was it: “One of these days, Alice, Pow, Bang, Zoom, right to the moon!”

Just think how it would be if Jackie Gleason were the teacher of the cult and it was the ‘Way of Humor.’

– – – – – –

46/25. nigel harris price – August 19, 2008

“The friends thou hast, AND THEIR AFFECTION TRIED, grapple them to thee with hoops of steel” (William Shakespeare).

. . . . . .

You could Google these quotes to get them correct. You wouldn’t want the bard to turn over in his grave, would you not? (Damn, there goes that FoF speak, again.) But, also, it is great to express them as you remember them to be.

Here it is, Nige:

And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged comrade.
Beware
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
And they in France of the best rank and station
Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine ownself be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Hamlet
Act 1. Scene III
Lord Polonius’ advice to his son,
Laertes, who departs from Denmark.
William Shakespeare

31. arthur - August 19, 2008

Across the River (27),

I was thinking the same thing as you about that National Geographic writer.

Which reminded me of the “Star Wars” lingo, “may the Force be with you”. In the Fourth Way material there are references to positive and negative “energies”. Which “Force” directs us?

When the literature starts talking about “demons” and such that spooks me. I think even Shakespeare talks about things that go bump in the dark.

When you open yourself up to…… well, it could be that something might enter, as that writer said from some previous life?

Maybe Robert Earl Burton the owner/operator of the Goddess Church of who knows what is operating under the influences of several negative demons and probably should see a Shaman for an EXORCISM.

32. lauralupa - August 19, 2008

arthur 18

Yes, I had read that article already, since I wanted to be well documented before embarking on the journey. It was a good idea to do so, but on the downside it created expectations. So during the first ceremony, when the visions didn’t show up, I was a bit pissed. Instead, Ayahuasca spoke through my body, and did so in a powerful way. The first night was all aches and pains (I haven’t been repeatedly stabbed in the belly, but that’s what it felt like), and after a while (a couple of hours, maybe? I had lost my usual sense of time), exhausted, I fell asleep. And that’s it. Not at all what I had imagined.

I woke up in the morning emotionally shaken by a powerful dream, and spent the following afternoon I just recuperating and resting. The natural setting was marvelous, the company pleasant and relaxed, and the pain was completely gone, so by the time the next ceremony started I was feeling quite peaceful and upbeat. This time again, the visionary part of the experience was minimal, but I was submerged in an ecstatic state more blissful and alive than any I have ever known. I felt I was back in the garden, way before the original sin, and like a child I played and danced and sang and enjoyed, enjoyed, enjoyed. My body vibrated with the music from head to toe, giving rise to rhythmical and spontaneous movements that did not contain the slightest effort or hesitation. No inner considering, no self doubt, no afterthoughts. I was free from myself, so I could finally be myself. I was not the only one in such state; in fact the whole affair turned into a great improvised celebration, as if everyone in the circle had suddenly reverted back to essence, having shed their masks and fears for the space of one night.

I was filled with wonder witnessing the beauty and simplicity of it all, and then remembering the stunning fact that we don’t experience moments like this more often in our lives, in fact hardly ever. At one point we went out to look at the night sky, and the milky way seen through the dark clean air of the Alps was such a vision of incredible beauty, that I felt silly for having asked for anything different or more. Peace was upon me, and everything and everyone seemed filled with the same peace.
The next morning I woke up with a deep sense of well being that has not yet completely dissolved twenty days after the fact.

So that was my first trip with grandmother ayahuasca. If I decide to meet her again, I have no idea what sort of gift she will bring. Maybe a bitter pill or sweet candy for the soul, in an case I am tempted. I feel I have only scratched the surface, and a lot more lays beyond. The other twenty participants experienced a wide range of effects, from having to look at their fears to joyfully communing with the divine, to virtually meeting their loved ones and reliving childhood memories, to various symbolic visions and hallucinations, to, well… hardly nothing at all!

The sharing that followed the journeys was another very interesting part of the weekend. Most reported an heightened awareness of their inner thought processes, having been able to recognize all the various little voices (the many I’s we all know so well) suddenly showing up in their heads saying this and that. In many respects, it reminded of holotropic breathwork sessions, but packed with a lot more punch.

I would definitely recommend ayahuasca to anyone longing to face and heal deep personal and family issues and emotional and physical scars. Not to be taken lightly, because one might have to face the consequences of newly acquired insights and wisdom. Change might be involved! Anyone with psychotic tendencies better refrain, as this medicine is an amplifier and things can go scary in the night.

Arthur, I hope this persoanal report from the field helps. In regards to your fears, as uno and others previously said to me, just follow your intuition and trust!

Also, don’t miss the ayahuasca monologues video series on Reality Sandwich…

33. Ellen - August 19, 2008

Thanks Lauralupa #31, very much for your description.
I had been tempted to ask you about your session when you first spoke of it upon your return but for whatever reason did not. Are there some things that are too intensely intimate to speak of in this wide open multifarious space? Anyway, glad you felt like speaking about it now.

34. lauralupa - August 19, 2008

Dear Ellen and Arthur,

I don’t believe this is the right venue to describe the dream I had, and explore its and the bellyache’s personal implications, but I feel I have touched here the most important aspects of the sessions for me, which seemed more detached from my own biographical history, and were endowed with a strong connection to a vast and powerful force or energy field.

Some ways to describe this that come to mind could be rediscovering one’s connection with nature, or laying in the arms of the Goddess, or communing with the world of spirits, or tapping into one’s inner innate wisdom. I honestly don’t know which of the above applies, if any. There is no general consensus on the “mechanics” of ayahuasca trips, and it seems that for many pilgrims the journey becomes one of simultaneously increasing wisdom and realizing one’s enormous ignorance of the mysteries of the universe. And that would be in perfect accordance with the Cosmic Shmuck Law.

Arthur, I posted 31 before reading #30, and my things going scary in the night are the exact equivalent of your things that go bump in the dark. Yes, of course, spirits and demons ARE spooky, and I have also heard a few scary stories of witchcraft from the session’s moderator, who is the European assistant to an Ecuadorean shaman.

Still remember, ideally you go to these ceremonies in order to purge and get rid of demons you already have inside, the ones you unknowingly picked up long ago, who knows when and where, and I am not interested here in making a distinction between “real” demons and “inner” demons. Whatever they are, these manifest in our lives as ominous, destructive egoic forces, sometimes dominating our psychology and giving rise to all sorts of problems for us and those who love us, and effectively obstructing positive canges. If you are familiar with them, possibly you are also desperate enough to want to try and treat them with some heavy medicine and see how that works!

Personally, I was so tired of all the darkness in my life, felt it was time to get into a car and drive to the other side…

Into the night
Into the light

(excuse the Joe Jackson reference, this song has been often playing in my head of late)

35. veramente - August 19, 2008

My4bits –
veramente, post 274, page 45

I might add that the FoF contains a number of mechanisms designed to lower personal boundaries, and to keep them lowered.
—————-
hello My4bits, thank you for your posts.
One of the mechanisms to lower the boundaries were the photographs.
We were taught to not buffer them, but did we ? for me this allowed an opening for any kind of wisdom or bullshit coming my way.
Some of the photographs I received for my center directors were traumatic to say the least.
I felt I could not go to another “student” and say “so and so” told me this and what do you think…there was no room for discussion or doubting or maybe even the evil gossiping. We were taught a new form of “feminine dominance” amongst us, or at least that is how I felt it in my own being. No freedom of speech really.

I became even less sure of myself, “myself” was something I had to seriously doubt, and when I suffered of course that was my false personality not wishing to die. What is left? The work I’s? with so little to fend for oneself the next thing is to become seriously open to abuse of any kind.
How about saying the fof is a “pain factory”.

36. veramente - August 19, 2008

post 34
PS “Some of the photographs I received for my center directors…”
I meant to say: from my center directors.

37. Mick Danger - August 19, 2008

Rock & Roll Casuality List for August:

Elvis Presley (1977)
Stevie Ray Vaughn (1990)
Jerry Garcia (1995)

Long Live the Kings

38. arthur - August 19, 2008

Lauralupa,

Maybe in two or three sessions you can reach “Cosmic Consciousness/Conscience” instead of the never-ending life-cycles of womanhood imposed by the Fellowship of Friends and their gaggle of witches led by Robert Earl Burton, Goddess of Dark passages.

Or, rather you wont have to wait as woman for eternity to sit equal to Burton and Haven.

Thank YOU very much for responding to Ellen and I. Or, should that be Ellen and me?

I’m headed to Reality Sandwich right now.

39. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 19, 2008

#37: Arthur: When you have a sentence with an (and) take one of the people out of the sentence and see how the sentence sounds when there’s just one person.

Thank you very much for responding to me.

Just trying to help. Meow.

40. James Mclemore - August 19, 2008

Arthur – thanks for the ayahuasca link and thank you Ellen for the correction in that link.

Lauralupa – thank you for sharing a portion of your experience

myfourbits – it was almost 30 years ago, but I found myself, much like you have found yourself, back in the world and feeling very inept at being there. Your innocence and your intention will bring you what you need. I cannot help but repeat that line that Across the River shared,
“If you call out from the road and no one answers, keep walking on alone.”

And Arthur – one more thing
I thought of this quote for you a couple of months ago from things you had posted.

“Supreme sincerety evokes resonance.”

Something in your posts reflects a sincerety that does resonate, believe me. And I wish to thank you for the tip you posted once of,
“just looking and taking care of the day as best I can.”

I use that one a lot.

41. elena - August 19, 2008

My4bits 7: The authoritarian structure acts to keep its followers in complete submission, and loving it. The other part of the equation is, of course, why we felt the need to submit, and did so, thereby enabling the exploitation.

IMHO we enabled the situation because we were conned to believe Robert was conscious and the the Fellowship a legitimate school. The Fellowship “community” induced us to believe that giving up our selves was necessary for awakening and we gave so many things up because we believed in Robert as a legitimate teacher. After so much submission people become extremely vulnerable and in that state of vulnerability they develop strong emotional dependency to Robert in the form of blind idolatry which is what we have right now in the Fellowship and what makes it such a dangerous institution.

After years of being induced into an ideology that states that families are biological and meaningless people abandon their families. After years of being induced into thinking that Robert is a Conscious being and you are to serve him selflessly it is easy to have sex with him convinced you are doing the right thing. It wasn’t women’s fault that they gave up their children. It wasn’t the boy’s fault that they gave up their integrity, it was the Fellowship’s responsibility to avoid these horrors and it not only does not avoid them it stimulates them actively. Hundreds of lives are hurt and damaged by belonging to the Fellowship of Friend’s Cult.

42. elena - August 19, 2008

Is anyone here familiar with Eugene Ingram being
hired by Fellowship of Friends to go around to the ex-FofF homes for
intimidation purposes?

Would appreciate any lead into this.

43. Reality Check - August 19, 2008

Looking for happiness outside yourself is a false goal and looking for happiness within yourself is also a false goal. Look for your Self and simply accept the emotions as they oscillate between extremes.

***

The only thing dissatisfied with what actually exists is the illusion of personality, regardless what it has it always wants more or something different. There is only one improvement possible: escape the habit of personality and reside in the effort of maintaining a witness.

***

Recognize that there is no quality in a particular opposition when its words fail to remind you, inform or awaken you to an obvious fact.

***

Strangely, it is not unusual that an obvious truth is despised rather than welcomed.

44. xeeena - August 19, 2008

Looks like Ingram has a history of intimidation and ties to Scientology.

http://www.lermanet.com/scientologynews/latimes/ingram012781.htm

45. My4bits - August 19, 2008

Nigel, posts 25, 28

Nigel, I apologize for my post 28. I have no right to assume why you are here, and to offer life therapy. Your presence, and your posts, are always welcome.

46. elena - August 19, 2008

My4bits 20.

That sounds painfully familiar.

To counteract the effects of being so socially dysfunctional, not being able to connect to previous friends who had been much abandoned by being in what they clearly understood as a Cult and laughing at you for having been so stupid when you thought you were better than them, I’ve found that keeping good personal activities will not allow the depression to overpower the general condition.

The body is happy when it moves, breaths fresh air.
The mind is rewarding when you can picture people who you love even if you’re not with them physically.
The heart stays alive as long as I continue fighting.
and the instinctive center is well fed when I eat with gratitude to people and Earth for providing the nourishment.
Playing the guitar renders music alive.

I hope these help.

47. xeeena - August 19, 2008
48. elena - August 19, 2008

My4bits,

What a quick move. Thanks. Yes Nigel, it is always good to see you here and even better to think that it helps you to stabilize yourself.

I think this, like any other activity can become compulsive and damaging but also enriching and very exiting. People! this longing that I’ve had forever to get to know what people are like and to be able to get hundreds of glimpses into them is fascinating. Seems so adequate after the Fellowship coldness.

On being kind or unkind to each other, it is always better to be kind for my own sake but pretending to be happy when a situation is fucked up seems unnecessary pretense, Fellowship and modern world make-up. The ‘winner’ act in which people are supposed to smile when what they need is to throw up to get the poison out.

49. sharon - August 19, 2008

Elena: “Is anyone here familiar with Eugene Ingram being
hired by Fellowship of Friends to go around to the ex-FofF homes for
intimidation purposes?

Would appreciate any lead into this.”

Could you tell us where this question is coming from? Are you being intimidated, Elena? Did you hear from someone in OH that they are being intimidated by this man, or by the FoF in some concrete way? If so, I would contact the sheriff and the press (and let us know if you need help). This guy sounds scary.

If it is just rumor, where/why would such a rumor originate?

50. unoanimo - August 19, 2008

Hello Laura and Arthur ~

Thank you Laura; something you wrote touched me, so I hope you do not mind if I add a quiet footnote to it, so as to not leave anyone out of the grandmother’s garden…

You wrote ~

“Anyone with psychotic tendencies better refrain, as this medicine is an amplifier and things can go scary in the night.”
__________

I would say that many will not know that they have these tendencies until ‘she’ unmasks them… For instance, in some cases the demons within are sensationalized or ‘poetical’ as ‘that which denies me Me or I need to work on-ism (round and round as Tracy’s song would put it’) and eventually this settles into a lifestyle of an internal ‘Us and Them’ in a person and seen as (esoterically) a normal static stalemate…

For me, meeting these demons was anything but normal, yet, the interesting thing ‘she’ revealed to me is that ‘normal’ is 99% of the time defined by ego and not the essential within us, the ‘child-power’, the innocence I had lost deep being contact with…

So, for those who may have ‘obvious dark spots’, there’s procedures for this… Iboga is one sentient being who is often reserved for handling the big projects, deep ancestral lineage rooted traumas, suicide deaths, deeds, possession, etc. Though ayahuasca is still considered by millions to be the God-mother of all plants (which already implies so much)…

So, the ‘nutshell’ is that with a good shaman (or three) and the right Icaros and intent, big bumps in the night can be worked through: at least this is what I am understanding through my own ongoing work and readings into case records (though few studies)…

Some ‘big cases’ are given their own personal brew and left to work it out in the jungle by themselves (well, almost by themselves), with the lead shaman watching at a distance… So much of this is about changing your own diapers and being courageously proud about it to such an extent that you cannot mention the whole ritual to others for dread that they might copy you or take you picture…

There’s a privacy that’s revealed by her that no amount of writing can write ‘right’ anyway, so, fear not, Shakespeare is not the end-of-the-road; that reminds me, speaking of roundabouts, congratulations to Carlos and Eliza (and children) on their move across the Sea of Change… My deepest love to all five of you…

Love to you all

51. David Darby - August 19, 2008

45/293 Richard M.
“Has our friend, Daily Cardiac has been “disappeared” from the blog by the FOF Junta?”
I think you are dead on. The amusing part is that he put a lot of time and effort into that post/reply. However, in order to continue to appear calm, rational and “unidentified”, he had to admit too many home truths.
Sure went out in a blaze of vainglory.

52. elena - August 19, 2008

No Sharon,
A lawyer who apparently knows this happened in the past is asking me about it. I’m not being intimidated although someone followed a friend home and she thought that they thought it was me. She looks like me. I just go out less.

Thanks for caring.

53. nigel harris price - August 19, 2008

44 My4bits

Please don’t feel you have hurt me. I am either too old (51) or have grown from the inside to take things personally. Actually, you are right, in a way. A ‘life’ friend, who still resides in Pacifica, and gave me a commission, reminded me that to look back is to ‘turn to a pillar of salt’. But that is not why I still post. I believe that there is an ‘essential’ giving and taking, emotionally and intellectually. I want to be of help and, also, feel that when I come home at 11pm (GMT) there will be posts that open up my own vision to wider horizons. I have told others, and it remains true, that my centre of gravity is in the 8 of Hearts, which is why I can abstract to ‘intelligent heartiness’ or ‘heartfelt intellect’. However, I do sometimes go ‘defensive Martial’, so pull me up on that one, if I do. Yours…..Nigel.

54. fofblogmoderator - August 20, 2008

#30 is newly moderated

55. Yesri BlaBla - August 20, 2008

test icle

56. Advertisement - August 20, 2008

There’s been some concern lately that people are leaving the FOF. In that spirit, the Ministry of PR and Propaganda has launched a new marketing campaign. The following ad is slated for publications everywhere.

——————————-

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* Re-Written History: Are you concerned about the many failed prophesies by Robert Burton? Breathe easily, as Version 3 rewrites the history books. With Version 3, you can rest assured that he never made such predictions. And if he DID, he didn’t really mean it!
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* Rescinded No Wit Exercise: Version 1 and 2 provided the much-joked-about No Wit Exercise. However, Version 3 includes the Wit Exericise, which allows people to giggle quietly at Burton’s quips to demonstrate their strong work and keen understanding of his profound teaching.
* A finished Renaissance Winery: Yes, Version 1 and 2 provided a complete eyesore of a winery. Version 3 intends to finish the winery or your money back.
* Open Debates: With the presidential debates looming on the horizon, we wanted to show the American spirit and allow complete and open debates about anything that has nothing whatsoever to do with the Fellowship of Friends.
* Influence D: With version 2 and 3, there’s been lots of talk about Influence C. If you thought that was good, wait until you hear about Influence D.
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57. arthur - August 20, 2008

wakeuplittlesuzywakeup (39),

Thank you for the “hint” and responding to me.

James Mclemore (40),

Thank you for remembering. And, your words to my4bits are sound and true even 30 years later.

Unoanimo (50),

An icon on my “desktop” reads, (dai-me_amor) thanks for including me.

58. veronicapoe - August 20, 2008

Ingram was definitely poking around Oregon House in the mid 1990s. @ that time I was informed that he had sought out St_____ M-rriw____r.

59. Rear View Mirror - August 20, 2008

56. This is one of the weirdest threads in the entire blog. If there’s any truth that the FOF has been in contact with this man, it makes me wonder what RB is capable of. Not a good sign, although not surprising either.

I do recall about the 1990s that there were rumors of surveillance techniques being used on current followers. Rumors, or truth, I don’t know.

All I know is that we don’t need too many surveillance techniques to “see” what’s going on the FOF. It’s not a good thing.
——-

About Daily Cardiac… One “observation” about it… If someone asked him to stop (because he acknowledged way too much about RB’s sexual shenanigans with his followers while presenting one of his long, convoluted arguments), then someone in the FOF power structure knew who he was. Can’t draw too many conclusions from that, but I do find it interesting. Anyway, I know it becomes rather nauseating to use the ‘work language’ sometimes on the blog, but is just me, or does this entire blog not “evoke” the “negative half of the King of Hearts”?

It does mine. But at the same time, I see people waking up to what is happening. One by one. Yeah, it’s happening too slowly.

By the way, about the wikipedia article… the english version is frozen.. sort of favors the fof in that there no links to this blog. What’s with that? Who is that “moderator” for wikipedia? Is he an idiot? Or a member of the FOF? Or both?

60. Rear View Mirror - August 20, 2008

James, I really liked your comments about Arthur (40). Made me feel good to read that. I hope you guys meet one day beyond this blog. You might have, you know, had the FOF been what we believed it was. Maybe you have already. But if not, maybe you will. I really believe everything is perfect. But the perfection is not pleasant sometimes. Some people in this world are just “off” and present danger for us, and lead to nothing but harmful results. Robert Burton is one of those people.

Is he right? Is everything perfect? I believe that yes, he’s right. But not in the way that he believes, or pretends to believe.

61. John Williams - August 20, 2008

Pretty nice site, wants to see much more on it! 🙂

62. Reality Check - August 20, 2008

What went wrong and continues to go wrong:

“Or he may meet a wrong school and have wrong instruction and instead of becoming better become worse; instead of acquiring, lose.”

“If the magnetic centre is right, you are bound to recognize the right things; if it is wrong, you may find quite a wrong school. This happens every day. Why do so many quite unfounded and wrong schools exist, with no material whatever? Because people have a wrong magnetic centre. The case is possible, for instance, when a man with a wrongly formed magnetic centre may come upon a school which pretends to be connected with esotericism, while in actual fact no such connection exists. In this case influences which should have been influences of the third kind become influences of the first kind, that is, leading nowhere.”

“But even if people have wrong results, if they have a wrong magnetic centre they persuade themselves that the results are good. One can deceive oneself about anything.”

“Generally speaking, there is very little chance of finding a right school and many possibilities of wrong schools, because a school must have influences C, that is, ideas that come direct from higher mind. What does ‘direct’ mean? It means coming not through books, not through ordinary learning accessible to everybody. These ideas must come from another school, and to that school again from another school, and so on, until one comes to the original source. If there are no ideas of that kind, it is only an imitation school.”

“If you come to a wrong kind of school you lose what you can learn by yourself.”

“People can make efforts all their life and they can all be wasted if they make them in a wrong way. Take any wrong school with some kind of twisted idea. People belonging to such a school can make an enormous amount of efforts and all of them can be lost.”

–Ouspensky

Instead of a school of the Fourth Way the Fellowship followers, refugees and escapees found a trained lunatic further corrupted by yet another charismatic lunatic and then sent out to victimize the naive and vain. The easiest victims of fraud are the vain; simply convince them that they are better off than most others and they will believe any degree of distorted self-serving lies. Vanity readily displaces conscience and without the development of genuine sincerity and conscience everything becomes wrong.

63. More history needed? - August 20, 2008

Worth reposting?

For new comers…this is written by a student August 2008

Traveler – 42-316:
You asked some compelling and important questions which is part of the reason it took some time to answer.
I’ve tried my best to get to the core of the matter. Every answer may not be in chronological order and each question may not be addressed separately, but hopefully all your points were touched on. The questions were complex and layered so the responses may reflect that.
We may not be anymore in agreement afterwards, but perhaps we can put ourselves in the other’s shoes for a brief time.
Here goes.
Traveler: “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 ( Sex with members) 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.”
That is partially true; a big part. The other part is that the stories are alleged, and I wanted to keep that fact in the forefront. They cannot be proven in this arena so why not qualify our dialog with that in mind. It’s tempting to think that all these people can’t be lying, but remember that all these individuals have a stake in the matter and many have put so much effort into exposing the FoF as a fraud that they connect their own vindication with doing just that. As far as a conspiracy; I don’t think people are in collusion, or plotting together, but their common aims and motivations will produce similar responses, and it’s clear that at times they feed off of each other.
Traveler: “- 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?”
I’ll try to answer these as one block and where the answer is an obvious yes or no, my answers to most would be No. When meeting with non-members, as a rule, I try not to introduce the fact I am in a spiritual school as few people know what to do with the information.
I was in the school about 2 years when I found out Robert was gay. I found out from a good friend. I don’t think it had much of an effect on me as by that time I had already verified he was a real teacher and the FoF a school.
As far as the other questions that require a more specific answer I would say – those scenarios don’t raise much concern for me as they are directly tied in to other understandings that make their meaning fairly clear to me. I will elaborate a little later.
Traveler: “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?”
I’m not around when Robert is having sex, so I can’t speak definitively. However, it’s relatively easy to know which few people are close to him at any given time. Those individuals seem pretty stable and well adjusted to me.
Traveler: “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?”
Basically this is what I believe; except I think the “explanation” as you call it, comes before they actually leave, not later. And being “discontented and not growing” is an effect, not a cause. The cause of discontent would be not wanting to make the effort necessary to “grow.’
Also, “manipulated” is a strong word. The FoF is designed to “open people’s eyes” which would encourage someone to not be manipulated, if anything – to be “true to themselves.”
Traveler said: “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 can’t say what mistakes Robert may or may not have made 38 or even 30 years ago as I was not around then. He has often said he made mistakes as a young teacher. I’m sure he has grown from them.
The whole point in mistakes for someone on a spiritual path is to learn from them and to grow. No one who has ever inhabited this planet has gotten off mistake free.
Basically, in my time in the FoF, I have not known Robert to force anyone to have sex with him. Pressure is a relative thing. If I ask someone who has other plans to wash dishes at the Galleria I am “pressuring” them in the sense that I’m forcing them to make a decision or choice. If I ask a friend to join me for lunch I am pressuring them to a degree; in certain situations people may put undue pressure on themselves or they may not.
I’ll say this much with as much certainty as a person can reasonably claim: For every man Robert has asked to have sex with him and who may have felt “put out” or “pressured” there is at least one other man who would have given anything to be asked by Robert but he did not even consider asking them. And some of those individuals left the FoF because they were not asked to have sex.
Traveler: “Can you imagine how being in a sexual relationship that is not quite voluntary and consensual, could exist simultaneously with stunted spirituality?”
This is an important point; a stunted spirituality, as my experience tells me, has little to do with difficult externals or unfavorable circumstances or pressure. In fact it’s often just the opposite; where adversity strengthens spirituality. A stunted spirituality has more to do with individual effort or lack of effort. If we make the correct spiritual efforts we will grow in spirit.
One other point of note: People can say no. The importance of this fact cannot be overstated. Like the old drug commercials “Just Say No.” Some people are angry at themselves today because they could not muster the courage to say no and they then transfer that self anger into blame of the asker.
There are many ways to say no to the kind of sex Robert asks for. Robert’s role in sex is well documented. He plays the female part with another male. The other male is required to penetrate Robert which necessitates an erect penis. Generally speaking an erect penis is achieved by being aroused sexually. Arousal usually indicates a desire or ability to engage in sex.
If I were a homosexual male being penetrated sexually by another male I would not have cause to believe the partner was being traumatized as the act of penetration would strongly suggest otherwise. I would be more inclined to believe the partner was being, at least to some degree, stimulated sexually.
I’m a heterosexual male with a normal sex drive. There have been a few instances in my life when a female who was attracted to me wanted sex and I was not equally attracted to her. In most of those cases I could not achieve an erection even though a part of me wanted to go through with it. (I should mention it happened much more that I was the one attracted and the female not so much and I never got the chance.)
I’ve also been in situations where there was some other apprehension (pressure) involved and even though I was attracted to someone and the opportunity was there I could not achieve an erection.
I would think that if a male really felt violated, repulsed or put out by the act he would not be able to achieve an erection and that would have settled that. That would have been a loud and clear NO!
This is something to seriously consider when people use the extreme language that they were “raped” by Robert or that the FoF is a “rape factory.”
Fellatio also falls under this same set of conditions.
What about orgasms? Are people manipulated or coerced into having them?
It is also of note to mention that no one has ever lost any normal privileges by saying no to Robert’s requests for sex. No one has been sent from the school, sent to a faraway center, humiliated, ostracized by other students, prevented from attending meetings or events, or have been restricted in any other way for saying no.
Traveler: “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.”
When you say “very little awareness among members” in the above sentence -keep in mind that the members you speak of are in all likelihood now ex members, as 85 or so of every 100 people to join have left. I don’t think people who have not left and for all intents and purposes will not ever leave have a problem in this area. Although I would not call it “the scientific way”, but prefer your other term, “objectively verifiable.”
Traveler said: “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.”
What you say in this section I am in agreement with until the words “it is a matter of faith” in regard to something like verifying Influence C. If one verifies Influence C the rest of it (there are 44 spirits working with the school) is really not that important to me. It is definitely possible to verify Influence C without the 44 part.
Verifying spiritual truths or principles is not a question of faith.
Faith is part of the process of verification, but not what verification is based on. Verification is based on truth; on knowing or recognizing truth when one encounters it. Verification starts with faith but it does not end with faith; it ends with knowing.
Humans are driven by faith; we could not get away from faith in our lives if we wanted to. If we meet someone, fall in love and plan to marry them the marriage is based on faith. We don’t know if it is going to succeed. We enter into it having faith it will succeed. If we get a new job it’s the same thing; we don’t know if it’s right for us but if it feels right we proceed on faith. It’s the same with joining a spiritual school or believing a teacher; faith is needed at first.
And the main ingredient of faith is an open mind. One has to assume something “may” work in order for it to work. I’m not talking about blind faith, but the kind of faith needed to verify something; an open and trusting mind. If someone says “I don’t really believe in Influence C, but I will keep an eye out for them just in case,” it’s an attitude that will never produce complete results or get someone past their present relationship to it because those people haven’t paid the “price of admission” to verify something.
The truth (spiritual truth) is reserved for those who are looking for it and willing to pay for it. Why should the truth come easily or at bargain basement prices? One can purchase falsehood for those prices, or get it for free, but truth is very expensive.
It’s the same for material truths; if I want to know if Toyota is a better car than Honda I have to pay a price to find out. I may pay in time, energy, money or all three but I pay. Or I could just stop someone on the street and ask their opinion and take that for truth.
Think about it – why would we be given the ability to verify small things; like Elena recently said she verified jogging is good for her, but not be able to verify the bigger spiritual ideas; the existence of Influence C, Influence C is working with me to help me awaken, or working through someone, or that someone is or is not conscious?
To me it’s not conceivable or possible that God, the gods, Influence C, Allah, would not equip us to verify the most important spiritual ideas regarding our own evolution. If that were the case then God would be a sociopath.
We can verify these things, only the process is completely personal and singular. I cannot prove any of my spiritual verifications to anyone else but I can most certainly prove them to myself. This doesn’t mean people don’t lie to or delude themselves about these verifications. In the meeting situation with Linda, mentioned by Ames, people’s lower selves would be under FD to raise their hands and some would succumb to the urge just to be included in the “correct” category, especially if no one could challenge their claim.
The last part of your post 42-316 was long and rather eloquently written dealing with the process of verification.
I don’t think I can do this section justice point for point so I will just say a little of my experiences with this process.
Verification of spiritual truths is the most difficult to explain because the essence of spirit is devoid of words. Spirit has no tongue, it has no brain. It is a state. But it is a state in which we can be shown many truths. How do spirits communicate with us, people with coarse earthly bodies? They do it through the most refined receptors we have, our higher mind, or centers. (a loaded word for many readers).
Work on oneself is first and foremost a process of subtraction. Higher Faculties are there all along but we have not for most of our existence bothered to use them. We don’t know how to use them. For some strange reason we have to be instructed how to use them.
We are more interested in earthly pursuits. When a person puts the spirit first he or she is given the opportunity to make good on that “declaration.” He or she is offered entry into the world of spirit, and is shown what the price to have it will be over time. The price is always the same; give up whatever stands in the way of spiritual pursuits. For me this means giving up what we are identified with on the earthly level, our mechanical habits, desires, fears, attitudes, repulsions, attractions.
Give up the path of least resistance, the door of ease, as that is the door of falsehood. And by “giving up” I mean give up our clinging; often we are not asked to give up the thing itself, but we must always be ready and willing to give it up.
We always pay for higher truths by giving up lower truths. By that I mean giving up lower truths is the currency we need to pay for higher truths. There is no other way. One can read or recite brilliant texts until hell freezes over without producing any real results.
We change by making sacrifices. Often by doing what the lower self does not want us to do. Obviously if one does not believe one has a lower self these words will be worthless, or worse; they will produce only anger and frustration.
Traveler said: “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 are right, the choices are limited. The “play is written” is a principle of the school. The “play is not written” is a principle many others live by. I happened to have verified that the play is written. If someone says they have verified the play is not written it does not alter my verification, my reality.
The nature of verification, as I said, is personal. It cannot be transferred from one person to another like frequent flyer miles. No one can implant verification into someone else. And it’s common for someone who has not verified a truth to be skeptical of someone who says they have verified the same truth.
Traveler: “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?”
In the bible it says: Seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given unto thee.
For me this implies we are given the ability to verify a spiritual truth. If we are not given this power we are all wasting our time. But for me it would be incomprehensible to conceive of not being given this ability.
The only thing left is “How do we verify a spiritual truth?”
My experience is we do it by working steadily with esoteric principles. (the ones of the FoF worked fine for me) That is why I take it as a school of spiritual development. This is all I can say to anyone who asks “How have you verified this or that?” I merely removed the things stopping me from verifying them, i.e. imagination, identification, judgment, blame. And by transforming friction or suffering, both real and imagined. This sets the stage, gets the house ready for verifying something. Then it comes when it comes, and not always when we think it should come.
This post is getting long but there is one more area to mention that gets at the core of many people’s misunderstanding of or disconnect with RB/FoF, his behavior, his methods.
Men are under different kinds of laws; some they are aware of some others they may be oblivious to. Being oblivious to a law does not remove one from its domain.
I have noticed three kinds of laws, three levels men are under. 1) The laws of countries, states, or municipalities. 2) Religious or moral based laws, and 3) Esoteric (or spiritual) laws.
Sometimes these laws overlap and compliment each other and other times they cancel each other out. The first kind is intended to protect the life, limb and property of men. They are very straight forward and concise; if you steal a man’s property you will be punished.
The second kind is religious in nature and doesn’t always overlap the first kind of law. If someone commits adultery he or she may be judged or chastised in a religious or moral arena but not by a government or state.
About 20 years ago a man named Gary Hart was in the fast lane to the White House and presidency of the U S until he was discovered to have gone boating with a couple of bikini clad young women. He was a happily married family man. He did not commit a civil crime but was judged and found guilty of a moral crime and he paid a very high price.
Morality is fickle; other presidents of the U S have done far worse than he did, morally speaking, but he had the misfortune of doing it in a post Watergate environment.
Then there are purely esoteric, or spiritual laws. These are the hardest to uncover, to grasp. Sometimes these laws overlap the other two, but other times they obliterate and contradict the other kinds.
One example of this is when a spiritual test or trial will necessitate that someone overrides a moral law for the sake of their own spiritual development, or the spiritual development of others. This was the case when Robert skipped his mother’s funeral at the last moment when he received a shock from Influence C. This is also behind Robert’s relationships with some members as I see it.
That’s why it’s so hard for some to accept the principle “the play is written” as it would seem to absolve Robert from any wrongdoing. It’s hard to judge the Deities; there would not seem to be any future in that endeavor. And if we cannot judge them to whom do we turn?
We turn inward. We transform what has been passed our way. And then we are free. We are not overly concerned with this body, this fleeting existence because we are working for a higher, eternal existence.
We abide with the courts of men in matters of civil laws, but we abide by the world of spirits in spiritual matters. How does one prove one is obeying a higher will to someone who has not yet verified that world?
Many ex-students judge Robert for breaking moral laws when he is, in those moments, obeying higher laws. As I understand things Robert’s ways are intricately tied in to Influence C’s plans.
His actions have confused many members who were not able to experience or see those higher plans. He has forced many people to let go of their moral identifications in order to grasp higher laws.
Some who could not let go found it necessary to leave.

64. Yesri Baba - August 20, 2008

Any update on the petition?

65. Reality Check - August 20, 2008

Daily Cardiac:

“The play is written.”

***

Many plays are written but few of them are ever produced and of those produced few ever appear on Broadway. The Fellowship’s and Burton’s play is a badly written melodrama put on by amateurs and staged somewhere out in the boondocks. It certainly will not be reenacted by traveling troupes of Shakespeareans for centuries to come. Humanity will want to forget this embarrassment of bedroom drama and the humdrum exploitation of unsophisticated rubes by another egomaniacal failed prophet as quickly as possible. Let’s hope for the final curtain soon.

66. My4bits - August 20, 2008

Rear View Mirror, post 57:

Surveillance of students by students has been done on several occasions that I know of.

Once, a hidden camera was set up to catch a thief. The thief was indeed caught on tape, but happened to be a friend of Robert’s. The camera was removed and the matter was swept “under the carpet.”

Intelligence-gathering, surveillance, intimidation, and if pressed, violence, are part of the historical profile of religious cults. It would be naive to think that the Fellowship is special, and somehow exempt from this profile.

67. Another Name - August 20, 2008

For Arthur,

Before words and chewing there was breathing for a looooooooooong time.
I loved to read the story on National Geography, I just have a great need for independency at this point and low budget healing. I also wanted to inform you what breathing has done for me so far and also that I am still using it weekly if not daily.

Just for sharing and your information.
At this point my own breathing guides me….finally after so many years of being trapped in a cult. Being trapped in uncertainty, of who I am. When I pay attention to my breathing and breath a little faster or do some specific exercises:

1. My sense sharpens. I can hear better, listen better, the world has more color.
2. I come in touch with a world that is described by Stanislof Grof regarding Holotropic breathing. It has never taken me out of context, as there seems to be a self regulating mechanism.
3. It has shown me parts of the worlds, reality which is also very painful and needed more grieving, mourning, attention and healing. The breathing was very helpful with this process.
It has brought me in contact with my inner part, however you want to call it and give it a name…teacher, inner silence, My Higher self, the Absolute, conscience……awareness, etc. You name it, it is hard for me to put it in one word. It is always accessible and I do not need anything else, although it is wonderful sometimes to have a “sitter” somebody to encourage me and support me through a phase. Have feedback or a listening ear and heart.
It has shown a lot of light on my up bringing, more then 2 years of group therapy.
It has shown light on my birthing and how I came into this world.
It has giving me flashes of other worlds…..not able to put this clearly in worlds (yet).
Yes I saw inner demons….I have seen them all my life coming in certain phases of my life and I see them now as inner demons. They seem to manifest when it is dark, when I am sick and in my breathing session. With my breathing sessions they seem to dissolve and release easier. And when they go…pff, what a relief, what a freedom.
I still breath and will continue at this phase in my life and I love the fact that I do not need to go somewhere or any authority. Just somebody who I trust. Mmmmmm, Love it.

68. fofblogmoderator - August 20, 2008

#55, 56, & 61 are newly moderated

69. veronicapoe - August 20, 2008

Regarding “Daily Cardiac”:

If we believe that the intellect’s function is to provide justifications for a predetermined result–i.e., “not losing the school”–then we cannot think critically or freely. The result of such an attitude towards the intellect is that our thinking is always controlled by the result we must reach, a result which we know before we have begun to think. Freedom of mind is incompatible with this approach to thinking.

70. veronicapoe - August 20, 2008

Regarding the Fellowship and lawsuits:

The lawsuits the Fellowship has brought or defended in Yuba County are a matter of public record. Any person can go to the Yuba County Courthouse and review there the files of active lawsuits brought by or against the Fellowship. Files from terminated lawsuits go to storage after a certain amount of time but any person can request that such files be retrieved from storage. Lawsuits that the Fellowship has brought in the federal courts in California are also a matter of public record and can be researched by visiting the federal courthouse and asking the clerk for assistance.

71. Ellen - August 20, 2008

#56, Advertisement

You made my day, sign me up!
I’m in!!!
Should I post my credit card details to this blog?

72. lauralupa - August 20, 2008

thanks Advertisement, that was fun!

Also, thank you Another Name for sharing your experiences with breathing. Isn’t it amazing and empowering to see how much one can be helped by making such a small and simple and very intimate effort?

unoanimo 50,
thanks for your insight and information. I was informed from Erowid and other sources that “ayahuasca can precipitate short or long term changes in personality or catalyze psychotic or neurotic episodes”, so it felt right to include a few words of warning.
I agree that one may likely not be aware of one’s dark shadows lurking until they are thrown into the light by the purge…

73. Ellen - August 20, 2008

Message to Veronicapoe,

You mentioned awhile back about “the Mouravieff 3-volume Gnosis: Commentaries on the Esoteric Tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy (or whatever it’s called). It was comprehensive, it was unusually complete, and it presented itself authoritatively as a complete exposition of the (Fourth Way) ideology”. You spoke about the book as detailing levels of the spirit world including the devil, etc…

Just wondering if you read the National Geographic article posted above about arahuasca/Shamanism? I’m curious about your comments (if you can now remember what Mouravieff may have said?) only because the Shamanistic approach seems to imply some level of “objective” existence to heaven and hell and various god and goddesses, a bit like how I understood you to say Mouravieff did? Or am I way off base?

My own current personal spiritual interest does not lie in this direction, nevertheless, I am quite open to acknowledging other worlds and levels beyond the physical.

Thanks…

74. lauralupa - August 20, 2008

arthur 38

“Maybe in two or three sessions you can reach “Cosmic Consciousness/Conscience” instead of the never-ending life-cycles of womanhood imposed by the Fellowship of Friends and their gaggle of witches led by Robert Earl Burton, Goddess of Dark passages.

Or, rather you wont have to wait as woman for eternity to sit equal to Burton and Haven.”

Thanks, arthur!
Actually, I have never been happier in my woman’s body, even though it’s shape is slowly succombing to the symptoms of age (those pesky wrinkles and sagging skin!)
No penis envy whatsoever.
Nice, since I spent ten years of my young adult life in a sexually deviant, authoritarian and patriarchal cult where being a woman was an obvious and unsurmountable disadvantage.
I am very grateful to the many forces that brought me to this new appreciation of being a female being, and there were many: friends, books, nature, breathwork and bodywork, human and plant teachers, my daughters, my man…
it’s great to finally feel like a natural woman.

much love to you and all

75. Across the River - August 20, 2008

31 arthur

There have been a couple times in my past when I had no doubt that dark demons were in play and the “Force” that directed me was positive. I know it’s way up there on the woowoo scale, for sure! but that’s what it was. In one case it was a battle against the energy of a place, using my will that the good would prevail and recover the space, and in the second case there was real danger with another person and I was like a rolypoly bug, letting the energy roll over me but not enter. What especially resonated with me about that article was how she was helped to retrieve her spirit that had escaped to protect itself. I followed the link to Sandra Ingerman’s book “Soul Retrieval” and will followup with more research. It’s a big understanding in a very mysterious realm and I thank you for posting that 🙂

Bravo to you for the courage, Lauralupa! Another Name, I thought of you and the nature of your healing gift.

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

60 RVM

ditto to 40

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

50 unoamino

If it’s true then, that Eliza and Carlos have left the Fellowship, my heart is bursting with tenderness for them both, for their family. My respect, love and gentle regard to them all for a new beginning.

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

64 Yesri Baba

Yesri, there’s news. Most all charges were documented by letters received. There are a few final pieces to put in place upon the attorney’s recommendations, but you can see the (almost) final copy at the wiki page. Jack will still be the one posting it and he’ll probably be checking in here soon.

There are two areas where some help would be welcomed: 1) clarifying the tax-exempt status as State, Federal or both, and 2) finding out if there are more than two lawsuits ever filed against FOF/RB. Unoanimo says a website called lexis-nexis which is accessible to attorneys only, will answer that question.

Anyone?

76. Across the River - August 20, 2008

70 Veronicapoe

Thanks. For the purpose of the petition, it’s the lawsuits against the Fellowship that are of interest right now. Would all of those be through Yuba county?

77. veramente - August 20, 2008

20 My4bits

Out in the wide, wide world I am socially dysfunctional. I attribute this fact to my many years in the FoF, which caused certain “muscles” and attitudes essential for fluid social adaptability to atrophy. And yes, I was no doubt socially dysfunctional long before I left the Fellowship. But now, it’s painfully obvious, and this disability threatens my very survival.

One reason for the “chain of 30 links” ritual is to help me “magically” open myself up to a new social paradigm — free from the FoF, free from those who still live under the shadow of the FoF, and open to all. Whether I will be able to accomplish this is, at this point, seriously in question.
——————————
I have been out for 13 years and have made new friends. I also keep in touch with former fof’s and have one contact with a current member.
Overall my social and work life has expanded in a beautiful way. Looking back to my experience as a follower I see I have escaped a prison.
One persistent obstacle I had to check within myself initially was this habit of looking at people as “objects” something I learned so well from being in the “school”, I realize now how ignorant and lacking of humanity is the system taught by RB and supporters.
The part of you that has gotten you out is your alive self, your heart, keep following it.

78. veramente - August 20, 2008

Arthur,
how are you? I have been thinking you must be getting better and better.

79. arthur - August 20, 2008

Another Name (67),

Thanks for sharing. I dont think I can do “breathworks” because I have COPD. Kiddingly, I have to work to breathe. Especially, without inhalers and other lung medications. And, sometimes those have limitations in this humid environment where I live.

80. veronicapoe - August 20, 2008

Ellen/Mouravieff:

Good thought, but no. Apples and Oranges. Or, rather, Apples and Fetishes.

BTW, my discussion with you re Mouravieff was not a public one. I think this was an innocent mistake, but please be kind enough to respect the difference between private communication and public dialogue. Thanks.

81. arthur - August 20, 2008

Across the River (75),

I can relate completely. That’s why the “news” about demons was discouraging to me.

In 1981/1982 I suspected something of that nature “happened” to me. Fortunately, I too have survived.

82. arthur - August 20, 2008

veramente (78),

I’m doing better, I’m still a little wobbly in the hips. Laying in bed for almost two months takes a toll.

I bought a used bicycle at the Salvation Army store yesterday. It’s lighter than mine. So, maybe I can work out the kinks.

We have to keep looking and moving.

I’m still looking forward for you gaining five acres of FOF prime property.

83. Rear View Mirror - August 20, 2008

58. veronicapoe wrote:
“Ingram was definitely poking around Oregon House in the mid 1990s. @ that time I was informed that he had sought out St_____ M-rriw____r.”
———-
I wrote: “This is one of the weirdest threads in the entire blog. If there’s any truth that the FOF has been in contact with this man, it makes me wonder what RB is capable of. Not a good sign, although not surprising either.I do recall about the 1990s that there were rumors of surveillance techniques being used on current followers. Rumors, or truth, I don’t know.”
———-
66. My4bits: “Surveillance of students by students has been done on several occasions that I know of. Once, a hidden camera was set up to catch a thief. The thief was indeed caught on tape, but happened to be a friend of Robert’s. The camera was removed and the matter was swept “under the carpet.” Intelligence-gathering, surveillance, intimidation, and if pressed, violence, are part of the historical profile of religious cults. It would be naive to think that the Fellowship is special, and somehow exempt from this profile.”
———

Yes. And being naive is one of the profiles of the followers in religious cults — myself included.

What’s also interesting to me: When I suspected the above I didn’t ask questions. I didn’t even bring up the topic except with one or two close friends. But there was also that lingering sense that maybe I’m just being “paranoid” and so forth — which is yet another example of how effective the FOF can be at stifling your gut feelings, your intuition.

84. Ames Gilbert - August 20, 2008

Veronicapoe (#45-58 or thereabouts) and Rear View Mirror (#45-59 or thereabouts),
From my post #8-134:
“Do not make the mistake of thinking Abraham Goldman is the mild, gentle man he projects himself as to so many. When it comes to protecting the Fellowship, he is to Burton as Karl Rove is to Bush—utterly and completely ruthless, and completely without conscience. For him, ANY means justifies the ends. I personally know how Goldman works. For example, he sent an employee of the Church of Scientology, an ‘investigator’ called Ingram, to threaten me and my family with harm if I did not help the FOF by withdrawing my help for Troy Buzbee. The sleazy Ingram at that time was wanted in two states for his abusive investigations. Ingram also went to Troy Buzbee’s mother (who knew nothing of the case) and revealed what was going on—not to obtain information (she had none), but to use her horror and dismay as a weapon against Troy. That is the kind of person Abraham Goldman is, behind the soft smile and the ‘harmless’ act.”

As he was trying to persuade me to desist from helping Troy B., Ingram used phrases such as, “You don’t want anything bad to happen to your wife and child”!

I was told by an employee of Goldman’s at the time (1994) that he had recently hired a private investigator from Marysville to train three of his employees on how to carry out surveillance, and that they purchased equipment such as cameras and recorders. I was told in enough detail (including the names of the investigator and the employees) that I believe the account. I strongly suspect (but don’t know) that they did indeed engage in surveillance, including on me.

IMO, it is important to realize that these activities reveal not only the being of Goldman, but the being of Burton, his Teacher and Maximum Leader. In 1994, a casual visitor to Goldman’s office could overhear Goldman plotting with Burton on the phone on how to proceed with the Buzbee case. Such a visitor could only infer that this was a conversation between two low criminals.

Another example… I mentioned the letter sent to Sharole Mannering (a.k.a. Sheila Cousins) a few posts ago. This is a demonstration of the true level of being of Beloved Teacher. The letter was on Fellowship of Friends letterhead.
______________________________________
March 27, 1980

Sharole Mannering
Philadelphia Centre

Dear Sharole,
As you requested, herein are the angles the Teacher offered to you.
“Tell Sharole hello for me. And tell her to remember she is working with Influence C and that she needs to be a good businesswoman with them. Tell her that she has held on this long and that there is no reason she cannot hold on eternally: that is, until she becomes an angel. Remind her that this is C Influence speaking directly with her through me. Remind her that this is their way of warning her and that she has to become current with her donations now or she will have to leave the Fellowship. Tell her that the only other place to go is hell.”

Those are his words, Sharole. Good luck to you.

Sincerely,
S/James
______________________________________

Note: Sheila was originally from the Tahoe Center, moved east, and then back. She died of cancer in the hospital in Reno.

85. lauralupa - August 20, 2008

Ames 84
“Tell her that the only other place to go is hell.”

I find conscienceless, deranged human beings like RB way scarier and creepier than demonic entities. Really.
They lie and deceive and manipulate and coherce and corrupt and seduce and rape and steal and what do they get in return?
A flock of adoring followers willing to follow, justify and defend them to the bitter end.
What kind of “exorcism” can be performed to counteract these people’s deviously destructive powers?
I hope that love and light will prevail in the end, but so much damage has already occurred, and still does!
It still blows my mind to realize I too have been part of this scene.

86. My4bits - August 20, 2008

veramente, post 77

“One persistent obstacle I had to check within myself initially was this habit of looking at people as “objects” …”

I think this is what I mean when I state that I am “socially dysfunctional.” It’s not that I don’t possess social skills, or that I don’t want to get out there and meet people. There is an invisible barrier between myself and others, characterized by an instantaneous, hard-wired, non-verbal judgment that the other is inferior. And of course, folks do pick up on this snootiness.

Obviously, this is the result of FoF programming over many years, which views all non-students as lowly “1’s, 2’s or 3’s.” Tragic.

87. My4bits - August 20, 2008

Addendum to post 86.

I recall being invited to tour around with Robert’s travel group during a day in Munich. I remarked to him how impressed I was with the culture and lifestyle of this prosperous German city. He replied, “Look around you, at the people on this street. They are all food for the moon: French food, Italian food, German food, but food nonetheless.”

88. James Mclemore - August 20, 2008

85. lauralupa
“I find conscienceless, deranged human beings like RB way scarier and creepier than demonic entities. Really.”

“It still blows my mind to realize I too have been part of this scene”
****
Yes! and Yes!

And it also blows my mind to think that there may be people reading this blog who are still in the fellowship of friends and are still supporting Robert Burton with their money.

89. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 20, 2008

It might be interesting, if people are willing, to spend a little more time discussing life after the FOF.

With present members in mind I think it’s important to remind them that we as a group have benefited from leaving and are not just people with nothing better to do than to post here on the blog.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be revealing although many have already revealed themselves. For me personal stories can be powerful and bring new energy.

90. Rear View Mirror - August 20, 2008

89. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup

Since leaving, I’ve had the pleasure of doing a lot more of the typical FOF social activities than I ever did in the FOF. In other words: concerts with all types of music, numerous dinners with friends, wine tasting, traveling to places like Italy and Egypt. I’ve attended numerous lectures on spiritual ideas, politics, current events, and personal health and well-being. I’ve studied new ideas that have helped me to better understand some of the more interesting ideas that I learned in the FOF. I continue to make “connections” and continue to learn about myself and human nature. I’ve read more books after leaving the FOF than I ever read as a member. I’ve made several new friends. I’m less depressed. I’m more hopeful about the future. I see people with a renewed feeling of wonder and even love.

91. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 20, 2008

#90 Rear View Mirror: Wow!

92. Rear View Mirror - August 20, 2008

91. WULSWU,
Outstanding question (89 or thereabouts). IMO, it really gets to the heart of things.

93. Rear View Mirror - August 20, 2008

Ames (84 or thereabouts),

Chilling is the best word that comes to mind. We forgetm — maybe because it’s too unpleasant and disturbing to remember. But it will be harder to forget if we continue to remind ourselves.

So, in my opinion it wouldn’t hurt if people occasionally repost the above info as often as possible. Getting programmed requires persistence and repetition. And guess what? Deprogramming sometimes needs the same.

94. Reality Check - August 20, 2008

I never connected the Absolute with God in the religious sense. God in religion can do many things for you, but the Absolute can do nothing for you. –Ouspensky

***

General advice: if you think anything worthwhile in the world is going to wait while you play passive games under your own rules and at your own pace then that level of self-importance is going to keep you lost in a self-absorbed non-reality where ordinary events seem like demanding odysseys. The universe is indifferent to each of our particular plights and restrictions. Reality has no concern for the self-imposed boundaries of narcissists and simply continues on with its evolution without those able to keep up with the established rate of progression. The universe of events is always impatient from the point of view of our subjective need to adjust life into an artificial comfort zone.

***

That’s what psychological sleep is: playing involuntary mind games that are based on rules established by lies that you are not even aware of.

***

The hallucinations that issue from a distorted mind are only mistaken for higher consciousness by those that have never actually experienced higher consciousness. One of the many typical distortions that plague the esoteric community arises out of the prevalent condition of lunatic and it begins with believing in esoteric lore rather than verifying specific ideas. First the exotic idea is accepted as a fact based on nothing more than being introduced to it and then the believer insists that he already has the extrasensory capacity that he has so far only heard about. The fringes of esoteric study are littered with thousands of such mentally defective types, those that mistake the bizarre confusion of their deformed and grandiose perceptions for higher consciousness.

***

To their horror — rather than making vanity feel welcome and secure in those that come seeking a permanent sense of legitimacy — genuine esoteric work assaults vanity and struggles to destroy it.

***

Once the mystery is removed through the process of coming into close contact with those once unfamiliar then virtually no one is free from being rightfully judged more or less contemptibly fallible.

***

There is included a far more complete state of comprehension in a second of focused silence than in all the meager computations of constantly rational discourse.

95. brucelevy - August 20, 2008

87. My4bits

Reminds me of two other incidents.

I was driving RB and we had to make a stop. He told me to pull into the handicap space. When I said we couldn’t he said “We’re all handicapped goodness” with his hands clasped and the humble nod.

A bunch of us and RB were just about back to the ranch, driving too fast on Texas Hill Rd., when some chickens ran out to cross. RB said don’t slow down. When we ran over one RB giggled and said “just another way to eat chicken”.

96. James Mclemore - August 20, 2008

94. Reality Check
“The universe is indifferent to each of our particular plights and restrictions.”

Are you sure?
I think it depends on how you define ‘universe’.

I mean, perhaps I am naive, and I guess I am assuming that I am part of the universe.
I am not always indifferent to the plight of others, and in fact when I see that I am feeling indifferent, I sense I am stuck in a small separated part of myself. If I am not indifferent, does it not seem like this would indicate that at least some part of the universe is not indifferent?

97. Kid Shelleen - August 20, 2008

“I never connected the Absolute with God in the religious sense. God in religion can do many things for you, but the Absolute can do nothing for you.” –Ouspensky

If I’m not mistaken, the Absolut did many things for Drunken Pete…

98. Reality Check - August 20, 2008

“I mean, perhaps I am naive, and I guess I am assuming that I am part of the universe.”

This part of you, the part you typically mistake for yourself, the part that usually has a half-thought-out reply, is not part of the real universe. It is only part of the fantasy universe that exists somewhere in the fumes of your imagination.

***

“If I’m not mistaken, the Absolute did many things for Drunken Pete…”

No doubt you are in a position to both understand what the Absolute does and judge Ouspensky, having already made your own significant mark on the course of history.

99. Kid Shelleen - August 20, 2008

Read Carefully, Oh Awakened One:

Absolut not Absolute…

It’s just no fun when you have to ‘splain the jokes.

100. Reality Check - August 20, 2008

“Absolut not Absolute…”

Many of us don’t drink hard stuff much and so these brand names don’t elicit the necessary associations. Even so, the joke is pretty good even if a bit petty considering any understanding you might have derived from reading the man’s thoughts. Oh well, better to be clever than wise. There’s more popularity involved.

101. nigel harris price - August 20, 2008

Reality Chack

You seem to always talk in ‘abstracts’. As I have requested before, please give us examples of the states you have experienced, otherwise folks will continue to assume you are forever ‘pouring from the empty into the void’…..Nigel.

102. can't we all get along? - August 20, 2008

Hey Reality check- #100

Did you just say; “Many of us don’t drink hard stuff much”? C’mon dude. How and why would speak for the “many of us”. ALL of my ex-fof friends love drinkin the hard stuff.

103. brucelevy - August 20, 2008

101. nigel harris price

102. can’t we all get along?

Rotsa ruck guys.

104. Rear View Mirror - August 20, 2008

RC, do you have a website on these topics? Have you posted a link occasionally to try to draw some readers that way?

It’s interesting because you do tend to pull the conversation away from uncomfortable topics related to Burton, intentionally or otherwise. I get the sense that you don’t support the man at the same time. But do you have a story about Burton you’d like to share with us? Do you have any ideas about cults in general, and how one might recognize them and avoid them? Do you have any suggestions about recognizing a cult guru?

If you’ve already mentioned these things and I missed it, my apologies.

I have a lot of respect for your passion about the topic that you continue to promote here — what I would describe as “your understanding of the Fourth Way” — but I’m much more interested HERE about other topics… Why did we fall for a cult guru? What can help us escape from the cult? How can we recognize the habitual thought patterns that we learned within it and still carry with us even years later? How can we recover and heal and learn to live a healthier life — in mind, body, and spirit? And how can we avoid jumping out of the cult frying pan and into the cult fire?

What I hear in most of your message is that, “OK, fine, the FOF is not a real school. But folks, we need to find one anyway. Don’t believe you can just live your life comfortably in sleep and feel like you can get away with it just because you’ve found some comfortable ‘feel-good’ ideas.”

I respect that viewpoint to some degree, even if I don’t agree with it. But to me, the first order of business is helping each other open our eyes to what Burton is doing and what the FOF is all about. That, to me, is the most important type of “awakening” that each of us can pursue right now — and that awakening involves the escape from a nearly four-decade long delusion. And illusion.

105. James Mclemore - August 20, 2008

Reality Check

Well, I am not sure about any of the rest of it and I doubt you know what you are talking about, but I do agree that sometimes my replies are only half-thought-out. I thank you for that.

*****
Brucelevy

Yeah, I know, I know. It is just silly to respond at all.

106. Rear View Mirror - August 20, 2008

105. James Mc. and Bruce,
Whether it’s DC or RC, or whoever, what I find intereresting is how easily we get sidetracked into other topics that have nothing to do with Burton and the FOF.

It’s dilution.

The pointless argument that ensues from responding is one thing; but the other thing is that we forget the real issue of the blog, which is the Church of Burton and our own loyal devotion to it for nearly four decades.

Whatever we do, have fun and continue pointing people back to posts that really get (imo) to the heart of the matter, such as post 84 above by Ames. And many others.

107. whalerider - August 20, 2008

Beware of people who want to tell you about their religion, but aren’t willing to listen to yours.

108. Reality Check - August 20, 2008

“Whether it’s DC or RC, or whoever, what I find intereresting is how easily we get sidetracked into other topics that have nothing to do with Burton and the FOF.”

First you insist what the topic should be here, even though the topic has been all over the map (including how effortless it is to merge into cosmic consciousness), and then you complain about others getting sidetracked rather than going forward and offering your own understanding of the topic that you insist must be the main event. You turn to others for insight while unable to offer any substantial insight yourself. You are satisfied with the role of cheerleader. This is how you ended up in a cult, through this mindset: “Someone please think for me because I do not have the intelligence to think for myself.” That’s what happened to you in particular. Will you ever find the capacity to become active? Not at this rate.

***

It’s clear that the knaves are all of one connective-reactive mind because if you make the mistake of addressing even one of them then they all respond with the uniform semblance of defensive antagonism.

***

109. brucelevy - August 20, 2008

108. Reality Check

And this is the shit that the more “magnanimous” and clueless here insist is necessary to a balanced blog. You deserve it for putting up with it. Sleep well.

110. veramente - August 21, 2008

veramente (78),

I’m doing better, I’m still a little wobbly in the hips. Laying in bed for almost two months takes a toll.

I bought a used bicycle at the Salvation Army store yesterday. It’s lighter than mine. So, maybe I can work out the kinks.

We have to keep looking and moving.

I’m still looking forward for you gaining five acres of FOF prime property.

———————–
Hello Arthur, glad to hear you are on the mend.
If I were you I would do also some breathing exercises perhaps with a cd, I heard MD Andrew Weil has some good ones out there.
Or just laying down with hands on belly and closed eyes, follow the movement of the abdomen expanding and contracting. This is my way to napping usually and/or just to have a new start during any time of the day after a refreshing break.
I hope I am not yet another one giving you advise, sometimes receiving too much of it can be irritating.

btw, If I could have a piece of prime property I would probably choose a chunk on the right side of slope 19 facing Harris ranch? and looking towards the sierras.
I am afraid that most of the land is not even fof property anymore. Also heard some rumors someone with AG initials owns quite a bit of it.
But cannot verify any of this.

Be well my friend!

111. another name - August 21, 2008

Dear All

About people supporting Robert Burton?

fewer and fewer. One of the students who was asked to take an indefinite leave of absence was welcomed back. He refused to go back to the fellowship.

Another person who is on the fence was offered to pay $50.00 and another one $150.00.

Some leave…some stay…more seems to leave. It is all a matter of time….

112. Rear View Mirror - August 21, 2008

108. Actually, what I find relevant in this topic to the FOF is the need for displaying one’s supposed “efforts” — as though we’re competing on the high bar at the Olympics, and waiting for the results from the judges.

But to me, effort — however you might define it — is invisible to others. And if others pretend otherwise, that’s all it is — pretense.

It’s a drag to the ego, because there are no gold medals from invisible efforts, no applause, no international television audience, and no endorsement contracts.

This is one area where the FOF goes seriously in the wrong direction, because the first step to knowing and understanding what an “effort” is, is to see that it’s invisible. That it’s our own. That it grows from our own understanding, and that it’s not a performance. The idea of “effortlessness”, as you call it, is a lot closer to what an effort actually is, in my opinion — something more akin to openness, acceptance, and receptivity. This idea that “effort” means struggle and pain and obedience and giving up our own thoughts, and being broken down by the harsh views and abuse of others — that’s what the FOF teaches. And the result of that teaching is a lot of dysfunction, unnecessary suffering, wasted time, and more abuse.

113. My4bits - August 21, 2008

If you’re up for some academic-style reading, I would like to offer an excerpt from an article I recently received from a blog-friend.

The author is Philip Cushman. The article is entitled, “The Self Besieged: Recruitment-Indoctrination Processes in Restrictive Groups.” It was published in 1986. Cushman, in his “Outline of the Working Model,” states the following:

“A guiding assumption is that restrictive groups attract certain persons (i.e., middle-class, college educated Caucasians born between the years 1945-1965) who suffer from a chronic narcissistic wound and/or have become narcissistically enfeebled through a current situation occurrence. Because of their unique needs and vulnerabilities, these persons are attracted by the charismatic leaders, their friendly recruiters, and their spiritual ideology. In this way recruits become accessible to the group’s manipulative recruitment techniques. These techniques (i.e., thought-reform, discrediting the person’s cultural frame of reference, self-sealing doctrines, charismatic leadership, the calculated use of peer pressure, and an intensification of self-image-management concerns) attack the recruit’s sense of self.

The techniques manipulate and coerce the recruits into performing behaviours that conflict with their self-concept. This conflict constitutes the self-image-management identity impasse. It causes a drop in the recruits’ self-esteem unless they can resolve the conflict so that they no longer feel as though they are acting stupidly or unethically. They accomplish the proper alignment by (a) unconsciously giving voice to the regressive delusions and dependency needs caused by narcissistic self-fragmentation and (b) unconsciously manufacturing perceptual distortions of memory and sensation. The products of self-fragmentation and the perceptual distortions are used to alter the self-concept, thereby bringing it and the group-induced behaviours into alignment with each other. The conversion euphoria that follows the resolution of the impasse unites the recruit and the group in a powerful bond. Since the bond is manufactured, however, it must continually be renewed by renewing the attack. In order for the euphoria and commitment to be maintained, continuing contact with the group through ongoing indoctrination and proselytizing is mandatory.”

Well, that’s a wordy mouthful! But can you dig it?

114. nigel harris price - August 21, 2008

108 Reality Check

For God’s sake, read what you write! i.e. Engage brain before tapping keys!…..Nigel.

115. Yesri Baba - August 21, 2008

100

“Oh well, better to be clever than wise.”

How would you know? You do not seem to have the experience of either.
Now if you would have said: “It is better to be pedantic than arrogant” I would listen. You, in particular, are an expert in these areas.

116. Ellen - August 21, 2008

#20, My4Bits (we know each other, don’t we?),

I left the Fellowship 10 months ago. I live in a foreign land that speaks a foreign language, which over time, I have learned to some level of proficeincy. Outside of my husband, I have a few friends that I see once a week or so, which is about how it was during my time here within the Fellowship. So, it is and has been, by choice, a quiet, meditative life.

Surprisingly enough to me, it was immediately less lonely upon my exit from the Fellowship than it ever was within it. I attribute that to the level of identification I felt with its “collective ego”. “School” was a big idea to me and my little ego felt quite expanded within the collective presence of other students. The flip side of being around other members was the “Eleanor Rigby” feelings that crept in when they were not around.

Now when I remember to recognize it, my sense of presence/awareness includes everyone and everything. When I am in the grocery store, it is no longer an experience of doing battle with imagination in head, but rather a recognition, a silent embracing of all the beings and impressions around me and callling them my own, my self. Sometimes, unaccoountably, I feel myself filled with love. Even for beings who are unattractive, fat, smelly, bald, simpering, whimpering or vain. Strange, eh?

Over time, various new contacts arise, better, freeer, more open than those that I had before. And I find myself careful to have contact with anyone just because we had this common experience of the Fellowship of Friends. An “ex-member” is just another identity no different than a “member”, if there is no deeper ground.

As far as my old and deep friendships with current members. I know far better than they do, that I am a life line to them. It is not important that they recognize it. But it is my hope and intention to bring light where and when I can. If they are open to seeing me, it bodes well for them. If not, then they may need to remain stuck for an even longer period. In the end, shunning hurts the shunner far more than the shunned.

Sending you warm and loving greetings from across the pond!

117. lauralupa - August 21, 2008

RVM 90, Ellen 116
Thank you for sharing. Uplifting!

118. Draco - August 21, 2008

Ellen 116,
“Sometimes, unaccoountably, I feel myself filled with love. Even for beings who are unattractive, fat, smelly, bald, simpering, whimpering or vain. Strange, eh?”

Nondualism must be an extraordinary teaching if you find that you can occasionally love people who are bald or fat or who whimper, Ellen.

119. arthur - August 21, 2008

Veramente (110),

I get very little personal advise about breathing.

I do get a daily e-mail from DrWeil. He has some interesting things to say about prevention and other medical advise.

When I first joined the Fellowship of Friends led by the Director of Operations Robert Earl Burton, I was told all the Property belonged to the students of the Fellowship of Friends. Isn’t that funny?

120. Ames Gilbert - August 21, 2008

So Girard is about to lead a ‘symposium’ on “Letting Go”, co-starring Dorian.
Subjects to be covered:
“Letting go… of conscience—Robert says these ‘I’s are useless, just say no.”

“Letting go… of personal responsibility—the importance of the connection between making teaching payments and assured salvation.”

“Letting go… of any sense of self-worth—on being obedient like a dog; the subtle differences between various purebreds.”

“Letting go… of any possibilities—a special opportunity for women to concentrate on their essential worthlessness (though they’re good for making men feel worthwhile).”

“Letting go… of attachment to your family—the stupids just sleep-walked through your upbringing, give them the finger as they go to the moon.”

“Letting go… of your sexuality—females are here to serve men, men are here to feed Robert their sperm; any objections are futile.”

“Letting go… of your money—you can’t take it with you, so let Robert wear himself out spending it for you.”
_______________________________________________________________

Girard and Dorian welcome other topics related to “Letting Go”. Simply post them here where they can be safely ignored.

121. Mick Danger - August 21, 2008

The Fellowship of Friends Inc. is listed as the owner of 9 parcels of land:
Tax Parcel 048-120-009; 159 Acres; Value $519,500
Tax Parcel 048-170-040; 224 Acres; Value $242,000
Tax Parcel 048-220-022; 60 Acres; Value $1,300,226
Tax Parcel 048-260-008; 3.1 Acres; Value $3,061,600
Tax Parcel 048-260-048; 76.5 Acres; Value $707,100
Tax Parcel 048-260-049; 3.3 Acres; Value $37,079
Tax Parcel 048-270-023; 473 Acres; Value $3,577,700
Tax Parcel 048-270-024; 5 Acres; Value $1,984
Tax Parcel 048-220-094; 256 Acres; Value $6,286,668

AG: Tax Parcel 048-260-053; 17 Acres; Value $420,642

RE: Petition/Legal Issues
You mean you hired a lawyer that doen’t have access to Lexis-Nexis?

122. Mick Danger - August 21, 2008

Test Pops icle

123. Mick Danger - August 21, 2008

FOF owns 9 Parcels totaling 1,259 Acres
Tax Value: $15,733,885

124. Mick Danger - August 21, 2008

AG 1 Parcel; 16.93 Acres; Tax Value: $420,642

125. Rear View Mirror - August 21, 2008

and…

126. Rear View Mirror - August 21, 2008

Anyway, interesting stats. Just wondering what your analysis might be.

127. Kid Shelleen - August 21, 2008

“This idea that “effort” means struggle and pain and obedience and giving up our own thoughts, and being broken down by the harsh views and abuse of others — that’s what the FOF teaches. And the result of that teaching is a lot of dysfunction, unnecessary suffering, wasted time, and more abuse.” … RVM

Actually, this is what the fourth way teaches and, in many cases, the results it yields. Who knows what the FoF teaches these days. Oh wait, it teaches blind devotion to and worship of Robert Burton – Man-God ver. 8.5.

128. sharon - August 21, 2008

RVM – I thought Mick’s stats were in response to the rumor that AG owns more of the FoF property than publically acknowledged.

129. sharon - August 21, 2008

sorry – publicly, not “publically”… even spelling-and-grammar freaks make stupid mistakes.

130. brucelevy - August 21, 2008

125. Rear View Mirror

Trust me on this, when it comes to “land” and value, Mick’s pretty much got it sewn up, and he/she has access to the information on a realtime basis.

131. Rear View Mirror - August 21, 2008

Sharon, Bruce, Mick,

Ah. About money…

Money is not exactly a topic of discussion within the FOF, is it. Which is telling. Money is talked about, but mainly in terms of finding ways to funnel more money “toward the school” — translated, toward Burton’s fun and games. If anyone expresses a concern over money, it’s dismissed as a bad attitude and “lack of valuation.” (although I sense a growing discontent within the FOF about this.).

In a better world, there would be a team of reporters “following the money” — e.g., where it comes from, where it’s going, who has control over it, and how it’s being used. Burton & Goldman are definitely working hard to keep this info from getting out. And you know what, they’ve succeeded. So far.

I don’t have details similar to what Mick has at his disposal, but I do predict “money” will be one of the most embarrassing and shocking topics for Burton if and when the full story ever gets out.

132. fofblogmoderator - August 21, 2008

#121 is newly moderated

133. You-me-us-they - August 21, 2008

120

“give them the finger as they go to the moon.”

Woooooooo! You made me visualise this one so sharply !
Great impact!

Thanks Ames.

134. nigel harris price - August 21, 2008

120 Ames Gilbert

Most of us know that GH is a ‘rectal orifice of great repute…..Nigel.

135. Rear View Mirror - August 21, 2008

Kid Shelleen around 126: “Actually, this is what the fourth way teaches and, in many cases, the results it yields. Who knows what the FoF teaches these days. Oh wait, it teaches blind devotion to and worship of Robert Burton – Man-God ver. 8.5.”

I remember someone in the FOF giving a “lecture” on Fourth Way ideas a long time ago, but from a pseudo-scientific or pseudo-mathematical perspective. They showed lots of diagrams and numbers, and the obvious intent of the lecture was to connect the Fourth Way and the FOF to science and math — and therefore presumably to show the legitimacy of the ideas. I recall a few people saying they were impressed with the presentation. But honestly, I don’t recall anything in the FOF more pretentious than that lecture.

Were the FOF truly connected to science, it would be the end of the cult.

First of all, science involves actual thinking. And what thinking involves is an acknowledgment of how little we know about the universe. While the scientific “community” is not beyond reproach (an understatement), science in its purist form doesn’t put up with the utter bs that you learn in the FOF. Fear, self-doubt, superstition, and at the core of it, a certain type of hatred and disdain for people outside the group. I sincerely hope current followers are extricating themselves from such ignorance. I’m still working on it myself.

136. Mick Danger - August 21, 2008

Question fofblogmoderator:
I wondered about #121, why did it go into moderation?
Money? Taxes? No profanity?

137. Rear View Mirror - August 21, 2008

lol. yes, I bet there’s a “no profanity” filter.

138. Reality Check - August 21, 2008

So some of us escaped and left the delusions of the Fellowship of Friends behind, but why do we come here to the blog (and there are only a few “regulars” at this point) and usually quite ineffectually supply reasons that others should leave the FOF? Is it really the altruism of human compassion, the need to sow justice in the fields of this cult community or the less noble impulse of revenge? I even suspect that some expressing their intelligence here do so as a resistance to the deep-seated superstitious auto-suggested inkling that they might very well be food for the moon for leaving the FOF, sort of laughing in the face of rumored disaster as a way to bolster courage. There certainly doesn’t seem to be much of a noble tone among those taunting the Fellowship members over their teachings. The motivation is most likely some variety of emotionally inspired revenge at this point. “The FOF made me feel inferior and now it’s their turn.” Of course those more familiar with Burton do obviously have a legitimate case for expressing their anger, but the average “out of the inner circle” lackluster hanger-on that finally fell off, why are we here making banal “points” about the ills of the Fellowship? Why don’t we just move on with our lives and thank the stars we didn’t stay in there for life? Before you post the obvious, “Why don’t YOU move on and quit disrupting our nice chat?” ask yourself if you’ve actually developed more ‘conscience’ than the average FOF member. Are you really anymore conscience directed, conscience aware, than you were while lost in the combine of philosophical doublethink? I only ask because it doesn’t show much. There really is just a few of us regularly filling the space here with our entirely forgettable thoughts of “reason.” What’s motivating this enthusiastic civil-minded need to express all the many bits of contempt? That might be an interesting subject of discussion, if it’s not too off topic according to the self-elected blog quality control specialist.

139. Rear View Mirror - August 21, 2008

“Why don’t we just move on with our lives and thank the stars we didn’t stay in there for life?”

Amen brother!

140. brucelevy - August 21, 2008

138. Reality Check

Pot, meet kettle.

141. You-me-us-they - August 21, 2008

Reality Check
You want to talk about motivation (nice to read you want something),
I would go for the mystery of that, the longing, the need to get closer, and closer and closer:

For inspiration, Rumi:

An ant hurries along a threshing floor
with its wheat grain, moving between huge stacks
of wheat, not knowing the abundance
all around. It thinks its one grain
is all there is to love.

So we choose a tiny seed to be devoted to.
This body, one path or one teacher.
Look wider and farther.

The essence of every human being can see,
and what that essence-eye takes in,
the being becomes. Saturn. Solomon!

The ocean pours through a jar,
and you might say it swims inside
the fish! This mystery gives peace to
your longing and makes the road home.
Home.

142. fofblogmoderator - August 21, 2008

136. M. Danger-
I don’t know why your comment was stopped in the spam filter, but that’s where I found it.

If anyone is interested in reading the very first page of this blog for a little perspective.
This blog has been going for two years and two months.
http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/fellowship-of-friends-a-cult-for-intellectuals/

143. Rear View Mirror - August 21, 2008

About luck…

As in, “Let us toast to our good fortune,” and, “We are not better than life, just luckier.”

There’s something in this attitude that reveals a lot about the FOF. But it’s common in religion or religious cults in general. Because if you break down the thinking behind religious beliefs and cult beliefs, it comes down to this:

1) None of us know what will occur in the afterlife.
2) However, the afterlife may be a very unpleasant fate if the idea of hell is correct.
3) If my attitude is that hell is an artificial construct of the human mind, I might be right. But what if I’m wrong? What if there actually is a hell?
4) However, if I place a “bet” that there is a hell, I have nothing to lose. So that’s what I’m going to do. I am going to proceed under the assumption that joining my religion or joining my cult will save me in the afterlife. That’s the bet I’m going to place.
5) Because of the above, I will not question the ideas of my religion or my cult or philosophy. After all, what is there to lose?

In summary, we as members of the FOF were placing “bets” that RB was right, and we proceeded as though our bets were winners. “Let us toast or our good fortune,” implies that. “We are winning,” implies that. “We are not better than life; just luckier,” implies that.

It’s as though all of life is simply a trip to Las Vegas. Or similar to buying a lottery ticket.

Or a raffle ticket.

144. Mick Danger - August 21, 2008

Princess Bobby’s Charm School & Soul Insurance.
The best friends money can buy.

145. Mick Danger - August 21, 2008

Rene Descartes Sez:
“Oh God (if there is one),
Have mercy on my soul (if I have one).”
And,
“Good sense is of all things in the world the most equally distributed, for everybody thinks he is so well supplied with it, that even those most difficult to please in all other matters never desire more of it than they already possess.”

146. My4bits - August 21, 2008

Ellen, post 116:

Thanks for your post.

Yes, we know each other, and it’s a great pleasure and privilege for me.

147. elena - August 21, 2008

Greg, Thanks for your post on how people can make effort for a whole of a lifetime and still be the wrong effort. These reminders from Ouspensky are much welcome to me who cannot get enough momentum to look them up. It certainly sounds as though that is what the Fellowship was about. Does it not seem to you and others here that instead of not identifying with the life and programming of the times, it took the darker side and poor values and run down the cliff with them until it smashed everyone as hard as it could?

********

Ames, is that what Mr. Haven is doing these days? Thank you for sharing the information, it deeply shakes the little concern I still have to hear others present him for what he is. When he and I talk he understands what I am saying so I have a lot of difficulty realizing again and again that it is not that he doesn’t understand, it is that he disabled the side of him that can do anything about it long before we even got married. That’s when I realize that knowledge is worth nothing, it’s what people do what makes a difference.

RVM
I much enjoy your posts, thank you. On the question of effort , the Fellowship loves to have people believe they are making great efforts and therefore awakening but it is just another candy to keep them busy. The vicious circle defined in My4bits’ post: “The products of self-fragmentation and the perceptual distortions are used to alter the self-concept, thereby bringing it and the group-induced behaviours into alignment with each other. The conversion euphoria that follows the resolution of the impasse unites the recruit and the group in a powerful bond. Since the bond is manufactured, however, it must continually be renewed by renewing the attack. In order for the euphoria and commitment to be maintained, continuing contact with the group through ongoing indoctrination and proselytizing is mandatory.”

But contrary to your take on effort being invisible there is a side to it that I would like to mention because that is what the Fellowship did to us: “Make huge efforts and don’t get any credit for it, fight against your vanity that wants to be acknowledged, the only acknowledgement here is for Bobby blow Job.

The effort people make always translates into an external expression and having it acknowledged by the community is a very healthy interchange. People don’t spend years learning to play the piano so that they can play only for themselves. While the years of training may give a great deal of pleasure to the musician, that one concert in which he actualizes his being with the music and the instrument has the power to crystallize all the effort into a reality for everyone present. This dialogue between the individual and the community is what allows for culture to flourish and it is precisely what never happened in the Fellowship Cult where all effort quickly descends into more credits for Robert Burton’s lust.

People want and need to participate, there is nothing wrong with that. Children participate through play, adults through art and work. Hierarchic structures that condition that participation by allowing only a few to give and receive, turn this natural expression of essence into its opposite. All work is participation and the fact that work has been reduced to an instinctive interchange of services is what is so characteristic of the decadence of our time. Work is what each individual has to develop himself in this world. Reducing it to a purely instinctive function is what demeanors both the individual and the community. The beauty of the interaction between a man and his community is what is sucked out of the interaction in this reduction to pure instinct. The Fellowship Cult reduced every aspect of life to a purely instinctive interaction. Sex, work and art decayed in a vineyard in which the wine was as bitterly conceived as the lifestyle.

Love is nothing but the connectedness between individuals. It actualizes itself in the reality of these connections. It is in every form of interchange amongst people. What the Fellowship really denied its members was the possibility to love. This is what has made everyone connected with it so dysfunctional. To recover from that dysfunctionality, the members need to recover their own sense of worth and the sense of values for the rest of the world. Life is not in the individual alone or the world alone but in how they interact with each other; in the movement, in the song.

In the desert of love-less-ness
I’ve recided for so long
I no longer know how to long.

Where it not for the fact that I am in itself the root, the plant and the flower and the longing is nothing but the root calling out to the flower, remembering and re-membering its own origin I would be concerned about longing but as long as I’m still here, there is no need for the longing.

What is the purpose of remembering what already is? Why plant a tree where one already exists?

I here stand and in this standing every human being stands with me.
What is done to me is done to every person alive.
I am in every human being and every human being is in me.
Life is a game of hide and seek between being and becoming.
Death is what provides it with energy.

Death is the spiritual reality behind every particle.
What people experiment with ayahuasca and other substances as much as higher states, is a connectedness with the realms of death but looking for death with substances is a way of keeping one’s self further away from its life bringing qualities.

We do not need substances of any kind to enjoy the magic of life and death, constantly revealing themselves in the colors of the sky and the movement of the clouds. The Universe is kneeling before us in the Sun’s devotion and we think we need substances to appreciate it but when we come close to death, we know it is enough to be able to wake up to the day light.

Day light is the Universe’s devotion to mankind. It is the father in an Act of Infinite love actualizing itself in the reality of creation and feeding its people. Its human beings. Us. You and I who stand here numbed with our impossibility to feel the expression of life unfolding itself in the air of love between the Earth and the Sun. The body of each human being is the microcosmic mirror that looks out into the Universe and reflects its beauty. The body is the passing expression of the infinite wisdom as it materializes itself in the human-like flowers. Time is the sacred expression in which eternity reveals itself.

The way we touch. The way we speak and look at each other. That is where our consciousness lies. In acknowledging at every turn of our eyes that the Universe is present in each one of us.

Hell was always here and will remain here for as long as we are unable to feel the Earth beneath our feet and the majesty with which it continues to conceive us and for us. In the game between the Father and the Mother we live our lives as perfectly oblivious to them as to the woman or the man before us. We are bastards like our parents were and our children will be if we do nothing about it. The illness of our time is that we’ve lost the connection with the sacred, inside, outside and all around us. The Earth and the Sun lie like puffed animals in an ancient museum and we feed ourselves like pigs in a mud pie and divert our selves like midgets in a circus. Food and art are nothing but what money can buy and money is as worthless as the people that make it. Work, work, work to eat like pigs and go to concerts where the musicians no longer know the difference between sound and music. Life outside the Fellowship is just like life inside the Fellowship in which only a few have the right to the whole because the instinctive hierarchy so conceives it and almost everyone believes it. But life is vowing before you each day because you are its most precious creature, the whole world is begging you to acknowledge the beauty with which it lies at your feet if only you’d care to see it.

Everything has to change, people are dying in this desert of love-less-ness, dying before we ever have a chance to live.

Got carried away again, what fun! so long!

148. Reality Check - August 21, 2008

Note: comment number one is actually registered on the counter as number 16 for some reason:

http://animamrecro.wordpress.com/2006/04/16/fellowship-of-friends-a-cult-for-intellectuals/#comment-16

1.
Barbara Says:

June 24, 2006 at 11:05 pm

“Just a note to let you know that this well-mannered, well-dressed, country club cult, destroyed my life.”

Destroyed my life? A person’s sense of life has to be pretty fragile to be “destroyed” by the moderately corrupt absurdity (as compared to the Nazis or the Manson cult) of the Fellowship of Friends. One does wonder what she is referring to. The FOF certainly did not destroy my life and other than adopting some embarrassingly ridiculous ideas it hardly fazed me. Those that had the misfortune of getting too close to Burton do have a good claim for being severely affected.

Also, the FOF is not and never was a Fourth Way school. Nor was Horn’s a Fourth Way school. I’ve never been in a Fourth Way school (including the Gurdjieff Foundation), but I doubt they are typically run by complete lunatics. That goes for Gurdjieff as well. The ideas of the Fourth Way would never have succeeded in making it through the labyrinth of history if the purveyors were all entirely incompetent and insane. I do enjoy Ouspensky’s thoughts on the subject because he is usually more intelligent than the average “expert.”

149. ton - August 21, 2008

you us etc around 141 thanks for the rumi…

around 142 – thank you “flog-moderator” for reminding us of the past, you know what they say about those who forget “we” won’t repeat it.

mick around 145… good sense is not (a) common sense…
thomas paine says a few words about it too.

rc around 148… re: doubting “Barbara’s” account and comparing your experience with hers’ — since rc seems to have the arrogant thing covered tonight, below is some cutting and pasting for the pedandtic portion of the show…

(and thank you 4 bits for the post around 113– regarding what draws people into the cult, i think it’s an important piece of the rubric here):

love to y’all

“Gabbard suggested NPD could be broken down into two subtypes. He saw the “oblivious” subtype as being grandiose, arrogant and thick skinned and the “hypervigilant” subtype as easily hurt, oversensitive and ashamed.
He suggested that the oblivious subtype presents a large, powerful, grandiose self to be admired, envied and appreciated. This self is the antithesis of the weakened and internalised self that hides in a generic state of shame. This is how the internalized self fends off devaluation, while the hypervigilant subtype neutralises devaluation by seeing others as unjust abusers. This hypervigilent type does not fend off devaluation; he is obsessed with it.

Jeffrey Young, who coined the term “Schema Therapy”, a technique originally developed by Aaron T. Beck (1979), also links shame to NPD. He sees the so-called Defectiveness Schema as a core schema of NPD, next to the Emotional Deprivation and Entitlement Schemas. The Defectiveness Schema is compensated with three Schema Modes (coping strategies):

Surrender: Choose critical partners and significant others; puts him- or herself down.
Avoidance: Avoids sharing “shameful” thoughts and feelings with partners and significant others due to fear of rejection.
Overcompensation: Behaves in a critical or superior way toward others; tries to come across as perfect.
Note that an individual with this schema might not employ all three schema modes.

Treatment and prognosis:

Most psychiatrists and psychologists regard NPD as a relatively stable condition when experienced as a primary disorder. James F. Masterson outlines a prominent approach to healing NPD, while discussing a continuum of severity and the kinds of therapy most effective in different cases. Typically, as narcissism is an ingrained personality trait, rather than a chemical imbalance, medication and therapy are not very effective in treating the disorder. Schema Therapy, a form of therapy developed by Jeffrey E. Young that integrates several therapeutic approaches (psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral etc.), also offers an approach for the treatment of NPD. It is unusual for people to seek therapy for NPD. Subconscious fears of exposure or inadequacy are often met with defensive disdain of therapeutic processes. Pharmacotherapy is rarely used. In a review of the literature, one patient responded to Wellbutrin.”

if you want more:

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

150. nigel harris price - August 21, 2008

147 elena

That was ‘fresh air’. Thank you…..Nigel.

151. Across the River - August 22, 2008

140 Mick Danger

The attorney is paid for what can’t be managed without him, with money from those who volunteered to pay his fee by the hour. So far he’s not on retainer (but a donor at the ready would be good.) The rest is legwork and contributions of time.

Anyone with access to lexis nexis willing to root out the information can save the attorney’s time for other matters. Wish I knew an attorney myself willing to contribute…..I assumed there might be one or two here with an interest in the question and in the petition effort which the information would support.

The question is whether or not there are more than two lawsuits against the Fellowship and/or Robert Burton, and if so, what is the information about them? Research online didn’t provide an answer.

Thanks for keeping the question alive 😉

152. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

151 Across the River

Do you know to whom and to where I can send an International Money Order, to help with the legal case. It will not be a huge amount (I am in my first year of business here in the UK), but as Tesco, the supermarket, says, EVERY LITTLE HELPS…..Nigel.

153. Rear View Mirror - August 22, 2008

RC at around 138: “I even suspect that some expressing their intelligence here do so as a resistance to the deep-seated superstitious auto-suggested inkling that they might very well be food for the moon for leaving the FOF, sort of laughing in the face of rumored disaster as a way to bolster courage.”

Or maybe some people are pointing out the superstition and the insanity in the idea of Hell that is central to most religions and cults, and that results in a lot of suffering for those who find themselves believing it.

The moon is definitely a strange place. It blocks the sun at predictable intervals and governs the tides, and it seems to affect our behaviors, none of which are ideas exclusive to the Fourth Way. But we have no idea why or how it is there. It’s a mystery, and one of the countless beautiful mysteries about our entire lives. What is the earth? What is the moon? What is the sun? How did they get there? How did WE get there? And are there other suns, and moons, and earths, and other beings in far-off worlds? No one yet knows, or at least I can say honestly that I don’t.

Is the moon Hell? Well, we have much more evidence that Hell is actually something we create for ourselves within our own minds and hearts.

The following is stating the obvious (remember that a part of us believed this while members of the Fellowship of Friends) but there’s no evidence there’s a place of punishment and torment that houses our pathetic souls after death. And there’s no evidence that the moon is anything but a cold world with no organic life. And yet this Hell — never proven, and never seen by anyone — is something that we use to justify all sorts of inhumane treatment of our fellow humans, of animals, of ecosystems, and the earth itself.

This idea of Hell: It is fear personified. It takes us far away from any understanding of our existence. It takes us far from love. If there is such a thing as a soul, and if each of us have one, together with the animals and the trees and the rocks, the last thing our souls need is the fear of such an imaginary place. If there are gods, they do anything but try to instill fear in us… In my opinion, they “bolster courage”. Quoting your words above. They help us see what is possible.

In the idea of hell is a world filled with impossibilities. We can do nothing. It is the world of “cannot.” It’s the desire to control people. It is superstition and horror.

Ideas that remove our fear and embolden us to explore and examine ourselves and believe that we are here for something good… That is what interests me.

There are plenty of REAL things to be afraid of on this earth. There is plenty of real pain.

I have no pretense that all of my actions and all of my motives are noble and pure, as you seem to make reference to my actions lacking in nobility. I only know that I have lived way too much of my life in fear. I only know that every moment that I see myself separate and superior from others, and lording over the universe, I am lost. I think this realization is something that resonates with you; and with many others reading this right now. And with you, fellows student, whoever you may be just happening upon this blog today.

154. Yesri Baba - August 22, 2008

I suppose I might be food for the moon. Perhaps I should swallow a knife and fork just in case.

155. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

153 Rear View Mirror and 154 Yesri Baba

I feel this ‘hell-moon-food’ thing opens up a great topic for stimulating dialogue, particularly with my own coming to terms with bi-polar affective disorder. Contrary to popular opinion, the highs are not without their negativity, since, mixed in with the euphoria, is the tendency to aggression in the face of opposition to one’s state. Certainly the lows are ‘living hell’ (as most of us will have experienced at least once in our lives, although BPs experience them more often) and, in the experience of suicidal depression, professional help has to be sought as soon as possible. Whitman actually said “I myself contain both Heaven and Hell” and Christ stated “Behold, the Kingdom of Heaven is within You”. Maybe, and this I only offer as postulation, everything is States – being in a physical body as a state, instinctive feelings, thoughts and emotions as states and even Higher Consciousness as ‘just states’. My own feeling is that there is purpose to our existence, not as the FOF dictates in an elitist enclave, but as Elena urges us in the opening up to a human necessity for contact and using our talents as artists, writers or whatever for the betterment of the whole. Again, to quote Whitman “That the Mighty Play rolls on, and You may contribute Something”. Please, STATE your case, everyone…..Nigel.

156. veronicapoe - August 22, 2008

Anyone who wants to pay companies such as Seisint or Intelius for a public records search can obtain extensive public docket information as to current and prior lawsuits brought against a party. Lexis-Nexis is not necessary to obtain this information, and is not even a good tool for the job.

157. Reality Check - August 22, 2008

Is there life after death? It’s a simple thing for the brain to produce this question, but is the thinking brain really alive? Is the sophisticated functioning of the intellectual mind really something more substantially existent than a mere wonder-computer made out of meat? The question is not actually whether there is life after death, but rather the question is if there is actually life during life. Is the rambling and wandering of the thoughts, emotions, sensations and motions something produced by actual “life,’ or is it no more “alive” than the nightly migrations of cockroaches across the kitchen floor in search of what intrigues cockroaches? Are insects really alive? They are biologically animated, but is that actually “life” in the sense that it is something so significant that it exists eternally? Are typical people really more significant than insects? There are nearing seven billion human beings on earth at one time as it is; what does heaven look like with all the souls from history crowed into one ultra-dimension? Does it resemble the chaos and inequity of life on earth? Are some souls wealthy, sitting in ethereal casinos gambling over the ridiculous exploits of the humans below while other souls are living in shacks chasing off the souls of immortal roaches? What intrigues people? One thing that intrigues them is questions about security. Is the body safe and secure forever? Obviously not. Well then what about this personality that I call “me?” Will it still be asking hopeless questions even after the body shrivels and returns to dust? Will this relatively superficial and utterly naïve and conceited narrator operating through the voices of the brain still be situated in a location somewhere debating with other more or less uneducated “philosophers” and expressing opinions about life beyond the grave even as life on earth flows away without experiencing much more than shallow thoughts and trivial feelings? It’s not, “Is there life after death and what’s it like?” It is rather, “What is real life like on earth? Are we really alive here?” Hell is being so ignorant that we do not even realize how ignorant we are, so that it feels like heaven.

158. Across the River - August 22, 2008

152 nigel

Yes indeed, it all helps. We’ve paid to make it ready for posting, but I’m not assuming there won’t be need for another payment down the road. The hourly charge is 250 dollars, usually sent at one time. It might be okay to send money in dribs and drabs but maybe better to hold your pledge until (and the hopeful “if”) needed to add to the next call. However you prefer.

The attorney is:
Ford Greene
HUB LAW OFFICES
711 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard
San Anselmo, California 94960

154
😀

159. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

157 Reality Check

I have this funny feeling that you don’t – have feelings, that is….Nigel.

160. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

158 Across the River

I could make that $250 within a month. Should I ‘hold fire’ until notified or, if it is needed soon, to what lawsuit or petition does the payment refer?…..Nigel. (i.e. name)

161. arthur - August 22, 2008

nigel,

I read (unverified) that Jesus the Christ spoke a language called Aramaic.

I read (unverified) that in Aramaic Heaven does not mean Place but STATE.

Maybe Heaven and Hell mean STATE?

162. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

161 arthur

That is somewhat my meaning in posting – and, also, that even the physical is but a state…..Nigel.

163. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

161 arthur (and my 162)

Whitman said, with regard to the Self and the physical, “…both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it”. And to poke an ‘allegation’ at REB, by the same (revered, father of the fellowhips, conscious being) “do you think that those who corrupt the body, do not corrupt themselves?”…..Nigel.

164. veramente - August 22, 2008

119. arthur –
Veramente (110),

I get very little personal advise about breathing.
—————————
Arthur, try this link:

http://www.lef.org/protocols/respiratory/copd_01.htm

This is a good site with updated protocols on supplements and life style changes . The intro about copd maybe a little sobering to begin with, but I would focus on what I can do and put all of my mind and efforts into doing it.
Become and expert on breathing! : )

——————
Mick Danger, thank you for the info on 124.

165. Rear View Mirror - August 22, 2008

RC, 157. Actually, many of your comments resonate with me. I didn’t grasp the gist in all of it, but I sense we share many of the same perceptions.

Even believing in Hell has some comfort for us, I think, as it suggests there’s an afterlife, and gives our ‘ego’ a sense there’s a fighting chance to survive beyond death. After all, being somewhere, even if it’s Hell, is a nicer option for our egos than oblivion. Seems like twisted logic. But my ego — or whatever it is I want to call it — actually does think that way.

A lot of what I’m trying to convey (at around 153) is that there are some fairly bad results from pretending we know the answers to many of these questions. Seems interesting that it’s cult leaders and religious leaders who often have it figured out better than anyone.

———–
154. Yesri Baba: “I suppose I might be food for the moon. Perhaps I should swallow a knife and fork just in case.”

Yep. the fork way.

As an aside… Were someone to keep stats of RB’s bad jokes — i.e., make a chart that outlines the most common topics of those jokes — the topic of the moon and hell would have to be near the top of the list.

166. elena - August 22, 2008

157
Reality Check,

Have you ever had a better state?

If so, why do you deny it?

167. Mick Danger - August 22, 2008

Conscious Being Test: Take away Bobby’s money!
Grampa ain’t your friend.
Oh what fun – to see the mighty get their comeuppance.
I love flirting with the Truth,
as long as it doesn’t lead to anything serious.

168. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

165 Rear View Mirror

Were you the blogger who saw ‘Angels’ on a licence plate? If so, why do you think some of us still strive for that ‘Communion with the Saints’?…..Nigel.

169. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

167 Mick Danger

The Truth is sometimes a ‘bitter pill’ to swallow. But, for me at least, taking my meds daily keeps me in the ‘sanity pool’…..Nigel.

170. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

(Further to) 167 Mick Danger

Do not worry – we, the ‘innocents’ now, have Eternity, whilst those who remain with REB wil stand ‘self-condemned’ as the Good Book states…..Nigel (i.e. the money will run out, sooner or later – too often to the well, REB)

171. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

For Arthur (pasted from Google: ‘heaven meaning’ 1st item)

The sky or universe as seen from the earth; the firmament. Often used in the plural.
Christianity.
often Heaven The abode of God, the angels, and the souls of those who are granted salvation.
An eternal state of communion with God; everlasting bliss.
Any of the places in or beyond the sky conceived of as domains of divine beings in various religions.

Heaven God: Heaven help you!
heavens Used in various phrases to express surprise: Good heavens!
The celestial powers; the gods. Often used in the plural: The heavens favored the young prince.
A condition or place of great happiness, delight, or pleasure: The lake was heaven.

172. Rear View Mirror - August 22, 2008

Elena, at about 147: “The effort people make always translates into an external expression and having it acknowledged by the community is a very healthy interchange.”

Yes, I completely agree, and I see what you mean about the FOF’s tendency to exploit selflessness — with an attitude of: “as long as it’s someone else being selfless, and not me,” or “as long as we are being selfless toward the school and NOT to the community at large,” etc.

But I was referring to something slightly different in 46/112 — i.e., “internal” efforts. But you’re right — even those efforts express themselves externally in some way, in some sort of result. Maybe it’s an act of kindness, or a creation of some sort, or a special ability to encourage others, or being unperturbed by difficult situations, and so on.

The point I was making in 112… Do we really “see” those “internal” efforts in others? Do they see them in us? And do we/they see the lack of them? I personally believe not, and I think if we proceed with our lives from the standpoint of wanting people to “see” our “internal” efforts, then 1) it’s a recipe for unhappiness and pretentiousness, and our internal efforts become more about being accepted and thinking like the group than they are about trying to “be”, and 2) it prevents us from seeing the silent nature of what an “effort” is (which again, may be more akin to “effortlessness” in that it involves receptivity and openness, rather than a forcing or a strain).

I think this notion that we can measure these things in others gets us into a certain kind of trouble, or at least into some weird psychological realms where spirituality becomes a game. And imo, this type of game is largely what makes cults possible. We know what’s good for you; follow us.

And you know, RC and WT and many others are right… The blog could turn into a type of cult if that’s what we’re about here… trying to convey what we think is good for others, and listening to nothing that calls that into question.

What hopefully will save us from that is the fact that so many viewpoints are being expressed here — something that’s not allowed in cults like the Fellowship of Friends. With each point and counterpoint, there’s a chance for me to expand my thinking as opposed to becoming even more rigid in my thinking. It potentially opens my mind to worlds outside my little ego — my Great Ego who has it all figured out, who is unwilling to listen, and who sees nothing mysterious and wondrous in the world.

173. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

Ooh – I like this one on Google:-

The Ministry of Rock
Philosophy and Spirituality in Rock and Pop MusicStairway to Heaven — Meaning?[Here’s a piece that seeks a deeper understanding of “Stairway to Heaven,” and attempts to interpret its lyrical content.]

Not surprisingly, there appear to be several accounts of how the lyrics of “Stairway” came to be written. In one, Plant says that he wrote it after a period spent before the fire contemplating “spiritual perfection” at the band’s country house in Headley Grange. In another, Plant says that Page played him the chord changes and his hand spontaneously began writing the immortal first words (this is known as “automatic writing”). In another version, Page recalls that Plant jotted down about three quarters of the lyrics on the spot at the band’s very first rehearsal of the song. Stephen Davis maintains that Plant had written under the spell of Lewis Spence, particularly his Magic Arts in Great Britain. Of course, these versions are not mutually exclusive – one or more could be combined – but I don’t want to dwell on origins so much here, fascinating as it is, as I believe the words speak for themselves.

The first notable thing about “Stairway” as far as that’s concerned is that the first verse – at least as it is transcribed in official Zep songbooks, etc. — doesn’t make sense in the context of the rest of the song. If the lady who is sure that “all that glitters is gold” is really “buying a stairway to heaven,” and not hell, there’s nothing to sing about. But clearly the A minor chord and the continuation of the song make it clear that there is something dark about this woman, she’s headed down the wrong path. She should be taking a highway to hell, but she’s not. So what’s going on? Is Plant singing “heaven” or “hell” in the first verse?

Both. Listen carefully and you will hear that Zep apparently tried to fudge it in the studio, perhaps because the use of this particular four-letter word would have jeopardized the song’s airplay. Of course, that didn’t stop it from being labeled “Satanic” and God knows what else because not only is there strange stuff going on when you play it forwards, but apparently backwards as well. It’s called “backmasking” – hiding messages in the song that can only be discovered when played backwards. Kids have had fun doing this with “Stairway” for three decades, allegedly hearing stuff like “Glory in Satan” and “My Sweet Satan” (I remember as a freshman in college a fellow cross country runner, newly born again, spent an entire night trying to play this song backwards, finally succeeded, and swore that he heard “My Sweet Satan” in there.) [Note: Since writing this piece, I have listened to the “Stairway” backwards, and I do hear all that stuff in there. I don’t believe that Zep intentionally put the stuff about Satan in there, but rather that they did draw these dark entities into their music via their lifestyle and Page’s then fascination with Aleister Crowley. Personally, I also want to note, much of Zep’s music feels “satanic” to me, perhaps especially “Stairway,” and I do not find their music appealing as I once did. It feels dark to me now.]

People have claimed that Zep made a pact with the devil in exchange for their brilliant success – a pact that included including such messages in their songs, not to mention the death of their drummer, John Bonham. Of course, Zep denies the whole thing. Wouldn’t you?

But far be it for me to cast any aspersions, especially as I love the group and this song. How ironic it is that one of the most satanic songs in the history of rock was an attempt to express some deep spiritual truths. Archetypal truths that really resound deep in the psyche. Truths such as:

Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on.

Where have we heard that before? Plato, Christ, the Upanishads – any number of ancient spiritual traditions have proclaimed that there are two paths – the good and the pleasant. The Noble Path or righteous living, and the easy path of comfort and sense gratification. The well-trod path of the many, and the “road less taken” by the few. An ancient Sanskrit text, the Samyutta Nikaaya, reads:

“Therefore do the paths of the good and the evil of this world divide; the evil go to hell but the final destination of the good is heaven.” (Tasmaa satan ca asatan ca naanaa hot ito gati, asanto nirayam yanti santo saggaparaayanaa.)

Another ancient Sanskrit text, the Katha Upanishad, likewise says:

“The good is one thing, the gratifying is quite another;
Their goals are different, both bind a man.
Good things await him who picks the good;
By choosing the gratifying, one misses one’s goal…
But you have not taken to the way of wealth,
Where many mortals sink (to ruin).”

The gratifying path (preyas) is identified with the “way of wealth,” as it is in Stairway. There is the golden road (of unlimited devotion), and then there is the fool’s gold road, the highway to hell. The latter is that taken by the woman who thinks that all that glitters is gold and is buying her way to oblivion, another materialistic, superficial person in a superficial, materialistic society.

While I could have picked any one of a number of traditions to quote here, I chose Hinduism because there appears to be some reference to a reference to reincarnation at the end of the song Although in fact these ideas can be found in all traditions – Celtic, Jewish, Christian, Rock ‘n’ Roll – it doesn’t matter as great minds think alike.

Many of the Sixties white bands were influenced by the music of black Americans, particularly the blues and rhythm and blues, as well as the negro spirituals. By the late Sixties, the name of the music was shortened to “rock” Zep’s fourth album seems to be a kind of meditation on rock and roll.

In “Rock and roll,” Plant sings, “I gotta roll, can’t stand still, got a flamin’ heart, can’t get my fill.”

But then later Plant seems to contradict that when he sings, in the end of “Stairway”:

“To be a rock and not to roll.”

Meaning: Stop the cycle of incarnations, get off the wheel of death and rebirth. It’s a very deep message, and I will grant that Plant’s lyric may indeed have been inspired by the spirit world, but whether by the spirit of an angel or a demon, who can say?

——————————————————————————–

Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)

Escalera Al Cielo?
Interview with Peter Smith of Project Charlie
The Velvet Underground: Loaded

6 Responses to “Stairway to Heaven — Meaning?”

Well,
Do any of you realize that this song REALLY IS a then-modern remake of an Old English folk song? And that old song was about a lady buying a Stairway to Heaven???
In light of that, the speculation in this post is clearly WAY out of whack.
Now, did Jimmy and the boys build in a little of the Thelema they had learned, maybe so, but the notion that Crowley was a Satanist is so clearly absurd, it can be binned with the other speculations in this post, i guess.

Rick

Rick Tonda – November 19, 2007 at 2:36 pm

very interesting article. always loved to play song; but, i’m not sure now. you really shed the light on it. maybe he wasn’t a christian, but he might have knew a girl that was going thru the change of being reborn & he was trying to understand it.

jeff windle – December 31, 2007 at 1:09 am

It aint satanic nor poetic… it´s about some lady doing carpentry work in Jimmy Page´s castle, man.
When i first heard it back in 72, i didnt understand the lyrics at all (didnt speak english in fact) but that didnt keep me from thinking it was the greatest rock song ever.
Ah… this blissful ignorance of the lyrics allowed to paint such aural landscapes in my mind…

Hugh G Rection – January 7, 2008 at 5:39 pm

That’s an interesting take on it. I find it hard to believe that the song is satanic though. “She’s buying a stairway to heaven” probably means that she can get anything she wants, “with a word..” and that she fills her life with material possessions without being fulfilled. I think he’s criticizing materialism there, which would continue the cycle of re-incarnation if you believe in that.

The whole thing about back masking isn’t something I tend to be concerned with for a few reasons. The first being that I’m listening to the song forwards, not backwards. That makes a difference, because there is not proof that hearing, (or not even hearing in this case) something backwards will subconsciously affect you, simple because you don’t understand something being said backwards, because it’s almost like a completely different language.

Another reason it doesn’t really concern me is that a study was done concerning back masking, and two people listened to music with different messages back masked, and one of them was some Christian thing, the other I don’t remember. There behavior was not affected because of this.

John – February 21, 2008 at 3:03 am

Next time you decide to listen to “stairway to heaven” backwards, follow along with these lyrics. If you are in dire need of the rest of these lyrics, Email me.

Plaaaay backwards,
Hear why its sung here, oppositioner..
Allll on track, all arriving
They all sing, and they are one.
Shall I loathe you now, parishoner?
Oh hear Him, Christian within me.
It stirs my sin; the river,
Oh, she swells with our lousiness.
All my life will end for him?
We’re all out of signs,
I know I’m sorta shocked
To hear The Lord,
My God now will save me!

Oh I will n’er be saved,
Because I live with Satan..
One wish today;
That you’ll all pray for
Three who will make it here late.
Pray now and you’ll see..
The ‘Lord’ turned me on,
But, oh, I was the shaggy fool..
Clothed in agony,
Lost at a height.

There’s No Escaping it.

Adam – April 23, 2008 at 12:13 pm

well in a sense i agree with you that there is a deeper spiritualistic meaning in “Stairway to heaven” but wether or not plant intended this however escapes me. although there are certain quotes that may have a depper “more satanic” meaning…

“And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.”

In this part of the song it could refer to our shadows as something darker and possibly “evil” and our souls are usually refered to as something holy. our shadows taller than our soulscould refer to being on the path to hell…

“Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn
For those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.”

this section could be related to the rapture meaning that in the end you will be rewarded for the path you take…

“there’s a sign on the wall
But she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.”

this could possibly mean that in one’s sense of hell another could find heaven…If plant was a devil worshiper (I dont think he was) then he would think of hell as a haven or heaven…

“There’s a feeling I get
When I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.”

this section of the song may refer to the fact that some religions bury their dead facing east because the bible states that jesus will return from the east, and the west being opposite east meaning the opposite of jesus.

Over all though I do agree with you that the song could be good or bad, but about the message backwards…I have listened to some of the song backwards and have heard phrases refering to satan, but the rest could could be jiberish. I feel that if you listen to anything long enough that you’ll hear what you’re looking for.

adam akers – June 29, 2008 at 1:38 pm

174. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

172 Rear View Mirror

You are the words!…..Nigel.

175. James Mclemore - August 22, 2008

172. Rear View Mirror
“Maybe it’s an act of kindness, or a creation of some sort, or a special ability to encourage others, or being unperturbed by difficult situations, and so on.”
**
RVM – I like that.
I think it was Ouspensky that said, “In reality we know nothing.”

Parts of my mind, possibly because of all the religious, metaphysical, psycological, and esoteric studies that many here have done, tend to think about things in those languages, and I/we may philosophize about the meanings or meaninglessness of our existence. Our experience of life however appears to only come to us a moment at a time in the middle of this mystery about which “In reality we know nothing.”
The sum of our so-called knowledge and all of our efforts at understanding and ‘being’ seem like they can only express themselves in those moments. An act of kindness, or a creative effort, or an encouragement to another, are perhaps not just things that we do while we are waiting and struggling for some experience more magical and profound, but are who we are, and are the only ‘proof’, that is ‘in the pudding’. There may be things happening while we are engaged in the seemingly small activities of our daily lives, that are far beyond our comprehension as to the effects we are having on each other. Maybe it is just chaos. Maybe it is a chaotic play far more intricately woven than we could ever imagine.
It does seem that when I can remember to try and use the idea of taking on no role other than that of a ‘student’ or ‘learner’, I find that teachers appear from all over the place, and in some of the strangest disguises.

176. Rear View Mirror - August 22, 2008

James 175.

Here’s something that has occurred to me more and more lately:

All the world’s a school,
And all the men and women (and the animals and trees and mountains and oceans) merely students and teachers;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time learns many lessons.

One of the mysteries: What is the learning for? Where do we apply it? Is there something more?

177. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 22, 2008

RVM: ‘It potentially opens my mind to worlds outside my little ego — my Great Ego who has it all figured out, who is unwilling to listen, and who sees nothing mysterious and wondrous in the world.’

How refreshing! If that’s all we get out of leaving the FOF that’s enough. MEOW!!!!

178. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

Rear View Mirror and Others

I was pondering all these ‘why exist and moon-food’ questions, going down to the quayside in Exeter, where I live, and on the bus home – to interrupt my ‘cognitive reverie’, on the back of a gentleman’s back-pack were the words “Play Your Part”. Maybe others, like me, have found the beautiful, mysterious Universe answering our deepest questions?…..Nigel. (Whitman “I exist, that is enough”)

179. Rear View Mirror - August 22, 2008

And sometimes… “I exit. That is enough.”

180. Rear View Mirror - August 22, 2008

actually, sorry for the off-the-cuff remark, Nigel, which is just referring to my sentiments shortly after leaving the fof. Your post 178 is beautifully expressed.

And meow and woof right back, WULSWU.

181. elena - August 22, 2008

Rear View Mirror,

Fully agree.

About this tendency to wish for harmony and consent, that too seems necessary. Like a child not wanting to play alone with what s/he thinks is the most exiting game s/he’s ever found. But the other children want to play hide and seek again and you come to realize that the world has its own laws, its own pace and agenda and wanting to force it into a better place will not happen no matter how much you push.
At the same time, pushing is like trying to open a tight lid and you have to hit it many times against the wall before it gives in and that is fine too. As you’ve said before, everything is perfectly imperfect! Which doesn’t mean that we cannot continue to struggle wildly to make it imperfectly perfect!

Reality Check

“Destroyed my life? A person’s sense of life has to be pretty fragile to be “destroyed” by the moderately corrupt absurdity (as compared to the Nazis or the Manson cult) of the Fellowship of Friends. One does wonder what she is referring to. The FOF certainly did not destroy my life and other than adopting some embarrassingly ridiculous ideas it hardly fazed me. Those that had the misfortune of getting too close to Burton do have a good claim for being severely affected.”

Who do you think you are to undermine this woman’s statement? Do you think your experience is the only ruler by which reality can be measured? Would that not be an expression of the limitations of your ego in not being able to conceive of another’s suffering? Your statements about your experience are not surprising. Why would men in the fellowship Cult feel that their life was ruined when they were treated as if they were the elected ones by influence C or mama robot to make life worth its name? You obviously identify with these principles enough to not even be able to conceive that a woman, many women on the blog, have experienced life in the Fellowship as something that ruined their lives.

You’re such an expert at undermining other people’s experiences but we’re experts at having our experiences undermined so we’re pretty even here Greg. Men’s lives were no less affected by this over statement of their status. It took the same macho principles that regular society holds and blew them up into disproportionate dimensions in which men were at the tip of the ladder of creation. That is one of the problems I find about homosexuality. Male homosexuals cannot help the misogyny and female homosexuals cannot help diminishing the men. Maybe if the Fellowship had reduced itself to homosexual members then we would have had a “perfect” community in which the men disliked the gay women as much as the gay women disliked the gay men and they all went to heaven without sandwiching between themselves a bunch of heterosexuals that were equally distorted.

You’re right, the Fellowship did not kill people like in Jamestown or the Masons but it has spread its lifestyle out amongst thousands of people and with them, various generations. Its influence on many lives will continue to have its effect for years to come and the unnecessary suffering that thousands of us experienced while we were under its grip can never be changed.

The fact that we can overcome its effects and recover from the damages does not make the damages any less harmful and you need to make a clear distinction between what people loose when they loose integrity and what they loose when they loose money. Recovering from a bankruptcy is not nearly as harmful as recovering from being raped. RAPED DEAR, SPIRITUALLY RAPED BY A WHOLE COMMUNITY WHO MANAGED TO TREAT EACH OF ITS INDIVIDUALS AS IF THEY WERE WORTH NOTHING BUT BEING RIPPED OFF THEIR MONEY AND TALENT WITHOUT EVER RETURNING ANYTHING BACK TO ANY OF THE MANY WHO NAIVELY OFFERED THEIR WORK, ENERGY AND TRUST TO WHAT THEY WERE CONNED TO BELIEVE WAS A CONSCIOUS SCHOOL.

Girard Haven
Guinever Mueller
Steven Dambeck
Meredith Dambeck
Rowena Taylor
Robert Taylor
Kevin Brown
Karen Johnston
Gideon Beinstock
Linda Tulliso
Frances Thompson
And hundreds of other members who have been working diligently for years pretending that this rape factory is a legitimate conscious school so that they can suck away the subtle energies of people’s beauty, people’s trust and love for consciousness is an objective energy on which these vampires feed on to make their lives less miserable than they’ve already made it for themselves.

The love with which so many of us arrived and continue to arrive in the Fellowship, is what these sick people feed on every day of their miserable lives, using our money to travel around the world and continue feeding on the subtle energies of equally devoted members around the world.

We are so naïve, that even after all these years I cannot bring myself to hate Girard Haven or Robert Burton or the rest of these sick people after having loved them with so much surrender but each one of these people have taken advantage of this establishment for their personal profit, economically and spiritually. The fact that my love will only help them to rot in hell more sweetly does not compensate in any way for the fact that this criminal institution with people I once loved deeply, must continue to be fought and stopped and marked as a place in which the lowest expressions of life took form.

Those who remain in the Fellowship today are those who the Fellowship has totally submitted to the helpless condition of feeling they are so worthless they have nowhere to go or those who feed on the subtle energies of this submission. The spiritual interchange of this phenomenon is no different to the image of the vampire feeding on people’s blood. I dare say that a criminal who kills someone and that’s it, is less dangerous than a whole community teaching people to practice these things as a form of life with the obvious result that they will continue to make use of this practice throughout their lives in or outside the Fellowship. How many other cults have sprung off the Fellowship by equally unscrupulous members who learnt how to do it?

This Cult ruined my life and my children’s life for seventeen years and we are still far from recovering from it. Had it been a decent enough place to embrace us, I would have brought my daughter with me and not left her with her father thinking she was better off there than with me in the Fellowship. It is the greatest mistake I have ever made and all the Fellowship Cult teaches people to do is to make the worst mistakes of their lives. With what authority does someone like you Greg come undermining these things? I guess with the same fucking authority with which others here think it should continue to function because it is a negative emotion to interrupt it while it fucks other people’s lives up.

182. lauralupa - August 22, 2008

… and as Van Morrison sang

Oh sweet thing, sweet thing
My, my, my, my, my sweet thing
And I will raise my hand up
Into the night time sky
And count the stars
Thats shining in your eye
Just to dig it all an not to wonder
Thats just fine
And Ill be satisfied
Not to read in between the lines
And I will walk and talk
In gardens all wet with rain
And I will never, ever, ever, ever
Grow so old again.
Oh sweet thing, sweet thing
Sugar-baby with your champagne eyes
And your saint-like smile….

183. You-me-us-they - August 22, 2008

cockroaches, Reality Check!
None so far in this blog has been so attentive to ask about their life and eternity potential!

So many question marks in your last post, as to let any of us believe there is space for an aswer, to even one of them for any one…
Ugly rhetoric!
Only walls, corners, pitfalls, carefully condemned doors and windows.

As if anything could stay imprisoned…

This talent (burning love) for words you have could be so inspiring…

Yet, it is the “how” I question because I do not doubt the intention.
You are an artist after all… and so am I…

For inspiration:

184. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

179 RVM

Don’t worry – I can take a joke! After all, I am centred in the Jack of the King…..Nigel.

185. Reality Check - August 22, 2008

181. elena – August 22, 2008

[quoting RC]
‘Destroyed my life? A person’s sense of life has to be pretty fragile to be “destroyed” by the moderately corrupt absurdity (as compared to the Nazis or the Manson cult) of the Fellowship of Friends. One does wonder what she is referring to. The FOF certainly did not destroy my life and other than adopting some embarrassingly ridiculous ideas it hardly fazed me. Those that had the misfortune of getting too close to Burton do have a good claim for being severely affected.’

“Who do you think you are to undermine this woman’s statement?”

I think I’m someone who has been in the Fellowship of Friends for a fairly significant period of time and didn’t end up with a destroyed life, that’s who. I am also someone that has been alive long enough and experienced enough to understand what “destroyed life” comprises from the point of view of reasonableness. Being raped via your own gullibility could come close to a “destroyed life” due to not being able to resolve the guilt, but even then there are going to be good moments when that trauma is entirely forgotten and the person is psychologically elevated. However, other than this sort of severe trauma what exactly happened in the FOF that destroyed this woman’s life? Is she talking about losing her husband and her money, her kids became circus folk and she went into early menopause due to undue stress? Those are unpleasant events, but they do not destroy your life unless you insist on it yourself. Many things like this happen to people that have never heard of the Fellowship. Did the FOF give her cancer? A nervous breakdown? Can such tendencies really be blamed on the FOF? No. I myself suffered with a pretty nasty panic disorder for several years while in the FOF and it was one of the most trying periods of my life, but it wasn’t the FOF’s fault. You have to expect that people that join cults are going to suffer more “mental” disabilities than on the average simply because they are looking for extremes in their lives for some reason. There are many hysterical types in the world and some of them ended up in the FOF, their hysteria was there before the cult and the cult can’t be blamed for being the subject of their hysteria. Anything would have served if the FOF hadn’t been there. Those that blame the Fellowship for their own weird tendencies, including the weird tendency to join insane cults, are avoiding responsibility. Burton used his skills as a grifter to get sex from some of his followers and they were certainly victimized, their wives were also somewhat victimized, but for the wives it is hardly more traumatic than if there was another trusted woman involved. ‘My life was destroyed’ claims the woman…that’s her problem. She’s decided it for herself and the destruction is entirely in her own mind.

“This Cult ruined my life and my children’s life for seventeen years and we are still far from recovering from it.”

I’ll bet you laughed and smiled through much of it and enjoyed yourself unconscionably while feeling pretty self-important. If your children suffered because of your choice to ignore them due to the suggestions of the FOF then you ruined their lives. You chose to do it. Yes, you were somewhat ignorant and were influenced by the particular cult you chose to join, but you chose to join it. You did it.

“With what authority does someone like you Greg come undermining these things?”

The authority of common sense.

186. Opus 111 - August 22, 2008

#181 Elena

I find it plain wrong to write full names in your posts.

187. arthur - August 22, 2008

veramente (164),

Thanks for the link. I have a Pulmonary doctor’s appointment in January and will ask him about some of the things mentioned. After this past episode with the necessity of “mechanical breathing” they have added more kinds of medicine. They seem to work but my anxiety comes from the unexpected exacerbation. They have also given me a certain low dose “nerve” pill to help with that.

So, I deal with it the best I know how. Thanks for sharing and the best to you.

188. whalerider - August 22, 2008

Let the buyer beware.

The oldest trick in the “book” to sell something to a person is to first make them feel inadequate. Then they will buy whatever you are selling to compensate for the uncomfortable feeling. I read a study once that revealed 70% of women who read Cosmopolitan magazine feel poorly about some part of their body afterward. And two thirds of the US economy is driven by consumer spending!

IMHO, an evolved spiritual guide is a person who can compassionately help others seek out the answers to life’s hard questions within themselves, and not just point out the contradictions in others nor parrot textbook answers. At the same time, a guide seeks to empower others to accept themselves as imperfect beings with an aim to become more whole and loving.

Being ‘biologically animated” as opposed to being fully “alive” is a contradiction in terms. Animate means life, in all its gory details and exquisite complexity, as opposed to inanimate. To attempt separate the two concepts furthers the internally polarizing idea of the lower self vs. the higher self which leads to a fragmented, unhealthy state of being.

In Greg’s case, he cannot accept himself as imperfect and projects his inadequacies upon others to compensate. He unconsciously recruits others to either join his zealous, self-deprecating cause or risk being viciously attacked and labeled as ‘asleep’. In this way he effectively silences his critics through intimidation. It is this same black and white thinking and abuse that leads fuels the Taliban and other Fundamentalist groups.

I would argue that it wasn’t what happened in the FOF that damaged his psyche as he claims, but what he did prior to joining. I do recall him telling me a story of a pretty bad acid trip when he took about 10,000mg of LSD, broke out the rear window of a friend’s car on the way to the hospital, and log rolled off into the desert. While he was rolling over bushes and cactus and over cliffs for several miles, he had the hallucination that his body was stationary and that the entire planet was rolling around him…as though he was the center of the universe.

From his writings it appears that nothing has changed.

And yes, Greg, it takes an imperfect being to know one. We are all in the same boat.

189. elena - August 22, 2008

Opus 111,
Yes, like many you think we have to protect these particular people for the rest of their lives so that they can continue fucking up new member’s lives?

My list is not finished yet I’ll publish a full one later on so that anyone joining knows exactly who these criminals are.

Greg,
You have such a big ego that you think you gave birth to yourself and your parents were just an accident. Keep feeding that line of thought and we’ll soon have another little Jesus. The individuals involved with the Fellowship are not responsible for the fact that the Fellowship presents itself as a Conscious School and it is not. They are victims. We are no more responsible that a woman walking down the street when a rapist happens to walk by.

When a group of people get together to state that they represent a Conscious School, it is their responsibility to live up to that standard. Many of the people I’ve named here knew that Robert was taking advantage of his position to abuse his power and no one told the truth, NO ONE IS TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE FELLOWSHIP EVEN TODAY, They are all intentionally hiding the facts from the new naive members and they have been doing it for over seventeen years when I joined just like the rest of ex-students who did not ever bother to tell us what they knew.

Your common sense is only common to a mind frame in which ripping people off has become the common ground. A mentality in which you can do anything you can get away with as long as the idiot who is getting raped doesn’t do anything about it. Your common sense is the sense of people who have gotten so used to abuse that you no longer know the difference between human responsibility and integrity.

Institutions are responsible for what they present themselves as and they are responsible for the damages they impose on their members. Your common sense does not understand anything beyond the individual and the ego because it springs from a mentality in which if you have the power to get away with it, then run along with it, the power of force without any conscience or consciousness, cheap, brutal, instinctive power without the slightest human standard.

And you lie to yourselves to adapt your common sense to your mentality. I did not join a Cult ripping and raping people off indiscriminately, I joined a Conscious School working for the well being of humanity and it used me, ripped me off, ruined my life and my families for years and years and it did it on the sole ground of my willingness and trust on its legitimacy.

Girard Haven
Guinever Mueller
Steven Dambeck
Meredith Dambeck
Rowena Taylor
Robert Taylor
Kevin Brown
Karen Johnston
Gideon Beinstock
Linda Tulliso
Frances Thompson
Abraham Golman
Asaf Braverman
Dorian Matei
Mark Lasken
Judith Grace
Leonard Hill
Luigi Baccetti
Mary Hinrichs
Michael Golding
Myra Brooks
Peter Ingle
Susan Saulsbury
Gunther and a hundred other members inside, YOU ARE HELPING A CRIMINIAL INSTITUTION RAPE AND RIP PEOPLE OFF AND YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE HERE, NOW AND FOR AS LONG AS YOU CONTINUE TO SUPPORT IT.
YOUR ARE SICK TO THE BONES AND HURTING PEOPLE who you consider are not worthy enough of your respect. What respect have you ever had for the members who join in India? Russia? Colombia? Argentina? What respect have you ever had for the boys who Robert uses and abuses to continue to say this is a legitimate School of Consciousness?

190. Reality Check - August 22, 2008

“And yes, Greg, it takes an imperfect being to know one. We are all in the same boat.”

Since you insisted on getting personal in order to argue against a point of view, here is some back at you:

Few here “wept on the blog” until the wife finally took off with the kids to find a more masculine specimen. You are not normal. So, don’t presume to lump yourself in with “everyone” else.

191. elena - August 22, 2008

Whalerider, your disclosing such a personal experience from Greg’s life is not beyong the boundaries you yourself screamed so badly about not so long ago?

Does disclosing these things make your point stronger? It was strong already why do you need to add this to throw the public back into a frame in which the damages are beyond repair?

192. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 22, 2008

YEE GADS! MEOW! STOP!

193. brucelevy - August 22, 2008

Here we go.

194. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 22, 2008

195. Opus 111 - August 22, 2008

Elena #191

…your disclosing such a personal experience from Greg’s life is not beyong the boundaries you yourself screamed so badly about not so long ago?

Does disclosing these things make your point stronger? It was strong already why do you need to add this to throw the public back into a frame in which the damages are beyond repair?

Coming from you, Elena… hilarious!

196. brucelevy - August 22, 2008

194. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup

Great music, self-answering question.

197. Reality Check - August 22, 2008

191. elena – August 22, 2008

“Whalerider, your disclosing such a personal experience from Greg’s life is not beyong the boundaries you yourself screamed so badly about not so long ago?”

I don’t know why I would have singled that particular incident out as worthy of recounting around the campfire because back in the day I used to do something just about that riotous every weekend.

198. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

Rear View Mirror

I was down my local to see my friend and he was wearing a T-shirt which read “Anyone want to try a little role play?”. I was not expecting that, either! However, what I wanted to post was the last verse from our high-school anthem “I vow to thee, my country” (to the tune of Holst’s ‘Jupiter’ –

“And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago;
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know.
And soul by soul and silently, her shining bounds increase;
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.”

Again, I refer to states…..Nigel.

199. Associated Press - August 22, 2008

Regarding:
121. Mick Danger – August 21, 2008

The Fellowship of Friends Inc. is listed as the owner of 9 parcels of land:
Tax Parcel 048-120-009; 159 Acres; Value $519,500
Tax Parcel 048-170-040; 224 Acres; Value $242,000
Tax Parcel 048-220-022; 60 Acres; Value $1,300,226
Tax Parcel 048-260-008; 3.1 Acres; Value $3,061,600
Tax Parcel 048-260-048; 76.5 Acres; Value $707,100
Tax Parcel 048-260-049; 3.3 Acres; Value $37,079
Tax Parcel 048-270-023; 473 Acres; Value $3,577,700
Tax Parcel 048-270-024; 5 Acres; Value $1,984
Tax Parcel 048-220-094; 256 Acres; Value $6,286,668

AG: Tax Parcel 048-260-053; 17 Acres; Value $420,642

~~~~~~~~~~

This is good information and is a matter of public record from Yuba County. If you use the county website you can learn a limited amount; like Assessor’s Parcel Number, name of owner, valuations, acreage, what property consists of, possibly if taxes are paid or not, etc. But, it does not appear that you can learn addresses, phone numbers, or locations by parcel map.

More importantly perhaps, and also should be a matter of public record, is the recorded documents associated with the property. That would include things like legal descriptions, mortgages, debt recordings, liens, judgments, as well as deed restrictions, parcel maps, survey maps, etc. That information is usually available through a title report and can be obtained via a title company, for a fee, of course.

Some things may seem amazing. Like the valuations for several on the list; they seem a bit low. Also, does this say that there is assessed value of over $10 million for FoF property? And, is FoF exempt from paying property taxes as a non-profit religious organization?

200. elena - August 22, 2008

Opus 111,
I am responsible for the things I say. If I am lying about the things I am saying about these people let them take me to court and sue me for defamation. Let them stand up in court and prove that their sick little cult is a legitmate School of Consciousness.

My name is Clara Helena Haven. Stand up to your fucking names and do something about your lives who were ripped off and raped with the same indignity with which mine was.

Stop crippling your souls with the idea that you were responsible for it and you deserved it for being so stupid.

Coming from me, yes, Opus 111, I’ve not disclosed the private life of anyone here except that of a man who states he is the next conscious being on the planet and who fraudulently goes around the world standing up for a sick sociopath who gave him the title. But you like so many here think that while we were supposed to shut our fucking mouths for ever while we were being crippled and demeanoured in the Fellowship, we should continue to do so now that we are out so that they can continue with their little game and that a wife has to stand up for her sick husband because no woman has enough integrity to stand up for the people that are being blatantly abused by these men who were systematically protected by people like you.

How many of you knew Girard was as sick as Robert before I said it out loud? Why didn’t any of you tell the people joining that they had two depraved sexual addicts for teachers? In what position were you in the Fellowship that you had to hold on to it a little longer so that you could sing your own tune?

Take your ridiculous little masks off and stand up for your names if you want to ridicule me about exposing people here you fucking cowards.

201. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

187 arthur

As well as my bipolar disorder, I have the physical ‘goings-on’ of spondilitis – arthritis of the spine – and knowing the fact that, at some point, the ‘pack horse’ will wear out and give up the soul to the spirit realms. It is important to me to leave the legacy of a ‘craft-school in precious metals’ and to pass it on to someone in a younger generation, who will be, or, maybe is now, one of my students. The FOF gave me ‘paying to escape the fear of death’ but that is no longer the way I see the Benevolent Universe. If you play your part, according to your True Nature, and hand on the ‘gifts’ down the line (it is unrealistic to think that you can give back to those that have given to you and may not be in ‘the rules of the game’,since those who are coming up to your level need the help) then the Scheme of Things is Fulfilled…..Nigel.

202. elena - August 22, 2008

And Opus 111, in case you don’t understand yet, the reason I am calling these people by their names here is so that they can feel confronted and react. I am not trying to expose them I am trying to confront them but like all the cowards surrounding this blog they’ll just continue to hide in their little bubble hoping nothing ever happens to them because they have freedom of religion to fuck anyone up in a community in which this is common sense.

203. Across the River - August 22, 2008

181, 189 Elena

I don’t know much about the law related to internet blogs, but I have to think there’s a possible legal risk caused when you name names. Please don’t give anyone tangible cause to come after this blog. Anyway, maybe you feel good to shame these people, but what other purpose does it serve, really. What useful result could there be from attacking them? The question’s not rhetorical. It crosses a line on several fronts, IMO. (I don’t need a reminder of how these people have crossed lines.) I hope you will stop this direction.

160 nigel

It’s hard to say what will be needed regarding attorney costs as the petition is posted, signed, maybe challenged, etc. If you send money now it will be held for yet unknown purposes. From my POV it’s good to have it at the ready, and it’s a bird in the hand, so go ahead if you like, and thank you. Refer to the Fellowship petition, and I’ll let him know it’s coming once you say it’s been sent. Again, now or later is up to you. This is a “long haul”.

204. nigel harris price - August 22, 2008

202 Across the River

I did send Susan Zannos my ‘part of the story’ in the form of an addition to the petition, so maybe connections will be made, once I send the money. Actually, it is rather funny about having said I will commit, because one of my students has just ordered a gold ‘dolphin’ (communication symbol) ring from me, which will help with my $250. It will be my ‘being the words’…..Nigel.

205. whalerider - August 22, 2008

RC:
Actually, I think my ex-wife has a new girlfriend. Maybe I was too masculine and wasn’t feminine enough, who knows? Well, to each his/her own. And we have agreed on 50/50 custody of the kids, thankfully, so she didn’t take off anywhere with them as you suggest. She just moved about a quarter of a mile away. Sorry if I wasn’t clear about that.

This kind of personal information I have no problem sharing. I cry at movies sometimes, too, especially if I feel really sad. Hey, I even took acid a few times when I was younger as well, just not as much as you did, and although we both spent time in a mental ward, I was on the other side of the desk. Yeah, it was a real riot on the weekends, alright!

Not normal, you say? Thanks! Why be normal?

206. Across the River - August 22, 2008

176 RVM

“One of the mysteries: What is the learning for? Where do we apply it? Is there something more?”

Now THAT is a good question! A million theories but in fact very few practical applications, which is the personal part.

207. Reality Check - August 22, 2008

“…although we both spent time in a mental ward..”

I spent time in a mental ward? Not that I can remember and not that I couldn’t have qualified from time to time.

“Actually, I think my ex-wife has a new girlfriend.”

One of the oldest buffers in the world. She dumps you and suddenly she’s a dyke.

208. Another Name - August 22, 2008

138

RC

It is not what “they” do…..it is what are you doing now.

There is a need? What is the need? You might want to find this out for your self. I know my needs and the needs of many of my friends. Please I would ask you: do your own home work, talk to individuals people/ friends and hear them. Ask questions and maybe this might meet your need for information that is useful and based on true/ truthful information.

Do I hear an element of projection in your writing?

Good luck with taking care of your own emotional and practical business.

209. elena - August 22, 2008

Across the River,

I doubt Animamrecro can be held responsible for the things I say here.

As in other opportunities, the way I go about confronting the members about what they are doing to people is generally not approved by the members of this blog community. I cannot wait for your approval to confront the people in the Fellowship with these facts. I have given up hoping for your support just as I gave up hoping for your support when we were all members. At least I learnt to do that in the Fellowship.

Shaming people is not my aim Across the River, why would they feel shame if they are really doing what they believe in? Now, if they are just waiting for the next check from the new member that naively sends it from Bangkok, why should they be saved from feeling shame?

I guess we really do have extremely different views on what is going on here and it is necessary for people to be confronted with picketing and names and whatever else is possible before they actually realize what they are doing. I hope I’m never too weak to confront them.

I do believe people have changed their understanding about what is going on in the Fellowship in the past year, exept those inside who neither read nor write about their experience but just holding tightly to their role: more money, more power and to hell with the rest.

Do you not wonder Across the River why you are so clear about the fact that they have stepped their boundaries way beyond human decency and you still think they ought to not be called bluntly to account for it?

Do you know many of these names were already in Troy Buzbees case?

Do you know hundreds of you know things that would help bring the Fellowship down and you hide them? Do you know why you hide them? What is the measure of your complicity? Where are your own human boundaries that you will allow for this things to happen year after year to innocent people coming from countries around the world in which trust is still alive enough in people? Trust in the good will of people as a principle to any contract? Trust in the fact that if its not all right, you would say so and stop it and not let them be ripped off before they even come to Oregon House?

210. Opus 111 - August 22, 2008

Stop crippling your souls with the idea that you were responsible for it and you deserved it for being so stupid.

…abused by these men who were systematically protected by people like you… fucking cowards

Hilarious, nonetheless. I still strongly disagree with your putting names on here. But, have it your way. No need to respond and up the ante.

I will take full credit for being “so stupid”.

211. whalerider - August 22, 2008

RC:
Sorry, I thought you said you recuperated from your bad acid trip in a mental ward. My mistake! Did your friends take you to an outpatient clinic, then? You told me that story a long time ago. I still crack up every time I think about you tripping your brains out log rolling through the desert thinking the earth was rolling around you…to me that speaks volumes.

I know, I know, the ex-wife switching tracks sounds like a classic buffer…although apparently she has been spending weekends without the kids over her new friend’s house who happens to be a lesbian…anyway, I am slowly adjusting to life without her.

Hey, would it ever hurt you to turn the other cheek sometime…just as a little reality test?

212. Reality Check - August 23, 2008

“…although apparently she has been spending weekends without the kids over her new friend’s house who happens to be a lesbian…”

You’ve already clearly demonstrated that you have exhibitionist tendencies, but throwing your ex-wife’s personal life out here on the blog to save face is really pretty reprehensible. You’re not normal and I don’t mean that in a good way.

213. Across the River - August 23, 2008

203 nigel

Just to be clear, the petition is done, and we have the attorey’s recommendations. What’s waiting is to see if someone is willing to do the research that will even further support the content. What’s needed is described in post 14, 75, 151. That information would be posted at the wiki space, for reference. If no one is willing to do the research, the petition will be posted anyway, and maybe some funds used to ask the attorney to research the supporting information which can be posted later.

No more to say on the topic for now. I’d like the next news to be the posting announcement.

214. whalerider - August 23, 2008

So what is my diagnosis?

215. fofblogmoderator - August 23, 2008

#199 is newly moderated.

There’s something in those parcel listings that keeps getting caught in the spam filter

216. Reality Check - August 23, 2008

214. whalerider – August 23, 2008

“So what is my diagnosis?”

Sleeping machine.

217. Yesri Baba - August 23, 2008

Sweet Laura

218. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 23, 2008

HISS!!

219. Across the River - August 23, 2008

208 elena

You “doubt” the risk of losing the blog by naming names but you still want to do it your way.

You can and do get your point across very well without it. You don’t have to agree with me, but IMO it’s not your risk to take on behalf of others here, and it seems reasonable to me that to ban name-calling would be an appropriate level of householder for the blog.

220. arthur - August 23, 2008

nigel (201),

That was a good post. You are absolutely correct about “passing it on”. One thing for sure. You have plenty of “spiritual backbone”.

221. Opus 111 - August 23, 2008

Elena:

To maintain that all those people you name on your posts are actually “responsible” for what is going on in FOF is where I lose your argument for naming them.

On the one hand, you maintain that FOF was a rape factory with the main perpetrator being Burton and the victims being everyone else, directly (boys), or indirectly (the others) – I will not try to get into the GH, or women issues as separate – If indeed everyone else is, was a victim, as you say, do you think it is helpful, in any way, to screamingly blame the victims for being abused? If you don’t, why do you name people, especially when you also say they are probably not reading the blog? Does it make you feel brave, unlike the rest of us, fucking cowards?

On the other hand, I, like many others before me, will take responsibility for what I did (and did not do) while in the FOF. I do not need you to be the judge. I take responsibility for having made teaching payments and other donations for all those years, I accepted that “payment was a principle” (??). I take responsibility for having helped fund travels (you and) your husband GH made to help propagate the ‘good’ words and perpetuate the ‘good’ deeds. I knew RB was homosexual, but accepted the explanation I was given (and reinforced to myself), that it was consensual sex between adults. I never talked to someone who had sex with REB. Let me rephrase that: I talked many times to many members who had sex with REB, never about sex. I did not try. In fact, I did ask a friend early in my time, and he lied, saying that he did not have sex with REB because he refused, and that anyone was in a position to do the same. As he was in very good graces with REB, that encounter took care of any thoughts or rumors that REB could put pressure on people and ostracize those who denied his advances. See how easy it is?

I take responsibility for staying anonymous, and remain simply “one amongst those who were in the FOF and recently left”. It is my “fucking coward” decision. If you knew my identity, it would not help you at all, as we did not socialize.

Reading this blog and the testimonials was the revelation, a painful one at that. I had it wrong, very much so. I was so duped, “so stupid”. As I have written before, it is the stories from those (courageous) people that made a difference for me, not the theories (they help understand and heal), not the exhortations (they irritate me). I would say that I escaped relatively unscathed by the whole ordeal, although I would say that a shrink has yet to corroborate that assessment. Perhaps there was no great strength to be sapped, no great talent to be ruined. I always had a job outside, except for a brief period on salary. During my time on salary, It never crossed my mind that I was “stealing money”. The work was hard, the hours long.

I was one of the ordinary people, Elena. Get it?

222. My4bits - August 23, 2008

fofblogmoderator, post 215:

Personally, I would appreciate your intervention on some level to help keep personal attacks on the blog to a minimum. Lately, scathing and hateful personal attacks have again become ‘vogue.’

223. Another Name - August 23, 2008

In my experience most people who have COPD are smokers. ( and or 2nd hand smokers). The not smoking exercise of the fellowship of friends was one of the few positive aspects, according to my view.

Two books which have been very useful for me on learning to experiment with reathing are Conscious breathing from Joy Manne
And Breathing expanding form Michael Sky.

One of the reasons why I came to breathing was that a friend of my had sleep apnea. We looked into this little machine or breathing exercise machines like Powerbreathe and saw that they cost was between $ 50.00-$ 80.00. A friend pulmonologist prescribed the exercise inhaler for another friend and it was very helpful to her. When I studied up on the mechanical breathing exercise machines like Powerbeathe I understood it was just away to exercise the lung to expand them more and intentionally three times a day. I had done lots of breathing exercises years ago with a dear friend and realized that breathing exercises cando the same as the breathing exercise inhalers. My allergies are much better and my sinuses are much more open even now with the bad air quality as I feel has an effect on me and other people.

COPD is related to the lungs and the lungs stand for grieving, deep internal sadness, not able to let go of issue from the past, from deep old issues.
Smoking is also related to the lungs and cutting yourself of from emotions with others, keeping a ‘smoke curtain” between you and others. There is a lot more to say about the psychological meaning of disease….. Would take me pages. I hope this is helpful.

Another aspect is that you said you doctor is giving you calming medication? Is that what you said? If so, what is behind your fears?
Circulair breathing is breathing without taking a pause and you do not have to go into active hyperventilation. Just no pause between an inhalation and an exhalation. The books I mentioned before can give you lots of more information so you could make a more informed decision what suites your needs in this area.

Years ago I had phases of waking up in the night short of breath and my friend diagnosed me with wheezing and asthma. She gave me an inhaler of hers. I never used the inhaler, the fact that it was in my nightstand gave me peace and I had a few more episodes of waking up and unable to breath. I just went with the flow and watch the fear. Within 6 weeks I did not have an attack of shortness of breath and now 4 years later have not had a period of wheezing…..The last 2 years I grieved, grieved as never before in my life. Maybe that cleaned out my lungs too.

Did the doctor prescribed your prednisone? Be sure to take multi vitamins as prednisone and solumedrol have a lot of side effects like diabetes and osteoporosis and prednisone depletes you from minerals and vitamins.

What else to say about COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?) High dosages of vitamin C daily to cleaned out your lungs and intestines and increase your immune system.

Well good luck I hope this makes sense to you, if not let me know.

From a good heart. ….

224. elena - August 23, 2008

I get it well Opus 111, you had a job, you did your best, you did not ask much and to those that didn’t do so well, it is none of your business. That’s fine with me, but I’m on a different track. Can you take that too?

Across the River, why don’t you just suggest banning me and get your problems over with? At this point I don’t really give a dam, I’ve thrown up all I could and now that I was beginning to talk because I simply wanted to I can go and talk with other people.

Don’t think I’m gonna sit here and cry because you ban me, you’d probably do me a favour. This is a waste of time.

225. Daily Cardiac - August 23, 2008

To David Darby – 45-123:

Thank you for the insights. It’s always good to get sincere feedback. The neutral manner in which it was given was also appreciated. I‘ve already found much useful information in your answers.

I do take some exception to what you chose to comment on. For instance, you dedicated your entire post to isolating various statements you saw as contradictions on my part. This in itself does not detract from your comments, but the fact that you chose to only call attention to the “contradictions” does.

In the end you failed to touch on any of the issues I had hoped would be addressed. Maybe this is expected, as focusing on the contradictions would be looking in one direction while focusing on the content (any issues raised) would require looking in a totally different direction, and it would naturally be difficult to keep them both in your sights together.

That you decided to go for the contradictions I guess is somewhat revealing. It leaves me wondering if this was intentional on your part and, if so, what were your motives for ignoring the issues. Did you feel it was more important to expose my contradictions? Did you feel that my contradictions essentially cancelled out any issues I may have shed light on? Did you not delve into the writing deeply enough to grasp the important issues? Did you feel you could not refute the issues so you chose to ignore them? These are just some of the questions that occurred to me after I read your comments.

Whenever an individual commits wholeheartedly to exposing contradictions in someone else’s words, as you did, there also exists the possibility of being off the mark with the observations or conclusions.

I felt this was the case with some of your comments. Generally I felt you misconstrued some statements and your misunderstandings became my “contradictions.” This is more likely to occur seeing that you already disagree with my position (I being a supporter of FoF and you being someone who has rejected and left FoF). If we disagree with someone in principle any conclusions we come to will likely render our position in a good light rather than theirs. This is human nature.

I have to take some responsibility for your decision to go with the contradictions, as reading your comments I felt I opened the door to some wrong conclusions by not elucidating my thoughts clearly enough. (SZ would probably agree. Or is it “will probably agree”?)

I won’t attempt to point out all or most of what I felt was incorrect conclusions, but here are one or two examples of what I’m talking about:

DD said: “Each argument works well by itself, yet they often contradict each other. About sexual allegations you (DC) say;
“The other part is that the stories are alleged, and I wanted to keep that fact in the forefront. They cannot be proven in this arena so why not qualify our dialog with that in mind.” and “As far as a conspiracy; I don’t think people are in collusion, or plotting together, but their common aims and motivations will produce similar responses, and it’s clear that at times they feed off of each other.”

DD: “Yet a few paragraphs down you say ”Robert’s role in sex is well documented.” Then go on to give descriptions of RB’s sexual (but not ‘alleged’ in this case hmm?) proclivities. Your argument breaks down to something like this; RB has sex with many male students, but, ex-students who talk about the sex they had with RB are lying.”

I haven’t skirted the reality that Robert has had sex with members. Just recently I mentioned that if he has had sex at all it’s with members, as he has almost no contact with non members.

What should remain alleged in my opinion are the many outlandish stories detailed by mostly anonymous sources. One of which suggested that Robert “serviced” 60 men on his 60th birthday, or something to that effect. Another completely unsubstantiated and anonymous account of an orgy was just re-posted about a week ago.

These are the types of comments I was indicating should remain in the ‘alleged” column because aside from an anonymous writer there is no evidence they actually occurred.

Even more important in this whole area is the fact that no one’s motivations in these sexual encounters with Robert (those who stated they were abused) can be known, aside from what they claim their motivations were. When I say “motivations” I mean reasons for participating.

So, it’s not so much the sexual acts with students that are disputed by me but it’s the motivations of the participants, regarding whether they were indeed abused. This point is further illustrated in the following statements.

Here are my words from 45-85:

“I’ll say this with as much certainty as a person can reasonably claim: For every man Robert has asked to have sex with him and who may have felt “put out” or “pressured” there is at least one other man who would have given anything to be asked by Robert but he did not even consider asking them. And some of those individuals left the FoF because they were not asked to have sex.”

Then DD says: “Translates to; for each person who was coerced into having sex (a minus), there is one who wants to (a plus). Add them together and they cancel each other out. No harm there, eh?”

All I can say is that the “canceling each other out” aspect did not once cross my mind. I made this point to illustrate that what one person sees as a crime/rape/abuse another may view as something desirable. And the point behind that is – a teacher having sex with members cannot be categorically labeled as “abuse or “criminal” without taking into account many unprovable things.

I could go through your entire reply and point out nuances that you missed that may have dissuaded you from labeling certain passages as “contradictions” but I don’t see a point in doing that.

I’ll just mention again that there were several issues in 45-85 that were not addressed, one being that anyone involved with Robert was in the position of saying no, and had they did so they would not have felt so compromised or victimized. They also would have had the opportunity to verify that it is possible to simply say no without meeting with any dire circumstances.

The possibility and importance of saying no has not been successfully countered so far. I understand it’s not easy to say no to an authority figure but I don’t think that answer holds up when all sides of the issue are considered.

One last mention of the whole “alleged” issue regarding sex with members – I’ve mentioned it before; the blog is not a “proving ground” it is a forum for discussion; intelligent or otherwise.

If consensus equals proof anything agreed on can be proved here. If consensus does not equal proof nothing can be proved. All we can do is present our points, make our cases, etc. and yield to the next person. The truth will resonate in the minds and hearts of those seeking it.

226. fofblogmoderator - August 23, 2008

#222 My4bits-

In response to you request, I would like to say 3 things;

1. I am the moderator not a mediator. I am not here to resolve any differences. I can’t change people’s language and remarks, all I can do is ban them. Is there someone that you want banned?

2. I am new at this job and I am trying to get a handle on when to “intervene” and when to let things works themselves out.

3. I would gladly give this job to anyone else who would volunteer, but even Pavel commented to me in private that he was quite surprised that no one else volunteered.

That being said, I appreciate any and all input and comments from the various contributors here regarding their thoughts and feelings on how I might be an effective moderator.

227. brucelevy - August 23, 2008

225. Daily Cardiac

You are one sick puppy.

Now the rest of the crew can converse with you like you’re a normal person.

228. elena - August 23, 2008

Daily Cardiac: “That you decided to go for the contradictions I guess is somewhat revealing. It leaves me wondering if this was intentional on your part and, if so, what were your motives for ignoring the issues. Did you feel it was more important to expose my contradictions? Did you feel that my contradictions essentially cancelled out any issues I may have shed light on? Did you not delve into the writing deeply enough to grasp the important issues? Did you feel you could not refute the issues so you chose to ignore them? These are just some of the questions that occurred to me after I read your comments.?”

You did these same things about my whole post on the sacrifices you, Girard and Robert have had to do to be in a Conscious School but it doesn’t matter. With this post you show that you are not here because the Fellowship or anything else interests you but because you are as needy of a dialogue as everyone else in the Fellowship and you’re just another lonely dude looking for something to do. Good! This is great therapy as Fat Boy demonstrated!

Who was it? My4Bits or …….God I can’t remember, I’ll have to check, oh yes, Opus 111. I’m sorry I called you a fucking coward together with that idiot Truth Teller who recently came making accounts about my exposing Girard. Oh and My4bits, I guess we get to call mummy when you are called fucking cowards but not when we are called fucking whores! Is this part of your conscientious double standard lives? You’re so cute and have such a great deal of integrity you should offer your self for the next nobel peace prize. Still, your posts have been really good, you actually sounded human for a little while.

Daily Cardiac, you’ve come to the right place. With that little tone of yours and the fact that you have freedom of religion to fuck anyone up in a community in which this is common sense, I bet you can find a whole lot of people who’ll use their common sense
and gently discuss with you the different aspects of how much you and they understood about what you said and they said and quickly go back to fucking a whole lot more people up with complete freedom of religion. It’s a free world isn’t it? Pure common sense! What a charming place this is!

Then you say: “If consensus equals proof anything agreed on can be proved here. If consensus does not equal proof nothing can be proved. All we can do is present our points, make our cases, etc. and yield to the next person. The truth will resonate in the minds and hearts of those seeking it.”

You poor guy, so much education to bend reality into mind games related to the form. Do you know why you sound so much like Girard? Because he does exactly what you’re doing: Spends his life organizing his agenda without having anything else to do but make it look proper. He has convinced himself that if it is in the Agenda and he planned it the day before and the day before the day before then he is ALIVE.

What’s the difference with you? You spent almost a week planning this answer for David Darby and avoiding everything else so that you can convince yourself that it doesn’t exist just as you can insinuate that Robert’s sexuality is just normal? Common sense as some would say here! Elementary my Dear Watson, right?

I guess that is one of the many horrors of the Fellowship that I could no longer put up with: that ability to reduce life into the manic order of both Robert and Girard who could not leave anything to chance because they could not deal with it, nor anybody else. Extremely boring but just a different kind of psychotic behavior and it made me realize the degree to which the whole play was so absolutely fucked up. He, sitting there and writing his agenda for ours then looking at it again and pasting it on the refrigerator so that I was well informed at what time I had to be ready for the next act of life! And taking it back and doing it over and over again if any little change was made during the week so that his sense of order would not be compromised by the attack of the unpredictable, like Nicholson writing the same sentence for hundreds of pages in The Shine. Common sense!

Well, I think I give up because if this is what common sense is around here then there’ll never be a chance for us to meet and war will be for ever our condition.

229. unoanimo - August 23, 2008

Hello Opus 111 ~

You wrote ~ “I was one of the ordinary people…”

__________

Yes, we were all “ordinary”: it’s (after), when we left or were asked to leave that the non-ordinary began to show itself (IMO)… Inside the bubble you cannot see what the bubble itself reflects; outside the bubble, the bubble looks at you with its unfathomable emptiness and the looker fills that bubble back up with busy gestures and lots of needle sharpening… The bubble keeps looking because that’s what bubbles ‘do’, they have no choice in the matter (even in the dark)…

So, let’s try something… Buy a can of bubbles (at Foothill Ace Hardware), sit on your roof at night and blow bubbles… They’ll be the ones who are looking without being seen looking and judged for being the only omnipresent mirrors in the world who give birth and maintain a pregnant status simultaneously, infinitely…

L.t.y.a.

230. Ames Gilbert - August 23, 2008

Reality Check,
I’m not going to comment on the specific observations and information you offer us, but I am responding generally to the tone of your many posts,
In my opinion, your basic premise seem to be that the Fourth Way is pretty much valid, and that we were either unlucky to meet up with the Fellowship of Friends, or our various weaknesses and flaws attracted us to the organization and leader. Following from this, you opine that because the FoF is not a genuine Fourth Way school, we cannot possibly have learned much of any value, and have exited with our weaknesses and flaws often unsuspected, mostly unexamined, and sometimes even magnified. Sleeping machines at entry, perhaps made sleepier by the experience, and certainly deeply sleeping now. You have also frequently taken on the duty to remind us of this perception of yours. Are these fair statements?
The trouble with this premise, the way I see it, is that it is self-referential. That is, you are only seeing things from within the logic and reference points of the Fourth Way System, as you understand it. Most of us have studied the Fourth Way, and I for one can recognize where you are coming from. But we can only give your claims any special weight if we stay within the parameters of that paradigm. Personally, I see you as a Fourth Way fundamentalist, cajoling and bullying us to join you. And as a fundamentalist, you seem to be offended if we view the Fourth Way as anything but sacrosanct and all inclusive, as anything other than catholic.

Though I value the System, my current view is that Fourth Way reductionism can go too far. Here is an example. I have experienced love, and continue to experience it, both giving and receiving. The Fourth Way, as interpreted by Ouspensky, states that sleeping machines cannot experience love. Burton exploited this, saying that only he could love, that love was beyond the capacity of his followers. I know from my own personal experience that Ouspensky was wrong, and that Burton was not only wrong, but is one of the most cold and unloving people I have ever met. According to the Fourth Way (and certainly Burton and his minions), I am the one who is mistaken, and that what I experience is an illusion, some species of imagination. The next step required is to deny my feelings of loving and being loved, and replace those ‘illusions’ with… exactly what? A robot inner voice reminding me that the new ‘reality’ I must acknowledge is pretty much a blank gray, that pleasure and warmth and affection are mental diseases, What happened to me was that the capacity for expressing and exchanging love was exchanged for what became an aspect of an ‘observing machine’. I once prized this, but now know that the exchange was for a rather less value, a really bad deal, IMO.

At this point, I would guess that you are itching to jump in and say that this is a result of not having a ‘real teacher’, but that is still denying my actual experience, which is that I can indeed love and be loved. My point is, that my experience is my experience. Your claims, based on what you were told is the ‘Fourth Way’, that it is only the imagination of a sleeping machine, are what I mean by self-referential reductionism to the point of absurdity. Whether there is a true school/teacher or not, nothing—nothing—can replace my actual experience. All a ‘true school/teacher’ (if such exist) can possibly do is to help me place that experience in some other (supposedly ‘more correct’) context. By the way, I hope you’re not claiming to be such a teacher (though the implication hangs out there), but feel free to correct me.

My experience is that despite the sleep-inducing aspects of the Fellowship of Friends, the ‘anti-Fourth Way’ norms and perceptions, I could sometimes penetrate the fog. I had to learn to do my own work, make my own independent observations, and ditch the FoF culture to do so, but that was perfect for me. Just because you claim from your fundamentalist purity that I could not have possibly done so does not negate my experience. In fact, I suspect that it is you who are talking theoretically, because I cannot recall you mentioning, let alone explaining, how your own actual experiences informed your claims in any of your posts. Your words seem to consist of either direct quotations from the ‘workbooks’ or a synthesis of such, all delivered in a cold and impersonal tone. Some of your words are useful, and indeed inspiring to my intellectual center, sometimes you do have a neat turn of phrase, but few have connected with my emotional center. I use my emotional center to—guess what? Among other things, to evaluate the emotionality of your posts, and how human and humane they are. That is one of its jobs, and I have learned to trust it.

Of course, my point of view is only that; you may claim that it has the same weaknesses of self-reference that I accuse you of. Or you may claim that this whole post is just another silly manifestation of imagination and sleep. What you cannot do, without evoking considerable laughter from the audience, is claim that my experience is somehow not my experience, based on a pet theory you hold.
I have used the concept of love in my example, but this applies to any experiences I’ve lived in other areas, including different states and levels of consciousness, conscience, sense of connectedness, oneness, and so on.

231. whalerider - August 23, 2008

Here’s your Reality Check:

So I am a “sleeping machine” because I stand up for myself, have ‘the “tendency” to exhibit my feelings, and thus I am “not normal” then? But I thought to be normal like everyone else on the planet was to be asleep…? I don’t follow you.

Then again, I don’t follow anyone anymore. I listen to my own heart. I take each day as it comes. I tell my kids that I love them every chance I get so they can love themselves. And I do my utmost to help empower others without exploiting them, one at a time, and without the need for adoration or the need to create dependency in those with whom I meet.

BTW, have you found your right livelihood, my all-too-conscious friend? What do you sell to make a living?

232. Ames Gilbert - August 23, 2008

fofblogmoderator (#46-226 or thereabouts),
I think you are quite right, you are a moderator, not a mediator, and I think you are doing fine. Pavel set down some sound principles, which you are also using as a basis. I thought that he did a great job inasmuch that he didn’t try to have a rule for every little thing, but informed us of some guiding principles; this allowed him the flexibility to respond to situations individually rather than mechanically, he let his experience and humanity be the ultimate arbiters. A pedantic rule follower might not be able to adjudicate a difference between Bruce’s posts and Greg’s, but a human (in the best sense of the word) arbiter can tell that Bruce’s insults are usually actually teaching moments, while Greg’s post to Duncan (which led to Greg’s ejection) was not just insulting, but deeply inhumane and unheedingly cruel—‘over the top’ and pointlessly so.
The blog goes through phases, up and down then up again. In my opinion, the ‘ups’ more than make up for the ‘downs’. Thank you for your efforts at keeping it this way.
______________________________________________________________

Elena, you go girl! You add the spice needed to balance the too many polite, bland posts like mine!

233. nigel harris price - August 23, 2008

232 Ames Gilbert

Maybe the blof is ‘manic-depressive’! It goes to both poles…..Nigel.

234. nigel harris price - August 23, 2008

Sorry – blog!

235. whalerider - August 23, 2008

fofblogmoderator:
Do you have an email address which we can use to respond to you in private?

236. Yesri Baba - August 23, 2008

The fourth way is a nutritious breakfast
a heavy lunch
and a poisonous dinner.

237. nigel harris price - August 23, 2008

236 Yesri Baba

“Let the ‘salaam-i’ come to (the false) Mohammed”, with apologies to all Moslems…..Nigel.

238. Reality Check - August 23, 2008

230. Ames Gilbert – August 23, 2008

“Reality Check,
I’m not going to comment on the specific observations and information you offer us, but I am responding generally to the tone of your many posts.”

The tone as heard by your ears; which, I must say, does not strike me as being tuned for much of a pure pitch. Every time I read one of your posts I can’t help but picture you in a tee-shirt at a gathering of the ex-FOF tribe with dozens of names printed on it as a practical joke. It must have taken you more than an hour to produce that and it was clearly what I would consider a lunatic effort, that is, far more obsessive an activity than was warranted by the subsequent meaning. So I have to warn you right off that when you talk about addressing my tone as opposed to what I actually said then I am dubious of the outcome of your endeavor to evaluate my “tenor.”

“In my opinion, your basic premise seem to be that the Fourth Way is pretty much valid, and that we were either unlucky to meet up with the Fellowship of Friends, or our various weaknesses and flaws attracted us to the organization and leader.”

I was never in a Fourth Way school, though I was in four organizations that claimed to be Fourth Way schools, so my knowledge of the Fourth Way is at best full of gaps, quite likely. What I know of the Fourth Way seems valid enough, though I do not take everything I read about it as free of the usual subjectivity of opinion. I don’t follow hardly anything that Gurdjieff wrote of his understanding of the “work” in “All and Everything” (and do not care to jump through the hoops and figure out the key to the obscuration) and in fact I consider Gurdjieff something of a nut. Ouspensky made G. sound like a college professor in ISOTM, but we can see from the later notes published by his other students that in fact when he lectured on the work it was actually rather broken and primitive. Some of this was a language translation difficulty, likely, but he certainly did not speak as coherently as he is made to speak in ISOTM. Even so, obviously he got the basics across at least to Ouspensky. It also seems that many of the things that Ouspensky says about the Fourth Way are far too fanatical and absolute (I should talk, I know) and some of it is clearly wrong. What I express here and other places about the Fourth Way is far from “party line work language” if you care to notice. I only mention that because already your premise about my premise is overly exaggerated and does not follow what it is that I actually say.

That we ended up the Fellowship of Friends for any length of time speaks for itself that we certainly lacked some kind of basic intelligence, because almost right from the beginning the “conscious teacher” began exhibiting obvious symptoms of schizophrenia. Nearly right off the bat it was the end of the world and we were creating a new civilization. Generally speaking, rational and perceptive people to not go along with the kind of obviously delusional perceptions such as, “The Gods have selected me to found a new civilization out of the aches of the old one.”

(A.G)
“Following from this [wrong premise], you opine that because the FoF is not a genuine Fourth Way school, we cannot possibly have learned much of any value, and have exited with our weaknesses and flaws often unsuspected, mostly unexamined, and sometimes even magnified.”

This would be an exaggeration of my “tone” from the perception of in your ears. I don’t believe the FOF was ever a genuine Fourth Way school, but clearly some of the very powerful ideas of the Fourth Way were used by Burton to dominate people and it worked very well, since no one ever successfully stood up and argued with him definitively enough to cause the followers to abandon his “teaching.” I guess Miles came the closest when he led 250 people out of Burton’s clutches, but then it was rumored that Miles began teaching the “Messages for Michael” silliness. It is very uneven between ex-members how much they gained from the few nuggets of truth that circulated through the population of the Fellowship. I can remember talking to an “older student” when I first joined the FOF, trying to get a conversation going about the first and second conscious shocks while quoting Ouspensky nearly exactly to another “new student,” and the older follower obviously had little idea what I was going on about. He finally said that it was all wrong, he “suspected”. It confused me for a short while, but I soon caught on that many of these people had their own idea about what the “Fourth Way” was, and it was very sloppy. The tradition of rigorous intellectual reasoning seasoned with emotional intuition found in many of Ouspensky’s books just was not part of the makeup of a large portion of the FOF followers and they usually relied on Burton’s “visionary” distortions rather than even basic logic. Even so, I probably succumbed to the group sense of reality after a time. So, in answer to your accusation, some ex-FOF people do obviously operate from the higher portions of the human capacity and use their experience to know and understand themselves and others, to moderate their instantaneous reactions, but some obviously have no idea what the “higher portions of the human capacity” even means. Many posting here simply slog around in their immediate, automatic reactions with little effort to resist their natural tendency to believe all their predictable off-the-cuff responses. It does seem to me that some have even gotten far worse in mistaking their clearly group-think prejudices as evidently reality, believing that if the majority kind-of-agree on something then it is a fact. I can’t imagine a more mechanical assumption.

(A. G.)
“Sleeping machines at entry, perhaps made sleepier by the experience, and certainly deeply sleeping now. You have also frequently taken on the duty to remind us of this perception of yours.”

Now you try and sneak your own exaggerations in under the radar in hopes of furthering your questionably “reasonable” assessment of my collected comments. There is nothing honest or neutral in this line of suggestion and I wonder why you don’t just turn your questions into the blatantly accusatory essay that you would clearly rather present.

I will say this, certainly some of the ex-FOFers that are enraged and tend to rant on about the evil collusion of top-level conspirators in the FOF are likely worse off than when they joined, because they are obviously far more identified.

“Are these fair statements?”

Hardly. This is a farce.

“The trouble with this premise, the way I see it, is that it is self-referential.”

Jeezus. Who isn’t “self-referential?” What a formatory conclusion, and quite self-referential I might add (facetiously). If you are going to hang your entire condemnation on the procedural phrase “self-referential” then your attempt here is pathetic.

“That is, you are only seeing things from within the logic and reference points of the Fourth Way System, as you understand it.”

I know this essay goes on for a long time in this erroneous vein but the premise of my reliance on the Fourth Way as my only understanding of the working of human nature is one dimensional at best. I certainly rely on non-ideological observation and experience far more than what is found in literature under the heading of the Fourth Way and my rather loose and informal use of the ideas in my comments make that clear. You’ve ignored what is there and blindly decided that you are seeing what it is you think you’re seeing.

But on we must go.

“Most of us have studied the Fourth Way, and I for one can recognize where you are coming from.”

I doubt it. You think you know where I’m coming from, but I wouldn’t be the least surprised that if we seriously compared notes you’d find that I am rather heretical when it comes to what you might consider “Fourth Way” doctrine. For instance I don’t agree that people need teachers to whom they surrender their will. I don’t agree that people need schools. I don’t agree that everyone is doomed simply because they do not know of Fourth Way ideas and techniques. I have seen myself that people in life without knowing anything about the Fourth Way have far more being than I have and perhaps more consciousness, simply by being good people living by their conscience.

“But we can only give your claims any special weight if we stay within the parameters of that paradigm.”

First you falsely define my claims based on your interpretation of tone rather than what I actually said and now you are going to knocked the strawman down proving that what you claim I believe is wrong. Okay.

“Personally, I see you as a Fourth Way fundamentalist, cajoling and bullying us to join you.”

I wouldn’t let you join me if you paid me. In case you haven’t noticed I don’t collect many that agree with my attitude toward things. I generally make a point of ensuring the situation is such that no one is going to “join me.” So, your conclusion of fundamentalism is — what to call it – stupidly self-referential.

“And as a fundamentalist, you seem to be offended if we view the Fourth Way as anything but sacrosanct and all inclusive, as anything other than catholic.”

I’m only offended by pack mentality, by packs of people thinking collectively in order to bolster each one’s inherent lack of individualism. I’m offended by mobs attacking those that don’t seem to conform to their generally vague sense of agreement. Does that sound fundamentalist to you?

“Though I value the System, my current view is that Fourth Way reductionism can go too far.”

Reductionism, this is another borrowed catchword from the jargon of pseudo-argumentation. You’re saying nothing with this kind of gibberish.

“Here is an example.”

Okay, good an example.

“I have experienced love, and continue to experience it, both giving and receiving. The Fourth Way, as interpreted by Ouspensky, states that sleeping machines cannot experience love.”

I didn’t know that. I thought Ouspensky said:

“I would say love is impossible with identification. Identification kills all emotions, except negative emotions.”

“For instance, we love somebody one moment, and wish them dead the next. Only we do not see it.”

“Learn to love yourself first – you do not love yourself enough; you love your false personality, not yourself.”

But you say you experience “love,” do you love those in the Fellowship when you taunt them childishly hoping to cause them irritation? That doesn’t seem much like love.

“Burton exploited this, saying that only he could love, that love was beyond the capacity of his followers.”

Burton is a crazy person, what do you expect?

“I know from my own personal experience that Ouspensky was wrong,”

But did Ouspensky really say that love is impossible, or is this another case of you hearing tones?

“…and that Burton was not only wrong, but is one of the most cold and unloving people I have ever met. According to the Fourth Way (and certainly Burton and his minions), I am the one who is mistaken, and that what I experience is an illusion, some species of imagination.”

I can’t speak for Burton because I’m not as deranged as he is, but does the Fourth Way really say that you cannot love? Where is the quote?

“The next step required is to deny my feelings of loving and being loved, and replace those ‘illusions’ with… exactly what? A robot inner voice reminding me that the new ‘reality’ I must acknowledge is pretty much a blank gray, that pleasure and warmth and affection are mental diseases, What happened to me was that the capacity for expressing and exchanging love was exchanged for what became an aspect of an ‘observing machine’. I once prized this, but now know that the exchange was for a rather less value, a really bad deal, IMO.”

I don’t think anyone should abandon their finer emotions for some kind of unrealistic ideology. But does the Fourth Way really demand this? Who else taught the Fourth Way besides Ouspensky? What did they do? And I’m not so sure that Ouspensky said stop indulging the feeling of love. If he did then he was silly to say so.

“At this point, I would guess that you are itching to jump in and say that this is a result of not having a ‘real teacher’, but that is still denying my actual experience, which is that I can indeed love and be loved.”

The only real teacher in my book is you yourself, so yes I would jump in and say that. I would also suggest that you not deny your actual experience. But I would also caution to be sure of your actual experience and I would add that your actually experience yesterday or a year ago is almost meaningless if you can’t experience love today.

“My point is, that my experience is my experience.”

I don’t argue with you, unless it becomes even clearer that your experiences based on “tones” are unreliable.

“Your claims, based on what you were told is the ‘Fourth Way’,”

What exactly are my claims? Quote them. What exactly was I told is the Fourth Way? Were you standing there next to me when I was told? Your reasoning is highly emotionalized, which is not necessarily a bad thing but it does lack a certain obvious kind of logic.

“…that it is only the imagination of a sleeping machine, are what I mean by self-referential reductionism to the point of absurdity.”

Look, this is wacko. I didn’t self-referentially reduce your experiences of love, Ouspensky didn’t self-referentially reduce your experiences of love and the Fourth Way didn’t self-referentially reduce your experiences of love, but all this defensiveness and not to mention the sense of persecution makes me wonder if love really ever visited your door. Is this the musings of a man with love in his heart?

“Whether there is a true school/teacher or not, nothing—nothing—can replace my actual experience. All a ‘true school/teacher’ (if such exist) can possibly do is to help me place that experience in some other (supposedly ‘more correct’) context. By the way, I hope you’re not claiming to be such a teacher (though the implication hangs out there), but feel free to correct me.”

I’m my own teacher, though admittedly rather incompetent. But no, I do not have “students” or anyone that even listens to me on the subject of the Fourth Way face to face. Nor do I have email listeners any longer. I have actually had to push people away that wanted to move near me and be my “student” and I tried to explain to them how ‘in imagination’ they were that I could give them what they thought they wanted. Anyone insistently willing to give up their will to another in exchange for being taught how to understand what they believe the other understands is yet another embodiment of evil.

“My experience is that despite the sleep-inducing aspects of the Fellowship of Friends, the ‘anti-Fourth Way’ norms and perceptions, I could sometimes penetrate the fog. I had to learn to do my own work, make my own independent observations, and ditch the FoF culture to do so, but that was perfect for me.”

Lovely for you. You have my admiration.

“Just because you claim from your fundamentalist purity…”

Hey! Hey! Where’s the love? This is not love, Dr. Phil.

“…that I could not have possibly done so does not negate my experience.”

The “self-referential reductionism” again? Jeeze.

“In fact, I suspect that it is you who are talking theoretically, because I cannot recall you mentioning, let alone explaining, how your own actual experiences informed your claims in any of your posts.”

Yes well, I tend to keep my personal experiences personal. Sorry. Just can’t imagine why I would make personal experiences public.

“Your words seem to consist of either direct quotations from the ‘workbooks’ or a synthesis of such, all delivered in a cold and impersonal tone.”

Some of the Fellowship information I do hang on to. Like center of gravity. What do you think of the center of gravity information?

“Some of your words are useful, and indeed inspiring to my intellectual center, sometimes you do have a neat turn of phrase, but few have connected with my emotional center.”

But there were a few that did?

“I use my emotional center to—guess what?

To love without self-referential reductionism?

“Among other things, to evaluate the emotionality of your posts, and how human and humane they are. That is one of its jobs, and I have learned to trust it.”

I’m not all that humane to most people because most people are not altogether human. I know I should love them anyway, following your example of experience, but that self-referential reductionism keeps getting in the way. I hope you don’t think I’m not taking this long, long outpouring seriously.

“Of course, my point of view is only that; you may claim that it has the same weaknesses of self-reference that I accuse you of.”

I claim that everyone is self-referential otherwise they’d be able to see the world and themselves from beyond their own psychology and physicality and though that is not impossible it is certainly not usual.

“Or you may claim that this whole post is just another silly manifestation of imagination and sleep.”

I think you are a good guy mainly, unless someone gets on the wrong side of your tone. I think going out there and to court with Elena was first class, that was some love for sure.

“What you cannot do, without evoking considerable laughter from the audience, is claim that my experience is somehow not my experience, based on a pet theory you hold.”

I have no way of knowing what experiences you might have had. I can only guess that many if not most have had as many experiences as I’ve had.

“I have used the concept of love in my example, but this applies to any experiences I’ve lived in other areas, including different states and levels of consciousness, conscience, sense of connectedness, oneness, and so on.”

I don’t doubt it or dispute it, but you certainly didn’t use your love to give me the benefit of the doubt did you? You just assumed that I had an entirely hostile tone when in fact I did not. So, just how well was your love working today? Isn’t love fairly clairvoyant?

239. Reality Check - August 23, 2008

231. whalerider – August 23, 2008

“Here’s your Reality Check:

“So I am a “sleeping machine” because I stand up for myself,”

***

You were just going into detail out here on the blog speculating about how your ex-wife of a few months ago has turned into a lesbian and you don’t think you’re a sleeping machine? You actually believe that you are in possession of a conscience?

240. Reality Check - August 23, 2008

235. whalerider – August 23, 2008

“fofblogmoderator:

“Do you have an email address which we can use to respond to you in private?”

***

Dear moderator, please be cautious of this worm-tongued character and don’t let him bribe you like he did Pavel.

241. Reality Check - August 23, 2008

232. Ames Gilbert – August 23, 2008

“…but a human (in the best sense of the word) arbiter can tell that Bruce’s insults are usually actually teaching moments…”

***

Bruce’s helpless and often vile outbursts of automatic opposition to the stimulus of words he does not agree with are “teaching moments?”

Our we suddenly back the Fellowship or what?

242. arthur - August 23, 2008

another name (223),

I got a lot out of your post. Thank you very much. In fact I’m making notes from it.

My “lung doctor” does not like “calming” medications. He claims I would focus too much on the medication and not “work” my lungs.

He is a very “straight shooter” about his doctoring. For example, he came into ICU and asked how I was feeling. I told him that I didnt sleep at all. He said, “this is ICU, there is activity 24 hours a day. Consider this your Guantanamo Bay with sleep deprivation. We are not here to make you feel good, we are here to make you well so that you can feel good”.
That’s the way he pretty much states things about Calming medicine and Oxygen.

My calming medicine came from the Nursing home doctor. I was fresh out of ICU and very anxious. I had to relearn how to walk which was very stressful. That’s when I asked for the calming medicine. And, I only asked for it as “needed”.

I had an appointment one day with my “straight shooter” doctor I took one then. I also asked to take my oxygen tank off my wheelchair. The first thing he asked was, “what are you still doing in a wheelchair”.

I don’t understand it myself. When I’m gasping for air like a fish out of water everybody from the EMTs, ER to ICU wants me to calm down. I’m a weakling when it comes to not breathing. It’s difficult for me to calm down.

I don’t take prednisone.

COPD—grieving, deep internal sadness. I wouldnt doubt that one bit.

Thanks again.

243. lauralupa - August 23, 2008

Daily Cardiac 225
“I haven’t skirted the reality that Robert has had sex with members. Just recently I mentioned that if he has had sex at all it’s with members, as he has almost no contact with non members.

Even more important in this whole area is the fact that no one’s motivations in these sexual encounters with Robert (those who stated they were abused) can be known, aside from what they claim their motivations were. When I say “motivations” I mean reasons for participating.”

What I would find much more important to explore in this whole area is Robert’s motivations for having sexual encounters with FoF members. You seem to imply that this happens because of his lack of contact with people outside the FoF.

Mohammed and his child brides aside, do you really think it is a good and acceptable practice for a contemporary church leader (or spiritual teacher, or however you like to define Robert Burton) to routinely have sex with members of his congregation (followers of his path, etc.)?

Can you please try to answer this question without recurring to faith-based rationalizations such as “the lower cannot see the higher” and “it’s the will of the gods”?

244. whalerider - August 23, 2008

RC:

So what face am I saving? I don’t care what anyone thinks about me here, I am not selling anything. You are reacting as predicted. Anyone who confronts you or disagrees with you gets labled as a “sleeping machine” as though that were a derogatory term and you were the only one here defending objective truth. So you call me a sleeping machine, so what? Have I denied it?

And my post to fofblogmonitor did not refer to you, nor had anything to do with you or our interactions.

If I were to call for your expulsion from the blog, which I am not likely to do, nor have in the past, I would do so in public. But I don’t have to. You usually get “hoisted by your own petard.”

From your latest verbal attack, you strike me as a bit paranoid as well.

Arthur:
Instead attempting to inhale more, focus on exhaling more. Work on strengthening your adominal muscles by squeezing the air out of your lungs by caving your stomach muscles inward and then releasing them to inhale. You will breathe in more air passively that way without freaking out, and it’s a good work out for the abs. The lungs are held rigid by the rib cage, there is not much room to breathe up there, that why’s it feels like the “walls are closing in” when you gasp for air by only expanding your chest. So relax your chest and use your stomach muscles to breathe. Focus on exhaling. In your case, I recommend you don’t count breaths or attempt to hold your breath like Weil suggests; when you restrict your breathing like that it will only release adrenaline into your blood stream that will raise your anxiety level. You would do well to explore some “Lamaze Breathing” techniques, too, the same breathing techniques used in giving birth…short breaths from squeezing the diaphragm like the breath of fire in Yoga, only slower. Let me know how it works.

245. David Darby - August 23, 2008

DC~225
We are looking at things from two different perspectives, but not in the way that you expressed it (outside FOF, inside FOF).
I was evaluating the logic of your statements in and of themselves, and exploring the relationships between the different statements you made. This showed the contradictions, not any bias against your position or deliberate misunderstanding on my part.
Here is an example of your skewed logic ;
”I made this point to illustrate that what one person sees as a crime/rape/abuse another may view as something desirable.” This is akin to saying that because some women like rough sex, rape does not
exist.

“And the point behind that is – a teacher having sex with members cannot be categorically labeled as “abuse or “criminal” without taking into account many unprovable things.”
Of course people can (and have ) said no to RB.
Of course some people may say yes because they genuinely want to. (Rare, as there is no evidence of RB having had sex with another homosexual…)
However, some people have said yes not because they wanted to, but because they felt they had to. They were coerced/lied to (I.e. “C-influence wants you to do this…”).
Neither of the first two statements negate or change the third.

The point of my post was that if you look at things sequentially (pun intended), it is possible to break things down issue by issue and take whatever pseudo-logical stance is necessary to justify each one, even if that means taking contradictory stances from one issue to the next.
If however you look at the situation as a whole, first the contradictions become glaringly obvious, and second, the implications of all these issues lead to a fairly straight forward logical conclusion; The FOF is not what it claims to be. RB is not what he claims to be.
You are like a person looking at a jig-saw puzzle and saying “Look, this is a puzzle piece. See it has part of an image on the surface, and it can connect to other pieces here and here…And look, here is another piece, and it is blue…”

I am just looking at the finished puzzle, and the image it presents is very disturbing.

246. arthur - August 23, 2008

Whalerider,

Now we are talking. I have to reverse what I normally do. Let me practice for awhile and I’ll let you know.

247. Man Number Zero - August 23, 2008

Daily Cardiac,

You write in 225:

“I’ll say this with as much certainty as a person can reasonably claim: For every man Robert has asked to have sex with him and who may have felt “put out” or “pressured” there is at least one other man who would have given anything to be asked by Robert but he did not even consider asking them. And some of those individuals left the FoF because they were not asked to have sex.”

You’ve offered this argument twice now, which suggests you don’t realize how it sounds to everyone else. Suppose you were on the jury in the trial of a man charged with child rape. His defense attorney pleads that, although his client has indeed raped a number of children, he has on other occasions turned down opportunities for sex with willing partners. Would this mitigate his offense, or would you, like the rest of the jury, wonder why the defense was bringing up something so irrelevant?

I mention this not to emphasize that Robert has coerced unwilling participants into sex — we have heard enough first-hand testimony to establish this beyond reasonable doubt — but to point out that your eagerness to defend him has led you to offer arguments that, in any other context, you would recognize to be without logical force.

248. fofblogmoderator - August 23, 2008

Anyone wishing to contact me in private can do so at; nogurus@yahoo.com

249. nigel harris price - August 23, 2008

Ames Gilbert

I think the time has come for ‘us English chappies’ to do a red-black-kings conglomerate and work against this Blog-Nazi Reality Check. I hate to say that I do stick to my aim of reading-daily everyone’s posts, but his are not posts – they are formatory-lunatic ‘Blitzkrieg und Stuka’ tactics, of which I do not see the point…..Nigel.

250. My4bits - August 23, 2008

fofblogmoderator, post 226

Thanks for the clarification. I agree that your job is to moderate, not mediate, and you are doing it well.

Nope, I don’t want anyone banned, yet. At this point, I’m trying to see the culprit as my low level of tolerance, relative to some others on the blog.

Take care, and know that your work is appreciated.

251. Daily Lobotomy - August 23, 2008

“And some of those individuals left the FoF because they were not asked to have sex.”

Oh, Cardiac, you are my hero! Just the other day i told REB he should switch the FoF (Church of Divine Presence to your philistines!) to ISLAM! Yes! Think of what he could do with a whole bunch of radical jihadists, Gucci belts full of C4! OMG! Gold alchemy armageddon!
But he said he never would, Cardiac, as you can imagine, because “think of how many would leave, goodness, because they were not asked to blow themselves up!”

Oh well, back to the drawing board.

252. Daily Lobotomy - August 23, 2008

Cardiac, I also just have to tell you how grateful we in the FoF are for your enduring efforts. A few of us were having a glass of wine the other day trying to come up with a way to show readers of the blof (thanks Nigel!) how unreliable all these stories are where people whine about how they were “forced” to “do it” with REB.

But you hit the home run with ALLEGED! Of course! It’s all ALLEGED, hundreds of ALLEGED abuses! I laughed my head off. Can you imagine the immortal REB on top of some skinny, drunk, scared salary-slob, giving it to him good, and saying, “what are you alleging now, huh?” Precious.

Cardiac, you da man! You got the guts to tell it like it is!

253. Vinnie the Fish - August 23, 2008

Part 46!! I saw this on a web page – reminded me of this blog:

The vast majority of the feedback has been cordial. For those who couldn’t keep a civil tongue I have this reply. Your personal attacks are not unexpected. If someone disagrees with you and you can’t refute his arguments, call him an idiot; it diverts attention from the facts. Okay, so I’m an idiot, pathetic, slow-brained and out of touch with the “majority”. This name calling really demonstrates your superior intellect and maturity.

http://www.amsky.com/ufos/rods/

254. elena - August 23, 2008

238 Reality Check and Ames

Thanks Ames, I thought I was giving up but I suppose it was only a thought!

It is a pleasure to see you talking Reality Check and being talked to “normally”. You’ve been a pain in the ass like I have been and others say so here but I realize you get into extremes when you are treated with extremes like I and others do.

Very glad you’re keeping your self together with some of the interchanges. Hopefully you and Whalerider will give it up all together. It is not pretty and you are only talking about your wife because you still hurt so badly. Have some compassion would you Greg? Like in letting go of the thread? So easy to trip one when one is already wobbly!

I see love in Ames’ tone even if you don’t. Much more love than you’ve gotten before and whether you see it or not it helped you enormously to respond with almost equal respect.

Ames, in relation to love in the fourth way and many other areas I tend to agree with Greg that if we are understanding that the fourth way says a machine cannot love and therefore we cannot love, it is basically a misunderstanding. First we would have to be clear about what it means when it says a machine cannot love or that love cannot be mechanical.

A few sentences from Ouspensky were presented here not long ago that made me want to throw the fourth way up but a deeper examination would not do such a thing. Any system can be misinterpreted and misconstrued and Gurdjieff’s and Ouspensky’s is no exception.

I hate the Fourth Way’s formatoriness and yet without it I would have never understood how to work internally. The tragedy in the Fellowship is that Mr. Haven tied himself to the formatoriness and Mr. Burton to the unformatoriness, perfectly balancing each other out: Mr. Haven endlessly trying to rationalize what Mr. Burton could not help corrupting.

Traditional systems and religions talk about higher states symbolically presenting Angels without explaining how to get there if one is not signed up in a School while The Fourth Way explained how to work step by step. It killed the magic but offered the walking stick with which each one could get there on one’s own.

When I joined the Fellowship I was not looking for a teacher to tell me how to walk, what I was convinced we were trying to accomplish was a conscious community, a conscious life. Although I did see the absurdities from the beginning I worked for a long time on not judging people and trying to offer the magic but in the Fellowship the magic was killed from the members so that Robert could be the sole incarnation of Influence C and that killed the possibility for culture and instead developed idolatry, a sub culture.

Greg, the idea that California would fall or the world would collapse seemed like a perfect excuse to work harder whether it turned out to be true or not, I personally believed the world was corrupt enough to need of many committed people in a different direction but now it is clear how the Fellowship abused the innocence of such ignorance.

The Fellowship itself is so below even traditional catholic dogma that it is not worth even talking about it, what still seems worth learning from is the process that it used to gradually submit us into none-being: The social condition. If we were to understand that every second inside would be worth all the suffering.

Ames, what I continue to love about the Fourth Way is that from my perspective, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky presented the bicycle without showing us where we could go with it. Traditional religions talk about Heaven without telling us how to get there. And I am still convinced that if one dares get on the bicycle and learn how to ride it with the help of others or falling the many necessary times, one will find out where it can take one on one’s own.

All paths lead to Rome and thousands of great masters have told us what Rome is like but getting there on one’s own is irreplaceable. The System still offers that modestly and all its deformations and failures are an aspect of understanding that it is much more fun to have someone with whom to have a beer once one gets to Rome than to levitate on one’s own from Church to Church. And if we get a little drunk and start rolling down the street fighting with each other, that is O.K. too.

I personally much enjoy Gurdjieff and there is only one short reference on love in Belzebubs tales but it is the pinnacle of the whole book for me. If I find it when I settle and get my books back up on a shelf I’ll share it with you. But Gurdjieff and Ouspensky are but the do, re of the System and did not expand beyond personal work. It was Collin who tried to develop it and connect it with Science and practical life in a big way but it seems to me that he looked for Gold in the essence of Latin America without being able to give it the life push that Steiner gave to the different realms of life: agriculture, medicine, art, education and many more, without rejecting the foundations of what came before him. Interestingly, the System still has for me that personal touch that Collin gave to the work that none of Steiners gigantic books has but then again, what Collin presents is wonderfully human while Steiner’s work is supra-human.

Gurdjieff and Ouspensky never really developed the cosmosophy and the table of hydrogens or the Ray of Creation were left as mere diagrams and corrupted into the fastest way to get to hell in the Fellowship while Collin gave it a huge leap in The Theory of Celestial Influences. Steiner though takes Celestial Influences and dances with them in the clouds like a seven year old Mozart of the Fourth Way.

It is true that with some humour I could laugh wildly until I cried at the fact that the Fellowship did teach us the System but backwards. Instead of supra-humans it developed infrahumans. I’m afraid I do believe we were more harmed than helped and came out more unarmed than when we joined. Understanding those areas is where I think the blog can help so that many of us don’t just limp for the rest of our lives in our trust on humanity.

The interesting thing about Steiner, (whom I do not recommend as a School to join, God forbid that we would still need a teacher) is that contrary to Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, he develops the cosmosophy amply, beautifully, practically about the world and worlds we happen to inhabit, this human world in which the Angels ‘swim’ in and out of our lives at the same time that one ‘flies’ in and out of states. Again I do not think one should adhere even to the beauty of any other man’s experience because no matter how beautiful it is, when we ourselves discover it on our own, it comes to life. I have not given more than a few baby steps in the work but Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Steiner and thousands of other human beings know what they are talking about and if one really wants to follow them one can only walk on one’s trust. Each of our lives is both the path and the temple and the only way that I know one can get to the temple is trusting one’s self. Once that trust is firmly on the ground looking at the world through each of one’s centres, the magic comes to life. We are beautifully complex beings but once we root ourselves in our selves, growing and flowering is inevitable!

In the few steps I’ve taken what is so shocking is that the emotions become objective and THAT is what is so difficult to trust when I’m still so hung up in the realm of physicality. The great mistake in influence B and A is that it makes a God of the flower and denies the root and the plant. The physical world or the flower in my humble understanding is just that, the flower, but when we get into the plant and the root, then the flower sheds all its seeds and this factual life in which we so often get bored, gives light and gold without end!

The emotions become objective when one is willing to walk them. If one stands long enough in one’s trust without dismissing the world then the world can connect to that trust and talk to one about love. Trust is the mother of dignity, dignity is the mother of non-judgement, non-judgement is the mother of compassion, and compassion is the mother of humility. But these poor words that I can only stutter are different when you walk on them. There’s a unifying principle that embraces all of life and at this point it is clear that there are forces that fragment us from that unity. Just like the Fellowship fragmented us into many odd pieces by unbalancing our centers with such poor life habits, it is in itself a fragmentation of unity: a cancerigenous tumor, evil run wild in travesty clothing. Not that I would physically harm any one of them inside for being less than what they are but I’d beat them to life if I could!

255. ton - August 23, 2008

ames around 230, thanks for your observations and remarks about the tenor of the “RC” posts… you put it well and to use his words: “The truth will resonate in the minds and hearts of those seeking it.”

a few thoughts regarding tone, tone-deafness and fundamentalism… imo it’s demonstrated from two sides of “the fence” here in posts by “DC” and “RC.” what comes to mind in both cases is a line from an old followship song sung in the vineyard: “oh doctor please help me i’m dying, there’s a brain where there once was a heart” (and etc). the followship and “the system” (in effect) replaces the heart-function (feeling) with thinking and as a result, the predominance of thinking over feeling in today’s western culture becomes even more imbalanced in the cult — the individual denies a part of their own being and personal power by even more emphasis on “thinking” over feeling. when the “feeling” aspect of being is denied and replaced by a regiment of mental gymnastics and rationalizations/rationale based on “the system,” the individual is cut off from an aspect of their personal power (feeling) and becomes ever easier to control and manipulate through outside suggestion via the thinking “function.” it becomes a game of three-card monte, a “shell game” by design or “in effect” — in any case it’s a distraction from actual realization.

“Howard Thurman was interviewed in the late 1970s for a BBC feature on religion. He told the interviewer, “I say that creeds, dogmas, and theologies are inventions of the mind. It is the nature of the mind to make sense out of experience, to reduce the conglomerates of experience to units of comprehension which we call principles, or ideologies, or concepts. Religious experience is dynamic, fluid, effervescent, yeasty. But the mind can’t handle these so it has to imprison religious experience in some way, get it bottled up. Then, when the experience quiets down, the mind draws a bead on it and extracts concepts, notions, dogmas, so that religious experience can make sense to the mind. Meanwhile religious experience goes on experiencing, so that by the time I get my dogma stated so that I can think about it, the religious experience becomes an object of thought.

American futurist John Renesch expands upon this notion by stating, “For me, fundamentalism is an attempt to comprehend that which cannot be comprehended, to rationalize the unfathomable, “effing” the ineffable. It is similar to trying to measure the immeasurable or the “indefinitely extensive.” It is the human mind doing what it is supposed to do, making sense of things. But some things are ineffable and attempts to make sense of them are fruitless unless one is willing to settle for any explanation just to have one. Again, this goes for business, law, medicine, romance, politics…anything, not just religion.”

taking “the system” as gospel is a trap for certain… for example the idea that “you are a machine” — this belief is yet another self-destructive tool that can be used for “mind-control. the premise that “man is a machine” by design “creates” a machine of the individual… in one stroke it denies our humanity and in effect justifies the more inhuman and inhumane aspect of human existence… this “suggestion” when taken as truth is a means toward an end which is further control and manipulation of the individual.

256. nigel harris price - August 23, 2008

Hey, Ames, this Daily Lobotomy guy is like the Poles helping the Brits win the Battle of Britain with their ‘scamble language’ and goof-ball Get-the-Krauts tactics. But seriously……………

253 elena

Stabilising third force to recent blogs. Well done, lass! You asked me about my ‘history’ and I responded, initially, in a formal way by giving a CV. You ‘pulled me up’ on that one. Somehow, serendipitiously, I went on the GF site to post to C.H. and I think you may find a little ‘personal history’ in my last post to her, especially in reference to a Welsh poet. Connectedness, as we all would want it……………………….Nigel

257. nigel harris price - August 23, 2008

Exeter is ‘fulla durn furners’, to use a redneck term. Actually, the whole city should be sectioned for being multi-Pole-ar!…..Nigel.

258. James Mclemore - August 23, 2008

254. ton
“the followship and “the system” (in effect) replaces the heart-function (feeling) with thinking and as a result, the predominance of thinking over feeling in today’s western culture becomes even more imbalanced in the cult — the individual denies a part of their own being and personal power by even more emphasis on “thinking” over feeling. when the “feeling” aspect of being is denied and replaced by a regiment of mental gymnastics and rationalizations/rationale based on “the system,” the individual is cut off from an aspect of their personal power (feeling) and becomes ever easier to control and manipulate through outside suggestion via the thinking “function.”
***
ton – thank you
I could never have explained it to myself at the time, as I did not understand it, but somewhere inside my ‘gut’, I knew this, and is a large part of why I left the fof when I did.
I followed another of your links a short time ago, and with a couple of more ‘clicks’, was led to reading about ‘avoidance personality disorder’. It is what I have had to work with my whole life. At the time, even in my confused state, I sensed that the cult was not only not helping, but making it even more difficult for me to see and move beyond my self-imposed craziness. I was, as you stated, becoming ‘more imbalanced’.
Thanks again.

259. You-me-us-they - August 23, 2008

Intervallo:

260. lauralupa - August 23, 2008

ton 254

Amen. Thank you so much!

261. jack - August 23, 2008

Hello friends and shils.
these two short videos explain an awful lot.
By the way to those who care….
We are still at it.
Soon very soon.
the best to you.
jack.

http://www.livevideo.com/video/walkinturtle2u/130F2F01F6004CC798B897A8F71F3BC3/the-power-of-conformity.aspx

ps.
By the way doesn’t anyone have details of how many lawsuits have been brought against Burton and their outcome?
Please let us know if you do.
jx

262. lauralupa - August 23, 2008

And thanks WULSWU for Smash Mouth

263. nigel harris price - August 23, 2008

I must admit – half the time, I don’t get the point of these http links…..Nigel.

264. elena - August 23, 2008

Ton, all the things you are saying ring true about the Fellowship but I cannot adhere to them in relation to the System. When I read man is a machine I never took it literally but understood that what they meant was that for most of our lives men react mechanically to the outside world based on the imitative behavior we’ve acquired from others. Understanding our own mechanicality, that is working with it, getting to know it, allows us to understand both our families and our times. Mechanicality is the cultural genetic information so to speak. Overcoming it, transforming it, is the new generation’s leap.

The Fellowship did tremendous harm reducing us to machines without possibilities but the System is something else. Not that it matters to me if you all want to rap it up and throw it into the garbage, any other system would smell just as sweet.

We can each talk only from our own experience with the ideas. The mind is a tool for the verification of laws. It is a beautiful translucent diamond that allows the whole world to shine through it and be. The mind, like every other part of our body is sacred. There is no point in talking about the mind without the heart in this sense. It is the heart that gives it enough transparency to allow for the world to shine through it.

Thought is to the spirit what an arm is to the body. True thought, like true craftsmanship is the art through which life reveals itself.

Undermining the mind to overstate the heart is like bringing the Sun down so that the Earth can shine. The balance between them is what creates life both on the planet and the individual.

Black and white approaches in which it is one or the other cannot grasp the balance between them. The forces are complex and each have their own characteristics without either one being more powerful or beautiful than the other one. Balance which is what we most seem to lack, is what is required, in our understanding of the world as much as in our marriages. In the understanding of ourselves as much as in our participation in society.

265. ton - August 23, 2008

james and laura around 257 258, thanks for reading and responding to another of my overly-long posts. regarding listening to “the gut” — getting a little personal here but based on my shiatsu training, although i understand the importance and “centrality” of the hara, it’s an ongoing “effort” to experience and trust in modes of perception other than the “head-brain” (what’s called “thinking”). it has to do with the soup we’re in.

more generally and to whom it may concern; regarding the psychology offered up by “the system,” specifically this notion that “man is a machine” basic “life” (run-of the-mill, psychology “101”), pavlov and skinner, et al., demonstrated the idea in much clearer terms in experiments with a dog and then human stimulus / response… (but obviously that’s not the whole picture). as for a “system” of psychology, the DSM lll is much more detailed and contains much more insight into the subject than the “4th way” — which anyway draws from “standard” (albeit perhaps more-or-less unknown psychological principles)…. “the 4th way” (of course) goes further with the connection to cosmology… gurdjieff’s “all and everything” goes there, rodney collin’s theory of celestial influence attempts to explicate the human / cosmic nexus too… but Steiner (thanks elena) and even L.ron hubbard travel further in the “cosmic” direction as far as that goes… (not intended as endorsement in any form, i’m just sayin’ :

“unbind your mind
there is no time
you’ll be absolutely free
only if you want to be…”

elena 262 in your response to my previous post you write:
“Undermining the mind to overstate the heart is like bringing the Sun down so that the Earth can shine. The balance between them is what creates life both on the planet and the individual.”

beautiful metaphor but you misunderstood if you think i was trying to undermine “thinking.” it has it’s place, my point has everything to do with balance vs. imbalance… i don’t think we disagree.

266. fofblogmoderator - August 23, 2008

245 & 261 are newly moderated

267. whalerider - August 23, 2008

Jack, thanks a million for the links on social conformity, distorting one’s judgment, denying the evidence of one’s own eyes and yielding to group influence.

I particularly enjoyed the clips of Solomon Asch’s experiments. Notice in the last variation of the experiment when the subject was able to write his answers instead of say his answers out loud like everyone else…conformity dropped by two thirds, suggesting that when one is immune from criticism from the group, one is more likely to speak the truth instead of self-censor.

This is why I strongly believe we must not chastise anyone for posting anonymously, especially the few brave current followers who do post. They are more likely to voice their own opinions instead of parroting the group’s staus quo and will be less afraid of being booted out for participating in this forum. Writing out their strongly held internal beliefs is a crucial step in their humanization process.

268. nigel harris price - August 23, 2008

ton

Do I understand this? – dhan-tien in shiatsu and, in Eastern Teachings, Tao or Chi – LIFE FORCE – hence ‘listening to your gut’? I had to respond, just now, to someone who, only in the last year, has left the FOF and had written them an initially cordial post (not on this blog, I may add) but the reply came back in admonishing terms which my ‘gut’ felt to be still full of features of the same nature as when I knew them in the FOF. I went Martial adrenal ‘fight’ mode, but also using explanation as to why I was ‘that way’ to them. I think what I am trying to say is – I HAD TO BE ME – in my reply. Same as I am on this blog-site, at times, you know?!…..Nigel.

269. nigel harris price - August 23, 2008

267 whalerider

Hey! You posted that while I was still writing 268. Nice one, mate!…..Nigel.

270. ton - August 23, 2008

around 268 nige,
it’s difficult to trust your gut, much less to know how to act on it….
since we’re on the subject, and i hope this doesn’t gross anybody out or anything….. it’s interesting that seppuku or”hara kari” involves (physically) opening up the gut while the head is (physically) separated from the body:

“The most common form of seppuku for men was composed of the cutting of the abdomen, and when the samurai was finished, he stretched out his neck for an assistant to decapitate him.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seppuku

of course these are different times, this is not feudal japan but in some ways the metaphor/symbology seems somehow…..

thanks to all for your presence here,
sweet dreams

271. Another Name - August 23, 2008

For August, for all of you, for trust we all need.

Where love rules, there is no desire to exercise power and where the desire for power is exercised, there is a lack of love.

Carl Jung

272. unoanimo - August 24, 2008

ton ~

We deliver our hearts to one another, scorched and scorned for not being what anyone wanted; yet, wait, did you tip the Delivery Boy who brought both of us ours without leaving a bill?

Certainly not all bartenders are tender with our bars.

273. Rear View Mirror - August 24, 2008

Right on, everyone!

People voicing their opinions, and sharing their unfiltered thoughts.

To me it’s healthy; enlightening, encouraging.

274. Richard M. - August 24, 2008

I fell a little comic relief is needed here due to the recent increase in hot air in the blog environment.

Seems Daily Cardiac is back from his reeducation.

Let’s look at one of great observations once more, it’s so fucking hilarious:

45/87
daily cardiac

There are many ways to say no to the kind of sex Robert asks for. Robert’s role in sex is well documented. He plays the female part with another male. The other male is required to penetrate Robert which necessitates an erect penis. Generally speaking an erect penis is achieved by being aroused sexually. Arousal usually indicates a desire or ability to engage in sex.

275. nigel harris price - August 24, 2008

274 Richard M.

Q. What is the meaning of ‘brewer’s droop?
A. Viagra falls!…..Nigel.

276. nigel harris price - August 24, 2008

Or should it be Burton’s droop? (in which case, Viagra fails!)…..Nigel.

277. nigel harris price - August 24, 2008

30 Wonderwhoswatching

Thanks for correcting my ‘fluffed’ lines. Did you know we had to memorize whole chunks of Shakespeare, when I as at High School, as punishments for misbehaving. Now that is what I would call Real Transformation of Suffering. Angelic help for naughty boys!…..Nigel

278. ralphbarcode - August 24, 2008

False assumption: the idea that love is not real unless it never changes. Whos has first hand experience with this? No one, but some have made it a foundation of their cosmology and psychology. The idea that we cannot love because our feelings toward another person are changeable is a ridiculous premise with no relation to reality. For this to be true, we must redefine love as a feeling/emotion that is permanent. When did you agree to this? Who are these so called holdes of permanent emotions? They do not exist and never have.

279. veramente - August 24, 2008

Dear Arthur,
you know, even if I had 5 acres of prime property in OH I would not want to return there to live, it would feel creepy.
In the past I spent a couple of nights near Apollo staying over with some friends who were still in the fof, I could not close my eyes to sleep, it was like all the fof people, the “friends” I could think of were hunting my mind like ghosts.

280. nigel harris price - August 24, 2008

279 veramente

As I now live in South-West England, UK, which is both the city of Exeter, where I have my apartment and the surrounding countryside, through which I travel to my workshop to teach, I realise how priveledged I feel to have been placed here to fulfil my role. Like you, if I were to return to any of the places where I stayed in California and even to reside again, I am sure my pschological life would take a turn for the worse. As the charcter, John, says, in the movie “A Beautiful Mind” – ‘Yes, I do see things from my past. But, in my case, they are appetites of the mind, which I no longer wish to indulge’. Thank you, angel…..Nigel

281. Daily Cardiac - August 24, 2008

To David Darby 245:

DD: “Here is an example of your skewed logic;

DC: ”I made this point to illustrate that what one person sees as a crime/rape/abuse another may view as something desirable.”

DD: “This is akin to saying that because some women like rough sex, rape does not
exist.”

Looks like you went on a broad expedition to come back with this conclusion.

Here’s more of what I was saying, to use your metaphor: A woman could engage in rough sex and feel guilty about it later and claim she was raped.

Abuse has been claimed by some, but not proved by any. We know all people lie with regularity, often to themselves. And lying to oneself is tantamount to believing the lie.

What are the signs of abuse? How would it be proved? Is there anyone listening in who can read minds, know someone’s true motivation for agreeing to and having sex with Robert Burton?

Maybe it was abuse, maybe not – how do we know? I do know a lot of former members loath/hate Robert Burton. That much is indisputable. If perpetrating the notion of abuse would bring harm to him would they be above fabricating instances of abuse?

DD:”I am just looking at the finished puzzle, and the image it presents is very disturbing.”

Everyone has their own personal puzzle; then there is an objective puzzle out there for the taking, for whoever wants to pay for it.

282. lauralupa - August 24, 2008

Oh yeah? I’d really like to buy me an objective puzzle.
I bet it’s very expensive and only available in selected stores.

Thanks for answering my question at 243, BTW.
Was my manner not neutral enough for your sensibility?
Is there any other way to attract your attention to the matter of Robert’s own motivations?
Could the loathing and hate experienced by former members have something to do with that?

283. arthur - August 24, 2008

veramente (279),

I didnt mention it before but I had some following thoughts about the “five acres”.

You would have needed to bring with you an expert at “casting out demons”, or sell the land to a coven of “witches” that surely live in that area.

284. jack - August 24, 2008

Daily Cardiac 281
Dear Daily.
Why is it not ok for adults to have sex with children?
Also, do you see any connection between morality and consciousness?
jx

285. spoonful - August 24, 2008

To Daily Cardiac 281:

You state:

“Abuse has been claimed by some, but not proved by any. We know all people lie with regularity, often to themselves. And lying to oneself is tantamount to believing the lie.”

i can’t read minds, but are these your words or Burtons? They just strike me as something he might have said in a rare moment of self reflection.

After all, you do state “all” people. Then again you may not regard the “Teacher” as a person.

Just curious….

286. Yesri Baba - August 24, 2008

281

” We know all people lie with regularity, often to themselves.”

I wouldn’t say that but I am certain of at least one person.

287. You-me-us-they - August 24, 2008

DC:
Some “Who knows?” are so disgusting that they make me want to run to a river to clean myself!

Running to river!

288. veramente - August 24, 2008

281 DC
Everyone has their own personal puzzle; then there is an objective puzzle out there for the taking, for whoever wants to pay for it.
——————————
This could be your closing statement to make you feel “right” once again. There is no point in discussing with you DC!

289. veramente - August 24, 2008

280 Nigel
As the charcter, John, says, in the movie “A Beautiful Mind” – ‘Yes, I do see things from my past. But, in my case, they are appetites of the mind, which I no longer wish to indulge’. Thank you, angel…..Nigel
———–
and thank you for the beautiful quote Nigel!
———————————————————
283 Arthur

veramente (279),

I didnt mention it before but I had some following thoughts about the “five acres”.
—————–
I think the hardest part for me about that land is that in a sense I loved it so much, not the Lodge or the Academy but the wildness around all of that.
I still need a closure perhaps.

290. ralphbarcode - August 24, 2008

In other words, RC, you responded to Ames critique of your self-referential manifestations, by picking at something he said about love. The problem is, you based your entire argument on a definition of love that occurs only in the Fourth Way. Are you sure you are clear on the concept?

Advice is to try listening more, and buffering less.

Ther could be oh so much more, but I don’t think you can hear it.

291. whalerider - August 24, 2008

Daily Cardiac:
“I do know a lot of former members loath/hate Robert Burton.”

You will know a person’s true level of being by the legacy they leave behind. Personally, I loathe what Robert Burton does to people.

“Maybe it was abuse, maybe not – how do we know?”

Do you know the difference between exploitation and abuse?

There is no difference, it was a trick question. Narcissism has no compassion for the suffering of others.

“Abuse has been claimed by some, but not proved by any.”

Technically, you are right. Troy’s case was settled out of court without admission of guilt. Hmmm…

“Everyone has their own personal puzzle; then there is an objective puzzle out there for the taking, for whoever wants to pay for it.”

Your choice of words here speaks to your own inner schism. If something is “out there for the taking” that infers it’s for free. You just show up and take it. That’s actually true. It’s the showing up part that is at issue. Showing up for yourself, trusting your own inner guide…your own moral compass…that’s your part of the objective puzzle. Then you have to put the pieces together and take action.

Then you add, “…for whoever wants to pay for it.” That’s doesn’t follow. Here you are starting to sound like Reality Check. Whomever? Anyone? Doesn’t your version of higher power have any discrimination whatsoever? For just $9.99 you, too, can have the keys to heavenly paradise! We accept Visa and Master Charge. (If there is a demonic lower self, he would be that salesman.)

“We know all people lie with regularity, often to themselves. And lying to oneself is tantamount to believing the lie.”

Believing in a lie to oneself, distorting your own judgment to follow a group, to raise your hand like everyone else and claim that you to have “verified” this notion of exclusive outside influence reserved only for those pay for Robert’s gay ole’ time, that is called denial.

Denial of one’s self….non-existence. That is not awakening, that is sheep sleep.

Didn’t you watch the clip that Jack provided? Here it is again:

292. Another Name - August 24, 2008

Dear DC
For all and DC

Maybe it is time for you to start working with people so you can hear about abuse first hand? 50 % of the women in America have one or more experiences with abuse and 20 person of the men. If you are who I think you are; you will have a lot of excuses to participate in a commitment like that.

I can give you a very easy definition of abuse. As soon as one person in a sexual relationship says no, it is NO. When the other one keeps forcing the other this is abuse.

The forcing can be physically, emotionally, spiritually.

For example: you say to your male addictive to alcohol student. You can not drink alcohol. “This in the Fellowship of friends is called an exercise”. You as a teacher put a big bottle of vodka in your bedroom and have the student come and visit you…….

Another example. You single one student out and ignore him sexually for several months. You make sure the others feel so special. You give him a hint that a trio might be a solution…..you can guess what is going to happen?

O, and about 60 people on Robert birthday in line? I went to the same process, DC. I could not believe this 4 years ago and dismissed it. 3 years ago the story went around again and I went to E.H. and asked him. The man said: ” You do not want to know what happens in the galeria? I decide to ask the same question to T. Mc who had been in a relationship with some boys close to Robert. Her answer was that it was physically impossible. Gave me a long, explanation. And I thought about it. Yes penetration or being penetrating 60 men is according to my small brain capacity was not realistic on one day.

The year there after I heard Robert was not penetarting but sucking their penis….60 men a day….it sounded unbelievable. Many people have told me that this was the case. Maybe DC get to know the Russian and Romanians and ask, ask, ask, ask instead of assuming?
Verify, verify, verify….it will be hard and your world (if you can get in touch with your conscience) will be shattered. Please do your own homework. Get into LIFE and ask questions and I hope it will heal your heart after it might be painful for a while. I believe your heart issues might be related to a mental reasoning instead of being in touch with your heart……

And then what do I know…..

From a good heart.

293. aline - August 24, 2008

#281 Daily cardiac

“What are the signs of abuse? How would it be proved? Is there anyone listening in who can read minds, know someone’s true motivation for agreeing to and having sex with Robert Burton?
Maybe it was abuse, maybe not – how do we know?”

If you don’t know, shut up.

294. Rear View Mirror - August 24, 2008

Whalerider 291. Quoting from DC 281… “Maybe it was abuse, maybe not – how do we know?”

Yep… It’s just a bit challenging, if not impossible, to have a meaningful dialogue with anyone who writes that, isn’t it? Although I like the responses he/she/it/they are getting from people.

In a sense, it all starts there. If you believe there is no abuse, or if you acknowledge the abuse but don’t believe it’s relevant, then you stay put in your thinking, and you stay put in the fof.

If you begin to see the abuse, then you begin to actually think. You begin to open your eyes. And then you leave.

But again, I don’t believe the DC “blog entities” really believe what they’re saying. They know Robert Burton has a serious psychological illness, but they believe he is being directed by Influence C. They know there are serious problems in the FOF, but they believe that is part of the friction that Influence C has provided for all its followers to wake up (ironically). They know that people are being hurt, but they believe it is “the play,” and those who are abused must transform their suffering and stop being in self pity. They know that most of what’s stated here about Robert Burton is correct, but they go with the idea that the “facts lie” — whatever the hell that means, because I still have never heard a cogent analysis of what Ouspensky meant by that. They know that Burton’s actions are unethical and perhaps even illegal in some cases, but what does that matter? Because “life” is asleep and food for the moon. They know that people are being hurt, but they feel the ends — even if they are imaginary — justify the means. They know the FOF is chaos and harm and pain for thousands, but they believe it is a test from Influence C. Those who avoid the abuse have failed the test. They see the possibility that things will get worse with Robert Burton, and that his actions will potentially become even more harmful for current followers, but they see this as an even greater opportunity to transform their suffering and separate from the friction. They know there is real suffering caused by this man, but nothing is real, so how can there be real suffering? They know that “love” cannot check conscience at the door, but they believe that if they use the word “love” or “presence” often enough this means the FOF is guided by love and presence.

THAT is their thinking. They will deny, deny, deny. All the while knowing, knowing, knowing. And when you have that combination, you can’t have much of a conversation with them.

BUT…….

We’re not talking to them anyway. We’re not talking to DC or HC or Vinnie and any of the other shills who show up here. Because it’s obvious they’re not listening, and will just continue their persistent convoluted arguments. They’ll continue to avoid any acknowledgment of even the simplest of truths about the FOF.

So we’re talking to those who are willing to listen, because they see a part of themselves here. And we’re talking to ourselves.

And we’re talking to a Future DC, who one day may sit at the edge of the bed late in life on some quiet and lonely morning. And he/she/they will hear the sounds of the birds and insects outside, and silently wonder — “What the fuck. What did we do. How did we ever believe this.”

295. aline - August 24, 2008

#287 You-me-us-they
DC:
Some “Who knows?” are so disgusting that they make me want to run to a river to clean myself!

No, He should run to the river to clean himself!

296. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 24, 2008

#294: RVM: Well put. The Fourth Way has been used as a deception and a distraction by many of us, and what we considered ‘out of the box’ thinking, or less formatory has imploded in on itself and created little monsters or a tendency towards sociopathic thinking. What happened to the School of Love?

297. Rear View Mirror - August 24, 2008

In 294, by the way, I use the word “we,” but didn’t mean to imply that I’m speaking for everyone. I’m just another voice out here. (not the poster, JAVOH, but you know what I mean.)

298. brucelevy - August 24, 2008

from: Behavioral Traits of Psychopaths

“In addition to lying outright, psychopaths are inclined to evade, providing responses that do not answer the questions put to them. This is done as a smokescreen, an attempt to trick people into thinking they’ve received an answer. Most psychopaths are very proud of their ability to lie convincingly, and in addition to lying to evade consequences, they lie to get sympathy. When caught in a lie, they simply move on, leaving shattered lives in their wake.”

from: Personality Traits of a Psychopath

“The emotional capacity of the psychopath is extremely primitive, comprising “proto-emotions,” or reactions to immediate needs rather than the depth of feeling that others experience. When trying to manipulate others into feeling sympathy for them or guilt for questioning their motives, psychopaths can be quite dramatic and forceful, but this is a smoke-and-mirrors display, designed to obscure the lack of emotional depth the psychopath possesses.”

from: Profile of a Sociopath

“Callousness/Lack of Empathy
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them. Their skills are used to exploit, abuse and exert power. Since the follower cannot believe their leader would callously hurt them, they rationalize the behavior as necessary for their (or the group’s) own “good” and deny the abuse. When devotees become aware of the exploitation it feels like a “spiritual rape” to them.”

“Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity
Totalist leaders frequently practice promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts. This is usually kept hidden from all but the inner circle. Stringent sexual control of their followers, such as forced breakups and divorces, removal of children from parents, rules for dating, etc. ”

“Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle
Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future. Many groups claim as their goal world-domination or other utopian promises. Great contrast between the leader’s opulent lifestyle and the followers’ impoverishment. Support by gifts and donations from the followers who are pressured to give through fear and guilt. Highly sensitive to their own pain and health.”

299. brucelevy - August 24, 2008

In addition, P****r I.-, you were , are and will always be a weaselly little jerk off.

300. wakeuplittlesuzywakeup - August 24, 2008

#298 brucelevy: ”When devotees become aware of the exploitation it feels like a “spiritual rape” to them.”

And this is why former members get really pissed off when they leave. One of the worst feelings I ever had in my life.

301. Rear View Mirror - August 24, 2008

About P****r I.-, he seems like a prototype of the fof thinking.

Long life in the fof. Frightened by the possibility that it was a sham all along, and frightened that it would call into question his manhood and his intelligence. For that reason, clinging with all his might to the fof delusion. Because the alternative is to own up to the fact that he was not so smart, and not so strong, and not so masculine to be deceived so handily.

(uh, P****r I.-, that’s ego. None of this questions your manhood. Your manhood is in learning to open your eyes, being compassionate, owning up to a serious mistake, and seeking ways to help yourself and help others get through this mess. Many soldiers have been duped by their leaders throughout history. Join the club.)

302. unoanimo - August 24, 2008

Hello Daily Cardiac ~

Where to start with a fellow traveler like yourself? To me, part of the difficulty you’re experiencing on the blog (perhaps) is because you have no personal experience with Robert to access: at least not the sort in the category you’re defending… It sounds like you’re trying to ‘objectify’ Robert, most likely (like I used to do) so that ‘the meaning’ of his actions will match your aim to awaken or at least the ‘hope frame’ the fellowship gives each student on-the-way…

When the petition arrives in cyberspace, check it out; on it are people’s stories and legal names who are willing to risk court time (and jail time) if their stories are proven false: I for myself have no problems with the idea of ‘proof’ because I experienced it… And would only discuss it with someone else who has also ‘been there’ and experienced something they’re trying to ‘free up’ from some dark disturbing place (like so many of Robert’s ‘softer cases’ will possibly have to do.) I for one look forwards to speaking to Greylin some day; I hope he travels back to the South to visit his family and gets in touch with some brawny Voodoo woman who’ll give him a big bear hug… For what its worth…

Maybe you might step back a bit and wonder ‘how?’ that out of the past 35 years the only conscious influence for the world (and the Fellowship BTW) that has been born from the Fellowship is this Blog site?

Oregon House is getting smaller each day; its August too… These are desperate times and holding onto an objective picture of a subjective mystery like your teacher is only going to accelerate a nervous breakdown: though, maybe that’s what such pent-up energies and logical thinking is all about; it certainly worked for me, several times…

IMO, if you want the truth, you’ll get it by asking questions of those who your curiosity already knows (in the back of your head) will provide the answers, if you do not, then your confusion is nobody’s business, not even yours, till it starts to unwind by itself…

If you stay open to the External World, she’ll bring you into her reverse crocheting lap sooner or later… Just be careful not to burn allot of bridges in Oregon House; its a small town with allot of ancient big hearts and you may need them sooner than you ‘think’.

L.t.y.a.

303. You-me-us-they - August 24, 2008

Aline, 287

Yes, that too! But I am not going to wait till he deduces that necessity…

It felt like and old dirty uncle (having such?) forcing a kiss, on the lips.
Makes you remember vividly “the taste of pure water” ?

Yes, let’s talk more (if not only as I say in my dreams) about “the taste of pure water”, the rest, we will deduce anyways…

Running to a river!
Much love to you Aline.

DC: See!
“Why
Just ask the donkey in me
To speak to the donkey in you
… ? Hafiz, 700 years ago.

304. fofblogmoderator - August 24, 2008

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